Authors: Carolyn Keene
“Double back!” Mick ordered. “Right and right again!” Nancy did as she was told and found herself in a small square area with an exit on her left. She took a wide turn and went through it.
Paola was ahead of her, headed for the edge of the arena floor, as Nancy had guessed. In a moment she would be inside the tunnels and out of Mick's view!
Then Nancy saw a figure hurtling over the fence and into the passage in front of Paola. It was Sandro! Giving a yell, he tackled Paola, and the two of them went down, rolling in the dust. A few more steps brought Nancy to them. She yanked Paola's bag away from her and sat down, still breathing hard.
Opening it, Nancy found a velvet bag. Inside it were Signor Andreotti's necklace, Signora De Luca's pin, and the Etruscan necklace that had started the whole adventure!
Mick's voice joined them in the maze. “Good work,” he said cheerfully. “The police are entering the Colosseum now!”
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“At least they let me out on bail,” Sandro said. He skipped a few steps along the platform of Rome's central railroad station.
Claudia took his hand and squeezed it, smiling encouragingly at her boyfriend.
The two of them had accompanied Nancy, Bess, and Mick to the train that would take the three friends to Brindisi, a port city on the Adriatic Sea. From there they would catch a ferry to Athens. “Now at least I have a chance to redeem myself during the trial,” Sandro continued. “If Nancy and Bess hadn't come along, I'd be sitting in jail for the rest of my life.”
“We are still not sure what is going to happen,” Claudia reminded him. “And your mother was not very happy.”
Nancy could see the shame in Sandro's eyes. “At least she got her necklace back,” he said softly. “I'm relieved that Paola kept it all this time. Apparently even
couldn't bring herself to sell the necklace of a good friend.”
“But the two pieces Mr. Azar managed to smuggle out of the country still haven't been recovered,” Nancy pointed out. “If they are, you'll
get a much lighter sentence. Also, they should go easier on you because you helped capture Paola and Mr. Azar.”
“I was wrong to do what I did,” Sandro said. “I can't feel sorry for myself.”
“Well, I for one feel sorry for Karine,” Bess put in. “Her father's going to be in jail for a long time. Paola's confession clinched that for sure. I guess she couldn't bear to be the only one facing centuries in jail.”
Nancy remembered Karine's reaction when she found out what happened and how her father had used her. Her anger and hurt had been so genuine that Nancy had no doubts that Karine had had no idea of what her father and Paola were doing.
“I feel sorry for Karine, too,” Claudia added. “But she is a strong girl. And she has Massimo to help her through it.”
“Massimo the charmer.” Bess sighed. “If he hadn't had a crush on me and given me that necklace in the first place, none of this would have happened. No more romances for me, thank you! And no more Etruscan necklaces, fake or otherwise!”
Claudia laughed. “It was such a short time ago,” she said. “And you are leaving already.”
“We stayed an extra week,” Nancy protested. “You've dragged us to every church and museum and restaurant in Rome.”
“Well, you needed a vacation. You were all beat up from that chase in the Colosseum,” Claudia insisted.
“You did a great job,” Nancy assured her. “I'm
completely relaxed. But George will never forgive us if we leave her in Greece any longer.”
“Where's Mick?” Bess asked as other passengers streamed past them. “If he doesn't hurry, we'll have to leave him behind.”
“He just went to get us snacks for the trip. He'll be right back,” Nancy told her.
“Probably running the whole way.” Claudia's eyes gleamed. “After all, he begged to go to Greece with you every day, Nancy, until you finally gave in. You can bet he will not miss this train!”
Nancy hoped the others didn't notice the blush she felt rising to her cheeks. She waved as she caught sight of Mick down the platform. He waved back and broke into a jog.
“See?” Claudia asked. “Have fun in Greece and get some rest,” she said, kissing Nancy, Mick, and Bess goodbye. “No more mysteries.”
“No way,” Bess agreed. “No romances and no Greek jewelry,” she said firmly. “In fact, if it keeps us out of trouble, I won't even shop!”
After Sandro and Claudia had left Nancy felt Mick's arms creep around her waist. He turned her to face him.
“Should we play by Bess's rules?” he asked with a lazy grin. “No romances?”
A warm feeling spread through Nancy as she gazed into his green eyes. “Maybe one romance,” she murmured, raising her lips to meet his.
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and events are products of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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