This weather always made his knees ache. The dead man bobbed face down in one of the recurrent eddies along this stretch. They looked on as one of the attendants reached with a borrowed boathook and dragged it closer. The junior was reluctant to grab it, but he waded out into the shallows when it hung up on a snag. They were all soaked anyway, even the boys in uniform with their glistening slickers, always dripping down the necks in his recollection. Even so, he wished he had one now.
Grabbing the corpse by the collar, the attendant dragged the thing up as high as it could go. Heavy and limp, probably weighing fifty or a hundred kilos more due to the passage of time and resultant soakage, he was going to need help.
This one didn’t look likely to come apart at the seams, and that was always a blessing. Andre pushed the sodden fedora up on his forehead, where it chafed from sheer weight and a long night.
“So where’s Gilles?” Hubert De Garmeaux and Maintenon went back a long time.
They were on the beat together. It was hard to visualize either one of them as a young man of twenty. De Garmeaux was tolerable, unlike some others, and treated Andre with familiarity. It was a kind of professional friendship. You would never know, with De Garmeaux, whether he really liked you or not. He gave no one any cause for complaint, whether they were a colleague or a customer. His partner, whom Andre didn’t know, stood gazing silently at the far side of the river, oblivious to the proceedings.
“Yes, it would take a lot to keep him away.” De Garmeaux gave a nod of sympathy.