I've been reading the original texts of the Nancy Drew books.

The first books were written in the 1920s, and often startle you with their stodgy language and the racism and cruelty of their time.

Nancy and her friends watch a circus train being unloaded in the original 1936 text for The Mystery of the Ivory Charm...

The girls drew close to watch as the huge jungle animal was induced to emerge from the car. He was coaxed and guided by a handsome little brown boy of not more than twelve years of age. The lad kept the ponderous elephant under astonishing control. Now and then he uttered a sharp command in a language which the girls did not understand. "It's marvelous the way that lad handles the elephant!" Nancy commented in awe. "He scarcely uses the hook at all. He seems to control him through the animal's affection for him!" "They make an interesting pair," Bess remarked. "The boy so small and the elephant so huge." "The lad must be from India," Nancy mused. While the girls watched and marveled at the small attendant's skill, a dark-skinned man of middle age, dressed in a white uniform with gold braid and wearing a cumbersome turban on his head, came running along the tracks toward the bull car. His face became convulsed with anger as he bore down upon the Indian lad. "You Coya!" he shouted furiously. "Always you pay no heed to the words of Rai! You are too lazy and worthless to use the hook!" "But Rai, I do not require it," the lad protested in a musical, sing-song voice. "Old Tom obeys my every command. Watch, I will show you." "It is Rai who will show you instead!" the man cried furiously. "I will teach you!" Seizing the boy by the arm he began to beat him cruelly with a small jeweled whip. The terrified lad uttered a cry of fear and pain which caused the elephant to swing its trunk nervously and to emit a protesting scream. For a moment the girls feared that the animal meant to turn upon the attacker. "Oh! Oh!" Bess murmered, covering her eyes. It was Nancy who sprang forward to assist the lad from India. Without stopping to consider the possible consequence of her act, she jerked the whip from the man's hand. "Don't dare to strike that boy again!" she commanded. "He has done nothing to deserve punishment." The man turned glaring eyes upon her. "My son is lazy," he said in haughty, clipped English. "It is my right and duty to whip him." "But the boy was doing his work splendidly. You have no sympathy for his method of handling the elephant because it differs from yours. Please don't whip him again." The man shrugged and abruptly turned his back upon Nancy. To Coya he said harshly: "Rai will show you how to handle an elephant." Grasping the hook he dug it sharply into the animal's neck, uttering a loud, terse command. The elephant did not move. Enraged, Rai repeated the move, using the instrument with cruel force. "Oh, Rai!" the boy protested in distress. The man tried again without success to force the elephant to obey, and then, as Coya pleaded with him to give up the hook, tossed it angrily on the ground and walked away. Left alone, the lad spoke gently to Old Tom and with a light, guiding tap, caused the animal to move off obediently.

Click here for part II: Nancy Drew vs a Giant Snake