Sugeng Makes some Friends
The next day Edy gave him his first job. He went with Kardi to eating places. Kardi was his friend now. They cleaned people’s shoes. They had to give half of the money to Edy. They kept the rest for themselves. Sugeng was happier, but he wanted to be with his family.
After a few days Edy gave him some newspapers to sell. Sugeng worked with Yanto. They tried to sell the newspapers for a lot of money. They could sell the newspapers for fifty rupiahs and they could still have some money for themselves. But they always asked for one hundred rupiahs. Sometimes people gave them a hundred. When this happened Sugeng and Yanto had a big meal.
Yanto’s mother and father were dead. He lived in his brother’s house. Sugeng sometimes went there to sleep. On other nights he slept under a bridge.
One day when Sugeng was on the street with his newspapers, a man walked past. Sugeng looked at him. ‘That’s my father,’ thought Sugeng. He ran after the man. The man walked into a busy shop. Sugeng could not see him. He waited outside and he looked at every face. Then he saw the man again. The man came nearer. Sugeng ran to him.
‘Father!’ he cried. The man looked down at him. Sugeng stopped. It was not his father. Sugeng felt very sad. He walked slowly away. ‘My father and mother are dead,’ he thought. ‘I am alone now.’
The next morning, Edy said to Sugeng, ‘Come with us. We’ve got another job.’ Sugeng, Kardi, Edy and Yanto went into a shop. Edy said to the man in the shop, ‘I want to see some knives.’ The man went to get some knives and he showed them to Edy. Edy talked to the man and they looked at the knives. Kardi went near the back of the shop. The man could not see
Kardi there, but Sugeng watched him. Kardi took something and put it under his shirt.
‘These knives are too expensive,’ said Edy. ‘I’ll look in another shop.’ And they all walked out of the shop.
‘Have you got it?’ Edy asked. Kardi pulled out a screwdriver from under his shirt. He gave it to Edy. ‘Good,’ said Edy.
‘But you didn’t give the man any money for it,’ said Sugeng. Edy just laughed. Sugeng did not say anything more, but he did not feel very happy.
They walked to the market. In front of the market, Edy said, `Kardi, Yanto, you know what to do. Sugeng, you stay with me. Watch what they do. You can learn a lot from these boys.’
Kardi and Yanto walked among the people in front of the market. They walked near a woman with a bag. Kardi pushed her a little, and Yanto pulled her bag. The woman held on to her bag. She called out loudly. People turned to look at her. ‘Someone tried to take my bag!’ she said. Kardi and Yanto laughed. They ran down the street. Some people called ‘Stop! Stop!’ Others ran after them. But Kardi and Yanto were too fast. Everyone in the street looked at Kardi and Yanto and at the woman.
Edy said to Sugeng, ‘Now, no one is watching us.’ He walked to a car. He took the screwdriver and he began to take the small mirror off the side of the car. Sugeng was very surprised.
‘What are you doing, Edy?’ he said. Then a man came to the car. He saw Edy and Sugeng.
‘Hey, that’s my car. What are you doing with my mirror?’
Edy turned. He gave the screwdriver to Sugeng. ‘Run!’ said Edy, and he ran quickly among the people in front of the market. At first, Sugeng was too surprised to run. But then he tried to follow Edy. It was too late. He felt a hand on his arm.