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March 14, 2004

'Mystery of the Hot Pink Skateboard'

March 14, 2004|By Carol Farley | Special to The Times

Carrie and Carl are twins and Laketon's youngest detectives. They were watching TV when the phone rang.

"I need you guys to solve a mystery," Alan Rees said. "Come on over and I'll tell you what happened."

On the way to Alan's house, the twins saw Betsy Watters playing with a dollhouse in her yard. "Isn't it pretty? It's all blue because that's my favorite color," she told Carrie.

"I remember when I loved playing with dolls," Carrie told her brother as they hurried along. "Wouldn't it be fun to have a little sister?"

Carl laughed. "One sister is enough for me!"

When Alan answered the door, he was scowling. "I'm so mad," he said. "I left my skateboard out by the sidewalk this morning. When I went to get it after lunch, I found that someone had painted the whole thing hot pink! I'm going to look really stupid riding it now. I think one of the girls who lives down the street did it. Jackie, Ann and Sandy are always doing dumb stuff like this."

"We'll go talk to them," Carrie told him.

Within moments the twins saw Jackie standing at the corner. Carl pointed to bright streaks of pink paint on her hand. "How'd that happen?" he asked.

She held up a small can. "I found this can of paint just lying here by the curb. Guess I spilled a little when I picked it up."

The twins found Sandy and Ann talking farther down the street. Both girls had pink paint splotches on their hands too.

"This morning I helped Betsy Watters paint her dollhouse," said Sandy.

"And I spilled nail polish on mine!" Ann said.

Five minutes later, the twins were back at Alan's house. "We think we know who painted your skateboard," Carl said.

Who do the twins suspect and why?

Solution: It was Sandy.

Sandy finally confessed that she had painted Alan's skateboard pink. "He thinks he's so cool when he rides around on it. He practically knocked me off the sidewalk yesterday so I wanted to get him back." She sighed. "Now Mom's making me clean off the paint. And if it doesn't come off, I have to buy him a new one. I'm sorry now that I even saw that skateboard. How'd you know I did it?"

"You got caught because you skated around the truth," Carrie said.

Are you a good detective? If so, you figured out that Sandy could not have helped Betsy paint her dollhouse. If she had, she would have known that it was blue, not pink.

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