by John Wyatt
It is a calm, peaceful day in Gothic City. At police headquarters, Super Fink and Chief Jones are playing dominoes.
"Well, I win again!" said Chief Jones.
"See - I played all of my dominoes. I win."
"These complicated games always confuse me."
Suddenly the phone rang.
"What did he say?" asked Super Fink.
"He said the phone rang." replied Chief Jones.
(see, I told you so!)
Sergeant O'Hara answered the phone. "Hello. Oh, hello Mayor. How's things over there? WHAT! You're kidding!" He looked towards Chief Jones. "Hey Chief! Guess what! The Mayor and the town council are being evicted from the City Hall!"
"WHAT!" Jones exclaimed. Quickly, he grabbed a phone. "Hello! Mayor White! this is Chief Jones. What's going on over there?"
"Well," came the small voice of the Gothic City mayor, "a few minutes ago a Miss Faber came in with a deed to the property that the city hall is built on. She said that she just bought the land and we had 24 hours to get out!"
"Unbelievable!" cried Jones. "What are you going to do?"
"I guess we'll have to find someplace else to conduct city business until this matter is cleared up."
"Well, Mayor, we have some room here at the police department."
"Good! We'll be right over!"
"Oh, Mayor White?"
"What is the name and address of the woman who bought the property?"
"Oh, of course. Miss Joyce Faber, at 555 North Walnut, here in Gothic City."
"Thanks. I'll get Super Fink right on it." and he hung up.
"Well, Chief," asked Super Fink, "what was that all about?"
"A Miss Joyce Faber came to the city hall, saying she had bought the property and was throwing everyone out!"
"Yes. They're going to move over here until we can clear the matter up."
"Well, Chief, I'm off to interegogitate .... intertatiat .... inter .... uh ... to question Miss Faber!"
Super Fink jumped up, ran out of the building, and tore off down the street on his motorized skateboard. A few minutes later, he walked back into police headquarters.
"Uh, Chief?" he asked, sheepishly. "Where does she live?"
Several minutes later, Super Fink arrived at the house of Miss Faber. He walked up to the door and knocked.
"Who is it!" yelled an exasperated voice.
"It's me." replied Super Fink.
"Who's 'me'?" replied the voice as Miss Faber opened the door. "Maybe I should have asked 'what's that!'" she said in disgust as she looked at our hero.
"I'm Super Fink. I've come to ask you about your purchasing city hall."
"Oh. That. It's all legal. I have the deed and everything."
"May I ask where you bought it?"
"It's no business of yours, but I'll tell you anyway. It was Pigs and Company Realtors. Their office is on the east side of town, on Maple street."
"Thank you very much, miss. Good day." And off he sped on his motorized skateboard. A few minutes later he arrived at Pigs and Company Realtors, located in a run down building, ready to be condemned. He went inside and looked around.
"Can I help you?" a voice inquired.
"Huh?" Super Fink turned around and saw a pig standing behind a desk.
"Sorry," said the pig, "the zoo is on the other side of town. Or have you just escaped from there?"
"Huh? No. I'm Super Fink. I heard about you from Miss Faber."
"Ah! Another of our satisfied customers! Come over here and I'll show you some of our choice lots."
"Well...I guess so."
The pig pulled down a rolled map and spread it across the desk.
"Here is the southern part of this area. We have lots of good land there."
"We?" asked Super Fink.
"Me and my two brothers. They're at lunch right now."
"Here!" said the pig, pointing to a spot two miles south on Clemens road. "This is a fine plot of land! A whole half acre of of beautiful forest! I'm willing to let this little gem go for a measly $500,000. It's a steal!"
"Hmmmmmm." thought Super Fink. "It does look appealing."
"And very private too. There's already a small house built on the property. And for today only my service charge is only $28,000. You'll never find another bargain like this anywhere!"
"Sounds good! I'll take it! But, I'll have to get a loan."
"I'm sure your credit's good. The bank should loan you the money. Let's see, $500,000 plus $28,000, plus $10,000 land claim fee ... that comes to about $800,000 total."
"Huh? Oh, I guess so. I never was very good at math."
"Well, you can trust me. By the way, my name is Alfred J. Pig. You can deliver the money anytime before 3 P.M. this afternoon. That should be ample time."
"Okay. This will be a fine addition to the land I already own."
"Ah! You already are a landowner?"
"Yes, I have a small shack with my accomplice, Little Fink."
"Have you paid this years land taxes yet?"
"Uh, no. I didn't know I had to."
"It's a good thing I'm honest! Some dealers wouldn't have mentioned it! How much land is it?"
"Well, I think it's about a half acre."
"Let's see, One half acre times 5 1/2 percent ... divided by the prime rate over twelve .... that comes to $15,000. Plus another $1000 service charge for paying the tax through us. That makes $30,000 total for your taxes. You'd never get it so cheap anywhere else!"
"Boy, I'm glad you told me! Do I have to pay tax on what I just bought?"
"Not until next year. You are a very shrewd business man...er...animal....Mr Fink. You bought up this plot before April 23rd. You get a whole year tax free!"
"Yeah! What a deal! I'll go get the money right away."
It's been a pleasure doing business with you Mr. Fink. You sure do drive a hard bargain! Do come again sometime! And be sure to tell your friends about us!"
A few hours later, Super Fink arrived back at police headquarters.
"Super Fink!" said Chief Jones, surprised. "Back already?"
"Yep. Hi Little Fink. You got here fast."
"Uh huh. This is important business!"
"I should say so!" replied Super Fink."
"Well?" asked Chief Jones. "Did you discover anything?"
"Did I! Wow! Miss Faber told me about Pigs and Company Realtors, where she bought the city hall!"
"She did? Where is it!?"
"839 East Maple street. I went there and boy, what a fantastic deal I got!"
"They sold me a half acre of choice forest, with a small house already on it!" And for only $800,000!"
"What!!!!!" cried Chief Jones.
"Fantastic deal, huh? And I paid our taxes too - for only $30,000!" How's that for a great deal!?!"
Chief Jones and Little Fink both groaned.
"Don't you see," chided Chief Jones. "You were taken! Cheated!"
"Where is this land?" asked Little Fink.
"Two miles south on Clemens Road."
"WHAT!!!!!!!" cried Little Fink. "WE ALREADY OWN THAT LAND!!!!!!"
"I hope you haven't paid them yet." said Chief Jones.
"Well, uh, the bank gave me the loan....and...uh...."
Little Fink collapsed into a chair, groaning.
"Sergeant O'Hara!" yelled Chief Jones. "Get units over to 829 East Maple and arrest the Pigs and Company Realtors!"
"Right away, chief!"
"Come on, Super Fink." said Chief Jones. "Let's go talk to the Mayor and see what we can do about getting your money back, if the pigs are ever found."
Chief Jones took Super Fink down the hall and opened a door to a small room. Seated at a desk was the Mayor. The desk took up so much room that Chief Jones and Super Fink could barely squeeze in.
"Kind of a small room, isn't it?" asked Super Fink.
"Actually, it's a broom closet." replied Chief Jones. "It's all we could find on such short notice."
"What's the problem, Jones?" asked the Mayor. Jones told him what had happened. When he finished, the Mayor just sighed.
"Well?" asked Chief Jones. "Could it be deferred as a city expense?"
"No, I'm sure we don't have the money to spare. Of course, you could ask the Treasurer for a statement of the present funds."
"Where is he?" asked Chief Jones.
"Down the hall, in the men's room."
"No. His desk is squeezed into stall one."
"Excuse me." said a third man, who had just come in.
"Are you from the town council?" asked the Mayor. "The police have discovered the realtors responsible for this mess, but haven't caught them yet."
"No, I'm not from the town council."
"Then what are you doing here?"
"I'm the janitor. Could you please hand me a bucket and mop?"
A short time later, Chief Jones got the word that the three pigs had taken off.
"Great!" cried an exasperated Jones. "Now we'll probably never find them!"
"Well," said Super Fink, "at least it wasn't a total loss. At least I got my property taxes paid through them."
"Property taxes?" asked Jones. "You don't have to pay that. Your land is considered undeveloped!"
"You mean they cheated me on that too!?! Boy, that makes me mad!!"
Just then Sergeant O'Hara entered the office. "Hey Chief! A patrolman just radioed in that he gave the three pigs a speeding ticket a half hour ago, just before the APB was put out!"
"Really! Where was this?"
"Five miles north on highway 9."
"Great! Alert the area ahead of them!" Chief Jones began to chuckle. "This could be quite a break!"
Half an hour later they got the word that the three pigs had been arrested when they tried to cash the check for the swindle they pulled on our hero.
"This is a break for all of us!" exclaimed Chief Jones.
"It is?" asked Super Fink.
"Sure!" replied Little Fink. "You just give the check back to the bank and the loan is paid!"
"Sure! So I guess all's well that ends well!"
"Yeah," replied Super Fink, "but the story won't end until the narrator decides to end it."
"Yes," commented Chief Jones, "but there's no reason to continue the story. The three pigs have been captured."
"Yeah." said Little Fink. "But he might want to put in another one of his bad jokes."
<Would I do that??>
"Probably." replied Chief Jones.
But little to their knowledge, the three pigs have escaped! While stopped at a filling station, the patrolman let them out to use the restroom, where they crawled out the back window. Of course, the police have the bank check, so Super Fink has nothing to worry about. But there's no telling what those clever pigs might try next! Won't our heroes be surprised when they learn that the three pigs have escaped?
"No." said Little Fink. "I just heard you tell the readers about it. Besides, I'll probably read your next story anyway before you tell it to our readers, so that we can solve it by then."