Grandma Evans just stood there with her mouth wide-open, right hand clutched to her body. She had been caught in the act of trying to remove a priceless object from an alarmed display stand.


5. Private eye

Chapter 5. Private eye

   My brother William and I shared a twin bedded hotel room on the third floor overlooking the pool area. Each morning, just like at home, we would have a pillow fight.

   Well, this morning I had awoken to find William was already up. He was sitting with his back to me on the other side of his bed. So, grabbing hold of my pillow, I launched my attack, getting in the first strike of the day. Instead of coming back at me as he usually did, he ran off into the bathroom slamming the door shut behind him. Very shortly afterwards I could hear him being violently sick.

   Eventually he came back out again and, without saying a word, lay down on his bed, and started moaning whilst holding his stomach.

   I call Mum; thankfully our parent’s room was only across the hallway. On seeing how pale William looked, she immediately got hold of the hotel doctor, who said William had a tummy bug. He gave him some medicine and suggested to Mum that William should stay in bed.

   That left me in sole charge of looking out for Grandma which, after yesterday’s fun and games, I was not looking forward to.

   Maybe I could lock her in her room for at least some of the time. Of course, accidently on purpose. I would have, but I didn’t think I could get away with it.

   However, when I came down to breakfast, Grandma to my surprise acted like a different person. She was all smiles, “Come over here and sit by me Sammy, dear,” she said, indicating an empty chair.

   “Okay, be right with you,” I answered as I walked over to the buffet. Then, after selecting a bowl of cereal with hot milk to start with, I joined Grandma at her table. However, instead of sitting in the offered chair, I chose one as far away from her stick hand as possible. My leg was still hurting from where she had hit me with the stick before.

   “I understand William’s ill,” Grandma shouted over to me. It’s funny how her being a bit deaf made her think I couldn’t hear.

   “Yes, the doctor said it was a tummy bug.”

   “Oh dear, I suppose it was something he eat, “she shouted this, eyeing the food on her plate.

   “Well you know William, if there’s something going around, he’ll want it.”

   “Maybe after breakfast I will go visit him.”

 “No, I wouldn’t do that if I was you, Grandma. It’s a bit smelly in our room at the moment.”

   Looking across at Grandma just sitting there, it amazed me to think that a silver haired, smartly dressed old lady with a stick could be a thief. Yet there she was, wearing that necklace she had stolen only the other day.

   “Is that a new necklace you’re wearing?” I asked her.

   “Oh, this old thing,” she replied, fingering it. “No I’ve had it for ages.”

   Oh no, I thought. How was I to stop her from revisiting that same shop again this time while wearing it?

   I needn’t have worried, because when Dad came down for breakfast he took me aside. “So you’re on your own today, Sammy.”

   “Yes, Sir.”

   “Well, you’ll be pleased to know I’ve paid for the necklace and made an arrangement with the hotel manager to reimburse the shopkeepers for anything she might take.”

   “That’s great,” I exclaimed. “So do you still want me to follow Grandma around then?”

   “Yes of course I do, but you can do it openly now as the shop assistants will be pleased to see you watching.”

   “Oh, so my jobs to follow Grandma and list everything she takes?”

   “Yes, and mark down the shops’ name the items are taken from.”

   After hearing this from Dad, it all became an enjoyable game.

   I would stand there looking in through the windows or doorways, while Grandma visited the shops.

   It was rather funny watching Grandma. How she would ask the assistant for something from a high shelf or anything that needed them to turn their back on her, and then, quick as a flash, she would pocket something.

   Another time she would distract the assistant with a smile, and then hold eye contact whilst at the same time removing an item.

   It was all great fun. I felt just like one of those private eye’s you read about in detective stories.



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