THE CASE OF THE MISSING POP STAR (contd.)
“Arre? What’s the matter? You two up already?” Dad looked surprised. Have you forgotten it’s Saturday?”
“Hasn’t Ma told you, Dad? Gautam bhaiya is taking us to meet Lassi,” Buddy said.
“Who’s Lassi? What kind of a name is that? Is it a dog?”
“Dad please, don’t you know Lassi?…Hey, you’re pretending!” Bizzy cried as she saw a smile slowly spread over Dad’s face.
The sound of a car horn being blown insistently alerted them that Gautam had arrived. They rushed outside right away.
The lift zoomed up to the sixth floor of the hotel. Bizzy and Buddy exchanged excited glances. Gautam bhaiya smiled.
“He’s quite a nice guy, you know,” he said. “Very friendly. Ah, here we are.”
The doors of the lift slid open and they stepped out. Bizzy’s heart was thudding as they walked down the narrow, maroon carpeted passage that led to Lassi’s room. Then Gautam bhaiya suddenly stopped short.
“Hey—where are the security guys?” he exclaimed. “What’s going on?” He rushed forward.
The door to Lassi’s room was slightly ajar. Their skins prickling with sudden apprehension, the twins followed him.
“Tinkooji, Rajesh, what’s the matter…Where’s Lassiji?”
The two men in front of them looked very, very anxious and–afraid. The older one, plump with a smooth, bald head, who was on the phone, paused in the act of dialing. His face was grave as he said, “We don’t know—he seems to have vanished!”
“Vanished! Where? How? Where are the security guards?”
“We-we’ve sent them to check out the whole hotel thoroughly. Bobby his personal bodyguard has gone with them too.”
“But–how did this happen and who’re you calling?”
“I…I was calling his secretary in Bombay—asking his advice. Maybe we ought to call the police…”
“No!” Gautam’s hand clamped on to the receiver of the phone. He banged it down. “We can’t tell anyone right now. We’ve got to try and find him ourselves first. Otherwise there’ll be a big hangama. Tell me how it all happened!”
“You know Lassiji. He wakes up at six thirty and after a glass of lassi he goes for his workout. He had gone down to the hotel gym. The security people were with him. After his workout he went to the toilet there. The guards waited outside, Bobby too. When he didn’t come out for a long time, they went inside to check. But there was no one there—the toilets were all empty. He-he seemed to have vanished into thin air!”
“Vanished into thin air? B-But how?” Buddy cried.
“That’s we’re wondering,” Tinkoo said gloomily. “It seems Chota Samson has got him.”
“Chota Samson?” Bizzy asked.
“The gangster,” Rajesh clarified. “But…it doesn’t seem like his style. More likely he’d shoot him down openly.”
Gautam frowned. “Let’s go there and check up,” he said, getting up. They all walked rapidly down the plush carpeted corridors and took the lift to the gym, which was on another floor. The security guards were still there, looking around.
“He just went in,” said Bobby, a muscular looking guy, pointing to the toilet, “and we sat here waiting…and he never came out.”
“It doesn’t seem possible!” Gautam shook his head. “Where could he have gone?”
Where has Lassi gone? Will Bizzy and Buddy find out? Wait to find out…