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Bumbleville - The Mystery Of The Missing Masterpiece
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Bumbleville - The Mystery Of The Missing Masterpiece
Detective Beech must solve his most difficult case yet.
[1,423 words]
[April 2004]
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Bumbleville - The Mystery Of The Missing Masterpiece

Late one night a robber broke into Bumble Hall and stole one of the expensive paintings from the gallery. When the owners woke up in the morning, they were shocked to see what had happened and quickly went down to the police station to report the crime. Two officers came to the house to look at the scene of the crime and took evidence including a shoe print from the soil and some fingerprints from around the window.

Down the road Detective Brian Beech woke up and stretched. He was looking forward to another day of playing golf. He hadn�t had a case for weeks. The criminals seemed to all be lying low. He walked downstairs and into the kitchen where he poured himself a bowl of cornflakes. Just then the telephone rang.

�Hello, Detective Beech here,� he answered, wondering who it could be.
�There�s been a robbery up at Bumble Hall. We need you to investigate,� the voice at the other end of the telephone replied.

Brian sighed and then pulled on his coat, picked up his keys and headed for the door. He jumped in his car and drove up the hill towards Bumble Hall. When he arrived he knocked on the door but got no reply. He walked to the back of the building and noticed glass on the floor. Looking up he saw a smashed window. Walking over the nearby flower bed, he noticed that some of the plants had been squashed down. He knelt down and examined the ground. There was a footprint but also something white poking up. He dug a little bit and then pulled out a piece of paper. It had a number and then the words �Buy Painting.� He put the piece of paper in his jacket pocket for safekeeping.

Meanwhile a distressed Mr. And Mrs. Bumble of Bumble Hall were retelling officers the story of how they had entered the gallery to find the very expensive painting had gone.

Over in the neighbouring Snoozeville, Bob Bungle (known to his friends as Big Bob) was admiring the painting that he had removed from Bumble Hall the previous evening. He had promised his accomplice a share of the money, but wasn�t going to give him any. Everybody knew that Big Bob was untrustworthy and unreliable. He picked up the phone and dialled the art dealer that he had arranged to sell it to.

Just then Detective Beech heard a car pull up on the drive outside. He walked round to the front of the hall in time to see Mr. and Mrs. Bumble step out of their car.

�Hello. I�m Brian Beech � I�m the detective working on your case,� he greeted them.
�Oh good, good!� replied Mr. Bumble. �Do you think you have much chance of catching the crook?�
�I always try to do that!� joked Brian. �But seriously, is there anything I can do to help?�
�No, I think we have everything pretty much sorted,� answered Mrs. Bumble. �We�re going to stay at our relatives for a couple of days, just until everything is sorted out.�

An hour later Detective Beech was checking the gallery at Bumble Hall. He walked round the room, examining the painting, exclaiming with interest every so often. Then, when he was almost at the end of the line of paintings, he stopped, and turned to look again at one of the paintings.

Nearby, Big Bob had finished his conversation with the art buyer. He had been offered a large amount of extra money for the second painting he was going to steal. He knew it would be risky, maybe even foolish, but he wanted as much money as he could get. He wasn�t stupid enough to go back himself, so he was going to send his associate. After he had received the painting he would sell them and then flee the country, without paying his accomplice anything. He had it all worked out.

�Amazing!� Beech exclaimed. He looked closer. A small notch had been made recently in the wall next to the painting. He doubted anyone else would have spotted it, but it was definitely there for a purpose. He looked closer at the picture, and then his brow creased with concentration.

�Ah-ha!� he cried. �It�s the magnificent masterpiece!� The magnificent masterpiece, as he remembered was a painting by a famous artist, but just before it had been released, both the artist and painting had disappeared. Beech had been called in to help, but even he could not solve the mystery. Some said that it had been the greatest piece of artwork ever, and that a group of fellow artists had been worried that their paintings may be devalued by it, and so had come together to get rid of it.

He looked over it closely and realised just why the artists would have felt threatened by it. But what was the mark for. As he examined it, he realised that it was the symbol of Big Bob, a dangerous criminal. He gulped. He had promised the Bumbles that he would protect their house, but against Big Bob? He would have liked to have gone home and come back the next morning, but he couldn�t let this masterpiece disappear again.

A couple of hours later he had the trap set up. He had asked a few of his fellow detectives from neighbouring towns to help him. Big Bob was not one to be caught easily by tricks. They had replaced the real picture with a fake photograph of it. An alarm wired up to a van outside had been put on the painting. Beech waited in the shadows of the next room.

Little Larry, Big Bob�s accomplice (a criminal like Big Bob cannot afford to have friends) set out and soon Bumble hall came into view. He crept up the hill towards the large building. He slowly and quietly tiptoed round the edge of the building to the smashed window. He noticed that it had not been repaired, but did not worry about this for long. He climbed through the window and quietly crept over to the painting. He slowly and carefully removed the painting�

BRINGGG! BRINGGG! The alarm set off and straight away and Beech pounced on him. As the startled robber turned round, Beech exclaimed in amazement.

�Your not Big Bob!� he shouted. �Where is he?�

Larry refused to talk. He was arrested and taken down to the station for further questioning. Beech sat down and started thinking. After a while he pulled out the piece of paper that he had found earlier in the garden. He read it again and then pulled out his mobile phone. He phoned the number.

�Hello,� a voice answered.
�Hi,� replied Beech in his best gangster accent. �I�ve got the painting!�
�Good! Now bring it on down to the den � quickly!�

Beech had to think fast. He did not know where the den was. He called over another one of the detectives who was looking round. They had a hurried conversation and then Beech went back to his phone.

�Who was that?� the voice on the other end of the phone demanded.
�Only my accomplice,� replied Brian. �He was saying how the cops are out on the roads. Could you come here?�
�Erm� meet me on Cave Hill.�

Cave Hill was the separator between the two towns, Bumbleville and Snoozeville. He knew Big Bob lived in Snoozeville and so it would be his natural choice. Here were lots of caves up there for the meeting to take place. It was also easy for him to get to, it was only a couple of kilometres away. He jumped in his car and drove away.

A couple of months later at the unveiling session of the Missing Masterpiece, Big Bob met Daniel Gale, the artist who had painted the picture. A lot had happened since it had been discovered. They had arrested the crooked art dealer and then raided his den. There they had found Daniel tied up and had freed him. He had been held to ransom once the painting had gone missing; the art dealer thought the family still had it.

How it had arrived at Bumble Hall was still a mystery, one that probably would never be solved. However, no one minded any more, not now that the masterpiece had been discovered. Beech said goodbye to Daniel and walked outside to his car. He was exhausted. He went home to bed, wondering what new mystery would arrived with the next phone call he received. But for now he was happy, he had just solved one of the greatest mysteries of all time, the mystery of the missing masterpiece.


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April 2004

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