It took a few minutes to revive Ned’s lost faith and then his car was sent to the junk yard. Nancy tossed some clothes in a suitcase and phoned her friend Bess Moron.
“Bess!” she exclaimed. “I’ve got to go to Yugoslavia this afternoon to solve a mystery and I was wondering if you’d care to go along.”
“Just a minute.” Bess disappeared from the phone. Nancy waited for a few minutes.
“Mother says I can, as long as I don’t speak to strangers and get home in time for dinner.”
“Bess, we’re going to Yugoslavia! We’ll be gone at least until after dark.” Actually Nancy was not too sure just where Yugoslavia was, but she thought it was somewhere near Idaho. Or maybe Mexico.
Bess groaned. “Does that mean I’m going to miss dinner?”
“No,” sighed Nancy. “I’ll provide the food, if you’ll call George and tell her to be ready by 1:00. She slammed down the receiver and looked up the number for the Quiver Heights Delicatessen.
She kept the waitress busy over the phone. “I’m going on a short trip to Yugoslavia this afternoon and would like to order a little something to take along….about 50 pounds of salami, 7 chocolate cakes, 12 orders of ravioli, a barrel of dill pickles and a jar of prune juice. Yes, this is Miss Drool. How did you know?”
Her errands completed, Nancy went downstairs to have lunch. Hannah was setting down a platter covered with a slick black mass of something.
“Cheese soufflé again?” Nancy was disappointed. “I am thankful I will be getting away from them for a while. All we ever eat around here is cheese, cheese and more cheese. Ever since that huge cheese sale at the market. I had no idea it would take so long to eat 5 tons of cheese.”
As she attacked the mass with a butcher knife, the telephone clamored. Nancy and Hannah both ran for it but Nancy neatly tripped Hannah, causing her to sprawl on the kitchen floor. Nancy picked up the phone.
“Nancy, this is Ned. Have I got a coincidence for you! I can’t believe my luck. Our whole college is being transferred to Yugoslavia for the weekend.”
“Wow, that is lucky! Now you can help me to solve the mystery.”
“Well, now…I-er- won’t have much time. I am doing research on Yugoslavian sports events. And Yugoslavian racing cars. And Yugoslav….”
Nancy glanced at the clock and observed that it was a quarter to one. “Ned, I’ve got to go,” she interrupted him. “We’ll see you in Yugoslavia.” She banged down the receiver.
“Hannah, I wish you wouldn’t chew bubble bum when you’re on the phone. You always get it on the receiver and I’ve got it all over my face now.” Nancy started peeling it off her right ear.
“Well, that’s a sticky situation,” replied Hannah. She exploded with laughter at her own joke and the gum that covered Nancy’s ear. Nancy didn’t even crack a smile. Instead she cracked her elbow when she tripped over an ankle sock and fell to the floor.
At 12:55, Nancy, Bess and George were on their way to the Muskox River Airport. By driving slowly and cautiously, obeying all traffic lights, and using her turning signals properly, Nancy was able to avoid serious accidents. In fact, the three pedestrians, two mailboxes and football team which she mowed down were the only entanglements she encountered.
There was some confusion in the airport parking lot where a milk truck had just overturned, and Nancy was unable to go any further due to the swarms of cats headed for the accident scene.
“Bess, you and George had better go in ad get the tickets while I park the car,” she directed in her no-nonsense head detective voice.
George scrambled out of the car and headed for the Air YugoFrancoScandaSlovakia Terminal, with Bess and the food basket in hot pursuit.
At last, Nancy found a place to park. She was just slamming the car door shut when, to her dismay, she noticed her place start to taxi down the runway. Bess and George waved merrily to her from the plane window.
“Wait for me!” Nancy bellowed. She leaped forward. With one quick and mighty bound, she thrust an arm forward and caught hold of a wheel on the underside of the rising plane.
Nancy didn’t waste time worrying about her predicament. She was too busy wasting time looking for a seat belt. None appeared, strange to say, so she perched on an axle and tried to enjoy the ride.
Suddenly a bird landed on her head. He leaned over and pecked at her ears and scalp. Figuring that he might be searching for nesting materials, Nancy pulled out a handful of her hair. The bird watched in disgust as a big bug flew out. Then he flew away squawking.
“Fussy,” muttered Nancy. Her arms were beginning to ache, so she tried to divert her mind with the panorama below her. It was an unusually clear day and an expanse of bright pink land stretched out for miles and miles. Pink? Nancy blinked her eyes and looked again. What could it be?
Fortunately, or not, for Nancy, she was destined to find out. All of a sudden the wheels of the plane began to rise up into the body. Nancy made a wild grab, lost her balance and catapulted earthward.
She landed with a bounce on the pink ground. It looked like….yes, it was bubble gum! And she was sinking fast!
Nancy tried chewing her way out, but to no avail. Her jaws had tired before she had freed even one big toe. As she continued to sink into the marshmallowy sticky mess, she thought and thought. Suddenly, she was struck with a brilliant idea.
Reaching into her Professional Detective Kit, she pulled out a jar of peanut butter and began to grease herself up.
It worked! She slid right out of the bubble gum…and kept on sliding. As a matter of fact, she slid all the way to Yugoslavia and got there an hour ahead of the plane. Unfortunately she was issued two traffic tickets…one for driving on the freeway without a vehicle and one for leaving bubble gum deposits on the exit ramp, causing sticky traffic jams.