Tag Archives: fraud

The Food Inspector, Part IV

Continued from Part III.

“I have eaten here many times,” Janoa was saying, and it was a lie. Merriweather had never seen him before. “I very much like the soup, I adore the croquettes, I find the chocolate tart quite divine. To be a food inspector is such a privilege, don’t you think? But also such a responsibility. Public safety is in my hands, but also the livelihood of an artisan, a craftsman, to whom food is an expression of the soul, but to whom perhaps the matters of business are not. What do you think?”

Rudolph was clearly struggling to think anything. He took a deep breath, as if about to dive into a deep pool. “I’m sure it is a very important job,” he said. “And I have indeed heard that the food here is excellent, and…”

“Do you believe in second chances?” interrupted Janoa.

Rudolph swallowed. “No,” he said.

“Me neither.”

The door to the street crashed open. Three policemen stormed into the room. Rudolph jumped in his seat, but Janoa’s hand had slid forward and closed a strong grip around his wrist.

Merriweather turned and fled.

He ran into the kitchen, turned and pushed the door closed, leaning his weight against it. Then he surveyed the room.

Grease covered almost every surface. Unwashed crockery from the past fortnight was piled high near the sink, encrusted with remains that had long turned green. The strange smell from the fridge – he had been meaning to sort that out for months. The bag of rotting fruit lay where he had left it yesterday, as did the knife he had used to cut out the mould.

He heard the sound of footsteps. Clean white shoes on the floor of the corridor to the kitchen.

The footsteps stopped just the other side of the door.

Knock, knock, knock.

Merriweather began to panic.

 

The End

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Not Always Right

“A dozen eggs, Mr. Sudteen,” said Mrs. Thorndike. She plopped a large basket upon the counter.

“Right away, Mrs. Thorndike,” said Mr. Sudteen. He decided to try charm. “Would that be a baker’s dozen?” Wink.

She bristled. “I have no time for games,” she said, curt tone and furrowed brow. “Mrs. Lutton will be over at three and I need the pie ready. A dozen eggs, right away.”

“Would you like the cheap ones? Only a dozen left.”

“Of course, I always have the cheap ones. Now stop wasting time!” she said.

Mr. Sudteen carefully placed one dozen eggs into her basket. She threw the coins down in front of him and stormed out.

Thorndike harrumphed crossly down the road, lugging the basket along, muttering. She turned the corner and promptly collided with little Jackson from number four, riding too fast on his bicycle. The basket went flying.

“You little ratbag!” she screamed at the hastily fleeing child. “I shall tell your mother!”

Eggs lay all over the road, tiny fragments of shell among yolk that glittered in the sun as it ran between the stones. She grabbed the basket and seethed back to the shop.

Mr. Sudteen!” she yelled. “Another dozen eggs right away!”

“We’ve only got the expensive sort left.”

“Fine!” she spat. “Bring them here!” Many more coins hit the counter.

When she had gone, Sudteen went out the back of his shop. Little Jackson was sitting there on his bicycle. Sudteen tossed him a shilling.