Monday, September 6, 2010

Nancy Drool: The Clue In the Dog Bone pt. 2

In part 1, Pog, Nancy's dog, has just bitten off Hannah's finger. The action becomes intense...

“Well, I didn’t put it there,” retorted Hannah. “Pog did when I tried to take his bone away.”
“Are we having ladyfingers for lunch?” joked Ned. Hannah spun around and glared at him, cradling her injured hand.
“You keep out of this!” she snarled. At once, a free-for-all ensued of which Nancy became the referee. Fists, dust, shoes, the silver urn and one lone finger were tossed recklessly about the kitchen. In the midst of the confusion, the back door flew open and Carson Drool sprawled on top of Pog.
It took Nancy some minutes to disentangle herself from the hanging lamp, at which time Hannah was stuck halfway into the dishwasher and Ned was hiding behind the garbage cans.
“What did you bring me?” demanded Nancy as she rushed to her father’s side. She picked up Pog’s bone and tossed it out of Mr. Drool’s way. It landed on Ned’s head with a hollow thump.
“Ow!” Ned rubbed his crew-cut head.
Carson Drool groaned and sat up. “I brought you a picture of FDR.”
“Yes. Franklin D. Rosenbaum, Chairman of the Quiver Heights Sword Swallowing Club. Is Ned here?” He glanced across the kitchen. “I thought I smelled something. How is Old Leadbottom?
Ned’s head appeared over the top of the largest garbage can. “Nancy,” he said. “There’s something funny about this dog bone.” He squeezed the center of the dog bone and Nancy noted with her trained eye, that it fell apart. Inside was a rolled-up scrap of paper with writing.

“Help! I’m a prisoner in a Yugoslavian dog bone factory!” Nancy read out loud.

“Well, this sheds a new light on the situation. I have a new mystery to solve, a prisoner to free, and a reward to collect. Her eyes were shining. So was her nose where Hannah had given it a mighty punch. Ned handed her a handkerchief.

“Nancy,” Ned was serious. “I think this note is a hoax.”

“Well,” Ned puffed out his chest. “This bone is made of third grade rubber. It would never have held up all the way from Yugoslavia. Also any handwriting expert would tell you that this note was written by a calm, undistressed hand- which is not in keeping with the character of the message. And, anyway, on the bottom of the bone it says “Made in Japan.”
As Ned rested his case, Nancy tossed the bone aside. “Oh Ned. It’s so easy to see why you are no detective. You have to have much more evidence than that. I suggest we go talk to Professor Ironbeard.”

“Who’s he?”

“He is a philosopher of ancient Egyptian Culture.”

Ned just was not getting her reasoning. So what? What’s that got to do with the price of peanuts in Memphis?”

“Well, actually nothing. But a good detective never overlooks a possible clue. And, anyway, the Egyptians had dogs, didn’t they?” She grabbed her purple jacket and led the way to the driveway. Ned knew when not to argue.

The ride to Professor Ironbeard’s House took about an hour in Ned’s Junk Heap of a car and less than five minutes on foot. He lived exactly two houses down from the Drools.

As they crossed the porch, Nancy spit into the palms of her hands and rubbed them over her hair. She brushed her teeth with her finger and added a red crayon to add brightness to her cheeks and lips. She murmured, “Professor Ironbeard once had designs on me. During the Mystery of the Moss-covered Pyramid and even now I think I have to be careful around him. He is still quite mad about me. Poor poor man,”
A quick knock on the door and the door flew open to reveal a smiling bearded face. The face looked at Nancy and the smile gave way to a darkening scowl.

“Well, what do you want now?” demanded Professor Ironbeard.

“We would like some information about ancient Egyptian culture,” Nancy replied, scratching a scab on her elbow. The scab gave way and started bleeding. Nancy wiped it on her purple jacket.

“How much information would you like?”

“Oh, about fifteen minutes worth please.”

The professor made some mental calculations.

“Okay, Deposit fifty dollars in the box by the door.”
“Professor!” exclaimed Nancy Drool. For old times’ sake, for all I meant to you, can’t you give me a better price?”

Professor Ironbeard thought for a moment and finally smiled at Nancy. “One hundred dollars it is then.”
Nancy was exasperated. Mysteries had not been easy to come by. How was she expected to come up with one hundred dollars? She searched her purse and found 3 wadded up dollar bills, 3 quarters and 1 slug, all of which she put in the box. She made Ned empty out his pockets but he seldom had any money of his own. Most of it went for bailing his father out of jail. Mr. Tickertape drank like a fish, or rather a whale, Because of his extensive water drinking he was hauled into jail when the water supply started to run dangerously low. After all the towns people got their showers and baths and washed their hair and clothes then he was let out again.

Professor Ironbeard led his visitors into the study and invited them to sit down. They glanced around the room but did not see any chairs. Nancy pulled up a statue of Nefertiti and parked herself on it and Ned sat on the floor.

“The Egyptians,” began Professor Ironbeard, “were a remarkable group of people. They developed a highly sophisticated civilization without what we now consider necessities: electricity, plumbing, automobiles, and Mae West.” He glanced around about the room to see if anyone had caught his joke but no one was laughing. Nancy was busy scratching herself and Ned had fallen asleep.

“Well, to continue, During the Reign of King Tutti Fruitti, The mummy was invented. The king accidentally ventured out in a sandstorm and by the following day he was so full of holes that they had to cover him with bandages to keep him from falling apart. They buried their kings in elaborate tombs called pyramids, which, to my way of thinking, was a waste of time. Why should ten thousand slaves have to work for years building a fancy tomb just to bury some old codger who couldn’t see it through all the bandages anyway?

“These used to guard these pyramids with huge stone monuments called Stink, ---er, spinx,--er-sp—statues. These were made out of sandstone and resembled huge dogs.

“Dogs!” exclaimed Nancy. “That has a direct bearing on the case. Ned, wake up---I’ve solved the mystery. That note was written by an Egyptian king who’s been living in Yugolsavia under an assumed name. He’s looking for a dog…”

“But what would a king be doing in a dog bone factory?”

Nancy thought for a long minute. “Well, then put it this way. He’s disguised as a king disguised as a Yugoslavian factory worker. He;s really a dog looking for a pyramid and he wrote the message so someone would help him back to Egypt and…”

“Dogs don’t hide notes in bones!” said Ned. “Anyway, what would a dog want with a pyramid? I thought they were for kings and don’t go telling me it’s a king disguised as a dog disguised as a king disguised as a Yugoslavian factory worker.”

“Well, I give up.” Nancy was impatient. “Have you no faith? Don’t you believe in magic, millstones and mustard plasters? Revive your lost faith, my good man, before it is too late.” She pushed him toward the door.

“Where are you going?” barked Professor Ironbeard. “I was just going to tell you all about the Egyptian mass transit system.”

“Save it for the next mystery,” Nancy yelled from the hallway. “The next plane to Yugoslavia leaves in an hour.”

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