Rating: Green Cortina – PG
Word Count: 785 words.
Notes: Gen. Sam and Gene interview a suspect. I feel I should warn for a truly terrible pun.
“D’you want me to call you a lawyer?” Gene asked, slapping his hand down on the table in the Lost & Found.
“Yeah. That’s right. You do that.”
“Right then. You’re a lawyer. Now cough up the information I want or you’re going to pay. I’ve got a strong pair of fists here which are just itching to hit something.”
Sam inwardly groaned. As much as he liked a good pun, well, that wasn’t one. And Gene couldn’t tell that this rough’n’ready approach wasn’t working with this particular man. It would be better to appeal to his better nature. If he had one. They had to at least try. He sipped at his coffee and then spoke.
“Carl, all you need to do is tell us when and where you saw the van. That’s all. You don’t have to make a song and dance over it. Just give us what we need and we’ll let you go.”
“Don’t give us what we need and we’ll be banging you up for obstruction of justice you selfish little arsewipe.”
Carl didn’t say a thing. He sat there smiling somewhat smugly, like the cat who had got the mouse that’d been dipped in cream.
“I’m not going to say anything. I don’t have to. You’ve got no good reason for keeping me here.”
Sam sat back, crossed his arms and gave Gene a sideways glance. Perhaps there was another tactic. A different way of gaining leverage. Normally he wouldn’t stoop so low, but these were desperate times. He leaned forward again and looked at some of the notes in the light green folder on the table.
“Says here you were brought into the station last year for a minor indiscretion,” Sam said casually, placing the folder back. He gave his most polite smirk and tilted his head slightly to the side. Carl opened his eyes up more and pursed his lips, sucked his cheeks in, looking all gaunt and serious.
“Indeed. Care to elaborate, or should I?”
“What’re you on about, Tyler?” Gene often interrupted in times like these, but Sam had an ‘ignore-Gene’ filter which worked exceedingly well.
“It was a... a joke. The lads thought it up for a lark, like.”
“Which lads?” Sam grinned, looking down, as if through the table. Carl shifted in his seat uncomfortably.
“So what difference does that make?”
“If you don’t tell us what we want to know, I’m going to ensure that your standing in the community as a man of an enviable reputation is going to be… eroded somewhat by a bunch of posters showing up everywhere, stuck around when no-one can prevent it. You see, a clever Constable elected to take a picture before all things were squared away. I’ve got it with me right now.”
“Yes, Gene. Your point?”
“You’re finally learning Sam, it shocks and baffles me.”
Sam winked and then cleared his face completely of any lingering traces of amusement.
“So what’s it to be, Carl?”
“I saw the van at nine at night, down by George Street.”
“One between Princess and Oxford.”
“That wasn’t so difficult. Why didn’t you just say this before?”
“I know the ones you’re after, don’t I?”
“You do? Willing to testify?”
“Don’t have much choice.”
Sam stood up, remarked he had done so for the tape, and left the room to allow Gene to do whatever he wanted before taking Carl to the desk and to freedom.
A short time passed and Gene found him in the canteen, eating his tapioca out of a bowl, instead of what invariably happened when he lost his head.
“That was the best policework I’ve ever seen you do, Sammy-boy. So show us, where’s this photo?”
“Oh. I made it up. There is no picture. Only a report.”
“You devious little bastard.”
“What did the report tell us, though? If you don’t mind me asking?” Gene was acting calmly, but Sam could tell he was not enjoying being in the dark. He had his aura of barely contained frenetic energy bouncing just below the surface.
“It was a wonderfully detailed report wherein our delightful Carl was found in the early hours of the morning stark bollock naked save for one item of clothing. A pair of shining gold sequined knee-high boots with feathers coming out the top. Must have been a beautiful sight.”
Gene let out a guffaw which arrested the attention of all who were in the canteen.
“I am buying you a beer.”
Well. No real harm had actually been done and he was going to get a drink. Sam told himself he shouldn’t feel too bad. And he didn’t.