The Man Arguing in the Kitchen

Eivind Hess walked quickly, gripping the handles of his valise. Down the street a battered blue Volvo labored up a small hill. As the car cleared the rise it belched with triumph and a black jet of exhaust chuffed from the tailpipe, hovered, then disappeared in the lowering cloud of four o’clock dusk and fog. Five dark shapes, dogs, loped after the car. Dogs—as far as the eye could see—dogs. Good God! Hess had no idea a town as inhospitable as Tromso could have so many dogs. They traveled in pairs and in packs, baying and barking, driving the neighborhood cats before them. Few, if any, of the dogs wore collars or tags, and there was something in their eyes that suggested they had never been domesticated, or if they had, they knew better now.

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