[identity profile] banerry.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] whatnancysaid
One of the main plotlines in this book is known as "the mystery of the explosive oranges". Yeah.

"On the table next to [Carson Drew] were a pad and pencil. Figures, letters, and symbols were scrawled on the top sheet.
Nancy stopped beside his chair. 'Crossword puzzle?' asked the reddish-blond haired girl.
Mr. Drew, a tall, good-looking man, glanced up at his attractive eighteen-year-old daughter
on: "You have no idea how happy I am that you're finally legal, sweetie."
and smiled. 'No, it's not a crossword puzzle. Actually it's a message in a personal column from this Florida newspaper.'
Carson: "... What? Don't give me that look! Your mother's been dead for fifteen years, okay?"
'A personal?' Nancy repeated.
Carson: "A personal."
Nancy: "A personal?"
Carson: "A personal."
'But why are you making all these hieroglyphics on the pad?'" (page 1)
Carson: "Queen Nefertiti deserves love too, dear."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"[Nancy] asked, 'Dad, are you busy on a regular case or one with a mystery?'
Nancy: "Remember-- if it's the latter, I have the right to commandeer it!"
Mr. Drew laughed. 'A case with a mystery. I sent to Florida for newspapers of several weeks back, thinking I might pick up a clue from them.'" (page 2)
Carson: "... It's been a slow week at the office, in case you couldn't tell."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"As [Nancy] leaned across the table to show [the code she had cracked ridiculously quickly] to her father, they heard a terrific crash directly in front of the house.
'Oh!' said Nancy. 'A car accident!'" (page 3)
Nancy: *sigh* It's probably just Ned again... that's the third time this week!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Mr. Drew followed [Nancy] through the spacious hall
Just in case you didn't already know that they were rich, here's the narrator reminding you as soon as humanly possible!
and outside into the autumn night. They could vaguely see two cars locked together.
Narrator: "As if in the throes of passion."
The Drews raced down their curving driveway to the street.
Nancy and her father were appalled by what they saw. One car had smashed through the hood of the other. The lone occupant, a man, was slumped over the steering wheel, unconscious.
Looking into the other car, Nancy exclaimed, 'Bess! George!'" (page 4)
D'oh, women drivers!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Girls, how dreadful!' Nancy cried out. 'We'll get you into the house right away and call a doctor.'" (page 4)
Bess: "Hey, maybe we should get someone for that unconscious g--"
Nancy: "No."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"When the others entered the house, the cousins greeted Dr. Clifford with hugs. He had brought them both into the world
and they were both very fond of him.
Whoever cuts your umbilical cord shares a bond with you for life.
The doctor chuckled. 'You girls don't seem very sick,' he said, 'but let me examine you.' Mr. Drew left the room. In a few minutes the physician said, 'No broken bones or sprains. Nevertheless, it's bed for you, Bess and George, as soon as the police talk with you. I'd say go now, but I suppose the law has to come first!'" (page 7)
Dr. Clifford: "And no lying to the cops, now-- remember, I brought you into this world, so i can take you out of it!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Nancy, what was it you were going to tell me last night about the coded messages?' [Carson] asked.
'I think I've figured out the first one you showed me. The message in it is, "Son wishes money".'
'It could be,' her father agreed. 'What method were you using?'
His daughter smiled. 'Words 1, 5, 9, and 13.'
The other girls were intensely interested.
Bess had picked up the second personal and tried to make sense out of it.
Narrator; "As usual, she failed."
She wrinkled her forehead. 'What in the world does "Natural antidote special asthma" mean?'
'Nothing,' Nancy replied, 'but how about using only the first letters of those words?'
George exclaimed, 'They spell NASA!'" (page 8)
Carson: "... You're pulling this all out of your ass, aren't you?"
Nancy: "Yep, pretty much."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy watched her father's face carefully as he stared out the window. She knew he was trying to make up his mind about something important.
Carson: "Hmmm... boxers, briefs, or commando today?"
Finally he turned toward his daughter.
Carson: "You can't tell when I'm not wearing any underwear, can you?"
'I could use some help in solving the mystery of the explosive oranges.'
'And,' Nancy said hopefully. 'you think I might be able to help?'" (page 10)
Carson: "Good god, no. Bess, would you like to come along?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"First [George] told her father about the accident and the wrecked car. 'But Bess and I are okay.'
'It's too bad
Mr. Fayne: "... that you weren't killed."
about the car, but I'm glad you and Bess weren't hurt,'
he replied. 'George, report the damage immediately to our insurance agent, Mr. Dowley.'" (page 12)
Mr. Fayne: "And report the license number of the guy who did it to our hitman."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"It was decided that the group would have an early lunch at the Drews' and leave [for Florida] immediately afterward. While they were eating, the telephone rang. Nancy answered it.
The others heard her exclaim, 'Ned!
Nancy: "... And we were just about to make a break for the airport without you. Great."
How good to hear from you. Where are you?'
Ned: "Under your bed."
From there on Ned did most of the talking.
Oh sure, because Nancy allowed him to. Come on, ghostwriters; we know who wears the pants.

He was an attractive Emerson College football player who dated Nancy exclusively.
She, however, picks up at least one new boytoy every book.

When she came back to the table, her eyes were sparkling. 'Great news!' she announced. 'You know Ned's parents have had a house on Merritt Island for some time.
Mr. and Mrs. Nickerson are there right now and they're going to have a house party. Bess and George, you're invited, as well as myself, and Ned will bring Burt and Dave along.'
Burt Eddleton and Dave Evans were George's and Bess's favorite dates. They, too, went to Emerson College.
Narrator: "They, too, dated the Bess and George exclusively while the girls were free to flirt around with every attractive boy they met while on cases with Nancy."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"On the way to the local airport, Mr. Drew said they had a choice of flying either to Orlando or Melbourne,
Narrator: "... Australia."
Florida. 'Melbourne is a little closer to Merritt Island so I've chosen that one.'" (page 13-14)
Nancy: "But... but... Disney World!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'As [a couple] approached the visitors, the man said, 'We are the Resardos. Where have you been?'
Mr. Drew looked directly at Tina. 'Exactly where I asked you to meet us.'
The woman rolled her eyes toward her husband but did not speak. He said angrily, 'You told my wife we were to meet you at Orlando but you weren't there.'
'I told her Melbourne,' Mr. Drew replied, 'but never mind. Just let us into the house, please. How much time do we have to unpack before dinner?'
Antin glared at the newcomers. 'My wife has a bad headache and must lie down. You people will have to get your own dinner.'" (page 15)
Oh no, these servants have attitude! Nancy will explode from the pressure of having to do her own housework for a change.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"When the meal was ready, Antin walked in. Without saying a word, he took one of the plates warming on the stove and helped himself to a very generous portion of everything." (page 16)
Antin: "Now you know how your servants feel, punks."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy jumped up and went out to look at the pie. The portion that was left, if cut into five slices, would give each person a piece one-inch wide!
... Is that considered small? I usually don't eat slices of cake that are bigger than that.
'That man is the limit,' she complained to Hannah, who had followed her.
Nancy: "Do something about him! That's, like, totally an order!"
'He certainly is,' the housekeeper agreed. 'and I suppose he expects me to wash his dirty dishes.'" (page 17)
Nancy: "Yep-- and so do the rest of us!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"[Nancy] began to feel the tree trunks, saying to herself, 'We came north and that would be the roughest side of the tree.'" (page 20)
... Wait. What.
"Presently she found the south side and said, 'Follow me!'
The trees, though planted in straight rows, were not in lines parallel to the compass. Nancy felt the bark of each tree she came to and kept veering slightly eastward. In a little while the lights of the Billington house came into view.
Yeah, I'm... not going to buy any of that, if it's all right with you, Ms. Keene.
'You did it!' George praised her friend.
Nancy laughed. 'I played the leader this time
Nancy: "Okay, every time..."
but either of you could have found the way.'" (page 20)
Nancy: "After all, who doesn't know that trees are the roughest on the north side?"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"In low voices the group discussed the Resardos. While they had no proof the couple was dishonest, each of them had a feeling of mistrust." (page 21)
By Arizona state law, they are now officially permitted to detain the Resardos for questioning.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"There was a glass-partitioned office in one corner. On the desk stood a telephone!" (page 23)
How modern!
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"Nancy stood near the truck, gazing at the man who was lifting out the baskets.
Narrator: "She hadn't cheated on Ned in over three weeks, and she was getting desperate."
Suddenly one slipped from his hands and came tumbling directly toward Nancy's head!
Oh, no! Everyone knows an orange to the head is always fatal!
'Look out!' cried Bess behind her.
Fortunately Nancy had seen the basket and leaped out of the way. The fruit smashed to the ground. Her first thought was that the man had dropped it on purpose,

Paranoia, paranoia, everybody's coming to get me...
then she rationalized what possible purpose he could have in harming her?
Well, after reading such an awkwardly-phrased sentence, I kind of want to harm you, Nancy.
He did not apologize.
Nancy went inside and asked a workman his name.
Not knowing just wouldn't do-- fter all, if you're going to hold an eternal grudge against someone, you have to do it properly.

'It's Jackson,' he replied. 'We call him Old Clumsy Fingers.'" (page 24-25)
Workman: "He always drops stuff on nosy girls who get in the way of his work!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"The end of the garden was several feet above the water level and had a bulkhead to keep the soil from washing away. A boathouse extended into the river. Inside it was a sleek speedboat, the Starbeam." (page 25)
That sounds like a My Little Pony.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'What a beauty!' Bess cried out. 'But it looks powerful. Nancy, would you dare take it out?'
The young detective smiled. 'Of course.'
She made sure there was sufficient fuel and familiarized herself with the various gadgets. Her eyes twinkling, she said, 'Here goes!'
In a few seconds the motor was throbbing quietly

Note to self: do not read these books with the mind of a thirteen-year-old boy
. Ever.
and she steered the craft into the river. Twenty minutes later she pulled alongside a dock which bore the name Nickerson." (page 26)
And a subtitle: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here".
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Ned's mother was a very attractive woman. When greeting Nancy she showed the deep affection she held for the girl." (page 26)
Mrs. Nickerson: "I love the way you continually give my son false hope that someone would actually sleep with him!"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"The visitors were intrigued by the wide variety of trees and shrubs. Each had a plaque attached that gave its Latin botanical name and the English equivalent. Finally they came to the sausage tree.
It was about thirty feet tall with a profusion of leaves. From the branches hung greenish sausage-shaped fruit that resembled rough-textured melons. These were nearly six inches wide and twelve inches long.
Y'know, I think the author's having a bit too much fun describing this here.
George felt one.
George, don't bother-- nobody's going to believe you're not a lesbian, no matter how many dickfruits you feel.
'Wow! This would make a real swinging weapon!' The others laughed." (page 27)
No, seriously. What is this.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"The tree was near a high wire-mesh fence which looked strong enough to stop a large, fast-moving truck.
Do they expect a lot of large, fast-moving trucks to come crashing through a residential fence in rural Florida?
Bess remarked, 'That place next door sure is spooky with all those old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss.
Bess: "One could almost call it... a moss-covered mansion."
Who lives there?'
'I don't know,' Mrs. Nickerson replied.
At that moment a chilling scream came from inside the grounds!" (page 27)
Mrs. Nickerson: "Huh! Well, whoever they are, I guess they're being brutally murdered!"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"George said she was curious to find out what she could. 'If this fence doesn't go around the whole property, let's look for an opening and go in.'
Bess objected at once. 'Not me!'
Nancy settled the matter. 'Actually we don't have time,' she said." (page 28)
Yeah. I'm guessing whoever screamed doesn't have much time either, Ms. Ace Detective.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mr. Drew delved into a breast pocket of his sports jacket and pulled out an envelope. 'Surprise for you girls,' he announced.
He handed the envelope to Nancy. She opened it and took out six badges on which the word PRESS was printed.
Mr. Drew explained, 'As an accredited writer I was given badges at the news center for you and the boys to watch the moon shoot
The what?
next week.
Bess and George stared at Mr. Drew. 'You are an accredited writer?' Bess asked." (page 29)
Carson: "Well, one of my aliases is!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy was impressed by the large number of European and Asiatic tourists who were [at the Kennedy Space Center].
Narrator: "Nancy really, really didn't get out much."
'The Kennedy Space Center means a lot to the whole world,' she thought,
Especially communist Russia!
then walked up to the adjoining building to peer inside. There was a room with illuminated wall pictures of the various types of missiles." (page 30)
Oh, of course; she heads straight to the phallic symbols...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy asked [Hannah's relative Herb Baylor], 'Of course you know about the oranges containing explosives that were sent into the Base.'
'Yes, and I hear you're on Merritt Island to solve the mystery and clear Mr. Billington.' He smiled boyishly. 'I'll tell you a possible clue that I gave to Security.'
'Wonderful!' Nancy replied.
Nancy: "I LOVE coercing people into compromising national security for me!"
'What is it?'
Herb said he happened to be near the truck when it was leaving.
Herb: "After I dropped off the explosi-- I MEAN..."
'Part of a newspaper blew out. I picked it up and noticed a pencil-ringed personal. It was a garble of words that made no sense.
'What did it say?'
Herb replied, '"Son on board ship ready to be sailor for peaceful kind of action"'." (page 34)
"Peaceful kind of action"? Well, that definitely can't have anything to do with the government.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy dashed down the stairs.
All right, this has nothing to do with anything, but I'd really like to know why Firefox's spellcheck is trying to tell me that "dashed" isn't a word.
'Every photograph has been taken!' she exclaimed. 'I'm sure they were stolen to use as identification of us because we're trying to solve the mystery of the explosive oranges!'" (page 36)
No matter how many times they use that phrase, it will not stop being funny.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"George said angrily, 'Nobody has been in this house. We locked all the doors and windows before we left and they were still locked when we came home. I'm sure the Resardos took those pictures!'
Everyone agreed but Mr. Drew warned them that they had no evidence to prove this.
Carson: "After all, 'guilty until proven innocent' only holds water if you're  Swedish."
'Why don't we search their room?' George asked.
Before anybody could stop her, she bounded up the stairway to the couple's quarters." (page 37-38)
Carson: "... But illegal searches are okay no matter what ethnicity you are!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"When Mr. Drew explained, Antin declared he knew nothing about the pictures.
Tina spoke up. 'I don't either. Are you accusing us of taking them?' She began to laugh raucously. 'What would we want with photographs of you people?'" (page 38-39)
What would anyone want with photographs of them?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"When Mr. Drew came down, Nancy said, 'Dad, I haven't had a chance to tell you about a darling house that's for sale.' She described the Webster property.
He smiled at her enthusiasm. 'I'll look at it,' he said. 'I can see you've fallen in love with the place.'" (page 40)
Carson: "Just remember there's a depression going on, dear; we simply can't afford more than three or four extra houses."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"To take her mind off the unpleasant incident [of Bess almost being bitten by an alligator], Nancy said, 'As soon as you change your clothes, Bess, let's go see the real-estate agent who is handling the sale of the Webster house. I want to look at the inside. After that we'll work on the explosive orange mystery.'
Nancy: "You guys are always
comforted by my obsessive one-track mind, right?"
'Good idea,' said George. 'Who is the realtor?'
'Mr. Scarlett.'" (page 42)
Nancy: "His daughter murdered Mr. Boddy in my last game of Clue, the bitch."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Nancy parked and they walked up to the one-story building, then stopped short. A sign tacked to the door read:
Nancy: "And now they're trying to run? Come on, girls; if we round up Mr. Green and Colonel Mustard and all the rest, we might just be able to catch them before they reach Mexico!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy laughed. 'I was just thinking that if I call Dad's friend Commander Nichol at the Base he'll give me the name of the guard who admitted the driver with the explosive oranges.'" (page 45)
Nancy: "I might have to threaten to tell his wife that we're sleeping together to get him to cooperate, but it's all for the cause."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"They learned that [Patrick Croft, the guard] was a bachelor and liked to cook." (page 46)
I think that's as close to "gay" as characters are allowed to get in these books.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Hannah produced the day's newspaper. She pointed out a personal. It read:
'Dorothy's son has just released trunk. It is empty. Advise at once where to find contents.'
Man, why don't any of our local newspapers have such interesting and mysterious personal ads?
Immediately the three girls read words numbered 1, 5, 9, 13. These said, 'Dorothy's released empty where.'
Of course! It's all so clear now!
Bess said, 'They don't make sense.'
Hannah was eager to tell her clue. 'But put the first letters of those words together,' she said. 'They spell Drew.'
'Wow!' George exclaimed. 'What could this possibly mean?'" (page 49)
George: "Now, let's all think for a moment: do we know anyone named Drew?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"George said, 'Bess, you know as well as I do that the thrust of a hundred-thousand-pound rocket couldn't force Nancy to give up this case.'
... Is that a euphemism for something, George?
Nancy smiled.
Nancy: "Guys, I don't know what kinds of things Ned has been telling you about his performance-- but trust me, it is not that impressive."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Hannah Gruen reminded the girls that dinner was ready. 'The meat will be spoiled if you don't eat it now.'" (page 50)
Hannah: "After all, I had it sitting out on the counter for a few days before serving it."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy had just put down the phone when it rang. The voice on the other end said,
Voice: "Cactus?"
'Well, I'm glad
i got you at last. I've been trying for hours to get hold of you.'
'Hi, Ned!' Nancy said." (page 51)
Nancy: "Just what, exactly, have you been telling Bess and George about your, uh, 'rocket power'?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"The girls were giggling when Hannah returned. Bess teased her. 'Did Herb want to make a date to take you up in a rocket?'
George: "Ohhhhhhh yeah baby, hundred-thousand-pound thrust."
The housekeeper flushed slightly but joined in the banter. 'Don't think I didn't catch on. He wanted to see you girls!'" (page 52)
Hannah: "I always knew he was a pervert."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy hung up, waited a few minutes for the connection to be broken,
Ahhhh, 1930s phones.
then called police headquarters." (page 54)
Just wait until speed-dial is invented. Her fingers will thank her.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Come with me, miss,' said the officer, and added, 'My name is Regan.'
Regan: "People tell me I used to be the president, but I'm not sure I believe them."
He led the way back into the house, then took a notebook and pencil from a pocket. 'Tell me everything you can,' he said. 'Sometimes a small detail that the average person considers unimportant can prove to be a valuable clue.'
Nancy knew this very well from her own sleuthing experiences.
Narrator: "And from watching Criminal Minds."
She introduced herself and told where she was from,

Regan: "Oh God, you're the one River Heights sent out that warning bulletin about, aren't you?!"
then said, 'Mr. Croft was a security guard at NASA. He's the one responsible for allowing the truck with explosive oranges to come onto the Base.'
'Oh you know about that,' the officer replied.
Nancy: "Sure! You didn't think you guys would actually have more knowledge and experience than me, did you?"
Nancy nodded, then related Patrick Croft's telephone conversation verbatim." (page 55)
... Has she always had a photographic memory, or is this new?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Regan told [Nancy] that there was only one set of clear footprints but this was not a help in identification because the intruder had worn flippers.
The word flippers caught Nancy's attention and remarked, 'The man you'll be looking for could be a snorkeler.'
Because snorkelers dress in their wet gear all the time.
'You're right,' Regan admitted.
Regan: "Daytime crime show-viewers win again."
Then he asked, 'By the way, have you and your friends visited the Real Eight Museum of Sunken Treasure yet?'" (page 56)
Regan: "Enough of this crime business; let's talk about sightseeing!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"[Regan] escorted Nancy outside. His fellow officer produced a padlock for the broken front door and pocketed the key." (page 56)
Narrator: "Nancy used her carefully-honed pickpocketing skills to steal it roughly three seconds later."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Hannah and the girls started home. On the way Nancy said she felt largely responsible for what had happened to Croft.
Hannah asked, "How could you possibly be responsible?'" (page 57)
Nancy: "Because I'm supposed to be a
good and humble character who attempts to shoulder any and all blame, no matter how unrelated, in an effort to make my friends comfort and praise me even more than they already do?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Antin gave a start, then suddenly his face flushed with anger and he glared at the young detective.
'You little sneak!' he yelled.
The next second he grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her so hard Nancy felt as if her head would snap off." (page 60)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'[Tina Resardo's] right,' Antin burst out. 'Between all the extra work and you people practically accusing us of being crooks, I think Tina and I will move to a motel until you go home.'
Hannah and the girls looked at one another. It would be a great relief to have the unpleasant Resardos out of the house. But if the couple stayed, they could be kept under surveillance.
... You know, I'm having trouble siding with the people the author wants us to here.
Antin went on, 'You think I had something to do with those explosive oranges. Well I didn't, and I gave the FBI an airtight alibi about where I was the day it happened.'
Nancy did not like the man's defensive attitude. She knew that guilty people often play the part of aggrieved persons, trying to cover up the truth. Was this the case with the Resardos?
You know who also plays the part of an aggrieved person? An innocent who is falsely accused.
Again Hannah spoke up. 'I'm glad we had this talk,' she said. 'Tina and Antin, I'm sure Mr. Billington would be very hurt if you leave and he might even decide not to let you come back.'" (page 62-63)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"[Nancy] knocked on the closed door [of Mr. Scarlett's real estate office]. A voice said, 'Come in!'
As Nancy walked in, she said, 'Good morning. I'm Nancy Drew.'
'Oh yes. Mrs. Nickerson left me a note you might come. Why did you?'
'To have you show me the interior of the Webster house,' she answered. 
Nancy: "It's not like you people require appointments or anything, right?"
The realtor scowled. 'Don't you know I'm on vacation?'
'Your sign said so, but you seem to be right here, the young detective replied with a smile.
Nancy: "So clearly, it's your duty to serve me and my smugness even on your off-time!"
'Well, I am on vacation. There were certain papers in my files I had to pick up.'
Nancy pretended not to notice he was trying to evade her.
Because that always works so well.
She said pleasantly, 
I think the word you're looking for here might be "passive-aggressively".
'I'm lucky to have found you. If you can't show me and my friends the Webster house, then,
Nancy: "I'll kill you!"
since you know the Nickersons, will you please lend me the key? I'll return it through your mail slot, unless my father decides he wants to buy the place. In that case I'll keep the key.'
Yeah. I am 100% positive that that is not how it works.
'You'll do nothing of the sort,' Mr. Scarlett said unpleasantly.
 Nancy: "YES I WILL!" *stamps feet*
'The house is not for you. You wouldn't like it and there are lots of things the matter with the place.'" (66)
Top-notch realty work, right there.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Suddenly [Nancy, Bess, and George] were startled by the same chilling scream they had heard when looking over the grounds with Mrs. Nickerson. 
'There it is again!' Bess murmured. 'Ugh! I wouldn't want to live here with that gross thing next door.'" (page 68)
Bess: "Abused child, battered spouse, tortured kidnap victim... whatever it is that would scream like that, it's just icky!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

'No, Bess,' said Nancy. 'If Dad decides to buy this place, we must know what's going on next door.'" (page 69)
Nancy: "But if Dad doesn't end up buying it, then I really couldn't care less."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"A group of large African animals was galloping among the trees toward the girls. Roars, growls, and hisses filled the air. The big beasts, having scented the newcomers, pawed and clamored at the fence to get at them. A huge black leopard eyed the intruders, then began to climb the steel mesh."
Bess screamed and cried, 'Look out, George!' Her cousin stood by the fence, fascinated, as Bess ran." (page 71)
She'll deserve that Darwin Award.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"George said nothing, but Nancy asked, 'Why do you have such dangerous animals here?'
'I train them to sell them to a circus.'
The young detective was surprised to hear this. She knew that few circuses owned the animas which are shown. They belong to the trainers who perform with them."
'What circus do you sell them to?' she queried. 
Once more the big man stared at the girl until his eyes were only slits. Finally he opened them wide and said, 'Tripp Brothers.'" (page 71-72)
I'm sure that description was supposed to sound intimidating or something, but really, I just found it kind of hilarious.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"After they had traversed the full distance to where the fence turned, Nancy looked over her shoulder. The trainer was gone. She said eagerly, 'Let's turn around and follow this side to find out what we can.'
'Oh, please don't!' Bess begged. 'Those animals may come after us again and the leopard jump over the fence!' 
'I'm willing to take that chance.'" (page 72)
Nancy: "I refuse to let George be the only Darwin contender this year!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy suddenly pulled back and bumped against George. The others looked to see what had startled her. A snake had begun to unwind itself from a tree branch and was trying to reach Nancy with its forked tongue!" (page 75-76)
I have never actually known a snake to try and lick people.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"In a few moments the girls came to a small orange grove. As they hurried through it, Bess picked one of the luscious-looking fruit and put it into her pocket.
It exploded.
'In case I get hungry,' she explained to the others." (page 76)
Surprise, surprise!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"[Bess] pulled the orange from her pocket, and told Hannah she had taken it from a tree at the strange house.
'This isn't the same kind as Mr. Billington's,' Bess said. 'Do you suppose it's a Hamlin, the same as the oranges that were delivered to the Space Center?'
The thought intrigued Nancy. On a bookshelf she had noticed a volume marked Oranges and went to go get it." (page 78-79)
I'm surprised she's not an expert who knows all the different kinds by heart.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Nancy, a very odd note was left under my office door. Maybe you can figure it out. This is what it says:
"Can a mouse with a brain of jelly capture a lion with nerves of steel?"'
'How strange! Nancy remarked.
Nancy: "Purple prose!"
'Would you mind repeating it?'
Nancy: "My steel-trap mind is feeling a little jelly-like right now, you see."
Mr. Datsun read it again and Nancy quickly wrote down the words and read those numbered 1, 5, 9, 13. Neither the words nor the first letters of them made any sense.
I don't know, I think "Can a capture nerves" makes just as much sense as some of the other messages she's found in this book.
'Are you still there?' Mr. Datsun asked. 
'I'm sorry,' said Nancy. 'I was trying to see if there might be a code in this message. I think not. But it occurs to me that it could have been written by some sarcastic person interested in the case of the explosive oranges. The message might imply that you and my father are as helpless as a mouse against a lion.'
Noooooo. Really?
'That's a very good guess,' the lawyer remarked.
Mr. Datsun: "Humor her... humor her..."
Nancy went on, 'Whoever the lion is, we'll catch him!'" (page 81) 
Nancy: "We jelly-brains always win in the end!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"After the conversation ended, Nancy continued to think about the message. She suddenly remembered the lion at the moss-covered mansion.
Yeah, that's an easy thing to forget about at first.
Suppose that by some chance this was the beast referred to in the mysterious note!
Nancy, you need to learn what a metaphor is.
It could mean that the strange setup of the animal enclosure and the odd behavior of Mr. Scarlett are connected with the explosive oranges!
Are you... serious.
'It would explain why the girls and I aren't wanted at the Webster house,' Nancy told herself. (page 81-82)
And, once again, Nancy manages to neatly connect everyone who has ever wronged her to the mystery of the week.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"When they caught up to George and Hannah, Nancy told them at the firemen were coming. She rushed up to a burly picker and asked how she could help.
'You're a girl,' he said. 'What can you do?'
Nancy was angry. 
Nancy: I'm the only one allowed to be comically sexist in these books!"
She turned away. There was nothing she could do to save the orange packing house which was now a mass of flames,
Nancy: "Oh, curse my hinderance of a vagina!"
but she might be able to do something to preserve the trees. She ran over to Tina, who was sobbing, and asked her. (page 83)
Tina: "You're a girl. What can you do?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"In a short while two of the firemen came into the grove dragging a large hose. Suddenly they realized that the trees were already being hosed, and were astounded to see the job being done by three girls.
What is this, a 1930s PSA?
'Good work!' said one. (page 84)
Fireman: "We'll be going home now. Bye!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"The partially burned newspaper which Nancy showed to Bess and George was a copy of the edition which held the name Drew in the code message.
'It's ringed with red crayon!' Bess burst out. 'What does that mean?'
Someone let their three-year-old play with some scrap paper?
George made a guess. 'I think the person who set the fire is a member of some gang out to ruin Mr. Billington's reputation and business. He's worried because Mr. Drew and Nancy have been brought in to solve the mystery.'
George: "Guys, I think we might be dealing with a baby genius here."
Nancy agreed. 'We have very few clues,' she said, 'and everything seems to be so disconnected.
Yeah, see, that's what happens when you pull everything out of your ass.
What we must do is find a motive for the whole thing.'" (page 87)
That might have been a good thing to start out with, actually.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Tina was fearful of the house being set on fire but Antin shrugged off the idea.
'What reason would anyone have for doing such a thing?' he asked Nancy.
She replied, 'What reason would anyone have for burning down the packing house and setting fires in the grove?'
As she spoke, Nancy watched the caretaker's face intently. He showed no change of expression.
Nancy thought, 'He certainly is a strange person.'" (page 88)
Right, Nancy, he's the one that's strange. Juuuuuuust keep telling yourself that.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Nancy was more convinced than ever that Fortin [the owner of the moss-covered mansion] was in back of the move to keep the Drews from buying the Webster house. He might have found out she was an amateur detective and did not want her so close." (page 97)
It always amazes me how much pull she thinks she has because of her "hobby".

... Then again. it amazes me how much pull she does have because of her hobby, so...
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Bess spoke up. 'You'd better forget it, Nancy. We came down here to solve the mystery of the explosive oranges. Why don't we forget that place with the wild animals and go hunting for Hamlin orange groves as George suggested?'" (page 97)
Oh, that sounds thrilling. 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"I promise to keep my eyes open,' Nancy told her friend." (page 103)
Nancy: "I'll wear no disguise for you; I'll come into the open."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Bess said no more but Hannah Gruen did. She was inclined to agree with Bess. 'I know Mr. Wilcox will be with you, but what protection would he be against an angry lion?'
When Mr. Drew and Mr. Billington heard what the plan was, they took a different attitude.
Both were sure Nancy could not be harmed if Wilcox was with her.
Mr. Drew: "He does moonlight as Superman, after all."
The lawyer added, 'I know you will keep alert, Nancy, and look in all directions at once.'" (page 104)
Mr. Drew: "Or at least, you would, if it were physically possible."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"[Carson] chuckled, then said that he and Mr. Billington were going out
GASP! With no build-up or UST?!
to have dinner with Mr. Datsun. 
'See you in the morning,' he told the others and the two men set off.
Narrator: "Eager to be on their way to their date, and then their all-night threesome."
"The three girls went up to Nancy's room to help her pick out the outfit she would wear the following morning. the choice was a white dress and shoes." (page 104)
Aw, she's getting married!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Wilcox had already started walking around the basement which contained nothing but old furniture and piles of rubbish thrown against the walls. This seemed odd to Nancy. The Public Health officer did not act as if he suspected anything. 
Fortin asked, 'Well, are you satisfied now with your inspection?'
Wilcox looked stern. 'I don't think much of your housekeeping,' he replied. 'Please see that the trash is cleaned out of here.'" (page 112)
Boy, this guy would faint if he ever looked in our basement.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Fortin said sarcastically, 'Listen, miss, you're delaying my work. Please go at once.'" (page 114)
I'm pretty sure the ghostwriters have no idea what the word "sarcastic" means.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


What Nancy Said

April 2012


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