Chapter no 33

Anxious People

Witness Interview (Continued)

EsTELLE: I’d like to make it clear that I’m sure Stockholm is perfectly pleasant. If you like Stockholmers. And I can tell you right now that I don’t think Knut has any prejudices, either, because once when we were younger I was tidying his oAce and I found an entire magazine all about Stockholm.

5IM: Great.

EsTELLE: I didn’t think so at the time. We actually had quite a row about it, Knut and I.

5IM: I see. So, you were talking to Ro and 5ulia when the bank robber came inṢ

EsTELLE: They keep birds. And they argued all the time. But in a cute way. Of course, the other couple were arguing, too, Roger and Anna-Lena, but that was nowhere near as cute.

5IM: What were Roger and Anna-Lena arguing aboutṢ

EsTELLE: The rabbit.

5IM: What rabbitṢ

EsTELLE: Oh, it’s quite a long story, if I’m honest. They were arguing about the cost of the apartment, per square foot, you see. Roger was worried that everyone was pushing the price up. He said the housing market was being manipulated by bastard real estate agents and bastard bankers and Stockholmers.

5IM: Hold on, was he saying that homosexuals were manipulating the housing marketṢ

EsTELLE: HomosexualsṢ Why would they be doing thatṢ That’s a terrible thing to say! Who’d say a thing like thatṢ

5IM: You said Stockholmers were doing it.

EsTELLE: Yes, but I meant Stockholmers. Not “Stockholmers.”

5IM: Is there a differenceṢ

EsTELLE: Yes. One’s Stockholmers, and the other’s “Stockholmers.”

5IM: Sorry, but I’m confused now. Let me try to write this down in chronological order.

EsTELLE: Take your time, as much time as you need. I’m not in a hurry.

5IM: I’m sorry, but I think perhaps it would be best if we went back to the first questionṢ

EsTELLE: Which one was thatṢ

5IM: Did you notice anything particular about the other prospective buyersṢ

EsTELLE: Zara looked sad. And Anna-Lena didn’t like the green curtains. And Ro was worried the closet wouldn’t be big enough. But it’s one of those walk-in closets, as they’re called these days. I didn’t know that until I heard 5ules call it that.

5IM: No, hold on, that can’t be right. There’s no walk-in closet on the plans.

EsTELLE: Maybe it looks smaller on thereṢ 5IM: The plan must be to scale, though, surelyṢ EsTELLE: Oh, must itṢ

5IM: On the plans, the closet isn’t even two square feet in size. Can I ask how big this walk-in closet isṢ

EsTELLE: I’m not very good at measurements. But Ro said she wanted to use it as a hobby room. She makes her own cheese, you know. And grows flowers. Well, some sort of plants, anyway. 5ules isn’t very happy about that. Once Ro tried to make her own champagne and made a mess of 5ules’s underwear drawer. Ro said that caused “a hell of a fight.”

5IM: Sorry, but can we try to focus on the size of the closetṢ

EsTELLE: 5ules was insistent that it was a walk-in closet.

5IM: Is it big enough to hide inṢ


5IM: Anyone.

EsTELLE: I suppose so. Is it importantṢ

5IM: No. No, probably not. But my colleague was keen that I should ask all the witnesses about possible hiding places. Would you like some coffeeṢ

EsTELLE: A cup of coffee would certainly be very nice, I wouldn’t say no to that at all.

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