The Other End of the Line by Andrea Camilleri Read Online (FREE)
The Other End of the Line by Andrea Camilleri
Originally published: May 26, 2016
Author: Andrea Camilleri
Genre: Police procedural
Followed by: The Safety Net
Preceded by: The Overnight Kidnapper, Death at Sea
They were sitting out on Livia’s little balcony in Boccadasse in silence, enjoying the cool evening air.
Livia had been in a bad mood all day, as was always the case when Montalbano was about to return home to Vigàta.
Out of the blue Livia, who was barefoot, said:
“Would you do me a favor and get my slippers? My feet are cold. I guess I’m just getting old.”
The inspector gawked at her.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“You’re starting to age from the feet up?”
“Why, is there a law against that?”
“No, but I thought it was some other body parts that started aging first.”
“Cut the shit with your foul mouth,” said Livia.
“Why are you talking like that?”
“I’ll talk however I feel like talking! Is that okay with you?”
“Anyway, I said nothing foul. The body parts I was referring to are, I dunno, the eyes, the ears . . .”
“Are you going to get me those slippers or not?”
“Where are they?”
“Where do you think they are? Right beside the bed. The ones that look like cats.”
Montalbano got up and headed for the bedroom.
Those slippers no doubt kept her feet nice and warm, but he hated them, because they looked like two long-haired white cats with black tails. Naturally, they were nowhere to be seen.
Surely they must be under the bed.
The inspector crouched down, thinking:
The back! That’s another body part that gives you the first warning signs of aging!
He reached out and started feeling around with one hand.
It came up against a furry slipper and was about to grab it when a sharp pain took him by surprise.
Jerking his hand back, he noticed he had a deep scratch on the back of it that was even bleeding a little.
Could there possibly be a real cat under there?
But Livia didn’t own any cats.
So he turned on the lamp on the bedside table, grabbed it, and shone its light under the bed, to see what it was that had scratched him.
He couldn’t believe his eyes.
One of the two slippers had remained a slipper, but the other one had turned into a cat, a cat cat, and was now glaring at him threateningly, ears pressed against its head and hackles raised.
How could this be?
He suddenly felt furious.
And he got up, set down the lamp, went into the bathroom, opened the medicine chest, and disinfected his scratch with a bit of rubbing alcohol.
Moments later he was back out on the balcony and sat down without a word.
“So where are my slippers?” asked Livia.
“You can go and get them yourself, if you have the courage.”