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... und der unheimliche Drache

Die Buchbeschreibung
 
Der unheimliche DracheErzählt von: Nick West, © Random House 1970, © Franckh 1972

War es ein Scherz, was Mr. Allen über ein Seeungeheuer berichtet, das er gesehen haben will? Wem gehört zum Beispiel die unheimliche Stimme am Telefon? Und was ist Mr. Shelby für ein Mensch? Er nennt sich Spezialist für Tricks und Späße aller Art - aber damit geht er entschieden zu weit... Manche Merkwürdigkeiten müssen unsere drei Freunde Justus, Bob und Peter wieder überstehen.


 
Auftretende Personen
 
Justus Jonas (Jupiter Jones)
Peter Shaw (Pete Crenshaw)
Bob Andrews
Patrick O'Ryan (Hans Schmid)
Morton (Worthington), der zuvorkommende britische Chauffeur, betrachtet als eine seiner größten Enttäuschungen, daß er nie das Ungeheuer von Loch Ness gesehen hat.
Mr. Henry Allen, ein ehemaliger Film-Regisseur und Freund von A. Hitchcock. Er war Spezialist beim Horrorfilm und ehedem recht berühmt. Seinen Hund namens Rover (ein schöner und gutartiger irischer Setter) vermißt er und bittet die drei Detektive daher um Hilfe. Sein Haus liegt direkt über dem Pazifik in Seaside auf einem hohen Bergrücken. Mr. Allen ist ein kleiner, stämmiger Mann mit großen braunen Augen.
Mr. Carter, ein beleibter Mann mit buschigen Brauen. Er wohnt gegenüber von Mr. Allen. Der jähzornige Mr. Carter haßt Hunde, sein Vater Leonard Carter beging Selbstmord.
Mr. Arthur Shelby, ebenfalls ein Nachbar von Mr. Allen, ein großer schlanker Mann mit kurzgeschorenen kupferroten Haaren. Mr. Shelby hat ein Ingenieurstudium absolviert, er ist Amateur-Erfinder. Shelby ist ein Spaßvogel der ganz besonderen Art. Durch technische Spielereien erschrickt er so manche Mitmenschen. Einer seiner Scherze kostete ihm seine Stelle beim Stadtplanungsamt. Mit den Brüdern Morgan plant er einen ausgeklügelten Bankraub, er ist jedoch nur an der Durchführung nicht aber an dem Geld interessiert. Er ist kein guter Schwimmer -- spielt das eine Rolle...?
Harry und Jack Morgan, Brüder und Taucher. In dieser Geschichte sind sie in einen Bankraub, den sie gemeinsam mit Mr. Shelby begehen, verwickelt.
Miss Bennett, Bibliothekarin.
Mr. Andrews und Mrs. Andrews
Alfred Hitchcock, der berühmte Filmregisseur mit der tiefen Stimme, gibt den drei ??? in diesem Fall eine Sondervorstellung.
kursiv geschriebene Namen sind amerik. Originalnamen

 
Eine kurze Kostprobe
 
»Ich frage mich«, sagte Justus Jonas eines Morgens, »wie wir es anstellen würden, wenn wir hier in der Gegend den kühnsten Raub aller Zeiten planten!«
Seine beiden Freunde waren sichtlich verblüfft. Bob Andrews ließ den Stapel Kärtchen fallen, die er gerade einzeln in die alte Druckerpresse einführte. Peter Shaw, der an einem ausgedienten Radio herumbastelte, zuckte zusammen, so daß sein Schraubenzieher ein wilde Kurve beschrieb.
»Was hast du da gesagt?" fragte Peter. Er versuchte den häßlichen Kratzer glattzuschmirgeln, den er hinten auf das hölzerne Gehäuse des Apparats gemacht hatte.
»Ich sagte, ich frage mich, wie wir es anstellen würden, wenn wir hier den kühnsten Raub aller Zeiten starten wollten«, wiederholte Justus. »Gesetzt den Fall, wir wären Verbrechergenies.«
»Frag dich nur weiter«, sagte Peter, »und vielleicht findest du dabei auch noch heraus, was mit uns passiert, wenn sie uns geschnappt haben. Ich hab' mal gehört, Verbrechen zahlt sich nicht aus.«

 
Interessante Fakten
 
Seaside liegt südlich von Rocky Beach, etwa 35 Autobahnkilometer entfernt. Seaside ist so groß wie Rocky Beach.
Endlich wird es aufgeklärt: Blacky ist ein zahmer Mynahvogel (siehe Superpapagei).
Bob druckt eine frische Serie Visitenkarten.
Justus bezeichnet sich selbst als zu fett.

 
Unterschiede Buch/Hörspiel
 
Zu Beginn ist mehr los, als es Peter im Hörspiel beschreibt. Justus erzählt seinen beiden Detektivkollegen, daß es ihrer Arbeit sehr dienlich sei, sich ein geniales Verbrechen auszudenken.
Bei ihrem Besuch im Hause Arthur Shelbys erleben sie mehr Späße als nur einen fliegenden Vogel: Die Hausklingel steht unter Strom, sie werden in einem Käfig gefangen, Shelby verabschiedet sich bei Justus mit einer künstlichen Hand...
Die erste Erkundigung endet für Bob beinahe mit einem tödlichen Fiasko. Er fällt in eine Schlammgrube, aus der er von Justus und Peter nur mit letzter Mühe gerettet werden kann.
Als die mysteriöse Person in der Zentrale die drei Detektive per Telefon warnt sind nur Justus und Bob anwesend. Im Gegensatz zum Hörspiel ist auch Justus diese Situation sehr unangenehm.
Die Informationen über Seaside findet Bob zufällig bei seiner Arbeit in der Bibliothek.
Für die letzte Operation in der Höhle benutzen die drei ??? einen Horror-Film, bei dem Peters Vaters für die Spezialeffekte gesorgt hat. Es spielen gigantische Ameisen mit, die Peter mit Hilfe eines Projektors an die Höhlenwand wirft. Sie sind der Grund, daß die Brüder Morgan fliehen.
Justus bekommt den Drachen nicht richtig in Gang, der Motor stirbt ihm jedesmal sofort wieder ab. Sie fahren daher nicht gegen die Höhlenwand. Shelby erklärt ihnen später, daß man den Motor mit Nachkuppeln bedienen muß.
Zum Öffnen und Schließen einer Wand im Höhlensystem benutzt Arthur Shelby eine Pfeife die zwei Ultraschall-Frequenzen aussendet. Das ist der wahre Grund, warum er die Hunde entführt.

 
Gefährliche Tiere
 
»Also, es geht los,« sagte Bob. »Eine Million Menschen kommen jedes Jahr durch Insekten ums Leben, die Krankheitserreger übertragen. Vierzigtausend sterben an Schlangenbiß, zweitausend werden von Tigern getötet, tausend von Krokodilen gefressen, und nochmal tausend fallen hungrigen Haien zum Opfer.«
[...]
»Außerdem gibt es aber eine Menge Todesfälle durch Elefanten, Flußpferde, Nashörner, Wölfe, Löwen, Hyänen und Leoparden. Zum Teil sind es Unfälle. Es gibt aber auch Tiere, die immer wieder gerade den Menschen töten und fressen. Viele handeln aus reiner Mordlust. Doch laut diesem Buch -- Der Mensch als Beute von James Clarke -- werden die Gefahren, die von manchen Tieren drohen, weit übertrieben. Das betrifft zum Beispiel Eisbären, Pumas, Adler und Alligatoren. Der Verfasser sagt auch, Taranteln seien gänzlich harmlos, Grizzlybären richteten nur selten wirkliches Unheil an, und Affen seien intelligent genug, um dem Menschen nicht zu nahe zu kommen. Und weiter heißt es, wer unbedingt Wert darauf lege, gefressen zu werden, solle sich in Zentralafrika und auf dem indischen Subkontinent aufhalten. Der sicherste Ort hingegen sei Irland, das keine Gefahrensquellen aufweise als die Hummel.«

 
Amerikanische Originalzitate
 
»Of course, I'm all right,« he said finally. »Not that the effect of both of you landing on me at once did me any good. In addition to knocking the breath out of me, you practically buried my face in the sand.«
Pete grinned. »He's okay. He can still talk.«
»I hear him,« Bob said. »As usual, he's making it seem our fault. As I recall, his weight broke the steps and railing first. What were we supposed to do -- fly over him?«
»Well, sir,« the chauffeur said, »one might say you were privileged this evening to see a real live dragon, in the flesh, so to speak. At close quarters, might I ask?«
»Too close,« Pete answered abruptly. »It was practically right on top of us.«
»Good,« the chauffeur said, his usual reserved manner dissolved. »Then perhaps you gentleman took notice. Is it true, as the legende would have it, that the monster breathes out smoke and fire?«
Jupiter thought and shook his head slowly. »No, Worthington. This one didn't. At least, all we saw was the smoke.«
»Ah!« Worthington said. »A pity. I should have been most pleased if you had witnessed the total effect.«

 
Überprüfte Übersetzungen
Text
"And you've never seen a dragon, either, you said."
"Not a real one," Worthington said, smiling. "Only the kind they use before the football game."
"Football game?" Bob asked. The dignified chauffeur nodded. "That annual New Year's pageant you people have near here in Pasadena. The big floats of flowers. The Rose Bowl parade, I believe it's called."
»Und einem Drachen sind Sie auch nie begegnet, wie Sie schon sagten.«
»Keinem echten«, sagte Morton mit einem Lächeln. »Nur der Art, wie man sie hier für das Fußballspiel hat.«
»Fußballspiel?« fragte Bob.
Der würdige Chauffeur nickte.
»Bei dem großen Neujahrsumzug, den eure Landsleute hier in Pasadena jedes Jahr veranstalten. Die Festwagen mit den Aufbauten aus lauter Blumen.«
Aus dem Kapitel "Eine wilde Flucht": Football = Fußball?

 
Recycling oder Plagiat?
The Mystery of the Coughing Dragon war Nick Wests erstes Buch für die Three Investigators-Serie. Es ist durchzogen von inhaltlichen und formalen Anleihen an bereits veröffentlichte Folgen. Einzelne Szenen entpuppen sich gar als kaum verhohlene Kopien, da Textpassagen aus früheren Folgen wortwörtlich übernommen bzw. geringfügig abgewandelt wurden. Die Ähnlichkeit ist so groß, dass sogar noch in der deutschen Übersetzung das jeweilige Original durchscheint.

Einleitung
The Mystery of the Vanishing Treasure
Kapitel "To Steal the Rainbow Jewels"

"I wonder," said Jupiter Jones, "if we could steal the Rainbow Jewels."
His question took his two companions by surprise. Pete Crenshaw almost dropped a soldering iron, and Bob Andrews did drop the composing stick he was using to set up type for their old printing press.
"What did you say?" he demanded, looking in dismay at the spilled type.
"I said I wonder if we could steal the Rainbow Jewels," Jupiter repeated, "if we were thieves, that is."
"Which we are not," said Pete firmly, "Stealing jewels is dangerous. People shoot at you and chase you. Anyway, I believe in that old stuff about honesty being the best policy."
"Agreed," said Jupiter. But he continued to stare thoughtfully at the newsletter he had been reading.
The three boys, who called themselves The Three Investigators, were in Jupiter's secluded workshop section of The Jones Salvage Yard. Here, out of doors but under a six-foot roof that extended from the Salvage Yard's tall fence, they worked on rebuilding junk that came into the yard. The part of the profits they received from Jupiter's Uncle Titus kept them in pocket money and helped them pay for such luxuries as a telephone in their hidden Headquarters.

The Mystery of the Coughing Dragon
Kapitel "Mysterious Beginnings"

"I wonder," Jupiter Jones said one morning, "how we would go about attempting the biggest robbery ever seen in this area."
His two companions reacted with surprise. Bob Andrews dropped the stack of small cards he was feeding into their old printing press. Pete Crenshaw, who was mending an old radio, jerked and saw his srewdriver glance off in an erratic arc.
"What was that you said?" Pete asked, trying to smooth out the jagged scratch he'd made on the wooden back of the radio.
"I said I wonder how we would go about attempting the biggest robbery ever tried in this area," Jupiter repeated. "That is, if we were master criminals."
"While you're wondering," Pete said, "try to find out what happens to us after we get caught. I heard somewhere that crime doesn't pay."
Bob Andrews picked up the scattered cards he had dropped. "I don't think we'd be good at being master criminals. I can't even master putting cards into this printing press."
"It was merely a thought," said Jupiter. "After all, we are investigators. It occurs to me that if we could imagine a well-planned crime, we'd be ahead when it came to solving it. All we need to do is reverse our thinking and assume the anti-social mind of a mastermind criminal."
Pete nodded. "That's a neat idea, Jupe. But first I've got to reverse the thinking of the last owner of this radio. He tried to mend it himself and got the wires all twisted. After that, I'll be willing to play mastermind games with you."
The three boys, who called themselves The Three Investigators, were in Jupiter's workshop section of The Jones Salvage Yard. Secluded here, under a six-foot roof extending from the junk yard's high fence, they worked on repairing junk that Jupiter's Uncle Titus bought. They used part of the profits for pocket money and part for such luxuries as the telephone in their secret headquarters.

Alfred Hitchcock ruft an
The Mystery of the Vanishing Treasure
Kapitel "A Call from Alfred Hitchcock"

At that moment the telephone rang.
After the third ring Jupiter reached for it, switching on the little radio loudspeaker, which enabled them all to hear what was said.
"Jupiter Jones?" asked a woman's voice. "Alfred Hitchcock calling."
"Maybe he has a case for us!" Bob yelled. Since Mr Hitchcock, the famous motion picture director, had become interested in The Three Investigators, he had steered them to several exciting cases.
"Hello, young Jones!" It was Mr Hitchcock speaking. "Are you busy on a case just now?"
"No, sir!" Jupiter said. "That is, we offered to help the Peterson Museum solve the Golden Belt robbery, but they said we were too young."
Mr Hitchcock chuckled.
"They should have let you try," he said. "Judging by the papers, you couldn't do any worse than the police. However, I'm glad you are not busy. You may be able to help an old writer friend of mine."
"We'd be glad to try, Mr Hitchcock," Jupiter said. "What is your friend's trouble?"
Mr Hitchcock paused, as if trying to think of the right words.
"I'm not quite sure, my lad," he said. "But on the telephone she told me she is being bothered by gnomes."
"Gnomes, sir?" Jupiter's tone was baffled. Pete and Bob, listening, were equally perplexed.
"That's what she said, my boy. Gnomes. Little people, relatives to dwarfs and elves, who wear leather clothes and live underground and dig for treasure."
"Yes, sir," Jupiter answered. "I mean we know what gnomes are – if there actually are any, that is. They're supposed to be mythological and imaginary."
"Well, my friend says they're real! They sneak into her house at night and change all her pictures and books around. They have her very worried, and she wants someone to help her chase them away. She mentioned them to the local policeman and he gave her such a funny look that she refuses to say anything more to anyone she can't trust."
There was a brief silence.
"So what do you say, my boy? Can you help her out?"
"We'll certainly try, sir!" Jupiter said excitedly. "Just give me her name and address!"
He wrote down the information Mr Hitchcock gave him, promised they would report all progress as soon as possible, and hung up. He looked at Bob and Pete triumphantly.

The Mystery of the Coughing Dragon
Kapitel "Mysterious Beginnings"

At that moment the telephone rang.
The boys looked at one another. Hardly anyone ever phoned them.
After the second ring, Jupiter reached for it, switching on the little radio loudspeaker.
"Jupiter Jones?" asked a woman's voice. "Alfred Hitchcock is calling."
"Wow!" Bob yelled. "Maybe he has another good case for us!" Ever since Mr Hitchcock, the famous film director, had learned of The Three Investigators, he had put them on several cases.
"Hello, young Jones!" It was Mr Hitchcock speaking. "Are you
and your friends busy on a case at the moment?"
"No, sir," Jupiter said.
"But according to the law of averages we should find something interesting soon."
Mr Hitchcock chuckled.
"Law of averages, indeed!" he said. "If you're not busy, I have something for you. An old film director friend of mine can use some help."
"We'd be glad to try, Mr Hitchcock," Jupiter said. "What is your friend's problem?"
Mr Hitchcock
hesitated, as if he were trying to sum up a difficult situation in a few words.
"It appears to be dog trouble," he said finally. "That is to say, he told me on the telephone a little while ago that his dog is missing."
Jupiter's eyes brightened. "Would your friend happen to be a resident of the town of Seaside, Mr Hitchcock?" he asked.
There was a brief silence.
When Mr Hitchcock came on again, he sounded thunderstruck. "He does live in Seaside, for a fact, young Jones. Now how on earth did you deduce that?"
"Merely putting a few odd occurences together," Jupiter said.
"Remarkable," Mr Hitchcock was saying. "Quite remarkable, really. I'm pleased that you are still alert and not permitting your organization to become stagnant with conceit and boredom."
Jupiter grinned. "Not a chance, Mr Hitchcock. But you said, your friend 'appears' to be having dog trouble. You put stress on the word 'appears,' sir. Was that your intention?"
"As a matter of fact," Mr Hitchcock said, "you have guessed quite accurately what I was intending to communicate. I don't believe this is an ordinary case, at all. When you think of it, no case that involves a dragon can be considered ordinary. Wouldn't you agree?"
Jupiter cleared his throat. "A dragon?"
"Yes, my boy. My friend's house overlooks the ocean, and there are caves running beneath it. The night that his dog disappeared, my friend insists he saw a rather large dragon emerge from the ocean and enter one of the caves underneath his dwelling."
There was a stunned silence.
"
Well, what do you say, my boy? Are you and your companions willing to try to unravel this mystery?"
Jupiter was so excited, he started to stutter. "J-j-just give me your friend's name and address, sir!" he said. "This sounds as if it could be our most exciting case!"
He wrote down the information Mr Hitchcock gave, promised to report all progress, and hung up. He looked at Pete and Bob triumphantly.

Warnung am Telefon
The Secret of Terror Castle
Kapitel "A Ghostly Telephone Call"

And then the telephone rang.
They stared at it. The telephone had never rung before. Jupiter had had it installed less than a week ago when they had definitely decided they would start some kind of business. They planned to pay the charges from the money they made repairing broken items for Mr. Jones. It was listed in Jupiter's name, but of course the listing hadn't been put in the telephone book yet. So far, no one else knew they had it. Yet here it was ringing!
It rang again. Pete gulped. "Well, answer it," he said.
"I will." Jupiter picked it up. "Hello?" he said into the phone. "Hello?"
He held the phone close to a microphone and speaker he had assembled from parts of an old radio. This made it possible for them all to hear what was said. But all they could hear was a curious humming, far off.
"Hello!" he said once more. But there was still no answer, so finally he hung up.
"Probably a wrong number," he stated. "As I was saying -"
The phone rang again.
They stared at it. Jupiter reached for it as if someone was holding on to his arm for dear life.
"Huh-hello?" he said.
They heard the strange humming again, sounding far off and lonesome. Then they heard a voice that seemed to be gargling, as if the speaker hadn't talked in years but was trying hard to say something.
"Stay -" the voice said. Then, as if it were a great effort, as if it were the most tremendous effort imaginable, the voice got out another word.
"- away," it said. "Stay ... away."
Then it died out in a long gasp, and again there was just a weird humming noise.
"Stay away from what?" Jupiter asked the telephone.
But the telephone didn't answer. It just went on humming.
He hung up. For a long moment no one said anything. Then Pete stood up.
"I've got to get home," he said. "I just remembered something I have to attend to."
"Me, too." Bob hopped up. "I'll go with you."
"Possibly Aunt Mathilda would like me to do some errands," Jupiter said, and he got up, too. They practically fell over one another in their eagerness to get out of Headquarters.
The voice on the phone hadn't finished the sentence. But they didn't have any trouble figuring what he - or it, or whatever it was - had been trying to tell them.
Stay away from Terror Castle!

The Mystery of the Coughing Dragon
Kapitel "Message From a Ghost"

The telephone rang, for the second time that day.
They stared at it.
It rang again. "Well, answer it,"
Pete said.
"I will." Jupiter picked it up. "Hello?" he said into the phone. "Hello?"
He held the
telephone close to the microphone so that Pete could hear what was said, too. They heard a rasping sound.
"Hello!"
Jupe said again. There was no answer.
"Maybe it's a wrong number," Pete said.
"I - don't think so," Jupiter said. "Listen!"
Then they heard the strange rasping sound again. The sound was like that of somebody trying to breathe, gasping for air with great difficulty.
The curious breathing sounds changed to a voice that seemed to be strangling, as if the speaker had only a few moments of life left.
"Keep -" the strangling voice said. Then, as if it were the most tremendous effort imaginable, the voice continued.
"Away," it said. "Keep ... away."
Then it
became a heavy breathing sound again.
"Keep away from what?" Jupiter asked the telephone.
"My ... cave," the voice said. There was another long gasping sound and then silence.
"Why?" Jupiter asked. "Say, who is this?"
The voice sounded hollow now. "Dead ... men," it said slowly, "tell ... no ... tales!"
There was a long trembling gasp, and then silence.
Jupiter hung up. For a moment, he and Pete sat staring at the phone. Then Pete hopped up.
"I just remembered
we're having dinner early tonight," he said. "I'd better get on home."
Jupiter jumped up. "I'll leave, too. Aunt Mathilda might want me to clean up the yard a little."
Quickly both boys bolted from the trailer.
They hadn't had any trouble understanding what the ghostly voice had told them. It was a very simple message.
Keep away from my cave!
Dead men tell no tales!
Old Mr Allen had told them about a dragon entering a cave.
He hadn't mentioned a dead man - or a ghost!


 
Der Auftraggeber dieses Falles
 
Die drei ??? werden von Mr. Hitchcock beauftragt, für Mr. Allen seinen verlorenen Hund zu suchen. Außerdem erwähnt Mr. Hitchcock, Mr. Allen hätte einen Drachen aus dem Meer kommen sehen. 

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