It was the morning of November 3, 1948. A policeman from Twann, named Alphonse Klenen, was making his usual matinee rounds, heading towards Aambuen. Unexpectedly, he stumbles on a blue Mercedes standing at the side of the road. Looking into the car’s interior, Alphonse sees a corpse there. The police lieutenant from the city of Bern, Ulrich Schmid, is killed, and as the investigation will show, he was shot on the eve, shot in the temple. Alphonse Klenen delivers the murdered colleague to the office, where he once worked.
The very investigation of the murder of the policeman was entrusted to Commissioner Berlach, an elderly policeman who had lived abroad long enough and was a leading forensic expert in Constantinople, after which he moved to Germany, and in 1933 returned to his homeland. To his assistants Berlachu took an employee of the same administration, named Tzants.
The first thing Berlach does is give an order to keep a secret about this matter, although his chief Lutz did not agree with this. This very morning Berlakhu goes to the apartment to the murdered and finds a folder with documents, but no one talks about the find. When in the morning the called Tzants comes into his office, Berlachu at the first moment thinks that he sees the murdered Schmid, since his assistant was dressed exactly the same way. In the conversation, Berlachu says that he knows who the killer is, but does not mention his name, saying that Tzantz himself must find the answer.
The policemen leave not far from the house of Gastman, who was a rich citizen. Having decided to bypass the house from two sides, the assistant and his boss are separated. When Berlach gets to the place where he should wait for a partner, he is attacked by a large dog. At that time, Tsints rushes and kills the dog, firing a pistol. The helper saved Berlach’s life, but his shot was heard and Gastman’s guests looked out the window, distracted from listening to Bach to perform a noble pianist. The guests are outraged by the behavior of incomprehensible people and an adviser, Colonel von Shandy, who is also the lawyer of Gastman himself, leaves the house. In conversation, the lawyer is obviously surprised that the police somehow connects the murder with his client, then declares that he does not know such a person and did not meet him, but asks to see the photograph of the deceased, after which he promises,
Tshantz goes to the local police department, in order to get data about Gastman, and Berlachu complaining about his stomach, goes to a restaurant. After Tzantz talked with his colleagues from the local government, he goes to Berlakh for a meeting, but does not find him in the restaurant, and then sits down in the car and leaves. At the place where the crime itself was committed, someone waves and asks to stop the car. Tzantz brakes and suddenly begins to understand that the crime was also committed precisely. He stops and finds out his friend Berlach, who gets into the car and they go on.
When Berlach returns to his house, he takes out a pistol, although Tshantsu said that he does not use weapons, and then, taking off his coat, begins to unwrap the layers of tissue from his hand with a wrapping arm, just like those who do training for service dogs. Morning comes and the lawyer of Gastman comes to the chief of Berlach, who begins to intimidate Lutz, because he is the one who is obliged to advance through the ranks. In addition, the lawyer says that Schmid was probably some kind of spy, because he always came to the reception under the invented name. He also states that it is impossible to link the name of Gastman to murder, either because there are industrialists meeting with diplomats of one power at the receptions and they are holding business negotiations, and this can not be publicized, otherwise there may be an international scandal. Chief Berlaha promises,
When Berlach returns home from Schmid’s funeral, he is surprised to meet a man at home who, with an unflappable look on his calm face with sunken eyes, slowly scrolls through the folder found in the murdered man’s apartment. In it, Berlach recognizes an old acquaintance, who currently lives under the surname Gastman. When it was a long time ago, forty years had passed, between them was a bet, according to which, Gastman committed a crime in the presence of Berlach, but he can not prove anything. Then Gastman won, he threw a man off the bridge and gave it away for suicide. Berlach did not prove his guilt. The confrontation itself has been going on for forty years, but nevertheless, despite Berlach’s talent for criminology, he has never been able to win. Gastman leaves, taking the folder with him. As it turns out, this Berlach sent to follow Schmid for Gastman and in this folder there were documents compromising and allowing to prove Gastman’s guilt. But now Berlach again was powerless against him. When Gastman left, he asked Berlach not to get involved in this matter.
When Gastman left, Berlach has an attack, but he overcomes the pain and goes to the office, and from there together with the assistant they go to one writer, a good acquaintance of Gastman. Berlach speaks to the writer, but Tzantz is out of balance on how this dialogue is built. The young Tzantz shows by his appearance that he is sure of Gastman’s guilt, but Berlach does not hear his remarks. During the return trip the police say about Schmid. Tzantz expresses his indignation at the fact that Schmid himself always circumvented him in everything and now he must find the killers, because only in this way, he will be able to draw attention from the authorities. He tries to persuade Berlach to talk to the boss and ask him for permission to talk with Gastman. However, Berlach is confident that the boss will not do it.
After this trip Berlach goes to see his doctor, who says that in three days and no later than, he needs to have an operation.
At night, someone tries to enter Berlach’s house and kill him, but this attempt fails. Later Berlach calls Tzanets and says that he is leaving for treatment for several days in the mountains.
When Berlach sits in a taxi in the morning, then a few blocks away from home, he sees that there is not one and opposite is Gastman, who again says that he would not get involved in this matter. However, Berlach responds that this time he is going to prove his guilt in a crime that he did not commit, and besides, he says that in the evening an executioner will come to him.
In the evening, Thansch comes into the house to Gastman and kills the owner and his two servants. Chief Lutz is glad that now there will be no troubles with the political background, and he plans to raise the Thanshan himself in office.
Berlach calls to visit Tshanets and tells him that it was he who killed Schmid. In general, Berlach from the outset forced the assistant to admit it. The bullets themselves, which were found in the body of the murdered Schmid and in the body killed by Tshanets near the house of Gastman’s dog, completely coincide. Moreover, Tzantz certainly knew that Schmid was engaged in the Gastman case, but did not know the details. He could even find a folder with documents and take up this case, to get all the awards alone, and Schmid just kill. At night it was he who wanted to kill Berlach himself, to pick up the folder, but he did not think that Gastman had already taken her in the morning. In general, Tzantz believed that it would not be very difficult to prove that it was Gastman who killed Schmid. And finally, he received everything he so wished. Berlach is really promising that he will not give out to Tshanets if he simply disappears.
That same night Tzantz crashed in his new car.
Berlach went to surgery, and lived another year.