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Fiona’s heels sank into the soft earth as she moved across the marsh to the edge of the creek. Her thin raincoat offered little comfort against the persistent drizzle that threw a gloomy chill over the gray morning. She heard Cates’s shoes making squishing sounds as he followed close behind her toward the two policemen in shiny slickers. Above her loomed the great brownish arches of the Calvert Street Bridge, recently renamed the Duke Ellington Bridge, over which stretched a symmetrical string of lighted globes. The body rested precariously on the creek’s rim against a rocky outcrop that kept it from slipping into the rushing water. The early April rain had churned up the ground, stripping away the last vestiges of winter and releasing the earth’s pungent odors. After being with Clinton, everything seemed good again—colors deeper, odors richer, sounds clearer. He had crept beside her earlier than usual this morning, but she was instantly awake at his touch. She still tingled with the afterglow of having been with him. Now, beneath the bridge, she slipped and fell on the damp soil, her nostrils tickled by the manurey smell. “You okay?” Cates asked, offering his hand. She grabbed it, allowing him to lift her. Struggling upward, she felt a tear in her raincoat, covered now with a coat of mud. Her pantyhose had been ripped along the knees. One thing about being a cop, she thought. It was hard as hell on pantyhose. She let Cates go ahead of her now, guiding the way along the slippery ground to where the body had landed. As they arrived, the policemen pointed their flashlight beams on the sprawled lifeless heap that was once a young woman. Theykneeled beside her, studying the body in the play of light. She was blonde, mid-twenties, Fiona guessed. “Makes a mess,” one of the policemen muttered as Fiona touched the body, lifting an arm. It wriggled, then, when released, fell like a length of heavy rope. On impact, a jumper became crushed bones in a blubbery bag of bruised flesh. Fiona sniffed as her nostrils picked up the body’s odor, the stench of death strong enough to mask any natural competition. One of the policemen handed her an alligator purse. “I didn’t open it,” he said. She wondered briefly if he had rifled the wallet. The woman’s driver license identified her as Dorothy Curtis, born December 8, 1958. The shock of similarity made her wince. Fiona was also born on December 8, six years earlier. The photo on the license showed a remarkably pretty woman. Fiona bent down again to confirm her identity. Except for the mouth, set irrevocably in a tight-lipped smile, it wasn’t easy. The body had hit face first.