Authors: Ron Roy
Here’s what kids and parents
have to say to Ron Roy,
author of the
A to Z Mysteries
“Your books are the best in the world! You have made me an A to Z whiz.”—Jonathan A.
“I love to read your books so much that sometimes after I’m in bed, I will get out a flashlight and read.”—Linus R.
“I like your books because you combine action, mystery, and adventure all in the same book.”—John Michael H.
“I really love your stories and I really love you.”—Matthew C.
“Thank you for writing such an innovative mystery series for children. Your books certainly help a child to use her brain and think as she reads the story.”—Patrice Y.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
This book is dedicated to Andrew Stern.
To Todd, and the skeleton at Marlborough College
“Dink, would you mind passing out math paper to everyone?” Mrs. Eagle asked.
“Oh, no, a math quiz,” Josh groaned.
Mrs. Eagle smiled. “Yes, Josh. We have one every Monday at ten o’clock,” she said. “Now, I’d like to see bright eyes, quick minds, and sharp pencils!”
Kids fumbled inside their desks for pencils. Then some of them formed a line at the pencil sharpener.
Dink liked his teacher and his room.
Everywhere he looked he saw books, cheerful posters on the walls, and sunlight coming through the windows. Mrs. Eagle had brought in a rug and some big pillows for the reading corner. That was Dink’s favorite spot in the room.
Dink’s full name was Donald David Duncan. But when he first learned to talk, all he could say was “Dink!” Now that was his permanent nickname.
He walked to the paper shelf, grabbed a stack, and began handing it out to the other third graders.
When Dink got to his friend Josh’s desk, Josh grinned and whispered,
Teacher’s pet, teacher’s pet.
When Dink gets sick,
he goes to the vet.
Josh Pinto was tall and thin. He had red hair that liked to fall over his freckled forehead.
Dink crossed his eyes at Josh. Then he slid a piece of paper onto his desk.
“Can I have two?” Josh asked, pulling another sheet from Dink’s stack.
“Ouch!” Dink yelped, looking at his finger. There was a thin cut, and it was beginning to bleed.
“What’s the matter?” Mrs. Eagle asked, walking over to Dink.
“I got a paper cut,” Dink said.
“I’ll bet that hurts,” Mrs. Eagle said, handing him a tissue. “You’d better go to the nurse’s office and get a Band-Aid.”
Dink pressed the tissue against his cut and headed for the door. When he passed Ruth Rose’s desk, she grinned at him. “Hurry back for the quiz!” she teased.
Ruth Rose Hathaway lived next door to Dink on Woody Street. She had
bouncy black hair and quick blue eyes. She always dressed in one color, from head to toe. Today’s color was daffodil yellow.
“I’ll be back,” Dink said. He left the room and headed toward the nurse’s office. Mr. Neater, the tall, white-haired school janitor, was sweeping the floor. He wore a metal key ring on his belt. The keys jangled when he pushed the broom. He waved at Dink.
Dink showed him his cut.
“Ooh, bet that hurts,” Mr. Neater said.
Dink walked past a long line of lockers and bulletin boards. His paper cut was stinging, so he squeezed the tissue tighter.
When he passed the principal’s office, the secretary, Mrs. Waters, was sitting at her desk. Behind her, through another door, Dink saw the principal,
Mr. Dillon, talking on the telephone.
Mrs. Waters smiled at Dink. “Are you here to see Mr. Dillon?” she asked.
Dink stopped at the doorway and held up his finger. “Paper cut,” he said.
Mrs. Waters shook her head. “Bet that hurts,” she said.
Dink nodded and hurried next door to the nurse’s office. Miss Shotsky was staring at her calendar when Dink walked in.
“Can you believe it’s almost the end of March?” she asked Dink. “Eighty-two days till summer vacation!”
Dink held up his finger. “Um, I got a paper cut,” he said.
“Ooh, I’ll bet that hurts,” Miss Shotsky said. “I’ll have to amputate.” Dink’s mouth fell open, and Miss Shotsky burst out laughing. Then Dink laughed, too.
“Come on in the back, where I keep
all my torture stuff,” the nurse said. She led Dink through a doorway behind her desk.
Miss Shotsky pointed to the examining table in the middle of the room. “Hop up there, please,” she said as she walked over to a white cabinet.
Dink sat on the table and looked around the room. Something smelled nice. Then he noticed a vase of flowers on a table next to a closed door.
Over her shoulder Miss Shotsky said, “I have Batman Band-Aids, Wonder Woman Band-Aids, and bunny rabbit Band-Aids. Your choice, kiddo.”
“Batman, please,” Dink said. He stared at the corner of the room where the school skeleton usually hung from a hook.
“Miss Shotsky, where’s Mr. Bones?”
The nurse had her back to Dink. “Hanging in the corner, where he always is.”
Dink stared at the empty corner. The school skeleton had been there as long as Dink could remember. Miss Shotsky would bring it to each classroom when she told the kids how eating vegetables and drinking milk made strong bones. At holiday time, she always dressed Mr. Bones in costumes.
The only thing Dink saw in the corner was a red scarf hanging on a hook. “He’s not there,” Dink said.
Miss Shotsky turned around. “Don’t play tricks on the school nurse,” she said, grinning at Dink.
“I’m not,” Dink said, pointing at the vacant corner. “Look.”
Miss Shotsky looked. Her mouth dropped open. “Well, I’ll be hog-tied,” she said. “He
“Maybe someone borrowed him,” Dink said.
“I don’t know when,” she said. “Mr. Bones was right there when I came in at seven-thirty I know because I put my scarf on him. No, someone swiped my skeleton!”
Miss Shotsky shook her head. “Anyway, let’s look at your boo-boo,” she said, removing the tissue.
In about five seconds, she had cleaned Dink’s finger and wrapped a Batman Band-Aid around it. “Now scoot back to class so I can tell Mr. Dillon
about Mr. Bones,” Miss Shotsky said. She grabbed Dink’s hand and dropped two wrapped chocolates into his palm.
“Thanks a lot,” he said.
“You’re welcome,” she said. “And if you tell anyone the nurse gave you candy, I’ll deny it!”
She patted Dink’s shoulder and walked him to the hallway. Admiring his Band-Aid, Dink ate one of the chocolates on his way back to class.
Mrs. Eagle had her back to Dink when he walked into his classroom. Every kid’s head was bent over the math quiz.
On the way to his seat, Dink dropped the other candy onto Ruth Rose’s desk. “Hey, what about me?” Josh squeaked.
Dink grinned and slipped into his seat.