This Side of Evil
“HEY, THIS ISN’T bad!” George Fayne exclaimed, looking around the nicely furnished apartment. “Not bad at all.” She sat down on the floor in front of the stereo and began to fiddle with the knobs, tuning in a rock music station. “Look – there’s even a VCR,” she added. “If we get bored, we can always rent a movie.”
Nancy Drew shrugged out of her black linen jacket and walked into the bedroom. Twin beds – room for both her and George. Ned Nickerson, Nancy’s longtime boyfriend, could sleep on the living room sofa. “You’re right,” she agreed happily as she walked back into the living room. “Pretty neat. There’s even a kitchen, so we can fix our own meals if we want to.”
The apartment where they were to stay during their trip to Montreal, Canada, was small. It was on the sixth floor, though, and had a terrific view of the Saint Lawrence River. Nancy went to the window and looked out across the wide and gray river, which was crowded with ships. In the distance was a green island, dotted with oddly shaped buildings.
“That’s Sainte-Hйlene’s Island,” Ned said, coming up behind Nancy. “Where Expo Sixty-seven was held.” He slipped his arm around Nancy’s shoulders affectionately. “Maybe the world-famous detective could take a couple of hours off work to go sightseeing over there,” he suggested.
Nancy returned his hug. “I hope so,” she murmured, leaning against him. It was great to have Ned with her on this case. They’d been apart so often in the past few months that just being with him was like being on vacation – even if she did have to work. She thought back to her last case, Wings of Fear, which had taken Bess and her to Seattle, without Ned.
Nancy was in Montreal at the request of Ashley Amberton,
executive secretary at Cherbourg Industries, to investigate a blackmailing operation within the company. It shouldn’t be a big job, Ashley Amberton had told her, and it should leave some time for fun.
First, only George was going to accompany Nancy. But since Ned was on a break from Emerson College, he decided to come along as well to give Nancy a hand and – he said – to make sure she took some time off. This couldn’t have made Nancy happier; it was spring, and spring in Montreal was beautiful and could be very romantic.
“Can you see Olympic Stadium?” George asked eagerly, coming to the window. She ran her fingers through her short, curly dark hair. “I can’t wait to go running there.”
“According to the map, the stadium’s over that way.” Nancy pointed upriver. “But I told you, George, I don’t think there’s a track in Olympic Stadium any longer. I’ve seen the Montreal Expos playing baseball on TV there, and I’ve never seen a track.”
“There’s got to be a track in there somewhere,” George argued. “I mean, you don’t just destroy a place like that.” She laughed, her dark eyes sparkling. “The case of the missing track – I guess that’s the first mystery we have to solve.”
Nancy tossed her shoulder-length reddish gold hair. “That’s your mystery,” she told George, glancing at her watch. “I’ve got my own to solve. I’d better get going.”
“Let me get my camera, and I’ll walk with you part of the way,” Ned said, picking up his tan windbreaker. “I’m going sightseeing.”
Cherbourg Industries Ltd. occupied a tall chrome-and-glass building on Saint-Antoine Street in downtown Montreal, only a short walk from their apartment.