Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hardy Boys #4 Missing Chums and #5 Hunting for Hidden Gold

In the original text of Hardy Boys #4, The Missing Chums, Fenton Hardy leaves for Chicago on a dangerous case.  Meanwhile, Chet and Biff depart on a boat trip during a vicious storm.  The Hardy boys and their friends expect Chet and Biff to return during the storm, but they fail to do so.  After investigating, the Hardys detemine that Chet and Biff have vanished!  A search is a launched along the coast.

Laura Hardy is worried about her husband on page 22.  Fenton tells her that he will be careful, then he adds, "He or any of the men in his gang would shoot me on sight."  Fenton also says, "If I don't get him, he'll probably get me."  Um, Fenton, you're not helping the situation any.  Everything you say is just giving your wife reason to worry.

There is one scene with horseplay, and as usual, I didn't care for it.  Aside from that, I found this book to be quite engaging and thrilling.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

In the original text of Hardy Boys #5, Hunting for Hidden Gold, Frank, Joe, and their friends get caught in a blizzard.  While seeking shelter near a cliff, a cabin slides off of the cliff and down onto the frozen lake right in front of them.  The cabin's sole occupant, Jadbury Wilson, is an old prospector who tells the boys about how he was cheated out of his gold years ago.

Later, Fenton Hardy calls the boys out to Montana, where he is trying to find some gold for Bart Dawson.  Soon, the boys realize that this gold is the same gold that Jadbury Wilson lost.  What are the chances?

The glaring weak spot in this story is the unbelievable coincidence of the boys meeting a man who is connected to Fenton Hardy's case.  Add in the ridiculousness of the cabin sliding off the cliff, and the result is a story based on sheer absurdity.  I recall thinking this story to be absurd 20 years ago.

The outlaws have hidden the gold in a mine, so they know the location of the mine.  Apparently, they are waiting for some time to pass before they remove the gold.  I don't get why they don't just go for it.  Of course, this is to give the Hardys a chance to find it and have a confrontation with the outlaws.  Why else?

In spite of the utter absurdity of the story, I greatly enjoyed this book.

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