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TREASUR4 8' Detective and the treasure map

Michaela and her grandfather were sitting at the kitchen table
doing Michaela's homework when the door bell rang. Papa stood up
and pointed to the homework, saying "You finish your homework,
I'll answer the door."

When Papa opened the door, there was a woman carrying a wooden
box.

"My name is Agatha Wellington. I'm looking for the one they call
the world's greatest detective." she said.

Papa replied, "That's my granddaughter Michaela. But she's busy
doing her homework."

"Please!" said Agatha, "This is very important! Please!"

Papa replied, "Alright, then, please, come in."

Papa led Agatha to the kitchen saying, "Michaela, this woman
wants to see you."

When Michaela stood up, Agatha stopped in her tracks.

"This... this little girl is the world's greatest detective?"
asked Agatha.

Papa replied, "This is the girl who found a million dollars in
gold doubloons."

"Very well," said Agatha. "I'm desperate. I need your help."

Michaela asked, "What can I help you with?"

Agatha put down the wooden box and opened the lid. She pulled
out a VCR tape and asked, "Do you have a VCR?"

Papa took the tape and inserted it in the VCR and pushed the
PLAY button. An old man appeared on the television screen.

"That's my father." said Agatha, "He died and left me this tape
as his last will and testament."

The old man on TV began speaking, "I hereby leave my house and
everything in it to my daughter. In the master bedroom of the
house is a vault containing two million dollars in cash. The
vault has a ten-digit combination lock. However, I won't tell
you the combination. You'll have to figure it out for yourself.
And if you enter the wrong combination, the money inside the
vault will be burned up. All the information you need to figure
out the combination is in the wooden box. Have fun."

Papa asked, "Why would your father do such a thing?!"

Agatha replied, "My father and I had an argument several years
ago, and we haven't spoken since. I never said I was sorry. Can
you figure out the combination for me? I'll give you half of the
money in the safe if you do."

"One million dollars?!" asked Michaela.

"It's worth a million dollars to me. If I enter the wrong
combination, I get nothing."

Papa asked, "What do you think, Michaela?"

Michaela replied, "Let's give it a try!"

Michaela and Papa looked through the wooden box. It contained
the family papers: the marriage license of Agatha's mom and dad,
the birth certificates for everyone in the family, the deed to
the house, graduation certificates and tax records.

"What's this?" asked Michaela as she pulled out a small box
containing pins, needles and several colors of thread.

"It looks like a sewing kit." replied Papa, "Does this sewing
kit look familiar?"

Agatha said, "I've never seen it before."

Michaela explained, "Then that means the sewing kit is a clue to
the combination or at least it has a clue in it."

They looked closer at the sewing kit.

"Have you ever seen needles that look like this, Papa?" asked
Michaela as she pointed to some of the needles.

Papa replied, "Those two needles are black instead of silver."

Michaela examined the black needles with her magnifying glass,
saying "Aha!"

"What is it?" asked Agatha.

Michaela replied, "These needles are flat instead of round like
a needle. One of them is longer than the other. I don't think
they're needles at all. Look at the holes where the thread would
go. They're not round."

Papa said, "I think you're right, Michaela. I think they're the
hands of a small clock."

Michaela asked, "Is there a clock or a watch in the box?"

Agatha replied, "I didn't see one."

Michaela dug into the box and pulled out a small cloth bag,
asking, "What's this?"

Agatha answered, "My father collected some old gold coins."

Michaela looked into the bag saying, "There's more than gold
coins in here."

"Let's see." said Papa as he took the bag and dumped the coins
out onto the table. Among the coins was a gold pocket watch that
was the same size and color as the coins.

Agatha said, "I looked into that bag three times, but I never
saw that watch in there!"

Michaela picked up the watch and pointed at it saying, "The
hands are missing."

"So they are!" replied Papa.

Michaela examined the watch with her magnifying glass saying,
"Aha!"

"You find something?" asked Papa.

Michaela replied, "The posts in the middle of the pocket watch
here are the same odd shape as the holes in those clock hands.
Let's see if those clock hands from the sewing kit fit in
there."

Papa popped open the glass cover and installed the hands from
the sewing kit.

"They fit!" exclaimed Agatha. "But what good does it do?"

"It's a clue," replied Michaela, "I'm sure of it. What time is
it on the pocket watch, Papa?"

Papa said, "10:52".

Agatha asked, "Do you think that means anything?"

Michaela replied, "I'll bet that's four of the ten numbers in
the combination to the vault. 1 0 5 2."

"You think so?" asked Agatha.

Papa replied, "Makes sense to me."

"What about the other six numbers?" asked Agatha.

Michaela replied, "They're in the box somewhere."

She flipped through the papers in the wooden box looking for the
number 10:52.

"Here it is!" exclaimed Michaela as she pulled out a piece of
paper."

Agatha pointed at it saying, "That's my birth certificate! What
does that have to do with the clock?!"

Michaela replied, "10:52 am was the time of day you were born."

Then Michaela pointed to the top of the paper saying, "I think
these are the other six numbers in the combination to the
vault."

Agatha pointed, "You mean my birth weight and my length? When I
was born I weighed six pounds and fourteen ounces and I was 23
inches long."

Papa replied, "6 and 14 and 23 are only five numbers. You need
six numbers."

Michaela pointed, "No. These numbers here."

Agatha replied, "You're pointing to my birth date. If you leave
out the month of April the numbers are 17 and 1981, that's six
numbers!"

Michaela thought about it for a while.

"No," she concluded, "The date wouldn't make sense without the
month. We need to use the number of the month."

Michaela counted on her fingers, "January, February, March,
April. That's the fourth month.

Agatha replied, "I don't think so. If it's 4 17 1981 instead of
April 17, 1981 it's more than six numbers. See? 4 1 7 1 9 8 1.
Seven numbers."

Michaela explained, "On a computer, dates are listed without the
19.

Agatha replied, "If you leave off the 19, that leaves only 4 1 7
8 1. That's only five numbers."

Michaela explained, "On a computer, months with one number add a
zero at the beginning. So, the whole date would be listed as 0 4
1 7 8 1."

Papa replied, "I think you're right, Michaela!"

Agatha swallowed hard and said, "If you're wrong about these
numbers, all the money in the vault will be burned up."

Papa replied, "Michaela is the best detective in the world. I
trust her."

Agatha replied, "Okay. If you trust her, let's try it."

Michaela, Papa and Agatha went over to Agatha's dad's house.
Agatha went up to the vault and was about to punch in the time
and date of her birth. But she hesitated and backed away.

"You do it!" she said Michaela. "If I burn up two million
dollars, I couldn't live with myself!"

Michaela stepped up to the vault and said, "Okay, Agatha, when
were you born?"

Agatha recited her time and date of birth while Michaela
repeated each number as she punched the buttons on the vault, "1
0 5 2 0 4 1 7 8 1."

The red light went off. The green light went on. There was a
click. Michaela grabbed the handle and turned it and it opened.
There in front of her were stacks and stacks of twenty dollar
bills! Two million dollars! And they all lived happily ever
after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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