Monday, June 13, 2011

The Case of the Pen Bandit, part four: Conclusive Conclusions

Previously, on The Case of the Pen Bandit ...

Charlie "Cutpurse" Kline, the scourge of office supplies, stood before Inspector Zelda, a slight smirk of contempt and astonishment on his face. "You ask me here," he drawled, running his fingers lightly over Inspector Zelda's vulnerable reception desk, "to parlay ... and you bring no back up?"

Inspector Zelda did not respond, except to twirl a pen over and under the fingers of her left hand. She kept her eyes locked on Cutpurse's face.

"I must confess my respect for the ... nature ... of the invitation," Cutpurse continued. "Cut up letters from magazines, glued together like a ransom note. As if you were the one holding something of value I want. As if it were not I who already possess all your pens." He chuckled. "But perhaps that is why you had to resort to magazines ... no pens with which to write."

Cutpurse paused his leisurely pacing to see if that jab had roused Inspector Zelda's ire. But Inspector Zelda continued her pen-twirling, almost unconsciously so, as her eyes looked unflinchingly into Cutpurse's.  It was the thief who looked away first.

Cutpurse chewed his lips meditatively. "I could, very easily, relieve you of that pen as well," he offered ingenuously. "Oh so very easily, you would not even notice its absense. It would already be by the 10th floor freight elevator before you'd had time to--" The thief broke off as he heard a slight crackle, and a slipping echo of his last word.  He turned slowly at the sound of a lightly tapping foot.

Constable Supervisor stood at the door, a grim smile on her face. "Good work, Inspector Zelda. Hitting the PAGE-ALL button on your reception phone to broadcast Cutpurse's confession to the whole company. Now he'll never escape the swift hand of justice."
Inspector Zelda shrugged modestly. "I never expected him to give up the location of his hideout so easily. It didn't even take any prompting."

Cutpurse hung his head in defeat, astonished at how quickly his serial crime spree had come to an stumbling end.

"In this case, at least, the word is mightier than the pen."

And on that awful and forced attempted pun, Inspector Zelda closed The Case of the Pen Bandit.

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