It Takes One To Know One
It Takes One To Know One3 mins 390 3 mins 390
The eighteenth century. The French landscape. A time when the nobility ruled in their chateaux, and the brigands reigned in the back alleys. A time when there was luxury for some and misery for the others. A time when entire Europe, especially France was on the brink of collapse. A time which witnessed viciousness, cruelty, autocracy, sorrow, comfort, pain and agony. It was a time when the Crown of Europe witnessed a revolution.
Bromley, a cigar in his hand, came out of the Bank. It was pouring sheets. The strong gale had given a direction to the raindrops so that they drenched the face of their victims, instead of striking their heads. There was something peculiar about that day, and Bromley could sense it. The sensation was tingling his scalp and his cheek bone. Why wouldn’t it? The sensation overcame him after he
robbed the biggest bank in all of France.
He pulled up the collar of his overcoat and started walking. He was now two blocks ahead of La Banque fédérale now. Bromley was sure that no one could have noticed him carrying the small gunny bag which housed the ten thousand livres which he had stolen from the bank. The bag had a few gaping holes in it which gave the impression that the sack was only fit for carrying trash, let alone
money. “The key to a successful robbery, is disguise,” Bromley would say,
“Only let them see what you want them to see!” Despite his surreal success, Bromley was feeling weary. He was tired of working at the brewery all day, just to earn a loaf of bread. These truly were
times of hardship. His gunny bag weighed down on him too. As he turned round a sharp corner, he saw some cavalrymen head his way. Caught in a frenzy of fear, he ran as fast as his short legs would take him. As sudden as a raven’s whistle, a door flew open and a silken hand grabbed his shoulder and pulled him inside.
“Merci!”, he sighed, looking at his host, a middle-aged man dressed in blue velvet and silk gloves, sitting on a chair with a briefcase beside him. He gave a superior smile and said in an unusual German accent, “Running from the police, are we, now?” He said, “I, am the famous scientist Monsieur Maxam! But more importantly, I know exactly what you need!”
Within a minute Monsieur Maxam unscrewed a vial of a sweet-smelling liquid, which he called the “prancing potion” and handed it to Bromley. He declared, “One drop of this will set you prancing like a fawn and will give you the strength of Hercules. Even your hefty satchel will seem lighter! All for one
livre.” Bromley was desperate. He bought the potion, kept his sack on the chair, closed his eyes and drained the vial. After a moment’s pause, Bromley opening his eyes, declared, “I feel much better. Thank you, kind sir. You have been of great assistance today!”
He paid the expense, easily lifted his gunny bag and feeling confident, headed outside. The moment Bromley stepped out, Maxam locked the door behind him. Bromley felt a little suspicious. He took out the vial and examined it. At its base, it bore the word ‘GLUCOSE- FOR MEDICINAL USE ONLY’. He, a man seldom confused, ripped open his satchel, and after a moment's pause, let the vial shatter on the sidewalk.
Well, all that can be said is that there was no surprise why the sack felt lighter. It was because it was empty. One thing was certain though. Bromley was as good a thief as Monsieur Maxam was a scientist!