Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Curious Case of the Gun Underneath Our House

Nancy Drew and Ned Nickerson were on it, but too much time had passed.  Now they would never know who planted a gun in the open yellow suitcase in the crawl space under the house.

Two days ago, Ned came upstairs and told Nancy, "There's a gun in your old suitcase under the house."

Nancy's eyes bugged out unflatteringly and she said, "What?"  (beat for consideration) "It couldn't be or have been mine- you know how I feel about guns!"  (Nancy has a well-known pathological horror of firearms.) 

Ned shrugged.  "All I know is that it's down there.  I think I mentioned this to you before ..."

"Well, what did I say?" shrilled Nancy.  "Dunno," Ned said, "Don't remember." 

"You didn't touch it, did you?"  "No, of course not," he responded.  "Let's go see it," and grabbing the phone, she followed him down the stairs and into the back yard.

After some difficulties getting to the open suitcase due to the piled up boxes, bits and pieces, they bent over it.  Using the back of his hand, Ned shoved aside the piles of old letters, memorabilia, etc. aside as much as he could and unveiled The Gun. 

Nancy studied it from a safe distance from the butt end of the gun.  "I've never seen a gun that black," she muttered more to herself than Ned.  "Looks like a .44 long?"  Ned just shook his head.  "You know I don't know anything about guns."

"Well, you were in the Navy; in basic training didn't they teach you about guns? Didn't you carry a gun then?"  He said, "No, the only time we saw a gun was if you had the duty or Shore Patrol and the gun was more for show than anything else.  So, no, I don't know anything about guns."

"Okay, I'll go call the police to come and get it.  We've had quite a few contractors and gardeners who've had access to under the house through the years - perhaps one of them just stashed it here ...good thing we didn't touch it - fingerprints," she said and went upstairs to call the police.  In her brief call, she stressed that since it had been down there maybe 30 years, there was no hurry in sending an officer out to the house.

And Dispatch did take their time.  Ned and Nancy cooled their heels by sitting on the tail gate of the truck and looking up and down the street.   Finally a cop car pulled up, the officer  turned on the blue and yellow lights and came ambling down the driveway to them.   

He and Ned went to the site.  Nancy waited for them to come back which they did rather rapidly.  Nancy looked anxiously at the officer who said, "BB gun."  Nancy mentally whirred through the album of guns she had seen and a BB pistol wasn't one of them. 

"What should we do with it?" she asked.  The officer said, "Put it in the trash," lumbered up the driveway, got in the cop car, turned off the flashing lights and drove away.

Nancy and Ned looked at each other.  "I don't want some trash guy to find it ... we'll put it in a brown paper sack or something."

Ned said, "I'll take care of it - I'll put it in the bag with the used cat litter."  And so he did.

Nancy and Ned were disappointed in the outcome ... visions of solving a 25 year old mystery via fingerprints drifted sadly away.  A BB pistol.  And no idea of who put it there.  And they would never know after Thursday which is trash day for their street.

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