Cookie and two of her best friends, Vicky the dragonfly and Daisy the penguin, were waiting for their other friends, Tommy the tiger cub and Sammy the turtle, outside of the school yard.
If they’re not here in five minutes I say we ditch them. I don’t want to miss the beginning of Eagle Bird. I heard that he’s going to battle his number one enemy Fox--Dunkley!
Tommy cried out from behind her.
Hey where have you guys been? we’ve been waiting for you guys for the past twenty minutes, Daisy frowned.
Sorry, but I had to grab something from the front office, Sammy explained.
Oh well we better hurry up if we’re going to get to Cookie’s house before the show starts, Vicky added, adjusting her book bag.
A few minutes later the gang was hurrying to get to Cookie’s when they turned the corner onto her street and noticed that a moving van was parked
Hey Cook, looks like you’re getting new neighborhoods, Vicky stated.
As they watched, a thin boxer was pleading with the movers, Please gentlemen be careful unloading the truck.
Hey don’t worry mister, we’ve been doing this for a very long time.
Yah about a hour or so the other mover laughed.
The boxer groaned at the mover’s bad joke. he was about to go back inside when he noticed the gang slowly approaching the van.
Hi, my name is Cookie. I’m your new neighbor and these are my friends Daisy, Vicky, Sammy and Tommy.
Well it's very nice to meet you kids. I’m Mr. Crow.
So are you moving in? Sammy asked.
Nah Sammy, they’re just having a big yard sale, Tommy smirked.
Just then a fluffy poodle came out of the house. Hi honey, who are your new friends?
This is Cookie and her friends. Cookie is our new neighbor.
Oh how nice.
The movers rushed out of the house and picked up a few more boxes.
Hurry up Todd and toss those boxes inside. I don’t want to be here all day.
Did he just say toss? Mr. Crow whined.
Umm, excuse us kids, Mrs. Crow said, as she and her husband hurried up their walkway.
Wow! Did you see the look on his face!? Daisy laughed.
Yah, I thought he was about to have a heart attack or something. So why don’t we help them out? Vicky said.
Are you nuts, we’ll miss the show, Tommy frowned.
Vicky climbed up the van’s ramp and picked up a small box and answered,
It’ll only take a few minutes.
Yah okay, but only for a few minutes, the rest of the gang agreed as they put down their book bags. Sammy went to the back of the van and picked up a toy duck.
Hey Sammy, need some help with that? Tommy asked.
Yah just tell me when I reach the end of the ramp.
Excuse me, what do you think you kids are doing? Please put that down, an annoyed voice cried out.
It's okay Mrs. Crow, I got it. but when Sammy went to step off the ramp he missed and fell forward causing the duck to get caught on the edge of the ramp and ripping a big hole on the side of it.
Oh my are you alright? Mrs. Crow cried as she ran over to him.
Yah, but I can’t say the same bout your duck! Oh wow! That duck is full of money! Tommy cried.
Money? Mr. Crow asked, as he joined his wife.
Sammy accidentally ripped a hole in your stuffed duck and there’s a whole bunch of money sticking out of it, Tommy explained.
Oh that’s not money, it’s the duck’s stuffing, Mr. Crow laughed.
Green stuffing? I never heard of green stuffing, Tommy frowned.
A voice yelling from behind interrupted. I said drop that and give me a hand.
Oh great what now?! Mr. Crow sighed, then rushed up the driveway followed by his wife.
Cookie looked over to her friends and then she could tell that each of them were thinking the same thing. That there’s something very weird about her new neighbors.
The next day Cookie and her mother were inside the local bank. As she waited for her mother to finish talking to the teller, she spotted her new
neighbor talking to the bank’s security guard, Fish Rocky, who looked really nervous taking the yellow envelope that she handed him. Then after a few more seconds they both went their separate ways.
That’s strange. why was he acting so nervous and what was inside that envelope? Oh wow! Wait until the guys hear about this!
I bet it was pay off money inside that envelope, Tommy said after hearing Cookie’s story.
Pay off money? Sammy frowned. Cookie, could you hear anything that they were saying? He asked.
No not really.
Tommy, if you think you know what’s going on would you mind letting us in on it? Daisy smirked.
Don’t you guys get it? They’re bank robbers!
They probably just robbed some bank some place else, that’s way they moved. And they hid the money inside that toy duck and now they’re planning to rob our bank and they're trying to pay Fish off so he will help them pull it off.
Umm, I don’t know Tommy that’s pretty for fetched, Sammy said scratching his head.
Yah Tommy, I don’t think that Mr. Rocky would agree to do something like that Vicky added.
Hey, I hate to believe it myself, but what else would be inside that envelope?
I hate to agree with him, but for once he’s making some sort of sense Daisy mumbled.
Okay, so what do we do now? we just can’t go on a hunch we need some real evidence, Cookie answered.
I say that starting tomorrow we keep a real close eye on the Crows, Tommy stated.
That Saturday the gang met inside their clubhouse to compare notes. We’ve been following the Crows for the last couple of days and all they’ve done is go to work and to the print shop, Vicky sighed.
Yah, talk about having an exciting life! Sammy laughed.
Okay lets go over what we do know so far, Tommy said.
Dude, all we have so far is that they flipped out over a toy duck that was full of money.
Whatever. maybe we should split up into teams. we’ll go see Mr. Owl and you girls question Mr. Rocky and see what we come up with. hopefully if we press them hard enough they might spell a clue that will help us nab them, Tommy stated.
The next morning, while the girls were busy talking to Mr. Rocky, the boys entered Mr. Owl’s print shop.
Hi boys, what can I do for you? Jill Fox smiled.
Umm, is Mr. Owl around?
Oh I'm sorry boys, but you just missed him by a few seconds.
Oh is he coming back soon? Sammy asked.
No, he’ll be gone until next week. he just left for a week vacation. is there’s something that I can help you with? Jill asked.
Umm, no that’s okay, we just needed to ask him a question but it can wait, thanks! Tommy said, before he pulled Sammy out the front door.
The boys hurried back to their clubhouse and told the girls what they found out.
Why would he decide to go on vacation now? he never takes a vacation so early, he always waits until Christmas time? Vicky frowned.
Yah I thought that was pretty weird too, Sammy agreed. so how did you girls make out?
We didn’t. Mr. Rocky only laughed at us, Cookie sighed.
So you didn’t ask about the envelope? Tommy asked.
He told us that the Crows make play money. they took his picture and put it on a fake dollar bill. He thought it would be a goofy present to give his wife as a birthday gift, Daisy explained.
Maybe we were wrong about this whole thing. maybe they’re not bank robbers after all, Sammy shrugged.
Play money, my butt. what we saw looked real to me. besides, who hides play money inside a toy duck?
Tommy’s right, look what I found while I searched their garage last night, Cookie said, holding up a metal plate.
What’s that? Daisy asked.
I think it's one of those money making plates. there were a whole bunch of them inside a plastic bag.
So that means..., Vicky began.
That’s right the Crows aren’t going to rob the bank, they’re going to replace the money with their fake money and nobody will ever know until it's too late, Cookie cried out.
So now what? Nobody’s going to believe that we have counterfeiters living in our town, Sammy sighed.
Hey, I know, why don’t we talk to Ann Bunny? she wrote a paper about counterfeiting last week. Maybe she can give us some insight on how we can solve this case, Cookie suggested.
The next afternoon they went to see Ann from the local paper office. And after she heard the whole story about the Crows she asked, Oh wow! Have you guys told the cops about this?
No, if we did they’d probably only laugh at us, Tommy answered her. what we need is some real proof before talking to them.
Yah, you’re probably right. so how can I help you? She asked.
We need you to tell us how they operate, Cookie said.
Okay, well for starters that metal plate you found, Cookie, is their whole operation. That’s how they make their money. maybe you can get the chief to get a search warrant or something and have them search their house. Come to think of it, it's kind of funny that the Crows moved here and the counterfeiters that I wrote about a couple weeks ago seem to happen all round the same time.
Interesting, Cookie said, while she continued writing in her notebook.
Okay meet me and Sammy back our clubhouse in about half an hour, Tommy told them once they were back outside.
Why? Were are you two going? Vicky asked.
I don’t think that the Crows just magically appeared. I think they’re the counterfeiters that Ann wrote about.
Oh here we go, Sammy muttered. maybe we should go to the police.
With what proof?
What about the metal plates that Cookie found? that has to count for something, Vicky shrugged.
That’s what we’ll soon find out. come on, Sammy.
When they got back to the clubhouse Mr. Crow was inside waiting for them.
Sorry boys, but I believe that you and your friends have something that belongs to me.
I don’t know what you’re talking about, we don’t have any thing that belongs to you! Tommy growled.
It's not nice to take things that don’t belong to you. now why don’t you--
Okay hold it right there Crow! A voice from behind ordered.
They all turned around to find the chief of police along with the girls standing by the doorway.
Oh chief, there seems to be some kind of misunderstanding, we were just--
Just save it Crow, these young ladies already filled me in on what kind of misunderstanding you are having, the chief frowned.
Oh for heaven sakes, you really don’t believe them do you chief?
Do yourself a big favor Crow and quit the innocent act. We’ve already searched your house and found the rest of your fake stash and their plates.
Mr. Crow was so confused and stunned that he just gave himself up without asking any more questions. A couple minutes later they left.
Well it looks like we showed them that when it comes to solving crime we at the We Always Catch Our Crooks Club always catch our guys! Cookie laughed.