Postcards from Three Pines: Bury Your Dead
Instead of heading straight in to the Château Frontenac he decided to stroll along the Dufferin Terrace, the long wooden boardwalk that swept in front of the hotel and overlooked the St. Lawrence River. In the summer it was filled with ice cream carts and musicians and people relaxing in the pergolas. In the winter a bitter damp wind blew down the St. Lawrence River and hit pedestrians, stealing their breaths and practically peeling the skin off their faces. But still people walked along the outdoor terrasse, so remarkable was the view.
And there was another attraction. La glissade. The ice slide. Built every winter it towered above the promenade. As he turned the corner of the Château the wind hit Gamache’s face. Tears sprung to his eyes and froze. Ahead, midway along the terrasse, he could see the slide, three lanes wide with stairs cut into the snow at the side. Even on this brittle day kids were lugging their rented toboggans up the steps. In fact, the colder the day the better. The ice would be keen and the toboggans would race down the steep slope, shooting off the end. Some toboggans were going so fast and so far pedestrians on the terrasse had to leap out of their way.
As he watched he noticed it wasn’t just kids climbing to the top, but adults as well including a few young couples. It was as effective as a scary movie to get a hug, and he remembered clearly coming to the slide with Reine- Marie early in their relationship. Climbing to the top,
dragging the long toboggan with them, waiting their turn. Gamache, deathly afraid of heights, was still trying to pretend otherwise with this girl who’d stolen his heart so completely.