Emilia typed in her password and checked her inbox. A review by the Secretariat de Gobernacion of drug cartel activities across Mexico. A report of a robbery in Acapulco's poorest barrio neighborhood that would probably never be investigated. Notice of a reward for a child kidnapped in Ixtapa who was almost certainly dead by now. Her phone rang. It was the desk sergeant saying that a See±or Rooker wished to see her. Emilia avoided Rico's eye as she said, yes, the sergeant could let el see±or pass into the detectives' area. A minute later Rucker was standing by her desk, sweat beaded on his forehead. The starched collar of his shirt was damp. 'There's a head, ' he said breathlessly. 'Someone's head in a bucket on the hood of my car.
We know from several statements of Knecht's that he wanted to write the former Master's biography, but official duties left him no time for such a task. He had learned to curb his own wishes. Once he remarked to one of his tutors: "It is a pity that you students aren't fully aware of the luxury and abundance in which you live. But I was exactly the same when I was still a student. We study and work, don't waste much time, and think we may rightly call ourselves industrious-but we are scarcely conscious of all we could do, all that we might make of our freedom. Then we suddenly receive a call from the hierarchy, we are needed, are given a teaching assignment, a mission, a post, and from then on move up to a higher one, and unexpectedly find ourselves caught in a network of duties that tightens the more we try to move inside it. All the tasks are in themselves small, but each one has to be carried out at its proper hour, and the day has far more tasks than hours. That is well; one would not want it to be different. But if we ever think, between classrooms, Archives, secretariat, consulting room, meetings, and official journeys-if we ever think of the freedom we possessed and have lost, the freedom for self-chosen tasks, for unlimited, far-flung studies, we may well feel the greatest yearning for those days, and imagine that if we ever had such freedom again we would fully enjoy its pleasures and potentialities.