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The police cruiser arrived later that day and Giorgos Tembelos and Papa Michalis disembarked, the priest inching down the ramp like a tortoise.
"I think the identity of the old man is the key," Papa Michalis announced when they'd all gathered in a taverna to review the case. "I analyzed it and that is my conclusion. It simply cannot be anything else. It has elements of an Agatha Christie story, one of her locked-room mysteries like And Then There Was None. Nobody else had access; ergo, one of the people inside the estate, a family member or a servant, must be the guilty party."
"Anyone could have gained access," Patronas pointed out. "The Bechtels were careless. They didn't keep the door locked and there were keys lying around everywhere."
"No matter. It's got to be one of them. We can interview other people forever, but it will eventually come back to them. Them and them alone."
"I think Father is right," Tembelos said. "The identity of the victim is the important thing here. There was nothing about him in any of the European databases I checked. I called our counterparts in Germany and asked them to run him through their system, but I doubt they'll find anything. It's like he never existed. We need to establish who he was. Could be he changed his name."
"Why would he change his name?" Patronas wondered.
"I don't know. "
The four of them were sitting outside by the water, it being too hot to venture inside. A haze hung over the sea, and the air was very still. Suddenly, a soft breeze rose up and stirred the tamarisk trees that lined the shore, setting their feathery branches in motion. Patronas liked the rustling sound the trees made, the relief the wind brought. It was almost as if he could hear the earth breathe.
I'll go swimming tonight, he told himself, looking out at the harbor. Float on my back and look up at the stars. Frolic like a dolphin.
Maybe he'd ask Antigone Balis to join him. He pictured her dripping wet, that long hair of hers hanging down over one shoulder like Botticelli's Venus. Adrift in his vision, he subsequently lost track of the conversation.
"Hey, boss, you with us?" Tembelos nudged him with his elbow.
Patronas made a show of straightening his back, stretching. "Sorry, it's the heat. Always makes me sleepy."
"You were grinning."
"So what if I was? A man's allowed to grin."
"I don't know, Yiannis," the priest said. "I think when one is discussing a homicide, it might be better if one dispensed with grinning. At such a time, such behavior is unseemly. It makes one appear insensitive at the very least."