John, Mike, Ben and Sally have formed a detective club called the Barton
Avenue Detectives. The following story is the first of six cases contained
in this collection.
The Case Of The Missing Bike (part 1)
Wednesday was John's tenth birthday. At dinner that night his grandmother
gave him a twenty-dollar bill. His father and mother gave him a racing bike.
As soon as he finished his birthday cake John called up his best friend
Mike and told him all about it.
"Wait'll you see my new bike! It's a red and black BMX racer, with
a shotgun-style saddle, snake-belly tires and cobra grips!"
"Sounds pretty decent," said Mike.
"It's better than decent. It's excellent!"
As soon as he finished talking to Mike he called Ben and Sally and told
them the good news too.
On Thursday it was raining so John couldn't ride his new bike to school.
He went downtown later in the afternoon and bought a chain lock instead.
And a siren. And a lucky-number licence plate-number ninety-nine, just like
Gretzky. Mike came over to help him put the new equipment on the bike.
"I was going to get some other stuff too, only I didn't want to
spend the birthday money Grandma gave me," John told Mike. "I'll
save the twenty for when I really need it." He tightened the last bolt
on the siren and stepped back to see how the bike looked.
"All right!" said Mike, giving John a thumbs-up sign.
"Yeah! I'm glad I waited to buy this extra stuff before I took
it to school," said John. "Wait'll the other kids see it!"
But as it turned out the kids at school didn't get to see John's bike
the next day. Neither did John. When he went out to get it in the morning
it wasn't there. The chain had been neatly snipped just above the lock.
"Oh no!" he cried. "My bike's been stolen!"
After school Mike, Ben and Sally came over. They sat around on the front
porch and tried to think of something to cheer John up, but they weren't
very successful. He was miserable.
"I didn't even get a chance to ride it once," he moaned.
"Maybe the police will find it," said Sally.
"You called them, didn't you?" asked Ben.
"Dad did," said John. "The cops said there wasn't much
hope, though. There've been a lot of bikes stolen this last month and they
think there's a gang of crooks doing it. They steal the bikes, take off
the serial numbers and send them away to another city where another bunch
of crooks repaint them and sell them off second-hand."
"'Can't the cops track them down?" asked Mike.
"The crooks are too organized. They hit different neighbourhoods
in the city and nobody can find their hideout," John explained. "The
cops say they haven't got enough guys to really crack the case. There's
just a couple of them working on it, on account of all the other crimes
going on. I'll probably never see my bike again."
Nobody said anything for a while. What could they say? John's bike was
gone and that was that.
"Maybe we could get some special police," said Mike finally.
"We could try the RCMP," suggested Ben.
"They only do big cases like kidnappings," said Sally.
"Well, somebody's got to do something about these bike crooks,"
said Mike. "I mean, nobody's bike is safe with those guys operating.
We've got to get somebody working on it."