Read The Haunted Showboat Online

Authors: Carolyn Keene

Tags: #Mardi Gras, #Women Detectives, #Detective and Mystery Stories, #Girls & Women, #Showboats, #Carnival, #Mystery & Detective, #Juvenile Fiction, #Adventure and Adventurers, #Detectives, #Mysteries & Detective Stories, #Fiction, #Haunted Places - Louisiana - New Orleans, #River Boats, #Women Sleuths, #Adventure Stories, #New Orleans (La.), #Drew; Nancy (Fictitious Character), #Haunted Places, #Mystery and Detective Stories

The Haunted Showboat

BOOK: The Haunted Showboat
5.32Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Table of Contents
Copyright © 1981,1957 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.
is a registered trademark of Simon & Schuster,
Inc. GROSSET & DUNLAP is a trademark of Grosset & Dunlap, Inc.
eISBN : 978-1-101-07736-8
2008 Printing

‘I think the cloaked pirate is Alex,” Nancy
whispered to Ned
The Stolen Car
“WOULD a trip to the Mardi Gras interest you, Nancy, and also a mystery to solve?” Bess Marvin asked.
Nancy Drew’s blue eyes sparkled and her attractive face became animated. She gazed fondly at her two best friends who had just arrived and were seated in the Drew living room. Bess Marvin was blond and slightly plump. Her cousin, George Fayne, who had been given a boy’s name, was an attractive brunette.
“Do you mean you’re inviting me to go with you?” Nancy asked.
“That’s right,” George replied. “Our New Orleans relatives are extending an invitation not only to Bess and me, but also to the world’s best girl detective!”
Nancy chuckled. “Thanks. What is the mystery about?”
“I don’t know,” Bess replied. “But they indicated in their letter that it must be solved by Mardi Gras time, which is not far off. You’ll just love the Colonel and Aunt Stella.”
“They have a daughter, haven’t they?” Nancy asked.
Bess nodded. “Donna Mae is charming and pretty like her mother.”
“But a bit spoiled,” George added.
Bess explained that Donna Mae had formerly been engaged to a wonderful young man, named Charles Bartolome, who lived near the Havers outside of New Orleans. “But along came Alex Upgrove from New York and Donna Mae lost her heart to him completely. Their engagement is going to be announced the night of the big ball the Havers are giving at Mardi Gras time.”
“It all sounds marvelous,” said Nancy. “I accept the invitation!”
“Great!” Bess hugged her friend. “Before the ball, the Havers will put on a pageant of The
Sleeping Beauty.
The Havers will be king, queen, and princess. Afterward, they will greet their guests in these royal costumes.”
“And I suppose,” said George, “Alex Upgrove will be the prince.”
Bess, still loyal to Donna Mae’s former fiancé, said that Charles Bartolome had been invited to the ball, but had refused to attend.
“You can’t blame him,” said George dryly. “But he’s being a good sport and not leaving a job he promised to do. Charles is in charge of restoring the showboat.”
George explained that in a bayou on the Haver property was an old, abandoned showboat, the
River Princess.
“The Colonel is planning to have it brought to a dock on his estate. The ball will take place in the theater on the boat.”
“Oh, it will be such an exciting trip,” said Nancy enthusiastically. “Shall we drive to New Orleans in my car?”
“We’d love it,” the cousins said in unison.
“When do you want to leave?” Nancy asked.
“As soon as possible,” George replied. “The Colonel wrote that he wants to get the mystery cleared up ‘right quick.’ ”
“I’ll do my best,” Nancy said eagerly.
Just then, the Drews’ pleasant housekeeper came into the room. At once Nancy told her of the intriguing invitation.
Hannah Gruen smiled at the, young detective. “So you’re off on another case, Nancy. Well, I venture to say you won’t return until you solve the mystery.”
Middle-aged Hannah Gruen had lived with the Drews since the death of Nancy’s mother many years before. She had acted as mother and counselor to the girl. Nancy, in turn, had a deep affection for Hannah.
“How do you plan to travel?” Mrs. Gruen asked.
When she heard the long trip was to be made in Nancy’s blue convertible, Hannah looked dubious. “Are you going to do all the driving?”
“Oh, Bess and I will take turns,” George spoke up.
Hannah looked relieved. But a moment later, as she gazed out the window, her face took on a worried look. “I’m afraid there’s some snow in store,” she said. “Oh, I do hope it holds off until you girls reach your destination.”
“Don’t worry, Hannah dear,” said Nancy reassuringly. “We’re all experienced drivers, and my faithful little car has gone through practically all kinds of weather.”
Mrs. Gruen admitted this was true. “When will you girls be leaving?” she asked, a more cheerful expression on her face.
“Let’s start the day after tomorrow,” George suggested. “Bess and I are almost packed now. Is that enough time for you to get ready, Nancy?”
“Oh, yes.”
After the cousins had left, Nancy telephoned her father, a prominent attorney in River Heights. When Mr. Drew heard about the Havers’ invitation and the mystery Nancy was to solve, he said, “Go ahead by all means. This is a good opportunity to see New Orleans and you girls should have a wonderful time at the Mardi Gras.”
The next day, Nancy and Hannah went over the girl’s wardrobe and chose what they thought would be appropriate for the trip. Later, Nancy dashed downtown to buy a new skirt, blouse, and play suit to wear in New Orleans in case the weather should turn very warm.
When she returned, Nancy found the housekeeper inspecting a beautiful old black lace shawl and an intricately carved ivory fan. “I found these in a trunk in the attic,” she said. “They belonged to your mother, Nancy. Wouldn’t you like to use them at the ball, dear?”
“Oh, yes,” Nancy agreed enthusiastically. “I’ll get a costume to go with them.”
Hannah Gruen left the room and Nancy laid the lovely old shawl on the bed. As she stood before the mirror, practicing how to use the fan, Togo, her little terrier, ran into the room.
“Hi, fellow!” Nancy said to the dog as she turned away from the mirror. The next moment she cried out, “Togo, bring that back! Drop it!”
The mischievous terrier had grabbed the shawl in his teeth and gone dashing up the hall with it. Nancy ran in pursuit and managed to get hold of Togo and the heirloom, but not before he had made a long tear in the lace.
“Oh, you naughty boy!” Nancy scolded.
The housekeeper came out of her bedroom and investigated the damage. “Don’t worry, Nancy, I think I can mend it so the tear won’t show too much,” she said soothingly.
An hour later Hannah Gruen brought the shawl to Nancy’s room. The girl’s eyes sparkled. “Why, I can’t even tell where the rip was!” she exclaimed, planting a kiss on the housekeeper’s cheek. “Thank you so much.”
By evening Nancy’s suitcase was packed and she put it in the luggage compartment of her convertible. With Tcgo at her heels, she locked the car doors, but left the garage open, since her father had not yet returned with his car.
A short time after Nancy and Hannah had gone upstairs again, Togo began to bark menacingly.
“I think I’d better go down and see what’s bothering him,” Nancy called to the housekeeper.
Nancy ran downstairs. As she reached the back door, she was thunderstruck to see her car being backed from the garage!
“Someone’s stealing it!” Nancy gasped.
She hurriedly turned on the porch light, opened the door, and ran out to the driveway.
“Stop!” she called to the man at the wheel. “Stop!”
The driver, instead of slowing down, put on a burst of speed, swerving the rear of the car directly toward Nancy! The left fender grazed her, knocking her down! Then the driver straightened the wheels and the car roared off!
“Stop!” Nancy called to the man at the wheel
BOOK: The Haunted Showboat
5.32Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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