I have never been a good passenger!” Inspector Davis says as soon as the airplane takes off.
“Neither have I, but what can be done,” Alfred Bates, the famous detective, replies while adjusting his seat belt.
“It’s a good thing we are in the company of good people,” Davis tells his friend. “No crime in mid air!”
“Who knows!” is all Alfred Bates can say before he notices the steward running frantically. “What’s wrong, steward?”
“Nothing sir…” the steward replies in an agitated manner.
“When you went behind the curtains, you were smiling and now you are sweating,” Bates explains to the steward.
“So you think you know it all?” the disgruntled steward says, as he shouts back at the detective.
“That’s the truth. He is the famous detective…” Davis joins in.
“Whoever he is…” the steward cuts the inspector short. “He is on the plane as a passenger and should behave as one.”
“I think we have a situation on our hands,” Bates tells Davis as the steward leaves. “No matter how small, but something has happened.” “What do you intend to do?” Davis asks his friend, knowing he had no jurisdiction in mid air.
“Solve it, of course,” Bates says as he stands to go towards the captain. “The captain and I know each other, he will talk to me.”
“How are you Alfi?” the captain greets Bates as he hands over the plane to his co-pilot.
“I am fine. Is everything all right?” Bates replies to his old friend.
“Well, yes and no,” the captain replies cryptically.
“Let me guess,” Bates thinks before answering. “Something small has happened, that’s the no part. The yes part is that it’s irrelevant for me.”
“He was always the intelligent one,” the captain tells Davis. “For a person of his stature, this is absolutely nothing.”
“Try me,” Bates says with a twinkle in his eyes.
“Someone has been stealing candies from our jars,” the captain tells the policemen.
“What? That’s worrying how?” Davis asks back.
“It has happened four times before,” the captain explains. “I think it is a job done by a fat kid.”
“Why does he always have to be fat?” Davis asks again, hiding his fat belly behind his coat.
“I think it has been done by someone who doesn’t look the part, not by one who does,” Bates breaks his silence as he snaps out of his observation mode. “Fourth time in six months, you say?”
“How did you know?” Davis and the captain ask Bates.
“Don’t embarrass yourselves by asking me things you know, I know,” Bates smiles as he speaks. “The kid is a frequent traveller and out of the 100 in this plane, I can point him out to you.”
“He is the son of Mr Agitated Steward here!” Bates points out the father of the culprit.
“You mean Wesley Kramer?” the captain says as he points out to the subject.
“Whatever his name may be…” Bates says. “Just call him and we will know.”
“Why do you suspect his son, Bates?” Davis asks as Kramer reports back to the captain.
“First he is sitting close to the curtains,” Bates explains. “And second, I saw him going in with a frown on his face and returning with a hidden smile.”
“With nothing in his hands…!” Kramer jumps to his son’s defence.
“… but with his pockets full!” Bates tells all in attendance.
“He is only a kid!” Kramer changes gear to fight back for his son.
“… who likes to eat candies all the time, anywhere possible!” Bates replies. “Want to see a demonstration?”
“Yes!” all reply in unison.
“Just place this candy bar on my seat and leave it unguarded,” Bates gives one to Davis from his pocket.
Davis puts the candy back and returns to the cockpit. “You were right, it’s gone,” the captain tells Bates.
“We still don’t know who took it,” Kramer tells Bates.
“I do,” Bates tells Kramer. “Look at your son, his whole mouth is blue.”
“So?” Kramer says, still being in denial.
“The candy bar I gave your son, it is not available on this plane,” Bates explains. “I bought it for a friend who happens to the captain of this plane!
“Oh yes!” The captain says as he remembers. “The candy bar that you used to give to bullies in school! Now I remember it as it turned the person’s mouth blue.”
“Exactly!” Bates concurs. “Works all the time!”
“What have you got to say now, Kramer?” Davis asks the culprit’s father.
“My son might be troubled, but he is seeing a psychiatrist to correct his problem,” Kramer tells the captain.
“He should not travel in this plane until he is certified to,” the captain gives his verdict.
“Why was he travelling with his father in the first place?” Davis asks Bates as the two go back to occupy their seats.
“Kramer doesn’t have a wife, so he takes his kid around, with permission of course,” Bates tells Davis.
“How on earth did you know that? Or that this has been happening for six months?” Davis fires back to back questions.
“I keep my eyes and ears open, my friend,” Bates replies. “I heard Kramer tell the pretty airhostess that he is a single once again, and have been so for six months.”