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NECKLAC3 9' Detective and the case of the stolen necklace

There was a knock at the door. Seven-year-old Michaela, the
world's greatest detective answered it.

The old lady cried, "Somebody stole my necklace AGAIN. Please
get it back for me."

Michaela was angry. "You promised me that you would lock your
necklace in a vault!" She said.

"I did! replied the old lady "But it was stolen from the vault."

The old lady led Michaela to her house. As they entered through
the gate at the front of the yard, Michaela noticed that the
dirt had been scooped out from under the fence near the gate.
And there were small animal tracks in the freshly dug dirt.

Michaela inspected the bottom of the fence with her magnifying
glass and saw two short yellow hairs. So, she made notes in her
note pad.

Then, as the old lady was about to turn the door knob of the
front door, Michaela suddenly said "Stop!"

"What is it?" asked the old lady.

Michaela knelt in front of the door and looked through her
magnifying glass at the wood surrounding the knob, saying,
"There's a small hole here under the knob, maybe an inch in
diameter. But there is no saw dust anywhere. Aha!"

"What is it?" asked the old lady.

Michaela replied, "There are short brown animal hairs inside the
hole." Then Michaela made a note of it and said "Let's see the
vault."

They went up to the old lady's bedroom and into her closet. On
the floor was a steel vault. The door was wide open and there
was nothing in it. Michaela knelt in front of the vault and
inspected the vault door with her magnifying glass.

"Aha!" She said.

"What is it?" asked the old lady.

Michaela replied, "There's no damage to the lock or the door of
the vault. Whoever opened this vault pushed the right buttons,
they already knew the combination. Did you tell anybody which
buttons to push to open the vault?"

The old lady answered, "No. Nobody. The only other person who
knows the combination is the man who installed the vault."

Michaela made a note of it, then inspected the entire bedroom
for more clues, then pointed at the open window and asked, "Did
you leave the window open?"

"Yes," replied the old lady, "but I learned my lesson from the
last robbery. I had screens installed on all the windows."

Michaela knelt and inspected the screen.

"Aha!" She said.

"What is it?" asked the old lady.

Michaela pointed and replied, "The screen has been cut near the
bottom."

"Is the hole big enough for a red tailed hawk?" asked the old
lady.

"No." replied Michaela, "But the hole is big enough for a
smaller animal.

Michaela made a note of it, then inspected the windowsill with
her magnifying glass.

"Aha!" She said.

"What is it?" asked the old lady.

Michaela pointed and replied, "There's a small amount of sand
and water here. There's also a tiny green fragment here. It
looks like a piece of a leaf."

Michaela dipped her finger into the water and held it to her
tongue. "Just as I suspected!" she said.

"What is it?" asked the old lady.

Michaela pointed and replied, "The water is salty. So that green
thing that looks like a piece of a leaf is probably a piece of
sea weed."

"What do you think that means?" asked the old lady.

Michaela stood up and studied her notes for a moment, then
replied, "Here's how your necklace was stolen: A dog, probably a
yellow labrador retriever, dug the dirt out from under the fence
near the front gate. The dog and a small brown monkey crawled
under the fence and went up to the front door, where the monkey
climbed up on the dog's back, unscrewed the cap from a bottle
holding a colony of termites and place the bottle against the
door under the door knob. The termites in the bottle ate the
wood until they dug a hole all the way through the door.

"Then, the monkey reached his skinny hand through the hole and
unlocked the door from the inside. Then, he opened the door. And
all the animals went upstairs. Then the monkey took a pouch from
around the dog's neck which contained a crab, and he put the
crab on the windowsill. The crab used it's large, sharp claws to
cut a hole in the window screen.

"Somebody had trained this monkey to push the right buttons to
open the vault, so the monkey opened the safe and removed the
necklace, which he carried outside through the hole in the
window screen. He climbed up the downspout, to the rain gutter
and onto the roof.

"The red-tailed hawk was probably waiting up there to take the
necklace back to the pet store truck.

The old lady asked, "But why didn't the monkey just carry the
necklace back to the truck?"

Michaela replied, "The necklace is too long for a small monkey
to carry. He would have dragged it on the ground and damaged
it."

The old lady asked, "How did the robber get the combination to
the vault?"

Michaela replied "That's the last mystery."

Michaela called the vault company and asked, "Is your vault
company owned by the same man who owns the art museum and the
pet store?"

The manager replied "Well, as a matter of fact, he just bought
this company."

Michaela hung up the phone and said to the old lady, "The robber
bought the vault company when he found out you were going to
install a vault for your necklace. That's how he knew the
combination."

The old lady asked, "Will you please get my necklace back?"

Michaela replied, "It won't be so easy this time. In the past,
whenever that villain stole your necklace, I stole it back. I
think this time he won't trust his own vault."

The old lady asked, "Where will he hide it then?"

Michaela replied, "If I was a villain, I would take it out of
the country."

The old lady said, "I have my own airplane at the airport. You
can fly anywhere in the world. I want my necklace back!"

Michaela started her search at the art museum. Sure enough the
doors were wide open and the building was empty.

So Michaela went back to the old lady's neighborhood, to where
the pet store truck was last seen by neighbors. She inspected
the road all around and found some sand and sea water just like
the sand and sea water on the window sill. Then she noticed
another piece of the same sea weed.

Michaela took the sea weed to the library to sea where the crab
came from. According to the reference books, this sea weed only
grows near Santa Catalina Island. Michaela knew there was an
airport on the island, so she had her Grandpa fly the old lady's
airplane to the island.

Michaela asked, "Does the owner of the art museum own a house on
the island?"

"Not anymore," replied the manager, "he just sold his house and
took off."

"Took off?" asked Michaela, "You mean he went back to the
mainland?"

"No," replied the manager. "He owns his own airplane. He just
took off and flew to Calcutta, India."

Michaela and Papa flew all the way around the world to India,
then asked at the airport about the villain.

"He took a car to the coast," said the manager.

Michaela and Papa drove to the coast and asked about the villain
at the marina.

"He took his boat across the ocean to Myanmar," said the
manager.

Michaela asked for a picture of the villain's boat. Papa flew
the airplane over the water so they could look for the villain's
boat.

Michaela pointed and shouted, "There it is, Papa!"

"Good eye!" replied Papa.

Then Papa turned the airplane and began flying in the same exact
direction as the boat. Then Michaela read the compass and drew a
line on the map from where the boat was to where the boat was
going.

"X marks the spot, Papa," exclaimed Michaela, "We know exactly
where in Myanmar he's going."

So, Papa sped up the airplane and got to Rangoon in Myanmar
first. Then they rented a car and drove to the ocean. When they
got to the ocean they noticed something that wasn't on the map:
hundreds of small islands off the coast.

So, Michaela and Papa decided to rent a boat and some SCUBA
diving gear and wait on the boat. Less than an hour later, the
villain's boat stopped near one of the islands and Michaela
watched through a pair of binoculars as three divers jumped into
the water carrying a treasure chest.

A few minutes later, only one diver returned to the boat and
without the treasure chest. A minute later the boat drove away.

Papa drove his boat over to where the other boat was anchored,
then they went diving. They immediately saw an underwater cave.
When they swam into the cave, they saw light at the other end.
They swam carefully through the cave until the light was
overhead, then they carefully swam up to the top of the water
behind a rock.

The two divers left behind were now two guards guarding the
treasure chest. So, Michaela and Papa waited and waited and
waited. When both guards had fallen asleep, Papa crept up and
snatched the box. Then he slipped back into the water with
Michaela and the two dived down through the cave and out into
the ocean, back to the boat and back to their car.

They drove back to Rangoon and flew back to America and back
home. They returned the necklace to the old lady and they all
lived happily ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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