The Case of the Missing Miniatures

One fine morning, there was a knock at the door of the offices of C&D Detective Agency. Erin, who had decided to become a detective, was holding the fort. And, as everybody knows, Sharon’s are very efficient and hard working Twinns so she had a number of things in her favour already.

Dawn and Caitlyn were out on a case, Heather was busy with a recording at radio WTWINN and Skye was at the local bakery doing a promotion for chocolate chip cookies.
Erin opened the door and found Sally standing outside.
“Hi Erin, are one of the detectives in?”
“Hi Sally, I’m afraid not, but they left me to hold the fort in case something comes up. I am only a detective aluminium grade, and am authorised to take down details, descriptions and evidence, as well as write out receipts and do filing. Does that help?”
“I am sure that you will do as good a job as C&D does. I would like C&D to take on my case please.”
“Let me just get my pen and some paper and I will take down your details. Now, what is your name please?”
“It’s Sally.”
“And what mold are you?”
“I am an Emma mold Erin, surely you know that?”

“Of course I do, but I have to stick to procedure. Suppose this ends up in court and they ask me “Did you ask the name of the complainant” and I answer “no, but I knew her name was Sally” the case is liable to get thrown out of court. Detectives are really big on procedure.”
“Hmm… I wonder if Kimmie ever considered going into detectiving? she would have been a natural, very big on procedure she is.” Sally said aloud.
Erin chuckled, “Does she still have that huge board with the flags and push pins and post-its?”
“Yep, only now it takes up most of the wall, instead of a portion of it.”
“Oops, got lost there for a second, where were we? ah yes, could you please explain the nature of the case you need investigating?”
“Well, it’s like this, I am certain I had a packet of Hershey’s Miniatures with me when I arrived, and now its gone. Somebody must have taken them when I wasn’t looking.”
“Hmm… I think we can call this “The Case Of The Missing Miniatures”.
“That pretty much sums it up I guess.”
“Now I have to ask you some questions which may or may not be used in evidence one day.” Erin looked at the form and put on her best interrogation voice. “Do you think that the missing Hershey’s Miniatures may have been taken by…”

Sally thought for a moment…

“Well, thats takes care of that. Can you describe these missing Miniatures?”
“Oh, it was a small packet, with selections of Mr Goodbar, Krackel, Milk Chocolate and Special Dark”.
“And where did you see it last?”
“I am not sure, I know that Lily Su and I had them on the aircraft with us and that I definitely hadn’t finished them by the time we arrived at Tumbling Twinns. I still offered Brenda one when I a met her.”

“And after that? when was the next time you saw them?”
“Let me see, Brenda and I held our AGM later that week, and I know there were some left. In fact Brenda brought along a huge slab of chocolate and we finished that off instead of the miniatures. I was trying to keep them for a special occasion.”
“Where are they normally kept?”
“I keep them in my unmentionables drawer, under my unmentionables.”
“And what made you look for them after all this time?”
“I was reading a book and they mentioned chocolate and I remembered that I still had my stash of Hershey’s, I decided that one would go down very well. But when I got there my unmentionables drawer was bare, so poor Sally had none. That’s when I decided to call in some help. For all we know there is a rare chocolate nicker bird flying around nicking chocolates.”
Erin had never heard of a chocolate nicker bird before, and wondered if Sally wasn’t imagining it. “I think we should go look for evidence, lets go check out your unmentionables drawer Sally. I will leave a message for Cait and Dawn, lock the office, and we can go search for clues.”
“Wonderful. Thanks Erin, I knew C&D would get on the case. But don’t I have to sign a form or something? or pay a retainer?”
“Oh yes, but Dawn has the receipt book and Caitlyn has hidden the cashbox away so I cannot take any money yet. Let’s just call this is a preliminary investigation.”
So Sally and Erin went home and Sally showed Erin her unmentionables drawer.

“See, they aren’t here!”
Erin peered at Sally’s unmentionables with her magnifying glass. “I wouldn’t mention this to anybody Sally, just now the culprit eats the evidence. We need to catch them chocolate handed.”
“I haven’t told anybody yet Erin. But don’t you think the culprit would have eaten the evidence already?”
“It is possible, but they could be holding the miniatures for ransom. Have you received any ransom demands lately? any mysterious notes composed of cut out letters from magazines?”
“Not recently, although I did find my Dolly Monthly magazine was missing a few pictures.”
“Oh I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you, it’s only Allison, she always cuts pictures of Dollies out of magazines for her scrap book.”
“Aha! that explains it! Remind me to speak to her about that.”

Just then Chandler arrived, fresh from her morning at the playschool where she helped out with the reborn dolls. “Hi girls. Whats up? Erin? I thought you were helping out at C&D?”
“Hi Chandler. No, I mean yes I am helping out at C&D, but I am on a case at the moment. It’s very hush-hush you know.”
“Hi Chandler” Sally greeted, “I am helping Erin, er, um, helping her with her surveillance technique. She is following me around and I am trying to loose her. We were just comparing notes.”
“Aaah, Ok, well, if you do get a chance can you please remind Paige that she is supposed to come into the playschool and fix that faulty light switch. I left a note for her but it went missing so she never saw it.”
“Aha! the dreaded chocolate nicker bird has struck again!” Sally blurted out.
“The whatbird?” Chandler asked, somewhat confused.
“Um, nothing, its kind of like Murphy’s Law. You know, if something goes wrong its Murphy’s law, well if something goes missing its the chocolate nicker bird.”
“Right…. ” Chandler said, looking sceptically at Erin who just shrugged. “Well, I am off, I just dropped off to grab a quick sandwich, but I think that chocolate nicker bird got hold of the bread and ate it all. I will grab a bite from the cafe. Have fun girls, check you later.”

Chandler rushed out in a blaze of colour and curls. “Phew, that was a close call. We almost blew the lid on the case.” Erin said.
“I don’t think she suspected anything, but we must be careful. Just now she goes and alerts everybody that we are on the case.”
“Well, Dawn always says that when you hit a dead end, all you have to do is ask who benefits from the crime, and what is the motive behind the crime. Section 43 paragraph 3a of the detective manual also states that a detective should never give up, but just approach things from a new angle. I think what we have to draw up a list of likely suspects and then eliminate them one by one.”
“Or, we can just go ask Brenda to have a look in her crystal ball.” Sally said brightly.

Sally and Erin went to where Brenda was busy doing her weekly astrological charts for the Twinns. They explained the situation to Brenda, omitting a few key facts along the way. “May we call upon the services of your crystal ball to find something that’s missing?”

“I guess so Sally, although the crystal ball will only work if there is no material gain to be had from it.”
Sally’s face fell, “drat, I guess asking it to find finding my miniatures won’t work then.”
Brenda shook her head. “Sorry Sally, but that’s how these predictions work I am afraid. Why not ask Waffles to sniff them out, she has a very sharp nose and Amanda has been teaching her how to search for and retrieve library books that have gone missing.”
“Library books? but why would you need a search and rescue dog to find library books?”
“I know there should be a reasonable explanation but I don’t know what it is. My theory is that it’s to prevent you having to pay large fines. “

Looking somewhat dejected, Sally and Erin returned to C&D’s office for a cup of tea and to see whether any of the other detectives had returned yet. In theory they needed to speak to Skye. She was an expert at finding lost things, it was one of the gifts the good fairies had bestowed on her when she was born. She had an impressive record of success and had already achieved her Detective Silver Grade qualification. More importantly they were hoping Skye would bring back some chocolate chip cookies for their tea break. Alas, Skye had not returned from her promotion, although Caitlyn had just arrived.

“Cait, just the Twinn we were looking for. We have a very peculiar case of missing property that Sally has brought us.”
“A peculiar case? I love peculiar cases.”
“yes, I have dubbed it “The Case of The Missing Miniatures”.”
“That’s a very catchy name, how about you give me a quick rundown and we can all put our heads together and try solve it.”
Erin and Sally explained what they knew, tactfully omitting the so called chocolate nicker bird theory.
Caitlyn thought for a moment and then made up her mind. “I have solved the case!”
“You have? Cait? are you joking?”
“Nope, its elementary my dear Erin. When Sally and Brenda went for their AGM she left the miniatures here at the office. I found them as I was locking up and put them in the cashbox. In fact they are still there, minus one or two which Dawn says she sent away for lab analysis.” Caitlyn reached under her desk and took out the cashbox and put it down in front of her.

“Caitlyn, don’t tell me you keep all our valuables in a tin!”
“Actually it’s the best place to put them. Everybody thinks we have all our goodies locked in the safe, but Dawn and I keep the really important stuff right under everybody’s noses. However, seeing as you both know our secret I will have to swear you both to secrecy.” Caitlyn opened the tin and lo and behold there were the missing miniatures.

“Cait, you are a genius!” Sally said.
“Thanks Sally, and you are forgetful!. I told you about them at least 3 times since then and each time you said you would come fetch them when you were in the area.”
Sally blushed. “I am kind of disorganised I expect.”
“And that’s why we enjoy having you here with us Sally.” Caitlyn said. “I think we can see this case as a training exercise for you Erin, because it has all the elements of detecting in it with the added bonus of a tasty snack afterwards! “
“Sheesh Cait, we had better ration these until somebody can send us some more from the Continuum, at this rate we will soon have to investigate the case of the completely missing miniatures.”
So Sally had her miniatures back, later on Skye brought cookies for tea, and Caitlyn and Erin had done some detecting, what an eventful day it had been!

© DRW 2007-2018. Moved to blog 16/04/2015

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