A lacy handkerchief stood perkily in the driveway at number 245, caught momentarily in a shaft of dawn sunlight on the passenger side of a sporty red convertible. Relatively new neighbor, 245: Bruce something, a coach at the university. White man. A bachelor, Charles thought he’d heard; maybe Sally told him.
He might have broken stride, gone up the drive, put the handkerchief on the windshield where it wouldn’t be missed. He was already past it, though, and did not turn back. Out for exercise, he avoided distractions: twice around the long block, briskly enough to get heart and lungs pumping. He might wish good morning to any neighbor out this early, but not stop to chat. If there were trash on the sidewalk, he didn’t even on garbage days stoop to put it into a waiting barrel. To start that would turn his constitutional into a civic exercise.