SUMMARY: The last time we saw Willie and Grace, they were about to solve the big mystery surrounding the radio program, "Springs of Hope." Many mornings at 10:00, just when it was time for the program to come on the air, all you could hear was terrible static! Mr. Richards, the station manager, didn't know what the trouble was. Willie and Grace had visited K-Bean's radio tower up on Bean Mountain, and saw some strange men. When the men left, one of them had dropped a very interesting gizmo! Willie and Grace took this mysterious object to Aunt Betty. Someone broke into Aunt Betty's bookshop, tied the dear lady up, and stole the gizmo! But Aunt Betty had called her friend Mr. Peabody in England before the break-in. Mr. Peabody recognized the description of the gadget- it sounded like a radio transmitter from Tambooli to him! Willie and Grace decided to visit Mr. Richards at K-BEAN to see what he knew about all this....
"Hi, Mr. Richards!" Grace called out as they entered the cluttered second story office that was the home of K-BEAN, Beantown's only radio station. Mr. Richards was a happy man who always seemed a little confused. "Hi Grace. Hi Billie." Willie chuckled. "Willie, you mean. Mr. Richards, have you found out why "Spring of Hope" goes off the air every few days yet?"
"Ah, sorry, Willie. No, I haven't found out why yet but I am getting letters from fans of Brother Johnson who are unhappy to be missing the program. Did you kids ever go up to our transmitter tower on Mt. Bean?"
"Yes, we went up there, and we found a funny-looking contraption that we think is a radio transmitter of some kind! And we think it's from Tamboo!"
"Where on earth is Tamboo?" chuckled Mr. Richards. "It's almost 10:00 and time for "Springs of Hope." I wonder if we'll be able to hear it this morning."
station door opened, and Mayor Jackson walked in the room. He didn't
look very happy to see Willie and Grace. "Still letting these kids
hang around the station, Richards? Not very professional."
"Did you hear that? I heard someone talking in the static," announced Grace. "It sounded like he said-"
"I didn't hear anything,"
interrupted Mayor Jackson. "Richards, these kids are a nuisance!"
"That's what I heard, too!" Willie exclaimed.
Every eye in the station was on Beantown's mayor, who suddenly seemed very nervous. "There must be a million Jacksons in the world. Why are you looking at me?"
"There's only one Jackson who happens to be at this radio station everytime that mysterious static comes on the air. How do you explain that?"
"Coincidence! Just a coincidence!" stammered Mayor Jackson.
"I wonder if Mayor Jackson is receiving messages from those Tamboo guys. And I bet when it's time for his talk show, he gives them a reply!" Grace was jumping up and down, being quite sure she had solved the mystery.
"Where on earth is TAMBOO!" Mr. Richards said for the second time that morning. Are you suggesting that Mayor Jackson is... a SMUGGLER???"
At that moment, the illustrious
mayor decided to run out of the room.
He ran right into Willie's Aunt Betty, who had an alarmed look on her
Happily, Aunt Betty didn't need help hanging on to the mayor. He flopped down into the nearest chair with a sorrowful look on his face. "Well, Betty, you look like you know all about what I've been up to."
"I think so, Harold," which is what Aunt Betty called the Mayor. "You've been helping a gang of smugglers from Tamboo. You've received secret messages hidden in the static during "Springs of Hope" and you've been sending secret messages during your talk show. You've been telling the smugglers where to pick up the cargo, using K-BEAN."
"WHAT!?!" exclaimed Mr. Richards. "Oh my!"
"What was being smuggled?" asked Willie.
Those mysterious gadgets you found," explained Aunt Betty. "They turn out to be very tiny computers. They are top secret, made in Tamboo. The Tamboolian government wants to keep them, but the smugglers have been stealing them and selling them for a lot of money!"
"And Mayor Jackson was helping them?" asked Grace.
"Yeah kid, I was helping them. I am very sorry that I ever got involved in the whole mess." The poor man really did look sorry. "I've been a terrible example as a mayor. I wonder if people will forgive me?"
"God will forgive you, if you ask him," said Mr. Richards. "Jackson, it's time you got right with God!"
"Yeah, I know. I went to Sunday School when I was a little kid, but when I grew up I got involved with politics and I forgot all about God. Do you think He'll take me back?"
"He will if you are sincerely sorry and trust in Jesus. Uh oh- here comes the police," Grace almost hated to see the police arrive, now that Mayor Jackson was so sorrowful.
LATER, at Aunt Betty's Bookshop....
"Well, that mystery is solved, " remarked Grace as she scritched Grumpus' silky ears. "I'm happy to have "Springs of Hope" back on the air, but I feel bad about Mayor Jackson." Grace was the kind of girl who loved to solve mysteries but usually felt bad when the criminals were caught. "I hope the judge has mercy on him"
"Well, he's truly sorry and that counts for a lot," replied Aunt Betty. Did I tell you kids that the Tamboolian government has given us a reward for catching the smugglers?"
"What is the reward?" asked Willie and Grace together.
"Fifty pounds of Tamboolian tea! Get the teapot, Grace!"