The Door-to-Door Deception by Carolyn Keene

The Door-to-Door Deception by Carolyn Keene

Author:Carolyn Keene
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Aladdin


To Catch a Thief

A wave of anger washed over Nancy. George was one of the most honest, upright people Nancy knew. How dare Maria accuse George of being a thief! Nancy thought indignantly.

Nancy took a deep breath. She put her hands in her pockets to hide the fact that they were trembling. Keeping her voice as level as she could, she said, “You’d better explain that accusation, Maria.”

“You bet I’ll explain it,” Maria spit out. “Three days ago I gave George an envelope to give to Alex. I would have done it myself, but I had to leave early. Inside was all the money I’d collected for energy bars over the weekend. It came to more than three hundred dollars. Now Alex says he never got it.”

“Now hold on, Maria,” Lena said forcefully. “Those are serious accusations. Why don’t we find out what George and Alex have to say about this, before we go any further.”

“Alex is gone for the day,” Maria said. “I happened to catch him on his way out. That’s how I found out about this.”

Lena picked up a copy of the daily schedule. “George should be downstairs coaching Ping-Pong,” she said, reaching for the telephone.

Nancy, Lena, and Maria waited together in tense silence for George to appear. A couple of minutes later, George hurried in, breathless from running up two flights of stairs. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

Maria started to speak but Lena held up a hand to stop her. She turned to George. “Do you remember getting an envelope from Maria to give to Alex?”

“A couple of days ago? Sure,” George said.

“Did you give it to him?” Lena asked.

“Sure,” George said. “That same afternoon.”

Maria took an angry step toward George. “He says he never got it,” she said. “And there was over three hundred dollars in there.”

“I don’t know what was in it,” George said calmly. “You’d sealed the flap. But I handed the envelope to Alex and told him it came from you. Whatever was inside when you gave it to me was still inside when I gave it to him.”

Maria’s face reddened. “Are you calling me a liar?” she demanded.

“No,” George said. “I’m not. But what if I was? That’s no worse than calling someone a thief, is it?”

George turned to Lena and added, “Why don’t you ask Alex what happened to the envelope?”

“Don’t worry, I will,” Lena replied. “But he left for the day. And he told Maria he didn’t get the envelope, so we still have a mystery on our hands. Um . . . Nancy? Do you think—?”

“You’re not going to ask her to investigate, are you?” Maria cried, breaking in. “She and George are best friends!”

“We have to have confidence in our colleagues,” Lena said. “If Nancy can’t be impartial, she’ll turn the investigation over to someone who can. Fair enough?”

“That’s okay with me,” Nancy said. She thought, but didn’t say, that since she knew George wasn’t a thief, her investigation on that front would be nonexistent.

“Well, it’s not okay with me,” Maria declared.


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