Thursday, June 14, 2012

Nancy Drew #22 The Clue in the Crumbling Wall

In Nancy Drew #22, The Clue in the Crumbling Wall, Nancy is asked to find Florianna Johnson (Juliana Johnson in the revised text) before she loses her inheritance. Ten years previous to the story, Florianna was engaged to Walter Heath. She disappeared mysteriously, and Walter Heath died five years later.

Florianna must claim her inheritance by the fifth anniversary of Heath's death, which is in just a few weeks. Florianna's sister is an invalid, and her niece, Joan, is a problem child. Both Mrs. Fenimore and her daughter would greatly benefit if Florianna were found and could claim her inheritance.

The original text opens with Nancy's discovery of the theft of her four new rose bushes. Nancy reports the theft, and Lieutenant Masters tells Nancy about a young girl named Joan Fenimore, who likely stole the bushes. Masters also tells Nancy about Joan's aunt, Florianna, hoping to pique Nancy's interest. After Masters tells Nancy about Florianna, she and Nancy drive to Joan's home, where Nancy is given more information.

The revised text takes the same sequence of events and makes it more complicated. Lieutenant Masters asks Nancy to find Juliana, since Joan and her mother need help. After the officer leaves the Drew home, Nancy discovers the missing bushes. Later, Nancy tells Masters about the stolen rose bushes while at the police station and is then told that Joan probably stole them. Nancy and Lieutenant Masters next drive to Joan's home to learn more about Juliana. The events do not flow as well as in the original text.

In both texts, a man is caught eavesdropping outside the door in a hotel as Mr. Drew and Nancy discuss the case. On page 98 of the revised text and page 122 of the original text, Mr. Drew gives Nancy a signal to step out of the room. Nancy is puzzled and then concludes that Mr. Drew wants Nancy to have the man followed.

This bothers me, because I don't understand how Nancy knows for certain what Mr. Drew expects. Even though he had told the man that he was not calling the police, I would have assumed, as Nancy, that Mr. Drew did wish for the police to be called. Nancy is an amazing mind-reader.

The girls look for the entrance to the cloister to the estate in both texts. In the revised text, the girls find the entrance very quickly and easily. In the original text, the girls have trouble finding the opening and become a little discouraged, which increases the reader's suspense.

Both versions tell exactly the same story, and both texts are quite enjoyable. The original text is the superior version, since parts of the plot are weaker in the revised text.

1 comment:

Kansas Mad Man said...

Not only is the original more exciting, with better detail, the illustrations are laughable in the revised text! Nappi should have asked for a copyright page notice that he only did the COVERS of these books.