A Young Charles Splints Case: Gumshoe
The young Charles Splints cases take place when the future detective of Brooksend was still in elementary school. A seven year old Charles Splints is on the case.
by Dan Leicht
Charles Splints strolled around the border of the playground, his sneakers lighting up with every step.
“Charlie! Charlie!” cried one of the children.
“Don’t ever call me that again, and what did I tell you about climbing up the slide?” asked Splints.
“Sorry, Charlie, I mean Splints. But we have an emergency!”
“Tell the school nurse. I only handle the cases that are too crazy for anyone else to touch.”
“This is a case, Splints! Look!”
The kid had gum stuck to the bottom of his shoe. Kyle Brent, class clown, face full of freckles, but not someone to break the rules. Gum had been banned on school grounds ever since Susan cried home to her momma after the bubble gum massacre last year. A lot of good bubbles were lost that day. No, Kyle didn’t step in his own gum, someone else had put it there, someone that was in need of a serious time-out.
“I’ll take your case,” said Splints. “But you know my fee.”
Kyle Brent placed his lunch money and a couple pieces of hard candy into Splints’ hand.
Just like that he was on the case, but he didn’t have much of a lead to go on. He asked Kyle where he had stepped, nowhere out of the ordinary. He’d have to ask the teacher if he could have a bathroom pass during math, use the time to search for clues.
“Mrs. Hemlok, I gotta use the Johnathon,” said Splints.
“I wish you wouldn’t always look so stern when you ask, Charles. It’s just a bathroom pass.”
“It’s never just a bathroom pass, Hemlok. Not with you.”
He walked out into the hallway and something caught his ear. A snapping sound was coming from down the hall towards the custodian’s closet. He stepped up to the door and knocked the ol’ beat, shave-and-a-haircut. He could hear panic coming from the other side of the door. The handle wouldn’t budge so he took out a paperclip he’d snagged from Hemlok’s desk. In, turn, and the door creaked open.
“How’d you get in here, Son?” asked the custodian.
“Used the door, Pops,” replied Splints.
“Well you shouldn’t be in here.”
“And you shouldn’t be chewing gum!”
Splints grabbed the empty pack off the edge of the mop bucket and waved it around.
“It’s not what it looks like!”
“Tell it to the principle,” said Splints.
The custodian served three days of over-time. A small price for such a sticky crime.