the case of the missing professor

i wrote this in the fifth grade (1983-84). i cleaned up a few of the more egregious grammar mistakes as i retyped it. (it was hand-written, in cursive!) the teacher’s comment was: “your paragraphing is excellent. you obviously take pride in a job well done. don’t ever lose that.”

eleven year old joey bringham and his twin sister, lisa, received a letter in the mail. the letter read:

dear joey and lisa,

please join me in mazatlán, mexico and come with me on an archeological dig. i have received information about ancient artifacts in that region. please contact by friday at 989-2589.

professor adner

before lisa could finish reading the letter, joey took it out of her hands and rushed to the kitchen to tell his mom. he handed the letter to his mom and said, “can we go?”

“i’ll have to talk it over with dad,” she replied.

“okay,” joey said.

when joey went bank outside, lisa asked, “what did she say?”

“she said she would talk to dad.”

“is that all?”


later that eventing, when their dad came home, their mother and father discussed the issue over dinner.

after dinner, their dad said that they could go if they paid for part of it.

but joey said, “why do we have to pay for part of it?”

“it isn’t very cheap to fly to mexico, so you should at least pay for your meals.”

“okay,” joey and lisa chorused.

on friday, joey and lisa left for mexico. on their way there they talked with the professor about what they were going to do.

when they arrived, they met their guide picos and quickly left for the hotel to rest after their long journey.

the next day, joey, the professor, and lisa left for the digging site at nine o’clock.

when they arrived at the site, they found that some of the professor’s associates had already set up camp for them, so they only had to unpack their gear.

within an hour joey, the professor, and lisa had finished setting up the equipment. the professor started to teach joey and lisa how to dig for artifacts properly.

after they had been digging for a couple of hours, joey had found a couple of coins, a comb or two, and a hot wheels car. lisa found a tupperware container and a couple of plastic cups, and the professor had only found his car keys that he had lost about an hour after they had gotten there.

all of a sudden joey hit hard rock. he thought it was just a slab of concrete, so he just started to clear around it. after he got it cleared off, he started trying to dig it out. after a long time of digging, he asked some of the professor’s associates to help him dig it out. but they hit more rock after about another five feet, so they started clearing it off. meanwhile, the professor also hit rock so he started it clearing it off after checking on joey and lisa. while the professor was checking on lisa, she hit hard rock, too, so she started brushing it off.

after a couple of hours, all of them seemed to be clearing out steps. so the professor got suspicious. he tested the age of the stone by using his geiger counter. after analyzing the information, he concluded that it was hundreds of years old!

during the week they found some pottery and other artifacts on the structure’s steps.

after a couple of hours, they kept digging and digging, so they decided that they had finished digging out the building.

after they dug themselves out of the enormous pit they had created, the professor measured the building while joey and lisa at lunch with picos.

after joey and lisa finished lunch, the professor asked “do you want to go with me to the mexican government buildings?”

“sure,” joey replied.

“okay,” lisa said.

“then let’s go,” said the professor.

so the professor and friends started off to the central market where the government buildings were.

on the way there, joey and lisa stopped to do some bargaining and got separated from the professor and picos, so they headed back to their hotel called the el cid, which is one of the beachside resorts in mazatlán.

when they got there they decided to go and watch the spectacular sunset.

after watching the sunset, joey and lisa went back to the professor’s room (1066) to see if he was back yet.

when they found the professor’s room unoccupied, they went next door to their room and called room service for dinner, which was delicious except for the chocolate mousse.

the next day, joey and lisa received a phone call from mac’s building co.

they gut on the phone said “we’ve got the professor. leave 1.5 billion pesos at the diver’s point or bye-bye professor.”

after the agent hung up, joey and lisa called the mexican government and told them about what had happened and said that they might be able to sabotage the company’s computer system if they were able to use a computer at the govnerment building. the person in charge said okay, so they called a golf cart taxi to go to the government building.

when they got there the officer they had talked to on the phone was expecting them, so he led them to a large computer room and gave them the company’s number and they had the computer call the other computer located at the company’s headquarters.

when they got through all the codes and passwords, they called up the directory of programs in the computer’s memory banks and it had the following files on it: building locations, income, payroll, and other info.

joey loaded the building locations file and erased the location where the temple was. he also erased the president of the company from the payroll file and changed the codes and passwords.

when joey and lisa finished working on the computer, they asked the officer if he knew where the building company’s headquarters were, so they could screw up the company’s building machines so they would fall apart when they started to drive them. the officer told them where it was and called a taxi for them.

when they got there the whole outside area was empty because they were having a full staff meeting about what had happened to the computer.

so joey and lisa started working on the bulldozers.

they made it so the bulldozers’ wheels fell off and the dumptrucks’ batteries fell out.

when joey finished on a bulldozer he heard yelling from one of the shacks nearby so joey and lisa checked it out.

in the shack was the professor, who quickly called a cab and they returned to the government building where he quickly told the officer what happened and they planned to destroy the temple and construct a housing development and the people from the building are quickly apprehended by the mexican police.

after lisa and joey had been in the states a couple of weeks, they found out the temple contained the secret of where the aztec treasure was hidden, and the secret of the crystal skull.

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