In this story, the Brown Detective Agency got its first adult customer. If you’re disturbed by that idea, your instincts serve you well.
Apparently, someone broke into Mr. Patch’s grocery’s storeroom and tried to break open the money box with a knife. When Mr. Patch showed up, the suspect ran away, but he tripped on his way out. The knife he was carrying plunged into a watermelon. The suspect abandoned the knife and ran away.
Patch didn’t get a good look at the teenager, but he was wearing a jacket with an ‘L’ on it. Encyclopedia knew that meant he was a member of the Lions. The Lions are like the Tigers, only older and getting into more serious crimes.
I understand why kids go to the Brown Detective Agency. The police don’t care if a some tween cheated in a bet to win another tween’s baseball bat. Patch, however, didn’t go to the cops to report a breaking and entering and an attempted burglary of a neighborhood business. The fact that he didn’t go to the police makes me a little uncomfortable.
Anyway, so Encyclopedia – setting an excellent example to his young readers in regards to the issue of stranger danger – got into Patch’s truck. They went to the Lions’ clubhouse, bringing the watermelon with the knife still in it.
There were four Lions at the clubhouse. After hearing Patch’s story, they all claimed that that wasn’t their knife. One Lion named Corky said that it couldn’t have been his knife because his knife’s blade is longer.
With the knife still in the watermelon, there’s no way Corky would have known how long the blade was, and that’s how Encyclopedia knew that Corky was full of shit.
We’re given no indication about whether or not the police were ever involved. Given Patch’s reticence to go to the police, I’m going to assume that there is something way shady about him. Maybe he’s got a warrant out for him. Yeah, maybe Encyclopedia shouldn’t be getting into just anyone’s car.