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Below the rectangle there was a dotted line where the sender was to sign his or her name. Jensen turned the card over and looked at the address.
Central Statistical Office, Ministry of the Interior. Box 1000.
‘Some kind of opinion poll,’ said the doctor with a shrug. ‘Everybody seems to have had one of those cards. Except me.’
Jensen said nothing.
‘Or perhaps some kind of loyalty test. In the run-up to the election.’
‘The election,’ said Jensen.
‘Yes, in a month’s time. If that’s what it is, then it’s pretty bloody superfluous. Waste of state resources.’
Jensen pulled the desk drawer open again and took out a sponge pad of green rubber, marked police property. He felt it with his fingertips. It was dry, and he got to his feet and left the room. Went to the toilet and moistened the sponge under the washbasin tap.
Jensen returned to his office, sat down at his desk, ran the blue sticker over the sponge pad and placed it with pedantic care in the rectangular space. Then he put the card in the metal tray for outgoing post and replaced the sponge in his desk drawer. Closed the drawer. The doctor observed him with a faint smile and said:
‘Your office equipment looks as if it belongs in a museum.’
Then he glanced from the wall clock to the packed suitcase over by the door.
‘Ah well, two hours from now you’ll be on the plane.’
‘Will I die?’ said Inspector Jensen.
The doctor shot him an enquiring look. He paused, and then said:
Posted March 25, 2013