I again invite you to share the adventures of The Three Investigators \u2014 a trio of young detectives who specialize in solving unusual mysteries. Join them this time in a trip to a remote New Mexico mining town where a dead man waits in a dead mine to betray one of the living . . . and where a mysterious woman \u2014 but I\u2019m getting ahead of myself.
If you\u2019re not already acquainted with The Three Investigators, let me tell you that Jupiter Jones, leader of the group, is a chunky boy with an excellent memory and an amazing talent for deduction. Pete Crenshaw is quick and athletic, but in his more cautious moments he objects to Jupiter\u2019s tendency to stir up trouble. Bob Andrews is a studious boy who is in charge of research and records for the trio. They all live in Rocky Beach, California, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, but they never avoid traveling far afield in search of mystery and intrigue.
\u201cI don\u2019t need to guess. I know,\u201d said Jupiter Jones. He leaned back in his chair, which squeaked under the weight of his chubby frame. \u201cAunt Mathilda was up at six o\u2019clock this morning,\u201d he said, in his precise way. \u201cShe cooked a hearty breakfast and sent Uncle Titus off to a garage sale in Oxnard. I deduced at once that she planned a busy day.\u201d Jupiter peered at his watch. \u201cIt is now exactly one-fifteen. From your question, I now deduce that Uncle Titus has returned, that he has made some purchases in Oxnard, and that Aunt Mathilda wishes me to help unload the truck.\u201d
The three boys were in the battered old mobile home trailer that Jupe\u2019s aunt and uncle had given them for clubhouse. It sat in a far corner of The Jones Salvage Yard, concealed behind stacks of old timbers, beams, and scrap iron. The salvage yard was a busy place. Filled with all sorts of ordinary scrap, it also contained a variety of unusual items rescued from houses that were being torn down \u2014 antique sundials, old marble bathtubs, carved doorframes, and stained-glass windows. In the press of cleaning, sorting, and storing these things \u2014 and of waiting on people who came from up and down the Pacific Coast looking for hard-to-find objects \u2014 Jupiter\u2019s uncle and aunt had completely forgotten the trailer in the corner.
The boys had turned the trailer into a headquarters for their junior detective firm, The Three Investigators. Inside was a tiny lab and darkroom, and an office outfitted with a worn desk, chairs, and a telephone. A large file cabinet held reports on all the boys\u2019 cases, meticulously written up by Bob Andrews. Jupiter, the leader of the trio, spent
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