This is the second chapter of the mystery series written by five different classrooms of students. There are 10 chapters in all. If you are new to the series, start with the first chapter here!
by Grade 8 students from Skaha Middle School, Penticton, BC Canada
Slowly, drifting down with the ash, came a blue note written in red crayon. It was snatched out of the air by a now enraged Joe.
Thank you for your prompt investigation into the warehouses, my dear detective. Quite honestly, I didn’t intend to make it that easy for you to find your lovely Aunt. Now, it’s up to you to decide if this next clue is real or simply another red herring.”
Elenore Elenore, the one we are looking for,
How does your garden grow?
With a chef, a butler, guards and a driver,
And the little maids all in a row.
“The staff at the manor?” Francois exclaimed.
Joe nodded and began walking towards the chef’s car. “Let’s go interview your co-workers. It couldn’t hurt and it’s only an hour drive.”
It was around three in the afternoon when Joe and Francois arrived at the castle. Having met Nigel, the butler, they first asked him to direct all of the staff to the library. After a brief stop in the kitchen, they were met by the housekeepers Rosa, Brenda, and Amy, Marcus the chauffeur, and the two guards Carnal and Rimbo. Based on his other visits, Joe sensed something familiar was missing from this scene—something covered in dirt and smelling like flowers.
His eyes met those of the staff. “William!” they all said. Sure enough, the gardener was missing from the roster.
They turned around and looked out the window. There he was, rubbing his soil-covered hands on his pants and running down the driveway to the garage. They dashed to the exit of the library, down the two sets of stairs and to the garage. The man glanced back once and sped up, past the old black truck that he owned and towards Elenore’s garage.
It was the BMW that he chose as his get-a-way. It was going to be hard to catch. Joe threw his hands in discouragement, but Francois only put his hand on his shoulder. “We must still try,” he said, pulling his friend towards the yellow car.
They headed in the direction that William had just gone, down a winding country road. They caught sight of the stolen car about two kilometers away from the manor. The BMW was half turned in the ditch, skid marks on the concrete. When Joe and Francois slid down the bank, they found the driver pulling himself out of the vehicle, covered in scratches and bruises. It wasn’t who they had expected.
“Ramone!” they cried in astonishment. “Are you alright, what were you doing disguised as a gardener?”
The young man just scowled at them and brushed off their helping hands. “Disguised?!? I’m studying botany. But more importantly, why were you chasing me?”
Joe frowned. “Your mother is missing. We were questioning the staff but William is gone. We saw a man in gardener’s clothes running and…”
“…you thought I was him.” Ramone signed and allowed Joe to help him up the embankment while Francois called for a tow-truck.
Joe waited for his cousin to get in the car before looking for answers. “Why were you running?”
“Why do you think? You were chasing me!”
“Not good enough,” Joe snapped. “You didn’t even wait to see who we were.” Francois was watching the exchange, his lips pressed tightly together in a frown.
“Do you know something?” Ramone’s eyes moved downwards and he shifted uncomfortably in his seat. (to read the next chapter, click here)
Do You Like Mysteries?
They are a lot of fun to read, but fun to write too! Have you tried to create your own mystery story before? It can be short and not too complicated. Just create a puzzle that needs to be solved and you’d be on your way. You could even send your story to B! by visiting submit.