Charles swam every morning, whether the sea was ruffled by breeze or chopped to spiky breakers, baby-bath warm or prickling with ice.
A veteran, some said, though there seemed little evidence for that aside from his upright bearing and buffed shoes.
He rarely spoke, would only nod at the post mistress and the baker, Gerard, though neither knew what they had done to deserve the honour.
During the years he lived in Roscanvel, Charles held no more than ten conversations and afterwards, no-one could agree on whether he lisped or if his false teeth clicked when he spoke.
When Simone found his body on the shingle one late-frost morning in May, she was disturbed enough to shake as she described the scene. But not enough to cry without imagining her own mother’s death.
All the residents were at a loss at to why anyone would murder Charles.
All, except one.