The Clue of the Leaning Chimney (Nancy Drew, Book 26)
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Nancy Drew and her friend Bess discover that a rare and valuable Chinese vase has been stolen from the pottery shop of Dick Milton, a cousin of Bess. Dick had borrowed the vase from his Chinese friend, elderly Mr. Soong, and he is determined to repay Mr. Soong for the loss. He tells Nancy that if he can find “the leaning chimney,” he will be on the track of a discovery which will solve his financial problems. Nancy finds the leaning chimney, but it only leads her into more puzzles. Can there be any connection between the vase theft – one of a number of similar crimes – and the strange disappearance of the pottery expert Eng Moy and his daughter Lei?
she told Mr. Soong. Reaching the brick building with the leaning chimney, Mr. Soong stared at it hopefully. The door was closed, and the small dust-covered windows were much too high for anyone to look inside. There were no sounds from within. “We’ll go closer,” Nancy said. As she stepped forward, the door suddenly swung back and a slender, pretty Chinese girl about Nancy’s age appeared. She wore a clay-spattered canvas apron over a plain gray cotton dress. The girl stood for a moment,
the police. Sparring for time, she continued to ask questions which Ching freely answered. He said it had been prearranged between David and himself that he would get a job at Mr. Soong’s. In this way he could watch the man’s mail and waylay any messages about the Engs. At all times he kept track of his employer’s movements. “But once you slipped,” Nancy spoke up. “A letter about the Engs did reach Mr. Soong.” “Unfortunately, yes. Then you came into the case, Miss Drew. But you shall never
gently back and forth in the rocker. “I have something that may help you. “There’s an old trunk in the attic room. It belonged to Mr. Petersen, who sold me the house. He’s dead now. The trunk’s got some old papers and maps in it. I’ve been hankering to read them, but somehow never got around to it. Getting old, I guess. No curiosity left.” Nancy laughed. “Seems to me if the leaning chimney’s got anything to do with the China clay you’re looking for,” continued Mrs. Wendell, “the papers might
mattress overturned, the rug rolled back, the contents of the trunk scattered over the floor. Even the cardboard backing had been removed from the pictures. Manning’s suits had been examined also. The pockets had been turned inside out and their linings inspected. “I wonder if there could be anything the police missed,” Nancy mused as she surveyed the room. True, they had found plenty of loot, but they had not uncovered a single thing that might be a clue to the identity of the thief. “The
commented. “This may be a meeting place for Manning and his friends.” Nancy circled the coupe, then jotted down the license number in her notebook. As if confirming her deduction, Nancy and George heard the murmur of men’s voices deeper in the woods. The girls started forward. Taking care not to make a sound, they stepped cautiously as the voices grew more distinct. Presently the girls saw two men. Their backs were turned, and they seemed to be bending over something on a log. Unable to hear