Making Inferences: Part 1

A Making Inferences Mystery

Making Inferences - Partly Cloudy
In the private-eye biz, the line between success and failure can be as thin as a beagle's whisker. In order to sniff out the truth, you often need to make inferences- educated guesses based on what you see and know. And remember how smart you really are. Trust your instincts!

This mystery is starring Pooch Pearson...

I was sound asleep under the sofa when a guy walked into my office. He was a real nervous type.

"Ms. Pearson," he said. "My name is Beagleman. Jerry Beagleman. I think my wife is a bank robber."

Needless to say, this got my attention. So did the elegant Luxo watch he was wearing on his wrist. It must be worth several thousand dollars.

"my wife gave me this," he explained. "And these."

He showed me a diamond stickpin. Pearl cuff links. An emerald ring.

"Your wife has good taste, Mr. Beagleman," I said. "You should consider yourself a lucky dog."

"Too lucky," Beagleman replied. "We can't afford these things, Ms. Pearson. My wife is a dentist. I'm a cook. We live a modest life. We're modest folks."

"Hmm," I said. "Slow down. Let me ask you a few questions."

I posed my first question. "Any idea where she could be getting the money for this stuff - aside from bank robbery?'

Beagleman shook his head. "A few years ago, " he said, "we did have quite a bit of money. But we spent it all on my wife's signing career. Things didn't go well, Ms. Pearson. I guess we just ran into some bad luck. Finally, my wife made me a promise: She would quit singing forever and focus on being a dentist again."

"Hmm," I said.

He asked me if I'd look into the case. I told him I would.

I spent the next four days checking out Dr. Mitzi Beagleman. Adter putting in many long hours, I came to one conclusion: If this woman's a bank robber, then she's a lot smarter than I am. She's clean. Totally clean.

When I told this to Beagleman he seemed relieved. But just that day Dr. Beaglman gave him a new set of fancy golf clubs - and he doesn't even play golf!

I decided that the only thing I could do was to pay Dr. Beagleman a visit at her office. I got there and found the waiting room set up like a night club! There were soft lights and tables of customers seated around the dentist's chair at the center of the room. Suddenly, the receptionist came out and announced:

"And now, Dental Associates presents Dr. MITZI BEAGLEMAN, the Singing Dentist!"

What followed almost knocked me out of my chair. There stood Dr. Beagleman, in a star spangled dentist's uniform, belting out a fabulous medley of toe-tapping tunes - all while wearing a dental face mask, rubber gloves, and filling two bicuspids in her patients' open mouth. The crowd was going wild, cheering for an encore!

When it was over, I told her, "That was fabulous, Dr. Beagleman. But didn't you promise your husband you'd never sing again?"

Her broad smile faded. "Who are you?" she asked suspiciously.

I told her. "Your husband thinks you're robbing banks," I said.

She tried to explain. As the "Singing Dentist" she makes so much money she doesn't need to rob banks! People are willing to pay anything to get their teeth fixed and hear a great song at the same time.

This sounded fine to me. The only problem now was what to tell Mr. Beagleman.

"You can't tell him anything,"she said. "I promised I'd never sing again. What am I going to do, Ms. Pearson? I'm ruined. The Singing Dentist will never sing again."

"Not so fast," I replied. "I've just thought of a way to solve your problem."

"You have?" She asked.

Solution... How can Pooch solve both problems at once?

I don't like to lie, but in this case, it seemed like I had no choice. I went back to Beagleman and told him, "your wife's about to be arrested at her office."

"Arrested?" he cried. "It's all my fault. What can we do, Ms. Pearson? I'll do anything to help."

"Anything?" I replied. "Come with me."

As we arrived at the office Dr. Beaglman was just about to start a root canal - while belting out a rousing rendition of "Swanee River."

Beagleman was flabbergasted. "What's going on?" he asked. "Why is my wife singing? I thought you told me she was going to be arrested."

"Just listen," I said. "l'll explain everything later."

Soon Beagleman was beaming with pride. "She's a terrific singer!" he explained.

"And a great dentist, too," I added.

"I feel guilty!" Beagleman exclaimed.

I explain everything. She has been performing as the Singing Dentist for quite some time now - and it has been a huge success. She's been making oodles of money. Out of guilt for breaking her promise, she'd been buying him things. That explained all the fancy gifts.

It also explained why I had to lie to him. I knew he wouldn't have come to hear her sing, but I had to get him to come here somehow.

"No problem," he said.

"Well, in that case," I said, "can you also forgive your wife for breaking the promise she made to you?"

A big smile spread over his face. "You bet I can!" he replied.