Arthur tripped and stumbled as he walked in.
Suspect Mr. Allen, the mayor candidate, couldn’t help but smile.
Blushing, Arthur sat down in a fluster, even setting the file upside down on the table, and stuttered as he spoke, “T, this is my first day at work.”
The interrogation hadn’t even started yet and the one interrogating had already been suppressed by the suspect; this was almost unheard of.
The people standing outside the window couldn’t bear to watch this scene and someone asked Stephen, “Is this the quality of the new batch of recruits? Did he actually meet the requirements? You want a rookie to interrogate that old fox of a politician?”
Not showing any despise or ridicule, Stephen glanced at the skeptic beside him.
At this moment, they heard the mister representative, whose attitude had been unyielding and utterly uncooperative unless force was used, actually laugh. He mellowed and replied, “Child, it’s okay.”
To the almost forty him, the Arthur who was still in his twenties was much too young.
Arthur still looked so fresh and clumsy; he did not pose a threat.
From the beginning, Allen had refused to speak before his lawyer arrived, but now, he was actually willing to talk. With his many years of fineness in the bureaucracy, they wouldn’t be able to pry open his mouth even if they had taken turns interrogating him.
Stephen glanced at his astonished colleague, tone indifferent, “He ranked first amongst this new batch of recruits.”
Arthur blushed and spoke frankly, “I’m not actually sure what the specifics of this case are. I only got this file about 20 minutes ago, do you mind if I take a look at it first?”
Allen laughed, shaking his head, “Please.”
In fact, Arthur had already read through it twice, but he still pretended to read carefully, candidly spreading the file open so that Mr. Allen could see it as well.
Time passed slowly; other than the sound of Arthur flipping through the documents, the room was so quiet that one could hear a pin drop.
Allen really had nothing to do and the quiet sound of turning pages was like a feather sweeping across his heart. Inadvertently, he saw the person on the old photograph and heard that young detective quietly read the name that had been sealed for twenty years with probing curiosity, “Bertrand…”
It was as if these syllables held a peculiar charm, soundlessly brushing away the dust on old memories.
Hours of surveillance and interrogation had caused him to remain in a very tense state, but now, he relaxed for some ineffable reason and was faintly moved.
It was just at this moment that Arthur carefully asked, “Sir, could you tell me what kind of person Bertrand was?”
Perhaps it was because Arthur was too similar to the Bertrand back in the day, or maybe because this question seemed insignificant, Allen glanced at him and answered, “Bertrand…was a very good person.”
Arthur spoke, “From the photo, he seemed to be a very intelligent, handsome and beautiful youth.”
Allen appeared to have sunk into sorrow of reminisce, absent-mindedly answering, “This photo falls short of his actual beauty. He was a very intelligent boy, as long as he attended an examination, he would definitely be the first in the class…”
Saying this, he seemed to find it contradictory and paused for a moment before continuing, “Mhm…he was both the smartest and most stupid person I have ever known.”
Arthur was honestly curious, “Did he not know how to interact with classmates?”
Allen leaned against the back of his chair, posture relaxed as he propped his elbows against the armrests, his body turned with his chin in his hands.
It was as if he couldn’t help himself, the words flowing out, “When he first came, we completely couldn’t tell that he was from the slums. He told us candidly that his mother passed away when he was young, that he grew up with his dad, that his dad was a car mechanic, and that it was because of his exceptionally excellent marks that our principal used a huge scholarship to attract him to our school.”
Arthur interjected, “But it doesn’t sound like you dislike him.”
Allen lowered his eyes, “How could I? When you go to a fast food restaurant and chance upon the working him, before you even have the chance to feel awkward,he’ll smile at you and lift his hat in greeting. He was like a little sun, smiling as he greeted you, no one could dislike that smiling face.”
As if to purposely probe further, Arthur asked, “… He was your friend?”
However, Allen was very acute and this touched his vigilance. He immediately closed his mouth and glanced at Arthur.
Arthur’s expression was quite harmless, very innocent.
Someone knocked on the door.
Allen’s lawyer had arrived and he wouldn’t speak another word.
Arthur came out of the interrogation room and returned to Stephen’s side. He apprehensively analyzed Stephen’s expression but couldn’t tell if he was satisfied or disappointed.
After warming up, Arthur started to adjust to his new job. He was now filled with curiosity towards the truth, and eager to show his skills for his supervisor to see his ability, so he cautiously suggested, “I think we should go see Bertrand’s father?”
Stephen asked, “You know where his father is?”
Like a student who had raised his hand to answer a question and was chosen by the teacher, Arthur’s eyes lit up as he immediately dashed off, “I will immediately investigate it!”
I’m not actually sure if Arthur did that on purpose or if he’s just naturally like this and it works to his advantage. He seems kinda out of it tbh.