The Rick Brant Series

The Rick Brant Science-Adventure Series
Summaries of #13-24

The summaries for #17-22 were adapted from the summaries published in the books.
  #13 The Scarlet Lake Mystery

Dr. Gordon has asked Rick and Scotty to go undercover at Scarlet Lake, which is a top-secret rocket test site in Nevada.  Someone has been sabotaging recent projects.  Each time the culprit strikes, he leaves behind a picture with an inscription, Homo Terrestrialis.  As a result, the saboteur is known as "The Earthman."  The Earthman must be an employee with top clearance, but nobody has a clue as to who could be responsible.

Rick and Scotty manage to get jobs at Scarlet Lake based on their own merits.  They must be careful not to be seen with Dr. Gordon, since their work is completely undercover.  The boys soon learn that not only have projects been sabotaged at a great loss of money, expensive electronic parts have disappeared at about the time of each act of sabotage.

Rick soon realizes that he is dealing with a dangerous foe who will stop at nothing to ruin the rocket program.
  #14 The Pirates of Shan
The Spindrift family is worried sick about Howard Shannon and Tony Briotti, who disappeared while on an expedition in the Sulu Sea.  Rick, Scotty, and Zircon travel to the Philippines to try to pick up the trail.  They are joined by Chahda, who assumes disguises while working undercover to gain information.  The boys learn that the Pirates of Shan are responsible for the scientists' disappearance.

The Pirates of Shan are feared by the the inhabitants of the Sulu Sea, and Rick and his friends soon find out why.  The pirates are formidable opponents who will commit murder in order to keep the Spindrifters away from their island.

The Spindrifters locate the cave in which Shannon and Briotti are imprisoned, but it will be all but impossible to rescue them.  The men are heavily guarded, and the cave is in a remote part of the island.

Rick and Scotty must use all their ingenuity to find a way to reach Shannon and Briotti.
  #15 The Blue Ghost Mystery
"Dear Rick and Scotty.  You must come at once, both of you, because we have a ghost here... Please hurry.  Barby and Jan."

Thus reads Barby and Jan's urgent appeal for assistance at Jan's ancestral home in Virginia.  The ghost of a Union soldier appears at nine o'clock each night near the old mine adjacent to the Millers' property.  Unable to resist a mystery, the boys immediately fly to Virginia.

Rick and Scotty suspect a hoax.  What kind of ghost makes nightly appearances at the same time each night but only when people are present to see the performance?  Could the mine have some hidden value?  The boys wonder if someone is trying to scare people away from the area.

Evidence is slim, but the boys doggedly follow clues until they find a solution to the mystery.
  #16 The Egyptian Cat Mystery
Rick and Scotty will be traveling to Egypt with Parnell Winston.  Winston will be working on a project which is centered around discovering the source of a strange signal from space.  While Parnell works, the boys plan to enjoy a nice vacation in Egypt.  Before their departure, Winston, the boys, and Barby visit the home of an Egyptian man named Bartouki.  Bartouki shows the young people his new creation, an Egyptian cat made out of lead that is covered in plastic.  The cat is said to be a prototype which Bartouki wishes to rush into production.

At Barby's suggestion, the boys agree to take the cat to Egypt to give to Bartouki's partner.  Making the delivery turns out to be much more complicated than Rick and Scotty thought it would be.  Several different men try to take possession of the cat, so Rick and Scotty try to figure out why the cat is so important.

Can Rick and Scotty discover the secret of the Egyptian cat before time runs out?
  #17 The Flaming Mountain
Rock, melting like butter on a hot stove!  It is hard to believe, but that is what happens on San Luz, a small island off the coast of South America.  When Rick Brant and his pal Don Scott fly to the famous resort island to join Rick's father, head of the Spindrift Scientific Foundation, a seemingly inactive volcano is about to explode in an eruption which could easily blow San Luz off the map.

The immediate threat is to a small town at the foot of the volcano, where the air reeks with the fumes of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide, and it is here that Rick and Scotty help Dr. Brant and his scientist associates set up headquarters, in the hope of finding a way of controlling an eruption that is growing into a certainty with fantastic speed.

But their efforts to save the island town are hindered by the superior forces of nature, the superstitious fatalism of the people—and sabotage!

With the earth opening up all around them, Rick, Scotty, and the scientists have little hope of preventing a catastrophe, until a decision is made to unleash the awesome power of atomic energy in a desperate last attempt to fight the volcanic eruption.
  #18 The Flying Stingaree
What's shaped like a sting ray and flies over Chesapeake Bay?  This is the eerie riddle which confronts Rick Brant and his friend Don Scott when, seeking shelter from a storm, they anchor the houseboat Spindrift in a lonely cove along the Maryland shore and spot the flying stingaree.

The "thing," they learn, is not the only one of its kind—one is actually suspected of having kidnapped a man!

The residents of the Eastern Shore of Maryland believe the strange objects are flying saucers, but, weary of ridicule, have ceased reporting the sightings.

Rick and Scotty, their scientific curiosity aroused, begin a comprehensive investigation, encouraged by their friend Steve Ames, a young government intelligence agent, whose summer cottage is near the cove.

As the clues mount up, the trail leads to Calvert's Favor, a historic plantation house—and to the very bottom of Chesapeake Bay.
  #19 The Ruby Ray Mystery
Rick Brant and his good friend Don Scott are attending a scientific conference in Denmark with Rick's father, Dr. Hartson Brant, when an urgent midnight phone call to their Copenhagen hotel room involves them in one of the strangest adventures either has ever encountered.  A top U.S. security agency fears that Dr. Harold Keller, one of the American scientists attending the conference, may be in danger.  The boys are ordered to keep him under close observation.

Thus begins a thrilling chase by sports car, taxi, train, and jet that spans three countries and ends in a hideout high in the Swiss Alps.  Rick and Scotty are not the only ones chasing Dr. Keller; several other mysterious men shadow Dr. Keller to his destination.  Rick and Scotty can tell by their tactics that these men mean business.

Exactly who are these men?  And why do they want Dr. Keller and the ruby laser he has developed for use in delicate surgery?
  #20 Veiled Raiders
Science and adventure prove to be an explosive mixture for a Spindrift Foundation expedition to the southern fringes of the Sahara Desert.  Rick Brant, his pal Scotty, and Dr. Tony Briotti are in Africa on a dual mission:  to investigate a remote archaeological site north of Nigeria, and to help conduct a worldwide communications satellite demonstration, using the new technique of modulated laser beams.

Starting with a warning from a friendly Hausa trader in the ancient city of Kano that trouble lies ahead, Rick, Scotty, and Tony Briotti are plunged into a dangerous situation as the unwilling guests of the Emir of Kemel.  The Emir carries a grudge against all Americans, and he has decided that Rick, Scotty, and Tony will be his slaves for as long as he wants.  Escape is nearly impossible, since the boys are being held in the center of the desert with no supplies.

How the boys manage to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles makes for a thrilling adventure that readers won't soon forget.
  #21 Rocket Jumper
Rick Brant, son of a famous scientist, makes a dream of free flight come true when he fashions a rocket belt in the famed Spindrift Scientific Laboratories.  Experiments with the belt are interrupted by summer jobs for Rick and his pal Scotty at a top-secret military project in Nevada.  The boys are assigned to operate a missile tracking station, and to help counterintelligence find the spies who are collecting information about the missile project and selling it to Iron Curtain countries.  Rick brings his rocket belt with him, hoping to get time to work on it, and Barby and Jan also get to come along on the trip.

Rick has a suspicion as to the identity of the persons responsible for collecting the classified information, but he must find proof.  Another leak occurs, and the officials are stymied as to how it can be happening.

The work on the military project gets put on hold after Barby and Jan get caught in a raging forest fire.  Can Rick and Scotty find a way to save them?
  #22 The Deadly Dutchman
Rick's rocket belt has gained him international recognition, and he has been invited to the International Technological Youth Conference in Europe.  Rick plans to have Scotty join him in Holland once the conference is over.  After Scotty's arrival, Rick is shocked to find Scotty's hotel room in disarray and Scotty missing!

Scotty turns back up, telling Rick that a dangerous group is after him for some unknown reason.  The men have ordered Scotty to hand "it" over and have threatened to kill him if he doesn't.  Mystified, Scotty can only tell them that he doesn't understand and that he would gladly comply if he knew what they wanted.

Finally, the boys learn that the group is after a message, but they still have no idea what the message is or where the message can be found.

Rick and Scotty ask for help from the Dutch police.  It takes all of Rick and Scotty's resourcefulness to learn the truth about the message so that they can defeat their enemies.
  #23 Danger Below!
As a hurricane bears down on Spindrift Island, Rick and Scotty spot a man pitching a tent on the Jersey shore.  They learn that the man is a meteorologist who is taking wind readings for research purposes, but why would he stay in a tent?  Meanwhile, a ship towing an oil-drilling platform has to let go of it in rough waters a couple miles out from Spindrift Island during the eye of the storm.

A few days after the storm, the captain shows up with an official from the oil company, and the two men quiz the Spindrifters about what they saw.  The men seem relieved when the Spindrifters agree that the captain did his best.  Rick and Scotty find it strangely coincidental that the captain lost the platform right over a deep ocean trench where its recovery would be very difficult.  The boys wonder whether the men are involved in an insurance scam.

Consumed by curiosity, the boys decide to find the oil-drilling platform and find themselves plunging headlong into danger!
  #24 The Magic Talisman
Scotty's magician friends, Derek and David Cameron, move into an old mansion along with David's wife, Karen.  The Camerons open a restaurant in the mansion with the main attraction as their magic act.  During their first performance, Karen is moved from one location on the stage to another by someone unseen.  The Camerons must improvise during the performance to cover their shock.  Karen is left quite shaken, and all of the Camerons are puzzled.

Meanwhile, Jan senses some type of friendly presence in the house.  She also feels an unfriendly presence from somewhere outside the house.  Karen agrees that the house contains a spiritual presence, although she cannot feel it as strongly as Jan.  Rick has always been skeptical of the supernatural, but Jan has always been dependable and levelheaded.  He knows that he can believe Jan.

For the first time ever, Rick and Scotty find themselves confronted with events that fall outside of what can be explained by science.
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