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Показать все книги автора/авторов: Arthur Robert

«The Mystery of the Talking Skull», Robert Arthur

Text byRobert ArthurIllustrated by Harry Kane

A Short Preview

Welcome, mystery lovers! We are gathered together again for another stimulating case of The Three Investigators, whose official motto is “We Investigate Anything”. If they had known what they were getting into when they tackled the curious case of the talking skull they might have changed their motto.

Be that as it may, they find themselves this time in a mix-up of mystery and danger which leads them from one perplexing enigma to another until — but I am not a blabbermouth. I promised faithfully not to tell too much and I shall keep my promise.

Indeed, I shall only say that The Three Investigators are Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw, and Bob Andrews, who all make their home in Rocky Beach, a small municipality in California a few miles from Hollywood. Their Headquarters is a mobile home trailer in The Jones Salvage Yard, a super junkyard owned by Jupiter’s aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Titus Jones.

The boys make an excellent team. Jupiter has a quick mind and is adept at deductions. Pete is less intellectual but sturdy and courageous. Bob is somewhat studious and an excellent researcher. Together they have solved some very intriguing mysteries indeed.

Which is all I shall say at this time, for I know you are eager to dispense with this preview and get to the main feature.



Jupiter Buys a Trunk

It all started because Jupiter Jones read the newspaper.

The Three Investigators — Jupiter, Pete Crenshaw, and Bob Andrews — were taking it easy back in Jupe’s workshop section of The Jones Salvage Yard. Bob was writing up some notes on their last case. Pete was just enjoying the California morning sunshine. And Jupiter was reading the paper.

Presently he looked up from its pages.

“Has either of you ever been to an auction?” he asked.

Bob said no. Pete shook his head.

“Neither have I,” Jupiter said. “The paper says there’s an auction this morning at the Davis Auction Company in Hollywood. They’ll be auctioning off to the highest bidder unclaimed luggage from a number of hotels. The paper says there are trunks and suitcases with unknown contents, left behind by people who moved, or couldn’t pay their bill, or who just forgot to call for them. I think it might be interesting to visit an auction.”

“Why?” Pete asked. “I don’t need a suitcase full of somebody’s old clothes.”

“Neither do I,” Bob said. “Let’s go swimming.”

“We should seek out new experiences,” Jupiter said. “Every new experience helps broaden our background as investigators. I’ll see if Uncle Titus will let Hans drive us up to Hollywood in the light truck.”

Hans, one of two Bavarian brothers who helped in the salvage yard, was free. And so, an hour later, the boys were standing in a large room crowded with people, watching a short, plump auctioneer on a raised platform auction off trunks and suitcases as rapidly as possible. At the moment he had a new-looking suitcase in front of him and was trying to get one more bid on it.

“Going once! Going once!” he shouted. “Going twice! Going twice!.. Gone! Sold for twelve dollars and fifty cents to the gentleman with the red necktie.”

The auctioneer banged his gavel, signifying that the sale was final. Then he turned to see what came next.

“Now we come to lot 98!” he sang out. “A very interesting item, ladies and gentlemen. Interesting and unusual. Hoist it up where everyone can see it, boys.”

Two sturdy workmen lifted a small, old-fashioned trunk on to the platform. Pete stirred restlessly. It was a hot day and the room was stuffy. Some of the men present seemed quite interested in bidding on the unknown contents of the luggage, but Pete couldn’t have cared less.

“C’mon, Jupe, let’s go!” Pete muttered to his stocky companion.

“Just a little longer,” Jupiter whispered back. “This looks like an interesting item. I think I’ll bid on it.”

“On that?” Pete stared at the trunk. “You’re crazy.”

“Just the same, I think I’ll try to buy it. If it’s worth anything, we’ll all share.”

“Worth anything? It’s probably full of clothes that went out of style in 1890,” Bob said.

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