Hardy Boys 06: The Shore Road Mystery: The Shore Road Mystery | Chapter 26 of 27 - Part: 1 of 3

Author: Franklin W. Dixon | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 4403 Views | Add a Review

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CHAPTER XX

Roundup and Treasure

MONTROSE whipped out a blackjack and advanced on the boys. The next instant he felt himself yanked around. An iron fist crashed into his jaw and dropped him unconscious to the floor.

The astonished boys saw that his attacker was the bargeman who had ripped off a mask, revealing the face of Fenton Hardy! Over his shoulders were several coils of rope.

Losing no time, Joe rushed the equally astonished guard. Blocking a wild swing, he drove a punch into the man’s solar plexus. He doubled up and fell to his knees.

“Quick! Let’s get these men tied!” Frank urged. He grabbed the rope from his father and with Chet’s help bound both men securely. Mr. Hardy gagged them.

Chet exclaimed, “Mr. Hardy, you’re a magician! How did you ever—”

“When I got my sons’ telegram about the wooden-horse plan I was just finishing the last stage of my undercover work on Melliman’s operations. I thought you might need help, so I stowed away on that barge when it docked at Kitcher’s to deliver smuggled arms that were going to Slagel.”

Frank briefed the detective on the excitement of the past few hours. “But Chet never got to the police!”

Mr. Hardy smiled. “I have good news. They should be on their way here right now! When that man in the fishing boat signaled an emergency call to the barge, I kayoed the barge pilot, then borrowed his uniform and came ashore. But first I alerted the police over my short-wave radio to grab Kitcher and watch where the fishing boat headed.”

“And then you heard the ‘gas’ alarm from this guard when you docked?” Joe asked.

“Right. One of the thugs on the beach suspected it might have been an empty oxygen tank you boys had knocked over. But when they took the precaution of putting handkerchiefs over their faces, it gave me a chance to come along undetected by doing the same thing.”

Leaving the thugs securely tied, Mr. Hardy led the boys toward the beach.

“It’s my guess,” said Frank, “they have the Dodds in one of those cars they’re loading onto the barge.”

“Then we’ll have to stand them off until Collig’s men arrivel” his father said.

He and the boys halted just inside the entrance and peered out through the curtain of rockweed.

The barge rocked gently at the tip of the dock, its lights out. A few cars were already aboard. The Hardys’ own automobile stood nearby, while Birnham’s truck was parked at the end of the gully. Guns and crates were being loaded into it quickly, as black storm clouds rolled ominously over the scene.

“Do you think the gang’s lookouts may spot the police?” Frank murmured.

“Could be,” his father whispered. “How many routes are there off this beach?”

“Just one—that gully over there,” Cher answered. “It connects with the grassy slope to the top of the cliff.”

A short time later the barge was fully loaded. A man began untying its mooring rope.

Mr. Hardy fastened his handkerchief over his face. “I’m going to draw some of them into the tunnel. Think you boys can cause them a little trouble out there on the beach?”

“I’ll handle the gully,” Joe whispered.

“Chet and I will watch the barge,” Frank offered.

When the boys had backed against the rock wall near the tunnel, the detective ran toward the barge and gave a muffled shout.

“Hey, quick, some of you guys give me a hand with these kids in here!”

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