Hardy Boys 15: The Sinister Signpost: The Sinister Signpost | Chapter 13 of 26 - Part: 1 of 3

Author: Franklin W. Dixon | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 2572 Views | Add a Review

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CHAPTER VIII

Stolen!

THE dilapidated car turned onto the road, picked up speed, and headed directly for Alden’s car. Joe raced after it, calling out into the walkie-talkie.

His pleas went unheeded. Joe was horror-stricken at the small gap between the two vehicles. A head-on collision seemed inevitable.

“Frank! Mr. Alden!” Joe screamed. “Watch out!”

Suddenly the mystery car swerved out of control. It went hurtling off the road and tumbled over into a ditch. A split second later the vehicle was a mass of flames.

Alden brought his racer to a screeching halt. He and Frank leaped out and followed Joe toward the disabled vehicle. They managed to get close enough to pull open one of its doors. The three were amazed to find that there was no one inside.

“Get back!” Alden shouted. “The gas tank may explode any second.”

His warning came just in time. As Alden and the boys got clear, there was an explosion. A large ball of orange flame rose above the burning car. It quickly transformed into a thick cloud of black smoke.

Minutes later a pickup truck arrived on the scene, carrying a crew of Alden’s mechanics. Mr. Hardy was with them. The men scrambled out with fire extinguishers, and directed streams of chemical foam at the burning car. Soon the flames and smoke disappeared.

“You gave us a bad scare,” Mr. Hardy said, turning to Frank and Alden. “We saw the smoke and came running. We thought you’d had an accident with the car.”

“They almost did,” Joe said shakily. He told his father what had happened.

When the car cooled sufficiently to be touched, the Hardys examined it. The heat had turned the vehicle into a charred mass of twisted metal.

Frank, looking underneath, made a startling discovery. To the underside was attached the remains of an elaborate radio-controlled system. Wires ran from it to the throttle and steering mechanism.

“So that’s how the car was operated with no driver!” Joe exclaimed. “But why did it go hay-wire all of a sudden?”

Frank had an answer. “When Joe used the walkie-talkie to warn us, the signal must have interfered with the radio frequency used to guide the car.”

Mr. Hardy nodded. “Whoever operated the transmitter would have needed a clear view of the road, and at a point not too far away from this spot.”

Frank looked toward a high hill, the top of which loomed above the treetops. “There’s a perfect spot,” he said, pointing to it.

The boys lost no time in climbing to the summit to investigate. The area was covered with thick brush and grass.

“These bushes would provide good cover for anyone watching the road,” Frank stated.

“Look! Over here!” Joe cried out. “Some of the grass has been trampled flat. I’d say it was done recently by two or three men.”

Frank examined the spot. “This is where the transmitter was set up,” he concluded. “From here you get a perfect view of the road.”

A further search revealed no other clues. The boys rejoined their father and Alden. Mr. Hardy stated that he had given the mystery car a thorough going-over, but found nothing that would permit them to trace its owner.

“The vehicle wasn’t carrying license plates, and the serial numbers on the engine and chassis had been removed,” he continued. “Also, the fact that it was burned to a crisp doesn’t help either.”

Alden decided to carry on with the tests. When he had finished, the Hardys offered to drive him to his office.

As they started off, Alden rested back in the seat. “After all the excitement we’ve been having lately, I need a little diversion,” he said. “I think I’ll spend Saturday giving my race horse a work-out.”

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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