Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret UFOs

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Table of Contents
 
 
 
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN, BOY DETECTIVE
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN AND THE CASE OF
THE SECRET PITCH
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN FINDS THE CLUES
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN GETS HIS MAN
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN SOLVES THEM ALL
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN KEEPS THE PEACE
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN SAVES THE DAY
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN TRACKS THEM DOWN
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN TAKES THE CASE
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN LENDS A HAND
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN AND THE CASE OF
THE DEAD EAGLES
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN AND THE CASE OF
THE MIDNIGHT VISITOR
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN CRACKS THE CASE
ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN, SUPER SLEUTH
DUTTON CHILDREN'S BOOKS
A division of Penguin Young Readers Group
Published by the Penguin Group
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
 
Copyright © 2010 by Lobos Enterprises, LLC
 
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Published in the United States by Dutton Children's Books,
a division of Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014
www.penguin.com/youngreaders
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-46457-1

http://us.penguingroup.com

For Jim Eiler and David Lile
The Case of the Stolen Stamps
To a person passing through, Idaville looked like many seaside towns. It had lovely white beaches, four banks, three movie theaters, and two delicatessens. It was a wonderful place to live and work.
Unless you were a crook.
No one, grown-up or child, got away with breaking the law in Idaville. The reason for the town's spotless police record was to be found in a redbrick house on Rover Avenue. There lived Mr. and Mrs. Brown and their only child, ten-year-old Encyclopedia.
Mr. Brown was chief of police. He was always being praised for his work. It seemed no case was too tough for him.
In truth, Chief Brown was brave and smart, as were his officers. He knew what to do when a case had him stumped. He went home to dinner. Encyclopedia, the real mastermind behind the war on crime, solved the case at the dinner table. Usually before dessert. Usually by asking only one question.
The chief would have liked to give his son credit. He wanted to shout it from the rooftops or take out a full-page ad in the
Idaville News
. But even if he did that, what good would it do? Who would believe a ten-year-old boy could outsmart hardened criminals?
Besides, Encyclopedia wasn't looking for the extra attention. He was already a little different because only his parents and teachers called him by his real name, Leroy. Everyone else in town called him Encyclopedia.
An encyclopedia is a book or a set of books filled with facts from
A
to
Z
, like Encyclopedia's head. He had read more books than just about anyone, and he never forgot what he read.
One Tuesday evening at the dinner table, Encyclopedia was finishing his meat loaf. His mother was almost done eating as well, but his father's food was largely untouched.
Encyclopedia looked at his mother knowingly. If his father wasn't eating, it meant only one thing. A case was bothering him.
“I'm puzzled by this robbery that occurred yesterday,” he said finally.
“What happened?” asked Mrs. Brown.
“Ten stamps were stolen from Terrence's Stamp Store,” Chief Brown replied. “Mr. Terrence says they were collectively worth thousands of dollars.”
“Was every stamp valuable?” Mrs. Brown asked.
Chief Brown checked his notes. “Mr. Terrence said the thief knew what he was doing. He didn't just grab what was handy.
“He took the most valuable stamps that were on display. Three of them were from Europe and over a hundred years old. Then there were six American stamps, including two that had printing mistakes in them. Not many of those were made. Mr. Terrence says that increases their value a lot.”
“I wish my mistakes were valuable,” said Encyclopedia.
“Don't we all?” said Chief Brown.
“What about the tenth stamp?” asked Mrs. Brown.
“That was just an ordinary stamp, the kind we use every day.” The chief smiled. “You'd think Mr. Terrence wouldn't have even noticed that one being gone, but he's very careful with his records.”
“Was there anything else taken?” asked Mrs. Brown.
“Not that Mr. Terrence was aware of,” Chief Brown said. “Some of the stationery on his desk was disturbed, but he wasn't concerned about that.”
“Do you have any suspects?” Encyclopedia asked.
“As a matter of fact we do,” the chief replied. “We caught Red Finster near the store not long after the robbery was discovered. Red's known to fence stolen goods, especially small things that are easily moved. For him, stealing stamps is almost ideal.”
“Except for what?” asked Encyclopedia.
“Except that he was clean when we nabbed him,” Chief Brown explained. “We're holding Finster for questioning. Naturally, he says he's innocent.”
“Did you search his home?” questioned Mrs. Brown.
“We did,” said his father, “and that was a little funny. Usually, we need to get a warrant to do a search. But Finster said he had nothing to hide, and we were welcome to look. So we did.”
“I guess you found nothing,” Encyclopedia said.
“That's right. Even though we turned the place inside out.”
“What if he had a partner?” asked Mrs. Brown. “Somebody who helped with the robbery and now is holding the stamps until the case cools.”
Chief Brown shook his head. “Finster has a long record, and he always works alone. He doesn't trust anybody. We're going to have to let him go tomorrow if we don't find some proof linking him to the crime. I can't think of anything that will turn up that fast. We might catch him later, of course, when he tries to sell the stamps. Who knows how long he'll wait? Or where he'll try to sell them. Stamps aren't like stolen cars. They're pretty easy to keep hidden.”
Encyclopedia closed his eyes. He always did his deepest thinking with his eyes closed.
Suddenly, he opened them. “Was any of the stationery missing?”
“I don't think Mr. Terrence paid any attention,” Chief Brown said. “There were papers and envelopes scattered all around. He was focused on the stamps.”
Encyclopedia closed his eyes. He always did his deepest thinking with his eyes closed.
Encyclopedia nodded. “At least you can hold Red Finster till the end of tomorrow,” he said.
“By law we'll have to release him after that,” Chief Brown said.
“Don't worry,” said Encyclopedia. “You're not licked yet. By then you'll have the stamp of approval you need.”
 
WHAT MADE ENCYCLOPEDIA SO SURE?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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