[identity profile] banerry.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] whatnancysaid

Nancy joins Ned's cousin at an archaelogical dig, where she spends most of the time chopping down old, hollow oak trees in search of treasure markers buried beneath the bark. Oh, and she encounters a homicidal goat, too. You know you want to read this book.

"'Nancy,' said the voice on the telephone, 'you are wanted in New York City!'
Nancy: "Oh God, they found out about the jewelry heist..."
The eighteen-year-old girl detective looked a bit startled. Was this a joke? Or true? 'Why, Aunt Eloise, what for?'" (page 1)
Eloise: "To come visit me at the Plaza, of course!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy's pulse quickened. She was only an amateur detective. How could she possibly assist a man with professional training and ability in capturing criminals?" (page 2)
*sigh* She gets all self-conscious and modest at the worst possible times.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'It sounds interesting,' Nancy replied. 'I'll have to ask Dad if he has made any plans for me this weekend.'" (page 2)
Oh, Carson! You really should have told Nancy by now that being your daughter does not necessarily mean she has to play trained seal to your ringmaster. I mean, it was funny at first, but come on...
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Going into the Drew's cheerful living room,
Living Room: "Hi, there! How're things? May I take your coat?"
[Nancy] exclaimed, 'Well! The things that go on behind my back!'
Carson Drew, a prominent lawyer in River Heights where he and Nancy lived, glanced up from his paper." (page 2)
Carson: "If you're talking about me and Bess and what we may or may not have been doing in the coat closet last night,, I can explain."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Have you ever known me to turn down a mystery? Maybe Bess or George will drive me to the airport tomorrow.'
Oh, no, did she crash her car again?
Bess Marvin and her girl cousin 
Tarzan: "Me, ape-man, Tarzan. You, girl-cousin, George."
George Fayne were Nancy's
Narrator: "Lackeys."
closest friends
Nancy: "Okay, fine, only friends."
and she was eager to tell them about her latest assignment." (page 2-3)
They, on the other hand, probably screen their calls just to avoid talking to you, Nancy.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"By midafternoon [Nancy] was entering her aunt's apartment house. To Nancy's surprise the elevator was no longer manned. A self-service car had been installed." (page 3-4)
Nancy: "Unbelievable! Next they'll be expecting us to pump our own gas!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Now what am I going to do?' [Nancy] asked herself. 'Without power, there's no way of moving this car.'" (page 4)
So just climb through the trapdoor in the ceiling, Nancy. You did it in one of your computer games!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy decided to shout. 'Help!
Nancy: "I need somebody!"
Help!
Nancy: "Not just anybody!"
I'm stuck in the elevator!
It seemed to her like a very long time before there was any response. Then faintly she could hear a man's voice.
'I've been ringing for the elevator. There must be a power failure. Where are you?'" (page 4)
Nancy: "I'm on top of the Empire State Building. Where do you think I am, you dolt? I'm stuck. In. The. Freaking. Elevator!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"[Eloise] led [Nancy] to her apartment and introduced her to Boyce Osborne who had gone back.
'Call me Boycey, as everyone else does,' he said, shaking Nancy's hand.
Nancy: "Ummm... no. Ew."
The detective was of medium height. Although he was rugged looking, the man had a very kind face and Nancy thought his smile was enchanting. How different from many comic-strip detectives!
... Nancy, I hope you never actually say any of this stuff out loud.
'I'm looking forward to working with you,' Nancy said. 'Do tell me about the mystery we're to solve together.'
Boycey
*sigh* So I guess it's going to be that way throughout the rest of the book, huh? Lovely.
smiled. 'Not together,' he told her. 'You are going to solve it yourself.'
Nancy's eyes opened wide. 'Alone?' she asked." (page 7)
Nancy: "I've never done that before!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"After [Eloise] had left the room, Boycey Osborne selected a chair next to Nancy's. 'First I must tell you that a group of us detectives have a sort of club. We take our vacations together at the same time every year and compete with one another in solving a mystery.
Boycey: "We're sort of like the Chess Club of the detecting world."
Recently we returned from Illinois, defeated. When I told your aunt about it, she immidiately laughed and said,
Eloise: "You know, while you were off playing mystery games with your little friends, I was vacationing in the Caribbean."
"I'll bet my niece could find the message in the hollow oak."'
'The message in the hollow oak?' Nancy asked, puckering her forehead." (page 7-8)
Yes, Nancy, that is the name of the book. Good job!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'In the river country area around Cairo, Illinois, there is a certain legend about a French missionary from Canada named Père François. He is supposed to have hidden a message of great importance. He had been traveling from village to village, converting Algonquin Indians.
And we all know how well that usually goes over.
'Then suddenly the powerful Iroquois swarmed down and nearly annihilated them.'" (page 8)
I wonder why.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Boycey told [Nancy] that oaks are very sturdy trees and have been known to live for many centuries so it was not surprising to find one three hundred years old. 'By the way,' he added, 'the oak is the state tree of Illinois.'" (page 9)
Nancy: "Hmmm... you seem to know a lot about oak trees. You wouldn't happen to know what... blue pipes are, would you?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Aunt Eloise put down her forkful of roast beef and looked intently at her neice." (page 11)
The meaty suspense is killing me!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Perhaps you're right,' [Eloise] conceded. 'Anyway, it would be your father, Nancy, who would make the decision about your going.'" (page 11)
Nancy: "But... I'm eighteen..."
Eloise: "Nonsense! You're a woman! Your father will control your life!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'In the general area where this oak is there's a dig going on. It's under the auspices of the Archaeological Department of Paulson University and is open to students. THe name of their leader is Theresa Bancroft. The girls in the group are staying in a rented farmhou with Miss Bancroft. The boys live in another old house about half a mile away.
Boysey: "At least, that's what they tell their parents."
I'm sure the girls would let you room with them.'" (page 13)
Nancy: "Hmmm... do you think the boys would let me room with them?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"The following morning as Mr. Drew was about to leave for his office, he said, 'I'm sorry, but I feel you shouldn't be out there alone. Suppose
Carson: "You're mugged and then kidnapped and sold into slavery and forced to work in a sweatshop for the rest of your life until you're finally abducted by aliens at the age of thirty-nine!"
Miss Bancroft has no room for you!'
Nancy nodded and kissed him good-by.
Nancy: "Thanks for crushing my spirit and smothering my soul, Dad!"
After he had left and she had helped Hannah tidy the kitchen, the telephone rang.
She hurried to answer it and the next moment was saying,
Nancy: "Seriously, this is the third time the PLA has called my house this week. What is up with you people?"
 'Ned! It's so good to hear from you!'" (page 15)
Nancy: "I love how you always call just when I need to take advantage of you!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Nancy told [Ned] the whole story, concluding with her great disappointment at not being able to go to Illinois.
There was a moment of silence,
Let's all observe a moment of silence for Nancy's disappointment.
then Ned said,
Ned: *sigh* "Okay, fine, I'll go with you to Illinois, but only if you finally let me kiss you on the lips."
'Hold everything! I just had a brainstorm.'" (page 16)
Nancy: "Okay, I'll wait. How long do you think this is going to take?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Late that afternoon when Mr. Drew gave [Nancy] permission to go with Julie Anne, Nancy's spirits soared.
Two days went by before Julie Anne phoned Nancy. After introducing herself, she said, 
Julie Anne: "Yeah, there's no way in hell you're gonna stay with me."
'I think it's wonderful about your coming out to the dig.'" (page 16)
Julie: "You are going to work as hired help, right?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"By this time the plane was airborne and passengers had removed their seatbelts. The stewardess came down the aisle with magazines and Nancy took one, hoping to indicate to her annoying companion she preferred reading to conversation with him.'" (page 18)
Just remember this the next time the narrator makes a big point about how nice and friendly Nancy is, folks!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"The plane was traveling at high speed,
Noooo. Really? I mean, no joke at all?
and Nancy wished some unseen force would land it at once in St. Louis. Since this was not possible,
Our Nancy, ever the realist!
she decided to get up and walk back to the galley where she could hear preparations for luncheon being started." (page 18-19)
Because that's definitely allowed.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"The woman alongside Nancy awakened and greeted her in a friendly way. While the two ate, they discussed the weather and air travel in general." (page 20-21)
I don't suppose we're ever going to get an explanation for why this woman was deemed worthy of Nancy's attention, but the other guy was just being annoying when he tried to talk to her.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Actually,' said Julie Anne, 'I feel as if I know you and George and Bess and your friends Burt and Dave from Ned's descriptions.'" (page 22)
Julie Anne: "Bess is the fat one, right?"
Nancy: "Oh God, he told you about my book series, didn't he."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Smiling, the man said to Nancy, 'You know, you're a little fox. I thought you were coming back to your seat and have lunch with me.
Dude, that is horrible grammar. Just sayin'.
It was not until after you had left the plane that I found this.'
He reached into a coat pocket and pulled out a small picture of Mr. Drew. With a smirk, the man asked, 'Boy friend? Isn't he a little old for you?'
Well, I'm just glad I'm not the only one who thinks so.
Nancy was disgusted with the stranger's crude humor." (page 24)
Good thing she doesn't read this comm, then.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Julie Anne was a little ahead of Nancy and found herself separated from her companion by the other visitors. Suddenly the tall girl stopped short 
That play on words wasn't intentional, was it?
in amazement. Through the glass doors leading into the arch she saw Nancy coming toward her!
'But that's impossible,' Julie Anne told herself. 'How could Nancy have gotten into the arch before me and now be coming out?'
Julie, hon, I think soon you'll realize that bending the space-time continuum is not at all beyond the realm of possibility in these books.
But there was no mistaking that figure!
Meh, I'm sure Nancy isn't the only anorexic person in the St. Louis area.
It was Nancy approaching her on the other side of the glass doors. 'Nancy!' Julie Anne called and hurried forward.
Narrator: "Right into the glass- ouch!"
Nancy laughed. 'Here I am!' she answered. But her voice was coming from behind Julie Anne! 'I"m in back of you!'
Julie Anne turned. There was Nancy hurrying down the ramp. 'It's my reflection you saw,' she said." (page 27)
You know, even my dog can tell the difference between another dog and another dog's reflection. Just saying.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"The girls took a slow but thrilling ride to the top of the arch in a small, globe-shaped elevator. From there they had a breathtaking view of Illinois across the river. When they came down, the girls walked to the levee and visited a museum on an old paddle wheel steamer.
'Those river boats saw lots of good times, I guess,' Nancy remarked.
Julie Anne: "Well, yeah! Didn't you ever read Tom Sawyer?"
Afterward, the two ate dinner in a river steamer anchored nearby." (page 28)
You girls do realize that this is getting perilously close to a date, don't you?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Over dessert Julie Anne told Nancy that she had engaged 
Okay, if I have to hear another character in these books going on about their fiancé, I will put my head through the wall.
a helicopter pilot to take the two girls south the following morning directly to the dig. The hotel would pack a lunch." (page 28)
Because the hotel is their mom.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Julie Anne's college friends had heard the whirlybird coming and left their work to greet the newcomers. They were so warm and friendly that Nancy's instant reaction was, 'What a wonderful bunch of people!'" (page 29)
Not, "Oh God, look at all these idiots. Quick, someone give me a magazine so I don't have to talk to them!"?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"The object which had struck Nancy was not heavy and had not injured her." (page 31)
But we all know that if it had been heavy, it still wouldn't have injured her, right?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"One of the girls, Susan Miller, lighted a lantern and the whole group began to giggle. Then they asked one another how the goat had managed to enter the house. Though the front and rear doors of the farmhouse had been closed, they were not locked.
And we all know how good goats are with doorknobs.
'And our bedroom door is open,' added Julie Anne. 'My guess is that some of the boys played a joke on us.'" (page 31-32)
Pffft. Don't flatter yourself, hon.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"In the morning the boys arrived early, and Theresa held a short religious service before breakfast." (page 32)
Theresa: "Separation of church and state? What's that?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy had begun to believe [the boys when they told her they didn't put the goat in her room], and this brought a new worry to her mind. Was it possible that Kit Kadel had followed up his announcement that she and Julie Anne would be seeing him? It seemed to Nancy a logical conclusion.
Because I know that whenever I promise to come visit someone, I really mean that I'm going to steal a goat and let it into their room in the middle of the night.
If the man was determined to find the hollow oak with the message in it, and head learned she had solved many mysteries, it was highly possible he was nearby to spy on her.
Oh, so the goat was an informer?
He would try to intimidate her into leaving the area." (page 33)
... With a goat. Nancy, you do realize what you're saying here, don't you?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"The car was a very old four-passenger type with no top and had rather narrow wheels.
Nancy thought, 'This should be on exhibit in an antique car museum!'" (page 35)
Uh-huh. And who's the one with the 'light blue roadster convertible', Nancy?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"A few minutes later [Clem] turned off the road suddenly and started across a plowed field.
Farmer: "What the hell do you think you're doing?!"
The girls held on tightly. Clem pointed to his left. 
'See that little higher section with corn growin' on it? That was once a dig and they found plenty o' old Indian bones there.'
'It certainly doesn't look like much now,' Julie Anne remarked.
'That's right,' said Clem. 'Folks is funny. They make such a to-do about takin' care o' cemeteries but they sure ain't got no respect for the skeletons o' folks that lived around here three or four hundred years ago.'
And this is news how?
Nancy made no comment. She was deep in thought, recalling how carefully the Egyptians of thousands of years ago preserved their mummies." (page 36)
Nancy: "Oh, if this were two thousand years ago...!" 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Clem continued to drive through farms and woods. Once they forded a stream.
Years of experience with playing Oregon Trail tells me that caulking is usually much safer.
But he avoided taking any of the roads, although they had crossed several of them.
'Roads ain't much better'n the fields,' he explained with a grin." (page 37-38)
How to know if you are in the middle of nowhere, reason #256.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Clem produced a chisel from his car. He and Nancy took turns chipping and peeling off bark until they uncovered part of a lead plate.
A short time later the three searchers became aware of a helicopter circling overhead." (page 41)
Park Ranger: "Yes, we've got them in sight... they seem to be chopping up one of those 300-year-old oak trees. Shoot to kill, sir?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Clem said he would not be able to [drive Nancy around] for another three days and he did not know of anyone else who might take Nancy around on her search.
Clem: "Well, actually, I do... I just don't want to give them the business."
'Anyway,' said Julie Anne, 'I won't be able to leave the dig.'" (page 42)
Nancy: "Theresa has you pretty well whipped, doesn't she?"
Julie Anne: "... Shut up."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"... Nancy announced, 'I'd like to drive someplace to make a phone call. I forgot to ask Clem if he has a telephone.'" (page 44)
*snort* 'Fields make better roads than pavement' guy? Not likely.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'By the way,' Roscoe went on, 'Mr. Wilson was very curious about two girls and a man who were hacking at an oak tree. Was one of them you?'
'Yes,' Nancy admitted. 'Why did your passenger want to know what I was doing?'" (page 46)
Roscoe: "Well, the tree is on his property..."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'By the way, you can write or telephone me in care of Clem Ruckers at Walmsley. He'll bring the message over to the dig.'" (page 47)
Nancy: "Well, I'm assuming he will... I never really got around to asking him if he'd mind playing messenger boy for me."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"A short distance ahead a gray-haired man with a decided limp was approaching the building.
Mr. Wilson: "Dr. House?"
He had a full mustache and a chin beard." (page 48)
Mr. Wilson: "Never mind."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Mr. Wilson smiled. 'Aren't you the girl I saw hacking at a tree near the dig site?'
'Yes, I am,' Nancy said.
Nancy: "And proud of it!"
When she gave no explanation, he asked her why she was doing it. Nancy smiled and replied,
Nancy: "As if I'd tell you, pleeb."
'Just examining the oak.'" (page 48-49)
Nancy: "With my... axe..."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"At that moment Art roared up on his motorcycle. Nancy climbed aboard and they headed for the dig. Art asked her if she had learned anything. 
'Yes and no,' she replied. 'I talked with Mr. Wilson. I think he's Kit Kadle in disguise.'
Nancy: "And possibly Elvis."
'Whether he's Kit Kadle or Tom Wilson,' said Art, 'I advise you to forget him.'
Art: "If you know what's good for you, that is!"
Nancy: "Hmmm... maybe YOU'RE Kit Kadle!"
'Okay,' Nancy agreed. 'At least I won't talk about him.'
Art: "And if you think about him, I'll know!"
'Don't get the wrong idea,' Art said. 'I want to see you solve the mystery and I'd like to help but right now let's just enjoy this ride!'" (page 49)
Nancy: "Art, I told you- this is NOT a date."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'This oven just won't get hot,' [Julie Anne] complained. 'I'm afraid to turn the burners any higher for fear I might blow up the house!'" (page 49)
Nancy: "Oh, well there's your problem- you use the burners to light the stove, not the oven."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'What can I do to help?' Nancy asked Theresa.
'Dig,' she answered with a smile. Theresa handed Nancy a child-sized shovel,
Nancy: "Excuse me! I am eighteen."
a teaspoon, a fine sieve, and a camel's-hair dusting brush.
'Every ince of ground is important,' the leader said. 'You must work carefully in order not to discard anything worth saving.'" (page 50)
Nancy: "So, if I'm going to help a bunch of archaeology majors with a very important dig, shouldn't I recieve some kind of... training? Instruction? Anything?"
Theresa: "Nope."
Nancy: "... Okay."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"At once Claire Warwick spoke up. 'That's obviously a metatarsal bone, not a phalange.'
Claire: "Obviously. Gawd."
'Not a what?' asked Nancy." (page 51)
What, she hadn't just happened to have taken a human anatomy course before leaving on this trip? And conveniently been at the top of the class?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy found it hard to sleep. She could not keep her mind off the fact that Kit Kadle might show up at the farmhouse. If so, what would he try to do? She felt sure he was the one who had let the goat into the house. This time his mischief might cause serious harm." (page 53)
Yeah, he might upgrade to cattle or something.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Wilson was fleet-footed. He had gone straight up the road, but to the young people's amazement had outdistanced them. When they lost sight of him, Nancy stopped and put her ear to the ground.
Oh, who do you think you are, Aragorn?
'He's still on the road,' she reported, catching up to Art." (page 54)
Nancy: "And he has Merry and Pippin!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Nancy's not in her bed!' [Julie Anne] exclaimed.
Todd looked puzzled. 'I was just coming to report that Art's missing. I'm sure he wouldn't have left the farmhouse unguarded. Something strange must have happened, Julie Anne!"
Something queeeeeer is going onnnnn!
'They're probably together,' she said. 'I hope they're not in danger! Let's look for them.'" (page 55)
Because when a girl and a guy disappear together, it's always logical to jump right to mortal peril.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy and Art related what they had seen and their case after Tom Wilson. 'We had almost caught up with him when he jumped into a car and rode off,' Nancy explained.
'But I thought Tom Wilson was lame,' Julie Anne remarked." (page 56)
Nancy: "So? His coolness level doesn't exactly affect his running ability..."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"by this time Art had pulled the ladder from the excavation. It was crudely made of narrow tree branches from an oak." (page 56)
Nancy: "Dude, that's not why I was hacking up that tree."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy suggested that the whole affair should be reported to the State Police
Oh, come on- are the police in these books really deserving of capital letters?
in the morning, and offered to do it for Theresa." (page 56-57)
Nancy: "Theresa, I really think you should report your own underage affairs yourself, but if you're not willing..."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy thanked [Theresa] and kissed her." (page 57)
Nancy: "Now that I've reported your affair, you're available again, right?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"... Mr. Drew told his daughter that Ned Nickerso was very eager to get in touch with her.
Carson: "He thinks he can convince you to drop the suit."
'I suggest you call him.'
Carson: "Because you know how he gets when he's ignored."
Nancy did this, trying three different places where she thought Ned might be." (page 58)
Narrator: "The local bar, the River Heights Strip Club, and his favorite adult video store."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Well now, ain't that somethin'?' [Clem] said, removing his battered straw hat and scratching his head." (page 61)
Clem: "I'm a bit of a redneck. Have you noticed that yet?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(after Clem's car overturned whilst they were fording the river)
"'Sorry, ladies,' [Clem] said. 'I don't know what possessed this contraption. She just got stubborn. Been through here many times. But now when I have passengers, she starts to act up.'" (page 63)
Uh, Clem? The car doesn't have a personality, m'kay?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Well, I can't pick up a clue every time,' Nancy said to herself, and recrossed the stream.
Yeah, except you almost always do.
By this time Clem had dried off the motor and the many wires leading from it.
Clem: "An' I only got electrocuted a coupla times, too!"
Hopefully he climbed into the driver's seat and turned on the ignition." (page 65-66)
Yes, I hope he did, too.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Nancy, how would you like three hearty young men and two smart girls to join you?'
Nancy almost shouted for joy. 'You mean you and Burt and Dave and George and Bess
Nancy: "And Kristy and Claudia and Logan and Mallory..."
can come here?'" (page 67)
Ned: "No, Nancy, I said hearty men and smart girls. Not 'wimpy' and 'food-obsessed'." 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Come as soon as you can,' [Nancy] urged. 'Fly to St. Louis and take a helicopter from there.'" (page 68)
Yes, because that's always easy to do.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"[Art] had become glum, but replied, 'At any rate I'll like Bess and George.'
The remark amused Nancy, but as time went on and Art did not respond to her remarks as he usually did, she became puzzled. Then suddenly Nancy wondered, 'Could Art be jealous of Ned?'" (page 68-69)
I can't imagine why he would be.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"[Nancy] had caught sight of a crudely printed note propped up on the bureau. Her name was scrawled across the top. Underneath was a message:
'You will never find the right hollow oak. I have taken the message out of it and destroyed the tree. Now the treasure it told about will be mine! Ha! Ha!'" (page 72)
Note: "Signed, Voldemort."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"The whole group reiterated that they knew nothing about the strange message.
'Oh, Nancy,' Julie Anne burst out, 'it must have been that awful man or some pal of his!'" (page 74)
Like who, the goat?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Julie Anne, after thinking this over, said, 'I don't really believe what's in that note. If the person had really found the message and was on the track of a treasure, he wouldn't bother to tell you.
He would if he liked to gloat, and all good bad guys like to gloat.
I think he left the note to frighten you away.
When goats don't work, PAPER should do the trick!
If you don't leave, he may harm you.'" (page 74-75)
Seriously, Goat-Guy? Not likely.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"The skeleton was suspended from a rod which the boys had put up. Theresa was very much pleased and said it was one of the finest specimens ever to be uncovered.
Theresa: "Screw Lucy! Screw King Tut's tomb! Louis Leakey and Howard Carter should get a load of this."
'Any museum would be delighted to have this,' she remarked, 'but I'm glad it will be on exhibit at Paulson University.'" (page 75)
Theresa: "After all, who needs the Museum of Natural History when you have the Museum of Podunk, Illinois right in your own backyard?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Walking on tiptoe but quickly, Nancy came up to the skeleton. Someone was indeed carrying it!
'Put that down!' she ordered, reaching out to grab the bony figure." (page 77)
Narrator: "Unfortunately, she only succeeded in knocking the skeleton out of the thief's arms, causing it to hit the ground and shatter into hundreds of pieces. So much for 'one of the finest specimens ever to be uncovered'..."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"A torn piece of bright-patterned material had been stuck into the crotch of a tree near the path." (page 81)
Excuse me, the what of a tree? I've never heard it referred to as that before...
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Holding her hands binocular-fashion around her eyes, Nancy focused on the opposite bank and tried to detect possible footprints." (page 82)
Uh, Nancy, you do know that doing that won't actually magnify your vision, right?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'We must notify the State Police [of Bob's kidnapping],' Theresa remarked with mounting concern.
'I'll be glad to do it,' Nancy spoke up. 'That is, if Art will take me to town. And I want to phone home.'" (page 82)
Art: "Aw geez, I don't have time for this. Can't you get Elliot to do it?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'We'll look into this whole matter at once,' the officer promised. 'Men will come to the dig. And if you get any more clues, be sure to let us know.'
Nancy agreed to do this and said good-by. As she paused before making her next call, Art asked, 'Phoning your dad?'
Nancy shook her head.
Nancy: "God, no. Can you imagine what a freak-show that'd be?"
'I want to tell Ned about the arrangements for the towboat and barge trip.'
Nancy: "Screw Bob! We're still going on our vacation!"
Art walked off a little distance looking very glum. There was no doubt about it- he was jealous!" (page 83-84)
Art, really- once you meet the guy you'll learn there's nothing to be jealous about.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'I guess you're right, Hannah dear,' the young detective replied. 'All of us are terribly worried about Bob.'" (page 84-85)
Nancy: "So worried that we're going to be leaving on our boating trip as soon as possible!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"[Clem] disappeared inside the house but was back in a few seconds with Nancy's mail. She asked if he and Art would mind of she read them." (page 85)
Clem: "Absolutely not. I will not have you reading your mail, no sir!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"At that moment the glaring light was switched away from them and focused onto two fleeing figures. All the girls beamed their own flashlights and now could see Les who carried a powerful electric lantern. He made no attempt to dash after the men so Nancy hurried up to them.
Nancy: "Get the hell out there and do your job like a man, soldier!"
'Let's catch them!' she suggested, and started to run.
Nancy: "C'mon, it'll be fun!"
Les held her back. 'No, it's too dangerous.'" (page 89)
Les: "Besides, I am working for them, after all."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Forcing a smile, [Nancy] said to the others, 'Tomorrow morning I'll be leaving and all your worries will be over.'
'I'm glad to hear that,' Claire Warwick said. 'I mean, no offense, Nancy, but after all you're not an archaeology student and your detective work here has-' 
'That will be enough,' Theresa spoke up sharply. 'I suggest that all you girls go back to bed.'" (page 91)
Theresa: "After all, you're starting to make sense."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Julie Anne put an arm around Nancy. 'Don't let her worry you, dear. Nobody cares for Claire and I'm sure all the other girls like you.'" (page 91)
Julie Anne: "We all love how you attract all these goats and kidnappers and madmen! Honest!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 

"Nancy did not intend to mention her own danger, but Julie Anne blurted it out.
Roscoe's eyes opened wide. 'This is pretty bad,' he remarked. 'You're lucky those two fellows didn't succeed.'" (page 92-93)
Roscoe: "I mean, that part with the goat? That's some screwed up shit right there. I'd be freaking out if I were you..."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'If you want anything let  me know. And help yourselves to cake and fruit any time.' [Mattie] pointed to the food on the side counter.
'Oh, my diet!' moaned Bess.
Like you're actually on a diet, Bess. Shut up.
The captain led his passengers to an upper deck and showed them a deluxe double bedroom with its own adjoining lounge and bath.
'This is for the girls,' he said. 'You boys will use your sleeping bags on the afterdeck.'
The Boys: "WHAT?!"
Dave: "Oh, I see how it is."
He grinned. 'If it rains you can duck into the engine room.'
Art: "Er, if it rains, can I duck in here and sleep with Nancy?"
Ned: "Only if you want me to kill you in your sleep!"
'This is great,' said George.
Burt: "Hey, she has a boy's name, and boy's hair- make her sleep outside with us!"
'I never knew towboats were so beautiful.'" (page 96-97)
Art: (grumpily) "Says you."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'It says A.C.E.!' [Nancy] exclaimed. 'I'm sure this was written by A.C.E. Armstrong, Boycey Osborne's friend.'
I wonder if the Stratemeyer Syndicate had a whole committee of people whose sole job was to create goofy names for these characters.
Ned asked, 'What does the note say?'
Nancy read it aloud: 
'"Prisoner of Kit Ka
Tak    me to cell  
in El       town."'
By this time all the others in the cave had gathered around Nancy and asked if she could decipher the meaning. She studied the paper a few moments, then replied, 'I believe the whole message is:
'"Prisoner of Kit Kadle.
Taking me to cellar
in Elizabethtown."'"
Oh, that's grasping at straws.
'You're a wonder!' Art exclaimed and immediately came close to Nancy." (page 102)
Ned: "I hope he's kidnapped next."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Go up this side street,' [the driver] said, pointing to a tree-shaded lane, 'to the third house. That's wehre Ben Wooster lives. He's the marshal's deputy right now.'" (page 104)
Driver: "The last one was attacked and killed by a mad goat."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Nancy turned to see a skinny blonde youth in dungarees coming up the walk. 
'This is my cousin Jimmy,' said the deputy. 'He lives next door and he don't miss much.'
'I think somebody's livin' in the Hatchett place,' the newcomer went on, 'Hank and me were out that way in our car a couple o' nights ago and saw lights in the house and a car in the driveway.'
Deputy Wooster stood up. 'I'd better look into this,' he said firmly." (page 105-106)
And, once again, the police's job is done for them by a 'blonde youth'. Where would we be without them?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"... Nancy asked, 'Are you A.C.E. Armstrong?'
'Yes.'" (page 108)
Nancy: "Okay, did you do the initials thing on purpose?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"While the youth was gone, Nancy asked A.C.E. about his abduction, adding that she had received the news of his disappearance from her aunt. 'Your detective friends will be relieved to learn that you've been found.'
A.C.E.: "So, did the look for me?"
Nancy: "Um, not exactly..."
A.C.E.: "Well, did they at least report my disappearance to the police?"
Nancy: "Not as such..."
A.C.E.: (fumes) "I can't believe those guys! That's it, I'm giving back my secret club ring."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Kadle assumed that since the other members of the detective club had left for New York, they had solved the mystery and knew where the treasure was, but hadn't had time to dig it up.'" (page 109)
Club Member #1: "Yay, we've found the treasure! Should we dig it up right now?"
Club Member #2: "Nah, Let's not. I don't have the time... and besides, it'd make much more sense to leave it for now, then fly all the way back out here to retrieve it in a few weeks."
Club Member #3: "Works for me!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Ned asked A.C.E. if he knew Kadel was bothering the people at the dig, especially Nancy, and that he had planned to kidnap her.
'Yes, I was aware of all that,' he replied.
A.C.E.: "They even let me help make some of the plans! Isn't that cool?"
'I felt so helpless here when all I wanted to do was escape and expose Kadle.'" (page 110)
A.C.E.: "I mean, that goat stunt I heard him talking about? That should land him in prison for life!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"The captain was impressed. 'So I have real detectives on board,' he said. 'That calls for extra big helpings of strawberry shortcake.'" (page 112)
Bess: "Hmmm, maybe I should become a detective."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"They had just finished the dessert when there was a loud crash of glass and a log whizzed through a window, sailed over their heads, and landed against the far wall.
Well, at least it wasn't a rock this time.
'Oh!' screamed Bess and everyone ducked." (page 112)
... Huh. Late reactions are better than none, I suppose.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"The boys reached down and hauled [George] aboard. George's clothes were dripping and her hair was as flat and shiny as a sleek cat's.
The girl grimaced. 'Wasn't that stupid of me?'
The others made no comment,
The Others: "Yeah. It totally was."
but Bess exclaimed, 'Thank goodness you're all right!'
Bess: "But stupid? Yeah, definitely. Sorry."
'Yes,' added Burt. 'You had a narrow squeak.'
The men on the two barges involved set up a cheer upon seeing that George was safe. One of them called, 'You're some swimmer, young lady!'" (page 117-118)
Man: "Say, would you like a job as a camp counselor?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Nancy went back to the deck and relayed the depressing news to the others. 'Hypers!' George exclaimed. 'Where is Bob Snell?'" (page 119)
'Hypers', George? Seriously?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'This is a good find,' said Theresa. 'It still bears traces of the red clay with which the Hopewell Indians painted the skulls of their dead.'
'It could just as easily be an Algonquin skull,' Claire said authoritatively. 'I've heard they had some strange customs. Sometimes they mixed their bones into the burial of earlier people.'
Theresa looked at the girl sharply.
Theresa: "Did I give you permission to speak, cretin?"
'That story is absolutely untrue. Where did you hear it?'
Theresa: "School is a learning experience... HA! I don't want ANYBODY to say ANYTHING unless they're absolutely sure that it's cold, hard fact! Understood?"
Cornered, Claire admitted that she had forgotten. 'Then,' said Theresa, 'you should know better than to repeat such a story!'
Ha, ha, isn't it funny to read about everyone and their grandmabeating up on the ever-so-slightly-annoying Claire? I love it when it's all-against-one... aw, forget it, I'm totally lost.
Claire turned on her heel and walked away.
Claire: "Fine, if nobody's going to appreciate me here, then I'll just go off and write my own book series!"
Julie Anne winked at Nancy as if to say, 'Little Miss Know-It-All didn't get away with it this time!'" (page 125)
Nancy: "What do you mean? Yes I did... Ohhh, you're talking about Claire!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'At Nancy's outcry Bess looked into the box. She gave a little shriek. 'What! No food?'" (page 129)
You know, I hope Bess never read these books... because she'd be pissed at how she's portrayed.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Isn't that an old oak tree ahead of us?' George asked. 
'It looks like one,' Nancy replied. The six searchers hurried forward.
As they neared the tree, Ned remarked, 'Somebody has mutilated this.'" (page 131)
Nancy: "What? Before I could get to it? How unfair!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'What a shame to damaged it!' Bess said. 'This was a gorgeous tree.'" (page 131)
Yeah, and so were all the others that Nancy hacked up. Never stopped you guys before. 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Nancy said she wanted to stop in Walmsley and telephone the State Police." (page 134)
Nancy: "I haven't talked to them in a while... I'll call just to say hi."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Incidentally nobody has come to that house where you found Mr. Armstrong. We think Kadle abandoned him or one of the gang was watching the place from the woods when Mr. Armstrong was taken away. If so, those kidnappers will not show up again in Elizabethtown.'
'Maybe you'll have better news the next time I call,' Nancy said.
Nancy: "Maybe you'll discover that the kidnappers are still hanging around, endangering your town's citizens, after all."
She rejoined her friends and told them the discouraging news. Bess said, 'Then this means, Nancy, that you're still in great danger.'
The young sleuth smiled. 
Nancy: "Good thing I've got a death wish, then!"
'How could I be harmed with all of you around?'
The same way you're usually harmed with all your cronies around, I'm assuming.
When the arrived at the dig, the searchers found the young archaeologists jubilant. Art and Julie Anne together had unearthed the skeleton of a very important person." (page 134)
Larry King?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Nancy noticed that Bess had not waited to take part in the celebration. Nancy and George headed for the cousins' room. Bess was not there.
'Let's find her,' George proposed.
Nancy: "Hmmm, let's not."
She and Nancy went into the large old-fashioned kitchen." (page 135)
Bess: "Mmm-hmm. Care to explain why the kitchen just happens to be the first place you look?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"In a loud, clear voice Bess shouted, 'If you dare try anything funny, George will use some judo on you!'" (page 138)
George: "Okay, now I wish we hadn't found her."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"While [Nancy] and Ned were waiting, Clem Rucker drove up in his car. He greeted them warmly and asked how they had made out the day before." (page 140)
Nancy: "Um, I really don't think that's appropriate-"
Ned: "Are you KIDDING me? We've been going out for five books, and she's never even let me kiss her, much less make out with her!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Ned cut down his speed while Nancy looked to left and right for signs of a trampled area. She not only could see one, but in the distance something shiny caught her eye.
'Ned!' she exclaimed. 'Please stop!'" (page 141)
That's our Nancy- always so easily distracted by TEH SHINYZ.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Suddenly they emerged at the edge of a huge rocky pit. 'It's an abandoned quarry,' Ned remarked.
'And full of kick water,' Julie Anne added.
Julie Anne: "You don't want to know how long it's been since I last bathed, seriously."
Nancy was looking toward a sign near the far end of the quarry. She hurried over to see what it said. The words had been crudely painted. The young detective caught her breath as she read: 
HOLLOW OAK AND ITS TREASURE AT BOTTOM OF PIT" (page 144-145)
Nancy: "Oh well, looks like we lost out on solving this mystery. But it was fun while it lasted! Anyway, let's go home."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"... The announcer said, 'This station has just received a message from a ham radio operator. It may be a hoax.
Announcer: "Buuuut we're going to read it to you anyway, just for shits and giggles."
We cannot guarantee its authenticity but we give it to you in case you may know the person involved. The ham picked up the following broadcast:
Broadcast: "There has been an alien invasion in Grover's Mill, New Jersey..."
'"I'm Bob Snell. Repeat. I'm Bob Snell. I'm well but a prisoner at-"'
That was all the ham heard,' the announcer concluded." (page 152)
Man, I wish my local radio stations did stuff like this. 
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Theresa spoke up. 'This is both good news and bad news. It confirms our fears that Bob was kidnapped, but it's a good lead for the authorities to work on.'" (page 153)
So according to your sentence structure, Theresa, the 'good lead' part is the bad news? Interesting.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Theresa said, 'I suggest a day off tomorrow so most of you can try to find Bob.'" (page 155)
Theresa: "Those of you who don't feel like searching can go see a movie or something."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Bob nodded. 'How about tying up these men? There's some rope in that car of theirs, and by the way, the ignition key is in it.'
The two prisoners suddenly tried to make a break,
Prisoners: "Hey, he's right! We're not tied up and the key's in the ignition. Let's go!"
but they were quickly stopped by the four boys." (page 162-163)
Girls: "Meh- we could have done it, but we're too lazy."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'[Kit Kadle] was very nervous about being found, so he had these men moving me from place to place in their car. They had another car they had stolen but were afraid to use it." (page 163)
Then let me ask the obvious question: why steal it in the first place?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Bob shook his head. 'Kadle doesn't know whether you have or haven't [found the message in the hollow oak]. He just put that in the ransom note in case you had. Anyway, he figures he'll get five thousand dollars.'
Ned grinned. 'Is he in for a surprise!' Bob laughed when he was told about the dummy sack." (page 165)
Because no one in the history of forever has ever thought about doing a fake pay-off before.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Bob, please don't go before you answer a few more questions,' Nancy requested. 'Did you ever find out why you were abducted?'" (page 166)
Bob: "Well, the aliens said that they wanted to better understand mankind..."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Seeing that his position was hopeless, [Kit Kadle] talked freely. Nancy learned the answers to some of the questions which had puzzled her. The two men who had later posed as museum guards had come to the dig soon after her arrival and called out her name softly at the bedroom window.
Men: "But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Nancy Drew is the sun..."
Kadle: "Believe me, I tried to stop them- really I tried."
They were supposed to get Nancy to step outside and then kidnap her, so she could not pursue her search for the message in the hollow oak.
Kadle: "... But then they got distracted, and that's how  the whole goat thing happened. Sorry. My bad."
The men had also stolen Clem's goat to frighten her in the dark bedroom." (page 173)
Kadle: "Unfortunately, they forgot to make sure to get the one with rabies."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Carefully Nancy removed an egg-shaped piece of metal with a rotted fragment of string attached to it.
'That's a plumb bob,' said Ned. 'It hangs on the end of a line to find the center of gravity.'" (page 175)
Ned: "Real useful when you're drunk, let me tell you."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"[Bob] and Burt were told of the capture of Kadle and his companion.
'That's a relief,' said Bob. 'I never want to be kidnapped again!'" (page 178)
Well, duh.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'You've actually tracked down the message in the hollow oak and found a treasure!' [Boycey Osborne] exclaimed. 'Well my congratulations, Nancy. And please stay at the dig until I come out and see everything. To tell the truth, I'm very much embarrassed that my friends and I weren't able to solve this mystery!'
Boycey: "You wouldn't mind if I stole the treasure and nabbed all the credit, would you?"
'All you needed was more time,' Nancy told him kindly." (page 179)
Nancy: "And my mad skillz."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'You folks sure brought excitement to this place. We haven't had so much goin' on around here since one o' the town girls eloped with the postmaster's son.'
Embarrassed by Clem's comment, Nancy and Ned smiled." (page 180)
Ned: "Well, I'm no postmaster's son..."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Again everyone clapped and Nancy gave Theresa a hug and whispered, 'I'll never forget this wonderful experience as long as I live!'" (page 181)
Nancy: "Especially last night, if you know what I mean."
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April 2012

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