[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.As I said, El Rubio and I didn’t talk much,’ replied Arias in his deep voice.This was the second time he’d mentioned that, though they were colleagues, they weren’t friends.‘You didn’t get on?’The fisherman said no, it wasn’t that, as he put a chain around the trailer, boat and oars.‘Well, what, then?’Arias shrugged.‘Life,’ he said, tightening the chain and securing it with a small padlock.Caldas looked around.All the other rowing boats were chained up, too.He wondered who would want to steal these little old wooden boats.‘You’re afraid they’ll get stolen?’‘No, of course not, but sometimes the oars float off or get washed up on the beach.’ Arias indicated the padlock.‘This thing can be kicked open, but at least the oars stay put.’‘Which one is Castelo’s?’‘That’s his trailer,’ he said, glancing over at one that lay empty.Then he indicated one of the rowing boats bobbing on the water tied to a buoy.‘His rowing boat is moored there.’The inspector went over to the empty trailer.It was chained up and the tiny padlock was locked.He recalled the two keys found on Justo Castelo’s body when he was pulled from the water.Neither was small enough to fit the padlock.He thought he’d call Forensics to request a thorough examination of the trailer and the rowing boat out on the water, but he looked at his watch and decided to call later.Not even the conscientious Clara Barcia would be at work this early.‘Whose is the other one?’ he asked, pointing to another empty trailer beside Castelo’s.‘It’s the old man’s.Hermida’s his name.His rowing boat’s tied up down there.’Caldas turned to look at the boat moored to a rusty ring.‘Did you know that Castelo put out to sea on Sunday morning?’‘So I heard.’‘But there’s no fish market on a Sunday, is there?’‘No.’‘Do you and your colleagues go out fishing on Sundays?’‘No,’ replied Arias without hesitation.‘We rest.’‘But someone saw Castelo in his boat before dawn.’Arias shrugged.‘If they saw him, then it must be true.’‘Don’t you find it odd?’‘It’s unusual,’ Arias admitted.‘Why do you think he went out this particular Sunday?’‘You’d have to ask him.’Unfortunately that was no longer possible.‘Do you know who saw him go out in his boat?’‘No,’ replied the fisherman in his cavernous voice.‘Not you, of course.’‘No.’Caldas felt for the packet of cigarettes in the pocket of his cagoule and held it for a moment.‘What were you doing on Sunday morning?’‘Sleeping,’ Arias muttered, and Caldas realised he wasn’t going to get any more out of him.‘Thank you for your time,’ he said, holding out his hand.It disappeared in the fisherman’s, huge and rough.‘I haven’t got any more questions for now, but I may need to speak to you again.’‘I’ll be here.’‘If you remember anything else, you can contact me on this number.’Arias took the card Caldas handed him.‘El Rubio didn’t commit suicide, did he, Inspector?’Caldas replied with a question: ‘Would that surprise you?’The fisherman made a face, which Caldas was at a loss to interpret.‘Nothing surprises me.’‘Do you have any idea who—’The fisherman answered before Caldas could finish the question: ‘I don’t know, Inspector.I don’t know.’The two old fishermen were still standing at the entrance to the market.Before he went inside, the inspector took one last look at the tall man in orange walking away, head bowed, down the empty street.Caldas pushed back his dripping hood.It had stopped raining.The AuctioneerCaldas went back inside, shaking the rain from his cagoule.The auctioneer was hosing down the floor, directing the jet at seaweed stuck to the cement surface.Estevez was keeping his distance, making sure his gleaming shoes didn’t get splashed.‘Where’s Hermida?’ Caldas asked his assistant.‘He’s gone home for a bit,’ Estevez replied.‘He said he’d be back in ten minutes.’‘He lives just round the corner,’ said the auctioneer, turning off the hose.‘Hello.I’m Inspector Caldas.’‘From the radio?’ asked the auctioneer, smiling through his black goatee.Did Patrolling the Waves reach Panxón, or had his assistant blabbed?Estevez raised his hands, palms upward, mutely declaring his innocence.‘Lots of people here tune in,’ said the auctioneer.Caldas forced a smile, trying to appear pleased.‘Did you speak to Arias?’ asked Estevez.Caldas nodded.The auctioneer coiled up the hose and dropped it on the floor beside the tap.‘Are there always so few people here on market days?’ enquired the inspector.‘In winter, generally, yes.Not many fishermen or buyers.Only three men work from here on a daily basis.Well, two now.’ He fell silent for a moment.‘It’s some time since we lost a man at sea.’‘Did you know Castelo well?’ asked Caldas.‘I saw him here almost every day,’ said the auctioneer.‘El Rubio was a good man.‘‘When was the last time you saw him?’‘At the auction on Saturday.’‘Did you notice anything odd about him that day?’‘No.He was the same as usual, going about his business.He had a good day on Saturday – he caught a lot of shrimp and they fetched a good price.He certainly didn’t seem down enough to do something like that.I’m from Baiona, you know,’ he gestured in the direction of the town across the bay.‘A few years ago, a fisherman there threw himself into the sea.The same as El Rubio, with his hands tied so that he wouldn’t be able to swim.’‘It’s possible Castelo didn’t commit suicide,’ said Caldas.The auctioneer looked first at the inspector, then at Estevez, as if questioning what he’d just heard.‘Isn’t it true that his hands were tied?’ he asked when Estevez nodded to confirm his boss’s words.‘It’s true,’ said Caldas.‘What then?’‘We’re looking into it.’‘You think someone tied him up and threw him in the sea?’ asked the auctioneer, increasingly curious and plainly dissatisfied with the inspector’s answers.‘Why would they do that?’‘We don’t know.It’s just a possibility,’ said Caldas, noncommittally.‘The market’s closed on Sundays, isn’t it?’The auctioneer puffed out his upper lip, before expelling the air with a high-pitched sound.‘Sundays and Mondays, because there’s no fishing on Saturday or Sunday nights.’‘But Castelo went out in his boat this Sunday.I understand someone saw him before dawn.’‘In theory a fishing boat can’t put out to sea on a rest day,’ the auctioneer explained.‘It’s prohibited.’‘Even if it’s not to go out fishing?’‘A fishing boat is a fishing boat, Inspector.It’s illegal, but …’ he left the words hanging.‘But …’ Caldas encouraged him to go on.‘There are things that are forbidden but people still go ahead and do them.You know more about that than me.’‘Right [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]