Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of Pablos Nose (4 page)

BOOK: Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of Pablos Nose
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“There could be five dollars' worth of something in the bag,” Sally said.

They cut in front of the boy, only to be disappointed again. On his T-shirt were the words
KING PIN BOWLER
.

“Have you noticed something?” Sally said. “There are so many people wearing T-shirts with words like
BOWLING
or
BOWLER
written on them.”

“The state bowling tournament begins at the Ocean Lanes tomorrow,” Encyclopedia said. “Idaville is full of bowlers.”

“Even little kids?” Sally said. She pointed to a girl with
WEST SIDE BOWLING PAIRS
on her T-shirt.

“The tournament has age groups,” Encyclopedia said. “The younger kids bowl in teams of two, or pairs.”

In a hat shop they saw a boy with
GUTTER BALL
on his T-shirt. At a candy counter were three boys with
ROOM TO SPARE, BOWLER PAIRS
, and
TIME TO SPLIT
on their white T-shirts.

The detectives continued searching.

They saw short boys and tall boys, skinny boys and fat boys. None had
POLAR BEARS
on his T-shirt.

“If only Tony had gotten a good look at the thief's face,” Sally grumbled.

They reached the end of the shopping center.

“Let's give it up,” Sally said. “It's hopeless.”

“We took the case, and we'll finish it,” Encyclopedia insisted. “We're not quitting.”

Sally flinched. “As Tony would say, I'll soon have fired teet.”

Encyclopedia stopped in his tracks.

“Sally, that's it!” he exclaimed. “The thief is—”

Who Was the Thief?

(Turn to
this page
for the solution to The Case of the Organ-Grinder.)

The Case of Pablo's Nose

P
ablo Pizzaro, Idaville's greatest boy artist, burst into the Brown Detective Agency.

“My nose,” he wailed. “It's been stolen!”

“Whoever stole it returned it in very good shape,” Sally observed.

“I don't mean
my
nose,” Pablo said. “I mean Abraham Lincoln's.”

He explained. Last month the nose on the statue of Abraham Lincoln in South Park had been smashed to pieces by a baseball. So the mayor had announced a New Nose Now contest. The winning nose would be put on the statue. The winning sculptor would get a cash prize.

“I thought I had a good chance of nosing out everyone else,” Pablo said proudly, and told why.

First he had made a mold of the statue's face. Then, using
photographs of Abraham Lincoln, he had built a nose in soft wax. Next he had ground down a piece of the same stone from which the statue had been carved to make sure he had the right texture and color. Then he had mixed that with his special glue. Finally he had shaped the mixture into a copy of the wax model.

“Golly, Pablo!” Sally exclaimed. “You're a regular plastic surgeon!”

Pablo smiled a weak smile. “The nose was my masterpiece,” he said. “There isn't time to make another. The contest ends Thursday.”

“Are you sure it was stolen?” Encyclopedia asked.

“Sure I'm sure,” Pablo said. “I've been leaving the nose on the front lawn to weather so it would make an even better match with Lincoln's face.”

Half an hour ago, he went on, he had discovered that the nose was gone. At the same time he'd noticed a girl biking away from his house like mad. She'd been holding something the size of the nose in her right hand.

“Did you see who she was?” Sally asked.

“I only saw her back,” Pablo said sadly. “She wore a blue shirt and rode a purple bicycle.”

He paused for a strengthening breath of air.

“I should have kept my nose a secret,” he muttered. “Like a blockhead, I bragged all over the neighborhood.”

He laid a quarter on the gas can beside Encyclopedia.

“Find my nose!” he pleaded.

“There are three purple bicycles in the neighborhood,”

Sally said. “Desmoana Lowry has one. So do Martha Katz and Joan Brand.”

The detectives and Pablo started at Martha Katz's house. From Mrs. Katz they learned that Martha was spending the summer with her grandparents in Maine.

The news was no better at Joan Brand's house. Joan had gone off to Camp Winiwantoc in North Carolina a week ago.

“That leaves Desmoana Lowry,” Sally said.

“She has to be the thief,” Pablo said. “She's been jealous of me since I beat her in the tulip drawing contest last year.”

“Being jealous isn't being a thief,” Encyclopedia said quietly. “Let's pay her a visit.”

Desmoana came to the front door herself. “What do you want?” she demanded, giving Pablo an unfriendly look.

Pablo accused her straightaway. “About an hour ago, you stole my nose, didn't you?”

“No, but I should have,” Desmoana retorted. “I'd have improved your looks.”

“He means Abraham Lincoln's nose,” Sally said. “The thief wore a blue shirt and rode a purple bicycle.”

“Does this look like a blue shirt?” Desmoana asked.

The shirt she had on looked very red to Encyclopedia.

“You could have changed your shirt,” Sally said. “But you can't have repainted your purple bicycle in an hour.”

“I didn't need to,” Desmoana retorted. “I didn't steal anything.”

She led the detectives and Pablo to the garage. A purple bicycle stood half hidden behind the water heater.

“When was the last time anyone saw me ride my bike?” she said. “Not for a long time, right? Fact is, it hasn't been ridden for nearly a year.”

“That's the most unheard-of thing I ever heard of!” Pablo yelped.

Sally seemed uncertain. She glanced nervously at Encyclopedia.

Encyclopedia was uncertain, too. He tried to recall when he'd seen Desmoana on her bike last.

It was a bad moment.

Then a happy thought struck him.

“Why did you try to hide your bicycle?” he asked.

“I wasn't hiding it,” Desmoana replied. “I put it out of the way. I'm into roller skating now. It's more fun.”

“That's not the reason,” Encyclopedia said. “Come on, tell the truth. You were never much good at riding a two-wheeler.”

“Who says?” Desmoana snapped.

She rolled the purple bicycle out to the street.

“Slam your eyes on this,” she invited, and forthwith did some trick riding.

She rode in a circle no-handed.

She sat on the handlebars and pedaled backward.

She lifted the front wheel off the ground and whipped through a figure eight.

“There!” she sneered. “I showed you how I can ride a two-wheeler.”

“You showed me, all right,” Encyclopedia agreed. “You showed me you're guilty!”

How Did Encyclopedia Know?

(Turn to
this page
for the solution to The Case of Pablo's Nose.)

The Case of the Carousel Horse

T
he morning after Pablo Pizzaro won the New Nose Now contest, he came bouncing into the Brown Detective Agency.

“I'm headed for the big time,” he announced. “Caldwell Jones asked me to be his helper this summer!”

Caldwell Jones was a sculptor. He had come from England last year and settled in Idaville.

“Wow! What a great summer job,” Encyclopedia said.

“You'll earn while you learn,” added Sally. “I hope.”

Pablo frowned. “I forgot to ask about my pay.”

“You'd better ask,” Sally said firmly.

Pablo put twenty-five cents on the gas can by Encyclopedia. “I'm due at Mr. Jones's place in half an hour. Come with me. I might need someone with a good business head.”

“We'll help you anyway we can,” Encyclopedia promised.

“I've never seen a real artist's studio,” Sally said in a dreamy voice.

Mr. Jones lived in the old part of Idaville. The children found him sitting on his porch.

“I brought my friends along,” Pablo said, introducing the detectives. “Could they see your studio?”

“Of course,” Mr. Jones boomed from somewhere within his thick red beard. “Come inside.”

The studio was a large room filled with wood carvings, tools, stools, and tables. It smelled like a cigar box. Wood chips and slops of paint and varnish covered the floor.

“The place needs a good cleaning,” Mr. Jones said, looking at Pablo.

“Leave it to me,” Pablo replied, though rather feebly.

“I say, you'll do dashing well,” Mr. Jones said approvingly. “Now let me show you something rare and beautiful.”

He walked to an object as big as a piece of furniture, hidden under a bedsheet.

“Behold!” Mr. Jones said, pulling off the sheet.

Encyclopedia beheld a white wooden horse. Its saddle and blanket were painted in bright colors. Red roses bloomed in its golden mane.

“I call him Emperor,” Mr. Jones said. “The hole behind the neck is for the pole. Emperor was made for a carousel. How I wish I'd carved him! Can you guess who did?”

Sally and Pablo shook their heads. Encyclopedia searched his memory.

“I'll give you a clue,” Mr. Jones said.

He ran a finger alongside a small painting just above the raised left front leg. “President Teddy Roosevelt.”

“There was a carver who always painted President Roosevelt's face on his horses,” Encyclopedia said thoughtfully.

Mr. Jones's eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Very good, young man,” he said. “Now look there.”

He pointed to a name carved just below the picture of President Roosevelt: R. A. Bently.

“Bently was the leading carousel carver in America,” Mr. Jones said. “His horses were so lifelike they almost seemed able to gallop off the carousel platform.”

“Why did he always put a picture of President Roosevelt on his horses?” Sally inquired.

BOOK: Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of Pablos Nose
11.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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