On the way to the train, Obuch's (the narrator) suitcase was much heavier than it was three days ago, when he first arrived. He had exactly the same things in his suitcase but the way home it is always heavier when one does not have any success. It was an Afternoon in October and the flat land sat under a gray sky. He felt just like the sky-gray. It was too cold to wait the 1/2 hour for the train, so he went inside the train station and ordered a schnaps. He didn't like the name on the bottle because it was the name of the guy with whom he had tried to make a 500,000 DM deal, but he was not successful. His suitcase wasn't as heavy after having a double schnaps. He went to the train. The train platform had only one or two people getting on the train. The train compartment was quite cold and he decided to go looking for a more comfortable train car. The first thing that he noticed while he was walking through the cars was a hand that he didn't like. So he went and put his suitcase down in his car and went back to the unpleasing hand. Obuch said hello but no one answered. He couldn't see her face because her hair was covering it. He lifted her head and thought she looked familiar but couldn't remember where he had seen her face. He noticed a tear hung to her eye. The girl was dead. She was between the ages of 25-30.
In the room Obuch was in, in the police station, was dirty and smelled like cigarettes. On a desk was the dead girl's purse. Two police officers brought the dead girl from the train and she was lying in a room to the left of him. He heard voices but couldn't understand anything. Every few minutes a police officer looked through the door at Obuch. He felt like a person who had fallen off of a star. Something was strange about him or the police were just mad that he had brought them a dead person. Someone came to photograph the dead girl. After a short time a man came to Obuch. His name was Burwinkel. Burwinkel was 50 years old with a wide face. The other man didn't say anything. Obuch didn't like him. He was short and like all short men, he was mad at Obuch because he was 5'9". They were detectives and wanted Obuch to tell them how he found the dead person. He told them and then they asked, "Did you know the dead person?" Obuch answered yes and then no. He explained that he had seen her face before but didn't know where. They asked why Obuch was in Endwarden (name of the town) and he told them he had tried to make a business deal with Bricks but it wasn't successful. A doctor came to examine the dead girl. Burwinkel and Müller (the two detectives) went in with the doctor. As Obuch sat alone, he noticed the girl's purse. Inside were money, Kleenex, cigarettes, and a mirror. The mirror was in a leather case and when he tried to put in back into the case, it wouldn't go in. He pulled it out all the way and a picture fell out. The picture was of a soldier and on the back was written-Für Tamara, HB. Obuch put the picture in his pocket and he didn't know why. He then put the purse back on the table. Burwinkel and Müller came out of the room and told him that he could leave. They have his address in Hamburg if they need him. Obuch asked the police officers what the girl had died from, and the doctor believes it was from taking too many sleeping pills. As Obuch left the building with his suitcase a thin, gray man came up to him. Everything about the man was gray except for his name. His name was Roth, which is pronounced like red in German. He was a reporter and wanted to know about the dead girl. Obuch and Roth went to get some schnapps and Obuch told Roth his story. Roth's gray face got red after a few drinks. Obuch took the photo out of his pocket and showed the reporter Roth. Roth said he could have helped Obuch with his Bricks deal because Roth's brother-in-law works for Bricks. When Obuch asked Roth if he knew who the guy in the photo was, he said that he didn't know who the solider was. Obuch knew he was lying. He also warned Obuch to be careful. He told Obuch to let go of the matter because there was something about the Bricks and corpses. Roth then left. Obuch looked at the photo and thought about the poor girl in the train. She was so weak. Now he knew what he had to do. "You're a strange person, Adolf Obuch." He calls himself Adolf when he knows that he is doing something dumb.
In this chapter, we learn that Endwarden is a small city of only 25,000 people and is situated close to the North Sea. When there is an easterly wind, the city smells of coffee because of the large coffee factory, and when there is a westerly wind, the city smells like saltwater. There are four hotels in Endwarden and 27 bars. There is one main street to Endwarden. At the end of the street is the largest factory in Endwarden, the schnapps factory owned by the Bricks family. The hotel "Zur Muhle" sits across from a clothing store. When you look at the clothing store's large front window from the hotel, it acts as a mirror, showing you the entire street all the way down to the schnapps factory. Obuch sees Müller coming out of the schnapps factory and thinks it's odd because it was Saturday, a day when people didn't generally work. Obuch walks along the street and sees a large picture of a purse with a book and flowers around it in the paint store. The picture catches Obuch's interest because the purse is exactly like the dead girl's that Obuch had found on the train. The lady in the paint store was very blond and thin. Obuch asked her who the painter was and where did he live. The lady's answer was the painter is Fabrizius and he lives by Oggen.
Obuch goes to Fabricius's house. He's not there, but his daughter, Karlchen, opens the door. She's got beautiful blonde hair, and Obuch thinks she's very attractive. The dog, Mowgli likes him. When Fabricius comes home, Obuch tells him that the police might want the painting of Tamara (The dead girl). Obuch tells Fabricius to go to Seehund (a pub) later in the evening, but he doesn't show up.
10 minutes before 7 Hans sat in the "Seehund" he ate something without looking and drank schnapps and a beer and another schnapps. At 7:30 Fabrizius still wasn't there. It got to be 8 o'clock. Fabrizius didn't come. It's too bad, he would've had a good story for Mr. Roth and the newspaper. He drove back to the hotel, Obuch was happy that he could finally sleep. But as he got into his room, he heard sounds that made him worry. He went out again and he heard the choir was having a big get together today. He went to the great hall and listened to music. carefully Obuch opened the door and went in. In front stood the fat Bricks, and he held a conversation with a loud voice. He heard every one of his words with satisfation. Now Bricks was finally done. Everybody clapped. Only one girl that sat three tables away from Obuch didn't clap. "and now a new song" said Bricks. The choir stood up and began to sing. Hans looked at the girl, she wore glasses on a thin and a little too big nose, over very red and slightly too large mouth. She had black hair. Her face was a little darker than the other girls that were near her. She wasn't exactly beautiful- but very interesting. Hans thought of Karlchen Fabrizius, and he thought of himself as a terrible person: How could he in so few hours like 2 girls. But he found that Karlchen is a girl that one looks upon and finds beautiful and that she is a girl that no one likes. she looked like a butterfly. he had to get the butterfly. So he went slowly to the table of the butterfly and asked for the next dance. She stood up and they went to the middle of the room. He laied his hand on her body. She was smaller than him but not as small as he thought. He tried to say something, but didn't know what to. "Why didn't you clap after Brick's speech?" asked Hans.
The police found Fabrizius in the canal: he is dead. After seen that, Obuch goes to Fabrizius place to tell Karlchen about her father's death. Karlchen says to Obuch that Tamara was with Fabricius four days ago, and that she brought something to Fabrizius. But Karlchen doesn't know what it was. Apparently, Tamara doesn't speak German, but Russian.
Obuch asks Karlchen to stay away from her house in Oggen: he takes her to Cora's house (Cora is Hanno's secretary). Burwinkel goes to Obuch place, and tells him that Müller, the other commissar, thinks he's reponsable for the two murders. Yes, murders, because Fabrizius was hit in the back of his head, that means he was murdered. Obuch explains to Burwinkel everything, except for the picture he found in Tamara's purse.
Hans Obuch has just woken up from being knocked out, and he is told how everything was cleared up. The dog ended up saving him from Udo (who had hit him), all of the killings had been confessed to by Elvira, who commit suicide. Also, Udo ended up in an insane asylum, Wilhelm was in the hospital, and Hanno now ran the schnaps factory. Cora was wating for him outside of the hospital room, so they could start a new life together.