A door slammed, and a boy emerged from his house whistling a happy tune. He was taking his time enjoying the sights and smells as he walked down the sidewalk. He shoved his hands deeply into his jean’s pockets.
He stopped and frowned momentarily (which is very hard to do while whistling). Looking quickly around, he spotted an object lying on the cement a few feet behind him. “I’ll have to ask Mum to fix that hole,” he mumbled, stooping down and putting the penknife safely into the already overloaded left pocket.
Just then a pretty, little bird swooped into the sky from its perch on a porch railing, gracefully riding on the back of the wind. It drew the boy’s eager brown eyes toward the sky, and he shaded them with his hand, noting that it should have been hot and sticky out except for the breeze. “Perfect for summer break,” he thought, “And the mystery season.”
He took up the song once more and continued toward a garage a few houses down. The garage door was flung open and a neatly printed sign read “Detective Dave is out”. Below it was another saying, “Questions, answers, mysteries, and chocolate may be submitted to the secretary”.
The boy grinned and rounded the corner. A big refrigerator box set up just inside served as a desk on which lay an assortment of pens, crumpled balls of unwanted paper, a box of Lost and Found items, and a big spy glass. “You called me, Jessie?” he asked, motioning toward the walkie-talkie clipped to his belt.
The girl at the desk bobbed her head, her blonde ponytail bouncing, “A guy came by and left a message for you.” She pulled a stack of fresh papers from a leather satchel and read aloud from the top page. “It says, ‘Detective Dave, a girl’s watch was stolen, then returned and more than one person claims it. I am handing this whole problem over to you.’ And he gave me the contact information for three people,” she finished.
David (Dave was really just his nickname) was pacing the floor now. “Did you get his phone number? I need to know more of the story.”
She said “yes” and phoned ‘him’ with the cordless phone that David had installed in the garage for just such a purpose. Someone picked up on the other end and the secretary said, “This is Jessie for Detective Dave. We would like to know a little more about your case.”
David handed Jessie his pocket notebook, and she began scribbling. He watched over her shoulder as a story began to form under the pencil tip as she questioned the man.
Jessie hung up, read what she had written, and then handed it to David.
Sitting down on a cardboard box that tried to collapse under him, he read what she had written.
“A girl’s watch was stolen from a park bench three weeks ago. I followed the kid until he gave it back, and now I am stuck with it. Anyway, the teenager wore dirty blue-jeans and a worn out sweatshirt, and he was rather skinny and tall…kind of lanky. I can’t remember what hair color he had. It is a really nice wrist watch so I put up signs asking people to call about a lost watch to try to get it safely back to the real owner. Many people called me about their lost watches so I described it to them. Maybe I should’ve had them describe it to me... Most of them decided it wasn’t theirs. I finally narrowed it down to three girls who still claimed the wrist watch. Kelsey Jones is about 16 years old, Joy Fowl is 16 also, and Elisabeth-Ann Opal is 18.”
“Jessie, you copy this for yourself,” he instructed, “while I phone the girls asking them to come to the park in 15 minutes to be interviewed.” The partners were soon both whizzing down the street on their bicycles. David suddenly made a sharp turn and parked in front of an unfamiliar house. Skidding to a stop beside his bike, Jessie gasped out, “What was that for? And why are we here, Dave?”
“The guy said to pick up the watch really quickly, and then we can be on our way.”
He came back in less than a minute. With it tucked safely in Jessie’s skirt pocket, they pedaled to the park nearby. David jumped from his bicycle, letting it crash onto the grass, and walked toward a picnic table where three people were waiting. Before joining them Jessie carefully propped her bike against a tree.
The partners stood facing the girls. Jessie smiled at them but only one returned her greeting. “My name is Joy Fowl,” the girl said, giving her a shy smile. She was a quiet girl with glasses and long, kinky brown hair pulled back from her face.
“Hello, my name is David, and I have been asked to sort out this situation,” he introduced himself. “And this is my secretary Jessie. Thank you all for meeting us here.”
Jessie began, “All right, let’s start with… Kelsey Jones.”
A girl in jeans and a bright pink t-shirt stood up. “I am Kelsey,” she said through a wad of bubble gum, which very much annoyed Jessie. “And that is my watch,” said Kelsey forcefully, pointing a finger at the expensive silver wrist watch Jessie had drawn from her pocket.
“We’ll see about that,” she replied as kindly as possible, but still holding it securely in her hand.
David cleared his throat, “What is, um, wrong with your wrist, Kelsey?” He looked closer. “It looks like the marks I got when I wore my watch too tight,” he stated.
Kelsey hesitated. “Ya, um…It’s from…um, that very watch!” she said falteringly.
David and Jessie exchanged glances, and he wrote something in his notebook before returning it to his back pocket. Kelsey sat back down with an air of satisfaction and triumph.
The young lady named Elisabeth-Ann, dressed in a business-like grey skirt and matching blouse, sprang up and teetered on her high-heeled shoes. “That is my watch! And I know the real story,” Elisabeth-Ann said, looking down at Kelsey disapprovingly. David nodded for her to continue. “I was at the park when a short, dark man came and told me to hand over my watch,” she gave a dramatic sniff and told the rest of the story, but David was hardly listening.
He glanced at his notebook, then at Jessie, and didn’t even bother to interview Joy.
“We have our wrist watch owner,” announced Detective Dave.
Who does the wrist watch belong to? And how did David find out?
Look in the comments for an answer!