Monday, 8 September 2014

The Evolving Robber (part 4)

"I'd kind of guessed that." Lodders moaned from the floor, and I realised he was what had been kicked about on the floor. McFarlan gave him a kick in the face for his troubles.
"I hadn't." Rachel said, as the EastEnders theme finished. "I can't believe Patrick had a stroke."
"I meant the fact he's my brother in law." Lodders replied, to another kick in the face from the brother in question.
I prepared myself to fight, but realised that I hadn't even been able to hit a low paid desk sergeant when we'd dealt with the Corpse Quartet so six tall, muscular men who'd already committed assault twice and broken into five flats probably weren't my ideal opponent. Instead, I backed off, as all six turned to me, and smiled at them. They were an ugly bunch, presumably all bailiffs like their leader, and all dressed in the appropriate clothes. They also all wore a days worth of stubble, beneath their black hoods. "This is normally the bit where I and Robin talk through how we worked out it was you, using a selection of keen banter and clever deductions." I explained. "And it would probably really help if you would stop approaching us threateningly."
They didn't, and so Robin continued from where I'd stopped. "We knew we were looking for six men, from the footprints on the doors of Mrs Fraisers flat, and we knew you were all tall and strong from the size of your feet and the ferocity with which you kicked the door."
"And we knew you were probably bailiffs from the expert way in which you opened the doors." I added. "Please will you stop walking towards us because it's kind of freaking me out."
"Gabriel!" Robin complained. "You should never tell the threatening people you're scared, cause now they'll just threaten you more."
"Please can you give me advice if we survive this, Robin, because it won't be very useful if we don't."
"Consider it done. Shall I continue?"
"If you wouldn't mind."
"We knew you had to be bailiffs, and we knew you had to be tall, but we didn't have a clue who exactly you were. But we had a theory. Lachlan McFarlan, brother in law of Inspector Lodsbury, but we needed confirmation."
"And, in an extremely not chronological order of events, we got some. From the CCTV in the lobby. You're use to being on the side of the law, so it didn't occur to you until later that the CCTV would have been incriminating." I continued.
"But after we'd worked that out, we needed a motive, and Gabriel worked that out almost straight away. It's quite obvious when you think about it." Robin said, leading us behind the bar, and stepping in front of the oven. "Would you like to talk us through your little timeline, Gabe?"
"Don't call me Gabe."
"Better." I replied. "My reasoning starts at about six o clock this evening. Lodders dresses in the suit he's currently wearing and tell's Madeline, his wife, that he's going to an event at my flat this evening.   He and Sarrison wish her goodnight and then go to the taxi waiting outside for them. Robin get's out of the back of the taxi, and they hug or something like that. They drive off and come here, but more importantly, Madeline had seen them hug, or whatever. Now, being stereotypically feisty and Scottish, Madeline calls her big, tall, strong brother and his gang of bailiffs- who are approaching far to threateningly close, please back off a bit- and tell's them she thinks she's being cheated on."
"Can you get to the bit where you outsmart them, please." Lodders called from the floor, bordering on unconsciousness.
"I'm getting to that." I replied. "Where was I? Ah yes. Now, Madeline tells Lachlan that her husband is cheating on her with a a skinny redhead, half her age. Lachlan is outraged, decides to go beat both their brains out. Then he asks where they were going. She says my flat, but neither know where that is, so they have to have a think. Then it occurs to them. He took Sarrison with him."
"Sarrison, the good dog that he was, had had a chip out in his foot by" Robin continued. "And using the website, they managed to track him down, to where he was chewing the table leg in this flat."
"And that was the beginning of it. McFarlan and his merry men know that Sarrison, and presumably Lodders and Robin, are somewhere in this building, but they don't know what floor, so they turn up and ask the receptionist they'd been invited to a party, hoping he'd direct them to my flat. But he didn't, just buzzed themselves through, so they had to work their way up. Floor one, Mrs Fraiser's flat. Floor two, the Hussein's flat. Then they rushed to the fire escape, and went up, to floor three. They entered three and found it abandoned. This was the turning point. They'd committed two crimes, crimes which would probably get them behind bars for one year, so they could back out or really break the law. They decide to go to a cafe a few blocks away and think things over, and disappear back down the fire exit, going to the cafe. Maybe two hours later, they come across a picture of Robin. They again feel the anger of earlier and return to this building, but for all they know, the lobby could be crawling with police, so they go up the fire exit and enter through the windows on the fourth floor. They walk through and enter the flat. Where they find a skinny redhead, half Madeline's age. Before they consult the picture, they knock her out and search for Lodders. But they don't find him, and when they go back to the girl, they discover she isn't Robin. Infuriated at their mistake, they go outside and beat the door up a bit, as you do, when they hear voices coming up the stairwell. They head up, into the room on floor five and they don't discover Robin or Lodders. So they hide in their, until they come in here, and beat the living daylights out of Lodders."
"That doesn't answer about the mess in the room though, does it?" The Hussein son shouted from the back of the room.
"My head is too busy falling apart for me to care about that." Lodders cried.
Robin answered this particular query. "They were searching for Lodders and Robin. The bits that had been looked through and ransacked were big enough to hold a human being, but with each floor, they worked out which were more likely to hold the person they were looking for, eliminating places from their list, and the places they did search, they did more carefully. They literally evolved, as they robbed." Robin answered.
Lachlan clapped several times, slowly and sarcastically, and said, "All well and good, pal, but what're are you going to do when I knock you unconscious?"
Robin had an answer. "You really shouldn't have tagged Sarrison with"
"Why?" Asked Lachlan.
"Because, Sarrison! Attack!" She pointed at Lachlan, but the dog which had been slowly edging towards her every time she said 'Sarrison...Come Here Boy' refused to rush forwards at the big bad man, probably because it was scared of him all the same. Robin sighed and threw the piece of meat, that she'd taken from the oven after we'd got there, at Lachlan, but not even a nice bit of meat could convince the greyhound. "Ha!" Lachlan cried. "Your last resort was a stupid mutt that couldn't even win a one dog race."
"That's no way to talk about Rachel." I said.
You could see the question 'What?' forming on his lips as the large iron poker smashed into his head and he collapsed to the floor unconscious. Rachel, wielding the large weapon, smashed it into the face of two of his friends, and then let the other three surrender. Exactly as Jack Reacher does in the movie. Somehow I knew that was where she'd got it from.
I ran forwards and hugged her, and then turned to Lodders and said, "They fell on the poker, right."
"If you can stop this bleeding and call an ambulance, I'll do anything." He replied.

A few weeks later:

I and Rachel were lying in bed, reading and listening to Franz Ferdinand's Evil Eye, playing from my iPod. "Some people wanna see what I see, some people put an evil eye on me." I sung along, flicking through the pages of the Drawing of the Three, the Stephen King book I'd recently borrowed from Rachel's library. "Seriously, how can he be the Gunslinger if he's lost his fingers?" I asked.
"Spoilers!" Rachel cried, then put the Pavilion Paper down. She'd been reading my most recent article, the Evolving Robber, about the night I'd introduced her. I told her it wasn't that exciting, but she insisted anyway, because she liked the idea of me including her in my work. "That's great."
"You think so?"
"Yeah! It's really well written, and the conclusion is even better than in real life."
"Thank you."
"One thing, though."
"Do you really not know why Robin was behaving how she was?"
"No, I don't."
"Do you really not know why she got Lodders to pretend to be her boyfriend, and refuses to come around when I'm here?"
"Not really." I replied, unsure where this was going.
She laughed. "And I thought you understood the human element."
A thought suddenly occurred to me, and it snowballed until I had a hypothesis. "I've got it!"
"How does that make you feel?"
"Great!" I replied.
"What!?" Rachel replied.
I looked at her. "I always feel great when I've solved a case. I've got a Conclusion to the Curious Case of the Corpses in the Cafe across the road from the Chris Hoy Velodrome!"
"And I thought it was because you'd realised Robin had a crush on you."
"What!?" I demanded.
"The great detective is stumped." She laughed, and swatted me with the newspaper.

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