The Missing Painting: Part 2

 

A minute later, once I’m in front of Gavin’s house, I start looking around. I’ve never been in this part of town before. The houses here are nice. Really nice.

In the distance I see two uniformed men walking up. “Hello, officers!” I call softly. “Did my dad tell you what we’re supposed to be doing here?”

They shake their heads no, and hold their fingers up to their lips to shush me. I gesture them to come closer, and they run over to me. That’s when I notice something. These aren’t Dad’s policemen. These are my two younger brothers, Aaron and Justin dressed in some of Dad’s old uniforms.

“Aaron, Justin, what are you doing here? I thought Dad was sending his two best men.” I whisper. They rolled their eyes at me, and Aaron replies, “We are his two best men. Aren’t we Justin?”

Justin nods with a grin, and then asks, “What are we doing here anyway?”

“Well, since you’re already here, I guess you’ll have to work.” I sigh. “Come closer and I’ll tell you what we’re doing here.” The boys huddle in.

“I think the guy who lives here stole a famous painting from Williamsburg, where I’m volunteering.” The boy’s eyes grow wide in excitement. “Dad got an emergency permit for us to go inside and look for the painting, his fingerprint, and other clues.”

“We’re gonna break in this place!” Justin states eagerly.

“Be quiet!” I whisper. “If anybody finds us snooping around here, it could be dangerous.”

Aaron replies, “This thief guy could come home any second. Oh, and what’s his name?”

“His name is Gavin,” I reply. “And, well, I guess you’re right. He could come home any second. Justin, you stay out here, and if anybody pulls into the driveway, you rap on the back door. Aaron, come with me. We have to hurry, OK?”

“OK,” he answers.

“Let’s go see if the front door is unlocked, and if it’s not, I’ve got a little trick,” I mutter.

“OK,close” he agrees. We quietly walk up to the front door and try it. It’s locked.

“Now for the trick,” I whisper, pulling a bobby pin out of my hair. “I just stick a bobby pin in the lock and…” click. “It unlocks the door.” We both walk inside and quietly closed the front door behind us. I turn to Aaron, “Let’s start by finding Gavin’s bedroom. A lot of the clues we need should be in there.”

Once we are in the bedroom, I open the closet and start flipping shoes upside down, looking for a shoeprint that matches the one in the palace. I quickly find one that matches perfectly! “Hey Aaron, I found some evidence that Gavin might have committed the crime!” I state.

“I think I did too!” Aaron replies. “Look at what I found under the mattress. Is this anything?”

“Aaron that is the stolen painting!” I cry. Then we hear a faint rapping, and a door opening downstairs. We both know what that means. Gavin! We quickly but quietly scramble around, looking for a hiding spot. Finally, after no luck, we decide to see if we can sneak downstairs, and through the back door.

On our way downstairs, I bump into something. I quickly glance up to see what it is. Gavin!

“What are you doing in my house you little thieves?” he yells. “And with my new, expensive painting! Do you want me to call the police?”

“No thank you, Gavin, you don’t need to call the police on us, but we might need to call the police on you,” I calmly reply.

“Um, uh…. What are you talking about?” Gavin stutters. “It isn’t like I stole a very expensive painting from the governor’s palace last night while I was wearing those shoes you are holding.”

Me and Aaron glance at each other and roll our eyes.

“Gavin, I know what you were really doing last night. You were doing exactly what you just said you weren’t doing. You are lying to us. Aaron, go ahead and call the police. This guy deserves it.”

“OK,” Aaron willingly replies.

“You will not call the police on me,” Gavin hisses, knocking Aaron’s phone out of his hand, and shatters the screen to tiny pieces. “Sure, I may have stolen a few things from Colonial Williamsburg, but that can just be our little secret, OK?” Then, grabbing us by the necks, he shoves us against the wall, “I’m not letting go until both of you promise never to tell anybody. Promise?”

I know I could never make a promise to someone like Gavin. I think fast, trying to come up with a good response. Just then, Justin, with a girl who looks about my age, come running in. “Hi, my name is Abby. Sophia sent me to check on you, and Justin told me …. Whoa! What’s going on? Oh, is this the thief or something? Are you OK?” Abby blurts out. She runs over to us, grabs Gavin’s hands, and pulls him away from us. Aaron and I both take a big sigh of relief.

“This is the thief. Now we are fine. He’s a little upset because we were upstairs getting proof that he is the thief. I reply.

“Are you sure he’s just a little upset?” Maddie asks. “He looks ready to kill you.”

“OK, maybe he is really mad,” I agree. “If you can keep Gavin right there, I can go call the police.”

“Sure, I can keep him right here,” Maddie replies, holding Gavin back with one hand. “I have super strength, so it’s easy. That’s why Sophia sent me, instead of one of the other volunteers.”

“Oh, cool!” I answer. “And thanks. The police should be here shortly.”

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