The Shore Road Mystery

The Shore Road Mystery by Franklin W. Dixon (1928) This is the original version, actually written by Leslie McFarlane, I'm pretty sure. Like some of the other, early, original versions, it's a much more relaxed approach, with some early chapters dedicated almost entirely to hijinks. After staying up very late one night in their efforts to catch the car thieves, both of the Hardys are so tired in school that they are falling asleep in class, much to the amusement of their chums. There is also a prank, played by Chet, involving a raw, dead fish. One odd thing, later on in the story, during a particularly daring adventure, the Hardys are debating how to proceed, and Frank is for being more reckless, while Joe is more for being careful, and it says, of Joe: “he was of a more cautious nature than his brother...”—which is exactly opposite of my understanding of the Hardys, in which Joe is more “impetuous.” I don't know if that was played up in the re-writes, but I think McFarlane might have forgotten—for a moment, here—anyway. I'll keep that in mind reading further original texts. Toward the end, just after being apprehended, the villain says: “I'd have been clear away if it wasn't for them brats of boys!” Which made me think, that's a weird way to re-word that line you stole from Scooby-Doo—before, remembering, of course, that this book was published in 1928. When the Hardys finally use the old Trojan Horse device to catch the car thieves, they carry their revolvers with them—remember, these are high school kids. They don't make a big point out of it, but it's probably one of the things that prompted the rewrites—that began in 1950s—whereas kids probably still did have guns, some of them, but it's the kind of thing the big publishers didn't want to focus on in their mass market fiction. Actually, being successful and having a long publishing life is one thing that prompted these rewrites. Sometimes it's just changes in hardware. In the 1964 re-write, the boys hide in the car trunk. In the original, they hide in the “locker” on back of the car. If there is a current re-write of this book, they probably catch the car thieves by using a drone.