Twinkletoes Willis earned his nickname because he was the fastest runner in all of Idaville. He was often seen running everywhere. When he was seen limping into to the Brown Detective Agency, Encyclopedia worried that Twinkletoes was injured. He was limping because he was carrying $12 in his shoe.
Twinkletoes had gone to Mr. Arronzi’s shoemaker shop to have one of his shoes fixed, but since Arronzi had been so busy, his shoe would not be ready for another two days. On his way out, he ran into Wilford Wiggins. Ugh, Wilford Wiggins, again.
Anyway, Wilford had been leaving a pair of boots to be repaired. He had casually mentioned to Twinkletoes that he was surprised to see him at the shoe repair shop and not at the city dump for another one of his secret meetings.
Twinkletoes was quite familiar with Wilford’s track record, yet he had somehow deluded himself into thinking that this time, Wilford was going to have a legitimate investment plan.
Encyclopedia decided he should go along and hear what Wilford had to say.
Wilford’s meeting was all about a little red pill. It was the life-long project of Dr. Pablo Mann in Brazil. Wilford told the crowd that one pill in a car’s gas tank would allow the car to drive for up to a thousand miles before needing gas again. This was right before the oil crisis, but even then, the importance of such an invention was obvious.
Mann still needed another two years to perfect the pill, but Wilford wanted to get the children of his hometown in on the ground floor so that he could make them millionaires. Wilford told the crowd that he would have been buying all of the shares himself, but he was planning to spend all of his money on plane tickets to Brazil the following day to help in Mann’s secret laboratory hidden in the jungle. He was planning on being gone for a year or so.
Encyclopedia didn’t believe Wilford that he had no money on him, so he demanded to see his wallet. Wilford was happy to oblige, as he had nothing to hide. He had less than $10, his driver’s license, a movie ticket stub, the claim ticket from Arronzi’s shoe repair shop and a few postage stamps.
Encyclopedia wondered aloud why someone planning on being out of the country for over a year would leave his boots to be repaired the day before leaving.
This scheme was stupid, even by Wilford’s standards. Let’s forget for a moment that, once again, Wilford’s story involved some scientist in another country that enlisted him as a partner to get investors – preferably prepubescent. And we’re supposed to believe that this scientist created a revolutionary invention, but he sent a prototype to some teenaged American high school dropout to show the pill off. Wouldn’t Mann be concerned that someone would get hold of the pill and create another one like it?
But the crux of the story was that Wilford was going to be leaving the country the following day. What was going to happen in two days when people still saw him around town? Or the day after that? Or any time after that? He’d have a bunch of angry investors wanting to know why he wasn’t in Brazil.
Wilford seemed to have put absolutely no thought into this scheme.