Authors: Mabel Maney
By Mabel Maney
41 A Warning
Thrilling Chapters from Your Favorite Nancy Clue Mysteries!
The Case of the Not-So-Nice Nurse 285
Nancy Clue and the Hardly Boys in A Ghost in the Closet 297
For Miss Lillian Bee of the Milwaukee Bees, and for M. P. K.
Special thanks to the nurses of Cleis Press-Deborah Barkun, Leasa Burton, Frederique Delacoste, Maura Farrell, Lisa Frank, Pete Ivey, and Felice Newman-for their keen editing abilities, unflagging good humor, and eternal patience.
Pretty, titian-haired detective Nancy Clue, known to all for her keen sleuthing abilities, up-to-the-minute fashion sense, and gracious finishing-school manners, kicked the right front tire of her modern convertible in frustration and burst into tears.
"I can't believe it! This is the second time today something has happened to this automobile! First that tire blew in Boise, and now this! Oh, it's maddening!" Nancy sobbed.
The attractive girl, clad in a simple powder blue summer skirt and crisp white blouse with a Peter Pan collar that gave her a charmingly innocent air, flung herself over the front of the snappy automobile and gave way to a fervent fit of wailing that made her traveling companions jump back in alarm.
The four girls accompanying her on the trip looked at each other in bewilderment. Just minutes before, Nancy had been leading the group in a merry sing-along, and now she was writhing on the hood of her 1959 canary yellow Chrysler convertible, tears streaming down her pretty face.
They had just finished a rousing round of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" when the car had hit a rather large rock and made the most awful clanking noise before rolling to a dead stop at the side of the road. And just when they had almost reached Pocatello, Idaho, where they'd planned to stop for a nice supper before driving across the border to the majestic mountain state of Wyoming.
Nurse Cherry Aimless, Nancy's close chum and a native Idahoan, had warned them to use caution while traversing the roadways of eastern Idaho, but the five girls had been so engrossed in their own amusements, they had become careless. Cherry scolded herself for not paying closer attention. She knew from her many experiences during family car trips to keep an eye out for the rocky road ahead. Now, just hours into their trip, their automobile was damaged, perhaps beyond repair!
"And Nancy's on the verge of hysteria," Cherry noted with her keen nurse's eye. "Not only that, she's in danger of becoming downright mussed," she thought in alarm.
Under normal circumstances, Nancy Clue, who had solved enough baffling mysteries to earn a well-deserved reputation as a first-rate sleuth, was the model of feminine decorum. She was accustomed to keeping a cool head while solving cases that baffled even the professionals, and emerged from every escapade with nary a hair out of place. For Nancy was as well known for her attractive hairstyles as she was for her ability to remain unruffled during the most trying circumstances.
But now the young sleuth was facing one of the most hairraising experiences of her life.
Nancy was headed home to River Depths, Illinois, to confess to the murder of her father, prominent attorney Carson Clue, who had been found shot to death eleven days earlier in the tidy kitchen of his comfortable, three-story suburban brick house!
"I must get home and expose the terrible truth about my father, and free Hannah!" Nancy cried through her tears. She pummeled the hood of the fancy car with her small fists. "I... simply... must... get... home!"
The Clues' longtime housekeeper, Hannah Gruel, had insisted on selflessly shouldering the blame for the death of Mr. Clue in order that Nancy might remain free, and so had confessed to shooting the popular attorney during a domestic dispute.
"I told that man time and time again to stay out of my kitchen while I was baking," Hannah had declared as she was led away in handcuffs to the River Depths jail. There she remained, awaiting trial for murder, due to begin in just over two days' time.