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NECKLACQ 6' Detective and the case of the stolen necklace

Michaela was surprised to see the policeman in the doorway of
her Sunday School class.

"I'm sorry to disturb you, Michaela," said the policeman, "but
there's been another robbery at the museum."

On the way to the museum, the policeman told Michaela, "This
case has us mystified. Somehow the robbers turned off the
security cameras and injected sleeping gas into the museum's
air conditioning system. So, with the security guards asleep
and without security cameras, we can't identify the robbers or
the car they escaped in or which way they drove away.

When they arrived at the museum, Michaela examined all the areas
the police missed.

"What are you doing out here in the back alley?" asked the
policeman.

"I couldn't find any clues inside the museum." explained
Michaela, "So, I'm looking for clues out here where the robbers
probably parked their get away car."

A few seconds later, Michaela exclaimed, "Aha!"

"Find something?!" exclaimed the policeman as he came running.

"Yes." replied Michaela as she pointed to some sand that was
arranged in a kind of semicircle.

"Sand?" asked the policeman, "You think sand is a clue?"

She scooped some small particles off the blacktop onto a piece
of paper saying, "Yes, it looks like it fell off the edge of
the sole of a man's shoe."

She looked at the sand through her magnifying glass, exclaiming
"Well! This could be useful!"

"What's that?" asked the policeman.

Michaela explained, "It looks like there's two different colors
of sand here. Some of it is brownish color and some of it is
pure white."

With that, she took the sand into the museum. The policeman
followed her but stopped when she went into the women's
restroom. A few seconds later, he heard her exclaim, "Aha!"

"What are you doing in there?!" exclaimed the policeman.

Michaela came out of the restroom pointing at the sand, "I
dripped some water on the sand and some of the white sand
particles disappeared."

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

Michaela replied, "I don't think the white sand was sand at all.
I think it was grains of salt. Salt dissolves in water. Sand
doesn't."

"I still don't understand." said the policeman.

Michaela explained, "I think this sand that fell off the sole of
the robber's shoe is sand from the beach and sea salt from the
ocean. That means the robber came here from the ocean. I'm sure
that Lucifer Snidely hired this guy to steal the necklace. So,
I think we should find out if Lucifer Snidely owns a house next
to the ocean."

Sure enough, when the report came back from the police station,
it said that Lucifer Snidely owns a beach house. Michaela and
the policeman went to the beach house just in time to see a man
dressed in black sneaking out the back door and running down the
beach. He was arrested a short time later, but refused to tell
the police where he hid the necklace.

"It's okay." replied Michaela, "I know where he hid the
necklace."

"You do?" exclaimed the policeman.

"Yes," replied Michaela as she pointed to a bronze statue on
the patio, "It's inside there."

"How could you possibly know that?!" asked the policeman.

Michaela explained, "There are three bronze statues on this
patio, but one of them still has shiny bright metal. It's brand
new. There's no blue-green tarnish on it like the others."

The policeman examined the statue, which depicted an old man on
a park bench feeding the sea gulls out of his open hands.

"You know," replied the policeman as he walked around the statue
examining it closely, "You could be right. There's a seam above
the old man's belt. It looks like you could pull the statue
apart."

He tried to pull the top half of it, but the statue wouldn't
open.

"Maybe we should use a cutting torch to cut it apart." he
suggested.

"No!" replied Michaela, "A cutting torch would not only melt the
bronze on the statue it would melt the necklace too."

"How do we open it, then?" he asked.

She replied, "Lucifer Snidely always locks the necklace in a
vault. I think this statue is just a clever vault."

"But I don't see a dial or a keypad like the other vaults had."
he said as he examine the statue.

Michaela examined the statue with her magnifying glass for
several minutes, then exclaimed, "Aha!"

"What do you see?" he asked.

Michaela handed the magnifying glass to the policeman and
pointed to the hands of the statue saying, "Look at the
fingers."

"Well, I'll be!" exclaimed the policeman, "It looks like one
number is printed on each finger tip, zero to nine. But how do
we know which fingers to push?"

Michaela pointed to the feet of the statue saying, "That will
tell you."

The policeman examined the toes of the barefoot old man and
exclaimed, "Well, I'll be! More printing! Each toe has the name
of a month on it."

Then, he straightened and asked, "But how does that tell us what
fingers to push?"

Here are the months as they appeared on the toes of the old man
from left to right:

July

May

January

August

March

June

September

February

April

(Can you guess what numbers to push to open the statue?)

Michaela explained, "January is the first month. Does that tell
you?"

(Can you guess what numbers to push to open the statue now?)

"Yes," replied the policeman, "If we give each month a number,
we know the combination."

(Can you guess what numbers to push to open the statue now?)

Here are the numbers Michaela assigned to each month:

July = 7

May = 5

January = 1

August = 8

March = 3

June = 6

September = 9

February = 2

April = 4


Then she pushed down on the old man's fingers in this order:

7,5,1,8,3,6,9,2,4

Immediately, a red light went on in the old man's left eye, but
the statue remained locked.

Michaela thought for a moment, then noticed that there was one
finger on the statue that she hadn't pressed, the "0" on the old
man's left thumb. So, she pressed it.

Immediately, a green light came on in the old man's right eye.
There was a click, a buzz and a hum. The top half of the statue
separated from the lower half and raised up revealing 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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