Going Dutch



The Discophonics were on another long, winded, world tour, thanks to Bob. It was driving Mike crazy. The boys had just finished playing on the Mall in Washington, DC, and now were heading for a show in Amsterdam. It was one heck of a long flight, especially since Bob had gotten them on a commercial flight, in coach to save money.

"At least Bob could've gotten us first class," Mike grumbled, shifting his position.

"Yeah," Reggie said. "They've got more room up there. They've got seats that actually recline all the way down!"

"Not to mention plenty of leg and arm room," Mike replied. That part was killing him, since he had long legs. Just his luck, the guy in the seat in front of him had reclined all the way back, smacking into his legs.

Reggie and Mike were shifting their position every two minutes. Jerry didn't have too many problems. Except when Mike or Reggie accidentally hit him with their elbows.

"You're lucky you're short and skinny, Jer," Mike said.

"I know," Jerry replied. "I'm not squished into the seat, and the guy in front of me isn't squashing my legs!"

"What's after Amsterdam?" Reggie asked.

"I don't know," Jerry said. "Give me a second."

Jerry leaned forward to get the tour itinerary out of his backpack. As he was doing that, the guy in the seat in front of him started to recline, and hit him right in the head.

"Ow!" he shouted. Mike and Reggie started laughing.

"Ha, ha," Jerry said, sarcastically. He pulled the itinerary out, and glared at his companions. "Very funny. Anyway, after Amsterdam is Rome, after Rome is Frankfurt, after Frankfurt, it's Paris, and after Paris, it's London, and then we head to Ontario, then Seattle, Helena, and end up in LA."

"Oh good grief," Reggie groaned.

"How much longer is this flight?" Mike asked. "I wanna get off now!"

"Attention passengers," the flight attendant said over the speakers. "We are about to make our descent into Amsterdam."

"Yee-haw!" Mike cheered.

"Please return your seats into their regular, upright positions, put up your trays, and make sure your seatbelts are fastened," the flight attendant said.

"Haaaaallelujah!" Reggie sang. "Haaallelujah! Hallelujah, hallelujah! Haaalleeeeluuujaaahhh!"

"Reg, I don't think that was called for," Jerry said.

Reggie shrugged. Finally, the plane landed. Everyone unbuckled their seatbelts, and grabbed their things out from under the seats or the overhead bins. Then nearly everyone in coach made a mad dash for the door.

"Bye-bye, bye-bye, goodbye, bye-bye," the flight attendant said as everyone left, smiling her patented twelve inch smile. And she was still smiling when everyone got off the plane!

"Everyone's off," another flight attendant said. "You can stop smiling now."

"I can't," the first attendant said. "My face is frozen!"

Anyway, the minute Mike, Reggie, and Jerry were off the plane, going down the stairway, the teenage girls behind the fence began screaming their heads off.

"Bob told us we were big in Europe," Mike said. "But I didn't think we were this big!"

A lot of kids held up a sign that said "Welkom Discophonics." There was so much screaming, Mike thought it was a little like when the Beatles invaded America! At any rate, they were supposed to meet their translator at the airport. A woman wearing a blue suit ran over to them.

"Hello, you must be the Discophonics," she said. "I'm Sonja Dykstra, your translator. If you'll follow me, we'll get your luggage."

The boys followed Ms. Dykstra to the baggage claim. A lot of the teenagers were screaming like crazy, wanting to tear pieces of their clothes off, or get close to them.

"Is there anywhere we can go without gettin' mobbed?" Mike asked.

"Yes, there's a small town nearby," Ms. Dykstra said. "It's made to look like the old time Dutch villages before we modernized."

"Sounds good to me," Reggie said.

That was all there was to it. The boys grabbed their luggage and ran out to the limo waiting for them. The teenage girls began climbing on it, screaming. Reggie, Jerry, and Mike rolled their eyes.

"And it starts," Mike said.

The limo barely got to the hotel. And even then, there were girls all over the place, screaming, yelling, practically climbing over each other to get locks of hair, or something like that. They managed to get up to the room without too many interruptions (there was an autograph hound here and there, but nobody wanting to rip off clothes, or tear out body parts).

"Get me my earplugs," Reggie said. "I'm gonna need 'em."

"We all are," Jerry said, looking out the window of the hotel. "Check out that mob!"

Mike and Reggie looked out and saw a sea of humanity out there, screaming, holding up signs. Unfortunately, the boys couldn't understand what everything said. None of them spoke Dutch. At any rate, the next morning, they met Ms. Dykstra in the lobby of the hotel, and she called them a limo to take them into the little Dutch town she told them about. The teenage girls were right on their tails, though, running after the limo and screaming.

"I knew we were a hit, but this is ridiculous!" Jerry shouted. "They must think Davy's with us."

"You just don't wanna admit you're a teen idol," Mike said, looking out the back window.

"Get real. I wouldn't be a teen idol if I had twice the looks Davy has."

Mike shrugged, and continued looking out the window. The limo driver took a quick shortcut, and managed to lose the girls. That was easy enough, but Mike had a very distinct feeling they'd be tracked down anyway. The limo driver pulled up outside an area covered with old fashioned windmills. The Discophonics climbed out, looked around for girls, and then headed through a small gate in a patch of bushes. Immediately, they entered a time warp. It was like they were transported into an Dutch town, before Holland became modernized.

"Incredible," Jerry said, looking around.

"I could get to like this," Reggie said.

"So what do you guys want to do first?" Mike asked.

"I don't know about you guys, but since I heard we were going to Holland, I wanted to get my hands on some Dutch chocolate," Jerry said.

"Yeah, and I want to see if I can get some tulip bulbs for my garden," Reggie replied.

"Works for me," Mike said. "I told Sabrina I was goin' to Holland, and she said to bring her back some wooden shoes. I'll see you guys later."

"Bye," Reggie said, and walked off. "And Jerry, try not to get into any trouble this time."

Jerry gave Reggie a dirty look and walked off. He figured how much trouble could he get into in Holland, anyway? He was about to find out. Nearby there was a store that specialized in Dutch chocolate, but it had a secret. Holland is not only known for chocolate, wooden shoes, and tulips, but for diamonds as well. At the time (but the Discophonics didn't know it yet), Amsterdam was in the middle of trying to solve a baffling diamond smuggling case. They couldn't figure out how the diamonds were getting out of the country! It was simple, really. The two men who ran the chocolate store, Nicolaus DeVries and Hans Smit, would sneak the diamonds out inside their chocolate. They weren't the brains of the operation, though. They both worked for a woman named Freda Vanderbilk. She was making millions off those stolen diamonds.

At any rate, Hans was bringing a piece of chocolate out to the front room to give to a contact, who was standing in the store (and an American), looking things over. Jerry walked in, and glanced around himself.

"I hope they speak English in here," he said. "I wouldn't be able to speak Dutch if my life depended on it."

The other customer in the store walked over to the counter and glanced at Hans.

"You've got a customer," he said. "Obviously an American."

"Good thing we speak English," Hans said. "I'll see what he wants, and then get rid of him."

Hans put the box he was carrying on the counter and walked over to Jerry.

"Yes sir," he said. "May I help you with something?"

"Thank goodness," Jerry said. "Glad you speak English because I don't know a lick of Dutch."

"Most Americans don't. Hey wait a minute . . . . . I think I know you. You're part of that rock group . . . . . . the Discophonics."

"Yeah, how'd you know?"

"There are posters up all over Amsterdam. Nobody can walk without seeing one. Yes, you're also the one who's a popular radio announcer?"

"Yeah, that's me. The Geator with the Heater."

"Must be fun being both a singer and radio announcer."

"Oh. Well, being a singer isn't as glamorous as you may think. It gets crazy sometimes, especially if you're a teen idol. Personally, I have more fun doing my radio announce . . . . . I mean DJ gig."

"Do tell."

"At any rate, I think it's pretty obvious why I came in here. I hear Holland is famous for chocolate."

"That's one of the things we are known for. Hold on one minute."

Hans went into the back room. The other customer kept staring at Jerry. The Geator kept making sidelong glances at this guy, giving him strange looks. Finally, he couldn't take it anymore.

"Do I have something stuck in my teeth or what?" he asked.

"You're one of those Discophonics?" the other guy asked.

"Yeah, that's right."

"You're pretty popular with the kids in this city."

"I find that surprising. I couldn't sing a song in Dutch to save my life!"

The other customer nodded and waited for Hans to return. He finally came out of the backroom, carrying a box identical to the one sitting on the counter. Hans placed it beside the other box and then turned to Jerry.

"There," he said. "A pound of my best chocolate."

"A little much isn't it?" Jerry asked.

"For a famous singer and announcer like yourself? Not at all."

"How much do I owe you?"

"Normally, I'd sell this for about thirty Euros, but I'll give it to you for fifteen."

"Oh, I forgot. Mike has all the Euros. All I've got is traveler's checks."

"That'll work."

Jerry shrugged and fished a traveler's check out of his wallet, and handed it to Hans. Hans gave the DJ the change, and Jerry picked up one of the boxes and left the store. The other customer gave Hans a strange look.

"I like it when famous people come in," Hans said, shrugging. "I sold chocolate to Ringo Starr once."

"You're a kook," the customer said, taking his box, paying Hans, and walking out of the store. Hans shrugged, and took the money into the back room.

As Jerry was leaving the store, he ran into Reggie, who was carrying a box of his own.

"Let me guess," Jerry said. "You found your tulip bulbs."

"Yeah, I did," Reggie said. "Let me tell you, this city has gone Discophonic crazy! There was an American tourist in the store, and she recognized me as a Mallard, and another mentioned Discophonics, and boom!"

"Yeah I know," Jerry said. "Same thing happened to me in the chocolate store."

"Hey guys," Mike said, walking over.

"So where are those wooden shoes you promised your cousin?" Reggie asked.

"Eehh, I couldn't find any," Mike said, shrugging. "I've been on European tours before, and one thing about 'em just really bugs me."

"What's that?" Jerry asked.

"You gotta pay to use the restrooms."

"Us Americans are spoiled. Let's head back to the hotel and pig out on some Dutch chocolate."

"Works for me," Reggie said. "I'm starving!"

The boys went back to the limo and headed for their hotel. Once there, they eluded the teenage girls, and headed up to their room.

"I think I nearly lost a limb out there!" Reggie shouted.

"Welcome to the club," Mike replied.

"I've seen this before with you Monkees and Mallards," Jerry said. "But I never thought it would happen to me!"

"Forget it, Jer," Mike said. "Open the chocolate and let's chow down."

"Right."

Jerry opened the box of chocolate and took a piece out. The minute he bit down into a piece, his teeth jammed against something rock hard, and it hurt like crazy.

"YEOW!!" he screamed, grabbing the side of his face. "Ooohh, I think I chipped a tooth!"

"Eh?" Mike asked, and picked up a piece of the chocolate, as did Reggie.

"You probably bit into a nut or something," Reggie asked. "You know how some chocolate candy is. They've got nuts in 'em."

Reggie popped the piece of chocolate he was holding in his mouth, and bit down, but hit that same rock hard object Jerry had in his piece.

"Ooohhh, man, that hurt!" he shouted.

"Reg, you okay?" Mike asked.

"I'll let you know when my fillings stop vibrating," Reggie replied.

"Those must be some nuts," Mike said. He picked up his piece, and looked at it. His sixth sense began to flare up a little. "There's somethin' funny about this chocolate."

"Well, don't eat it," Jerry asked, looking in the mirror to make sure he hadn't really chipped any teeth, or loosened any for that matter. "Or else none of us will be able to sing at the concert tonight."

Mike began picking pieces of the chocolate off the candy. He uncovered a diamond after awhile, and immediately dropped it on the floor.

"Holy cow!" he shouted. "There's diamonds in them thar chocolates!"

"Wha?" Reggie asked, walking over.

"Diamonds?" Jerry asked. "What are diamonds doing in chocolate?"

"Well, Holland is known for both," Reggie said, with a shrug.

"I heard about a diamond smugglin' ring here in Amsterdam," Mike said. "The paper said the police were stumped. Nobody could figure out who was gettin' the diamonds out of Holland and how."

"In the chocolate!" Jerry shouted. "Who would ever suspect a box of chocolate would hide diamonds?"

"Unless you bit into one and didn't know there were diamonds in it," Reggie said. "Well, Geat, you've done it again."

"It wasn't my fault!" Jerry shouted. "There was another guy in the store, and we must've gotten our boxes mixed up. I have a feeling the guy who was running the store may be in cahoots with the smugglers. The other customer must've been a contact."

"Right," Mike said. "We'd better take these diamonds into the police."

Jerry nodded, and picked up the diamond that was on the floor. He shoved it into his pocket while Mike put the lid on the box. Then they headed for the nearest police station. In the meantime, Ms. Vanderbilk had just found out about the mix up, and was screaming her head off at Nicolaus and Hans.

"How could you make a mistake like that?!" she shouted.

"It wasn't my fault!" Nicolaus shouted. "I wasn't even there!"

"Besides, boss, the boxes were identical," Hans said. "They were easily mixed up."

"Well, our contact is not happy," Ms. Vanderbilk said. "I want you to find that boy and get me those diamonds back before they can go to the police!"

Hans and Nicolaus nodded, and ran off, not wanting to antagonize Ms. Vanderbilk. They walked around, wondering where in the world the Discophonics were.

"How will we know which American tourist it is?" Nicolaus asked.

"Simple," Hans said. "He's a singer, he's part of a group, and there are posters advertising their concert tonight all over the city."

"Too bad there's not going to be a concert. Not after Ms. Vanderbilk gets through with this kid."

Hans nodded, and he and Nicolaus continued looking around. As it turned out, the Discophonics hadn't been able to go to the police about the diamonds. A group of teenage girls had spotted them, and began chasing them around Amsterdam. The boys had to hide out in the little town they had visited earlier.

"Teenage girls are getting aggressive!" Reggie shouted.

"At least European girls are," Mike said.

"Personally, I think both American and European girls are pretty much the same," Jerry said. "Maybe we'll have better luck going to the police after the concert."

The others agreed, and began to walk around, trying to look inconspicuous. Hans spotted them and smacked Nicolaus on the arm.

"There they are!" he shouted. "There's the group!"

"Which one do we grab?" Nicolaus asked.

"The short one. Let's go!"

Hans and Nicolaus walked forward, calmly and coolly. Nicolaus slammed his hand down on Jerry's shoulder, causing the Geator to nearly jump a mile straight up.

"Whoa!" he shouted, and then turned around. "Hey, don't do that! You scared me half to death!"

"Too bad," Nicolaus said. "I'm not one to mince words, so if you'll cooperate, things will go much easier on you."

"Huh?" Jerry asked, totally confused. Hans walked over and grabbed Jerry by the arm.

"You're coming with us," he said. "Since you know about the diamonds, I assume."

"Oh boy," Jerry said. He was in trouble, yet again. He looked around frantically, and finally caught sight of Reggie, who was standing nearby.

"Reggie, help!" he shouted. Nicolaus slapped his hand over Jerry's mouth then.

"Let's get out of here!" he shouted, and he and Hans began to practically drag Jerry back to Ms. Vanderbilk's. Reggie managed to find Mike and told him what was going on.

"I think they know we know about the diamonds," he said.

"Of course," Mike said. "They won't get very far. Come on!"

Mike and Reggie ran after Hans and Nicolaus, but it wasn't going to be easy because of the crowd.

"We'll never be able to stop them in this crowd!" Reggie shouted. Mike looked around and spied an old fashioned milk maid carrying her milk cans. He ran over and grabbed one.

"Mind if I borrow this?" he asked, and ran off. Reggie did the same. The milk maid wasn't amused. She began yelling at them in Dutch.

"What's she saying?" Reggie asked, as he and Mike ran after Hans and Nicolaus.

"I don't know, I don't speak Dutch," Mike said.

There was no time to worry about it. Reggie and Mike had caught up with Hans and Nicolaus, and managed to throw the milk inside the cans at them. Not only was their vision blocked off, but the grass they were walking on became slippery, and they fell. Jerry darted in the opposite direction, right into Mike and Reggie.

"You all right?" Mike asked.

"Yeah," Jerry said, nodding. "We'd better get out of here!"

"Yeah, just a sec," Mike said. He snapped his fingers, and restored the milk into the milk cans and handed them back to the milk maid.

"Thanks a lot," he said, and ran off. The milk maid shook her head and continued on her way.

"Stop them!" Nicolaus shouted.

"Let's split!" Reggie shouted, and the Discophonics ran off with Nicolaus and Hans right behind them.

"They're gaining, Mike!" Jerry shouted.

"I know," Mike replied. As he was running, he spied a group of teenagers. That gave him an idea. He, Reggie, and Jerry ducked into an alley. Mike leaned out and looked in the direction of the teenage girls.

"Look!" he shouted. "Those two guys actually touched one of the Discophonics!"

The teenage girls began to gasp and scream, and mobbed Hans and Nicolaus, wanting to get close to the guys that actually touched a Discophonic. They didn't know what the heck hit them! The Discophonics laughed, and ran back to their hotel.

"I think that'll discourage them," Mike said. "But I wouldn't count on them givin' up that easy, Jer."

"I wouldn't count on it, either," Jerry said. "I say we hide out in the hotel until the limo comes to get us for the concert."

Reggie and Mike agreed, and they went back to the hotel, not worrying about the teenagers. They were too busy with Hans and Nicolaus. At any rate, the two crooks managed to get loose, and had to think of a good way to get Jerry to Ms. Vanderbilk.

"What arena are they playing?" Nicolaus asked.

"There's a poster," Hans said, pointing. "Read it for yourself."

Nicolaus ripped the poster off the wall, folded it up, and stuffed it in his jacket. Then he and Hans headed for the theater to check it out. They were walking around the stage, claiming to be part of the Discophonics entourage, and nobody knew any better. Nicolaus stopped on part of the floor, and began tapping his foot.

"There's a trap door under here," he said.

"How could you tell?" Hans asked.

"This section of board is loose. Come on. I need to see how this works."

Nicolaus went backstage, and found a series of levers. He pulled a couple, until one released the trap door. Hans happened to be standing on it, and he fell through it.

"Nicolaus, you dope!" he shouted. "I was still standing on that!"

"Sorry," Nicolaus said, shrugging. "But I think we have a winner here."

"Right. Now all we have to do is wait until show time."

Show time rolled around. The Discophonics climbed into their limo and drove to the theater they were playing. There wasn't a teenage girl for miles.

"They're all probably at the theater," Mike said. "Better watch your backs, fellas. I'm startin' to get this weird feelin' in the ol' sixth sense."

"Don't worry, Mike," Jerry said. "We'll be on our toes."

The boys got to the back of the theater, where a hoard of teenage girls were waiting, and screaming. The boys climbed out of the limo and were rushed by the girls. They barely made it inside and into one of the dressing rooms! Luckily the security guards were big, hulking brutes! They wouldn't hurt a fly, but they did scare off the girls a little. Mike breathed of relief and pulled out the chocolate box. He put it on the desk and flopped down on the couch.

"You still got that one you guys bit into, Jer?" he asked.

"Yeah," Jerry said, reaching into his pocket. "Don't worry about it, Mike!"

"Yeah, everything's going to be fine!" Reggie shouted. "Nobody would dare try anything with all these security guards, and teenage girls here."

"I guess you guys are right, but my sixth sense is still goin' nuts."

"Five minutes, guys," a stage hand said.

The Discophonics then walked out on stage, and waited for the curtain to rise. The announcer gave them their intro (in Dutch), and the curtains were up. The boys launched into an old Doo Wop number. The girls loved it when the Discophonics did the really old stuff. There was so much screaming, Jerry, Mike, and Reggie could barely hear themselves sing! A few girls jumped up on to the stage and latched on to one of them, but most of the time it was Jerry, him being the lead singer. The security guards had to come pull them off. A few even fainted out there in the audience! The minute the boys finished the number, the lights went off, and the entire theater was plunged into darkness.

"Whoa!" Reggie shouted.

"What happened?" Mike asked.

"The lights blew," Jerry said. "Must be something wrong with the fuse."

The crowd began to talk at once. Mike's sixth sense began to flare up a little. As it turned out, Hans had pulled off the light switch. Nicolaus was waiting in the room underneath the trap door. Just their luck, Jerry happened to be standing right on the trap door. Hans pulled the lever, and Jerry plunged downward.

"Whoa!" he shouted as he fell.

"Hold it a sec, Jer," Mike said. "I'll turn the lights back on."

Mike snapped his fingers, and the stage lights blazed. Then he looked around the stage, sixth sense beginning to flare a little.

"Reg, somethin's not right," he said.

"You said it," Reggie replied. "I get the same feeling. How 'bout you, Jer?"

No answer. Mike and Reggie looked all over the stage and found Jerry had disappeared somehow. They glanced at each other.

"Oh boy," Reggie said.

"Don't panic," Mike said. "Don't panic at all. Wait a sec."

Mike had stepped on the trap door, and pushed on it a little with his foot. He scanned it a little, then he turned to Reggie.

"Trap door," he said. "Come on. We'll head 'em off at the pass!"

Reggie shrugged, and followed Mike off the stage. Hans ran down to the basement where Nicolaus was busy tying Jerry's hands behind his back.

"Nesmith turned the lights back on," Hans said. "We've got to get out of here."

"I'd like to see you try," Jerry said. "This place is crawling with security guards."

"Not to mention those teenagers," Nicolaus said. "This is going to be a tough one."

"You'll never get out of here without someone seeing you," Jerry said.

"When I want your opinions, I'll ask for them," Nicolaus said. "Now shut up or we'll be forced to shut your mouth for you."

"And just how are you gonna do that?"

"Hans."

Nicolaus snapped his fingers. That was all he had to do. Hans pulled a white rag out of his jacket pocket.

"Ah ha," Jerry said, nodding. "Not that it's needed. This writer uses enough gags as it is."

With that rotten joke aside, Hans tied the rag in Jerry's mouth. That shut him up for the time being, but still they had to figure out how to get him out of the building without security seeing them. Like Jerry had said, the place was crawling with security men. Even Mike and Reggie were waiting for them to come out. Finally, Nicolaus got a bright idea. At any rate, Mike and Reggie were waiting at the side doors. Nobody was around.

"How do know they'll come out here?" Reggie asked.

"Because it's practically deserted," Mike replied. "Trust me."

"Are you sure it's a good idea to hide right next to the doors?"

"Yeah. They swing inward. Don't worry."

Reggie had a good reason to worry. As a matter of fact, the side doors opened outward, and clobbered Mike and Reggie. CLANG! Hans and Nicolaus had come out, looking around for anyone or anything. Nicolaus had a laundry bag slung over his shoulder.

"Oohh!" Reggie shouted.

"Aaahh!" Mike yelled.

"What was that?" Hans asked.

"Who cares?" Nicolaus said. "Let's get out of here before someone sees us."

Mike came to his senses quickly, and shut the door. He stood up and glared at Nicolaus and Hans, who didn't even notice him, or Reggie. Reggie shut the door and shook his head out.

"Whoa," he said. "Did you get the license number of that truck?"

"No," Mike said. "Come on. We've got to follow those two guys."

Reggie shrugged, and followed Mike. Hans and Nicolaus walked by security calmly and collectively, but were stopped anyway.

"Hold it," one guard said. "Where do you two think you're going?"

"We were just leaving," Nicolaus said.

"What's in the sack?"

"Our laundry."

"Okay."

Hans and Nicolaus walked off. Mike and Reggie managed to catch up to them and began running after them.

"Hold it right there, you two!" Mike shouted.

"Let's run for it!" Hans shouted, and he and Nicolaus ran off. Mike and Reggie were hot on their heels.

"Mike, are you even sure those are the guys?" Reggie asked.

"Positive," Mike said. "See that laundry bag they've got?"

"Uh huh."

"They've got Jerry inside of it. That's how they snuck him past the guards."

"Huh. You gotta admit, that's clever."

"Yeah, I know. Me, Peter, Davy, and Micky ended up in a hillbilly town, and Davy got himself into a mess, and this hillbilly fella was gonna ground him into English gin, and they put him in a sack. Come on. We're wastin' time!"

Mike and Reggie ran off after Nicolaus and Hans, and were actually gaining on them.

"We've got to lose them!" Nicolaus shouted.

"But how?" Hans asked. Nicolaus looked around and saw the long line of girls outside the theater.

"Turnabout is fair play," he said. "Hey you girls! Look! It's the Discophonics!"

The girls in the line screamed, and ran over, tackling Mike and Reggie to the ground. They began yanking, pulling, tearing, and who only knows what! That gave Hans and Nicolaus a chance to make their escape. They went down to a boat in the canal, threw the laundry sack into it, and jumped in themselves. Then they rowed down the canal, heading towards Ms. Vanderbilk's headquarters, just outside of Amsterdam. By the time Mike and Reggie lost the teenage girls, they were long gone. Their clothes had seen better days as well!

"We've lost 'em," Reggie said.

"They got us with our own trick," Mike said. "Maybe we oughta go to the police."

"No, not a good idea. Jerry has only one of the diamonds from the chocolates. We have the rest of them. And if those smugglers find out we've got to the police, not only are we dead, but Jerry's gonna be dead before we're dead."

"How do you know all that?"

"I watch detective movies all the time. Someone's always getting kidnapped in those."

"Well, let's go get that box and head back to the hotel room. We've got to figure out whether or not to wait until they come to us, or go after them."

Reggie nodded, and followed Mike back to the theater. Meanwhile, Hans and Nicolaus made it to Ms. Vanderbilk's hideout without any mishaps. They walked into her office and threw the laundry bag on the floor.

"Well, where is he?" Ms. Vanderbilk asked.

"In the sack, boss," Hans said, undoing the string on the bag. He and Nicolaus pulled a very disoriented Jerry to his feet. Jerry groaned, and shook his head out.

"Well, glad to see you boys didn't goof up like you usually do," Ms. Vanderbilk said, standing up.

"You want we should take the gag out of his mouth?" Hans asked.

"Not yet," Ms. Vanderbilk said. She walked over to Jerry and stuck her hand into his pocket. She unearthed the diamond and practically shoved it in Jerry's face.

"You're a very stupid young man," she said. "You found out about the smuggling ring. Boys, search him!"

Hans and Nicolaus began to go through Jerry's clothes, looking for the rest of the diamonds, but didn't find anything.

"He doesn't have them, boss," Hans said.

"But he probably knows where they are," Ms. Vanderbilk said, yanking the gag out of Jerry's mouth. "Well, where are they?"

"I'm not about to rat on my friends," Jerry said.

"We don't need him to tell us where the rest of the diamonds are, boss," Nicolaus said, taking out a newspaper. "It says right here, American pop group the Discophonics will be arriving tomorrow for a concert. It lists their hotel right here."

"Perfect," Ms. Vanderbilk said.

"But it was just an accident that I found those diamonds!" Jerry shouted. Ms. Vanderbilk smiled sneakily and put the gag back in Jerry's mouth.

"An accident, huh?" she said. "Well, I can cause accidents, too. Boys, detain our young guest. I'll send a little message to his friends."

"Right boss," Nicolaus said, and he and Hans dragged Jerry out of the room.

Ms. Vanderbilk got to work on her note. She sent her messenger to deliver it to the Discophonics' hotel. It made it there first thing the next morning. A bellboy brought it to the room.

"I hope it's not written in Dutch," Reggie said, as Mike tipped the bellboy. "Good. It's in English."

"Let me see it," Mike said, taking the note. "Bring the box of chocolates to the canals. My associates will be waiting for you. Don't tell the police, or I'll be forced to brutally harm your friend. Signed Freda M. Vanderbilk."

"She's gotta be the brains of the operation," Reggie said.

"Right," Mike said, folding up the note and jamming it in his pocket. "Grab the chocolates and let's go. We can't afford to take chances."

Reggie nodded, grabbed the box, and followed Mike out of the hotel. They approached the canal, where Hans and Nicolaus were waiting on a boat. Mike recognized them instantly.

"We're here to take you to Ms. Vanderbilk," Hans said. "Do you have the chocolates?"

"Right here," Reggie said.

"And don't try dumpin' us overboard, or we'll throw the chocolates overboard," Mike said. "I'm not goin' for any double crosses."

"Yeah, you guys don't want to double cross Mike," Reggie said. "Believe me!"

Hans and Nicolaus nodded, and began to paddle the boat down the canal, right to Ms. Vanderbilk's chocolate factory. They got out, and followed Hans and Nicolaus to the main office. Reggie put the box of chocolates on the table.

"There," he said. "We'll have you know we didn't go to the police."

"Smart move," Ms. Vanderbilk said.

"They're all there," Mike said. "We only took one out, and Jerry had it."

"Yes, I know," Ms. Vanderbilk said. "I can see you two are smarter than your friend is. You made a very wise decision coming here. Now tell me something, Mr. Nesmith."

"What?" Mike asked. Reggie didn't like the way this was going.

"I read somewhere that you were part witch, am I right?" Ms. Vanderbilk said.

"Yeah, that's right."

"Ahh, good. I could use you. And Mr. Bushroot, too."

"What do you want us for?"

"See, it takes a lot of time to cut the diamonds into small pieces. We can't afford lasers to cut them."

"With all the money you make smugglin' them, I'm surprised."

"Yes, I know. I want you to cut my diamonds using your magic, Mr. Nesmith."

"And take the fall for you? Are you off your rocker?! No way, lady!"

"I had a feeling you would refuse, so I took some precautions."

Ms. Vanderbilk led Mike and Reggie into another room. There was a giant vat of boiling chocolate in the middle of it. The thing was bigger than a baseball stadium!

"This is where I mix my chocolate," Ms. Vanderbilk said.

"Impressive," Mike said, not really impressed.

"This vat can hold up to ten thousand gallons of Dutch chocolate. Boiling it's the hardest part."

"I'm sure."

"It gets pretty hot in there. If one were to take a swim in it, well . . . . . let's just say they would have a real hot time in the old town tonight. Am I right, boys?"

Mike and Reggie looked upwards, and saw Hans and Nicolaus standing on a ladder over the boiling chocolate. They were holding Jerry by the arms, ready to push him in. He was struggling, trying to break loose, but he knew if he lost his balance on his own, he'd fall directly into the vat.

"Uh oh," Reggie said. Mike looked panicked.

"Now then," Ms. Vanderbilk said. "I'm sure we can reach a mutual understanding. Either you two work for me, or I'll have Hans and Nicolaus throw your DJ friend into the vat. He'll be a chocolate dipped Geator."

Mike and Reggie looked at each other, and then back up at Jerry. What else could they do? They gave in, and agreed to help Ms. Vanderbilk smuggle the diamonds out of the country. They were taken into another room. Inside there was a bin full of diamonds, a vat filled with chocolate, and a conveyor belt.

"It's really all so simple," Ms. Vanderbilk said. "Mr. Nesmith, you will take the big diamonds, and use your magic to cut them down to size. Mr. Bushroot will dip them in the chocolate, and send them through the conveyor belt. Nicolaus and I will box them and ship them. And to make sure you do the job, Hans will remain in here with you, keeping an eye on your little friend."

Hans and Nicolaus dragged Jerry into the room, and practically threw him against one of the poles that held the ceiling up. Ms. Vanderbilk then untied his hands for a moment, and repositioned them behind the post, and tied them together again. Hans then tied Jerry's ankles together, and then secured the DJ to the post by tying his upper body to it. Then Ms. Vanderbilk handed him what appeared to be a machine gun. Mike and Reggie tensed up all of a sudden.

"No double crosses from the two of you," Ms. Vanderbilk said, handing them a couple of smocks, plastic shower caps, and plastic gloves. "Or else it's curtains for your friend."

All three Discophonics gulped. Mike and Reggie then quickly threw on the gear that was handed to them and went over to their positions. Ms. Vanderbilk and Nicolaus left the room. Hans pulled up a chair and sat down, gun still aimed at Jerry.

"Well, this is another fine mess we've got ourselves into," Reggie said.

"I know," Mike said, picking up a diamond. He put it down on the table, looked at it carefully, and zapped it. It was cut into at least a fifty, small, perfect pieces. He pushed them towards Reggie. Reggie picked up a handful, dipped them in the chocolate, and put them on the conveyor belt.

"I feel like Carson High School's cafeteria lady," Reggie said.

"We look the part, too," Mike said. "At least the FDA won't get on their cases about hygiene, but we've still got a problem."

"Yeah, how are we gonna get out of this one?"

"Good question."

Mike continued cutting the diamonds using his magic, and Reggie continued dipping them. They were at it for a good solid two hours. Reggie was surprised Mike's battery hadn't gone dead. The reason for this was Mike was dipping his fingers into the chocolate, taking tastes of it, to keep him going. He wasn't taking any chances with his battery dying on them.

"If we had that machine gun, then things would be different," he said, sliding a piece of diamond to Reggie.

"Hey, Mike," Reggie said, looking over. "Maybe we can make a grab for the gun."

"How are we gonna do that?"

"Well, maybe Jerry can get it. I mean think about it. Diamonds are the hardest things on the earth. They can cut anything. Maybe if we threw Jerry one of the bigger diamonds, he can cut himself free and grab the gun."

"We'd have to distract Hans, though, and get him to put down the gun. And I know just how to do it."

Mike reached into the chocolate vat, and held a large handful. Then he smushed it in Reggie's face.

"Hey!" Reggie shouted. He got the message right away. He took a handful of chocolate out and threw it at Mike. Soon, the two of them were involved in a huge chocolate fight, yelling, screaming, laughing. Hans looked over at them, not amused. He put his gun down and walked over to Mike and Reggie.

"Okay, you two," he said. "This is your first and only warning. Stop clowning around and get back to work!"

"Sorry," Reggie said. "We don't know what we were thinking."

"Just remember, your pal's life is on the line here," Hans said.

"We know," Mike said, sneaking a diamond out of the bin. He threw it at Jerry's hands while Hans stood there lecturing.

Jerry got the gist right away. He reached back and grabbed the diamond. Then he began rubbing it against his ropes. They cut easily. Jerry then managed to untie his upper body and his ankles. He yanked the gag out of his mouth and grabbed the machine gun.

"Hands up, Hans!" he shouted. Hans turned around and saw that Jerry was not only free, but armed as well.

"Oh dear," Hans said, shooting his hands up into the air.

"Keep your hands where I can see them," Jerry said. "Mike, Reggie, come on. We're blowing this popsicle stand!"

Mike and Reggie slapped five, and threw off their cafeteria lady get up. Jerry backed off, still holding the gun. He opened the door, and the Discophonics fled.

"Yes!" Mike shouted. "It worked!"

"Come on, let's get out of here before we have a run in with Ms. Vanderbilk," Reggie said, opening another door. The boys ran through it, and found Ms. Vanderbilk and Nicolaus.

"What is the meaning of this?!" she shouted.

"Oops," Reggie said. "Wrong door."

"I wouldn't make any false moves, Vanderbilk," Mike said. "We've got the machine gun now, so there's nothin' you can do about it."

"Fools," Ms. Vanderbilk said. "That gun shoots nothing but blanks. It's perfectly harmless."

"It's just a ruse," Mike said. "She's only tellin' us it shoots blanks. Jerry, fire it at the window."

Jerry fired the gun at the window, but the bullet bounced off it. Mike ran over and grabbed it. He examined it and groaned.

"It's a blank," he said. "She was right. That machine gun only shoots blanks!"

"This gun, however," Ms. Vanderbilk said, pulling out a revolver. "Shoots the real deal. See?"

Ms. Vanderbilk fired at the window, and the bullets smashed it to pieces. Then she aimed it at the Discophonics.

"You three get your hands where I can see them," she said. The Discophonics gulped and put their hands in the air. Ms. Vanderbilk walked over and grabbed Jerry by the arm.

"Boys, I think it's time to take our act on the road," she said. "Grab whatever's left and let's get going."

"And the singers?" Nicolaus asked.

"Let the two of them stay here," Ms. Vanderbilk said. "Mr. Blavat will be accompanying us, in case the police get too close. Let's go!"

Hans and Nicolaus grabbed the chocolate boxes and stuffed them into sacks. Then they followed Ms. Vanderbilk out. Mike gave them a good head start, and then went over to the phone.

"What are you doing?" Reggie asked.

"It's time the police became involved in this case," Mike said. "Hello, operator? Get me the Amsterdam police station!"

It took a few minutes, but Mike managed to talk to an English speaking officer. He told him the problem, and said to meet at the airport. Then he and Reggie ran off.

"We're gonna follow those crooks," he said.

"But how do we know where they're gonna go?" Reggie asked. "I mean, you know they're going to the airport."

"Where else would diamond smugglers go to leave the country?"

Reggie nodded. He and Mike found Hans's car outside, with the keys still in the ignition (Hans is not a very smart person, don't you know). They jumped in, started it up, and sped off towards the airport. But not the one the Discophonics had arrived at. Mike and Reggie were heading for was a smaller one, where Ms. Vanderbilk had a private plane. Hans and Nicolaus were loading the diamonds into the cargo hatch. Ms. Vanderbilk was inside the plane, tying Jerry's wrists to the armrests of one of the seats.

"You'll never get away with this!" Jerry shouted.

"The good guys always say that," Ms. Vanderbilk said. "Why is that?"

"It's part of our job. And the bad guys never do get away with it."

"I have news for you. I'm getting away with it."

Ms. Vanderbilk laughed, and walked off the plane for a moment. Jerry tried to get free, but it was no use.

"Mike, where are you?" he asked. "I need your help now!"

Finally, Ms. Vanderbilk, Hans, and Nicolaus climbed aboard and shut the door. Then Nicolaus headed for the cockpit.

"We have clearance for take off," he said. "Buckle up. This is going to be a rough ride."

Jerry moaned, and looked out the window. Mike and Reggie were nowhere in sight. He hoped they would show up soon. Time was running out. Nicolaus started to back the plane up. That was when Mike and Reggie drove Hans's car onto the runway.

"Is that the plane, Mike?" Reggie asked.

"That's the plane," Mike said. "And we'd better scram or else we've had it!"

"Yeee-aaahhh!"

Mike and Reggie jumped out of the car just as the plane hit it. Everyone inside heard a crash, and Hans immediately glanced out the window.

"Ack!" he shouted. "My car! Dumkoff, you just totaled my car!"

"Well, what's your car doing out on the runway?" Nicolaus asked.

"Stop the plane," Ms. Vanderbilk said. "Something funny's going on."

Sirens were heard just then. The police had arrived. Mike snapped his fingers and managed to jam the controls of the plane. Nicolaus couldn't get a thing to work.

"Something's wrong," he said. "Nothing's working!"

"Freeze, police!" Reggie shouted, kicking the door of the plane open, and holding his hand up, like it was a gun.

"All right, Baretta," Mike said, climbing aboard.

"I've always wanted to do that," Reggie said, sheepishly.

"What took you guys so long?" Jerry asked as Mike and Reggie untied him.

"We hit traffic," Mike replied.

"We got behind a truck full of cows," Reggie said. "And they were moving at a snail's pace. Where'd they stash the diamonds?"

"In the cargo hold," Jerry said. "Come on."

The Discophonics lead some of the cops to the cargo hold while the others slapped the cuffs on Hans, Nicolaus, and Ms. Vanderbilk. The police began to take out the boxes, and packed them in a truck, along with the smugglers.

"Job well done, crew," the chief of police said. "And to you three boys. Without your help, we might never have cracked this case."

"Aw, it wasn't much," Reggie said.

"Excuse me," a reporter said. "Pieter Van Dyke, Amsterdam Chronicle. I was wondering if I could get a few pictures and an interview."

"Sure," Mike said. Pieter began taking pictures right and left, asking questions about the whole ordeal. The story made the front pages of every newspaper in Amsterdam.

"How are we gonna read these stories?" Jerry laughed, looking through a stack of papers.

"Simple," Mike said, snapping his fingers. Every letter on the papers rearranged themselves until they read English.

"Instant translation," Reggie said, nodding. "Not bad."

The boys began reading through the papers, looking at the blaring headlines ("American Rock Band Solves Diamond Smuggling Case," "US Pop Group, Jerry and the Discophonics, Crack Baffling Case," "Teen Idols Solve Smuggling Mystery"). As they were doing that, there was a knock on the door.

"Come in, it's open!" Mike called. Ms. Dykstra opened the door, holding a stack of newspapers under one arm, and hiding something behind her back.

"You guys are national heroes," she said. "Your fans are really impressed. They all wanted to show their appreciation."

"Oh, that's nice," Reggie said.

"What'd they give us?" Jerry asked.

Ms. Dykstra then pulled a five pound box of Dutch chocolates out from behind her back and presented it to the boys.

"Oh no," Mike groaned.

"Not again," Jerry moaned.

"Let's cut out!" Reggie yelled.

Mike snapped his fingers and packed up their gear, and sent it through the window outside to a waiting cab. Then the Discophonics dashed out the hotel room, down the stairs, and out to the cab as fast as their legs could carry them. Then they sped off to the airport to get on the next plane to Italy for their concert in Rome. Ms. Dykstra stared after them as if they were crazy.

"Americans," she said, rolling her eyes. "Who can understand them?"

The End