They got one sooner than they expected. That afternoon the principal
made an announcement over the P.A. A wallet had been stolen from one of
the teachers during the lunch hour. A lot of money was missing. The principal
told everyone that he hoped the person responsible would step forward and
return the money.
The Barton Avenue Detectives met by the side door at afternoon recess.
Everyone came as soon as they could get away. Everyone except Jessica, that
is. She didn't show up.
"Didn't you tell her?" John asked Sally.
"Sure I did. She said she'd be here."
"Well, she sure is making a good start," said John. "A
big case comes up and all of a sudden we can't find her. I guess that's
what you get for letting a girl in."
"John Jenkins, you better watch what you say," said Sally.
"If Jessica's not around, then she probably has a very good reason."
"Well, what is it? That's what I'd like to know. Greg made the
meeting, no sweat. He even brought gum, didn't you, Greg?"
Greg smiled and passed around the Double Bubble. "On call twenty-four
hours a day and ready for action," he said. "Now, what've you
found out about this wallet caper?"
John outlined the facts of the case. "Looks like a simple case
of robbery with some breaking and entering but no kidnapings or murders
or any other rough stuff," he told the other detectives. "The
victim was Miss Kimberley. She had to go to a staff meeting during lunch
hour and forgot to take her purse. She left it in the classroom on her desk.
When she got back the purse was still there but the wallet was missing.
She lost fifty dollars..."
Everyone considered the situation. There were a lot of suspects. Most
of the kids hung around the playground during lunch hour and sneaking in
was easy. Anyone could have done it.
"There's over three hundred kids in the school," groaned Sally.
"And fourteen teachers," added Mike.
"Come on, Mike," said Sally. "You can't suspect them.
"Don't be so sure," said 'Mike. "What about Mr. Shishis?
He's pretty suspicious, if you ask me."
"It can't be one of the teachers," said John. "They were
all together in the staff room at the time of the crime."
"They all have alibis then," agreed Ben.
"Hey, wait a minute," said Mike. "Maybe there wasn't
really a crime in the first place. Maybe Kimberley's just pretending someone
stole her wallet so she can collect the insurance."
"Don't be a doughnut," said Sally. "Nobody insures wallets."