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Chapter 2 - More Clues

The next Tuesday, Flo's class returned to the pond to pull weeds and pick up trash again. The kids saw even fewer animals than the week before. This time it was stranger; the birds and animals were everywhere except in the southwest area. There was also a film of greasy foam that was floating on the water's surface.

The students were all thinking the same thing, "Why were all these things happening? Were people coming into the pond?" They were going to have to find out if people were taking birds and animals away. They were going to have to think of a way to find out all the answers to all these questions. But the biggest question of all was, "How?"

The class was exploring in groups of two and picking up trash and pulling weeds. Todd and Phil were pulling up a ton of weeds in the same place when they saw some footprints leading towards the southwest area of the pond. Todd started off himself to follow them, but Phil stopped him. Then, together they walked along the water following the tracks. Then the prints just stopped right at the edge of the water!

Todd was disappointed and started back, but he didn't walk far when he heard Phil yelling for help. Todd ran back to the water's edge and saw Phil holding one hand to a big branch of a bush. He was chest deep in a big pit with black sticky stuff all around it! Todd quickly pulled him out. Then Phil said, "Todd, there's a ton of tar-like stuff in there! It's really deep, too! I could have died!" He took a deep breath and continued, "But look, I found this!" He pulled out a billfold. They both ran back to tell the others what they found.

When the class heard their story, they started to ask questions. One girl named Amy said, "Tina and I found footprints too, and they were headed the same way, to the southwest corner!"

Phil took out the billfold. On the outside of the billfold were the initials "A.W." "A.W., I wonder what that stands for?" questioned Andrew.

Phil pulled out several old receipts. But there was nothing to identify the owner. "The rest of the billfold is empty," said Phil, "just some old receipts."

"Hey, Phil, let me see those!" said Julia. When Julia looked at the receipts, she said, "Hey, you guys, these are receipts from an equipment warehouse in Sacramento!"

The receipts listed several items including: 100 feet of hose, a drilling platform, diamond drill bits, a compression tank, well casing, and explosives!

"Well, something is sure going on!" said Amy. "Let's go back and try to figure this out!"


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