The story begins with a mysterious figure murdering someone aboard a ship, then hiding the body in a trunk. Meanwhile, Dr Carter has just arrived by Ocean Liner to New York with the Dagger of Amon Ra. Dr Ptahsheptut "Tut" Smith remonstrates with him while he is departing the ship. Tut is displeased and strongly disagrees with Carter's claim to the dagger. Dr Archibald Carrington III has also just arrived to start his new job as President of the Leyendecker Museum. Steve Dorian, an art student, who works as a part-time docker is assisting Carrington with his luggage.
One week later, after bidding farewell to her father John Bow, Laura Bow boards the train from New Orleans heading for New York. She is starting a new job as a newspaper reporter for the 'New York Daily Register News Tribune' newspaper. While on the train, she strikes up conversation with a fellow traveller who can't help but notice that Laura has never been to New York before. She warns Laura of the 'New York Experience', in other words, the high probability of being mugged. After disembarking the train, Laura is promptly mugged mere moments later. But she does not let this piece of bad luck get her down, and says hello to New York.
She arrives at the offices of the 'Tribune' to start her new job and sits expectantly in Sam Augustini's office. He is the Editor-in-Chief and initially is unaware of who she is. She clears up the confusion by informing him that she is John Bow's daughter. After a brief exchange that explains that John helped Sam make his name as a reporter years ago, he assigns Laura to report on the theft of the Dagger of Amon Ra. He arranges for her to attend a fundraiser that night at 7pm. He tells her that everyone will be there. This obviously is a great opportunity for Laura to glean more information about the crime. He hands her Crodfoller's (a fellow reporter) notes on the case, and issues a deadline of 3pm tomorrow to have the story ready by or she will be fired.
After acquanting herself with her fellow reporter, Crodfoller 'Rube' T. Rhubarb, Laura heads to the Police Station to see what information they have about the theft. She speaks with Detective O'Riley, but finds him to be chauvinistic and not very helpful. She reads his police report which is vague and has very little information. They are apparently mystified as to how the crime was committed. Laura speaks to the Desk Sergeant and he eventually tells her how to gain access to the local speakeasy.
Laura takes a taxi to the flower shop. She knocks on a side entrance and utters the password to gain entrance to the speakeasy. She finds Ziggy the informant sitting in one corner and quizzes him about various things. He knows that the dagger was stolen and that it was brought back from Egypt by Dr Carter. When asked about New York, he lets slip that a "high-class international con man" is in town but won't say who it is for fear of being killed.
Across the street from the speakeasy is Lo Fat's Laundry. She enters the Laundry and notices an unclaimed evening gown that has been here for two years. She asks Lo Fat if any of his customers work at the Museum. He mentions Wolf Heimlich - Chief of Security, Dr Olympia Myklos - a curator at the museum, and Yvette Delacroix - the President's secretary. He is amused at how seriously Wolf takes himself and thinks Olympia is a nice but scary woman. He has an "arrangement" with Yvette that means she doesn't have to pay for her laundry. When pressed about the matter, all Lo Fat can do is smile to himself and state that he doesn't "kiss and tell".
Upon arriving at the docks, a handsome stranger working as a stevedore approaches Laura and introduces himself as Steve Dorian. She quizzes him about the case. He remembers that Dr Carrington came in on the "Andrea Doria", because he had such a heavy steamer trunk that also had a funny smell. He goes on to say that he was then picked up in a taxi by the Countess. Laura mentions that a fundraiser is being held at the Museum tonight. Steve seems very curious about this and quizzes Laura about it. She tells him when it's due to start and that she will be getting in for free because she is covering it for the newspaper. Upon finding out about the party, Steve quickly says his goodbyes and departs.
Laura catches a cab and is struck by the amount of debris built up in the back seat. She finds a discarded Laundry ticket amongst the junk. She heads back to the Laundry and hands over the newly discovered ticket. Lo Fat accepts the ticket, despite its age, and hands over an evening gown. Laura enters the Speakeasy's backroom to change into the gown, then takes a cab to the Musuem.
Laura arrives at the Museum to attend the Fund Raiser Party. She encounters Wolf Heimlich, the Chief of Security, at the front door. He is dressed in a german military uniform and will not let anyone in unless they have an invitation or appropriate papers. Laura hands him her Press Pass. Wolf holds onto it and allows her access, telling her that she will get it back when she leaves. She enters the building and comes across the party already in full swing. She mingles with the guests in an attempt to further her investigations.
Ziggy appears to have his supsicions on who stole the dagger but won't divulge their identity. He seems disnterested in furthering Laura's investigation as he is far more interested in his own well-being. Dr Carter tells Laura that he has accepted the position as head of the Museum's new Egyptian Antiquities Department. He also appears to have a very high opinion of himself. Laura finds out from Dr Carter that the Countess was married to the former president of the Museum, Sterling Waldorf-Carlton. She apparently now has her sights set on Dr Carrington. Laura meets Yvette Delacroix for the first time, and finds herself jealous of her good looks. Yvette has a reputation for sleeping with anything that moves and some things that don't. In Dr Carter's words, she used to be a "street walker". Yvette thinks that the Countess is dangerous and warns Laura to keep her distance. Laura also meets Rameses Najeer. Rameses is an accountant with a speech impediment. He despises Dr Carter for his exploits in the tomb that held the Dagger of Amon Ra. He feels outraged that the tomb of his ancestors has been defiled. She approaches Dr Ptahsheptut "Tut" Smith. Although Dr Smith is attending this party, he finds it very disagreeable that ancient Egyptian artefacts are held in a museum outside of Egypt. He believes that "the thieves who robbed Egypt of its ancient treasures will find death waiting for them.". He hates Dr Carter, the very mention of his name aggravates him. He dubs Carter a "tomb robber" and declares that "He will know the full force of the curse of the Pharaohs!". Laura asks Dr Smith about the curse of the Pharaohs . He explains that "defilers of the great Egyptian tombs" will die as a result of their crimes. In other words, he believes the Egyptian god Amon Ra will punish Dr Carter by taking his life for "stealing" the Dagger of Amon Ra. Laura finds Dr Myklos to be civil, but unsettling. She seems to enjoy discussing dark topics of conversation, especially death. She doesn't appear to know much useful information about the various people connected with the case, but does tell Laura that she is quite keen on the Chief of Security, Wolf Heimlich. Upon speaking to the Countess, Laura notices that she is elderly and wears heavy amounts of make-up. When asked about Dr Carrington, she seems very cagey about her association with him. She reacts nervously when the subject of police is raised and claims to know nothing about the burglary.
Having learnt as much as she can from interviewing the guests, Laura now decides to eavesdrop on people's conversations in order to glean more information. Laura overhears Ziggy and the Countess discussing some kind of deal, but are alert to Laura's snooping and elect to not discuss it further in their current surroundings. Yvette takes an interest in almost every man at the party, perpetuating her reputation for sleeping around. Dr Smith pesters Dr Carter about the dagger and voices his suspicion that Carter himself removed the Dagger from the exhibit, but has no clear explanation of motive. Carter is exasperated and bemused by Smith's allegations. He turns the table of suspicion back to Smith, stating that stealing the dagger then sticking around to shift the blame to someone else would be very clever. They continue to argue over who stole the Dagger. Laura overhears Yvette persuading Steve Dorian to go on a "personal tour" with her to the Old Masters Gallery, saying that she will "be enjoying it as much as you will". Laura later bumps into Steve Dorian. They make small talk, then Steve tells Laura that she is the reason he came to the party. He invites Laura to join him outside to admire the moonlight. He declares he is very interested in Laura and wants to see her again. She accepts his request to go out on a date, they briefly kiss and rejoin the party.
While exploring the Museum, Laura discovers the Egyptian room that contained the Dagger of Amon Ra. Laura finds a bloody yet "dainty" footprint alongside a bloody gold ankh with the initals "P.S." inscribed on its back. She takes the ankh and continues exploring. She notices a growing pool of blood close to where she found the ankh. The blood appears to be seeping from a nearby sarcophagus. She opens it and screams out in terror at what she finds in there. It's the body of Dr Pippin Carter, stabbed in the chest with a dagger. Laura examines the body and finds a notebook in an inner pocket. The notebook apparently contains a list of appointments - Yvette, 8.00 Egyptian room, Tut 10.15 Egyptian room, Carrington 11.00 his office. Detective O'Riley approaches Laura and seems happy that she isn't the culprit. He tells her that he will talk to her later after she has calmed down, and instructs her to not leave the building for now.
Detective O'Riley interrogates the guests and discusses the murder with staff members as they leave, though he doesn't appear to have learnt anything new from his interviews. Ernie Leach approaches Laura and tells her that Dr Carrington has allowed her to stay a while and talk to the staff if she wishes. She is to find Ernie when she is ready to leave because he has been instructed to lock the doors. He also warns her about going downstairs because Wolf will get upset if he finds her there. She moves on to the Old Masters Gallery and finds Dr Carrington there. He asserts that Dr Carter was very dedicated to his work.
Laura heads to the corridor outside of Yvette's office and examines the statue of "Rodin's thinker.". She touches it and the head moves upwards. This opens a secret door nearby that reveals a winding staircase leading downwards. Just as Laura attempts to traverse the secret stairway, the lightbulb blows plunging the secret passage into darkness. This makes entering it an unsafe proposition. Retreating back to the corridor, she enters Yvette's empty office and notices a lamp on Yvette's desk. She switches off the lamp in order to cool the lightbulb so that she can safely remove it, but will have to wait a while before it is cool enough. She searches through the trashcan for any clues and finds some used carbon paper. There are illegible words on the paper that she hopes she can read later. Laura enters Dr Carrington's Office which is next door to Yvette's. She hears muffled voices coming from Yvette's office and can hear Yvette talking to Rameses Najeer. It appears that Yvette is trying to seduce Rameses. He is persuaded to accept her advances after she reminds him of the help she gave - letting him into the museum, and showing him the secret room for his ceremonies. Rameses says that he doesn't feel safe here and asks that they go someplace else. Yvette agrees to his request and asks him to lead the way.
Laura remains in Dr Carrington's office and looks around. She inspects a painting of the former president of the museum and discovers that it is hinged and conceals a safe behind it in the wall. She manages to get the safe open and finds Sterling's notebook inside. It details his fears that the Countess only married him for his money, and that she may be planning to kill him. It also states that Yvette fears her too. Laura operates the intercom and hears various conversations amongst which is Ernie Leach challenging Ziggy about his presence in a restricted area. Ziggy claims that Dr Carrington gave him permission to look around. But not having heard anything about it from Dr Carrington or Wolf Heimlich, he stands firm and refuses him access. Laura then uses the intercom to make an announcement - "If the person who stole the Dagger of Amon Ra can hear this, and your guilty conscience is bothering you, please leave the Dagger on President Carrington's desk. There will be no questions asked." Having made that announcement, she is not confident that the machine is working properly, and that anyone even heard it. She sees a note on the desk that reads "Countess and Ziggy at 1.00am. Medieval Armor Display."
Laura heads back to Yvette's office and removes the lightbulb from the desklamp, now that it has cooled down enough. She heads straight for the secret passageway she discovered earlier and puts the lightbulb into the fitting. Before descending the now illuminated stairway, Laura holds the carbon paper up to the light. She can discern the message "Ernie, Big Al called to see if you could do some fencing for him next week. He says he'll make it worth your while to do a fast fencing job.". At the bottom of the stairs is a short corridor with two doors and a glass covered alcove. Laura enters the door on the right in to the Preservation Lab. She hears muffled voices coming through the door to Ernie's office nearby. It is Ernie and Yvette. It would appear from their conversation that Yvette is involved with Ernie too. Yvette mentions an "ice pick fellow" that she regards as rather dangerous. Ernie reveals that he owes money to this dangerous character and asserts that he will repay the debt. He goes on to tell Yvette that he saw something he wasn't supposed to see, but doesn't tell her what it is. After exploring the museum some more, Laura discovers Detective O'Riley and Yvette canoodling in her office. Laura apologises and quickly departs to explore the rest of the museum.
She is shocked to find a headless corpse in the dinosaur room. It has been impaled by the Pterodactyl model. She notices that one of the supporting wires for the Pterodactyl has been cleanly cut. With no way to identify the body, Laura decides to move on. She enters the room of world masks and notices something isn't quite right. One of the masks is actually Ziggy's decapitated head. Wolf and Detective O'Riley arrive on the scene and enquire as to why Laura was screaming just now. She tells them of her discovery and Wolf is very enthusiastic to interrogate Laura, and perhaps extract a confession regardless of her innocence. O'Riley stymies Wolf's intentions and suggests that Laura be given time to calm down before she is interviewed. Laura thanks O'Riley for keeping Wolf at bay. The detective and Wolf then depart to acquire the tools necessary to process the crime scene.
Back in Yvette's office, Laura notices traces of blood on the paper cutter. Dr Myklos suddenly appears and tells Laura off for being in a private office. Laura shows her what she has just discovered, but Dr Myklos dismisses it as merely red ink and then departs. Laura then enters Dr Carrington's office and discovers another body draped over the desk. It is Dr Carrington impaled on his stuffed porcupine. Laura discovers the letters "C" and "P" written in blood on the desk. The only book on the shelf that correlates to these initials is "Crime and Punishment". Laura picks up this book and discovers a police file contained inside. It is about the criminal career of a con man known as Watney Little. The most recent entry in the report details his escape from Dartmoor prison. There is also a handwritten note attached to the folder which reads "Remember our deal".
Laura heads to Wolf Heimlich's office. She hears Dr Myklos's voice on the intercom. She is asking Wolf to meet her in the Armour room at 2.00 a.m. Laura finds a book of poetry on his shelves that is turned away so that you can't read the spine. It is marked by a black garter with Yvette's name stiched into it and a note is attached The note reads "You can have the other garter, and much more, if you meet me at 3.00 a.m.in the Preservation Lab.".
Laura makes her way to the Preservation Lab and finds Ernie there. She asks him if he can let her out, but apologises and explains that he can't because he has lost his door keys. Laura returns to the Museum's main rooms upstairs and asks the Countess some questions. When asked about the name Watney Little, she seems flustered and denies knowing the name. She sees that Laura has a police file about him and is keen to take it off her hands, but Laura manages to hold on to it. Remembering the note she found on Dr Carrington's desk that read "Countess and Ziggy at 1.00am. Medieval Armor Display.", she races to the armour room and hides behind a tapetsry. The Countess appears with paintings under her arm and Laura rushes out to confront her. She asks the Countess why she is carrying the paintings. The Countess makes a feeble excuse that Laura does not believe. Laura asks why she would be meeting Dr Carrinton as such a late hour. The Countess replies by asking her how she knew she was meeeting Dr Carrington. Laura explains that she found a note near his body that detailed this meeting. The Countess expresses surprise upon learning that Dr Carrington is dead. Laura points out that the Countess is a logical murder suspect. The Countess responds in her defence saying "Why would I want to kill him? We've got a perfectly good art burglary scheme going!". They were planning to gradually replace all the paintings with forgeries, sell the originals to private collectors, then fake an incident of vandalism on the forgeries hanging in the museum. The Countess denies having anything to with Dr Carter's death because he was her "cash cow", and was repsonsible for bringing him over from Europe.
Laura goes to Ernie's empty office and hears Olympia over the intercom ask Ernie to look at Vat 13, because it is clogged. She goes to vat 13 and fishes out the Dagger of Amon Ra! She goes to the storage room in the basement and opens the crate, being careful to avoid the flesh-eating bugs inside. She discovers some skeletal remains in the trunk. Presumably the bugs consumed the flesh of this unfortunate soul. Amongst the remains, she finds a gold pocket watch with an inscription that reads "To Dr Archibald Carrington III, for many years of dedicated service, many thanks from your staff at the British Museum.".
Upon heading back upstairs, Laura hears Yvette and O'Riley arguing in Yvette's office. Yvette mentions that he had something to do with the dagger burglary. He accuses her of sleeping with the dockworker Steve. She denies being involved with Steve and goes on to say that Ziggy told her about him and the dagger. O'Riley tries to discredit Ziggy's story by mentioning his criminal history. But Yvette doesn't believe it, stating that Ziggy would not lie to her. She goes on to say that O'Riley worked with Dr Carrington to steal the dagger. They stop talking when they hear a noise from outside. The door is locked so Laura moves on with her investigation.
Laura discovers Ernie's body in the Mastodon room, draped over the Mastodon's tusks. She examines his body and finds evidence that he perhaps was drowned. He smells of alcohol and there are traces of animal hair. She reports the murder to Wolf and Detective O'Riley. Wolf is losing patience with her. She keeps being the first to find a body and Wolf finds this to be very suspicious. He wants to interrogate her to learn the truth. Once again, O'Riley restrains Wolf from carrying out his interrogations, saying that "If there's any interrogating to be done, I'll be the one who does it.".
Laura goes to Yvette's office to find her distraught over the death of Ernie. Yvette tells her that she thinks that Ernie was killed by the "Icepick", a loan shark that Ernie owed money to. Laura leaves Yvette to grieve and bumps into Steve and Olympia outside. Olympia is thanking Steve for letting her see his scars and quickly departs. Steve voices his suspicions that some of the paintings in the museum are forgeries. Yvette suddenly appears and whisks Steve into her office claiming that she needs a "big man to cry on". Laura listens at the door and hears Yvette moaning and wanting more. She bursts in to find Steve massaging her neck and shoulders. Disgusted and upset at Steve's behaviour, she quickly leaves the room.
After wandering the museum for a while, Laura returns to the Old Masters Gallery and spots a sculpture that wasn't there previously. Upon closer inspection, she realises that it is in fact Yvette's body covered in plaster. She notices traces of red hair. She goes back to Yvette's office and finds evidence of a struggle and finds traces of red hair there too.
Meanwhile, Dr Myklos enters her office to discover the Countess tied up on her desk. She's very pale and doesn't seem well. She struggles to speak, but manages to utter "O'Riley". Dr Myklos construes this to mean that the Countess wants to see him and goes to fetch him. She bumps into Laura in the corridor and asks her if she has seen O'Riley. She calmly tells Laura that the Countess is dying in her office and surmises that she has been bitten by a snake. Laura goes to see what she can do for the Countess but her way is blocked by a poisonous snake. Laura manages to placate the snake and put it back in its cage, but it appears to be too late for the Countess. She examines the scene and finds a cobra fang embedded in the Countess's swollen ankle and a bunch of grapes.
Upon leaving Dr Myklos's office, Laura returns to the Mastodon Room and is chased by a mysterious hooded figure throughout the museum. She slows the cloaked figure down by locking doors behind her as she runs towards the Egyptian exhibit and fakes him out by opening the transom above the storage room door before hiding in a mummy case. The figure falls for Laura’s trick and breaks down the storage room door, then moves on to check the Life Mask exhibit. Laura runs into the storage room and discovers an elevator which leads to a new room, where a strange ceremony is taking place. She is captured by the Amon Ra cultists, who do not want to let her go, because they want their activities kept a secret. They are preparing to sacrifice her to Amon Ra and think her very fortunate to be bestowed such an honour. Laura mentions that she has learnt a thing or two about Egyptian history. They test her by giving her two riddles which she manages to solve. Impressed by her knowledge, they allow her to leave and make her promise not to reveal their secret. She is set free and enters the furnace room nearby. She finds Steve Dorian unconscious in the coal storage. She manages to revive him and they escape through a secret hatch back into the museum via the Tyrannosaurus Rex's mouth. The mysterious hooded figure catches up with them again but Laura is ready for him. At the exact moment the figure tries to drop out of the dinosaur's mouth, Laura presses a button that closes the mouth and traps the figure inside.
The story now cuts to the coroner's inquest. The coroner tells Laura that any information, evidence, observations or findings that she can provide may help greatly in determining who the murderer(s) are and who may have stolen the Dagger of Amon Ra. She is then asked a series of questions. Who murdered Dr Carter and what was the motive? Who murdered Ziggy and what was the motive? Who murdered Ernie and what was the motive? Who murdered Yvette and what was the motive? Who murdered the Countess and what was the motive? Who was the skeleton found in the steamer trunk? Who stole the dagger of Amon Ra? Who manipulated Watney Little into stealing the Dagger of Amon Ra? Who was the woman involved with stealing paintings from the Old Masters Gallery? Who was the man involved in stealing paintings from the old Masters Gallery? Who was the middleman who provided forged paintings for the Countess and sold the real ones for her? Who is the high priest of the Amon Ra sunworshippers? Which museum employee runs a "fencing" operation as a sideline business? After answering all the questions correctly, Laura presents a witness that can support her theory as to who the murderer is.
With the case now complete and the murderer behind bars, Laura can get on with her life. She meets Steve who gives her a replica of the Dagger of Amon Ra and invites her to dinner. She thinks for a moment and accepts the invitation.
Laura Bow is travelling to New York to start her new job as a fledgling reporter at the 'New York Daily Register News Tribune' Newspaper. She is assigned the task of investigating the theft of the Dagger of Amon Ra from the Leyendecker Museum.
Steve Dorian is a Stevedore that works at the docks. He seems very keen on Laura. She is the sole reason he attends the fundraiser party at the Museum.
Dr Pippin Carter is the archaelogist who discovered the Dagger of Amon Ra in Egypt. He brings it back to the Leyendecker Museum in New York, but is pursued by an unhappy Egyptian curator Dr Ptahsheptut "Tut" Smith. The Dagger is soon stolen from the Museum.
Dr Ptahsheptut "Tut" Smithis the curator of the Egyptian Museum. He pursues Dr Carter back to New York because he disagrees with his purported entitlement to the Dagger. Tut has an obvious motive for stealing the dagger, but is he really the culprit?
Countess Lavinia Waldorf-Carlton is rumoured to be a dangerous woman to be around. People close to her end up dead. She is the widow of Sterling Waldorf- Carlton. He was the previous president of the Leyendecker Museum. Some people believe that she only took an interest in Sterling for his money and maybe doing the same with Dr. Carrington.
Dr. Archibald Carrington III used to be a curator at the British Museum. He has recently accepted a job at the Leyendecker Museum as its president. He is a snob and very full of himself, and does not hesitate to let people know it.
Sterling Waldorf-Carlton (deceased) used to be the President of the Leyendecker Museum.
Dr Olympia Myklos is a curator at the Leyendecker Museum. She is a civil, polite woman, but has a creepy disposition. She doesn't shy away from talking about subjects such as death, and even seems to take some strange pleasure in it. She owns a ferret named Daisy and is responsible for a dried rat exhibit. She also enjoys examining people's scars and tatoos.
Yvette Delacroix works as the Museum President's secretary. She is french and very fond of men. She is seeing more than one man at the same time and sometimes utilises her amorous nature to get what she wants (free laundry for example). Dr Carter said she used to be a "Streetwalker", in other words she used to be a call girl.
Rameses Najeer works as an accountant at the Leyendecker Museum. He can be a quiet man that others struggle to evaluate. But he is also passionate about his egyptian heritage and does not agree with Dr Carter's claim to the Dagger.
Wolf Heimlich is the Chief of Security at the Leyendecker Museum. He wears a german military uniform and is very disciplined. He frequently patrols the museum but was unable to prevent the theft of the Dagger.
Ernie Leach is a handyman that works for Dr Carrington at the Museum.
Lawrence "Ziggy" Ziegfeld is a very suspicious character. He is a smalltime crook with a lot of connections. He has been known to work as an informant for the police. He has earned distrust from both the criminal underworld and the police because of his 'squealer' tendencies. He is known to hang around the local speakeasy.
Sam Augustini is the Editor in Chief of the 'Tribune' Newspaper that Laura works for. Laura's father, John, helped Sam in getting his first big story years ago. It was about the explosion of the Hindenberg building in New Orleans. John Bow was the first cop on the scene and let Sam access the area to report on it. By happenstance, Sam rescued Rupert Hindenberg. The story he subsequently wrote about the event helpded make his name as a reporter. He is greatful to John for this and is willing to give Laura a chance at the paper as a result.
Crodfoller 'Rube' T. Rhubarb is a colleague of Laura's. He was working on the case before Laura, and disagrees with Sam's decision to assign the case to a "novice reporter". That said, he is not unwilling to answer some of Laura's questions.
Detective Ryan O'Riley is tasked with solving the case. He isn't very cooperative, and has the case very low down on his list of priorities. He has a very low opinion of women. He demonstartes this when he questions Laura's ability as a reporter, based purely on the fact that she is a woman. He has a reputation for frequently being in a bad mood.
Dennis O'Flaherty is the Desk Sergeant at the local police station.