Lucy Fibbs kept and trained pigs. In the past, they had been trained for obedience contests. She later moved on and went into the world of pig racing. She was training one breed of pig to run fast, and she was training another breed for swimming. She was going to enter a team for the first All-Pig Olympics. The problem was that the swimmer pigs were gaining weight too quickly. She suspected that someone had been overfeeding them, making them too heavy to swim and taking them out of the competition.
You may have trouble believing this, folks, but I believe someone in Idaville is cheating at a competition.
The night before Lucy hired Encyclopedia to find out who was doing this, her parents had come home to find that the kitchen light was on. The intruder ran away as soon as he heard the car pull up, so Lucy’s parents didn’t get a good look at him. When Lucy’s father went inside, he found a mysterious slip of paper with the words “pig iron” written on it.
Later that night, a neighbor said that he had seen a car that had been parked nearby getting towed by another car. Since it was dark, the neighbor didn’t see the cars or the people.
After hearing this story, Encyclopedia just had one question, “Where’s the phone?” As Encyclopedia suspected, the only phone in the house was in the kitchen. With that information, Encyclopedia was able to solve the mystery.
The guy who was overfeeding the pigs was Jim Hearn. He wanted to fatten up the pig because he wanted his own pigs to be famous. The night Lucy’s parents saw Jim in the kitchen, his car had broken down. With no other choice, he broke into the Fibbs’ home to use the phone to call his friend for a tow, but he dropped the piece of paper while he was in the house. But what’s the significance of the paper?
Jim had brought the phone number of the place where his friend was going to be that night, but since he wanted to be careful about someone finding it, he wrote the number in letters. It just so happened that the phone number, 744-4766, spelled out “pig iron.” We find out that the police traced the phone number to Jim’s friend, and he and Jim were arrested.
I don’t understand why Jim had brought the phone number of the place where his friend was going to be. And I don’t understand why he spelled the number out. For that to be a concern, Jim would have had to have thought that his car was in danger of breaking down AND that he’d need to break into the Fibbs’ home and call his friend for a tow. On top of that, he would have to be concerned about leaving the slip of paper somewhere where it could be discovered. I’m all about someone planning for ahead for unlikely events, but those are a pretty specific list of ifs.
And if Jim was going somewhere to overfeed pigs and it just so happened his friend’s friend’s phone number spelled out “pig iron,” would he really have needed to write that down? It’s “pig iron,” dude! The first word is taken care of, because you’re dealing with pigs.
This story has the rare occurrence of telling us that someone got arrested for their crimes, which is not common. Even the man who kidnapped his 10-year-old neighbor and the ice cream man didn’t get arrested. Here, the police arrested Jim as well as his friend. Why was Jim’s friend arrested? All he did was tow Jim’s car. I suppose he had possibly aided and abetted a criminal, but they’d have to prove that he knew why Jim was there. Considering that Mr. Fibbs didn’t even call the police after seeing someone had broken into his house, I don’t know how serious of a crime any of this is.