by A21 Reporter Andy Clems
Dick Spanner, the robotic private eye of world renown, awoke to a Valentine’s Day mystery on Friday morning. Someone had sent him a very special message, but had neglected to sign it. Spanner relayed the story in his own words.
“I tumbled out of bed and stumbled to the kitchen and was just about to bore myself and mend my transmission when there was a loud tap at the door. I answered it and told the noisy faucet to pipe down as I had just woken up and all the commotion was draining. He handed me a letter and started running. I figured he ought to get that seen to, he could end up with a bad case of rust.
I opened the envelope and reached inside. Some letter, I’d seen more information on the average postal stamp. It read ‘Pining for you – x’. Not a lot to go on, but I had to start somewhere, so I headed to the forest on the edge of the Big Pear. Pining could be a reference to Pine Trees, right?
I got to the forest and was immediately stumped, there were a lot of paths. Which way to go? Straight ahead, why not? I could always branch out later. As I moved along the path I pondered the perplexing puzzle some more. Who would send me a Valentine’s message? Mae East? No, she was up North with the Wests for the week. Then who?
I was still trying to get the root of the problem when the leaves beneath me gave way and I found myself falling into a pit! I was in a hole lot of trouble and got that sinking feeling when I looked up to see a face I recognized. The name on his shirt read ‘Jack’ and the axe in his hand made it a sure bet that his first name was Lumber. Next to Mendoza, The Fat Man and Eric Von Strongbow, he ranked as someone I definitely didn’t want to run into again.
He told me I’d fallen into his trap. I asked him to tell me something I didn’t know. I wanted to ash him a question, but decided to leaf that for another time. He was playing with the axe in a way that made me realize he was about to cut to the chase. I felt around for anything I could use as a weapon and grabbed hold of a nearby chestnut. Conkering my fears and with quick flick of my wrist I felled him with a strike right between the eyes!
So there never was a mystery admirer, it was all an elaborate trap set by Jack. The guy is nuts, so I left him in the safe hands of Lieutenant O’Grady and made my way out of the forest. Little did I know that I had sown the seeds for my next dangerous assignment…”