At the corner of North Winston Avenue, Detective Watson wore an amused expression as he watched Bryan approach him heroically with his suitcase in hand.
”Good sir, here is your suitcase. ” Bryan stood in front of the Detective and handed him his suitcase. Then he looked up at the Detective with a victorious smirk on his lips, as if saying praise me.
Detective Watson had seen the entire drama play out and he figured that the young man in front of him had tricked that old tramp. However, he still couldn help but find this young mans acting hilarious. Now lets see how you play your cards he thought.
”Thank you, young man. I don know what I would have done without you. ” Detective Watson decided to play along with him. ”Here, accept this reward for helping me. ” He took out ten 1 pound notes from his wallet and handed them out to the young man in from of him.
Bryans eyes widened as his eyes swept past the stack of cash. He had never seen this much money in his life. Or at least he hadn seen this much since becoming an orphan. He couldn help but involuntarily gulp. He nearly reached out his hand in an attempt to take the money but thankfully he remembered his motive for going through all that trouble before.
”S-sir I didn do it for the money. ” Bryan stammered but he was still unable to take his eyes off the money.
”Oh? Then what did you do it for? ” Detective Watson looked innocently at Bryan.
”I always carry out my actions without hoping for anything in return. However, if you
e feeling guilty then you can provide me with a job that pays a good salary. That should be fine right? ” Towards the end of the sentence, Bryans voice trailed off and it grew softer and softer.
”Hahaha what a funny young man. ” Detective Watson finally couldn hold back his laughter. So that was your motive, huh? At least, you have the ability to work towards long-term gains instead of short-term benefits. Not bad! He looked at Bryan approvingly.
”Fine, since youve helped me out, it would be petty of me to not give you anything in return. Hmm how about this, since Im new to this city, you can become my guide and
also help me do some miscellaneous work. And in return, Ill give you a salary of 2 pounds per week. ” Detective Watson smiled.
”Really!? ” Bryan was shocked. Then he hurriedly replied, ”Deal! I was born and raised in Damascus and I know all the nooks and crannies of this city like the back of my hand. Leave it to me. ” Bryan puffed out his chest and said confidently.
”Very well. You
e hired. ” Detective Watson smiled gently.
”Yes, Boss! ” Bryan put his right palm facing outward on his forehead and saluted him. He then took the suitcase from Detective Watsons hand and began walking. After taking a few steps, he stopped and turned back. ”By the way, where are we going boss? ” Bryan scratched the back of his head while asking the detective.
Detective Watson chuckled, ”22 Augustus Street. Lets walk it. ”
Bryan was slightly taken aback. Since Augustus Street was the neighbourhood where all the upper-class citizens of Damascus City lived in. It was also the neighbourhood he lived in, back when his parents were still alive. That place was full of nobility, wealthy merchants, bankers etc. I knew boss was rich but I didn know he was that rich. Bryan thought.
He led Detective Watson towards Augustus Street. It was 20 minutes walk from the Church of Wisdom. Along the way, he introduced to the detective all sorts of places and landmarks. He pointed at the good restaurants he could eat at, hidden food stalls that served delicious food, high-class bars as well as the bars where commoners frequent at. He told the detective the streets to avoid, streets to take late at night, the safe places near the police station, slum areas, neighbourhoods that come under the jurisdiction of local gangs, and even the red light district wasn missed from the introduction.
Detective Watson was very satisfied with Bryan. He was very knowledgeable when it came to places in Damascus. One could even say he was the perfect guide.
Under Bryans guidance, they soon arrived at 22 Augustus Street. What greeted their view was a 2 storied white coloured villa. Parasol trees were planted on both sides of the street alongside the entirety of Augustus Street. The fresh moist air here smelled very refreshing, nothing like the air near DeShawn Street. Bryan took a deep breath of this fresh air then turned to look at Detective Watson,
e here, boss. ”
”Not bad. ” Detective Watson surveyed the surroundings and gave a compliment. He then looked at Bryan and smiled, ”By the way, you still haven introduced yourself to me yet. ”
”Uh right, sorry. Im Bryan Lombardi. ” Bryan replied.
”Very well, Bryan. My name is James Watson, a private detective. ” Detective Watson smiled.
A detective! Did he see through my previous play with that old tramp? Probably not. Anyways I did help him though. But did he really need my help? Bryan was instantly flustered and thought about his previous actions.
Detective Watson read his emotions and knew what he was thinking. He chuckled and said, ”You will officially start your work tomorrow. Be here at 8 am sharp. Oh, by the way, do you know how to read and write? ”
”N-no. ” Bryan felt a little embarrassed as he thought, Read and write? How could I have time for that when I was busy trying to fill my stomach.
”Don worry about it. Ill teach you the basics starting tomorrow. After all, education is imperative in this line of work. ” Detective Watson then took out his wallet, picked two 1 pound notes and handed it to Bryan. ”This is the advance. Go get some food and buy yourself a new pair of clothes. I will see you tomorrow. ”
Detective Watson smiled at Bryan then handed the suitcase to his butler who had arrived at some point in time.
Bryan who took the money was elated. He hurriedly bowed and thanked the detective. ”Thank you, boss. Ill be here on time tomorrow! ”
He watched the Detective turn around and enter the main gate to his villa. He walked through the garden and finally entered his villa with his butler in tow. Bryan was still standing outside the main gate of 22 Augustus Street, deep in thought.
Everything that happened today seems too easy. Did boss really see through my ploy earlier? No, its very likely that he noticed me the moment I started following him from the farmers market. How…interesting! Heh, and here I was dreaming that Id steal some valuables from him after he gives me a job. How naive! ” Bryan sighed.
He turned around and started walking towards DeShawn Street. It would take him over an hour to reach on foot. There was no way he was going to hire a carriage, he couldn afford it.
Bryan walked leisurely on the sidewalk, his hand holding the two 1 pound notes tightly in his jacket pocket, afraid that hed lose the money if he loosened his grip even a little. This amount of money meant a lot for someone like Bryan. He could live a leisurely life with just the basic necessities for a month with this money.
Hmm out of the 2 pounds, 1 pound has to be given to that pig of a landlord. 20 pence worth of food thatll last me at least a week. The rest of the money I can save it for a rainy day. But wait, Boss asked me to buy a new pair of clothes. But do I really need to? Bryan sniffed at his clothes and instantly regretted it. I really should buy a new pair. I wouldn want to insult boss with my stitched and tattered clothes. Bryan heaved a heavy sigh. It would be a lie to say that he didn miss the time when he was rich and had the love of his parents. But almost a decade has passed since that incident, now everything was just a distant memory.
No need to think about depressing stuff. Maybe working for boss might help me tremendously. Forget about stealing and begging, from now on Im gonna live a better life. Bryan clenched his fists and motivated himself. He had a determined look in his deep black eyes.
He visited Grahams Clothing Store on his way home. They sold relatively cheap clothes for workers and low-class people here. He bought 2 white shirts and a pair of black trousers. A new pair of black rubber shoes; everything totalled 47 pence.
Bryan exited the store with a paper bag then he headed for the nearest grocery store, where he spent another 20 pence on the grocery for the next week.
It was already 2 pm by the time he returned to 11 DeShawn Street. He dropped his clothes and grocery in his 1 room apartment and then headed for the landlords room on the first floor.
He knocked on Mr Carters door. After a few knocks, the pig-like landlord opened the door and glared at Bryan, ”What do you want? ”
”Heres 1 pound, Mr Carter. Ill give you the remaining money next week. ” Bryan put on his classic fake smile then turned around and left without waiting for the landlords response.
The landlord, Mr Carter, was slightly stunned. Where did this kid get the money? Did he rob someone? Well, who cares! Mr Carter snorted and slammed his door shut.
In Bryans room, he quickly made a bowl of porridge and had it with bread. ”Its been a while since Ive had a full meal ” Bryan patted his belly with a satisfied smile on his face. He looked out the window eagerly anticipating the start of his new life from tomorrow onwards.
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