Today, I performed a handwriting analysis on the mysterious present I received from Ellen on the day after my birthday. I'd put pictures up here, but I don't have a camera. There were three handwriting samples in all:
Sample 1: Message on the card. Written in pen. Written in precise strokes.
Sample 2: The "To Michael From Ellen" written in a blue Sharpee on the side of the plastic bag. Written in precise strokes, and it is rather faded.
Sample 3: The M. GRAY written in black Sharpee on top of the plastic bag after it was taped together. Very sloppy, with several smudge marks, with the letters traced over several times.
Sample #1 matches Sample #2. Sample #3 doesn't match--the letters are too loopy. That is, the "M" in "Michael" is spelled with straight lines in #1 and #2, but in #3, "M" is spelled like two upside-down "U"'s. Same thing with some of the other letters.
Conclusion: There were two different authors. Ellen wrote the card, and wrote "To Michael From Ellen". Somebody else later designated it as specifically for M. GRAY Michael. Aha!
This turned out to be the clue that broke the case. But before I explain everything, I think I'll give you readers a chance to solve the mystery. Can you figure out what happened? What conclusions can be drawn from the fact that two people wrote labels on the gift? Can you pull a Sherlock Holmes construct a reasonable chain of events that accounts for everything that happened?