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       Depths, p.1

           Henning Mankell
 
Depths


  Table of Contents

  About the Author

  By the Same Author

  Title Page

  Copyright Page

  PART I The Secret Affinity with Leads CHAPTER 1

  CHAPTER 2

  CHAPTER 3

  CHAPTER 4

  CHAPTER 5

  CHAPTER 6

  CHAPTER 7

  CHAPTER 8

  CHAPTER 9

  CHAPTER 10

  CHAPTER 11

  CHAPTER 12

  CHAPTER 13

  CHAPTER 14

  CHAPTER 15

  CHAPTER 16

  CHAPTER 17

  CHAPTER 18

  CHAPTER 19

  CHAPTER 20

  CHAPTER 21

  CHAPTER 22

  CHAPTER 23

  CHAPTER 24

  PART II The Navigable Channel CHAPTER 25

  CHAPTER 26

  CHAPTER 27

  CHAPTER 28

  CHAPTER 29

  CHAPTER 30

  CHAPTER 31

  CHAPTER 32

  CHAPTER 33

  CHAPTER 34

  CHAPTER 35

  CHAPTER 36

  CHAPTER 37

  CHAPTER 38

  CHAPTER 39

  PART III Fog CHAPTER 40

  CHAPTER 41

  CHAPTER 42

  CHAPTER 43

  CHAPTER 44

  CHAPTER 45

  CHAPTER 46

  CHAPTER 47

  CHAPTER 48

  CHAPTER 49

  CHAPTER 50

  CHAPTER 51

  CHAPTER 52

  CHAPTER 53

  CHAPTER 54

  CHAPTER 55

  CHAPTER 56

  CHAPTER 57

  PART IV Autumn, Winter, Loneliness CHAPTER 58

  CHAPTER 59

  CHAPTER 60

  CHAPTER 61

  CHAPTER 62

  CHAPTER 63

  CHAPTER 64

  CHAPTER 65

  CHAPTER 66

  CHAPTER 67

  CHAPTER 68

  PART V The Dead Eyes of China Figurines CHAPTER 69

  CHAPTER 70

  CHAPTER 71

  CHAPTER 72

  CHAPTER 73

  CHAPTER 74

  CHAPTER 75

  CHAPTER 76

  CHAPTER 77

  CHAPTER 78

  CHAPTER 79

  CHAPTER 80

  CHAPTER 81

  CHAPTER 82

  CHAPTER 83

  CHAPTER 84

  CHAPTER 85

  CHAPTER 86

  CHAPTER 87

  CHAPTER 88

  CHAPTER 89

  CHAPTER 90

  CHAPTER 91

  CHAPTER 92

  PART VI The Adder Game CHAPTER 93

  CHAPTER 94

  CHAPTER 95

  CHAPTER 96

  CHAPTER 97

  CHAPTER 98

  CHAPTER 99

  CHAPTER 100

  CHAPTER 101

  CHAPTER 102

  CHAPTER 103

  CHAPTER 104

  CHAPTER 105

  CHAPTER 106

  CHAPTER 107

  CHAPTER 108

  CHAPTER 109

  PART VII Capture CHAPTER 110

  CHAPTER 111

  CHAPTER 112

  CHAPTER 113

  CHAPTER 114

  CHAPTER 115

  CHAPTER 116

  CHAPTER 117

  CHAPTER 118

  CHAPTER 119

  CHAPTER 120

  CHAPTER 121

  CHAPTER 122

  CHAPTER 123

  CHAPTER 124

  CHAPTER 125

  CHAPTER 126

  CHAPTER 127

  CHAPTER 128

  CHAPTER 129

  CHAPTER 130

  CHAPTER 131

  CHAPTER 132

  CHAPTER 133

  CHAPTER 134

  PART VIII Measuring Lighthouse Beams CHAPTER 135

  CHAPTER 136

  CHAPTER 137

  CHAPTER 138

  CHAPTER 139

  CHAPTER 140

  CHAPTER 141

  CHAPTER 142

  CHAPTER 143

  CHAPTER 144

  CHAPTER 145

  CHAPTER 146

  CHAPTER 147

  CHAPTER 148

  CHAPTER 149

  CHAPTER 150

  CHAPTER 151

  CHAPTER 152

  CHAPTER 153

  CHAPTER 154

  CHAPTER 155

  CHAPTER 156

  CHAPTER 157

  CHAPTER 158

  CHAPTER 159

  PART IX The Imprint of the German Deserter CHAPTER 160

  CHAPTER 161

  CHAPTER 162

  CHAPTER 163

  CHAPTER 164

  CHAPTER 165

  CHAPTER 166

  CHAPTER 167

  CHAPTER 168

  CHAPTER 169

  CHAPTER 170

  CHAPTER 171

  CHAPTER 172

  CHAPTER 173

  CHAPTER 174

  CHAPTER 175

  CHAPTER 176

  CHAPTER 177

  CHAPTER 178

  CHAPTER 179

  CHAPTER 180

  CHAPTER 181

  CHAPTER 182

  CHAPTER 183

  CHAPTER 184

  CHAPTER 185

  PART X Angel's Message CHAPTER 186

  CHAPTER 187

  CHAPTER 188

  CHAPTER 189

  CHAPTER 190

  CHAPTER 191

  CHAPTER 192

  CHAPTER 193

  CHAPTER 194

  CHAPTER 195

  CHAPTER 196

  CHAPTER 197

  CHAPTER 198

  CHAPTER 199

  CHAPTER 200

  CHAPTER 201

  CHAPTER 202

  CHAPTER 203

  CHAPTER 204

  CHAPTER 205

  CHAPTER 206

  Afterword

  Harvill Crime in Vintage The Fifth Woman

  Sidetracked

  www.vintage-books.co.uk

  DEPTHS

  Henning Mankell is the prize-winning and internationally acclaimed author of the Inspector Wallander Mysteries, now dominating bestseller lists throughout Europe. He devotes much of his time to working with Aids charities in Africa, where he is director of Teatro Avenida in Maputo.

  Laurie Thompson is the translator into English of five other books by Henning Mankell, as well as novels by Åke Edwardson, Hakan Nesser and Mikael Niemi.

  ALSO BY HENNING MANKELL

  Fiction

  Faceless Killers

  The Dogs of Riga

  The White Lioness

  The Man Who Smiled

  Sidetracked

  The Fifth Woman

  One Step Behind

  Firewall

  The Return of the Dancing Master

  Before the Frost

  Chronicler of the Winds

  Children's Fiction

  A Bridge to the Stars

  Non-fiction

  I Die, but the Memory Lives on

  HENNING MANKELL

  Depths

  TRANSLATED

  FROM THE SWEDISH

  BY

  Laurie Thompson

  This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author's and publisher's rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.
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  ISBN 9781407017532

  Version 1.0

  www.randomhouse.co.uk

  Published by Vintage 2007

  4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3

  Copyright © Henning Mankell, 2004

  English translation copyright © Laurie Thompson, 2006

  Henning Mankell has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs

  and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work

  This electronic book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser

  First published with the title Djup by Leopard Förlag, Stockholm

  First published in Great Britain in 2006 by Harvill Secker

  Vintage

  Random House, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road,

  London SW1V 2SA

  www.vintage-books.co.uk

  Addresses for companies within The Random House Group Limited can

  be found at: www.randomhouse.co.uk/offices.htm

  The Random House Group Limited Reg. No. 954009

  A CIP catalogue record for this book

  is available from the British Library

  ISBN: 9781407017532

  Version 1.0

  PART I

  The Secret Affinity with Leads

  CHAPTER 1

  They used to say that when there was no wind the cries of the lunatics could be heard on the other side of the lake.

  Especially in autumn. The cries belonged to autumn.

  Autumn is when this story begins. In a damp fog, with the temperature hovering just above freezing, and a woman who suddenly realises that freedom is at hand. She has found a hole in a fence.

  It is the autumn of 1937. The woman is called Kristina Tacker and for many years she has been locked away in the big asylum near Säter. All thoughts of time have lost their meaning for her.

  She stares at the hole for ages, as if she does not grasp its significance. The fence has always been a barrier she should not get too close to. It is a boundary with a quite specific significance.

  But this sudden change? This gap that has appeared in the fence? A door has been opened by an unknown hand, leading to what was until now forbidden territory. It takes a long time for it to sink in. Then, cautiously, she crawls through the hole and finds herself on the other side. She stands, motionless, listening, her head hunched down between her tense shoulders, waiting for somebody to come and take hold of her.

  For all the twenty-two years she has been shut away in the asylum she has never felt surrounded by people, only by puffs of breath. Puffs of breath are her invisible warders.

  The big, heavy buildings are behind her, like sleeping beasts, ready to pounce. She waits. Time has stood still. Nobody comes to take her back.

  Only after prolonged hesitation does she take a first step, then another, until she disappears into the trees.

  She is in a coniferous forest There is an acrid smell, reminiscent of rutting horses. She thinks she can make out a path. She makes slow progress, and only when she notices that the heavy breathing which surrounded her in the asylum is no longer there can she bring herself to turn round.

  Nothing but trees on every side. She does not worry about the path having been a figment of her imagination and no longer discernible, as she is not going anywhere in particular. She is like scaffolding surrounding an empty space. She does not exist. Within the scaffolding there has never been a building, or a person.

  Now she is moving very quickly through the forest, as if she did have an objective beyond the pine trees after all. From time to time she stands, stock-still, as if by degrees turning into a tree herself.

  Time does not exist in the forest. Only trunks of trees, mostly pine, the occasional spruce, and sunbeams tumbling noiselessly to the damp earth.

  She starts trembling. A pain comes creeping under her skin. At first she thinks it is that awful itchy feeling that affects her sometimes and forces the warders to strap her down to prevent her from scratching herself raw. Then it comes to her that there is another reason for her trembling.

  She remembers that, once upon a time, she had a husband.

  She has no idea what has prompted that memory. But she recalls very clearly having been married. His name was Lars, she remembers that. He had a scar over his left eye and was twenty-three centimetres taller than she was. That is all she can remember for the moment. Everything else has been repressed and banished into the darkness that fills her being.

  But her memory is reviving. She stares round at the tree trunks in confusion. Why should she start thinking about her husband just here? A man who hated forests and was always drawn to the sea? A midshipman, and eventually a hydrographic survey engineer with the rank of Commander, employed on secret military missions?

  The fog starts to disperse, melting away.

  She stands rooted to the spot. A bird takes off, clattering somewhere out of sight. Then all is silent again.

  My husband, Kristina Tacker thinks. I once had a husband, our lives were intertwined. Why do I remember him now, when I have found a hole in the fence and left all those watchful predators behind?

  She searches her mind and among the trees for an answer.

  There is none. There is nothing.

  CHAPTER 2

  Late in the night the warders find Kristina Tacker.

  It is frosty, the ground creaks under their feet. She is standing in the darkness, not moving, staring at a tree trunk. What she sees is not a pine tree but a remote lighthouse in a barren and deserted archipelago at the edge of the open sea. She scarcely notices that she is no longer alone with the silent tree trunks.

  That day in the autumn of 1937 Kristina Tacker is fifty-seven years old. There is a trace of her former beauty lingering in her face. It is twelve years since she last uttered a word. Her hospital records repeat the phrase, day after day, year after year:

  The patient is still beyond reach.

  That same night: it is dark in her room in the rambling mental hospital. She is awake. A lighthouse beam sweeps past, time after time, like a silent tolling of light inside her head.

  CHAPTER 3

  Twenty-three years earlier, also on an autumn day, her husband was contemplating the destroyer Svea, moored at the Galärvarv Quay in Stockholm. Lars Tobiasson-Svartman was a naval officer and cast a critical eye over the vessel. Beyond her soot-stained funnels he could make out Kastellet and Skeppsholm Church. The light was grey, forcing him to screw up his eyes.

  It was the middle of October 1914, the Great War had been raging for exactly two months and nineteen days. Lars Tobiasson-Svartman did not have unqualified faith in these new armoured warships. The older wooden ships always gave him the feeling of entering a warm room. The new ones, with hulls comprising sheets of armour-plating welded together, were cold rooms, unpredictable rooms. He felt deep down that these vessels would not allow themselves to be tamed. Beyond the coal-fired steam engines or the new oil-driven ones were other forces that could not be controlled.

  Now and then came a gust of wind from Saltsjön.

  * * *

  He stood by the steep gangplank, hesitating. It made him feel confused. Where did this insecurity come from? Ought he to abandon his voyage before it had even begun? He searched for an explanation, but all his thoughts had vanished, swallowed up by a bank of mist sweeping along inside him.

  A sailor hurried down the gangplank. That brought Tobiasson-Svartman down to earth. Not being in control of himself was a weakness it was essential to conceal. The rating took his suitcases, his rolled-up sea charts and the brown, specially made bag containing his most treasured measuring instrument. He was surprised to find that the rating could manage all the cumbersome luggage without assistance.

  The gangplank swayed under his feet. He could just make
out the water between the quay and the hull of the ship, dark, distant.

  He thought about what his wife had said when they said goodbye in their flat in Wallingatan.

  'Now you're embarking on something you've been aching to do for so long.'

  They were standing in their dimly lit hall. She had intended to accompany him to his ship before saying goodbye, but as she started to put on her gloves she hesitated, just as he had done at the foot of the gangplank.

  She did not explain why the leave-taking had suddenly become too much for her. That was not necessary. She did not want to start crying. After nine years of marriage he knew it was harder for her to let him see her crying than to be naked before him.

 
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