We didn’t get the expected visit from the police to check if any light could be shed on the Aussie’s disappearance by our view of events. While out exploring Essaouira again we saw one of the guides walking in the medina, just beyond greeting distance, and his face appeared badly battered and bruised, though we didn’t get a brilliant view.
‘I bet the police have been interviewing him’ Jess said.
‘He looks a right mess !’
‘I’d thought that because we weren’t visited by those nice chaps in uniform she must have been found OK.’
We strolled down towards the harbour with the intention of getting some refreshment from a cafe overlooking the water; there was a lot of excitement in the area around the fish market, and two policemen were trying to calm things down.
‘Shall we get a bit closer ?’
‘Might not be a good idea to get involved’ Jess replied.
‘You order some drinks then. I’ll have a quick wander in that direction.’
As I got nearer to the noisy scene the familiar nauseous whiff of rotting fish made me feel light-headed; it was then I glimpsed a scruffy blanket partially covering something quite large, and I wondered if it was a prize catch of tuna or some other giant of the ocean. It was then I noticed the feet, and the familiar red Converse basketball boots worn by the Australian young woman.
I stumbled against the harbour wall, and within a few moments Jess arrived next to me looking even paler than I felt.
‘It’s the girl’ I said.
‘Are you sure ?’
‘I recognise the footwear.’
Neither of us could think of much else to say, and suddenly felt a pressing need to sit down with some strong coffee. We retreated a few hundred yards to the cafe as an ambulance arrived to take away her body.
‘I wonder if she just drowned while swimming ?’
‘It’s possible, but there could be some violence involved; you’ve seen the way some local men look at female travellers’ Jess answered.
We found ourselves unable to move from the table and ordered another drink; all I could hear was the piercing cries of the many seagulls soaring above the harbour, always looking for fish, for scraps, anything to sustain life.