Leopold Broom Investigates: Petty Crime (Part Two)

by Lee Cross

So, to recap; some no good, thieving, drug addicted, piece of s*** stole a book from my bag.

(Something, which as you can tell, I took to heart… with carefully measured respect for the perpetrator)

leopold-broomI was left with a problem. A very bookish problem. While it was quite obvious to me that my package contained a book (…people nearly always send me books… mostly because I nearly always look forward to receiving them…), I had no idea what book exactly.

As I mentioned upfront, I’m constantly forgetting to read books that have been recommended to me. For the most part, I think people silently forgive me for this failing but the rules change when someone has taken the trouble to actually send me a copy.

Especially when said mailing is a birthday present; that’s a pretty convincing argument for bumping it to the top of my pile.

So because of some… SEE ABOVE… I was now going to have to contact my mate with the fanciful story that someone had stolen his book from my bag. No less ridiculously, the theft had taken place mere minutes after I just bussed across town to pick the feckin’ thing up.

So soon in fact, that I had no idea the of the title of the missing book (obviously, right… otherwise I’d never mentioned the theft in the first place…I’d just have bought another copy on the Q.T).

The friend in question (see also: gentleman, scholar, and beloved reader) had lived in Dublin, he’d never have believed me… well, that’s not fair, he would have; but he’d have been all, ‘why would someone steal a book out of his bag?’.

He knows me well, I’m a scruffy arsed bookworm – no one is mistaking me for an off-duty diamond merchant or a purveyor of Colombia’s most famous export… which got me thinking…

The book hadn’t been stolen… the brown package it was sealed in HAD.

So to the moral of the story; I phoned the bus company’s lost and found number; asked if anyone had happened to hand in a book, or a package which might have contained one (…naturally giving boring details, such as time, date and route number…).

Their answer – yes.

At the end of the day, the driver had walked up and down, as I’d imagine they do as a matter of course, and found my package neatly slit open (…seriously it looked like it had been done with a knife…) and dumped on the floor on the upper deck of his bus.

The moral of the story being; if somebody nicks a book out of your bag, they’re probably a bloody idiot (…obviously right…), and won’t want it. They may well just throw it on the floor of the bus (*many other forms of public transport available).

I got lucky. My package had been found. The next day, I got another bus across town, to a different depot and picked it up. Dublin Bus charged me €1.50 administration fee (…not to mention 4 standard bus fares…) for the pleasure of picking up my own property.

On the way home, I carried the book in both hands.

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