John “Jack” Daniels opened the door to the Taj Mahal restaurant and peered into the gloom. A bell tinkled, and a smartly dressed man appeared. Daniels quickly tried to straighten his own rumpled jacket before speaking.
“Morning Sir. Mister Kapoor?” The man seemed surprised by the question, but nodded.
“I’m Detective Inspector Daniels.”
“Thanks for coming so soon, Jack. I didn’t think this would be a job for C.I.D!”
“Er, we take this kind of thing very seriously, you know. And the office is just around the corner. You say a group of guys had a huge curry meal, drank gallons of beer, had bottles of wine, and then left without paying?”
“That’s right. The bill came to nearly £300.”
“£300? That sounds reasonable for all they had.”
“We’re good value for money! I can fetch the bill, if you need it for evidence?”
“No, there’s no need for that. Are you sure these men deliberately left without paying? It could have been that they’d had a bit too much to drink and each of them thought someone else had already paid. It happens you know!”
“All I know is, we’re £300 down!”
Daniels tried to give the impression that he was surveying the empty, dark restaurant with trained professional eyes. As well as he could, behind very, very dark shades.
“Did anyone recognise these men?”
“One of the waiters thought he’d seen them a few times before. Thought they might be local.”
“And what was their behaviour like? We’re they a bit too rowdy?”
“Oh, a little high-spirited, perhaps, but nothing we’re not used to.”
“So, if they were able to straighten this thing out, they’d be welcome back?”
“If it was a genuine mistake, of course!”
“Well, the lads at the station were talking about this. We felt bad that a respected member of the local community should be treated so shabbily. And we’ve done a quick collection for you. The boys are very generous you know.” Daniels produced a bulging brown envelope from inside his jacket and sheepishly handed it over.
“Funnily enough, we raised £300. A bit of a coincidence really!”
“Very kind, Inspector. I’m overwhelmed. It’s nice to know that our local Police take such a positive interest in us.”
“Well, it’s nice meeting you Mr Kapoor.”
“Shall we see you again, Jack?”
“I would imagine so. Next Friday? Table for four at nine o’clock, please.”
Photo and Fiction prompted by Pixel Prose Challenge, 7th September 2014, hosted by Amanda Lakey at www.UniqueArtChic.com.
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