standing in what had become his habitual position with his right elbow propped on the filing cabinet and heard the phone ring for what must have been the fiftieth time that morning. Gunvald Larsson answered:
'Okay, I'll be down right away."
He stood up and said to Martin Beck:
'It was the doorman. There's a girl down there who says she knows something."
Larsson was already in the doorway.
A minute later the girl was sitting by the desk. She could not have been more than twenty but looked older. She was wearing purple net stockings, high-heeled shoes with open toes and a mini-skirt. Her cleavage was remarkable, and so was the arrangement of her dyed hair; the eyelashes were false and the eyeshadow had been plastered on. Her mouth was small and pouting and her breasts stuck right up in the bra.
'What is it you know?" Gunvald Larsson said immediately.
'You wanted to know about him in Vasa Park and Vanadis Park and so on," she said pertly. "At any rate so I heard."
'What else did you come here for?"
'Don't rush me," she said with a toss of her head.
'What do you know?" Larsson said impatiently.
'I think you're being offensive," she said. "Funny the way all cops are so damn fresh."
'If it's the reward you're after, there isn't one," Larsson said.
'You can stuff your reward," the lady said.
'Why have you come?" Martin Beck asked as gently as he could.
'I've got all the bread I want," she said.
Obviously she had come to make a scene—at least that was partly the reason—and was not going to be put off. Martin Beck could see the veins swelling on Gunvald Larsson's forehead. The girl said:
'Anyway, I earn a damn sight more than you do."
'Yes, with your cu…" Larsson said, but checked himself and went on:
'I think the less said the better about the way you earn your money."
'One more word like that and I go," she said.
'You're not going anywhere," Larsson retorted.
'It's a free country, isn't it? A democracy or whatever it's called?"
'Why have you come here?" Martin Beck asked, only a fraction less gently than the time before.
'Yes, you sure do want to know, don't you? Your ears are flapping. I've a good mind to leave without saying a word."
Melander was the one who broke the deadlock. He raised his head, took the pipe out of his mouth, looked at her for the first time since she had entered the room and said quietly:
'Won't you tell us, my dear?"
'About him in Vanadis Park and Vasa Park and…"
'Yes, if you really know something," Melander said.
'And then I can go?"
'Word of honor?"
'Word of honor," Melander replied.
'And you won't tell him…"
She shrugged, speaking mostly to herself:
'Humph, he'll guess anyway."
'What's his name?" Melander said.
'And his surname?"
'Lundgren. Rolf Lundgren."
'Where does he live?" Gunvald Larsson asked.
'And where is he now?"
'There," she said.
'How do you know for sure he's the one?" Martin Beck asked.
He saw something glisten in the girl's eyes and realized with astonishment that it must be tears.
'As if I didn't know," she mumbled.
'So you're going steady with this guy," Larsson said.
She stared at him without answering.
'What's the name on the door?" Melander asked.
'Whose apartment is it?" Martin Beck asked.
'His. Roffe's. I think."
'It doesn't add up," Larsson said.
'I suppose he rents it on a sublet. Do you think he's fool enough to have his own name on the door?"
'Is he wanted?"
'I don't know."
'On the run?"
'I don't know."
'Oh yes, you do," Martin Beck said. "Has he broken out of prison?"
'No, he hasn't. Roffe has never been caught."
'This time he's going to be," Gunvald Larsson said.
She stared at him spitefully, her eyes moist. Larsson hurled questions at her.
'Yes. That's what I said, didn't I?"
'The house facing the street or the one across the yard?"
'Across the yard."
Jerome Fletcher Alex Martin Medlar Lucan Durian Gray
Suzanne Steele, Stormy Dawn Weathers