By Allison Sanders

Are you a fan of mystery stories? Some of the very best of that genre appear now and then in the classified-ad pages of newspapers. Consider this one:

"LOST, black billfold and trousers. No questions asked. Might be found separately. Liberal reward for either."

Ah, what piquant speculations that ad invites! Was the bereft owner some foreign spy surprised at work by the FBI? Did he jettison his trousers in the interest of a speedier getaway?

A jittery Don Juan fleeing the sudden sound of footsteps on the porch, of a key in lock?

An absent-minded burglar so elated at finding milady's jewels in the wall safe that he walked away without his trousers? (He had removed them, of course, the better to climb the rose trellis outside the mansion's library window.)

Mystery piles upon mystery. There's no end to the possibilities, you see. But I wonder why the advertiser noted "No questions asked." It seems to me "No questions ANSWERED" would have been more to the point in this case.