Nate the Great has his first night case! "Detective work is not fun and games," Nate explains. "Detective work is dirty garbage cans instead of clean beds. Detective work is banana peels, dishrags, milk cartons, floor sweepings, cigar ashes, fleas, and me..."
It's a tough case. Somebody is raiding Oliver's garbage can each night, but who? The list of suspects is long--Rosamond and Esmeralda, the girls down the street; Rosamond's cats; and all the shrews, moles skunks, birds, and racoons in the neighborhood. Nate courageousely encounters a skunk (nose first) and a telephone pole (head on), but not until he goes under cover of the garbage-can lid does he narrow the suspects down to one.