The Jersey Trackers had just gathered outside Waksman Institute of Microbiology by the bookmobile to wait for Mr. C and Pascal to catch up.
Suddenly Jamal yelled, “Hey, look guys! I found a golf ball with a purple R on it!”
“That can’t be right,” declared Chelsea. “The R should be red for Rutgers.”
“Oh no! The Purple Math Dude strikes again!” joked Cooper who was always goofing around.
The Trackers started to laugh but Jamal got serious. “Coop, you can’t call Dr. Newton that. He’s a world renown mathematician.’
“Yeah, and don’t let Pascal hear you,” cautioned Maya.
“Or Mr. C,” added Chelsea as she glanced back to make sure they were out of hearing range.
“Okay,” said Cooper. “How about Primo Math Dude?”
“Better, but not exactly scholarly,” answered Simon.
“I can make it sound Latin,” piped up Jamal who was learning Latin names for plants.
“How about Primo Mathematica Doctoria,” he announced proudly.
“Impressive, Jamal,” said Maya, “but sort of hard to say.”
“I like Purple Math Dude better,” grinned Cooper.
“Let’s just call him the P.M.D. for short,” said Chelsea, and everyone agreed. “Now we need to get going!”
“And quickly,” added Gabby, “because by my calculations we only have about 10 minutes and maybe 30 seconds to find the next clue, mathematically speaking, that is.” Gabby was good at keeping the Trackers on track.
“Because Jamal found that purple R golf ball, I think we should head over there,” said Cooper pointing to The Rutgers University Golf Course across the street.
“But we can’t just walk onto the golf course while people are playing,” said Simon.
“And Mr. C certainly can’t drive the bookmobile onto the golf course!” declared Chelsea.
“We can walk on that service road behind those pine trees. No one will notice us, and besides, I know this golf course. I caddied for Mr. C in the Rutgers Alumni Golf Tournament.
“Cooper, did you have to remind me of my golfing disaster?” said Mr. C a bit exasperated as he and Pascal caught up with the gang.
Maya looked up at Mr. C. “Don’t worry, Mr. C,” said Maya. “We’re glad you’re a librarian and not a golfer.”
“Yeah, don’t get teed off, Mr. C. It’s a good thing I had to chase down all your golf balls because I know every inch of the University Golf Course. If the P.M.D., ah…I mean if Dr. Newton left a purple math clue, we can find it.”
Mr. C smiled but Pascal looked nervous. “I’ve never been on a golf course before. Do we have to walk across the whole thing?”
Everyone looked down at Pascal’s pointy Italian shoes.
“Coop,” whispered Jamal. “There’s no way Pascal’s going to make it across the entire golf course in those shoes.”
Cooper nodded. “We’ll have to help him,” he whispered back.
“Come on, Pascal. We’ll walk with you,” said Jamal and Cooper.