It felt like summer even though it was only the beginning of April. Ellie could smell the flowers in bloom. Yellow daffodils lined their driveway and she had an urge to pick one, but she knew that she would get in big trouble so she resisted. Pickles was on the back stoop panting and leaning up against the base boards. Ellie’s Dad, Jake was in the yard mowing the lawn. She could see him continue on his way back and forth. He was wearing white shorts and an undershirt stained with grass. He wore boat shoes with no socks and pilot sunglasses. His grey hair was soaked. There were three large garbage bags filled to the brim with grass. Ellie loved the smell of it freshly-cut and the scent of the mower’s gasoline. It smelled like summer. Her dad shut the motor off and was beginning to fill another bag. She ran at them full speed. They looked so soft and fluffy, perfect to jump into.
“Don’t even think about freckle face.”
She slowed to a jog and stopped just short of the heaps.
“What’s up doodlebug?” He tugged at one of the pigtails that was peeking out from underneath the Sherlock Holmes hat.
“Looks like you are in search of a mystery”, he started to gulp down ice tea from the patio table. The glass was wet with condensation and dripped into tiny puddles.
“Well, as a matter of fact I am having an investigation and I have a few questions for you. Please have a seat.” Ellie pointed to one of the green mesh chairs and took out her notebook and pencil and flipped through with her thumb.
“Well alright then, shoot.” Jake sat down and took another large gulp.
“Have you seen any suspicions activity? Noticed anything missing?” She tapped the tip of the pencil but wrote nothing.
“Hmm, not in particular? What’s missing?” He scratched his temple.
“My hat from the Topsfield Fair. I have a number one suspect, but I’m running an investigation to prove it.” She paced back and forth, one foot directly behind the other.
“I see and who might that be? Max?” He took off his sunglasses and placed them on top of his head.
“He is the only logical suspect. He has the motive, um the means, and the opportunity, yea.”