Monday, August 27, 2012

Nancy Drew #27 The Secret of the Wooden Lady

In Nancy Drew #27, The Secret of the Wooden Lady, Nancy and her father travel to Boston to help Captain Easterly discover who the mysterious prowlers are on his ship and what treasure they seek. The night before their departure, a dangerous criminal named Flip Fay breaks into Bess's home and steals some jewelry.

Nancy later deduces that Flip Fay overheard the phone conversation with Bess and decided to travel to Boston. In Boston, Nancy discovers that a man named Red Quint is working with Flip Fay to find something valuable on board the Bonny Scot.

Shortly after Nancy and Mr. Drew arrive in Boston, Mr. Drew learns that he must leave. Bess and George travel to Boston to join Nancy. Soon, Ned Nickerson shows up with friends Burt and Dave. Once again, the core group of six find themselves conveniently together, this time in Boston.

The revision was done quite well, so much so that the revision is just as good as the original text. I was particularly impressed with the removal of an extra scene in which Nancy and her friends retrieve a wooden figurehead from the bay. The revised text reads as follows on p 98.
At five o'clock the girls picked her up and rowed back to the Bonny Scot. After supper they came up on deck and dropped into comfortable chairs.
The captain leaned back and lit his pipe as the girls discussed the missing figurehead. "More than one ship has lost its figurehead, for one reason or another," he said.
The same passage in the original text also begins with "At five o'clock the girls picked her up and rowed back to the Bonny Scot." What follows is a 2 1/2 page passage detailing the story of the girls spotting what is believed to be a drowning man in the water. Nancy and her friends rescue the "man" to discover that he is a figurehead. The figurehead is brought on board, where Captain Easternly confirms that the object is a figurehead. He then makes the remark, "More than one ship has lost its figurehead, for one reason or another."

Both texts read seamlessly during this scene, although the revised text is missing most of the events.

In the original text on page 67, Nancy and all five of her friends crowd into a taxicab.  All six of them?  Since the cab also has a driver, seven people are in the vehicle.  Interesting...

Page 83 in the original text contains this passage.
"A little pleasure boat is a picnic to sail," Burt spoke up, "compared to a craft like this one.  I'll bet, George, you don't even know the names of the masts on the Bonny Scot."

"Yes, I do.  Fore, main, and mizzen.  And besides, you have the foresail, the staysail, the jibs, the skysails, the——"

"Very salty," Dave grinned. "I apologize."
Why is Dave apologizing for what Burt said?  The revised text corrects this mistake and has Burt apologize.

In the original text, page 188, the girls find Red Quint.
The three girls led him to the car, which Nancy had parked in front of the studio. Quint twisted his hands nervously. There was no chance to escape from three girls!
Normally, I would make a comment about how surely a man could escape from three girls. However, this absurdity is most likely intentional humor courtesy of Ms. Margaret Scherf, the ghostwriter for this book. Ms. Scherf's novels are full of humor.

As I already mentioned, I found both texts to be equally good.  The original text can be considered just slightly better, but only because it contains a little more information.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Even into the 1980s, cabs were...well, BIG. (Not sure about today's cabs, except for the vans.) In the early 1980s, myself and three other women rode in a NYC cab. We sat four abreast in the back seat and were not uncomfortably squished. Some of the cabs back then had extra jump seats (like in a limo today) behind the driver's seat, and an odd person could sit up with the driver. So seven in one of those big old cabs is possible.