Republished with the solution to the mystery at the end.
OKAY EVERYBODY…THE MYSTERY IS SOLVED. I ADDED IT TO THE END OF THE STORY!!!
Victory Lane has discovered someone has altered her science test causing her to have a failing grade. Her dilemma of course, is how can she defend herself? The only way to right this terrible wrong is to sleuth her way through it. Good luck Victory Lane. You’re going to need it!
Every day I tell Speedway he can’t follow me to school, and every day he does anyway. He thinks I can’t see him, but he doesn’t realize how big he is. It’s really hard for him to peek his big head around a building and then trot to the next spot without me seeing him. Even if he goes ahead of me and hides along the way, I can see he’s been there from the drools he leaves behind. He’s not much of a sleuth dog, but he tries and I love him.
I think Speedway knows someone has wronged me because he bit his tongue twice this morning. He yelped both times, so I know it had to hurt. He bites his tongue when he gets upset. I’m not going to say anything when he follows me today. I just might need his help distracting the perpetrator.
Later that day….
When I got to school, I made sure I was the last kid to walk into the homeroom. Science is my first class and it’s in the same room, so I figured whoever altered my paper was in there. I slowly walked to my seat while I assessed the situation. I asked myself if there was anything different today about the classroom or my classmates. The room looked exactly the same. Nothing seemed out-of-order. Everyone had their heads down working on something. Everyone that is but Henry Davis and Sally Stevens. I didn’t pay much attention to Henry because he’s always gawking around, but Sally looked…what’s the word I’m looking for. Oh yeah…nervous. This was curious to me because Sally is not really the skittish type. I looked at her for a long moment. I hoped my eyes looked questioning as I raised one brow and looked straight at her. She hesitated before she nodded her head toward the kid sitting across from her and rolled her eyes. I looked in the direction of her nod and saw Emily Snodgrass. Emily was looking at a book. Interestingly enough, it was our science book. I recalled that Emily was science challenged. Could this be a clue?
“Victory Lane, are you going to stand in the middle of the aisle all day, or are you going to sit down and prepare for class. I’m sure there is something you need to work on.”
Did my homeroom teacher know about my failing grade? Did everyone know?
“Yes Ms. Stone,” I answered. “I suppose there is.” I turned my gaze toward my two suspects. I was sure the culprit was either Sally Stevens or Emily Snodgrass. Sally hates me, and Emily was most likely desperate for a passing grade in Science. Both had motive and opportunity. I knew I had to be careful. There is nothing worse than a sleuth who wrongly accuses people.
I kept my eyes on them as much as I could throughout the day, but it wasn’t until after school that I was given the opportunity to speak with either of them. As luck would have it, they were walking together. I quickly caught up with them.
Emily is in red…Sally has the bookbag
“Hey.” I said as I squeezed in between them. “Mind if I walk part way with you two? I’ve been wanting to ask you something all day.” I watched closely at their reaction to my question.
“You can walk with us if you want to,” Sally said. “But keep your dog from slobbering all over me.”
“Yeah,” Emily chimed in. “I walked home for lunch yesterday and I dropped my Science paper on the ground. That dog grabbed it and slobbered all over it.” I really wanted to show it to my mom, too, because I got a 94.0%.”
“Oh, really?” I spoke up. “Did he drop the paper so you could retrieve it or did he run off with it?” I looked over at Speedway who was smiling like he had done something good.
“I was with her. He dropped it.” Sally said. “Emily was pretty upset so I told her I would take it and blot the slobber up so when it dried, she could show it to her mom.”
“So who has the paper now? I would like to show it to Speedway and tell him no! He’s pretty smart and he will understand that he can’t do that again.”
Sally hesitated before she reached inside her notebook and took out a paper. She handed it to me. “I was just about to give it back to Emily.”
“There are two papers here,” I said. “And both of them have the same grade…a 94.” Sally and Emily looked at each other. One of them looked surprised and the other looked confused.
I thought it would be fun to see if you readers can solve the mystery. Who altered Victory’s paper? Why did they do it, and how did they make it all happen?
I looked at both of my suspects and their expressions told me everything. Here is what I said…
“I know exactly what happened.” I paced back and forth in front of them to make them squirm a little.
“Sally…you sit in the row of desks between my row and Emily’s. In fact, we’re all straight across from each other. I recall the morning of the test, that I completed mine and turned the paper over on my desk as we were all told to do upon finishing the exam. I got up from my desk to sharpen my pencils. I hate a dull pencil don’t you?”
Both girls were looking rather bored.
“Anyway, I remember that when I returned to my desk, my paper was face up. My assumption was that walking by my desk, someone had created enough air movement to cause my paper to slide off my desk and onto the floor. Note to self…don’t assume anything if you’re in the business of sleuthing.”
Sally spoke up. “This is ridiculous. I need to get home before my next birthday.”
“Okay then…You took my paper, erased most of my correct answers and replaced them with ridiculous answers. Your motive? You wanted me to look like a brainilac instead of a brainiac. Then, you decided to give Emily a break so you wrote her name at the top of your paper and switched it with hers when she was distracted, which no offense Emily, happens often.”
Emily looked sad yet surprised which told me she was innocent. She was sad to learn she didn’t really get a 94. I continued. Even Speedway was getting impatient.
“Sally, you took Emily’s paper, wrote your name on it, answered the questions as you did on your own paper, after comparing to mine no doubt, hence the same grade on both of your tests leaving me with the failing grade.”
Emily spoke up.
“That’s ridiculous! Why would Sally take such a chance to make sure I passed the test. She doesn’t like me that much either.”
“I thought about that, too,” I said. “Sally was sure I would cry foul the second I saw my grade. When in fact, I was in a state of shock and foolishly accepted it at face value. Sally’s intention was to claim you were the cheater. She was going to accuse you of looking across the aisle and stealing her answers. The assumption would be that you were also the one to sabotage my paper when it fell to the floor. You were going to take the fall, Sally. And you were going to fall hard.”
“You are an idiot Victory Lane! That is exactly how it all went down!”
Unbeknownst to all of us, Henry the gawker had walked up behind us and heard the whole accounting that I had so carefully stated with way too much conviction, therefore, committing a major sleuthing sin.
I’m reposting this blog for someone I went to school with during my Connie like days. I heard from Rita today and wanted to share this memory with her…I will post the Victory Lane story tomorrow…
Well, I finally got my Connie like haircut. It’s very short and it’s even cut up around my ears. I shape little backwards curls in front of each ear and tape it down while it dries. I had a problem at first, because I used too much tape and left it on too long. I ended up with big red welts on my cheeks. That hurt a little. I still tape my bangs too. I’m sure that must be how Connie fixes her hair.
I thought I was finally firming up my style, then yesterday a bunch of us were standing in the stairwell outside the girls locker room and Mary Lehr said, “Your hair is really shiny Mary. Have you ever thought about growing it out?” I didn’t know what to think. I just got it cut a week ago! The longest hair on my head is 2 1/2 inches from my scalp. Somehow I felt disappointed. I bet no one has ever said anything like that to Connie Jackson. You wouldn’t believe how much I look like her…except she’s got brown eyes, and she’s a little taller. She’s smarter, prettier, and has a few more Connie like clothes than I do. Other than that, we’re like twins.
I was the victim of a freak accident yesterday. I had a saxophone lesson, and when I came out of the auditorium, it was raining and I got pretty wet. I started down the stairs of the high school to put my horn away in the coat room, and I slipped on the steps. My saxophone and I went end over end all the way down to the bottom. Those steps are concrete and they’ve been painted with slick grey paint.
Everybody was in class when it happened, and I knew the racket my horn and I made must have echoed throughout the school. I expected to see people come running. As soon as I was sure my saxophone and I were okay, I yelled, “IT’S JUST ME.” I don’t know exactly why I yelled that instead of saying “I’m okay,” or just not say anything. I had to go up the stairs and walk into Mrs. Peter’s English class. She just smiled, but another Noname said, “Did you have a nice trip?” Everybody started laughing. I didn’t think it was a bit funny. I could have broken my neck.
This is how the Draper girls wear their hair
Since freshmen can’t be cheerleaders, I couldn’t try out for that, so I decided to go out for girl’s basketball. I figured since my Dad and brother were good, I must be a natural. Mr. Haugland and Mr. Thune are the coaches.
It turns out I can shoot, but I can’t dribble. I can’t see where I’m going and dribble at the same time. I haven’t even tried to chew gum. In other words, I’m not any good. I was dribbling at practice and Mr. Haugland blew his whistle at me. He said, “What are you going to do with the ball over there Mary…peel it and eat it? I did kind of have myself backed into a corner. We play half-court, so we won’t get so tired I guess. It doesn’t work.
I had one game that gave me hope at first. We played Draper and those girls are mean! I guess it would be nicer if I said aggressive. They have one aggressive girl named Sheila. She’s good, and she’s tough. I had to do a jump ball with her, and I swear she elbowed me and knocked my uncoordinated self on my rear. I did have a good run though and made 4 baskets in a row. After that, I lost the ball 4 times in a row, so I had to sit the rest of the game out. Too bad.
For a girl who considers herself athletic, I’m sure not good at much. I have scratched off tennis, skiing and basketball. You’re probably thinking I don’t stick with anything long enough, but I can figure out pretty fast if I’m going to be any good at something. I think I would be really good in track, but we don’t have girl’s track. (FYI…Connie Jackson is a good basketball player.)
Great form, but isn’t that the ball behind you?
I’m going to start practicing my cheerleader moves so I’ll be ready for tryouts in the spring, but in the meantime, Cynthia Bork is going to teach me how to play the guitar. I’ve already had a couple of lessons. I’ve learned two chords, which is enough to play “The House of the Rising Sun.”
I sing in the choir too. I’m an Alto. I think Mr. Palmer decided that I should be an Alto, because to harmonize you only need to hit three notes. It’s actually pretty boring to be an Alto. I can sing 2nd Soprano too if I stand by someone who’s good. Mr. Palmer even let me sing with a little group for a banquet at the Methodist Church. We sang, “April Showers.” Cynthia Bork, Rita Iversen and Jennifer Iverson were in the group and they all have beautiful singing voices.
Of course, I still play the saxophone, but after my last contest, I don’t know if Sydney will accompany me on the piano again.
That pretty much covers my current extra curricular activities.
You can run, but you can’t hide Draper girl
Fresh off her first successfully solved mystery, Victory Lane has been contemplating what her future will hold. How many such situations can one sleuth expect to encounter in say… a year’s time? Something tells me our Nancy Drew wannabe will turn up something soon…
Two very bad things have happened this week and it’s only Tuesday. First off, we ran out of peanut butter. And because I can’t eat a peanut butter sandwich, I’m not able to think clearly. Mom doesn’t buy it, but it’s true. Maybe she’ll believe me when I show her my school paper. I got an unacceptable grade on my science test. I could have sworn I passed it, but every time I look at it I see a big red number 56 staring up at me. Mom is not going to handle this well. She’s gonna be really hard to face, but face her I will!
I’m walking home by myself today. Actually, I walk home by myself everyday and there is nobody I would rather walk home with than me.
“Hi Mom, I’m home! I have my science test. Did you buy any peanut butter today!”
“I’ll be right there, honey! Did you do well?”
Just as I was about to answer, Mom came into the kitchen, so I just handed her my paper. She looked at it for a long time.
“Victory, there is something wrong with this paper!”
“I know Mom. It’s that big red 56 at the top of it.”
“That’s not what I mean, Victory. These answers look funny. Not only are most of them incorrect, but this is not your handwriting. How do you explain that?”
“What do you mean, Mom?”
Mom handed me the paper and it only took me a second to discover she was right! My name at the top was clearly in my handwriting, but the answers to the typewritten questions were not. And upon further sleuth-type examination, the answers were stupid. Most of them weren’t even listed in the multiple choice columns.
“I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before, Mom. I was in such a state of shock at seeing that big red failing grade, my eyes didn’t search any further. Now what am I going to do? No one is going to believe me when I tell them I didn’t write these answers…not even my teacher!”
“Well, dear…I guess you had better put your sleuthing skills to the test. If you didn’t write those answers, then who did? Hmm…you come up with a plan and I’ll run to the store and get some peanut butter.”
Will Victory Lane be able to make inroads into solving the altered paper caper? I mean, I’ve heard of stealing answers, but Victory’s were literally lifted…
Will Victory’s new dog, Speedway, help her sniff out crime?
Victory Lane is a young girl who is nosy by nature and a self-professed sleuth. She is on her first self-assigned unsolved mystery. Let’s begin where we left off with this story. Victory has spotted her classmate, Penny’s Uncle Jimbo, who left town for unknown parts two years ago. Penny said it was because her mother kicked him out for being lazy, but Victory thinks it was something more sinister. Let’s see if she has what it takes to be an up and coming slueth or, if in fact, she is just nosy.
When I finished my PB & J sandwich, I grabbed a couple of Mom’s homemade peanut butter cookies and a glass of milk. I love peanut butter. It helps me think.
I needed a plan. First, I needed to know if Penny’s family knew Jimbo was back in town. Penny and I aren’t exactly friends, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt if I casually strolled by their house, so I did. As luck would have it, Penny’s mom was walking out to her car parked in the driveway.
“Hi Mrs. Walter. Are you having a nice day?”
“Oh, hello, Victory. Yes, I suppose I am.”
“Is it kinda the same as any other day?”
“Yes, I guess it is. I’ve got to run an errand. See you, Victory. Oh, please tell your mother I won’t be bringing cookies tonight. We’ve decided not to go.”
She was in the car and backing out of the driveway before I could ask her where she wasn’t going tonight.
Anyway, It didn’t sound like Mrs. Walter knows her brother is back in town.
Next, I decided to go back to the place I saw Uncle Jimbo a couple of hours before.
Once again, luck was on my side. Jimbo and another guy I had never seen before came walking out of the Dairy Queen. I quickly ducked behind a giant cardboard ice cream cone that was close enough to the door that I could hear most of the conversation.
“I understand how you feel, Jimbo, but it’s time this town knows the truth about you. Now come on, lets get back to the hotel and get ready for tonight. Have you called your sister?”
“No, and I’m not going to. I don’t feel right about asking her to go. Come on let’s get this over with.”
“Victory Lane!! What are you nosing around for now?”
I jumped so high I could a cleared that ice cream cone if I hadn’t knocked it over. I hate it when my cover gets blown.
“I promise I’m not being nosy, Mom. I’m on the very verge of solving a mystery.”
Just then, something occurred to me. Jimbo’s sister, Mrs. Walter wasn’t going someplace tonight, and Jimbo was going someplace tonight. I wondered if it was the same place.
“Mom, Mrs. Walter said she couldn’t bring cookies tonight because she isn’t going. Where isn’t she going, Mom?”
“Oh dear, I hope we have enough cookies. How many of my peanut butter cookies did you eat today, Victory?”
“Two…plus one that wasn’t baked yet. Where are you taking them, Mom?”
“To the Veteran’s Day Celebration at the town hall. There is going to be a surprise guest. I heard through the grapevine he’s a real unsung hero. You had better get home and get ready. You’re going with me.”
“Uh, okay Mom…I have one stop to make then I’ll be home.”
I ran all the way to the Walter’s house. I prayed Mrs. Walter would be there. As luck would have it, she was. I knocked on the door and she answered.
“Mrs. Walter, you have to go to the Veteran’s Day Celebration tonight and bring cookies. My mom doesn’t have enough because I ate a bunch of them. Please Mrs. Walter! Say you’ll come. There’s going to be an unsung hero there and everything and I’d feel just terrible if my mom got all embarrassed because there weren’t enough cookies. Buy them if you have to.”
Well, Mrs. Walter must have sensed my distraughtness because she assured me she would be there. Now all I had to do was pray really hard that my hunch was right.
“Ladies and gentlemen it’s time to introduce a very special guest. Dale, would you please come up to the podium?”
Dale? Who is Dale, I wondered!
Jimbo’s friend stood up and walked to the microphone.
There is someone here with me tonight, but I’ve asked him to stay in the other room for a few minutes while I tell you a little bit about him.
I want to tell you about a man who went to war. He went because he wanted to fight for all of you. He grew up in this town. I’ve never met a man with a stronger love of country or a more steadfast commitment to protect his own. I served beside him.
There came a terrible day. We were in the midst of battle… caught by surprise. Our commander was killed. This man I’m about to bring before you saved my life and the lives of countless others. He didn’t come home a hero. You see, he was uncomfortable with the word hero. The last two years, he’s been getting help. He had to learn to come to terms with who he is. I’ll tell you who he is. He’s the finest man I’ve ever known and I’m so pleased that he’s finally coming back home to all of you. He deserves your gratitude. Come out here Jimbo.”
I saw Jimbo walking through the door. He had tears in his eyes and a big smile on his face. I saw his sister, Mrs. Walter run to the front of the room and grab onto her brother with all she had. Everyone in the room stood, but there was silence. Then a sweet voice began to sing America the Beautiful and everyone joined in.
I felt good all over…
As most of you know, I began using Rodan + Fields skin care products. I said I would be up front with you about my experience with my new Redefine Regimen. I’ve been following it for slightly over a month now, and I have started to notice some improvements in my skin and lashes. I want to show you my old and new skin care routines.
Below are all the things I threw away. I also discarded several creams while we were on the trip that aren’t in this photograph.
Below is everything I am currently using for skin care and make-up. I have never been very disciplined as far as skin care and after 50 plus years of using maker-up, I still buy a different color or brand every month or so. I’m always trying to find one I like. I wish I had a dollar for every unused bottle of foundation.
This is my new morning routine, using Rodan + Fields skin care products developed by these two dermatologists.
1) Redefine Daily Cleansing Mask: Wet fingers, apply and leave on 2 minutes
2) Pore Minimizing Toner: Apply with gauze pad…My pores are most porous on my nose and chin.
3) Redefine Triple Defense Treatment (one for am and one for pm)
4) Enhanced Lash Boost (should be applied at night)
5) Radiant Defense Perfecting Liquid in beige (very lightly tinted)
6) Redefine Lip Renewing Serum (It comes in little capsules.) I just got this and I love it. Should be used at night, but one capsule has enough to put a little on in the morning, too. Follow-up with a little mascara, brow pencil, lip pencil and eye liner.
My mascara is really old and gunky…the reason? I haven’t worn it for a very long time. I didn’t have long enough lashes. I mean it. You could barely see them! I really, really love what the lash boost has accomplished in only a month.
Here I am…Ready to go! Except for my hair. I should have thought about my hair first. Oh well, I’m going on 67 and life is pretty good! I try to appreciate each day I’m given and my new mantra is, “Live in the now!”
If you are interested in learning more about these products, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook. I have decided to become a Rodan + Fields Consultant.
There’s this kid in school who says I’m nosy and people should be very careful around me. That offends me. I like to think of myself as observant. If I see something that’s not quite right, I take note. And after I take note of something I think is full of smoke and mirrors, I pay extra attention and quietly follow-up. That’s being observant. Nosy is when you go around asking people personal questions like, “How much money do you make?”
I look at myself as being more like a sleuth. Sleuths happen onto suspicious things all the time. Look at Nancy Drew. Everywhere her roadster took her, there was a mystery to solve. She got into some pretty tight spots sometimes, but her smarts always got her out just in time. I doubt anyone ever called her Nosy Nancy.
Oh well, I’m not going to worry about it. I don’t worry about much. I think that’s why Mom named me Victory. I like my name, Victory. People try to call me Vicki or Tory, but I don’t answer to anything but Victory. Someday, after I’ve solved a few high-profile mysteries, people will remember my name. They’ll say, Isn’t that Victory Lane something? My last name is Lane. I really should remember to thank my mother for my name. If nothing else, she gave me a great name. One that’s fitting for a sleuth.
Well, I better get out there and nose…I mean sleuth around. There’s got to be a mystery to be solved around here somewhere. I just need something to cut my teeth on. I don’t need a murder to solve or anything. I’m really not used to the idea of dead bodies yet. I know death comes with most run of the mill detective work, but I’m still pretty young. I don’t like blood much either. Especially if it’s my blood. I got a bloody nose once and I passed right out at the sight of my own blood.
You know what I just noticed? I’m casually looking across the street and who do I see but Penny Walter’s Uncle Jimbo. I wonder what old Uncle Jimbo is doing back in town. Boy he’s hard to look at. It must be two years since he left and he looks like he’s got the very same clothes on as when I last saw him. He was sitting at the bus stop in front of the Texaco gas station. Penny’s mom kicked him out of their house. Penny said it was because all he ever did was sit in their squeaky rocking chair and watch I love Lucy reruns. Penny said all you could hear all day long was squeaking and laughing and it drove them all to distraction. I’ve always thought there was more to it. I suspected he left under kind of a cloud. I wonder where he went? I wonder why he’s back?
This could be a good mystery for me to solve. Years from now people around here will look back and say, “I knew Victory Lane before she was a world-famous detective.”
I’ll get started on solving this thing as soon as I possibly can, but first I’m going home to fix myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You should never sleuth on an empty stomach.
I was in the mood to write a little story.
Guess what? Kip just added it up. We traveled 7,439 miles on our 44 day trip.
You did good, SeeYa
My cousin, Andrea, sent two pictures of me that were taken when I was four years old. It was fun to see photographs from all those years ago. I thought I had seen them all. I don’t remember ever wearing my hair in pigtails nor do I remember that doll. My Grandma and Grandpa Sanderson look younger than my clear memories of them, and I have many wonderful ones.
Moments in time seen by someone through a camera lens, and captured forever, are pretty amazing when you think about it.
These were taken a year or so before the Beasterhop came to life. Many of you know the story about my dad asking me to tell him a tale during our storytelling time. I imagined a rabbit that rides on a bicycle and called him a Beasterhop.
Two years ago, I wrote my first rhyming Beasterhop story called We Shall See what We Shall See. This year, I repackaged it to match a new Beasterhop storybook I wrote with my six year old granddaughter. This isn’t a rhyming story. It’s a heartwarming tale about a little rabbit town by the name of Thanksgivington. The name of the book is A Thanksgivington Christmas.
If you’re looking for Christmas stocking stuffers for children from ages three to eight, I’m offering a special price from now through December 15th.
Buy any two books postage included
A Thanksgivington Christmas… postage included
We Shall See what We Shall See postage included
You can purchase the books by using PayPal, or by check. Please email me at email@example.com, or message me on Facebook with information about your order and any questions you might have.
These books will be a great addition to your storytelling fun with the little ones in your life. Please share this blog or my Facebook post with your family and friends…Thank you
I was exchanging comments with a friend yesterday and she said, “You just as well take some pictures of the last 150 miles of your travels.” I’ve become fascinated with taking pictures from SeeYa’s window, and then looking through them to find some that intrigue me.
The morning went from rainy to sunny and then it clouded up again.
We were curious about what the animals would do after being away from home for six weeks.
The cat went outside as soon as we opened the doggie door. It was the first time she was allowed outdoors since we left. She was so good about not trying to get out of the RV. She loves to be outside.
The dogs didn’t want out. They were stressed and didn’t want Kip to get out of their sight.
Sammie even howled once. That is Cyndie looking stressed. No more new yards to sniff out.
The house actually looked neat and clean when we got here. That changed quickly when we unloaded the motor home. We’re slowly getting everything put away. In the RV, you have to lift up on the drawers and maneuver them to pull them out. That’s so they don’t open when your traveling down bumpy roads. You have to shut the cabinet doors hard, too. It takes me a few days not to do that when I get home. Kip winces when he hears me slamming everything shut. I’m on the third load of laundry and I’m still trying to find where to put the quarters in the machines.
It was nice not to have to call ahead for a place to stay and I’m sure Kip enjoyed not having to hook up the water, sewer and electricity… though we have gotten pretty proficient at all of that plus hooking up the tow car. We unhooked in the Brookshire’s parking lot.
No one wanted to go to the store so we ate the only thing we could scrounge up for dinner…two chicken pot pies. Kip had one of the two remaining bear claws, still in the RV freezer, for dessert.
It’s good to be home. I will say this…Our tiny house feels like a HUGH mansion!