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AT THE POLICE STATION
Signora Grismondi and Lieutenant Scarpa sat opposite one another for some time, until finally Scarpa pushed himself out of his chair, came around behind hers, and left the room, careful to leave the door open behind him. Signora Grismondi sat and studied the objects on the lieutenantТs desk, but she saw little to reflect the sort of man she was dealing with: two metal trays that held papers, a single pen and a telephone.
The room had only a small window, and it was closed, so after twenty minutes Signora Grismondi could no longer ignore how uncomfortable she felt, even with the door open behind her. It had grown unpleasantly warm, and she got to her feet, hoping it might be cooler in the corridor. At the moment she stood, however, Lieutenant Scarpa came back into the room, a manila folder in his right hand. He saw her standing and said, СYou werenТt thinking of leaving, were you, SignoraС?Т
There was no audible menace in what he said, but Signora Grismondi, her arms falling to her sides, sat down again and said, СNo, not at all.Т In fact, that was just what she wanted to do, leave and have done with this, let them work it out for themselves.
Scarpa went back to his chair, took his seat, glanced at the papers in the trays as if searching for some sign that she had looked through them while he was away, and said, СYouТve had time to think about this, Signora. Do you still maintain that you gave money to this woman and took her to the train station?Т
Though the lieutenant was never to know this, it was this flash of sneering insinuation that stiffened Signora Grismondi`s resolve. СI am not "maintainingФ anything, Lieutenant,Т she said with studied calm. СI am stating, declaring, asserting, proclaiming, and, if you will give me the opportunity to do so, swearing, that the Romanian woman whom I knew as Flori was locked out of the home of Signora Battestini and that Signora Battestini was alive and standing at the window when I met Flori on the street. Further, I state that, little more than an hour later, when I took her to the station, she seemed calm and untroubled and gave no sign that she had the intention of murdering anyone.Т She wanted to continue, to make it clear to this savage that there was no way that Flori could have committed this crime. Her heart pounded with the desire to continue telling him how wrong he was, but the habit of civilian caution exerted itself and she stopped speaking.
Scarpa, impassive, got up and, taking the folder with him, left the room again. Signora Grismondi sat back in her chair and tried to relax, told herself that she had had her say and it was finished. She forced herself to take deep breaths, then leaned back in the chair and closed her eyes.
After long minutes she heard a sound behind her, opened her eyes and turned towards the door. A man as tall as Scarpa, though not dressed in uniform, stood there, holding what looked to be the same manila envelope. He nodded when her eyes met his and gave a half-smile. СIf youТd be more comfortable, Signora, we can go up to my office. It has two windows, so I imagine it will be a little cooler.Т He stepped aside, thus inviting her to approach.
She stood and walked to the door. СAnd the lieutenant?Т she asked.
СHe wonТt trouble us there,Т he said and put out his hand. СIТm Commissario Guido Brunetti.
Signora. and IТm very interested in what you have to tell us.`
She studied his face, decided that he was telling the truth when he said that he was interested in what she had to say, and took his hand. After this formal moment, he waved her through the door.
A15 Signora Grismondi looked at the objects on ScarpaТs desk because she
l) felt that he wanted her to do so.
2) thought they might give her an idea of his personality.
3) wanted to keep her mind occupied.
4) expected to find something unusual about them.
A16 When Scarpa returned to the room,
l) he spoke to Signora Grismondi with an aggressive tone of voice.
2) Signora Grismondi felt that she had to remain in the room.
3) Signora Grismondi was about to try to leave the building.
4) he didnТt notice at first that she was standing up.
A17 When Scarpa sat down and asked his question, Signora Grismondi
l) spoke to him in an angry way about his attitude towards her.
2) wondered whether she should change the story she had told him.
3) was annoyed that he was suggesting that she hadnТt told the truth.
4) told him that she did not understand his use of the word СmaintainТ.
A18 Signora Grismondi`s account of what happened included
l) FloriТs denial of involvement in the crime.
2) the reason why she took Flori to the station.
3) her personal impression of FloriТs state of mind.
4) an acceptance that she might not have seen everything.
A19 Signora Grismondi did not continue speaking to Scarpa because she felt that
l) he did not want to hear any more details.
2) it was wrong for her to criticise a policeman.
3) he was incapable of understanding her point of view.
4) she was beginning to make him angry.
A20 When Scarpa left the room again, Signora Grismondi
l) was worried by his behaviour as he left.
2) accepted that she would have to remain there for some time.
3) wished that she had said more.
4) had some difficulty in calming down.
A21 When Commissario Brunetti spoke to Signora Grismondi,
1) he implied that he was not in agreement with Scarpa.
2) he expressed surprise at conditions in the room.
3) she found his behaviour strange in the circumstances.
4) she feared that he was not being honest with her.