WELCOME, MYSTERY LOVERS! We are gathered together again for another stimulating case of The Three Investigators, whose official motto is \u201cWe Investigate Anything\u201d. If they had known what they were getting into when they tackled the curious case of the talking skull they might have changed their motto.
Be that as it may, they find themselves this time in a mix-up of mystery and danger which leads them from one perplexing enigma to another until\u2014but I am not a blabbermouth. I promised faithfully not to tell too much, and I shall keep my promise.
Indeed, I shall only say that The Three Investigators are Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw, and Bob Andrews, who all make their home in Rocky Beach, a small municipality in California a few miles from Hollywood. Their Headquarters is a mobile home trailer in The Jones Salvage Yard, a super-junkyard owned by Jupiter\u2019s aunt and uncle, Mathilda and Titus Jones.
The boys make an excellent team. Jupiter has a quick mind and is adept at deduction. Pete is less intellectual but sturdy and courageous. Bob is somewhat studious and an excellent researcher. Together they\u2019ve solved some very intriguing mysteries indeed.
The Three Investigators \u2014 Jupiter, Pete Crenshaw, and Bob Andrews \u2014 were taking it easy back in Jupe\u2019s workshop section of The Jones Salvage Yard. Bob was writing up some notes on their last case. Pete was just enjoying the California morning sunshine. And Jupiter was reading the paper.
Presently he looked up from its pages.
\u201cHas either of you ever been to an auction?\u201d he asked.
Bob said no. Pete shook his head.
\u201cNeither have I,\u201d Jupiter said. \u201cThe paper says there\u2019s an auction this morning at the Davis Auction Company in Hollywood. They\u2019ll be auctioning off to the highest bidder unclaimed luggage from a number of hotels. The paper says there are trunks and suitcases with unknown contents, left behind by people who moved, or couldn\u2019t pay their bill, or who just forgot to call for them. I think it might be interesting to visit an auction.\u201d
\u201cWe should seek out new experiences,\u201d Jupiter said. \u201cEvery new experience helps broaden our background as investigators. I\u2019ll see if Uncle Titus will let Hans drive us up to Hollywood in the light truck.\u201d
Hans, one of two Bavarian brothers who helped in the salvage yard, was free. And so, an hour later, the boys were standing in a large room crowded with people, watching a short, plump auctioneer on a raised platform auction off trunks and suitcases as rapidly as possible. At the moment he had a new-looking suitcase in front of him and was trying to get one more bid on it.
Two sturdy workmen lifted a small, old-fashioned trunk onto the platform. Pete stirred restlessly. It was a hot day and the room was stuffy. Some of the men present seemed quite interested in bidding on the unknown contents of the luggage, but Pete couldn\u2019t have cared less.
think I\u2019ll bid on it.\u201d
\u201cOn that?\u201d Pete stared at the trunk. \u201cYou\u2019re crazy.\u201d
\u201cJust the same, I think I\u2019ll try to buy it. If it\u2019s worth anything, we\u2019ll all share.\u201d
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