Carolyn Keene. White Water Terror

Carolyn Keene. White Water Terror

Carolyn Keene. White Water Terror

Chapter One

“You’ve got to be kidding,” Bess Marvin said. She looked up from her seat in Nancy Drew’s bedroom, where she was polishing her long, delicate nails. “I’m not going on any wilderness trip!”

“But, Bess, you’ll love it,” countered her cousin George Fayne.

Sitting cross-legged on her bed, Nancy Drew was engrossed in a puzzle and trying to block out the sound of her best friends’ voices. The more difficult the puzzle, the better Nancy liked it. Thinking hard kept her mind limbered up for her more challenging work as a detective.

“Really, Bess, you will love it,” George said again, seeing her cousin roll her eyes. “Lost River, the mountains, the trees, the birds—they’re all yours, just for sitting comfortably in a rubber raft for a couple of days. You probably won’t even have to paddle. The river will do all the work.”

“I’ll loathe it!” Bess exclaimed with a shudder. “Nancy,” she implored, “tell George that this time she’s really gone looney tunes.”

Nancy put down her puzzle and looked at her friends. George, who had just come from her regular three-mile afternoon jog, was wearing a blue-and-green running suit that emphasized her athletic wiriness and made her look ready for anything. White water rafting was exactly the kind of thing that would turn George on. She loved any challenge. That was what made her so valuable to Nancy.

At the same time, rafting was exactly the kind of thing that would turn Bess off. At the moment, for instance, she was wearing a pair of tight purple stirrup pants and an enormous gauzy shirt, cinched with a thin gold belt. Her long, straw-colored hair curled loosely around her shoulders. It wasn’t that Bess was afraid of adventure, and it wasn’t that she was terribly lazy. She was just . . . well, Bess liked to do things the easy way. Maybe she was a bit timid, but she always enjoyed being where things were happening—and things always happened with Nancy around.

Nancy folded her arms and looked from one friend to the other with a grin. “Okay, George, start from the beginning,” she said. “Tell us just how you managed to get four places on this rafting expedition. And where is Lost River, anyway?”

“I told you,” said George, her dark eyes gleaming with excitement, “I don’t even remember entering the contest. Maybe I did it when I bought those jogging shoes at the sporting goods store a couple of months ago. I vaguely remember filling out an entry blank for some sort of contest. Anyway, I got this letter yesterday from somebody named Paula Hancock, who owns White Water Rafting, notifying me that I’d won the grand prize in this national contest. Four places on a white water raft trip down Lost River, in the mountains of northwest Montana. They’re even offering free plane tickets to Great Falls—the nearest city.”

“Did the letter say anything about the kind of trip it might be?” Nancy asked. “I mean, there are rivers and then there are rivers,”

“According to the letter, Lost River is the ultimate white water challenge, full of rapids and falls. What a terrific vacation—and free, too. Anyway, we need a vacation,” George said emphatically. “We’ve been working too hard.”

Bess put the cap on her nail polish and shook her head. “George, you’re crazy,” she said. “Going rafting down some wild mountain river is no vacation—it’s sheer torture!”

Nancy thought back to her last case, Hit and Run Holiday, a Florida “vacation” that had nearly gotten her killed. She had come to realize the importance of spending relaxed time with her friends. “We do need a break,” she said.

“Yes,” Bess said, brightening. “You’re absolutely right, Nancy. But what we need is a break, not a breakdown. I vote for a long weekend at the beach. I know we were just in Fort Lauderdale, but what happened there certainly wasn’t a vacation. I want to do nothing but lie in the sun and baste ourselves with tanning lotion. And when we’re tired of the beach, we can go shopping.” She threw Nancy a hopeful glance.

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Categories: Keene, Carolyn