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The Mystery of the Deadly Double

A Horrifying Message from Alfred Hitchcock


LOVERS O M!STER!" be #arned$ !ou must be %re%ared" in this ne# ad&enture of The Three 'n&estigators" to face a horror that makes e&en my blood run cold$ ' shudder at the &ery thought of it( )hat" can there truly be more than one ( ( ( * +ut" no" ' cannot s%eak the dread #ords$ 'nstead" ' #ill s%eak of other matters in this dramatic ad&enture( A sim%le outing to a famous amusement %ark turns into a nightmare that at once challenges the full resources of our team of young detecti&es( Danger and confusion face them at e&ery turn as they attem%t to sol&e a diabolical crime( ,idna%%ers$ -ry%tic messages$ 'nternational intrigue$ -lues hidden under the &ery noses of our heroes$ Deadly mistakes$ The de&ious trail of a fugiti&e boy$ An enemy #ho nearly %enetrates The Three 'n&estigators. o#n head/uarters$ 't.s almost more than the 0u&enile %ri&ate eyes can handle( The case calls forth the reasoning ability of all our boys( The brainy and some#hat stout 1u%iter 1ones2himself the %u33led target of the criminals2is unable to %ro&ide full4time leadershi% of the detecti&e team( So the tall and muscular 5ete -rensha# must con/uer his uneasiness and assume a daring role( And +ob Andre#s" the studious research man of the trio" recei&es a chance to %ro&e that he is as cle&er as he is reliable( rom their hidden house4trailer head/uarters in The 1ones Sal&age !ard to the border of Me6ico" the boys %ursue and are %ursued" and the final ans#er is2but no$ ' #ill still not s%eak of the une6%ected fact that lies at the heart of the ad&enture$ 't is too monstrous to think of$ ' #ill lea&e that kno#ledge to your o#n disco&ery( or#ard" then" to mystery and ad&enture$ AL
RED

H'T-H-O-,

7 alse Alarms
89O+OD! MOVE$: 5ete -rensha# cried( +ob Andre#s and 1u%iter 1ones fro3e( The boys #ere in their secret head/uarters inside an old mobile home" #here they ran their 0unior detecti&e firm The Three 'n&estigators( The old house trailer #as carefully hidden under %iles of 0unk in The 1ones Sal&age !ard" but there #as al#ays danger that someone #ould stumble u%on one of the secret entrances to it( +ob and 1u%e looked carefully around their small office and listened intently( Had 5ete heard something threatening* 8)hat ( ( ( #hat.s #rong" 5ete*: +ob #his%ered( 5ete glared fiercely at his t#o friends(

8Somebody": he declared" 8stole my lunch*: +ob ga%ed( 8!our ( ( ( your lunch* That.s all you2$: 8!our lunch" Second*: 1u%iter echoed" incredulous( The tall Second 'n&estigator laughed( 81ust a 0oke( +esides" my lunch is im%ortant( '.m getting hungry(: 8A %oor 0oke": 1u%iter said sternly( 8 alse alarms are &ery dangerous( !ou kno# the story of the boy #ho cried #olf( That kind of fun can2: 1u%iter" the brainy leader of The Three 'n&estigators" could become a little stuffy" es%ecially #hen he ga&e a s%eech( +ob or 5ete often had to bring him do#n to earth( 8Talking #on.t get you off the hook": 5ete interru%ted( 8'.ll bet you couldn.t resist a snack #hen +ob and ' #ere outside in the #orksho%( '.ll bet you s#i%ed my lunch yourself$: 1u%iter reddened( 8' did not$: he e6claimed hotly( A stout boy" if not e6actly fat" the irst 'n&estigator hated any suggestion that he ate too much( 8)ell": 5ete insisted" 8someone did(: 8Maybe you took it out to the #orksho%" and forgot it": +ob suggested( 8)here&er it is" it can #ait": 1u%iter said" reco&ering his self4assurance( 8)e ha&en.t decided #here to go on our outing tomorro#( 't.s our last chance to do something e6citing before school o%ens again( Since no one seems to #ant to hire us for a case right no#" and #e.&e been #orking around the sal&age yard all summer" ' think #e should take a real tri%( )e.&e all been to Disneyland a lot" so ' say #e go to Magic Mountain( '.&e ne&er been there(: 8Me" neither": 5ete said( 8)hat.s it like*: 8't.s one of the biggest and best amusement %arks in the #orld" that.s all": +ob said eagerly( 8't doesn.t ha&e the fantasy stuff of Disneyland" but it.s got four roller coasters( One of them loo%s u%side do#n$ There.re t#o #ater chute rides" and do you get soaked$ And there.s a s%ecial kind of erris #heel a mile high" and maybe thirty other great rides 2all for the admission %rice( 9o ticket books or anything( Once you.re inside" you 0ust go on any ride you #ant(: 8't sounds %retty good": 5ete said( 8Then that.s it": 1u%iter decided( 8And 0ust for some e6tra fun" #e.ll go in style2in the Rolls4Royce$ '.&e already called )orthington" and the car.s a&ailable tomorro#(: 8)o#": +ob said" laughing" 8they.ll think #e.re millionaires$ ' can.t #ait to see e&eryone.s face #hen #e dri&e u%(: 8'f ' li&e that long(: 5ete groaned( 8'.m star&ing( -ome on" #here.d you guys hide my lunch*: 8)e didn.t hide it" 5ete": +ob insisted( 89o one touched your lunch" Second": 1u%iter said in an e6as%erated &oice( 8!ou %robably did take it out to the #orksho% #ith you( )e might as #ell find it" or #e.ll ne&er get our %lans settled(: Suiting action to #ords" 1u%iter raised the tra%4door in the floor of the trailer and s/uee3ed do#n into Tunnel T#o( This #as the main entrance to Head/uarters" consisting of a length of #ide metal %i%e running under the trailer and the 0unk that surrounded it( 5ete" tall and athletic" %ractically had to flatten himself on his stomach to get through the %i%e" but he slid easily along behind the 'n&estigators. %uffing" o&er#eight leader( +ob"

the smallest of the three boys" had no trouble at all cra#ling s#iftly in the rear( They emerged in 1u%iter.s outdoor #orksho%" #hich #as in a front corner of The 1ones Sal&age !ard( The #orksho% #as %rotected by a slo%ing si64foot4#ide roof #hich ran around the inside of the 0unkyard fence( Mounds of 0unk around the #orksho% hid the area from &ie#( 'n it the boys had their %rinting %ress and the larger tools that they used to rebuild 0unk into useful e/ui%ment for their detecti&e #ork( The #orksho% area also contained a chair" some old crates" and a #orkbench( 't #as on the #orkbench that +ob s%otted 5ete.s lunch bag( 8See" you did lea&e it out here": the Records and Research member of the team declared( 5ete %icked u% the torn %a%er bag( 8+ut #ho ate it*: 8!ou %robably ate it yourself" and forgot you did": 1u%iter said in disgust( 8Me*: 5ete cried( 8 orget ' ate a good ham sand#ich*: 8'.ll bet it #as rats": +ob said" e6amining the bag( 't had been ri%%ed raggedly o%en( 8They eat anything(: 8!ou think Aunt Mathilda lets rats run loose around the sal&age yard* 9o #ay$: 5ete e6claimed( 8She tries" but not e&en Aunt Mathilda can kee% all the rats out of a big 0unkyard": 1u%iter said" laughing" 1u%e.s Aunt Mathilda #as a formidable #oman #ho ran the sal&age yard #ith an iron hand( Her husband" Titus" s%ent most of his time scouting for ne# 0unk to add to the yard( 1u%e" #ho had been or%haned at an early age" had li&ed #ith them e&er since he could remember( 8-ome on" let.s see if Aunt Mathilda #ill gi&e us all some lunch": said 1u%e" and he led the #ay to#ards the 0unkyard office( +ut as he neared the main gate of the yard" he suddenly slo#ed( 8 ello#s" ha&e you e&er seen that car before*: +ob and 5ete looked to#ard the entrance( A green Mercedes sedan #as %arked almost directly across the street from the o%en gates( 9o one got out of it( 8't #as mo&ing #hen ' first noticed it": 1u%iter said slo#ly( 81ust cree%ing along" and then it sto%%ed(: 8So #hat" 1u%e*: 5ete said( 8-an.t a car %ark around here* Maybe it.s a customer for the yard(: 85erha%s": 1u%iter admitted" 8but no one has got out" and ' think ' sa# the same car dri&ing %ast the entrance earlier this morning( ;oing 0ust as slo#ly(: 8Hey": +ob e6claimed" 8' think maybe ' sa# it" too$ On the street outside the back fence #hen ' #as riding o&er here( Maybe an hour ago(: 8Maybe they stole my lunch$: 5ete said( 8Sure" international lunch thie&es$: +ob said dryly( 8 orget your lunch": 1u%iter sna%%ed im%atiently( He #as still #atching the motionless car through the o%en gates( 8'f you didn.t eat it" +ob.s right2rats got it( ' think '.d like to try to find out #hat that car.s u% to(: +ob grinned( 8Maybe they.re 0ust #aiting for a chance to steal another ham sand#ich(: 8't looks to me as if they.re #aiting for something" Records": 1u%iter said( 8Let.s go and see(: 1u%iter had a #ay of seeing a mystery in almost e&erything" and an uncanny ability to be right$ +ob and 5ete had long ago gi&en u% /uestioning e&en 1u%e.s #ildest hunches(

He #as #rong sometimes" but not &ery often( 85ete" you double back in the yard and sneak u% inside the main entrance": 1u%iter instructed( 8Hide and #atch the car from there( +ob and ' can go out Red ;ate Ro&er in the back and circle around outside the fence( +ob" you go to the left" and '.ll go to the right( )e.ll obser&e the car from all sides(: 5ete nodded" and #atched his %artners sli% out of the yard through their secret entrance in the back fence( Then he skirted behind some mounds of 0unk and cre%t along the inside of the fence to the main gate( He %eered around( The Mercedes #as still there( T#o %eo%le seemed to be in it( 5ete ducked back hurriedly( Out of sight" he got do#n on his stomach and cra#led back to the o%en entrance( lat on the ground" he %eered around again( 8Hello$ Lost something* 5erha%s ' can hel%*: 5ete gul%ed( A stocky" sunburned man in a light#eight suit stood directly abo&e him in the entrance( The man had curly bro#n hair and small blue eyes" and #as smiling %olitely( He seemed amused at the sight of 5ete cra#ling flat on his stomach in the yard( 8'4'2: 5ete stammered" feeling foolish" 8' lost my ball( ' #as looking ( ( ( for ( ( ( it(: 89o ball came out this #ay": the man said solemnly( 8' guess it bounced some#here else": 5ete said lamely" and got u%( 8+ad luck": the sunburned man said" and held out a local road ma%( 85erha%s you can hel% me( )e seem to be lost(: 5ete suddenly sa# that the door of the green Mercedes #as o%en" and only one %erson #as still in the car( The stocky man nodded back to#ard the Mercedes( 8'.m afraid #e.&e been dri&ing in circles" eh* Rather a bad sho#( Actually" #e.&e been attem%ting to locate the old mission you cha%s ha&e here(: 5ete reali3ed that the man had an accent( English" and yet not e6actly like any English accent he.d e&er heard( The car 0ust held some lost tourists$ So much for 1u%iter and his hunches$ 8Oh" sure(: 5ete took the ma% and sho#ed the man #here he #as" and #here the S%anish mission #as u% the -oast High#ay( 8't.s not so easy to find(: 8<uite(: The man nodded( 8)ell" thank you so much(: The man #ent back to the green Mercedes and the car dro&e off( +ob and 1u%iter came running u% to 5ete( 1u%iter #as staring after the disa%%earing Mercedes( 81ust tourists" irst": 5ete said disgustedly" and told them all that had ha%%ened( 8The guy had a real funny English accent(: 8Lost*: 1u%iter said" sounding de0ected( 8That.s all*: 8)hat else" irst* )e.re not e&en on a case": 5ete said( 1u%iter #as glum but thoughtful( 8't.s a %ossible story since they #ere foreigners" but 2: 81u%e$: 5ete groaned( 8They #ere lost$ That.s all$: 8And #e.&e got more %lanning to do for our tri%$: +ob said( 8Sure": 5ete said( 8After #e eat some lunch(: +ob and 1u%iter looked at each other( There #as a bin of old tennis balls near the main gate( +ob and 1u%e grabbed balls and began to hurl them at 5ete" #ho ran off into the yard laughing(

= ,idna%%ed$
>5 EARL! the ne6t morning" +ob dressed /uickly and hurried do#n to the kitchen( As he raced through his breakfast" his father %ut do#n his ne#s%a%er and #atched him #ith a smile( 8An im%ortant in&estigation this morning*: Mr Andre#s said( 89ot today" Dad( )e.re going to Magic Mountain2in the gold4%lated Rolls4Royce( )ith )orthington dri&ing us$: Mr Andre#s #histled admiringly( 8Three elegant young fello#s" eh* '.m afraid that gro#ing u% is going to be a little dull for you(: 89ot if 1u%e gro#s u% #ith us$: 89o": Mr Andre#s said" laughing" 8' guess not(: 8)e.ll %robably be kind of late" Dad" but #e.ll try to be home by dinner time": +ob called as he ran out the door( He rode his bike through the bright morning streets of Rocky +each to the sal&age yard and turned in at the main gate( 5ete #as sitting on the &erandah of the yard.s office cabin" looking at a magnificent sight( A Rolls4Royce of some#hat ad&anced age" #ith huge headlights and a hood as long and black and shining as a grand %iano" stood in the sal&age yard( Lu6urious as the great car #ould ha&e been in 0ust sim%le" lustrous black" it outdid itself #ith one more touch2all the trimming" e&en the bum%ers" #as %lated in da33ling gold$ 8)o#$: +ob said in a#e( 8' al#ays forget #hat a beauty it is until #e see it again(: A tall" lean man in a chauffeur.s uniform stood beside the car" gently rubbing some of the gold4%lated trim #ith a soft cloth( His long good4humoured face smiled at +ob( 8E&en ' do" Master Andre#s" #hen ' must sometimes dri&e a different machine": )orthington said( 1u%iter had first #on the use of the fantastic old car in a contest" and later a grateful client had arranged for the boys to use the car any time they #anted to( Since no one but )orthington e&er dro&e the car for the rental agency that o#ned it" he had become a good friend of the 'n&estigators( He still insisted on treating the boys e6actly as he #ould the oldest and #ealthiest tycoon( +ut no# his eyes t#inkled( 8An im%ortant case this time" Master Andre#s*: he said( 89ot this time" )orthington(: +ob e6%lained( 8)e.re 0ust going on a tri% to Magic Mountain" and thought it #ould be fun to go in the Rolls(: 8An outing* S%lendid$: )orthington declared( 8)ho deser&es a holiday more than The Three 'n&estigators* ' shall re%ort our destination to the com%any" and fuel the machine #hile #e #ait for Master 1ones(: The tall chauffeur got into the Rolls4Royce and dro&e out of the sal&age yard( +ob turned /uickly to 5ete( 8S%eaking of 1u%e" #here is he*: 8'n Head/uarters" making some %lans": 5ete said( 8He #ouldn.t tell me about #hat(: 8-ome on" let.s find out(: They cra#led through Tunnel T#o and emerged through the tra%4door into the hidden trailer( 1u%iter #as hard at #ork at the desk" coloured brochures s%read around him( 8)orthington.s here" 1u%e": +ob said ho%efully( 8Ready*:

8'n a fe# moments" Records(: The stout leader of the trio continued #orking for a minute" then sat back looking /uite %leased #ith himself( 8There" ' think that does it(: 8Does #hat*: 5ete asked uneasily( 8-om%letely %lans our e6cursion$: 1u%iter declared" beaming( 8' ha&e taken a ma% of Magic Mountain and laid out the o%timum route for co&ering the most rides in the least time( ' ha&e allo#ed for re%eat rides on attractions #e might find es%ecially %leasing" %lus &arious alternati&es in case of long /ueues at any gi&en ride or %ossible shutdo#ns due to #ind conditions or mechanical trouble( Then ' ha&e2: 5ete groaned( 8Er" 1u%e" #hy don.t #e 0ust start off to the right or left of the entrance" and hit #hate&er #e come to* ' mean" sort of #ing it*: 81ust" er" follo# our noses*: +ob added( 8)ing it*: 1u%iter fro#ned( 8A highly inefficient means of2: 8Maybe 0ust ha&e fun*: 5ete suggested( 8)ell": 1u%iter said stuffily" 8if you don.t #ant my %lan" ' su%%ose you don.t ha&e to acce%t it(: Miffed" 1u%iter looked lo&ingly at his %lans" then shrugged and dro%%ed them into the #astebasket( 5ete and +ob cheered( 1u%iter finally had to grin( The three boys hurried do#n through the tra%4door and out into the yard( )orthington and the Rolls4Royce #ere back( Laughing e6citedly" the boys %iled into the magnificent car as )orthington held the door o%en( 8To Magic Mountain" my good man$: 1u%iter intoned( 8!es" sir(: )orthington smiled( 8Very good" sir(: Magic Mountain #as some distance to the east of Rocky +each" inland through southern -alifornia.s coastal mountains( )orthington dro&e the great old car out of to#n on the back county high#ay( They had reached the first slo%es of the dry" dusty foothills #hen )orthington suddenly s%oke( 8;entlemen" you stated" ' belie&e" that you #ere in&ol&ed in no in&estigation at %resent*: 8>nfortunately" no": 1u%iter admitted( 8)hy do you2*: 8+ecause" unless ' am mistaken" #e are being follo#ed$: 8 ollo#ed$: all three boys cried at once" turning to look behind( 8)here" )orthington*: +ob said( 8' don.t see any car(: 8't is out of sight around the last cur&e at %resent": )orthington said" 8but ' noticed it the moment #e left the sal&age yard" and it has been behind us e&er since( A green Mercedes sedan(: 8A green Mercedes$: 1u%iter e6claimed( 8!ou.re sure*: 8Automobiles are my %rofession" Master 1ones": )orthington said firmly( 8There it is no#$ And coming closer(: The three 0unior detecti&es stared out the back #indo#( There #as no mistake( The green Mercedes #as directly behind them and #as coming ra%idly closer$ 8't.s the same car" all right$: 5ete cried( 8So": 1u%iter said trium%hantly" 8they #eren.t 0ust lost tourists$ ' #as right$: 8'4' guess so": 5ete admitted ner&ously( 8)ho could they be* )hat do they #ant*: 8' don.t kno#" Second": 1u%iter said grimly" 8and ' don.t think #e #ant to find out right no#(: 8Maybe #e.re going to$: +ob cried in alarm( 8They.re mo&ing in" 1u%e$ ;aining on

us$: 8)orthington$: 1u%iter e6claimed( 8-an you lose them*: 8' shall endea&our to do so": )orthington said /uietly( The gold4%lated Rolls surged for#ard as )orthington %ressed the accelerator to the floor( They #ere in the mountains no#" and the narro# t#o4lane high#ay snaked abo&e stee% dro%s into rocky canyons( )orthington gri%%ed the large steering #heel of the car" hurling the gleaming machine in shar% turns at the edges of the %reci%ices( The green Mercedes lea%ed in %ursuit( The t#o cars s#er&ed and s/uealed around the cur&es" their #heels %erilously close to the ga%ing chasms belo#( On a straight road the %o#erful old Rolls4Royce might ha&e dra#n a#ay" but it couldn.t match the agility of the smaller" ne#er Mercedes( 'ne6orably" the green car came closer( 8They.re gaining on us": 5ete cried in dismay( )orthington.s &oice #as calm( 8't is too dangerous to try to go any faster in the mountains(: He coolly scanned the road ahead( 8+ut %erha%s2*: )orthington leaned for#ard" staring ahead( The Rolls had 0ust come round a shar% cur&e and the Mercedes #as momentarily out of sight( )orthington suddenly slammed on the brakes" skidded the big car almost to the edge of a sheer dro% on he right" and s#ung back across the high#ay into a narro# dirt road that led off to the left( S%eeding u% again" the e6%ert chauffeur dro&e the gleaming machine do#n the dusty side road and into the dense gro#th of li&e oaks and cha%arral( +ehind them the Mercedes roared on %ast the side road( 8!ou.&e lost them$: +ob and 5ete cried( 8 or the moment": )orthington said( 8+ut they #ill soon reali3e #e ha&e left the high#ay( )e must dri&e on s#iftly(: He %ushed do#n the accelerator" raced the massi&e car along the narro# dirt road2 and screeched to a 0olting sto%( 8'.m sorry" boys": )orthington said in dismay( The dirt road ended in an em%ty bo6 canyon$ 8Dri&e back to the high#ay$: 1u%iter ordered( 8<uickly( Maybe they ha&en.t missed us yet$: )orthington turned the big car" and dro&e back to#ards the main road( The Mercedes almost hit them head on as they rounded a shar% cur&e$ )orthington s#er&ed half off the road( +efore he could reco&er and turn" the t#o men 0um%ed from the Mercedes and ran u% to the Rolls4Royce( They held %istols$ 8Out$ 9o#$: one barked( He #as a stranger but 5ete recogni3ed the second man as the one #ho had asked him for directions the day before( )arily" the boys and )orthington got out of the Rolls( 89o# see here" my good man": )orthington %rotested( 8)e don.t kno# #hat2: 8<uiet$: the first man sna%%ed( The second grabbed a startled 1u%iter" tied a gag in his mouth" dro%%ed a hea&y bag o&er his head" and dragged him into the Mercedes$ The first man #a&ed his %istol menacingly at +ob" 5ete" and )orthington( 8Don.t follo# us$ 9ot if you &alue your li&es" or #ant to see him again(: The man turned and ran to the Mercedes( 't &anished to#ards the high#ay( 1u%iter #as gone(

? A Deadly Mistake
5ETE )H'RLED to#ards the Rolls4Royce( 8)e.&e got to follo# them$: 89o" 5ete$: )orthington and +ob both cried( 5ete stared( 8+ut #e ha&e to try to hel% 1u%e$: 8)e #ill": )orthington said" %utting his hand on 5ete.s shoulder" 8but #e must not follo# them( 'n a kidna%%ing you must do e6actly #hat the kidna%%ers say" then call the %olice immediately(: 8 ollo#ing them could be dangerous for 1u%e": +ob e6%lained( 8+ut #e can try to see #hich direction they.re going" and tell the %olice$ The kidna%%ers don.t kno# #e ha&e a %hone in the Rolls" so they don.t think #e can alert the %olice right a#ay( Hurry" #e.ll climb that hill #hile )orthington calls -hief Reynolds$: )hile )orthington ran to the car to tele%hone the %olice chief of Rocky +each" +ob and 5ete scrambled u% the stee% slo%e of a nearby hill( 5anting" they reached a high ledge in seconds" and looked to#ards #here the dirt road met the high#ay( 8' see them$: +ob e6claimed( 8;oing south to#ards Rocky +each$: 5ete said( 8And dri&ing %retty slo#ly$: 8They don.t #ant to attract any attention(: 8'f -hief Reynolds mo&es fast": 5ete cried" 8he could get in front of them$ -ome on$: They slid and stumbled do#n the slo%e to the Rolls4Royce( )orthington #as 0ust gi&ing the licence number of the Mercedes" and a /uick descri%tion of the t#o men( 8Tell the chief they.re dri&ing south on the %ass high#ay to#ards Rocky +each": 5ete said( 8He might be able to block them before they can turn off any#here(: )orthington re%eated 5ete.s message" and then listened( 8Very good" -hief( )e.ll remain here until you come(: He hung u%" and looked at the boys( 8)hat could they #ant #ith 1u%iter* !ou.re sure you ha&e no idea #ho they are*: 8)e ne&er sa# them before yesterday": +ob said( 8)e don.t kno# anything$: 5ete #ailed( The three of them looked at each other ho%elessly( ;agged in the darkness under the hea&y bag" 1u%iter #as scared( The Mercedes seemed to be dri&ing slo#ly" going do#nhill on #hat 1u%iter guessed #as the county high#ay( ;oing to#ards Rocky +each( )hat did these men #ant #ith him* )ho #ere they* )here #ere they from #ith their odd English accents* He s/uirmed under the bag in the back seat of the car" and a %istol %oked hard in his ribs( One of the men #as sitting close beside him( 8Sit still": the man said( 1u%iter tried to s%eak" to %rotest" but #ith the gag tight in his mouth all he could do #as gurgle and grunt( 8>mmmmffff ( ( ( grrruummmm ( ( (: 8,ee% /uiet$ <uiet and still" eh* Like a nice" noble little do4gooder(: The unseen man laughed beside him" and the nasty laugh #as echoed from the front seat #here the other man dro&e(

+ut 1u%iter tried to talk again" to ask #hat they #anted #ith him( >ncle Titus and Aunt Mathilda didn.t ha&e any money$ 9ot real money$ His grunts and muffled gurglings made him feel like a fish flo%%ing on a beach( 8' said kee% /uiet$ !ou #ouldn.t #ant your father to lose his only son" no# #ould you*: >nder the bag" 1u%iter fro3e( His father* +ut he had no father$ His father had died #hen 1u%e #as /uite small( Des%erately he tried to e6%lain that to his ca%tors( 8>mmmmffff ( ( ( ggmmmrnmrrrrrr ( ( ( nnnuuuhhhh ( ( (: The %istol %oked harder into his ribs( 8' #on.t tell you again" boy$: 8>mmmmffff ( ( ( mmmmmdddd ( ( ( mmmmssssstttt ( ( (: The man beside him laughed again( 8He.s a regular stubborn case 0ust like his dad" isn.t he" red* High and mighty" too" ' shouldn.t be sur%rised(: 8Maybe #e better /uiet him do#n" )alt": the other man said from the front seat( 8Only if #e must( ' don.t much take to carting around a slee%ing fat one like him(: 8Might be best" though( 't.s a long tri% home( )e #ant him all nice and neat #hen #e brace the big man(: The man beside 1u%iter laughed once more( 8' can hardly #ait to see Sir Roger.s face #hen #e tell him #e.&e got young 'an and he better change his tune fast(: >nder the bag" 1u%iter slo#ly sat back in the car seat( Sir Roger* 'an* Suddenly he reali3ed #hat had ha%%ened2these men thought he #as someone else$ Someone #hose father #as an im%ortant man$ 't #asn.t a kidna%%ing for money2it #as some kind of blackmail( To make this Sir Roger" #hoe&er he #as" do something these men #anted him to do( +ut they had made a mistake( They had kidna%%ed the #rong boy$ He tried to tell them( 8>mmmmfffff ( ( ( $ Msssstttttkkkk ( ( ( nnnnnoooo ( ( (: This time the man beside him didn.t %oke the %istol or tell him to be /uiet( The Mercedes seemed to s%eed u% as it reached le&el ground belo# the mountains( 't turned shar%ly" #heels s/uealing" and the force of the turn %ushed 1u%iter against the corner of the seat( Then he heard the sirens$ 5olice cars$ The #ailing gre# louder( >nder the bag 1u%iter held his breath( They #ould sa&e him$ ( ( ( The sirens began to fade a#ay behind" and #ere gone( 8That #as a near thing$: the man beside him e6claimed( 8!ou think they #ere after us*: the dri&er said( 8Had to be( They #ere heading for the mountains( Ho# the de&il did they learn about us so fast*: 1u%iter kne# at once2the tele%hone in the Rolls4Royce( His friends had alerted the %olice immediately( +ut the kidna%%ers had esca%ed( Ho# #ould the %olice find him no#* He had to tell the kidna%%ers that they had made a terrible mistake$ 8Something #ent #rong" )alt": the dri&er said grimly( 89othing else better go #rong( ' #on.t be caught(: >nder the dark bag 1u%iter felt suddenly cold( Some( thing else had already gone #rong$ The men had taken the #rong boy" but they didn.t kno# that yet( 1u%e couldn.t tell them #ith the gag in his mouth( And did he #ant them to kno# their mistake after all* )hat #ould they do if they kne#* They #anted some boy named 'an as a #ea%on against his father" so 'an #ould be safe

#ith them( +ut #ould 1u%iter 1ones be safe* A %olice car and a sheriff.s car roared do#n the dirt road and skidded to a sto% in a cloud of dust( -hief Reynolds and the county sheriff ran u% to )orthington and the boys beside the gleaming Rolls4Royce( 8Did you see them*: +ob cried( 8Did you sto% them*: 5ete added( -hief Reynolds shook his head( 8)e blocked the high#ay at the first crossroad" and then came straight on here( +ut #e didn.t %ass them" and they didn.t come to the roadblock(: 8They must ha&e sli%%ed through before #e set u% the block": the sheriff said( 8Turned off on some crossroad( +ut they can.t ha&e gone far yet" and #e.&e got e&ery a&ailable man and car out searching for them(: 8This area is in the county" boys" so it.s the sheriff.s 0urisdiction": -hief Reynolds e6%lained" 8but in a case like this #e all #ork together( )e.&e already alerted the Los Angeles 5olice De%artment also(: 89o#": the sheriff said" 8#e.ll search for clues here(: +ob #as glum( 8' don.t think you.ll find anything" sir( The kidna%%ers #eren.t here long enough to lea&e any clues(: +ob #as right( The %olice and de%uties searched e&ery inch of the dirt road in the &icinity of the kidna%%ing( They found nothing( 8All right" #e.ll go back to head/uarters": -hief Reynolds decided( 8't.s time #e informed the +' too(: 8At least": the sheriff said" 8#e ha&e one big ad&antage this time" thanks to you folks and that Rolls4Royce( )e.re right on to% of the kidna%%ers" and e&eryone is searching already(: 8!es" sir": +ob said" de0ected" 8but searching isn.t finding( One car isn.t so easy to s%ot" is it*: 89o" but #e.&e got the #hole county co&ered" and all the roads out blocked( There.s no #ay they can get out of the county$: +ob and 5ete climbed into the Rolls4Royce( 9either of them s%oke as )orthington follo#ed -hief Reynolds. car to#ard Rocky +each" but they looked at each other uneasily" and kne# that they #ere both thinking the same thing( The kidna%%ers must ha&e had some %lan in case of roadblocks( Some #ay to esca%e" and take 1u%iter #ith them(

@ On the Trail of the Villains


THE MER-EDES sto%%ed( 1u%iter" in the dark under the hea&y bag" had tried to follo# the %rogress of the car" but it had made too many t#ists and turns( 9o# he listened for any familiar sounds that might tell him #here he #as( +ut there #as only an em%ty silence( 9o mo&ement any#here" no sounds of traffic" or %eo%le" or the sea( 8;et him out": the dri&er gro#led from the front seat(

1u%iter heard the car door o%en" and hands %ushed him on to his feet( He felt hard ground" and lea&es" and grass under his shoes( 8Take the bag off so he can see to #alk(: The bag #as %ulled roughly from o&er his chest and head( The glare of light through thick trees almost blinded him( He o%ened and closed his eyes to ad0ust to the light #hile the gag #as remo&ed from his mouth( 't #as untied by the stocky man #ith the curly hair #ho had first talked to 5ete at the sal&age yard2the man named )alt #ho had sat beside him in the car and %oked him #ith a %istol( 89o# be good" eh*: )alt said( 89ice and /uiet(: He #a&ed his %istol to sho# he meant business( 1u%iter nodded" but said nothing( E&er since he had reali3ed that he could be in far more danger if the kidna%%ers disco&ered their mistake" he had ho%ed they #ouldn.t remo&e the gag( The boy they thought they had #as from their country" #hate&er it #as" and #ould %robably ha&e the same odd English accent( 'f 1u%e s%oke" they #ould kno# at once that he #as the #rong boy2unless he tried to mimic their accent( 1u%e thought he could" but it #as risky( The slightest mistake could gi&e him a#ay( The stocky kidna%%er #atched him for a moment" then turned to the dri&er( 8;et the bags" red(: 1u%iter breathed a little more easily( He #as safe for the moment( He glanced /uickly around( They #ere at the side of another dirt road" dee% among li&e oaks and thick cha%arral" close to the mountains( 9othing #as familiar or unfamiliar( They could be any#here in the back country #ithin a hundred miles of Rocky +each$ 8All right" boy" mo&e": the dri&er said( 8That #ay(: He #as a taller and thinner man than )alt" #ith dark hair and small eyes sunk dee% in #eather creases" but he had the same dee% sunburn( A%%arently both men came from a country #here the sun #as fierce and constant( They #alked on the grass alongside the road for no more than fifty yards" and turned straight to#ards the mountains( 1u%iter could see no %ath2only the dense" almost im%enetrable brush( 8!ou go first" red" set the %ace(: )alt said( 8!ou.&e got the bags(: The dri&er nodded set the bags do#n and %ulled aside a thick bush to re&eal the entry to a narro# trail( He %ushed the t#o bags through and &anished into the cha%arral( 8!ou ne6t" boy": )alt ordered( 1u%iter searched for the right bush" %ulled it aside" and started through( The tough cha%arral suddenly sli%%ed out of his gras%( He thre# u% his hands to %rotect his face from the thorny branches" 0um%ed back and flo%%ed s%ra#ling outside the entrance to the hidden trail( )alt grabbed him and hauled him u%" %ushing him ahead through the cha%arral #ith a curse( 8)atch that" boy" ' might get ner&ous$: 1u%iter gul%ed" and hurried along the narro# trail( )alt #as close behind #ith his %istol( The tangled brush closed again" lea&ing no sign of the hidden %ath( Hurrying after the dri&er" 1u%iter failed to see a treacherous root" caught his foot" and s%ra#led on the ground( He lay %anting for a moment" but managed to scramble u% before )alt reached him( The t#o kidna%%ers #alked ra%idly through the dense brush as if they had been there before and kne# 0ust #here they #ere going( 1u%iter tried to kee% %ace on the barely

&isible %ath" but stumbled and fell t#ice more before he #as %ushed out into a narro# bo6 canyon dee% in the shado# of the mountains( A small stone cabin stood close under the to#ering cliff #alls of the canyon( The kidna%%ers unlocked the cabin door" sho&ed 1u%iter inside" and closed the door( Alone in the cabin" 1u%iter heard the door lock behind him( At %olice head/uarters" +ob" 5ete" >ncle Titus" and Aunt Mathilda sat on a bench against the #all( 8'f only #e.d taken our emergency signals": 5ete moaned( 8They.re being re%aired" remember*: +ob said( 8+ut 1u%e #ill think of some #ay to get in touch #ith us" Second(: Aunt Mathilda glared at the sheriff and -hief Reynolds( 8Are #e going to sit around here all day*: she demanded( 8Those kidna%%ers aren.t going to 0ust #alk in and gi&e u%$: -hief Reynolds shook his head( 8)e ha&e e&ery area of the to#n and county co&ered" Mrs 1ones" and chasing shado#s #on.t hel%( 'n a kidna%%ing all efforts must be co4 ordinated( 8E&ery %olice de%artment in -alifornia" 9e&ada" Oregon" and Ari3ona has been alerted": the sheriff added( 8The +' has been contacted" and so ha&e the Me6ican authorities( The licence number of the Mercedes is on the telety%e to all the %olice" and to the De%artment of Motor Vehicles( 8A team of laboratory e6%erts has gone back to the scene of the abduction to search again": -hief Reynolds said( 8)e can.t do more until #e ha&e a lead(: 8Then there.s nothing to sto% you from going out and doing some #ork yoursel&es$: Aunt Mathilda declared( 8There.s a better chance of catching them /uickly": the sheriff said" 8by ha&ing a central control ready to direct the search the moment a lead is disco&ered(: Aunt Mathilda #as ob&iously uncon&inced" and she glared at the sheriff and -hief Reynolds as they left the room( Her tem%er #asn.t im%ro&ed by the return of the laboratory team #ith no results( There #ere still no clues to the #hereabouts of the kidna%%ers and 1u%iter( 8)hat on earth do they #ant #ith 1u%iter*: Aunt Mathilda fumed( 8Are you boys sure you aren.t in&ol&ed in one of your ridiculous in&estigations* 5oking in other %eo%le.s business*: 89o" ma.am": +ob declared( 8)e #ere 0ust going on an outing to Magic Mountain(: >ncle Titus said" 89either of you t#o can think of any reason for this*: 8' #ish #e could": 5ete said( 8'f ' could 0ust get my hands on those criminals$: Aunt Mathilda raged( 'n s%ite of themsel&es" +ob and 5ete couldn.t hel% smiling at each other( They #ould hate to be the kidna%%ers if Aunt Mathilda got to them$ Then their smiles faded2it didn.t look as if anyone #as going to get to the kidna%%ers$ 8'f #e 0ust had some#here to start from": +ob said( 8' kno# 1u%e #ould find a #ay to lead us to him(: 8'f he can": 5ete said( 8Those kidna%%ers seem %retty smart" Records(: -hief Reynolds stood o&er them( 8)e.ll find out soon ho# smart they are": he announced( 8The sheriff.s helico%ter men ha&e s%otted the Mercedes %arked back on old

Rattlesnake Road" not three miles from to#n$: 8Let.s go$: The sheriff cried as he a%%eared from a back room( 8)e.&e got them$: At first" alone in the mountain cabin" 1u%iter listened for some time at the locked door( He tried to hear #hat the kidna%%ers #ere saying outside" and #ondered ho# long it #ould be before they disco&ered their mistake( He could hear their &oices clearly but could make out only scattered #ords( They seemed to be talking about %lans for a tri%" and about someone #ho #asn.t there( 1u%iter suddenly reali3ed that they #ere #aiting for someone( or someone to come" and for something to ha%%en( +ut #ho and #hat out here in a remote canyon* He strained to hear better" but it #as no use( His stomach sank( )hat if the %erson they #ere #aiting for kne# the real 'an better than they did* 1u%e had to find some #ay to esca%e from the cabin" and from the kidna%%ers$ He looked around the tiny cabin( 't #as a single bare room #ithout any furniture at all( There #ere no closets" and only the one door" locked from the outside( The single narro# #indo# #as barred" as if the cabin had once been used to store something &aluable or dangerous( 5erha%s it had held dynamite for rock /uarrying" or e6%ensi&e oil4%ros%ecting tools( +ut there #as nothing stored in the cabin no#" and nothing 1u%e could use to esca%e( He #alked slo#ly around the stone #alls" looking for any #eak %oints( There #ere none( The #alls #ere at least a foot thick and in good re%air( 1u%e had nothing to break through the #alls #ith" and that #ould ha&e made too much noise any#ay( There #as no #ay out through the #alls" so he turned to the floor( 't #as made of #ide" rough boards at least an inch thick( They #ere solid boards #ith no cracks bet#een them" but they #ere s%ringy( They bent #hen 1u%iter %ut his #eight on them( He reali3ed that the boards #ere not on the ground" but #ere laid across su%%orts( There #as a s%ace under the cabin$ On his hands and knees" 1u%iter cra#led o&er the #hole floor( He found a loose board at the rear" close to the #all$ +y %utting a foot hea&ily on one end of the short board" he #as able to raise the other end far enough to get his hands under it and %ull it loose( or once he #as glad he #as a little o&er#eight$ He raised the board all the #ay" and sa# o%en s%ace underneath( Silently managing to free one more board" he s/uee3ed do#n through the o%ening and began to cra#l around the lo# s%ace on his belly( The ground slo%ed u%#ard on one side" and he could mo&e under only half the cabin( 't #as enough( The cabin #as built on a raised stone foundation #ith a fe# &entilation o%enings much too small for anyone to cra#l through( There #as no #ay out( 1u%iter slo#ly climbed back u% into the cabin( There #as no #ay out at all( The %olice cars %arked a short distance belo# the Mercedes on Rattlesnake Road( The %olice searched e&ery inch of the silent car( 89othing": -hief Reynolds said unha%%ily( 89ot a hint to #here they.&e gone from here(: 85eo%le can.t 0ust disa%%ear": Aunt Mathilda insisted(

+ob" 5ete" and >ncle Titus searched all around the abandoned car( 't had been %ulled on to a grassy &erge at the side of the road( 89othing looks like a sign from 1u%iter": +ob said glumly( 8There isn.t e&en a foot%rint": >ncle Titus said( 8They.&e sim%ly &anished": -hief Reynolds said" staring all around at the thick brush and looming mountains( 8They could ha&e taken 1u%iter any#here(: 89o": 5ete declared suddenly( 8' don.t think so" -hief( ' don.t think they could ha&e gone far$:

A Esca%e$
8HO) -A9 !O> kno# that" young man*: the sheriff demanded( 8!ou.&e found a clue" 5ete*: -hief Reynolds e6claimed( 5ete stood near the Mercedes" staring do#n at the dirt road( He crouched and touched the dirt lightly #ith his hand( 8Look" sir$: the tall Second 'n&estigator said" and %ointed to the ground in front of him( 8There.s a big %atch of soft sand across the #hole road here( !ou can see the tyre marks of the Mercedes clearly" but there are no other recent tyre tracks or foot%rints$ 9o other car has come this #ay today" so they couldn.t ha&e left in a car( And they didn.t #alk a#ay on the road" as far as ' can see(: The sheriff nodded as he e6amined the road around the Mercedes( 8The road is %retty dry and dusty e&ery#here" and there.re no foot%rints(: 8!ou mean": +ob e6claimed" 8that they must still be some#here around here*: 8!es" Records": 5ete said" sounding almost like 1u%iter himself( 8't.s my guess they ne&er crossed the road at all" but #ent off through the cha%arral to#ards the mountains$: 8Hold on": said -hief Reynolds( 8There.s grass along this side of the road( They might ha&e #alked a#ay on that(: 85ossibly": said the sheriff( He turned to t#o of his de%uties( 8!ou" +illings and Rodrigue3" #alk along the grass in each direction and see ho# far it goes" and if any foot%rints emerge on to the road( The rest of us #ill s%read out and look for signs of entry into the brush( E&eryone ste% carefully$: 8And look for anything that looks like a /uestion mark": +ob added( 8Or a %ile of stones" or a branch broken in a funny #ay$ 1u%e and 5ete and ' lea&e signs like that for each other #hen #e ha&e to s%lit u% on a case(: The %olice and de%uties s%read out and mo&ed slo#ly u% and do#n the road on the side nearest the mountains( The t#o de%uties #ho #ere checking the e6tent of the grass soon re%orted that it didn.t go far" and that there #ere no foot%rints on the road #here it ended( One searcher found a %ile of small stones that could ha&e been a sign from 1u%iter( +ut #hen the sheriff e6amined the stones" he sa# there #as dried mud holding them together( They had ob&iously been there for some time( Another %oliceman found a broken branch that seemed to %oint into the dense brush( +ut a search of the immediate area re&ealed no break in the cha%arral" and no %ath( 8-hief*: a %oliceman called( 8's that anything*: He %ointed to something small and #hite" lo# in a bush( 't seemed to be a %iece of

litter( +ob and 5ete ran u%( 8't looks like2: +ob began( 8One of our cards$: 5ete finished( He reached in and took it out( 8't is one of our cards$ 1u%e must ha&e sli%%ed it into the bush #hen the kidna%%ers #eren.t looking$: 85ull back that brush$: the sheriff ordered( The de%uties and %olicemen %ulled and tore at the cha%arral" and /uickly disco&ered the hidden trail( 8't.s a %ath all right": -hief Reynolds declared( 8And someone.s been along it &ery recently( Look #here the small brush has been broken and flattened$: E&eryone hurried along the narro# trail( 8There$: +ob cried( He %ointed to some cha%arral that #as torn u%" as if someone had stumbled and fallen( 9earby" on a small rock" #as a tiny #hite /uestion mark$ 8't.s 1u%e.s sign$ He #as carrying his chalk$: 5ete e6claimed( 8Hurry$: >ncle Titus urged( 8He must be some#here ahead" closer to the moun2: >ncle Titus sto%%ed #ith his mouth still o%en( He #as listening to something( Then e&eryone else heard it( A noise like a %o#erful motor gre# louder and louder until it seemed to be right on to% of them( Aunt Mathilda %ointed to the sky( 8't.s a helico%ter$: 8's it one of ours*: the sheriff shouted abo&e the roaring noise of the aircraft as it %assed less than a hundred yards abo&e them and s#e%t on to#ards the mountains( 89o": -hief Reynolds shouted back( 8't must be theirs$ That.s ho# they intend to esca%e" Sheriff$ 't.s going to %ick u% the kidna%%ers and 1u%iter$: They all stared u% at the helico%ter until it &anished behind the dense gro#th of trees abo&e them" its noise slo#ly fading a#ay into the distance ahead( 8And you said there #as no #ay they could get out of the county" Sheriff$: Aunt Matilda cried furiously( 8,ee% going": the Sheriff said grimly( 8They must be some#here ahead on this trail(: 8'f #e can get there in time": 5ete moaned( 8+efore that cho%%er %icks them u%(: 'n the bo6 canyon" the t#o kidna%%ers #atched the helico%ter land in a s#irl of dust( The rush of the air from the #hirling blades #hi%%ed their hair and clothing( )ith the rotors idling" the %ilot 0um%ed out of the clear %le6i4glass bubble( Muffled in a flying suit" helmet and goggles" the %ilot ran to the kidna%%ers( 8Right on time": the stocky one" )alt" said( 8)e.&e got him$: red added" grinning( The %ilot didn.t grin in re%ly( 8There.re %olice cars all o&er the road back there #here you left the Mercedes$ ' think ' sa# %olice already coming through the brush$: 8On the %ath*: )alt sco#led( 8Ho# did they find it so fast*: 8The kid$: red cried( 8Those times he fell$ '.ll bet he left them a trail$: )alt laughed( 89e&er mind" eh* 't.ll take them at least half an hour to get here from the road( +y then #e.ll be u% #ith the birds(: 8Don.t %lay games" )alter": the %ilot sna%%ed( 8;et the boy no#( This is too im%ortant to our country to make any mistakes(: 8Okay": )alt agreed" 8let.s get him(: 8)here is he*: 8'n that cabin" locked u% tight(:

8;ood": the %ilot said" 8but make it fast no#(: The three of them trotted across the hard floor of the canyon( )alt unlocked the cabin door( 8All right" boy" rise and shine": he called( 8)alt$: red cried( 8He.s not in here$: The dim room of the cabin #as em%ty$ 8!ou.&e let him esca%e$: the %ilot raged( 8'm%ossible": )alt said( 8There.s no #ay out(: They all stared around the deserted cabin( 8Maybe not": red said sa&agely" 8but there.s no %lace to hide in here" either" and he.s not here$: 8He.s got out someho#$: the %ilot cried( 8All right" don.t %anic": )alt ordered( 8He may ha&e got out of the cabin" but he.s still in the canyon( That one %ath is the only #ay out" and #e.&e had it in full &ie# the #hole time( He couldn.t ha&e gotten %ast us" red" so he.s still some#here in the canyon behind the cabin( Let.s get him$: The three kidna%%ers hurried out into the barren canyon" and s%read out( 5anting" the boys" the %olice" and 1u%iter.s aunt and uncle emerged from the %ath into the long narro# canyon( 't #as more than t#enty minutes since the helico%ter had %assed o&erhead" and they scanned the canyon a%%rehensi&ely( 8't.s here$: +ob e6claimed( The helico%ter stood far u% the canyon #ith its rotors idling" but e&en as they #atched" the %ilot 0um%ed inside and the aircraft began to %ut on full %o#er for take4off$ 8+ut it #on.t be for long$: 5ete cried( 8Run$: As they began to run to#ards the roaring machine" t#o men a%%eared from behind a small stone cabin( They each carried a suitcase" and raced to the helico%ter( 8They.re too far ahead of us$: -hief Reynolds cried( 8!ou$ Sto%$ 5olice$: the sheriff shouted as he ran( +ut the kidna%%ers had reached the helico%ter( They scrambled into the bubble" and as the search %arty #atched hel%lessly" the cho%%er roared full throttle and lifted straight u% into the air in a cloud of dust( 't ho&ered for a moment" then s#e%t u% and a#ay" barely clearing the edge of the canyon as it &anished to#ards the south$ On the ground" the searchers stared dumbfounded at the sky( 8They ( ( ( they.re gone": >ncle Titus said in disbelief( 8!ou let them esca%e again$: Aunt Mathilda raged( 8Men$ 9o# ho# do you %lan to rescue my ne%he#*: 8+ack to the cars$: the sheriff shouted( 8;et #ord out on the radio( The helico%ter #as heading south(: The de%uties headed back to the trail at a run( 8)ait" sir": +ob cried( 8' didn.t see 1u%iter #ith them$ 1ust the t#o kidna%%ers and a %ilot$: 8Maybe #e scared them$: 5ete e6claimed( 8Maybe they left 1u%e in that cabin$: -hief Reynolds turned and led the rush to the cabin( He flung the door o%en" and e&eryone hurried inside( They looked all round the single bare room( 8He.s not here$: 5ete groaned(

8He must ha&e been in the helico%ter already": +ob said in dismay( 8)e #ere 0ust too late(: 8No, Records": a ghostly &oice from no#here said" 8 as a matter of fact, you were just in time(: T#o floor boards rose u% at the rear of the cabin" and a grinning 1u%iter emerged from under the floor$ 81u%iter$: e&eryone cried at once( 8Of course": the stout boy said blandly( 8)ere you e6%ecting someone else*:

B 1u%iter inds a -lue


8( ( ( SO THERE )AS no #ay out of that cabin": 1u%iter e6%lained to the ne#s%a%er re%orters clustered around him at %olice head/uarters( 8+ut ' reali3ed that since there #as no#here in the cabin to hide" ' might make them think '.d managed to esca%e if ' 0ust hid under the floor$ And it #orked$ Of course" they might ha&e guessed the truth in time" but #hen e&eryone else arri&ed they had to run(: 85retty smart for a kid": a re%orter said( 81u%iter 1ones": -hief Reynolds %ointed out" 8isn.t an ordinary boy( 9one of The Three 'n&estigators is ordinary( They are authentic 0unior detecti&es" and often hel% us in our #ork(: 8That.s a great story" -hief": the re%orter said" and nodded to his %hotogra%her( 8;et some good %ictures" 1oe( )e.ll make the late edition(: )hile the re%orters inter&ie#ed him" 1u%iter studied the %olice file" #hich contained %hotogra%hs of all the %eo%le that the Rocky +each %olice had e&er arrested( He also ga&e a descri%tion of the t#o kidna%%ers to a %olice artist" #ho made a dra#ing of each sus%ect( 8The kidna%%ers ne&er said #hat they #anted*: a re%orter asked( 8That is %olice business": -hief Reynolds ans#ered( 8+ut ' can tell you this muchC Mr Titus 1ones is not a rich man" and neither he nor his ne%he# kno#s of any definite reason for the abduction at this time( )e e6%ect to learn the reason and ca%ture the kidna%%ers shortly(: ;rudgingly" the re%orters finished taking their %ictures and left( 1u%iter failed to find the kidna%%ers in the file" and he #asn.t satisfied #ith the dra#ings( 8They.re not really much like the kidna%%ers": +ob agreed( 8Ha&e you learned something ne#" -hief*: 5ete asked eagerly( 8!ou said you e6%ected to catch them soon(: 8'.m afraid not" 5ete": the chief admitted( 8That #as 0ust for the ne#s%a%ers( 'n a kidna%%ing it.s im%ortant not to let the media re&eal #hat you are actually doing(: 8That.s #hy you didn.t tell them that '.m con&inced it #as no ordinary kidna%%ing*: 1u%iter #anted to kno#( 8!es" 1u%iter": the chief said( 8The less the kidna%%ers think #e kno#" the better(: 8' see": 1u%iter said" and %ondered( 8 or some reason" though" they mistook me for the son of someone im%ortant in their country" #here&er that is" and ' think it.s all some kind of re&enge" or %olitics" or e&en #ar( They #ere after a hostage$:

85erha%s": the chief ackno#ledged" 8but you.re safe no#" and #e.ll handle it( The helico%ter is being traced" and those dra#ings #ill be circulated( ' #ant you to be careful for a fe# days( +y then" '.m sure #e.ll ha&e those &illains( 9o#" since your aunt and uncle ha&e already left" #e.ll send you all home in a %olice car(: Outside in front of %olice head/uarters" #hile #aiting for the %olice car" 1u%iter looked at his #atch( He fro#ned( 8't.s getting late" but %erha%s #e can get someone to take us in the yard truck": the stout leader said almost to himself( 8)here" 1u%e*: 5ete asked" and then gul%ed( 89o don.t tell me( ' don.t think ' #ant to kno#(: 81u%e$: +ob cried( 8Look it.s )orthington$: The tall chauffeur stood beside the gold4%lated Rolls4Royce %arked at the kerb some four cars u% the street( The three boys hurried to him( 8!ou.re still here" )orthington$: 1u%iter e6claimed( 8' #as not %ro%erly dismissed" Master 1ones": the chauffeur said" 8and ' #ished to be sure you #ere safe and in good health(: His eyes t#inkled( 8+esides" it occurred to me that there is still more than an hour before fi&e o.clock" and you might %ossibly #ish trans%ortation some#here(: 8)e do$: 1u%iter declared( He ran o&er to the %olice car that had 0ust %ulled u% for the boys and e6%lained they didn.t need a ride after all( Then he ran cheerfully back to the Rolls4Royce( 8'nside" fello#s$: The boys %iled into the gleaming &ehicle" and )orthington looked back solemnly from the dri&er.s seat( 8)here to" sir*: 8)hy" back to that bo6 canyon near Rattlesnake Road" of course(: 8Oh" no": 5ete moaned( 8The chief said #e #ere su%%osed to be careful(: 8And #e #ill be": 1u%iter said #ith a grin( 8Dri&e on" )orthington$: The summer sun #as still high #hen they reached the hidden trail off Rattlesnake Road( )orthington locked the Rolls4Royce" and some t#enty4fi&e minutes later they all emerged into the canyon #here 1u%e had been held ca%ti&e( 8Since ' #as in the cabin and #ouldn.t ha&e a fresh eye for any clues that might be there" ' think 5ete and )orthington should search in and around it": 1u%iter decided( 8+ob and ' #ill search the area #here the helico%ter landed(: 8)hat e6actly are #e looking for" irst*: +ob asked( 8+esides trouble" that is": 5ete muttered( 8Any clue at all" Records": 1u%iter said" ignoring 5ete( 8A clue to #ho the kidna%%ers are" or #here they come from" or #hat they really #ant" or #here they might be no#(: As the sun slo#ly #ent do#n behind the mountain cliffs and %lunged the narro# canyon into long shado#s" 5ete and )orthington searched all around the cabin" #ithout results( +ob and 1u%iter did no better out #here the helico%ter had been( Then 1u%iter remembered that the kidna%%ers had searched for him beyond the cabin( The 'n&estigators and )orthington fanned out and started to #ork their #ay do#n to the end of the canyon( They #ere gro#ing more and more discouraged #hen 1u%iter suddenly bent o&er( He %icked u% something and stared at it( The others ran to him( 8)hat.s that*: +ob asked( 8'.m not sure": 1u%iter re%lied slo#ly( 8Look(: The tiny ob0ect glittered in his hand in the final light of the canyon sun( 't #as a

miniature ele%hant tusk made of #hat looked like real i&ory" set in a gold mesh" and attached to a small gold loo%( 8An earring" maybe*: 5ete suggested( 8A #atch charm or amulet*: +ob s%eculated 85ossibly some kind of lucky %iece" irst*: 8)hate&er it is": 1u%iter said" 8the setting is /uite crude and looks handmade( ' think it.s some kind of foreign handicraft" and not anything you #ould e6%ect to find in this canyon(: 8Do you think that the kidna%%ers dro%%ed it" irst*: 5ete asked( )orthington took the tiny tusk and studied it for a moment( 89o# that ' think of it" boys" the accents of those kidna%%ers sounded much like those of %eo%le from former +ritish colonies in Africa" and this tusk looks &ery much like nati&e 0e#ellery made in %arts of Africa( So ' should &enture the o%inion that the kidna%%ers did indeed dro% it here(: 1u%iter #as e6cited( 8Then ' think #e can find out #here they came from$: 8>h" 1u%e": 5ete said uneasily" 8' thought #e #ere off this case*: 8)e can.t fool #ith kidna%%ers" irst": +ob #arned( 89o" the %olice must %ursue the kidna%%ers": the stout irst 'n&estigator conceded( 8+ut some#here ' belie&e there is a boy in danger" and ' am con&inced that he is in Rocky +each( 't.s u% to us to find him and hel% him(: 8' should ha&e kno#n you.d find an angle$: 5ete said #ith a sigh( 8He may not e&en be a#are of his danger" Second( At least #e can #arn him": 1u%iter said firmly" and turned to )orthington( 8!ou may dri&e us home no#" )orthington" and then you may return the car to the agency(: 8Very good" Master 1ones": the chauffeur said( As they returned to the narro# trail and #alked in the fading light to#ards Rattlesnake Road" 5ete fro#ned( 81ust ho# do #e find this kid*: he #anted to kno#( 8There are many #ays" Second": 1u%iter declared confidently( 8+ut before #e can find him" #e must kno# more about him( Tonight ' #ill do some research" and #e.ll meet at Head/uarters tomorro# to %lan our strategy$:

D riends or Enemies*
85ETER$ Don.t gobble your breakfast": Mrs -rensha# said the ne6t morning( 8Sorry" Mom( '.m in kind of a hurry(: Mr -rensha# looked u% o&er his ne#s%a%er( 89othing to do #ith the kidna%%ing of your friend 1u%iter" ' ho%e": Mr -rensha# said seriously( 8That.s nothing for you boys to mess #ith(: 89o" sir" #e kno# that( )e aren.t going any#here near those kidna%%ers if #e can hel% it(: Mrs -rensha# smiled( 8't.s hard to imagine anyone mistaking 1u%iter 1ones for someone else( ' #ouldn.t ha&e thought there could be anyone else /uite like 1u%iter(: 8)ell" 1u%e didn.t say anything to them" Mom( ' mean" he ke%t his mouth shut(:

8Oh" ' see(: Mrs -rensha# laughed( 8That #ould make a difference #ith 1u%iter" #ouldn.t it*: 5ete grinned in res%onse( He finished his breakfast" then rushed out to his bike( The air #as still cool as he rode to the sal&age yard and sto%%ed by the back fence fifty yards from the corner( The entire fence had been decorated by Rocky +each artists" and here in the rear #as a dramatic scene of the San rancisco fire of 7EFB( 5ete remo&ed the eye of a little dog %ainted into the scene2the eye #as a knot of #ood2and reached inside the fence( He released a catch" three boards s#ung u%" and #ent into the yard through Red ;ate Ro&er( He #ent on across the sal&age yard through the mounds of 0unk" and found 1u%iter at #ork in his outdoor #orksho%( The leader of the detecti&e team had %arts of three small instruments s%read all o&er the #orkbench( 8Our emergency signals need a lot of ad0ustments": 1u%iter said( 8!ou can hel% me #hile #e #ait for +ob(: 8)hat about your research" and the %lans to find that 'an kid*: 5ete asked as he bent o&er the scattered %arts of the emergency signals" #hich 1u%iter had built for their #ork many years ago( 8Didn.t you find out anything*: 8' #ouldn.t say that": 1u%iter said" grinning( 8As a matter of fact" ' found out a great deal last night( ' don.t think it #ill be too difficult a task to locate 'an -are#$: 8Tell me$: 5ete cried( 8)e.ll #ait for +ob": 1u%iter said maddeningly( 89o sense in going o&er it t#ice(: 5ete fumed in frustration" but 1u%iter only grinned and continued to #ork on the emergency signals( The t#o boys had all the %arts cleaned and read0usted and ready for reassembly by the time +ob arri&ed( He came bursting into the #orksho% through ;reen ;ate One2t#o loose green boards in the front fence of the 0unkyard( 8Sorry": he said" out of breath from riding his bike so fast" 8Mom grabbed me for some 0obs around the house( )hat are our %lans" 1u%e* Ha&e you heard anything more from -hief Reynolds*: 8!es": 1u%iter re%lied" 8' called the chief earlier this morning( They found the helico%ter abandoned in a field u% near Ventura(: 8!ou mean they fooled us* Turned north after heading south*: +ob e6claimed( 1u%iter nodded( 8A logical mo&e once they kne# they had been s%otted by the %olice( -hief Reynolds said there #ere no clues in the aircraft" and it had been rented and %aid for by mail( )hen the %ilot arri&ed at the airfield" he #as already #earing those flying clothes and goggles so no one could describe him( Of course" his %ilot.s %a%ers #ere fakes" and the name and address he ga&e turned out to be %hony(: 8So that.s a lot of hel%": 5ete grumbled( 8)hat about the kidna%%ers*: +ob asked( 89o one.s e&en been able to identify them yet" much less a%%rehend them": 1u%iter said( 8The finger%rints that the %olice found in the helico%ter and the Mercedes aren.t on file #ith the +' in )ashington( And the Mercedes turned out to be rented" too(: 8!ou mean #e.re getting no#here": 5ete said bluntly( 89ot e6actly" Second(: 1u%iter smiled( 8As ' said" ' s%ent last night doing research" and ' think #e can2: +efore he could finish #hat he #as going to say" a forceful &oice boomed out behind him(

8So there you are" 1u%iter 1ones$: Aunt Mathilda stood in the #orksho% entrance" glaring at 1u%iter #ith her hands on her hi%s( 8!ou did %romise to finish cleaning out the small storeroom t#o days ago" didn.t you* ' did let you off yesterday against my better 0udgement" didn.t '* Then you did %romise faithfully to get to #ork first thing this morning" didn.t you*: 8'.m sorry" Aunt Mathilda": 1u%iter said shee%ishly( 8!ou should be$ ' su%%ose it.s all because it.s the last #eek before school o%ens( Running off" la3ing around" eating e&erything in sight( My refrigerator looks like the bu33ards ha&e been at it$: 8'4' ha&en.t touched2: 1u%iter stammered( 8Stuff and nonsense( Look at you" getting fatter all the time( Some #ork #ill do you good$: 8+ut": 5ete and +ob %rotested" 8#e.&e got something2: 8)hate&er it is" it can #ait" and you t#o can 0ust %ut this #orksho% into some order #hile 1u%iter finishes the 0ob he started( 9o# march" young man$: 1u%iter sighed( 85ut the signals back together" fello#s( ' #on.t be too long(: 8'f he doesn.t sto% for too many snacks": Aunt Mathilda said sarcastically( +ob and 5ete nodded glumly as 1u%iter marched a#ay to#ards the yard office" #ith Aunt Mathilda ste%%ing behind him like a Marine -or%s drill sergeant( +urning #ith curiosity about #hat 1u%iter had been going to say" they #ent back to #ork reassembling the three emergency signals( 't #as slo#" delicate #ork" and 5ete #as all thumbs( +ut #ith the hel% of the defter +ob" they finally got the small instruments back together( After that they straightened u% the #orksho%( )hen 1u%iter still hadn.t returned" they started to cra#l into Tunnel T#o to #ait inside Head/uarters( 8Hold it" fello#s$: Red4faced and s#eating from his e6ertions in the small storeroom" 1u%iter hurried into the #orksho%( +ob and 5ete clambered back out of the tunnel( 8)hat about last night" 1u%e*: 5ete demanded eagerly( 8)hat did you find out*: +ob asked( 8)ell" ' looked u%2: 81>5'TER 1O9ES$: 't #as Aunt Mathilda calling again from near the office( 8Oh" no$: 5ete groaned( 8Let.s hide$: +ob urged( 8'.m afraid that #ouldn.t hel%": 1u%iter said( 81u%e.s right": 5ete agreed ho%elessly( 8!ou can.t hide from Aunt Mathilda( She.s Scotland !ard" the +'" and the -anadian Mounties combined$ )e might as #ell go out(: They left the #orksho% and started across the sal&age yard" threading their #ay %ast the mounds of 0unk( +ob suddenly %ointed ahead to Aunt Mathilda" #ho stood outside the yard office( 81u%e$ There.re t#o men #ith her$: 894not the kidna%%ers$: 5ete stammered( 89o": +ob said" 8one of them.s black(: 8+lack*: 1u%iter e6claimed( 8Of course" that #ould be logical( -ome on" fello#s(: 8Logical*: 5ete said( 8)hat do you mean" logical*:

+ut 1u%iter #as already #alking ahead( +ob and 5ete caught u% to him as they reached the office( Aunt Mathilda eyed the boys sus%iciously( 8These men say they #ant to talk to you three": she said( 8Something about hiring you( ' ho%e it.s not some scheme you all cooked u% to get out of #ork the rest of the #eek$: 89o" madam": the #hite stranger said( He #as tall and blond and as sunburned as the kidna%%ers( 8)e ha&e a small in&estigation for the boys(: The Three 'n&estigators stared at the tall" blond man2he had the same odd +ritish accent as the kidna%%ers$ 8't had better be small": Aunt Mathilda sna%%ed( 8They start school ne6t #eek" and about time too(: )ith that %arting shot" Aunt Mathilda strode off into the office" lea&ing the boys #ith the t#o strangers( 1u%iter looked /uickly around" then motioned for the t#o men to follo# the boys back to the #orksho%( Once there" 1u%iter turned eagerly to the t#o men( 8't.s about the kidna%%ing" isn.t it*: he said( 8)ho are you gentlemen*: 8' am ;ordon Mac,en3ie": the blond man said" 8and this:2he nodded to the black man28is Adam 9dula( And" yes" it.s about your kidna%%ing(: 8)e need the hel% of good local detecti&es": Adam 9dula said( 8)e can tell you #hy you #ere kidna%%ed" and #hat the kidna%%ers #ere really after(: 8)e.ll be glad to hel%" Mr 9dula": 1u%iter said( 8+ut #e already kno# #hy ' #as kidna%%ed" and #hat the kidna%%ers really #ant$: 8)e do*: 5ete said( 8!es" Second" #e do": 1u%iter declared smugly( 8' #as kidna%%ed because ' look a lot like a boy named 'an -are#( 'an is the son of Sir Roger -are#( Sir Roger is %rime minister of the small +ritish colony of 9anda in Africa" and is %re%aring 9anda to become an inde%endent country ne6t year #ith go&ernment by the black ma0ority and the 9anda4born moderate #hites( +ut he is o%%osed both by the underground +lack 9andan Alliance" #hose members #ant to e6%el all #hites from the country" and the #hite e6tremists of the 9ational 5arty" #ho #ant an all4#hite go&ernment and army to kee% the black ma0ority #ithout a say in the running of the country.s affairs(: 8;osh" 1u%e" ho# do you kno# all that*: +ob #ondered( 8)hat.s it got to do #ith the kidna%%ing*: 5ete added( 8't.s the reason for the kidna%%ing" Second": the stout leader declared( 8The kidna%%ers belong to the #hite e6tremist 9ational 5arty( They %lanned to kidna% 'an -are# to hold him as a hostage and force Sir Roger to change his %lans and kee% 9anda under all4#hite rule( Mr Mac,en3ie and Mr 9dula are members of Sir Roger.s moderate %arty #ho ha&e come to try to sa&e 'an(: The #orksho% became suddenly /uiet( 8!ou kno# much": Adam 9dula said( 8' think too much$: He held an enormous %istol in his dark hand(

G 8'n D0anga.s 5lace:


9D>LA.S E!ES burned in his dark face( He held the %istol aimed straight at 1u%iter(

8There is only one #ay you could kno# all that": the grim 9andan said( 8Only one #ay you could kno# #ho #e are( !ou are #orking #ith those kidna%%ers$ !ou are a s%y$: 8Easy" Adam": Mac,en3ie said( His &oice #as /uiet" but his eyes #ere as deadly as 9dula.s( 8)ell" young man" #hat do you ha&e to say* Ho# do you kno# so much about us*: 8't.s really all /uite sim%le" Mr Mac,en3ie": 1u%iter said in his most dignified &oice( 8' am neither a s%y nor a tool( 'f ' had been #orking #ith the kidna%%ers" ' #ouldn.t ha&e been so foolish as to re&eal myself(: 9dula #atched him closely( 8;o on boy(: 8E6%lain ho# it is all so sim%le": Mac,en3ie said( 8Very #ell": 1u%iter re%lied( 8'n the first %lace" #hile ' #as a %risoner ' listened to the kidna%%ers( They had strange accents" and had ob&iously mistaken me for a boy named 'an #ho #as the son of an im%ortant man named Sir Roger( After ' esca%ed" #e #ent back to #here ' had been held( )e found this2: He held u% the tiny i&ory tusk #ith its gold setting( 8Our chauffeur" )orthington" #as sure it #as from Africa" and #as also con&inced that the accent of the kidna%%ers #as that of %eo%le from some +ritish colony in Africa(: Mac,en3ie took the tiny tusk and studied it( He held it u% for 9dula to see( 9dula shook his head( 8)e ha&e an e6cellent library in Rocky +each": 1u%iter continued( 8't didn.t take me long to disco&er that the +ritish colony of 9anda has a %rime minister named Sir Roger -are#" and is in the middle of a struggle for inde%endence( The kidna%%ers #ere clearly enemies of Sir Roger %lanning to hold 'an as a #ea%on against him" so they had to be #hite e6tremists o%%osed to his %lans for 9anda.s future( Since you t#o ha&e the same accents" and since you are each of a different race but #orking together" 't #as a sim%le deduction that you are follo#ers of Sir Roger -are#$: 8;ee": 5ete e6claimed" 8it is %retty sim%le(: 8)hen young 1ones e6%lains it": Mac,en3ie said" smiling( He glanced at 9dula( 8Satisfied" Adam*: 8!es": 9dula said" and %ut his %istol back into its shoulder holster( 8The boys seem to be honest(: 8And good detecti&es": Mac,en3ie said( 8)hich ' think #as #hat young 1ones intended to sho# us" eh*: 1u%iter flushed and grinned( 8' thought maybe a demonstration of our #ork #ould hel%(: 8!es" &ery good": Mac,en3ie said( 8)e arri&ed in Rocky +each only yesterday" and read of your kidna%%ing in the e&ening ne#s%a%er( )hen #e sa# your %icture" #e kne# at once #hat had ha%%ened( The %a%er mentioned your connection #ith The Three 'n&estigators" so this morning #e made in/uiries and found that you boys truly are detecti&es( +ut a demonstration is better than #ords" eh*: 1u%iter nodded" and %resented the 'n&estigators. business card #ith a flourish( The t#o 9andans studied it( 't readC THE THREE INVESTIGATORS

We Investigate Anything * * * First Investigator 1>5'TER 1O9ES !econd Investigator 5ETER -RE9SHA) Records and Research +O+ A9DRE)S 8Very %rofessional": commented Mac,en3ie( 8Then you.ll hire us$: 5ete cried( Mac,en3ie nodded to 9dula( 8)hat do you think" Adam* Are these resourceful young men #hat #e need*: 8' think they #ill do" ;ordon": 9dula said #ith a grin( +ob and 5ete beamed" and 1u%iter looked thoughtful( 8Sir" 0ust ho# much do ' resemble 'an -are#*: he asked( 8-all me Mac" and '.ll call you 1u%iter" eh* !ou.re Tan.s double2the resemblance is uncanny( 9ot %erfect to someone #ho kno#s 'an #ell" but ama3ingly similar( Then" 'an has been in the >nited States for the last t#o years" and a boy changes /uite a lot in that amount of time" so those kidna%%ers could easily mistake you for him( Of course" 'an has a 9andan accent( '.m a bit sur%rised2: 8' guessed that" Mac": 1u%iter e6%lained" 8so ' made sure that ' said nothing( ' #as afraid that if the kidna%%ers disco&ered their mistake" ' #ould be in greater danger(: 8So you #ould ha&e been": 9dula said grimly( 8 rom their names and their descri%tions #e don.t kno# them" but all those e6tremists are &ery dangerous(: 8)e think they dro%%ed that little tusk": +ob said( 8Does it mean anything to you*: 89o": 9dula said" 8but it is definitely from 9anda(: 8Then there.s no doubt that the kidna%%ers are 9andan e6tremists*: 1u%iter said( 89one at all": Mac,en3ie declared( 8'an has been going to school in Los Angeles to %re&ent 0ust such an attem%t to use him to blackmail Sir Roger( Someho# the e6tremists disco&ered 'an.s #hereabouts" and tried to abduct him in Los Angeles a #eek ago( He esca%ed" but &anished( At home Sir Roger #as frantic until 'an sent a message through the 9andan Trade Mission in Los Angeles(: 8)hat message*: 1u%iter said( 8)hat.s a trade mission*: 5ete #anted to kno#( 8A trade mission is an official grou% that tries to increase business bet#een t#o countries": 9dula e6%lained( 8And the message #as short and %u33ling": Mac,en3ie said( 8Almost meaningless to us" e6ce%t that it mentioned Rocky +each( 'an must ha&e been afraid that our enemies #ould see the message" and ob&iously they did or they #ouldn.t ha&e come here looking(: 8!ou #ant us to try to deci%her it$: 5ete e6claimed( 8Let.s see it$: +ob cried( 8't is at our hotel" in the hotel safe for security": 9dula said( 8)e #ill take you there at once(: The three boys follo#ed the 9andans out of the sal&age yard to a long" black -adillac( As they all climbed inside" 5ete suddenly sto%%ed( 81u%e$: the tall Second 'n&estigator said urgently( 8The &acant lot$:

He %ointed across the street to the &acant lot ne6t to Aunt Mathilda and >ncle Titus.s house( 8Someone #as there by the front clum% of bushes$: 5ete said( 8'.m sure of it$: 8Shall #e see*: Mac,en3ie said( They a%%roached the lot #arily( 't #as #ell screened by bushes near the street" but looking %ast the shrubbery they could see all the #ay through to the ne6t block( There #as no one in the lot( 5ete searched around the bushes #here he thought he.d seen someone" and %ointed to the ground( A discarded cigarette butt lay there" still smouldering( 8Someone was here$: 5ete cried( 85ossibly 0ust a #orkman taking a smoking break": 1u%iter said uneasily( 85erha%s": Mac,en3ie said( 8After all": added 1u%e" as if trying to con&ince himself" 8#hy #ould anyone be s%ying on the sal&age yard* 'f the kidna%%ers are still in the area" they must ha&e seen the ne#s%a%er and reali3ed their mistake(: They returned to the -adillac( 9dula dro&e" and Mac,en3ie turned to the boys( 8)e must find 'an" and /uickly": he said( 85erha%s no one #as #atching you from that &acant lot" but ' fear the kidna%%ers are still near Rocky +each( They #on.t gi&e u% easily( They ha&e too much at stake in 9anda to be scared off by the %olice(: 85eo%le #ill do almost anything for #hat they belie&e in": 1u%iter agreed ominously( 8!es" 1u%iter": Mac,en3ie said( 8And not 0ust %olitical e6tremists( Sir Roger lo&es 'an" boys" but his country comes first( E&en if the e6tremists ca%ture 'an" Sir Roger #ill not do #hat they #ant( 9ot e&en for 'an.s life(: The three boys gul%ed" but said nothing( Soon the big car turned into the dri&e of the Miramar Hotel on the beach( Mac,en3ie took the boys u% to the 9andans. room #hile 9dula got the message from the hotel safe( Mac,en3ie locked the door behind 9dula" and they all cro#ded around as 1u%iter read the message aloud( 8 HAttacked in "#A# !cared# Rocky $each# %janga&s 'lace(. : The boys looked at each other in dismay( 5ete e6claimed" 8He hardly says anything$: 8And there.s nothing that seems to be in code": +ob added( 89o": 1u%iter agreed" staring at the cry%tic message( 8E6ce%t %erha%s that last %hrase 2%janga&s 'lace( )hat does that mean*: 8)e ho%ed you could tell us": Mac,en3ie said( 8)e.&e looked in e&ery guidebook on Rocky +each" but there.s no reference to D0anga( )e thought it must be something &ery local" kno#n only to %eo%le #ho li&e here(: 8' ne&er heard of it": +ob said( 8Me neither": 5ete agreed( 1u%iter only shook his head( 8't is ho%eless" ;ordon": 9dula said" his shoulders sagging( 8These boys cannot hel% us after all(:

E 1u%iter Stands irm

89OTH'9;": 1u%iter said firmly" 8is e&er ho%eless(: 8!ou ha&e an idea" 1u%iter*: Mac,en3ie said /uickly( 8)hat is it" irst*: +ob asked( 1u%iter %ondered the brief and %u33ling message( 8'an #as scared by the attem%t to abduct him in Los Angeles": the stocky leader said( 8He ran a#ay" and came u% here( )hy did he %ick Rocky +each to hide out in*: 8He.d come here on &acations from school": 9dula said( 8)hen Sir Roger &isited him last year" they s%ent a #eek u% here(: 8Then he knew Rocky +each": 1u%iter e6claimed( 8Sure he did" he came here": 5ete said( 8)hy is that anything s%ecial*: 8't.s s%ecial" 5ete" because it %robably means that he had some definite %lace #here he %lanned to hide" and #anted to tell Sir Roger #here he.d be( That.s #hat he must ha&e been trying to do #hen he used the #ords %janga&s 'lace(: 8+ut": 9dula ob0ected" 8Sir Roger has no idea #hat 'an meant by that(: 89e&ertheless": 1u%iter insisted" 8it must be the clue to #here he.s hiding( He #as frightened and running" and he #ouldn.t ha&e #asted #ords in his message( There must be a good reason #hy he used %janga&s 'lace" and since there doesn.t seem to be any %lace in Rocky +each #ith that name" and #e.d ne&er heard of anything like it" it must ha&e some indirect meaning$ 't must be intended to gi&e a clue to his location(: 8So the e6tremists #ouldn.t understand it if they sa# his message": 5ete e6claimed( 85recisely" Second": 1u%iter said( 8Mac" the #ord is ob&iously African( )hat does it mean in 9andan*: 8That.s 0ust the trouble": Mac,en3ie said unha%%ily( 8't doesn.t mean anything hel%ful( D0anga is the name of the last great leader of the 9anda tribe #ho make u% the ma0ority of our nati&e %eo%le( Adam is a member of the tribe himself(: 8D0anga #as the last chief #ho battled against the Euro%ean in&aders and settlers" in the early 7GGFs": 9dula e6%lained( 8His name means something like Hthunder cloud. or Hrain noise." de%ending on ho# it is translated(: 8That.s all*: 1u%iter said" disa%%ointed( 8All right" is there some s%ecial 'lace he had* Or some %articular e&ent" or action" or %erson associated #ith him*: 8There must be hundreds" 1u%iter": Mac,en3ie said( 8D0anga is a legend in 9anda( There are endless myths" stories" battles" %eo%le" and e&ents associated #ith him( 't could take #eeks to try to research them all(: 8And #e #on.t ha&e #eeks": 9dula said( 8Time is &ital( )e may not ha&e e&en days(: 8;osh" 1u%e" it looks %retty ho%eless": +ob said( 8There must be a #ay$: 1u%iter fumed( 8'an #as des%erate" so he #ould ha&e used an association that #as #ell kno#n( Something that he #as sure #ould come to mind almost at once( Mac" can you tell us the most im%ortant %laces" e&ents" or actions connected #ith D0anga* Something most %eo%le from 9anda #ould kno#*: 8)ell2: Mac,en3ie thought hard( 8There.s his great &ictory o&er the +ritish Army at 'mbala" and his final defeat at Iing#ala( The general he defeated #as Lord ern#ood" and the one #ho beat him in the end #as ;eneral Audley(: +ob #hi%%ed out his %ocket notebook and began #riting do#n all the names( 8D0anga.s ca%ital #as >laga": 9dula added( 8After he #as defeated the +ritish im%risoned him at ort ;eorge(: 8He esca%ed and tried to fight again": Mac,en3ie continued( 8His head/uarters then

#as the remote ,arga Valley(: 8And he died in a final little skirmish near a &illage named Smith.s ord": 9dula concluded( 1u%iter nodded( 8)hat #e must do is take all the names connected #ith him" and2: A loud knocking on the door made them all #hirl( The knocking #as shar% and urgent( A #oman.s &oice called out( 8Mr Mac,en3ie* Mr 9dula* Are you there*: Mac,en3ie strode to the door( 8't.s Miss Lessing from the trade mission( She.s our contact #ith Sir Roger(: 85erha%s Sir Roger has found 'an$: 9dula cried( Mac,en3ie unlocked the door" and a tall" dark4haired #oman in a na&y s#eater and grey slacks #alked in hastily( 8Ha&e you found him*: she asked /uickly( 8!ou told me not to use the tele%hone" and there.s an urgent secret communi/uJ from Sir Roger saying2: Miss Lessing suddenly sa# the boys" and sto%%ed s%eaking( She stared at them sus%iciously( 8' didn.t reali3e you #eren.t alone" Mr Mac,en3ie": she said stiffly( 8'.m afraid Sir Roger.s message is official state business( ' can.t re&eal it to strangers(: 8's it about 'an" Miss Lessing*: Mac,en3ie asked( 8Has Sir Roger found him* Or heard from him again*: 9dula added( 89o" neither" '.m afraid(: 8All right": Mac,en3ie said( 8+oys" ' think you can begin your research at once( Remember" #e must find 'an as soon as %ossible( -ontact us here the instant you come u% #ith anything at all(: The boys nodded" and left the hotel room( Once outside they hurried do#n the hotel dri&e#ay to a bus sto%( 8)here do #e start in&estigating" irst*: +ob asked eagerly( 8)e com%are e&erything #e kno# about D0anga against the tele%hone book" city directory" city ma%s" and any other references to %laces in Rocky +each #here 'an might hide": 1u%iter instructed( 8He #rote D0anga.s 'lace" so #e.ll start #ith the %laces" and #e.ll s%lit u%( 5ete can go to -ity Hall to check ma%s" +ob can study the city directory and tele%hone book" and '.ll try the Historical Society(: 8-an ' go home for lunch first*: 5ete asked #ith a grin( 8,nock it off" Second": 1u%iter said" sighing( 8;rab a hot dog some#here" and then start on the ma%s( )e.ll all meet at Head/uarters later this afternoon(: The bus came" and they got on( )hile they rode into do#nto#n Rocky +each" +ob took out his %ocket notebook and made three lists of all the %laces D0anga had been associated #ith( Armed #ith the lists" the boys s%lit u% for their se%arate in&estigations( 't #as after three4thirty #hen 1u%iter left the Historical Society and headed for the 'n&estigators. secret head/uarters( He had found nothing in any local guidebooks or recent histories of the Rocky +each area that sounded anything like 'mbala" or Iing#ala" or >laga" or ort ;eorge" or the ,arga Valley" or Smith.s ord" or e&en ern#ood or Audley( 9either +ob nor 5ete #as at Head/uarters( 1u%e %ut ne# batteries into the emergency signals on the outdoor #orkbench" and did some fine tuning on the instruments( Then he

cra#led into the trailer room and sat trying to think of some connection bet#een -hief D0anga and Rocky +each( There had to be an ans#er" and 1u%iter #as sure it #as in one of the famous %laces associated #ith the old chief( 'an #ouldn.t ha&e #anted his clue to be too hard to figure out( 't #as nearly fi&e o.clock before +ob and 5ete finally arri&ed( Their glum faces told the story( 89othing at all": +ob said" sighing( 8They.re mostly all African names" irst": 5ete added( 8Rocky +each 0ust doesn.t ha&e anything African in it(: 8)e ha&en.t tried e&ery#here": 1u%iter said( 8After dinner #e.ll go to the library and look u% D0anga( Maybe there are some other im%ortant %lace names that Mac and 9dula forgot to tell us about(: 8'.m going out #ith my folks tonight": +ob told him( 8And '.&e got chores after dinner": 5ete said( 8Very #ell": 1u%iter re%lied( 8' shall continue alone(: 81u%e*: 5ete said unha%%ily( 8'.&e got this feeling that #e.re on the #rong track(: 8Maybe he.s right" 1u%e": +ob said( 89o$ '.m con&inced 'an #as telling us #here he is(: +ut 1u%iter didn.t look so confident no#(

7F 1u%iter Misses Something


1>5'TER TO!ED #ith his breakfast the ne6t morning( He didn.t feel &ery hungry( 8My stars$ Are you sick" boy*: Aunt Mathilda boomed( 89o" ma.am": 1u%iter said" and sighed( He had sle%t little" a#akened early" and had lain in bed in the cool da#n #ondering if 5ete #as %erha%s right this time( He had found a #hole book about 9anda in the library" had checked it out" and had s%ent half the night reading it in Head/uarters( 't had added nothing im%ortant that he could see to the names and %laces Mac,en3ie and 9dula had gi&en the 'n&estigators( 8)hat about some bacon* A slice of toast*: Aunt Mathilda suggested" suddenly concerned" as 1u%iter finally finished his cereal( 8)ell" maybe one slice": he agreed( 8And 0ust a little bacon( our or fi&e rashers" that.s all(: 8The boy.s going to star&e a#ay": >ncle Titus said( 1u%iter #as still certain that 'an -are# had been trying to re&eal #here he #as hiding" but either 'an had been too careful" or 1u%e #as missing something( or once he had to admit he #as stum%ed( And #orse2as he finished his breakfast he couldn.t think of anything to do ne6t$ 1ust then the tele%hone rang( 1u%iter didn.t e&en look u% from his last %iece of bacon( He #as brooding about his failure( He hated the thought that he could e&er be beaten( 8't.s +ob for you": Aunt Mathilda said( 1u%iter took the recei&er #earily( 8!es" Records*:

8!ou found it" irst$ )hy didn.t you call us*: 8)hat*: 1u%iter said" blinking( 8)hat did ' find*: 8)hy" the ans#er$ )here 'an is hiding$: 8Don.t 0oke" Records": 1u%iter said angrily( 8'.m not feeling &ery humorous this morning( )e.ll 0ust ha&e to go to Mac,en3ie and 9dula and try some other #ay( Maybe 2: 8!ou mean you didn.t s%ot it*: +ob sounded ama3ed( 8S%ot it* S%ot #hat* )here*: 8'n the book you got from the library last night(: 8)hat are you talking about* There.s nothing ne# in that book( ' read it thoroughly(: 8Then you missed it$ )e.re both o&er here in Head/uarters( Hurry$: 8+ob* )hat2*: +ut +ob had hung u%( 1u%iter gul%ed the last bite of toast" and hurried out of the house and across the street to the sal&age yard( )hen he emerged through the tra%door into Head/uarters" 5ete and +ob grinned maddeningly at him( 8A detecti&e has to kee% his eyes o%en at all times": 5ete said #ith mock seriousness( 8Did you really miss it" irst*: +ob chortled( 8'f there #as really anything to miss": 1u%iter muttered( 8Tell him" Records": 5ete urged( 8)ell": +ob began" 8you #eren.t here #hen #e arri&ed" and #hile #e #aited 5ete noticed the book you got last night( So #e looked at the %art about -hief D0anga" and there it #as$: 8There what #as*: 1u%iter demanded( 8;et to the %oint" Records(: +ob %icked u% the book and began to read( 8 H or D0anga" the last of the great 9andan chiefs" the great moment of ho%e came #hen his su%erb regiments defeated and #i%ed out a %oorly commanded +ritish force of si6 hundred regulars and one thousand nati&e troo%s at 'mbala" the Hill of the Red Lion" thus halting the Euro%ean ad&ance for at least three years(. : +ob sto%%ed( +oth he and 5ete smiled eagerly at 1u%iter( The stocky leader of the team blinked at them( 8So*: he said" #aiting( 8)e already kne# about 'mbala2: 81u%e$: +ob cried( 8The Hill of the Red Lion$ The meaning of 'mbala in English$ Don.t you remember* The Red Lion Ranch$ The famous old hotel #here all the Holly#ood stars used to come to &acation in %ri&acy$: or a moment 1u%iter seemed stunned( Then he laughed aloud" and cla%%ed +ob on the back( 8!ou.&e done it" Records$: he e6claimed( 8The Red Lion Ranch$ 't.s not so #ell kno#n today" but it.s still /uiet and secluded" and 0ust the sort of %lace #here Sir Roger -are# #ould take his son on &acation$ ' missed that meaning of 'mbala com%letely$: 8)e all make mistakes": 5ete said innocently( He and +ob burst out laughing" and 1u%iter finally 0oined in( 8All right" all right": 1u%iter said ruefully( 89o# let.s call Mac,en3ie and 9dula$: +ut no one ans#ered in the 9andan.s room #hen 1u%e called their hotel( 8They.re %robably ha&ing breakfast": announced 1u%e( 8Let.s go o&er there and find them(: 8)e.d better take the bus": +ob said( 8They.ll %robably dri&e us u% to the Red Lion"

and our bikes #ould be in the #ay(: 8;ood idea": 5ete agreed( 1u%iter nodded" and the boys rushed out of Head/uarters( T#enty minutes later" a bus de%osited them by the Miramar Hotel( At the front desk the clerk called the 9andans. Room" and #as told to send the boys right u%( 8Ha&e you heard anything*: 1u%iter asked as the boys entered the room( 89o" only that a critical situation is about to de&elo% in 9anda": Mac,en3ie said" 8and Sir Roger is des%erate that #e find 'an(: 8' think #e may be able to hel% you do that": 1u%iter said trium%hantly" and told Mac,en3ie and 9dula #hat they had disco&ered( 8The Hill of the Red Lion$ Of course$: 9dula e6claimed( 8That is 0ust #hat 'mbala means( ;ood #ork" boys( !ou must be correct( Sir Roger #as too u%set to see #hat 'an #as trying to tell him$: 8' told you they #ere smart boys(: Mac,en3ie beamed( 8)e.ll get the car(: Do#n in the %arking lot they all got into the big -adillac" and Mac,en3ie dro&e off( +ob directed him through the to#n to the northern outskirts in the foothills( All but in&isible from the road" the Red Lion Ranch consisted of a t#o4storey main building and a cluster of small yello# stucco buildings and #hite frame cottages behind a high hedge of oleander and hibiscus( Mac,en3ie %arked" and they #ent into the main building( At the registration desk a clerk in an immaculate black suit looked u% #ith a %olite smile( Then his smile faded as he sa# them( 8Mr Ember$: the clerk cried( A door behind the desk o%ened" and a short" thin little man in a checked 0acket and bro#n slacks came out( The short man glared at 1u%iter the instant he sa# him( 8So you.re back$ 't.s about time" and you can 0ust %ay your bill at once" young man$: 8Then 'an -are# was here$: 1u%iter e6claimed( 8Are you the manager*: Mac,en3ie said to the short man( 8!es" ' am the manager": the short man sna%%ed" and #ent on glaring at 1u%iter( 8' don.t kno# #hat you.re u% to" young man" but if you don.t %ay your bill at once ' shall be forced to contact the %olice$: 8That #ill not be necessary": 9dula said /uietly( 8)e #ill settle the bill( This young man is not 'an -are#(: 89ot*: The manager stared at them" confused and sus%icious( 8Don.t you think ' can see2: 8He looks like 'an": Mac,en3ie said" 8but #e assure you he is not": and he e6%lained the resemblance of the t#o boys( 85erha%s you sa# my %icture in the %a%er the other day": 1u%iter added" eager to %ro&e #ho he #as( The manager shook his head( 8)e.&e been e6tremely busy this #eek hosting a small conference( ' ha&en.t had a moment to look at a %a%er(: He stared hard at 1u%iter" noting his casual" baggy clothing( 8' must say": he added #ith a sniff" 8that '.&e ne&er seen 'an -are# dressed /uite so ( ( ( informally( +ut if you aren.t 'an" #hy should these men offer to %ay his bill*: 8Mr 9dula and ' are re%resentati&es of Sir Roger -are#": e6%lained Mac,en3ie( 8Here are our credentials( !ou may check them #ith our trade mission in Los Angeles( 9o#" if you #ill tell us #hat 'an o#es you" #e #ill %ay you(:

The clerk handed a bill to 9dula" #ho %aid it #hile the manager studied the 9andans. credentials and shook his head( 8This is most confusing": the manager said( 8' reali3e that" and ' #ish #e could e6%lain more": Mac,en3ie said" 8but it is a delicate matter" and urgent( )e must find 'an at once if he isn.t here( -an you tell us e&erything that ha%%ened since he arri&ed*: 8)ell2: The manager hesitated" and then nodded( 8Very #ell( He arri&ed about a #eek or so ago( ' recogni3ed him from his %re&ious stay #ith his father" of course( He said that he #as to meet Sir Roger here in a fe# days( 9aturally" #e granted him e&ery courtesy( +ut a fe# days later t#o other men came here for him( They also claimed to be from Sir Roger( They a%%eared to kno# the boy /uite #ell" and asked for his room number( )e do not gi&e out that information #ithout first announcing the &isitors( ' asked them their names" and called -are#.s room( He told me to send them right u%(: 8-an you describe the men*: 1u%iter asked /uickly( 89ot &ery #ell2they came four days ago( +ut one #as /uite stocky #ith curly bro#n hair" and the other #as much taller and thinner #ith dark hair( ' don.t recall their names(: Mac,en3ie and 9dula glanced at 1u%iter( He nodded( The men sounded like the t#o kidna%%ers( 8)hat ha%%ened after they #ent u%*: Mac,en3ie asked( 8't #as rather odd" although ' thought nothing of it at the time( <uite soon after the men #ent u%" ' sa# young -are# lea&e the hotel through the main entrance( 5erha%s fi&e minutes later the t#o men came do#n and ran out also(: 8And that.s the last time you sa# 'an*: 9dula said( 8'ndeed it #as$ !oung -are# ne&er returned" lea&ing his bill un%aid$: 8Then #e.&e lost him again": 9dula said bitterly( 8;osh" ' #as so sure #e.d found him": +ob #ailed( 1u%iter looked thoughtful( 8May #e see his room*: The manager glanced to#ard the key bo6es( 8Very #ell" it a%%ears to be unoccu%ied no#(: He reached for the key( 8Room t#enty4nine" second floor at the front( !ou can take the ele&ator on your right" or the stairs 0ust beyond the ele&ator(: As they mo&ed to#ards the ele&ator" Mac,en3ie shook his head doubtfully( 8)hy look at the room" 1u%iter* He.s not there( All #e can do no# is ho%e that he gets in touch #ith us again(: 8He #as clearly sus%icious of those men": 1u%iter said" %ressing the ele&ator button" 8or he #ouldn.t ha&e run from the hotel( He must ha&e recogni3ed them as the men #ho had tried to abduct him before( Someho# he esca%ed them again2%robably before they got to his room(: 8Ho# does that hel% us*: 9dula asked( 8He e6%ected his message to bring Sir Roger to this hotel": 1u%iter e6%lained( 8)hen he had to flee again" he #ould ha&e #anted hel% to follo#" so '.m ho%ing that he left some message telling #here he %lanned to go ne6t(: The ele&ator came" and they all got on( 1u%iter %ressed the button for the second floor( 8Since the only %lace that 'an could ha&e been sure anyone #ould look is his room" any message #ill be there$:

77 A -le&er ugiti&e
AS THE! >9LO-,ED the door and ste%%ed into room t#enty4nine" 5ete groaned( 81u%e" the #hole room.s been cleaned$: 9odding uneasily" 1u%iter glanced slo#ly around the large room( Sunlight streamed in through high #indo#s" #hich looked out o&er the dri&e#ay and ta6i stance in front of the hotel" and then across the outskirts of Rocky +each to the blue 5acific Ocean( 8Anything he left is %robably gone$: +ob #ailed( 8They.re right" 1u%iter": Mac,en3ie agreed( 8Any note #ould ha&e been thro#n a#ay by the maid(: 85robably": 1u%iter admitted" 8although hotel maids don.t al#ays clean too #ell( +ut ' don.t think 'an #ould ha&e left an ordinary note any#ay( There #as too great a chance that the kidna%%ers #ould search his room" either immediately or later on( 9o" 'an %robably left something dece%ti&e" a kind of code or symbol( Something that Sir Roger.s hel%ers #ould recogni3e but not the enemy( 't might be on a %iece of %a%er" or it might not(: 8!ou mean": +ob concluded" 8something that he could ha&e arranged /uickly" that #ouldn.t be remo&ed #hen the room #as cleaned" that the kidna%%ers #ouldn.t notice in a search" and that his friends #ould %robably s%ot(: 8E6actly" Records(: 8Then let.s find it$: Mac,en3ie said( )hile 5ete searched the bathroom" the others combed the bedroom( They looked high and lo#" turning o&er e&erything" looking behind %ictures and curtains and under rugs( They tried under the radiators and in the ceiling light fi6ture( 1u%e e&en %ulled the bedding off to see if 'an had #ritten on the fibre4content tag on the mattress( +ut no one found anything that looked like a message or a clue( 8)e.re %robably being too direct again": 1u%iter decided( 8'n his first message 'an used a double codeC D0anga.s %lace meant 'mbala" and then 'mbala meant the Red Lion( The clue #as t#ice remo&ed from the message(: 8And it could only be sol&ed by someone #ith s%ecial kno#ledge": +ob %ointed out( 8Right( So anyone #ho tracked 'an this far #ould kno# certain things( '.m sure he #as counting on that": 1u%iter declared( 8Mac" does 'an ha&e any s%ecial habits" interests" or %eculiarities*: 8He.s e6tremely interested in 9andan history": 9dula said( 8And he collects African #ood car&ings": Mac,en3ie added" 8and #ait" he dra#s little sketches( Es%ecially on #alls( Sir Roger once said 'an e&en dre# on his e6ecuti&e office #alls$: 8A sketch in some s%ot that #ouldn.t be cleaned at once" and #ouldn.t be noticed by the kidna%%ers(: 1u%iter e6claimed( 8That.s #hat #e should look tori Search e&ery#here again$: +ut again they found nothing2no dra#ings" no marks at all on any #all or %iece of furniture( 8There.s nothing here" 1u%e": 5ete said #ith a sigh( 8' guess 'an didn.t ha&e time after he s%otted the kidna%%ers(: 1u%iter #hirled to#ards 5ete( 8' belie&e" Second" you.&e 0ust said it$:

8' did*: 5ete re%lied( 8)hat did ' say*: 8'an is ob&iously &ery smart": 1u%iter said slo#ly" 8yet he told the manager to send the &isitors right u%$ He #as in hiding" and he couldn.t ha&e been sure if they #ere friends or enemies" but he had the manager send them right u%( )ould #e ha&e*: 89o": +ob said( 8)e.d ha&e had the manager stall them until #e could ha&e a secret look at them$: 1u%iter nodded( 8Of course" 'an could ha&e seen the men from the #indo#" but that #ould ha&e been a lucky accident( 9o" there.s only one reason for 'an to ha&e had them come right u%2he didn.t need to stall them" and %erha%s make them reali3e he #as sus%icious" because he had a %lan already$: 8)hat %lan" 1u%e*: +ob #anted to kno#( 8The sim%lest of all2to lea&e the room and hide #here he could see them" in a %lace #here he #ould ha&e had a head start in running again if they turned out to be his attackers from Los Angeles( -ome on(: The others follo#ed him out of the room and along the corridor( 8Some#here close to the e6its": said 1u%e" thinking aloud( 8Some %lace #here he could see their faces( Some#here:2his eyes searched the hall#ay28like that storage closet$: 't #as a long" narro# #alk4in closet for linens and mo%s" only a fe# feet from the stair#ay( )ith the door o%en an inch" there #as a clear &ie# of the ele&ator and the to% of the stairs( Anyone arri&ing on the floor and heading for 'an.s room could be easily seen( 8Look for any kind of %encil dra#ing$: 1u%iter instructed( 5ete found it almost at once" on the inside of the closet door( 8Here$ )o#" it.s a really good little sketch( A car( ' can see the dri&er" and something like a badge on the side" and something on to%$: 1u%iter fro#ned( 8A car* +ut #hat could a car mean*: 8't.s not a regular car" irst$: +ob cried( 8Look" the dri&er has a ca% on" and that thing on to% is a light$ 't.s a ta6i$: Mac,en3ie said" 8There.s a ta6i stance out front$: 8He e6%ected us to guess #hat he.d do to obser&e any &isitors": 9dula said" 8and is telling us he %lanned to flee in a ta6i$: They %ractically ran outside to the single ta6i #aiting at the hotel ta6i stance( The dri&er #as reading a maga3ine( 9o" he hadn.t taken any boy from the hotel four days ago or any time( 8Ho# many ta6is o%erate from this stance*: 9dula asked( 85lenty" mister" but all from our com%any( E6clusi&e(: 8)here is your main garage*: Mac,en3ie asked( ollo#ing the dri&er.s directions" Mac,en3ie dro&e 9dula and the boys to the central garage and office of the ta6i com%any( 't #as in an area of railroad tracks and lumber yards not far from the harbour( The grou% found the day manager in his cluttered office at the rear of the garage( After they had e6%lained #hat they needed" the manager checked a list( 8The Red Lion* our days ago* Okay" #e had fi&e dri&ers #orking out there that day( Let.s see" ' think al3one and 1ohansen are in the sho% right no#( !ou can try them(: 1ohansen #as #orking o&er the engine of his ta6i" and had not taken any boy from the Red Lion four days ago(

al3one #as ha&ing a coffee break( 8Sure" ' took a kid from the Red Lion that day" and that.s the kid$: He %ointed straight at 1u%iter( 8!ou got kidna%%ed a cou%le of days later" right* ' sa# your %icture in the %a%er( +oy" that must ha&e been some scary2: 8' #as kidna%%ed": 1u%iter interru%ted" 8but '.m not the boy you took in your ta6i( Look more closely at me(: The ta6i man fro#ned( 8)ell" you sure look like the same kid( Only you.re not dressed the same" and you sound different( So" okay" if you say so2you.re somebody else(: 8-an you remember #here you took the other boy*: 9dula demanded( 8Sure(: al3one nodded( 8' remember good because the kid acted funny" like maybe he #as u% to something( He ran out of the hotel" told me to dri&e to the other side of to#n" and ke%t looking back( ' figured maybe he s#i%ed something from the hotel" or #as maybe running a#ay( Then this car2: 8+ut #here did you take him*: Mac,en3ie said im%atiently( 8'.m telling you": al3one said( 8He.s looking back all the #ay" and #e get all across to#n" and suddenly he says to sto%$ 't.s right in the middle of a block of nothing e6ce%t #arehouses and factories( He %ays me" gets out" and runs off into an alley( He didn.t e&en #ait for his change( Then" like ' #as going to say" this car comes %ast me going real slo#( 't didn.t sto%" but ' figure it #as after the kid(: 8)hat kind of car*: 1u%iter asked( 8;reen Mercedes( Real nice( ' al#ays #anted one(: 8Take us to #here you dro%%ed the boy$: 9dula ordered( 8Sure" it ain.t far(: 't #asn.t( On the outskirts of the to#n" al3one sto%%ed on a deserted block of #arehouses" small manufacturing sho%s" and &acant lots( The ta6i dri&er %ointed to an alley bet#een t#o buildings( 8He ran off u% there( Last ' sa# of him(: They %aid the ta6i man" and Mac,en3ie %arked the big -adillac at the kerb( 8)hy #ould he #ant to come here*: 5ete #ondered" looking all around at the deserted neighbourhood( 8Maybe he 0ust #anted to shake off the kidna%%ers": +ob said( 8He must ha&e reali3ed they #ere follo#ing him(: 8That is /uite %ossible" Records": 1u%iter agreed( 8'n #hich case he #ould ha&e been seeking a refuge( Let.s follo# him into that alley" and see if there are further clues(: The alley #as narro#" #ith nothing but bare brick #alls on either side( There #ere three doors" but all #ere locked #ith large" rusted %adlocks that had not been o%ened in some time( The fi&e searchers reached the other end of the alley( 8)hat do #e do no#*: 5ete asked( The street at this end of the alley #as almost e6actly like the one they had left( 't held nothing but lo# silent #arehouses" small factories" and &acant lots littered #ith 0unk( 9earby" a cross street 0oined it" forming a T( 8He could ha&e gone in three different directions": 9dula said slo#ly( 8He could be any#here(:

7= The Trail Ends$

8'9 A9! D'RE-T'O9" !ES": 1u%iter said" 8but not any#here(: 8)hat do you mean" 1u%e*: +ob #anted to kno#( 8The kidna%%ers #ere close behind him" and he kne# it": 1u%iter %ointed out( 8' don.t belie&e he #ould ha&e gone &ery far before finding some#here to hide(: 8That.s true$: Mac,en3ie e6claimed( 8)hy" he could be near us right no#(: 8He might ha&e hidden in one of these #arehouses tem%orarily": the stout irst 'n&estigator said" 8but he #ouldn.t be safe there" and he.d ha&e to eat( So ' think he #ould ha&e looked for a motel or a rooming house not too far from here( He #ouldn.t ha&e #anted to be out on the street for long(: 8Then": 9dula said" 8' suggest #e s%lit u% and search for such a %lace in all three directions( )e can look do#n any side streets as #e go along(: 5ete and 9dula #ent to the right" 1u%iter and Mac,en3ie to the left" and +ob took the cross street alone( They agreed to meet again at the alley in no more than an hour( +ob #as the first one to return( He had gone all the #ay u% the small cross street until it ended at a broad o%en field( He had found no motels or rooming houses or any other likely hiding %laces for a fugiti&e( 't #as already %ast lunchtime" and +ob %aced hungrily by the alley #hile he #aited for the others to come back( 1u%iter and Mac,en3ie #ere ne6t( 8There is a small motel about fi&e blocks a#ay near the motor#ay": Mac,en3ie re%orted" 8but they ha&en.t had a boy staying there alone any time this #eek( They recogni3ed 1u%iter only because his %icture has been in the ne#s%a%er(: 8't.s mostly o%en fields and &acant lots in that direction" all the #ay to the motor#ay": 1u%iter added( 5ete and 9dula finally returned( They had gone the farthest( 8All the #ay into to#n": 5ete said( 8)e found a motel and t#o rooming houses" but none of them had a boy staying alone there(: 8The rooming houses ha&en.t had any transients in months": 9dula added( 8'an #as running #ith the kidna%%ers close behind": Mac,en3ie said slo#ly( 8There #ould ha&e been little chance to lea&e clues" and no ho%e that a message to us #ould e&er be found( )e are truly at a dead end no#" boys(: 8He.s right" 1u%e": +ob said( 8)e do seem to be stum%ed for no#": 1u%iter admitted reluctantly( 8' think Adam and ' had best return to our hotel and find out if 'an has called Los Angeles": Mac,en3ie decided( 8He must kno# #e are trying to find him" and that #e.&e lost his trail( 5erha%s he.ll try to send another message through the trade mission(: 8'f he can": 9dula said grimly( 8And #e.ll return to Head/uarters and consider further %lans": 1u%iter said stubbornly( 8)e.re not far from the sal&age yard here( )ould you dro% us off" Mac*: 8Hey" it.s #ay %ast lunchtime": 5ete %rotested( 8'.m going home(: 8+ob" you might as #ell go home and eat" too": 1u%iter said( 8' #ant to do some thinking any#ay(: They returned to the big -adillac( The 9andans dro%%ed 1u%iter off first at the sal&age yard" little more than a mile a#ay( +ob and 5ete agreed to meet at Head/uarters in an hour" and Mac,en3ie dro&e them to their homes( +ut it #as nearly t#o hours before +ob and 5ete met again #ith 1u%iter inside the

hidden house trailer( They found their stout leader surrounded by street ma%s and %a%ers co&ered #ith scra#led lists and notes( 8Any ne# ideas" irst*: 5ete asked at once( 8!es" Second" ' ha&e a fe# ideas": 1u%iter said" and then sighed unha%%ily" 8but not many(: 8Mac,en3ie and 9dula didn.t call*: +ob asked( 8'an hasn.t contacted the trade mission*: 8' called them" Records" and" no" 'an hasn.t made any contact yet": 1u%iter said( 81u%e*: 5ete said" fro#ning as he thought hard( 8'.&e been thinking2maybe they.&e got him$ Maybe those kidna%%ers came back and this time got the right kid$ They must ha&e seen the story in the ne#s%a%ers about you and learned they.d made a mistake(: 8!es" ' thought of that(: 1u%iter nodded( 8't.s %ossible that they ha&e got him" but ' don.t think so( 'f they did" '.m certain they #ould ha&e sent a message to Sir Roger" and so far they ha&en.t( +esides" 5ete" you sa# someone #atching us from that &acant lot across the street" and '.&e got a %retty good hunch it #as the kidna%%ers(: 8>l%$: 5ete s#allo#ed hard( 8!ou mean they.re around some#here right no#*: 8'.m certain that they aren.t far a#ay" and that they.re #atching either us or Mac,en3ie and 9dula": 1u%iter said( 8)e must be careful" but ' think #e.re safe until #e do find 'an(: 8 ello#s*: +ob said suddenly( 8'f 'an read that ne#s%a%er story about 1u%e" #ouldn.t he ha&e come out of hiding and gone to the %olice* ' mean" #hen they sa# him they.d kno# he #as the real kid the kidna%%ers #ere after" and he.d be safe$: 8)o#" sure$: 5ete e6claimed( 8' agree": 1u%iter said( 8)hich means that 'an didn.t see the story( He %robably is hiding some %lace #here he hasn.t had a chance to see a ne#s%a%er" and is too scared to come out( 'f only #e could figure out #here$: 8!ou said you had some ideas" 1u%e*: 5ete reminded him( 8)ell" ' thought about running an ad in the ne#s%a%er": 1u%iter said( 8Something coded so that only 'an could kno# it #as for him" #ith a message to meet Mac,en3ie and 9dula some#here( +ut then ' reali3ed that if 'an couldn.t see the ne#s%a%er" an ad #ouldn.t do much good(: 8'.m afraid not" irst": +ob agreed( 8Then" #e could try a ;host4to4;host Hooku%": 1u%iter #ent on" referring to the brilliant information4gathering techni/ue he.d de&ised( )hen using it" the 'n&estigators #ould each call fi&e friends" and ask them to %ass a message on to fi&e of their friends" and so on( 8)ith all the kids in Rocky +each" someone should be able to s%ot a strange boy #ith an accent(: 8'f he e&er comes out of hiding": +ob %ointed out( 8And if they don.t mistake him for you": added 5ete( 8That is a %roblem": 1u%iter admitted" 8so #e #on.t consider the ;host4to4;host until at least tomorro#( Mean#hile" there are t#o other things '.&e been thinking about( 'an must reali3e by no# that anyone #ho.s looking for him lost the trail at that alley four days ago( The last %lace any rescuers could be sure of is the Red Lion Ranch( So2: 8So he might try to go back there and find anyone looking for him$: 5ete e6claimed( 8E6actly" Second( He.d %robably sneak u% and be #ary" so ' suggested that Mac,en3ie and 9dula stake out the Red Lion and #atch for him( They.re %robably out there right

no#(: 8)hat.s the other thing you thought about*: +ob asked( 8Something '.&e sort of #ondered about at the back of my mind all along": 1u%iter said( 8Ho# did the kidna%%ers s%ot me in the first %lace" and mistake me for 'an*: 8;ee": 5ete said" 8' guess they sa# you here in the yard(: 8)hy #ould they ha&e come around the yard at all" unless they already kne# that a boy #ho looked like 'an #as here*: 8They %robably 0ust s%otted you in the street and follo#ed you here": +ob decided( 8Sure": 5ete agreed( 8They thought they.d been lucky and found 'an(: 85erha%s": 1u%iter said( 8+ut ' feel #e.re missing something im%ortant( Those men must ha&e had something more to go on than accidentally seeing me in the street(: 8)hat" 1u%e*: 8' don.t kno#(: After that The Three 'n&estigators sat in silence( 9one of them had any ne# ideas of #hat to do" so +ob and 5ete #ent home( 1u%iter #alked moodily across the street to his house to #atch tele&ision before dinnertime( Then >ncle Titus asked him to hel% find an error in the sal&age yard account books" and he #as busy until Aunt Mathilda called them to the table( Des%ite the frustrating day" 1u%iter ate heartily( He held out his %late for seconds" and grinned( 8!our beef ste# is the best" Aunt Mathilda(: 8Hmm%h": Aunt Mathilda snorted( 8't boggles my mind ho# you can eat anything the #ay you.&e been raiding my refrigerator" young man(: 8' ha&en.t been raiding the refrigerator" Aunt Mathilda": 1u%iter %rotested( 8' told you that yesterday( ;osh" 5ete e&en lost his2: 1u%iter sto%%ed #ith his mouth o%en and his eyes #ide( He gul%ed" and blinked at his aunt( She stared at him( 8Are you all right" 1u%iter*: >ncle Titus asked( 8' ( ( ( '.m fine" >ncle Titus$ '.&e ne&er been better$: He 0um%ed u%( 8-an ' lea&e for a minute*: 8+efore dessert" young man*: Aunt Mathilda said( 8'.ll ha&e it in a minute(: He hurried into the li&ing room and /uickly dialled +ob.s number( 8Records$ ;et 5ete and come to Head/uarters right a#ay$ And tell your %arents you.ll be staying #ith me all night$: 1u%iter hung u% and #ent back to the table( He #as so e6cited that he could eat only t#o %ieces of Aunt Mathilda.s best a%%le %ie" and gul% do#n only one large glass of milk( Then he asked to be e6cused" and hurried out of the house to#ards the hidden head/uarters trailer under its mounds of 0unk( )hen +ob and 5ete came scrambling u% through the tra%4door from Tunnel T#o fifteen minutes later" 1u%iter #as seated at the desk" grinning at them( 8)hat is it" irst*: +ob #anted to kno#" out of breath from biking so hard from his house( 8)hy are #e going to stay all night*: 5ete demanded( 8+ecause" fello#s": 1u%iter announced trium%hantly" 8' kno# #here 'an -are# is hiding$:

7? ace to ace$
8)HERE" 'RST*: +ob cried( 8Ho# do you kno#*: 5ete e6claimed( 8't.s been in front of our noses all the time": 1u%iter declared( 8)e.&e been blind" fello#s$ ' kne# #e #ere missing something im%ortant( ' #as sure the kidna%%ers didn.t 0ust see me on a street and follo# me to the yard(: 8)hy not" 1u%e*: 5ete demanded( 8+ecause if they had" they #ould ha&e seen at once that ' #asn.t a runa#ay trying to hide$ They #ould ha&e seen me #ith friends" acting like someone #ho li&ed in Rocky +each( They might e&en ha&e heard me s%eak" and then they #ould ne&er ha&e made their mistake(: 8+ut" 1u%e": +ob said" 8they did make the mistake$: 8!es" they did": 1u%iter said" 8and that.s the ans#er( They made the mistake because they sa# me e6actly #here they e6%ected to see 'an$ )here they #ere looking for 'an$: 8Looking for him*: +ob ga%ed( 8!es" Records( Some#here not far from #here 'an left that ta6i( Some %lace #here food has been disa%%earing for the last fe# days$: 1u%iter.s eyes glo#ed( 8 ello#s" 'an.s hiding right here in the sal&age yard$: 8'n ( ( ( in the ( ( ( yard*: 5ete ga%ed( 8Only a mile from that alley #here he &anished": +ob said in a#e( 8Rats didn.t get your lunch" 5ete" 'an did$: 85recisely" Records": 1u%iter said( 8)hen 'an ran from that alley #ith kidna%%ers close behind him" he must ha&e reached the sal&age yard( He must ha&e decided that all the 0unk #ould make a good hiding %lace" and that my house #ould be a good %lace to steal food( The kidna%%ers follo#ed him to the yard" or at least nearby" and ke%t on dri&ing around until they sa# me$ They naturally assumed ' #as 'an" since ' #as right in the area #here they e6%ected him to be( So they #ent after me" and made their mistake$: 8Right here in the yard all the time*: 5ete said" still unbelie&ing( 8'.m sure of it": 1u%iter stated( 89o# all #e ha&e to do is find him(: 8 ind him*: 5ete fro#ned( 8Let.s 0ust go out and yell$: 1u%iter shook his head( 89o" ' don.t think that #ould #ork" Second( He doesn.t kno# us" and he.s %robably only seen us from a distance( He must be #ell hidden" because if he.d seen Mac,en3ie or 9dula he #ould ha&e come out( 'f #e #ent out and yelled" or e&en searched" #e.d %robably only scare him into running a#ay again( 't.s hard to find anyone in all that 0unk" as #e kno#(: 8;osh" 1u%e": 5ete %rotested" 8doesn.t he ha&e to come out sometime* ' mean" he can.t hide here fore&er(: 89o" he can.t( )hen he feels it to be safe" he.ll %robably return to the Red Lion Ranch or call the 9andan Trade Mission in Los Angeles( 'n the meantime" he.ll stay hidden(: 8Then #hat do #e do" 1u%e*: +ob asked( 8' ha&e a %lan": 1u%iter declared( 8' sus%ect that 'an &entures out only late at night #hen e&erything is /uiet(:

8That.s #hy you #anted us to stay #ith you all night": 5ete reali3ed( 8!es" Second(: 8Do #e set a tra%" 1u%e* Lie in #ait*: +ob asked( 8That is my %lan": 1u%iter ans#ered( 8My guess is that 'an comes out only #hen he #ants some food( He.s a cle&er boy" so he.s taken as little food as %ossible20ust enough to make Aunt Mathilda think that someone in the family is raiding the refrigerator( That means he can.t ha&e a lot of food #ith him" and #e can set a tra%(: 8)ith food" sure(: 5ete nodded( 8'.m certain he #on.t come out until the yard is deserted( So the first thing #e.ll do is go out into the yard and talk a lot" making sure 'an hears us #here&er he is(: 8Talk about #hat*: 8About a tri% #e.re going to take tomorro#" and about the three lunches #e.re going to %ack tonight and lea&e out on the back %orch of my house so #e can get an early start(: 8' get it": 5ete said( 8Three lunches #ould last him a #hile" so he.ll be really tem%ted(: 1u%iter nodded( 8He.ll figure #e.d blame the theft on tram%s or something( Any#ay" #e.ll lea&e the yard about ten o.clock" %ut some dummy lunches on the back %orch" and then go u%stairs to bed( At least" t#o of us #ill go to bed( The third #ill sneak back do#nstairs and hide 0ust inside the kitchen #here he can #atch the %orch( )e.ll take turns #atching" t#o hours each" #hile the other t#o get some slee%( 8)e.ll all ha&e our emergency signals( The one on #atch #ill kee% his turned off( )hen he s%ots 'an" he.ll acti&ate the signal #ith the usual &oice command2HHel%$. The signals in my bedroom #ill then start bee%ing" and the red lights on them #ill flash( The bee%s #ill be loud enough to #ake the slee%ers$: 8Then #hat*: asked +ob( 8The t#o in my bedroom #ill get u% fast and go out the front #ay( They.ll circle around the house in both directions( The one in the kitchen #ill gi&e the others about t#o minutes" and then he.ll set u% a yell and challenge 'an( )hen 'an runs" he.ll ha&e to head for the front of the house" because that.s the only #ay back to his hiding %lace in the sal&age yard( So he.ll run into one of us( That %erson #ill grab him and hold on until the other t#o arri&e(: 8Then #e can tell him #ho #e are and about Mac,en3ie and 9dula" right" irst*: 5ete concluded( 1u%iter nodded( 81ust don.t make too much noise( My aunt and uncle are sound slee%ers" but a real ruckus #ill #ake them u%( 9o#" ' suggest #e get our emergency signals from the #orksho% and busy oursel&es in the yard until ten o.clock(: The 'n&estigators #orked around the outdoor #orksho%" making a good deal of noise" and then took a noisy stroll around the entire 0unkyard( They %retended to be hunting for #alking sticks to take on a hiking tri% the ne6t day( Talking loudly" they discussed their tri% and the lunches they #ould get ready and lea&e on the %orch for a /uick start( Shortly before ten" the boys s#itched off the outdoor lights in the yard and #ent across the street to 1u%iter.s house( Once inside they /uickly made the three dummy lunches" stuffing #added4u% ne#s%a%er into bro#n %a%er bags" and %ut them out in the enclosed back %orch( Then the boys #ent u%stairs to 1u%iter.s room( +ob dre# the first t#o4hour #atch( He #aited until Aunt Mathilda and >ncle Titus came u%stairs" then sli%%ed back do#n to the dark

kitchen( 5ete and 1u%iter tucked their bee%ers into their shirt %ockets" so they.d be sure to hear them #hen they #ent off" and #ent to slee% in their clothes( At midnight 1u%iter re%laced +ob( The lunches #ere untouched on the back %orch( Out in the night nothing mo&ed e6ce%t distant cars on the high#ay" and from time to time a solitary #alker on the street( 5ete took o&er at =(FF a(m( He ya#ned" and thought about raiding the refrigerator himself( +y the time +ob came to take o&er again at @(FF a(m(" he #as discouraged( 8Maybe 1u%e.s #rong*: 5ete #his%ered( 8Or maybe 'an.s already left the yard* Or maybe #e aren.t fooling him*: 8'.m sure 1u%e.s right": +ob #his%ered" and then added uneasily" 8but maybe 'an has gone some#here else( This isn.t the only house on this street" though it.s the closest(: At A(?F a(m( a grey light began to tinge the eastern sky" but the yard and the house remained in darkness( Then something mo&ed 0ust outside the back %orch$ +ob 0erked fully a#ake( He blinked and %eered to#ards the mo&ement( A shado#y figure stood 0ust outside the %orch door$: +ob acti&ated his emergency signal" #his%ering softly into it" 8Hel% ( ( ( hel% ( ( ( hel% ( ( (: >%stairs" the emergency signals began bee%ing strongly and flashing their red lights( 1u%iter lea%ed out of bed and almost fell o&er( <uickly he shut off the bee%ers and stood listening" holding his breath( +ut there #as no sound belo#( Still fully dressed" he shook 5ete a#ake( 8Hurry$: 1u%iter #his%ered( They sli%%ed do#n to the front door( Outside the house they se%arated and circled /uickly to the back( Each found a bush to hide behind( 'n the kitchen +ob checked his #atch( The %orch door #as silently o%ening( The shado#y figure of a stout boy" sha%ed e6actly like 1u%iter" stood outlined by the faint light of early da#n( The figure mo&ed for#ard and reached out to take the lunches( 8Sto%$: +ob cried( 8!ou$ 'an -are#$: )ith a faint cry" the boy #hirled and raced out of the %orch( He stumbled do#n the ste%s" fell headlong" lea%ed u%" and ran on( He #as looking back at +ob as he rounded the corner of the house( 1u%iter lea%ed out on to% of him( 8Ooofffff$: 1u%iter grunted as they collided( 8Ahhhrrrrrrrr$: the fleeing boy raged( The boy almost %ulled a#ay" but +ob and 5ete ran u% 0ust in time to grab him( He struggled #ildly #ith his three ca%tors( 8)e.re friends" 'an$: 8)orking for Sir Roger$: 8)e.re trying to hel% you$ Mac,en3ie2$: +ut the frantic boy #ent on struggling until they got him do#n( 5ete sat on him #hile 1u%iter briefly told their story( 8;ordon Mac,en3ie*: the boy said( 8Mr 9dula* They.re really here*: 8!es" 'an": 1u%iter said( 8!ou.re safe no#( Or you #ill be #hen #e get you into our head/uarters( Hurry" fello#s$: 1u%e %aused to scoo% u% his emergency signal" #hich had fallen out of his shirt %ocket in the melee" and stuffed the unit into his trousers %ocket( The 'n&estigators dragged the hesitant boy u% and hustled him across the dimly lit street and through ;reen ;ate One(

Then they guided him into Tunnel T#o( 8)here ( ( ( #here are you taking me*: 'an asked( 8To our hidden trailer": 1u%iter e6%lained as he cra#led through the tunnel behind him( 8Those men #ho #ant to kidna% you may be around some#here outside(: 5ete %ushed u% the tra%4door" and they scrambled u% into the dark trailer( +ob s#itched on the light( The boy.s mouth dro%%ed o%en and his eyes #idened in ama3ement as he sa# 1u%iter( 8)hy ( ( ( #hy" you look 0ust like me$:

7@ A Startling Disco&ery
89O": 1u%iter said" grinning" 8you look 0ust like me$: 'an -are# grinned in return( 8Since #e are in your country" ' su%%ose you.re right(: 8Es%ecially": 5ete said" 8in those clothes(: 'an #as #earing an old %air of 1u%iter.s trousers" a %lain #hite shirt that 1u%iter had #orn out months ago" and a torn %air of sandshoes( 8'.m afraid my clothes #ere ruined during my efforts to e&ade ca%ture": 'an e6%lained" 8and #hile cra#ling around through the 0unk on the first day of my so0ourn here( ' #as forced to a&ail myself of these articles #hich ' found in a rag bo6$: 8Oh" no$: 5ete groaned( 8They e&en sound alike$ ' don.t think ' can stand t#o identical 1u%es$: E&eryone laughed( 8'.m sorry to create t#ins": 'an said" 8but ' must say '.m a#fully glad you cha%s found me( ' #as beginning to #onder if anyone e&er #ould(: 8'.m glad #e found each other(: 1u%iter beamed at his double( 8't certainly is good not to be alone any longer": 'an said( 8+ut" ' say" ' don.t e&en kno# your names$: 8!our double there is 1u%iter 1ones" irst 'n&estigator": +ob said( 8'.m +ob Andre#s" Records and Research( And the tall" groaning one is 5ete -rensha#" Second 'n&estigator(: 8'n&estigators*: 'an #ondered( 8Really*: 8Our card" sir$: 1u%iter intoned" and handed 'an one of their Three 'n&estigators cards( 8Ho# mar&ellous$: 'an cried en&iously( 8!ou Americans do such e6citing things( !ou.re really detecti&es*: 8Hired by Mr 9dula and Mr Mac,en3ie to hel% find you": +ob said( 8After your %ursuers had mistaken 1u%e for you and kidna%%ed him$: 8They actually kidna%%ed you" 1u%iter*: 'an e6claimed( 1u%iter e6%lained the rest of their ad&entures since they had become in&ol&ed in the case( 'an listened intently( 8So you deduced #hat ' meant by D0anga.s %lace": the fugiti&e boy said" 8and found the ta6i ' dre# at the Red Lion*: 8And guessed you #ere here in the sal&age yard": 5ete added %roudly( 81olly good #ork": 'an enthused( 8+ut no# #hat" eh* Shall #e get in touch #ith Mac,en3ie and 9dula so they can tell my father that '.m safe*: 8Sure": 5ete agreed( 8)e can take 'an right o&er to the Miramar Hotel(:

8's that a good idea*: +ob said slo#ly( 8' mean" those kidna%%ers could be #atching outside the yard" or #atching Mac,en3ie and 9dula at the Miramar(: 8Do you really think so*: 'an cried" alarmed( 8+ob.s right": 1u%iter decided( 8't.s %ossible( As 9dula and Mac,en3ie said" those e6tremists #on.t gi&e u% easily( '.m sure #e.re safe in the yard" and there.s no sense in taking any unnecessary chances( +etter to call Mac,en3ie and 9dula" and ha&e them come o&er here(: 8'.ll call": +ob said( As he dialled the number of the Miramar Hotel" 'an looked curiously around the trailer( He sa# the office #ith its desk and file cabinet" the tiny laboratory that also ser&ed as a darkroom" and the intriguing detecti&e e/ui%ment that lay all around( 8!ou cha%s are /uite cosy in here" aren.t you* Odd that ' ne&er noticed this trailer from outside(: 8't.s not odd at all": 5ete said( 8!ou can.t see a trace of it from outside( )e co&ered it #ith 0unk" and not e&en 1u%e.s aunt and uncle remember that it.s here$: 8)onderful$: 'an cried( +ob hung u% the %hone( 89o ans#er from the 9andans. room" irst( The clerk doesn.t kno# #here they are" so ' said #e.d call back( ' didn.t #ant to lea&e a message2it could be s%otted(: 8;ood thinking" Records": 1u%iter said( 8They.re %robably #atching the Red Lion" as ' suggested( One of them should return to the Miramar soon(: He turned to 'an( 8'ncidentally" #hat had you %lanned to do if #e hadn.t found you" 'an*: 8)hen ' felt it to be safe" ' #as going to return to the Red Lion and see if anyone had follo#ed me that far(: 81ust as ' thought": 1u%iter said a little smugly( 8!ou #eren.t going to contact the trade mission*: +ob asked( 8Only as a last resort( )hen those kidna%%ers a%%eared at the Red Lion" ' reali3ed they had some #ay of finding out about messages sent through the mission2and that they kne# enough about me to decode any secret message(: 1u%iter reached into a desk dra#er and took out the tiny i&ory and gold tusk the 'n&estigators had found in the bo6 canyon( 8Ha&e you e&er seen this before" 'an*: 'an studied it( 8)ell it.s certainly made in 9anda" and there is something familiar about it( ' think ' ha&e seen it before" but ' can.t remember #here(: 8+ob": 5ete urged" 8try the Miramar again(: )hile +ob #ent to the %hone" 'an took a closer look at the 'n&estigators. e/ui%ment( He sa# a %erisco%e that could rise through the trailer.s roof" a louds%eaker for the tele%hone" #alkie4talkies" a microsco%e" e&en a camera for closed4circuit tele&ision( 8)here did you get so much e/ui%ment" cha%s*: he asked( 8)e made most of it oursel&es": 5ete said( 8Or 1u%e did( >sing %arts and broken sets that arri&ed in the 0unkyard(: 8)e.&e got a #orksho% outside": 1u%iter added( 8)orksho%* )hy" '.&e got one back home" too$: 8!ou.&e been in ours": 1u%iter said( 8)e came through it to get in here" though you couldn.t see it in the dark( +ut you #ere in the #orksho% #hen you s#i%ed 5ete.s lunch the other day$:

8'.m afraid ' didn.t notice anything at the time": 'an said" laughing( 8-an ' see it no#* )hile #e.re #aiting*: +ob looked u% from the tele%hone( 8They think 9dula 0ust returned( He.s on his #ay u% to the room( '.ll hold on(: 8)e.ll be in the #orksho%": 5ete said( 5ete" 1u%iter" and 'an #ent do#n through the tra%door and cra#led out into the sheltered #orksho%( The da#n #as full and bright no#" #ith the sun already u% in the east( 'an glanced around ner&ously( 8' say" are #e safe here*: 8Oh" yes": 1u%iter assured him( 89o one can see o&er the 0unkyard fence" and the %iles of 0unk around this #orksho% kee% it %ri&ate from the rest of the yard( )e.d see anyone #ho came close(: 'an nodded cheerfully( He began to study all the tools on the long #orkbench and along the sides of the #orksho% area( 1u%iter %ointed out the band4sa#" the lathe" and the %rinting %ress( 'an eagerly studied e&erything( 8' must say" it.s &ery #ell e/ui%%ed": he e6claimed #ith admiration( +ob came cra#ling out of Tunnel T#o( 8' talked to 9dula$: he said e6citedly( 8He.s going to %ick u% Mac,en3ie and they.ll dri&e o&er right a#ay(: 8'n a #ay ' #ish they #ouldn.t": 'an said( 8'.d like to stay and ins%ect your head/uarters all day(: He bent and reached do#n to the shelf under the #orkbench( 8' say" cha%s" #hat is this for*: He held out a small black bo64like ob0ect about the si3e of a folder of safety matches( 8That*: 5ete e6%lained( 8That.s a ( ( ( that.s a ( ( ( 1u%e" #hat is that*: +ob took the little bo6( 8)hy" it.s a ( ( ( it.s a2: 8 ello#s$: 1u%iter stared at the small ob0ect( 8That.s not anything of ours$ That.s a bug$: 8+ug*: 'an said( 8+ut isn.t a bug an insect*: 8A listening de&ice$: 1u%iter cried( 8A micro%hone$ Someone is listening to us$ Hurry" #e must get2: The &oice s%oke from outside the #orksho%2a familiar &oice to all of them$ 89o hurry" boys( !ou.re not going any#here$: The stocky kidna%%er #ith the curly bro#n hair ste%%ed into the #orksho%( The tall" dark one #alked behind him( They both held %istols aimed straight at the boys$

7A A 5roblem for the Enemy$


8)ELL" HERE #e all are": the stocky kidna%%er said #ith a nasty smile( 8't looks like #e ha&e our boy" )alt": the tall one said( 8't does look that #ay" doesn.t it" red*: 8)e should thank these smart lads" eh*: red said( 8This time they did us a fa&our$ Made it nice and easy for us(: 8)e do thank them" red(: )alt laughed(

The t#o 9andan e6tremists seemed to be en0oying their banter" and seemed to be in no hurry( 'f Mac,en3ie and 9dula arri&ed soon ( ( ( $ 8!ou #on.t get a#ay #ith this$: +ob #arned hotly( 8't #on.t do you any good #ith Sir Roger any#ay$: 5ete added fiercely( 8+ut #e will get a#ay #ith it" my boy": )alt said blandly( 8And #e shall see about Sir Roger" eh*: The stocky kidna%%er smiled" and looked first at 'an and then at 1u%iter( The other man #as #atching 1u%iter and 'an" too( +ob and 5ete sa# a sudden gleam in 1u%iter.s eyes( 8!ou #ere /uite cle&er" young 1ones": )alt said" 8not re&ealing #ho you #ere or letting us kno# #e had the #rong boy( 1olly good thing #e sli%%ed back here after abandoning the helico%ter" eh* )e read the ne#s%a%er and sa# our error( )e guessed that Master -are# #as still in this area" so #hile the authorities #ere searching the state for us" #e #atched this yard(: 8)e s%otted Mac,en3ie and 9dula": red added #ith a grin( 8)hen the boys 0oined them" #e kne# you.d lead us to 'an sooner or later( 't #as child.s %lay to mingle #ith all the customers #ho come into this 0unkyard( !ou #ere all so in&ol&ed in your attem%t to locate 'an that you ne&er noticed us(: 8)e sa# you$: 5ete raged( 8Across the street* !es" that #as a near thing": )alt agreed( 8+ut no harm done( )e sa# you later in this #orksho% and /uite easily %lanted the micro%hone #hile you #ere a#ay(: The t#o kidna%%ers #ere standing #ith their backs to a massi&e mound of 0unk" #hich #as close behind them( +ob glanced /uickly to#ards 1u%iter( The boys had the mound of 0unk booby4tra%%ed so that it could be %ulled do#n on an enemy in 0ust such an emergency( 1u%iter shook his head briefly2they #ould not take such a chance #ith men holding guns( +ut 1u%iter.s eyes #ere still gleaming( )hat #as 1u%e %lanning* 8E&ery %oliceman in the state is after you$: 5ete declared" stalling for time( 8They.ll find you": +ob added( 8Ah" but #e ha&e our hostage" don.t #e*: )alt said( 89o one #ill touch us": red said mockingly( 8So" 'an" time to go": )alt announced( 8!ou don.t #ant anyone hurt": red cautioned him( 'an ste%%ed for#ard( 89o" '.ll go #ith you cha%s(: 1u%iter ste%%ed out beside 'an( 89o" '.ll go #ith you cha%s(: 8' say" 1u%iter": 'an said( 8!ou mustn.t risk yourself(: 8' say" 1u%iter": 1u%iter echoed him e6actly( 8!ou mustn.t risk yourself(: He suddenly added" 8)e really can.t fool these fello#s" 1u%iter( They kno# '.m really 'an(: 1u%iter #as using a +ritish accent$ An accent the same as 'an.s$ 81u%iter$: 'an %rotested( 8)e really mustn.t try to fool them( They.re sure to kno# that ' am 'an(: The t#o kidna%%ers stood glaring at both boys" all their smiles and banter gone( 't #as suddenly ob&ious that they didn&t kno# #hich boy #as #hich$ +ob reali3ed #hat the gleam in 1u%iter.s eyes had meant21u%iter had reali3ed that the kidna%%ers #eren.t sure #ho #as #ho( The doubles looked alike" #ere dressed alike" and no#2thanks to 1u%e2 sounded alike$ 8All right": )alt said menacingly" 8this trick has gone far enough( ' #ant the real 'an

-are# to s%eak out no#$: 8't could get bad for one of you": red #arned( 85lease" 1u%iter": 'an said( 8' must go #ith them$: 8Sto% it" 1u%iter": 1u%iter said( 8They kno# ' am 'an no#( !ou are far too an6ious to go #ith them$: The kidna%%ers looked furiously at the t#o boys( 8't.s the second one" in the %rint shirt": red decided( 8He.s right" that first kid is too an6ious to go$ He.s fooling us(: 8+ut the real 'an -are# would try to sa&e his friends by co4o%erating": )alt said( 8Search them$: 5istol in hand" red ad&anced on both boys( 8Try their clothes": )alt ordered( 8Laundry marks$: red looked inside 1u%iter.s shirt collar in the back( 8That did it" )alt$ Here it isC 1ones 77=D$: 1u%iter shrugged( 8' tore my clothes running from you( ' got these here in the sal&age yard( Try his shirt(: red looked inside 'an.s shirt collar( He s#ore an oath( 81ones 77=D$ 't.s no good$: 'an nodded( 8!es" ' did ruin my clothes" and found a shirt and %ants in 1u%iter.s sal&age yard( And ' ha&e nothing at all in my %ockets" #hich %ro&es ' am 'an$: 8Then that makes t#o 'ans" 1u%iter": 1u%iter said( 8'.m afraid that my %ockets are also /uite em%ty since these are not my clothes(: +ob and 5ete ga%ed( Of course$ 1u%iter had sle%t in his clothes the night before" so had remo&ed e&erything from his %ockets( 8Ho#e&er" gentlemen": 1u%iter #ent on in his +ritish accent" 81u%iter there does ha&e something in his shirt %ocket" and it #ill %ro&e he is 1u%iter 1ones$: red reached /uickly into 'an.s shirt %ocket( He brought out the small listening de&ice" and turned to his %artner( 8't.s our bug$ This is the 1ones boy.s #orksho%" so ' guess he #ould be the one #ho.d kee% the bug$: 8'diot$: )alt fumed( 8)e heard 'an -are# find the bug" and then they %assed it all around$ )ho kno#s #ho ke%t it* And don.t take their #ord for #hat they.&e got on them 2search$: Red4faced" red turned back angrily to the boys and bum%ed hard into 1u%iter" #ho had been standing close behind him( 1u%iter had to grab the kidna%%er.s 0acket to kee% from falling( S#earing" red disentangled himself( 8,ee% your hands off" boy$ And stand right there(: The tall kidna%%er searched him thoroughly" then turned and searched 'an( 89othing on either of them( 't.s ho%eless" )alt(: 1u%iter #as grinning" and suddenly" so #as 'an( 8Let.s end this no#": )alt said( 8'an -are#.s father has a chauffeur( A soldier( )hat.s his name and rank* One of you can %ro&e he.s 'an" and #e.ll let 1ones go(: +ob and 5ete fro3e( There #as no #ay 1u%iter could kno# the ans#er( 'an could %ro&e #ho he #as( 8All right": 'an said( 8!ou.&e got me( '.m 1u%iter 1ones$: +ob and 5ete sho#ed no e6%ression" but in their minds they cheered( 'an had caught

on to 1u%e.s game and #as %laying it too$ 8!es" ' admit it": 1u%iter said( 8'.m 1u%iter 1ones(: The %air of kidna%%ers glared in black anger( )alt turned to +ob and 5ete( 85erha%s you t#o ha&e enough sense to sto% your friend from being a fool( Tell us #hich one he is(: 8Him$: 5ete %ointed at 'an( 8Him$: +ob %ointed at 1u%iter( )alt nodded slo#ly( 8Very #ell" then there.s only one thing left to do(: He started to #alk to#ards the t#o almost identical boys(

7B A Dangerous Action
ADAM 9D>LA %icked u% ;ordon Mac,en3ie at the Red Lion Ranch" and then dro&e the big -adillac through the no# sunny morning to the sal&age yard( They hurried in through the main gate( 9one of the boys #as there to meet them( They looked all around the silent yard" deserted still in the early morning( 8'an$: Mac,en3ie called out( 81u%iter*: 8+ob said they had 'an in their hidden head/uarters" #here&er that is": 9dula said" and called out" 81u%iter 1ones$: 8'an$ 1u%iter$: 8Stars and stri%es" #hat a racket$: Aunt Mathilda a%%eared around the corner of the yard office( 8Do you kno# #hat time of the morning it is" you ho#ling coyotes$: 8Sorry" ma.am": Mac,en3ie said /uickly" 8but #e.re looking for the boys( Ha&e you seen 1u%iter*: 8Oh" it.s you t#o( ;ro#n men acting like banshees$: 8-an you tell us #here your ne%he# is*: 9dula asked( 89o" ' can.t": Aunt Mathilda sna%%ed( 8He and his %als sneaked out early to go hea&en kno#s #here(: 8+ut they asked us to meet them here": 9dula said( 8Then they.re %robably skulking around the yard( Try their #orksho%( Straight to your left to that big mound of sal&age" then follo#2: 8Thank you": interru%ted Mac,en3ie" 8but ' belie&e #e.&e been there before(: The t#o 9andans hurried across the yard to the outdoor #orksho%( They found it deserted( 8They.re not here$: Mac,en3ie e6claimed( 8)hat.s that*: 9dula said" listening( A lo# thum%ing seemed to come from some#here nearby( A metallic thum%ing and clanging" and a muffled sound grunts( 8't.s o&er there$: 9dula cried( 8That large %i%e$: They ran to the o%ening of the big %i%e and %eered in( +ob and 5ete lay bound and stuffed into the %i%e$ The t#o 9andans reached in and hauled them out" /uickly remo&ing their bonds and the gags in their mouths( 8The kidna%%ers$: 5ete #ailed( 8They took them$: +ob said des%airingly(

8Them*: Mac,en3ie re%eated( 8!ou mean" 'an and 1u%iter* The kidna%%ers took them* )hen*: 89ot fi&e minutes ago(: 5ete groaned( 8Maybe less$ They couldn.t tell #hich kid #as #hich" and 'an and 1u%e #ouldn.t tell them2so the men took both of them$: 8)here are they taking them*: 9dula asked( 8)e don.t kno#$: 8)hat kind of car* Did you get the licence number*: 8)e ne&er e&en sa# their car$: 8They can.t be far yet": Mac,en3ie said" 8the %olice can2: 85ete*: 9dula stared( 8!our chest" it looks like it.s on fire$ There.s a flashing red light$: 8't.s your emergency signal" Second$: +ob cried( 8't must be 1u%e$ <uick" turn it on and read the directional dial$: 5ete %ulled the small signal from his shirt %ocket( The red light flashing off and on irregularly( As 5ete turned the instrument on" it began to bee% loudly" and the arro# on the dial %ointed directly to#ards the centre of Rocky +each( 8Listen ho# loud it is$: 5ete e6claimed( 8That means they ha&en.t gone far yet$: 8And they.re heading into to#n" not a#ay": +ob said( 8Mac" hurry$ )e.ll go after them$ There may still be time$: The t#o 9andans and the boys ran out of the yard to the big black -adillac( 5ete bent o&er the signal dial( The bee%s #ere loud and clear( 8That #ay$: 5ete %ointed( 8Straight to#ards to#n$: 9dula dro&e off s#iftly( Mac,en3ie looked at the signal( 81ust #hat is that instrument* Ho# does it #ork*: 8't.s a directional signal and emergency alarm": +ob e6%lained as the bee%ing gre# e&en louder( 8't.s both a sender and a recei&er( Right no# this unit is recei&ing from 1u%e.s signal( That.s #hy it.s bee%ing( The bee%s get louder and faster as you get closer to another unit" and the arro# on the dial sho#s #hich direction the signal is coming from( The unit also #orks as an emergency alarm2the red light flashes on &oice command( My signal is flashing because 1u%e is saying2: 8Don.t say it$: yelled 5ete( 8!ou.ll set off 1u%e.s signal$: +ob gul%ed( 8Right( 1u%e is managing to say h4e4l4% near his signal" so this one is no# flashing(: 8Turn right" Adam$: 5ete suddenly instructed" 8The bee%s are getting louder all the time( ' think the kidna%%ers must ha&e sto%%ed$: Mac,en3ie fro#ned( 8Each unit is both a sender and recei&er( +ob* And 1u%iter is o%erating one in the car #ith those kidna%%ers* )hat ha%%ens if #e accidentally set off his signal*: 8'.m sure he has his bee%er turned off": +ob e6%lained" 8so the men #on.t hear it( And he.s %robably got the signal hidden in a %ocket so they #on.t s%ot the red light if it starts flashing(: 8' ho%e it.s #ell hidden": Mac,en3ie said slo#ly" 8because he.s taking a &ery dangerous action( 'f those men catch him using the signal" they.ll kno# at once #hich boy is 1u%iter$: +ob %aled( 8Hurry" Adam$:

The rented blue Lincoln of the kidna%%ers had %ulled into a self4ser&ice filling station( 1u%iter and 'an sat in the back seat #ith )alt #hile red filled the %etrol tank( 9o one came near the sleek car( 8't.ll go easier on both of you if you tell us #hich of you is 'an -are#": )alt said( 8Hel% #ill come": 1u%iter said( 8' kno# #e.ll get hel%(: 8!es": 'an agreed" 8our friends #ill send hel%(: 8Hel% might 0ust be too late": )alt snarled( 8'f 1ones gets out of this car right no#" #e.ll let him go( He can 0ust #alk a#ay( +ut if #e don.t identify him till later2#ell" #e may ha&e to dis%ose of him$: 8' don.t belie&e you": 'an said( 89either do '": 1u%iter said( 8Hel% is going to come(: 8Don.t be stu%id" 1ones": )alt said" looking from one of them to the other( 8This isn.t your affair( 'f you.re #orried about 'an" #e #on.t hurt him( )e need him for im%ortant matters( )e #ant him &ery safe(: 8>ntil he can.t be of any more hel%": 1u%iter said( 8'f #e ha&e to take both of you": )alt snarled again" 8#ho kno#s #hat could ha%%en to 1ones" eh*: The boys %aled" but neither of them s%oke( red got back into the dri&er.s seat( 8Okay" )alt" #e ga&e them their chance( 9o# #e.ll settle the %roblem our #ay( These boys aren.t as cle&er as they think they are$: 9dula dro&e the -adillac as fast as he dared through the streets of Rocky +each( 5ete sat beside him #atching the signal dial( +ob and Mac,en3ie leaned for#ard to #atch from the back seat( The bee%ing suddenly began to slo# and gro# softer$ 8Turn right$: 5ete cried" as he sa# the arro# on the dial s#ing shar%ly to#ards the ocean( 9dula turned at the ne6t street( 't #as a broad main street that led to the harbour" and it #as cro#ded no# #ith the morning rush4hour traffic( The bee%s slo#ed further" and began to gro# #eaker and #eaker$ 8They.&e turned south again$: 5ete cried( 85ete$: +ob said( 8They must ha&e gone on to the high#ay$ The arro# is %ointing half south and half east$ To#ards Los Angeles(: 8' ( ( ( ' think you.re right" Records": 5ete groaned( 8Ho# far ahead is the high#ay*: Mac,en3ie asked( 8At least a mile": +ob said( 9dula shook his head( 8' can.t go fast in this traffic(: 8On the high#ay they can go four times as fast as #e can": Mac,en3ie said #earily( 8)hat.s the range of your signals" boys*: 8Only about three miles": ans#ered +ob( Hel%less as the -adillac mo&ed slo#ly ahead on the cro#ded street" they #atched the arro# begin to s#ing feebly" and listened to the bee%s slo#ly fade a#ay( Then the arro# sli%%ed idly to dead centre" the bee%s sto%%ed" and the red light #ent out( 8They.re gone" boys": Mac,en3ie said( 8)e could ne&er catch them no# on the high#ay" and #e don.t e&en kno# #hat their car looks like( 't.s time to go to the %olice(: 'n the back seat of the kidna%%ers. Lincoln" 'an and 1u%iter huddled close together( )alt

sat in the other corner" his gun in his la% and his eyes closed( 8!ou must tell them" 1u%iter": 'an #his%ered into 1u%e.s ear( 8They.ll let you go(: 89o": 1u%iter #his%ered back( 8They #on.t let me go( '.m safe #hile they don.t kno# #hich of us is #hich( They #on.t harm 'an -are#" at least not yet( +ut they don.t need 1u%iter 1ones" and ' kno# too much about them(: )alt o%ened one eye( 8Shut u%" you t#o$ )e ga&e you your chance to talk( 9o# it #on.t be long before #e can get rid of one of you$: )ith a deadly laugh the kidna%%er closed his eye again" and the Lincoln raced through the sunny morning to#ards it.s unkno#n destination(

7D 5ete Makes an Accusation


5ETE" +O+" and the t#o 9andans #aited on the long bench at the %olice head/uarters( >ncle Titus and Aunt Mathilda #ere #ith them( After the boys and the 9andans had told their story" the fiery Aunt Mathilda #as unusually calm( 8This other boy" 'an -are#" is im%ortant to your country" Mr 9dula*: she asked( 8To its inde%endence and future*: 8!es" Mrs 1ones": 9dula said( 8Very im%ortant( His father is our main ho%e for inde%endence #ithout ci&il #ar" for ma0ority rule and a %eaceful future( These kidna%%ers %lan" by threatening 'an" to force Sir Roger to do #hat they #ant( So #e must rescue 'an(: 8And 1u%iter and his friends #ere hel%ing you find 'an #hen the kidna%%ers ca%tured 1u%iter*: 8'.m afraid so": Mac,en3ie said( 8Then the boys did #hat they should ha&e": Aunt Mathilda announced( 8'.m glad they tried to hel% you( 9o# #e must get both boys back safely(: -hief Reynolds 0oined them" his face grim and serious( 8'.&e sent out the alarm to the Los Angeles %olice": the chief re%orted" 8but ' don.t kno# #hat they can do( )e ha&e no descri%tion of the car" and no licence number( All they can do is distribute the descri%tions of the kidna%%ers to their %atrol cars" and2: 8Again*: Aunt Mathilda said #ith a snort( 8Seems to me you did that once before and got no#here( They came back right under your noses$: 8,idna%%ers don.t usually return to the same area" Mrs 1ones( )e had no reason to think they #ould(: 8!es" you did": Aunt Mathilda sna%%ed( 81u%iter told you they #eren.t ordinary kidna%%ers$ !ou should ha&e listened(: 8' su%%ose you.re right" Mrs 1ones": -hief Reynolds admitted( 8'n any case" the Los Angeles %olice #ill ha&e all their men looking for the kidna%%ers and the t#o boys( 9ot that they.ll be able to mo&e right a#ay if they s%ot them(: 8And #hy not" -hief*: >ncle Titus demanded( 8+ecause the kidna%%ers ha&e 1u%iter and 'an as hostages" Mr 1ones" and they.re armed( rom #hat Mac,en3ie and 9dula tell us" these men are more like soldiers than common criminals" and they are /uite #illing to sacrifice themsel&es to achie&e their aims": the chief e6%lained( 89o" our only real ho%e is to track them someho#" and take

them by sur%rise #hen they least e6%ect it(: 8+ut the boys are in great danger$: >ncle Titus cried( 89o": Mac,en3ie said( 8' don.t think they are in any immediate danger" Mr 1ones( The kidna%%ers must kee% 'an safe or he.ll be no use to them against Sir Roger" and ' don.t belie&e they #ill harm 1u%iter( This is a %olitical action" not a kidna%%ing for ransom" and they #ouldn.t #ant to anger the American go&ernment unnecessarily( Of course" if they reach 9anda things could become different(: 8Then #e.ll make sure they don.t get back to 9anda": -hief Reynolds said( 8'f #e only had a hint of #hy they.re going south to Los Angeles #hen they #ent north last time(: 8They certainly ha&e an esca%e route %lanned": 9dula said( 8 or them and 'an$:+ob said suddenly( 8+ut they.&e got t#o boys" and don.t kno# #hich one is 'an( That.s a %roblem they hadn.t counted on" and it could ha&e made them change %lans$: +ob turned /uickly to Mac,en3ie and 9dula( 8's there some #ay they could identify 'an in Los Angeles*: 89ot that ' kno# of" +ob": Mac,en3ie said( 8'n 9anda": 9dula said" 8but certainly not in Los Angeles(: 5ete thought( 8'sn.t there anyone at the 9andan Trade Mission #ho kno#s 'an* ' mean" maybe a family friend*: Mac,en3ie and 9dula looked at each other in sur%rise" as if they had ne&er thought of the idea and #ondered #hy( 81ohn ,earney*: 9dula suggested( 8He.s a &ery old friend of Sir Roger.s": Mac,en3ie said( 8There.s no #ay the boys could fool him( Only ho# #ould2: 8)ho is this ,earney*: -hief Reynolds asked( 8The chief of our trade mission in Los Angeles": Mac,en3ie e6%lained( 8+ut 1ohn ,earney #ould ne&er hel% those e6tremists(: 85erha%s not": the chief conceded" 8but +ob.s right( They ha&e a ma0or %roblem they didn.t e6%ect" and they must sol&e it before they can continue #ith any esca%e %lan( 'f they kno# that ,earney can identify 'an" they might &ery #ell try to trick him or startle him into re&ealing 'an( He should be #arned at once(: 8'.d better call him then": Mac,en3ie said( 8Those kidna%%ers ha&e some #ay of learning #hat ha%%ens at the mission( Maybe #e can tra% them if they don.t kno# that the %olice are a#are of ,earney(: 8-all him then": -hief Reynolds said( 8>se my %hone(: The others all #aited im%atiently #hile Mac,en3ie #ent to make the call( Aunt Mathilda %aced ner&ously( 8)hat do you think the kidna%%ers #ill do if they can.t find out #hich boy is 'an*: she asked 9dula( 8Then" ' fear they #ill ha&e to try to take both boys to 9anda": 9dula said( 8To Africa*: Aunt Mathilda cried( 8Those &illains$: Mac,en3ie returned( 8,earney isn.t at the mission office( He.s su%%osed to be attending a series of meetings and e6hibits in the Holly#ood area on folk arts and handicrafts( His office doesn.t kno# e6actly #here they all are( ' didn.t say anything about #hy ' #as calling( ' think #e should go to Los Angeles immediately(: 8!es$: 9dula e6claimed( 8'f the kidna%%ers do intend to see ,earney" and ha&en.t yet"

they.ll ha&e to go to the mission and #e can tra% them$: 8'.ll radio the Los Angeles %olice to stake out the mission in case your man returns before #e get there": the chief said( 8They can #arn him" and #atch for the kidna%%ers(: 1u%iter and 'an sat in the %itch dark of a small" #indo#less room( They had been alone for some hours since the kidna%%ers had hustled them out of the big Lincoln and into a small house high on a hill amid lush &egetation( Although their eyes had become accustomed to the darkness in the small room" they couldn.t really see anything( 8)here are #e" 1u%iter*: 'an asked( 8' think some#here in the Holly#ood Hills": 1u%iter said" 8in somebody.s storeroom or #ine cellar(: He had caught a brief glim%se of the room #hen the kidna%%ers shut them into it( He and 'an #ere securely tied u%" so they couldn.t search for a #ay out" but 1u%e #as fairly sure there #as none( 8)hat do you think they.re going to do #ith us*: 8They undoubtedly ha&e some %lan to sli% you out of the country and back to 9anda" but #hy #e are #aiting here ' don.t kno#( >nless2: 8>nless #hat" 1u%iter*: 'an said( 8>nless they are #aiting for someone #ho can identify you %ositi&ely": 1u%iter said /uietly( 8!es" that.s #hat ' think too": 'an said" 8and then they #on.t need (oth of us anymore( ' #onder #hat they.ll do to you(: 8' #onder" too": 1u%e said unha%%ily( 'n the hot noon sun" -hief Reynolds turned his %olice car into the %arking lot of an office building on )ilshire +oule&ard( 9dula %arked the big black -adillac beside it( A Los Angeles %olice officer hurried u% as the chief got out of his car( 8Mr ,earney hasn.t returned" -hief" and no sus%icious %arties ha&e gone u% to the trade mission( )e ha&e a man staked out u% there(: 8The kidna%%ers aren.t near here" -hief": 5ete added" staring at his emergency signal( 8'.m getting no reading on my signal(: 85erha%s they.&e heard from ,earney u%stairs": 9dula said( 8)e.ll find out": Mac,en3ie said" 8but ' think the chief should remain do#n here and not re&eal that the %olice are #atching(: The boys and the t#o 9andans #ent into the building and took the ele&ator u% the trade mission offices on the second floor( The rece%tionist greeted Mac,en3ie and 9dula" but then shook her head( She had not heard from Mr ,earney( 8+oth he and his assistant" Miss Lessing" are s%ending the day at those folk4art meetings": she e6%lained( 8Miss Lessing did say something about not staying out all day( 'f she comes back to the office early" %erha%s she.ll be able to tell you e6actly #here Mr ,earney is( ' do #ish she #ould return( There ha&e been calls for her and Mr ,earney all morning" and I can.t handle them(: The rece%tionist looked as if she #as about to launch into a full list of her grie&ances" but fortunately the %hone on her desk rang( She turned to ans#er it" and the &isitors esca%ed out the door( 8There.s the leak in the trade mission$: e6claimed 5ete( 8'.ll bet she.d tell you anything about e&erything if you hung around her desk long enough$:

85erha%s": said Mac,en3ie" laughing( 8She does like to chat( +ut she can.t tell us the one thing #e #ant to kno#2#here ,earney is(: 8)hich means she can.t tell the kidna%%ers #here he is either": %ointed out 9dula( 89o# #hat do #e do*: asked +ob as they descended in the ele&ator( 8)ait and ho%e that someone sho#s u% at the mission2the kidna%%ers" Miss Lessing" or ,earney": ans#ered Mac,en3ie( 8' can.t think of anything else(: The t#o 'n&estigators" the 9andans" and some %olicemen s%ent se&eral hot" frustrating hours in the %arking lot( They ke%t an eye on 5ete.s emergency signal" but it ne&er lit u%( 8This is terrible$: groaned 5ete( The Second 'n&estigator had been getting more and more an6ious( 8Something a#ful could ha&e ha%%ened to 1u%e and 'an by no#( Ho# do #e kno# that the kidna%%ers ha&en.t found somebody else to identify 'an*: 8)e don.t": said 9dula grimly( 8+ut the trade mission is the only link to the kidna%%ers that #e can think of" so #e.ll stay here(: inally" in the middle of the afternoon" the %lain4clothes %oliceman #ho #as u%stairs #atching the mission called -hief Reynolds on his #alkie4talkie( 8A dark4haired #oman 0ust #alked in as if she belonged here( 's that anybody you.re looking for*: 8Miss Lessing$: e6claimed Mac,en3ie( 8Maybe it.s her$ E&erybody u%stairs again$: The rece%tionist looked u% #ith a smile #hen 5ete" +ob" and the 9andans entered the trade mission for the second time( 8Hello" again( There.s been no #ord from Mr ,earney" but Miss Lessing is back( Do you #ant to see her* She.s in Mr ,earney.s office(: As they reached Mr ,earney.s %ri&ate office in the far corner" 5ete suddenly sto%%ed and listened( 8)hat is it" Second*: +ob asked( 8' thought ' heard %eo%le talking in the office( Maybe Miss Lessing is busy #ith someone(: 9dula listened( 8' hear nothing" 5ete(: 89o": 5ete said slo#ly" 8' guess ' #as #rong(: They knocked" and #ent in( Miss Lessing stood beside Mr ,earney.s desk e6amining some %a%ers( The tall" dark4haired #oman #ore a green blouse and the same grey slacks she had #orn #hen she &isited Mac,en3ie and 9dula at the hotel in Rocky +each( Her eyes brightened #hen she sa# them( 8Ha&e you found 'an*: 8 ound him": Mac,en3ie said bitterly" 8and lost him(: 8Lost*: Miss Lessing slo#ly %icked u% an earring from the desk and %ut it on( 8Ha&e you been #ith Mr ,earney all day" Miss Lessing*: 9dula asked( She nodded( 8Did anyone ask him about 'an*: 89o(: She shook her head( 89o one( )hy*: 8The kidna%%ers ha&e him": Mac,en3ie e6%lained" 8and #e think they.re in Los Angeles looking for ,earney to2: 8!es" of course$: Miss Lessing cried( 8Mr ,earney could identify 'an at once( They couldn.t fool him( !ou must #arn him immediately(: 8)here can #e reach him*: asked Mac,en3ie( Miss Lessing looked at her #atch( 8+y no# he has to be at one of t#o %lacesC the

Handicraft 'm%orters ;uild or The Arts of Africa( Those are his t#o remaining a%%ointments" and he must kee% them both before fi&e o.clock(: 8That gi&es us an hour and a half to reach both %laces": 9dula calculated( 8)e can s%lit u%(: 8Let.s hurry": +ob cried( Miss Lessing #rote out the addresses of the t#o %laces" and the four &isitors hurried out to the ele&ator( The moment the ele&ator doors closed" 5ete turned to the other three( 8Mac" Adam" +ob$ She.s lying$ She.s sending us off on a #ild goose chase$:

7G An >ne6%ected oe
8)HAT DO you mean" 5ete*: +ob cried( 8Ho# can you kno# that*: 9dula sna%%ed( 8!ou must be mistaken" 5ete": Mac,en3ie said( 8'.&e #orked #ith Anna Lessing for years$: 89o" '.m not mistaken": 5ete insisted( 8She said that Mr ,earney could identify 'an at once( She said they couldn.t fool him(: Mac,en3ie #as %u33led( 8+ut that.s all true( )e told you that oursel&es(: 8!eah": 5ete agreed" 8but #e ne&er told Miss Lessing that there #as any %roblem about identifying 'an$ )e ne&er said that the kidna%%ers had two boys$: He looked at the t#o 9andans and +ob( 8So ho# did she kno# that the kidna%%ers #ere being fooled and needed to identify 'an*: 9o one said anything( The ele&ator came to a sto% at the ground floor" and they all got out( 9dula finally s%oke( 8He.s right": admitted the black 9andan( 8)e said only that the kidna%%ers had 'an and #ere %robably in Los Angeles( 'n our %hone calls to the trade mission" neither ;ordon nor -hief Reynolds e&er said anything about two boys(: Mac,en3ie nodded( 8Outside of Rocky +each" only the Los Angeles %olice kno# there are t#o boys" and they ha&en.t s%oken to anyone at the trade mission(: 8The %olice and the kidna%%ers kno# there are t#o boys": 5ete said( 8And that means that Miss Lessing must ha&e met the kidna%%ers here in Los Angeles today$: 8+ut": 9dula ob0ected" 8she #as busy in meetings #ith Mr ,earney all day(: 8That.s #hat she says": re%lied 5ete( 8Mr ,earney could &erify her account": said Mac,en3ie( 8' doubt that she.d lie about her mo&ements(: 8)ait$: +ob cried( 85ete thought he heard someone talking in Mr ,earney.s office before #e #ent in( )e thought he #as mistaken because Miss Lessing #as alone in the office( +ut she %icked u% her earring from the desk and %ut it back on( ' remember 1u%e %ointing out that #omen often take off an earring to talk on the %hone$ Maybe she #as talking on the tele%hone to the kidna%%ers$ Remember" the rece%tionist said Miss Lessing #as getting a lot of calls( '.ll bet the kidna%%ers ha&e been trying to reach her all day$: 8Mac": 5ete e6claimed" 8you said you.d #orked #ith her for years( Does that mean she #orked #ith Sir Roger" too* Does she kno# 'an #ell enough to identify him %ositi&ely*:

8'.m not sure": Mac,en3ie fro#ned( 8She has been on Sir Roger.s staff for years" but she.s not a family friend" as ,earney is( Still" she could kno# something about 'an that #ould %ro&e #hich boy he is( +y ;eorge" she could easily ha&e interce%ted 'an.s first message" too(: They rushed into the %arking lot to share their deductions #ith -hief Reynolds( 8The e6tremists. contact in the trade mission$: 9dula fumed( 8)e.ll confront her$ Make her tell us2: 89o": -hief Reynolds sto%%ed him( 8'f she.s in league #ith the e6tremists" she #on.t tell us anything( +ut she #ent to the trouble of sending you on a #ild goose chase" #hich %robably means she intends to 0oin her confederates( She.ll lead us to them$: 8After she thinks #e.&e all gone to find Mr ,earney": 5ete said( 8!es( '.ll ask the Los Angeles %olice to remain here and #atch for ,earney": the chief decided( 8Then #e.ll all dri&e off in my car so she can see us lea&e( Once out of sight" #e.ll double back" and transfer to the -adillac" and follo# her( ' doubt that she.ll %ay attention to a -adillac behind her after she.s seen us lea&e in a %olice car(: They did as the chief instructed( ifteen minutes later" #hen Anna Lessing came out of the building alone and dro&e off in her red 5ontiac" the black -adillac follo#ed her at a careful distance( 'n the dark room in the house on the hill" 1u%iter and 'an sat silently against the #all( They had been there for hours and hours( 8!our friends #on.t find us": 'an said( 89ot no#(: 8They #ill$ ' kno# they #ill$: 1u%iter said fiercely( The lights suddenly #ent on" momentarily blinding the boys( Then they sa# the t#o kidna%%ers in the small room( The stocky one" )alt" ste%%ed u% to 1u%iter and ri%%ed o%en his shirt( He turned /uickly to 'an" and ri%%ed his shirt( 8)ell": he said" 8the game.s o&er" eh*: 1u%iter looked at 'an( Lo# on his stomach #as a small" crooked scar( 1u%iter had no scar( 89e6t sto%" 9anda": the kidna%%er named red said" and laughed( The red 5ontiac turned into the dri&e#ay of a small house on the side of a stee% hill in the Holly#ood Hills( 't sto%%ed" and Anna Lessing ran /uickly u% some stairs into the house( The -adillac follo#ing her %arked /uietly at the kerb t#o houses a#ay( 5ete bent o&er his emergency signal( 89othing": he said" disa%%ointed( 8>nless the kidna%%ers found 1u%e.s signal and turned it off" they aren.t around here(: 8-ould #e be #rong" boys*: 9dula said( 89o" '.m con&inced she.s in #ith them$: 5ete insisted( 8So am '": Mac,en3ie said( 8Let.s go and see #hat.s in that house(: They left the big car and #alked /uickly and silently u% to the small house( 't #as surrounded by a 0ungle of tall trees" &ines" and bushes( They listened at the front door" but heard nothing inside e6ce%t the click of Anna Lessing.s heels on the #ooden floor( Mac,en3ie rang the doorbell( Anna Lessing.s 0a# dro%%ed #hen she o%ened the door( 8)hat the de&il are you doing here$: she sna%%ed" and then smiled uneasily( She ste%%ed back and #a&ed the grou% into a s%arsely furnished li&ing room( 8Did you find

Mr ,earney* Ha&e those kidna%%ers a%%roached him*: 8)e didn.t look for him": 9dula said( 8)e don.t think they.re looking for ,earney": Mac,en3ie added( 8)e must #arn you that you ha&e the right to remain silent": -hief Reynolds said" 8but if you s%eak" anything you say may be used against you in a court of la#(: 8)here are they*: 5ete cried( 8'an and 1u%iter$: 8)e kno# you.&e been talking to the kidna%%ers": +ob said angrily( 8)here are they* )hat ha&e they done #ith 1u%iter and 'an*: Anna Lessing stared at them all" and s%read out her hands in %rotest( 8' don.t kno# #hat you.re talking about( )ho is this 1u%iter* ' don.t kno# any 1u%iter( )hy #ould ' kno# #here 'an is* Didn.t you find ,earney*: 8!ou kno# #ho 1u%iter 1ones is": Mac,en3ie said( 8And you kno# e6actly #hat.s ha%%ened to 'an because you.re an accom%lice of those kidna%%ers$: 8Accom%lice*: She ga%ed at him( 8Me* !ou mean you think ' #ould harm 'an -are#* Me* '.&e been a friend of the -are#s for years$: 8' think you.re lying" Miss Lessing": 9dula said /uietly( 8-hief" maybe you.d better ha&e a good look around(: 8'f you ha&e a #arrant$: Miss Lessing sna%%ed( 89o" '.m sorry" ' ha&e nothing to hide( Look all you #ant" ' gi&e you my %ermission$ !ou.re hurting me dee%ly" Mr Mac,en3ie(: 8Am ' hurting you" Miss Lessing*: 9dula said( 8!ou$: Her face t#isted in anger" and then she smiled( 8)hy" of course" Mr 9dula( !ou hurt me too(: 8Look around" e&eryone": ordered -hief Reynolds( The chief" +ob" 5ete" and 9dula s%read out through the small house( Mac,en3ie remained in the li&ing room #ith Miss Lessing( 8!ou.ll regret this" Mac,en3ie": she said( 8' kno# absolutely nothing about the kidna%%ers or those t#o boys(: 8Ho# do you kno# there are t#o boys*: 8!ou 0ust told me there #as another boy named 1u%iter$: 89o" #e ne&er said 1u%iter #as a boy": Mac,en3ie re%lied( 8'f you really didn.t kno# him" you might assume he #as a man( That.s t#ice you.&e sli%%ed( !ou kne# back in the trade mission that there #ere t#o boys before #e e&er mentioned 1u%iter( Ha&e you identified 'an -are# for those t#o kidna%%ers*: 8' ha&e nothing more to say to you$: +ob and 9dula came out of an inner room" and 5ete and -hief Reynolds returned from the other side of the house( +ob faced Anna Lessing( 8' think you ha&e some e6%laining to do" Miss Lessing": the 'n&estigator said( 8Do ' ha&e to be bothered by children*: Anna Lessing com%lained to Mac,en3ie( 8!ou kno#": +ob said" 8our friend 1u%iter al#ays says you ha&e to obser&e the small things( He says %eo%le.s habits al#ays gi&e them a#ay( !ou.re a 9andan" right* '.ll bet you like 9andan 0e#ellery(: 8)hat is this boy babbling about* ' #arn you" Mac,en3ie2$: +ob raised his hand( He #as holding a small i&ory tusk set in gold and attached to an earring hook for %ierced ears( 8' found this in your bedroom" Miss Lessing( 't.s a 9andan earring" isn.t it* There #as

only one in your room( That.s because you lost the mate to it( ' kno# because #e found the mate in that bo6 canyon #here the helico%ter landed to %ick u% the kidna%%ers(: Anna Lessing turned %ale as she stared at the tiny tusk( 81u%iter says that a #oman almost ne&er thro#s a#ay an earring she likes #hen she loses its mate": +ob said( 8!ou ha&e a habit" and it %ro&es you.re one of the enemies of Sir Roger -are#( +esides the %olice and us" there #ere only three %eo%le in that canyon 2the t#o kidna%%ers and the helico%ter %ilot( !ou #ere the %ilot of that helico%ter$:

7E The Last Laugh to the Enemy*


8)O)": 5ete reali3ed" 8it could ha&e been her under those goggles and the flying suit$: 8' e6%ect #e can find out if she.s a %ilot": -hief Reynolds said( 8The helico%ter %eo%le should recogni3e her &oice": Mac,en3ie added( 8And #e ha&e the matching tusk": 9dula finished( Anna Lessing glared at them all( Hate and anger s%read across her face( Then she laughed( 8All right" yes$ ' fle# the helico%ter( ' am a 9andan %atriot( )e ha&e li&ed there for t#o hundred years(: 8)e ha&e li&ed there for t#o thousand years": the black 9andan said( 8)e #ill gi&e you a %lace in our country and #ork together for a free 9anda" but it is our country(: 89e&er$: Anna Lessing snarled( -hief Reynolds said" 8!our %olitics are your business" and you can settle your dis%ute in 9anda( +ut this isn.t 9anda" and you ha&e kidna%%ed t#o boys( The kidna%%ers #ere here" #eren.t they* )here are they no#* )here are 'an and 1u%iter*: 8!es" )alt and red #ere here(: Anna Lessing laughed( 8+ut they.re gone$ !ou.re too late$: 8)here ha&e they gone*: Mac,en3ie demanded( 8!ou.ll ne&er learn that from me( 'an is in our hands and Sir Roger #ill ha&e to do #hat #e #ant(: 89o" Miss Lessing" he #on.t do #hat you #ant": Mac,en3ie said( 89o matter #hat you threaten" he #ill do his duty for the future of 9anda(: 8!ou think he #ill risk his only son.s life*: 8!es": 9dula said( 8He #ill(: -hief Reynolds said" 8' don.t kno# #hat.s going to ha%%en in 9anda" but ' do kno# that you.re not going to be there to see it unless you co4o%erate no#( ,idna%%ing is a &ery serious charge( Things #ill go easier for you if you hel% us to rescue those boys(: 8' am a soldier in a #ar" not a kidna%%er( This is a %olitical action" and there is no #ay you #ill catch red and )alt no#$ 9o #ay you can rescue 'an -are# or that young fool 1ones$: She laughed in their faces( The t#o 9andans" -hief Reynolds" and 5ete looked at each other in dismay( Ho# #ould they e&er sto% the kidna%%ers and find 'an and 1u%iter if she #ould not talk* Only +ob did not seem disturbed( He #as studying Anna Lessing thoughtfully( 8'f the kidna%%ers #eren.t here #hen Miss Lessing dro&e home": +ob said slo#ly"

8she must ha&e told them ho# to identify 'an o&er the tele%hone$: 89aturally ' told them(: Anna Lessing laughed( 8A sim%le matter of a small scar( 'an had his a%%endi6 remo&ed some years ago(: 8'n that case": +ob continued" addressing the men" 8#hy did she rush home here* ' mean" she.d gi&en the kidna%%ers the information they needed" they kne# #hich boy #as 'an" and they must be %utting their esca%e %lan into effect no#( So #hy did Miss Lessing lea&e #ork early and come to this house*: 8+ob.s right$: -hief Reynolds e6claimed( 8There #as no need for her to come home at all(: 8't.s my home": Anna Lessing sna%%ed( 8)hy shouldn.t ' come home*: 8!es" but #hy in such a hurry*: +ob said( 8The only ans#er ' can deduce is that the kidna%%ers left something here that had to be #atched$ Something like 1u%iter$: 81u%iter*: -hief Reynolds fro#ned( 8!es$: 9dula e6claimed( 8They #ouldn.t take 1u%iter #ith them if they are on their #ay to 9anda( 9ot once they kne# #hich boy #as really 'an$ Taking t#o boys #ould be an unnecessary risk(: 81u%iter must be around here some#here$: 5ete cried( 8Search the %lace again$: -hief Reynolds ordered( )hile 9dula remained #ith Anna Lessing" the others s%read through the small house searching in e&ery room and closet( 't didn.t take long( They found no sign of 1u%iter( 8Try outside": Mac,en3ie urged( 8The garage" any sheds(: Anna Lessing stood smiling as the searchers #ent outside( There #as one small shed and a garage( They found only garden tools in the shed" and nothing at all in the garage( 5ete scrambled all o&er the hillside abo&e the house" but he found no trace of 1u%iter( +ack in the small house" Anna Lessing taunted them( 8' told you you.d ne&er find them( Admit it" Mac,en3ie" #e.&e beaten you$ And #e.ll beat you and Sir Roger$: 8Search once more$: -hief Reynolds commanded( 't #as gro#ing dark inside the small house( The lush &egetation surrounding it #as blocking the rays of the late afternoon sun( The searchers turned on lights to look under the beds and in the dark closets( 8-hief$: 5ete cried( Almost as soon as the lights #ent on" they began to flicker$ 8)hat is it*: 9dula #ondered( 8A %o#er interru%tion*: The lights flickered again2on" off" on" off( 89o" the #eather is %erfect": +ob said slo#ly( 89o storms( And it.s not that hot" so ' don.t think there.s any o&erload on the circuits(: More flickers" short and regular( 8't.s almost as if someone.s doing it": Mac,en3ie said( 8Someone fiddling #ith the master s#itch" or a fuse" or2: 81u%iter$: 5ete cried( 8'.ll bet 1u%e is trying to signal us( He is here some#here$: 8+ut #here* )e.&e looked e&ery#here$: the chief said( 8Look" she kno#s$: +ob %ointed( Anna Lessing #as no longer smiling at them( 8-hief": 5ete said" 8This house is built on a stee% slo%e$ The rear touches the ground" but the front is raised on %illars( There.s a s%ace under the house( Maybe there.s a hidden

cellar$: 5ete ran outside" and came back in a fe# moments( 8The house is built u% on a concrete foundation like a big bo6": he re%orted" 8but there.s no door into the cellar from outside(: 8Then there must be one inside": +ob declared( 85ull back all the rugs": the chief ordered( 8Look under the beds again( Try inside the closets(: +ob found the ans#er in the largest of the bedroom closets( There #as a tra%4door in the floor #ith a narro# ladder going do#n into darkness( 8There.s a light s#itch on the closet #all": 5ete said( +ob thumbed the s#itch" and a flickering light came on in the cellar area belo#( The t#o boys tumbled do#n the stee% ladder into a small #indo#less room( There #ere bottles of #ine" stored furniture" and ( ( ( 81u%e$: +ob cried( 8 irst$: 5ete yelled( The o&er#eight leader of The Three 'n&estigators #as sitting against the #all of the tiny cellar room" his hands tied behind him and a gag in his mouth" slo#ly kicking at the master s#itch on an old4fashioned fuse bo6$ Each time he kicked the s#itch le&er" the lights flickered$ 8)e kne# the lights #ere a signal from you$: 5ete cro#ed( +ob /uickly remo&ed the gag and untied 1u%iter.s hands( 8)ell" it.s about time": the irst 'n&estigator said grum%ily( 8' could hear you all u% there for the last hour( ' thought you.d ne&er figure out #here ' #as(: 8;ee" 1u%e": 5ete began" crestfallen( 8)e thought2: 8'f you think you could do better": +ob said hotly" 8you can2: 1u%iter grinned( 8;reat #ork" fello#s$ Tell me ho# you got here$: 5ete and +ob hurriedly e6%lained the series of deductions that had led them to Anna Lessing.s house( 8;reat detecti&e #ork" fello#s(: 1u%iter beamed( 8' couldn.t ha&e done better myself$: 5leased #ith the %raise of their leader" +ob and 5ete hel%ed 1u%iter u% the stee% ladder and out into the li&ing room" #here the chief" Mac,en3ie" and 9dula %ounded him ha%%ily on the back( 8)e.re certainly glad to see you" 1u%iter$: Mac,en3ie said( 8!ou should be %roud of +ob and 5ete": -hief Reynolds added( 8' am": 1u%iter declared" and suddenly looked all around( 8+ut #here.s 'an* Did the kidna%%ers get a#ay*: 9dula nodded( 8'.m afraid so(: 8!ou found your young fool": Anna Lessing said #ith a nasty laugh" 8but you.&e #asted so much time you #on.t catch )alt and red no#$ )e.&e got 'an -are#" and you.ll ne&er find him$: Only 1u%iter seemed undismayed by Anna Lessing.s trium%hant #ords( The stout irst 'n&estigator smiled( 8)ell" no#": he said" 8' #ouldn.t be too sure of that(:

=F

Esca%e 5lan$
-H'E RE!9OLDS called the Los Angeles 5olice" and they arrested Anna Lessing as an accessory to kidna%%ing( Then" acting on information su%%lied by 1u%iter" they radioed the San Diego %olice" and the 9andans. -adillac dro&e ra%idly south to#ards the Me6ican border( 8Very #ell" young man": -hief Reynolds said as 9dula dro&e the big car" 8ho# are #e going to sto% the kidna%%ers from esca%ing #ith 'an*: 8)ell" '.m not sure #e can": 1u%iter admitted" 8but ' belie&e #e ha&e a good chance( After the kidna%%ers identified 'an by his scar" they took him u%stairs in that house" and ' heard them talking on the tele%hone(: 8To #ho" 1u%e*: 5ete demanded( 8To their confederates" ' %resume2in Ti0uana" Me6ico": 1u%iter e6%lained( 8They announced that they had 'an for sure this time" and that the esca%e #ould %roceed e6actly according to %lan(: 8)hat %lan*: -hief Reynolds asked( 8' don.t kno#": 1u%iter said( 8They didn.t say anything about #hat the %lan #as(: 8Then ho# can #e ho%e to2*: Mac,en3ie began( 8+ut ' do kno# three &ital facts": 1u%iter continued( 8The kidna%%ers are meeting someone on the Ti0uana side of the Me6ican border at %recisely ten o.clock tonight for the ne6t ste% in their esca%e %lan( And they #ill cross the border right at Ti0uana(: 8+ut #hen" 1u%iter*: -hief Reynolds asked( 8They could cross at any time and #ait in Me6ico for their meeting(: 8That.s the third &ital fact ' heard( They said that they had something to do in San Diego" and #ould sto% there until 0ust before it #as time to meet across the border( So they #ill be crossing shortly before ten o.clock tonight$: 8And #e.ll be there #aiting for them$: Mac,en3ie cried( 8 ine #ork" 1u%iter$: 8)e don.t ha&e to kno# their %lan" or #ho they.re meeting in Me6ico": -hief Reynolds said" 8because #e.ll sto% them on our side of the border(: 8E6actly" sir": 1u%iter declared( 81u%e*: +ob said slo#ly( 8)ill they be likely to cross the border #ith 'an in their car* ' mean" #ouldn.t it be risky to try to cross o%enly* )on.t they be in disguise" or maybe hidden in something*: 81u%e" he.s right$: 5ete groaned( 8They ha&e to guess the %olice are after them by no#" and the border is being #atched( ' mean" they.d kno# that Mac,en3ie and 9dula #ould notify the %olice" #hether or not #e boys #ere found(: 8+ut": Mac,en3ie said uneasily" 8if they.re disguised or hidden" ho# #ill #e s%ot them*: 8That.s our 0ob": -hief Reynolds said( 8)e.re trained to %enetrate disguises and s%ot hiding %laces( Any#ay" #e can cross that bridge #hen #e come to it(: 1u%iter only nodded thoughtfully as the big car raced on south( 't #as dark #hen they arri&ed in San Diego 0ust after nine o.clock( They met t#o %atrol cars of the San Diego 5olice De%artment and dro&e straight on to the main border crossing( 8)e ha&e 0ust about half an hour": 1u%iter obser&ed as he looked at his #atch( 8After that #e can e6%ect the kidna%%ers to attem%t to cross the border at any moment(: 8Them": 5ete said in dismay" 8and a thousand others$:

Long streams of cars and trucks and buses #ere %assing along the multi%le lanes of the border crossing$ E&ery lane #as %acked bum%er to bum%er as the &ehicles inched through the check%oints and on into Me6ico( 8Ho# do you %lan to identify them in all this" -hief*: Mac,en3ie #ondered( 8The San Diego %olice ha&e gi&en their descri%tions to all the border guards": -hief Reynolds e6%lained" 8%lus a descri%tion of their Lincoln" and a descri%tion of 'an( The Me6ican %olice ha&e the descri%tions also" and kno# about the meeting across the border( They.ll be on the alert for anyone acting sus%icious o&er there" although ' admit their chances are slim(: 8)hy" -hief*: +ob asked( 8+ecause %eo%le are ins%ected more closely coming back into the States than going into Me6ico" so there is more delay and greater chaos o&er there(: 8And #hat do #e do" -hief*: 9dula asked( 8)e #atch and #ait(: They %arked at the side of the road #here they could see all the lanes( One San Diego %olice car %arked near the centre border booth" and the other %arked on the far side of the road( Then it #as ten minutes to ten o.clock$ 8Look$: Mac,en3ie %ointed( 8There.s a blue Lincoln$: They all sat on the edge of there seats as the big blue car inched u% to the border check%oint( The guard %eered inside carefully as a San Diego %oliceman stood alertly behind him( Then the guard stood u% and #a&ed the big car on through$ 8't #asn.t them": 5ete groaned( 8>nless they #ere too #ell disguised": 9dula said( 8' don.t think any disguise #ill #ork": -hief Reynolds said( 8The guards #ill carefully search any car #ith a boy of 'an.s general age in it( Disguises can.t hel% much #hen the %olice are looking for a certain number of %eo%le together(: 8+ut #ouldn.t the kidna%%ers e6%ect that*: asked +ob( 8' mean" that any grou% of t#o men" one tall and one stocky" #ith a fat ( ( ( er" ' mean" stout boy" #ould be ins%ected e6tra carefully*: 1u%iter nodded( 8' think so" Records( So ' think they #ill attem%t to cross in hiding( 'n some &ehicle that crosses regularly" and that #ill e6cite little sus%icion(: 8Like those*: Mac,en3ie e6claimed( T#o buses a%%roached the border( The San Diego %olice sto%%ed them and boarded both( The #atchers in the -adillac could see the %olice mo&ing slo#ly do#n the aisles of the buses( Then they sa# the %olice get off" and #a&e the t#o buses on into Me6ico( 8There isn.t much chance" '.m afraid": 9dula said( 8' ( ( ( ' ho%e there is": 1u%iter said uneasily as he stared at the long lines of &ehicles %assing across the border( 't #as t#o minutes to ten o.clock$ 8' think they.&e sli%%ed through": -hief Reynolds said" shaking his head( 8)e had better contact the Me6ican %olice and see if they can.t s%ot the meeting o&er there( They 2: A loud bee%ing filled the -adillac$ E&eryone 0um%ed" and looked at 5ete( The loud bee%ing #as coming from his shirt %ocket$ 8My emergency signal$: 5ete cried(

8Turn it off" 5ete": the chief said( 8)e must2: 89o$: 1u%iter grinned( 8Take it out" 5ete( See #here it %oints$ E&eryone look at the &ehicles and see if any of them look sus%icious$ The kidna%%ers are close by$: 5ete studied his signal( The arro# on the directional dial #as %ointing directly to#ard the lines of traffic( E&eryone stared at the slo#4mo&ing &ehicles( There #ere no blue Lincolns" and no buses no#20ust lots of cars and four or fi&e trucks and &ans( 8-ome on$: 1u%iter urged( They %iled out of the -adillac and threaded their #ay among the slo#4mo&ing &ehicles( 'n the middle lane #as a battered truck #ith Me6ican licence %lates and a sign %ainted on each side in S%anish announcing that it belonged to a Me6ican lettuce farm( As it mo&ed closer to the border booth" the arro# on 5ete.s directional signal %ointed straight at the truck$ 8That.s it$: 1u%iter cried( 8Hurry$: )ith the chief leading" they reached the closed truck 0ust as it sto%%ed at the booth( The guard #as already raising the can&as co&ering at the rear of the truck( He looked inside" shook his head" and motioned to the San Diego %olice to %ass the truck through( 89o$: 1u%iter cried( 8They.re on that truck$: The guard shook his head( 8Sorry" son" there.s no one in the cab e6ce%t the Me6ican dri&er" and the back.s em%ty(: 8't can.t be": 1u%iter %rotested( 8Listen" our signal is bee%ing louder than e&er$: The strong bee%ing filled the night abo&e the noise of the traffic( -hief Reynolds and 9dula raised the can&as co&er at the rear of the truck again( The inside #as totally em%ty$ 8The signal must be malfunctioning": Mac,en3ie said( 1u%iter eyed the em%ty interior of the truck( Then he ste%%ed to the side and studied the outside of the &ehicle( His eyes glo#ed( 89o" Mac" the signal.s #orking fine$ Look" the outside of the truck is at least four feet longer than the inside( That front #all inside is a false #all$: T#o San Diego %olicemen and -hief Reynolds 0um%ed u% into the truck( The chief ins%ected the front #all and shook his head( 8There.s no door" 1u%iter(: 89o( The kidna%%ers are cle&er( They must ha&e had the #all built after they #ere inside$ That.s #hat they sto%%ed for in San Diego$ Tear do#n that #all$: 8-areful" -hief": 9dula #arned" 8they.re armed$: -hief Reynolds motioned the San Diego %olicemen to flatten themsel&es against the side #alls of the truck( He dre# his o#n gun( 8All right" #e kno# you.re in there$ !ou.re co&ered from all sides( ,ick do#n that #all and come out #ith your hands u%$: There #as a silence broken only by the endless noise of %assing traffic and the loud bee%ing of 5ete.s signal( Then the sound of breaking #ood filled the truck( The #all s%lit o%en" and )alt and red ste%%ed meekly out #ith their hands o&er their heads$ )alt sa# 1u%iter( 8!ou$ Ho# did they find you so soon* Ho# the de&il did you s%ot this truck*: 8<uiet$: -hief Reynolds sna%%ed" and took their guns( The San Diego %olicemen found 'an bound and gagged inside the false com%artment" and freed him( He ste%%ed out smiling( 8-ha%s$ Am ' glad to see you$ Ho# did you e&er do it*:

8Ho#" 1u%iter*: 9dula demanded( 8The signal did it" yes" but ho# did you get your signal into this truck* !ou couldn.t ha&e seen this truck before$: 8' didn.t get the signal on the truck": 1u%iter said" grinning( 8)hey got it on the truck$: 8Them*: +ob and 5ete e6claimed in unison( 8Remember back in our #orksho% #hen ' told red about the bug in 'an.s shirt %ocket*: 1u%iter said( 8)ell" ' did that because ' had my signal in my trousers %ocket" and ' #anted to make him search 'an first( )hen he turned a#ay from 'an ' #as so close behind red that he had to bum% into me2and ' sli%%ed my signal into his coat %ocket #hile holding on to him for balance$: The stout boy beamed at e&eryone( 8 red had the signal in his %ocket all the time( That.s #hy he and )alt ne&er s%otted me using it( 'ts bee%er #as still turned off" so they couldn.t hear it( And no one could see the flashing light2if it e&er #ent on2because red.s coat is thick and he #as in the front seat alone$: )alt glared at red( 8!ou idiot$: red glared back( 8!ou fool$ 't #as all your stu%id idea$: 8Take them a#ay": -hief Reynolds said in disgust( Still raging at each other" the t#o kidna%%ers #ere led a#ay( -hief Reynolds turned to 1u%iter se&erely( 8!ou should ha&e told us about the signal" 1u%iter(: 8' #asn.t sure it #ould #ork" sir" and ' didn.t #ant you to count on it and fail to use all other means to s%ot them": 1u%e e6%lained( 8The kidna%%ers could ha&e found it" or changed clothes" or something( +ut ' guess they #ere 0ust too busy" and it #orked$: The chief smiled" 8!es" it did( Very good #ork" boys$: The 'n&estigators beamed( 'an smiled along #ith them" safe no#" and no longer the frightened fugiti&e( 89o# my father can go ahead #ith his #ork": 'an said( Side by side" he and 1u%iter grinned" looking like a %air of o&er#eight t#ins(

=7 Alfred Hitchcock Offers Some Hel%


SEVERAL DA!S LATER The Three 'n&estigators &isited Alfred Hitchcock in his big office at his studios( The famous motion4%icture director listened intently #hile the boys re%orted the entire story of 'an -are#.s rescue( 8)ell done$: the director boomed #hen they finished( 8!our #ork #as most %rofessional( ' congratulate you all$: 8Thank you" sir": 1u%iter said some#hat smugly( 8!es:2the stout film maker nodded thoughtfully28each of you e6hibited the utmost skill and logic in deduction and obser&ation( 'n fact": and his eyes took on a slightly malicious t#inkle" 8' might say that in this case the assistants may e&en ha&e done more shre#d #ork than their %eerless leader$ ;ood for you" Robert and 5eter(: 5ete and +ob grinned" and as 1u%iter began to turn faintly %ur%le" 5ete hurriedly held out the tiny i&ory4and4gold tusk that had betrayed Anna Lessing( 8Er" #e thought you might like to ha&e this as a memento of the case" sir": 5ete said( The %ortly director took the earring gra&ely(

8' shall cherish it" together #ith all the other treasures of your cases( +ut #hat of the future" eh* )ill the miscreants be %ro%erly %unished for their crimes*: 8)ell": 1u%iter said" still a bit miffed" 8the %olice could send them to %rison for a &ery long time for such a serious offence as kidna%%ing(: 8And rightly so": the director thundered( 8't is a most heinous crime$: 8!es" sir": 1u%iter agreed" 8but in this case it #as basically a %olitical kidna%%ing in&ol&ing citi3ens of another country( So the %olice ha&e decided to de%ort the kidna%%ers back to 9anda instead of sending them to 0ail here( The 9andan go&ernment #ill deal #ith them as it sees fit(: 8Elections #ere held in 9anda yesterday": +ob added" 8and the o%%osition #ere so discredited by the kidna%%ing that Sir Roger #on easily( That means a big boost for Sir Roger.s %lan to achie&e inde%endence under ma0ority rule(: 8Sir Roger says he #ill release the kidna%%ers in a fe# years": 5ete said" 8if they beha&e #ell" and try to #ork #ith the ma0ority(: 8A #ise decision(: Mr Hitchcock nodded( 8Their crime #as really mis%laced 3eal for their cause( They belie&ed they #ere right" and that that 0ustified e&erything( ' fear there is much of that kind of thinking in the #orld today" and the only solution is to learn that #e must all li&e and #ork together in %eace(: 8!es" sir": the boys agreed( 8Then #e may consider this case closed*: the mo&ie4maker said( 8)ell": 5ete said" 8#e do ha&e one %roblem( )e don.t ha&e a good title for our #rite4 u%( Maybe you can hel% us" sir*: 8Hmm( )hy" of course$ 't must be called )he *ystery of the %eadly %ou(le$: 8Hey" that.s neat$: said +ob( 8'an #as 1u%e.s double" and he almost %ro&ed deadly to him$: 8That.s not /uite #hat ' meant": said Mr Hitchcock #ith another malicious gleam in his eye( 8)hat could be more deadly" more nightmarish" more horrible" than the kno#ledge that there are actually two 1u%iter 1oneses in this %oor suffering #orld$ A deadly dou(le indeed$: The great director roared #ith laughter as he looked at 1u%iter.s indignant face( 1u%iter dre# himself u% %om%ously( 8That" sir": the stout leader said stiffly" 8is a &ery %oor 0oke(: 8!es" it is" and ' a%ologi3e( As a %enance" ' #ill agree to introduce this case(: The boys all grinned at the director" thanked him" and left( Alone Mr Hitchcock #ent on chuckling at his 0oke( 't was a bad 0oke" but it #as a good title for a most cle&er and successful ad&enture(

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