Freezing rain had put the tram out of service when she went home that night.

Had it been only the day before, feeling her shoes slip on the frozen pavement, her first thought would have been for Sharon.

I hope she managed to get the tram in time, Maître Susane would have told herself, not liking to see her housekeeper ride off into the cold and the dark on her bicycle.

But tonight she didn’t think of Sharon, absorbed as she was in recalling every detail of her new client’s visit, already feeling ­anxious on realizing that some of Gilles Principaux’s words hadn’t ­indelibly fixed themselves in her memory (had he said “my wife” or “my spouse,” had he used her first name or did Maître Susane only think she remembered it that way because she’d read the name Marlyne in the newspaper?), impatient to be back in her apartment so she could write down everything she had left in her head.

And so, opening the door and finding every light ablaze in the hallway, the dining room, and the kitchen, she was briefly afraid, having forgotten that Sharon might still be there even with the tram down, despite Maître Susane’s many reminders that she was free to go home whenever she thought best, whether the work (of which there was in truth so little) was finished or not.