Chapter 1 – Mysterious Patient
Nancy is asked to come to the hospital by former classmate Lisa Scotti,
who is a nurse at the facility. A patient is suffering from
amnesia and Nancy is asked to find out how he came to be injured and at
the bottom of a cliff. When Nancy arrives, she finds a burly
bearded man threatening and choking the amnesia victim, but the
assailant runs away before he can be questioned. While
searching for clues, Nancy discovers a large ornate ring in
Chapter 2 – Tommy’s Accident
While completing her volunteer duties, Nancy visits her neighbor Tommy
in the Pediatric ward. He was hit by a car and has a broken
leg. Next Nancy discovers that Lisa never made it to the
hospital’s safe to deposit the ring found in
Cliff’s knapsack, but took it to a jewelry store to have it
evaluated at Cliff’s request. Nancy witnesses
Cliff’s assailant swiping the ring from Lisa then confronts
him and retrieves the ring without the thief’s
knowledge. He escapes by catching a bus, but when Nancy
catches up to the bus, the thief is gone.
Chapter 3 – Mean Accusation
In comparing notes with Chief McGinnis about the thief’s car,
Nancy believes that Cliff’s ring and the hit and run on Tommy
are connected. Back home, Carson explains how the town of
Castleton is irate over the loss of a theater company from their
festival line up in favor of River Heights’s festival, and
that he is being blamed since he was managing the
negotiations. He asks Nancy to hold off any sleuthing while
the situation is resolved.
Chapter 4 – Suspect!
Bess and George come over and the girls inspect the ring with a
magnifying glass and think they might see some letters in the
patterns. The next day Bess and George take the ring to Mr.
Jhaveri’s jewelry shop where he educates them about how a
maharajah might wear a ring of this type.
Chapter 5 – Untimely Ruse
A bearded man in the jewelry store claims to be Dr. DeNiro, an
anthropologist at nearby Oberon College and asks to inspect the
ring. Under the pretense that he is late, he rushes away,
“accidentally” taking the ring with him.
Bess and George go to Oberon College to try and catch up with him, and
meet the real Dr. DeNiro, who is not the same person who was in the
jewelry store. However, the real Dr. DeNiro is working on a
government project related to India and is intrigued by the
maharajah’s ring. The girls return to the hospital
where they find out that Cliff has had a nightmare.
Chapter 6 – Harpist’s Predicament
The girls arrange to have Cliff stay at the Drew residence after his
discharge from the hospital. Ned comes to take Nancy one of
the music festival concerts and displays some jealousy about Cliff
staying at her house. At the theater, Nancy is snubbed by
River Heights society. During the concert, the harp is found
to be out of key and the performance is interrupted.
Afterwards, Nancy goes backstage to question the harpist, Angela
Pruett, about the incident, but she is reticent to discuss the details.
Chapter 7 – The Sister’s Story
Ned and Nancy retire to a diner where they discuss Carson’s
troubles relating to the music festival. When they get back
to the Drew residence, Angela is there talking to Carson about her
missing sister Phyllis. The girl had runaway the previous
year and was staying with a Mrs. Flannery while pursuing an interest in
Transendental Meditation. Nancy agrees to help find the
girl. The next day Nancy spends the morning volunteering at
the hospital then brings Cliff home. Nancy makes plans to
take a hike with Ned to try and find the location of the retreat where
Phyllis is studying. She gets a call from Angela with clues
on how to find the retreat, but Angela is cut off before she can
provide the information.
Chapter 8 – Tangled Trail
With the only information available that the retreat is near a lake,
Nancy and Ned go to investigate 2 lakes near River Heights.
They meet Keshav Lal who tells them about Ramaswami, but will not give
any details. They also bump into a man named Mr. Flannery and
ask him about Phyllis, but he denies knowing her. Lal directs
them to a cabin near the lake, about a mile down a trail. It
begins to rain during the hike. They find the cabin and catch
someone peering out one of the windows.
Chapter 9 – Cabin Captive
Nancy and Ned bang on the door and meet a woman who has allowed some of
the swami’s followers to lodge at her cabins but did not
appreciate the messes they made. She directs Nancy and Ned
further down the trail to the retreat. The rain stops and
then suddenly someone jumps Nancy and stuffs a sweet smelling scarf to
her face and she falls limp.
Meanwhile Nancy and Bess go to visit Cliff at the Drew residence but
find that he has gone missing. Hannah feels guilty about his
disappearance since she had promised not to leave him alone during the
day, but had gone out for some groceries.
The next scene has Nancy laying bound in an old cabin with an old iron
stove when she sees a venomous water snake moving in her direction,
prepared to strike. She manages to jump up, accidentally
splitting an old rotted floor board, and the snake tumbles to the
ground below the cabin. Ned is nowhere to be found.
Chapter 10 – Ned’s Rescue
An RHPD officer comes to investigate Cliff’s disappearance
from the Drew home and discovers an area of the floor soaked with
chloroform, and determines that Cliff has indeed been kidnapped.
Back at the cabin it is the next morning, and Nancy tries to work her
way out of her bonds by use of a nail, but then Ned arrives to cut her
free after escaping from another cabin. They return to
Nancy’s house where they find out about Cliff’s
disappearance. Nancy finds out from a neighbor that a car was
speeding away from the house which also happens to match the
description of the car that hit Tommy on his bike, and it is registered
to a man named Dev Singh.
Chapter 11 - Cancellation!
Nancy receives a flyer in the mail that the River Heights Music
Festival has been cancelled, then finds out that it is a
hoax. She joins up with Bess and George and they visit the
jewelry shop to get an estimated value on the ring. While
there Nancy discovers that Mr. Jhaveri is Keshav Lal’s
cousin. The girls then proceed to the last known address of
Dev Singh, but accidentally go to the wrong street.
Chapter 12 – Escape Lane
Girls finally locate Singh’s house at the end of a potholed
street. They hide as a car approaches, containing the bearded
man and his Indian associate, Prem Nath. The girls leave to
fetch the police. The police ask Nath if he is acquainted
with Mr. Flannery or Dev Singh, and he denies knowing either
man. There is also no trace of Cliff at this house.
Chapter 13 – Technical Attack
Nancy visits Tommy in the hospital, and checks in with nurse Lisa who
reports that Cliff had called the hospital. Later Nancy,
Bess, George, Ned, Burt & Dave go to a production of Oklahoma!
at the music festival. As the show begins, there are problems
with the stage lighting. Nancy investigates and finds the
sound and light technician has been knocked unconscious, and a young
man with long hair running away from the booth. An ambulance
is called and the show is cancelled.
Chapter 14 – Flannery Foolery
The next morning Nancy receives a phone call from Angela saying that
Phyllis arranged, and then cancelled a meeting with her out at Swain
Lake Lodge. Ned joins Nancy and they visit Mrs. Flannery, who
claims Phyllis has not been at the rooming house for over a
week. She reluctantly lets Nancy and Ned inspect the room,
where they find a brochure about the Ramaswami.
Chapter 15 – Surprise Return
Nancy and Ned also find a half written letter from Phyllis to
Angela. Their next stop is Oberon College, to pay a call on
Dr. DeNiro. Someone had sent him Cliff’s ring in
the mail, in an unmarked brown package. At the campus Nancy
spies someone who looks like the young man who knocked out the sound
technician at the music festival. They pursue the suspect as
he flees in his silver hatchback and nearly get into an accident.
Chapter 16 – Hazy Report
Nancy and Ned trace the car they were pursuing to the River Heights
Theater. Nancy demands to speak to Mr. Hillyer, the director
of the Music Festival, who has the boy “Brady” in
his office. She is given the brush off. Back home,
Hannah reports that Cliff may have been spotted hitchhiking.
Later Nancy deduces that the ring was sent to the real Dr. DeNiro
Chapter 17 – Moonlight Intruder
At night Nancy and Ned return to the Flannery house and spy on the
residents. Nancy recognizes the voice of the man that was at
Swain Lake Lodge. The hatchback driver has followed Nancy and
Ned and knocks Ned unconscious, then attacks Nancy. The
Flannerys hear the scuffle and discover Nancy snooping – they
catch her, tie her to a chair and (bizarrely) stuff bread in her
mouth. Two hours later Ned regains consciousness, still
laying in the driveway.
Chapter 18 – Scorpion Scare
The hatchback driver (Brady) had fled the scene when the Flannerys
arrived – he then proceeds to the River Heights
Theater where he releases a scorpion onto the stage while the orchestra
performs. The audience panics when the scorpion is found and
they flee the theater. Brady guilelessly discusses the
possibilities of the perfomers returning to the Castle festival with
Mr. Hillyer since River Heights seems to be having so many problems.
Now awake, Ned finds the Flannery house empty and that someone has
given him a flat tire. He fixes the tire and drives to the
Drew home to find Nancy is missing. He then proceeds to the
River Heights Theater to find Mr. Drew and Mr. Hillyer in a heated
Chapter 19 – Prisoners’ Retreat
Ned takes Mr. Drew and the police aside and speculates that Brady may
have been responsible for the attack on him and Nancy, and also for the
trouble at the theater. The next morning Nancy is still
missing, so Ned, Angela, Bess, George, Burt, Dave and Mr. Drew head out
to find the swami’s retreat where they believe she is being
Chapter 20 – Intriguing Discovery
The gang discovers the location of the cabin and spot Dev
Singh’s car parked there. They spy Mr. Jhaveri in
the cabin and several cots in the basement. They are
discovered by Prem Nath, and then a brawl ensues between the group of
sleuths vs. Nath, Lal and Flannery. Nancy is in the cabin and
takes the opportunity to subdue Mrs. Flannery. Phyllis and
Cliff are also found inside the cabin. The police arrive and
arrests are made. Cliff reveals that his name is really Randy
and that he has his memory back. He had spent his childhood
in India as the son of missionaries, where he had obtained the
maharajah’s ring. He had planned to present the
ring to the Ramaswami to thank him for the enlightening time he had
spent at the retreat. It is revealed that Keshav Lal is the
main culprit, who was intercepting valuable gifts sent to the
Ramaswami, and fencing them through his (unsuspecting)
cousin’s – Mr. Jhaveri - jewelry
shop. When Nancy had brought Cliff/Randy’s ring in
for appraisal and then it re-appeared in the possession of the fake Dr.
DeNiro, Mr. Jhaveri had been tipped off to the racket, but he was
afraid of exposing his cousin. Prem Nath is also revealed as
using the alias Dev Singh. Cliff/Randy had told the Ramaswami
of his suspicions about Lal and Singh, and the two culprits waylaid him
as a result. Phyllis had also realized what Lal and Singh
were up to and was imprisoned before she could inform the
In the resolution to the secondary plot, Brady confesses to his role in
the sabotage of the River Heights Music Festival – he was
hoping to get the festival cancelled so that the troupe would
re-instate their original contract with the Castleton
festival. His father had lost his job when the group had
cancelled at the last minute. Mr. Hillyer apologizes to the
Drews and they are reinstated in everyone’s good
4 grayscale pictures by Ruth Sanderson © 1981 by Simon & Schuster, New York.
2 black and white line drawings by Philippe Daure © 1984 by Hachette, Paris.
color image (snake) by Peter Archer © 1982 by Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
color image (choking) by Pentti Ajanto © 1983 by Tammi, Helsinki.
Copyright © 2007, Lea Shangraw Fox