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“The police are on his trail, but because of the investigation

they can’t disclose any more. Nor can I. And you of course

want to keep your own secret—the secret room.”

I could see that Bruun was seething, but I didn’t care. Even

if I didn’t get a job reference, the important thing was that I

got my final paycheck. I told him I’d be gone at the end of

the shift.

As the afternoon wore on, the crowds in the store became

unbearable. Merja left after the morning shift, but Petri was

doing a long day. Later, after closing time, I saw Petri

waving at me from an escalator heading to the ground

floor. I set off after him as fast as my fat suit permitted.

Most of the staff had already left the store; only the cashiers

remained counting their sales. Petri entered a door that


Employees Only

, and beckoned me to follow him. His

face was pale, his eyes red, and his skin peeling.

“I got a message from Jansson that the debt’s been paid. I

can’t believe it. Are the police really going to get him

without dragging us into it? Will we get off scot-free?”

“Let’s try our best.”

“Why did you do this? Weren’t you supposed to rat on us to