20 September, 2014 / Ziqa'ad 24, 1435

Bates files

Published Jun 08, 2013 08:51am

The mystery magazine

PLAGIARISM is a crime, do you know that?” Editor James Westwood asks the two interns standing in front of him. “Yes sir,” both the interns reply. “So tell me, which one of you wrote this story about Iraq?” the editor asks again. “I did,” the two reply in unison. “Bates, you have got to help me,” Westwood turns to his friend Alfred Bates, the famous detective. “These two interns have written the same story at the same time and I know one of them is lying. Help me exonerate the innocent one.” “What’s your name son?” Bates asks as he moves closer to the blond guy. “Alex, sir,” he tells. “You must have heard of Alexander the Great then,” asks Bates. “Yes sir,” Alex answers in affirmative. “He was a Macedonian king who by the age of 30 had conquered most of the world.” “Very good!” an impressed detective replies. “Your name?” Bates turns to the second intern. “Hercule sir,” the black haired intern says as he states his name. “Nice name,” Bates says while moving towards his chair. “You must have heard of Hercule Poirot then?” “No,” Hercule replies with a confused look on his face. “Is he also an intern here?” “No, he was a fictional detective created by Agatha Christie,” Alfred Bates tells Hercule. “He was the protagonist in many of her novels, including…” “Murder in Mesopotamia…” Alex cuts in. “Very good!” Bates says. “And Mesopotamia is Iran, isn’t it?” “No sir,” Alex replies. “Yes sir,” Hercule disagrees. “You have your answer here, James,” Bates says as he rests his case. “The yes one?” Westwood asks the detective. “No, the no one,” Bates states. “Modern-day Iraq was part of Mesopotamia, not Iran.” “But sir, I swear I wrote this myself,” Hercule pleads his case. “A Hercule who doesn’t know who Hercule Poirot was, he can be a good liar but not a writer!” Bates says as he sits down. “And how do you think I copied his article, if I did copy it as you say?” Hercule changes stance as he attacks the detective. “You could have gotten a print out while he wasn’t looking,” Bates answers in a calm manner. “You could have hacked into his email account, so many possibilities.” “I would have gotten away had it not been for you, mister!” Hercule says with a frown on his face. “Alfred Bates, the name’s Alfred Bates!” the detective states his name. “My friends call me Alfie or Freddie, whereas the wrongdoers have named me trouble.” “Thank you sir for clearing my name,” Alex thanks the detective just as Hercule was escorted by the guards. “No problem son,” Bates says. “Just remember that when you are writing, guard the piece with your life as there are people out there who would try to pass your work as their own.” “I will surely remember that,” Alex says as he shakes hand with Bates. “And don’t forget to send me this published piece,” Bates concludes. “I would cherish the memory when I am older.”

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