“What’s sup?” Dick asked. “Is there a homicide here?”
Captain Tim Barnaby shook his head. “Not yet. A single suspect walked into the bank to rob it. Someone tripped the silent alarm. When patrol cars arrived, the suspect took everyone inside hostage. No one is hurt as near as we can tell. I was nearby and thought I would help. Stick around and let’s see if they need us.”
“Is the negotiation team here yet?” Shirley asked.
“Not yet.” The captain answered. “The incident commander has made contact with the suspect, but that’s about all.”
Just then, the incident commander called Captain Barnaby to come to him. The two talked briefly and Captain Barnaby quickly trotted back to where Dick and Shirley stood. “Bad news,” he said. “The negotiation team is tied up in traffic. Shirley, you’ve had some training in negotiations, why don’t you start the dialogue with the suspect?”
“Sure boss, if you think I can help.” Shirley answered. She walked over to the incident commander and took a cellphone from him.
“He’s on speaker phone, the commander told Shirley.
“Hello, my name is detective Shirley Kelly. To who am I speaking?”
The phone went silent for a few seconds. “To whom am I speaking?”
“I told you, detective Shirley Kelly. What’s you name?”
Again, the phone was silent for s few seconds. “What’s your name?”
“Look here you numb…”
Dick put his hand over Shirley’s mouth before she could finish her sentence. He shook his head. Shirley took a deep breath. In a softer voice she said, “I’m sorry. I thought I told you my name. What’s you name?”
This time the voice at the other end replied immediately. “Hello detective Shirley. My name is Bogusław Stanek. My friends call Bog. First you said, ‘To who am I speaking?’ The correct grammar would be ‘whom’ not ‘who’. The you said, ‘What’s you name?’ You should have said ‘your’ not you. If you can use correct grammar, then we can’t have a civilized discussion. Or do I have to start shooting these hostages?”
“No, no, Mr. Stanek. I meant no disrespect. I’ll try to use correct grammar. Please tell me your demands.” Shirley stress the word ‘your’.
“Yes,” Shirley said. “What do you want?”
“Well, obviously, I wanted to rob this bank, but I think that ship has sailed. I doubt you’re going to just let me go. What else would my demands be. I’m new at this.”
Well, off the top of my head, it’s 95 degrees out here. How about some water?” Shirley suggested. Dick gave her a thumbs up and then ran over to the incident commander.
“He has requested some water. I need a transmitter that we can slip into the box and hear whatever’s going on inside.”
The commander spoke to another detective who dashed off and quickly returned with a small transmitter. He gave to Dick who ran over to tell Shirley. Shirley nodded to indicate that she understood. “Listen Mr. Stanek, it’s close to dinner time. You’re probably hungry and I’m sure the hostages are too. How about we order some pizza?”
“Please call me Bog. Yeah, I am a little hungry. Hold on.” Shirley heard Bog ask the hostages if they were hungry. Bog returned to the cellphone. “Yeah, everyone is hungry. Pizza sounds okay. There are thirteen people here counting me. But I’m lactose intolerant. I can’t have pizza. I just want a salad. Who’s paying for all this food?”
“Sir… Bog. Right now, you’re a guest of the policed department. You can have whatever you like. Our treat.”
“Thanks. I just don’t want to be billed later.”
Shirley wasn’t sure if Bog would be billed later or not. “What about toppings?”
“I don’t know. Just mix them up. No pineapple. That’s just criminal.”
“Well, I guess we’ll need sodas, and garlic knots.
To be continued…