The Specialist



November 23, 1961

By: Henderson Holiday

Authorities were left scratching their heads today as the famed Museum of Archaeological Mysteries reported its signature exhibit, the Crown of Atlantis, stolen shortly after opening this morning.

Head curator Lloyd Erick called a press conference to announce the theft of the unique artifact, cryptically stating that the culprit was none other than the famed international thief known only as The Specialist. However, before the press could assemble in the Museum courtyard the artifact was already recovered. In a strange turn of events, the speedy reacquisition of the artifact was due largely to a tip from the thief himself, a note left on the display case stating simply, “Check the Harbor.” What happened next is best explained by police captain Taggert McSouren:

“Well, we saw the note and figured it was probably a diversion, but you gotta follow any lead you get in a case like this. Curator let me use his phone; I called the harbormaster to see if any ships had sailed out this morning. He said he’d look into it for me. Wasn’t two minutes later he called back, yelling into the phone like the docks were on fire or something. The Crown was in his office, sitting on his logbook, pretty as you please. I tell the curator and he takes the phone, asks Harry (you know that’s the harbormaster; we grew up together), asks Harry to describe it and before you know it he sends a couple guys over with a van. They come back and the curator takes one look at the Crown and says it’s the real deal! They found out it was missing at what, eight this morning? It was back in its case by lunchtime.”

Dr. Erick was ecstatic, if annoyed. “Rest assured, this will not happen again. I’ve been meaning to request new security measures for months now, and I highly doubt that I’ll have trouble getting approval for them. As for this ‘Specialist,’ I hope they catch him. This whole incident has been quite vexing.”

While the “incident” may have drawn to a close, many questions remain unanswered. How did The Specialist (if indeed he was the culprit) steal the Crown? And how did he carry it undetected into the harbormaster’s office? To the police, perhaps even more perplexing than the method of the crime is the motive, again as articulated by Captain McSouren:

“Darndest thing I ever saw. That thing’s worth what, 5 mil without breaking a sweat, right? Who¬†steals something like that and returns it? And what’s with that bird? I think I’d give my paycheck just to talk to this guy for a minute. Criminal or not, boy, he’s got style.”