They reached the Student Center a few minutes later and filed inside. The men’s restroom was located at the end of the main hall. Mr. C told everyone to hold on, then ducked inside and came back out a moment later.

“All clear,” he said, “no other customers. There is, however, something very interesting in there that I think you’ll all want to see.”

The whole group hustled in and immediately came face to face with their first clue. It was five numbers, scribbled in purple chalk onto one of the stall dividers. The first four were obvious—3533. The last one, however, was either a giant lowercase ‘e’ or—

“—an upside-down 6?” Chelsea wondered. “What’s up with that?!”

“This is how he communicates when he gets frazzled,” Pascal said. “With numbers. It’s like his language.”

“The purple chalk is pretty,” Maya said, “but a little weird.”

“He always uses purple chalk,” Pascal replied. “It’s his trademark.”

“Okay, fine,” Simon said, crossing his arms and looking over the numbers carefully. “So numbers are his language, and he likes to use purple chalk. Great. But what does this mean? What is 3-5-3-3, and then some weird 6, or a big ‘e’ or whatever? Is that some kind of code for—”

“No!” Jamal cut in sharply. He’d been standing quietly at the back of the group up to this point. “Wait…yeah! I got it!”

“You do?” Pascal asked.

“Yes—it means ‘GEESE’!”

Everyone turned and looked carefully at the run of characters again.

Geese?!” Cooper said cynically. “Jamal, it may be time for a visit to the eye doctor.”

“I try not to agree with Cooper too often,” Gabby added, “but I have to admit, I don’t see the word gees—”

“No, not there,” Jamal said, pointing to a spot a few feet away to the left. “Over there!

All heads turned again, but this time it was toward the mirror over the sink. And in the reflection, the numbers that Dr. Newton had chalked up now spelled the word GEESE very clearly.

“Yes!” Pascal said, his eyes growing wide with excitement. “This is exactly what he does! He makes number puzzles and then expects everyone to figure them out!”

“Right, sure,” Simon said. “But what does that mean?”

“I think I know,” Mr. C said in a very calm voice. “There’s only one place on this campus where you can always find geese. Sometimes they’re there by the thousands.”

“Where’s that?” Gabby asked.

“Come on. I’ll show you….”