Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Hardy Boys #59: The Mystery Of Yuquan Shan

For months, every time he visited the Summer Palace, Frank Hardy, bald and forty-one years old, looked out at this pagoda in the distance, standing dramatically on the top of a nearby mountain. Then, on a fairly mild January day, he invited Callie Shaw, a brunette with big New Jersey hair, and always his favorite date, to jump on the 634 with him and go check the place out. Their aim was to scale the mountain and enjoy great views of Beijing together. What happened instead was a series of events that presented Frank and Callie with one of the most difficult Chinese mysteries they have ever been called upon to solve.

The first clue that things would not be as simple as they had imagined was when they discovered that, apparently, no bus stops at Yuquan Shan, nor, for that matter, in the nearby vicinity. With no bus even going up the mountain road at all, Frank and Callie jumped off the 634 and walked along the shoulder instead, past crumbling neighborhoods and public toilets, until the pagoda was within the reach of their worn feet.

It was then that they discovered their second clue. Rather than come upon an entrance gate to a park, Frank and Callie ran smack dab into a ten-foot high stone wall, right at the foot of the mountain. The only way through the wall was blocked by an ornate red gate, guarded by an official standing on a box and decked out in a People's Liberation Army coat. Telltale signs of an official government site, our sleuths surmised.

In their continuing quest to find a way through to the pagoda, which was, tantalizingly, just meters away, Frank and Callie decided to walk around the perimeter of the mountain. As they circled, it became ever more obvious that the day was not going to one of mountain climbing. More high stone wall. The occasional gate, with a guard peering out at them through a glass window, as if he knew they were coming. At one point, they crossed paths with a walking PLA soldier, complete with a handgun in his holster.

Any little view Frank and Callie could sneak through the gates revealed immaculately kept grounds, surely another clue of the presence of the Communist Party, they thought. Beyond this observation, however, our detectives were stymied, for they soon reemerged onto the main road, and jumped back on the 634 for the ride back into town.

In a Hardy Boys first, readers are now being asked to help the kids from Bayport write the ending to this story. What is this place, Yuquan Shan?

~Franklin W. Dixon


At 7:23 PM, Blogger The Balla Family said...

Joe Hardy, dark-haired and two years younger than Frank, reports that Yuquan Shan is apparently a bunker and command center for the Chinese top leadership in the event of a national emergency.

It looks like we've reached the end of the show. This is the part where Joe and his band kick into a rollicking version of "That's Rock and Rock!"

At 7:23 PM, Blogger The Balla Family said...

Uh..."That's Rock and ROLL!"

At 9:40 PM, Blogger sindelar said...

what would the Hardly boys think?

At 6:35 AM, Blogger The Balla Family said...

They would be enraged!


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