Bates files: The telephonic mystery
I know it sounds farfetched but it’s true!” Inspector James says, as he argued with his colleague Constable Cameron at the precinct.
“It can’t be!” Inspector Cameron replies, unable to believe his partner.
“What are you two talking about?” Inspector Davis asks as he enters the room.
“Well sir, James here says that Detective Bates can solve any mystery imaginable.” Inspector Cameron tells his superior officer.
“I have seen him do that!” Inspector Davis concurs.
“But I have to see it to believe it,” Inspector Cameron argues with both men.
“Believe what?” Alfred Bates, the famous detective barges into the room, eating his favourite cream filled doughnuts.
“Nothing sir. We are just working on a case and wanted your input,” Inspector James tells the detective, swiftly changing the subject.
“Sure, I would be glad to be of assistance,” Bates replies.
“I have a telephone recording of a man demanding ransom from the parents of a kidnapped boy. We can make neither head nor tail, what do you say?” Inspector James says as he briefs Bates.
“Well there is no harm in a second opinion…”
“A third opinion. Sir,” Inspector Cameron cuts the detective short “as I gave the second one.”
“Technically it is ‘still’ the second opinion as you didn’t give an input that could have helped,” Bates corrects the non-believing Inspector.
“How did you know?” Inspector Davis makes his presence felt with a question.
“Had your input been useful, you wouldn’t have come to me!” Bates explains in his usual cool manner. “May I hear the recording…”
“What do you make of that?” Inspector Davis asks after Bates is through with listening to the ransom demand recording.
“Well…” Bates says as he begins his explaining. “The person was calling from a cellphone…”
“We guessed that…” Cameron says as he tries to cut Bates short, again.
“I don’t make guesses, I know,” Bates corrected the young officer. “I also know that the person was calling from a tall building which is adjacent to a railway track as well as cricket ground.”
“How can you say that?” Inspector James asks the question, for a change.
“You can hear the wind blowing when both the speakers are silent,” Bates says to the group before him.
“Railway track?” Inspector Cameron asks another question.
“You can hear the train as well in the background,” Bates answers the inspector.
“And what about the cricket ground?” Davis also joins in.
“Didn’t any of you ever play cricket on a ground?” Bates asks the three people in front of him.
“Yes we did. Why?” Inspector Davis answers for all three.
“Then what else do you make out of the shouts of ‘Howzaaat’ in the background?” Bates questions them again.
“Correction,” Inspector Cameron says while trying to act smart. “Since the person was standing on a tall building, the shouts couldn’t have reached him!”
“Oh yes, good observation,” Inspector Davis says as he seconds Cameron.
“Bad observation,” Bates puts an end to their short-lived happiness. “James is silent because he has played cricket at a ground while you two haven’t!”
“So where should we look for the kidnapper?” James asks the detective.
“You want me to point that out as well?” Bates replies.
“Yes please,” all three men reply in unison.
“The person you want lives at Coronation Complex which is not far from here and is surrounded by a cricket ground, as well as a railway track.”
“And when we reach there, we will also find the missing boy,” James says as the three get ready to search for the kidnapper. “Thank you sir, you have been a great help.”
“Mention not,” Bates tells James. “By the way Inspector, it’s true!”
“What’s true, sir?” Inspector Cameron replies as he dons his cap before leaving.
“That I can solve any mystery imaginable!” Bates tells Cameron. “Didn’t I just prove myself?”