Sergeant Warrior, Crime Fighter And the Case of the Budgie Smugglers - Chapter Two

Chapter 2


By the time Sergeant Warrior, Crime Fighter caught up with Oscar, it was almost 4pm. Mother had kept him inside so that he could practise for his piano lessons which he had every Thursday at the local TAFE. Sergeant Warrior’s fingers were a bit too thick for him to be good at playing, but Mother liked to hear him practising and Sergeant Warrior didn’t want to disappoint her.

He came over to Oscar’s house with a basket of fresh-baked scones for Oscar’s family.

‘Be sure to thank your mother,’ said Oscar’s mum disappearing with the scones into the kitchen. ‘Would you like a cup of tea or a glass of lemonade?’

‘I’ve already had my one cup of tea today with Mother. She doesn’t like me to have too much caffeine. After 4pm, I’m only supposed to have weak cordial,’ said Sergeant Warrior using his best visitor manners.

While Oscar’s mother was making weak cordial and buttering the scones for afternoon tea, Oscar gestured to his friend and led the way out the back door.

‘The budgies are over here.’ Oscar pushed open the metal door of the shed and flicked on the light. The shed was dusty and smelt like lawn mowers. There were lots of old tools stored neatly by Oscar’s dad in racks on the walls. On one side was a bench and on top of the bench was a long birdcage with lots of sections. Oscar explained that his dad had made it out of plywood and chicken wire and that they hoped to breed budgies and sell them to the local budgie shop, Bargain Budgies.

‘Wow! It’s great,’ said Sergeant Warrior excitedly. At the same time, a tiny bit of sadness rose up in his throat. His own father, also a policeman, had gone undercover on a case when Sergeant Warrior was only a baby and was never heard from again.

Oscar showed Sergeant Warrior the section of the cage that held the missing budgie eggs. He unbolted a stiff latch and swung open a small door. Inside this section, was a little empty nest. At that moment, a beautiful green and yellow budgie popped through the hole that connected this bit to the rest of the cage.

‘That’s the mother budgie. Her name is Rose,’ said Oscar.

Sergeant Warrior thought Rose looked sad.

‘As you can see,’ said Oscar opening and closing the little door, showing Sergeant Warrior how the latch worked, ‘there is no way that the door could have come open by itself and even if it did, and the mother budgie accidentally pushed the eggs out of the nest, where are they?’

Oscar and Sergeant Warrior looked at the floor beneath the cage. There was no sign of the eggs or any broken shell.

‘Hmmm,’ said Sergeant Warrior stroking his chin thoughtfully, ‘It looks like a crime has been committed.’ He stepped away from the cage and ran his eyes professionally around the shed.

‘When was the last time your dad was in here?’ he asked Oscar.

‘He’s been working away from home most weekends,’ said Oscar, ‘and before that, he sprained his ankle falling off a gutter on the way home from the pub and he was on crutches for a month. I don’t think he’s been in the shed for a couple of months.’

Sergeant Warrior became very still. ‘Don’t move,’ he told Oscar. He looked downwards and said, ‘Ah ha!’

‘What?’ asked Oscar in a whisper.

‘Shoe impressions!’ said Sergeant Warrior.

‘Shoe impressions?’

‘Yes,’ said Sergeant Warrior. ‘When you walk on a dusty or dirty floor like this, the pattern on the bottom of your shoe leaves a print in the dust. If your dad hasn’t been in here for months and you’ve got small shoes, then any adult shoe impressions in here could belong to the thief. Don’t move or else you might disturb them.’

Oscar stood still as a statue while Sergeant Warrior made his way carefully around the shed, walking on tippy toes so as not to make any more shoe impressions.

‘There!’ he said triumphantly.

‘Where?’ asked Oscar.

‘There!’ Sergeant Warrior pointed to the faint dusty outline of the sole of a shoe right next to where Oscar was standing. ‘Move away from it carefully,’ said Sergeant Warrior taking a small digital camera out of his back pocket. Out of another pocket, he took a carefully folded up tape measure and placed it on the ground along the shoe impression.

‘What’s that for?’ asked Oscar.

‘It’s a scale,’ explained Sergeant Warrior. ‘It’s so that when we develop the photograph, we can see exactly how big the shoe impression is from the measurements on the tape measure.’

‘Cool,’ said Oscar. He loved learning about crime fighting from Sergeant Warrior. ‘Do you have any ideas about who could have done this?’

‘It could be a child who is jealous of your budgie eggs,’ mused Sergeant Warrior, ‘or it could be something much worse.’

‘What!?’ cried Oscar.

‘It could be a budgie smuggler!’

‘SERGEANT WARRIOR!’ called Oscar’s mother from the back porch, ‘Cordial and scones!’

‘Coming!’ called Sergeant Warrior, just a tiny bit annoyed that every time he tried to fight crime, a mother wanted to feed him scones.


onto Chapter 3