Fired Up

“Yes, sir,” said Josh.  “Though it’s pronounced “yow.”  It’s a traditional Chinese name, taken from my honorable grandfather who first came to this country.  I’m honored that you know my name, sir.”

The manager shrugged.  His father, who owned the bank, above the line, and more, below the line, told him he had to know his employee’s names.  Didn’t have to actually talk to them, but the old man would sometimes come to the bank and point at someone.  The manager would give his father a name and the old man would leave, proud of his son’s professionalism and confident the bank was in good hands. So every week the manager memorized the faces on the new badges before they were handed out and then went back to his real job, the one he loved, the job of skimming money from the bank for political contributions to protect his father’s other businesses.

“Sir,” said Josh, polite and deferential.  “I’ve tried to talk to the detectives, but they seem to be busy.  I believe I have information that might be helpful.”

“So?  What do you want me to do?  Crash over there; tell them Charlie Chan here has solved the case, saved the day?  The bank’s got insurance, son.  Let it go.”

“Sir, did you notice the way the shorter robber walked?  Look at the assistant manager, over there?”

The manager tried to look bored, but looked at the assistant manager at the other end of the bank and smiled.  “You weasel,” he said, watching the assistant manager, talking to the assistant manager and ignoring Josh.  “Good for you.  Finally grew a pair and stopped begging for it.”  He turned back to Josh.  “Yeah, maybe,” he said.  “Cops already said they got one witness outside the bank, saw one guy, tall guy, come out alone.  Not wearing a white suit.  Not carrying a bag.  So they’re looking inside already.  Probably got him in their sights already.  I’ll go tell them for you; let you get the credit.  You got good eyes.”

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