Nancy Drew Files #63. Mixed Signals. Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew Files #63. Mixed Signals. Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew Files #63. Mixed Signals. Carolyn Keene

Chapter One

“That banner looks terrific!” Nancy Drew said, peering through the windshield of her blue Mustang.

When there was no answer from the passenger seat, Nancy reached over and gently nudged her friend Bess Marvin. “Bess, wake up. You’ve got to see this.”

“What?” Bess mumbled, yawning and straightening up. Her long blond hair was a golden tousle around the collar of her denim jacket. “Are we at Emerson already? I just closed my eyes for a second, and suddenly—” Her eyes widened as she saw the purple-and-orange banner strung above the tree-lined street that led up to the college campus. “Wildcats on the Prowl!” she read aloud. “Hey, there’s another one: Emerson Welcomes Its Alumni.”

Nancy slowed for the traffic and had time to read a final banner strung from a golden maple to a red-leaved one: Come Home to Emerson.

“Whoever planned this did a great job,” Bess commented with admiration. “I’m psyched about homecoming weekend, and I’m not even an alum!”

Nancy’s blue eyes sparkled with pride. “Ned’s in charge of floats for the parade. He said all the committee heads had worked really hard to do something different this year.” Nancy’s boyfriend, Ned Nickerson, was a student at Emerson College.

Bess smiled. “Well, those banners definitely make a great first impression. I’m thrilled that Ned invited me to come with you. But I do feel sorry for George. She’s going to miss out on all the fun.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that,” Nancy said. “George has been so wrapped up in teaching her class, she may not even notice that we’re gone!”

Bess’s cousin George Fayne was spending the week teaching a water-safety course back home in River Heights.

“There’s the oval,” Nancy said, pointing up ahead to an oval-shaped drive surrounded by a cluster of buildings. Some of the structures were modern cubes of steel and glass, while others were old-fashioned ivy-covered stone or brick buildings. “Ned said we’re staying in Packard Hall. That’s just off the next road on the right.”

“I remember that dorm,” Bess said as Nancy turned her car onto a narrow road. “It’s coed, isn’t it?”

“Coed?” Nancy echoed, shooting her friend a teasing glance. “Funny how the important details stick in your head, Bess.”

“I can’t help it,” Bess admitted. “But just because boys live in the dorm doesn’t mean I’m going to go boy crazy or anything.” Bess crossed her arms, and a mischievous smile lifted the corners of her mouth. “At least not until I’ve checked out what’s happening with Jerry. I can’t wait to see him.”

“You two really did hit it off during winter carnival,” Nancy commented. During a previous visit Bess had gotten to know one of Ned’s friends, a football player named Jerry McEntee. “We’ll probably run into him at the pep rally tonight. Ned said all the cheerleaders and football players would be there.”

Pulling her car into a lot beside a tall brick-and-glass building, Nancy braked to a halt.

“This is it,” she announced, opening her car door and getting out. She breathed deeply as she stretched her long, slender frame, letting the crisp breeze ruffle her shoulder-length reddish gold hair.

After Bess had dragged her two suitcases out of the trunk, Nancy led the way to the entrance of Packard Hall. Inside, the girls gave their names to the student at the reception desk. She checked the guest roster, then handed Nancy two keys.

“You’ll be staying on the fifth floor, in Room five-fourteen,” the girl said, pointing toward the bank of elevators. “Oh, and here’s a schedule and some other stuff for homecoming weekend.”

After Nancy took the small pile of papers the girl held out, she and Bess headed for the elevators. On the way to their room, they passed a common area with couches, chairs, and a kitchenette.

Their room, halfway down the hall from the elevator, was actually a suite, with two small bedrooms, a sitting room with two couches and a desk, and a private bathroom. “Not bad,” Bess said, once they’d checked it out. “How did Ned manage to get a suite for us?”

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Categories: Keene, Carolyn