Welcome to the Bayport Times.
In this issue Steve Servello examines the artwork of the original and revised versions of The Tower Treasure and takes a whack at the Mapping of Bayport and Environs, Dr. Matt Waln takes a look at The Arctic Patrol Mystery, as well as new collectible discoveries, the Mike Humbert Department, letters and more!
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Review and Comparison (1927, 1944 & 1959)
by Steve Servello
I am fortunate enough to have the works of the three illustrators of "The Tower Treasure," among my collection. The original was drawn by Walter S. Rogers, for the 1927 edition. Like the 1944 edition by A.O. Scott, only two illustrations were drawn. The cover is the same scene for all three editions and each one is magnificent in its own way. Rogers portrays Frank and Joe in outdoor clothes but with ties. Their caps round off their wardrobe. Both are peering from shrubbery on the Applegate Estate at the light emanating from one of the towers, by Adelia (not seen). We see the beginnings of the rest of the mansion starting from the left side of the tower, with tall trees behind it and to the right. A path leads up to the front door and a large meadow or field, starts on the right side of this path, going far distant in the background, before giving way to other shrubs or possibly woods. The colors are generally dark, running from green, gray and black, with a navy blue night sky. Rogers does a superb job in bringing this scene from pages 181 & 182 to life.
The frontispiece shows Adelia and Hurd Applegate debating on whether or not to let the smartly dressed Hardy Boys, search the old tower for their stolen jewels. As stated beneath the frontispiece, the scene is derived textually from page 149. Thick drapes showcase Adelia while a broad stairway faintly leads from just behind the scene proper to either the second floor of the mansion or possibly to the newer of the two towers. Rogers signed this one on the lower left instead of the right, as he did on the cover.
The 1944 cover by A.O. Scott is much brighter than that of Rogers. The sky is on reason, for here white/gray clouds dominate a not so dark bluish sky as opposed to the all navy blue of Rogers. Also, Frank is dressed in a tan suit coat over a white shirt and red tie, while Joe wears blue over green. The Hardy Boys are shown much closer to the reader, as are the shrubs they are peering from. The tower here is centrally located with wings extending from both sides and only a single tree to off set its dominance. Here there is light emanating from two windows instead of one and the beams, while more powerful than in the 1927 illustration, are not focused enough to be thrown by Adelia's flashlight or searchlight. Still, the effect is successful.
The frontispiece is of a different scene than that chosen by Rogers. Here, Stricker (not A.O. Scott), illustrates the scene from page 86 where Frank and Joe discover the red wig of the tower thief Jackley. The page reference is not made in this 1944 version. Naturally, since it is an interior, it is in black and white with more of the dark to it. Except for the shirts of the Hardy Boys and the ground behind them, black dominates, but effectively so.
Inside the back cover of the dust jacket, the Tom Swift, Jr. Adventures are advertised while the back cover itself is devoted to the Rick Brant Science-Adventure Stories. The front and rear paste downs or fixed endpapers along with the front and rear free or loose endpapers, are drawn by Gretta and this two page illustration is done totally in orange and white. Here the Hardy Boys are looking across a river to an island (or possibly just the other shore of the river) with a cabin atop a hill on it. They are observing men off-loading material from a rowboat on its shore. Tall trees and sprawling fields dominate the landscape, off-hill. This looks like a place I'd like to visit!
Rudy Nappi brings his considerable talent to the 1959 revised edition of "The Tower Treasure." We are blessed with seven illustrations instead of the two previously and graciously provided by Rogers and Scott/Stricker.
The cover art depicts the same scene drawn by Nappi's successors, that of Adelia Applegate shining a spotlight from her tower to the grounds below. In the RT, this scene occurs on page 150. The return to a darkness dominated cover is a welcome move, in my eyes. But for the beam of light itself and the exposed faces and hands of the Hardy Boys, all is shaded darkly.
I had commented previously on the depiction of that beam of light, varying in intensity from cover to cover. The trend towards a a more powerful and focused beam continues here with a solid emission coming from the fourth floor of the tower and Adelia herself (however vaguely) is seen to be manipulating the spotlight.
The tower stands proudly against the gray night and the house proper fades away from both sides (though the left side just barely shows this). There are menacing shrubs veiling the bottom floor of the Tower Mansion and the Hardy Boys are trying to avoid the sweeping spotlight as they cower behind some trees (to no avail it turns out ;-})! Both lads are shown even closer than before with more of their features facing the reader. Frank in a blue sweater, with a red and white collared shirt and brown trousers. Joe is garbed in a red sweater with a green and white collared shirt and grayish blue pants. Their faces have that just scrubbed look about them and their parts are perfect in their hair, though Joe looks more brownish red than the described blond.
The first interior illustration is obviously the frontispiece. Here, the unknown artist describes the action taking place on page 126 as "Joe toppled over the railing into space!" Frank too has been thrown back but on the stairway at least. They had just finally opened the top most door to the old tower building. The drawing is nicely done and this brings to mind something I used to do when I was a kid, and first reading the Hardy Boys. As this was in the early sixties, there were already over forty books published in the series, so I had a lot of catching up to do. I would go to my local Five and Ten Store (it is still there, in Cushing Square, Belmont, MA, but sadly, the books are not), and look over the available books (there were plenty to choose from). I would look at the cover art first and then the frontispiece. It seems that the most dangerous scenes in the book are depicted here and I would wonder, "How the heck will either Frank or Joe (or both), survive this one?" Since I could only buy one book at a time I would have to put several back on the shelf I had looked at. But, I would remember that frontispiece and it would be with a great deal of anticipation that I finally got to read about what happened when I finally obtained that particular book.
The first illustration in the story itself is a two pager! * Frank and Joe are on the side of the shore road trying to avoid being killed by the speed demon Red Jackley. The motorcycles are there, against the hillside and Jackley and his stolen vehicle are an appropriate blur.
While investigating a disturbance in the Morton barn, the Hardys and Chet discover Red Jackley's red wig, unfortunately shown here in the obligatory black and white.** There is some nice attention to detail by Nappi, such as the bales of hay with a rake and stool nearby and the phone on the wall.
Later, at Willow Grove, the Hardy's discover footprints in a small clearing and examine them closely for clues.*** The woods are depicted grandly and this could be the best of the interiors!
Smuff rushes into Rocco's Fruits and Vegetables Store (as titled in this illustration, minus the word "store").**** Frank bravely points the way to the fire. Again, Nappi pays good attention to the details of the store, with all its produce prominently displayed.
The last of the interiors takes place on the grounds of the Applewood Estate.***** Hurd Applegate, Fenton Hardy and Joe look on as Frank removes a chest that had been buried on the grounds by Mr. Robinson. The tower looms menacingly behind and Fenton has a mustache, looking very convincing as a private detective, though he had no luck in this instance.
The front and rear paste downs along with the free endpapers are devoted to black and white renditions of twenty-two various Hardy Boys covers. There is no shading, only the actually outlines and it is smartly done. Curiously, "The Tower Treasure" shown is the A.O. Scott version, not Nappi's.
This was how I was first introduced to the Hardy Boys. To me, Rudy Nappi and the unnamed interior illustrator, epitomized what the Hardy's were supposed to look like and their mastery of dark colors, coupled with clearly defined characters and backgrounds, make me appreciate their talent all the more. This in no way mitigates the artwork of Rogers and Scott/Stricker, as each of these worthies is chock full of talent as well and probably captured the imaginations of earlier readers, much like Nappi did mine.
* Pages 4 & 5; ** Page 29; *** Page 73; **** Page 113; ***** Page 145;
Based on Textual Evidence in The Tower Treasure (OT & RT)
by Steve Servello
Unlike my plot summary in the last issue, I will handle the mapping of Bayport with each book on a separate basis and when that is done, make the comparison between the two. So, starting with the 1927 edition, the first geographical note is the unnamed and "nearby village" where the lads were going to on an errand for their father. I find it refreshing that villages still abounded on the East Coast and that suburban sprawl had not claimed all land near the cities. Frank and Joe are motorcycling along "a shore road" (not The Shore Road)*, and so, we can assume that this village probably overlooks Barmet Bay. But wait! A few pages later, that "small village" is named Willowville and sure enough, that shore road "skirted the bay" (surely Barmet). Plus, "this shore road was an offshoot of the main highways to the north and west." Natural enough, considering the Atlantic Ocean lay to the east, but what about the south? Perhaps the coastline veers to the west just south of Bayport, thus eliminating the need for a highway in that direction. One could be picked up further west of the city. Willowville, when finally reached, is seen to lie "in a little valley along the bay.** Yet, I do believe that "the shore road" does become "The Shore Road," within the next book or two.
The city of Bayport itself has a population "of about fifty thousand inhabitants, located on Barmet Bay, three miles from the Atlantic."*** I must admit that I was thrown for a loop when I read the "three miles from the Atlantic" statement. I mean, is Bayport located on Barmet Bay or not? It's very name seems to indicate that it does. It is true that some of the great ports of the world are inland aways (London, Baltimore and Philadelphia for example), but somehow I sense a gaffe here. Perhaps the administrative offices of the city (Bayport Center as it were) are located three miles inland? Doubtful, but possible. And since the bay is specified as Barmet, I must conclude that the reference to the bay along the shore road and where Willowville is located, must be one in the same. After all, bays are much bigger than harbors or ports (but not as big as gulfs).
Upon the completion of their errand in Willowville, Frank and Joe decide to head over to Chet Morton's farmhouse,**** located "in the country, about a mile from the city." Hmmm. A mile from the center or a mile from the outskirts? More on this later, but we do know that the Hardy's home is on High Street.
Chet's house is "some distance away" from Willowville, but "the boys knew of a road that would take them across the country" to it. "From there they could return to Bayport,"**** seeming to confirm that the Morton's lived outside the city line.
After reaching Chet's home and teaming up with him to try and catch the thief of his yellow jalopy, the trio come upon Callie as "they were approaching Bayport." She was on her way to Mrs. Wills' house, who lived nearby "just on the outskirts of Bayport." The sleuths continue into the city and "They sped down the main street (not Main Street) to the police station. But Main Street itself is mentioned as the thoroughfare along which Constable Con Riley "was ambling."* I will assume that "the main street" and "Main Street" are one and the same, like "the bay" and "Barmet Bay," earlier.
Bayport High School is mentioned often enough but not precisely (or imprecisely) situated. I will find a home for it in my map but won't be able to substantiate why I put it where I did.**
Another prominent building in Bayport is the city steamboat office (where Ike Harrity was held up), which I presume will be in the area adjacent to the docks.***
The Willow River comes into play as a place where the Hardy's and chums plan to go fishing. Specifically "up near the dam ... at the crossroads near Willow River." Any connection to the small village of Willowville has yet to be determined. I doubt it since rivers flow from an inland lake to the sea and I believe this river enters Barmet Bay within Bayport's city limits, leaving Willowville out of the equation.
Willow Grove (where the boys wanted to picnic), "was some distance down the road (from the crossroads, where the chums had met), and was on the banks of Willow River (not The Willow River), from which it got its name. The boys take "the lane that led in toward Willow Grove from the main road." While exploring there, Joe stumbles across "the old creek road" which "hasn't been used for years." Plus it "leads off the main highway, and it (the highway) isn't often used." ****
Another area on Bayport's outskirts or probably even further out, is the farm of Lem Billers. He was involved with "bringing some supplies back to the farm" (and became part of a Morton prank), and since it was by horse and buggy, could not be too far outside of Bayport.*****
The Tower Mansion* is situated "on top of the hill overlooking the bay." Later, as Frank and Joe reach the roof of the old tower, they could see "far below the city of Bayport and to the east was Barmet Bay, the waters sparkling in the sun."
The Robinson's had been forced to move from their lodging in the Tower Mansion to "a small house just outside the city." Later, as Callie and Frank approach their house by a "streetcar bound for the section of the city in which the Robinson's lived," the area is described as "the streets became poorer and meaner as they neared the outskirts of Bayport." So, depending on which passage is true, this slum is either just outside Bayport or on its' outskirts, within the city limit.** Regardless, this section must not be close to the rural outskirts where the Morton's and other farmers live. I'll have to make this difference in "outskirts" evident on my map.
The city of New York figures prominently in "The Tower Treasure" and some useful facts can be discerned by the references to it.*** Fenton sends a description of the stolen Tower jewels "to jewelry firms and pawnshops in other cities near here, and also to the New York police." This indicates that Bayport, while not situated very close to the Big Apple is still close enough to warrant mentioning as being possibly involved with events there. The statement of "other cities near here" is a fascinating one but not near specific enough for me to hazard a guess or two. However, when Fenton returns home from New York, he does so "having reached the city (Bayport) by a train from the west." But the reason for this is because the boys father had been elsewhere, after leaving New York and prior to returning to Bayport. He had followed Red Jackley from New York City, "out into New Jersey." Shortly after, Jackley was badly injured in an automobile accident, apparently in New Jersey, as it was the last state mentioned, prior to the accident and a not so significant amount of time had lapsed between his entry into the state and his accident. Jackley was taken to a hospital (where he later died), that was located in "a small city not far distant from Bayport." Surely this suggests then that Bayport is in New Jersey! The "small city" is reachable by train, since that was how Fenton left there to come home to Bayport and the means by which Collig and Smuff (and Fenton) journeyed there to question Jackley. This also indicates a not so significant distance, even taking into consideration the year of 1927 and all the implications therein. In fact, Mr. Hardy took the 7:00 A.M. train to this city and "returned home late that night."*** So, this was a day trip yet a very long one, lasting about sixteen hours all told. We don't know the length of the train ride or how many stops there were along the way, but we do know that Jackley died fairly soon after Fenton obtained his confession, indicating that the majority of those sixteen hours were spent traveling. But the specifics are lacking.
Other places of note in Bayport are Callie Shaw's home, located "but a few blocks from the Hardy home" and the train station.**** Though not mentioned precisely, it is said by Frank "There's a train from New York at 3:00." If there is a train schedule and a place of arrival (and departure, as indicated earlier), for trains, there there must be train station and I will place one on my map.
Rocco's fruit stand***** deserves some recognition and is "not far from the Bayport police station."
Deciding to clear their heads, Joe and Frank embark on a motorcycle cruise through the nearby countryside "and soon the boys were on the concrete highway leading out of the city. In a short time they had reached the outskirts of Bayport, and then they turned west on to the State highway that ran parallel to the railway tracks. The highway was like a city pavement beneath them. For more than two hours they road, passing through villages and small towns, until at last they came to a point where another railway intersected the line they had been following. Here, a road also ran parallel to the tracks, branching off the main highway." The Hardy Boys decide to leave "the State road and turned their motorcycles down the side road." The railroad they followed was "The Bayport and Coast,* giving an indication of two possible directions they had taken (southwest or northeast). This spot is later referred to as "the Junction" by Fenton.
In the revised version of "The Tower Treasure," Bayport is referred to as "a small but thriving city of fifty-thousand inhabitants*, located on Barmet Bay, three miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean."
It is stated that the Hardy home is now located at the corner of High and Elm Streets.***
While trying to track down Red Jackley, Frank and Joe investigate at the wig shops of Bayport.**** There are three that specialize in women's, which are unnamed. Three others are: Schwartz's Masquerade and Costume Shop at 79 Renshaw Avenue, Flint's at Market and Pine plus Ruben Brothers "on Main Street, just this side of the railroad." Schwartz's is the closest of the three wig shops to the Hardy home and Renshaw Avenue is in the downtown area of Bayport.
It would seem that the Hardy's are Christian, as they attended church on Sunday.***** But as to where their church is ...
Another area of investigation during the case of "The Tower Treasure," is that of used car lots. In particular, one in the nearby town of Duckworth is where Smuff thought Chet's stolen "Queen" might be. It is twenty minutes from the Morton's. Another nearby town is that of Thornton, where a stolen car (not Chet's) , had originated from.*
Not finding "The Queen" in Duckworth, the Hardy's and Chet decide to check out the Willow Grove area of Bayport. Because there is a lake there and because it is woodsy, I must assume that Willow Grove is yet another area of Bayport's outskirts.** Additionally, there is an abandoned roadway, visible in a small clearing. It once connected with the main highway.
The police station is on Main Street, as that was the street "The Queen" was paraded down by Frank, Joe and all their chums, on their way to gloat at Chief Collig, on their success.***
Getting to the story proper, we see that the "Tower Mansion was one of show places of Bayport." It is situated on a hill overlooking the bay (Barmet, I assume), **** and could be seen from miles away. From its two towers the Hardy's could see "the bustling little city below and to the east was Barmet Bay," confirming the obvious.
One indication the New York is the nearest big city to Bayport, is because Fenton Hardy sends a description of the stolen Tower jewels to every pawnshop in the city, and in other cities near by plus New York. But a bit later, Laura Hardy presents her sons with plane tickets to the Big Apple, indicating a fairly long drive would have been involved. Yet, Mrs. Hardy does look forward to spending a week end there. But perhaps Albany is closer. Jackley leaves New York and is chased through upper New York State, before crashing being taken to a hospital in Albany. ***** But like New York, Albany is reached by plane. Oscar Smuff plans to take a six o'clock flight and still question Jackley that same night.
The home of Callie Shaw is "but a few blocks from the Hardy home," while Rocco's fruit store* (no longer a stand), is "only a block from Smuff's house."
The Bayport railroad station is visited by Joe and Frank and there they receive clues that prompt them "to go out along the highway to the railroad crossing. The boys knew of two grade crossings some miles out of town." At the second of these grade crossings, they are instructed by Mike Halley** to "go down to the Bayport and Coast Line Railroad, where Jackley used to work. Around the station at Cherryville." This is a "small town" and its railroad station was a half mile outside the town.
And lastly, the Applegate's plan to allow swimming and picnicking by the pond on their estate overlooking the bay.*** This is for the "townspeople," not city folk. I'm wondering if the Applegate estate is geographically appropriate for a pond, it being so close to a bluff and all.
by Dr. Matt Waln
In the 48th title of the series, The Arctic Patrol Mystery, Mr. Dixon weaves of tale of northland adventure into a finely quilted tapestry that brightly portrays a picture of truth that the reader would do well to memorize and practice daily.
The story begins in the home of Frank and Joe Hardy. Their father asks them to consider a trip to Iceland to help him out on a case. This is far too simplistic of a case to be done by a world famous detective, but we are asked to believe that Fenton has been simultaneously hired by NASA and some crummy insurance company that can't find a beneficiary. The boys apparently notice that their dad knows that this is a related case to his most dangerous mission and in his scared state of mind is intentionally putting them in harms way, so they ask for Chet's help. Aunt Gertrude also sees through Fenton's pack of lies and expresses concern for her nephews. Joe's retort is a little abrupt and she remarks, "Don't get smart." Well, we all know there's not much chance of that, considering the school system they attend. But they enlist Chet's help, check with the school to make sure that after all the days off because the boiler broke, the furnace quit, the basement flooded, the doors froze shut, and the ceiling leaked that they would still actually have spring break. The reply from the teacher was something about them not learning anything more important than revisionist history and million man math so what the heck, why not have spring break?
And off they go.
They arrive in Iceland and meet up with a Gummi worm. He tells them about Icelandic law that states that your last name changes with every generation. This started with a custom ages ago based on the famous Viking explorers Eric the Red and hs son, Leaf Erikson. For quite a while it was just a tradition to be named that way in Iceland, but then they started to get Americanized so the Parliament passed a law to force its people to hold to tradition. Here we see how the powerful few can affect an entire culture. Someone decided that, left to their own devices, the people might actually begin taking names in keeping with the rest of the modern world. "We can't have the masses doing something I don't like," he said and got a law passed. Now I'm not the one to judge them for keeping traditions, but it's the idea of someone in power using his or her own power to force others to bend to their will that goes to the very heart of corruption. Why, the next thing you know one of these crazy Nordic chicks will bat her pretty eyes at her fiance and convince him to drop all pretense of manhood and take her last name! Of course, that idea is probably just too ridiculous now that I think about it.
The Gummi bear takes them on a short tour of the island, as far as they can without the free market derived infrastructure of highways at any rate. The boys notice the lack of trees on the island. Gummi fruit tells them that "There were trees in Iceland centuries ago, but the early settlers cut them down." Oh, come on. Are we really supposed to believe that in all the time that has passed since the early settlers nobody has thought of actually digging a hole and planting a few trees? Are we really supposed to believe that Iceland was once a bastion of deciduousness while the rest of the northern slope was treeless where no man has ever trod? Did it ever occur to them that maybe, just maybe, trees had a hard time flourishing in the wind-swept salty air? Do they really accept that someone, centuries ago, crawled north of the Arctic Circle in Siberia or Alaska and cunningly removed all of those trees? This is simply revisionist history taught in schools where a few board members wield corrupting power. They decided to teach the children what they thought sounded like a lesson in civics and abandoned true history to get more quickly at their point. Its' the kind of thing you come to expect in hotbeds of socialist activity like Iceland and Bayport.
Gummi Mike and Ike then assist them and they unfold the complex kidnapping of an astronaut. The plan takes a very harrowing turn when the boys try to get the jump on the neer-to-do wells on the boat. On page 152 we are told "Frank was to hide in the lifeboat, which swung gently on its davits. Joe would secrete himself in a locker on the bridge, while Gummi would hide in the captain's quarters." This is a small point made to show just how threatening Musselman was. Nowhere in the rest of the Hardy canon are we told about Joe wetting himself. Fortunately he does not let the embarrassment cloud his ability to kick some Ionescu butt.
When they rescue Biff from a bomb planted cave they decide he needs a good massage. Now, this has nothing to do with power or corruption but I just don't get it. I can easily believe that the Hardys are airline pilots, accomplished sailors, boxing champs, track stars, football stars, and equestrian stars, but massage therapists? Come on.
Chet proves himself the hero once again while on a plane with the astronaut. The military man couldn't summon the fortitude to jump the crooks, but Chet did. The case was solved and it was revealed that a foreign power had set up the diabolic plan to kidnap an American astronaut, then take him to their country, claiming that he had defected. How unfortunate for the agents of this country that a good, republican was in the White House in 1969. Had it been Johnson or Clinton they could have just bought the secrets they so longed for. But, you see, power corrupts. In our White House, we had a man so enamoured with power that he sold nuclear secrets to the Chinese. In 1969 we had a man above reproach, forcing this foreign power to attempt kidnapping to get the secrets they wanted. Then this president got a taste of power and bugged a nearby hotel in an attempt to keep it. I will not speculate here on the connection between Nixon's power corruption and the true identity of Franklin W. Dixon, as much more complete works on that subject can be found written by Brother Bartlebaugh.
The Hardys are then told that the entire country of Iceland is law abiding. Right, and Bayport is really the conservative town of Wheaton.
This essay was presented on March 16, 2002 at a meeting of the Hardy Boys Literary Society.
Matt Waln is a chiropractor in West Chicago and is 32 years old.
by Tom Hoffman
For example, the theme of The Great Airport Mystery is airplanes.
This quiz pertains to the original text versions.
Match the theme with the book. Many of them are Chet Morton's hobbies.
I'm a big fan of the Hardys. I started to read them when I was 9 years old. Within 10 years I finished the entire cannon series plus a few of the Casefiles. I just hope they keep publishing new ones because my 9 year old cousin is just starting to read them. They've spanned the generations in my family. - Patrick Tierney
The first Hardy Boys story I ever read was The Disappearing Floor. As a youngster I really enjoyed the weirdness of it. Recently I bought a copy at a garage sale to reread it and it seemed very different to me. I looked up the Hardy Boys on a search engine and found your excellent page. It was there I discovered that the stories had been rewritten and/or revised. Not much of an improvement, if you ask me. Thanks for all your hard work. - Kevin Breen
Thanks for Issue 38! The Tower Treasure is one of my favorite stories and I really enjoyed the review. Congratulations on a great web site! - Ray Pierce
I want to thank you for all the work you have put into your website and the Bayport Times in particular. I enjoyed the adventures of the Hardy Boys when a boy as did my son and now my grandson enjoys them also. I guess you could say we are a Hardy Boys family!- Jim Murray
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