Okay, so this is just a little side project that WILL NOT leave me alone until I write it. Ever had that happen to you? Well, it's a 'little' ND story. And I think that the HB will show up... still in the writing process... Let me know if you like it. It's not my usual thing, so I NEED ENCOURAGEMENT or...criticism, whatever works...Enjoy!

The Mystery of the Missing Pint

Chapter one: Hair Cuts

"Noooooooo!" the blonde headed Bess Marvin screeched as she was drug to the chair, "I don't waaannna! Mama, don't make me!"

"Bess! This is unacceptable behavior! Now, get in the car," Mrs. Marvin tugged at her seven year old daughter's left arm.

The girl burst into tears, no longer fighting her mother. Mrs. Marvin dragged the girl to the driveway. "Now, you're going to be with Hannah. I want you to be on your best behavior, do you understand me?"

Bess hung her head in defeat. She whimpered a little and then did her best to dry up, "But Mama, why do I have to?"

"Because I said so, Dearest," Mrs. Marvin took the end of her shirt and wiped Bess's tearstained face, "You've got to get your summer pictures taken, so that I can send them out to all your relatives. They like to see recent pictures of you very much, and I want you to get a hair cut for those pictures. It's summer, and it'll just make you hot being that long."

Bess fingered her long, soft, blonde hair. She had natural banana curls, and she really, really didn't want to get it cut. She'd been growing it out!

"But I like my hair like this, mama," she said in a small voice. In one last, vain attempt the small girl jutted out her lower lip. She stood, silently awaiting her final judgment.

"You're going," her mother whispered, smiling.

Hannah Gruen's car pulled up to the side of the road. The passenger window rolled down, and Nancy Drew's smiling face appeared. "Are you ready, Bess?" Bess's best friend bounced up and down with excitement, "We've already got George."

It was hard for Bess to keep a frown for long around her two best friends, but this time she was in too damp a mood, "I suppose…" She heaved a deep breath.

Mrs. Marvin kissed the top of Bess's head, "Hannah has arranged for you and George to stay the night at Nancy's…if you're good."

Bess looked up hopefully. A small smile played at her lips, "Really?"

"Really," her mother chuckled, "Now get in…and have fun."

Bess hopped into the backseat beside her dark haired cousin. George Fayne had curly hair too, but it was curly in ringlets, not like Bess's. George's hair was just past her shoulders and Bess's was down to her waist, when she brushed it out.

George and Bess were very different. Bess always liked to play with makeup and daydream about boys. On the other hand, George liked to bake mud pies and dig for worms. Despite their many differences, the girls had a lot in common. They were the best of friends. Nancy was the girl in-between. She liked to do just about anything. She was very adventurous and outgoing. Somehow, trouble always found her, and she never seemed to mind. She tucked her reddish-blonde hair behind her ear. It was down to the middle of her back, unruly, and stick straight. All three girls were seven years old and had just finished the third grade at the River Heights Primary School.

"Bess, why so down?" Hannah, Nancy's housekeeper, asked. She was in her early thirties, an avid cook, and always cheerful. The slightly plump woman did her best to cheer the small girl.

"Because I don't want to cut my hair," she admitted in a small voice, unsure what her peers would think.

"Oh, Bess," Nancy tried to turn around in her seat, but Hannah shook her head no. "There are all kinds of cool hairstyles that you can get!

"Yeah?" she didn't know that. She'd always just got her hair cut, never styled.

"Oh yeah, Bess!" George encouraged. She'd known that Bess was completely against the whole hair cut idea. "You can…" she rolled her eyes toward the ceiling, trying to think of different possibilities, "Uh, you could get a buzcut! Oh, that would be neat!"

Bess pinched her nose up in disgust. She emitted an unpleasant noise.

"Not helping, George," Nancy said flatly, "You can get your hair pulled up in a sparkly pin."

"Is that true?" Bess asked Hannah.

"Yes, or you can get it straightened like Nancy's, or curled in a different way, or braided, or anything you want. There're books that you can look at to help you decide, and you don't have to go first. Nancy or George will go, so that you have time to look for what you want, and so that you can watch them…if you want."

Bess perked up, "I want to straighten it and pin some of my hair back in a glittery clip! Can I do that?"

"Yeah," Nancy smiled, "I brought you the most sparkly, glittery, silvery barrette that I could find in the whole wide world!"

"Ooh, for me!" Bess squealed as Nancy handed the hastily wrapped package to her friend.

"I wrapped it myself," she said proudly, "Here, George, I brought you a present too."

"It's not 'sparkly and glittery' is it?" George stuck out her tongue.

"Nooo," the red-head laughed.

"Oh, cool! It's the calculator with Wolverine on it!" George's face lit up as she opened her gift.

"I hope you like them," Nancy blushed, "I've been saving my allowance for three weeks to get them for you."

"We're here," Hannah pulled to a stop.