Like Father, Like Son
He was just explaining to her about the challenge of photography versus filming when it came to telling a story as they entered the bank. But as the door fell shut behind him, his attention was immediately drawn to the guy at the counter.
A guy with a nylon stocking over his head. And a gun pointed at a trembling clerk. And several other people on the floor, shaking for fear.
It was as if their appearance made the robber lose his nerve: he grabbed the bag the livid clerk was filling and dashed towards them. The door.
Natalie cried out.
It was then it happened.
Afterwards, Steve was never able to tell where he got the guts from, but in a reflex he stuck out his foot, tripping the robber in full speed so that he smashed his head into the thick glass door.
A few gasps were heard as the guy slid down on the marble floor. The gun had flown out of his hand and lay spinning under the heating.
For an instant, everything and everyone stood frozen in shock. The spinning gun was the only movement in the room. And the robber lay so still – in that instant, Steve feared the guy may have broken his neck in the fall. His fault!
But by then the robber started to scramble to his feet.
People screamed. And Steve´s relief that the guy was unharmed after all wasn´t that overwhelming that he could let him get away. And in the blink of an eye he jumped on the man´s back, pushing his shoulders to the marble ground.
A groan – then the guy began to wriggle and wrestle under him to get free. He reached for the gun, but it had flown out of reach. He struggled to at least turn around so he could get at his attacker, and Steve felt that even though he was on top, the robber was definitely stronger. He pushed him down with all his might, but the man really managed to half turn around and...
But help was on the way: a distinguished man in a grey suit grabbed hold of one arm and pushed the guy down to the floor again. Now he could concentrate on one arm, and the robber seemed to realize that two captors was a bit too much to take on. Especially since he didn´t have his gun anymore.
"Good work, lad." The man in the grey suit nodded appreciatively. "We'll just hold him down like this, okay? The police are on their way."
Steve barely nodded. He felt quite shaky by now. Had he, Steve Katts, really stopped a bank-robber?! He, Steve Katts, who had been indoctrinated with the adamant instruction to keep his eyes and ears wide open in case he´d witness a crime like this, but not to interfere?
And here he was, holding down an armed bank-robber!
He felt Natalie falling down on her knees next to him. "Steve...! Oh Steve, are you allright?"
He looked up; gave her an awry smile. "Yeah, I'm okay." Only to continue: "Don´t even think about it!" as the robber suddenly tried to jerk himself free.
The other customers began to stir, too. A woman started crying uncontrollably; one of the clerks came around the counter and offered her a glass of water.
A younger man crawled over to the heating and felt for the gun.
"No! Leave it for the police!" the man next to Steve ordered.
The guy chuckled. "I thought it might help to keep that piece of garbage in line."
"No," the man in the grey suit said again. "Ladies and gentlemen, please stay where you are. And don´t touch anything. The police will be here any moment, and they´ll want to take everyone´s statement. As soon as this guy is properly locked up, I´ll be happy to treat you all on a good cup of coffee to fight off the shock."
He had hardly finished speaking when a police siren was heard approaching. Doors slammed, and there were O.C. and Renée with Bogarde.
O.C. took in the situation in one glance. "So, Katts, I see you´ve got things under control."
Renée knelt down next to him. She took over the bank-robber and cuffed him, while Steve slowly got up.
"Steve, you were marvellous!" A happily relieved Natalie threw her arms around his neck. "You´re a real hero! I'm so proud of you!"
Steve merely grimaced at her praise, and tried to listen to what the man in grey was telling Sgt. Phillips. It appeared he was the bank manager.
"And then – I didn´t quite see what happened, but the way the robber fell I'd say this young man here must have tripped him."
"He did," one of the clerks spoke up. "I saw him stick out his foot when the robber tried to get away."
More people agreed, and Steve blushed at being the center of attention all of a sudden.
"Oh, it was nothing," he tried to fend it off as O.C. turned to him. "I didn´t even think; it was just a reflex."
"Perhaps," the bank manager conceded. "But then, when the robber tried to get up, it was you again who jumped on his back and held him down. You stopped this robbery single-handedly, young man! And I say you´re a hero!"
O.C. had one of his rare smiles. "Well, he´s from a good cop-family. I suppose he´s simply following tradition."
Steve had but an awkward smile, and turned to Renée, unconsciously seeking support.
But Renée simply beamed at him. "Well done, Steve. You´re going to be a very good cop one day, I'm sure."
With that, she guided the unfortunate bank-robber outside, leaving an uncomfortable Steve swarmed by admiring bank staff and customers, and with a radiant Natalie once more around his neck.