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The Mystery of The Missing Baby 1

Content
Chapter 1..............................................................................................................................2
Tragic News.........................................................................................................................2
Chapter 2..............................................................................................................................7
Salleh and his Father Departed............................................................................................7
Chapter 3............................................................................................................................12
Salleh’s House Burgled......................................................................................................12
One day when Salleh came home from school, he saw his aunty crying in the living
room. Salleh looked around the house. Everything was in a mess. The table had been
overturned and newspapers were thrown here and there. There was no one at home,
except his aunty, Halimah..................................................................................................12
Chapter 4............................................................................................................................17
The Unexpected Culprit.....................................................................................................17

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The Mystery of The Missing Baby 2

Chapter 1
Tragic News

Major Amran was fast asleep when the telephone on the table at the side of his
bed rang.
“Hello?”
“Speaking.”
“I have had bad news for you, Major,” said a voice.
“What bad news and who is speaking?”
“I am Dr See calling from hospital,” said the voice.
“Yes, Doctor…”
“Your baby is missing…”
“How? ... when …what…”
“Major, will you please come to the hospital? I will explain everything.”

Within half an hour, the major was in the ward where his wife, Maimun, had
delivered1. She was sitting up on the bed, with her palms covering her face. She was
weeping and her body shook violently2.
The doctor said, “About an hour ago your wife came running to the nurse saying
her baby was missing. We searched all over the hospital for the baby. But the baby was
not found. It was then I called you. We have also reported the matter to the police.”
The major put his hand on the forehead and said, “How can this happen, Doctor?
What were the nurses and the guards doing?”

1
gave birth
2
With strong force

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“I am sorry, Major,” said the doctor. “I have questioned them and they did not see
anybody entering the ward.”
Just the Inspector Balan arrived and shook hands with Major Amran. After
listening carefully to Dr See, he said, “We believe this is the work of a syndicate stealing
babies or it could be some kidnappers.”
“What do you mean by that, Inspector?” asked Major Amran eagerly.
Suddenly the major’s wife started crying at the top of her voice. A nurse removed
her to a room nearby.
“There are two possibilities here, major,” continued the inspector. “One is that
someone might have stolen your baby to sell it to a childless couple. The other is that
someone may have kidnapped the baby with the hope of claiming ransom3 from you.”
“So, is there no chance of me getting back my baby?” asked the major with a
worried look.
“I can’t say anything now,” said the inspector. “But our department will start
investigating immediately and will do our best to find the baby.”
The major started stroking his forehead in despair.4

Back home, the major’s twelve-year-old son, Salleh, asked, “What’s the matter,
Ayah? Why are you looking so sad?”
“It’s noting actually, Salleh,” said the major. “I was just worried about your
mother. She is not felling well.”

3
A sum of money paid to free a prisoner who is being held unlawfully
4
To lose hope or confidence

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“Can we go and see Mak?” asked Salleh.


“Of course,” said the major. “But we have to wait until the doctor allows us to see
her.”

Maimun’s condition worsened5. She started pulling her hair and running all over
the ward, crying, “Where’s my baby? Where’s my baby? Oh, who has taken my baby?”
She made so much noise and disturbed the other patients at all hours of the day.
She was often seen laughing aloud and hugging other people’s babies until they cried.
One day, Dr See called the major and said, “I am afraid to say that your wife’s
mind has been affected. If we keep her here any longer, she may go mad.”
“So, what is to be done?” asked the major.
“We have examined her and ...er...we have decided to move her to the mental
hospital,” said the doctor.
“What do you mean, doctor?” The major was shocked.
“We are doing this for her own good,” said the doctor. “If she is sent to the mental
hospital for treatment, there’s a good chance of her being cured.”
The major finally agreed to the doctor’s suggestion.

Weeks passed. The major’s wife had already been sent to the mental hospital.
Salleh asked, “When can we see Mak?”
“We have to wait until the doctor gives us permission, Salleh,” lied the major.
The major was determined to keep what had happened a secret. If Salleh came to
know the truth, he would feel very sad and would not be able to concentrate6 on his
5
Made worse
6
To direct one’s attention on something

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studies. He hoped his wife would be back soon from the mental hospital so that he did not
have to explain anything to Salleh.

The major contacted the police station often, asking if there was any information
about his missing baby. Each time, the inspector gave the same reply- they were still
investigating the case.
During his free time, the major wondered who could have carried the baby away.
He did not believe that the baby had been kidnapped. If the baby had been kidnapper, the
kidnappers would have demanded7 for ransom by now.
Something in his mind told him that the baby might have been carried away by
someone who knew him. By and by, he dismissed this as an absurd thought. All those
who knew him were kind, as far as he was concerned. All were glad that his wife had
given birth after eleven years.

A year passed. The major was transferred to another army camp. As a result,
Salleh had also to be enrolled in a school close to the camp. It was during this period that
a number of strange incidents took place. These incidents centre around the mystery of
the missing baby and also a plot to destroy the major’s family.
One day, as the major was walking out of the Bunga Raya Supermarket, he saw
Hamid on the other side of the road. Hamid was his wife’s brother. He was one of those
who had visited Maimun soon after she had delivered her baby.
He had suddenly popped up at the hospital after missing for ten years. He had
brought a lot of presents for his sister and the baby.
He had kept on congratulating the major.
After that he left saying, “I am a very busy man. I am in Singapore now, running
my own business. I will come by visit the kids when I am free.”

7
Asked for

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The major was glad to hear this. Hamid was usually jobless most of the time and
had many times asked he major for money. Once Hamid had asked the major for ten
thousand ringgit. The major had refused to give him that sum because he believed that
Hamid was spendthrift8. He had learned from a friend that Hamid was a gambler.

Hamid semed to be in a hurry. He was walking very fast. However, the major
managed to cross the busy road and catch up with him.
“Oh, it’s you,” he said
“How are you?” the major greeted him.
“I am fine,” said Hamid.
“Did you hear about your sister?” asked the major.
When Hamid shook his head, the major told him all that happened.
Hamid looked shocked and said, “I must see her immediately.”

8
A person who spends money wastefully

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Chapter 2
Salleh and his Father Departed

The major drove Hamid to the mental hospital that afternoon itself.
Hamid rushed to his sister the moment he saw her.
“Oh, Sister, I can’t believe that this has happened to you,” he said sadly.
The major’s wife said, “What’s the matter? Nothing has happened to me.”
Hamid turned towards the major indisbelief, but the major just nodded his head.
Then Maimun said to the major, “I want to go home. Nothing is wrong with me.
Take me home. I am all right now.”
The major just remained silent and Hamid brought him to the corridor.
Once there, Hamid said, “She’s mad all right. If you bring her home, it will affect9
Salleh. My advice to you is don’t bring her home at any cost if you want Salleh’s life to
be happy. Don’t think I am trying to...”
“I understanding what you mean,” said the major. “I will not bring her home and
mess up everything.”
After they had talked for about half an hour, Hamid said, “I must be going now. I
have to return to Singapore now. Like I told you, I came here on an urgent10 businessman
there.”
“Do you want me to sent you to the airport?” asked the major.
“Errr... it’s all right,” said Hamid. “I have to meet another businessman before
leaving.”

9
To cause some result or change it
10
important

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Meanwhile, Salleh was having a hard time at school. He found his new
classmates unfriendly. They made fun of him and teased him.
One of the student students asked him, “What’s your father?”
“My father is an army major,” said Salleh proudly.
“Bang! Bang! I have killed the enemy. Rat-a-tat-tat. See how fast is my machine
gun. Bang! Bang!”
The boy then held his chest and fell on to the table, as if he had been shot. The
other boys immediately broke into laughter.
Salleh got so embarrassed11 that he walked away without another word.
Later, when he was walking home from school, two boys stopped him and asked,
“What do you have in the bag?”
“Books,” replied Salleh.
“Can we have a look at them?” the first boy asked.
Salleh immediately proceeded to open the bag, but the second boy snatched12 the
bag from him. Salleh could only stare13 helplessly. The boy started swinging the bag
above his head.
“Do you know what will happen to the bag when I let it go?” asked the boy.
“Yes, I know,” said the first boy. “The bag will land in the drain,” he pointed to a
monsoon drain nearby.
Just as the boy was about to release the bag, a voice shouted, “Stop it!”
The boy stopped swinging the bag. A boy about Salleh’s size walked towards
them.

“Oh, it’s the one-eyed Jack,” said the first boy.


11
Caused to feel anxious and uncomfortable
12
Took hold of something quickly
13
To look steadily for a long time

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The second boy said, “He thinks he is a hero. Let’s teach him a lesson.”
The two boys immediately ignored Salleh and went menacingly towards the other
boy. They tried to attack him, but the boy was too fast for them. With a few swift ‘silat’
moves, he brought the two boys wiped off the dirt on their clothes and quietly left the
scene.
The boy picked up the bag and gave it to Salleh.
“Hi, my name is Ghani,” he said.
Salleh then introduced himself and they became good fiends.

Several weeks later, the major came home woth a sad face. He had just received a
letter from the army headquarters.the letter said: “You are to report for a jungle operation
in Grik in a week’s time...”
The major read the letter again and shook his head.
“Why must the letter come at this time?” he wondered. If I leave for the jungle,
who’s going to take care of Salleh?”
The major of course wanted to go for the operation. Duty to the country is
important.
Two days later, the major found a solution to his problem.
As he was sitting in the living room and reading the newspaper, he heard a knock
on the door.
When he opened it, he saw a familiar face. It took him a few minutes to place the
man.
“It’s me, Wahid,” said the man.

Only then did the major remember that Wahid was another brother of his wife.

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Wahid said, “I have been transferred to this town. I wrote to you. Didn’t you
receive my letter?”
“Where are you staying now?” asked the major.
Wahid quickly replied “I have not found a house yet. I have to find a big house for
my wife and six children.”
Major Amran stroked his chin and said, “You don’t have to worry about that. You
and your family can stay here in my house.” The major then explained to Wahid the letter
he had received from the headquarters.
Wahid gladly accepted the major’s offer.

The time for the major to leave for the operation finally arrived. He said to Wahid,
“I am leaving my cheque book with you and with all the cheques signed. Use it for an
emergency14. I hope you will take care of Salleh like your own child.”
“Sure, sure,” said Halimah, Wahid’s wife. “We have always treated Salleh as our
own son.”
The major nodded happily.
“Something may happen to me, while I am away. That’s why I am going to leave
my will with my lawyer,” added the major.

The major got into his car and drove to his lawyer’s house. However, trouble was
waiting for him. As he was driving up a lonely road, he saw two men standing in the
middle of the road and waving at him to stop.

14
An unexpected and dangerous happening which must be dealt with immediately

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The major thought that the man were in trouble and needed help. So, he slowed
his car down. The men came up to the driver’s side of his car.
One of the men said, “Can you help us, sir? One of our friends has fallen into the
drain. Can you help us bring him to the hospital?”
The major got out of his car and asked, “Where is your friend?”
Just then the second man struck a blow on his neck and the major fell to the
ground and fainted. When the major fell to the ground and fainted. When the major
recovered several minutes later, he found the sealed envelope in his shirt pocket missing.
The envelope actually contained some documents, which he was supposed15 to
send to the army headquarters.
The major got into his car and started searching his briefcase. Yes, the will was
there.
“Why was the men after the envelope?” he asked himself.
Then a possible answer came to him. The men had come for the will. They had
mistakenly thought that the envelope contained the will.
He was now sure that something fishy was going on. Who could have sent the
man? He thought and thought but no answer came to him.

15
Assumed as true

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Chapter 3
Salleh’s House Burgled
One day when Salleh came home from school, he saw his aunty crying in the
living room. Salleh looked around the house. Everything was in a mess16. The table had
been overturned and newspapers were thrown here and there. There was no one at home,
except his aunty, Halimah.
“What’s the matter, aunty?” asked Salleh anxiously.
His aunty wiped off her tears and said, “Our house has been burgled. The money
your father had given to us and the cheque book have been stolen.”
Salleh was sad to see his aunty crying. So, he said, “Don’t worry, aunty. Father
will give you some money.”

The next day, Salleh did not see his friend, Ghani, at school. He asked some of
Ghani’s classmates, but none of them seemed to know what happened to him.
He did not know the exact address of Ghani, but he knew which street Ghani lived
in.
After school he headed there. After some asking around and searching, he found
his friend’s house.
Ghani said, “I couldn’t come to school because my mother’s ill.”
Then Ghani hung his head and remained silent.
“What the matter?” asked Salleh. “Is anything wrong?”
“I don’t have money to send her to the hospital or buy medicine for her,” replied
Ghani.
“Don’t worry,” said Salleh. “I will get you some money.”
“Err...how...”
Without replying his friend, Salleh hurried home. He went up to his aunty and
asked, “Aunty, can I have my pocket money which I asked you to keep?”
Halimah shook her head and said, “Didn’t I tell you that I lost everything to the
burglars?”
16
untidiness

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On saying that she hurried to the kitchen. Salleh quietly went to his room, which
was actually his father’s room. He lay in bed. He looked at his father’s portrait17 hanging
on the wall, it was then he remembered his father’s drawer. He was sure that he could
find some money there to help Ghani.
On opening the table drawer, he did not find money, but he found a key.
Instantly18, he knew that it was the key to the cupboard.
He opened the cupboard and at this time he had a great shock. He saw a framed
photograph of his mother. When he picked up the photograph, he saw a folded piece of
paper underneath it.
The paper said: Maimun- admitted19 to mental hospital May 1985.
If mother was in the mental hospital, where was the baby? As he was wondering
why his father had lied, there was a knock on the door. Opening it, he saw Erma standing
outside. Erma was his uncle’s daughter. She was a kind and friendly girl.
“What’s the matter, Erma?” asked Salleh.
“I heard you asking for money from mother...”
Salleh did not waste any time in telling her why he had needed the money.
“Look Salleh, I have some money in my piggy bank,” said Erma. “If Ghani really
needs help, we must give him the money.”
“Are you sure you want to part with your money?” asked Salleh.
“Sure, sure,” said Erma.

Two days later, Salleh received a letter.


The letter said: Salleh, be careful. Your life is in danger.
The letter was unsigned. Salleh did not tell anyone about the letter except Ghani.
He also told Ghani about the piece of paper he found under his mother’s photograph.
Ghani thought for a few moments and said, “Something fishy is definitely going
on.”
“I think it’s just a joke played by one of my classmates who doesn’t like me,” said
Salleh.

17
The painting or the photograph of a person
18
immediately
19
Allowed to enter

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“Maybe, but the first thing we must do now is visit your mother at the mental
hospital,” said Ghani.
“Yes, I was also thinking about that,” said Salleh.

That Saturday they traveled to the mental hospital by bus. Salleh showed his
mother’s photograph to a doctor.
“I am sorry, Salleh,” said the doctor. “Your mother escaped from this hospital only
two days ago.”
Salleh returned home in disappointment. He wondered why his mother had
escaped from the hospital. Maybe she knew what she was doing. Maybe she was not mad
after all.

Several days later, as Salleh was walking home from school, a car screeched to a
stop beside him. Two men got out and pushed him into the back seat.
He screamed, but one of the men gave him a karate chop on his neck. He fainted.
The car sped off.

When Salleh did not turn up in school for the next two days, Ghani became
worried. He went to Salleh’s house. Salleh’s aunty received him angrily.
“You must have something to do with Salleh’s disappearance,” she said angrily.
“You helped someone to kidnap him so that you can get some money.”
“No, aunty,” said Ghani. “I swear.”
“I don’t want to hear anything from you,” said Salleh’s aunty. “Get out of the
house!”
“I will do my best to find out who are the culprits20 behind Salleh’s
disappearance,” said Ghani firmly.

20
Persons guilty of a crime

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That night, when Ghani was studying in his living room, he saw a letter being
slipped under the front door. He quickly picked it up and opened the door. He could only
see a figure disappearing into the night behind his house.
The letter said: Something fishy is going to happen outside Salleh’s house tonight.
The letter was unsigned. Naturally, Ghani wondered why the letter was sent to
him. Even though he knew that there was trouble ahead, he decided to wait outside
Salleh’s house.

Ghani squatted behind the bushes outside Salleh’s house. He passed his time,
glancing21 at the moon in the sky. He did not have to wait for long, however.
A figure crept up behind him and hit him hard on the head with a stick.
Ghani fell unconscious.
He was carried into a car and was driven off.

Meanwhile, someone broke into the lawyer’s house and stole the major’s will.
The lawyer’s only discovered this after he had retuned home from a party.
He was about to call the police when the telephone rang.
“Hello?”
“Call the police and you will be dead soon,” said the rough voice.
“Hello, hello...”
Click! The line went dead.
The lawyer changed his mind about calling the police.

21
Giving a quick short look

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Chapter 4
The Unexpected Culprit
Two days later, the major received a telegram. He was then quite deep in the
jungle with his troops22.
The telegram said: “Salleh is seriously ill. Come back immediately! Wahid.”
The major thought hard about it. Of course the jungle operation was important.
But he could not concentrate on the operation after receiving the telegram. Finally, he
told himself that he would visit Salleh and would be back in a day or two.
On the train home, a man in an army uniform introduced himself as Lieutenant
Danny to the major. As they talked, the man took out a thermos flask and poured major a
cup of hot coffee. Then he put the thermos on the table and excused himself to go to the
toilet.
As soon as the major finished his cup of coffee, he felt dizzy23. Soon he fainted.
The man in the army uniform smiled.

Meanwhile, Ghani was brought to an old bungalow. But he did not know where
he was brought to because he was blindfolded. His hands were tied behind his back.
When his blindfold was removed, he was three masked men standing in a dimly-
lit room. One of them was sitting on a high backed-chair. It was this man who spoke in a
rather rough and clumsy voice.
“You were behaving rather suspiciously outside the major’s house,” said the
leader. “What is it you were looking for or investigating?”
Ghani calmly said, “There’s a lot of money and jewellery stashed away in the
major house. I was just trying to find out more about it,”
“Tell me where they are,” said the leader. “I will give you a share,”
“That a good idea,” said Ghani. “But I need to talk to my friend, Salleh. Can you
send me to his house?”
The leader shook his head.
“You don’t have to go to his house,” he said. “Salleh is here.”
22
A group of soldiers
23
Having an unpleasant feeling of losing one’s balance and confusion

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Meanwhile, Ghani’s mother went looking for Ghani at the major’s house. When
Halimah opened the door, her eyes were quick to fall on the major’s photograph on the
wall.
Halimah told her that Ghani did not visit Salleh and also that Salleh was missing.
“I must tell you the truth,” said the old lady. “A man asked me to...”
Suddenly the old lady screamed.
“What’s the matter?” asked Halimah in surprise.
“I saw a woman outside the window,” said the old lady.
When Halimah turned around, he saw nobody there.
The old lady quickly excused herself and left. As she was walking home, a van
drew up near her. Two men got out. One of them gave her a karate chop on the neck and
she fainted. She was then carried into the van.

Meanwhile, Ghani was taken to where Salleh was being held. When Salleh saw
Ghani he smiled, but Ghani just put on a sour face and said, “Now friend, tell me where
the money and the jewellery are hidden.”
Salleh snapped, “You are traitor24! Ungrateful fellow!”
Ghani turned around to look at the two masked man behind him.
“He won’t tell me unless I am left alone with him,” said Ghani.
The two men closed the door and left.

Two masked man approached the major whose hands and legs were tied up. One
of them held a few sheets of papers.
He pushed the papers towards the major.
“Sign this!”
“I won’t sign until I read the papers,” said the major.
“You are not allowed to read the papers,” said the man. “I will tell you what it is
about. It is a will. It will transfer all your wealth to my boss after you die.”
“Who’s your boss?”

24
Someone who is disloyal

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“That’s a secret,” said the other man.


“I won’t sign it, then don’t expect to see your son Salleh alive,” said the man
holding the papers.
The major’s face turned pale when he heard this.
“Don’t do anything to my son,” he said anxiously. “I will sign the papers.”

Meanwhile, Ghani told the boss, “My friend has told me where the money and the
jewellery are hidden.”
The Boss immediately arranged for someone to send Ghani to Salleh’s house.
Son, Ghani rode pillion on the man’s motorcycle. Halfway through the journey, Ghani
cried, “Police!”
“Where?” asked the man, slowing his motorcycle down.
“Stop the motorcycle!” said Ghani excitedly. “They are hiding behind the bushes.
Someone has tipped them off.”
The man immediately stopped his motorcycle. He was comfused and at the same
time he looked frightened.
“Run! They are coming after us!” snapped Ghani.
The man was so comfused that he obeyed Ghani at once. The man ran towards the
bushes on the right. Ghani, too ,ran after him, but after a while he stopped and crept back
to the road.
Luckily a car was passing by at the moment, and he managed to get a lift.

At the police station, Ghani saw a similar woman talking to the inspector. He had
a strong feeling that he had seen the woman somewhere. Then he remembered the
photograph Salleh had shown him. Yes, the woman was Salleh’s mother.
Salleh wasted no time in telling the inspector what had happened. Ten minutes
later, Ghani guided the two patrol cars to the bungalow.
A few masked men saw the police patrol car and they informed their boss. But the
policemen were quicker. They rounded up the masked men easily. On searching the many
locked rooms, they found Ghani’s mother, the major and Salleh in one of them.
Everybody was shocked when the inspector pulled off the mask on the boss’ face.

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The boss was none other than Salleh’s Uncle Hamid!


Halimah exclaimed, “You, Hamid? I never expected you to do such a thing to my
family.”
Hamid admitted everything. He was the one who was responsible for the baby’s
missing from the hospital. He was the one responsible for Salleh’s kidnapping and the
telegram to the major.
He explained, “I did it because I wanted to teach the major a lesson. He was
always scolding me when I did not have a job and refused to lend me money. I decided to
become a gangster to get all his wealth, but my plan did not work. This boy spoiled it
all.” He pointed at Ghani.
It was then Ghani’s mother who spoke, “The major’s missing son is with me.
Hamid asked me to carry him away from the hospital and kill him to teach the major a
lesson. But I did not kill him. I brought him up best as I could.”
On hearing this, Maimun immediately hugged Ghani’s mother. Soon the major
and his family were on the way to meet his son, who had been missing all his while.

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