The police raided the hobo camp but Murgatroid was gone. His friends said he'd returned with a young woman at noon the day of the party and had left immediately, and he wasn't wearing his red bandana. A week later, when Judge Harris was in court in Alameda, he saw a well-dressed man who matched the description of the hobo. He followed him to a mansion owned by Murgatroid C. Snodgrass. He and the hobo were the same man!
"Mr. Snodgrass," said Judge Harris. "Why you were posing as a hobo and lurking around the Howell residence?"
"Please keep this quiet," Snodgrass replied. "My only daughter, Cornelia, ran away with a jockey six months ago and disappeared. I learned they were living in Pleasanton and disguised myself as a hobo to search for her. I found her alone and working as a laundress for Mr. Howell.
"On the day of the party, she agreed to come home with me, so we left the party at 11:30 and went back to the hobo camp," he continued. "I wanted to leave my few things to the other hobos, but my red bandana was gone, and in its place, I found this note and this bottle of wine."
He handed Judge Harris a crumpled piece of paper and a bottle of wine from Ruby Hill Winery.
Here's what the note said: "Deer Murg, I needed your bandana, but I am givin you somthin bettor!
"Well," said Harris, "this puts a new slant on things. I'll be in touch. Don't leave town."
Now it's up to you to solve this 100-year-old mystery. If you do, you will be entered to win one of the fabulous prizes from The Big Draw: A City-Wide Arts Celebration on May 11.
Go to www.The-Big-Draw.com to learn how to play or pick up instructions at a participating merchant. This mystery combines fact and fiction. To learn more about Pleasanton's history, go to The Museum on Main or Towne Center Books to read up.