Ethan Skolnick

United States

The Case of the Missing Portrait

November 19, 2019

    Today, Sam was going into the White House for the first time, on a school field trip. The bus with the eighth grade went across D.C. and to the White House. His dad worked for the Justice Department and regularly went to the White House. The whole group lined up to go through security. It took over an hour for everyone to get through. They then went into the White House. After going through several rooms, Sam was fascinated. When the class walked into the East Room, the tour guide immediately noticed something was wrong. George Washington’s portrait was gone.

    How could somebody have stolen it? The last time the guards were in the East Room, it was there, Sam heard the guards saying. The tour ended early and Sam’s class was escorted out the nearest exit. After that, Mr. Martinez and Mrs. Watson took attendance, and there was one person missing, and that person was Rose. Rose had moved here last year from England, and she was the star of all the girls’ sports teams. Volleyball, soccer, basketball, you name it. She was a star at them all. She was tall, with long blonde hair, and Sam secretly liked her. When he talked to Rose, she rarely acknowledged him. The thought entered his head: could Rose have stolen the portrait? 

    The Secret Service guards made the class get back on the bus. They then followed the Secret Service SUVs to the FBI Headquarters. The two teachers again figured out who was and wasn’t there, and Rose was still the only person missing. They ran out and told the Secret Service agents that Rose was missing. The agents said that that could wait, though. Right now, they needed to find the criminal.

    The Secret Service agents put handcuffs on everybody in the group, even the teachers. They then escorted them inside the FBI Headquarters. They were then taken in by two FBI agents. The class sat down in a room to wait for questioning. After three kids went in, he heard someone yell: “Sam Allen, come in for questioning.” The panel of agents asked him a series of questions, most notably if he knew Rose Lewis. One agent then asked about Sam’s dad. The agents were suspicious. His dad certainly had the connections to pull this off, and he was a Democrat during a Republican presidency. Could Sam be acting for his father? Sam knew this was important. If he didn’t prove that he didn’t do it, not only his life but also his father’s would be ruined.

    After they got back to school, Sam went to the Metro. He went to Woodley Park, the closest station. He was going to the White House to look for Rose. Then, only a minute in, Sam heard the engineer scream “HELP!!!”. He knew that something was wrong. Sam, quickly and quietly, made his way through the car doors and up to the engine. Sam walked in. He saw the engineer on the ground. He was knocked out but Sam could see his heart beating. He then noticed who was at the controls. It was Rose. She had hijacked the train and was driving it.

    Sam acted quickly. He shoved Rose away from the controls and into the side of the engine. She then got up and punched Sam. Sam fell to the ground, but he was angry. He got up and slammed Rose into the wall. She fell to the floor of the engine. As Sam tried to figure out the controls, the train sped past the Dupont Circle station. He was then able to stop the train at Farragut North, the next station down the line.

    At Farragut North station, all the passengers got off. Rose got up and limped off as fast as she could. Sam wanted to chase her but he didn’t. He realized that helping the engineer was more important. Sam then looked out and saw that a few passengers were still making their way off. He yelled: “The engineer is unconscious! Could anybody help me get him off the train!” A man who introduced himself as Dan stepped forward. Dan and Sam carried the engineer off the train and up to the security booth, where the security guard called an ambulance. When the ambulance arrived, Sam ran up the stairs. He was going to get a taxi to the FBI.

    After the taxi arrived at the FBI, Sam walked in. He told the first person who he saw that he needed to see Agent McDaniels, who was in charge of the questioning team. Sam sat down and waited. A few minutes later, Agent McDaniels walked into the room. The two of them then went back into the questioning room. Inside, Sam detailed the situation to Agent McDaniels, and she got a team ready to look for Rose. They then set off to search for her. Another agent took Sam home.

    At around 12:45 AM, Rose was found hiding near the Jefferson Memorial, by the Potomac River. The agents took her out and brought her to the headquarters for questioning. She admitted to the crime, and then also stated her motive. An ancestor of hers was in the court of King George lll, and the king had instructed him to have a family member in the 21st century steal the painting.

    The previous day, when Sam got home, his mom asked him why he was so late. He told her the full story. She was angry and grounded him for a week. The next morning, his mom ran into his room. She exclaimed: “Sam, you’re right! Rose did it!” She showed him the news story and un-grounded him. A few months later, Rose was convicted of treason. The next year, Sam received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his help. Sam never imagined it would happen, but he had gone from normal eighth grader to national hero.

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