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September 14, 2003

'Mystery in Mr. Reeder's Yard'

Are you a good detective?

September 14, 2003|By Carol Farley | Special to The Times

Carrie and Carl are twins and Laketon's youngest detectives. Today they have a new case to solve. They are in Mr. Reeder's backyard, looking at the mess that somebody made.

"I just bought that birdfeeder," Mr. Reeder told them, "and just look at it now. It's broken into a dozen pieces. I know some kid wrecked the whole thing."

"Are you sure it was a kid?" Carrie asked.

Frowning fiercely, the old man nodded. "And I'll bet it was Brad Levine, Nick Writz or Ron Billings! All kids are troublemakers, but those three are the worst in the neighborhood. They're always up to no good!"

"We'll see what we can find out," Carl told him.

The twins found all three boys on the basketball court at the nearby school.

"Do you know anything about what happened in Mr. Reeder's backyard?" Carl asked.

Brad shook his head. "Nope. I try to stay away from him. He's a real grouch. Haven't been past his house in ages."

"Me, neither," Nick said. "He's so crabby I don't go near him. Squirrels probably wrecked his birdfeeder."

"He yelled at me so much that I vowed to never walk on his side of the street again!" Ron sighed. "He's always frowning. I think his face would crack if he ever smiled."

"One of you made that mess," Carrie said.

"And I think we know who," Carl added.

Which boy do the twins suspect and why?

Solution: It was Nick Writz.

Nick confessed the next day. "I'm sorry that I did it," he said. "I'd been saving my allowance to buy a new computer game, but now I have to pay Mr. Reeder so he can get a new birdfeeder."

"You blamed the squirrels first," Carrie told him. "You damaged their reputations."

"Maybe you ought to pay the squirrels back too," Carl added.

Nick laughed. "That would be nuts," he said.

Are you a good detective? If so, you figured out that the twins did not mention the birdfeeder to the three boys. Only the guilty person would have known about it.

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