The yellow fog was already creeping up around the Marne Hotel,
mingling with the white breath from the sewers,
carrying the faint, sweet, rotting scent off the Ohio River.
It was not thick yet,
only a gentle curdling in the atmosphere,
but it laid damp greasy fingers on the crumbling granite,
on the pavement,
and on the windshield of the coupe
that Detective Captain Sam Birge of the Homicide Squad
was pulling to the curb across the street.
He looked at his watch. It was late now.
It was time to be on his way home.
Time to go home, to Edna, and to his son.
He got up.
Nobody called to him as he went through the outer office,
or through the brightly lit corridor.
No one was at the doors as he passed through.
It seemed to him, outside, that it should have been lighter there,
now that it was time for dawn.
But the fog was all around, a moving, blinding sheet,
and he could not see in any direction.
He lifted his eyes toward the sky.
Perhaps it was becoming lighter somewhere,
but there was not way to be sure.
He turned his collar up and stepped out into the dark street.