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Cody, Tip and the Rusty Truck Mystery
Chapter 3: Tip and Cody Accused

Cody, Tip and the Rusty Truck Mystery: Part 3 of a nine-part series

By Melanie B. Smith
msmith@decaturdaily.com · 340-2468

The story so far: Cody’s dog keeps escaping. Cody has kept her from harm, but a homebuilder isn’t happy with them. Just how mad is the builder?

Slumped over his homework, Cody is thumping his pencil on the table. Cody’s friend Roberto went home after Tip’s escape earlier in the afternoon. The interruption made Cody even further behind in his homework, so soccer practice in the yard wasn’t going to happen.

“What can I do for this science paragraph?” he thinks, frowning and looking again at his assignment.

“I know immiscibility means that oil and water don’t mix, but I don’t know how any sort of industry can use it.”

Cody thinks again of the experiment they did in class pouring the water into jars of oil.

“It’s like Italian salad dressing,” his teacher had said. “What should you do before you pour the dressing on a salad?”

“You should shake it up,” Cody says to himself. “If you shake it hard, the stuff mixes up long enough so you don’t just get the oil on your salad.”

He remembers that they had covered and shaken the jars of the oil and water and watched the liquids settle again, oil on top and water on the bottom. The teacher said that the molecules don’t ...

The shrill ring of the doorbell makes Cody jump. He jumps up, glances out a window and sees the man from the job site.

Mrs. Lee, his neighbor who has been coming over since his mother’s National Guard unit was activated, must be in the basement loading the washer. Cody knows not to let strangers in the house, and this man isn’t someone he officially met.

Tip must be in the basement, too, or she would be up in the chair looking out the window, Cody thinks.

Cody realizes he is glad to have a reason not to open the door; the man looks angry.

Just then, Cody sees his father drive up. When Cody’s dad gets out of his car, the man starts talking and pointing down the street to the house under construction. Cody’s dad looks where the man points and starts to frown. Cody can hear only a few of the man’s words ... “boy... dog... dangerous place... ran them off.”

The man’s voice raises. Cody hears him say, “I wasn’t really all that concerned. I know how boys and dogs like to explore. But I found some copper pipe and wiring missing.”

Cody is shocked to hear of a crime on his street. Then his face turns red. Is that man accusing him?

Cody opens the door and goes to stand by his father.

“I wonder if your boy didn’t pick it up. Copper is valuable stuff these days,” the man says, glaring at Cody.

Cody gasps and looks up at his dad.

“I didn’t take anything, Dad. All I did was go after Tip when she ran down there. Honest!”

Cody’s dad looks from his son to the man and frowns more.

THE DAILY’s NEWSPAPER IN EDUCATION LINK: Look in today’s Decatur Daily for reports about thefts. Are any reports about stolen construction items?

(Alabama Standard: English/Language Arts — Read with ease textual, functional and recreational materials encountered in daily life.)

Discussion: Besides the fact that stealing is against the law, why should you care?

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