NECKLACE 6' Detective and the case of the stolen necklace

Michaela was sitting in her classroom one day when a man in a
police uniform walked in the door. She knew why he was there, so
she packed up her books and things into her backpack.

Her teacher said, "Michaela, you need to go with this

"I know." replied Michaela as she hurried out the door with the

Tommy chuckled, "She's busted!"

When they got outside, Michaela said, "Don't tell me. Let me
guess. Lucifer Snidely hired someone to steal the world's most
expensive necklace again."

"That's right," replied the policeman, "But the odd thing is
that we caught the robbers as they were coming out the door of
the museum. But they didn't have the necklace with them."

Michaela smiled, "That Lucifer Snidely is getting smarter and
smarter every time he steals the necklace. So, this time he
stole the necklace and hid it somewhere inside the museum. And
when the museum opens its doors this morning, another one of
Lucifer Snidely's henchmen will walk in and find it in its
hiding place and just walk out with it."

The policeman replied, "That's what we thought too. But we
looked everywhere for it. We looked in all the hiding places
that customers of the museum would be able to reach. But we
couldn't find it anywhere. It's just vanished."

Michaela asked, "Did you look in all the trash cans?"

The policeman replied, "That's the first place we looked. It was
easy, because the janitors had emptied every waste basket before
the robbers came in. Listen, Michaela, you have to help us. The
owner of the museum wants to open the museum to the public. But
if he does, I just know that one of Lucifer Snidely's henchmen
will come in with the other customers and walk out with the
necklace. I talked the owner into keeping the doors locked for
one hour. So, that's all the time you have to find the

Michaela said, "I'll find the necklace for you because I know
how Lucifer Snidely thinks."

The first place Michaela looked when she got to the museum was
in the men's restroom.

"Why are you looking in here?" asked the policeman as he
followed her.

Michaela replied, "This is the only place in the museum that
isn't watched by television cameras. Lucifer Snidely's henchman
could remove the necklace from its hiding place in here without
being seen."

"But why the MEN'S restroom?" he asked.

Michaela replied, "Because Lucifer Snidely has stolen the
necklace over a dozen times, but he never hired a woman to help

The policeman replied, "But we've already looked in here. We
searched both of the restrooms."

Michaela looked around the restroom for a moment, then pointed
to the trash can saying, "It's in there."

The policeman took the top off the trash can and tilted it
toward Michaela saying, "But we've already looked in here. We
searched all the trash cans."

Michaela grabbed the plastic bag that lined the trash can and
pulled it out, then pointed asking, "Yes, but did you look UNDER
the plastic bag?"

The policeman looked in and exclaimed, "Well, I'll be! There's a
steel box under the plastic bag!"

He reached into the trash can and pulled out the steel box, but
when he turned it over, he exclaimed, "It's a vault with push

When they examined the vault they saw that there were ten push
buttons, on each push button was one word:











Michaela said, "In order to unlock the vault, we need to know
the sequence of these buttons."

"Why bother?" asked the policeman. "It's just a steel box. We'll
just cut it open with a welder's torch."

"No!" exclaimed Michaela, "The box is too small! The heat from
the welder's torch would melt the gold on the necklace! It would
be ruined!"

"You're right." replied the policeman, "But we have no way of
knowing the sequence of the buttons."

"Not yet." replied Michaela.

With that she picked up the plastic bag that came out of the
trash can and examined it. The policeman looked over her
shoulder asking, "Find something?"

"Yes," replied Michaela, "There's printing on the side of this

"Oh that!" replied the policeman, "That's just the safety
warning. The safety warning is printed in about a dozen
different places on those bags to let people know that parents
shouldn't let their kids play with the bags."

"Except this one!" exclaimed Michaela as she pointed to the
warning half way down the side of the bag.

"You're right!" exclaimed the policeman, "Ten of the words of
the warning have been replaced with ten other words! This must
be what tells us the sequence!"

With that, he pulled the bag out of Michaela's hands and held
the words next to the push-buttons on the vault.

"Oh nuts!" he exclaimed, "It's just ten different words."

Here are the ten words from the plastic bag:











(can you tell the vault combination from these words?)

"Let me have a look." replied Michaela.

She studied the words and the push buttons for a few minutes,
then she exclaimed, "I have it! The words on the push buttons
are the opposites of the words from the plastic bag."

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

Michaela explained, "The first word on the plastic bag is STOP.
The opposite of stop is..."

(Now can you tell the combination?)

"Go!" exclaimed the policeman as he pointed to the GO button.

So, Michaela pushed the GO button, then the rest of the buttons
in this sequence:

fast is the opposite of slow

high is the opposite of low

yes is the opposite of no

good is the opposite of bad

hot is the opposite of cold

black is the opposite of white

soft is the opposite of hard

clean is the opposite of dirty

up is the opposite of down

Then a green light went on, CLICK, BUZZ, HUM. The door opened.
There was the world's most expensive necklace.

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

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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