“I trust you have read in the paper about the missing children,” said M.
J walked around the desk, bent over and pulled the newspaper Mr. Figgletoes had been reading out of the drawer. Shaking it in front of Mr. Figgletoes’ face he said, “This paper, Mr. Figgletoes.”
Mr. Figgletoes wiggled his toes in nervousness. He swallowed and cleared his throat. “Oh, yes. Terrible story. I can’t imagine such a thing going on in our little town,” Mr. Figgletoes said, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.
M set his briefcase down on the desk. He popped open the brass latches, lifted the lid, and extracted three photographs. He spread them out on the desk. Stabbing at each one with his stubby finger, he said. “Do you recognize any of these children, Mr. Figgletoes?”
Mr. Figgletoes adjusted his glasses and bent over the pictures. “Why yes. All three are customers of mine.”
“And when did you last see them in your store?” J said.
Mr. Figgletoes scratched the whiskers on his chin. “Hum-m-m. Let me think. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago.”
“It wasn’t that long ago,” M said. “In fact, each of these children has been to your store within the last three days. And each child disappeared the night after coming to your store.”
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