Nate the great goes down.., p.1
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       Nate the Great Goes Down in the Dumps, p.1

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Nate the Great Goes Down in the Dumps


  READ ALL THESE

  NATE THE GREAT DETECTIVE STORIES!

  NATE THE GREAT

  NATE THE GREAT GOES UNDERCOVER

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE LOST LIST

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE PHONY CLUE

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE STICKY CASE

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE MISSING KEY

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE SNOWY TRAIL

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE FISHY PRIZE

  NATE THE GREAT STALKS STUPIDWEED

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE BORING BEACH BAG

  NATE THE GREAT GOES DOWN IN THE DUMPS

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE HALLOWEEN HUNT

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE MUSICAL NOTE

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE STOLEN BASE

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE PILLOWCASE

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE MUSHY VALENTINE

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE TARDY TORTOISE

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE CRUNCHY CHRISTMAS

  NATE THE GREAT SAVES THE KING OF SWEDEN

  NATE THE GREAT AND ME: THE CASE OF THE FLEEING FANG

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE MONSTER MESS

  NATE THE GREAT, SAN FRANCISCO DETECTIVE

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE BIG SNIFF

  NATE THE GREAT ON THE OWL EXPRESS

  NATE THE GREAT TALKS TURKEY

  NATE THE GREAT AND THE HUNGRY BOOK CLUB

  AND CONTINUE THE DETECTIVE FUN WITH

  OLIVIA SHARP

  by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Mitchell Sharmat illustrated by Denise Brunkus

  OLIVIA SHARP: THE PIZZA MONSTER

  OLIVIA SHARP: THE PRINCESS OF THE FILLMORE STREET SCHOOL

  OLIVIA SHARP: THE SLY SPY

  OLIVIA SHARP: THE GREEN TOENAILS GANG

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Text copyright © 1989 by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

  Cover art and interior illustrations copyright © 1989 by Marc Simont

  Extra Fun Activities copyright © 2006 by Emily Costello

  Extra Fun Activities illustrations copyright © 2006 by Jody Wheeler

  All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

  Reprinted by arrangement with The Putnam Publishing Group Inc.

  Delacorte Press is a registered trademark and the colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc

  Visit us on the Web! randomhouse.com/kids

  Educators and librarians, for a variety of teaching tools, visit us at

  RHTeachersLibrarians.com

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available upon request.

  Paperback ISBN 978-0-440-40438-5 — eBook ISBN 978-0-385-37691-4

  Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.

  v3.1

  For my dog, Fritz Melvin,

  who came into my life

  when Sludge came into Nate’s

  —M.W.S.

  Contents

  Cover

  Other Books by This Author

  Title Page

  Copyright

  Dedication

  First Page

  Extra Fun Activities

  About the Authors

  I, Nate the Great,

  and my dog, Sludge,

  were taking a walk.

  We walked too far.

  We walked to Rosamond’s house.

  Rosamond and her four cats were

  sitting on a crate

  behind a table

  in front of her house.

  There was a crystal ball

  on the table.

  There was a sign

  next to the crystal ball.

  “I will read your future,”

  Rosamond said. “For two cents.”

  “My future is worth more

  than two cents,” I said.

  “Three cents, then,” Rosamond said.

  She gazed into her crystal ball.

  “You will have a new case to solve

  very soon. Three cents.”

  “I, Nate the Great, always have cases

  to solve,” I said.

  Rosamond gazed into

  her crystal ball again.

  “I can tell you more,” she said.

  “Someone has lost a box, a money box.

  You have to look for it.”

  “A money box?” I said.

  “How much money is in it?”

  “No money,” Rosamond said.

  “It’s empty.”

  “Empty?”

  “Yes. It’s my box.

  I was going to use it

  to hold the money I got

  for reading the future.”

  Sludge was tugging at me to leave.

  He did not see any money

  in Rosamond’s future.

  “Don’t go,” Rosamond said.

  “Listen to what happened.

  Claude helped me set up my business.

  We brought out the table,

  this sign, the box,

  and four cans of tuna fish

  for my cats.

  Cats want to know

  what’s in their future, too.

  Like tuna fish.”

  “Of course,” I said.

  “I put the sign on the table,”

  Rosamond said.

  “I put the box on the grass

  near the table.

  I put the tuna-fish cans

  in a neat pile near the box.”

  “What happened next?” I asked.

  “My cats and I went into my house

  to get my crystal ball,” Rosamond said.

  “Claude went into my garage

  to get this crate

  for my cats and me to sit on.

  When I came back with my crystal ball

  the crate was here.

  The table and the sign

  and the tuna-fish cans were still here.

  But the cans were tipped over.

  The box and Claude were gone.”

  “When did this happen?” I asked.

  “Just before you came along,”

  Rosamond said.

  “You are my first customer

  for reading the future.

  Now you have a new case and

  you owe me three cents.”

  “I don’t have three cents,” I said,

  “and you don’t have a box

  to put it in.”

  “I will if you solve the case,”

  Rosamond said.

  “This is a very famous box.

  It’s the first box that my cat

  Super Hex ever slept in.”

  Rosamond gave me a strange look.

  It was the only kind of look she had.

  “Very well,” I said. “I will take your case.

  Does your famous box have a cover?

  Does it have a color? What size is it?”

  “It’s a white box with ROSAMOND

  printed on one side of it,” Rosamond said.

  “It doesn’t have a cover.

  It’s big enough to hold

  one hundred dollars in pennies.”

  “How big is that?” I asked.

  Rosamond pointed to her house.

  “The box is smaller than my house,

  smaller than my garage,

  smaller than this crate,

  smaller than—”

  “Never mind,” I sai
d.

  Rosamond shrugged. “I read the future.

  I don’t measure boxes.”

  I took out my notebook

  and tore off a piece of paper.

  I wrote a note to my mother.

  Rosamond grabbed my note.

  “I will deliver this

  while you solve my case.”

  Rosamond walked off

  with her four cats.

  Sludge and I sat down on the crate.

  The crate had a label on it: BANANAS.

  “Maybe the box is still here

  somewhere,” I said.

  Sludge and I peered under the table.

  The box wasn’t there.

  Suddenly we saw legs. Six legs.

  Two belonged to Annie,

  and four belonged to her dog, Fang.

  “Can you read my future?” Annie

  asked.

  “No, but I can read Fang’s future.

  I, Nate the Great, predict that

  someday Fang is going to bite

  Sludge and me. Today could be the day.”

  Sludge and I rushed off.

  I called back to Annie.

  “Have you seen an empty box

  with Rosamond’s name on it,

  and big enough to hold

  one hundred dollars in pennies?”

  “No,” Annie shouted.

  “We have to look for Claude,”

  I said to Sludge.

  Looking for Claude

  would be harder

  than looking for the box.

  Claude was always getting lost.

  We went to Claude’s house.

  I rang his doorbell.

  I knocked on his door.

  I peeked through his windows.

  Somebody tapped me on the shoulder.

  It was Claude.

  “Are you looking for me?” he asked.

  “I was lost but I found myself.”

  “Good work,” I said.

  “I am looking for Rosamond’s box.

  I think you saw it last.”

  “I saw it on the grass

  just before I went into her garage

  to get her crate,” Claude said.

  “Carrying that crate was hard work!

  It kept bumping into my stomach.

  I put it down on the grass by the table,

  just where Rosamond wanted it.

  All the time I kept watching

  for Rosamond.

  I hoped she wouldn’t

  come out before

  I could get away.”

  “Get away?”

  “Yes. I was tired of

  being Rosamond’s moving man.

  After I put the crate down,

  I started to run.”

  “Then what?”

  “I tripped over the pile

  of tuna-fish cans,” Claude said.

  “I fell down on the grass.

  But the box wasn’t there.

  I would have seen it.”

  “That explains why the pile of cans

  was tipped over,” I said. “But

  it doesn’t explain where the box went.

  I, Nate the Great, say that

  somebody must have taken it

  while you were in the garage

  and Rosamond and her cats

  were in her house.

  But who would want an empty box

  with Rosamond’s name on it?”

  Claude shrugged.

  “Somebody extremely desperate

  for a box,” I said.

  Sludge and I rushed to Finley’s house.

  Finley owns a rat. The rat sleeps

  in a big box until he chews it up.

  Then Finley gets a new box.

  Maybe it was time for a new box

  for Finley’s rat.

  Maybe Finley took Rosamond’s box.

  I saw Finley outside with his rat.

  There was a big chewed-up box

  beside the rat with RAT HOUSE

  printed on it.

  “I am looking for an empty box

  big enough to hold

  one hundred dollars in pennies,”

  I said. “It belongs to Rosamond.”

  “My box belongs to my rat,” Finley said.

  “But there are plenty of boxes at the

  supermarket. They have the best ones.

  If you can’t find Rosamond’s box there,

  go to the dump.

  They have the worst ones.”

  “I will look for the best,” I said.

  “I, Nate the Great, do not like dumps.”

  Sludge and I went to the supermarket.

  Sludge had to wait outside.

  I went inside. I looked for empty boxes.

  I saw open boxes and sacks

  full of oranges and potatoes.

  I saw open crates

  full of tomatoes and bananas and carrots.

  I saw labels on the boxes and crates.

  I remembered that Rosamond’s crate

  had the label BANANAS on it.

  She probably got her crate

  at this supermarket.

  But that was no help.

  I, Nate the Great, did not need

  a crate that said BANANAS

  or a box that said ORANGES.

  I needed a box that said ROSAMOND.

  Suddenly I smelled something.

  Pancakes.

  A lady was handing out pancake samples.

  I took one.

  Then I circled around and took another.

  The third time around she said,

  “No more.”

  I left the supermarket.

  I, Nate the Great, needed more pancakes.

  Sludge needed a bone.

  We went home.

  We ate and thought.

  I kept thinking about the empty box.

  There was something else empty, too.

  My head.

  Was I missing a big clue?

  I thought back.

  An empty box. A table. A sign.

  Four cans of tuna fish.

  Rosamond saw all these things

  before she and her cats went

  into her house.

  Claude saw them before he went

  into Rosamond’s garage.

  Then the empty box was gone.

  Only the empty box.

  Why?

  Perhaps the table was too heavy

  to take. And no one would take

  a sign that said

  ROSAMOND READS THE FUTURE. 2¢.

  But why not take the cans of tuna fish?

  Why take an empty box

  that isn’t worth anything?

  I, Nate the Great, suddenly

  had the answer!

  Because the box isn’t worth anything!

  Someone must have seen the empty box

  and picked it up and thrown it away.

  But it had Rosamond’s name on it.

  Just on one side.

  Maybe her name wasn’t seen.

  “Rosamond’s box has probably gone

  to the dump by now,” I said to Sludge.

  “Where the worst boxes go.”

  Sludge and I hurried to the town dump.

  There were mountains of stuff there.

  Old, ripped, wrecked, broken,

  disgusting things.

  Things that nobody wanted.

  I did not want them, either.

  “We are down in the dumps,”

  I said to Sludge.

  But then on top of one mountain

  of junk I saw something!

  A box was sticking out,

  and I could see a big R

  printed on one side of it!

  At last! It must be Rosamond’s box.

  “We have to climb up that mountain

  of junk,” I said.

  Sludge looked at me.

  He did not want to do it.

  I did not
want to do it.

  But we did it.

  Up, up we climbed.

  Over lumpy mattresses

  and broken furniture

  and old shoes and ugly clothes.

  At last we were at the top of the heap.

  I grabbed the empty box.

  Now I could read the whole name on it.

  RAT HOUSE.

  It was not Rosamond’s box.

  It was a chewed-up box

  that had once been a home

  for Finley’s rat.

  I was mad.

  I was tired.

  Sludge was tired.

  We sat down.

  I put my arm around Sludge

  and we sat there

  on top of the world.

  On top of the world of junk.

  I looked down.

  Down was way down.

  I was afraid to stay

  and afraid to leave.

  But we had to leave.

  “Let’s go,” I said.

  Sludge and I started to climb down.

  Sludge was scared.

  “Don’t look down,” I said.

  Sludge kept his eyes up.

  Then I stopped.

  That was it!

  The answer to my case.

  I had given myself the clue I needed!

  “I have just solved the case,” I said.

  “We must go back to Rosamond’s house.”

  I grabbed a lumpy mattress.

  Sludge and I slid

  the rest of the way down

  on the mattress.

  We brushed ourselves off.

  Then we rushed to Rosamond’s house.

  She was sitting on the crate

  with her cats, waiting for business.

  “I delivered your note,” she said.

  “Did you find my box?”

  “Yes,” I said.

  “So where is it?” she asked.

  “You are sitting on it,” I said.

  “I’m sitting on a crate,

  not a box,” she said.

  Rosamond and her cats stood up.

 
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