NECKLACA 7' Detective and the case of the stolen necklace

Once per year, the old lady sends the world's most expensive
necklace back to the jeweler who made it in order to have it
cleaned and polished. At that time the jeweler, who lives in
Paris, France, sends an armed guard on an airplane to America to
pick up the necklace, put it into a briefcase and guard it on
its trip to France. Then, when the necklace has been cleaned and
polished in Paris, the armed guard carries it back to the old
lady in America on the airplane.

This year everything went as planned, but when the armed guard
arrived at the old lady's house and opened the briefcase, it was

The first person the old lady called was not the police, but
Michaela, the world's greatest detective.

Michaela asked the armed guard everything he did from the time
he put the necklace into the briefcase until he arrived at the
old lady's house.

He said the briefcase never left his side from the time he left
the jeweler until he flew into town. But because the airplane
arrived late at night, he stayed overnight at a hotel near the

"Aha!" exclaimed Michaela, "That's where the robber stole the
necklace.... at the hotel, while you were sleeping."

Michaela went to the hotel with her magnifying glass and her
microscope and her chemistry set.

"The first thing we need to find," explained Michaela, "is how
the robber got into your hotel room."

First, she inspected the door and the lock for scratches. But
there were no signs that anyone tampered with the lock.

Next, she inspected the sliding glass door that opens between
the hotel room and the balcony.

"Aha!" exclaimed Michaela.

"What is it?! Did you find something?!" asked the armed guard.

Michaela pulled the curtain back and pointed to the sliding
glass door and exclaimed, "Look."

"There's a hole in the glass!" exclaimed the guard.

Indeed, there was a hole in the glass in the shape of a perfect
circle right next to the lock.

Michaela explained, "Someone put a glass cutter on a suction cup
and scratched a perfect circle in the glass. Then, with just one
tap of the glass in exactly the right place, the glass broke
under the scratch. Pulling on the suction cup, the robber pulled
the circle of glass out of the sliding door. He reached through
the hole and he unlocked the door. Then, he quietly slid open
the door and tip-toed into the room."

"But," the guard asked, "how did the robber open my briefcase?
It was locked."

Michaela had already inspected the briefcase at the old lady's
house, but found no signs that the lock had been tampered with.

So, Michaela concluded, "I think the robber had an exact
duplicate of your briefcase. All they did was take your
briefcase and leave the empty one in its place."

"So, that's why I didn't hear any noise last night!" exclaimed
the guard.

Michaela examined the balcony with her magnifying glass for more

"Aha!" she exclaimed.

"Find something?" asked the guard.

"Yes." replied Michaela, "Here on top of the railing, there's

"What kind of fibers?" asked the guard.

"Two different colors, same kind." replied Michaela as she
compared the fibers with some pictures in her book. "Just as I
thought." exclaimed Michaela, "Mountain climbers ropes!" she

"I don't get it." said the guard.

"The robber went up to the roof of the hotel and lowered himself
on mountain climbers ropes to this balcony." explained Michaela.

"You learned all of that from two small fibers?!" exclaimed the

"Aha!" exclaimed Michaela.

"Something else?" asked the guard.

"Yes." replied Michaela, "Right next to where I found the rope
fibers. Black rubber scuff marks, some white crystals and a
chemical stain."

Michaela sniffed the stain.

"Jet fuel." concluded Michaela.

"Does that mean the robber was on the jet plane with me?" asked
the guard.

"Definitely not." explained Michaela, "These scuff marks are
from rubber boots. Nobody rides on a jet plane wearing black
rubber boots. And this robber stepped in a puddle of jet fuel.
There's no jet fuel INSIDE of a jet plane."

"Then, maybe the robber is the guy who fills up the airplanes
with jet fuel." said the guard.

"We'll see." replied Michaela as she collected some of the white
crystals from the balcony railing.

She compared the crystals to the pictures of crystals in her
book, then she put a few of them on her tongue.

"Sea salt!" exclaimed Michaela.

"Sea salt?!" exclaimed the guard. "What does that mean?"

Michaela thought for a moment, then concluded, "This robber
didn't get jet fuel on his boots from an airplane. He got it
from a boat or a ship!"

Michaela called up the harbor master and asked him if any boats
in the harbor have jet engines.

"We have TWO turbine powered boats in the harbor today." replied
the harbor master, "One is a passenger ship. The other is a
private yacht belonging to a rich guy named Lucifer Snidely."

"Aha!" exclaimed Michaela, "Lucifer Snidely!"

"But," replied the guard, "Lucifer Snidely is locked up in

"He is," replied Michaela, "But he planned this robbery. He just
hired a henchman to steal the necklace for him."

Michaela and the guard went down to the harbor and onto
Snidely's yacht. They went down to the engine room because
that's the only place where jet fuel would be spilled. There, on
the wall beside the two jet engines, they found a steel vault.
But instead of having numbered push buttons on the lock, this
vault had buttons with pictures:

A fish

An ant

A bell

A pig

A wagon wheel

A bow tie

A car

A sock

A cow

A pen

A baseball

Michaela inspected the vault carefully with her magnifying glass
looking for clues about which order to push the keys. But she
found no clues. So, she searched the entire engine room. Finally
she came to a calendar on the wall near the control panel.
Inside the squares on the first ten days of the month on the
calendar were written the words:












Michaela took the calendar off the wall and compared the words
on the calendar with the pictures on the pushbuttons.

(Can YOU tell which buttons to push using the clue on the

"Aha!" exclaimed Michaela.

"Did you figure out which buttons to push?" asked the guard.

"Yes." replied Michaela, "The pictures are words within words."

"I don't get it." replied the guard.

Michaela pointed and explained, "Well, the easiest one is
WHEELbarrow. The picture on the button is a wheel."

(Can YOU tell which buttons to push now?)

first word: Wheelbarrow, Michaela pushed the wheel button.

Carpet... car

Rainbow... bow tie

Coward... Cow

Penny... Pen

Socket... sock

Balloon... ball

Pants... ant

Selfish... fish

Belly... bell

Pigeon... pig

Click, buzz. The green light when on and the vault door opened.
There was the briefcase. The guard unlocked the briefcase and
there was the world's most expensive necklace.

Michaela, the world's greatest detective solved another case!

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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