It was a cold, winter morning at the Beverly Triton Beach excavation site, and two archaeologists were digging through the sand. “Over here!” yelled Mike, leader of the archaeologist excavation team. Jane, Mike’s assistant, ran over to see what he had found. “Look at this,” Mike said, holding up the artifact for Jane to see. In Mike’s hand was a small, dusty, and pointy artifact. But, shiny bits were poking out underneath the layer of dirt. The two stared at it for a while then Jane finally said, “It looks like an iron arrowhead, but that’s impossible. I thought that the people that once lived here never even used iron. Mike added, “This is the arrowheadfirst time we have ever found evidence of such a thing.

That night while everyone was sleeping, a person in a black suit snuck around the side of the building for examining and washing artifacts. He quietly opened an employee only door and snuck inside. Suddenly an alarm blared, and before you knew it, everyone in the building had woken up. The thief spotted something shiny on the table, lunged for it, grabbed it, and ran to the door. By now Mike had ran down stairs, and saw the figure sprinting towards the door. “STOP!” Mike yelled at the top of his lungs, but the thief was already out the door sprinting at full speed away from the building. Climbing back into bed Mike whispered to himself, “Hopefully he didn’t take anything important.”

In the morning, everyone awoke with a feeling of urgency in the air. “Mike,” Jane said, “We have found what was stolen.”

“So what was it?” Mike said, with a hint of annoyance in his voice.

“They stole the arrowhead we found yesterday.” Jane added with a grim expression, “Our scientists confirmed it was the most important artifact we have found so far.” Mike buried his head in his hands, deep in thought. Of all the artifacts, why that one? How did the thief know about the arrowhead, when they had just found it yesterday? So many questions, so little answers. “Jane, call some detectives… we have a mystery to solve.”

The next day, a detective showed up at the dig site. He announced his name was James, and he was a detective from the place Jane called. “Could I speak with the leader of this place” Mike stepped forward, “That would be me.” Mike said with a grin. He always liked it when someone called him leader. ”Tell me…” James said, “Why did you bring me here and what can I do to fix it.” So, Mike explained their problem to the detective. After he was done talking, James asked, “Why do you want to find this arrow head so badly?” Jane spoke up, “It is our most important artifact we have found so far, and we need your help to find it again.”

Back at the lab, James examined the door carefully. “You say this is where the thief escaped?” asked James. “I saw it with my own eyes,” Mike replied. After a few minutes of examination, James came back with some good news. “I found some footprints older than our newer ones in the sand,” he said.

“Then what are we waiting for; let’s go!” said Mike and Jane at the same time. As the trio marched out the door, Mike said to James, “Friend, I want you to know, I think you have found our artifact…”

Outside, James showed them where the footprints were. “See how they are deeper than the others? The result of hard running,” said James, “The footprints are not as clear, which means they are older. One more night and they would have been long gone,” he said as they were following the footprints.

Mike wasn’t listening. Before he had been so caught up, in his job to notice it, but the landscape was…beautiful. He had never noticed the sun shining over the water, and the salty smell of seawater in the air. The soft touch of the sand underneath his feet. Suddenly he realized what he was here for. He started listening to James again. He needed to get back that artifact.

It was mid-afternoon and James was stumped. The trail of footprints had led to a house close to the beach. He didn’t see why the thief led them here. Was this his home? Was it a trap? He couldn’t just barge in saying the family was all under arrest. What would he do, interrogate them all in till he found out who stole it? No. That was a job for the police. In fact, all of this was a job for the police. And yet, he felt that he was the one who needed to help the archaeologists. Then he saw an obvious not violent, a little risky answer to their solution. In his mind, James began to form a plan.

Next morning, Mike, Jane, and James snuck atop the house, and each took a peek through a different skylight. In the bedroom, Jane saw a little girl sitting on a bed watching television. In the living room, Mike saw two adults sitting on the couch talking to each other. But, in the kitchen, James saw a boy, about the age of 15, cleaning and inspecting a small pointy object. He waved for the others to come over. They all took turns looking through the skylight. “Bingo,” whispered Jane, “We found our artifact.”

Mike watched the boy all day. Finally, at noon, the boy slipped outside for a walk to his friend’s house. Mike climbed down from atop the house and beckoned to the others from their hiding spot. The trio followed the boy, and caught him by surprise at a turn. “AAAAAAA!!” the boy yelled, “What do you crazy people want with me, scaring me half to death like that?” Mike replied, “You know exactly what we want. We are here for the artifact.”

“What are you talking about? I didn’t steal no artifact. Ooooooh. You’re talking about the arrowhead. That’s all a misunderstanding, you see…” The boy’s voice trailed off. James wasn’t listening.

“Do you have the artifact with you?” James asked.

“Yeah,” the boy said. “I was going to show it to my friends.”

“Well now your going to show it to us. Follow me!” James said.

Back at the lab, the three were asking the boy questions. “Why did you want it?” “How did you know we had it?”

“SHUSH!” James said. “Let the boy explain himself.” So, the boy began his tale.

“I was on the beach with my new bow and arrow I got for Christmas. I saw a bird overhead, so I decided to shoot it. I missed, and the arrow buried itself in the sand. When I went to pull it out, the stick popped right out, but the arrowhead was stuck beneath the sand. Then I saw you guys find it, and I knew you would think it belonged to the natives, so I had to steal it back,” the boy said with a grim look on his face. “That arrowhead belongs to me. Not the natives. So can I have it back now?”

So, the boy got his arrowhead and the archaeologists got back to work on digging for real artifacts.

Sixth grader Connor Lawrence, is an 11-year-old sixth grader at Central Middle School, Anne Arundel County. He loves chess, baseball, and creative writing.