Illustrated by: Judy Glasser
Published by: Harper & Row, 1984
Copyright © Marilyn Singer 1984

Leroy Is Missing

Chapter One

“Even a famous detective like Sam Bean can mess up, “Dave Bean gasped.  He was running hard to keep up with his twin brother.  It wasn’t easy.  Sam was athletic, while Dave was not.  “Mom’ll get over it–even though you totally ruined her beaded sweater by throwing it in the washing machine.”

“It was stained,” Sam mumbled, and ran harder.  How come Dave never does anything wrong, he wondered.

“Hey, come on.  You know I can’t run that fast!”

“For a famous detective you’re awfully out of shape!” Sam called over his shoulder.

“Hey, look out!” Dave cried.

Too late.  Sam turned his head just in time to see the front wheel of the dirt bike crash into his leg, sending him and the rider into a heap on the road.

“Sam, are you okay?” Dave shouted.

“Owww!  You creep!  You made me fall!” hollered the rider, a red-haired, freckled kid of about eight.

Sam limped to his feet.  “I’m all right,” he called back to Dave.  He wasn’t really. His knees and elbows were bruised and he had a cut on his hand.

But the kid was younger and smaller than he, so he hobbled over to him and asked, “Where are you hurt?”

The kid pointed to his bike.  “Look at this!  You scratched the finish!  I’ll sue you!”

Sam stared at the bike and then at the boy.  There wasn’t a scratch on him. For one second, Sam wanted to haul off and deck him, but Dave, who’d caught up with them, said, “Listen, kid.  If anyone’s gonna sue, it’s us.  This accident was your fault.  You’re not supposed to ride along this path.  It’s for pedestrians.”

The kid looked from Sam to Dave and then back to Sam and shook his head as if to clear it.  “Hey, I”m seeing double.  Concussion!  I’ve got a concussion!”

“You’re going to have one if you don’t get out of here,” Sam muttered.

“What’s your name, kid?” Dave said, pulling a pad out of his hip pocket.  “In case we do sue.”

The kid gave them a tough look.  “Leroy.  Spelled L-E-R-O-Y.  And I don’t care if you do sue, ’cause I’m gonna tell my dad and he’s going to beat you up.”  Then he got on his bike and rode away.

“Man,” said Sam.  “I hope I don’t see him around in a big hurry.”

“Yeah,” agreed Dave.  “But doesn’t he remind you of someone?”


“That red-haired-girl in our class, Rita O’Toole.”

Sam thought about it and gave a little smile.  There was a slight resemblance, but Rita O’Toole was the smartest kid in their class and she seemed nice, too, not like the obnoxious jerk who’d just crippled him.  He shook his head.  “Nah.  No way,” he said.  “No way!”