The Case of the Changing Editions, or, Nancy Drew: The Bungalow Mystery Chapters 18-THE END

Well, it’s time to wrap up the 1930 v. 1960 The Bungalow Mystery chapter-by-chapter analysis! Because this contains the final chapters, there are SPOILERS after the break!

Start from the beginning if you’re just joining us:

Chapters 1-4, Chapters 5-8, Chapters 9-10, Chapters 11-12, Chapters 13-17

Chapter 18: Left to Starve (1930)

Mr. Abhorn is chained to the wall and Nancy is tied up on the floor–left to starve! The lantern burns out and Nancy is very worried for Laura’s safety. Finally, she works her hands free of the ropes. She then feels around and finds the key and frees Mr. Abhorn

Chapter 18: Night Trail (1960)

Nancy thinks the Dowds and Fred are hiding out at the bungalow where the girls sought shelter after the boating accident. Nancy, Carson and Don head over. The Donnells and Laura stay with Mr. Abhorn in case the Dowds return. The road to Twin Lakes is blocked with construction. They get around it and get to the bungalow. As they are circling the house, Mr. Drew is knocked out temporarily. Nancy and Don see the Dowds and Fred run away. There is a frantic car chase that ends with a sharp turn in the road. Nancy sees the road sign in time to stop, but the Dowds plunge over the cliff.

Chapter 19: In Pursuit (1930)

Nancy and Mr. Abhorn make their way to her car, but he’s very weak after being chained up, so it’s slow going. They drive to the bungalow (Abhorn’s house) but it’s dark. They enter and the house has been ransacked, but it’s deserted. They discover that Laura’s fortune, as well as Mr. Abhorn’s has been taken. Nancy decides to give chase, as well as call the police and a doctor for Mr. Abhorn.

Chapter 19: Missing Property (1960)

Carson, Nancy, and Don get out of the car to see if the accident victims are OK. They’re unconscious, but alive. They move them over to the side and Nancy frees the suitcases before the car explodes. Then the police and ambulance show up–a farmer had seen the accident and called. The Drews tell the full story–the accident victims will go the hospital, then jail. The police open the suitcases, but it’s just clothing! What did they do with all the money?

Chapter 20: Nancy’s Daring Action (1930)

Nancy races back through the forest to her car. She drives back to her hotel and calls the police. She tries to call Laura, but nobody answers. She has the hotel clerk call a doctor for Mr. Abhorn, police stations between there and River Heights, and the radio stations. She decides to chase Stumpy herself. As she speeds down the road, she sees an approaching car and flags it down to ask if they’ve passed a Stumpy Dowd’s racing car. The car seems familiar and when the driver asks her what’s going on, she recognizes the voice!

Chapter 20: A Surprise Gift (1960)

Nancy guesses the suitcases have false bottoms. She’s right–there are packages of thousand dollar bills and securities. Don drives back to River Heights to tell Hannah everything’s all right and Nancy and Mr. Drew go to sleep. The next afternoon, there’s a message at the desk inviting the Drews over to Laura and Mr. Abhorn’s house. Mrs. Abhorn answers the door and Laura is very happy, as the real Abhorns are just as nice as nice can be. Mr. Abhorn is a writer and is working on a magazine article about his ordeal–when he sells it he’s going to give all the money to the River Heights Rec Center in honor of Nancy. Then the police come to thank Nancy. It turns out that Mrs. Dowd’s brother worked in the Monroe Bank vault, helping Mr. Frednich embezzle the securities. Nancy’s wondering what to do with her time, but it’s ok, because in less than a week, she will be solving The Mystery at the Lilac Inn (so, we get a title mention not for previous volumes, but for the next one! Go go gadget marketing!)

The next day Laura stops by the Drews’ to get her mother’s jewelry and gives Nancy a very beautiful ring as a token of her gratitude. Of course, according to Nancy, “no one can place a value on a true friendship like ours.”

Case Closed.

Chapter 21: Laura Begins to Worry (1930)

Remember when I said that the 1960 revised edition had fewer chapters? Well…

Back in River Heights, Laura is very worried for Nancy and does a little shopping to take her mind off her worries. She’s even more worried after Nancy calls and tells her of the plan to spend the night tailing Mr. Abhorn. After dinner, Carson Drew returns home. Laura introduces herself and tells her sad story. When she gives Mr. Drew a description of her guardian he’s confused and pulls out a picture from her desk– it’s Mr. Abhorn! Except Mr. Drew says his name is Stumpy Dowd and he’s a notorious criminal with a long record and currently at large. He calls Nancy’s hotel, but she’s not in. He and Laura decide to go to Melrose Lake and look for her, but first Mr. Drew loads his revolver.

Chapter 22: A Chance Meeting (1930)

Fast forward to Nancy flagging down the car– the voice was Mr. Drew’s! (aren’t you surprised?) They haven’t passed a racing car, so they assume that Stumpy has head for the state line. Mr. Drew has Laura get in Nancy’s car so “If it comes to a battle, you girls can drop back and be out of range of the bullets.” Yes, Carson Drew is going to do a drive-by shoot-out with a criminal to save Laura’s fortune! Why didn’t they keep this in the 1960 version?! (Ok, I know why, but still! Or why not give Nancy her own gun and really let her kick butt? 😉 )

And they’re off! Nancy’s driving at a rather alarming speed, but Stumpy has a racing car! Luckily, Nancy still has 3/4 a tank of gas. Then, the short cut to the state line is closed for construction, but they decide to take it and head Stumpy off at the pass. They make it through the treacherous short cut and just when they start to worry, they catch up with Stumpy!

Chapter 23: A Bad Turn (1930)

The girls fall back and Carson’s in the lead. Stumpy speeds up, but so does everyone else. Then Mr. Drew fires a warning shot! Stumpy fires back. Mr. Drew is almost in distance to shoot out Stumpy’s tires and Stumpy keeps looking back. “Nancy had never seen such reckless driving.” Then there’s a sharp curve ahead. Nancy stops, but Mr. Drew almost doesn’t make it. Stumpy doesn’t and down the cliff he goes.

They go to see if he’s still alive. The car starts to catch fire and they pull Stumpy out just in time. But Nancy still goes back to get the suitcases containing Laura’s fortune. AND THEN THE CAR EXPLODES.

Laura’s quite excited to find she may have a fortune after all, but it looks like Stumpy did not survive.

Chapter 24: Stumpy’s Fate (1930)

Stumpy has a faint pulse. Nancy gets a blanket from her car and they make a little sling to carry him up the cliff. They put him in the car and he starts to regain consciousness. Nancy goes to get the suitcases while Mr. Drew and Laura rush Stumpy off to the hospital. Nancy meets up with them at the police station. Stumpy’s condition is grave, but if he survives, he’ll be in prison for a very long time. When they’re done with the police, Nancy decides to surprise Laura with her real guardian so they go back to the house. Mr. Abhorn is still sad though over the lost fortunes.

Nancy produces the locked suitcases and they break into them. The first one just has clothing but the second one is full of money! And everyone’s nice and happy and Laura and Nancy make plans to see each other the following day.

Chapter 25: Laura’s Gratitude (1930)

The next afternoon, it turns out that Laura is very happy with the real Mr. Abhorn. He’s building her a tennis court in the yard and giving her swimming lessons AND buying her a roadster like Nancy’s! We also find out that Stumpy wasn’t hurt as badly as it first appeared and will be serving 30 years in jail! (I love how Carson’s a lawyer, but no one ever has to go to trial.)

Laura gives Nancy a beautiful pendant as a token of her gratitude, since Nancy refuses to take money. We also find out that Nancy will be sleuthing again soon in The Mystery at Lilac Inn.

Case Closed

So– a few major differences:

1. In 1930, the Bungalow is Mr. Abhorn’s house, in 1960, it’s where they take shelter after the boat wreck. Why the difference?

2. The whole bank embezzlement subplot didn’t exist in 1930. Neither did Don or the Donnells.

3. Laura is not nearly as wimpy in 1960.

4. The boating accident and final car chase are much more dramatic in 1930.

What do you think? And, should I do this again? Dana loaned me other copies!


5 Responses to The Case of the Changing Editions, or, Nancy Drew: The Bungalow Mystery Chapters 18-THE END

  1. Dana says:

    Well, *I* certainly think you should, but I’m biased. Or you could do one of the Hardy Boys, although I don’t think I sent you those.

  2. TheGnat says:

    If you’re going to do more than one book, I think it would be worth just starting a new blog just for that,

  3. Courtney says:

    This was really fun! Thanks for the comparisons. I might be up for 1-2 more, but I don’t think I’d start following a new blog on the topic – though others might.

  4. Jennie says:

    Dana–ergh. Hardy Boys.

    I think a new blog would be interesting, but nothing I’m willing to do. Plus, I only have about 5 more that I need to read so I can return them to Dana.

    SO! I’ll think I’ll do all of those, but instead of having a lot of little posts, just do one really long one.

    BUT, I’m really interested in what everyone says about the differences between editions! I wish they had kept the gun battle.

  5. hey i started a blog based on Nancy Drew! And guess what, the first one is bungalow mystery too.

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