Nancy Drew #65

Mystery of the Winged Lion

Chapter 1 - Crash in the Night

Nancy, Bess and George are continuing a vacation in Europe, and their newest destination is Venice - they are staying at the Gritti Palace Hotel on the Grand Canal. They have just received notice that Ned, Burt and Dave are in jail, but the girls will have to wait until the morning to arrange for their release. The boys were supposed to have flown home to New York, but decided to make a quick detour and surprise the girls in Venice; they are held up in customs. As the girls are discussing the matter in front of their hotel, they hear the crash of shattered glass coming from a nearby store across the canal. They convince a gondolier to take them across the canal to investigate. They almost catch the perpetrator, but he sees the girls' shadows and escapes through the back door and away by speedboat. As he flees, he throw a rock to set off the alarm system, which throws suspicion onto the girls, who are still at the scene of the crime. Nancy hopes to discuss the boys' plight with her dad, but back at the hotel, Nancy gets a call from Carson's secretary, Miss Hanson, who explains that he is unavailable.


Chapter 2 - Ned's Story

There is a loud knock at the door which wakes the girls - it is the night clerk from the hotel saying that the gondolier, Andreoli, thought the girls might be in trouble. Nancy explains their story and says they plan to tell the police the following day. Next morning it is raining, and the girls notice that the shop (called Artistico Vetro) has a broken window. The concierge hands Nancy a note, but it is illegible as the rain has made the ink run. The girls go to the police station, accompanied by an interpreter. They are allowed to see the boys, who recount their story of being detained at Marco Polo airport and having their belongings thoroughly searched. The customs officials found a glass art piece (an abstract figure of a horse with golden hooves) in Ned's suitcase. The item was dropped by the official and it broke. Nancy identifies herself to the police, and they connect her to the break-in at the glass factory.


Chapter 3 - D.D. Mystery

The girls explain their presence on the previous evening to the police, then the gondolier arrives and corroborates their story. Nancy is asked not to do any more detecting during her stay in Venice. The boys are not released, and the girls leave the station and have cappuccinos at Florian's Cafe on the Piazza San Marco. They then see some of the Venetian sights, and learn of the "Mystery of the Cathedral Horses." Antonio reads Nancy's note and explains that it is a plea for help, but that the name was been washed away except for the initials D.D. They decide to go back to the glass shop, and on the vaporetto ride across the canal, Nancy is pushed, but she grabs the chain in time to avoid falling into the canal.


Chapter 4 - The Duchessa's Secret

There are no witnesses as to who pushed Nancy. The girls eventually get to the art glass shop, but it is closed. They see Andreoli inside. An elderly lady calls down to the girls from upstairs and invites them in. The lady is Duchessa Dandolo and is distantly related to the doges of ages past. She admits she sent the message to Nancy, as she had heard of our sleuth's detecting skills from Professor Bagley. The duchessa explains that her nephew Filippo, a brilliant glass artisan, has been kidnapped. She is afraid to go to the police for fear of adverse publicity. Nancy explains that her top priority at this time is clearing Ned, Dave and Burt of smuggling charges, and the duchessa offers to pull some strings with her government contacts in exchange for Nancy's help in locating Filippo.


Chapter 5 - Revelations

As promised, the duchessa makes a call to have the boys released (the horse in Ned's luggage was from the Dandolos' Murano showroom). The kidnappers were hoping to snatch Claudio and hold him ransom in exchange for the Dandolos' secret glass formula. Hearing of these plans, Claudio went into hiding, so the kidnappers captured his son Filippo instead. The duchessa shows Nancy a note she has received from Filippo with the symbol of a winged lion, the "signature" he uses on all his glass work. Based on this clue, Nancy decides to investigate at St. Mark's Basilica.


Chapter 6 - Captured!

At the basilica, Nancy is standing in the presbytery when she is warned to stay away from the Dandolos. She finds George and they follow the man who gave the warning into a small empty chapel. They are grabbed, bound and gagged and locked in a closet. Bess had stayed at the hotel to take a nap and wakes to find a note to meet the others at St. Mark's. Erminio invites himself to accompany her. He lures her into a lonely chapel and claims to have found Nancy and George.


Chapter 7 - Reverse Approach

Bess falls for the trick and is also captured and thrown into the closet with Nancy and George. Meanwhile, the boys are released and register at the Gritti Palace Hotel. They find the girls missing and Erminio directs them to the Lido. Ned forgets his wallet and goes back up to his room, but finds it locked. The boys take a water taxi and, as they approach an arched bridge, a dark figure dangles from the opposite side and hurls a small object at the boat. The driver reverses in time and avoid the object, which falls into the canal. The driver is afraid to proceed, so Dave strips down to his shorts and swims forward to show that there is no danger. They reach their destination of the Excelsior Hotel and think they see the girls at a fancy dress party.


Chapter 8 - The Cap Clue

While Nancy, Bess and George continue to work on escaping from their prison, the boys dance with some party attendees in hopes of surprising the girls. It turns out to be a case of mistaken identity, so the boys decide to leave and investigate the bridge when the potential bomb scare took place. They find a felt cap. It begins to rain very hard, and the boys have missed the last boat back from the Lido, so they are stranded.


Chapter 9 - Thwarted Search

No water taxis will run until the storm passes so the boys book a room at the Excelsior. Ned calls the hotel to report the delay to the girls, and Erminio reads him a message that is signed "Nancy Drew." The formality of the signature puzzles Ned. During the night, the girls are drugged and moved within the basilica.

Chapter 10 -Troublesome Discovery

Nancy uses a radiator pipe to break through the last of her bonds and releases Bess and George. The boys continue to search the Lido, and finally give up to return to the Gritti, where the note from Nancy is missing from their box. Once in their room, the boys realize that their belongings have been searched, but nothing is missing. Ned deduces that a hotel employee must have been conducting the search the evening before when he returned to get his wallet.


Chapter 11 - Undeserved Accusation

Ned is suspicious of Erminio, the night clerk. The boys check out and pretend to leave town, but they really just change hotels to confuse the night clerk. Back at the basilica, a passing priest notices that the door to the room where the girls are being held is locked and frees them. The police come and are doubtful about Nancy's story of kidnapping.


Chapter 12 - New Developments

Nancy insists on lodging formal charges at the police station against the night clerk. The girls return to the hotel to find the boys gone and Erminio on vacation. Nancy divulges that Erminio is wanted by the police, but the replacement night clerk refuses to give out Erminio's home address. Later they receive contact from Ned and arrange to meet by the belltower. The group meets, catches up and has dinner. The 3 girls from the Excelsior arrive at the same restaurant and recognize the boys.


Chapter 13 - An Inescapable Snare

Nancy contacts the duchessa to arrange for her to meet the boys. The duchessa hangs up on her saying that she has no need to talk to her again, but her phrasing is awkward, and Nancy suspects she meant to convey just the opposite. The gang takes a gondola ride and Nancy thinks she sees Erminio in a passing window. Their gondola falls in with a tour group and they can't get their gondolier to stop at the duchessa's.

Chapter 14 - Strange Behavior

When the group later arrives at the duchessa's, there is no answer. In the morning Nancy and George return and convince Andreoli to let them in, where they find the apartment in shambles and the duchessa missing. They join the rest of the group for breakfast. Nancy searches for the building where she had spotted Erminio.


Chapter 15 - Sisterly Protection

Nancy visits the apartment which corresponds to the window and meets a disabled woman, who is Erminio's sister. Nancy notices a photo on her table, which includes a young man who strongly resembles the duchessa. After the interview, Nancy returns to the group and they take a boat to Murano to visit the Artistico Vetro factory.


Chapter 16 - Inquiries

Nancy thinks she sees the duchessa in the storeroom, but is told she never comes to the factory. The group goes to the showroom where Nancy notices a recent order with Filippo's winged lion "signature." The showroom manager, Mr. Chiais, offers to show them some pieces and escorts the group out when they start asking questions. Nancy decides to watch the factory as it is nearing closing time; she wants to see if the duchessa emerges. They have no luck and return to the hotel, where the duchessa calls and arranges a meeting in Murano at 10 PM that night. Nancy considers whether or not the meeting is a trap. George suggests that she accompany Nancy as her gondolier.


Chapter 17 - Cagey Calls

Nancy decides to don a costume as well in case the phone call was a hoax. Ned will accompany Nancy instead of George and the rest of the group agrees to call the police in the morning if the couple does not return. Nancy wears a shawl and dark hair made up in a bun. Andreoli calls and tells Nancy that her services are no longer needed as the duchessa's nephew has been found. Nancy is suspicious that the caller is not really Andreoli because his English is too good; she suspects Scarpa made the phony call.


Chapter 18 - Unexpected Arrival

Carson arrives unannounced at hotel and accompanies George and Bess to meet Burt and Dave; on the way the girls explain that Nancy and Ned have gone to Murano. At the factory, Nancy wishes to look around before her appointment in the showroom. She breaks in and finds a trapdoor in the floor. Back in Venice, Carson explains the nature of his client's difficulties wherein there are accusations of design theft. The name Scarpa is brought up and is recognized by Bess.


Chapter 19 - Taking a Risk

Once Carson realizes the connection between the cases, he insists on taking the trip to Murano, with police escort, against Nancy's wishes. Back in Murano, Nancy and Ned hide as two men enter the glass supply room; they realize they don't have key to storeroom, then leave. Nancy and Ned explore the room beneath the trap door and find the duchessa drugged and unconscious. While they try to figure out how to get her up the ladder, the duchessa regains consciousness and says Alberini and Scarpa brought her there, and want the secret glass formula in exchange for location of Filippo. Nancy realizes that it must have been the duchessa herself who made the mess at the apartment looking for her copy of formula; when she couldn't find it there, she came to the factory to search. After being seized, her captors forced the duchessa to call Nancy and set up the meeting.


Chapter 20 - Venetian Victory

Nancy decides to keep her appointment to stall the captors, while Ned runs to get help. Upon entering the showroom, she finds it empty, but overhears Mr. Chiais, Mr. Alberini and the two Scarpa brothers negotiating behind a closed door. Nancy announces herself and stalls by describing her deductions. She points out to the Scarpas that Alberini was double-crossing them. Just as Alberini decides it is time to silence Nancy, the police and Ned's entourage burst in, followed shortly thereafter by Andreoli and the duchessa. Andreoli reveals himself as Filippo's father. Erminio discloses that Filippo is on Torcello, near a stone with winged lion. Claudio/Andreoli also admits that he destroyed all the written copies of the formula for fear that his sister might succumb to the kidnappers' demands, and so it is saved only in his memory. Filippo is rescued and everyone gathers for a farewell dinner where Nancy is presented with a glass etching inscribed "My most grateful thanks to Nancy Drew."


6 grayscale pictures by Paul Frame  1982 by Simon & Schuster, New York.
4 color drawings and 1 line drawing by Jean-Louis Mercier  1985 by Hachette, Paris.

2001, Lea Shangraw Fox