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"Hurry!" Peg's blue eyes were bright with excitement. Her brown pigtails flew behind her as she ran to the small white ticket booth. Korky was right at her heels.
"Ten tickets please, Mo," Peg said, nearly out of breath.
"You two again?" Mo laughed. His large grin showed a missing front tooth. Mo was a rather portly man whose stomach hung over his belt. His head was balding and he had more hair on his face than on his head. Most days short gray whiskers covered his face. "You were here yesterday," Mo continued, "and I believe the day before too."
Peg smiled, showing a mouth full of shiny braces. "Yeah. We love being here!" Peg loved the Wellborn Amusement Park. She loved the smells of popcorn, cotton candy and hot dogs mingled together. She enjoyed hearing the carnival music and the shouts from the barkers along the midway.
"What rides will you go on today?" Mo scratched his chin.
"As many as we can with ten tickets," Korky said.
"Here are your tickets. Have fun!" Mo waved to the twelve-year-old cousins as they ran toward the roller coaster.
The amusement park had another ticket booth, but Peg and Korky always went to Mo's. They saw him nearly every day and he had become their friend.
Peg and Korky spent a lot of time at the amusement park. Peg's friends couldn't understand why she liked the park's rides so much, or why Peg spent so much time with a boy. But Peg and Korky were best friends. They always had been.
"We only have two tickets left?" Peg asked. It seemed like only minutes had passed since they had bought them.
Korky nodded. "Which ride should we go on?"
"The roller coaster!" Peg said.
Korky laughed. "I knew you'dsay that."
Peg started running at full speed and stopped short. A small cloud of dust mushroomed at her feet.
"Peg!" Korky bumped into her back. He rubbed his smashed nose.
"The Spin Around is closed." Peg pointed to the closed sign. It was hanging on a thick chain across the entrance to bar people from getting near the closed ride.
Korky shrugged. "So?"
"It was working fine yesterday," Peg said. She walked to the chain and leaned over.
"What can you see?" Korky asked.
"What are you looking for?"
"I don't know," Peg admitted. "Something to tell me why this ride is closed."
"It could be electrical," Korky joked.
Peg punched Korky's arm playfully. Her father was an electrician and owned his own business in the city of Redmond. This summer he was helping with the electricity in the amusement park. This problem with the Spin Around couldn't be electrical--her father was too good to make a serious mistake.
"If the Spin Around is broken, why isn't anyone working on it?" Peg wondered. She walked around the outside of the fence, which surrounded the ride.
"Maybe they had to order parts," Korky suggested.
Peg shook her head. "I don't think so. Nothing has been taken apart. You know, the guy that operates this is always nervous. I wonder if he had trouble with the law, so he left town? Or maybe he's in jail right now." Peg's eyes widened.
"That sounds farfetched, even for you," Korky said.
"It's a thought though." Peg nodded her head.
"What's up with you two?" a deep voice asked.
Peg turned around as she recognized the voice. "Hi, Dad."
"Hi, Uncle Frank," Korky greeted.
"Dad, why is the Spin Around closed?" Peg asked.
"I heard that the man who operates it is sick. Carl is his name, I believe," Dad answered.
"They have no one to fill in?" Korky asked. "There are always extra workers hanging around in their trailers." Korky pointed to an area behind the park as he spoke.
"This whole thing is odd," Peg tapped her cheek with her forefinger. "Sounds suspicious to me."
"Everything usually does," Korky teased.
"I'm going home for lunch. I'll take you with me," Dad offered.
Peg thought about the two remaining tickets.
"We could use them later," Korky seemed to read her mind.
Peg nodded. She wanted to go home and think about the Spin Around. If she was on the roller coaster, she couldn't think--only scream.
After lunch Peg hurried to her room. Inside the drawer of her nightstand she kept a small blue notebook for the sole purpose of writing down suspicious happenings. This was one of those occasions. On the cover she had written "P & K."
Peg fell across her unmade bed. She flipped the pages of her notebook until she came to a blank page.
Peg neatly printed:
Wellborn Amusement Park
Spin Around not working today.
1) Electrical (doubtful--Dad did the work)
2) Carl is sick (doubtful--felt fine yesterday.
Nobody gets sick in the summer. No one filled in for him.)
3) Broken (doubtful--no parts were disconnected)
Peg stared at her list. The answer was so obvious. Now, she had to figure out what Carl had done and why.
Peg's tummy fluttered. Yes! They had another case to work on--another mystery to solve for the community of Redmond. After all, it was her civic duty. She called Korky and told him to meet her ASAP.