the card caper
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THE CARD CAPER. BY: Chris Woodard. “… And our son’s card deck is missing too.” It was 3:18 p.m. and the police were investigating the crime.

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the card caper


BY: Chris Woodard


“…And our son’s card deck is missing too.” It was 3:18 p.m. and the police were investigating the crime.


“We can’t send in a detective until two weeks from now because he’s on a case,” Chief Tomston said. At 2:14 p.m. that very day, a man broke in and stole the cards while Billy Hiens was on the bus. His card deck was very precious to him, he’d gotten it for his birthday from his best friend.


“I’ll find the thief myself,” thought Billy. He got off the bus about an hour before, when he saw a man in black racing down the street. The thief dropped something at the end of the street. Billy had a good lead on the case. A lot of Billy’s friends lived down that way. One of them must have seen the perpetrator. First, he visited Phil Nix. When Billy found Phil, he appeared to be looking for something.


“What’s up Philly?” Billy always called Phil Philly. Phil was chewing gum.

“I’m looking for my gloves.” replied Phil.

“Gloves,” thought Billy, “The thief was wearing gloves! Black gloves!” Billy was sure Phil’s gloves were black!


Next, he visited Tall Pete. He was only 12, but he was 6ft. tall! Pete was doing the usual, playing basketball. Unlike everyone else in 5th grade he could dunk the ball.


“Sure I saw him. Wasn’t it a tall guy, black clothes with only his eyes showing?” replied Pete.

  • “Yes! That’s exactly what he looked like!”declared Billy.
  • “He disappeared where Animal Street meets Oaken Lane.”

“Why do you have a band-aid on?”

“Oh that? Just a paper cut I got on the receipt my mom got last night when she was shopping,” said Tall Pete convincingly. “I always go to my sister, Lindsay’s aisle.”

Billy had thought Pete’s sister was Julie.


“Want to play cards? My mom bought some last night. Haven’t played with them yet. They’re new.” As the game went on, Billy noticed something. The queen of diamonds was missing.


Suddenly, memory coursed through him like a relay race. After the game, he left. A shining penny brought his attention to the bushes on the side of the sidewalk. There, right at his very feet was a clue that put the case away.


The detective never had to come because of this one piece of cardboard.

What was the clue?

Who was the perpetrator?


Tall Pete! He had takenthe cards! When he wouldn’t confess, Billy pulled out his proof. The piece of cardboard was the queen of diamonds card.


Pete said that his momgot the cards for him last night at the store and were new as a baby, yet he was missing a card. The Croppers receipt did have a deck of cards on it, but the name was Lindsay. Tall Pete always goes to his sister Julie’s check-out aisle.