The Automobile Girls In The Berkshires; or, The Ghost of Lost Man's Trail

The Automobile Girls In The Berkshires; or, The Ghost of Lost Man's Trail - Laura Dent Crane Take four modern American teenage girls, ca. 1910, one of whom drives a car! and a fussy spinster chaperone with a heart of gold. Mix with a not very wild rural area still wild enough to harbour a last-of-her-tribe Indian woman and her teenage granddaughter, who appears only partly Indian and who owns the unlikely name of Eunice. Add in an uncle-nephew combination who are experimenting with airships and balloons in the neighbourhood, and who are mysteriously connected with said reclusive Indian females (a gold locket bearing initials provides the clue, of course!). An aristocratic charity event with egg-and-spoon races and the chasing/racing of domestic animals provides a brief diversion, and Babs gets her own horse due to the superiority of her riding (thus run the fantasies of young female readers, no doubt!) What do you get? Well, a bit of a muddle when trying to recollect the story, I have to say. And of course the treatment of the native element of the story is uncomfortable, a century on. But it's fun and interesting to see what elements would appeal to young female readers at that time, both modern and quasi-mythological (the young Indian girl is treated as a possible ghost at the beginning of the story).

This is the second of the "Automobile Girls" stories, and the first of the two presented in the e-version of the Greatest Mystery Collection.