Runner beans, with fresh green foliage and small but bright red flowers in summer, clambered over dilapidated little arbours drenched with lingering, grey autumnal mists and the dull, stale cold of winter without frost and snow.
The door Franz opened was rusty. All the allotments seemed to be an ocean of rotting cabbage stalks. Here and there, white snowdrops came creeping quietly out from under the rubbish. You didn’t see them creeping, just their whiteness.
Franz saw Schleimann. He was sitting on a rickety little seat in his arbour, right hand on the handle of a spade, left hand on the handle of a small hoe. The allotment felt like a graveyard where no one rested in peace, and it smelled of murder.
– Irmgard Keun (After Midnight, p. 137)