"It's fine," Encyclopedia said. "Go on."
"Anyway, our finances really depend on selling a whole lot of pumpkins and for a while we were doing well, like we do every year. Bugs Meany and his Tiger Gang couldn't really compete with our service and experience. But, recently, someone stole all of our pumpkins
, and I just don't-"
"It was Bugs Meany," Daniel said.
"-understand who would do that. Or why,
for that matter. The season is almost over, no one will even be thinking
of buying pumpkins this time next week. Who would do that?"
"Bugs, it was Bugs, it's always Bugs. Can anyone hear me?"
"What do you
think, Encyclopedia?" Sally asked.
"It certainly is a curious mystery. You say all of the pumpkins were stolen? It would need to be someone with access to a truck, a large
truck, large enough to fit all of those pumpkins. Who could it have been?"
"There's more," Marty said.
"Oh, hold up, are you saying someone did
something with these pumpkins," Daniel asked. Marty nodded. "Word? OK,
this is interesting. If someone, for example, is stealing and fucking holes in these pumpkins, there's
a mystery. Probably wasn't Bugs if these pumpkins gotta buncha holes porked in him. It was probably... let's be honest, here, me."
"What? Oh, no, it was nothing like that. Some pumpkins were stolen, and the rest were bashed in
." Daniel's shoulders sank, his interest gone. "You don't understand, they were destroyed
. Like, by a monster
"Or a werewolf," Sally chimed in.
"Or fucking Bugs with a hammer,
what is wrong with this town?"
"So," Encyclopedia said, "it would need to be someone with a truck and
access to blunt objects."
Encyclopedia Brown took out his notebook and wrote "investigate ice cream man." Daniel took out his and scribbled "make a novelization of that time I plowed the shit out of Brown's mom; make nickname out of book title."
"I bet we can get to the bottom of this," Sally said.
I bet that whoever's responsible for stealing these raped pumpkins, is the same guy
who spray-painted all those sexy drawings of my junk all over the children's hospital. I, of course, have a number of reliable alibis that would explain-"
"I hadn't actually heard about that," Encyclopedia interrupted.
"Oh no? Oh. Then forget I said anything, it's probably not even a mystery at all."
focus on the mystery at hand," Sally said. "What do you suppose happened, Encyclopedia? I bet you can crack it in one guess, on account of how smart you are."
"Why, if I didn't know any better, Sally, I'd guess you got into your Mother's Halloween candy early. How else
could I explain how sweet you are?" Sally suppressed a grin, her freckles disappearing behind her blushing cheeks. Daniel glared and cleared his throat a few times.
"Whoa, well, uh, Sally," he said, "your Dad musta been a boner salesman
, because when... Because one look- Because I'm looking at you and I have a boner." Sally cried a little bit.
Encyclopedia had closed his eyes. He always closed his eyes when he did his deepest thinking on a case. DOB reached into Brown's back pocket and deftly swiped his wallet. He always steals things when people close their eyes.
"I've got it," Encyclopedia said after a moment. "I've solved the case
Turn to page 72
to find out who stole the pumpkins!