avlivro - 28 Chapter I.XI

As the credits came to an end, Galbraith only now noticed that he was the only one still in the premises of the bootleg cinema. Stretching out to his full height, he stood up from the chair and, straightening his stiff muscles, left the dim room. The mustachioed German usher was still standing at the entrance. The inspector wanted to exchange a few words with him regarding what he had just seen.

- Have you seen this film yourself? - he asked, handing the German a cigarette.

- How could I not watch what I was going to show to the audience? - the usher responded with some resentment, accepting the gift.

- Well, what do you think of it? 

- I have no idea if you know, but this director, to put it mildly, specializes in films for adults, so the creation itself is appropriate, - the usher replied, taking a drag.

Galbraith remembered shots of half-naked women in the slums, two scenes with the main character's naked lover... Yes, it was difficult to disagree with this definition.

- And if you dig little deeper? - the inspector did not let up.

- So, it's actually based on a Russian book, - as if revealing some shameful secret, the mustachioed usher answered embarrassedly.

- Have you read it?

- Never had a chance. But experts say that the director did not understand its essence and ended up filming rare nonsense.

"Nonsense... Well", the inspector thought, "Yes, it's hard not to resist using this word to describe the wild, absurd mixture of the Middle Ages, space and helicopters, generously sprinkled with ugly makeup on the actors and cheap scenery..."

- If you're asking me about this film like that, does that mean it made an impression on you? - the usher taker himself decided to ask the question.

- I like it, - Galbraith answered briefly.

The inspector could not even expect what he would receive in response to this modest phrase.

- Ha-ha! If you, an American, liked the delusional creation of not the best German director, then I'm even afraid to imagine the depths to which your own filmmakers have sunk!

Galbraith involuntarily leaned against the wall. And the usher, stretching forward his hand in which he held a smoking cigarette, continued his speech as a critic.

- The machine of your cinema consists more than entirely of parts stolen in Europe! You steal the worst ideas of our directors and make this, as you call it, a business out of it! Your cinema is not dead, it has been dead since birth! - the German spoke accusatoryly.

"Maybe", Galbraith thought, "Could finally tell this proud German that, as an Englishman, it was funny for him to listen to an insult to a culture foreign to me?". Although deep down he understood that the usher did not care what nationality his listener was - he simply wanted to vent his frustration at the fact that, due to lack of work in his homeland, he had to smuggle in a country for which he had imbibed hatred almost with his mother's milk.

- Okay, okay, I understand, - he said. - By the way, aren't you Korble himself?

The usher stopped his anti-American ranting and looked at his interlocutor in surprise.

- You are probably the first person to confuse me with onkel Korble! Every German here knows him!

- Well, I'm not German, - Galbraith winked at him slyly.

- I'm his right hand, if it hasn't dawned on you yet, - the usher hit himself in the chest.

- Good luck staying here! - he waved his hand.

The inspector walked down the street in a good mood, around him passers-by were scurrying back and forth along the sidewalk, excited about something. At that moment, the world seemed amazingly beautiful and attractive to him.A noticeable heat was already hanging over the city, the air was trembling, and it seemed that a barely noticeable glow was emanating from the city buildings. Just an optical illusion, thought Galbraith. For the joy he went into one of the shops spread throughout the city and bought a piece of smoked meat and a bottle of white wine - it's not like there's no food left in his refrigerator, the inspector just wanted to before falling into bed, sit by the window for a while and wash down finely chopped boiled pork with alcohol, look at the street, at the fallen leaves lying on the wet pavement and remembering everyone with whom he had at least some pleasant moments of his life. 

However, as soon as Galbraith stepped through the threshold of his apartment, he suddenly felt that the fun seemed to have disappeared from his head. Instead of setting a small table by the window and sitting in a chair, the inspector pulled off his loafers, hung his jacket on the always open kitchen door and, putting the boiled pork with a bottle in the refrigerator, put a frying pan on the stove. Opening the window in the kitchen, he noisily sucked in the cold air. Galbraith felt a little better. A few minutes later he, getting ready to go to work again tomorrow, started preparing dinner.

Lately Galbraith has been lazy about cooking anything more complicated than pasta, but today he decided to make a small exception - he will treat himself to an omelette with tomatoes. For this purpose, he pulled out the two above-mentioned vegetables from the refrigerator, crumbled them and threw them into a hot frying pan. Then the inspector took out a deep plastic plate and broke three eggs into it. Then added a little milk, a pinch of salt and thoroughly beat this mixture with a fork  - alas, he had neither a mixer nor a whisk at home. Having poured the milk-egg mixture into the frying pan, Galbraith covered it with a lid and, after adjusting the flame of the burner, went to his bedroom. There he sat down on the bed and stared out the window, behind which dusk was already gathering.

Ten minutes passed. He reluctantly got up and went to the kitchen, where dinner was already waiting for him. Placing the omelette on a plate, he pulled a chair closer to the table and began to eat. Moments from the film he watched in the illegal cinema for German immigrants were still flashing through his mind. The inspector tried to remember what the essence of this work was, but only shots of the protagonist's naked girlfriend came to mind. Then Galbraith began to turn over in his mind all the phrases that other spectators uttered during the session, but since his knowledge of the German language did not allow him to understand it by ear, he quickly stopped this pointless activity.

After finishing the dinner, he washed the plate and returned to the bedroom. Night had already fallen outside the window. He lay down on the bed and fell asleep. After the experience, the inspector's sleep was surprisingly calm and even.

The next morning, Galbraith was awakened by a phone call. With some reluctance, he walked barefoot directly to the telephone and picked up the receiver.

- Maestro, say "você"! "Você" means "you"! - the unknown caller seemed to be bursting with joy.

It was difficult for him to understand what gender the caller was, he raised his voice so high. The inspector was slightly taken aback. Apparently, the subscriber was counting on being told "Hello?" in response. Or something like that. However, Galbraith only frowned and hung up. Despite the stranger's joking tone - one could even say "hysterical" - the thought occurred to Galbraith that this seemingly absurd message carried some kind of menacing meaning.

The inspector sat down on the bed and began to pull up his trousers. Trying to understand the meaning of the Portuguese lesson he had just heard, he felt a vague anxiety associated with this call. If that person really was a complete stranger - which Galbraith really doubted, because it was unlikely that anyone could accidentally dial his home number - then for what purpose did the subscriber call him? Check if the owner is home?

Galbraith was already beginning to regret picking up the phone. He was sure that whoever was calling, he himself was in for serious trouble. Somehow pulling on his pants and buttoning his shirt, he trudged into the bathroom, where he washed his face and brushed his teeth for a long time in order to finally shake off the remnants of sleep. Having washed himself and finally woke up, he left the bathroom and glanced at the clock hanging in the corridor - it was twenty minutes to eleven. I overslept again, Galbraith thought, I should have set the alarm last night... However, it won't get any worse, he reassured himself. Just think, what the big deal - to sleep for two hours!

He suddenly remembered that he had not washed his wet in the rain suit since the day before yesterday. Rushing back to the bathroom, Galbraith began sorting through the already slightly damp pile of wet rags that he had thrown behind the bathtub. Suddenly a white edge stuck out from his jacket pocket. The inspector grabbed it and pulled it towards him - in his hand was the same photograph that, by some strange inspiration, he took from the bedside table in the Yonce's house. Looking at the chubby face of the baby sleeping in arms of missis Yonce, Galbraith seemed to be struck by lightning - oh God, Delia!

From the moment he said goodbye to the girl after the call from mister chief inspector Schaeymoure, Galbraith did not particularly think about her, but now, looking at the photo, he realized that he could not hesitate. So he decided to have a quick breakfast and go to the police department. Putting a photo of a happy family on the nightstand in the hallway, he quickly walked into the kitchen and immediately opened the refrigerator. So, boiled pork and a bottle of white wine... These were the only foods that did not require cooking. Taking them out of the refrigerator, Galbraith began to cut the smoked meat into thick slices, thinking that, of course, drinking alcohol before work was not the best idea, but he simply did not want to waste precious time on such essentially useless things as cooking of coffee...

When only crumbs remained on the plate, he looked at the glassy greenish bottle. Yes, he didn't even notice how he drank all the wine to the bottom... Throwing it into the trash can under the sink, Galbraith looked at the clean jacket, which he had hung right on the kitchen door the previous evening. Having put it on, the inspector took a photograph of the Yonce family from the bedside table and, saying to the sleeping baby "Sorry I'm so late...", put it in his jacket pocket as he walked. The usual route is the stairwell, then down the steps to the entrance...

Going out into the street, the inspector gave his gaze to the sun shining in the sky and quickly walked towards the subway. Having gone underground, he had to wait three minutes for his train. As soon as the carriage finally approached the station, he dived through the opened doors and, seeing that all the seats were occupied, grabbed the handrail... Having got off at the desired station, Galbraith went upstairs with all the other people and almost ran to his police department. When he almost reached his goal, he suddenly saw a rosy-cheeked doctor sitting on a bench under a pillar on which hung a agitational banner "Magistratus oportet servire populo" (The Police must serve The People).

- Good day, Matt! - Galbraith shouted as he approached.

- Hi, - he will answer in a colourless voice.

The doctor, resting both hands on the bench, turned his head to the inspector, who had already approached him. By his appearance could immediately tell that he was not in the mood, as if something was bothering him. This was not a good sign for Galbraith.

- Do you know how young lady Yonce is doing?

With these words, the inspector, whose veins seemed to be on fire under the influence of a drunk bottle of wine, sat down next to Matt.

- This is the essence of things, - the doctor said gloomily, looking somewhere ahead.

- I'm sorry... - Galbraith, who had already begun to suspect something, moved a little closer to neighbour.

- Today's news stinks... - the doctor turned to his interlocutor. - Buddy, you're not in a hurry, are you? - his eyes sparkled strangely.

- No... But why do they stinks? - the inspector was slightly surprised

- Listen here. Anyway, when we brought the girl here, - he nodded towards the police department building. - She began to complain about, well, as is usual with womankind... - Matt was a little embarrassed

- What, you mean it's a Delia started menstruating? In ten years? - the inspector's face fell.

- Yeah, it's rare, but it's not impossible, - the doctor said hastily. - But I'm not going to talk about that. In short, medic Maurice came up to her complaint and she began to describe to him... Briefly, then girl said that she had a parasite inside her...

- That doesn't make any sense, - the inspector dropped his head to his knees

- Of course she didn't put it that way, - Matt said defensively. - They are no such thing. In general, Maurice became worried and told the girl to be taken to Randall Children's Hospital and volunteered to accompany her himself.

At these words, Matt took a breath and raised his hand to his sweaty forehead.

- So keep doing it, - Galbraith succeeded him

- Then I can only remember what he himself told me, since I was not an eyewitness to those events, - his interlocutor answered somewhat carefree.

Matt, having said these words in the tone of a comedian who is waiting for applause at the end of his performance, blew his nose directly into his hand and, wiping it on the bench, as a result of which his neighbour involuntarily moved away. The rosy-cheeked doctor then continued:

- In general, Maurice with Delia arrived at Randall Children's Hospital, and there they immediately went to see a gynaecologist. He, having examined the patient, said that she really had something inside...

- Erm... - Galbraith froze with his mouth open.

- No, it wasn't pregnancy, this is something else, - Matt said confidently.

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