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Games In Deduction


Get some people who are strangers to the boys to come along as passers-by in the street or road, and let the boys separately notice all about them. After an interval ask each boy for a full description of the passers-by as to appearance, peculiar recognizable points, and what he guesses their business to be.

Or let each boy have two minutes' conversation with some stranger, and try to find out what he can about him in that time by questioning and observation.

"Crime" Deduction Detective

Set a room or prepare a piece of ground with small signs, tracks, etc. Read aloud the story of a crime up to the point when the signs are made and let each boy in turn examine the scene for a given time, and then privately give his solution of it.

The very simplest schemes should be given at first. They can gradually be elaborated.

For instance, have a number of footmarks and used matches by a tree, showing where a man had difficulty in lighting his pipe, etc.

For a more finished theme take a mystery like that in Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes called "The Resident Patient". Set a room to represent the patient's room where he was found hanging, with footprints of muddy boots on the carpet, cigar ends bitten or cut in the fireplace, cigar ashes, screw-driver and screws, etc. Put down a strip of newspapers for "stepping stones" on which competitors shall walk (so as not to confuse existing tracks). Let each Scout (or Patrol) come in separately and give him three minutes in which to investigate. Then give him half an hour to make up his solution, written or verbal.

"Track the Assassin"

The assassin escapes after having "stabbed his victim", carrying in his hand the "dripping dagger". The remainder, a minute later, start out to track him by the "drops of blood" (represented by confetti) which fall at every third step. His confederate (the umpire) tells him beforehand where to make for. If he gets there without being touched by his pursuers, over eight minutes ahead of them, he wins.


Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (Chief Scout, London, UK)

Date of Creation


Learn A Continuation:

to the next page: Stalking

Back in The Past:

to the previous page: Patrol Practices In Deduction

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