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Mystery May
The Case of the Woman with the Red Scarf



The Case of the Woman with the Red Scarf
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.32

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    accomplice, bespeckled, courageous, deception, fatal, raven-haired, sedan, self-destructed, sidekick, striking, waitress, identify, windshield, trench, encounter, array
     content words:    Courageous Sergeant Crimebuster, Deputy Detail, United States, Sergeant Crimebuster


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The Case of the Woman with the Red Scarf
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Courageous Sergeant Crimebuster sat in his blue sedan at the side of the street with his dependable sidekick, Deputy Detail. They were hot on the trail of the worse traitors in United States history. The traitors were smuggling important secrets to the Russian secret police, and the sergeant knew that an important envelope would trade hands today.
 
2     "How will we know who to watch for?" asked the balding, bespeckled deputy. He tried hard, but his mind was not as swift as the sergeant's. Both men wore tan trench coats and sipped black coffee from Styrofoam cups. The deputy had powdered sugar on his chin from his recent encounter with a cinnamon bun. It attacked with a sloppy array of crumbs and icing, but the deputy triumphed in the end. After all, he had to keep up his strength.
 
3     "I know that the person passing the envelope is a woman. She will be wearing a red scarf. She looks like a movie star," said the sergeant. He had studied this case well.
 
4     The deputy nodded. He reached for a glazed donut. After all, he had to fortify himself for a possible chase.
 
5     "When we catch her, we will have broken a tangled web of international deception. They have been passing national security secrets for five years. Unfortunately, her accomplice is a slippery character. For one reason or another, we have never caught him," said Sergeant Crimebuster.
 
6     Rain poured down in cold sheets. The pair waited and watched. They knew that the woman would appear in a window booth in the coffee shop across the street. They had heard that her accomplice would meet her there. She would give him the secret envelope. Even though several striking women sat in booths by the windows wearing scarves at their necks as was the fashion of the day, not one wore red.
 
7     "The funny thing about this case is that this woman does not know who she is meeting. It is as much a mystery to her as it is to us. Apparently, the accomplice will be looking for her bright red scarf alone to identify our lady.
 
8     "The accomplice received his instructions in a note. We photographed it with a telescoping camera lens just before it self-destructed. The funny thing is that the accomplice had no way to contact his superiors. Even if he had a problem with the note's instructions, he had no alternative. He just had to wait for the next contact," explained the sergeant.
 
9     "It is amazing we have gotten this far!" exclaimed the deputy.

Paragraphs 10 to 16:
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