Friday, May 4, 2018

Kay Tracey #9 The Message in the Sand Dunes

In Kay Tracey #9, The Message in the Sand Dunes, Kay, Wilma, Betty, Cousin Bill, and Mrs. Tracey are vacationing at Seaside Beach.  A boy named Ben Wheeler comes begging for food, and soon, Kay suspects that he might be responsible for thefts that have been occurring at cabins along the beach.

Spinster sisters Maud and Henrietta Crowley live in a nearby cottage.  The sisters bury something in the sand shortly before they move away to live in an institution.  Kay wonders what the women buried and decides to dig it up.

I find it amazing that Kay thinks she has the right to dig up what the Crowley sisters buried in the sand.

Kay goes to visit the Crowley sisters in the institution, which turns into quite an adventure.  While there, a resident accuses Kay of having been reincarnated.  Kay uses a sheet to scare an old woman and a colored porter.  Of course, Kay quite naturally has good reasons for doing this, but the scenes are quite bizarre and a bit distasteful.

Kay also manages to set off the institution's alarms accidentally.

On page 189, Kay and her friends find a warning message that was buried on the beach.  The message states, "Danger! Do not dig here!"  I mention this because on page 204, Betty makes the following remark.
"[I]f we had obeyed that message in the sand dunes saying 'Danger, don't dig here,' so many of these things never would have happened.  We'd have missed an exciting adventure."
Um, the story is practically over by the time the girls find the warning note.  They would have only missed out on 15 pages of adventure if the message had stopped them from completing their adventure.  How stupid.

The text is almost exactly the same in the later printings by Garden City and Books, Inc.  The first two pages were rewritten, and the rest of the text appears to be identical.  The Garden City and Books, Inc. editions even leave in the scene where Kay scares the colored porter.

This is a very good book.  It has a lot of randomness in the plot, but something interesting is always happening.

3 comments:

Allan said...

In books like these where only 2 pages have been rewritten, what's been changed?

Jennifer White said...

The changes in the first two pages are just like the changes that were made in the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books where the revised text follows the same story as the original text. The revision works in several mentions of the Crowley sisters in the first two pages, presumably to make more clear where the story will go. Some lines in the first two pages are the same, but other lines were rewritten. Both feature the same scene, which is the girls on the beach gathering wood before a storm. The last line of the second page is the same in both versions, and both lead into the third page which is the same in both texts.

Allan said...

OK, thanks, Just wanted to know if it was important enough to need to buy both copies, I guess it's not.