Nancy Drew Files #7
Nancy Drew Files #7
“When is that phone going to ring?” Nancy Drew stalked out of her bedroom and across the hotel suite’s living room. She paused in the doorway of the bedroom on the far side, where her two best friends were unpacking.
“It’s twenty minutes to two right now,” George Fayne said, groaning. She glanced from her watch to her cousin, Bess Marvin, who was sharing the room with her. “If that woman doesn’t phone in the next two minutes, we’re going to miss the opening tennis match!”
It was a hot summer afternoon. Half an hour earlier, Bess, George, and Nancy had checked into the two-bedroom suite at the Alexandria, Virginia, hotel. George, an avid athlete, had recently been concentrating on her tennis game, and at her urging the other two had come with her to watch the International Women’s Semi-Pro Tennis Tournament. It was being held at Loudon College, not far from Washington, D.C.
“Senator Kilpatrick did phone at one, as she promised,” Nancy said. “The desk clerk gave me the message. It wasn’t her fault we got caught in all the airport traffic!” Marilyn Kilpatrick was an old law-school friend of Nancy’s father. When she had heard from him that Nancy and her friends were going to be in Alexandria, she had asked Nancy to run an errand for her, and Nancy had felt that she couldn’t very well say no. “If she said she’ll call back and asked me to wait, she’ll call,” Nancy added.
“Traffic jams wouldn’t have been a problem if we’d flown down yesterday the way we planned,” George pointed out. “Instead of going to that meet-the-players party last night, we were still in River Heights, waiting for your top-secret phone call from the senator.” She pulled off the khaki shirt she’d worn for traveling and tossed it onto her bed. “You know something? I’m beginning to have a lot more sympathy for Ned Nickerson.”
“Sympathy for Ned?” Nancy exclaimed, frowning. “Why?” Then her brow cleared. “Oh, you mean because he wasn’t able to come to the tournament with us.”
“No, she means because even Ned can’t be sure that a mystery won’t mess up plans you’ve made,” Bess put in, only half laughing.
“Right!” George began rummaging in her suitcase for a tennis crewneck. “I’m sure it’s great for Ned to be famous detective Nancy Drew’s numero uno guy, but never knowing when a mystery’s going to spoil a romantic moment must drive him crazy!”
Nancy’s blue eyes twinkled. “Ned manages! And look who’s talking about making boyfriends feel insecure!” Bess—small, blond, and curvy—was famous for the speed with which she collected—and then dropped—good-looking boys.
“Ned knows he’s my main man in any language,” Nancy went on more seriously. “But why do I have to keep telling you that Senator Kilpatrick’s errand has nothing to do with a case?”
“Is that why you’ve been carefully avoiding telling us what it is about?” George asked bluntly.
Nancy reddened. All at once, Senator Kilpatrick’s warning rang in her ears. “Tell no one,” the senator had said. Despite the muggy summer heat, Nancy felt a chill.
Bess gave her an odd look but changed the subject deftly. “That ‘numero uno’ bit means George is brushing up on her Spanish in case she meets that Central American tennis star the TV reporters are making such a fuss about.”
“Teresa Montenegro isn’t Central American, she’s from San Carlos,” George corrected her. “That’s in South America. And she’s not a star—not yet. Nobody outside of San Carlos has had a chance to see her play till now. But she’s supposed to be really great. I can’t wait to watch her!”
“If we ever get there, you mean.” Bess began to wriggle into a lavender knit miniskirt. Then she giggled. “Ten to one Nancy’s mystery interferes.”
“Come off it, you two,” Nancy protested, managing a laugh. “I’m meeting somebody to pick up something for the senator, and that’s all!”
“Su-u-u-re,” George drawled. “The lady’s only got an office and a staff in D.C., right across the river from here. But she absolutely had to talk to Nancy Drew last night, and she’s positively got to have Nancy and nobody but Nancy run this errand. And there’s no mystery involved? Who’re you trying to kid?”