16. KEEN VIGILANCE
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Previously on The Bike Babaji: Inspector Harish and Douglas had decided to recruit some people for the ongoing investigations.
4th Monday November, 06:17 p.m.
James returned to the terrace and found Vinod sleeping at the billboard. The binoculars were placed at his belly, moving up and down in rhythm with the undulating moments of Vinod's stomach. Agitated at the sight of this, James climbed the vertical stairs and came near Vinod.
"Vinod !" James yelled. There was no response. Only snores.
"God damn it... Vinod get up!" James kicked one of the supporting iron handles of the billboard and the sound reverberated around the whole billboard platform. The binoculars slid across Vinod's chest and hit hard on his chin. He quickly arouse and bawled in sleep, "Sir, don't punish me sir. He is the thief, I didn't do anything sir. Please leave me sir!"
"What the hell?"
"Oh it was just a dream. Phew!" exclaimed Vinod and turned back to find James. "Oh !!! Babaji... sorry Jimji... When did you come? I was watching that guy for 5 hours continuously without closing my eyes Jimji... because of that I got tired and fell asleep... see my eyes Jimji, they look reddish right?"
"To hell with your eyes! Tell me what happened after I went?"
"Okay. It is really difficult to see from here Jimji. I don't know why you chose this place at such a height? I can't even see his face clearly. Anyways, when you left, that guy was speaking in mobile to someone I guess. He was coming out of his home now and then... uh, probably poor network connection you see... then after some time he went out with his bike and came back after 20 minutes with two bags. From here it was difficult to see what was inside the bag Jimji, but I think it was filled with vegetables, cereals, and fruits... I know where he would have bought them, it must be from WindowMart Supermarket. It is famous in this area you know. I bet he must have bought the groceries there... what you say Jimji?"
James stared at him with indignation.
"ah... then around 4 p.m. he went to the bakery again to have a tea. He was talking with the baker for some time and returned home. After that he never came out Jimji."
"Okay" said James and began to think deeply. "After coming from the supermarket did he lock the bike immediately or he went inside home to keep the grocery bags and then came out to lock the bike?"
"umm... I think he went inside to keep the bags and after that he came out again to lock the bike."
"How much time he took for that?"
"May be a minute Jimji. Why are you asking this? Do you think we should steal the grocery bags next time instead of the bike?" asked Vinod.
"Shut up!" said James and ruminated, "One minute... mmm... one minute is very less. Anyways you have done a decent job. We will watch him over the night and see what we can find more. If you need a break you can go out and come back after some time. I'll stay here."
"Thank you Jimji. I will do one thing. I will go and sell these clothes that I had snatched earlier in the day. We can use the money for something right..."
"Whatever. Just take a break and come back soon. I want you to do another task tomorrow" James replied.
"Okay Jimji. I will come back soon."
Vinod picked up the clothes that were scattered around the billboard and climbed down to the terrace. As he was walking past the bakery he suddenly halted and froze in panic. He saw Inspector Douglas at the bakery.
[To be continued]