Millionaire C.T. Butler had been kidnapped, and it should come as no surprise that Chief Brown had no idea how to solve this one.
Mrs. Butler was of no help. She and her husband had been watching late-night television in their bedroom when there was a knock on the door. Butler went downstairs to see who it was. Mrs. Butler didn’t recognize the other person’s voice, but she said it sounded as if it was a friendly conversation. The voices eventually migrated towards the den. She eventually lost interest and fell asleep. She awoke briefly when she heard the front door close. When she woke up the next morning, her husband was gone. However, she didn’t think anything odd of that. She had figured that he had gotten up and quietly got dressed and left for the office without waking her up. Although the front door was unlocked, she figured that her husband must have forgotten to lock it on her way out. She didn’t know anything was wrong until she had received a call from the kidnappers demanding a half-million dollar ransom.
Chief Brown didn’t have a lot to work with here, but that didn’t stop him to speculate the hell out of things.
He figured that the kidnapper had a friendly conversation with Butler, and they moved things into the den. He then opened the window and forced Butler to climb out of it into the backyard where other men were waiting to take him. The kidnapper then went out of the front door. That way, anyone watching Butler’s house would have seen the kidnapper enter and exit alone and wouldn’t have seen Butler taken. Therefore, it wouldn’t have appeared suspicious to any neighbor with nothing better to do than to stare at Butler’s door all night.
Yes, that’s one possibility. Or maybe they all went out of the front door, but no one was watching the Butler’s house, so the kidnapping went undetected.
Oh, who am I kidding? As unlikely as Chief Brown’s theory was, we just have to accept that that’s the way things actually went down. There was still one problem. Who?
The only clue they had was that “7891011” had been written on the calendar in the den. Mrs. Butler said that that hadn’t been on the calendar the night before, so 7891011 must have pointed to something.
Encyclopedia asked his father if Butler had any enemies, but the Chief answered that all rich people have tons of enemies. He even went on to name a few: Arthur Jason, John McNear and Matt Short. But really, there were probably dozens more.
But since Chief Brown went through the trouble of naming those three men, we have to assume that one of them was the kidnapper.
Encyclopedia figured that Butler seized a moment and wrote “7891011” somewhere where it would be seen that would point to the kidnapper, and Encyclopedia figured it all out.
Since “7891011” was written on the calendar and not a notepad near the telephone, that must have meant that the number, written on a calendar, was of significance. 7891011 was referring to the seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh months. Taking the first letter of those five months, you get “Jason.” So the bad guy was Arthur Jason.
Wow, that’s crazier than the kid who answered a test all palindromes to snitch on Bob and Anna.
How did Butler think that would have worked? It did, but it shouldn’t have. He’s lucky Encyclopedia has this weird mind meld ability where he’s able to get inside the heads of any victim/suspect and picture exactly what they’re thinking. Otherwise, Butler would have stayed missing for a lot longer.
And what was Jason going to do after he got the ransom and Butler was released? I know what I would do if I were Butler; I’d march to the police and say, “Hey, guess who kidnapped me.”