Катя (inostranka) wrote,

The Mystery of the Mysterious Letter

“Emma, Emma, where are you?”
That is my little brother calling me. But before I answer him, I must introduce myself.
My name is Emma Fraction and I am ten years old. I live in Albany, New York and I love to solve mysteries with my partner, Sandra Pascal. Both of us are in fifth grade.
I have to go. Dan sounds like he needs me.

Детектив на 3 страницы (single spaced), with ransom note, clues, suspects, a plausible storyline and an unexpected conclusion. Интересно не это. Интересно то, что автор - моя девятилетняя сестрица. С именованием героев у нее, конечно, беда - Emma Fraction, Sandra Pascal, Fib Onachi and Problem Solve, например. Это фамильное (и наглядный пример nature vs. nurture). Классно смотреть на этого детенка и видеть родного похожего человечка. Кстати, американские школы, видать, вполне даже ничего. Я в ее возрасте до таких детективов не доросла еще (правда у меня и компьютера со spell checker не было).

“I’m in my room. What’s wrong?”
“I have a letter for you. It looks important.”
That’s my brother, the mailman. Though he is only seven, he helps my dad deliver the mail.
“Come on already.” Dan is shouting impatiently.
I better come. Dan sounds like he is about to cry and if he does, I’ll be in big trouble.
“I’m coming.”
I run downstairs. Dan eagerly gives me the letter. It does not say who it’s from which makes it looks suspicious.
“I will go upstairs to open it, okay?” I asked my brother.
“Only if you show it to me after.”
That is a typical Dan remark. Always so curios.
“Fine, I’ll show you.”
When I got upstairs, I read the letter. This is what it says:
Miss Fraction,
If you want to find Karik, you must put $1,000 on swings on your playground. You must put it on a first day in May, 2005.

This is a very strange letter. I love Karik, my parakeet. I will go check on him.
He is still in his cage in the family room. Nothing is wrong.
Of course, he might be stolen in the night. This looks like a mystery to me. I better call Sandra.
346-9802. “Hi Sandra, it’s me, Emma. I think there is a mystery. Come over to my house right away.”
“Okay, I will.”
I hear the bell. Sandra’s here.
“Hi. Someone plans to steal Karik.”
“Karik? Oh no!” Sandra loves Karik. “Not him! We have to save him!”
“Let’s write the clues and suspects.” I decided.
“Good idea.” Sandra agreed.
So we made a chart. So far, we have neither.
“Well, he or she wrote Karik and not your parakeet so they must know his name. They also wrote on the first day in May, 2005 instead of on this coming Wednesday. The E key on the keyboard is broken.” I reasoned.
Sandra’s father sells computers so he might help us.
“Let’s put it as a clue.” Sandra suggested.
Now we have one clue but no suspects.
“Hey listen.” remembered Sandra, “My father has just sold a keyboard with a broken E key. I could ask him who it was.”
“Well, then let’s go.” I replied.
Sandra’s dad told us that he sold it to a teenage girl with long, curly, red hair. Her name is Andy but he didn’t get her last name.
So we jogged all around town looking for our Andy. We found two that fit the description and who had recently bought a keyboard with a broken E key. Now we have two suspects on our chart.
“Let’s talk to them.” Sandra decided.
So we talked to them.
Andy Canoe, the first Andy said, “I didn’t do it. Look, the note is not saved on my computer. I always save my things.”
“Bye. I called as we left. On our way to see the other Andy, Andy Favorite, I said to Sandra, “Maybe she didn’t save it this time or it is on a different computer. She is still a suspect.”
When we got there, Andy Favorite protested, “I didn’t do it. I’m only fourteen and no one will drive me. The store is not of walking distance away from here.” Andy was almost crying.
“Sorry.” Sandra apologized.
We kept Andy Favorite on our list but Andy Canoe was our first suspect. We will question her again.
“You don’t believe me. If you answer this question correctly, I will tell you who I saw writing a mysterious letter.” Andy Canoe answered angrily when we came back.
“What triangle that has numbers inside was named after a person?”
“Pascal’s triangle.” Sandra quickly and surely answered. She is a whiz with Pascal’s triangle.
“Correct. Bill Madison, the middle school bully, wrote a note during writing class on a computer.”
“Let’s check out Bill.” Decided Sandra.
“Wonderful idea.” I exclaimed, “Let’s go.”
Now we had two suspects, Andy Canoe and Bill Madison. Andy Canoe is still suspicious.
“I didn’t write the note. I didn’t know you; your last name or that you had a parakeet. I definitely didn’t know your parakeet’s name until now.” Shouted Bill impatiently when we came.
“Okay. Bye.” I replied to Bill. And to Sandra I said, “Well, one suspect left. Andy Canoe. It would be just like a criminal to give us a wrong clue. Speaking about clues, we need a lot more.”
“Good idea.” Sandra recited again.
“Maybe the culprit tricked us. He or she wrote no Es in the note to lead us on a wild goose chase.” I finally thought of and told Sandra.
“That means we are back to where we started.” I replied grumpily.
“What about fingerprints?” Sandra suggested.
“Our fingerprints are on it.”
“But maybe,” I continued, “the words.”
”It looks like a teenager in a rush.” Sandra observed when we got to my house.
“How about we check each of the teenagers I know first.” I decided after a minute of silence.
“How many is that?”
“Three know my last name, that I have parakeet and the parakeet’s name.” I answered.
“Augustus Grant, Fib Onachi and Problem Solve.” I remembered.
“Well, let’s go.”
First, we went to see Augustus Grant. He quickly explained why he couldn’t be the criminal. He also said he had seen someone acting mysterious. Augustus would tell us who if we told him how numbers get reduced when they are fractions.
I answered correctly because I know everything about fractions, if I do say so myself.
“Fib Onachi.” answered Augustus after a deep thought.
So we went to Fib Onachi’s house next. He wasn’t home so we decided to go to Problem Solve’s house and come back later.
After a few math problems, Problem exclaimed why he couldn’t have done it.
Now we have one suspect but we need to question him before coming to a conclusion. So we tried him again.
“You’re wondering if I wrote the note with no Es.” Fib told us before we explained why we were there.
“So it was you. You wrote the letter.” Sandra and I exclaimed angrily.
“No, I did not.”
“Then how did you know about it?” I asked.
“I’m psychic.”
“Yeah right.” said Sandra.
“Okay, I did write it. You see, I wanted something exciting to do. So I decided to send a mysterious letter to you that I will steal Karik. Having no Es was a trick. I wasn’t going to steal anything.” Fib explained.
We decided not to call the police. But we did give Fib Onachi a punishment. He will have to take care of Karik for a year, Fib wanted him so much.

12 April 2005

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