He was a queer-looking fellow, fifty years old, sixty perhaps, in a shabby brown overcoat, carrying nothing but a tatty suitcase. After ringing the doorbell once, without anyone answering, he had rung once more and after that – in sequential order – two times, three, five and eight, until Heinrich had begrudgingly opened the door in his pyjamas.
“My brain is open,” the man repeated.
He sure didn’t look like he had an open brain. Confused, now thàt Heinrich would have bought. Eccentric? Absolutely. But open? No.
“And how would that benefit me?” Heinrich yawned.
The man at the door glanced at the torn piece of paper in his hand, then at the house number, and at the paper again.
“This is Friedrichstrasse number twelve?”
“And you are Heinrich Schmetterling, professor of advanced mathematics at the Heidelberg University?”
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