Li'l LMP in "Grandmother Clock?" - Part 2|
written by Ben Jarvis
Li’l LMP in “Grandmother Clock?”
PART 2: THE PLOT THICKENS
“Why, hello boys!” exclaimed Grandma Rubin when she answered the door. Ryan and Eric stood there expectantly.
“Hi, Grandma Rubin,” they said at the same time. “Can we come in?”
“Why, of course!” She opened the door and let them in, locking it behind them. “Join me in the kitchen, won’t you? But don’t touch my pies!”
“We won’t,” they said, then laughed because they had said the same thing at the same time again. They followed her to the kitchen. On the table rested three freshly-baked pies, steaming hot.
“The town pie contest is coming up in a few days, and I wanted to test a new pie recipe,” Grandma Rubin explained. “Once they’ve cooled, you must have a taste!”
“Rockin’!” Ryan said, pumping a fist in the air. Eric nudged him.
“Ryan, stop thinking about pie for once. We have to find out about the missing clock,” he whispered, annoyed.
“Um, so Grandma Rubin, Mrs. Haugen told us you had a burg-u-lar,” Ryan said bashfully.
“It’s ‘burglar,’ you goof,” said Eric with a laugh.
“Yes, I’m afraid I did have a burg-u-lar,” Grandma Rubin said, shaking her head sadly. “Whoever it was broke a window and stole my heirloom clock.”
“And not a single clue!” said a man’s voice from the other room. In stepped Officer Wescott in his crisp blue police uniform. His badge gleamed in the afternoon sun from the window.
“Hi Officer Wescott,” Eric said.
“Oh, it’s the little trouble-makin’ rascals who always get in my way! What a pleasure to see you again,” he said with annoyance.
“Now, Officer Wescott, don’t be rude to the boys. They’re only trying to help,” scolded Grandma Rubin.
“The best WAY these boys can help is if they stay OUT of my way,” said Officer Wescott.
“We don’t mean any trouble, Officer Wescott,” said Ryan. “We just wanted to help Grandma Rubin clean up.”
“I’ll bet you did, young fellow, I’ll bet you did. If by ‘cleaning up,’ you mean making a mess of things and eating all the tasty pie! Now I have to go file the burglary report, Grandma Rubin, but I’m sure we’ll catch the culprit, whoever he is!” He leaned in close to Eric and Ryan. They gulped. “Or whoever THEY are! Hmm? Maybe two little boys who always get in trouble have something to do with this? I guess we’ll soon see.”
With that, Officer Wescott tipped his hat to Grandma Rubin and exited through the back door in the kitchen. Ryan and Eric sighed in relief.
“Now don’t you mind Officer Wescott,” said Grandma Rubin. “He’s still upset about the case of the missing puppy. He didn’t like being outsmarted by a couple of kids, especially since he ended up on top of a pile of garbage at the town dump!” She patted their shoulders.
“Can we see the crime scene, Grandma Rubin?” asked Eric.
“Of course! Follow me.” She led them into her living room. Ryan and Eric looked around. There was a couch, a chair, an upright piano, a fireplace, a lamp, a coffee table, a rug, and a big window across from the piano. One of the window panes was broken.
“Where did you keep the clock?” asked Ryan.
“On top of the piano,” said Grandma Rubin.
“So the culprit would have to break the window, climb in, and walk all the way across the room to get the clock,” Eric said, “and do it so nobody saw. When did you notice it missing?”
“When I came back from grocery shopping,” she answered. “I left at 2:30 and got back an hour later, just like I do every Wednesday.”
Eric and Ryan walked around the room, studying every square inch. “Something doesn’t make sense,” said Ryan.
“I agree,” Eric agreed.
Just then, everyone was startled by a noise at the door. The handle turned by itself and the door opened to reveal...
“Bradley!” exclaimed Grandma Rubin. She ran and hugged him. He looked over her shoulder at Eric and Ryan with an expression of surprise and dismay.
“It’s Brad Rubin, Grandma Rubin’s grandson,” Ryan said to Eric.
“I know. And I’m wondering how he got in so easily. Wasn’t the door locked?” asked Eric.
“I thought so,” said Ryan.
“I’m glad you used your key this time, Bradley,” said Grandma Rubin. Ryan and Eric exchanged a glance. “Boys, come along and let’s have some pie. I’m sure they’re cooled off by now. You all know each other.”
All three said their hellos. As they walked to the kitchen, Eric whispered to Ryan, “Keep your eye on him.” Ryan nodded.
“Oh no!” cried Grandma Rubin. Eric and Ryan ran into the kitchen to see what was the matter. “My pies!”
They couldn’t believe their eyes. Grandma Rubin’s three fresh pies that had been on the table cooling just moments before were gone! Eric and Ryan looked at each other, confused. Brad looked at them and shrugged, equally perplexed. Grandma Rubin slumped to a chair.
“How could someone slip inside while we were in the other room and steal all my pies?” asked Grandma Rubin. “Now I’ll never win the town pie contest!”
“Maybe,” said Eric, “that’s the whole idea! Maybe someone WANTS you to lose the pie contest, Grandma Rubin. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but I do know we’ve got a real mystery on our hands..."
Together, Eric and Ryan exclaimed, "...and LMP is on the case!”
TO BE CONTINUED...