Softly, Softly ...

"Inspector, congratulations on your brilliant work in tracking down the leaker of the Leader of the Opposition's travel expenses. Don't think work of that calibre doesn't go unnoticed, Inspector. Just between you, me and the gatepost you've now got the inside running on the Christmas spot for the department's four-bedroom staff holiday retreat complete with pool and spa at Lake Taupo."

"It was nothing, Superintendent."

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"Don't be so modest, man. The department didn't get where it is today by not having white-hot sleuths like you on the team."

"No, really, Super, it really was nothing. My cell had slipped out of my back pocket down the back of the La-Z-Boy in my office. Unbeknownst to me — I was just snatching 30 winks at the time — a text had come in from the leaker, and fishing the cellie out from behind the seat I accidentally pressed the reply button, so the texter's name just came up on the screen."

"You always were a right joker, Inspector, and don't think for a minute I'm going to buy that load of hogwash ... But the main thing is that we've got our offender fair bang to rights. When can we expect to be plying this sorry specimen with a few pertinent questions down at the station here, Inspector?"

"Ahh, well Superintendent, we won't actually be taking the matter any further, Sir."

"Are you in your right mind, man?! We're talking about the undermining of the very fabric of our sacred democracy here. We have a dangerous perp nicely kebabed, who's guilty of spilling some highly confidential beans, and now you're telling me we're going to flag it?"

"Ahh, yes sir — you see, Sir, the perp has indicated they're in possession of a rather delicate state of mind at this point in time, Sir, and that if we were to progress our investigation any further the stress might have adverse consequences for our perp's finely tuned sensibilities, Sir."

"Get a grip here, Inspector! Adverse consequences is what we're all about, remember? You know, just like in the training manual — reprobates do things they shouldn't do, and we get paid to deliver up a few adverse consequences courtesy of our peerless judicial system, isn't that right? Who is this character anyway?"

Frank Greenall
Frank Greenall

"Sorry, Sir, can't tell you — it's a privacy thing. Excuse me, Sir … incoming text — it may be urgent. Ahh yes, it's the guy who did over the liquor store last week, you know, the one who was a bit too blurry on the CCTV for us to identify."

"What the heck's he after?"

"Well, he says he knows it's only a matter of time before we nab him, and normally he'd just give himself up, but he's been feeling really down in the dumps lately and worries that seeing a blue uniform right now might be just enough to tip him over the edge. So he reckons it'd be best for the health of all concerned if we just give it a swerve."

"Talk about the cheek of the devil. Oh well, at least we now know who he is — what's his name?"

"Sorry, Sir, can't tell you. It's a privacy thing."

"You must be joking, Inspe…"

"Excuse me, Sir, incoming text — it may be urgent."

"Who the hell is it this time?"

"It's the guy behind the unsolved assault and battery from a few weeks back, Sir. He's feeling a bit on edge, Sir. Plus his lower back is a bit tweaky."

"So what's he suggesting?"

"He's heard the department's got a spare holiday house at Taupo — reckons it'd be the perfect spot for him and the family to work through his issues, Sir. Plus he wants to know if the boat's got a flat screen and fridge."