“Of course Nancy will take the case! She’s really good at tracking down the source scary notes,” chimed in Bess. “Sure, Mrs. Wilkins, I could take this case for you, as long as it’s ok if my friends can help..?” replied Nancy. “Oh of course!” answered the nervous lady. “Just please hurry, I’m not sure how much time I really have before everyone finds out I lost the key, or when my life will end!”
Bess walked over to Mrs. Wilkins and placed a hand on her trembling shoulder. “There’s no need to panic. We’ll find the cruel author for you and solve this case…right, Nancy?” Nancy wasn’t listening. She was gazing at the note and asked “Where did you find this note again?” Mrs. Wilkins blinked and looked at her hands. “Hmm…I do not know exactly. I found it in my purse as I was walking to the bank. I haven’t gone anywhere else today and have no idea how it slipped into my bag.” Nancy smiled and looked up. “Alright, we’ll investigate the clue in this note” she said.
As the foursome walked away from the town hall, Ned noticed Nancy begin to scribble in her notebook. He turned to her and asked “We don’t have much of a lead, what is our next move?” Nancy smiled and said “We are heading across the river. The numbers in this note refer to the alphabet but not in standard alphabet order. We need to convert these numbers using the “key alphabet”, meaning the letters as they are in order on a computer keyboard. The first few letters on a keyboard are Q, W, and E and so on. This note says ‘Blue Lilacs at RHF’.” George made a face. “What do Blue Lilacs have to do with anything and what is RHF?” she questioned. Ned thought out loud “RHF…River Heights, something.” Bess’s eyes grew wide. “Flowers! Or, Floral! There’s a flower shop called River Heights Floral!”
The group hopped into Nancy’s car and drove to the flower shop. They greeted the owner and inquired about Blue Lilacs. “I sold my last few to a young school girl yesterday, and I don’t remember who else made a purchase before her, sorry.” The florist went back to a table and began tying a bouquet of lilies. Nancy studied the interior of the shop and rested her eyes on a sign propped against an empty vase. The sign was an advertisement of Blue Lilacs. Nancy walked up to it and reached behind the poster. After feeling around, she pulled out a piece of paper with familiar handwriting in green ink. On it was scrawled “Not even flowers will get you out of hot water, but this might help you: Flag this" followed by several jointed lines.
"What do you make of this, Nancy?" Ned inquired. Nancy gave him a knowing look and began to crack the code...