Bess grinned. “Oh, Jackie, dear,” she said, “You have such brilliant ideas!”
The girls entered the giant airliner in a happy mood, and sat down side by side. During the flight they teased one another, using their assumed names. They passed part of the time reading magazines and eating a delicious lunch.
In the middle of the afternoon they arrived in Miami and went to the baggage-claim area. As they retrieved their suitcases, a young man walked up to them.
“Pardon me,” he said, “but are you the girls who are visiting the Cosgroves?”
“That’s right,” George said. “And you?”
“My name is Steven, They sent me to drive you to their house. We’ll get a porter and have him bring your bags.”
Steven led them to a beautiful gold-colored car.
“Does this belong to the Cosgroves?” Nancy asked.
“No, it’s mine,” he said and opened the doors for them.
“It’s yummy,” Bess remarked and plopped into the cream-colored, velvety back seat. George climbed in next to her, while Nancy rode in front with Steven.
On the way the girls admired the sprawling, large homes and the glistening bay. Steven, who was not very talkative, answered their questions merely with a yes or no, so after a while they gave up including him in their conversation.
He drove over the causeway and through Key Biscayne. At last they came to an area of beautiful homes that occupied large pieces of property. Steven turned into a long driveway and approached an elegant mansion. He stopped at the front door and offered to carry the bags up to the girls’ rooms.
Nancy rang the bell. The door was opened by a middle-aged couple.
“You must be Nancy Drew,” the woman said. She was cordial but did not smile. “And these are your friends, Bess and George.”
Nancy nodded and asked, “And you are Mr. and Mrs. Cosgrove?”
“Yes,” the man replied. He did not smile either, and the girls felt uncomfortable at the cool welcome.
The couple silently escorted them to the second floor and showed each visitor to a large and expensively furnished bedroom. Steven followed with their luggage.
Nancy walked to the picture window at the far end of her room to gaze down into the beautiful garden. Bess and George also looked out their windows. None of them had noticed that their hosts had silently closed the doors to the hall.
When the three friends tried to get together before joining the Cosgroves downstairs, they found that they had been locked in!
Although Nancy felt a tight knot of alarm in the pit of her stomach, her mind was racing. Obviously she and her friends had been kidnapped, and what made it worse was that the three girls were locked in separate rooms! No chance to plan an escape!
Before the young sleuth could decide what to do, she heard Bess cry out, “Anne, Jackie, where are you?”
“Locked in, just like you,” George’s voice came faintly.
“This is awful!” Bess wailed. “What’ll we do?”
“Don’t panic,” Nancy advised. “That won’t get us anywhere.”
The girls realized that if they tried to discuss a plan of action through the walls, their captors would hear them and foil any attempted escape. Each one had to fend for herself!
While Bess and George began a minute examination of their prisons, Nancy looked through the keyhole. The key was gone, but she was sure the lock on this bedroom door was a common type.
“That’s a break,” she thought and opened her purse.
She took out a bobby pin and a nail file. First she inserted the file into the keyhole and held it tight. Next she pushed in the bobby pin. By manipulating first one, then the other, she finally managed to get the door open.
Silently Nancy stepped into the hallway and listened. She heard the front door slam, and tip toed to a window just in time to see the sham Cosgroves get into a green sedan and roar out of the driveway.
Obviously Steven had left too, because his fancy gold-colored car was nowhere in sight. All was quiet, and Nancy was inclined to think they were alone in the house. But she could not be sure.