Can you solve this mini-mystery?


Far from Fairview


A Sheriff Marge Crump Mystery

By S. Furlong-Bolliger



Sheriff Marge Crump was excited to get away from Fairview and embark on an adventure. Even if it meant she was crammed on the tour bus with thirty other tourists, the least of her favorite being the grumpy man next to her. He'd introduced himself as Walter.

"I swear, the driver is going out of his way to hit every bump in the road," Walter grumbled. "And, do you smell that woman's cologne? Why the smell's strong enough to embarrass a skunk. Not to mention that..."

Marge sighed. She'd been listening to his complaints for over a hundred miles. She took out her latest copy of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and tried to tune him out. Eventually, when the bus pulled over at a diner for a break, she filed out behind the other tourists, glad for a reprieve from Walter.

Inside the diner, they found the young waitress sitting by the cash register reading a book. As soon as she saw them, she closed her book and snatched up the coffee pot. "Just pick a seat and I'll be right with y'all."

Marge chose a seat as far from Walt as possible and continued reading while eating lunch. Engrossed in her mystery, she lost track of time and was surprised to look up later and see the others beginning to return to the bus. She was about to join them when a quarrel erupted from the front of the diner.

"Someone stole my tips!" the waitress bellowed. Marge scurried over to find the girl frantically searching through her book. Walt was standing nearby, scratching his head.

"It's not here," she cried. Then, she turned to Walt and said, "I saw..."

"I didn't take any money," Walt insisted. "I was just looking to see what you were reading, that's all."

"You didn't see any money, Walt?" Marge asked.

"No, nothing."

A young man approached carrying a tub of dirty dishes. "It was there," he said. "I definitely put it in her book, right between pages 53 and 54."

"You did? Why?" Walt asked.

"Because she told me to," the busboy answered, nodding toward the waitress.

"That's right," the waitress agreed. "My apron pocket was full and I didn't have time to run the money to my locker, so I told him to put the bills in my book for safe keeping."

"Maybe they fell out," the busboy mumbled, searching the ground around the cash register while Walt started for the door.

"Where are you going?" the waitress yelled after him. "No one's leaving until I get my money back!"

The bus driver spoke up. "You're wrong about that, Missy," he said, chomping down hard on a wad of gum. "I've got a schedule to keep."

The waitress narrowed her eyes at the driver. "I saw you hanging around the counter, too."

"Yeah, I was hanging around, but I didn't steal your money. I was waiting to get change for that machine."

Marge glanced at the gumball machine by the counter. "Did you get it?"

"What?"

"The change?"

The driver shook his head. "No, I couldn't get any help, so I had to go out and get change from the bus." Turning to Walt, he added, "Why don't you give the money back, Mister? Like I said, I've got a schedule to keep."

"You'll be able to keep your schedule," Marge reassured him. "I know who has the money."


WHO DID MARGE SUSPECT?

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Copyright 2014 S. Furlong-Bolliger. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of the author is prohibited. OMDB! and OMDB! logos are trademarks of Over My Dead Body!


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