Circus act, p.1
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       Circus Act, p.1

           Carolyn Keene
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Circus Act

  Big Trouble at Camp Little Big Top

  “BEEP! BEEP! BEEEEEP!” A boy wearing clown makeup, baggy pants, and a bright orange wig rode into the circus ring on a tricycle. He was Orson Wong from Nancy’s third-grade class.

  “Woof!” Celeste the Hopscotch Poodle barked. Everyone laughed as she chased Orson’s tricycle.

  “Get her away from meeee!” Orson let out a gigantic sneeze. His red rubber nose flew right off his face!

  “How can you be in the Chuckle Brigade if you keep sneezing your nose off?” asked Gunther, the camp’s director.

  “I have to be a clown!” Orson cried. He waved his gigantic shoe in the air.“I’m Bosco Bigfoot. And no one makes balloon animals like great Bosco Bigfoot!”

  “Then what should we do, Orson?” Hilda, the other director of the circus camp, asked.

  Orson shrugged. “Maybe you can get rid of Celeste?”

  “Get rid of Celeste?” Hilda gasped.“Celeste is the star of the show!”

  The Nancy Drew Notebooks

  # 1 The Slumber Party Secret

  # 2 The Lost Locket

  # 3 The Secret Santa

  # 4 Bad Day for Ballet

  # 5 The Soccer Shoe Clue

  # 6 The Ice Cream Scoop

  # 7 Trouble at Camp Treehouse

  # 8 The Best Detective

  # 9 The Thanksgiving Surprise

  #10 Not Nice on Ice

  #11 The Pen Pal Puzzle

  #12 The Puppy Problem

  #13 The Wedding Gift Goof

  #14 The Funny Face Fight

  #15 The Crazy Key Clue

  #16 The Ski Slope Mystery

  #17 Whose Pet Is Best?

  #18 The Stolen Unicorn

  #19 The Lemonade Raid

  #20 Hannah’s Secret

  #21 Princess on Parade

  #22 The Clue in the Glue

  #23 Alien in the Classroom

  #24 The Hidden Treasures

  #25 Dare at the Fair

  #26 The Lucky Horseshoes

  #27 Trouble Takes the Cake

  #28 Thrill on the Hill

  #29 Lights! Camera! Clues!

  #30 It’s No Joke!

  #31 The Fine-Feathered Mystery

  #32 The Black Velvet Mystery

  #33 The Gumdrop Ghost

  #34 Trash or Treasure?

  #35 Third-Grade Reporter

  #36 The Make-Believe Mystery

  #37 Dude Ranch Detective

  #38 Candy Is Dandy

  #39 The Chinese NewYear Mystery

  #40 Dinosaur Alert!

  #41 Flower Power

  #42 Circus Act

  Available from MINSTREL Books

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.


  A Minstrel Book published by

  POCKET BOOKS, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

  1230 Avenue of the Americas, NewYork, NY 10020

  Visit us on the World Wide Web:

  Copyright © 2001 by Simon & Schuster Inc.

  All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

  For information address Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

  ISBN: 0-7434-2763-7

  NANCY DREW, THE NANCY DREW NOTEBOOKS, A MINSTREL BOOK and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

  Circus Act

  1: “Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!”

  2: Dog—Gone!

  3: Clowning Around

  4: Working For Peanuts

  5: Snoops And Hoops

  6: Food For Thought

  7: Hide and Sneak!

  8: Doggy In The Window


  “Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!”

  How do you know if there’s an elephant in your refrigerator?” Nancy Drew’s best friend George Fayne asked.

  Eight-year-old Nancy tried to imagine an elephant stuffed in her refrigerator.“I don’t know,” she asked.“How?”

  “His footprints are in the peanut butter!” George laughed.

  Nancy’s other best friend, Bess Marvin, wrinkled her nose.“Yuck!” she cried.

  Nancy smiled. Ever since they had started circus camp a week ago George had come up with lots of elephant jokes.

  The three best friends had gone to camp before but nothing like Camp Little Big Top. Each morning for two weeks the girls would meet in a real circus tent inside the park. After a half hour of warm-up exercises the twelve campers learned everything from stilt-walking and unicycling to making balloon animals.

  The camp had real animals, too—like Celeste the Hopscotch Poodle and Splatter the baby elephant, who painted pictures with his trunk.

  The camp felt like a real circus to Nancy—especially when the cotton candy cart came around at the end of each day.

  George—whose real name was Georgia— tugged at the tights under her shimmery gold outfit.“Why do we have to wear our costumes today?” she asked.

  “Because it’s Monday and we’re rehearsing for the Super Show,” Bess reminded her cousin. She adjusted the feathery headdress over her long blond hair. “It’s only five days away.”

  Nancy couldn’t wait. On Saturday night the campers would demonstrate their circusskills in a show with costumes and music. Nancy had been picked to perform with Celeste the Hopscotch Poodle.

  The girls sat down on a row of bleachers inside the tent. They had done their warmup stretches. Now they were waiting to rehearse inside the circus ring.

  “Why can’t I do something great in the Super Show?” Bess asked.

  “You are, Bess,” Nancy said.“You’re helping Splatter paint with his trunk.”

  “Everyone will be clapping for Splatter, not for me,” Bess complained.“I’d rather do acrobatics like George is doing. Or swing on the trapeze.”

  George’s dark curls bounced as she shook her head. “Bess, you’re afraid of heights. And you can’t do one cartwheel.”

  “Yes, I can,” Bess argued. “I just hate messing up my hair!”

  Nancy giggled. For cousins, Bess and George were in no way alike.

  “Hi, guys!” a voice said.

  Nancy turned around. She saw eightyearold Amy Wilder sitting behind them. Amy had brown hair and eyes. Her familyhad just moved into the big yellow house across the street from the park.

  “Hi, Amy,” George said.“How can you tell if an elephant is in your refrigerator?”

  “Hmm,” Amy thought out loud. “If his footprints are in the ice cream?”

  “Peanut butter, ice cream,” Bess said. “Those elephants sure get around!”

  Nancy noticed Amy’s black top hat, bright red jacket, and tights. She looked like a real circus ringmaster.

  “You’re lucky to be the ringmaster in the Super Show, Amy,” Bess said. “You get to introduce all the acts.”

  “Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages!” George imitated Amy.

  “Thanks, but I’d rather work with Celeste,”Amy admitted.“I love dogs.”

  “Do you have a dog, Amy?” Nancy asked.

  Amy shook her head.“But our new house is perfect for a dog,” she said.“It has a huge yard, a porch, a clubhouse—”

  “A clubhouse?” Bess shrieked.“You have your own clubhouse?”

  “It’s really a guest house,”Amy admitted. “But it’s a clubhouse to me.”

  “Neat!” Nancy said.

  “I know!”Amy said excitedly.“Why don’t you all come over to see it today?”

  Nancy wanted to say yes, but she and
Bess and George had other plans. Their friend Katie Zaleski had invited them to her house after camp.

  Katie was videotaping her own TV show in her basement all summer. That afternoon she was interviewing Nancy about being the best detective in school.

  “Sorry, Amy,” Nancy said. “But we already made plans.”

  “Maybe another day,”Amy said.

  The girls turned back to the ring. Three kids had begun to swing across the tent on trapezes.

  “Up, up, and awaaaaaay!” nine-year-old Joey Riccio shouted as he swung.

  There was a net below him, and he wore a harness around his waist. Two other nine-year-olds, Lori Lasko and Tyrone Porter, stood on a platform, waiting their turn.

  “The Great Flying Tremendoes are stupendo!” Lori shouted from the top.

  Nancy rolled her eyes. Joey, Lori, and Tyrone liked to call themselves the Great Flying Tremendoes. Probably because they thought they were hot stuff!

  The Flying Tremendoes climbed down the ladder. They each took a deep bow.

  “I do that stuff in the playground every day,” George whispered.

  A man and woman dressed in gold leotards and white capes walked into the ring. They were Gunther and Hilda Weber, the directors of the circus camp.

  The Webers had once been real circus performers in Europe. Now they traveled all over the United States with Camp Little Big Top. They taught all of the circus stunts and cared for the animals.

  “Great, kids!” Gunther called after the Flying Tremendoes.“Just remember to keep your arms straight when you swing.”

  “The next act to rehearse will be Nancy and Celeste,” Hilda announced.

  Nancy straightened the headband in her reddish blond hair and jumped up from the bleachers.

  Hilda led Celeste into the ring with onehand. Her other hand held a blue hula hoop and a basket of blocks.

  Nancy smiled when she saw Celeste. Her soft white fur was clipped in a fancy poodle style. Hilda even used a gentle pink hair dye on her head and tail.

  Nancy loved Celeste so much that the Webers gave her special permission to feed Celeste at the end of camp each day.

  “Hi, girl,” Nancy said as she walked over to the dog.“We’re a team, right?”


  Nancy jumped. A boy wearing clown makeup, baggy pants, and a bright orange wig rode into the ring on a tricycle. He was Orson Wong from Nancy’s third-grade class.

  “Woof!”Celeste barked. Everyone laughed as she chased Orson’s tricycle.

  “Get her away from meeee!” Orson yelled. He stopped his tricycle and let out a gigantic sneeze. His red rubber nose flew right off his face!

  Orson ran to pick up his nose.“I thought I was next,” he complained.“And that dog always makes me sneeze!”

  “How can you be in the Chuckle Brigade if you keep sneezing your nose off?” Gunther asked.

  “I have to be a clown!” Orson cried. He waved his giant shoe in the air.“I’m Bosco Bigfoot. And no one makes balloon animals like the great Bosco Bigfoot!”

  “Then what should we do, Orson?” Hilda asked.

  Orson shrugged.“Maybe you can get rid of Celeste?” he asked.

  “Get rid of Celeste?” Hilda gasped. “Celeste is the star of the show!”

  “The only poodle who uses her noodle,” Gunther agreed.

  “Okay, okay.” Orson sighed.“It was just a suggestion.”

  Orson rode his tricycle to the bleachers. Nancy turned to the Webers. “May I start now?” she asked.

  “Yes,” Gunther said. He turned to the bleachers.“Amy, you’re on!”

  Amy walked into the ring and shouted as loud as she could: “Camp Little Big Top is proud to present—Nancy Drew and Celeste the Hopscotch Poodle!”

  Nancy bowed. She picked up the blue hula hoop and turned to Celeste.

  “Jump, Celeste!” she commanded.

  Celeste stepped back. Then she leaped right through the hula hoop.

  Nancy glanced at the bleachers. Bess and George were clapping. Orson was busily twisting another balloon animal.

  It was time for Celeste’s big trick. Nancy quickly placed the silver blocks on the ground one by one. When they were all in place, Nancy turned to Celeste.

  “Hopscotch!” Nancy called.

  Celeste stood up on her hind legs. She hopped over the blocks one by one.

  Suddenly Nancy heard a loud pop.

  Celeste stumbled. Then the white poodle began running out of the ring.

  “Celeste!” Nancy cried.“Come back!”



  Gotcha!”Gunther said. He gently grabbed Celeste.

  Nancy knew what the loud pop was. It was the sound of a balloon bursting. And she thought she knew who had burst it. She looked straight at Orson.

  “It wasn’t me!” Orson protested. “Joey grabbed my balloon and popped it.”

  “I didn’t think it would scare anyone,” Joey said with a shrug.

  “You scared poor Celeste when you broke her concentration,” Gunther scolded.

  “PoorCeleste?”Orson complained.“What about my poor balloon giraffe?”

  After Joey apologized, Celeste performed her hopscotch trick one more time. When Nancy’s practice was over she handed Celeste to Hilda. Then Nancy walked out of the ring to the watercooler for a drink.

  While Nancy sipped, she could see the Flying Tremendoes from the corner of her eye. They were wearing their silver capes and standing around the cotton candy cart.

  “Why does that dog have to be in the show, anyway?” Tyrone was saying.

  “We’re the stars of the Super Show, not her!” Lori said angrily.

  Nancy had a feeling that Joey had scared Celeste on purpose. She also had another feeling—she thought she saw Joey take a bag of cotton candy from the cart and stuff it under his cape!

  Those three are bad news, Nancy thought as she walked to the bleachers.

  Nancy forgot all about the Flying Tremendoes as she watched her friends practice. George did somersaults on thetrampoline. Bess posed for Splatter as he painted her portrait with his trunk.

  When the rehearsal was over the campers changed into their regular clothes and ate lunch in the park.

  “Why do elephants wear sneakers?” George asked as she opened a milk carton.

  “Why?”Amy asked.

  “So they can sneak up on mice!” George said with a giggle.

  “I don’t get it,” Bess said.

  Nancy looked at her watch.“Time to feed Celeste!” she said happily.

  Nancy had permission to go inside the tent. She walked to the back, where Splatter’s pen and Celeste’s big wire cage stood.

  “Hi, Splatter! Hi, Celeste!” Nancy said. The baby elephant swung his trunk back and forth. Celeste wagged her tail.

  Nancy turned to the bags of Dynamo Dog, Celeste’s high-energy dog food.

  There were always three bags of dog food: beef, chicken, and crunchy biscuits. Nancy was about to reach for the beef when she heard a thump-thump-thumping sound.

  Nancy whirled around and saw Orson. He was still dressed in his Bosco Bigfoot costume—red nose and all.

  “Hey.” Orson held out a colorful can. “Want some peanut brittle?”

  “No, thank you,” Nancy said. She loved peanut brittle, but she didn’t trust Orson.

  “Aw, come on,” Orson urged. “My mom made it. She’ll be upset when she hears you didn’t want it.”

  Nancy bit her lip. She liked Mrs. Wong and didn’t want to upset her.

  “Okay,” Nancy said. She grabbed the can and twisted the lid. A long paper snake popped out, and Nancy shrieked.

  Orson laughed but Nancy was mad.

  “Why don’t you save your tricks for the show?” Nancy snapped.

  Celeste stuck her nose through the cage and growled at Orson.

  “What’sherproblem?” Orson asked. Then he threw back his head and began to sneeze.“Ah, ah, ah—choooo!”

  Orson’s r
ed nose flew off again. But this time it landed in Nancy’s hands.

  “Ewww!” Nancy said, dropping the nose on the ground.“Gross!”

  “That dog is spoiling everything,” Orson said. He scooped up his snake and stuffed it back in the can.“Everything!”

  Orson stomped away. He forgot to pick up his rubber nose.

  “Back to work.” Nancy sighed. She filled Celeste’s dish with beef dog food and slid it into her cage. Then she closed the cage door and brought down the latch.

  Nancy tugged at the latch to make sure it was properly closed. It was.

  “Nancy!” Bess called from outside the tent.“Gunther is giving out cherry vanilla cotton candy!”

  “Coming!” Nancy called back. She wiggled her finger through the cage and smiled.“See you tomorrow, Celeste.”

  “Good day, River Heights!” Katie announced.“This is Katie Zaleski and Lester coming to you from my basement.”

  “Awwk!” Katie’s parrot Lester squawked.

  “Good day! Good day!”

  It was three o’clock in the afternoon. Nancy, Bess, and George were about to watch the videotaping ofThe Katie and Lester Show.Katie sat on a sofa with Lester on her shoulder. Her cousin Scooter pointed a video camera at them.

  “My guest today is Nancy Drew,” Katie said. “She’s the best detective at Carl Sandburg Elementary School!”

  “Yay, Nancy!” Bess and George cheered as Nancy joined Katie on the sofa.

  “So, Nancy,” Katie said with a grin. “What’s it like being a detective?”

  “Well, I have a blue detective notebook,” Nancy said.“That’s where I write down all my suspects and clues—”

  “That’s cool,” Katie interrupted.“But let’s talk about Celeste the Hopscotch Poodle. What is she like? Is she really pink and white? Do tell!”

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