In Ivry, at 2:00 p.m., Épaulard took possession of the green Jaguar and the paperwork. The machine dated from 1954. Its suspension was a horror, and acid escaping from successive batteries had made holes in the partition between the engine bay and the interior of the car.
It is a cliché to say that Les Halles is the belly of Paris, but it is not fully understood that the place really does fill the guts of a whole horde of people, that it is a magnet for all the diurnal and nocturnal bums who come there to glean fragments of nourishment.
The black Oldsmobile proceeded cautiously over the sand of a beach. Balazs was at the wheel. In the back seat Maurer and Branko sat on either side of a seven-year-old girl wrapped up in a sleeping bag whom they had rendered unconscious with a morphine shot.