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18

It was late on Tuesday afternoon before they succeeded in tracking down all the remaining thirty-three staff NCOs (which was their official military status) of the 1965 vintage. Thirty-one of the group were still alive, the youngest of them now fifty the eldest fifty-six. Five of them turned out to be resident abroad (three in other European countries, one in the United States, one in South Africa), fourteen were still in the Maardam police district, and the remaining twelve in other parts of the country.

Heinemann was in charge of this side of the investigation and kept a register of all those concerned. He also made an effort to systematize the results of the interrogations, without finding an entirely successful method. When he handed the documentation over to Van Veeteren at about half past six in the evening, he devoted some considerable time to an attempt to enlighten his boss about all the cryptic signs and abbreviations, but in the end they both realized that it was a waste of time.

“You can explain it orally instead when we meet tomorrow to run through the current situation,” Van Veeteren decided. “It'll be just as well for everybody to get the information at the same time.”



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