Nancy Drew Solves Another One

Nancy Drew Solves Another One

 

By Elton Camp

 

(When my daughter was young, I often read her books in the Nancy Drew series.  This is intended in a spirit of fun only.  They were good for light reading to girls and even as a middle-aged father, I enjoyed them.  This is a light spoof of certain strange or predictable elements of those stories.  If you have never read the books, you won’t understand this at all.)

 

 

Nancy and her girl pal, George, emerged from Mrs. Grissom’s Tea House beside Lilac Inn.  Nancy observed with suspicion, “George, I think that dirty-looking man creeping up behind us is up to no good.”

 

“You really think so?” George responded. 

 

A shabbily-dressed man about 40 years old edged nearer the girls while trying to give the appearance that he was not interested in them.  A stubble of a beard and the odor of cigarette smoke made him even more odious as he passed alongside them.  Suddenly, he spun around and jerked Nancy’s purse from her hands and fled down the sidewalk.  It contained a mysterious letter that she had not yet read. 

 

“Stop thief!” Nancy commanded as she and George pursued the miscreant as he turned into an alley. 

 

Several feet into the dark, littered alley, the thief abruptly turned to face the girls. 

 

“You said stop and I have.  What now?” he demanded with a menacing sneer on his cruel face. 

 

“Uh, uh” Nancy muttered in confusion as she looked desperately at George for support.  “I wasn’t expecting this.”

 

The athletic short-haired George spit out, “We’ve said that to dozens of criminals and you’re the first one to obey.  I don’t think you have the concept of robbery down just right.”

 

“You two are coming with me,” the man ordered as he pulled a revolver from his side pocket and brandished it in the direction of the cowering detectives.  “And not a sound out of either of you.”

 

“I wish Ned Nickerson were here to sock that man,” Nancy whispered to her pal.  I know he’s enrolled at Emerson College and is captain of the football team, but he can always take time off anytime I need him.  That college must have the most liberal attendance policy in the nation.” 

 

The man forced the girls into the back seat of an old-model Buick sedan and raced away, leaving a trail of rubber and smoke.  Nobody on the crowded street seemed notice anything out of the ordinary in the incident.  Some distance into the country, after passing a haunted showboat, and crossing a haunted bridge, they spotted a sign that pointed toward Red Gate Farm.  He turned right into an unpaved road named Larkspur Lane which led by a circuitous path to a run-down, moss-covered mansion almost obscured by trees and untended shrubbery.  He brought the sedan to a sliding stop near the front steps.  A sign above the door read, “Blackwood Hall.” 

 

“Inside you go!” he commanded as he jerked open the rear door of the vehicle and pointed his weapon at the two sleuths.  “And thanks for riding all those miles and not jumping out of the car and running even when you have every reason to think I intend to kill you.”

 

The interior of the mansion had once been magnificent with soaring ceilings and ornate furniture, but the man glanced at an old clock.  “Some say there’s a secret in that clock, but I doubt it.”  On each side of the timepiece were twisted candles. 

 

Directing the girls toward a solid oak door at the end of the foyer, the man removed a large old key from his belt.  The door creaked ominously as it rotated inward. 

 

“Get moving!” he growled as he shoved the sleuths ahead of him into the dimly lit room.  With a laugh, he slammed the door behind them and locked it with a resounding click.  They heard his footsteps recede as he approached the house’s main exit.  The sound of his car roaring away told them that he had abandoned them to an unknown fate.

 

“What are we going to do?” George wailed. 

 

As Nancy’s eyes adjusted to the dim light, she saw a brass-bound trunk, but it proved to be empty.  The she noticed a shape on the floor a few feet from them.  “Look, George, what’s that,” she inquired.  A low moan revealed that it was another captive. 

 

Moving near the man, Nancy took out a small flashlight that she always kept concealed in her shoe and turned its beam onto the prone figure. 

 

“Dad!” she cried.  “What are you doing here?” 

 

Carson Drew, the famous lawyer, looked up at his daughter and replied, “Nancy, I’m sure glad to see you!  I’ve been kidnaped.  It turned out that the case you were working on is tied in with mine.  I can’t imagine such a coincidence, but the result is that all of us are in big trouble.” 

 

“Dad, you have been kidnaped more than anybody I ever heard of,” Nancy said kindly.  “You really must enroll in the Ace Detective School and learn how to avoid danger,” she continued.  “You never see me pushing foolishly into dangerous situations.”

 

The girls helped the middle-aged man to his feet.  He staggered unsteadily and rubbed the knot on the back of his head. 

 

“Don’t worry Dad, I’ll get us out even if it does take quite a bit of doing,” Nancy assured him.  “There must be some other exit from this room even if there are no windows.” 

 

“A shrew observation,” Carson Drew replied as he looked fondly at his 18-year-old daughter with the long blond hair.  “Every old house we’ve been involved with is full of secret doors and tunnels.  Why should this one be different?”

 

Opening a storage cabinet on the right wall, Nancy searched through the tightly-packed items.  At length she exclaimed, “This is just what we need.  What luck.” 

 

From the back of a lower drawer she extracted a battery-powered ultrasound device with a viewing screen. 

 

“This will locate any cavities behind the walls,” she said as she began moving the machine slowly along the rough wood of their prison.  “I only hope the battery is still charged enough to make it operate.  No doubt it’s been here, unused, for many years.”

 

After several attempts, a weak pinging sound announced a substantial space behind a recessed panel.  Immediately after the revelation, the battery died and the screen went dark. 

 

“This is it,” Nancy cried as she ran her hands over the board and immediately located the hidden trigger that would open it.  Nobody ever did a good job of concealing those things. 

 

As Nancy rotated a knob that was disguised as a screw, the secret door swung inward, revealing a hidden staircase with a crooked banister that led sharply downward into a dark tunnel.  Quickly Nancy and George aided the still-groggy attorney into the passageway that wound on for some miles. 

 

“It sure would have taken a lot less digging if this tunnel had been made straight,” George exclaimed.  “Somebody must have enjoyed manual labor.” 

 

Finally, the passage turned sharply upward before terminating at a second door that was set into a brick wall.  Shoving it outward, the trio emerged into a brightly-lit room to hear a mixture of voices and ringing telephones. 

 

“Nancy Drew,” what are you doing here, Chief McGinnis exclaimed with surprise as he motioned for other officers of the Riverview police force to help the unexpected visitors to find seats. 

 

Nancy quickly filled the chief in on their recent exploits as he listened in amazement. 

 

“To think that we have used this station all these years and never discovered the significance of that doorway” he exclaimed in admiration.  “I had just assumed that it was a closet.  What a wonderful detective you are, Nancy.  We will see that those criminals are arrested and put away for a long time.” 

 

To assist the offices in making the arrest, Nancy took out a set of colored crayons she always carried with her and quickly made a sketch of the lawbreaker.  Fortunately, the man had returned her purse before locking them in the room. 

 

The chief drove Nancy, George and Mr. Drew to Nancy’s sporty convertible which was parked outside the tea house and the three sped to the attorney’s home.  Hannah Guren met them at the door with a worried look on her face.  “I see that you have been taking risks again, but never fear.  Although I had no idea when you’d return, it just so happens that I have a hot meal and fresh apple pie all ready on the dining room table.  Sit down and eat while you tell me all about it.” 

 

“Oh, we can’t eat until we call Bess to come over,” Nancy protested. “She just enjoys a feast too much to leave her out!”

 

Learning that food was on the agenda, the stout girl rushed over and quickly began devouring a huge plate of choice selections.  “I’d have been too scared to confront those criminals,” she remarked as she took a big bite of pie. “I’m a little surprised that you girls keep involving me in your adventures since I’m such a coward.” 

 

“I have another mystery for you girls to work on,” Carson Drew explained.  “As long as you all make it to Gambia in Africa by next week.” 

 

“Oh, of course,” George and Bess replied.  “Although we are through high school, don’t attend college, and don’t have jobs, we always have scads of money. It’s never a problem for us to make any trip even on short notice.  When do we leave?” 

 

Carson Drew never hesitated to allow his teenage daughter, his only child, to be exposed to extreme danger.  He smiled, knowing that it wouldn’t be long before Nancy’s cunning would be tested to the limit as the girl sleuths took on the Case of the Howling Monkey. 


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Synopsis
A spoof of certain elements of the Nancy Drew stories.
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