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NECKLACC 9' Detective and the case of the stolen necklace

When the old lady heard that Lucifer Snidely was about to be
released from jail tomorrow, she finally grew tired of having
her necklace stolen. She decided to donate the world's most
expensive necklace to the art museum before Snidely could steal
it again.

The plan was for her to wear the necklace to the ceremony at the
museum and then to take it off her neck and put it on a black
velvet display while lots of newspapers and television reporters
photographed and video taped her.

To make her feel welcome and important, the museum staff sent a
limousine and two armed guards to her house to guard her on her
trip to the museum. They also rolled out a red carpet from the
front door of the museum to the street where the limousine would
drop her off.

But to their dismay, the time came for the limousine to arrive,
but the limousine never came. The museum director telephoned his
armed guards. But neither of them answered the cell phone. So,
he called the old lady's cell phone. No answer.

"Something's wrong!" exclaimed the museum director. "I'll bet
that Lucifer Snidely hired someone to steel the necklace so he
could have it when he is released from jail tomorrow."

The director knew the path that the limousine driver was
supposed to drive from the old lady's house to the museum. So,
he sent some of his workers to drive the path backward from the
museum to the old lady's house. Less than two minutes later, one
of them called to tell him that he found the limousine just two
blocks away from the museum, but that all of the people in the
limousine were asleep.

"Asleep?!" exclaimed the director.

"Yes," said the worker, "And the necklace is no longer around
her neck."

"Oh no!" exclaimed the director, "My worst fears have been
realized!"

The first thing the director thought of was to call Michaela,
the world's greatest detective. She was now famous for finding
the necklace and catching the robbers.

When Michaela arrived at the limousine, the old lady was just
waking up.

"My necklace! It's gone!" she shouted, "That dirty rotten
scoundrel Lucifer Snidely did it. I know he did!"

But Michaela wasn't listening. She was inspecting the limousine
for clues about the robbers.

"Aha!" she exclaimed.

"Did you find something?!" asked the old lady.

"Yes. I found a small hole drilled in the window glass." replied
Michaela.

"Yes, now I remember." said the old lady. "When we were on our
way to the museum, a big truck blocked the street in front of
us. Then two cars came up on either side of us. Then another car
came up behind us so we couldn't back up. Our driver couldn't go
anywhere. We were trapped. Then, a man dressed in black from
head to toe got out of one of the cars and held this gadget up
against the window and before we knew it, we were asleep. What
happened?"

"That gadget did three things." explained Michaela, "First, it
drilled a hole through the window glass, then it blew in
sleeping gas through the hole, then, when everyone was asleep,
it reached a small robot arm through the hole to unlock the
door. Then, all the robber had to do was climb in and take the
necklace right off your neck."

The old lady cried, "Can you please find the necklace for me?!
Lucifer Snidely will be released from jail tomorrow. Once he has
my necklace he'll leave the country with it. I just know it!"

Michaela, the world's greatest detective, replied, "Every robber
leaves clues behind. First, I'll find the clues, then the clues
will lead me to the necklace."

Michaela examined the glass around the newly drilled hole. A few
inches away from the hole in three different directions were
three circular smudges. She smelled the smudges.

"Aha!" exclaimed Michaela.

"Did you find something?!" asked the old lady.

"Yes." explained Michaela. "These three circular smudges are
from three suction cups that held the gadget against the window
while it drilled the hole. The robber licked the suction cups to
make them stick to the window. I just smelled the smudges. They
smell like watermelon."

"Watermelon?!" exclaimed the old lady, "That's the same smell I
smelled on the breath of the robber who stole my necklace at the
opera house! Do you think this is the same robber?!"

"Yes, I do. We found your necklace. But we never found out who
stole it."

"Do you think the robbers took the necklace back to the candy
factory again?" asked the old lady.

"No." replied Michaela, "Lucifer Snidely is the smartest jewel
thief in the world. He would never hide the necklace in the same
place twice."

Then Michaela commanded the limousine driver, "Driver, take us
to the candy factory."

"But, you just said..." replied the old lady.

Michaela interrupted, "I said they didn't hide the necklace at
the candy factory. But the robbers had jelly beans on their
breath twice in a row. That tells me that the robbers probably
work in the candy factory."

By the time the limousine got to the candy factory, the police
were already there. They broke the lock on the door. Then,
Michaela asked them to break into the bookkeeping office.

"But we found out last time that there is no vault in the
bookkeeping office." replied the policeman, "Why do you want to
get in there?"

"To find out which worker runs the jelly bean machine." replied
Michaela.

Michaela looked through several files and notebooks. Finally she
pointed to a paper. "This is the man!" she exclaimed.

The paper she was looking at showed where the man lived. So, the
police drove her to his house. But noone was home.

Michaela told the policeman, "Have your men spread out and try
to find wires and push buttons. Lucifer Snidely always hides the
loot in hidden vaults with computer locks and push buttons.

"Found something!" shouted a policeman in the garage.

Michaela went to the garage and saw several cell phones and
computers that had been taken apart. Some of the pieces were
missing.

The next day after Lucifer Snidely was released from jail, he
got into a black limousine. As the limousine came out of the
prison, six police cars surrounded it and Michaela got out of
one of the police cars and walked over to the limousine.

Lucifer Snidely sneared, "What do you want, you little brat?!"

Michaela replied, "I'm here to get the necklace back."

"You can't blame that on me!" sneared Lucifer Snidely. "I was in
prison when that necklace was stolen."

"That's true." replied Michaela as she pointed at the man
sitting next to Snidely in the back of the limousine, "But you
paid that man to steal it for you."

"How do you know it was him?" asked the policeman.

"Smell his breath." said Michaela.

The policeman did, then exclaimed, "Watermelon! It's him
alright!"

With that, the policeman had everyone get out of the limousine
while the police searched it from top to bottom. But there was
no sign of the necklace.

"What about the glove compartment?" asked Michaela.

"It doesn't open." replied one of the policemen. "There's no
handle, no latch on it."

"That's where it is then." replied Michaela.

"Shall I get some tools and force it open?" asked the policeman.

"That won't be necessary." replied Michaela, "Just collect all
of the cell phones from everyone in the limousine."

Michaela examined all three cell phones carefully with a
magnifying glass, then pointed to one of them. "This one." she
exclaimed.

"What about it?" asked the policeman.

"This is the cell phone that will unlock the glove compartment."
replied Michaela.

"How do you know?" asked the policeman.

Michaela offered the cell phone and the magnifying glass to the
policeman and asked, "Can you see the marks under the bottom row
of push buttons?"

"Yes." replied the policeman, "They're so small I would have
missed them without a magnifying glass. Are you sure they mean
something? They're just... well they look like someone poked the
phone with a pin."

"Those pin pokes are a code." replied Michaela.

"What kind of code?" asked the policeman.

Here's what the pin pokes looked like:

... .. .... ..... ....... ...... . .........

(can you figure out how to open the glove compartment?)

Michaela explained, "Each group of pin pokes make one number.
There are eight numbers in all."

(can you figure out how to open the glove compartment now?)

Then Michaela pushed one button on the phone for each group:

3 2 4 5 7 6 1 8

Suddenly, there was a click and thump and a buzz and the glove
compartment door fell open. And there was the world's most
expensive necklace.

The policeman turned toward Lucifer Snidely and exclaimed,
"Looks like you're going back to jail!"

As Lucifer Snidely was being handcuffed and hauled back to jail,
he shouted, "You little brat! I'll get you for this."

And everyone lived happily ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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