Hardy Boys 06: The Shore Road Mystery: The Shore Road Mystery | Chapter 9 of 27 - Part: 1 of 3

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

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CHAPTER III

A Pilgrim Mystery

“MY fishing pole—in the stolen car!” Jack repeated in disbelief. “It’s been missing from my boat since yesterday.”

Chief Collig examined the rod, then frowned. “Personally, I’m inclined to believe you, Jack. But I’m afraid you and your father will have to come to headquarters. We particularly want to check the fingerprints on the car.”

“Fingerprints?” Joe queried.

Mr. Dodd nodded resignedly. “I’m afraid you’ll find my fingerprints inside. I got into the car, hoping to find the owner’s name in the glove compartment.”

Frank spoke in low tones to Chief Collig as flashbulbs illuminated the area. The chief assured him the Dodds could be released on bail until a hearing, but said the figure would probably be a very high one. The Hardys promised to visit Mr. Dodd and Jack the next morning about their release.

“We’ll contact Dad right away,” Frank told the Dodds.

Chet added, “Jack, keep your chin up!” He drove the Hardys home, where they wired their father.

The following morning the brothers drove to Bayport Police Headquarters to see Mr. Dodd and Jack. As they had feared, the bail figure was too high for the Dodds to pay it all at this time.

“Frank!” Joe exclaimed as the boys left the building. “Maybe Dad will help them out with the rest!”

Over the telephone, Fenton Hardy supported the boys’ faith in the Dodds’ innocence and promised to arrange by phone for the balance of the bail payment. Shortly after noontime the two prisoners were released.

“We can’t thank you boys and your father enough,” Mr. Dodd said as Frank was driving them back to their farm in Mr. Hardy’s car. “Having your father’s name behind us at the hearing tomorrow will mean a great deal.”

“We’re glad to do what we can.” Joe grinned.

“Have you any idea who might have wanted to frame you?” Frank asked as they headed north.

“Not really,” Jack replied. “But Dad and I have come up with one possibility.”

“His name is Ray Slagel,” Mr. Dodd explained. “He came to the farm looking for work about a month ago. But he didn’t prove dependable, and after I had found him away from his chores several times, I had to dismiss him.”

“Did you have any trouble with him after that?” Joe asked.

“No,” Mr. Dodd answered, “but he threatened to get even with me. I can’t tell you much about his background, but we can describe him.”

“Dad,” Jack interrupted excitedly, “I think I still have that picture I took of Slagel!”

“That might give us something to go on,” Frank remarked. “Actually, we’ve got two Dodd mysteries.”

“I almost forgot!” Jack gasped, remembering his uncle’s expected visit that night.

Mr. Dodd laughed. “Frank and Joe, are you still interested?”

“Interested!” the Hardys cried in unison. “We sure are!”

Frank turned the sedan off Shore Road onto the lane leading to the Dodd house. Mr. Dodd and Jack cordially invited the Hardys inside, where they all sat down in the attractive, pine-paneled living room. Over a large flagstone fireplace hung a framed black-and-white map of the Atlantic coast. There were several early Colonial prints above the bookcases and sofa.

“We’re ready for the story,” said Frank.

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