John, Mike, Ben and Sally have formed a detective club called the Barton
Avenue Detectives. The following story is the sixth of six cases contained
in this collection.
Money, Money, Money (part 1)
There was no school on Tuesday because the teachers were having a special
meeting. So the Barton Avenue Detectives all met at Ben's house right after
breakfast. They didn't come to talk about the crime news though. They came
to play Monopoly.
By eleven o'clock the battle was going full tilt. John had the most
property. He had both Electric Company and Water Works and he completely
controlled the greens and the yellows. Mike had all four railroads and the
three red properties just past Free Parking. Ben had Boardwalk and Park
Place. Jessica had two of the oranges, one of the light blues and both Mediterranean
and Baltic. Sally had two light blues and all of the purples. The last orange
property, St. James Place, was still up for sale because no one had landed
For a while things were pretty even. Then John started to get lucky.
Jessica landed on Atlantic and Mike landed on Marvin Gardens right after.
John had two houses on each so he collected a lot of rent. Ben's turn was
next. He rolled double fives and landed on Ventnor, then rolled again and
landed on Pennsylvania. Suddenly John was getting very rich.
"Money, money, money," he chanted happily as he counted up
his winnings. "Roll the dice and hand over your dough. I'm not stopping
until I've made a million."
"You're disgusting," Sally told him.
"And you're jealous," John replied.
"I am not," insisted Sally. "I just can't believe you
could be so greedy. All you want to do is wipe everybody else out."
Jessica agreed but John didn't care. He just laughed and counted his
money. But when his turn arrived he stopped laughing. He rolled double threes
and landed on Park Place. So he had to pay Ben quite a lot. But that wasn't
the worst part. When he threw the dice again he rolled double ones. That
landed him right on Boardwalk so he had to pay Ben a whole lot more. And
when he picked up the dice for his third roll he got double fives.
"Three doubles and you go to Jail," Mike called out.
"Wait a minute," said Sally. "Double fives puts him right
on Connecticut Avenue. That's mine. He has to pay me first."
"No, I don't," said John, and he quickly put his marker into
Jail. He also picked up two hundred dollars for passing Go.
Sally was furious. "You can't do that!" she told him. "If
you go to Jail you can't pick up two hundred dollars along the way."
"But I passed Go," said John. "I'm entitled."
"Well, if you passed Go then you have to land on Connecticut Avenue
too," Sally said. "You can go to Jail after, but you have to pay
me first. Otherwise it's cheating."
They had a long argument about it and in the end they had to vote to
decide who was right. Jessica voted with Sally. Ben and Mike voted with
John, although the fifty-dollar bill John gave each of them might have had
something to do with it.
"You call yourselves detectives?" Sally told them. "If
you ask me, you're nothing but a bunch of crooks. You cheat and you take
bribes and you're creeps besides. You're worse than creeps, you're..."
"Tycoons," said John, and Mike and Ben laughed. John slapped
them on the back and gave them imaginary cigars. They lit up with hundred-dollar
bills and blew imaginary smoke rings at Sally and Jessica. It was all so
impossible that Sally almost quit. But Jessica took her aside and the two
girls whispered for a moment. When they came back to the game again they
were both smiling.
"John Jenkins, you're absolutely disgusting. So Jessica and I are
going to teach you a lesson," Sally said. "We're going to be partners
and put all our properties together."
"And our money too," said Jessica.
"We won't stop until we absolutely wipe you out," said Sally
angrily. "From now on it's going to be war."
John just laughed and went back to counting his money again. But by
the time half an hour had passed, things had definitely changed. Two turns
after the big argument Sally landed on St. James Place and bought it. Now
she and Jessica controlled half of the game board between them. It was just
about impossible for John to get around their properties without landing
on one of them, usually on two or three. And the girls used their money
to build a lot of houses. They even had a couple of hotels.
To make matters worse, Sally and Jessica wanted to let Ben's little
brother Christopher into the game. They said he could have Mediterranean
and Baltic and they each gave him three hundred dollars to use. John didn't
like that idea at all. It was bad enough having two girls taking all his
money, but to have a little squirt who was only four-and-a-half helping
them was too much.
"Chris can't play," said John firmly.
They had another argument about that. Chris got into it too. He'd been
wanting to play Monopoly all morning.
"Let me into the game, Benny," he pleaded with his brother.
"You let me play when it's just you and me. I even beat you last time."
Saying that was a big mistake. For one thing, Ben hated being called
Benny, especially by his brother. And for another, he didn't like to be
reminded of the fact that he had been beaten by him. Ben threw his vote
solidly behind John.
That left Mike with the deciding vote. He didn't make up his mind either
way for a while, but after John came through with five hundred dollars to
sweeten the deal Mike had no trouble deciding.
"That's it!" said John triumphantly. "The vote is three
to two against Chris playing. No little kids allowed in the game."
"That isn't fair," protested Chris. "I never get to play."
"Maybe some other time, Chrissy," said Ben.
"You're just saying that," complained Chris. "You say
you'll let me play sometime but you never will."
"All right, all right," said John. "We'll let you play
if you're going to make such a big deal out of it.."
"You will?" said Chris.
"We will?" echoed Ben.
"Sure we will," said John. "You can get in the game right
now, Chrissy. The only thing is, you have to bring your own money. Real
Mike and Ben laughed. Sally and Jessica were disgusted again. Chris
was angry about the whole thing.
"All right, I will," he shouted at John. "I'll go and
get some real money and then you'll have to let me in your dumb Monopoly
game. I'll beat you guys for sure."