The Bustop Mystery©
February, 2002

Opening Clues - As she sat at the bus stop, Maria realized that Pat had passed away.

Mystery Question - How did Maria know this?

Below are the questions and answers. Questions are in the order asked. Correct answer and clues are in gold.

PF - Is Pat a man? (No!) Is Pat a relative of Maria's? (Nope.) Were they friends? (Maria thinks so.) Was Maria reading a newspaper? (Negative.) Is the time of day important? (Yes.) The day of the week? (Nope.) Is the place important? (Yes.) Does "passed away," mean dying? (Yes.) Was Maria expecting Pat to die soon? (Yes.)

DD - When you say "passed," are you referring to death? (Yes.) Is Pat a human being? (Nope.) Did some objects at the bus station gave her an idea? (Not really.) Was Pat an animal? (Yes.) Was it a cat? (No.) If it was some kind of an animal was it crossing the road? (No.) Does the bus have a part in the mystery? (No.)

PF - Is Pat a pet animal? (Yes) pet bird? (No.) or fish? (No.) Was it morning? afternoon? evening? night? (Night.) Was Pat with Maria at the time? (No.) Had Maria seen Pat recently? (Define recently.) Was Maria returning home? (No.) Is the place she's returning from important? (She is not returning from anywhere.) Was she going out? (Yes.) Is the place she was going important? (No.) Is she waiting for a bus? (No.)

MM - Is Pat a dog? (Yes! This is KEY fact #1) Did Pat come to the bus stop every day or night? (No.) Did she know Pat had passed away because Pat did not show up? (Yes, but the key is where did Pat not show up?)

CM - Was Pat a dog? (Yep.) If so, is the breed important? (Nope.) Was Pat a horse? (No, just a dog :-)) Since she wasn't waiting for a bus, and wasn't returning from somewhere, did Maria just stop to rest? (Yes.) Was it dark? (Yes.) Is that important. (For sure!) Was Maria a blind person? (No.) Was she hearing impaired? (Negative.) Do we need to know what part of the world Maria was in, i.e., USA, Europe, the Orient? (Not really.) Is Maria's age important? (We think not.) Is Pat's age when he died important? (Possibly, but that may mislead you.) Is Maria a human being? Another dog? A cat? (A human being.)

XH - Did Maria expect to see Pat? (Not at the bustop.) Is that the reason she was at the bus stop? (She was not at the bustop to see Pat.) Did Pat usually show up: at the bus stop? (No.) On a bus? (Nope.) In a house or property nearby? (YES!!) Did Maria realize why Pat had died? (Probably.) Was it a natural death? Illness? Old age? (Illness brought on by old age. KEY Fact #2)

DD - Was Maria waiting for a person or an animal? (Neither.) Was more than 1 property nearby? Was only 1 important? Was it a house, vehicle, yard, was any sort of human-built structure on the property? (It was a house.) Does the specific illness make a difference? (No.) Was it Maria's dog? (Yes.) If not was the dog her: friend's, spouses, or relative's? (Hers.) Was Pat dead in the structure on the property or on the property (In the house.) Had Pat been there recently? (Yes.) How long had it been since Maria saw Pat? (Not a Yes/No or MultChoice question.) Was Maria worried about Pat? (Yes.) Did Pat not show up to find a bone, a piece of food, or anything else? (Something else!) Did Pat not show up to sleep? (No.) Did an animal or human own the property/structure? (Human.) If so, by who? (Not a Yes/No or MultChoice question.) Did someone or something else show up in Pat's stead? (No.) Did this entity of some sort tell Maria something? (No.) Did it indicate something? (No.) Did Pat not show up for medicine? (Not medicine.) Did Pat not show up with someone? (No one else was involved.) Did Pat know Maria & vice-versa? (Yes.) Was Pat male or female? (Not important.) Was Pat's showing up vital to the dog's survival? (No.) Did Maria know Pat usually showed up at the property/structure? (Maria knew that Pat always showed up at a certain place, at a certain moment.) At a certain place in her view when at the bus stop? (Not in her view from the bus stop.) Does the fact she was sitting make a difference? (No.)

XH - Was Pat Maria's dog? (Yes.) Was the property a house? (Yes.) Would Maria have expected to see Pat: looking out from inside a house? In a garden? In a dog kennel? (From the house.) Was Pat fond of the dark? (No.)

CM - Had Maria expected to see Pat earlier? Later? (Earlier!) Was it later than usual for Maria to be at the bus stop? Earlier? (Let's just say it was unusual.) Did Maria stop to rest at the bus stop regularly? (No!) Did Pat meet Maria somewhere regularly? (Yes.) Other than the bus stop? (Yes. Part of KEY Facts #3 & 5)

FP - Did the house belong to Maria? (Yes.) If so, was Pat still in the house? (Yes.) Outside the house? (No.) Did Pat die in the house? (Yes.) Did Maria expect Pat to greet her at the door, but he didn't this time? (Yes. Follow this lead to KEY Fact #3!!)

PP - Was Maria normal? (The American Medical Association defines her condition as a "disorder." This will lead you to KEY fact #4.) Was she going away from or returning to home? (Going away.) Was Maria's profession important? (No.) Were any of her physical characteristics important? (Only her "disorder.") 

FP - Was Maria's disorder related to any of the following: insanity? food? sleep? drugs? work? sex? (Sleep. Part of KEY Fact #4.) Did Pat "always" beg or bark or stand "at the door?" (Bark. Part of KEY Fact #3) Is what Maria "always" did related to insanity? food? sleep? drugs? work? sex? (Sleep.) 

TS - Did she see the hearse going past with his coffin in it and a wreath saying PAT. (Afraid not.)

XH - Does Maria's condition mean she keeps falling asleep? (No.) Did she stop to rest at the Bus stop and fall asleep? (No.) Did she wake up to find it was dark and she had been asleep for a while? (Yes.!!) Had she slept through Pat's meal time/ walkies time/ other daily-ritual time? (None of these.) Did she realise that had Pat been alive he would have barked at the door... and that Pat was therefore no longer alive? (Yes.!! Part of KEY Fact #6)

CM - Was Maria suffering from sleep walking? (Yes!! KEY Fact 4.) Was Pat? (Nope.)

LM - Does Pat always bark when he sees Maria is sleepwalking and at the door to go outside? (YES!! Completes KEY Facts #3 + 5.) Does Maria always pat, hug, or talk to Pat and that lets him know she is awake? (No.) Is Maria terrified, frightened, or relieved when she found herself (Explain "found herself" for the final KEY Fact.) at the Bus stop? (Frightened is the best word.)

The next question solved The Bustop Mystery!!

To Solution

©The Bustop Mystery, Don Fitzmahan, 2002 / Minute Mystery is trademarked by Don Fitzmahan.