“What!” Nancy was stunned by the announcement. So that’s how her enemies had double-crossed her!
She asked the man for a piece of paper and a pencil, and quickly scribbled a note to Mr. Gonzales. Nancy explained the situation and asked if he would come to the lobby. Then she handed the note to the clerk.
“Would you please send this to Mr. Gonzales,” she requested.
The clerk summoned a boy and within a few minutes, Nancy saw a handsome, dark-haired man of about fifty, wearing a white suit, approach the desk. The clerk motioned to the girl.
“This is Mr. Gonzales,” he said.
Nancy nodded, then asked her father’s friend to move a little distance away so they would not be overheard.
“I’m Nancy Drew,” she whispered. “The Miss Boonton you’re entertaining is an impostor.”
Nancy opened her purse and showed Mr. Gonzales her driver’s license. He looked at it, then at her, in amazement.
“How do you do,” he said in a low voice, “I’m dreadfully sorry about this. Do you know who the other girl is?”
“No,” Nancy replied. “Left go inside and find out.”
Quickly the two went to the dining room, and Mr. Gonzales led the way toward a table at the window. Suddenly he stopped short “She’s gone!” he exclaimed. “The other Miss Boonton is gone!”
Nancy was not surprised to hear it. She deduced that when Mr. Gonzales had received the note and gone to the desk, the girl realized that her trick had been discovered and she decided to disappear at once!
“She had a good head start!” the girl detective thought
Nancy suggested that they give an alarm to the man at the main desk so he could ask the clubhouse guard and various workers on the grounds and golf course to look for the impostor.
Mr. Gonzales went to the headwaiter’s desk and picked up the phone. Nancy heard him tell the story to the man in charge of the club and ask that a search be made for a tall, slender young woman with a lot of blond hair.
“She was wearing a white skirt and blouse, with a red-and-white sleeveless vest,” he said.
The message was passed along at once. Nancy, impatient to find out where the girl had gone, told Mr. Gonzales she wanted to do a little hunting on her own account. He offered to go with her.
“Where do you want to look first?” he asked.
“How about inspecting all the cars parked on the grounds? She might be hiding in one.”
Mr. Gonzales led the way to the far side of the dining room and out a sliding glass door. A caddy came by, and Mr. Gonzales asked him if he had seen the girl. The answer was no, and the search went on. They checked every car in the area. All they found inside them was a sleeping dog in one with an open window, and a large teddy bear in another.
“Of course there’s a third possibility,” Nancy said. “The phony Miss Boonton could have been brought to the club by a friend, who could have waited for her.”
“True,” Mr. Gonzales agreed.
As they turned back to the clubhouse, Nancy stopped a couple who were driving in. She asked if they had seen a girl dressed in white except for a red-and-white vest. “We don’t know whether she was on foot or in a car.”
“No, we didn’t,” the man replied.
“Thank you,” Nancy said, disappointed.
Moments later a sports car came from the opposite direction. Mr. Gonzales asked the driver if he had noticed a girl on the road.
“A blond wearing a red-and-white vest?” the man asked.
“That’s right,” Nancy answered, excited. “Where did you see her?”
“I passed her about a mile down the road. She was riding in a brown car with a man.”
The information was sufficient for Nancy to conclude that the fraudulent Miss Boonton had made a quick getaway. “No use in looking for her any more,” she told Mr. Gonzales.
He nodded. “I owe you a lunch. You must be starved. Let’s return to the dining room.”
After they had ordered salads and iced tea, Nancy and her host talked about the mystery.