The searchers turned and fled 7 глава

“I wonder where George is,” Nancy said.

Burt was extremely worried. “We’ve got to get out of here!” he declared.

This time he and Ned climbed onto Matt’s shoulders. By pushing hard they were able to move the obstruction a little. Then suddenly it burst open. Burt raised himself The searchers turned and fled 7 глава out and looked around.

George was not in sight. “George!” he shouted. There was no answer.

Nancy swung up to Matt’s shoulders and climbed out. She also called her chum’s name. Still there was no reply. She berated herself for having urged the trip and the The searchers turned and fled 7 глава search. If only it had occurred to her that pals of the renegade scientists might come to the pit! Who were the men? She asked Burt to describe them.

The description of one fitted the man in woodsman’s clothing who had met the girls the first time they The searchers turned and fled 7 глава had gone up the mountainside. The other attacker was unfamiliar.

The rope ladder was lying on the ground. Burt set it in place. Ned and Matt climbed out.

Anxiously Nancy and her companions discussed what had happened to George. Had she been kidnapped by the men and was one or the The searchers turned and fled 7 глава other responsible for trying to abduct Bess and knocking out Dave?

Once more they called George’s name, but as before there was no answer to their frantic summons. They searched a wide area but could not find her.

“I’m going to the police,” Burt The searchers turned and fled 7 глава announced.

He started down the path toward Natty Bumppo’s cave. The others followed. They kept flash. ing their lights to see if there was any sign of George. They found no shoe prints or any marks on trees, a method Nancy, Bess, and George sometimes used to indicate a The searchers turned and fled 7 глава trail they had taken.

“Now what are we going to do?” Burt sighed as he paused several feet from the cave entrance.

Almost at once Burt caught sight of something gleaming in a clump of grass. Without speaking, he pointed toward it. Nancy and Ned followed him to the spot The searchers turned and fled 7 глава. Before them lay a metal comb!

“This might belong to George,” Nancy said hopefully, and stooped to pick it up. “There are a few dark strands of hair still on it.”

“I’ll bet she’s being held in that cave,” Burt interjected with mounting concern.

Ned was The searchers turned and fled 7 глава less convinced. “Someone else could have dropped the comb,” he said.

“It’s only a hunch, but—” Nancy started to say as they edged closer to the cave entrance.

“What is?” Ned whispered. For the moment she had decided to reveal no more.

“Come on, tell us,” Burt begged anxiously.

By The searchers turned and fled 7 глава this time they were flashing their lights inside the pitch-black cave.

“Why all the suspense?” Ned asked finally. “Do you think anything serious has happened to George?”

Nancy smiled faintly. “Oh, you know me and my hunches. Sometimes they’re wrong.”

“Your batting average is The searchers turned and fled 7 глава pretty high, I’d say,” Ned answered. “You could be nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame yourself.”

Nancy, whose thoughts were solely on George, did not reply to his quip. Instead she said fearfully, “I hate to tell you my hunch, but it certainly looks as if those men have kidnapped The searchers turned and fled 7 глава George.”

In a short time they reached the road and all of them exclaimed in surprise. Nancy’s convertible was gone!

Ned said angrily, “First those guys take the chest and kidnap George, then steal your car!”

“But how could they drive it?” Matt asked. “Don The searchers turned and fled 7 глава’t you have the keys with you, Nancy?”

She nodded but said that both George and Bess carried duplicate sets. “Perhaps George had them in a pocket.”

Burt groaned. “I get the whole picture now. Those men forced her down to the car by another route and мейд her хэнд over The searchers turned and fled 7 глава the keys. All the more reason why we should go to the police.”

The group started trudging toward the village. They had not gone far when they had to jump to the side of the road. Two State Police cars were roaring along, heading up East Lake Road The searchers turned and fled 7 глава.

“Maybe they’ve picked up a clue to Doria’s accomplices!” Ned said hopefully.

The words were hardly out of his mouth when they heard another car coming at a fast speed. To their utter amazement it was Nancy’s convertible. Driving it was George Fayne. No one The searchers turned and fled 7 глава else was with her.

Instantly Nancy and the boys began to shout. George applied the brakes and came to a screeching halt a few feet ahead. The others raced toward her and started to ask questions.

She cut them short and cried out, “Jump in! Quick! I know where the thieves The searchers turned and fled 7 глава are!”

CHAPTER XX

A Royal Finish

As Nancy’s car raced along East Lake Road, George quickly explained how she had escaped the two men.

“I saw flashlights bobbing in our direction, so I gave my first bird call. When you didn’t come, Burt moved to the trap door The searchers turned and fled 7 глава to warn you. I gave the bird call again but those men suddenly were at the entrance.

“I knew there was nothing I could do to help—I’d only be captured. So I decided to see what happened and then go for the police.”

George told of the scene at The searchers turned and fled 7 глава the top of the pit from her vantage point, and the others revealed what they had found inside.

“Hypers!” George exclaimed. Then she went on, “I guess the chest was kind of heavy. Anyway, those two men took turns carrying it on their shoulders. They couldn The searchers turned and fled 7 глава’t go very fast, so I was able to keep close enough to hear what they were saying.

“They decided to head for the old Hyde Homestead. One of them knew of an empty building there and was planning to hide the chest in it. He said they would go back for The searchers turned and fled 7 глава it later.

“I don’t know how they expected to get there—maybe by boat. I didn’t wait to find out. Instead I hurried to your car, Nancy. Thank goodness I’d put my duplicate set of keys in a pocket.”

George smiled a bit ruefully The searchers turned and fled 7 глава. “I went to the sheriff’s office in Cooperstown. At first the officer on duty didn’t believe my story. He said the police had heard stories about a luminescent green man and ghosts but had never encountered any of them during their own search in the woods.”

George The searchers turned and fled 7 глава described the clever trap door to the pit where the renegade scientists were experimenting.

“What finally convinced him, I guess, was the fact that I said Doria Sampler was evidently married to one of those men.

“The officer went to talk with her, but though she admitted she The searchers turned and fled 7 глава was Mrs. Sam Hornsby she would say nothing more. Anyway, the officer got in touch with the State Police, who decided to investigate empty buildings at the Hyde Homestead.”

“Where’s that?” Ned inquired.

Nancy explained that it was above the lake past Glimmerglass Park. “It’s a beautiful mansion The searchers turned and fled 7 глава which stands on a high hill.”

George whizzed along but had lost time picking up her passengers so the police cars were out of sight. She caught sight of them, however, when she reached the well-kept grounds of the Hyde Homestead. Two men carrying a chest were being The searchers turned and fled 7 глава escorted by the police to the officers’ cars. The young people jumped from Nancy’s convertible and rushed toward them.

“I’m glad you got here,” said one of the state troopers. “You’ll be able to identify these suspects.”

The prisoner, who was the woodsman the girls The searchers turned and fled 7 глава had met before, spoke up. “I’ll admit nothing. We’ve done no wrong. These people here,” he said, pointing toward Nancy’s group, “stole this chest which belongs to friends of ours. We were only getting it back for them and hiding it in a safe place. You have The searchers turned and fled 7 глава no right to arrest us.”

The other officer, who said his name was Brady, told the men there was plenty of evidence against them. They could do their explaining in court.

“That won’t take long,” Matt spoke up. “The papers and blueprints in this chest were stolen from The searchers turned and fled 7 глава Dr. Martin Larramore.”

All this time the two prisoners were glaring at Nancy and her friends. Finally one said to her, “You deserved to have trouble. The whole bunch of you were too snoopy. My pals weren’t hurting anybody.”

Just then a message came over the short-wave radio of The searchers turned and fled 7 глава the first police car. It said Samuel Hornsby Jones had been arrested. He had learned his wife was in custody and had given himself up. His buddy, Michael Welch Brink, had been apprehended a short while later.

Both men had confessed. Sam had played the parts The searchers turned and fled 7 глава of the green man, the ghost, and the iridescent animal-like creature.

Brink had searched Miss Armitage’s cottage for the valentine and letter. The letter had been recovered from him.

Brady asked Nancy, “Do you know what this is all about?”

“All I can tell you now is that it involves The searchers turned and fled 7 глава a secret, but there’s nothing criminal about it. Apparently Doria, Sam, and Mike were spying near our cabin and overheard us talking.”

Brady informed his prisoners that the young people had captured Doria Hornsby and turned her over to the authorities.

Startled by the news, the two The searchers turned and fled 7 глава prisoners asked why.

Brady explained. “She is a professional thief, along with her two brothers who live in New York City. They’re the ones who burglarized a jewelry store in our village and have committed other thefts. Doria said she was doing it to get money The searchers turned and fled 7 глава for Sam, but that neither he nor Michael knew about the vacation swindle.”

Brady smiled. “Nancy Drew, your detective work apparently scared this Doria. That’s why both she and the men harassed you in various ways.”

“You mean like capsizing my friend Ned and me in our sailboat The searchers turned and fled 7 глава and burglarizing our cabin?” she asked.

When Brady nodded, Nancy inquired if all the stolen purses had been recovered.

“I’ll find out,” Brady offered.

He radioed headquarters again and asked. The answer was Yes. The police had searched the underground cavern thoroughly. They had found not only all the handbags but The searchers turned and fled 7 глава a quantity of stolen jewelry.

“By the way,” Brady reported, “a pal of Sam Jones tried to kidnap one of you girls and another accomplice knocked out her boy friend.”

The two men whom the troopers were holding winced. They finally admitted their guilt.

Brady said that The searchers turned and fled 7 глава the officers would take their prisoners away. They thanked Nancy and her friends for their help and said no doubt the young sleuth would be hearing from them soon.

The State Police drove off and the others went back to Mirror Bay Bide-A-Wee.

“There’s Miss Armitage’s car The searchers turned and fled 7 глава,” Nancy remarked.

As they walked up on the porch, there were sighs of relief from Miss Drew, Bess, Dave, and their caller.

“Where did you go?” Aunt Eloise asked. “You’ve been gone so long, we’ve been frantic.”

Miss Armitage said she had been at the cabin for The searchers turned and fled 7 глава some time. “I didn’t want to leave until I knew everyone was all right,” she told them.

Bess and Dave, as well as the two women, gasped in astonishment upon hearing all that had happened to their friends in the past few hours.

Miss Armitage The searchers turned and fled 7 глава said, “I’m proud of your detective work.” She smiled and her eyes twinkled. “After you’ve had a rest from this mystery, how about solving mine?”

Nancy promised they would go diving for the child’s royal coach the following afternoon. Miss Armitage arose to leave. Dave walked to her The searchers turned and fled 7 глава car with her.

Everyone was too excited to retire. The mystery on the mountain was discussed over and over. Aunt Eloise and Bess served a midnight snack. Finally all of them were yawning and went to bed.

The following morning they took two cars and went to The searchers turned and fled 7 глава the village to church. Later, as Nancy’s passengers were returning to her convertible, Bess hurried up alongside her.

“This morning I overheard Matt say to Aunt Eloise, ‘After you get back to the city I’ll be calling you for a date.’ ”

Nancy smiled. “That’s great! I can’t The searchers turned and fled 7 глава think of any nicer friend for Aunt Eloise than Matt.”

About an hour after dinner, everyone changed into swimsuits. Just then Miss Armitage arrived.

“Hello, everybody!” she said. “I have a surprise for Nancy and Ned. Are you driving over to the other side of the bay?”

“Yes The searchers turned and fled 7 глава,” Nancy replied.

“Well, when you come up to the road, I’ll show you what I have in my station wagon and transfer it to your car. In fact, that won’t even be necessary because I’m going to follow you. I have a strong hunch that today you The searchers turned and fled 7 глава’re going to find the child’s Russian coach.”

“We’ll do our best,” Nancy promised.

When she and Ned saw the surprise, they were delighted. There were two face masks with oxygen tanks. Now the couple could swim deeper and stay longer underwater!

Miss Armitage handed over The searchers turned and fled 7 глава the gear. When Nancy and Ned reached the search area, they adjusted the face masks and the oxygen tanks.

Nancy picked up the metal detector and Ned carried a probe. The other swimmers put on scuba diving equipment.

It was very exciting in the low depths of the bay. Fish they The searchers turned and fled 7 глава had never seen and plants galore grew up out of the mud floor.

As the couple swam along, Nancy listened carefully for ticks on the metal detector. After Ned had lodged the probe into the mud, he let Nancy take the lead. Suddenly she began to tread water and The searchers turned and fled 7 глава steadied the detector over one spot. The device was emitting a very loud, clear vibratory sound.

“This must be it!” Nancy thought. “Oh, I hope so!”

She motioned for Ned to get the probe. He swam back for it, then placed the tool at the spot The searchers turned and fled 7 глава from which the sound had come. Within moments the slender instrument struck something hard. Ned kept poking the probe in and finally indicated to Nancy that they had found a large square object. The couple tried to dislodge it, but this was impossible.

They rose to the surface and swam The searchers turned and fled 7 глава to shore. The couple removed their masks and Nancy reported excitedly, “We think we’ve found the coach but we can’t move it!”

Burt and Dave asked to borrow their equipment and take down some other tools.

“All right,” Nancy said. “We wish you luck.”

Between them The searchers turned and fled 7 глава the two boys managed to loosen from the mud what proved to be a large metal box. It was much too heavy for them to dredge up. They surfaced and announced that they needed strong rope or metal cable and a small derrick to lift the object onto shore.

Miss The searchers turned and fled 7 глава Armitage was walking up and down excitedly. The elderly woman wished she could help but said she did not have the strength.

“I wish I had proper diving equipment,” Aunt Eloise spoke up. “I think it’s going to take more than two people working down there to The searchers turned and fled 7 глава raise the chest.”

George grinned. “How about giving Matt and me a chance at it?”

Burt and Dave removed the equipment. George and Matt put it on. They swam off into the deeper water of the bay.

In the meantime Ned remembered that he had a long coil of The searchers turned and fled 7 глава heavy rope in the well of his car trunk. “I got stuck last winter in the snow near Emerson and had to be pulled out. Ever since, I’ve carried the rope with me. There’s also some heavy rope in that kitchen cabinet where we got the tools.”

He went The searchers turned and fled 7 глава back to Bide-A-Wee for it. When George and Matt surfaced, he showed the rope to them.

“The chest is mighty heavy,” Matt said, “but nothing ventured nothing gained. Burt, you game to go down again?”

“Sure.”

Each of them carried one end of the stout ropes The searchers turned and fled 7 глава, while those on shore held the other ends. They knew by the quiver of the ropes when they were being tied around the chest. Would they hold?

A few minutes later there were tugs on the lines. Ned, Dave, Nancy, Bess, and even Aunt Eloise pulled as hard as The searchers turned and fled 7 глава they could. They kept slipping and falling down and did not seem to be making any progress.

Beneath the water Matt and Burt simultaneously were keeping the box from being scraped against the shale while pushing it upward as hard as they could. To everyone’s delight the large object The searchers turned and fled 7 глава finally was lugged onto the shore.

“I hope it’s the right one!” Miss Armitage murmured.

Dave said to her with a grin, “This may not be a child’s coach, you know. Possibly it’s pirate gold!”

The remark eased Miss Armitage’s tension somewhat. She The searchers turned and fled 7 глава suggested that they wait to open it at Bide-A-Wee.

It was dragged up the incline and lifted into Miss Armitage’s station wagon. Burt and Matt removed their masks and tanks, then quickly all the swimmers donned robes. The happy searchers climbed into the cars. Nancy and Ned said The searchers turned and fled 7 глава they would ride in the back of the station wagon and help steady the cumbersome box.

Finally the mysterious object was deposited on the front porch of the cabin. It was tightly sealed and everyone wondered how they could pry it open.

Nancy examined the box carefully with a The searchers turned and fled 7 глава magnifying glass. She could barely discern a fine line around it and assumed this was the edge of the lid. Tools were brought out. The boys chiseled into the fine line and confirmed that indeed they were working on the cover.

There was complete silence among the onlookers as they The searchers turned and fled 7 глава waited to see what would be inside. After what seemed like an interminable length of time, Ned announced:

“It’s coming off!”

A few minutes later the boys lifted the heavy lid. Many pieces of soft cloth were tucked around the contents. Quickly the girls took these out The searchers turned and fled 7 глава.

Everyone gasped. Below was a white roof.

“It is a child’s royal coach!” cried Miss Armitage, hardly daring to believe her eyes.

Very gingerly the precious object was lifted from the box. It was fairly heavy.

“This is exquisite!” Aunt Eloise exclaimed. “Look at all those darling The searchers turned and fled 7 глава little cherubs painted in gold and white.”

The shafts for a pony were separately wrapped. They had been cut in half to accommodate them to the small space and laid diagonally across the bottom of the box. Bess ran for mending tape. The shafts were put together and set The searchers turned and fled 7 глава into place.

Miss Armitage was walking around excitedly. “Can’t you just see a darling little girl riding along in this!”

As she finished speaking, there was a hail from the water and everyone looked up to see Yo arriving in his boat.

“Hello!” Nancy cried excitedly. “Come The searchers turned and fled 7 глава up here and see what we found!”

If it were possible for anyone’s eyes to pop out of his head, this would have happened to Yo when he joined the group. The young man stared, speechless. “You—you pulled the coach up out of the water?”

Nancy smiled The searchers turned and fled 7 глава. “This is the secret of Mirror Bay!”

“I can’t believe it!” he said. “What are you going to do with this—this beautiful thing?”

Miss Armitage told him she planned to present it to the Fenimore Museum. “Of course I’ll have to notify the police about this treasure The searchers turned and fled 7 глава which belonged to an ancestor of mine.

“Yo,” she said, “would you go to the museum right now? See if you can find a couple of the officials and bring them here. There’s no phone in the cabin, so I can’t call.”

Yo said he would The searchers turned and fled 7 глава be delighted to do the errand. When he left, Nancy was deep in thought. Though thrilled by her eventful visit with Aunt Eloise, she was eager to tackle another mystery. The young detective got her wish when called upon to solve The Double Jinx Mystery.

An hour later two The searchers turned and fled 7 глава men arrived from the Fenimore Museum. Mr. Clark and Mr. Hill were astounded not only at such an unusual gift to the museum, but at Nancy’s astuteness and perseverance in solving the mystery. After Miss Armitage had told the history of the child’s royal coach, she formally presented it to The searchers turned and fled 7 глава the museum in care of the two men.

Mr. Clark said, “I am not a trustee of the museum, but I live in Cooperstown and this coach will be a wonderful addition to our exhibits. My congratulations to you, Nancy Drew, and your friends.” He smiled The searchers turned and fled 7 глава. “I’ll have a special key мейд for you. It will be the Key to Cooperstown!”

Nancy thanked him. Then, her eyes twinkling, she added, “And may I please have one to Mirror Bay also?”

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