"Nancy, are you okay?" George, Bess, and Mr. Drew looked at her with grave concern.
"What? Yes, I'm fine for the moment, thanks," Nancy said, blinking her pretty, blue, but fully-dilated eyes. "It comes ... in waves. At the top of a wave, I found myself back in real life!"
"Real life?" said Mr. Drew quizzically. "Well, I'm off to the Calcutta Tent Club for some prearranged business appointments. Maybe I can arrange a day of pigsticking for you young detectives!" As he left, he wrote a telephone number on his card for the girls, 1.555.354.2001. (In later chapters, of course, that telephone number will somehow prove crucial to solving The Mystery of the Glass Coffin.)
"Goodbye, Dad," Nancy grinned, then turned to her friends. "Flashback: Pigsticking, or hog-hunting on horseback with spears, is an ancient sport of India that was taught by the Hindoos to the British when they came. The most famous pigsticker was Sir Robert Baden-Powell, a British Army hero who went on to become founder of the Boy Scouts."
"And?" encouraged Bess.
"Well," Nancy continued, "Baden-Powell literally wrote the book on pigsticking, as well as the original Boy Scout Manuals. Then you may recall that The Revised Boy Scout Manual was done by William Burroughs, the famous junkie author we met in The Secret of the Old Cock.
"I was a Boy Scout!" exclaimed George. "Or was I a Girl Scout?"
"And the mysterious pale man wearing a suit whom you saw with the pig in the crowd of Mother Theresa mourners?" said Bess.
"Exactly!" Nancy said.
"Huh?" said Bess and George in unison. Then after a zoned-out pause during which they all watched the hotel carpet seize and swell, ripple and undulate like a great ocean of fabric containing all the dark matter of the universe in oriental cosmic swirls, they skirted the bottom of another wave long enough to share Nancy's connect-the-dots psychedelic insight that the mystery man must be Frank Figurski impersonating Theodore Kaczynski impersonating William Burroughs, or perhaps the other way around given that the real-life Figurski was already impersonating Theodore Streleski. So many wackass Eastern Europeans with names ending in "i"! Such a crazy long sentence for Nancy Drew!
"Collaboration is the key," Nancy said. "Here we work together to solve the mysteries. But in real life, we're split apart, and the paparazzi and the bounty hunters and the private collectors are closing in on the mechanical pig. If we're to save the Rosellini, or even the van Gelderschott, we're going to somehow have to get on the same page with Figurski ."
All these plot developments made Bess hungry. "Two words," she said, standing for dramatic effect. "Mini-bar!"
"That's one word," said George, and they all giggled. But when they popped open the little refrigerator in the Hypertext Suite of the Holodeck Hotel in the City of Joy, dozens of blue and yellow cans spilled out onto the plush carpet!