"Got what? A case? Have we got a case?" cried John.
"Better than that," Ben told him. "My dad brought home
a videotape recorder from the university and he says we can use it for our
homework story just like we wanted. He showed me how to work it and everything.
It's easy. All you have to do is push the button on the camera."
The detectives were glad to hear the news. They all had to write a story
for school that weekend and none of them was looking forward to it.
"This'll be lots more fun than the usual way," said Ben. "We
can work together."
"And act it out instead of writing it down," added Mike.
"And we won't have to read it to everyone on Monday, that's the
part I hate. We can just show it on the school TV," said Sally.
"This is going to be all right," agreed John. "All the
other kids will probably be reading some dumb story about their dog or something
"Have you thought of a story we can do?" Sally asked Ben.
Ben's face turned a little red. So did Mike's. "Well, we were sort
of thinking..." Ben began.
"You mean you were thinking," interrupted Mike.
"We both were thinking," Ben insisted. "We thought maybe
we could sort of do a story about my dog Bentley ... kind of... "
"Bentley?" exclaimed Sally. "You've got to be kidding!"
"Bentley's a smelly bag of fleas," said John.
"You wouldn't be able to smell him on TV," Ben pointed out.
"We could follow him all around with the videotape machine and tape
everything he does, only we'd just show the best parts. It'd be kind of
a dog documentary."
"But who'd want to watch Bentley?" asked Sally.
"He might have a fight," said Ben hopefully.
"Bentley? All he ever does is sleep all day."
"He knocks over garbage cans sometimes."
"Garbage cans," Sally groaned. "How exciting!"
"We can't use Bentley," said John. "He's too ordinary.
People don't watch TV just to see regular stuff."
Sally nodded in agreement. Ben looked at Mike but he was nodding too.
Finally Ben shrugged and gave in. "All right," he said. "Anyone
have a better idea?"
John did. He showed everyone the story about the bandit. "We could
act it out," he told them. "We could show how he robs the milk
stores and everything, only when we do it we can have the Barton Avenue
Detectives catching him red-handed. It would be almost as good as doing
it for real."