Sharon Holmes – a famous detective – was sitting in her office one morning when a short, bald man walked in.
She greeted him and introduced herself.
“Hello, Ms. Holmes, I’m Bob Brass,” the man said as he shook hands with Sahron. “I need your help”.
“Please sit down and tell me your problem, Mr Brass,” Sharon said.
Bob Brass looked miserable, in other words, he appeared to be tired, tense, and unhappy. There were dark circles under his eyes, and his hands were shaking.
“I’m a fashion designer. Well, if you can find the thief who is stealing my designs, I’ll give you any outfit you want from my factory. I’m afraid that it’s one of my employees – someone who works in my office or factory. This spy – the man or woman who is stealing my secrets – is working for a clothing company in the country of Xenrovia.” Bob Brass said. “The thief is taking my designs before I can put them into the stores. Then he, or she, gives them to the Xenrovian company, and they make the outfits. They use cheap material and sew too quickly, so the quality of the outfits is very poor. This company is selling my designs all over the world, and I’m losing money fast. If you can’t find this spy, I’ll soon be bankrupt; that is I’ll be so poor that I’ll have to go out of business.”
Can you figure it out? Discuss the following questions:
1 What kind of work does Sharon Holmes do?
2 Who was Bob Brass? Why was he worried about his business?
3 Who did Bob Brass think the thief was?
4 In your opinion, how will Sharon try to find the spy from the Xenrovian company?
The next day Sharon Holmes went to work at Brass Designs, Inc. She hoped to find the spy quickly. Bob Brass introduced her to his employees and said that she was a new artist.
Sharon was glad that she took an art class each semester at the local college. She wasn’t a very good artist, but at least she could pretend for a few days to be one; that is, she could act like an artist, and the other employees would believe her.
Every day for the next week, Sharon worked with the other employees. She took coffee breaks with them and had lunch with them. But she couldn’t find any clues to lead her to the spy. Nothing unusual happened.
Everyone seemed very friendly. Bill Hanson – the business manager – was especially nice to her. He said “hi” several times a day and once brought Sharon some fresh fruit from his garden. Alice Lower – the secretary – said “Good morning” as Sharon walked in each day and helped her find the right materials – that is, pencils, pens, ink, and paper – that she needed for her drawings. And one of the artists, Eve Sumner, greeted Sharon every morning with a big smile and a handshake.
After two weeks at Bob Brass Designs, Sharon began to worry. She still didn’t know the answer: Who was the spy? She almost didn’t want to find the spy because she liked everyone there.
At about noon one day, she turned to Eve, at the next desk.
“I’m going to lunch now, Eve,” Sharon said. “Would you like to come with me?”
Eve shook her head. “Sorry. I can’t. I’m having lunch with my sister. She lives in Thomasville – a small town in the Midwest – and she’s visiting me for a few days. Maybe Friday, instead?’
“Sure,” Sharon said.
“Oh, here she is now.” Eve said.
Eve went over to her sister and greeted her with a hug. She kissed her on both cheeks. Then she introduced her to Bill Hanson, Alice Lower, and Sharon. They all talked for a few minutes before they went to lunch.
Sharon suddenly realized something. She ran to Bob Brass’s office.
“Bob,” she said, “are any of your employees from another country?”
‘No,” he answered. “Their application forms say they were all born in this country. Why do you ask?”
“Well,” she said, “someone is lying. One person is from another country – Xenrovia. This person is the spy, and now I know who it is!”
b) Can you figure it out? Discuss the following questions and then do the role-play of the situation based on the given story:
1 Why did Sharon go to work at Brass Designs, Inc.? Did the employees there know that she was a detective?
2 Who were three of the employees at Brass Designs, Inc.? In what ways were they friendly to Sharon?
3 Why couldn’t Eve Sumner go to lunch one day with Sharon?
4 Why did Sharon run to Bob Brass’s office?
c) Can you solve the mystery? Use the cultural note.
1 How did Sharon Holmes and Bob Brass greet each other when they met for the first time at Sharon’s office?
2 How did Bill Hanson greet Sharon each day? How did Alice greet her each day?
3 How did Eve Sumner greet Sharon each morning? How did Eve greet her sister?
4 Bob Brass thought that none of his employees was from another country, but Sharon knew that someone – the spy – was lying. Who was lying?
5 How did Sharon know that this person was the Xenrovian spy?