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He was enjoying the hospitality of the Horticultural Society of Acornshausen, and he was deeply puzzled.

“You say Krakatuk was stolen from its museum pedestal by night, and neither night-guard nor gatekeeper saw a thing?” he frowned.

“We would hand it to you directly, if only we could!” said Professor Buffalop, Chair of the Department of Kernel Studies. “We are certain of only one thing–the scoundrel was one of our own faculty.”

“Then we are twice obligated to help roust him out,” said Drosselmeier.

“We’ll begin immediately,” said the astronomer. “Professor, if I may ask, what is your sign?”