“Didn’t think you’d leave nice paintings like that for long,” said the cop.
K8 took a step backwards, but this time, Sbu stood his ground.
“You shouldn’t have run, man,” the cop said, scratching the back of his neck. “Sergeant Isaacs there was just kidding you, pushing his weight around. We weren’t going to arrest you. But running makes us think you’re up to something.”
“We’re sorry,” said Sbu.
“Are you going to arrest us?” said K8.
“Me? No,” said the cop. “I felt bad for teasing you, so I kept your pictures safe.” But the smile dropped off his face. “This is serious, though. Don’t let me catch you again without a licence, okay? Or I will arrest you.”
K8 and Sbu thanked him, and awkwardly picked up the paintings and easels. As they were walking away, K8 had a moment of inspiration.
“Could you help us with something?” she asked the cop.
She explained Airtime’s situation, and the cop listened thoughtfully.
“I don’t think I can help you myself,” he said, when she’d finished. “I don’t deal with stuff like that. But I can ask around and see what I can do.”
“All right, thanks,” said K8, sounding disappointed.
“For that kind of thing you need the experts. People like us should stay away from those guys, né?”
They went back to K8’s car. As they were loading the pictures into the boot, Song called on K8’s phone.
“Hey,” she said. “I can’t get hold of Airtime. He’s not answering his phone.”
“Is there a problem?” said K8.
“He took my print-outs, and there was one he wasn’t meant to see.”
“What was it?”
“An email from one of my online friends. He nearly got a job at a company that sounds exactly like the people who scammed Airtime. My friend turned it down when he found out how dodgy it was. But he gave me their address.”
“Uh oh,” said K8.
“Yeah,” said Song. “I think Airtime knows where the scammers are. I hope he isn’t doing something stupid.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK? What do you think K8 and Sbu should do? Should they go and find Airtime, or try to arrest the scammers?