by Guy Belleranti -
Why'd my bike tire have to go flat right here? thought Lance nervously as Mr. Corley stomped towards him. Mr. Corley had that kind of effect on kids. He wasn't exactly mean, but he wasn't nice either. Too bad, because his wife was nice.
"Did you cut some roses off our bushes?" Mr. Corley asked, glaring down at him.
"Roses?" Lance straightened from his inspection of his bike's rear tire and glanced at the bushes lining the Corley's front yard.
"Yes," Mr. Corley said, following his glance. "Those bushes. My wife hurt her back the other day, so I've been tending the roses for her. And now I find someone's snipped off a whole bunch. Are you the one who did it?"
"Me? No, of course not." Lance's mouth had suddenly gone dry. He'd passed his friend, Whitney, just a few minutes earlier. She'd been carrying a bunch of roses. If Mr. Corley asked if he'd seen anyone, what should he say?
But Mr. Corley didn't ask, just stood there frowning at him for a moment. Then he swung around with a "Humph!" and clomped back up the walk toward his front porch.
Lance sighed in relief and wheeled his bike toward home. Could Whitney have taken those roses from nice Mrs. Corley's bushes? Should he ask her? And if she said she had, what then?