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Mystery story 1: Class Day

“I shall tell you,” Fordney said to his class some years ago, of an exploit of the famed scientist, Sir Joshua Beckwith, Professor of Egyptology in London.

“He had uncovered an ancient tomb in Egypt and, through his undisputed knowledge and ability to read hieroglyphics, had definitely established the date of the birth and the reign of a great Pharaoh whose mummy he had discovered. A man of volatile temper, and emphatic scientific views which he did not hesitate to express in exposing charlatanism, he had many enemies.

“The British Museum soon received a message, signed by Sir Joshua, which in part read as follows:' Have discovered the tomb of an important Pharaoh who reigned from 1410 to 1428 B.C. and who died at the age of 42 years, leaving two sons and two daughters. Great wealth found in sarcophagus. One of his sons died shortly after his reign began, etc...'

“The museum officials at first were astonished," continued Fordney,” but examination of the

communication quickly told them it was either a very stupid fake or an attempt at a practical joke' ! “They were right in their belief that the message did not come from Sir Joshua Beckwith. He did make a most important discovery----but how did the Museum authorities know the communication was not authentic?" How did they know? Do you know?

Mystery story 2: Ruth's Birthday

A multitude of small accidents had delayed Ruth Mundy. The battery in her car had gone dead and she had to call cab; she had mislaid the key to the strong box! Just as the taxi pulled up she located it. Hastily snatching from the dresser drawer two twenty-dollar bills, one old and crumpled, one crisp and new, she thrust them loosely into her bag. In her hurry, the perfume bottle on the dresser upset, spilling perfume on her lovely moiré purse! If this kept up she d be late for her birthday party! Now, where was that book she was to return? She was sure she had just put it on the dresser! Finally locating it under her coat on the bed, she grabbed it and ran.

Once in the taxi she opened her bag and fumbled for her vanity case. Its clasp opened and she stuck her finger in the paste rouge (口红). Another casualty! Well, it didn t get on anything else, that was one break. Removing all traces of the rouge with her handkerchief, she threw it away.

Arriving at the Mayflower Hotel she handed the driver a bill. While she waited for her change Professor Fordney alighted from(从……下来) his car and greeted her with a “Hello, Ruth.”

Acknowledging the greeting she turned to the driver. “You ve made a mistake. This is change for five. I gave you a twenty.”

“Oh no, lady! You gave me five dollars!”

Fordney listened amused while Ruth excitedly proved she d given the driver a twenty-dollar bill. “How s that, Professor?” she laughed. How did Ruth prove her story?

Mystery story 3: The Ex-wife Murder

“Who shot her?” cried Rogers as he rushed into the hospital three minutes after his ex-wife died from a bullet through her head.

“Just a minute,” Professor Fordney said. “I d like to ask you a few questions… routine, you know.

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