"Where are the other teachers?" asked the Headmaster, moustache twitching.

"Canteen," said Andy, deepening his voice, the paper shaking more violently.

"What subject do you teach?" asked the Headmaster.

"Hist... Geogr... Footer! I mean Physical Education. We are on the field most days having a kick around. It's a lesson of two halves with some good ingredients shown by the pupils on both sides and at the end of the lesson you can't..." The Headmaster grabbed the paper and pulled it down. Andy gave a sickly grin.

"Andrew Wilson, I thought so!"

"Who is this?" asked the Inspector. "Is he one of your best pupils come to help show me round?"

"Yes!" said the Headmaster, giving a fixed grin. "If he knows what is good for him."

Andy leapt up from his seat and sidled up to the Headmaster, "Best pupils aren't given lines or threatened with being expelled. Nor are their friends."

"Okay," hissed back the Headmaster. "If you do this right I will forget this day ever happened. Screw this up though and I will send you to school, on Pluto!"

"This is our excellent English Department," said Andy, waving an arm around. "Where we has spent plentidunous time being learnt the basic of grammar."

The Headmaster gave a sickly smile. "HA! HA! HA! What a comedian he is! Tell him about our famous pupils."

"Our school has had plenty of famous pupils," said Andy. "Our most famous has been in the papers a lot, and television; normally attached to a sign saying 'Have you seen this man?'. He visits us whenever he gets the chance. The last time he visited he took all our computers..."

"Remember Pluto," whispered the Headmaster, his face twitching.

" have them serviced," said Andy smoothly. "He is a computer repair man. Has adverts everywhere, very successful person, as are all the ex-pupils of Millingsgate High School. I'm afraid I have to be off to my excellent, enjoyable and highly informative lessons. The Headmaster has made this a school to be proud of! The best in the country." Andy gave an elaborate bow and walked away from the School Inspector still bowing.

"Was that okay?" Andy whispered to the Headmaster a couple of minutes later.

"Perfectly," said the Headmaster. "I will cancel all you and your friends lines and forget about expelling you."

"Thanks!" said Andy.

"Instead you will have to do 600 lines of 'I must not go in the Staff-room without permission'. On my desk tomorrow at nine or you will be expelled." The Headmaster and the Inspector carried on along the corridor. Andy slouched back to his lessons.

Several minutes later the Headmaster left the Inspector in the company of his teachers. He was sitting in his study and a child was opposite him.

"Follow them," said the Headmaster, his moustache twitching more than normal, "and find out which one it was who filled my car with jelly and custard and wrote in cream on the windscreen 'No-one trifles with mousey'." He got his stress doll out and started to pull it apart. "I haven't read it in the rules but I would say it is an expellable offence. Take this tape recorder and get their confession on tape." One of the dolls arms went flying over the pupils head. "You know them all so it should be easy. Get this right and I will make you captain of the school team." The doll scattered over the room in several bits.

The pupil looked up and smiled, "My pleasure, sir."

Outside the school gates Emma, Andy and Jack were just meeting up again.

"The crown jewels have been stolen! Hundreds of police and the army haven't managed to get them back," said Andy listening to his radio on his walkman. "I vote the Space Team gets them back for the moral reason of fighting this evil crime; that, and the fifty thousand pounds reward!"

"Who do we have to keep an eye out for?" asked Emma. She got out a small mirror and just checked her hair; it was starting to get a bit windy out.

"They are just coming to that," said Andy. "'A man about 1.75 metres in height," Andy said quoting straight from the radio, "'medium build with dark brown hair and several small scars on his face. He was last seen wearing black clothes and carrying a black bag. If seen do not approach him but inform the police immediately. That is the end of this news bulletin, thank you for listening. Please stay tuned for...'" Whatever Andy was about to say was drowned out by Jack saying: "We don't want to know that! Besides you have those lines for the Headmaster to do first and you have homework and the football match as well."

"Oh yes," said Andy miserably. "I forgot about those." He cheered up as a thought came to him. "Oh well that still gives us a couple of hours to catch the villain, become heroes and rake in pots of cash."

A small weasely looking boy, with protruding eyes, came running up to them. "Hello everyone," he said. "Do you mind if I walk with you for a while?"

"Yes Pugsie, we do" said Andy.

"I'll help you with your case," said Pugsie smiling, and making a bad job of it.

"The only case we'll help you with," said Emma, "is the one you'll have with you when you leave town."

"Thanks," said Pugsie, for whom hints only worked if accompanied by a brick, attached to the Empire State's Building, "I won't be much trouble."

"I know you won't as you won't be with us," said Andy.

"Please can I come with you?" pleaded Pugsie, trying to look sorrowful.

"Why should we let a known sneak come with us?"

"Me?! Ha! Ha! I'll give you a pack of crisps." He dangled it in front of Andy's nose.

"Thanks," said Andy, grabbing the packet from Pugsie's hand. "You can walk with us as long as you don't speak."

Pugsie grinned, showing teeth that had seen too many sweets and not enought tooth brushes, "Than..." Andy covered Pugsies mouth with his hand and shook his head.

While this was going on Emma's friend Fran had turned up. Fran lived in the same street as Emma but went to another school. Fran was a tall girl and, like Emma, was smartly dressed.

"Hello Emma," she asked cheerily. "Still hanging out with your team of 'brilliant detectives' I see. What are you lot planning today and can I come along?"

"Andy is going to lead us to the person who stole the Crown Jewels and then do his lines and homework, in one evening!" said Emma, with more than a hint of sarcasm in her voice.

"Do you mind if I come along?" asked Fran. "I know all about detectives! I have read every Sherlock Holmes there is!"

"Anyone else want to come along?" asked Andy. He marched up to an old lady and asked her the same question. She walked off muttering something about 'youngsters'.

"We are called the Space Team," Jack said proudly. Emma and Fran exchanged glances at this.

"The Space Team?" asked Fran. "You'll be called Space Cadets and..."

"I've already told them that," interrupted Emma.

"Who's the leader by the way? Every gang has to have a leader."

"I am!" said all the children.

"We are the first democratic children's gang," explained Andy. "In our extra-ordinary, quarterly, bi-annual meetings, twice daily everyone has a say."

"And normally does," added Emma. "Isn't that right Andy?... Andy?" Andy wasn't looking, he was looking down the street at his house and his jaw dropped.

"No," said Andy. "NO!" he said louder. "NO, NO, NO!" he raced back to his house with the others in pursuit. Outside his house was a large lorry, and several burly men, taking furniture out of his house. His Mum and Dad were standing outside trying to stop them.

"PUT MY STUFF BACK!" yelled Andy. He grabbed a chair from the lorry and ran inside with it. Several seconds later the chair came back attached to two men and Andy sitting on it. They put both of them in the lorry. Andy raced back inside with the chair quickly followed by the two men.

"Andy," yelled his Dad. "Come back here."

Andy ran to his parents, "What's happening? Why are they doing this!"

"We had some trouble paying the bills, son," said Andy's Dad. "The bank is evicting us, unless we can find fifty thousand pounds by the end of today we will be out on the streets."

"Fifty... thousand... pounds!" said Andy slowly. "We'll get the Crown Jewels back!"

"You'll find Monty first," said Andy's Mum. "Ever since you threw your breakfast at him he has disappeared. He was last seen walking into the wood. You can give Pippa a quick walk before we have to find a bed and breakfast to spend the night."

The other children joined Andy. Pippa, a small shetland sheepdog, came up to Andy, wagging her tail. Andy picked Pippa and took her lead off a coat stand as it was carried past him. "Okay people, and Pugsie, we will get Monty back and then the Crown Jewels. If we don't get them back then I will be evicted and will have to leave school, and we don't want that do we?"

"Well..." said the children, mulling over the idea of a peaceful life.

"Do we?" added Andy, with more than a hint of menace in his voice.

"No, absolutely not," they said.

Still chatting away the little group headed towards the wood.

Meanwhile, just behind the group, the time thief was limping along, feeling very pleased with himself that he had avoided being captured. Apart from a few missing pieces his 'collection' was almost complete. By the time the time thief returned to his time he would be the richest man in the world for all time and he had big plans for how we would use the money. This little trip to the past could change for ever the future of the world. He saw the group of children go into the wood, but he was not to worried because he had parked the time machine in a very secluded place, besides you could only see it if you were practically on top of it. the time thief followed the children into the wood just 30 metres behind them.

The trees were almost bare and the shadows were beginning to lengthen.

"Andy," said Pugsie, "do you know who put trifle in the Head's car?" Click, whirr.

"I said you could come with us if you don't speak," asked Andy.

"I'll give you a boiled sweet if you answer a question."

"Okay," said Andy, taking a boiled sweet from Pugsie. "What's the question?"

"Who put trifle in the Headmaster's car?"

"It was... Wow, look at this, a tree with a rope hanging from it! Great for swings. You still here Pugsie?"

"All I want to know is..."

"No time," said Andy marching off. Pugsie's face darkened with rage.

Click. Pugsie switched off the tape recorder again. He got out a notepad and wrote something in. More subtle questioning needed.

"Right Pippa!" said Jack, taking the dog off the lead. "Find Monty! Go on Pip, find Monty!"

With her nose to the ground Pippa soon found Monty's scent and shot off into the wood with the children in pursuit.

"Slow down Pippa!" said Fran. "We can't all go under branches like you." A branch caught her scarf and dragged her to halt. While she was unsnagging herself she saw someone following them. She quickly caught up with the others.

"Someone is following us!" said Fran breathlessly.

"Well it is a public wood. What do you expect?" asked Andy.

"Public it may be," said Fran. "But this is hardly a public footpath."

"Oh well we can solve that later after we have solved the 'Mystery of the Missing Cat'," said Jack.

"The only Mystery I can see is how we got conned into the going to try and find him again!" said Andy. "We should be finding the Crown Jewels!"

"Pippa has stopped in that hollow!" said Jack.

"I am sure I have never been here before," said Emma looking around. "I don't recognize these trees at all."

"It's a wood, there are lots of trees about," said Andy. "Look, there is a hatchway in the ground where Pippa's sniffing around!"

"These are Silver Birches," said Fran. "The rest of the wood is oak. This part of the wood is a lot younger than the rest for some reason."

"Very clever," said Andy. "If I wanted a plant lesson I would have brought a …" he stopped to think "a plant guy along. Where's the cat?"

"Your cat is under this hatchway," said Fran confidently.

"How do you know?" asked Jack.

"For a start there is slight paw prints by the hatchway and there is a little bit of white fur caught in the edge of the hatch. You can also hear some meowing coming from under it."

"How do we open it?" asked Emma. "And more to the point what is a hatchway doing in the middle of a wood?"

"What am I doing here?" asked Pugsie.

"We might ask you the same question!" said Andy, spinning round and pointing.

The time thief was watching this from behind a tree. He could not believe it. His plan had been going so well and now these children were just about to ruin it. He got out his gun and walked up to the group of children who were struggling with the hatchway.

"GET AWAY FROM THAT HATCHWAY!" yelled the time thief, pointing his gun at the children.

"We thought we could hear out cat under it," said Jack.

"This is turning from a bad day to a terrible day," said Andy.

"Do you think he is the person who stole the Crown Jewels?" Fran asked the others. "He does look a lot like the description we heard?"

"Its been nice meeting you sir!" said Emma loudly. "We will just be on our way." Emma waved cheerily at the time thief at beckoned to the others to follow her.

"I'm nothing to do with them," said Pugsie, stepping backwards. "Leave me alone. Just leave me alone, I'll go. I'm going, take them, but not me!"

"No stay here," said the time thief. "I think you know too much."

"We don't honestly," said Jack. "Our teachers are always saying how little we know! That's right isn't it?" he asked looking at the others for support. They all nodded vigorously.

"Your not a gambling man at all are you?" asked Andy hopefully.

In reply the time thief shot them