Mr. Nemo has once again disappeared into the fog of human debris. Even the Supreme Master knows nothing of his whereabouts, and he keeps it that way. He has heard there is a price on his head, but it bothers him little. He was prepared for that when the time would come. He has roamed the European continent for a year now, never staying longer than three months before seeking his next refuge. It has taken him as far away as Minsk and Istanbul. He has followed the developments of the Paris Reaper case, and eventually, as he had predicted, evidence pointed to a small-time criminal, who was found conveniently dead in his apartment. Suicide, they said. For once he had nothing to do with it.

Justine Bertrand has vanished too. It is one of the few errors he’s committed in an otherwise impeccable career in the name of murder and mayhem. He has kept tabs on the lawyer she uses, even bugging his office, but she never calls, corresponding via forwarded mail. Eventually the trail led to Amsterdam, but by the time he got there it had already turned cold. She had used a fake name, but cleverly enough had most likely left the country under another. He scavenged the Amsterdam underworld for the man that had issued her passport, but when he finally found out who it was, his bullet-ridden body had already turned up in one of the city canals.

 

It was only six months later, when three containers in the harbour of Le Havre finally made their journey to Rio de Janeiro, that he picked up her trail. They had been stored in a warehouse for over a year containing the belongings of Miss Bertrand. They reached Brazil four weeks later, where they sat for another month before eventually being collected by a truck and taken to a mansion in a prosperous and fashionable area of Rio.

 

He soon found out the woman who owned the house was of European stock having arrived months earlier. She went by the name of Maria Martin and was said to be a writer.

 

It took him weeks before he got his first sighting of Ms Martin. Her hair was straight, dark, but the features and the freckles were unmistakably Ms Bertrand’s. He knows he needs to be patient. Bide his time. Because it will come. Soon, very soon he thinks, and he pulls down his Panama hat and walks away. Puffing on a Cuban cigar.