We’ve seen Winslow Brant before. He was junk collector who once found a map that he thought would have led him to a pirate treasure. He would have been cheated out of the treasure had the map been real and not some souvenir. Well, once again, Winslow got to be the victim.
One Saturday morning, he called Encyclopedia after his toilet exploded. If I were in Winslow’s shoes, I would hope that my parents would have enough sense to call a plumber. For reasons unclear, his parents allowed him to invite the 10-year-old detective to help figure things out.
Encyclopedia got to Winslow’s apartment building and saw Winslow waiting outside. After Encyclopedia found out some basic information, Gladys Smith, 18, drove up to the building. Her station wagon was filled to the brim with junk. She was a fellow junk collector and was supposed to be Winslow’s ride to the antique market.
A fire truck arrived at the building and two firemen ran in. Winslow decided that it would be best to enter the building through the back door and take the back elevator up to Winslow’s apartment.
That’s right, kids. If you see firefighters rush into your apartment building after an emergency, feel free to enter the building behind them and take another elevator up to where you have to go.
Winslow showed Encyclopedia the bathroom, but there was not much to see except for the exploded toilet bowl. There wasn’t much Winslow could do at that point, so Gladys offered to pack his stuff into her car. His stuff was being stored in the boiler room, so the three of them went down to get it.
The firemen were in the boiler room, which seemed to have been the source of the plumbing problem. They didn’t seem to mind that these three were milling about during this emergency.
It turned out that Winslow’s crates had been smashed, probably by someone using the sledgehammer that was nearby. Whoever did that probably caused the plumbing problems by accidentally missing the crate and hitting the central coil within the – blah, blah, blah, plumbing talk. The busted central coil caused the explosion. For some reason, Encyclopedia knew everything there was to know about plumbing.
Who would want to destroy Winslow’s belongings? And why?
Gladys did it. With Winslow’s stuff destroyed, Gladys would have less competition and would likely get more money for her junk. This was obvious to Encyclopedia when she drove up with a full car. She was supposed to be driving Winslow and his crap, but there was no room for it. She knew that she wouldn’t need to leave room because she knew that Winslow’s stuff had been ruined.
So she intentionally destroyed personal property and the plumbing of this apartment building. Since exploding toilets were involved, the police could probably throw in a reckless endangerment charge as well. And since she was 18 years old, she would get tried as an adult – assuming the justice system in Idaville works, which it doesn’t. She did this for the possibility of maybe fetching a few extra dollars at a swap meet.
Gladys clearly has some issues. I worry about an adult who would go to such lengths to dick over a kid like that.