The detectives split up the protection duty into two shifts. Mike
and John got nights because they were right next door and could see the
house from John's bedroom window. Sally and Ben took days.
Mike's parents left on Friday afternoon. He and John stayed up late
that night watching out the bedroom window together. Around midnight they
snuck some peanut butter sandwiches out of the kitchen. The snack helped
them keep awake for a while but they started getting pretty tired around
one o'clock, so they decided to share the watch, one of them sleeping while
the other stayed awake. They shot fingers for who went first and Mike won.
He promised to wake John up at three o'clock sharp. About fifteen minutes
after John went to sleep, so did Mike. When John woke up at six-thirty
the next morning he found Mike snoring away in the chair by the window.
"Wake up, you doughnut," he yelled. "It's morning."
Mike opened his eyes and jumped up from his chair. "What happened!
"What happened?" John hollered. "I'll tell you what
happened. While you were asleep the burglars stole your whole house. They
picked it right off the foundation and hauled it away on a truck."
"You're kidding!" gasped Mike. He rushed to the window and
looked out. The house was still there. "Aw, I knew you were kidding,"
he said, but he looked quite relieved. "Good thing you were. If I'd
lost the whole house I don't know what I would have told my dad."
"It's not the outside you have to worry about," said John
as he quickly pulled on his clothes. "It's the inside. We'd better
They raced next door, let themselves in the kitchen door and went through
the whole house room by room. Nothing was missing.
"You were lucky this time," said John. "The crooks
could have wiped you out."
"But I was only asleep for a couple of hours," protested
"Sure you were," said John. "But those couple of hours
are prime time for burglars."
"Well, it worked out okay," said Mike. "It's daylight
now so there's no sweat for a while. Burglars don't operate during the
"Listen," John told him. "Some of the best burglars
do it during the day."
"You're crazy," Mike answered. But before he could say anything
more John grabbed his arm and hissed at him to be quiet. They listened
and heard footsteps coming up the driveway.
"You're not crazy," whispered Mike.
Without a sound he and John crouched down behind a table. The footsteps
came closer and closer until finally they stopped just outside. There was
a long moment of silence. Then the back door creaked open. The burglar
entered quietly. Mike and John jumped out and made the grab.
"You're under arrest!" they both shouted.
It was a dynamite arrest except for one thing. It wasn't a burglar
after all. It was Sally.
"What are you doing here?" demanded Mike.
"Making the first check on the morning shift," Sally explained.
"Ben and I saw the door open and we thought maybe some burglars had
broken in. We were going to make the arrest but we didn't figure on finding
you guys here. Did something happen?"
Mike looked at John. John looked at Mike. Neither of them wanted
to admit that they had slept right through their stake-out.
"Naw, it was quiet all night," John said finally. "We
were just making the last check before going off duty. Where's Ben?"
Ben was still outside in the driveway, trying to get Bentley to run
into -the house and help Sally surprise the burglars.
"Hit, Bentley. Hit!" he shouted. But Bentley didn't. He
"Come on, boy, you can do it," Ben pleaded with him. Bentley
considered it for a moment and decided that he couldn't. He stretched out
on the driveway and closed his eyes. Ben was trying to push him toward
the door when Mike, John and Sally came out to get him.
"Never mind about Bentley," Sally said. "There weren't
any burglars after all. It was only John and Mike."
"Some hit dog you've got there," observed Mike.
"He's getting better," said Ben. "He'll go after you
real quick if you're holding a cookie. I've been training him that way."
"If we get a cookie thief we'll give him a call," muttered
"You wait and see. He's going to be a real good hit dog, aren't
you, boy?" said Ben. Bentley didn't answer; he was asleep.
"Smart-looking dog all right," said John. "You guys
"Sure," said Sally and Ben together. They followed Mike
and John inside. Everyone sat around the kitchen table and ate cornflakes.