A Summer To Remember - The Mystery of the Fire

The Bob-Whites have solved their second case after finally being reunited. They are safe and happy and looking forward to the rest of their summer. But when the Wheeler's old home goes up in flames, what extent will Trixie and her friends go to to find the culprit? And has their summer back together been ruined for good? Book 3 of the Bob-Whites Summer series.

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13. Chess

'So, each player has 16 pieces: 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights, and 8 pawns.' Mart began. He knew the most about chess out of the gang and stepped up to the role of explaining how it is played to the other Bob-Whites.

'You lost me at each.' Dan muttered.

Mart shot him a look and Trixie kicked his leg.

'Ouch! Alright I'm listening.'

Trixie chuckled. 'as you were.' She said.

Mart grinned at her, not something that Mart does often to his almost twin. 'Alright, the goal of the game is to checkmate the other person's king. Checkmate only happens when the king is in a position to be captured or in check as we call it, and cannot escape from being captured.'

Trixie and Dan sat opposite each other, the first to have a shot at playing the game, while the others watched and listened.

'Okay, got it. So how do you do that?' Trixie asked.

'Let's start the game and I'll show you.' Mart urged.

'What first?' Dan questioned looking blankly at the already set out board.

'White always goes first.' Mart said.

Trixie grinned, knowing that that meant she would be first. She and Dan had flip a coin and she had won with lucky heads.

'Each of the 6 different kinds of pieces moves differently.' Mart began, 'Pieces cannot move through other pieces, though the knight can jump over other pieces, and pieces can never move onto a square with one of their own pieces.'

'Right, got it.' Trixie nodded. She went to move her Queen-

'However, they can be moved to take the place of an opponent's piece which is then captured.'

Trixie stopped in her tracks as she realised that her first move could have been risky. She put her hand back into her lap.

'Alright, so what do I move first?' Trixie inquired.

'Your first move should impact on your main goal, to capture the king.'

Dan and Trixie played with Marts Guidance for the next 30 minutes. Eventually, it was Dan who took the crown. Then Honey and Di played one another, Honey winning that round. Everyone had a shot at playing each other until they were sure that they knew what they were doing.

After spending the morning learning chess, some the Bob-Whites decided to head back up to the police station, hoping to have learnt some more news from the interview of the three customers of Bradley's. Trixie, Jim and Di all decided to head off to the police station and the other 4 friends decided they would pay Mr Wheeler a visit and find out why he was lying in his interview. They would then discuss their discovering's later on that night.

'We managed to get them on tape if you want to have a listen?' Sergeant said.

Trixie nodded eagerly.

Sergeant Molinson passed her the recorder and she pressed play.

'We just need to ask you a few things.' Sergeant said.

'Well hurry up let's get it over with.'

'So, Colin, are you a chess fan?'

'No, God no! Hate the game.' Colin replied. Not a good start.

'Do you know anyone by the screen name Mad Stranger?' Sergeant asked.

'Never heard of him.'

Trixie stopped it there, 'most likely not him. If he was lying he would be less confident in his answers.'

She pressed next and clicked the play button.

'Carmon. We would just like to ask a few questions.'

'Okay, shoot.'

'Are you a chess player?'

'Yeah I'd say so. Not addicted or anything but I don't mind sitting down and playing a game with my son, or logging onto the computer and having a game from time to time.'

'Good, so have you heard of a chess player with the screen name Mad Stranger?'

'Yes I've heard the name, never played him though. I've seen what he can do and I don't think I would want to play him!'

'So you haven't met him?'

'Nope.'

Trixie paused it, shaking her head. 'He doesn't seem to fit the description. It might be him, but I have a feeling it isn't.'

She pressed play on the last one.

'So, Mr Stan Marderg, you're a bit of a chess fan right?'

'Yes, yes I am.'

'We can tell from all the chess like things around your house. A nice set up by the way.'

'Thank-you, I guess you could say I'm a bit mad about it all.'

Trixie gasped.

'Yes, that's a good way to express it. So you'd consider yourself good?'

'Well I'm no stranger, that's for sure!'

'Yes, so it seems. So, have you heard of someone in the chess world who goes by the name Mad Stranger?'

'Yes of course! Such a legend. We have a lot in common with our love of chess and many wins. You could basically say that we are the same person.'

Trixie stopped it there. 'It's him. He is Mad Stranger.'

'How can you be so sure?' Sergeant Molinson asked.

'He basically admitted it. He did it very cleverly though. But that's not the main thing.'

'Well what is?' Di questioned egger to hear Trixie's opinion.

'Look at his name. Stan Marderg.'

'I don't see it.' Jim frowned.

'Take the MA, skip the R and you have Mad. Put the R between the ST and the AN and add the G, then the ER and what do you have?' Trixie supplied.

Jim and Di bother gasped.

'Mad Stranger.' Jim whispered.

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