Chet Morton

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Chester Morton, Jr.
The Hardy Boys character
First appearanceThe Hardy Boys #1 The Tower Treasure (1927)
OccupationHigh school student
RelativesFather: Chester Morton Sr.
Mother: Jill Morton (nee Kenyon)
Sister: Iola Morton
Uncle: Jim Kenyon
Cousin: Bill Morton

Chester "Chet" Morton, Jr. is a fictional character in The Hardy Boys book series by Franklin W. Dixon.

Fictional history[edit]

Chet grew up with Frank and Joe Hardy (the Hardy Boys of the title) and has been one of their best friends since second grade. He usually says he doesn't want to have anything to do with the Hardy boys' mysteries, but ends up working with them anyway. He lives on a farm with his parents and sister, Iola Morton, just outside Bayport. Iola dates Joe Hardy through many of the books.

Chet is referred to in The Hardy Boys series as "big boy", fat, plump, chubby, stout, heavy-set, chunky, "the chubby one", portly and round. He is any or all of the aforementioned with curly red (sometimes blond) hair, a broad, wide nose, freckles and a doughy face. Chet has a weakness for food, and is known to say "and lots of it". He enjoys strawberry sodas and comic books, and is rarely seen without an apple or a pocketful of cookies. He has a liking for Aunt Gertrude's cooking, and often eats it while at the Hardys' house. He owns an old yellow jalopy he named Queen. It is also said in the books that he plays center on Bayport's high school varsity football team. Throughout the series, he does make some costly mistakes, but he is quickly forgiven.

Sibling's death[edit]

In The Hardy Boys Casefiles first book, Dead on Target, Iola Morton is killed by a car bomb intended to kill Frank and Joe.

Chet's hobbies[edit]

Chet tends to pick up new hobbies in each book, and sometimes they are connected in some way to the mystery in the novel. One example can be seen in the book Mystery of the Whale Tattoo in which the Hardy boys are deeply involved in a mystery of a missing valuable figurine that had been stolen years before by a gang of thieves who were known for having whale tattoos and using names of whales as aliases. In the book, Chet Morton's hobby is scrimshaw, and Chet uses his knowledge of whales and of scrimshaw to help the boys piece together the members of the gang. Chet also had a knack for crossword puzzles. Often throughout mysteries Chet could be found in a comfortable spot trying to figure out a crossword puzzle while Joe and Frank Hardy were stuck in some inopportune situation.

List of Chet's hobbies[edit]

A list of Chet's hobbies by book:[1]

Book Hobby
3. The Secret of the Old Mill Using a Microscope
6. The Shore Road Mystery Plant biology
7. The Secret of the Caves Metal detecting
12. Footprints Under the Window Weather
15. The Sinister Signpost Jet propulsion of his bicycle
16. A Figure in Hiding Health and exercise
20. The Mystery of the Flying Express Astrology
22. The Flickering Torch Mystery Building an airplane
24. The Short-Wave Mystery Taxidermy
26. The Phantom Freighter Fly tying
32. The Crisscross Shadow Indian heritage
33. The Yellow Feather Mystery Propeller sled
36. The Secret of Pirates' Hill Skin diving
37. The Ghost at Skeleton Rock Ventriloquism
39. The Mystery of the Chinese Junk Spelunking
40. Mystery of the Desert Giant Infrared photography
44. The Haunted Fort Painting
45. The Mystery of the Spiral Bridge Shot-putting
46. The Secret Agent on Flight 101 Magic tricks
47. Mystery of the Whale Tattoo Scrimshaw
48. The Arctic Patrol Mystery Karate
49. The Bombay Boomerang Boomerangs
51. The Masked Monkey Golf ball scavenging
52. The Shattered Helmet Film-making
53. The Clue of the Hissing Serpent Hot-air ballooning
55. The Witchmaster's Key Cycling
56. The Jungle Pyramid Gold artifacts
57. The Firebird Rocket Model rocketry

Chet in the spin-off series[edit]

Chet’s role is lessened in the Casefiles and Undercover Brothers series, although he does occasionally help Frank and Joe out on Network cases and ATAC (American Teens Against Crime) missions - not that he ever knows of either organization.

Chet plays even less of a role in the cross-overs; in fact he does not appear in any books in the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys SuperMystery series or the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift Ultra-Thriller series. In "Hardy Boys and The Friar Tuck House" series, Chet plays a pretty big role until Daphne takes charge of the story.

The Chet Morton series[edit]

Chet is one of the most popular characters in The Hardy Boys. In fact, by the mid-1960s, Chet had become so popular that in 1965 the Stratemeyer Syndicate was planning to develop a series about him and his hobbies.

It seems that the Stratemeyer Syndicate considerable work on this series, even writing some complete chapters, yet the Syndicate never began publishing it.

A list of proposed titles in the Chet Morton series was found in the Stratemeyer Archives at the New York Public Library.

1. Chet Morton and the Funny Putty Caper
2. Chet Morton and the Talking Turkey
3. Chet Morton and the Mighty Muscle Builder
4. Chet Morton and the Stolen Flea Circus
5. Chet Morton and his Electronic Exam Passer
6. Chet Morton and his Bird-Brain Blimp
7. Chet Morton and the Monkey’s Uncle
8. Chet Morton and the Flying Fruitcake
9. Chet Morton and the Mystery at Tucks Cove
10 Chet Morton and the Mystery at the Friar Tuck House
11 Chet Morton and the Mystery of Ben's Bat

As shown by the titles this series was going to be a lot more humorous than The Hardy Boys series.