The Food Inspector, Part II

Continued from Part I.

Merriweather walked further into his restaurant. Rudolph stalked behind him, dragging his fingers over the backs of the red leather chairs that surrounded each table. The tables towards the front of the restaurant had been empty, but as they walked, Merriweather remembered the man in the white suit.

It was unusual to have a guest stay for such a long time. The man had arrived in the early evening, ordered small amounts of food and eaten it very slowly. Now he appeared to be reading some sort of technical textbook and making notes on a paper pad with a golden pen in his left hand. The man was sitting at the table nearest the cash register, and Merriweather suddenly realised he would be able to see whatever Rudolph took.

The man in the white suit looked up from his notes as they approached, smiled and called loudly, “good evening!”

Rudolph said nothing, merely nodded in acknowledgement.

“I must say,” said the man, “you’ve picked an excellent venue for your evening meal. Best I’ve eaten in a long time.”

“Thanks,” said Rudolph. “Yeah, it’s not bad.”

“Please,” said the man. “Join me.” He kicked the chair opposite him and pushed it back into Rudolph’s path. “I insist.”

Merriweather turned in confusion at hearing this conversation, and saw Rudolph, a forced smile fixed upon his face, sitting carefully down in the chair. It had never occurred to Merriweather, until that moment, that Rudolph would not be able to intimidate him in front of witnesses.

The man in the white suit smiled at Rudolph. “Trust me when I say this is the best. I should know. It’s my job.”

“What job is that?” said Rudolph.

“I,” said the man conspiratorially, “am the food inspector.”

To be continued…

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