The Lost Riddle
Emily Jones is complaining about a school project to Matthew Parker. She has trouble getting her locker open and then she notices a piece of paper in the corner painted the same color as the locker. The bell for class separates them. After school, they meet at Whit's End to take a look at the mysterious piece of paper. She and Matthew look at the contents of the paper with Whit. The contents of the paper include a piece of paper with nothing on it, a laminated note card with a bunch of random letters on it and a ship that was drawn upside down, and a final card that has a riddle. The answer to the riddle was tomorrow but they don't know what it means. Whit notices that the paper is made from a paper company that only lasted a year. From this, they can determine that the note is at least twenty-five years old. Whit suggests that they talk to Mrs. Mays to see who had Emily's locker around that time.
Mrs. Mays finds the file containing the information about the lockers. Mrs. Mays finds out that the person who used the locker was Dale Jacobs. Emily and Matthew visit Dale and show him the contents of the paper. Dale shows them that the laminated note card has letters both on the plastic and underneath it. When dunked under water, the words on the plastic wipe off leaving a scrambled message. They ask about the blank piece of paper, and Dale mentions that it might be written in lemon juice for an invisible ink effect. He tells them that if they heat it, it will reveal a message.
Emily and Matthew return to Whit's End to decode the laminated note card. The message reads: "Please forgive, my fault." Whit prepares the candle to heat the invisible ink. As the paper begins to reveal a letter, Matthew tries to get a closer look and the paper catches on fire. Whit puts out the fire. Emily and Whit recall that they saw a capital K and a lowercase e signed like a signature. They decide it must be a name, like Kerry, or Keith.
Matthew and Emily look at the yearbooks for a name that starts with K in the writer's club and find Kenny Rutherford. In the yearbook they see that Kenny was the winner for the contest and that Dale's entry's title, Tomorrow, was the runner up. They tell Dale what they found. He shows them Kenny's autograph in one of Kenny's books and it matches the one that burnt in the invisible ink. Emily convinces Dale to go with them to Connellsville to talk to Kenny about the messages.
Kenny greets them, and they explain that they are investigating a mystery. Kenny invites them in and hears their story. When they ask if he wrote the note, he confesses that he did. Kenny confesses that he changed Dale's ending of his story so that Kenny would win. Soon after the contest Kenny sent Dale the message. Dale never found the message, but Kenny thought Dale hated him for what he did. Kenny apologizes for what he did. Dale forgives Kenny and tells him he doesn't regret that he didn't become an author. He believes that journalism was where he needed to be.
The two tell Whit how the mystery turned out. Whit encourages Emily to follow Dale's example of forgiveness and forgive Jay for his taking credit for their project. Emily agrees to talk to him about it the next time he sees him, or maybe write him a riddle.
- Why do you think Kenny thought Dale wouldn't forgive him?
- Why is it so important to forgive?
Heard in episode
|Matthew Parker||Zach Callison|
|Emily Jones||Cristina Pucelli|
|John Whittaker||Andre Stojka|
|Mrs. Mays||Mary Pat Gleason|
|Dale Jacobs||Phil Lollar|
|Kenny Rutherford||Steve Blum|
- It is revealed that Whit was a teacher while Dale Jacobs was still in middle school over 25 years ago. As Whit stated that he was teaching part-time, this means that Whit was either in his 50s or 60s at the time, putting Whit in his 70s or 80s now as well as putting Dale in his 40s or 50s; this would make sense, taking into account that Robyn and Melanie are living on their own and that Whit was in the Navy in WWII.
- Kenny Rutherford left the note in Dale Jacobs’ locker 25 years ago. This is probably a reference to AIO’s 25th anniversary. This episode originally aired three days after the 25th anniversary of the series.
- Upon seeing the inside of Emily’s locker, Matthew says that it is extremely clean. However, in Emily the Genius, both Barrett Jones and Dorothy Jones mention that Emily's locker needs to be cleaned up. This means that either Emily has indeed cleaned out her locker or that this is a goof on the writers’ part.
Mrs. Mays: You expect me to remember that far back?! I'm ancient! I have a hard enough time trying to remember where I parked my motorcycle!
Emily Jones: This third card is the most interesting. It has a cryptic message.
John Whittaker: Let's hear it.
Emily Jones: I have never been, and always to be. No one ever has, nor ever will be a witness to me. You cannot touch me nor taste me. I neither grow nor decay. But if I did not exist, you would all pass today. Any idea what that could mean?