John, Mike, Ben and Sally have formed a detective club called the Barton
Avenue Detectives. The following story is the fifth of six cases contained
in this collection.
The Lunch Box Phantom (part 1)
"We haven't made an arrest for ages," John complained. "What's
the matter with the crooks in this city? Are they on strike or something?"
It was lunch hour and the Barton Avenue Detectives were hanging around
the schoolyard together. They were between cases and things were kind of
"Maybe they're on vacation," suggested Ben.
"Crooks don't go on vacations," said Sally.
"Sure they do," Ben told her. "They go to Las Vegas and
places like that to gamble. Or they go up north somewhere and fish without
a licence. I've read about that in the paper."
"They're probably just lazy," said Jessica.
"They could be planning a big job," said Mike hopefully.
"Well, ff they are I wish they'd hurry up and get around to doing
it," said John. "We've been waiting around for three weeks since
our last case and I bet we end up waiting three more. I'm tired of waiting,
But as it turned out, the next case came sooner than John thought. Before
five minutes were up a bunch of grade twos came over to where the detectives
"We're looking for the Barton Avenue Detectives," said one
of the boys in the group.
"The Kids from B.A.D., that's us," Mike told him.
"We want to talk to the Chief Detective," said the boy.
"That's me," said John, a big smile on his face. No one had
ever called him that before. It sounded pretty good.
"My name is Billy," said the boy. "Me and some of the
other guys in our class want to hire some detectives."
"You've come to the right place," said John, really starting
to grin now. "The Barton Avenue Detectives are the best in the city.
We're the best in the country actually. Some people even say we're the best
in the world."
The grade twos just nodded; they knew it was probably so.
"You guys have a big reputation," Billy agreed. "We figured
you were the best ones to ask."
The detectives looked very happy to hear it. All except John, that is.
Suddenly he was looking very serious.
"Well, I don't know if we can take on any more work right now,"
he said with a frown. "We've got a couple of cases we're helping the
cops on and it's kind of busy - a robbery, a couple of kidnappings..."
The grade twos looked impressed. "Gee," said Billy. "I
didn't know you guys did stuff like that."
"Sure, we help out the cops all the time," said John. "We
don't let out the details though, because it's all secret stuff and we work
undercover. You won't say anything, will you?"
"You can trust us," Billy assured him, and the others nodded.
"I don't know if you'll want to work on our case though. It's pretty
"Maybe we can squeeze you in," said John. "What's the