Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne
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147

not have any authority to do this. I just needed to act as if I

did.

“I guess my wallet is in my pocket after all. Hang on.” Fear

was making him sweat, and the younger of the salesclerks, a

girl of twenty-five at most, was gaping at me in

astonishment. The forty-something male clerk was

pretending not to notice the whole incident.

The junkie’s wallet was as flat as a sick flounder. No sign of

plastic, of course; the unfortunate did not even have a

Stockmann loyalty card. The health insurance card had a

photo and the name Veli-Pekka Virtanen. The birth date

listed meant the man was twenty-eight years old. Place of

birth, Vantaa.

“Now listen up, Virtanen. If you’re hoping Santa brings you

even one gift this Christmas, you’d better not show your

ugly mug here again. Tell your boss that this source has

dried up.” I let go of the man’s finger. “Looks like the white

Christmas you wanted isn’t coming. You’re not getting

money for snow from here, in any case.”

Virtanen grimaced at me like a snared wolverine and

vanished. He was such a pathetic case that he’d hardly have

been capable of the thefts that had taken place, but at least

I’d driven away one disturbance to the gentlefolk’s gift-

purchasing orgies. That’s what they were paying me for.