The Case of the Changing Editions, or, Nancy Drew: The Bungalow Mystery Chapters 13-17

Dinner was tasty, I must say. (I made Pad Thai pizza. Make some pizza dough, top with pad thai sauce, steamed chicken, scrambled egg, cilantro, mung bean sprouts, green onions and mozzarella. Tasty.)

Anyway, back to Nancy. If you’re just joining the Nancy Drew 1930 v. 1960 Bungalow Mystery play by play, start at the beginning:

Chapters 1-4, Chapters 5-8, Chapters 9-10, Chapters 11-12

Chapter 13: A Narrow Escape (1930)

Nancy’s hiding the closet and Mr. Abhorn comes in and ransacks the room, looking for jewels. Just when she starts to relax, he opens the closet and starts taking the dresses down, to see if Laura hid anything in them. If he removes more than 1 or 2 dresses, Nancy’s done for. There’s a noise downstairs and Mr. Abhorn goes to investigate but he returns before Nancy can escape–it’s merely a loose screen. Mr. Abhorn decides to not continue examining the dresses and closes the closet. He reads all of Laura’s letters and papers and then leaves. Nancy decides to stick around and gather more evidence. She goes down to the living room while Mr. Abhorn starts making dinner in the kitchen. He also makes a few extra sandwiches “for tomorrow.” After eating dinner, he goes upstairs because “I’ve got a big night before me.”

Chapter 13: An Actor’s Ruse (1960)

Nancy finds an old lantern and examines the man on the bench, who is unconscious. How did Mr. Abhorn get there so soon?! Upon closer inspection, while there is a resemblance between this man and Mr. Abhorn, they aren’t the same person. Nancy discovers he’s chained to the bench and gives him some water to revive him. After questioning, he turns out to be Jacob Abhorn–a crook named Stumpy Dowd tied him up and overtook his house, and schemed to get Mr. Abhorns new ward, Laura’s, inheritance away from her. Mrs. Dowd had been hired by Mrs. Abhorn as a maid. The real Mrs. Abhorn had to go to Florida to care for her mother, who had to have an emergency operation. Mr. Abhorn says they have a few accomplices and often mention someone named Fred. Mr. Dowd kept the key to the lock nearby. Nancy frees Mr. Abhorn, but then he cries “Look out, Nancy!” and the chapter ends.

Chapter 14: Startling Revelations (1930)

Nancy hides out in the living room. Mr. Abhorn comes back downstairs with two heavy suitcases and “a rather gruesome object… Jacob Abhorn carried a weapon, and a wicked looking one at that” but we don’t know what type of weapon. He then says “Nothing like being prepared. They’ll never catch Stumpy asleep.” Stumpy? Nancy knows that name is “suggestive of the underworld.” He then opens a wall safe and displays a large sum of cash, but he returns it to the safe for morning. He then goes up to bed. Nancy makes her way back to her roadster, but gets lost on the way. She stops and gets a drink from a stream. She finds her way to her car and drives to the bungalow. She breaks in and, as her flashlight is dying, opens a small door that leads downstairs where Jacob Abhorn is lying on a bench!

Chapter 14: A Desperate Situation (1960)

Nancy is knocked out by end of cane. When she comes to, Dowd is standing over her and the real Mr. Abhorn is chained to the bench again. Mr. Dowd ties Nancy up, but she tries to remember something a detective taught her awhile ago about how to hold your hands when they’re bound so you can slip through the bonds later. Stumpy Dowd tells Mr. Abhorn and Nancy that they know too much. He knows Laura is at Nancy’s house and is on his way there to get the jewels. He also tells Mr. Abhorn that he sold his blue sedan in order to pay for the foreign car. (Dude, what’s with the “foreign” car? I’m just as evil as Dowd, given that I live in a semi-detached house (aka, duplex) and drive a Honda.) He then leaves them down there.

Mr. Abhorn tells Nancy that Mrs. Pendleton had most of her fortune in securities, which she transfered to Monroe National Bank. When Mrs. Pendleton died, the Abhorns were abroad. When they returned, Mrs. Abhorn found out about her mother’s illness. Laura was supposed to stay at boarding school until Mrs. Abhorn returned. Laura, however, never got that letter, and instead just got one from the Dowds telling her to come. The lantern is burning low and just as Nancy gets the rope off her hands, they’re plunged into darkness.

Chapter 15: A Familiar Face (1930)

Nancy’s flashlight dies and she runs back up the stairs. How did Mr. Abhorn beat her to the bungalow? She then trips over a lantern. She continues to run back to her car, but is confused when she sees she’s not being followed. How did Mr. Abhorn get there so soon? Why isn’t he chasing her? She discovers she’s still holding the lantern and decides to make her way back to the bungalow. She uses all of her matches trying to light the lantern–of course, the last one finally works. She makes her way back the bungalow, which is really scary. Eventually, she hears cries for help below her.

Chapter 15: Plans for Rescue (1960)

Back in River Heights, Hannah is worried sick. Don brings Laura home and everyone is very worried. Don calls the hotel, and finds that Nancy is not there, but hasn’t checked out. Mr. Drew comes home and is very worried for his daughter. He decides to go up to Melrose right away, taking Don and Laura with him. Hannah is to stay at home in case Nancy calls. On the way, Mr. Drew tells the kids about the embezzlement case and that he returned early because he received a call from the police chief, who had been looking into the Dowds at Mr. Drew’s request. It turns out both Mr. and Mrs. Dowd have served prison sentences for embezzlement and theft. When the police went to their house, they learned that a man came and the three all left. There’s an alarm out for their arrest. Mr. Drew shows Laura a picture of the Dowds, and Laura confirms that they’ve been posing as the Abhorns.

Chapter 16: What Nancy Discovered (1930)

Nancy discovers the man in the cellar is not Jacob Abhorn, but bears a close resemblance. Using much of the same material sat the 1960 edition, she wakes him up. However, their conversation is different–the real Mr. Abhorn is much more forthcoming with the fact that Stumpy Dowd is impersonating him. Also, Nancy tells him right away that Laura is safe at her house. He tells her that Laura is, indeed rich, but it’s all tied up in the securities. Apparently, Stumpy came to see Mr. Abhorn about a potential business deal, and then beat him up and took him prisoner. He tells Nancy where the key is, but, just as she’s freeing him, he crieds “Look out!”

Chapter 16: A Speedy Getaway (1960)

Nancy works her hands free of the ropes. She then strikes matches to light her way as she unties her feet. She refills the lantern and lights it. Mr. Abhorn and Nancy are cheered by the fact that Hannah has probably called the police by now, but dampened by the fact that Stumpy Dowd has probably already skipped town. Mr. Abhorn is very weak and it’s slow progress to the car. When they get there it won’t start–“the distributor has been uncapped and the rotor’s missing!” Nancy is sure Dowd is the saboteur. A car passes them and they hide, thinking it’s the Dowds, but why aren’t they headed towards River Heights (my money says the car was Mr. Drew’s).

They get back to Abhorn’s house, which has been completely ransacked. The wall safe is completely empty, which means not only is Laura’s fortune gone, but also Mr. Abhorn’s. Just then a car pulls up the lane. Has Stumpy found out his prisoners have escaped?!

Chapter 17: A Desperate Situation (1930)

This time, Nancy is knocked out by the butt of a revolver, not a cane. The vast majority of this scene was used in 1960, making it almost identical as Stumpy ties Nancy up. He boasts how he’s done this heist all on his own and how he’s going to escape in his racing car (but not before stopping by River Heights to get the jewels) and then live the high life in another country. When Nancy tells him that her dad’s a lawyer, Stumpy says he’ll take a shot at him, too, for luck. He then leaves them to rot in the cellar.

Chapter 17: Two-way Detecting (1960)

The car turns out to be the Donnells! Mr. and Mrs. Donnell thought it was odd that the Abhorns would have returned with Laura and not tell them, so when the kids said that Nancy had met them in town, they were worried. They were especially worried when they talked to Mrs. Abhorn down in Florida and things really didn’t match up. The Dowds had been answering Mrs. Abhorn’s telegrams, so she hadn’t been worried, after hearing from the Donnells though, she is flying from Miami that night. Jim goes to phone the police and Hannah, and to see if he can fix Nancy’s car. Then Mr. Drew comes.

Nancy thinks that Laura’s securities were never depositied in the bank, but passed straight to the Dowds. When she finds out that Mr. Hamilton’s assistant is a Mr. Frednich, she thinks she knows where they’re all hiding out.

And, with that, it’s bedtime. More tomorrow! I’ll probably finish– the 1930 version has 25 chapters, the 1960 only 20.

Stay tuned!


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