The arsonist had the town police stumped. It was a series of vicious fires, set to produce a large ransom from the town. Already, several stores in the old Main Street commercial section had been hit. They were on a continuous block of stores on both sides of the street, with a common roof. One of them had burned nearly to the ground. Then there was a particularly vicious episode, when the fire department, distracted by a commercial fire, arrived too late at a residential fire three miles south of the city. The hallmark of that arson, rags soaked in kerosene, was the same as the fires set in the commercial section. Clearly, the arsonist was upping the ante.
Clues were hard to come by, and the arsonist had called in a warning to the local radio station, KPKR. Anybody who helped the police would find their house or place of business was the next target. That’s when Inspector Samuels had his bright idea.