Shaun, Joel, Louise and Mike had left the terrace on which they had been sitting for the last few hours, and were now standing next to the Monument on the Dam. The four friends were facing the front of the giant pillar like monument, which was created to commemorate all those who had died during World War II, while dozens of white, gray and brown pigeons landed in front of them, busy to pick up the breadcrumbs thrown by the teens. It was a rather warm and sunny day in April, something quite uncommon in Amsterdam during this time of year.
Joel was bored stiff quite quickly after feeding the dull pigeons for awhile, so he started to look around the Dam. A grand and luxurious hotel stood in front of him, with on his left Amsterdam’s economic centre, on his right lay a large shopping street, and behind him was the Palace on the Dam, which was a poor excuse for a palace.
Louise saw him gazing around, and stepped next to him, after she had stopped feeding the hungry doves. “A penny for your thoughts?” she asked with a silly smile on her face. She tried standing on her toes, so she could look into Joel’s azure blue eyes, but which didn’t turn out so great, since Joel is about eight inch taller than the five foot seven high girl. She stopped doing that, once she had noticed that she was going to fall.
“If I’m right, the shot was fired from that building, right,” Joel said, gazing at the large Palace building. “And that’s the hotel it entered,” he continued, turning a full 180 degrees, which made him face the large hotel. “I don’t know why, but something’s wrong.”
“Maybe it’s just your imagination,” Louise swiftly hushed, in her attempt to stop Shaun from devising all kinds of weird theories, which would definitely ruin their day.
Fortunately, she was aided by a sudden cry for help coming from the busy shopping street to their left. “Help, my purse has been stolen!” a female voice yelled in English, topping the muffled chatter coming from the hordes of people. The four friends turned their heads to see what was going on, but at first they couldn’t see who had shouted.
Then they saw a man running toward them with a woman’s purse carefully tightened around his big fist. The thief was a big oaf with heavy eyebrows and spiky hair, while his waving grey coat kept slapping against his massive body. Every few steps he glanced back to see if his victim was still chasing him, which she obvious was, judging from the heavy moans he made each time he looked back.
The woman behind him was somewhere in her mid teens, as she seemed to keep up with the thief rather well. She had a slim figure, which was complemented by her tight, white jacket, and her stonewashed pair of black jeans. Her long, black hair waved behind her, swooping up with each step she took. She kept shouting for help, but no one seemed to have noticed her, thinking the police would handle it.
Mike looked at Shaun, who had an impish smile on his face, for approval. Shaun nodded back almost immediately, giving Mike the green light for action. Mike took a few steps in the direction of the running crook, making sure they would cross each other’s paths.
The robber didn’t notice Mike until he had almost bumped into him. Grumbling of annoyance, the man tried to push Mike aside with his free hand. What a big mistake that was. Mike skillfully grabbed the man’s arm, made an 180 degrees turn, moved his hip upwards, and flung the criminal in the air, smacking him on the pavement with hardly enough force to crush unprotected bones. Mike accidentally let go, which gave the man on the ground the chance to stand up again.
Shaun saw how the guy soared through the air thanks to Mike, and eventually landing with a weird, soft clank. Shaun instantaneously knew that something was going to go wrong, really wrong
, when he saw something metallic sticking out of the man’s pocket.
“Wa mot dat!” the man said, speaking laidback Dutch. He quickly stood up and took out the gun he had stuffed in his pocket.
Mike quickly took a step back, seeing as the gun was aimed at him, now being very cautious. “Wow, relax, man,” Mike shushed, trying to calm down the trigger-happy robber. Mike saw Shaun cautiously sneaking behind the man from the corner of his eye, which kind of made him calm down. “Just put down the gun.”
“You stupid foreigners,” the crook swore, after realizing Mike wasn’t Dutch. He kept pointing the gun at Mike, while he looked around to see if there were any cops coming his way. He got a bit nervous when he heard sirens closing in.
“Just put down the gun and nothing bad will happen,” Mike slowly said, watching how Shaun kept coming closer to the gunman.
“What?” the man said with a stupid expression. He really was a bit slow on the uptake. “Shut the hell up! You…” he started, when he suddenly got cut off by Shaun.
Shaun had snatched the man’s trigger arm, and jammed it on his back, which made the man lose his grip and drop the weapon on the ground. Shaun then pushed the crook into Mike’s open arms, before quickly picking the pistol up from the ground. He took out the ammo and dismantled the firearm.
Meanwhile the police had been watching everything Shaun did, so by the time they wanted to do something, Shaun was already waiting for them. The uniformed officers quickly took the dismantled gun from Shaun, and started to hand cuff the man and the two boys!
Joel and Louise, who had been taking care of the female victim, ran up to the police officers along with her, demanding an explanation.
“They touched the gun, so until we know what their relation is to this man, we’re going to keep them in custody,” a blond, middle-aged officer explained. “Ma’am, we need you to come with us, so you can file charges,” he said, addressing the woman standing next to Joel.
“Well, that’s not right. They risked their lives to stop a crime taking place, and you just take them away, while treating them as criminals!” Louise yelled, completely pissed off by the indecent treatment of the Dutch police.
“Calm down, Louise,” Joel hushed, putting his hand on her shoulder. “Yelling isn’t going to make things any better.”
“Well, it sure makes me feel better,” she responded fiercely, but already a bit more relaxed that a moment ago.
The victim had stayed relatively quiet. She had only spoken once so far, and that was to say she would come along to the police station.
Louise didn’t know why, but she had a weird feeling about this girl. She sensed something out of the ordinary, but she couldn’t put a name on it just yet.
“Officer,” Joel suddenly said, “could we ride along to the station? We can explain what they were doing, when the robbery happened.”
“Sure,” the officer responded, already holding a car door open for the victim. “C’mon, hop in.”
Moments later, they pulled up in front of a big, blue and white building with large glass windows, just a few streets away from the Dam. Louise and Joel were guided into the police station, while Shaun and Mike were lead in through another entrance, and they were asked to wait in a small interrogation room, while someone was called in to write down their statements.
“Noticed how they call the police around here?” Louise said randomly, looking at Joel with a curious look on her face.
“Nope, amaze me,” Joel absentmindedly said, busy examining the small room they were in. The only furniture in it was one table, aside from the chairs they were sitting on. One big, black window made the white walls stick out even more. Joel had seen enough detective shows to know that they were being watched from the other side of that window
“They call them politie
,” she cheerfully said, faking that she didn’t know that they were probably being watched by cops, who were trying to find something wrong with their behavior. “Any idea how to pronounce that correctly?” She giggled. Turning her back to the glass, she tried to whisper something to Joel.
Joel nodded and joined her little act. “Maybe it’s just like in English,” he noted, also turning his back to the window. “How about saying ‘po-lee-tey’? That sounded kind of okay, didn’t it?”
The door suddenly opened, and a man in a suit stepped into the room, closing the door behind him with his feet. “Good afternoon,” he said, as he sat down on a wooden chair opposite from the two teens, and dropped several sheets of paper on the table. “I’m Mr. Van den Bergh, and I’m here to ask you some questions. That is, if you don’t mind,” he said in one long breath, looking the two teens in the eyes without blinking for a while.
Joel answered the man’s gaze. He didn’t look any older than 30, 35 years old, and his suit was made of high quality fabric, which meant this guy was earning quite a payroll. There no way he’s your run of the mill police officer, Joel thought.
“We don’t mind,” Louise replied with a smile. “We even asked to be brought here.”
“Well, that certainly makes things easier,” he sighed of faked relief. “Would you like to tell my why your friends tried to stop that robber, when they could have left the crime fighting to the police?”
“They’re just very helpful when it comes to aiding someone in need,” Joel said, looking the man straight in the eyes, as if he wanted to challenge the man into saying something he shouldn’t say. “There’s no law against helping someone, is there?”
“I guess not,” the man bluntly said, looking away from Joel, thinking that he was being a bit too rebellious.
“What I want to know is where your friends learned to handle, and especially dismantle a gun?” he asked Louise, who at least seemed to be cooperating a lot better.
“Does this have anything to do with that weird shooting yesterday?” she asked with a childlike expression.
“I can’t say that, young lady. Could you please answer my question?”
“Well, I guess we picked it up somewhere. You know how it is with kids nowadays, especially with those violent shows on TV.”
“Hmmm… All right, you’re free to go, and so are your friends,” Mr. Van den Bergh coldly said, as he stood up. He didn’t even bother to shake hands, which they didn’t seem to mind at all. Before he left the room, he turned around and said: “You should do best to remain in Amsterdam for a couple of days. We might want to ask you some questions again.”
Louise and Joel stared at each other with wide smiles on their faces. It was certainly rewarding to dupe that Van den Bergh fellow. They walked out of the room, and into the white painted hallway, where they heard two familiar voices calling their names. They looked to their left, and saw Shaun and Mike standing near the entrance of the building. Louise and Joel ran up to their friends and started to tell what had happened to them. When they had finished, it was Mike’s turn to tell his story.
“Well, I got a visit from the same guy, Mr. Van den Burgh and his expensive suit. It would be a cold day in hell, if he turned out to be a normal police officer,” Mike told his friends. “Anyway, he sat down and started to ask me a lot of weird questions, like why I attacked that guy, and if I knew how to use a gun. And when I said I just know stuff, because my dad’s a cop, he seemed to relax. He then walked out of the room, telling me I was free to go.”
“Same thing happened to me,” Shaun said, pausing to think for a moment. “Though, he didn’t act like most people would when I tell them my last name.”
“Maybe that’s because he thinks Holmes is a rather common name for foreigners?” Louise wondered.
“Maybe, but something about that guy bothers me…” Shaun sighed, knitting his brow.
The four friends agreed that they would go back to their hotel room, and explain the situation to their teacher, when they were stopped by someone. It was the girl who was robbed. She walked toward the four teens with a cheerful expression, her long black hair waving behind her.