Nancy left Rachel's room and took a moment to review...
The To-Do List
1. Solve the mystery
2. Be awesome
3. Become the most popular girl in school
4. Never play air hockey with Leela again
5. Figure out if Mel is a plagiarist
6. Get the gold token from the pesky white squirrel
7. Figure out what Rita Hallowell's journal means
8. Ask Ned if he wants to go with me to the Waverly Academy Senior Prom
9. Find Other Poe Stories
10. Work at the Snack Shack
11. Get the pictures for Rachel
The pictures for Rachel included a picture of Rita Hallowell, an oak tree, a school trophy, a map of the United States, the entry arch and the school emblem.
"I guess the first thing to do is see if Mel is a plagiarist," Nancy said. "Everything else seems kind of difficult."
So Nancy went to Mel's room. Before Nancy could say a single word, the angry cellist said, "It's not true, if that's what you want to know."
"You're not going to repaint this room?" Nancy asked.
"No, I'm not a plagiarist!" Mel said. Then she paused. "You think I should repaint my room?"
"It's, um, awfully pink," Nancy said. "You might want to try opening a window once in a while."
"Black suits my mood," Mel said darkly. "Should I be cheery about the fact that they're trying to kick me out of the school? I know you got kicked out of that school in France, but some of us are more worried about our academic careers."
"I did not get kicked out of the school in France!" Nancy argued. "I kicked them out! And if I did get kicked out of school, it wouldn't be for something stupid like plagiarism! It'd be for something like my sorority egging the dean's car after finals!"
"What, you think I'd be stupid enough to plagiarize something?" Mel asked. "I'd never cheat, especially not in an obvious way where I'd be sure to get caught!"
"How did you get caught, then?" Nancy asked.
"I was busted by Turn it in dot com, I mean, Paper Trail," Mel said. "Apparently, 40% of my art history essay is a direct match to someone else's essay."
"Whose essay?" Nancy asked.
"I don't know," Mel said. "And they won't let me know, either. It's so frustrating. I'm being kicked out unfairly, and I can't even defend myself."
"That's too bad," Nancy said.
"If I could only log in to Paper Trail, I can see the essay I supposedly plagiarized," Mel bemoaned. "But they cut off my Internet access!"
"Well, I still have Internet access," Nancy said. "Maybe I can help you."
"You'd do that?" Mel asked.
"Sure," Nancy said. "What are friends for? Without you, this place would be a lot less musical."
"Thank you," Mel said. "And it's really simple, too. Just enter one of the database source numbers for my essay, then select the proper IP address."
"...I have no idea what you're talking about," Nancy said.
"I got a glimpse of the IP address before the school booted me offline," Mel said. "I didn't get a chance to write it down, but I do remember that none of the numbers repeated."
"What?" Nancy asked.
"The IP address you want is ten digits long," Mel said. "None of the digits repeat."
"Let me get this straight," Nancy said. "Instead of trying to memorize the number, you spent your time checking if the digits repeated?"
Mel looked embarrassed. "I...it was what I noticed , okay?" she asked. "I was a little distracted by the fact that I'm being kicked out of Waverly!"
"Calm down, Cello Princess," Nancy said, holding up her hands. "I'll get you that IP number. Just wait."
Mel gave the allegedly plagiarized paper to Nancy, and Nancy left the room. Furious cello music followed her as she went to the library.