Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

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– posted 12.04.2009

#46- The Adventure with the Mysterious Garage Part 2

A Character story about obedience.

REVIEW: While Jason and his friend Steve were heading for the stream to fish, they saw a suspected thief's car drive into a secluded garage. But when the police arrived, the garage was empty.

"All right, you guys, what's the big joke anyhow?" one police officer snarled at Jason, pulling down the door. "I suppose you think it's funny bringing the law on a wild goose chase?"
"N-no, officer," Jason stuttered. "We really saw a car go into that garage. I can't understand what could have happened to it."
"Yeah," Steve added, "I stayed right here and watched it. It m-must have vanished."
"I don't think cars are in the habit of turning invisible," the officer sneered sarcastically. "Next time, don't use the law to play your pranks or you'll be sorry." The two policemen got into their car and drove off, leaving Jason and Steve feeling both foolish and mystified.
"What could have happened to that car?" Steve asked without expecting an answer. "Do you think they really could turn it invisible?"
"Naw. Anyway, if they could, why wouldn't they do it right after the robbery so the police couldn't track them?"
"'Cause they might run into other cars I guess. But I still don't think invisible cars are possible. Let's hide up on the hill and watch for something suspicious. If we could catch those robbers, we really would be heroes, and we might get a reward."
Jason agreed and the boys hid in some brush out of sight of the house or the garage. They talked quietly, fiddled with their fishing gear, and munched on their sack lunches to make the time pass. But by mid afternoon they decided their time was wasted for that day. Trudging up the hill, the boys headed toward the Jensen's. On the way they agreed to keep all this a secret and to spend time watching the house more in the morning.
By Wednesday, Jason found it a bit tricky to keep from lying when trying to explain why they had no fish. But he knew his mom would not approve if he told her what they were up to.
However, though his mom didn't seem to suspect anything, Julie was not so easy to dissuade.
"I know you're up to something, Jason Jensen," she persisted, catching him alone outside. "Why won't you tell me what it is?"
"I don't know why you're so suspicious," Jason remarked, trying to act as if nothing was unusual.
"Because I know you. You're covering up something, I just know it. And anyway, after three days you would have used up one carton of worms. I looked in it myself and it looks like you haven't used a one."
Jason looked embarrassed. "You're too nosy. But anyway, even if I was up to something, I wouldn't tell you. You'd probably squeal and ruin everything."
"I won't. I promise! Anyway, I know you wouldn't do anything that Dad wouldn't like, 'cause you promised him before he left."
A flood of guilt swept over Jason as he trudged into the house without answering. Would his dad be pleased that he was trying to catch a crook? Yes, his dad hated wrong doing. But would he approve of the way the boys were doing it?
Early Thursday morning, with fishing gear in hand, the boys headed for their lookout post on the hill overlooking the mysterious garage. On the way they talked.
"I'm not really sure we're doing the right thing," Jason confessed in a low voice.
"In doing what? All we're doing is watching the garage," Steve reminded him. "There's nothing wrong with that."
"Yeah, I suppose. But I just feel uneasy about it. I'm a Christian you know, and I want to please the Lord in what I do. I don't know why, but I just feel uneasy about it. My dad told us about this baby wood duck that-"
"Don't worry about it," Steve reassured him. "You're probably just nervous in case we get caught by the crooks. But they won't see us. We're too tricky for them."
The boys had just sat down on their lookout spot when Steve nudged Jason and pointed to the road below. The red Chevy they had been watching for drove quietly past and entered the garage. The boys could see the car clearly as the door closed behind it. Their hearts were racing so fast, that neither boy could say a word. Finally Steve turned to Jason.
"We're not leaving this one for the police, Jason. Let's go check out the garage ourselves this time."
"N-nothing doing! I-I'm t-too scared."
"Aw, come on. If they grabbed one of us, the other one could go for help. Then we'd get them for sure." Without further word, Steve got up and began to creep down the side of the hill and Jason finally followed.
Once at the street level, the boys tip-toed along the sidewalk and then dashed over beside the garage. They pressed their ears against the side of the wall and listened.
"Hear anything?" Steve asked nervously.
"No, do you?"
"No. You go open the door and I'll keep you covered."
"Are you crazy?!" Jason answered in a coarse whisper. "Covered? With what? I'm not doing any such thing. In fact,-"
"All right. Come on. We'll go together." The boys crept around to the front of the garage, looking around nervously in every direction. Jason's thoughts were mixed with wondering how he got talked into being there, and wondering how he could get out. Finally Steve reached for the door handle. To their relief the door went up easily and quietly. When it was half way up, the boys stooped down and peered in. The garage was empty!
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Here is a hint to last issue's puzzle. Remember, each letter stands for a different number and where the letters are repeated, it means that number is also repeated. There is only one solution: S E N D + M O R E = M O N E Y hint: E = 5 O = 0