Croonford Detectives Case 11: Three’s not a crowd







Amanda welcomes comments from you here.


Author's note: This is Part 1 of a two-part story; therefore, it is much shorter than the previous cases, about half the number of words. Also, as per the last case, its 'Croonford Detectives’ now given a boy has joined the team.

Detectives meeting place
July 2021


"Oh my gosh Lin, what are you wearing? That's so...skimpy!" Jennifer Thompson exclaimed as she entered the keypad-locked headquarters. Lin Ling was out of her scientist coat, wearing a purple skirt that came just above her mid-thighs, with the edge of her blue knickers slightly visible. She was also in a translucent white spaghetti top with black bra straps evident against the thin white straps.


"Hey, one it's warm inside here despite the portable air conditioner. Two, I'm a proper girl and don't wear those of bland clothes," she pointed at Jenn's white tank top with the bra outline not clearly visible and her red shorts.


"I always wear practical...are those the same undies you wore when we were captured by the crappy Cat and her colleagues?" Jenn hardly like the word 'knickers.'


"Yes...cleaned and I don't let any villainess spoil what I dress in, " Lin tugged up her skirt. "You ok after that near death trap?"


"Yes, but I'm sure now one of the assistants is my good friend Molly Peacock. Only she knows I'm ticklish," she gave an embarrassed look, "and exactly where. Also, she knows I hate being semi-naked for a long time. I'm so going to get her for trapping, leaving me with my period blood soaking my undies and nearly killing us..."


Jenn's whining was cut off as the doorbell Lin made rang. She checked the CCTV camera carefully before unlocking the door.


"Hey girls, I thought I entered the right combination number," Mark Cadvish greeted. He was in a matching light blue tank top and jeans.


"Oh, my fault I changed it in case of villainess or villainess prying eyes breaking in," Lin gave him a gentle hug. "Jenn was talking about one of the Cat's assistants..." Jenn repeated what she said then changed the subject, "I've gone a debate competition and judging down near Coventry this week."


"Oh same, I'm presenting some of our science creations against a competing school group. Holiday and summer time away from Croonford," Lin added.


"Some time hopefully away from the Cat and a break from all this detective work," Jenn also added. "You want to join us, Mark?"


"I’d love to - but I've a rugby game or so in Cardiff."


"Well, you better come rescue us if there's trouble!" Lin laughed but still meant that.

"And don't forget your or our dear Chelle," she added. Michelle Summers certainly had a rough time after last time. She had been caught by the CCTV cameras and students of Moorly school and was questioned for hours at the police station why she snuck into the girls changing room, stole a Moorly school uniform and assaulted the netballer Clare. Chelle faced further questions why she took down the antique painting and also bound and gagged her school mate Heather Smiths. Initially with a family solicitor next to her - the solicitor was later dismissed after Detective Inspector Heath assured Chelle there were no criminal charges or caution brought against her - Chelle verbally apologised to the netballer and identified where she dropped off her school uniform. She also wrote an apology to the school for the intentional removal of the painting and apologised several times to Heather. The worse part was her mum listened in and simply grounded Chelle across despite explaining she was coerced to perform all those acts.


"At least the police are now really investigating the whole matter," Jenn added, but remembered the embarrassing time with the forensic team taking swabs off her underwear and skin.


Lin shook her head. "Nikki said she's buried with more pertinent police cases. But as you said Jenn, it's going to be a break from detective work as we head to Coventry."


"Better change the sign," Mark noted, pointing at the hand-written sign above the door which read 'Croonford Girl Detectives.' They all laughed.


Summers' Residence
Just a while later


Chelle continued to stare out of her room's window, still sulking over the punishment she received across the summer break. Even her father supported her mother's decision. Turning away. Chelle decided to throw an old tennis ball but ten minutes later she heard her phone buzz. Initially thinking it was the Cat, her heart leaped seeing it was a WhatsApp message from Mark.


'Hi, we - Lin, Jenn and myself - we're talking bout you, hope you're ok now. As you know, the two are heading to Coventry, me to a rugby game in Wales. I don't want you to feel lonely so I left a package at the back of your house. Hope ya like it :-)’ 


Chelle’s heart raced. She listened until there was silence then stealthily exited her room and found a basket with an opaque red plastic wrap with hearts scattered all over. Back inside her room, she found it was an assortment of various kinds of biscuits.


'Oh Mark, it's so delicious! Thank you for baking them :) ' She typed back her reply with additional heart-shaped emojis as she chewed on a dark chocolate biscuit that met the sweetness she preferred.


'Well, I didn't actually make them; it's actually the excess from what my mother and aunt baked xx'


'Well, it's your heartful thought that really counts. Keep safe during your game, love' Chelle again added two lines of heart-shaped emojis and meant it.


Somewhere near Coventry
A few days later


"Now this is what I call a school holiday!" Lin exclaimed glancing at the clear summer weather as she and Jenn walked towards the competition cum presentation arena. As they were representing their school, they were still in their school uniforms. Jenn thought it was bad wearing it throughout the cold months and it was just as bad to wear the silly blazer and tie in this weather.


"Hey, there's some carnival opposite," Lin pointed.


"I hope you're not recalling your Marksville's misadventure," Jenn replied. "Remember, we promised no detective work."


"Just noticing. Catch up with you after my science presentation, good luck with your debating." The girls parted and Jenn was thankful for the arena's air-conditioning.




Chelle and Mark completed another WhatsApp exchange, where she learnt the reason for his strange surname, Cadvish. It was his parent's decision to change from 'Cavendish' because his grandpa was a corrupt landowner and Territorial Army solider, thus they changed it to 'Cadvish', close enough. Chelle completed the exchange with a distinct declaration of love for him but Mark cautiously replied he would have to take it slowly, lest he feel the ridicule of his rugby mates, his classmates and even family members who opposed dating at such a young age.


'I do like you Chelle and will support you in detective and other activities. Keep your head up during your grounding.'


He too added flower-shaped emojis. Once more, Chelle felt a strong tingling between her legs and her ever-growing breasts perk up. Oh gosh...


Down near Coventry, Lin anxiously waiting for the judges to declaring the results. Her science club entry, invented by her but with input from other members, was a special fishing net. It could be calibrated for sports fishing, lake fishing or even medium-sized trawlers with various kinds of bait fixed to it. She tapped both feet impatiently until she heard, "from Croonford School with a very unique fishing net, Miss Lin Ling Chan..."


Mrs Maggie Summers continue to keep watch over her eldest daughter, giving her additional household chores to her younger daughter Catherine or Kate's delight. Despite keeping Chelle busy, she failed to noticing the change in Chelle's changing facial features - there was a light flush daily. While Chelle was given laundry duty, she took the chance to place her damp knickers in, damp from excitement. Michelle Summers was certainly in love. Finally finding free time, she locked herself in her room and scanned the net, looking for a gift she could give to Mark in return. There wasn't much then she realised a home-made gift would be much more appropriate. A cooked or baked gift like his was immediately out of the question since the dish wouldn't last by the time he returned from his rugby game. Rugby...why not get something-related for him? But what?


Chelle looked back at her laptop and decided between a large T-Shirt or wooden shelf or stand. There was excess clothing in her house but they definitely weren't for men or the size of her boyfriend. I got to get out the house and need help designing a shirt.


"Mum, I'm going to the nearby thrift shop to pick out some bags," Chelle called, hoping her mother would allow her out of the house. The reply came back fast - yes you can, but take a direct route and no detective nonsense. She thanked her mother but still internally bristled at the last line. Arming herself with the necessary gadgets in case the Cat or her thugs would appear, she headed out, and soon found a plain T-Shirt that she thought was Mark's size.


Down near Coventry


Lin caught up with an elated Jenn. "Yay, we're advancing to the next round for the regional debating championships and the school team judged resulted in the teacher hiring me to train their team! How..."


"I lost a science competition for the first time," Lin interrupted. " I thought my, our group's invention was so wonderful. We invested a heck lot of time in investing it and filming various fishing scenes. The judges instead gave the first prize to this girl who made a meal-creating device for any meal of the day. Looks incredible but I thought my fishing device was the best." Lin tone wasn't didn't show signs of disappointment but her face showed she dejected.


"Meal-creating device? Sounds something out of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," Jenn loved that musical film. Lin nodded "Oh, it's just one competition. Look, I'll buy you some tea or coffee," Jenn patted her back.


"Actually, we both decided to have coffee at that cafe over there to exchange more scientific ideas," Lin pointed. "Yeah, I know the train will be arriving soon. I've cancelled my return journey; there's no cancellation fee."


"You ok being alone?"


"I don't think the Cat and her team is here. So yeah, I'll be fine. Say hi to Chelle if you get to meet her."


Back in her room, Chelle was grateful that firstly, no one followed her and secondly her mother didn't question her purchase. The harder now was what to decorate or design the T-shirt with. Her first thought was 'Mark and Michelle' but that would let the cat out of the back. The initials 'M&M' would make him look like advertising the American chocolates. Rugby, a voice reminded her, focus on Actually, something rugby-related. She scanned pictures of rugby and looked through her old sewing kit from primary school. Just enough coloured thread she noted, but I'm not skilled with sewing.


'Hey Hattie, hope you're fine. You know I'm grounded but can you give me advice how to sew a design?'


Down at the cafe in the Warwickshire region, Lin and the prize winner Rachel, a Black British girl named Rachel were discussing various inventions. "Oh, I have started making..." Lin excitedly started describing yet another invention.


"Err, excuse me," Rachel shot up, clutching her crotch area and dashed to the toilets. Must be her mixed fruit juice Lin thought and scanned through her phone. More than ten minutes later, Lin noticed the girl's absence and instinctively headed towards loo. The outer area was empty as were the stalls. Putting her detective cap on, she started to closely each stall. The first three appeared alright, but there was a small scratch on the plastic wall of the fourth stall and just below the toilet bowl, there was a leather strap, definitely from Rachel's watch. Uh oh, that girl's in trouble Lin thought and rushed back. She threw money to pay for the drinks, then rapidly asked the manager if he saw anyone snatch a girl.


"Hey, hey young Chink," the tattooed manager snapped back. "No one aint snatching no student from my store." Lin shook her head in reply at the racist remark then darted out. Where could that...


On the train back to Croonford


Jenn was busying herself reading a novel and also checking the nearby passengers in case anyone was suspicious. Flipping a page, she noticed the time on her watch and sent a WhatsApp message.


'Hey Lin, finished your cafe discussion with that girl? Am still on train. Maybe meet you back at the train station?'


Lin's reply came instantaneously.


'There's some'


Jenn raised her eyebrows at the curt reply.


'Some what? who? Boy?' Chelle fell in love, next Lin. But there was no 'blue tick' in response.


'Lin, who did you find? Some hot guy? I thought you said the winner was a girl.' Still no reply.


'Lin come on, who did you find?' She no further replies came.


Lin in fact was inside a large truck, finding herself in amongst colourful boxes, statutes and masks of clowns and other creatures. It was part of the carnival she spotted earlier! Maybe the officials who ran it would have spotted Rachel. She initially wanted to exit to find the driver or staff but decided to further explore the interior. As one oriented with scientific facts, she was never a fan of magic. Puppets two and three-dimensional creatures started to pop up as she touched boxes. Ooops, she shook her head as she closed them. Moving further, sounds came. They weren't footsteps or voices...


Jenn decided to alight two stations earlier and rang Lin's phone directly. 'Lin’s here but not free, please leave a message and number.'


"Hey, Lin, what was your message about?Jenn spoke clearly and told her to reply back, hoping nothing was wrong.


Lin however had muted her phone as she neared the source of the sound. It was definitely muffled cries! She frantically pushed and threw away the magic boards, sticks and costumes until she saw a box with several locks. The sound was more audible and she instantly drew out her laser pen, cutting off the combination locks and the edges. The cover then could easily be lifted off. There was another wooden board in the way but there was an obvious metal ring and with all her strength it came off. Underneath, there were bundles of blankets but someone was squirming underneath. Lin rapidly yanked them away and gasped, spotting the competitor Rachel tightly bound with ropes and thick cloth covering her eyes and jaw. There was also a foul stench.


"Some nosy girl here?" Came a deep voice and a circular cold object was pressed against the Croonford student's neck.


Back at the train station, Jenn still tried Lin's number but this time round there was a sharp engaged tone. That can't be correct. She sent both text and WhatsApp messages to her fellow school mate and detective but then received 'unable to send, please try again'. Was she out of range or worse...

Summers' residence


'No, no, you have to sew the brown thread towards...' Hattie was still helpfully directing Chelle how to form the shape of a rugby ball with the amount of thread Chelle had in her room. Suddenly Jenn's message flashed.


'I think Lin got herself in trouble, am heading back down.' The message was also copied to Mark.


To be continued.


Michelle, Lin Ling, Jennifer and Mark will return in 'Scarborough Fair'






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