Finding Mr. Evans
Written by Jay Kappas
Edited by Oliver Hagemann
“Come on,” my best friend Charley shouts. “Let's go!” “I’m coming, I’m coming,” my other friend Matt yells. We were running as fast as we could to the tree house fort by the stream; the same stream where we found Mr. Evans. When we got to the tree house, we didn’t notice him. We ran to the rope ladder and climbed up. I grabbed my telescope and looked through it to see if anybody had followed us to The House. That was what we called our tree house fort. The House.
“Do you see anyone?” Matt asks. “Nothing,” I reply. “Wait, what’s that?” I say as I look at the stream with my telescope. “What is it?” Matt asks. I don’t know,” I say. “Let's check it out. Come on!”
We scramble out of The House, and run over to it. “It looks like a body!” I shout as I get close. Charley and Matt ran up. “It is a body!” Charley gasps. “But whose?” I ask. “How should I know?” Matt snaps. “Let’s flip it over to see who it is.” Charley suggests. “On the count of three.” I say as we grab the body. “One! Two! Three!” We flip it over and gasp as we see who it is.
“Mr. Evans?!” Charley gasps. Mr. Evans is, or rather was, the father of a girl in our class named Ava. “What’s his body doing here?” Matt asks. “The real question is who put his body here?” Charley says. “Murder by the looks of it. Single bullet to the back of the head. It looks like it’s from a Ranger 10/22. Dead within seconds.” I say. They stare at me. “What? I watch a lot of murder mysteries and true crime.” I reply defensively. “Okay, if you say so.” Matt says.
“What do we do now?” Charley asks. “Obviously, we tell the authorities.” Matt says. “No, we should try to solve this ourselves.” I say. “No way! We are not doing that!” Matt argues. “We are going to tell the authorities about this right now!” “Can we at least try?” I plead. “How about we give it a try and if we don’t find anything within three days, we’ll tell the authorities.” Charley interrupts, “I’d like to investigate. It’ll give us something to do. “Fine, three days.” Matt huffs. “But if we get in trouble, it's not my fault.”
Within two days, we found something. I was walking home with Matt, and we were crossing the street when a Ford pickup truck came roaring down the street, music blasting. When it saw us, it screeched to a halt. And who got out but Mr. King. Heavily tattooed, smoking and looking enraged, Mr. King was very intimidating. “What are you doing, crossing the street without looking!” He yelled. “Sorry sir.” Matt apologized. “You better be!” King shouted. As King turned to walk back to his truck, I noticed a bulge in his pocket. “Did you see that?” I asked Matt as soon as King was gone. “What, the fact that his tattoos look super ugly, or the fact that he’s slowly killing himself by smoking?” “Well, both of those are right, but what I’m talking about is the bulge in his pocket.” “A pistol.” Matt whispers. “Which means he’s a suspect.” I say.
By the end of the week, we had a list of 5 suspects. Abigail Ramirez hated Mr. Evans for accidentally hitting her with his car and never forgave him; her friend Mary White had a gun so Abigail could’ve borrowed it and say she was going hunting. Mr. King was a competing bait shop owner. And as you know, Mr. King has a pistol and probably a hunting rifle. Pete Lee, John Thompson, and Emma Young all thought he was rude and disliked him. All of them had at least a hunting rifle, and maybe a pistol.
When Matt, Charley, and I met up at The House, we went over the list of suspects. “I think it was Emma Young,” Charley said. “I mean, she’s always saying how much she dislikes Mr. Evans and she has a gun. “We should go to the authorities.” I say. “Yeah, we should. This isn’t our job.”
So we went to the sheriff’s office and told Officer Allen about Mr. Evan’s body and gave him our list of suspects. “This is some good work you’ve got here,” Officer Allen says. “But you should’ve told us as soon as you found the body.” “Yes, officer.” I say. “Now show me where the body is, and we’ll go there in my squad car.” Officer Allen says.
When we got there, we all got out and walked toward the body and the stream where the body was found. Officer Allen looked at the body and whistled. “Well, you’re not wrong. This is definitely murder. I’ll call some backup to move the body. You stay away for a couple of hours while we check the scene and move the body. Okay?” “Got it.” Charley responded. “And be careful. The murderer could target you for figuring them out.” “Be careful.” “Okay.” I replied.
The next day we came back and scoped out the area before we entered. Then, one at a time, we ran over to the rope ladder and climbed up as fast as we could. When all of us were up in The House, Matt took the telescope and scanned the surrounding area. “I don’t see anyone.” Matt says after a minute or two. “Wait! I think I see someone! They’re coming up! Quick! Ready the weapons!” “What weapons?” Charley asks, sounding confused. “Whatever weapons we have!” Matt says. We grabbed as many rocks as we could before Mr. King appeared holding a pistol!
“Put down the rocks, now!” barks Mr. King. “Okay! Relax.” I say as we slowly set down the rocks. “Now tell me how you figured it out.” Mr. King demands. “It was sort of easy.” Charley admits. “You have a gun, you both own competing bait shops, and Mr. Evans’s bait shop was making more money than your bait shop the last few months. Now, goodbye.” “What?” Mr. King asked, confused.
And at that second, Officer Allen appeared behind Mr. King, holding a gun of his own. “Put down your gun, please.” Officer Allen said as Mr. King slowly turned around. When Mr. King saw Officer Allen and his gun, he set his gun on the floor of The House. “Thank you.” Officer Allen said right before tasing him. ZZZZZZZZ! Mr. King dropped to the floor with a THUD!
“How did you know he was here?” Charley asked. “He was our main suspect, and we were following him. When we saw him coming here we knew it was him.” Officer Allen said before he pulled a pair of handcuffs from his belt and knelt down to arrest Mr. King. We followed Officer Allen down the ladder and helped him carry the unconscious body to the cop car. And as we watched Officer Allen drive away, I said to Matt and Charley, “Investigating this was the worst idea I ever had. Even worse than filling my mom’s car with Orbeez. Man, I got harsh punishment for that.”