From his desk, if he craned, he could see the edge of the great dome of the Panthéon through the skylight. Every morning, summer and winter, he was up at six, snatched a quick look to make sure the monster was still there, shaved, dressed, made himself a light breakfast, and was sitting down to work by seven-fifteen. He kept at it till eleven, when he put on his hat and coat and descended to the world below. He stopped at the corner for a cup of coffee, did what little shopping was needed, bought a paper, then ate a sandwich with a glass of beer at a nearby café. By one-thirty he was back at his desk, where he worked till four, when he knocked off for the day.
This was the moment he looked forward to most eagerly. He kept a supply of specially imported Ceylon Orange Pekoe long-leaf tea in a little wooden box with a red dragon stamped upon it and was very precise about heating the pot, giving the leaves a chance to expand in the warmth of its belly and, once the boiling water had been poured in, about the amount of time he let it stand. After tea, in the spring and summer, he would take a stroll through the city. Sometimes this led him down to the river, at others to the Luxembourg Gardens or even as far as the Montparnasse cemetery, once known as the Cimetière du sud, where Baudelaire is buried. If he felt particularly well or especially adventurous he would cross the river and wander up the rue du Temple and the Jewish quarter or take a bus to Pigalle and walk down the rue des Martyrs and the Boulevard de Montmartre, through the covered passages and out into the gardens of the Palais Royal, and so to the Louvre and back to the river. Occasionally, on Sundays, he would take the underground to the flea market at the Porte