History Literature / TheThreeInvestigators

16th Jan '17 2:51:50 AM Ingonyama
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* ScoobyDooHoax: The frequent explanation behind seemingly supernatural happenings. Textbook examples include ''Green Ghost'', ''Skeleton Island'', ''Flaming Footprints'', ''Haunted Mirror'' ([[RealAfterAll maybe]]), ''Dancing Devil'', ''Sinister Scarecrow'', and ''Blazing Cliffs''. The latter is an extremely over-the-top and overly complicated example, but justified by the villains in question being rather desperate and including failed actors among their number, and that they are playing to a paranoid and credulous audience.

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* ScoobyDooHoax: The frequent explanation behind seemingly supernatural happenings. Textbook examples include ''Green Ghost'', ''Skeleton Island'', ''Flaming Footprints'', ''Haunted Mirror'' ([[RealAfterAll maybe]]), ''Dancing Devil'', ''Sinister Scarecrow'', ''Wreckers' Rock'' (although only as a subplot), and ''Blazing Cliffs''. The latter is an extremely over-the-top and overly complicated example, but justified by the villains in question being rather desperate and including failed actors among their number, and that they are playing to a paranoid and credulous audience.
16th Jan '17 2:48:06 AM Ingonyama
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* CollidingCriminalConspiracies: Classic example in ''Creep-Show Crooks'': the villains of the book, a pair of horror movie aficionados desperate to break into the business as independent producers, decide (after discovering that the importer one of them worked for had a huge stash of hidden money) to commit an audacious robbery--stashing the money inside the stuffed teddy bear banks their boss sold, shipping them to a local furrier, then getting a job at the furrier's to intercept the shipment, thereby gaining the money for their venture. What they didn't know was that said money was laundered drug money which their boss was pursuing to get back from them...and they also didn't realize, because of their ineptitude, how they would be forced to keep committing CrimeAfterCrime to obtain the money, thanks to the other of the pair getting fired before he could receive the shipment. Cue an increasingly desperate series of burglaries.[[labelnote:Summation]]Where they: stole fur coats (as well as the bear shipment) to get their needed funds; found one bear had been given away and broke in again to get client records; repeatedly attempted to break into the client's house to find the bear; committed fraud by lying to desperate young actress Lucille Anderson about their vanity project, again so they could get into the house where the bear was; assaulted and kidnapped her to locate it; broke in to the Jones house and assaulted Aunt Mathilda; and broke into Headquarters to finally obtain it[[/labelnote]] And naturally this segued into UnintentionallyNotoriousCrime, since kidnapping Lucille (as well as drawing attention to themselves with a loud dance party) ended up getting her parents and the boys involved, unraveling their scheme. The sad irony is that all they really wanted was to make a great movie like those they loved, but thanks to [[KarmaHoudini the money launderer skipping the country]] and their lack of knowledge of his clients so they had nothing to give the government to plea bargain with, they end up serving the hard time in his stead.

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* CollidingCriminalConspiracies: CollidingCriminalConspiracies:
**
Classic example in ''Creep-Show Crooks'': the villains of the book, a pair of horror movie aficionados desperate to break into the business as independent producers, decide (after discovering that the importer one of them worked for had a huge stash of hidden money) to commit an audacious robbery--stashing the money inside the stuffed teddy bear banks their boss sold, shipping them to a local furrier, then getting a job at the furrier's to intercept the shipment, thereby gaining the money for their venture. What they didn't know was that said money was laundered drug money which their boss was pursuing to get back from them...and they also didn't realize, because of their ineptitude, how they would be forced to keep committing CrimeAfterCrime to obtain the money, thanks to the other of the pair getting fired before he could receive the shipment. Cue an increasingly desperate series of burglaries.[[labelnote:Summation]]Where they: stole fur coats (as well as the bear shipment) to get their needed funds; found one bear had been given away and broke in again to get client records; repeatedly attempted to break into the client's house to find the bear; committed fraud by lying to desperate young actress Lucille Anderson about their vanity project, again so they could get into the house where the bear was; assaulted and kidnapped her to locate it; broke in to the Jones house and assaulted Aunt Mathilda; and broke into Headquarters to finally obtain it[[/labelnote]] And naturally this segued into UnintentionallyNotoriousCrime, since kidnapping Lucille (as well as drawing attention to themselves with a loud dance party) ended up getting her parents and the boys involved, unraveling their scheme. The sad irony is that all they really wanted was to make a great movie like those they loved, but thanks to [[KarmaHoudini the money launderer skipping the country]] and their lack of knowledge of his clients so they had nothing to give the government to plea bargain with, they end up serving the hard time in his stead.stead.
** An even stronger example is in ''Wreckers' Rock'', where Sam Ragnarson's use of a ScoobyDooHoax to scare his family reunion off the island (so he can dig up the lost gold left there by the ship captain who had nearly drowned their ancestor back during Gold Rush days) [[ContrivedCoincidence ends up taking place at the same time]] [[spoiler:a car salesman who's down on his luck and a pair of fishermen friends are trying to fake his death for InsuranceFraud and help him escape the country]]. Being a disreputable black sheep, Sam greedily decides to blackmail them into letting him join in on the scheme, with his hoax also helping to keep the coast clear for the other men's getaway; unfortunately for him, the car salesman is desperate, the fishermen are hardened criminals, and all of them consider him a liability and [[HeKnowsTooMuch unwanted witness/informant]] whom they are only using, and whom they have every intention of getting rid of permanently [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness once he is no longer needed]]. Also the other reason the conspiracies collide is the fact the boys' photos of the reunion's mock Viking/Chumash battle happen to catch both Sam with some of the gold and [[spoiler:the supposedly dead car salesman]], necessitating all of them working together to get the pictures.
** Another example where the conspiracies do actually interfere with each other is ''Death Trap Mine'', where Allie's insistence that billionaire Wesley Thurgood is a fraud leads her and the boys to explore the eponymous mine and discover the body of a hold-up gang member. This draws the other members of the gang to town to try and recover their lost bank loot, and the end result of all the investigating is the boys also discovering [[spoiler:that Thurgood really is an impostor, as well a ConMan swindler, stock market speculator, and kidnapper of the only person in town who could have recognized his false identity]].



* VillainTeamUp: In ''Sinister Scarecrow'', thanks to {{Blackmail}}. The more usual version (for money and/or equally criminal desires) appears in ''Vanishing Treasure'' and ''Magic Circle''.

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* VillainTeamUp: In ''Sinister Scarecrow'', thanks to {{Blackmail}}. The more usual version (for money and/or equally criminal desires) appears in ''Vanishing Treasure'' and ''Magic Circle''. Another version resulting from {{Blackmail}} is in ''Wreckers' Rock'', in which Sam Ragnarson joins up with the Gruber brothers [[spoiler:and William Manning]] to aid in their InsuranceFraud scam, since he concludes this is a better source of money than digging for lost gold. It doesn't turn out too well for him.
5th Jan '17 3:45:50 AM Ingonyama
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* CollidingCriminalConspiracies: Classic example in ''Creep-Show Crooks'': the villains of the book, a pair of horror movie aficionados desperate to break into the business as independent producers, decide (after discovering that the importer one of them worked for had a huge stash of hidden money) to commit an audacious robbery--stashing the money inside the stuffed teddy bear banks their boss sold, shipping them to a local furrier, then getting a job at the furrier's to intercept the shipment, thereby gaining the money for their venture. What they didn't know was that said money was laundered drug money which their boss was pursuing to get back from them...and they also didn't realize, because of their ineptitude, how they would be forced to keep committing CrimeAfterCrime to obtain the money, thanks to the other of the pair getting fired before he could receive the shipment. Cue an increasingly desperate series of burglaries.[[labelnote:Summation]]Where they: stole fur coats (as well as the bear shipment) to get their needed funds; found one bear had been given away and broke in again to get client records; repeatedly attempted to break into the client's house to find the bear; committed fraud by lying to desperate young actress Lucille Anderson about their vanity project, again so they could get into the house where the bear was; assaulted and kidnapped her to locate it; broke in to the Jones house and assaulted Aunt Mathilda; and broke into Headquarters to finally obtain it[[/labelnote]] And naturally this segued into UnintentionallyNotoriousCrime, since kidnapping Lucille (as well as drawing attention to themselves with a loud dance party) ended up getting her parents and the boys involved, unraveling their scheme. The sad irony is that all they really wanted was to make a great movie like those they loved, but thanks to [[KarmaHoudini the money launderer skipping the country]] and their lack of knowledge of his clients so they had nothing to give the government to plea bargain with, they end up serving the hard time in his stead.



* ConMan: A popular villain type. Appears in ''Laughing Shadow'', ''Singing Serpent'', ''Monster Mountain'', ''Death Trap Mine'', ''Magic Circle'', and ''Sinister Scarecrow''.

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* ConMan: A popular villain type. Appears in ''Laughing Shadow'', ''Singing Serpent'', ''Monster Mountain'', ''Death Trap Mine'', ''Magic Circle'', and ''Sinister Scarecrow''.Scarecrow'', ''Purple Pirate'', and ''Creep-Show Crooks''.
4th Jan '17 2:22:30 AM Ingonyama
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* ObfuscatingInsanity: Old Ben the prospector from ''Moaning Cave'' uses this to misdirect people away the mine where he and his partner are digging for stolen diamonds.

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* ObfuscatingInsanity: Old Ben the prospector from ''Moaning Cave'' uses this to misdirect people away from the mine where he and his partner are digging for stolen diamonds.
4th Jan '17 1:53:40 AM Ingonyama
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* [[GoodLawyersGoodClients Good Detectives, Good Clients]]: Played utterly straight for almost every book in the series, with the boys' clients either being innocent victims of the con men/robbers/kidnappers, or bystanders caught up in such schemes by being in the wrong place at the wrong time or stumbling upon an important PlotCoupon. Which is why the subversion [[spoiler:in ''Shrinking House'' where both [[BeautyEqualsGoodness the elegant Marechal and the beautiful Countess]] turn out to be the swindling bad guys, the [[DarkIsNotEvil seemingly villainous]] [=DeGroot=] is actually a Dutch cop in pursuit of them, and Joshua Cameron himself was a master forger]] is so shocking and one of the most memorable entries in the whole series. Subverted again in [[spoiler:''Dancing Devil'']] but with less fanfare.

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* [[GoodLawyersGoodClients Good Detectives, Good Clients]]: Played utterly straight for almost every book in the series, with the boys' clients either being innocent victims of the con men/robbers/kidnappers, or bystanders caught up in such schemes by being in the wrong place at the wrong time or stumbling upon an important PlotCoupon. Which is why the subversion [[spoiler:in ''Shrinking House'' where both [[BeautyEqualsGoodness the elegant Marechal and the beautiful Countess]] turn out to be the swindling bad guys, the [[DarkIsNotEvil seemingly villainous]] [=DeGroot=] is actually a Dutch cop in pursuit of them, and Joshua Cameron himself was a master forger]] is so shocking and one of the most memorable entries in the whole series. Subverted again in [[spoiler:''Dancing Devil'']] but with less fanfare. ''Rogues' Reunion'' also subverts it, but the trope is still played with in that the villainous client in question is fairly sympathetic as well as not right in the head.
31st Dec '16 3:28:11 PM Ingonyama
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** A brief moment in ''Shrinking House'', when Skinny has been kidnapped [[spoiler:by Marechal]]. Although she at first confronts Maxwell James and Pete, thinking they have something to do with it, Mrs. Norris's worry and fear for her son are played out quite realistically, even as she acknowledges Skinny's failings and what she didn't know about his doings. It's enough to make even the boys feel squitorry for him and want to help save him. (It's also the only time we ever meet her in the series, and she is nothing like his father, so the moment is memorable and telling.)

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** A brief moment in ''Shrinking House'', when Skinny has been kidnapped [[spoiler:by Marechal]]. Although she at first confronts Maxwell James and Pete, thinking they have something to do with it, Mrs. Norris's worry and fear for her son are played out quite realistically, even as she acknowledges Skinny's failings and what she didn't know about his doings. It's enough to make even the boys feel squitorry sorry for him and want to help save him. (It's also the only time we ever meet her in the series, and she is nothing like his father, so the moment is memorable and telling.)
31st Dec '16 3:27:43 PM Ingonyama
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** A brief moment in ''Shrinking House'', when Skinny has been kidnapped [[spoiler:by Marechal]]. Although she at first confronts Maxwell James and Pete, thinking they have something to do with it, Mrs. Norris's worry and fear for her son are played out quit realistically, even as she acknowledges Skinny's failings and what she didn't know about his doings. It's enough to make even the boys feel sorry for him and want to help save him. (It's also the only time we ever meet her in the series, and she is nothing like his father, so the moment is memorable and telling.)

to:

** A brief moment in ''Shrinking House'', when Skinny has been kidnapped [[spoiler:by Marechal]]. Although she at first confronts Maxwell James and Pete, thinking they have something to do with it, Mrs. Norris's worry and fear for her son are played out quit quite realistically, even as she acknowledges Skinny's failings and what she didn't know about his doings. It's enough to make even the boys feel sorry squitorry for him and want to help save him. (It's also the only time we ever meet her in the series, and she is nothing like his father, so the moment is memorable and telling.)
31st Dec '16 3:26:32 PM Ingonyama
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* ActionPrologue: Unusually, this occurs to some degree in ''Wandering Cave Man'', where Jupe encounters a strange pair of travelers in the fog near the junkyard, tries to help them get to where they're going...and then the male traveler has a heart attack and dies, requiring an ambulance be called. This is the first on-screen human death in the series, and it leaves an impression on the reader (and in-story, on Jupe). It's also a ChekhovsGun, for while at first it appears to have nothing to do with the story other than to introduce us to Eleanor Hess and the Spicer Foundation, it ends up being the work of Dr. Birkeensteen (the man who died) that is at the heart of the case, since [[spoiler:he accidentally discovered a powerful, side-effect-free anesthetic in the course of his work, and it's this which the main villain uses to carry off his theft and ransom scheme via the town's water supply]]. Also, the beginning of ''Scar-Faced Beggar'' involves Bob's encounter with the eponymous character (who nearly gets hit by a car), then a brief ChaseScene, all while a bank robbery is going on (though this isn't learned by the characters until the next chapter).

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* ActionPrologue: Unusually, this occurs to some degree in ''Wandering Cave Man'', where Jupe encounters a strange pair of travelers in the fog near the junkyard, tries to help them get to where they're going...and then the male traveler has a heart attack and dies, requiring an ambulance be called. This is the first on-screen human death in the series, and it leaves an impression on the reader (and in-story, on Jupe). It's also a ChekhovsGun, for while at first it appears to have nothing to do with the story other than to introduce us to Eleanor Hess and the Spicer Foundation, it ends up being the work of Dr. Birkeensteen Birkensteen (the man who died) that is at the heart of the case, since [[spoiler:he accidentally discovered a powerful, side-effect-free anesthetic in the course of his work, and it's this which the main villain uses to carry off his theft and ransom scheme via the town's water supply]]. Also, the beginning of ''Scar-Faced Beggar'' involves Bob's encounter with the eponymous character (who nearly gets hit by a car), then a brief ChaseScene, all while a bank robbery is going on (though this isn't learned by the characters until the next chapter).
30th Dec '16 10:42:45 PM Ingonyama
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* SpottingTheThread: Often used to catch the villain (or catch him in a lie), such as when the fake El Diablo in ''Moaning Cave'' was revealed to be [[spoiler:Professor Walsh]] by the fact he [[spoiler:held his gun in his left hand]], or in ''Sinister Scarecrow'' when things like knowing about the crystal-hung candelabra on the museum staircase landing and somehow getting down the box of photographs from the closet shelf revealed that [[spoiler:[[ObfuscatingDisability Mrs. Chumley could walk]]]]. But on at least one occasion it was a RedHerring--after having chased the villain into the barranca in ''Shrinking House'' and knowing he'd injured himself falling in, the boys looked for a limp to identify him later. But [[spoiler:[=DeGroot=]'s limp turned out to be from an old injury, and he wasn't even a villain.]] Also in two cases the villain in question [[GenreSavvy was aware]] of the 'thread' and took pains to conceal it, but Jupiter managed to catch him with it anyway--in ''Two-Toed Pigeon'' Blinky knows very well his eye tic will give him away, so he covers it with sunglasses [[spoiler:but the fact Frisbee never wears them, and Blinky wears them even at night]] gives away he's an impostor and what his real identity is, and in ''Rogues' Reunion'' [[spoiler:the fake Bonehead's attempt to cover his ears with his hair is undone by the wind when he rides in his convertible with the top down]].

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* SpottingTheThread: Often used to catch the villain (or catch him in a lie), such as when the fake El Diablo in ''Moaning Cave'' was revealed to be [[spoiler:Professor Walsh]] by the fact he [[spoiler:held his gun in his left hand]], or in ''Sinister Scarecrow'' when things like knowing about the crystal-hung candelabra on the museum staircase landing and somehow getting down the box of photographs from the closet shelf revealed that [[spoiler:[[ObfuscatingDisability Mrs. Chumley could walk]]]]. But on at least one occasion it was a RedHerring--after having chased the villain into the barranca in ''Shrinking House'' and knowing he'd injured himself falling in, the boys looked for a limp to identify him later. But [[spoiler:[=DeGroot=]'s limp turned out to be from an old injury, and he wasn't even a villain.]] Also in ]]
** In
two cases the villain in question [[GenreSavvy was aware]] of the 'thread' and took pains to conceal it, but Jupiter managed to catch him with it anyway--in ''Two-Toed Pigeon'' Blinky knows very well his eye tic will give him away, so he covers it with sunglasses [[spoiler:but the fact Frisbee never wears them, and Blinky wears them even at night]] gives away he's an impostor and what his real identity is, and in ''Rogues' Reunion'' [[spoiler:the fake Bonehead's attempt to cover his ears with his hair is undone by the wind when he rides in his convertible with the top down]].



* TwoLinesNoWaiting: Occasionally a book will have multiple plotlines/cases, and quite often they intersect. In at least two books the lines literally intersected, with [[spoiler:the midgets]] of ''Vanishing Treasure'' being responsible for the stolen belt, the "gnomes", and the bank robbery, and with [[spoiler:Harold Thomas]] of ''Magic Circle'' responsible for the fire, the theft of the manuscript, and the theft of the films (albeit by working for two different criminals). Verges into ThreeLinesSomeWaiting in ''Missing Mermaid'' where, as [[LampshadeHanging the book's very blurb makes note of]], there are so many apparent mysteries (the broken statue, the supposed haunting of the inn, Mooch's dog reward scheme, the slave market) that the boys keep getting distracted from their search for the missing Todd Stratten. However even in this case all the mysteries end up intertwining or being relevant in some way, even the haunting (which [[spoiler:Clark Burton]] is using to keep people from investigating the inn and finding his secret room, though it's otherwise a RedHerring). Another example would be ''Scar-Faced Beggar'' which, aside from the beggar, involves a bank robbery, Hector Sebastian as a RedHerring suspect, a boat-rental business, a rally for patriotic rebels of a South American country being held at a condemned hotel, a makeup artist, a woman with psychic dreams, and terrorist gunrunners; again, it all ends up being relevant (except for Hector Sebastian, which is just a set-up for him to become the boys' new mentor).

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* TwoLinesNoWaiting: Occasionally a book will have multiple plotlines/cases, and quite often they intersect. In at least two books the lines literally intersected, with [[spoiler:the midgets]] of ''Vanishing Treasure'' being responsible for the stolen belt, the "gnomes", and the bank robbery, and with [[spoiler:Harold Thomas]] of ''Magic Circle'' responsible for the fire, the theft of the manuscript, and the theft of the films (albeit by working for two different criminals).
**
Verges into ThreeLinesSomeWaiting in ''Missing Mermaid'' where, as [[LampshadeHanging the book's very blurb makes note of]], there are so many apparent mysteries (the broken statue, the supposed haunting of the inn, Mooch's dog reward scheme, the slave market) that the boys keep getting distracted from their search for the missing Todd Stratten. However even in this case all the mysteries end up intertwining or being relevant in some way, even the haunting (which [[spoiler:Clark Burton]] is using to keep people from investigating the inn and finding his secret room, though it's otherwise a RedHerring). Another example would be ''Scar-Faced Beggar'' which, aside from the beggar, involves a bank robbery, Hector Sebastian as a RedHerring suspect, a boat-rental business, a rally for patriotic rebels of a South American country being held at a condemned hotel, a makeup artist, a woman with psychic dreams, and terrorist gunrunners; again, it all ends up being relevant (except for Hector Sebastian, which is just a set-up for him to become the boys' new mentor).
30th Dec '16 10:33:43 PM Ingonyama
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* CharacterizationMarchesOn: In ''Two-Toed Pigeon'' it is revealed that Pete is very much an animal lover. On the one hand this doesn't exactly contradict his earlier characterization--he was the best horse rider of the group in ''Green Ghost'', was able to calm the lion in ''Crooked Cat'' and admired George in ''Nervous Lion'' once he got to know him better, and of the three boys seems the most likely to feel this way since both Jupe and Bob are more interested in bookish pursuits. On the other hand, it's hard to believe someone who once took in a wandering horse as a pet would be as distrustful and wary around Queenie in ''Singing Serpent'' as he was (though that could have been his feelings for Allie bleeding over); his feelings about caged birds (or birds at all) were nowhere in evidence with Blackbeard and the other parrots in ''Stuttering Parrot'' (though he could have developed these views thanks to those experiences--it's also odd, condidering the number of {{Continuity Nod}}s he did, that Brandel didn't mention Blackbeard here); and there was never any evidence of Pete and his family keeping pets (though admittedly he's the boy about whose family life the least is known). And while Brandel set up for this in ''Kidnapped Whale'' through how close Pete and Fluke became, it does still come a little out of nowhere, although it is a welcome way to help differentiate the boys further.

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* CharacterizationMarchesOn: In ''Two-Toed Pigeon'' it is revealed that Pete is very much an animal lover. On the one hand this doesn't exactly contradict his earlier characterization--he was the best horse rider of the group in ''Green Ghost'', was able to calm the lion in ''Crooked Cat'' and admired George in ''Nervous Lion'' once he got to know him better, and of the three boys seems the most likely to feel this way since both Jupe and Bob are more interested in bookish pursuits. On the other hand, it's hard to believe someone who once took in a wandering horse as a pet would be as distrustful and wary around Queenie in ''Singing Serpent'' as he was (though that could have been his feelings for Allie bleeding over); his feelings about caged birds (or birds at all) were nowhere in evidence with Blackbeard and the other parrots in ''Stuttering Parrot'' (though he could have developed these views thanks to those experiences--it's also odd, condidering considering the number of {{Continuity Nod}}s he did, that Brandel didn't mention Blackbeard here); and there was never any evidence of Pete and his family keeping pets (though admittedly he's the boy about whose family life the least is known). And while Brandel set up for this in ''Kidnapped Whale'' through how close Pete and Fluke became, it does still come a little out of nowhere, although it is a welcome way to help differentiate the boys further.
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