KIDNAP2  8' Pirates kidnap the princess, detective finds her

Once upon a time a long time ago in a land far, far away,
Michaela, the world's greatest detective, was in the hen house
feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs, when she heard the
thundering of several horses' hoofs. She went outside to

It was the king's royal coach pulled by four white horses. There
were two knights on black horses in front of the coach and two
knights on black horses behind. They were all galloping at full
speed toward the house. When they saw Michaela coming out of the
hen house, they steered their horses away from the house and
toward Michaela at full speed, then they halted the horses
inches away from her. The footman jumped down from the coach and
opened the door. Out stepped the king himself. Michaela and her
family bowed down.

The king exclaimed, "Michaela I need your help again! My
daughter has been kidnapped!"

Michaela replied, "Of course, Your Majesty." She handed the eggs
to her father, then climbed into the coach.

Michaela asked, "Did the kidnappers demand a ransom?"

The king replied, "Yes. We've already paid the ransom. But we
never heard from the kidnappers again! You... You don't think
that they.... You don't think that my beautiful daughter..."

"Your Majesty," replied Michaela, "I will get your daughter back
for you!"

When they arrived at the royal palace, Michaela asked to see the
place where anyone last saw the princess. The king brought
Michaela to the Princess's bedroom. But Michaela could not find
any clues showing how the kidnappers got into or out of the

Michaela explained, "These kidnappers were very sneaky. They
didn't leave any clues at all. I think these kidnappers have
kidnapped people before. They may do kidnapping for a living."

The king cried, "Oh, dear! I shall never see my daughter ever

Michaela replied, "Now now! Your majesty! I said that the
kidnappers didn't leave any clues. I didn't say that there
aren't ANY clues."

So, Michaela kept searching the bedroom for clues.

"Aha!" exclaimed Michaela.

"What is it?!" asked the king.

"It's two long hairs." replied Michaela, "I think they're from
Princess Margaret."

The king said, "That's not much of a clue. This is my daughter's
bedroom. You'd expect to find my daughter's hairs in my
daughter's bedroom."

Michaela inspected the hairs through her magnifying glass and
said, "No. These particular hairs were deliberately pulled out
of her head. The hair follicles are on the end."

"What does that mean?" asked the king.

Michaela replied, "I think Princess Margaret pulled the hairs
out of her own head and left them here by the window to draw our
attention to the window."

The king said, "But you said that the kidnappers didn't leave
any clues."

Michaela inspected the window saying, "No. But Princess Margaret
herself left us a clue around here somewhere.... Aha!"

The king asked, "Did you find something?"

Michaela replied, "Yes. I saw a smudge on the glass of the
window. If you breathe on the glass... (she breathed) it fogs up
the glass except where there's a finger smudge. See?"

Michaela pointed to three T's written with a fingertip on the

"Three T's?! That's not a word. What kind of a clue is that?"

Michaela breathed again and again until the whole window was
fogged up. In the corner nearest to where she found the hairs,
Princess Margaret had drawn a circle. Below the circle she drew
a large X.

The king asked, "An O and and X. That doesn't spell anything
either. What do you think she was trying to tell us?"

Michaela thought for a moment, then replied, "Maybe these are
not letters. Maybe none of these are letters. Maybe these are

The king said, "I don't get it."

Michaela explained, "Look here at the three T's. The middle T is
taller than the other two."

The king asked, "What do you make of that?"

Michaela thought for a moment, then replied, "Look out the
window. What do you see?"

"Outside, you mean?" asked the king.

"Yes." Tell me what you see," said Michaela.

"The ocean." replied the king.

"Closer." said Michaela.

"The harbor." replied the king.

"Suppose you saw these three shapes in the harbor." said

The king gasped, "Those aren't three T's! Those are three masts
of a sailing ship!"

"That's what I thought," replied Michaela, "Princess Margaret
probably saw a sailing ship with three masts sailing into the
harbor. And she traced their shapes on the window."

"So, you think the kidnappers came here by ship?"

Michaela replied, "Yes, Now, look again at the O and the X down
here in the corner of the window. Suppose you saw these shapes
on a black flag."

The king gasped, "A skull and cross-bones! The kidnappers were

The king ran up to the high point on the royal palace and
searched the ocean with a telescope.

"There!" the king shouted, "A three masted sailing ship!
Quickly! To the royal yacht! Quickly."

Within a few minutes, the royal yacht had set sails with the
king, his palace guards and Michaela on board. They followed the
pirates to a foreign port. But when they arrived at the harbor,
the pirate ship was tied up at the wharf and there was noone on
board. At Michaela's request, the king ordered the palace guards
to search the pirate ship for more clues from the princess.

"Found something!" shouted one of the guards.

In the captain's cabin, he pointed to two more long hairs near
the rear windows of the cabin. Michaela inspected the hairs.
Both of them were deliberately pulled out of Princess margaret's
head and placed near the window. So, Michaela breathed on the
windows to fog them up.

Sure enough, there was another picture. It was a king's crown.

Michaela concluded, "The pirates took Princess Margaret to the
king's castle."

On top of the hill nearby stood the castle of the king's
brother. They waited until after dark. Then, using grappling
hooks, they climbed up ropes to the top of the castle walls and
overpowered the guards and rescued the princess.

The king praised both Michaela and the Princess for making the
rescue easier. The clues led the king directly to the
kidnappers. But the story doesn't end there.

To everyone's surprise, only the pirates were in the castle. At
this moment, the king's brother and his army was attacking and
conquering the royal palace back home. The king's brother hired
the pirates to kidnap the princess in order to get the king to
chase the kidnappers and get him out of the palace so he could
steal his brother's throne.

A while later, the three masted pirate ship sailed back across
the sea and into the harbor. The pirates escorted the princess
to the palace gates. The king's brother shouted down from the
palace walls, "I thought I told you to keep the princess in my

One of the pirates replied, "The king won't attack the palace
and risk hurting his own daughter!"

"Good idea!" said the king's brother, "Bring her in!"

He gave the order to open the gates. When they opened, the
pirates, who were really the palace guards in pirates clothes,
attacked and overpowered the king's brother and his soldiers.

The princess was not the princess at all. It was Michaela, the
world's greatest detective in disguise. After the king's brother
was thrown into prison, the king and his daughter rode
triumphantly into the palace. And they all lived happily ever

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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