(#20) The Clue in the Jewel Box

BOOK: (#20) The Clue in the Jewel Box
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Table of Contents

Title Page

Acknowledgements

Copyright Page

 

CHAPTER I - A Stolen Wallet

CHAPTER II - After a Suspect

CHAPTER III - A Lost Formula

CHAPTER IV - Royal Treasures

CHAPTER V - Pickpocket’s Double

CHAPTER VI - True Credentials?

CHAPTER VII - Mistaken Identity

CHAPTER VIII - Nancy Is Robbed

CHAPTER IX - Ferocious Dog

CHAPTER X - Amazing Revelation

CHAPTER XI - The Island Trick

CHAPTER XII - A Puzzling Secret

CHAPTER XIII - Wanted—A Clue

CHAPTER XIV - A Question of Honesty

CHAPTER XV - A Threat

CHAPTER XVI - The Prize Winner

CHAPTER XVII - Telephone Tip

CHAPTER XVIII - Cornering a Thief

CHAPTER XIX - Prisoners

CHAPTER XX - Two Mysteries Solved

 

THE CLUE IN THE JEWEL BOX

An antique dealer’s revelation about a former queen’s priceless heirloom starts Nancy on a trail of exciting adventures.

Madame Alexandra, now living incognito in River Heights, asks Nancy to find her missing grandson. With only one clue to go on—a faded photograph of the prince at the age of four—the young detective begins her search, which rapidly involves her in a series of dangerous and harrowing adventures. When Nancy needs help, she calls on Bess, George, Burt, Dave, and her special friend, Ned. How Nancy’s discovery of the heirloom’s secret unmasks a slick imposter and reunites the long-separated family climaxes this suspense-filled mystery story.

“Ned, there’s a pickpocket!” Nancy exclaimed

Acknowledgement is made to Mildred Wirt Benson, who under the pen name
Carolyn Keene, wrote the original NANCY DREW books

Copyright © 1972, 1943 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Published by Grosset & Dunlap, Inc., a member of The Putnam & Grosset Group,
New York. Published simultaneously in Canada. S.A.
NANCY DREW MYSTERY STORIES
®
is a registered trademark of Simon & Schuster,
Inc. GROSSET & DUNLAP is a trademark of Grosset & Dunlap, Inc.

eISBN : 978-1-101-07721-4

2007 Printing

http://us.penguingroup.com

CHAPTER I

A Stolen Wallet

“No, a silver pen isn’t exactly what I’m looking for,” Nancy Drew explained to the jewelry salesman in the department store.

The slim, attractive girl with lovely reddish-blond hair waited while he reached beneath the counter to get another item.

“Here’s something perfect,” he declared. “This handsome jewelry box is very new. It’s a clever reproduction of one owned by a ruler in Europe two centuries ago.”

Nancy was disappointed to learn that it was a reproduction. She had hoped to find something original and unusual for her father’s birthday.

“It’s lovely,” she said, “but—”

“The original box has a strange history,” the salesman went on. Knowing of Nancy’s reputation as an amateur detective, he hoped to capture her interest with hints of mystery. “Its first owner was a king disliked by his subjects. One night he was spirited away, and—”

Before he could finish the romantic tale, he was interrupted by a woman customer who was tapping on the glass counter for attention.

“I’d better not make a hasty decision,” Nancy said politely to the man. “Thank you very much.”

She walked off and took an elevator that would take her to the restaurant floor. Nancy thought, “That jewelry box certainly looked genuine. Maybe Dad would like it for his birthday after all.”

She was going to have luncheon with Bess Marvin and George Fayne, who were cousins and Nancy’s closest friends. The girls had not arrived, so Nancy sat down in the lounge to wait for them.

“Oh dear!” murmured a voice nearby.

Turning her head, Nancy saw that the chair beside her was occupied by an attractive, elderly woman in a dark-blue dress. The pallor of her creamy skin held the girl’s attention. Obviously the woman was ill.

“Can I help you?” Nancy asked quickly.

The woman fumbled in a purse, then shakily handed her a card, It bore the name Marie Alexandra, and an address, 14 Downey Street.

“Please take me to my home,” she whispered with a slight foreign accent.

Before Nancy could reply, Bess and George entered the lounge. When she told them about the woman’s request, both declared that they would postpone their luncheon.

“Can I help you?” Nancy asked

“We’ll go with you to Mrs. Alexandra’s,” Bess said.

“Do you have your car, Nancy?” George asked.

“No, it’s at the service station. We’ll have to take a taxi.”

Nancy assisted the woman to her feet very gently, and was rewarded with a grateful smile.

The three girls made slow progress to the street. They summoned a taxi and helped Mrs. Alexandra step into it. Nancy gave the Downey Street address to the driver.

“Thank you—thank you,” the panting woman murmured, and slumped back in a faint.

The girls chafed Mrs. Alexandra’s hands and fanned her. Her pocketbook had fallen to the floor and several articles had tumbled out. One of these was a jeweled, monogrammed bottle of smelling salts, which Bess opened and held under the woman’s nostrils.

“She’s coming to now,” Bess said a moment later as the woman’s eyelids fluttered.

Relieved, Nancy reached down to pick up the handbag and its scattered contents. Almost at her feet lay a gold-framed miniature photograph of a little boy in a sailor suit. He was about four years old. She stared at the quaint picture, then turned it over. The back of the case was glass. Underneath were several locks of hair, secured with tiny ruby clasps.

“This is very unusual,” Nancy thought.

She had no opportunity to show the miniature to Bess or George. As the taxi drew up in front of a medium-sized house, she replaced all the articles in the handbag and turned to assist Mrs. Alexandra.

“Can you walk if we help you?” she inquired.

“Yes, I think so,” the woman answered softly.

Bess and George supported her on either side, while Nancy paid the taxi driver and darted ahead to ring the doorbell. The door was opened by a maid in a spotless white uniform.

“Oh!” the woman cried when she saw her mistress being half-carried. “Madame Marie!”

She opened the door wide and pointed to a brocade-covered couch in the living room. The girls led the woman to it.

“Shall we call a doctor?” George inquired.

“No, that will not be necessary. These spells do not last very long,” Mrs. Alexandra answered. “Anna will take care of me.”

The maid seemed unusually capable in attending her mistress. With loving hands she made the woman comfortable and gave her hot tea which quickly revived her.

All this time Nancy had been silently admiring the luxurious furnishings of the room. On the walls hung elegant tapestries. Beautiful pieces of furniture were upholstered with hand-embroidered silks. Rare objects of glass and porcelain stood on a table and a desk.

One piece in a curio cabinet captured Nancy’s interest. It was a pink enamel Easter egg poised on a tiny gold pedestal. Its rounded top was encrusted with delicate gold work.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Bess whispered in awe.

Hearing the comment, Mrs. Alexandra raised herself to a sitting position. She remarked that the Easter egg had been brought from abroad.

Turning to her maid, she said, “Anna, I must talk to these girls who have been so kind.”

The words, quietly spoken, were regarded by the maid as an order to leave the room. Graciously Mrs. Alexandra thanked Nancy and her friends for their help, then carefully wrote their names in an attractive little address book.

Observing their interest in the art objects, she pointed out several which were inside a curio cabinet. Among these was a silver box that looked very much like the one at the jewelry counter in the department store. Nancy wondered if this might be the original. She spoke of her search for a distinctive birthday gift for her father.

“Of course I never could afford anything so rare as these lovely pieces.” She sighed.

“You might be surprised.” Mrs. Alexandra smiled rather mysteriously. “Why not go to Mr. Faber, who is an antique dealer? Mention that I sent you. I think he will be able to help you.”

BOOK: (#20) The Clue in the Jewel Box
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