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When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro

  
When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro

  

Author:Kazuo Ishiguro [Ishiguro, Kazuo]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Tags: Literary, Azizex666, Fiction
ISBN: 9780571225408
Google: BTrpAsoJPTkC
Amazon: 0375724400
Barnesnoble: 0375724400
Goodreads: 28923
Publisher: Vintage
Published: 2000-01-01T05:00:00+00:00


Chapter Thirteen

I spent most of the afternoon yesterday inside the dark, creaking boathouse where the three bodies had been discovered.

The police respected my wish to carry out my investigations undisturbed to the extent that I lost all track of time and hardly noticed the sun setting outside. By the time I crossed the Bund and strolled down Nanking Road, the bright lights had come on and the pavements were filled with the evening crowds.

After the long, dispiriting day, I felt the need to unwind a little and made my way to the corner of Nanking and Kiangse Road, to a small club I had been taken to in the days soon after my arrival. There is nothing so special about the place; it is just a quiet basement where most nights a lone French pianist will give melancholy renditions of Bizet or Gershwin. But it meets my needs well enough and I have returned there several times over these weeks. Last night, I spent perhaps an hour at a corner table, eating a little French food and making notes on what I had discovered in the boathouse, while the taxi-dancers swayed with their clients to the music.

I had climbed the staircase back up to the street intending to return to the hotel, when I happened to fall into conversation with the Russian doorman. He is some sort of count, and speaks excellent English learnt, he tells me, from his governess before the Revolution. I have got into the habit of passing a few words with him whenever I visit the club, and was doing so again last night when I no longer remember what we were discussing he happened to mention that Sir Cecil and Lady Medhurst had passed by earlier in the evening.

‘I suppose,’ I remarked, ‘they were off home for the night.’

At this, the count thought for a moment, then said: ‘Lucky Chance House. Yes, I believe Sir Cecil mentioned they were on their way there.’

It was not an establishment I knew, but the count proceeded without prompting to give me directions, and since it was not far, I set off towards it.

His instructions were clear enough, but I am still uncertain of my way around the side-streets off Nanking Road, and managed to get a little lost. This was not something I minded so much. The atmosphere in that part of the city is not intimidating, even after dark, and although I was accosted by the odd beggar, and at one point a drunken sailor collided with me, I found myself drifting with the night-time crowd in a mood not far from tranquillity. After the depressing work in the boathouse, it was a relief to be amidst these pleasure-seekers of every race and class; to have the smells of food and incense come wafting towards me as I passed each brightly lit doorway.

Last night, too, as I have come increasingly to do of late, I believe I looked about me, scanning the faces in the passing crowd, hoping to spot Akira.



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