TREASURY 5' Detective and the missing crown jewels

Once upon a time a long time ago in a land far, far away
Michaela was in the hen house feeding the chickens and
collecting the eggs, when she heard the thundering of several
horses' hoofs. She went outside to investigate.

It was the king's royal coach pulled by four white horses. It
was escorted by two knights on black horses in front of the
coach and two knights on black horses behind. They were all
galloping at full speed toward the house. When they saw Michaela
coming out of the hen house, they steered their horses away from
the house and toward Michaela at full speed, then they halted
the horse inches away from her. The footman jumped down from the
coach and opened the door. Out stepped the king himself.
Michaela and her family bowed down.

"Are you Michaela, the world's greatest detective?" asked the

"My name is Michaela." she replied.

"Come with me!" he demanded.

Michaela handed the eggs to her father, then climbed into the
coach. "Everything will be okay, Papa. I'll be back soon."

And with that the royal coach was off in a cloud of dust. When
they arrived at the castle, she was escorted to the royal
treasury by the king.

"Somebody has been stealing the crown jewels a few at a time
every night." exclaimed the king, "We don't know how they're
doing it, or who is doing it. But we're worried. Can you solve
the case?"

"Of course!" replied Michaela, "First you must sprinkle some
pastry flour from the royal bakery on the floor of the treasury.

"But why?" asked the king.

Michaela replied, "Perhaps we can identify the thief by the
footprints he leaves in the flour."

"Good idea!" said the king. And he gave orders to cover the
treasury floor with a light coating of flour.

The next morning, there were no footprints in the flour, but
when they opened up the treasure chests, they found a few more
crown jewels were missing."

"Wait a minute!" exclaimed Michaela, "The thieves not only stole
more jewels without leaving footprints, but they also got into
the treasure chest without breaking the lock!"

Michaela pulled her magnifying glass from her apron and
carefully inspected the treasure chests and the floor around

"Aha!" she exclaimed.

"What is it?" asked the king.

"Caulking!" replied Michaela.

"Caulking?" asked the king, "What is caulking?"

Michaela pointed to the windows high above, near the roof of the
treasury. "Caulking is from around the glass in those windows.
That's how the thieves got into the room."

The king replied, "But those windows don't open."

Michaela explained, "Here's how it happened: there were two
thieves. They removed the glass from the window by digging
around the edge, removing the caulking. Most of the loose
caulking fell on the roof, but some of the caulking fell down
here. One of the thieves stayed up on the roof and lowered the
other thief by a rope around his ankles. When the second thief
got low enough to touch the treasure chest, he used a key to
unlock the chest, he opened the lid and pulled out one of the
jewels with one hand, then he closed and locked the lid with the
other hand. Then the first thief pulled him up through the
window. The reason they had to come back again and again is
because they could only hold the jewels with one hand."

The king replied, "That makes sense, except for the part about
unlocking the lock. There are only two keys to that lock. One of
them is mine. The other belongs to my prime minister."

Michaela said, "Then you should arrest the prime minister,
because he's the one who planned the whole thing."

"You've got to be kidding!" exclaimed the king.

"No," replied Michaela, "It's not just the prime minister who is
involved. The two thieves are members of your palace guards. I
think it's quite likely that after they stole ALL your crown
jewels, they would have you killed or kidnapped and steal your

"That's impossible!" exclaimed the king.

"There's no other explanation," replied Michaela, "Only the
palace guards can get on your roof night after night without
suspicion from the other guards on duty. And only the prime
minister's key would open the treasure chest. If you check it
out, you'll see I'm right."

Sure enough, when the king had the sheriff investigate, he found
the missing jewels under the prime minister's bed. The prime
minister admitted that he conspired with several palace guards
to steal all the crown jewels, then kidnap the king and take
over the throne.

They were all arrested and everybody lived happily ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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