Chapter 5

Mrs. Pink took her job as chairperson of the Crunch & Barley Board of Directors very seriously. If anything fishy was happening at the factory, she would sniff it out. Sniffing was the thing she did best. And today, Mrs. Pink had sniffed out a whopper. Her fishiest fish yet.

“What?” demanded Mr. Green, stomping huffily into the boardroom. “What’s important enough to interrupt my donut break?”

“Yeah,” muttered Mr. Brown with a slosh of his coffee, “this better be good.”

“Good,” said Mrs. Pink icily, “is not quite the word we’re looking for.” She slapped a stack of paper onto the table. “Take a look boys.”

“It’s the production record,” said Mr. Green. “Duh.”

“Duh indeed,” said Mrs. Pink. “Showing how many boxes of cereal were produced last month.”

Mr. Brown flicked the top paper aside and stared gloomily at the second page. “This is how much we shipped out,” he said.

“Correct,” stated Mrs. Pink. “And if you subtract the number of boxes shipped, from the number of boxes produced, you should get the number of boxes we have in the warehouse.”

“Wait,” said Mr. Green punching numbers on a calculator. “That’s ten thousand boxes. And at twenty boxes per crate…”

“Five-hundred crates,” said Mr. Brown. “We should have five-hundred crates in the warehouse.”

Mrs. Pink squinted and nodded her head. “Come with me,” she said.

Mr. Green and Mr. Brown hustled to keep up with Mrs. Pink’s clicking heels as she led the way to the warehouse. She stopped in front of a metal door, turned the handle, and threw it open dramatically.
“Have a look,” she said.

The room was cavernous and so empty it echoed. There was just one small stack of boxes in the corner.

Mr. Brown began to count on his fingers. “Ten crates,” he muttered. “Only ten lousy crates.”

“Preposterous!” exclaimed Mr. Green. “Not to mention improbable! What happened to the other four-hundred and ninety crates?”

“Gentlemen,” said Mrs. Pink. “I suspect that the only person who can answer that question is Mr. Arg.”

“Did he eat them?” asked Mr. Brown.

“Did he secretly sell them and pocket the cash?” asked Mr. Green.

“All we know,” responded Mrs. Pink, “is that if he did sell the cereal, some of the profit rightfully belongs to our stockholders, who chose us to keep Mr. Arg on the up and up. And if Mr. Arg can’t give us a good explanation…then gentlemen, we’re looking at theft. We’re looking at cheating. We’re looking at corporate fraud. What we’re looking at, in a word gentlemen, is…piracy!”

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