[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.”What if I get there too late, Martinsson thinks as she drives like a madwoman along the E10 and then turns off along the Kuosanen road down to the River Kalix.What if he has shot himself? What if he is lying on the floor in a pool of blood? If the back of his head has been shot away? If he does not have any face left? That could be what is in store for me.It could be.She tries to ring Mella again.Gets the answering machine again.“I’m on my way to Hjalmar Krekula’s cottage,” she says.“He’s confessed to the murder of Wilma and Simon.And I have a nasty feeling.Don’t panic, there’s no danger.But ring me.If I can pick up, I will.”Then she rings Krister Eriksson.“Hi,” he says before she has a chance to say anything.It is such a tender-sounding “hi”.It sounds happy over the fact that she has called him, and ever so intimate.It sounds like a “hi” the second before a man slides his hand under his lover’s hair and round the back of her head.He saw from the display that it was her, and so that is how he sounds.She is thrown off balance.Feels warm from somewhere between her ribs down to her pelvis.“How’s my little girl doing?” he says, and at first she does not realize that he is talking about Tintin.She tells him that all is well and then mentions that Tintin felt the need to break away from her policing role and just be a dog for a while.So she has been rolling around in horse shit.“That’s my girl,” Eriksson says, laughing proudly.Then Martinsson tells him where she is going, and why.“We searched his house last Tuesday,” she says.“I really don’t know how to explain this.”Becoming serious, Eriksson says nothing.Does not tell her that in no circumstances must she go there alone.“I saw an entirely different person when I looked right at him,” she says.“It was as if I should, well, not that I should help him, but that we shared similar problems, as it were.There was something in the atmosphere.I have to make a choice.”She is fumbling for words to explain her feelings, but suddenly feels that she is just making a fool of herself.“I understand,” he says.“I don’t believe in that sort of thing,” Martinsson says.“You don’t need to.Just do what you feel is right.And look after Tintin.”“I’d never allow anything to happen to her.”“I know.”A brief silence follows.There is a lot waiting to be expressed, but in the end he simply says, “Bye for now,” and hangs up.Hjalmar Krekula’s cottage at Saarisuanto is built of brown-stained logs.The window frames and door are painted blue, and the two lots of steps leading up to the door have been fused together crudely.The roof is corrugated iron, but the chimneys are properly built in.Beautiful pine trees grow on the slope down to the riverbank.An old red-painted boathouse leans provocatively under the snow.It might survive one more summer, but that is far from certain.Not far from the cottage, at the very edge of the water, is the sauna.A circular iron chimney sticks up into the air.A wooden jetty has been beached: the half of it that has thawed peers out from the snow.The barrier is up and the road has been ploughed, but not all the way to the cottage.Hjalmar’s car is parked where the road comes to an end.Martinsson has to walk along the snow-scooter tracks for the last bit.Someone has walked there before her.It must be him.Far from easy going – his feet have sunk into the snow after every third or fourth step.Vera and Tintin are racing around like crazy, noses to the ground.There are spoors made by reindeer that have followed the scooter tracks to conserve energy.Ptarmigans have scuttled back and forth among the birches.At one point there are traces of an elk.It takes more than fifteen minutes to get to the cottage.Martinsson knocks on the door.When she gets no response, she opens it.The cottage consists of one large room.The kitchen area is just inside the door.On the wall to the left are old kitchen cabinets with sliding doors above a hotplate and countertop.Turned upside down on the countertop is an orange washing-up bowl, with a brush lying neatly by its side.In front of the cabinets and countertop are a small dining table and three unmatched Windsor chairs, painted with several layers of thick paint, most recently cornflower-blue.A bit further into the room is a sofa.The knobbly ivory-coloured cushions, striped nougat, green and dark brown down the middle, are on the floor, leaning against the armrests, so that they will not become too damp and mouldy underneath.A fire is burning in the hearth, but it has not yet dispersed the raw smell of damp.Hjalmar is on the sofa.Instead of using one of the cushions, he is sitting directly on the hard wooden frame.He is still wearing his jacket and his fake fur peaked cap [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]