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"Five Scarlet Letters" by Hy Conrad

See-n-Solve #84 - February 2016

Orig. appeared Dec. 1999


Learn about Amy and Harry Silver

"The Kidnapper's Gamble"
Can you solve the mystery?

Crime Scene See-n-Solve

"I can't believe you made me dress up like a pirate," growled Harry Silver.

"I would have made you wear a tutu if it meant I got to tag along," replied Amy as they, the pirate and the wench, strolled among the costumed revelers.

Detective Silver and guest had been invited to the Society Masked Ball, a reward for his string of crime-solving successes. They were in the museum gardens when Chief Jerkins, dressed as Buffalo Bill, rushed to their side.

"Trouble," Jerkins whispered. As he led them inside and through the corridors, he explained. "Judge Miller's been killed."

"Isn't he under police protection?" asked Amy.

"Yes," Jerkins said, shaking his head. "After the Halloran case, he received some death threats. We took them seriously, although he barely tolerated our men. Sergeant Jim Heikle was assigned to him this evening."

They found the sergeant guarding a side exhibition room. "I lost him about twenty minutes ago," Heikle said with a stammer. "Someone must've lured him back here."

It was a small room. Impressionist oils graced the four white walls. The only other object was an old pirate on the floor, his pirate knife poking out of his ruffled pirate shirt.

"Look!" Harry was pointing to a bloody scrawl low on the wall just inches from the dead man's blood-tipped finger. "Sheik," he read.

"Right," Jerkins said. "For now we're assuming the judge wrote it."

"Wow," Amy said. "A real deathbed clue. How many sheiks are at the party?"

"There's only one," explained the sergeant. "Unfortunately, there's also a real sheik, dressed as a cowboy. Plus there's Jerry Sheik, city councilman."

"I'll send them in," said Chief Jerkins. "Your daughter can stay while you interview them."

"Not tonight," Amy said. "I'm here to party. I've got my eye on a knight in shining armor."

"Amy?" her father pleaded.

"Oh, all right. Send them in."

Crime Scene See-n-Solve

Illustrations by Josh Neufeld