Thursday, May 24, 2018

Kay Tracey #14 The Sacred Feather

In Kay Tracey #14, The Sacred Feather, Brantwood's library burns down.  Abou Menzel is accused of arson, but Kay and Cousin Bill feel certain that Menzel is innocent.  However, even the Traceys have some doubt as additional buildings burn and Menzel is spotted near at least one of them.

Kay and her friends see a performance by a fire-worshiper known as the Sacred Feather.  Kay soon believes that this man might be responsible for the fires, and Abou Menzel confirms that the Sacred Feather is a member of a secret organization.

On page 1, a peddler comes to the back door.  Why do peddlers tend to come to the back door in series books?

On page 28, some police officers are suspicious of Kay until they hear her name.  "Kay Tracey!  Not the Kay Tracey!"  Kay's reputation is her ticket to getting out of trouble.

When the Brantwood library burns, I couldn't help thinking about what kinds of books would have been in a library in 1940.  It makes me shudder to think of them burning.

On page 32, Kay thinks she sees Abou Menzel and wants Cousin Bill to stop the vehicle.  Cousin Bill replies, "I don't see that it would do the slightest good, Kay.  We haven't had our dinners yet and it is late."  What a brush-off!

On page 41, Wilma recites the first verse of a poem.  When Kay tells her that the poem is pretty, Wilma responds, "There are nine more verses.  Would you like to hear them?"  Fortunately, Betty keeps Wilma from reciting them.

Page 47 contains a passage that probably never sounded odd until recent years.  "Ethel began to berate Kay, but Miss Hanson cut the tirade short by telling the former girl to change her clothes and wait in the office until gymnasium class was dismissed."  The words "former girl" jumped out at me, and for a second I thought that Ethel wasn't a girl any longer.  I don't think that I would have thought anything of the phrase even 20 years ago, but now, I read it differently.

Kay has her usual series of bizarre mishaps, including being stuck on an elevator between floors, getting knocked out, nearly being hit by a runaway trailer, and getting doused in oil with a fire started at her feet.

Kay is incredibly brave.  She runs into a burning building and almost gets killed.  Kay also climbs 20 yards down a steep cliff to rescue a child, and Kay doesn't use a safety line.

The text was not changed for the Garden City and Books, Inc. editions.

This is a very good book.  I really enjoyed it, although the story dragged a little bit towards the end.

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