Stripped down to his undergarments and tweed Sandown cap, Vish Puri stepped onto his wife's old set of bathroom weighing scales. He watched with apprehension as the needle jerked violently to the right and settled on 200 pounds.
"By God," the detective muttered to himself. "Two extra pounds are there. She is going to kill me - certainly if not totally."
He tried lifting one foot off the pressure pad and shifted his weight to see if it made a difference. It didn't.
"Well, nothing for it," he said with a sigh, stepping back onto the floor.
Puri checked that the bedroom door was locked, picked up the scales and turned them over. He removed the bottom panel, exposing the crude mechanism inside. Then he squeezed the pressure pad between his knees. When the needle reached 196, he jammed a wooden peg into one of the cogs.
The scales could now register only one weight: 196 pounds.
The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken by Tarquin Hall
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