Solve-it #18: The Case of the Missing Grade Book

featuring Nina Chase & Max decker

What a blizzard blew in last night! nina and Max stamped their feet on the sidewalk outside the gym.

“Coach wilson won’t allow your wet shoes on the new basketball court,” Nina said, “you better duck under the bleachers on the old floor and go to your gym locker.”

“Right,” Max agreed. “I have extra dry shoes and socks there.” they heard angry voices the minute they opned the gym door and stepped inside.

“Max,” coach wilson called. “you and Nina are good at solving mysteries. see what you can do with this one.”

“We’ll try, Coach.” Max and Nina saw Hank standing beside Coach wilson at the free-throw line. off the court, jill and kim waited, their wet shoes leaving puddles on the old floor near the bleachers. “Someone has taken my grade book,” coach said. “It was in my jacket pocket where I always carry it. I was talking to hank about my student demerit system when my office telephone rang. toosed my jacket on this sawhorse the workmen left in the middle of the court. then I ran to my office telephone rang. I tossed my jacket on this sawhorse the workmen left in the middle ogf the court. then I ran to my office to answer the phone before it stopped ringing. I talked only a short time– not more than five minutes. when I returned my grade book was gone and hank was talking to Kim and Jill. these three kids were the only ones in the gym.”

“Okay, kids,lets hear your stories,” Max stood beside jill and kim near the bleachers.”

“I didn’t take the book,” jill said. “Hank was here when I came in. I’ve had a cold all weekend and it’s no better today. I just stopped by to bring my doctor’s excuse to coach. I need to be” excused from gym class this afternoon.”

“that story rings true,” Nina said. “Coach Wilson always wants those doctor’s permits ahead of class time. but maybe you took the book so Coach couldn’t count
how many excuses you’ve already given him this semester.”

“what about you, hank?” Max asked. “what were you doing inside the gym?”

“Don’t try to blame me,” hank said. “I missed the school bus. it’s so cold outside
Mom’s car wouldn’t start, so I walked to was cold, but I stopped inside the gym for a minute to warm up. I didn’t take the gradebook”

“Nothing wrong with wanting to get warm,” Max said. “That’s why I came in here, too. but were you worried about your demerits?” Hank didn’t answer.

“What about you, Kim?” Nina asked.
“I’m no thief,” Kim said. “Both hank and jill were here when I arrived. I wanted to talk to coach about next week’s game. if there’s no chance I’LL get to play, I may go with my Family to Visit My Grandmother.”

“But an absence from a game could lower your gym grade right?” Nina asked. “All three of you had a motive for tempering with the grade book.”

Max and Nina talked together for a few moments, Thinking about what they had heard. then Max looked at coach Wilson. “I think we know whot took the grade book.”

Whom do Nina and Max Suspect?