An exciting story: Robin and the drug dealers

The Master of the House, Mr. Trevor John, addressed all the boarders gathered in the school grounds of Daly College, the first residential school established for the English in Indore. Well boys,” he said, “today is checkout day.” Any older boys who wish to book can give their names to the house prefect. But remember boys, be back by six o’clock; it’s the deadline”. Robin Singh, a student from Class X, looked up at the sky. He was bright and sunny. Oh! He thought about how much fun it would be to ride his bike for a long ride across the country. His thoughts were interrupted by a soft tap on his shoulder. It was the deputy director, Mr. Gopal Singh.

“Hey Robin, what’s your plan? Go for a ride on your bike?” she asked.

“Sir” replied Robin

The whole school knew that Robin was a great long-distance cyclist. Only in the last state level competition had he won the 10,000 meter race in record time. His sports teacher had high hopes for Robin to succeed on the international stage.

Robin rode his bike in a fancy Raleigh that was given to him after his last victory with Dewas’s Raja. He drove under clear blue skies to the nearby MHOW military cantonment or, as the British called it, Military War Headquarters. at breakneck speed as he tested the machine and his own endurance to the limit. He soon crossed the cantonment which was about twenty miles from his school. Within moments, Mhow fell behind. The road now became quite desolate with hardly a single pedestrian and only the occasional truck to keep him company. He headed forward and soon saw a small path winding through the hills. He slowed down and pulled into a side street. It was a lonely road lined with lush green trees. After a few minutes, he decided to take a break and parked his bike under the shade of a large Banyan tree. Pulling his canteen out of the small bag on the back of his bike, he took a drink of cold water and thought about the upcoming state level competition. He intended to win it. At that moment he began to see the flight of birds from a tree at some distance. Obviously the birds had been frightened. Intrigued, he replaced the bottle and looked in the direction of the flight of birds. A moment later he heard a scream. It was a chilling sound that overshadowed the tranquility of the area. He looked in the direction of the sound. Right in front of him was a small hill that hid the horizon from his eyes. The spirit of adventure fired him as he headed up the small hill. He was sure the cry was that of a man, perhaps in grave danger. He quickly climbed the hill and took cover behind a stand of trees and looked down. An eerie sight met his eyes. A brown jeep was parked and four men were standing next to it. It was evident that one of the men was being held firmly by two of the men while a third man was standing in front. Robin noticed that he was wearing dark glasses with a curved dagger in his right hand.

Instinctively he hit the ground and looked up, afraid that he had stumbled upon the scene of a gigantic crime. The man with dark glasses hissed, “Karim Bhai, why do you want to die? Tell us where the opium is and I’ll set you free.” The man named Karim groaned, “Patel sahib, forgive me… I don’t have the opium.”

“You mean you sold it?”

“Sahib”

“So where’s the cash? The opium was worth a fortune”

“I lose it… but I’ll pay it…”

“Scoundrel…”

Robin saw the blade gleam in the sun as it came down with great force and penetrated the stomach of the man named Karim.”

“Die, you… your insect”

Robin saw Patel Bhai repeatedly stab Karim. The man slumped forward as Patel Sahib sheathed his blood-covered dagger. The other two men laughed “Patel sahib, good thing you killed the bastard, he was a real snake”

“Yes” replied Patel sahib.

“It was a good plot to call him here” commented one of the men “Sahib you are a real genius, even the local police inspector is on your payroll”

At this everyone laughed. Startled, Robin held her breath as he watched the bloody scene. She thought it best to leave and she slowly started to back away. Without knowing it, his hand dislodged a small stone that hurt down the slope.

“What is?” shouted the man named Patel sahib and then his eagle eye spotted Robin walking away.

“There is a boy” he shouted “By the grace of Krishna catch him and kill him, I don’t want witnesses to this”

“Huzoor” the two men replied in unison as they headed towards Robin.

“Idiots,” shouted Patel sahib, “come with me in the jeep, we’ll catch the scoundrel soon.”

Robin quickly slides over to her bike. Her ears rang with what she had heard. She knew she was alone, with these outlaws after her. She remembered reading Sherlock Holmes and the famous detective’s words to her friend Dr. Watson echoed in her eyes “Watson the game is on…”

He quickly climbed onto the chair, remembering that in this case he was the game.

Robin took stock of the situation. He realized that if he was riding his bike down the road, there was a good chance that the thieves would catch him in his jeep. So he turned away from the metal-driven path and headed for the overlooked clumps of trees and rocks that dotted the scene. A shout from behind alerted him to the jeep following him into the field. Patel sahib looked at the other two men sternly and said, “Smasher, cock your pistol and hold it ready; the moment you have the boy in sight, shoot to kill.”

“Huzoor” answered the man named Shamsher as he pulled out a sinister looking revolver and pointed it at the fleeing boy. Robin, now obvious for the scenic beauty cycling for the life of him. He remembered that right next to the cantonment there was a small police station; so he headed in the general direction of it. Behind him he could hear the jeep following him, its engine chugging ominously. The jeep found it difficult to follow Robin, as the field was undulating and dotted with rocks and trees, allowing Robin to stay away. He sucked in deep breaths as he pedaled forward, his heart beating like a machine. Up ahead he perked up when he saw a small forest and pedaled towards it with enthusiasm. Seeing Robin heading towards the clump of trees, Patel Sahib called out, “Catch the Shamsher boy, otherwise we may lose him.” Shamsher took aim and fired. The silence of the field was broken by a shot, but as the jeep moved, Shamsher’s aim was shaky and he missed the weaving boy. Robin crossed the small forest and breathed a sigh of relief as he saw the main road ahead and the police station a little further on. He pedaled powerfully towards him. He entered the compound and headed towards the small office. He walked through the door and saw a small office. He walked through the door and saw a small man sitting there. Robin was able to figure out that he was the sub-inspector. Startled, the policeman looked at Robin and asked, “Boy, what are you doing here?”

Robin didn’t like the look on the man’s face, but replied anyway, “Sir, I just saw a murder, some distance from here and the murderers are following me in a jeep.”

“A brown Jeep?” asked the Inspector.

“Yes sir” Robin replied, but wondered how the inspector could have known the color of the jeep. The inspector motioned for her to sit down.

“Don’t worry,” he said, “I’ll catch them soon, but stay here and don’t go anywhere.”

Robin glanced out the door and her heart skipped a beat as she saw the same jeep pull into the compound. She could make out the three thugs sitting inside her.

“Are these men?” asked the inspector. Robin nodded with a faint trace of doubt in her mind. Gesturing Robin to remain seated, the inspector walked out to the jeep. He reached the jeep as the occupants were getting out. Robin could tell that the inspector knew them. She saw Patel Sahib smiling broadly as he shook the inspector’s hand. Horrified, Robin saw the inspector jerk a thumb toward the office. God! Robin thought, this man is in league with Patel sahib. He did not delay a moment, but he quickly went out of the window; landing with a soft thud outside. He wishes he had his bike with him, but realized it would be dangerous to try to get it since she was parked at the compound. Robin made good use of his athletic frame as he crept onto the field. He ran parallel to the road, taking cover from time to time to hide his movement. He wondered at the men’s reaction when they entered the police station. They obviously wouldn’t be happy with his escape. As he ran, he kept his eyes on the road hoping to see a police patrol vehicle to help him. He knew that the men in the jeep were hardened criminals. Soon, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a blue gypsy and instinctively knew it was a police patrol vehicle. He stopped and waved his arms widely to get the attention of the occupants. They saw him and slowed down. Robin headed towards the gypsy patrol with alacrity. Panting, he stopped beside him and looked at the cops with hope and anticipation. He calmed down when he saw them. There were two of them inside. One of them, a friendly-looking man with a big mustache, smiled at Robin.

“What’s yours?” he asked softly.

Robin quickly narrated the sequence of events. The man listened carefully. It was obvious that he believed Robin. Just as Robin finished, the brown jeep came up from behind. He saw Patel sahib and his henchmen sitting in the jeep. The gypsy police sped up and sped forward.

“They are the men” Robin gasped “They are escaping”

The man smiled “They won’t get far son”

He tuned in the wireless set and spoke into the microphone.

“Inspector Tripathi calling. A Runaway jeep with possible criminals fleeing down the Mhow road. Intercept and arrest”

He turned off the set and smiled, “Let’s see how far they go. And your son had better go home.”

Robin smiled, very relieved “But please take me back to the police station since my bike is parked there”

Robin climbed into the Gypsy as it backed up. At that moment, the wireless connection was broken. The voice came clear and sharp “Good show Tripathi. Jeep with known smuggler Patel sahib arrested along with Sub-Inspector Ramu”

The inspector smiled “That was the DSP”

Robin arrived at school. She pedaled slowly through the vast enclosure. Roll call was over. Only the master of the house was standing with a log. Seeing Robin approaching, he gave him a slightly stern look and said, “You’re fifteen minutes late, Robin; a deadline is a deadline.”

“Mister”

“Well, no pass for you next Sunday,” said the master of the house with an air of finality.

Robin smiled weakly. She wondered if she should tell the Master of the House about the extraordinary events of the day, but she decided against it. Maybe she wouldn’t believe him. She went into the bedroom and fell into a deep sleep.

Two days later, Robin and her home teacher were called to the principal’s office. Robin entered the room and saw the headmaster sitting pompously. Sitting opposite the headmaster was the master of the house along with Sub-Inspector Tripathi and another man who sported many ribbons on his chest. He was the Inspector General of Police. The principal smiled, “Robin, you have made the school proud. The IG tells me you helped catch Patel Sahib, a notorious narcotics dealer.

The IG smiled “Well down son.”

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