Chums in the Dark, Part 3

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Andrew Solberg

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Dec 18, 1993, 12:47:46 AM12/18/93
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CHAPTER III

"A Thief is Foiled"

The Hardys froze. "Did you hear that?" hissed Frank.

"I sure did," Joe replied. "It sounded like it came from Dad's room!" The
brothers rushed to the door and, finding it unlocked, threw it open and
burst into their father's room. To their horror, the detective and Iola
lay breathing heavily on the bed, completely naked!

"Dad, Iola!" cried Frank. "Are you all right?" Fenton Hardy leaped from
the bed. "A-ba, a-ba, a-ba, a-ba, aah," he babbled. Iola gave a short
scream and clutched a blanket.

"Dad, what happened?" asked Joe excitedly.

The boy's father quickly covered himself with a towel and, reaching into a
desk drawer, pulled out a flat bottle and drank about half of it.

"The antidote," he explained groggily. "You boys came just in time."

"You mean --" began Frank.

"Yes, someone broke in on Iola and me as we were discussing some secret
business and forced us at gunpoint to strip," recounted Mr. Hardy. "We
struggled, but the fiend got the drop on us and injected us with some deadly
sleeping potion, then threw us on the bed. You must have scared him off."

"Yes, that's right," added Iola. "It was pretty rough going there for a
minute."

"Wow!" exclaimed Joe. "This must have something to do with the note!"

"Of course," added Frank. "Dad, what does 'fucking' mean?"

Just then the detective broke into a fit of coughing. Joe slapped his back
a few times and he quickly recovered. "What?" he gasped.

"Well, we got this note and examined it in the lab --" began Frank.

"Along with your rubbers," interrupted Joe with a sheepish grin.

Suddenly, Mr. Hardy had another coughing fit, and Frank helped him swallow
more of the antidote. In a moment he recovered, and Frank related to him
the contents of the mysterious threatening note and the results of their
investigations in the laboratory.

"Hold on," said Joe, when his brother had finished. "Maybe that intruder
was looking for the Zig-Zag Papers!"

"The what?" queried Iola.

"Yes, that's right," agreed Frank. "Chet called earlier and asked us to tell
you to be sure you had the Zig-Zag Papers. I'd forgotten all about it!"

"But, that's --" Iola began.

"That's absolutely right," interrupted Mr. Hardy. "Nice brainwork. I'm sure
that was the reason he assaulted us. Boys," he continued, his tone becoming
more serious, "I'm working on a case of extreme importance to our national
defense. I can't tell you much about it, I'm afraid, but I'll need your help."

"Wow," cried Frank, "I knew it was something big!"

"Why don't you fellows wait for us downstairs," suggested Mr. Hardy. "I'll
have to give Iola, uh, and injection to counter the effects of the potion
and, uh, dust her for fingerprints."

"Sure thing, Dad," chorused the two boys, and, closing the door behind them,
they headed downstairs.

"Boy," exclaimed Joe, as they reached the living room, "this looks like our
most important case yet!"

"I'll say," agreed his brother. "What do you think the Zig-Zag Papers are?"

"Well, I'd guess maybe some secret navy plans for a ship that can maneuver
sideways," Joe replied.

"Say, you might be right!" remarked Frank. "Think of that."

As they waited, the old clock in the living room, a big part of one of their
previous adventures, _The_Old_Clock_in_the_Living_Room_, clunked loudly.
Frank noticed that the big had pointed ominously toward the 12, and the other
hand, smaller and shorter, pointed to the 4. It was four o'clock. If the
_Bayport_Bugle_ was right, it would be high tide in only twenty-seven
minutes!

- * -

--
HWRNMNBSOL
"Sex between a man and a woman can be a wonderful thing if one
is between the right man and the right woman." - Woody Allen

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