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NECKLACL 9' Detective and the case of the stolen necklace

"Hello?" said Michaela sleepily as she sat up in bed and talked
into the phone.

"Michaela, I need your help!" said the policeman on the other
end.

"Can't this wait til morning?" asked Michaela rubbing her eyes,
"It's still dark outside."

"No. I'm sorry Michaela, but time is of the essence." replied
the policeman, "If we don't get on this right away, the necklace
could be lost forever!"

"Alright," said Michaela, "Come and pick me up."

"I'm already at your house. Hurry!" replied the policeman.

In the car, as they were approaching the museum, the voice on
the police radio said that the robber had been arrested.

"Does that mean I can go back to bed?" asked Michaela.

The policeman picked up the microphone and asked, "Did the
robber have the necklace when he was arrested?"

"No." said the radio voice.

"I'm sorry, Michaela," said the policeman, "It looks like we
still need your help finding the necklace."

By the time they got into the museum, several policemen were
already searching for the necklace in the trash cans.

Michaela explained, "This robbery was probably planned by
Lucifer Snidely and he never hides the necklace in the same
place twice. Let's look at the television recordings."

Sure enough, the TV cameras showed the robber going through a
door marked "Roof Access" with the necklace in his hand. A
minute later, the same robber came back down from the roof
without the necklace in his hand.

"Check the roof!" shouted the policeman, "The necklace is up on
the roof."

"No! Wait!" shouted Michaela, "If the policemen all go up there,
they might destroy some clues left behind by the robber. Let me
examine the roof first."

Michaela ran ahead of the policemen and looked all around the
flat roof of the building.

"Aha!" shouted Michaela.

"Find something?" asked the policeman.

"Yes!" exclaimed Michaela as she pulled out her magnifying
glass, "There's a round black spot here in the middle of the
roof."

"What do you make of that?" asked the policeman.

"It looks like a fire." replied Michaela.

"Oh, no!" exclaimed the policeman, "Don't tell me the robber
burned up the necklace!"

"Not like that!" replied Michaela, "This fire didn't leave any
ashes or melted gold. It's just as if someone blasted the roof
with a blow-torch or something."

"Why would a robber just try to burn a hole in the roof?" asked
the policeman, "He was already in the building. He didn't need
to burn a hole in the roof to get in!"

Michaela touched the blackened roof with her finger then smelled
the soot on her finger.

"Aha!" exclaimed Michaela.

"What is it?!" asked the policeman.

"I smell sulfur." replied Michaela.

"What does that mean?" asked the policeman.

"That means the robber didn't use a torch to burn this spot."
replied Michaela.

"What did he use then?" asked the policeman.

"I have an idea." replied Michaela as she ran toward the stairs,
"You can have your men search the roof now."

"Where are you going?" asked the policeman.

Michaela explained, "I just remembered: when the robber went up
these stairs, he was wearing a backpack. But when he came down
from the roof, the backpack was gone. I'd like to look at the
television recordings again just to be sure."

Michaela and the policeman took a second look at the television
recordings of the robber going to and from the roof.

"Stop it there!" exclaimed Michaela, "See his backpack?!"

"It's not a backpack! I thought it was a backpack too!" replied
the policeman pointing at what looked like a big black pipe
strapped to his back."

Michaela replied, "The sulfur I smelled on the roof was from
rocket fuel. I think there was a rocket in that tube. And I
think that burn spot on the roof is from the rocket launching."

Just then, another policeman came down from the roof saying,
"Found it!"

Sure enough, the backpack he found on the roof had a launch tube
a remote control rocket launcher stuffed in it.

"Can you explain this?!" asked the policeman.

"Yes," replied Michaela, "Lucifer Snidely knows that your
policemen are really good at catching the robbers, so, he had
this robber get rid of the necklace by putting it into the
nose-cone of a rocket and off it went!"

"But where?!" asked the policeman.

"Let's go to the airport to find out." replied Michaela.

"The airport?!" asked the policeman, "How can they tell us
anything?!"

Michaela explained, "They have RADAR there. Radar can see small
things flying through the air that are too small for us to see
with our eyes."

Sure enough, the air traffic controller's radar tracked a very
fast aircraft from the museum straight east toward the
mountains. The radar lost sight of the rocket after it flew over
a mountain and came down somewhere on the other side.

"How are we going to find such a small rocket over there?!"
asked the policeman, "There must be 100 square miles of forest
in that area."

"Show me a map." said Michaela.

She drew a line on the map from the museum to the mountain the
rocket passed over....

"There!!" exclaimed Michaela as she pointed to a small lake in
the valley beyond the mountain.

"Why would Lucifer Snidely deliberately point the rocket at the
lake?" asked the policeman.

"By the time the rocket goes that far, the fuel will all be used
up." explained Michaela, "The rocket will be light when it's
empty, so the nose cone of the rocket will float on the water
like a cork."

It was still dark when the police helicopter got to the lake
beyond the mountain. As they approached, they saw a red light
blinking in the middle of the lake.

"There it is!" exclaimed the policeman, "Just like you said!"

As they came closer, they saw a man in a row boat rowing toward
the blinking light. When he saw the police helicopter, he turned
and rowed back toward shore.

The helicopter hovered low over the blinking red light, while
one of the policeman retrieved the rocket with what looked like
a butterfly net.

The helicopter reached the shore before the row boat and the
policemen arrested the man.

"That man was headed toward that house." said Michaela pointing
to a big house on a hill nearby, "Who owns that house?"

"I'm not telling you nothing!" shouted the man.

The policeman had one of his people at headquarters look up the
owner of the house on the computer. Sure enough, the house was
owned by none other than Lucifer Snidely himself!

The policeman tried to open the nose cone of the rocket, but it
wouldn't budge. "How do I get this open?" he asked.

"That nose cone is just a round vault. Look for a keypad."
replied Michaela.

"No keypad here." replied the policeman, "There's just a row of
numbers here."

"That's a keypad." replied Michaela.

"It doesn't look like a keypad." replied the policeman.

"That's because it had to be waterproof and it had to resist the
wind of high speed flying." explained Michaela, "That keypad is
just like the one on a microwave oven. The keys are covered with
clear plastic."

"Alright," replied the policeman, "But what's the combination?"

Michaela inspected the nose-cone with her magnifying glass for
clues. "Aha!" she exclaimed.

"I don't see anything!" exclaimed the policeman.

"It's a hologram." said Michaela.

"A what?" asked the policeman.

"A hologram." explained Michaela, "There are very tiny dots and
valleys dug into the metal of the nose-cone with a laser. You
need 3-D glasses to see the whole picture."

"Where will we find 3-D glasses?" asked the policeman.

"This is Lucifer Snidely's house." replied Michaela, "I'm
betting that the glasses are in there."

Sure enough, on the desk in the house was a pair of 3-D glasses.
When the policeman put them on, he could read the hologram. "Can
you read the numbers?" asked Michaela.

"Well, I can read something." replied the policeman, "But it's
not numbers. They look like words, but they don't mean anything.
Here, you have a try."

Michaela put on the glasses. Here's what she read:


ocho dos nueve cuatro tres cinco uno seis cero siete


(can you tell the combination from this clue?)

She said, "I see ten numbers here."

The policeman replied, "Are you looking at what I was looking
at?!"

"Yes," replied Michaela, "But the numbers are written in
spanish."

(can you tell the combination from this clue?)

Michaela pushed one number on the keypad for each spanish word.

ocho dos nueve cuatro tres cinco uno seis cero siete

8 2 9 4 3 5 1 6 0 7

As soon as she pushed the last number, the red light stopped
blinking and the nose-cone unscrewed itself like a jar lid.
There was the world's most expensive necklace. The world's
greatest detective did it again!

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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