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knew from this life and the last, pointing and laughing. Hagen was there, barking orders in hoarse German, and Richard, her husband, looking at her with his imploring and somehow pathetic eyes. And Fritz was there, naked, as he had been the last time she had seen him, standing at the rail of a balcony in a hotel in Hamburg, tall and lean and fair. And behind them all was the gallows, swinging back and forth, creaking in a cold wind.… Just a dream, she thought. She got out of bed and padded into the bathroom. They shared the bathroom with another couple, who lived in the next apartment in the dormitory. She checked cursorily to make sure their door was closed. The bathroom had no running water at night, but a bucket by the sink was filled with an already drawn supply. She splashed two handfuls onto her face— freezing, no surprise—and then went back to bed. The letter. The goddamn letter. Why did she have to find the letter? It meant, of course, the end of Catherine Danielson Carter. And in one way that was a terrific relief. She hadn’t let Richard touch her in an intimate way for years now, and yet the fact of being his wife was trying enough. He was old, and he smelled old—his smell was probably what bothered her most about him. But there was more to it than that. There was the hurt look that lurked eternally in his eyes, and the eager-to-please way he carried himself around her. Pandering. It made her feel guilty and disgusted all at once. But there was more to it, even, than that. The fact was, she was still a young woman, or at least fairly young. She still had hopes of falling in love during her lifetime. And her relationship with Richard—even if it had not been founded on a lie—would never really give her any satisfaction. Every day she spent with him was another day she wasn’t spending falling in love with somebody else. That was the worst of it. Perhaps, she sometimes thought, perhaps it was even possible that Fritz would still think of her in that way. Ten years had passed, a third of their lives, and yet … She settled her head down on the pillow, gently. But she couldn’t fool herself into thinking that sleep would come again that night. The end of Catherine Danielson Carter, she thought again.

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