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I did not dare go to the secret room. I went out by a dif-

ferent elevator and walked to the streetcar stop. I took the

Number 6 to St. Paul’s Church and walked the last part,

though the wind whipped my beard and blew my coat hem

over my ears. For God’s sake, why hadn’t I left well enough

alone? Why did I want to help Merja and Petri? And above



could I do so?


Merja tried her best to keep up the usual flirting, although

we both knew it was fake.

“Here’s my list for Santa,” she said coquettishly, extending a

folded piece of paper to me.

Twelve fifteen at the men’s over-

coats. Hope you know what you’re doing. P

I wasn’t sure I did. That’s why I had turned to Tommy H.

for help. Because Jansson had long been under police

observation, Tommy H. had been eager to work with me.

He’d gotten me the needed three thousand from the snitch

fund. It was in my coat pocket, wrapped as a gift.

Petri was waiting for me at the time we’d agreed on. I gave

him the package and moved aside. Tommy H. and two

other plainclothes police were in the store watching what

would happen.