Nancy befriends Linda Seeley, who works for Lightner. Linda soon falls under suspicion, but Nancy is certain that Linda is innocent. While Nancy has no proof, she is convinced that another employee, Mr. Tombar, is responsible. This mystery centers around Nancy trying to outsmart the Velvet Gang, as the thieves are called.
An important subplot of this story involves George Fayne, who is kidnapped by the villains. George is threatened by the villains, and their words frighten her so much that she is not herself for most of the story. Usually, Nancy and her friends are never affected emotionally by their harrowing experiences. This is an unusual example of realism in a Nancy Drew book.
On page 95 of the original text, a member of the Velvet Gang imprisons Nancy by wrapping a heavy bedspread and a bunch of coats around her. Nancy finally manages to free herself on page 97. Right after Nancy frees herself, a maid enters the room and asks what happened.
For the first time Nancy realized how disheveled she must look. Her pretty pink-flowered dress was torn and rumpled. Her hair was mussed and the pink hat lay on the floor.
Nancy acts like nothing is wrong, but her dress is torn and her hair is mussed. Even if Nancy had smoothed her hair as she headed downstairs, her dress would not have mended by itself.
The revised text corrects this problem. On page 77, "Nancy realized how disheveled she must look. Her dress was rumpled and her hair mussed." After completing the search of the other rooms, Nancy "combed her hair and smoothed her dress before going downstairs." In this version, Nancy's dress does not get torn, and Nancy remembers to fix her hair.
On pages 124-125 of the revised text, Nancy is working in the women's coat room during a party when she realizes that she is speaking to one of the thieves. Nancy questions the man.
"Madame is ill? She is leaving the party so soon? Perhaps I can help her?"What surprised me was the use of "dumbfounded." I felt that it did not quite match the situation. I realized why Hilda was dumbfounded when I read the original text.
"No thanks," he replied, still keeping his face muffled in the white scarf. "I'll attend to her."
As soon as he was gone, Nancy told the dumbfounded Hilda, "You're in charge here alone now."
Unmindful of the maid's protests, Nancy hurried down the hall in pursuit of the man carrying the green coat.
From page 152 of the original text:
"Madame is ill? She is leaving the party so soon? Perhaps I can help her?"Page 149 of the original text mentions that Nancy has a disguise of sorts, "an old loose fitting coat of Hannah's and a large hat that could be pulled down low on her head." Hilda is understandably dumbfounded when Nancy suddenly puts on the hat and and coat and dashes off!
"No, thanks," he replied, still keeping his face muffled in the white scarf. "I'll attend to her."
As soon as he was gone, Nancy took off her cap. In its place she substituted the hat she had brought which belonged to Hannah Gruen, and slipped on the housekeeper's loose coat.
"You're in charge here alone," Nancy told the dumfounded Hilda as she darted away. "I doubt if I'll be back."
"Well, I never!" Hilda sputtered. "Leaving me to look after all the coats"
Unmindful of her protests, Nancy hurried down the hall in pursuit of the man carrying the green coat.
On page 149 of the revised text and page 180 of the original text, Nancy is blindfolded with her hands tied behind her back. She is being led up some stairs and wants to tear a button off of her dress. Nancy stumbles against the wall, and in that brief moment, a protruding nail just happens to connect with one of the buttons, tearing it off of her dress. How convenient!
The Clue of the Velvet Mask is a great story in both the original and revised text versions. I thoroughly enjoyed both versions.