Chapter ten: The Missing Pint

"How exciting, we're playing detective," Brenda slid up next to Frank, "You know, I love to solve mysteries too. I've helped Nancy more than a few times in the past."

George rolled her eyes, mumbling, "More like helped hinder her."

"What'd you say?" Brenda glared.

"Nothing," George turned to Nancy, "So where do we start?"

"Bess, you and George look in the downstairs bathroom. Ned, you and Deirdre look in the living room again. Brenda, you look in the upstairs bathroom. Frank and Joe, will you look in the basement, just in case? I'll look around in the kitchen again," Nancy dolled out the tasks.

"Why don't I get a partner?" asked Brenda, "I don't want to go alone. I want to go with Frank and Joe."

"Okay, you go with Frank and Joe. I'll look in the upstairs bathroom and in here," Nancy said, "After everyone is finished, we meet back in here, got it?" Everyone nodded and ran off to look in their assigned areas.

Bess and George went to the bathroom beside Hannah's room. They looked on the sink counter and in the shower. They looked on the back of the toilet and even under the sink. "I don't see it," Bess said, "Do you?"

"Nope," George shook her head, "Maybe it's in the hallway." They searched the hallway. They even knocked on Hannah's door and searched her room, thinking that Nancy may have taken it in there. Finally they decided to return to the kitchen to meet up with the others.

Ned and Deirdre searched the living room. They looked on the coffee table and under it. They looked on and under the end tables. They searched behind couch and recliners, just in case. They looked by the rocker and next to the television. "Where was Nancy sitting during the movie?" Ned asked.

"She was the closest one to the window. I remember because she sat on my right, and there was no one on her right side," Deirdre answered. So, they looked under the cloth that covered the table near the window. It wasn't there either. "No one went on the porch, did they?"

Ned shrugged, "Someone might have. Maybe they took Nancy's ice cream on accident and left it out there." The two looked on the porch and in the garage. When they came up empty-handed, they went into the kitchen through the garage-kitchen door.

Brenda, Frank, and Joe searched the basement. They looked in the closet and around the toy boxes. They looked around everyone's pallets, thinking that someone covered it up when they were all getting blankets and pillows. "But she had it when we started the movie," Joe recalled, "So she didn't leave it down here then." They kept looking and didn't find it. As they climbed the stairs, they thought of where it could be.

"Let's search the hallway," Frank recommended. They looked on the table that the phone sat on. It wasn't anywhere near there. They came to Mr. Drew's study door.

"Should we knock and see if it's in there?" Brenda wondered.

"I don't think we should disturb Dad or Mr. Drew. Besides," Frank answered, "No one's been in there all night, out of us kids anyway." They walked into the kitchen to meet the others.

Nancy looked in the kitchen once more, searching through cabinets and on counters. It wasn't in the fridge and it wasn't in the trashcan. She finally decided to look upstairs. She looked in the bathroom and in her room, just in case. She looked in the hallway, but it wasn't there. "Hmm," she put her hands on her hips. As she heard her friends pile into the kitchen, she quickly made her way down to join them.

Everyone reported of their findings. No one had come across it. "I suppose we could ask Mom if she knows what happened to it, or Hannah," Nancy said. The children walked onto the back porch where sat Hannah, Mrs. Drew, and Mrs. Hardy. It was dark out, and the women were visiting while gazing at the stars.

"Mom," Frank said to Laura, "Nancy's pint of ice cream is missing. Have you seen it?"

"Missing?" asked Elizabeth, "What do you mean?"

"He means that we can't find it," George said, leaning into Hannah's lap, "anywhere."

"Did you eat it all?" asked Laura.

"No," Nancy shook her head, "I even looked in all the trash cans to make sure."

"Well, it couldn't have gone far," Hannah said, "Where all did you look for it?"

"We looked everywhere!" Bess exclaimed. Then the children all listed where they had looked.

"Oh dear," Elizabeth said, "It is missing, isn't it?"

"That's what we've been trying to tell you!" Nancy smiled.

"Will you help us find it?" asked Joe, sitting in his mother's lap.

"Of course," the three responded.

"Let's start in the kitchen," Laura said. When everyone was in the kitchen again, they all made another search throughout the house. They looked in all the rooms and on all the porches. They even looked in Carson's study. When Carson and Fenton heard of the mystery they were dumbfounded. Upon questioning, they answered that neither of them had eaten it. Despite their story of working hard all night, Joe wasn't so sure that he believed them. After all, they would easily be able to cover up the evidence, given their professions. And who can resist ice cream? They offered to let the group search the study, but the Cherry Garcia Pint wasn't there.

Finally, the children and women sat in the kitchen, with no answer. Elizabeth walked over to the freezer. Opening it up, she said, "I don't understand where it could have gone. We bought eight pints, one for each child. Now there're only seven."

"It's certainly the strangest thing I've ever hear of," Laura replied.

"Well, Nancy," Hannah said, joining Mrs. Drew, "You can have some of the vanilla ice cream in the box that we had before all of this started." Just as she pulled out the carton of vanilla, Elizabeth gasped. "What is it?" Hannah asked. "Oh my heavens!" she chuckled when she looked back.

"What?" asked the children.

"Your missing pint," pointed Nancy's mother.

The pint had been hiding behind the vanilla carton the whole time. Someone must have accidentally pushed it back while putting in their own. The children laughed at the funny ending to their mystery. Soon after, Laura, Hannah, and Elizabeth had to carry the tired children to their makeshift beds in the basement. They had worn themselves out solving the mystery of the missing pint.

The next day, Nancy said goodbye to all her friends except Frank and Joe, whose family was staying with her family for the next week. The other children promised that they would stop by and play with the three that stayed at the Drew residence. The week went by quickly and soon came the day that Nancy and her parents parted with the Hardy family. Nancy waved to her new friends from a window as the plane in the Chicago airport flew off. She turned to her parents and asked, "Can we stop by the store on the way home and get a pint of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream? I'm starving!"

My second finished fanfic! My first of 'little' ND and HB. So, what did you think? I sort of felt that it ended abruptly, but I had no more to tell. I will say, if I haven't already, that the whole idea of the missing pint came from an event in my life. My sister and I went to get our hair cut with our grandmother while we were on vacation. Mrs. Robin is the lady that we always go to see when we visit our gma in the summer. Mrs. Robin's father was there and later gave Nana- our gma- a twenty dollar bill to get us some ice cream because he had been impressed by us. So, while we were chillin' at Myrtle Beach there were seven pints of ice cream- three for the kids(Bud, Bell, and me. Eli didn't like anything but vanilla, so we had a box of it in the freezer for him) and three for the adults (Gma, Gpa, and Mom). Well, as in this story, one of the Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia pints went missing. There were only five Cherry Garcia's and two chocolate ones (I don't remember what brand), so it made it kind of hard to find mine anyway 'cause I had taken a Cherry Garcia (best ice cream ever, by the way). Well, guess where my pint was? Yeah, behind Eli's box of vanilla. I felt really smart after that…but it's much cuter in the ND story, I think. I beefed it up a little. I hope you liked it!

Love always,