The Adventurous Allens Find Mystery, which was written by Harriet Pyne Grove and published in 1932 begins as follows:
Almost too greatly surprised to believe in their good fortune, the four Adventurous Allens stood at the door of what had long been denominated by their uncle as his "Michigan Shack," while Philip, now the actual legal proprietor, tried to fit a key in the lock. It was well, perhaps, that none of them knew all which would attend their present adventure; but their anticipation was as keen as their surprise was pleasing.Penny Allen and the Mystery of the Haunted House written (more like "edited") by Jean McKetchnie and published in 1950 begins like this:
It was almost unbelievable to the four Allens to be standing on the doorstep before Uncle John's "Michigan Shack." For, in spite of its name, the shack in the Michigan woods appeared to be quite a large house. It was built of logs, but it was such a cabin as money builds, with all the beauty that can be given to it, primitive only in the sense of unfinished timbers, a product of skill, artistic in its fitness to the surroundings. Large, strong, with a wide, hospitable porch in front, it welcomed them, a home for the adventurous Allens! Nineteen-year-old Philip, who had inherited the property from their uncle, stood fumbling to fit the key in the lock.We have a clear case of plagiarism here, even though the wording has been changed. In this case, the plagiarism much improved upon the mess that Harriet Pyne Grove wrote. It is helpful that McKetchnie placed the proper explanatory information in the first paragraph. She then placed all of the information needed to understand the Allens' past history in next few pages of text.
Some of the explanatory information is copied from Grove's first Adventurous Allens book. Page 18 of The Adventurous Allens states:
Philip Allen was a well set up young collegian of nineteen years. Dark brown hair curved back in the latest college style from a good broad brow. This was equipped with very nearly straight black eyebrows, which separated at a proper distance from a very respectable nose, neither too large nor too small. That with clear, dark, blue-grey eyes and a pleasant mouth which could be quite firm when occasion demanded, gave character to Philip's young face. His height was above medium, probably five feet ten, and possibly he might yet reach the six feet he found desirable. He was brown from the summer's exposure and the usual hatless idiocy of fall days about college. At his uncle's, and about the little city, which numbered about fifty thousand inhabitants, he was accustomed to wear a hat. His face beneath it was rather long than round.Pages 13 and 14 of Penny Allen and the Mystery of the Haunted House describe Philip as follows:
Philip Allen was a well set up young man. Dark brown hair curved back from a broad brow. This was equipped with very nearly straight black eyebrows, which separated at a proper distance from a rather respectable nose, neither too large nor too small. That, with clear, dark, blue-gray eyes and a pleasant mouth which could be quite firm when occasion demanded, gave character to Philip's young face. His height was above medium, probably five feet ten, and possibly he might yet reach the six feet he found desirable. He was brown from the summer's exposure. His face was rather long than round.The content is remarkably similar. Even though the content is not original, it greatly improves upon the original form. I can understand the text without getting confused! When I wrote about The Adventurous Allens Find Mystery, I mentioned my confusion when the Allens decided to go for a ride in their uncle's boat. In this book, the conversation and events flowed nicely, and I knew exactly what was happening and when! It was so nice!
Some minor details are different, and the text has been greatly condensed. One detail that stands out is when Patrick Ryan has to leave unexpectedly. In Grove's original story, he leaves to look after a drunk relative who has gotten into trouble. In this revised story, Pat has to guide four men on a fishing expedition.
At around page 135, the story begins to deviate from Grove's original story, and the change matches up with around five pages before the end of the original story. The Allens plan to stay in Michigan for the winter, whereas in Grove's book, they decide to take a cruise. The final five pages of the original story concern getting ready for the cruise.
In the Penny Allen book, Philip gets a job, and Jimmy and Marjorie attend school. None of the young people attend school during the five Adventurous Allens books. Around page 147, the winter comes to a close, and the Allens decide to take a cruise on their boat during the summer to check out their Florida property. Once again the plot begins to converge with the original story, except the text appears to have been completely rewritten during this part.
At page 151, the Penny Allen book resumes copying Grove's narrative, this time from the beginning of The Adventurous Allens Afloat. The book diverges from the plot of the Grove book at page 183, and the mystery about Adra is solved through a slightly different means, although with the same result. After a few pages of different text, the book resumes copying the text of the Grove book.
Most of the last 150 pages of The Adventurous Allens Afloat is not used in the Penny Allen book. The book concludes with the Allens preparing to cruise the Caribbean in their boat.