"I ’m telling you the truth!” the shopkeeper insisted. “These kidnappers were in my store, and they were looking for the girl.”

“Look,” the police said, “you were here earlier today telling me about a thief in your store, a young girl, who stole a lot of money. You said she had her little sister with her. I came to your store, but didn’t find anyone, only a filthy jacket and dirty pink blanket. Now you’re telling me that kidnappers came to your store asking about this girl who you said is a thief.”

“Yes!”

“Did the kidnapper bring his baby brother along, too?”

“Are you poking fun at me?”

The policeman placed his hand on the shopkeeper’s shoulder. “I think you’ve been reading too many detective stories, or maybe you’re overworked and need some time off.”

The shopkeeper stamped his feet. “I’m telling you that some helpless kid was kidnapped, and the kidnappers are going to collect the ransom money at the park tomorrow, at noon. I heard it with my own two ears! I don’t know what the girl and her sister have got to do with it, but something big is going on. Why don’t you believe me?”

The policeman hooked his thumbs in his belt loops and rocked on his heels. “Okay, let’s say I believe you about the girl today. Maybe she was at your store, but how in the world am I supposed to believe that two kidnappers came to your store three times in one day? It makes no sense.”

“I can’t explain it myself, but I’m being as truthful as I can possibly be. A crime has been committed, and there’s a child involved.”

The officer stared at the shopkeeper for a moment. “What did these kidnappers look like?”

The man’s brows rose a notch. “One was tall and the other was medium build. Both had brown hair.”

“That’s half the men in town… three-quarters if you count the neighboring farms. Listen, do yourself a favor, go home, and get a good night’s sleep.” The policeman walked the shopkeeper to the door. “If they come back to your store, call me on the phone they used.” He opened the door for the man.

“I got it!” the shopkeeper shouted. “The sick man, the one who collapsed in my store today, speak to him. He was also asking about the girl.”

“So a man collapsed in your store today, and he was also asking about the girl?” The police grinned. “A lot of unusual things seemed to be happening there.”

“Right.”

“When was the last time you paid a visit to Doc Brown?”

“Doc Brown! You think something’s wrong with my head. You think I’m making this up? You think I have nothing better to do than come here in the middle of the night and make up ridiculous stories?” 

 (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 672)