What Happened to the Silver Streak?

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#118: “What Happened to the Silver Streak?”
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Matthew 18:21-35

1 Corinthians 13:7
7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

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What Happened to the Silver Streak?

“What Happened to the Silver Streak?” is episode #118 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on July 7, 1990.


Young Traci Needlemeyer's model train car mysteriously disappears, and Curt Stevens points a suspicious finger at Michelle Terry, a girl with a reputation for taking things that don't belong to her.



Michelle Terry has a bad reputation. Fortunately, that reputation doesn’t matter to people like Mrs. Charles and Whit. Michelle is staying at Mrs. Charles's halfway house. Whit has given Michelle free run of Whit's End, treating her the same as the other kids. Their good intentions are working — Michelle seems to be responding. She's built a fine miniature-blue-colored-caboose. Traci Needlemeyer, however, informs Michelle that to be truly authentic, the caboose should be red. Saying that, she proudly holds up her perfect replica of a Silver Streak engine.

Both Michelle and Traci are pleased with and protective of their work — which is why Traci panics the next day when she goes to Whit's End and discovers her Silver Streak is missing! Curt Stevens is there and takes over the investigation. Unfortunately, all fingers seem to point at Michelle Terry. Curt insists on talking to Mrs. Charles and Michelle. Michelle denies it all, and Mrs. Charles tells Whit that she has to report it to her superiors anyway.

Whit questions Connie about the Silver Streak and learns that she cleaned up around the Train Station after the kids left the previous day, throwing away several items. It's possible that Connie accidentally threw away the Silver Streak! They race down to the trash bin outside to see if it's there. Unfortunately, the garbage men have already emptied the dumpster, but they still see the evidence: a set of wheels from the Silver Streak.

Traci ends up apologizing to Michelle for accusing her of stealing. Michelle accepts the apology, but during the conversation that follows, she lets information slip that proves she really did steal the Silver Streak! What's more, she doesn’t care! She’s tired of all these "do-gooders" and tells Mrs. Charles to take her away from them — back to reform school.

Later, Connie looks in on a distraught Whit. He can't believe that Michelle behaved the way she did, despite all the kindness they showed her. Connie shrugs off the whole incident. She says Michelle was just a bad apple, and if she doesn't want to be helped, there's nothing more Whit can do. But there is one last thing Whit can do. As Connie leaves, Whit sinks to his knees in prayer.

Discussion Questions

  1. Should Traci have accused Michelle?
    • Should Whit and Doreen have defended her?
      • Why or why not?
  2. Connie said Michelle was “just no good.” Do you believe that?
    • Does God believe someone is no good? Explain your answer.
  3. Read Matthew 18:21-35. Why do you think Jesus wants us to forgive each other so often?



  • This episode is a remake of #21: “The Case of the Missing Train Car”. One of the biggest differences between the two episodes (as noted by Phil Lollar in the Complete Guide) is the ending. In the original version, just before Michelle leaves, Whit says, "I forgive you" and Michelle scoffs. In the second version, Whit asks Michelle, "Hasn't your time at Whit's End meant anything to you?" Michelle answers, "It's been one big bore" — a much stronger ending.
  • This episode was originally titled: Whatever Happened to the Silver Streak?



Traci Needlemeyer: Quick! Call the police! The FBI! The National Guard! Somebody call 9-1-1!

John Whittaker: Uh, oh. Come on, Traci. We'd better get down there before the vacuum starts honking and your mom starts eating the carpet.

Traci Needlemeyer: I didn't have any cavities! Of course, I never do.
Curt Stevens: My grandmother's that way. She doesn't get any cavities, either.
Traci Needlemeyer: Really?
Curt Stevens: Yeah. She has false teeth.
Traci Needlemeyer: How fascinating.