The Midnight Visitor




Ausable was not the person Fowler had imagined when they first met. As Fowler followed Ausable down the dark alley and later entered the dimly lit hotel entrance, he cursed himself the umpteenth time for having agreed to interview him. Ausable was fat, sloppy and in no way fitted the description of a spy agent he had thought when he set out on this mission. Ausable however seemed pleased to see Fowler. He ordered wine to be brought to his room at the reception desk in the hotel. They entered a dark, small room on the fourth floor. Ausable switched on the only light in the room, which did not help much to change the shabby appearance of the place.  “So, what do you want to know?”, Ausable roared excitedly. “Well, if you could tell me about your recent case- the one on the missiles….”, Fowler spoke condescendingly, though it was unintentional. “Ah! Mr. Fowler, I think you are rather bored here. Maybe, you imagined me to be an aggressive, smart agent dealing with espionage, theft, etc.  As a young and romantic journalist, instead of spending the evening in the company of young and pretty girls or keeping a tab on high-society dramas, you are trapped in this dingy hotel room with a boring old man.” Before Fowler could answer, the chill of a pistol placed on his neck, sent shivers down his spine. He experienced his first authentic thrill that day. “Max!”, wheezed Ausable, “I didn’t expect to see you here. It’s been a long time, dear fella. How did you get in?”  If Ausable was taken aback by the presence of Max, he did not show it. Not even to himself! “Oh! Come on, Ausable, never mind that. I want the missiles report in your possession, so be quick!”, Max waved the pistol menacingly. Ausable looked annoyed. “I had asked the hotel management to close the balcony below my room as anyone could climb up from there and easily enter through my window. Now, look what trouble it is with unwanted visitors!”  The clock struck twelve.  Before Max could react, they heard a knock at the door. “It must be the cops!” remarked Ausable. “I had called the cops for the safety of the report.”  “Max! You better wait on the balcony if you don’t want to get caught.”  Max seemed flustered. Without thinking, he jumped out of the window. A loud shriek was heard! Ausable opened the door to find Henry, the waiter at the hotel standing there with the drinks he had ordered earlier.  “Mr. Ausable”, spoke Fowler after he got over his astonishment, “The cops?” “Well, I knew there were no cops. I hadn’t called any!” “Max! What if he returns now?”, Fowler’s voice changed to a mere whisper. “He won’t return, Mr. Fowler. You see, there is no balcony!” Fowler could only gape at Max. He couldn’t say much about what he felt right now.  Ausable was not the person Fowler had imagined when they first met. Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!