The sky was ominous, but much less so than the day’s news. Yet again, the American President was toying with war games with his long-standing enemies.

Autumn was getting rapidly into its stride. The sea pounding on the pebbles was a sign of the imminent gale. Yet this didn’t seem to scare the man who was strolling along the pavement of the Boulevard Foch, towards Sainte Adresse.

All the passers-by were staring at him. Not because he was scruffy or too weird. It was because, as if it were a completely natural thing to do, a parrot was perched proudly on his shoulder. The animal shouted abuse at whoever dared look at them. He, on the other hand, didn’t really seem to mind.

Man and bird came suddenly to a standstill. Turning towards the intimidating English Channel, the man decided to sit down. He got out his newspaper. Someone remarked it was a Quebec daily paper. The man began to read. His feathered friend pretended to do the same. The first page turned, the macaw leaned towards his master’s ear and told him something that no one understood and off it flew.

Immediately the rain pelted on Le Havre and the man. He didn’t move an inch, didn’t use his umbrella. He kept staring far away at sea. Perhaps as far as the other side of the ocean. The storm over, he was found dead.

The DI* was entrusted with the investigation into finding who this weird stranger was and what he had been doing before sitting down to gaze at the sea.

Note :

  • DI = Detective Inspector