To maintain a façade of normal life, the Semperes open the bookshop as usual the next day. Mr. Sempere questions Daniel about Nuria, and Daniel admits that she was a friend of Carax and he’d been to visit her. Mr. Sempere says that Daniel shouldn’t be looking into other people’s lives and causing trouble, and Daniel gets angry with him for insinuating that he’s responsible for Nuria’s death. Mr. Sempere says he doesn’t know who Daniel is anymore.
This episode is Daniel and Mr. Sempere’s only moment of overt conflict. While most other fathers and sons fight frequently, it’s important that this conflict centers around a genuine moral dilemma rather than an issue of familial control or power. Mr. Sempere’s final remark highlights the extent to which Daniel’s impetuous character has diverged from his father’s mild-mannered ways.
Daniel walks through the city in the freezing rain, conscious that he’s being followed. At one point he almost gets hit by a bus, only to find that the police officer sent to tail him has pulled him out of the way and vanished. Daniel then goes to Bea’s house and is greeted by one of the maids. Bea is away at the doctor, and Tomás refuses to see him. Daniel sees him standing at the window, but Tomás doesn’t return his friend’s wave.
The policeman’s action marks a momentary truce between him and Daniel. It also differentiates typical policemen, whom Zafón says elsewhere are often ordinary citizens pressed into the service of a bad regime, and the oppressive regime itself—as represented by Fumero, the only character who can thrive no matter which party is in power.