All the senior partners were having a laugh about a movie they’d seen. Forty-Five Years. Something, something about the movie taking forty-five years to sit through. The woman McGuinness thought he recognized was in it with them at the far end of the long table. Leaning in, as if hearing everything for the second time. “Miss Nail!” they were calling her. “What do you say, Miss Nail? Tell us.” Laughing. He didn’t know what it was about.

She wasn’t tall, but was slender in a brown linen dress, a tailored dress, that set off her tan and showed her lean body. She’d glanced past him twice—more, possibly. A flickering look asking at first to be thought accidental, but could be understood as acknowledgment. She’d smiled, then looked away, a smile that said possibly she knew him, or had. So odd, he thought, not to remember.

They were at the Monteleone. The shadowy old afternoon redoubt with the bar that was a carousel. It wasn’t crowded yet. Outside the tall windows on Royal, a parade was just shoving past. Boom-pa-pa, boom-pa-pa. Then the shrill trumpets not altogether on key. Saint Paddy’s was Thursday coming. Now was just Friday.