disappeared each time he pretended to be a customer
looking at them? I must have fallen asleep for a short time,
because I dreamed that half the Stockmann staff belonged
to a league of store thieves and Bruun was shouting that
he’d hired me just so he could set me up as guilty. They’d
punish me by suffocating me with my Santa Claus beard. I
woke up to find I’d stuffed the corner of my sheet into my
Monday was quiet. Merja wasn’t at work and I circulated for
over an hour before I saw Petri in the menswear
department half a floor up. He was looking at bathrobes. A
dyed-blond silicon babe crept up beside him. When I
looked more closely I saw that it was the same woman who
had slammed me with her purse in the bar Friday evening.
Was she following Petri?
Petri pushed his hand into the pocket of a luxuriously thick
terry bathrobe. I saw that his hand was closed in a fist.
When he pulled it out his palm was open. He shook his
head as if to indicate that the robe did not suit him and
moved over to look at the next. The blonde moved along
with him to the bathrobe he’d just left and she, too, pushed
her hand into the pocket. Then she raised her purse in such
a way that she could drop into it whatever object she had
taken from the pocket. Petri had already left the bathrobes
and moved on to the underwear. The blonde, in contrast,
set off purposefully toward the exit on the Esplanade side.