|"We're gonna go out there and kill them!" Pete Crenshaw's eyes sparkled with excitement as he spoke. For about the fiftieth time, he hefted his holster. He was still getting used to the weight of a pistol at his hip.
"I wonder if General Custer said that before he was completely surrounded by Indians," Jupiter Jones said. He gave Pete an envious glance. From the old fatigue hat on his reddish-brown hair to the scuffed hiking boots on his feet, Pete looked the perfect soldier of fortune - all six feet one of him in a camouflage-pattern jumpsuit.
Ellie Dalles, the pretty red-haired girl with Bob, looked a little nervous as they found places to sit around Jupe's indoor workshop at the junkyard. She glanced dubiously at the shelves loaded with electronics equipment - a camcorder, two-way radios, cassette recorders, computer monitors, plus all kinds of circuits and innards squashed into every corner.
"I've never been to a detectives' meeting before," Ellie said.
"Usually it's pretty boring," Bob told her. "At least this one will be short. Right, Jupe?"
"Short, yes," Jupe said, looking over some papers. "Well, I see two jobs ahead of us - getting more information about Clayton Pidgeon and then asking him some questions. Getting Pidgeon's job out of Lynn Bolt was good detective work, Pete. Obviously she's interested in you. So we'll continue to let you handle her -"
"Did you say 'handle'?" Storm clouds began gathering on Kelly's face.
"And what exactly do you mean by 'interested,' Jupe?"
Jupe glanced up, a little surprised. "Only that Lynn wants Pete to join a team she's setting up. At least that's what she told him when he was over at her house."
Kelly's head snapped over to Pete. "You were at her house? How come you didn't mention this to me?"
"It's just part of the case," Pete tried to tell her. "Just investigating -"
"Well, maybe I don't want you investigating that pistol-packing Amazon."
Kelly stormed to her feet. "And you can spend tonight thinking about that - alone!"
Kelly stomped out of the workshop, and Ellie got to her feet. "Look, Bob, maybe this is a bad time for a date. And I have to get up early tomorrow for my summer job. So give me a call sometime and we'll try it again." Then she went after Kelly.
Jupe was still looking at his notes, unaware of the murderous looks the other two Investigators were giving him.