Summary : Sheriff Coffee needs Adam’s help to resolve a strange affair in town…
rating K+ WC 1700
The Three Peanuts
*The Ranch, in the yard.
-“Hi Ben !”
-“Roy, Howdy my friend. It’s a pleasure to see you. What brings you here? I hope my boys aren’t in troubles”.”
-“No, No Ben. Well, I would like to talk to Adam. I’ve some difficulties to resolve a strange case, and…I wondered if Adam…well…If he can help me.”
-“Oh…well…Adam isn’t here yet. But we can wait him with a coffee and the famous cookies of Hop-Sing”
Roy and Ben entered into the house, and sat on the settee. Hop-Sing brought fresh coffee and cookies.
-“So, you need Adam’s help. But you know, it’s Joe here who loves read detective stories” says Ben in a laugh.
-“Oh I know that….actually, where are your boys Ben?”
-“Hoss and Joe are in Reno to buy new horses. They’ll be home in 2 or 3 days. And Adam is with Charly, he should not take long to return. Tell me a little about your affair Roy. Why do you think Adam can help to resolve this strange affair, like you call it?”
-“Ben, Adam has the mind to resolve this mystery. Believe me. You know his logic mind, his deductive brain. I think he’s the man of the situation. Since a week, I try to find a solution at this puzzle. I can’t sleep…I can’t eat.”
At this moment, the door opened and Adam made his entrance into the living room.
-“Adam, my boy, Have you had a good day work?”
-“Hi Pa, oh yes…hey Roy, I’m glad to see you. What news from Virginia City? Yum… Fresh Coffee? Cookies? I’m starving….”
Adam took a coffee cup, and bit a cookie with appetite. Ben smiled to his son.
-“Adam, Roy needs your help for resolve a strange mystery…”
-“Oh…” Adam looks at Roy, without hide a real interest. A little spice in his routine day.
-“I explain. There is a week, Will Cass called me, because a few things disappeared from his shop. Not a lot of merchandises, but it was clear that a thief entered in the shop during the night, and stole the stuff.”
-“What things disappeared, Roy?”
-“It’s why it’s so mysterious Adam…just little things: socks for babies, colored ribbons…that’s all. But each days, the same things are stolen. No more no less. And, the thief put on the counter 3 peanuts, near the cash register. Each morning, Will finds these 3 peanuts at the same place.”
Adam frowned, and scratched his ear, with concentration. Ben was very attentive, and seemed to search an explanation.
-“Roy, Have you noticed footprints or marks…something…”
-“No Adam and it’s why I’m here. Because you’re very smart, and I think you can find something I didn’t notice. Can you come with me to investigate in the shop? Honestly Adam, I haven’t a clue about all of this. I’m discouraged”
-“Roy If you’re agree to wait a little…I need a bath, fresh clothes…and I promise I’m your man for this little mystery. I have to recognize to be a little excited by this puzzle.”
-“Of course, I can wait…”
*In Virginia City, Will Cass’ store.
Adam and Roy were in the storeroom. There is a unique window, too small for a man, even a little man, even a leprechaun, to pass through and enter in the shop.
Adam knew by Roy, that it was impossible for someone to enter in the store by the street, because, there is no mark of breaking in front of the store. The unique possibility for the thief, enter by this little window…
Adam leaned forward, and picked up something on the floor.
-“Look at this Roy, it seems like sawdust”
-“Yes, you’re right. But, do you think the thief used a saw to enlarge the window?”
-“No Roy, look at the window. It seems without damage on the wood. No, I think the thief had something under his feet. Sawdust…From where? Nobody is so small in the sawmill.
Adam scratched his chin, absent-mindedly, lost in his thoughts.
-“And you say that Will finds 3 peanuts on the counter, each morning.”
-“Yes, Adam. Only 3 peanuts”
-“Near the cash register…But the thief doesn’t try to open the cash register to steal the money.”
-“No Adam…the only things which disappeared are: small socks, and colored ribbons”
-“So, to resume: we have a very small thief, 3 peanuts, sawdust, an intact window, and no marks of breaking. “
Adam walked up and down in the room, his brilliant mind in turmoil.
-“Roy, have you noticed something strange in town, or an event, or newcomers since last week?”
-“Well…except the circus, nothing new. “
-“A CIRCUS! There is a circus in Virginia City?”
-“Hey! yes Adam, but I don’t want to suspect the owner and the artists who have the circus. It’s not because they are strangers in town that I think they are thieves…Adam…I thought you were open minded….I…”
-“Roy, please…of course I don’t think because these people work in a circus they are thieves. You know me better than that Roy. No, but maybe there is someone in this circus who finds interesting this store. Listen Roy, it’s a very little person who enters here, who steals little things, not in a big quantity, but always the same things, and he pays with 3 peanuts.”
-“You think he pays with peanuts…but Adam…it’s absurd”
-“Not, it’s not absurd Roy. Think about who could pay merchandise with peanuts, and could work in a circus, Roy”
-“Oh, I remember this Old Sheba. But an elephant can’t be our suspect, really too big Adam”.
-“Roy, I have an idea, and I think I’m on the right track. Follow me…I need to meet someone at the circus.”
Adam and Roy found the director of the circus, Antonio Bolognese, in conversation with a pretty lady. They stopped their discussion at the arrival of the two men.
-“Sheriff Coffee, I’m glad to meet you again. Let me to introduce you to my daughter, Gina. Gina, it’s Mr. Coffee and Mr. …”
-“Cartwright, Adam Cartwright. Nice to meet you Mister. Miss.” Adam smiles to the pretty lady.
-“If you want to excuse me, Gentlemen, I have to work with Mr. Jones.” And the young lady went towards the big top.
-“Who is Mr. Jones?” asked Adam.
-“Oh…It’s the little monkey. My daughter works with him since 5 years now. He’s very smart. They make a great duet. Children love very much Mr. Jones. We have just 2 shows with animals: one with 2 dogs, and one with Mr. Jones. We haven’t others animals. It’s easiest for travelling. We have a clown, a trapeze artist, a juggler…I’m proud of my team. But come to see us tomorrow, I invite you Mr. Coffee and Mr. Cartwright.
-“I’ve a request Mr. Bolognese. I would like to see Mr. Jones. Is it Possible?”
-“Of course. But I must leave you, now. You’ll find my daughter in the arena”
Roy and Adam entered into the tent.
-“Look at the ground, Roy. The arena is covered with sawdust. And Mr. Jones is really a little monkey. And a monkey loves peanuts”
-“Adam, you believe really this monkey is our thief?”
-“Yes, and I can prove it. Wait a minute”.
Adam went towards Miss Gina.
“Gina, I need to talk to you about Mr. Jones.”
-“There is a problem with my monkey?”
-“Not really. Well…it’s delicate.” And Adam resumes the situation to Miss Gina.
-“You think that this monkey steals in the store, and pays with 3 peanuts”. She opened his beautiful eyes with surprise.
-” I think sincerely he’s our culprit.”
-“But I noticed nothing. I mean I didn’t find little socks or ribbons in my caravan, and Mr. Jones has a bed in my caravan. He’s my pet, you understand.”
-“Maybe he has a secret place and put his little treasures in this place. “
Gina took a time to think.
-“He has a wooden box. I noticed that sometimes he puts little things inside, but honestly, I never look inside the box. Come with me, we take a look at this box”.
Adam and Roy followed Gina. She opened the wooden box, and found inside: seven pairs of baby socks, and a lot of colored ribbons.
-“Oh…my little pet is a thief. I can’t believe it. When we’re arrived in this town, I remember waiting outside, in front of the store with Mr. Jones. My father needed supplies, and I preferred wait him outside because of Mr. Jones. I remember he was very interested by the store. I think this little rapscallion found the way to enter in the store during the night. Oh Sheriff, I’m so ashamed by his behavior. Of course, I’ll pay back the storekeeper. I’m really sorry. He has never acted like this. I don’t understand”.
Adam reassured the young lady.
-“Don’t worry Gina. I’m sure Mr. Cass will not claim a hanging.” He smiled to Gina. “And, Mr. Jones didn’t really stolen, he paid with peanuts, don’t forget this. “
-“Maybe, we can restitute these little things to Mr. Cass. And Now, I’ll lock my caravan to keep Mr. Jones inside. Thank you for your kindness, gentlemen. I want to thank you. How?”
-“Well, Maybe to accept a dinner with me this evening Mrs. Gina” asked Adam.
-“Well Adam, I see you never lose an occasion to invite a beautiful lady for a dinner.” Says Roy in a laugh.
-“I agree Adam. Maybe you can take me at 19:00 PM. If it’s good for you”.
Adam did a wink to Gina, and followed Roy in the main street.
-“Adam I would like to offer you a fresh beer. Thank you. Maybe, I’m too old now to be a good sheriff. You resolved in 2 hours an affair which is a puzzle for me since one week. My brain is tired.”
-“You’re the best sheriff I never met Roy. I’ve a better eye than you. No need glasses. It’s the sawdust which put me on the track Roy. And, of course, when you talked about the circus.”
-“I knew you’d be the best for help me in this case. You did a good detective, Adam. Maybe you can think to another job than rancher”
-“I’m not sure that Pa will be agreeing with you. But I promise to think at this career when I’ll be tired to be a cowboy”.
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