Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Mercer Boys #3 Treasure Hunt and #4 Mystery Case

In the Mercer Boys #3, The Mercer Boys on a Treasure Hunt, Don accidentally hits a baseball through the window of a small house that belongs to Professor Scott.  When Don goes to pay for the window, Professor Scott invites him inside.  The boys learn about a letter that Professor Scott just received from his son, Ned.  Ned lives in Lower California and is in search of a sunken Spanish galleon.

The professor plans to join Ned in search of the galleon, and he invites Don and Jim to go with him.  Terry later joins the expedition.  In Lower California, the boys soon learn that others have heard about the missing galleon.

It is an extremely unlikely coincidence that Terry meets the professor on page 38 in San Francisco.  The world is a large place, but the Mercers' best friend just happens to encounter them during their trip.

I am sure that many of us can identify with this passage from page 81.
The professor enjoyed his day of solitude.  Long years of serious study and instructive reading had made him one of the men who prefer being alone to mixing with a noisy crowd.  Not that the professor was the least bit snobbish or unsociable, but he loved the quietness of inner thought and the companionship of a book.
Captain Blow, who is a character in The Mercer Boys' Cruise on the Lassie, makes an appearance on page 183.

This is a very good book.

In the Mercer Boys #4, The Mercer Boys' Mystery Case, Don and Jim begin their second year at Woodcrest Military Institute as third classmen.  Colonel Morrell assigns the boys the task of locating all of the old cups received in previous years for various achievements.  The boys are unable to locate the 1913 cup.

Morrell tells the boys how Arthur Gates won the 1913 cup in an academic contest in which he had bested William Long in an earlier round.  After Gates won the cup, Long had some type of argument with him and seemed bitter.  Long was to present the cup to Gates, since Long was the senior class captain.  Long kept the cup overnight in his room, where it vanished.   Long was widely believed to be the person who took the cup and has since lived in disgrace.  The Mercers believe that Long was innocent and set out to prove it by finding the cup.

On page 5, the boys are said to be in their early twenties.

On page 48, Long remarks that some of his classmates "are resting in France.  I was there, too, and it is just by the mercy of the Almighty that I am not resting there now."  This quote gave me pause to reflect on the death toll of World War I.

This is an excellent and highly engaging story.  I was captivated as I tried to figure out the solution to the deeply engaging mystery of the 1913 class cup.

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