Bates files: The shopping mall mystery

Published January 18, 2014
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“WHY does mum always leave me with you in mall?” the young Jonathan complains to his father, the famous detective Alfred Bates.

“For learning …” Alfred Bates replies while glancing around.

“What can I learn from you in a mall, Dad?” Jon asks with an astonished look on his face.

“You can learn many things,” Bates replies back. “Such as observing people, which is always a ‘fun’ thing to do!”

“What good would that do to me?” the kid asks again.

“That man is a pickpocket,” Bates says as points to a dark-haired man in front of him. “He will come and hit the person on my left.”

“How do you know that?” Jon doesn’t stop asking questions.

“If you observe, he hits the lonely men standing in the mall and takes away their wallets,” the detective explains to his son. “As soon as he comes here, I will be ready to nab him.”

“What if he doesn’t?”

“He will,” Bates tells with a glint in his eyes. “So far he has hit all three single men in the mall, and the one he missed was joined by his wife at the last moment.” “So?”

“A wife would know where his husband keeps his wallet; hence the pick pocket’s game would have been as good as over had he struck that man.”

“Will he not strike you? You are also a single man at the moment!” Jon points out a probable situation.

“No he won’t.” Bates tells the kid. “I have you on my side, don’t I?

“Let’s wait and see then,” Jon says as he gets excited for the first time.

The pickpocket hits the man as expected and moves towards Alfred Bates.

“Excuse me sir,” Bates says as he moves forwards to stop the dark-haired man.

“Yes,” the man replies with a surprised look on his face.

“I am an officer of the law, and you are a lawbreaker,” Bates tells the dark-haired man. “It would be better if you come with me, otherwise the mall cops would apprehend you and your entry in all the malls would be banned for good.”

“Look, look, this man is harassing me!” the dark-haired man asks the mall cop for help, instead of complying with the detective’s request.

“Who? Mr Bates?” the mall cop asks the man. “He is a detective … he can’t harass you. What’s wrong sir?”

“This man is a pickpocket, check his wallet or wallets,” Jonathan tells the mall cop. “My dad was trying to catch him quietly but now it seems quietly is not the way he would go from this mall.”

“I would get you for this,” the dark-haired man shouts as the mall cop takes him away.

“Join the queue, the list is very long. Your number will come very late, believe me,” Bates replies back. “So what did you learn today, Jon?”

“It’s good to observe people because it’s always a ‘fun’ thing to do,” Jon tells his dad.

“That’s my boy!” Bates concludes the discussion as the father and son move out of the mall.

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