Chums in the Dark, Part 6 and Last

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Andrew Solberg

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Dec 21, 1993, 10:36:21 PM12/21/93
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CHAPTER VI

"Holding the Bag"

Moving quickly, the Hardys jumped down from the window and rushed around to
the front door.

"Don't worry, fellows, you're safe now!" cried Joe as they ran into the barn.

"Wow, there's a funny smell in here," exclaimed Frank. "Did they gas you?"

"Jesus H. Christ," moaned Iola. "Tell me it isn't true."

"Take it easy, Iola," said Frank consolingly. "We'll have you shipshape in
no time!"

"Bummer, bummer, bummer!" cried Biff Hooper, a tall and lanky classmate of
the Hardys.

"They're delirious!" exclaimed Joe. "We've got to get them into the air!"

Callie Shaw, blond, vivacious, and brown-eyed, stumbled to her feet and
looked at the Hardy boys. "Ooooooh, far-out!" she warbled.

"Boy," said Frank, "it's a good thing Chief Collig is on his way here!"

"I'll say," agreed Joe.

Suddenly, the barn exploded in a pandemonium of activity. Tony, Phil, and
Jerry quickly dressed, while Chet shook Callie by the shoulders.

"Wow," said Frank, "that stuff certainly wore off fast!"

"Uh, did you fellow say Chief Collig was on his way here?" inquired Chet.

"That's right, Chet. We took a shortcut to get here first, but he should be
here any minute!"

"Say, what happened here anyway?" demanded Joe. "Iola, was it the same
Mexican who jumped you and Dad at the house today?"

"It sure was," exclaimed Iola, "but he had about ten pals."

"That's right," added Chet excitedly, "They threw some kind of gas bomb, and
the next thing we knew, we were lying here and you came in. I guess they
must have given us some kind of knock-out shots, because we all have needle
marks. Isn't that right, chums?"

Tony, Biff, and Jerry nodded assent.

"Were they wearing sombreros?" queried Joe.

"Oooooh, wow, they *were* sombreros, huge purple sombreros, oh God, oh God,"
murmured Callie.

"I guess she got a heavy dose," said Tony quickly.

"Say, Tony, since Chief Collig is on his way, hadn't we better gather up all
the evidence we can find?" suggested Biff.

"Right, Biff," said Tony, "and don't miss a single roach!"

"What have cockroaches got to do with all this, Tony?" inquired Frank.

"I don't know," said Tony, "but we're going to find out!"

"Look," cried Joe, pointing out of the barn door to where the headlights of
a car were moving up the Morton driveway. "That must be Chief Collig now!"

"Here, Frank, you'd better hold this evidence," said Tony, handing the older
Hardy boy a paper bag filled with little brown cigarettes, plastic envelopes
of diner sugar, and some green hay.

"Here, Joe," said Biff, giving Joe another bag. "That should about do it."
Joe's bag held a hypodermic and a couple of strange-looking pipes.

"Look, Frank," exclaimed Joe. "These hypos tie in with that medical magazine
someone cut up to send us that threatening note!"

"Good thinking, Joe," declared Frank. "I think we're getting to the bottom
of this."

"Frank!" cried Joe, reaching into his bag. "Look at this!" and he held up
a tiny packet of cigarette papers marked ZIG-ZAG.

"So they didn't get them after all," smiled Frank.

Just then, Chief Collig walked into the barn brandishing a revolver! "Okay,
boys and girls, the party's over," he said.

"Chief, you're just in time," exclaimed Joe.

"The Hardy boys! What the hell are you doing here?" cried Chief Collig.

"Why we're just following up this band of Mexicans who were trying to steal
the navy's secret Zig-Zag Papers and were passing counterfeit money and
giving people injections and leaving them naked --" Joe began.

"Purple sombreros," added Callie.

"Let's have a look in those bags," said Chief Collig, taking the evidence
from the Hardy boys.

"We've told them before that we wouldn't have anything to do with dangerous
and/or illegal drugs and substances, but I guess they just didn't get the
message," explained Chet Morton. "I've got to admit, Chief," he added, "we
thought they were working for you and that you were going to plant the stuff
on us. I mean, no hard feelings, but that's the way it looked."

"That's right, Chief," agreed Iola. "I don't know which is worse, thinking
they were narks or pushers, but either way, well, we're disappointed."

"Okay, you two," said Chief Collig, "the jig's up. I must warn you that
anything you say may be used against you in a court of law."

"Hey, what the --" began Frank.

"But the Mexicans! The Zig-Zag Papers!" interrupted Joe.

"I've heard enough," said Chief Collig, "you'll have your chance in court!"

Chief Collig's words proved to be true. Sooner than ever the Hardy boys
were involved with _The_Sinister_Stenographer_ and _The_Secret_of_the_Brutal_
_Reform_School_.

On the way to jail, Frank, darker and a year older, said, "I don't get it,
Joe. What's going on?"

"I don't know," said Joe, blond and impetuous. "I thought we were their
chums!"

"Chumps, but no chums," exclaimed Chief Collig, cackling to himself. "Hey,
he added, "that's not bad!"

-FINIS-

******************************************************************************

This story appeared in full in the 9/71 issue of _National_Lampoon_. The
article was written by Hugo Flesch. It is here reprinted without permission,
and is not intended for monetary gain. No purchase necessary.

--
HWRNMNBSOL (and...@cml.rice.edu) H:(713)794-0021 W:(713)644-8872
Rice University, Artillery Commander, Department of Mathematics
"WAR DIMS HOPES FOR PEACE" --headline: Wisc. St. Journal, 12/27/65

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