“Officer Trent!” Ted heard the call and cringed. He didn’t have to look to know it was Ellie Waters. Stopping at the store on his way back from lunch for a couple things, he hoped to get in and out quickly. “Officer Trent!” she sounded irate.
She was standing in front of the tomatoes next to an older gentleman Ted didn’t recognize. “Good afternoon Ellie,” he said, who is your friend?”
“This is not my friend! Arrest him!” she spluttered.
“For?” Ted asked.
“Squishing the tomatoes! Arrest him instantly!”
Ted turned to the man, “You are?”
The man scowled and said “Andy Pyne.”
“Oh,” Ted said, “You must be Sam’s dad. I heard you were moving in,” he reached out his hand to shake Mr. Pyne’s, “Ted Trent, local police.”
“Well isn’t this just cozy,” Ellie spat, “Now your best friends, arrest him!”
“For what?” Ted asked, as calmly as he could.
“Squeezing the tomatoes!”
“First of all, I can’t arrest someone without a warrant or probable cause...”
“Do you have a warrant?”
“I don’t carry them with me, no. And, I don’t believe squeezing tomatoes is an arrest-able crime.”
“Well it should be!” Ellie said.
“Can I talk to you in private a minute Ellie?” Ted said, leading her to the side.
“Ellie, that man is Sam Pyne’s dad. He just moved in with them. Rita probably sent him to the store for something to do. He lost his wife about a year ago, probably doesn’t have any friends yet. Maybe you could help him, he could probably use a friend.”
Ellie thought about it a minute and then said, “Fine. I’ll help the old coot,” and she walked back.
Ted turned before he was caught cracking a smile. Ellie was at least fifteen years older than Andy Pyne.