Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne
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159

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

mouth.

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.