Solve-it #21: The Case of the Phony Phone Call

Featuring Nina Chase


Today was February clean-up Harborville’s shady pines park. Lots of people visited the park. Lots of people visited the park during the winter to sled and to skate on the pond. Max and his cousin Nina waved goodbye to their friend John as they left the park after helping shovel snow. now they hurried to their ice-skating lesson.

“I’m surprised we didn’t see Kevin,” Nina said.

“I saw his name on the afternoon work list,” Max said. “Guess he doesn’t like to get up early.” although they could see their breath in the January air, the sun shone brightly, and the cousins welcomed being outdoors.

“I really enjoy yhe outdoors,” Max said. “You know,my grandfather gave harborville the land for the park.”

“and my uncle was the expert on pine trees who helped with the original plannings,” Nina said. “He told me that as a boy he hated to rake leaves. so when he helped with the park plantings, he chose pine trees because they had no leaves to shed.”

Now as they reached Miss Nance’s pond for their skating lesson, they found he almost in tears, facing a group of students. she wiped her eyes and max and Nina approached.

“I Think one of these three kids made a phony telephone call to me before eight o’clock this morning,” the skating teacher said. “the caller said my mother needed me and I should go to the hospital immediately. Mother’s lives in Centerville thirty miles away, and when I arrived, Mother was fine. I was relieved and pleased, of course, but that phony call made me miss my early morning lessons.”

“How do you know one of these kids telephoned you?” Max asked. “Seems to me it could have been anyone.”

“Only these three knew my mother was in the Hospital,” Miss Nance replied “that’s why I asked them to come here now. I think one of them doesn’t like the cold and would like to quit lessons, but he or she doesn’t want the others to know and perhaps laugh.”

“I didn’t do it,” Sue said, as Max and Nina approached the group. “I was babysitting, I’m not allowed to use the phone while I’m babysitting.”

“Before eight o’clock seems early for babysitting,” Nina said.

“I was babysitting my little brother while Mom took my older brother,john,to the park. he had to carry heavy snow shovels, so he really needed a ride.”

“what about you, Kevin?” Nina asked.

“Don’t blame me,” Kevin said. “I was helping Gramp clean the barn. There’s no phone in his barn.”

“Do you usually help him so early in the morning?” Max asked.

“No,” Kevin said, “we worked early because we’re both helping at the park this afternoon.”

“And what do you have to say,Lisa?” Nina asked.

“I’m not guilty,” Lisa said. “I was at he park raking dirty wet leaves from the snow and putting them in the trash barrels.

Max and Nina stepped aside to discuss the case, and then Nina Faced Miss Nance.

“We think we know who’s lying, Miss Nance,” Nina said.

Whom do Nina and Max suspect?