John, Mike, Ben and Sally have formed a detective club called the Barton
Avenue Detectives. The following story is the second of six cases contained
in this collection.
Burglars (part 1)
The Kids from B.A.D. didn't have to wait long for another case. Their
big chance came only two weeks after the bicycle caper was wrapped up. Mike's
parents had decided to go away for the weekend to visit friends so they
arranged for Mike to stay next door with John while they were gone. John
saw the possibilities right away and brought it to Mr. Thayer's attention
the first chance he got.
"Protection," John told him. "You're going to need it."
"Protection? Protection from what?"
"Burglars," explained John. "Your house is going to be
empty, isn't it? If you don't get protection burglars could hit your place
as soon as you leave. They'd take everything. It happens all the time."
"Don't you think you're being a little extreme, John? And anyhow,
I'm sure the police will keep an eye on things," said Mr. Thayer.
"Oh, they'll try," agreed John. "But you can't expect
them to be everywhere at the same time; they can't just park outside your
house all night, you know. Listen, Mr. Thayer, you've got to understand
the sort of people we're dealing with here. They're crooks of the worst
kind-just read the crime news, you'll find out. When they hit a house they
wipe it out. They take everything. They'd even take your cigars." John
pointed to the big leather box of cigars on the desk. "What you need
are some private detectives to keep an eye on things. Why not hire us?"
Mr. Thayer smoked his cigar in silence for a moment. "How much
do you charge?" he asked finally.
That caught John by surprise. He had been so busy trying to convince
Mike's father that he needed protection, he hadn't stopped to figure out
a price. He started to add figures in his head and was already up past twenty
dollars when Mr. Thayer interrupted.
"How about two dollars?" he offered.
John blinked. Two dollars seemed a little low, but Mr. Thayer was already
holding it out to him. The money looked good. He decided to take it.
"All right," he said. "But there may be some expenses.
"What sort of expenses?"
"Oh, you know," said John vaguely. "The usual kind. Have
a good trip, Mr. Thayer. I've got to get home for supper now." He left
quickly before Mr. Thayer could ask any more questions.
The next day John called the Barton Avenue Detectives together to give them
the details of the job. He passed some sodas around as he told everyone
about his talk with Mr. Thayer.
"How much do we get?" asked Ben.
"Two dollars," John told him.
"Two dollars!" groaned Sally. "That's only fifty cents
"And we'll be watching the place twenty-four hours a day,"
"Hold on, hold on. He's giving us an expense account too,"
"What kind of expenses do we have?" asked Mike.
"Lots," said John, pointing to the soda bottles. "Mr.
Thayer will pay us back for the drinks. I kept the bill."
"Hey, all right! Let's get some pizza too," cried Ben.
"Wait a minute," protested Mike. "This is my dad we're
talking about. We can't make him pay for everything."
"Mike's right," agreed John. "You can't charge your client
for whatever you feel like, only stuff you have to have to work on the case.
Of course, sodas are okay. After all, you need a soda to be able to think
The other detectives nodded. They all knew he was right about that.
"Maybe we should hire a couple of watchdogs," John suggested
next, sipping the last drops of soda from the bottle.
The others thought that was an excellent idea until Sally made a few
phone calls and found out it would cost a fortune.
"Hey, I know," said Ben suddenly. "We could use Bentley."
"Bentley!" exclaimed John. They all knew what Bentley was
"If he saw a burglar he'd run the other way," said Sally.
"He would not," protested Ben.
"Ben's right," said Mike, laughing. "Bentley wouldn't
even see the burglar in the first place. He'd be fast asleep."
"Bentley's not like that anymore," Ben told him. "I'm training
him to be a hit dog like you see on TV. I've been giving him lessons every
day and he's learning a lot."
"The only thing you could teach Bentley is how to play dead,"
said John. "He knows how to do that already."
They talked for a while about buying walkie talkies to use during their
stake-outs, but Mike said his dad wouldn't pay for those either. Then they
talked about getting guns. And radar. And burglar alarms. They spent the
whole afternoon trying to think of good things to put on the expense account
but everything seemed to cost too much. Finally they just went down to Joe's
Milk Store for bubble gum. They bought three packs each-there was a whole
weekend ahead of them and no one wanted to run out. John was sure Mr. Thayer
would pay for gum.