If you were with us yesterday, Encyclopedia Brown had to find out who robbed Mr. Thurlow’s bookstore . . . even if it meant bringing in his best friend!!! Here’s the solution!
Mrs. Brown, in a fresh starched apron and carrying a plate of freshly baked chocolate cinnamon raisin dreams, greeted her weary menfolk as they trudged in the front door.
“I’m bone-tired, hon,” sighed Chief Brown as he sat at the kitchen table and grabbed a cookie.
“Me, too!” said Encyclopedia, as he grabbed three.
Mrs. Brown put her arms around her husband’s neck. “But you solved the case, dear?”
“Encyclopedia did,” replied the Chief with a nod to his son. “Go ahead and tell your mom what happened.”
Between hungry bites of cookie and gulps of milk, Encyclopedia explained the facts to his mother and then laid out the solution to the case.
“Mr. Thurlow named three people he saw lurking about the store before the robbery. One of them is just about my best friend in the world, and the other two are my arch nemesissuseez . . . “
“We get the idea, son,” said the Chief.
“The idea is that one of these three must have broken through the display window, climbed in, busted the cash register and stole the money, and then grabbed all the books and ran. That would have been a tough job for anyone – running away from a crime with a heavy bunch of books. And why? On the off chance they could sell these books? To make it harder for Mr. Thurlow to make his money? That might point to Wilford Wiggins since his motive seemed to be revenge.
“But from the beginning it all looked wrong, Dad. We walked up to the bookstore, and the sidewalk was covered with glass. And when Sally and I brushed our hands along the display case, it was smooth and clean – free of glass!!!
“But if someone had busted through Mr. Thurlow’s window from the sidewalk, mostof the glass should have been scattered around the display case. So that points – “
“ – to an inside job!” finished the Chief. Mrs. Brown’s eyes widened!
Encyclopedia continued. “When I went across the street to check on Bugs Meany’s movements, I spoke with Mr. Herlihy, the insurance man. When I told him about the burglary, he expressed regret that it would happen to Mr. Thurlow, ‘a good friend and a good customer!’”
“Thurlow had heavily insured the store against robbery. He stood to earn a pile of money and the so-called burglary and use it to make improvements on his store. But he was too greedy. He hid the books away – we found them in his basement – so that he could sell them later.”
Mrs. Brown shook her head. “I would never have believed it of that man!”
“Neither would I,” said the Chief. “I’ve known Ed Thurlow for years. But Encyclopedia saw right through him. Thanks, son.”
Encyclopedia shrugged and reached for another cookie. Mrs. Brown sat in thought for a minute and then stood up and marched for the door.
“Where are you going?” asked her husband. She turned around and crossed her arms in determination.
“I’m going to sit down and right a letter to Mr. Eric Sandberg. When he hears how Encyclopedia Brown solved the case and rescued his precious volumes, he’s going to write a new edition of that book called . . . One Hundred and One Greatest Literary Detectives!