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Cody, Tip and the Rusty Truck Mystery
Chapter 4: The Copper Complication

4th of a 9-part series
By Melanie B. Smith · 340-2468

The story so far: Tip’s escape to a building site has made her owner, Cody, the target of suspicion. Will Cody’s father believe he is not a thief?

Cody’s father stands outside his home with the man who is building a house nearby. They look down at Cody.

Cody says once more, “Dad, I didn’t take anything from that building site. I promise!”

“I believe you,” Cody’s father says.

Cody’s dad explains to the man that his son has never stolen anything and usually owns up to wrongdoing.

“I’ve always taught my son that he will get into more trouble if he lies,” Cody’s dad says.

The builder folds his arms and looks from father to son.

“Do you know anything at all about the copper, Cody?” his father asks.

“No, Dad. I don’t.”

Cody’s dad turns to the builder and asks, “I guess you’ve reported this to the police.”

“No, but I will. I’ve had to call the police before because of missing building materials. It’s getting so I need a guard on every job.”

“We’ll ask around the neighborhood. If we hear anything, we’ll let you know,” Cody’s dad says to the builder.

He hands a card to Cody’s father. Cody looks over his dad’s arm and reads, “Gary Cabal, Your Homebuilder — Lowest Price Guaranteed.” It lists several phone numbers.

Cabal turns to leave and then looks back at Cody.

“Young man, I want to believe that you aren’t a thief. I would hate to see you in that kind of trouble,” the builder says.

Cody and his dad watch the man leave. “I believe you didn’t take anything, son,” Cody’s dad says, “but don’t go near there. You can see how upset the builder is and he might have you arrested for trespassing.”

“Dad, I wouldn’t have gone there at all, but Tip got away, like I said.”

“Well, I think I need to write a story for the newspaper about theft from construction sites,” Cody’s dad says.

Just then, Tip starts barking loudly at the door. Cody’s dad opens the door to go inside, and Tip slips by him.

“Come back here,” Cody’s dad yells.

“Tip!” calls Cody.

Tip does not stop. She heads toward a convenience store on the corner. Cody looks at his dad.

“Well, I guess you have to go after her,” he says.

Just as Cody races into the store parking lot, he sees Tip barking at a rusty blue truck and turning in loopy circles. He sees Tip dodge away as the truck seems to swerve toward her. It roars out of the store parking lot.

“You really almost got hit that time!” Cody says as he picks up Tip once more. Tip doesn’t lick her owner this time but squirms to watch the truck pull into the distance.

When Cody puts his dog down, he has to hold her collar to keep her from running in the direction the truck headed. Her dog tags jingle as she barks.

“Tip, you are acting so weird!” Cody scolds.

Just then the storeowner rushes out to Cody.

“Hey! Did you get the license plate number on that truck?”

Cody shakes his head no.

“The two guys in that truck were trying on sunglasses. They walked out with some and didn’t pay!”

THE DAILY’s NEWSPAPER IN EDUCATION LINK: What is the value of copper? Look in a Marketplace page of The Decatur Daily for the price of copper. The price listed is the amount per pound for copper as a commodity. In late July the price was almost $3.54 per pound. How much is it now? Recycled heavy copper in small amounts was selling for $3.03 per pound on July 31, according to If someone sold 44 pounds of this copper at that price, how much money would he or she get? (Alabama Standard: Math — Solve word problems that involve decimals, fractions or money.)


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