The Missing Mint Kyrii Ice Cream: Part Three
"Sandra! What kind of behavior is that?" someone screamed
at me. I turned my head around and saw her. Oh joy. Honestly, I should've known
from the shopping bags.
"Hi Ana," I said innocently. "I hope I'm not
barging in on your little secret hideout bush or anything..."
"Not funny," my sister muttered as she picked
up some shopping bags.
"Here, let me help," I said, grabbing the two
smallest bags that I saw. Then I looked up, and realized what I had to do next.
A brown Moehog was gobbling down a Raspberry
Blumaroo Cone just a few meters away. He stopped licking the ice cream and seemed
to talk to himself. Then I looked at the bag he had beside him. Apparently his
name was Pratar, since it was printed on the big bag at his hooves.
Pratar! That was the assistant that Mr. Chipper
had talked about. Number two on the suspects list. This was my chance to interview
him. As the Ultimate Unofficial Detective Handbook says, a good detective should
always solve the case as soon as possible.
"Sorry about squishing you like a Dirt Pie,"
I told Anatolia, "but I've gotta get going!" I jumped out of the bush and ran
"What? Dirt Pie?!" My sister sounded quite insulted
as I skidded and landed on the Moehog's bag. "Wait!"
I looked up and the sun blinded me for a second.
Then I saw his smiling face. He seemed to be talking to himself about the Ice
Cream Stand, since he was muttering things like working hours, pay, stand and
I got up from my undignified position on the
bag and noticed that I had two bags dangling from my left arm. Drat. I realized
that I had picked them up when I fell on Anatolia, but apparently I had forgotten
to return them to her. Well, they weren't that heavy. I'd just have to hang
onto them (or rather, have them hang onto me if you look at it literally) until
I met my sister again.
The Moehog named Pratar seemed to ignore my presence.
I coughed twice, hoping that it would get his attention. It was time to talk.
"Excuse me," I said. Pratar looked up at me and
I saw that the half-eaten ice cream shivered a little bit. Perhaps we have someone
guilty here? But... I remembered all the mysteries that I had read. The criminal
wouldn't be so obvious.
"Y-yes, w-what is it?" the Moehog stuttered nervously.
I couldn't help to imagine him to be the guilty one, since he was practically
radiating all the telltale signs of one. I looked him in the eyes.
"I've heard that you are Mr. Chipper's assistant
at the Ice Cream Stand, is that correct?" I asked, using my sister's tone. As
much as I hated to admit it, Anatolia's behavior was actually useful, even though
I didn't like it a lot.
Pratar nodded. Then he looked down at his Raspberry
Blumaroo Cone and looked at me again. "I-If you were wondering where this is
from, i-it's a g-gift from Mr. C-Chipper."
"So, what do you actually do around the Ice Cream
Stand?" This time I used my light voice. Pratar was obviously one of those creepy,
nervous pets that could break down any minute. I'd have to be careful interviewing
"Well, I help Mr. Chipper to scoop ice cream,"
he said. "That's a very important job, or so he says." The Moehog muttered something
that was too soft for me to hear before he continued. "And I also help him with
stocking the ice cream. It's not a very good-paying job, but it's a nice one.
Terror Mountain is a little bit cold though, at this time of the year..."
"Thank you," I said. Well, the shaky, nervous
Pratar was gaining confidence as he rambled. It was probably a good idea to
let him talk. If he was as careless as I occasionally used to me, there was
a chance that he could give me some useful information.
"That was nothing," the Moehog said as he licked
his ice cream.
"So, why are you here?" The nervous Pratar was
back. He jerked his head and looked at me with big, frightened eyes. "I mean,"
I said in a relaxed tone, trying to reassure him, "Aren't you supposed to be
helping Mr. Chipper?"
"Mr. C-Chipper gave me a b-break," the Moehog
said. "I-I was just o-out here and e-enjoying the s-sun and a nice ice c-cream..."
I nodded. "Well, did you see anything suspicious
while working at the Ice Cream Stand?"
Pratar twitched at the word'suspicious'. There
was definitely something suspicious about that Moehog.
"N-not really," he said. "Well, there were the
usual kids playing around... Sometimes they play jokes and stuff, but normally
they keep a good distance away from the cart. I think today it was a blue Bruce
and a Kyrii."
"Was there anything else?" I asked, looking him
in the eyes again.
"Thank you for your cooperation," I said, leaving
the poor, nerve-wrecked Moehog behind. There was no use to pump more information
out of him, since he was too scared to reveal anything.
I remembered my little plan and started walking
towards Terror Mountain. I still had to check the information that I had gotten
from the suspects with Mr. Chipper. Suspects... Mr. Chipper...
The books said that anyone could do anything.
That meant... Mr. Chipper was a suspect too! But what would he get out of stealing
his own ice cream? I doubted that ice creams were insured, and a thief stealing
from the Ice Cream Stand was bad publicity. He also had a good and honest nature
from the way he talked about the suspects... I shook my head. There was no way
Mr. Chipper would've stolen his own ice cream!
I walked into Happy Valley and a pile of slushy
snow. After a few loud complaints, I managed to get up again. However, my fur
was now soaked and the chilly winds that were here made me freeze. Honestly,
I felt like an ice cream.
Imagining and shuddering at the horrible life
an ice cream had, I walked right into the Ice Cream Stand (for the second time).
Fortunately the poor cart didn't fall down, but the depressing broken umbrella
dangled in front of my eyes.
And then I remembered what I was here for. Mr.
Chipper looked at me with that sad look of his.
"Um... Mr. Chipper?" I asked, wondering how I
could make up for my clumsiness this time.
"I have a few questions..." I trailed off when
I saw his confused look.
"Excuse me, but who are you?" the blue creature
"I am Sandra," I said, surprised.
"Oh..." And then he got it. "Super Detective
Sandra? Did you solve the case yet?" The moping expression on his face was replaced
by an excited, almost childish grin.
"Not just yet," I said. As hard as it was, I
decided to tell him the truth. "You see, I'm not really that great, not really
a super detective. Just a normal pet trying out this business..."
"That's okay," Mr. Chipper said. "You seemed
to be pretty good and it and you're a good kid."
Kid? I was a tall as him! Now, really... I reminded
myself that I was here for a reason.
"Mr. Chipper, did you see any suspicious pets
around the time when the ice cream was stolen?" I asked.
"Not really... Just those kids playing around
like usual. I doubt that they could've snuck and stolen something since I didn't
leave the cart for more than one minute or so."
"Did you leave the cart?"
"Yes, but it was only to get some ice cream...
The storehouse isn't far away from here, just a short walk. Pratar was helping
me to get the ice cream, so he couldn't possibly have stolen it right then.
Nidelbawr was at the Stand, eating her ice cream, and she would've seen any
"I see." This was confusing. I was sure that
Pratar was pretty suspicious, but if he was with Mr. Chipper... Perhaps he snuck
back during his break and stole it? Or maybe it was Nidelbawr who wasn't telling
the truth? I hadn't told any of the suspects of the missing ice cream, so maybe
Missy Needleball hadn't told me everything she knew...
"How did the interviews go?" Mr. Chipper asked
"I got some information," I said. "But they're
both suspicious..." I had think, but I knew that only thinking wasn't going
to solve this case. I had to do something else too...
I racked my brains, trying to figure out what
a good detective would do. Of course! Looking around the scene of crime and
trying to find more clues!
"Mr. Chipper," I said, "Do you mind if I look
around here for clues?"
"No," he said. "Go ahead. I just hope I can get
that ice cream back..."
Having received his permission, I started looking
around Mr. Chipper's cart. There was nothing suspicious on it. No such things
as fingerprints or forgotten memos. (As if forgotten memos would be a clue...)
But there were some steps leading away from the
cart. I followed them, but they soon disappeared into the mass of other footprints
on the slushy snow. I sighed. It was useless.
I returned to the cart, this time checking the
umbrella. Nothing. Then I looked at the area around it, but there weren't any
clues. Exasperated, I stomped my foot on something, slid forward and fell flat
on my nose.
"Stupid thing," I muttered to the purple sheet
of paper that had caused all this trouble. And then I realized what it was.
To be continued...