The Case of the Changing Editions, or, Nancy Drew: The Bungalow Mystery Chapters 4-8

Ok, I’m back with more Nancy mania for you! I went to the coffee shop this afternoon and read the next 4 chapters! I’ve noticed a few things–

The 1930 edition has much shorter chapters– I’m about 12 pages further into the 1960 edition. Also, the 1960 has a much faster moving plot, where in 1930, they go into a lot more detail on various escapades… This chapter-by-chapter analysis shows some BIG differences in plot outline…

(Read the first installment here)

Chapter 5: Laura’s Guardian (1930)

Nancy and Helen go to meet Mr. Abhorn–he’s single in the original edition. He’s very mean from the get-go (none of the false nicety we got in 1960) and is moving Laura to his bungalow on Melrose Lake that afternoon “for her health.” Mr. Abhorn won’t let Laura have any time alone with Nancy and Helen and is very uncouth–“He gulped his tea in one swallow, crumbled his cake upon the table cloth and then, tilting back his chair, proceeded to regale Nancy and Helen with tales of his brilliant business ventures.”) He plans on placing Laura’s inheritance in the stock market where it will “earn real interest.”

Chapter 5: The Unexpected Prowler (1960)

When Nancy calls her father that night, after putting Hannah to bed, she finds he’s checked out of his hotel unexpectedly. Late that night, she hears a burglar and calls the police–it turns out that Carson Drew forgot his house key, so climbed in through the library window.

The next morning, Nancy gets the details on the embezzlement case: a large number of valuable securities, reading “Payable to Bearer” went missing from Monroe National Bank’s main vault. Many are inheritences and several victims lived in the River Heights area. Mr. Hamilton is the main suspect, as we was in charge of them, but he is also a trusted bank officer. Mr. Drew needs Nancy to befriend some townspeople who had their securities taken to see if they could possibly be suspects. He’s going to check out the out-of-town victims (hmmm… so Mr. Drew won’t be around when Nancy gets into trouble when she starts working the case, right?) Then, Nancy gets a phone call that dramatically ends with a cry of pain and a large crash!

Chapter 6: Homeward Bound (1930)

Nancy and Helen hear no word from Laura, so they spend several more enjoyable days at camp. They have so much fun, that Nancy ends up lengthening her stay. She even teaches Helen how to swim, so there won’t be a repeat of what happened on the lake. Nancy finally heads home when she’s caught by a storm. This storm is much more dramatic than the one we saw in the recent edition. Plus, I think driving in the rain (especially a girl) was a much bigger deal in 1930 than in 1960, right? And then a tree falls in Nancy’s path but luckily she hits the brakes on her Roadster just in time.

Chapter 6: An Invitation to Sleuth (1960)

Nancy has no idea who was on the other end of the phone call, so there’s nothing she can do (0h, what a difference *69 makes!) She decides to start checking out the names on her father’s list. She’s going to go around and solicit entertainment for the kids at the rec center, which is one of her favorite charities and something she’s involved with anyway, so it’s not lying. The first person on the list, Mrs. Farley, is an elderly widow who writes a check for the kids. Nancy things she’s too sweet to do anything like this. On the way to her next stop, Nancy’s stopped by handsome Don Cameron, whom she went to Spring Prom with (no Ned yet?) and he invites her to a barbecue in a few days to help celebrate his sister’s wedding. The barbecue is taking place at the house of one of the people she’s supposed to check out! What luck! So Nancy goes home for lunch, where a postcard from Helen is waiting. Helen and her aunt are taking a trip up north and will stop by Laura’s house on the way.

Chapter 7: A Close Call (1930)

Nancy spends a lot of time and pages trying to move the tree out of her way. A dog comes and wanders off, and then a bedraggled girl runs up and asks for help getting to River Heights. It’s Laura! (See, I told you there were some plot differences!) Nancy doesn’t want details until they get back. They manage to move the tree and drive to Nancy’s house.

Chapter 7: A Startling Assignment (1960)

After reading Helen’s postcard, Nancy realizes the person who called earlier was Laura. She tries to call the Abhorns, but the information operator says their phone has been temporarily disconnected, but has no further information. She then calls the Donnells. Cathy says that she went to meet Laura, but the house was all shut up and she thinks they went on a trip–but she’ll keep an eye out. She also said that Mr. Abhorn doesn’t have a foreign car.

Nancy fills her father in on the details, and he promises her they’ll go check it out later that afternoon before he flies off to Cincinnati. Nancy then goes to meet Mrs. Stewart–the next name on the list. When the maid opens the door to the posh apartment, she mistakes Nancy for the dog walker, so she hands Nancy the dogs and then shuts the door in her face!

Chapter 8: Laura’s Story (1930)

Nancy and Laura get back to Nancy’s house where they change into dry clothing and find that Mr. Drew is in St. Louis on business. Laura tells Nancy how mean Mr. Abhorn is. They bungalow was 9 rooms and “he doesn’t keep a single servant” and expected Laura to do all the housework. He also tells Laura that her inheritance was a lot lower than she thought, and badly invested, so she’s basically a pauper. He then took her fur coat (she thinks he’s going to pawn it) and keeps pressuring her for her mothers jewels (presumably also to sell). He locks her in her room at night and, very late at night, leaves the house with a small bundle and returns without it.

Chapter 8: The Frightened Runaway (1960)

Nancy rerings the doorbell to give the poodles back. Mrs. Stewart refers to them as her children and is hosting a concert, so she can’t talk to Nancy. Nancy doesn’t think Mrs. Stewart could plan such a complicated bank swindle. She then goes to call on Mr. Dowd, who lives in duplex (apparently, this is a bad thing. What would dear Nancy think of me?) The neighbor tells her that Mr. and Mrs. Dowd are away–they are actors in a traveling show and are often away–even though they didn’t say what parts they play. Nancy is suspicious. Nancy goes home and Laura is there! The Abhorns lock her in her room, really really really want her mother’s jewels and there is mention of a bundle that Mr. Abhorn left the house with, but Laura didn’t stick around to see if he would return with it. It was Mrs. Abhorn who stopped Laura when she called Nancy that morning. The Abhorns have told Laura she’s penniless and a burden and they’re sorry they ever took her in. Laura hitchhiked to the bus station, and then to a cab from the station to Nancy’s house.

And then I finished my coffee and came home and typed that up. I’m off to read more!

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