Thursday, September 10, 2009

Billie Bradley at Treasure Cove

Billie Bradley at Twin Lakes ends rather strangely for a volume that is not the final title in the series.
And so, with a glorious summer gloriously ended and countless others just as glorious opening up before them, we must reluctantly bid good-bye to Billie and her chums, hoping that some day we shall meet them all again.
Aside from the awkwardness of the overuse of "glorious," this ending is odd for volume 5 in a 9 volume series. I noticed that the copyright for volume 5 is 1922, and the copyright for volume 6 is 1928. The series must have been over at volume 5, and then six years later, the series was resurrected for some unknown reason. It is odd.


I have mentioned before that Clair Blank must have read some of these earlier series books and was influenced by them. Since Clair Blank died decades before series book fans became organized, we will never know which series she read in her childhood. I have noticed similarities to the Beverly Gray series in the later Ruth Fielding titles, the Betty Gordon books, and the Outdoor Girls series. I pointed out that the banter between Billie and her friends in Billie Bradley on Lighthouse Island reminds me of the banter between Beverly Gray and her friends.

Billie Bradley at Treasure Cove reads like a Beverly Gray book and is probably my favorite book in the Billie Bradley series so far. The entire book feels like a Beverly Gray book. The treasure hunt that occurs in this book is the primary reason. A group of young people, following a map given to an acquaintance by a man now dead, digging in the sand on a beach by a cliff, fearful that others might notice what they are doing... doesn't that remind you of something?

Additionally, Billie Bradley at Treasure Cove has some of the same over-the-top excitement that appears in the Beverly Gray series. The book opens with a harrowing scene that is on par with any of the wildly improbable situations that Beverly Gray and her friends experience. Here are some excerpts from what happens on pages 7 through 14:

"Goodness! What's that?"

A deafening explosion had shattered the silence. The girls felt the ground quake beneath their feet.

Billie Bradley looked wildly around her.

"It's an earthquake!" she cried. "Oh dear! what next!"

Next was a series of harsh explosions that frightened the girls badly and sent them scurrying to the trees for shelter.


Another detonation shook the earth.

Something whizzed through the air so close above Billie Bradley's head that she gasped and flung herself flat upon the ground.

They heard an object strike in the woods not far from them. There was a rending, tearing sound and the limb of a tree struck the ground.


Instantly the place was bombarded by flying missiles. Whether these were bullets or bits of hurtling rock the girls did not know—and did not stop to find out.

They dashed madly into the woods, driven by an appalling dread, to find refuge, somewhere, anywhere from the rain of death.


Explosion followed explosion. The noise was deafening, terrifying. With hands pressed close over their ears, the girls crowded close to the rock, hoping that it would prove a real protection.
That has to be one of the most potent scenes that I have ever read in a series book outside of the Beverly Gray series.

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