They sat in a row, feet flat on the floor, hands folded in their laps, and they turned with the same motion as we entered the room. Their hair was blond and shoulder-length, their eyes were gray, and their skin was a pale golden color, apparently without blemish or imperfection. They wore jeans and sneakers, and their sweaters had the same design in different colors.
They appeared to be a couple of years older than Ron, but they were as androgynous as twelve-year-olds. I wasn't even sure which one was the sister, but then the middle one said, "My name is Sharon, and my brothers are William and Craig."
"We did not steal the test," one of the boys said. I was not surprised to find that his voice sounded identical to his sister's, which was rather husky.
They stood up and held out their hands, so I shook them one by one and told them my name.
The only other person in the room was a woman, sitting behind the desk. She had a mass of long, frizzy hair, a round face, and thick glasses. She looked up from the papers on the desk in front of her. "Who are you?" she demanded, peering at me.
I held out my hand. "I'm Marshall," I said. "I'm looking into the theft of the test answers."
She shook my hand. "What have you figured out?" she demanded, but her attention was already being drawn back to the papers on the desk.
I heard a small intake of breath from my right, and I knew that Ron was gearing up for battle, so I quickly put my arm around her shoulders and pulled her to me.
"Nothing yet," I said, "but I've barely started. I'm Ron's father, by the way."
The woman seemed unimpressed by this information. I looked down at Ron and she grinned at me. She knew that I'd been reminding her about the importance of remaining calm when conducting an investigation.
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