Project Gutenberg's Jimmy Drury: Candid Camera Detective, by David O'Hara

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most
other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of
the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at  If you are not located in the United States, you'll have
to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.

Title: Jimmy Drury: Candid Camera Detective

Author: David O'Hara

Release Date: September 1, 2018 [EBook #57825]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Stephen Hutcheson and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at

Jimmie Drury: Candid Camera Detective




F. E. Warren


Copyright, 1938, by

All Rights Reserved
Printed in the United States of America


I. Out from the Fog 1
II. Magic of the Dark Room 11
III. The Dark Room 22
IV. Tom Howe’s Ears 36
V. The Candid Camera Clicks Again 50
VI. John’s Hideout 57
VII. Big Timers Stage a Rehearsal 67
VIII. A Millionaire Pitcher 85
IX. A Fortunate Shot 92
X. The Alaskan Match Clue 103
XI. Strange, White Balls 114
XII. The Silver-Fox King’s Treasure 127
XIII. Jimmie Sets a Trap 141
XIV. The “Haunted House” 151
XV. Nature Lends a Hand 157
XVI. The Trap is Sprung 165
XVII. Jimmie Brushes the Floor 175
XVIII. In the Bubble Man’s Lair 183
XIX. At Last, the Terror’s Picture 193
XX. The Zero Hour 201
XXI. More About Diamonds 208




A heavy fog had come sweeping in from the lake. Lights from street lamps glowed dimly like great, bleary eyes. Store windows were mere blankets of pale white light.

Jimmie Drury hated fog. He was thinking as he crossed the Madison Street bridge: “Perhaps the devil is a monster breathing out fire, but when his fires are banked he must breathe out cold, gray fog which is worse. He——”

Just then the thing happened. A shadowy figure stepped from behind a steel girder of the bridge. A husky voice said:


“As you are!”

Jimmie’s figure went rigid. Involuntarily his right hand gripped something hard and round in his right side pocket. Something struck his chest. There was a blinding flash. Then Jimmie went down like an empty sack and out like a match.

When he came to he found himself the center of a curious group surrounded by fog. A policeman was bending over him. His first sensation was one of surprise that he was still alive. Then, like an electric shock, a thought came to him:

“Did—did he get it?” he stammered. His hand went to his belt.

“No,” he answered his own question, “he didn’t get it. But did I get him? That’s the question.”

“Poor dear,” sighed a bespectacled old lady at the edge of the crowd, “he must be delirious. It’s the shock.”

“Back, all of you,” the policeman interrupted her. “Give him air.”


“Fog, you mean,” Jimmie laughed. “I—I’m all right, officer. I—” He tried to rise but sank back dizzily.

“Take it easy,” the officer advised.

“Officer,” said Jimmie, “do you know Tom Howe?”

“Tommy Howe, that keen young detective? Who of the force don’t know him?” The officer laughed hoarsely.

“Get him on the phone at the State Street Station right away if you can.” Jimmie’s tone was eager, tense with excitement. “It—it’s terribly important. Tell him to meet me at the Daily Press offices. By the elevator, sixth floor.”

“And who shall I say you might be?” inquired the officer.

“Jimmie Drury. You must know my father,” the boy replied eagerly. “He’s Howard Drury,——”

“Chief sports editor of the Press. Sure, I know him. And you’re his son, right enough. The resemblance is plain. Right, my lad—But, say!” the policeman’s tone changed. “Don’t I get in on this? It was me that found you. Don’t forget that.”


“Sure! Oh, sure you do!” Jimmy exclaimed. “And now,” he strove again to rise, “with you—your help I can walk.”

“Right! Up you come. And now, clear out, all of you!” The officer waved a hand at the crowd that, like a fade-out in the movies, vanished into the fog.

“All—all right, we’re off.” Jimmie swayed dizzily, then, with the grip of a strong hand on his arm, made his way slowly back across the bridge.

At the far side of the bridge they halted for a moment at a call-box.

“What did you say your name was?” asked the officer absent-mindedly.

“Jimmie Drury, of the Press.”

“Ah, yes, of the Press,” the officer mumbled. Then, into the receiver, “That you, Mike? This is Denny Sullivan. And is Tom Howe there? He is? That’s good. Put him on the wire.”


There was a moment’s wait during which Jimmie ran his fingers carefully over something black and hard hanging at his belt, then indulged in a sigh of satisfaction.

“That you, Tom?” the officer boomed. “This is Denny Sullivan.”

“Yes, Denny.”

“Say. There’s a boy here. I picked him up on the bridge a bit ago. Says you’re to come to the Press offices, sixth floor by the elevator. What do you know about that?”

“His name? Why, it’s Jimmie Drury.”

“What’s that? Oh, you will? You’ll be over at once? That’s good.”

“What do you know about that?” Denny Sullivan exclaimed as he hung up. “Tom says he’ll be right over.”

“I knew he would,” Jimmie smiled.

“Well, we’ll be getting on up,” said the officer. “Give me your arm.”

Passing through double doors, they made their way up an inclined runway, crossed a long corridor, turned right, caught an elevator and were whisked away to the sixth floor.


There, after passing down one more corridor, they came to a large room where desks, chairs, and typewriters of all descriptions loomed out of the darkness of the place.

On their approach a tall, slender man rose slowly from his place beside a bank of telephones.

“Oh!” he exclaimed. “It’s you, Jimmie. And,” with a laugh, “pinched again! What did he do this time, Denny?” He turned to the officer.

“Went out like a bad electric bulb,” said the officer. “And no cause at all, unless it was a sudden flash of light.

“You see,” Denny went on, “I had just reached the bridge when that flash came. First I thought it might be a shot. But there was no sound. I made a dash for it. And there was this boy. I——”

“It was that man!” Jimmie, no longer able to control himself, broke in. “The one they call the Silent Terror.”

“The Silent Terror! No!” John Nightingale, the young reporter stared. “It couldn’t have been!”


“But it was! I just got a glimpse of him,” Jimmie insisted. “He said, ‘As you are!’ I felt something hit my chest, not very hard and I thought, ‘I’ve been hit. Perhaps I’m going to die.’ Then everything faded.”

“But the bright light?” said John.

“Oh, that—that was my idea.” Jimmie grew excited. “You know I’ve been experimenting in every sort of way with my candid camera.”

“Yes, I know. You——”

“Last thing I tried,” Jimmie broke in, “I hung the camera on my belt with a flat flash-light beside it. I put a flash bulb in the light. Then I connected up an electric push button that would open the camera and shoot off the flash all at the same time.”

“And I suppose,” John Nightingale drawled, “that you went right out and hunted up this Silent Terror and said, ‘Beg pardon. Let me take your picture.’”

“No! No! It wasn’t like that,” Jimmie laughed. “That was an accident; what father would call a ‘fortunate coincidence.’”


“But you were ready for him,” John insisted. “That’s foresight.”

“I was ready for anything interesting that might happen ten feet from where I stood. But think!” Jimmie grew excited again. “I may have the picture of the Silent Terror right here in my little candid camera. Won’t that be something.”

“It will indeed,” said John Nightingale, visibly impressed. “But here is Tom Howe, the ace detective.” His voice changed. “What do you know, Tom? Our young cub reporter has met the Silent Terror face to face, and lives to tell the story.”

“What!” said Tom Howe, who, save for his deep-set, piercing eyes, looked little the part of a detective.

“And he thinks he took his picture,” the reporter added.


“If he did,” Tom said soberly, “he has done a real service to his city. We’ve got to get that man and get him quick. At present, in some way quite unknown to us, he is putting people to sleep at a distance and robbing them on the streets. But criminals are never satisfied. In time he will double the dose, whatever it is, and his victims will never come to life. It is always that way with crime.”

“But how about the picture?” he demanded, turning eagerly to Jimmie.

“It—it’s not developed yet,” Jimmie stammered.

“Come on. We’re in luck,” the reporter exclaimed. “Scottie just went back to the darkroom. Took some pictures of the fight out at the park—to illustrate your father’s write-up, you know,” he explained to Jimmie. “He just went back to develop them. Come on, we’ll all go back to the dark room.”

“What’s all this?” put in a soft feminine voice.

“Oh, hello, Mary Dare,” John Nightingale exclaimed. “Been doing night life in the great city?”


“Out on a show that somebody thought should be exposed.” The young, red-headed lady reporter, who looked little more than a girl, laughed merrily. “But what’s the big excitement?”

“Jimmie thinks he got a picture of the Silent Terror with his candid camera,” John explained. “Come on back with us and we’ll watch this Silent Terror come out on the film.”

And so the five of them marched toward the magic dark room of a great city newspaper where many a picture destined to condemn a guilty man to the electric chair or set an innocent one free has first seen the red glow of the photographer’s magic lamp.



Scottie McFadden, a veteran photographer of the Press, was discovered to be entrenched in his favorite dark room.

“Can’t come out for another quarter hour,” his voice sounded out through the walls. “These fight pictures must be out for the early edition. What have you got?”

“One of Jimmie’s candid camera shots,” John Nightingale winked at his friends as he shouted through the dark room walls.

“Candid camera!” came roaring out from the dark room, “You may as well all go home. Nothing big will ever come from a picture the size of a postage stamp.”

“May be bigger than you think this time,” was John’s reply. “Anyway, we’ll wait.”


“And while you’re all waiting,” he added in a lower tone, “I’ll hop down to Jerry’s for two quarts of coffee and a sack of sinkers,” and away he went.

“Coffee and doughnuts,” Jimmie thought with a start. “That was what I was after. Wonder what became of that black bag? Bet that fellow got it.”

His father was working late that night because of the heavy-weight boxing bout. Jimmie had begged permission to stay down-town and go home with him on the late theater train and permission had readily been granted. Later when Howard Drury, his father, was ready to start his story he had sent Jimmie out for refreshments. These were always carried in a small, black leather bag.

“Say!” Jimmie exploded suddenly, wheeling about to face Tom Howe, the young detective. “I’ll bet I know why that Silent Terror came to pick on me.”

“Why?” Tom Howe stared.

“I was carrying a small black bag.”


“Sure, that’s it,” Tom agreed, quick to seize upon the clue. “Thought you were a messenger carrying money from some small theater to the central vault.”

“That’s it,” Jimmie agreed.

This much decided upon they all lapsed into silence. They were a quiet group, these reporters and the detective, when there was nothing really serious to be talked about.

Jimmie now found time to think back over the days that had led up to this moment. Think, he did, and like all the thoughts of youth, his were long, long thoughts.

The old lady on the bridge had called Jimmie a “poor dear.” She would not have called him that had she seen him streaking down the field for a touchdown last autumn. Jimmie had a small, almost childish face, but he was large, six feet in his stockings, 170 pounds, which is not bad for a 17-year-old high school boy.


But Jimmie was not all football. Truth is, he took football as a matter of duty. Loyalty to his school demanded it. Jimmie’s interest was centered on cameras. When eight years old he had been taken to the Press photograph department. There he had asked Scottie McFadden so many and such astounding questions that at first Scottie stood staring and at last drove him, in a good-natured manner, from the place, declaring he’d be fired for getting no work done.

Jimmie’s first hard-earned dollar had gone for a camera of a sort. For years after that all he could earn, beg or borrow went for cameras and equipment. His proudest hour came when, on his seventeenth birthday, his wealthy uncle Bob had presented him with a truly wonderful miniature camera.

“It’s a Gnome,” he confided to Scottie. “Takes twenty-four pictures in about as many seconds. Got a wide-angle lens that will almost take pictures in the dark. And fast! Say! There’s not a camera made that’s faster. It—it’s a real dwarf.”


“A Gnome, is it?” Scottie had drawled. “Well, you’ve got to show me, son. I don’t go in for these baby cameras that you can lose in your pocket. Give me a box with a strap that goes over your shoulder and a ground glass at least three inches across. Candid camera, is it? Well, my camera is candid, too. See those pictures I took of the baseball boys in action?”

“Yes,” said Jimmie. “They were great!”

“Sure they were,” Scottie agreed. “And why? Because they were taken with a real camera.”

Jimmie’s chance to show Scottie what his Gnome would do came sooner than he had expected. With his father’s aid he had secured a summer job with the Press as copy boy. The results had been surprising.

To many the job of copy boy would not prove exciting. To jump when someone in the large editorial room shouts, “Boy!”, to go racing away to Miss Peter’s desk on the third floor or Mr. Bill’s on the seventh and to keep this up for long hours is tiring to say the least. Yet, for Jimmie, every office, the composing room, the roaring press-room held a charm all its own.


It was, however, his little candid camera that brought his great opportunity. Perhaps it was because he always jumped promptly while other boys lagged that John Nightingale began to take an interest in him. More than once he paused to chat with the lad. Then, one day, right out of a clear sky he leaped up from answering a phone call to exclaim:

“Come on, boy! You’re drafted for something really big.”

“I—I—what?” Jimmie stammered.

“Got your little camera, haven’t you?”

“Yes, sure,” Jimmie stared.

“Percy Palmer’s been found dead. Come with us. You’re going to take his picture.”

“Percy Palmer, the millionaire? Oh, I—” Jimmie held back.

“Sure! Come on! You’re drafted, I tell you.”

And Jimmie went.

While they were on their way in a taxi John explained that two photographers were home sick and three out on big stories.


“So that left only you,” John finished.

“But, I—Well, you see——”

“Yes, I know, but I’ve seen some of your shots,” John broke in. “They’re good. Good enough for me. You wait. We’re a full half hour ahead of the other papers. It will be a scoop. You’ll see one of your pictures on the front page under a screaming head-line.”

And he did.

That was not all there was to it either. Jimmie had just finished reading a book called, “Mysteries of Real Life.” The part cameras have played in solving death mysteries had been told in this book in detail. After making the shots of the dead man required by the reporter, he took a number of others on his own. These pictures, when developed and enlarged, were presented to the coroner’s jury and went far toward helping to prove that this was a case of suicide and not of murder.


After that, on many a summer afternoon Jimmie did not answer to the call of “Boy!”, for he was not there, but was off with his good pal, John, shooting a story.

Needless to say, Jimmie went in stronger than ever for candid cameras. He haunted a shop window where telescopic lenses were displayed, spent many hours studying methods of taking pictures in the dark with the aid of infra-red rays and dreamed strange dreams of thrilling photographic adventures.

Needless to say, none of those dreams had been more fantastic than the thing that had just happened to him there on the bridge in the fog.

It had begun with a book he had read on his day off. For once he had abandoned camera craft and had lost himself in a western story of wild adventure. The hero of this story shot from the hips and always got his man.

“Why not?” Jimmie whispered, thinking of his camera. “A shot from the belt, a touch of the button, a click, a flash, and there you have it, a picture.”


He tried it and with good results. By training his eye to measure distances accurately he could set his camera for eight, ten, or fifteen feet and get a fairly sharp picture three times out of four.

“But when will you use it?” Jimmie’s father objected. “Of course, you might meet the president on the street and shoot him. But if you did you’d get nabbed. If you happened to meet a hold-up man and flashed a bulb in his face he’d shoot you and investigate afterwards.”

“You never can tell,” was Jimmie’s reply. “There’s no harm in being prepared.”

Shortly after that a fresh sensation made the headlines of all the papers. A strange new type of hold-up man was abroad on the city streets. A man crossing the Roosevelt Road viaduct heard a hoarse voice say: “As you are.” He saw an arm lifted in the shadows, felt a soft push at his chest, reeled dizzily, and some ten minutes later came to himself to find his wallet and watch gone.


“How was it done?” This was the headline for the next day’s paper. That, as time passed, became the question of the hour.

This man who soon became known as the Silent Terror struck again; this time in a tunnel leading to a suburban station. A woman hurrying to a train heard those same words, “As you are,” saw a hand, felt something touch her, and that was all. She was found a moment later lying unconscious. Her purse was gone. She returned to consciousness ten minutes later and was, apparently, none the worse for the adventure.

“Get that man!” was the cry of the police. “How does he do it?” the papers demanded. And they offered prizes, a hundred, five hundred, a thousand dollars, for the answer.

“Electricity,” said some; “gas” said others; “a new form of mysterious life and death.” But how? How?

A man on the Municipal Pier and a woman on the Washington Street bridge were the next victims. The man had a weak heart. He barely escaped death.


Tom Howe, one of the keenest young detectives in the city service, was assigned to the case. He was a friend of John Nightingale and had become greatly interested in Jimmie Drury. The three of them put their heads together but no solution appeared.

“And now,” Jimmie thought, sitting there in the newspaper office at night waiting for Scottie, the veteran photographer, “it’s happened to me. If only I got that fellow’s picture.”

“All right!” He started at the sound of a voice. “All right, Jimmie, me boy.” It was Scottie. “Give me that cigar lighter with the bit of baby ribbon inside. That thing you call a candid camera ... I’m ready to develop that film.”

“All—all right. Here it is,” Jimmie stammered. Then they all crowded excitedly into the narrow dark room; John Nightingale, Tom Howe, Denny Sullivan, Jimmie, and that red-haired girl named Mary Dare.



Jimmie had experienced many a thrill watching his pictures come into being on the shiny film, but never such a one as this. “So much depends upon it,” he thought as a chill ran up his spine. And much did; the fate of a man gone wrong, the safety and happiness of many he might yet spring upon unsuspectedly in the night; yes, perhaps the very lives of some might depend upon that picture. How eagerly, then, the five of them waited as Scottie rattled paper, held the white ribbon of film to the light, then began moving it dexterously through the developing solution.

Hushed silence followed. Jimmie was thinking, “What sort of person is this Silent Terror? Is he short or tall, dark or light? Will he be masked? How are we to know him? What distinguishing mark does he bear that will brand him for the future? What——”


“Why, Jimmie!” Scottie broke in upon his thoughts, “there’s nothing on this ribbon of yours!”

“Noth—nothing,” Jimmie stammered. Then, excitedly, “Yes, sure there is. Just one picture! There at the end. It—it’s coming through!”

“So it is!” said Scottie. At once he devoted all his attention to that end of the film.

“Think of wasting a whole film on one little picture,” Scottie murmured.

“Money well spent,” put in Tom Howe. “There’s a thousand dollar reward on that man’s head.”

Eagerly they crowded together for a look as Scottie held the tiny square to the light.

“He’s there!” John Nightingale whispered.

“There!” Mary Dare echoed.

“Wait,” cautioned Scottie the veteran. Many a picture had he seen go wrong in the making.


Sensing the tense excitement about him and consumed by a desire to tease a little, Scottie held the film in the solution for what to the watchers seemed an endless period of time.

“There,” he drew a long breath at last. “She should be done to a turn.”

Holding the film up with one hand, he examined it through a large magnifying glass.

“Jimmie! Jimmie!” he exclaimed. “I might have known it! You got only his ear. Why in time didn’t you ask the gentleman to turn around?” The laugh that followed was mirthless. Scottie had wanted to see Jimmie succeed.

“An ear!” Jimmie murmured.

“An ear!” Mary repeated.

“Must be a profile,” said John hopefully.

“Nope. See for yourselves,” Scottie held out the glass. “Only an ear.”

“More than that,” said Tom Howe after a look. “There’s a shoulder and the back of the neck. There’s as much character shown in a man’s neck as in the shape of his nose.


“And that ear!” he exclaimed after a closer look. “It’s priceless, that picture. There’s not another ear in the world like it. Jimmie, allow me to congratulate you.” He gripped the boy’s hand tightly.

“All right,” sighed Scottie. “Since it’s important we’ll wash it, then put it in the fixin’ bath and make it permanent.”

“And, Scottie,” Tom Howe put in eagerly, “just as soon as you can, make me an enlargement, big as the negative will stand. Will you?”

“It’s a good, sharp negative,” Scottie admitted. “Though how that happened with a boy shooting with a pill box from the hip, I can’t see. Your enlargement will be ready first thing in the morning, Tom.”

“I’ll be here bright and early,” Tom turned to go. The others followed him out into the dim, religious light characteristic of the editorial room of a great newspaper at night.


“I’m sorry the picture wasn’t better,” Jimmie said as Tom Howe came out from the dark room.

“You need not be.” Tom fixed his deep-set piercing eyes upon him. Tom was short and slender, yet there was that about his eyes which told each new-comer that here was a person not to be trifled with. “You got his ear and the back of his neck,” he went on. “That’s a lot. You might have got a bullet,” he added soberly. “That was a novel and daring thing to do, shooting a picture from the belt.”

“But only an ear,” Jimmie protested. “What can you tell by that?”

“Much,” said Tom. “Ears are neglected by most detectives. I have made a sort of specialty of them. Come over to my room and I’ll show you my collection of ears.”

“Collection of ears?” Jimmie was shocked.


“Oh, I don’t keep them in alcohol.” Tom laughed. “They’re not real, though they seem so at a little distance. You’ll find them interesting. Come at noon and we’ll have lunch together.”

“That—Say! That will be grand!” said Jimmie.

“Here’s the address,” Tom pressed a bit of cardboard into his hand. “Go up as far as the elevator will take you, climb two flights of stairs, knock sharply three times, wait sixty seconds, then knock again. If you get no response, turn and walk down again,” Tom laughed shortly, “for I’ll either be dead or shall have forgotten an appointment, neither of which has happened in five years.

“And now,” he put out a hand, “good-night and thanks for letting me in on this.”

“That’s all right,” Jimmie stammered. To be thanked by a truly famous young detective, that was something.

Jimmie passed his father’s office on the way back. A green shade drawn over his eyes, he was pounding furiously at the typewriter keys.


“Be ready in twenty minutes,” his head jerked back for a second. “We’ll make the train O. K.” Once again his eyes, behind thick glasses, were fixed on his pencilled copy.

“Wonder if he knows,” thought Jimmie. He was thinking of his night’s experience.

“John,” he said, after retracing his steps to the reporter’s desk, “you won’t put my name in the story?”

“It would make a peach of a story,” John laughed low. “Can’t you see it? Boy—candid-camera bug—shooting from the hip—gets picture of the Silent Terror.”

“Yes, but you won’t use it.” It was Tom Howe who suddenly broke in upon their talk. He had retraced his steps to discuss this very thing. “We can’t let him know we have his picture, not just yet,” he went on. “Might scare this Terror off. And we must get that man!”

“Oh! All right.” With a sigh the reporter crumpled a paper in his hand. “A word from the voice of the law is all that’s needed.”


“Wish there were more like you.” Tom put a hand on his shoulder. “Many a catch has been thwarted by a newspaper story released too soon. When we get that man you’ll have first chance at the story, you have my word for it.”

“Thanks, old man.” John slouched down over his desk to take up once more the task of answering phone calls about a saloon brawl, a pick-pocket in the park, and some young drunks who had rammed their car into a viaduct.

“Such,” he sighed, “is a reporter’s life.”

As for Jimmie, he was vastly relieved. “Let that story get into the paper,” he thought, “and let mother read it and my career as a ‘rising young newspaper man’ will be at an end.” His mother was “afraid for him.” That was her way of expressing it. Jimmie was fond of his mother but he did not like to have her be afraid.


Beside his father in a seat of the suburban train Jimmie glanced sidewise twice. Then he realized that his father knew all about the affair at the bridge. Someone had told him the whole story.

“Father, that—” he cleared his throat, “that was what you’d say is in the nature of an accident.”

“Yes,” his father seemed to agree, “an accident.”

“Might have happened to anyone,” Jimmie went on, greatly encouraged.

“Just anyone,” said his father.

“It won’t be in the paper?”


“Father, promise that you won’t tell mother. You won’t tell her, will you?” There was a note of anxiety in the boy’s voice.

“No. I think not.”


“Then you will be able to continue your work? Is that it?” His father smiled.

“Yes, I——”


“Son,” his father broke in, “I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that you should go on. You may in time make a worth-while contribution to the safety of this city’s people with your candid camera.”

“Look out there!” He pointed to row after row of flat buildings speeding past them. “People live out there. Thousands and thousands of simple, kindly people. Hardly one of them feels perfectly at ease and safe. Why? Because criminals are free to roam the city streets.

“As I look at it,” his tone was serious, “it is the duty of each one of us to do what he can to make those people safe.

“I don’t want you to get yourself injured or killed. No father wants that. But I also don’t want you to grow up soft—to be afraid. I want you to be brave, strong. You can never be that until you have faced real dangers. Don’t be fool-hardy or reckless, but when an opportunity for a real service presents itself don’t be afraid to step in.”

“Thanks. Oh, thanks,” Jimmie stammered. What he was thinking was, “I’ve got a real dad.”


At that same hour John Nightingale and Mary Dare, the red-headed lady reporter, sat at a table in a basement eatshop drinking coffee and discussing Jimmie.

“What sort of a boy is this Jimmie Drury?” Mary asked.

“Oh, just another boy,” John drawled.

“John!” Mary’s voice rose, “you know that’s not true. No boy is just another boy. What sort of boy is he?”

“Wa—al,” John grinned, “he won a baseball game once. That was in his grade school days. Regular Jack Armstrong finish, it was.”

“Tell me about it.”

“Well, then, let me,” John grumbled. “It was the end of a series. Jimmie’s team was playing off a tie with the Holmes school for the championship. No end of excitement, you know. Last half of the ninth inning, score tied, seven and seven. Two men out and Jimmie up to bat and——”

With a slow grin overspreading his thin face, John paused to lift his cup for a good long draw at the coffee.


“John!” Mary stamped her foot.

“Oh, yes,” John pretended to start. “Of course. What does Jimmie do but swat a home-run into the tall grass? And after running the bases what did he do?”


“Kept right on running. Streaked it for home.”


“Far as I can figure it out he didn’t want anybody making a fuss over him.”

“Splendid!” exclaimed Mary.

“Jimmie’s popular in high school,” John went on. “And yet, I’m sure he never tried for popularity. He likes doing things, all sorts of things. If this makes him popular that’s O. K. with Jimmie. If it doesn’t, that’s O. K. too.


“He was outstanding as a basketball star on his team,” he went on after ordering another cup of coffee. “But I’ll swear you’d never guess it to see him play. He didn’t do any dancing about, not a useless motion, but every now and again you’d see him have the ball, watch it shoot up and in, then hear the crowd roar. You can’t make much out of a kid like that,” he ended with a drawl.

“No,” Mary agreed. “But in the end he’ll make a lot out of himself. You’ll see. I love the way he looks you straight in the eyes. So many boys look all over the lot while you’re looking at them, as if they had something to hide. Nothing like that with Jimmie.”

“That’s right,” John agreed. “I look for him to go places and do things. Well,” he rose, “tomorrow’s another day. See you in the morning.” He disappeared through a narrow door that led to the depot and his train.

Late as it was when Jimmie at last found himself in bed he did not fall asleep at once. The new wine of adventure had set his blood on fire. He had tried something strange. It had worked. “At least,” he thought with a chuckle, “I shot an ear. Next time I’ll do better.”


Would he? What was to follow? Would they get their man? And that thousand dollar reward? Who would be the lucky one? He thought of John. John Nightingale, the reporter, was always hard up, always shabby. He borrowed money on Mondays before paydays.

Then he thought of Mary Dare. She, too, was poor. She had not been a reporter very long. Her salary was small. What would not the reward do for these?

“She’ll get on,” John had said, speaking of Mary, “Dare’s the right name for her. She’s not afraid to tackle anything.”

Tom Howe? Well, he didn’t know so much about Tom.

But suppose he got the reward himself? Instantly he thought of that telescopic lens, of screens and filters for light and of strange new films that permitted one to take pictures in the pitch dark, without a flash. In the midst of these dreamings he fell asleep.



Next day the fog hung even heavier than before over the city. It was because of this, perhaps, that Jimmie witnessed a strange bit of street drama and made a new friend, all of which was to play a large part in his life in the near future.

He had been sent to a publisher for a picture of an author who recently had become quite famous. The publishing house was a small concern and had its offices in an old building on a narrow street over which the elevated cars rattled and thundered.

Having secured the picture Jimmie was on his way back when a figure came gliding toward him through the fog.


“Like a snake,” Jimmie thought, as he watched the man approach. The man’s face, he noticed as they came closer together, matched his gait. He had the beady eyes, the long nose, and the protruding lips of a snake. Involuntarily, Jimmie looked at his ear as he passed. It was a strange ear, little and dried up like an autumn leaf. But it was not the ear of the Silent Terror.

“Ears are different,” he told himself. “I’m going to start studying them.”

This set him thinking of his engagement to meet Tom Howe at noon. He thought of the detective’s instructions. “Go as far as the elevator will take you. Climb two flights of stairs.” Surely a strange place to live.

Then he remembered what Tom had said about his collection of ears. He was both mystified and intrigued. He would be glad when the noon hour came.

With all this day-dreaming he had failed to note the figure of a huge man who moved slowly along before him. When at last he became conscious of the man he was obliged to slacken his pace to avoid running into him.


The man took long, slow steps, like someone from the country. Evidently he had expected the fog to turn to rain for he wore a heavy rain coat that flapped loosely about him.

Then, of a sudden, Jimmie noticed someone else. It was the snake-like man. “I’m going to meet him again,” he thought with a start. “How did he get here?”

There could be only one answer to this question. The snake-man had crossed the street, had doubled on his tracks, gone racing through the fog in the opposite direction for a block or two, then had recrossed the street and was now walking back the way he had come.

“But why?” Jimmie all but said these words out loud.

The answer was not long in coming.

As the sneaking little man came opposite the large one who lumbered on before Jimmie his hand flashed out and snatched something from the pocket of the big man’s coat.


Jimmie’s lips were parted for a sharp warning when something quite unusual happened. The little man spun half around, arose in the air like an airplane taking off, then shot away into the fog to land solidly on the pavement a full fifteen feet from his starting point.

A gruff voice said, “There! That will teach you to keep your hands out of other people’s pockets!” At that the big man bent over to pick up the bill-fold that had been snatched from his pocket and which, with the blow, had been knocked from the small man’s hand.

Jimmie took it all in like a flash. The little fellow had tried to snatch a purse. The big man had caught him at it and knocked him into the middle of the street.

“Boy, mister! That was great!” the words slipped unbidden from Jimmie’s lips.

The big man whirled about. “Oh, a boy!” he smiled broadly.

“But won’t you have him arrested?” Jimmie asked in surprise.


“No—o, I guess not,” the big man drawled. “He’s just a dirty little cur. Guess he’ll remember this.”

“But he’s a pick-pocket,” Jimmie protested. “Probably got a long record. I saw him do it. We—we could convict him.”

“Yes,” the other agreed. “But see. The fog has swallowed him up.”

“That’s right,” Jimmie agreed. “But say!” Jimmie was struck by a sudden idea. “This would be a peach of a story. I’m from the Press. Mind if I take your picture?”

“In this fog?” The man stared at him.

“Sure. My candid camera gets ’em in any weather. Just a minute.”

Jimmie backed up, squinted through his finder, twisted a screw, pressed a button, then said,

“Thanks, that’s great.”

“Just like that,” the big man grinned. “Let me see that thing.”

Reluctantly Jimmie turned over his camera.


“Neat little trick,” said the man. “How much do they cost?”

“A little over a hundred dollars,” Jimmie took back his treasure with a sigh of relief.

“Thunder! That’s a lot for a thing you can hide in the palm of your hand,” the big man exclaimed.

“Made like a watch,” said Jimmie proudly. “When you’ve got one you’ve got something. I took a picture of a fellow’s ear last night. May send him to prison.”

“Well, I’d say he’d better cover up his ears,” laughed the big man. “By the way, you might like to see what was in that bill-fold.”

“Sure—sure, I would,” Jimmie moved closer.

“There it is.”

Jimmie saw a slip of paper. “Huh!” he chuckled. “Check for a half million. Stage money, I suppose.”


“Real money. Want to see me cash it? Come on. We’ll get a taxi at the next corner. Be at the bank in fifteen minutes.” With his head in a whirl the boy followed his strange new friend to the corner, entered a taxi and was whisked away.

Three hours later when he started for Tom Howe’s room his thoughts were still spinning. He had stumbled on a peach of a news story for good old John Nightingale. And there was to be more; indeed, very much more than he at that moment dreamed.

When, promptly at the appointed hour, he entered the building in which Tom’s room was located he found himself in one of the city’s most celebrated sky-scrapers. Like a giant needle it pierced the sky.

“Two flights above the last stop,” he thought with a thrill. “Up among the pigeons, bats and stars.”

In this he was not so far from being wrong. Tom’s place was a snug little spot just beneath the clock.


“From this high pinnacle,” Tom said as Jimmie, having entered the room, stood staring, “I look down upon the crooked little world that is a great city. See!” he pointed at a powerful telescope resting on a tripod. “Take a squint.”

Jimmie took one squint into the telescope, then gazed long and earnestly. Those spider-like creatures moving over the sidewalk seeming all arms and legs were turned once more by this magic glass into men and women. Those large black bugs crawling along the street became autos.

“What I just said is more truth than fancy,” said Tom. “Fact is, in these days when I have no more pressing matters to hold my attention I train my telescope on a certain garage.”

“Garage? Why?” Jimmie asked in surprise.

“In that garage,” said Tom, his voice took on a note of mystery, “are stored two trucks. Under the hoods of these trucks are hidden unusually powerful motors. These trucks, I am convinced, are being held in readiness for one of the largest and boldest robberies in the city’s history.”


“Wha—what will they steal?” Jimmie asked.

“That’s what we don’t know,” was Tom’s surprising reply.

“Then why——”

“When five of the city’s most dangerous criminals are seen together and when three of them are known to have purchased these trucks, had powerful motors installed in them and stored them, it is time for the city’s detective force to be up on their toes.”

“But why don’t you arrest them now?” Jimmie asked.

“Got nothing on them. But we will have,” Tom paced the floor. “We will. And we’ll get them. You’ll see. All are dangerous men. Three have been charged with murder. No matter. When those trucks are loaded the police will strike and then——”

“Next day’s headlines will read, ‘Tom Howe killed in gun battle,’” said Jimmie, with a dry laugh.

“Perhaps,” Tom agreed. “We’re looking for a better story than that.”


“Oh!” Jimmie exclaimed as his eye was caught by a large picture on Tom’s desk. “You have it.”

“Yes, your shot from the hip. A fine enlargement,” Tom enthused. “Scottie sent it over an hour ago.”

“Good old Scottie,” Jimmie chuckled. “He likes to kid me about my candid camera.”

“Yes, but he’s beginning to believe in it,” Tom took the enlargement from the table. “You stick by Scottie. He’ll give you anything you want. Providing what you want is right and for the good of all.

“Look at that picture,” he said a few seconds later. “Peach of an ear. Not another like it in the world.”

They were looking at an enlargement of a picture of the Silent Terror. Perhaps the only one in existence, it was the one taken by Jimmie on the eventful night before. For a full minute they stood staring at it in silence.


To Jimmie there was something about the picture that made him shudder. Is it true that some men are so evil, so terrifying by nature, that even before you have looked them in the eye you fear them? It would seem so, for Jimmie now found himself trembling from head to foot.

“It’s last night,” he told himself angrily. “I’m not over that shock. I mustn’t be such a softie!”

Then, that he might the sooner gain control of himself, he forced himself to recall what Tom had said to him about the man’s ear.

“Wha—what’s strange about the ear?” he at last managed to ask.

For an answer his host turned a small knob to open a broad, shallow cabinet. “Here,” he said, “are my ears.”

“Great guns!” Jimmie exclaimed. “They look real!”


“Don’t they, though!” Tom’s face beamed. “Done in wax. The exact reproduction of two hundred famous ears, many of them of crooks, living and dead. A clever little hunch-back lady, a marvelous sculptress, does them for me.

“What I want you to do,” he said, “is to pick one out that exactly matches this ear of the Silent Terror.”

“That should be easy,” said Jimmie. “There are so many.”

“Take your time.” Smiling in a strange way the young detective sat down behind his telescope.

For a full five minutes Jimmie studied those ears. From time to time Tom heard him murmur, “Nope, not quite. Not at all, in fact. Nor this. Nor that.”

“Say—ee!” he exclaimed at last. “They’re all different. But then,” his voice changed, “I suppose you picked them because they’re odd.”

“Not at all,” replied Tom. “If I had ten thousand ears, you’d not find two that matched.”

“By the way!” he said, changing the subject, “did you ever happen to notice that your nose is crooked?”


“No. And it’s not,” said Jimmie.

“Take a look,” Tom handed him a glass.

“What? Why! It is crooked.” Jimmie was dismayed. “If—if I were a crook they’d spot me by my nose.”

“Oh, no!” Tom laughed. “Take a look at mine. It’s crooked too. There are a thousand people down there below us going to lunch. If you looked at them one after the other you’d probably find they all had noses slightly off the true. Watching them go by gets to haunt you if you look too long.

“But ears,” he went back to his original subject, “people don’t fuss much with their ears. Men do not try to disguise their ears as they do their eyes and noses. That’s why I’ve taken up the study of ears. In a crowd of ten thousand I could spot the Silent Terror’s ear. Soon I shall be carrying a reproduction of it in my pocket.”

“Have one made for me,” Jimmie’s tone was eager.

“I will,” said Tom. “Be sure you study it well.”


“I’ll be the first to spot him,” said Jimmie.

“If you are so fortunate,” replied Tom. “Be on your guard. He’s a dangerous man and, as time goes on, will become more desperate.

“And now,” he laughed, “classes for the morning are over. Shall we have lunch?”



It was after their lunch that Tom Howe drew from an inner pocket something resembling a thin pack of cards. Though they were alone in a booth with their backs to the wall he glanced sharply about him before unfolding the packet which proved to be ten small pictures glued to a single strip of black cloth.

“These,” he said, half concealing the pictures, “are my special charge, though your friend, the Silent Terror, is beginning to crowd in upon them.”

“Five,” said Jimmie in a whisper. “The five?


“Absolutely,” Tom’s voice was husky. “Front view and profile of each. Reading from left to right, Black Dolan; Piccalo, the Pipe; Pagan, the Fence; Stumps Sharpe; and Tungsten Tom. Every one of them has a criminal record. When five such men get together there’s bound to be trouble.” He folded up the packet and returned it to his pocket. “I don’t mind telling you I’m off in a few minutes to look over a small job they are suspected of pulling.”

“Small? Thought you said they were big.”

“When something big is planned it calls for money. Crooks get money in their own way. This time they opened up the safe of a movie company and got away with several fat bundles of currency.

“You might like to go along,” Tom suggested. “Might give you a scoop for your paper. Far as I know the thing’s been kept quiet.”

“A scoop! Oh, boy!”

This was the second time that a story had loomed large on Jimmie’s horizon. He thought of John Nightingale; good old hard-working John who had done him so many favors.


“A scoop for John,” he said aloud. “That will be grand!”

“Got your camera?”

“Sure! Always have it.”

“You’ll be able to get some pictures, I think. They always help. Shall we be off?”

“Right now,” Jimmie sprang to his feet. They were away.

The suite of offices they entered a few moments later were quite modern. Clicking typewriters, mahogany desks, and the latest floodlights told plainly that at least one moving-picture organization was doing very well. They were in the central office of a large syndicate controlling many theaters.

“Are you from the Detective Bureau?” inquired a short, fat man with pudgy fingers.

Tom nodded.

“They took it all! Everything!” The man wrung his fat hands.

“Where’s the safe?” Tom demanded shortly.


“It is in the back. Come this way, please. The police have been here. Everything has been guarded. Nothing was touched.” The man led the way back.

“Hello, Tom,” the police officer on duty greeted.

“Hello, Jerry. What kind of a job?” asked Tom.

“Neat. Professional, all right. Cut up the safe with oxyacetylene torch. Easy as opening a can of peas.”

“H’m,” said Tom as he entered the place. “Not much of a safe. Easy money, I’d say. But we’ll try to make ’em pay. We usually do, in the end, don’t we, Jerry?”

“I’ll say you do, Tom,” Jerry grinned. “Who’s the Boy Scout?” He eyed Jimmie suspiciously.

“He’s from the Press,” Tom explained. “Special friend of mine. Keen with his candid camera. Only person that’s ever photographed the Silent Terror.”

“The Terror!” Jerry whistled through his teeth. The look he bestowed upon Jimmie was one of genuine respect.


“All right, Jerry,” Tom said with a grin. “Strike a pose so Jimmie can get a picture. Usual stuff. Stand and point at the wrecked safe.”

Jerry smiled. Then his face sobered as he struck the pose.

Jimmie got his picture, three shots. Not quite satisfied with the “usual stuff” he wandered about the small room looking for others. In the corner, propped against the wall was a section of the safe containing the lock.

“Got in their way, so they removed it,” Jerry chuckled.

Suddenly, as Jimmie looked at this section, his figure stiffened, for all the world like that of a panther who has scented a covey of grouse.

Setting his camera for a close-up, he squinted through the finder, then clicked it three times.


“Mind sitting on the floor and looking at that through this?” he said to Tom as he took a three-inch magnifying glass from his pocket.

“No, I—” Tom hesitated.

“Do your stuff,” Jerry roared in good-natured glee. So Tom posed while Jimmy took his picture.

“All right,” said Jimmie. “I’ll hurry over with the pictures.”

“Tell your friend John to get me on the phone. I’ll give him the details,” said Tom.

Jimmie did a fade-out while Tom and his police friend remained to search for tools that might have been left behind, to study the cigaret stubs and burnt matches on the floor, and the window that had been jimmied, to test everything for possible fingerprints and, in short, to conduct a thorough investigation of a piece of work done by experts in their line.


Needless to say, the Press scored a scoop and Jimmie got his full share of credit. To Tom’s surprise, he saw that instead of the picture of Police Officer Jerry doing his regular stuff, they had used his own picture, the one of him pointing at the broken scrap of steel containing the safe’s lock.

Beneath the picture he read, “Famous young detective discovers valuable clue.”

“Now what?” Tom thought. “Just one more of those newspaper half-truths, I suppose. I can’t say I like them.”

The fact is that that line beneath the picture told the whole truth, only it was done in advance of the discovery. With Jimmie’s help, Tom was to uncover a valuable clue from that same scrap of steel, though at that moment he knew nothing about it.



Jimmie lived with his father and mother in an old-fashioned house in The Glen, a suburban village near the city.

John Nightingale, too, had a place in The Glen. And what a place it was! To the few who knew about it—and they were very few indeed—it was known as “John’s hideout.” It was well named. The Glen was an old village. One of the first settlers had been a Judge Stark, a man with grand and costly ideas. He had been fond of large rooms, fine horses, and trees. With plenty of money at hand, he had walled in ten rolling acres of land, built a huge castle-like house in the center and broad stables at the back, laid winding drives and paths all over it and planted it thick with all manner of trees.


The Judge had now been dead for many years. His two sons, preferring city penthouses to a tree-grown estate, had abandoned the great house. It had been closed for years and was showing signs of decay.

The Judge’s trees, planted with such care, had continued to thrive. In one corner of the estate, some distance from the house, was a thick clump of pines. So closely planted were they and so interlaced were their heavy branches that the space beneath them seemed dark even at noonday.


In the center of this cluster of pines was John’s hideout. Having made the acquaintance of one of the Judge’s sons, John had sought and received permission to erect a portable structure there. The hideout consisted of two small rooms made entirely of 2×2 timbers and three-ply boards. Even the roof was of ply-board, heavily painted. It resembled nothing quite so much as two huge packing boxes set up side by side. When an autumn rain came pelting down on the roof it was as if a hundred imps were beating upon it with drumsticks. Since Jimmie Drury was a normal boy with the blood of Robin Hood, Long John Silver and all the rest coursing through his veins, it was only natural that he should become very fond of John’s hideout.

Nor did his father object. John Nightingale was not a thrifty person, to be sure. He borrowed money three days before pay-day and his clothes were more often frayed than otherwise. But he was honest, clean, and friendly, the sort of fellow who makes a good and generous big brother. And to Jimmie’s father this was quite enough.

John was young, not yet twenty-five, but he had been places and seen things. There was nothing Jimmie liked quite so much as sitting by John’s glowing fire sipping a cup of his famous bitter-sweet chocolate, and listening to his low drawl as he told of crossing the ocean on a cattle ship or shipping as an able-bodied seaman earning his way peeling potatoes and washing dishes “down to Rio” or “across to Shanghai.”


“Folks are queer,” John would drawl. “Queer and just alike, too. If you hang about the water-front in Liverpool, Rio, Boston, or Shanghai, and if you don’t watch out you’ll be robbed. But if you go back to some quiet little village near any of these harbors you’ll find kindly, hard-working, gentle folk who are glad to help you and wish to do you no harm.”

“But tell me about these places in Chicago?” Jimmie would insist.

“What places?” John would ask, as if he did not know.

“The places where you eat with a feeling that there’s a knife at your back,” Jimmie would hunch forward expectantly in his chair.


“Oh, those places!” John would grin. “You’re safe enough there if you’re in the know. They spot you soon enough. They read your stuff in the papers. If a reporter doesn’t go around exposing them, these places you know, on the near west side, where the light-fingered fellows, the hold-up men, and a bank robber or two hang out he’s as safe as in a church. I think they really enjoy our company. Some of them,” John would chuckle, “are poets and novelists gone wrong. They have the desire to create or destroy. It’s easier to destroy than create so that’s what they do.

“But, of course,” he would hasten to add, “you wouldn’t know what I mean by all that. And I’m not going to take you there, so let’s talk about that place on the near north side where you get real Swedish cooking, big rings of cold meat in a sort of candied jelly, minced chicken, strange, rich desserts and real coffee. All spread out on a long, bare wooden table where you can help yourself.”

“Um,” said Jimmie.

“We’ll go there the very next time,” was John’s instant decision.


John had written a small book on “Places to eat.” Some day he would be a famous novelist, Jimmie was sure of that. He never grew tired of listening to John as, in slow, melodious rhythm, he read aloud some short piece of fiction that he had just finished writing.

For the most part John’s stories found their way to the waste basket, but every now and again his name was featured on the cover of a well-known magazine. This, of course, filled Jimmie, his ardent young admirer, with delight.

It was in this very hideout on the evening of that day on which he had gone to view with Tom Howe the remains of a blown safe that Jimmie told John of his great discovery in the fog.

It had been his idea in the first place to secure a short news story with a picture telling how a giant from the north woods had knocked a pick-pocket into the middle of the street with his bare fist.

As his acquaintance with this big, rough-spoken man had grown, his ideas had grown with it.


Now, as John sat with a steaming cup of chocolate before him he said:

“It’s a feature story. That’s what it is!”

“For the big Saturday edition,” John smiled expectantly.

“Yes, or perhaps even a magazine article.”

“All ready. Shoot! And here’s how!” said John. They clicked their cups and drank, after which Jimmie told his story. He told how he and the man from the north had met in the fog, how the pick-pocket had gone spinning into the street and how he, Jimmie, had asked the stranger for a story.

“When he showed me that check for a half million bucks the one that pick-pocket nearly got, I wouldn’t believe it was real,” said Jimmie.

“Don’t blame you,” John drawled.


“But it was good! Real turkey!” Jimmie exclaimed. “He took me to the First National. Such a bank as that is! He didn’t just go to a teller and ask for a half million. He went to a department that deals only with raisers, dealers and manufacturers of furs. There he said, ‘Hello, Joe,’ to a man at a desk. Then he sat down at the desk, and showed the check. Joe whistled. ‘Good business,’ was all he said.

“‘Sure,’ my big friend grinned. Then he said, ‘I want so much cash, a draft on this bank, one on that one, so much on deposit.’ Just like that.”

“Just like that,” John chuckled. “I’d like to try it just once.”

“But it was all real,” Jimmie protested. “He’s the silver fox king.”

“That’s a large order,” said John.

“He told me about it,” Jimmie went on enthusiastically. “You don’t get to be the silver fox king all at once. There was a time when only wild silver fox skins were sold. Then someone caught a pair of silver foxes alive.


“He and his brother bought them, paid a lot of money for them. And when a family of little foxes arrived what do you think?” he asked.

“Can’t guess,” said John.

“They were all red foxes, worth about $10.00 apiece. All except one. He was a cross-fox. You see,” Jimmie leaned forward, “silver foxes are sort of freaks, like a white calf in a herd of red cattle.”

“What could you do about that?” John asked.

“You have to try and try again. First you get a cross fox, half red and half silver. You keep the ones that are most silver and raise more and more foxes. That’s what my big friend, Harm Stark, did. And in the end, when he and his brothers were nearly broke, they began getting real silver foxes. And now they raise thousands every year. He just sold their prime skins for a half million. He’s promised to show them to me. He wants us to come to dinner with him at the Morrison. He’ll give you the whole story. Won’t that be grand!”


“It sure will,” John beamed. “But where do you come in?”

“I get in on the dinner,” Jimmie grinned broadly.

“A half million in silver fox skins,” John mused. “What a haul for some big-time crook!

“Jimmie!” he exclaimed, “have another cup of chocolate.”



“What’s that you were saying about wanting a camera with a telescopic lens?” Scottie asked Jimmie next morning.

“Said I’d give anything I own for a telescopic lens to fit my candid camera,” Jimmie replied.

“Oh! That’s it,” Scottie exclaimed. “Then your possessions are safe enough. They don’t make a telescopic lens for a toy camera. Not yet.”

“It’s no toy,” Jimmie protested. “Remember that enlargement you made for me?”


“Well, it’s important evidence. Tom Howe told me so. In the end it may help send a man to the jug.”


“Well, if Tom says that it must be so,” replied Scottie. “Tom’s Irish and I’m Scotch. But the Micks and Macks won the great war, so they say, and we still march side by side.

“But that,” he added, “won’t get you a telescopic lens for your camera, for there’s never a one that’ll fit it.

“Nevertheless,” he glanced in the corner, “there’s a box camera over there I once rigged up with a telescopic lens. The lens is still on it. All you have to do is to look at the ground glass in the back to get your focus. That is, if it’s less than a hundred feet. If it’s more you don’t have to look. I don’t mind lending it to you for a few days.”

“Say! That will be great!” Jimmie enthused. “I—I’ll show you some real stuff.”

“I hope so, my boy. I sure do hope so,” said Scottie.


Scottie was growing old. All too soon another would be taking his place. He loved boys though he had none of his own. Deep down in his heart he had hid a warm spot for Jimmie. “He’ll do,” he murmured to himself as Jimmie marched proudly away with his new-found treasure, “He’ll get there. Never doubt it.”

The two days that followed were busy ones for Jimmie. One of the copy boys was sick, another on a vacation. Jimmie was obliged to resume his regular place in line and answer once more to the call of “Boy.”

This he did not entirely regret. He was able to look with new eyes upon the great institution to which he belonged. Since his little excursions to the outside, the make-up room, the thundering press room and the quiet offices of special editors all had a new meaning for him.

“We’re all working with one end in view,” said Mr. Strong, the editor, taking a moment from his many busy hours to chat with him. “We’re keeping the public informed regarding important matters. We’re helping to fight crime and trying to encourage people to live decent and respectable lives.”


“Yes, sir,” replied Jimmie, too much awed by the greatness of the man to say more.

Important things did happen despite the boy’s busy days. He and John had their dinner with Harm Stark, the silver-fox king. Such a dinner it was! A private dining room with paneled walls such as Jimmie had never seen before. Real, solid silver service there was too. And such food! Chicken legs encased in fancy paper at the ends, mashed potatoes, yellow with butter, and side dishes the boy could not so much as name.

Harm Stark, in his own broad, open-hearted way, gave John a real story. He told of his early struggle and final success, told how acres of fox farms had widened and how they were fenced and guarded. He told of feeding, training and selecting the foxes.


“And after that,” he sighed, “comes the harvest. They’re all here and sold, a half million dollars worth. Here right in the city. Some day I’ll give you a ring on the phone and take you over to see them. Of course, they’re not mine any more, but Solomon Zimmerman won’t mind showing them. He’s as proud of them as I am.”

Jimmie hoped the ring on the phone might come very soon. Had he but known it, that particular phone call, costing only one buffalo nickel, was to be of the utmost importance to him. It is often so in life, a simple lifting of the receiver, a murmur, “Give me Randolph 1223,” may mean success or failure, victory or defeat, even life or death to someone. You may be sure that when that call did come Jimmie was ready to listen.

One other thing occurred which, strange to say, was in the end to be closely connected with the silver fox king’s phone call. It happened during the noon lunch hour when Tom Howe came over to make his report.

“Your scratch clue was a real one,” Tom said with a friendly smile.


“My scratch clue?” Jimmie stared at him in surprise. Then, of a sudden, he remembered. When he had accompanied Tom to the scene of that safe-robbery, he had taken pictures other than those required by his paper. On the section of the steel door, cut away with the use of an oxyacetylene torch, he had discovered some scratches. Having recently read a book on strange clues, he had thought it worth while to photograph these scratches. When the picture had been enlarged they stood out very plainly. It was this that had led him to print the picture of Tom Howe looking at that broken bit of steel and, supposedly, discovering fresh clues. As he recalled all this he smiled as he said:

“I’m glad they were the real thing. What did you do about it?”

“First thing I did was to scrape the surface of the safe where those scratches showed,” said Tom.

“What for?” Jimmie asked eagerly.


“It’s a well known fact,” Tom replied, “that, even if one of two metals is much harder than the other, when one scratches the other some of it comes off.

“I wanted to know whether there really was tungsten in that steel. I sent the scrapings to the laboratory. They burned it by electric arc and studied its spectrum. That’s pretty scientific,” he grinned. “There was tungsten all right. So I sent out Tungsten Tom’s pictures to several manufacturers and I got my man; that is, I proved that he had worked at the Carter Machine-Tool Company’s plant and that he did rob them.”

“How’d they catch him,” Jimmie asked.

“You’d be surprised,” Tom laughed. “He was carrying it away in his card-board lunch box. They suspected that someone was doing that so they set a powerful electro magnet beside the narrow alley-way through which all employees must leave. When Tungsten Tom’s lunch box came near it, that electro magnet smelled steel. It drew in Tungsten’s lunch box and held it fast. So that was that.”


“Pretty slick,” Jimmie smiled in admiration.

“Thanks to your aid,” the young detective went on. “We’ve got enough right now to make a good case against Tungsten. But we don’t want to spring it. We want to get his whole gang. We——”

He broke short off to stare into the street. “Can you beat that?” he exclaimed. “There’s one of those trucks now. Come on! we’ll have to follow. This may be the big hour.”

Seizing Jimmie by the arm he pushed him into a taxi and they were away.

“See that large, black truck up ahead?” Tom said to the driver.

“Yes, sir.”

“Follow it. Don’t lose it.”

“Yes, sir.”

They turned a corner, dodged a street car, got caught by a light, lost their scent for a time, then picked it up again.

“You remember that garage I was watching from my lofty perch?” said Tom.


“Sure, I do,” said Jimmie.

“We’re following one of the two trucks stored there by Tungsten and his gang. Crooks store trucks for a purpose. On the side you’ll read the words:


“They’ll transfer something, right enough,” Tom laughed. “Perhaps today, though I doubt it. Not at noon. This may be a rehearsal.”

“Rehearsal?” Jimmie stared at him.

“Sure. Crooks have to be up-to-date. No movie producer ever rehearsed an act oftener or more thoroughly than crooks do some big play they are going to make. Getting in, getting out, the cop on his beat, the number of people likely to be on the street, every curve that the car or truck must make, are important; those and a hundred other things. They——”

“There,” he exclaimed, “they’re pulling up to that place a half block ahead, preparing to back in.


“Stop here, driver,” he commanded. “They can’t see us. Here’s your fare. Turn around and get away quietly.”

“Right. Thanks.” The taxi slid silently away.

“Here!” said Tom drawing something flat from his inside pocket and snapping it into the form of an oblong box. “Take this. It’s your lunch box. At least we’ll pretend it is.” From another pocket he produced a paper bag. After inflating this he dropped it to his side.

“This,” he said, “is a street of small factories for the most part. It is the noon hour. Slouch a little as you walk. We are workers going to eat our cold lunch with a cup of hot coffee at the place round the corner. Come on. We’ll cross the street and walk down past where the truck stands.”

Jimmie felt his blood tingle as they crossed the street then sauntered down the sidewalk. He was thinking of sudden sallies, burst of machine gun fire and all the rest.


Everything, however, was quiet enough. The street seemed almost deserted. It was an old section of the city. Four-story buildings lined the street on either side. On one was the sign of a candy manufacturer, on another that of a job printer and a third of some novelty dealer.

“Don’t look like a place where big-time crooks could make a grand haul,” said Tom, talking out of the side of his mouth. “Still you never can tell.”

“Look,” said Jimmie. “They’re backing the truck into that alley.”

“That’s right,” Tom’s figure stiffened. “This may be something real after all.”

“Two men are getting out,” said Jimmie.

“Going inside. Perhaps it’s only a rehearsal after all.”

The men were gone for some time. The building on the corner, just ahead of Tom and his companion was vacant. Large, dusty windows on each side showed it to have been a store.


“Come on around the corner,” said Tom. “We can watch through those windows without being seen.”

Through those dusty windows they did watch but it was little enough they learned. In time the two men came out, carrying nothing. After they had climbed back into the truck, they drove away at a rapid rate.

“Just a rehearsal,” said Tom. “Wish I’d been able to come close enough to get a real look at them, but I didn’t dare.”

“If I’d had my telescopic camera,” said Jimmie, “I could have taken their pictures.”

“Too bad you didn’t,” sighed the detective. “Well, better luck another time.”

After that they folded up lunch box and paper bag and looked up a truly good eating place to enjoy a real lunch.


In Jimmie’s room at home was a great, old-fashioned, over-stuffed rocking chair. It was frayed and moth-eaten but oh, so comfortable! When the day was over and supper done, Jimmie loved to sit in this chair with feet propped up on the window sill, there to listen to the robins chirp, to watch twilight darken into night, and think things through.

There was plenty to think about these days. As he sat there a few hours after his truck chasing expedition with Tom, he found himself in a somber mood.

It was all well enough, he was thinking, to dream of having a part in bringing criminals to justice, but when you were up against the real thing——

“Ah, that’s different,” he sighed.

And then, of a sudden, his spirits and determination rose. “We’ll get him!” he murmured. “We will!”

He was thinking of the Silent Terror. Even now a thrill ran up his spine as he seemed to hear those words, “As you are!”


His determination at this moment to do his full duty was stronger than ever, for the papers that day had carried broad headlines about the Silent Terror’s last attack. Jimmie had read how a girl, little older than himself, had been sent from a laundry to bring the payroll. On her return she cut through an alley. They had found her four hours later wandering only half-conscious and hysterical, empty-handed and murmuring about a man and a bubble.

“What man? What bubble?” they had asked. To these questions she found no answer. But to all it was plain that the Silent Terror had struck again.

“I took his picture,” Jimmie groaned. “And got only an ear. An ear! It may be well enough for a whiz of a detective like Tom Howe, but who else could tell that ear if he saw it? Practically no one.”

Other matters called for thought. There were the five big-time crooks who, Tom thought, were preparing something big. Was Tom right? And had they, in following that truck, discovered the scene of that proposed big haul? In such a poor section? It did not seem possible. And yet——


“One thing’s sure,” Jimmie sighed. “We’ve got the goods on Tungsten Tom. He was in on that safe-breaking and I helped to prove it, my little candid camera and I.” He got no little satisfaction from that. It is good to be really doing things. Was he to be in on the whole affair? Would he see them all dragged into the net, one at a time; Black Dolan, Piccalo, and all that ugly five? He hoped so. And yet, he shuddered at the thought.

He looked at his watch, nine o’clock. Time for sport flashes. He snapped on the radio to catch the commentator in the midst of his talk:

“Tomorrow,” came from the radio, “will witness an event of unusual interest in the world of sport. If you have wondered what the city’s richest people look like, the De Metzes, the Marmons, the Morton Armours, and all the rest, be sure to come to the ball game. They will all be there, right down in the box seats. Why? Because the young society baseball pitcher, J. Ogden Durant, is to start for the Bear-cats.”

“Durant!” Jimmie exclaimed to the empty room. “Gee! Oh, gee!”


Just at that moment he wished he had no job. He was a great baseball fan. And never had there been a game he longed so to see. To sit up there and howl himself hoarse for his hero! Ah! That would be life. L-I-F-E spelled in big letters.

He scarcely heard the further comments of the announcer as he went on:

“Perhaps this is the first time in the history of baseball that a millionaire’s son has risen to the rank of a big-leaguer. It surely is the first time one has stood in the pitcher’s box. Give him a hand, ladies and gentlemen. Give him a hand. He deserves it.”

All this time Jimmie sat with his eyes closed, seeing himself in the past, as a rather small boy. A golf course joined The Glen on the west. It was a large and expensive course, patronized, for the most part, by the rich of the near-by city. A patch of woods lined this course on one side. Into the tall grass of this little forest, golf balls often bounced and were lost. On a Saturday the village boys went there in search of balls.


One day Jimmie had pounced upon a ball, a split second before a larger boy had prepared to scoop it up. There had been an argument and a race. To escape his pursuer, Jimmie raced out upon the green. He was just in time to get in the way of a long drive. The golf ball struck him in the very tender portion of his anatomy.

With a howl he went into the air, then came down in a heap like a wounded soldier. He did not cry, not even when three of the foursome of rich young golf players that made up the party, let out loud roars of laughter. He arose stiffly and started back toward the forest.

Then it was that J. Ogden Durant, young son of a rich stockyards owner, and one of that party, had endeared himself to Jimmie’s heart. He it was, of the four, who did not laugh. Though it had not been his shot that felled the boy, he hurried on ahead of his companions, caught up with Jimmie and said:


“Sorry, old man. That was a hard shot. They had no right to laugh. The thing might have been serious.”

Then, in a way that no one could see, he had slipped two brand new golf balls into Jimmie’s sweater pocket.

There are certain events in every small boy’s life that he never forgets. This was one in Jimmie’s. There was that in the face, the voice, the general action of J. Ogden Durant that marked him as a “real guy.”

In the years that followed Jimmie had saved every picture of Durant appearing on the Society Page. He had followed his career with the keenest interest. And now——

“Aw, gee! What a break!” he groaned. He seemed to hear that call he had come to know so well, “Boy!” For once he almost hated it.



It was on the way to the city next morning that, riding with his father, Jimmie brought up the coming ball game.

“Durant is pitching today,” he suggested.

“Yup.” His father’s face was buried in the morning paper.

“That will be one swell game,” Jimmie ventured.


For some little time Jimmie said no more. Then, feeling ready to burst, he exclaimed:

“Gee! There are times when I really wish I was a good liar.”

“Why? What’s up?” His father’s head came out from behind the paper.

“I want to go to that game something fierce. And if only I could tell ’em my grandmother had died or—or something, I—” Jimmie paused for breath.


“You’d get to go to the game,” his father smiled.

“Yes, but I couldn’t get away with it,” he said.

“No,” said his father, “I hope not. But you’ll go all the same.”

“Why—wha—what?” Jimmie was fairly bowled over by this sudden bombshell.

“You have a camera with a telescopic lens,” suggested his father.

“Yes, oh, yes. It’s Scottie’s.”

“And it works?”


“Then I’ll take you along to get some shots of Durant pitching. We’ll have to get them. This game is one of the big society events of the season. They——”

“Say, that’s great!” Jimmie exploded. “It—why it——”

“Never mind the fireworks,” his father checked this burst of enthusiasm. “The umpires have been crowding the photographers back off the side lines. Their shots of pitchers in action have not been so hot. With that telescope lens of yours you may do credit to your candid camera crowd.”


“What a break!” Jimmie murmured. “Boy, oh, boy! What a break!”

At the appointed hour Jimmie found himself seated beside his father in the grand-stand. They were in the midst of a large and enthusiastic crowd, for Jimmie’s father purposely had asked for seats outside the press box. The reserved seats were packed with the city’s richest society people. J. Ogden Durant, popular young society bachelor, was about to make his bid for stardom.

If J. Ogden seemed a strange name for a pitcher, the good-natured crowd soon put an end to that.

“’Ray for Oggie,” some big voice shouted. At once the throng took it up:

“’Ray for Oggie! ’Ray for Oggie!”

As “Oggie” stepped into the pitcher’s box the same big voice shouted:

“Atta boy, Oggie! Bear down on ’em! Pitch to ’em, boy! We know you, Oggie. You’ll do!”


When Oggie turned his face up into the sun to acknowledge the compliment the crowd went wild.

Just then Jimmie sighted his camera and took a shot. “That should be a winner.” His father smiled his approval.

“Do you think he can pitch?” Jimmie asked.

“He has a record as a sticker,” answered his father. “Unlike most pitchers, he gets better as the game goes on. If they keep him in there for four innings he’ll win the game.”

That his father was a good judge of ball players Jimmie knew right well and admired him for it. Now he found himself hoping that Ogden Durant might stay those four innings.


That there was at least one onlooker who did not agree with Jimmie’s views soon became evident. Busy as Jimmie was getting pictures for his father, he found time to glance along the seats to a spot some fifty feet away where a man with a long, thin face and a fog-horn voice was bellowing from time to time:

“Take him out! He’s rotten! Who said he could pitch? Another ball! What did I tell you? Take him out! Send him back to the stock yards!”

“Who’s your friend?” Jimmie’s father asked teasingly.

“He’s no friend of mine,” Jimmie replied almost in anger. “I’m for Oggie.”

Oggie was in need of friends. In the first inning he gave a base on balls that let in a run. In the third he filled the bases, got out of this hole only by chance, then allowed a two-bagger to bring in another run.

Jimmie saw the manager look toward the bull pen. At the same time the man with the fog-horn voice, standing up with his face very red, was shouting, “Take him out! Back to the stockyards! Ma—a! Ma—a!”

“I wish someone would swat him!” Jimmie exclaimed.


“He’s asking for it,” his father replied. “He’ll probably get it.”

Oggie was given one more inning and this time he made good. No runs were scored. What was more, in his time at bat he hit out a Texas leaguer and brought in a run. Then the society ladies in the reserved seats screamed.

But the man with a red face bawled all the louder:

“Take him out!”

“There’s something behind all his noise,” said Mr. Drury. “Something I don’t like. It’s sure to come out in the end.”

It did come out and that very soon. Oggie pitched a hitless inning. At this the heckler bawled out in a voice that all could hear:

“Take him out! He’s one of the idle rich. A millionaire. A murderer!”


Enough had been said. The guards surrounded the man and bore him away. But before this happened, just as he turned half about to face the guards, Jimmie aimed his camera, glanced at the ground glass, made a quick adjustment and snapped his picture. Why did he do this? He did not know. He was not to regret it, for this picture was to form a link in a long chain that had started the day he had shot the Silent Terror’s.



Jimmie was tired. The ball game was over. It was evening now and he and his father were on their way home. The events of that day had been exciting enough, but all days come to an end. He leaned back in the seat and closed his eyes. Cameras and silver fox skins, blown safes, speeding trucks, policemen in uniform, a ball game in full swing, and Tom Howe’s piercing eyes passed across his mental vision.

Because, for the moment, he wished to forget all these things, he opened his eyes. When he looked at his father he realized with almost a shock that he too must be tired. Yes, there were tired lines about his mouth and wrinkles around his eyes he had never noticed before.

“Dad,” he said, “why do you work so late?”


“To get my work done.” The wrinkles about his father’s eyes gathered into a smile.

“Couldn’t someone else do your work?”

“Oh! Undoubtedly,” the smile broadened. “But if they did they’d want the pay.”

“But why work so hard?” Jimmie persisted.

“Well,” his father drawled, “there’s the grocer and the milk man to pay. There are taxes. The old house needs a new roof. And your college days are only a year away.”

“Oh, yes, college,” Jimmie said thoughtfully. He had often dreamed of college.

“Dad,” he said after a moment of silence, “how much have I cost you?”

“Well—” his father hesitated, “the income tax man allows me four hundred dollars exemption for having you around. Perhaps that’s about right.”

“Four hundred a year and I’ll be eighteen when I’m through High.”

Jimmie figured for a moment. “Why that’s over eight thousand dollars!”


“What? Oh, yes, I suppose it is.” His father lapsed into silence.

“What do you expect to get out of it?” Jimmie demanded.

“Why! Nothing! Probably nothing except the fun of seeing you grow up. Some people like to raise pigs, just to see them grow. Some raise horses and some raise boys for the same reason.”

“Then,” said Jimmie, and there was a note of finality in his voice, “you’re not going to work nights to send me to college.”

“What? Don’t you want to go to college?” his father stared.

“Sure, I do. But look! You know Bill Baley and the Dale boys. They go to college.”


“Bill’s father works hard.”

“Too hard. That’s right.”

“The Dale boys live off their grandfather and he works hard.”

“He sure does, son.”


“Bill and the Dale boys dance and play tennis, live in fraternity houses, wear good clothes and study some in college but somebody has to work too hard so they can keep it up.”

“Well,” his father was smiling again. “What’s the answer?”

“Work!” Jimmie was not smiling. “If I go to college I’ll earn my keep. I’ll find a college town with an up-to-date newspaper. I’ll develop the candid camera and telescopic lens ideas as far as I can, then I’ll make them give me a job. And I’ll work, not just sit and wait for checks from home.”

“Son,” there was a warm light in his father’s eye. “I like to hear you say that. The greatest discovery any boy ever made is the fact that every tub must stand on its own bottom, every fellow pull his own oar, make his own way in the world.

“But, son,” his tone was deeply serious, “no one ever succeeded in a newspaper office without hard work and long hours. It’s the workingest place in the world.”


“I know,” said Jimmie. And at once his mind was busy on the problems that might lie before him tomorrow, and all the other tomorrows to come.

Next day Jimmie had the very unusual experience of seeing one of his own candid camera shots on the front page of the Press. This, however, was overshadowed by a startling discovery made shortly after his negatives taken at the ball game had been developed.

The picture, of course, was a candid shot of the city’s new idol, the millionaire pitcher. Inside the paper, on the sports page, were a half dozen other shots of Ogden Durant. Surely this was Jimmie’s big moment. As he came into the office Scottie, the scarred veteran of many pictures, shouted a cordial greeting.

“You made good, boy!” he exclaimed, slapping him on the back. “Did it with that old box of mine. I’m proud of you.”

Nothing could have pleased Jimmie half so much, especially as it came from Scottie.


But the big things of that day were not over. Scarcely had Jimmie taken his humble place in the row of waiting copy boys, when his father stepped out into the corridor and beckoned to him.

He followed his father into his office only to find with a start of surprise and joy that “Oggie” Durant, his idol was waiting for him there.

“He came in to thank us for the fine pictures,” Jimmie’s father smiled. “So I thought he’d like to meet the photographer.”

“You don’t mean—” The young millionaire looked at Jimmie in surprise.

“Yes.” There was a note of pride in the father’s voice. “Jimmie’s been a camera bug for a long time. He’s with us for the summer so I drafted him into my service yesterday.”

“Well! Shake!” Oggie gave Jimmie’s hand a true pitcher’s solid grip.


Never had Jimmie been happier than at this moment. To be shaking the hand of a young man who had been born rich, who might at that moment have been lolling on some beach surrounded by a bevy of beauties, or coasting along in some palatial yacht, but who had chosen the long years of labor and practice that makes a man a professional pitcher, that was a joy indeed.

“Og—I mean, Mis—mister Durant,” Jimmie burst out suddenly, “do you remember me?”

“Why, no, I—I can’t say I do.” The great pitcher looked him over.

“You gave me two golf balls,” Jimmie confided, “quite a long time ago. I—I’ve got them yet. Per—perhaps it sounds silly, but they’re as new as when I first got them.”

“I gave you golf balls?” Durant looked at him again. “Why, yes, now I do recall. Burton Keating hit you with a long shot.”

“Yes—yes, that was the time,” Jimmie exclaimed, pleased that he had not been quite forgotten.

“Well now isn’t it strange,” said Durant with a queer smile, “how our every little act comes back to haunt us?”


“Mis—mister Durant,” Jimmie burst out again, “will you do me a favor?”

“Gladly. Name it.” The great one smiled.

“Autograph a baseball for me,” Jimmie’s tone was eager.

“Is that all? I shall be glad to do that,” laughed Durant. “In fact, I’ll do more. I’ll pass the ball down the line to all the members of the team and have them sign it.”

“That—ah—that will be swell!” said Jimmie.

“But these pictures?” Durant’s voice took on a puzzled note. “How could you take them? I can’t say I saw you on the diamond.”

“I’ll say not,” exclaimed Jimmie. “It isn’t allowed. Wait! I’ll show you.” He was away and back again in the same moment.

“See!” he held up Scottie’s old camera. “Telescopic lens.”


“That,” the pitcher took the camera and examined it closely, “that’s a wonderful idea. But this camera now.” He hesitated. “It really doesn’t look very new. Is it up-to-the-minute?”

“No,” Jimmie grinned. “It isn’t much more than up to the day-before-yesterday. But I had to make it do.”

“We’ll correct that,” said Durant. Taking out a small, blank book, he entered some notes; then, without further comment, returned the book to his pocket.

Five minutes later Jimmie was back in his place in the row of copy boys. But not for long. It was Scottie who now called him out. “Jimmie,” he said, “here’s a negative I found in your lot of baseball shots. Looks like some sort of a row. What’s it all about? And do we keep it?”

“Oh, yes. Er—let’s see! Now, I know.”

“Here’s a print,” suggested Scottie.


The moment his eyes fell upon that print Jimmie knew there was something unusual about the central figure in the picture, but cudgel his brain as he might he could not, for a long time, tell what it was. When it did come it was with the force of a blow on the head.

Taking the picture to a bright corner of the great, busy room, he studied it for a long time. When his turn for answering the call, “Boy,” came, he thrust it into his pocket.

Fortunately his errand that time took him to the art department. There, while he was awaiting a series of drawings he picked up a magnifying glass and through this took another look at the picture.

Barely did he escape dropping the glass.

“The ear!” he said aloud. “It’s the ear.” Glancing about to make sure no one saw him, he took a thin box from his pocket and compared its contents to the ear of the central figure in the picture. The shot was of the man who had attempted to rattle Ogden Durant by his abusive language at the ball park; the shot Jimmie had taken on pure hunch as the man was being ushered from the grounds.


“The ear,” he thought, as his hand shook. “It’s the ear of the Silent Terror. That man at the ball park was the Silent Terror. I’ve taken his picture again. How strange!”

“Here you are,” said a voice close beside him. It was the artist with the pictures.

“Oh! Oh, yes!” the boy stammered. Thrusting the unusual photograph once more into his pocket he went on his way, walking almost in a daze.



It goes without saying that at his first opportunity Jimmie called Tom Howe on the phone, then paid another visit to his lofty perch atop the sky-scraper.

“Good boy,” the young detective exclaimed when Jimmie had told of this fresh discovery. “You’re doing great work. Keep it up and we’ll get that Silent Terror before he becomes too dangerous.

“This picture,” he went on thoughtfully, “is a little better than the first one. I suggest,” he smiled a winking smile, “that you try a front view or profile next time. However, we get a little more of his face this time and we have learned much of his character. That helps.”

“What have you learned?” Jimmie asked.


“That he is the crank type of criminal,” replied Tom. “He evidently hates everyone who is rich. Durant’s playing gave him an excellent opportunity to voice his hate and perhaps do some damage to the son of a rich man.

“By the way!” he exclaimed. “When does Durant pitch again?”

“I—I don’t know,” said Jimmie.

“Phone your father and ask him.” Tom’s tone was eager. “It’s important.”

Jimmie took down the receiver. A moment later he announced: “He pitches next Wednesday.”

“Hm. Five days from now. We may have our man by then and we may not. Anyway it’s well worth knowing.”

“Why is that important?” Jimmie asked.

“Because this Silent Terror might repeat his performance at the ball park at the first opportunity.”

“That’s right! He is!” Jimmie exclaimed. “And then you can nab him.”

“That’s it,” said Tom. “And for that reason, I suggest that no story be given to the Press regarding your discovery.”


“No story,” Jimmie’s face fell.

“Just one more minor tragedy for you.” Tom smiled good-naturedly. “I understand what all these little scoops mean to a promising young newspaper man. But when we do our best to serve the people of a great city we must expect a disappointment now and then. Just wait! The time will come when the great story will break. Then you shall have the first look in.”

“I’ll not say a word,” Jimmie promised.

“Have to get over to the ball park before long and talk to the guards who threw that fellow out.” Tom’s mind was at work on the case. “Not much chance that they’ll be able to help. Unless the fellow got violent and did some real damage, which he probably didn’t, they turned him loose at the gate. Their description of the man might help.


“Such a man,” he went on after a moment’s silence, “usually works alone. This one possesses a strange secret, one which permits him to put his victims asleep while still some distance from them. He is not so likely to share that with another. And yet, if some big time crooks convinced him that he could do more harm to the very rich by joining up with them he might consent. Then his power to do harm would be greatly increased.

“The ball park can wait.” He squinted through his telescope. “Remember that truck we followed?”


“They’ve made two more rehearsal trips to that alley. I’ve men watching them. And yet, I can’t see what big thing they could pull there.

“Of course,” Tom went on thoughtfully, “big crooks do sometimes go in for fine furs and there is a small outfit storing fur coats in a large vault there. But who would risk his life and liberty for a few bundles of second-hand muskrat coats? The idea is too preposterous to be considered.”

“They may be using one of the rooms in that building for storing loot,” suggested Jimmie.


“I’ve had that in mind. So far nothing has been taken in, unless—” Tom paused for thought. “Unless it was in small packages of great value hidden in their clothing. There was a jewel robbery just last night. This morning the truck made one of those mysterious journeys. But the idea of carrying a pound or two of diamonds on a truck! No, it won’t do.” Tom laughed a dry laugh.

“By the way,” he exclaimed, “I’m due to go over to look into that jewel robbery now. Want to go along?”

“I sure do!” exclaimed Jimmie. He was on his feet at once.

A short time later Tom and Jimmie entered the small back room of the diamond merchant’s shop.

“You won’t find many clues here,” said the uniformed policeman in charge of the case. “Slickest job I ever saw.”


“Hm,” said Tom. “You’d hardly think there’d been a robbery, except,” he looked down at the floor, “quite a lot of burned matches. They always are important. I have known a match to send a man to prison for ten years.

“You’d think,” he turned to Jimmie, “that crooks would use flashlights. Sometimes they do. More often they don’t. Light’s too penetrating. The gleam of a match or candle doesn’t carry far. This fellow——

“Say!” He picked up a match and examined it closely. “This at least is unusual. These matches are of the type used in the very far north, Alaska, Siberia.

“See!” He held the stub of a burned-out match to view. “He got two instead of one that time. The two stubs still hold together at the end.


“Those northern matches,” he went on after examining two others, “are made in blocks. They are small and come a hundred to the block. They are sulphur matches. A machine splits a small block of corkpine from end to end into a hundred tiny pieces. The block is not cut quite through. The tips of all the hundred ends are dipped in a sulphur compound and become matches. They are handy to carry. This man has been in the north. I’ll bet on that. He used the matches and came to like them so he still carries them. I’ll have the records searched for a safe-cracker who has been in the north.”

“This one wasn’t cracked. The combination was worked,” suggested the policeman.

“Which might make it an inside job and might not,” said Tom. “The listening-in devices these boys have for telling when the tumblers of the lock fall are nothing short of wonderful.

“Let’s see what else we can find.” He began looking around the room.

“Some candle drippings on this ash tray,” said Jimmie.

“That’s right.” Tom pounced upon the tray. “Got tired of his matches and chanced lighting a stub of a candle. They often do. He used this tray as a candle-stick. Here’s where he stuck it.

“Cheap trinket,” he added. “I’ll take it along. Might find a finger print.”


“You’ll not find any,” said the officer. “Finger print man was here an hour ago. Sprinkled powdered white lead everywhere. Never a print did he find.”

“Guess that’s about all,” said Tom.

After leaving Tom, Jimmie returned to his post in the editorial rooms, to his duties and to the jigsaw puzzle work of fitting together in his mind the events of the day. There was not a spot in that great institution that he did not know or that did not fascinate him. He loved the smell of printer’s ink and fresh paper. The click of many typewriters and the roar of presses stirred his blood. He never tired of watching that fragile, apparently endless ribbon of clean, white paper glide through the presses to come out printed and folded in complete newspapers.


Three spots he liked best of all, the editorial room, the photographic department, and the art room. In these men born to create were at work. The click-click of a typewriter produced a story that would be read by eager millions. The dark-room brought out pictures almost as though by magic. In the art room men created pictures that made men laugh and forget their troubles. That was a little world all its own!

As the boy sat there waiting his call he thought of these things. But most of all his mind was busy on the many mysteries that suddenly had thrust themselves into his life. What of that strange man whose picture he had twice taken? How could he, by a single gesture, put his victims to sleep, to rob them and leave them unconscious? Was this some strange new form of hypnotism? He did not think so. But what was it? One fact troubled him. He had been given an opportunity to study the man out at the ball park. He had failed to do so because he had not considered him important at the time. Then, too, he had been busy with his camera.


“I would recognize his voice on the instant,” he assured himself. “But his face. I wonder if I could recognize it again if I saw it. I wonder—” Had he but known it he was to look once more at this man and still be unable to picture him in his mind.

He was interested, too, in Tom Howe’s five “bad ones.” He wondered if any of those five desperate and cunning criminals had really taken part in the recent safe crackings. Tungsten Tom did appear to be involved in the first one. But the second, the diamond robbery? Only time could tell.

He wondered, in a vague sort of way, why those men had two trucks? What did they hope to carry away? Why did not Tom Howe and his associates arrest them at once and prevent them from committing other crimes?

“Wants to catch them with the goods on them,” he assured himself. “Wants to get them all and put them behind bars for a long time.”


“Behind bars,” he whispered. He tried to picture a great prison and could not, for he had never seen one. What a strange, fantastic place it must be! And what a queer, upside down world it was in which such terrible places were needed.

And then it was time to go home with John Nightingale, to enjoy a feast of bitter hot chocolate, beef-steak broiled over coals, baked potatoes and ginger snaps. What a strange, good, bad, sad, glad world it was! And how good it was to be alive and to have a job where you could be where so much was happening every day.



Supper was over in the hideout. A grand supper it had been. When time had come for bittersweet chocolate and cakes John had blown out the lamp. Only the gleams from the cracked stove-lids dancing on the wall dispelled the darkness of the room.

They remained seated there for a long time, the two of them, the boy and the man. Not a word was spoken. There is companionship in silence. It was Jimmie who first broke the silence.

“I heard something today about Mary Dare crowning somebody with a chair,” he said. “What was it?”


“She crowned him, all right,” John chuckled. “They had to take six stitches in his scalp. Had it coming too, that fellow did. Mary’s good! Trouble is,” his voice took on a worried note, “she’s too blamed good. Get herself killed if she don’t look out.”

“But what happened?” Jimmie insisted.

“The office got a tip that a twelve-year-old girl was chained up in a basement somewhere on the west side; chained like a dog. The Police were about to look into it.

“Mary hopped right into a cab and beat the police to the spot, which sometimes isn’t such a hard thing to do.” John chuckled dryly.

“Well, when Mary gets there and sees that child with wrists and ankles black and blue, looking at her wild-eyed, she just hunts up a rock and cracks the lock as if it was a walnut.

“And just then—” John paused.

“Then what?” Jimmie demanded eagerly.


“Just then that man, father of the child, came in. He was a big brute and was furious. He’d chained the girl because she didn’t always obey him. Yes, she’d been there all day, and she’d stay all night if he chose. This was his house. That sort of talk, you know.” John drew in a deep breath.

“Then what?” Jimmie leaned forward in his chair.

“Mary stood up for the girl. The man made a pass at her. Mary grabbed a heavy chair and told him to stand off or she’d crown him. He stepped in and she made good—smashed the chair over his head.”

“Good stuff!” Jimmie exclaimed.

“That’s Mary,” John sighed. “Regular red-head. But all I’ve got to say is, she’s usually on the right side of every argument.” Once again he lapsed into silence.

“John,” said Jimmie after a time, “did you go to college?”

“College?” John started. “Oh! Sure!”


“Yes, of course. Most people who get anywhere at all these days do, I guess.

“Worked my way,” he added after a brief pause.

“You did? Was it hard?” Jimmie asked.


“No—o. Not hard. In fact, I think it was the softest four years of my life. Work four or five hours a day, play and study the rest. What more could you ask?”

“I’m going to work my way through college,” Jimmie declared.

“You are?” There was surprise in John’s voice, surprise and a new note of respect. “But I thought maybe——”

“That my father would send me? Most boys expect that, I guess. But I—well, I’d rather work,” Jimmie replied modestly.

“Well, old son,” John rumbled, “in that case you’ll have to learn how to choose.”

“Choose? Choose what?”

“Between things you might do. There are a lot of things in college. First there’s work. You say you don’t want to dodge that. Then there’s study, which you can’t dodge. Then there’s sports, football, baseball, tennis, everything. After that there’s social life, which means more or less, girls.


“I’m no beauty,” John laughed low, “but for every laddy there’s a lassie, and I might have gone in for that. But I didn’t. You have to choose. Choose—” his voice trailed off.

“I played baseball some,” he went on after a time. “Still can swing a fair to middling racket in tennis. Learned to beat a typewriter and did a stretch on the college paper. That’s how I got to be the way I am now, I guess. I——”

He broke off short to listen intently. “Thought I heard a car,” he murmured. “Must have been mistaken.”

“Did you like it?” Jimmie asked after a pause.

“Like what?” John groped for a thought. “Oh, college? Sure. It was a grand life. It’s not so much what you learn in classrooms that counts. It’s rubbing minds with bright men. Some of the professors are smart, some of your fellow students are too. You talk and argue and discuss and that way you learn to think. You——


“That is a car!” He sprang to his feet. “Coming right up the circular driveway. Thundering queer, I’d say, this time of night! Come on!”

Gripping a flashlight he let himself out noiselessly into the moonless night. Jimmie followed closely at his heels.

“We’ll just keep to the shadows,” John whispered. “Probably nothing unusual. But you never can tell. May be one of the owners of the old place coming out to pick up some antique. Lord knows the place is full of ’em.

“Look out,” his whisper rose. “There’s a rather deep rut right here. Now we’ll get up to that big lilac bush.

“It’s not like the Starks to come out here at this time of night,” he went on in that low whisper. “Not like ’em to come at all, for that matter. When I’ve talked to them about the place they’ve always sort of acted as if it were haunted. Still, probably there’s nothing to this. Have a look all the same, and those people in the car’ll be none the wiser unless——”


“Look out now,” he warned. “Don’t go that way. I’ve noticed that lights from cars flash across here. Let’s scoot along these bushes.”

So, with his breath coming short and quick Jimmie followed across the grass-grown, bush-entangled estate.

“Now,” John breathed at last, “we’ll slip up to that big elm and have a look——”

“They’re inside,” Jimmie whispered. “See that faint gleam of light in the big, old library.”

“That’s right,” John pressed the boy’s arm hard. “Dim light. That looks a little queer. Not a flashlight, too steady for that. Candle probably. Would you bring a candle to such a place if you had a right to be there?”

“Guess not,” said Jimmie, as a chill ran up his spine.

Just then some hoot owl in a pine let out a prodigious laughing hoot. Jimmie jumped. John laughed low.

“Nerves,” he whispered. “We all have ’em.”


“Come on,” he led the way in the dark. “The window to the right is almost covered by ivy and there’s a stone seat beneath it just high enough to stand on.”

One more breathless moment and they were at the window looking in. There were three men in the room, Jimmie could see that at once. Only two faces could be seen. The third was entirely in the shadows but his hands beneath the light could be seen plainly.

It was an unusual light, the stub of a candle with a small copper shade which fitted over it.

The hands of the man who could not be seen were unusual hands. Long, slender, white and flexible, they might belong to a writer, a musician, a painter, or a card-shark.

The hands were doing strange things. They were disappearing, one at a time, and coming back into the light bringing each time probably from a pocket, something resembling a large egg.


“May be real eggs,” Jimmie thought. “Blown eggs of some rare bird.”

He did not believe this. One thing was sure, the gleaming white balls were handled with the care usually bestowed upon rare eggs.

Jimmie did not like the faces he saw. They had hard eyes that gleamed like glass balls. One man was short and stout, the other tall and thin with a beak-like nose.

The short man began to speak. The tall one hushed him up. Then he started to speak. He, in turn, was interrupted by the invisible owner of the hands.

After that, one by one, the egg-like things were returned to their former place.

Jimmie knew there were beads of perspiration on his nose. He felt cold all over. It was strange standing there seeing much but understanding nothing.

The trio sat down. The hands disappeared. The third man was still invisible.


There was more talk, quite a lot of it, none of which was heard by Jimmie and John.

Then other hands appeared, the hands of the short, stout man.

“Two fingers gone on his left hand,” Jimmie whispered.

“Good eyes, boy,” John whispered back.

The hand with two fingers gone opened a small bag and spread it flat.

“A leftie,” John whispered.

“Gold,” whispered Jimmie as something on the flattened bag gleamed yellow beneath the candle.

“Looks like nuggets,” said John. “How strange.”

The slender, bony hand of the slim man appeared. As the right hand was opened and spread flat on the table there came a flash of light.

“Diamonds,” said John.

Instantly Jimmie thought of the recent diamond robbery.


“John!” he whispered. “What I wouldn’t give for my candid camera and three flash bulbs.”

“You’d get us both shot,” said John.

“Probably,” Jimmie agreed. “But I’ll tell you what! I’ll set a trap here. If they come back again I’ll get them.”

“A trap? How?”

“Tell you later. Look!” Jimmie’s whisper rose shrill. “There are three pairs of hands. The man we can’t see gets the gold and diamonds.”

“It’s a split,” said John. “Or he’s been offered a risky job and is accepting his pay in advance.”

“Look out!” Jimmie warned. “They’re coming out. Duck. Their car light may shine on us.”

Their car light did not shine on them because there was no light. The powerful motor purred, then the big car slid away into the night like a black ghost.

“We’ll go in and have a look,” said John. “I have a key.


“Big, clumsy, old-fashioned affair, this lock,” he muttered as he thrust the heavy brass key into the lock. “No bother at all for even a common house breaker.

“There,” he pushed the door open.

For a full moment they stood there listening. “Gone for good,” said John, snapping on his flashlight.

“For this time at least,” Jimmie amended. He was thinking of the trap he meant to set.

“People nearly always leave clues,” said John, flashing his light about.

“Matches,” said Jimmie. “They must have lit that candle. “Let’s have a little light on the floor.

“Yes!” He bent over. “Here’s the stub. Looks—why! Say, it looks for all the world like the matches we found on Tom Howe’s last case. It would be funny——”

He did not finish, for his eyes had caught a gleam from the table. John had seen it too. He pounced upon the thing.

“A gold nugget!” Jimmie exclaimed.


“Must have rolled off that sack when it was flat. See! It’s almost round.” He held it to the light.

“That gold may have been stolen,” John went on as he stowed the bit of gold in his purse. “If it was you could tell what mine it came from by examining this nugget.”

“How?” Jimmie asked in surprise.

“By its color.” John began flashing his light about. “The gold from each mine is a different shade of yellow. Some is almost red. It’s the other metal mixed with it, copper, silver, and the like.

“Well,” he sighed, “guess that’s about all.”

“One more thing,” said Jimmie. “They left their stub of a candle. Here it is.”

“Oh, that,” said John with a gesture.

“Rough on the bottom,” said Jimmie as he thrust the candle into his sweater pocket.

“What do you say we call it a day?” said John. “These night prowls get me down.”

“O. K.,” said Jimmie. “Lead the way.”



Next day two interesting people entered Jimmie’s life. One had been there before, the other was an entire stranger. Each in his own way was to play a part in unraveling the mysteries that had become a part of the boy’s every wakeful thought.

It was fairly early in the day when, sitting in the row of copy boys waiting for his call, he saw a rather strange looking old man wandering in a confused manner up and down the hall.

“Some old crank,” was Tim Dougherty’s instant comment. Tim also was a copy boy. “They’re always coming in here looking for things they can’t have. Let him go. The cop’ll pick him up.”


For a time Jimmie did “let him go.” In the end, however, a combined feeling of friendly interest and curiosity got the better of him. The man was small and gray haired. He wore thick glasses and baggy trousers. There was about him for all that an air of quiet dignity that Jimmy liked.

“Oh well,” he said, standing up, “I’m tired of sitting. I’ll give him a steer in the right direction.”

“Why bother?” said Tim. But Jimmie was gone.

“I am looking for the morgue,” said the little old man in answer to a friendly word from Jimmie.

“But this is a newspaper office, not the morgue,” Jimmie laughed in spite of himself.

“The laugh is on you, young man,” said the stranger. “There is a morgue in every large newspaper office. There is one here, only I have forgotten where it is.

“You see,” he went on before Jimmie could reply, “I want to find out about heavy water.”


“Heavy water!” Jimmie exclaimed as he thought, ‘He is a nut after all.’ “Water always weighs the same,” he added politely.

“Wrong again.” The old man smiled. “It all depends upon your proportions of hydrogen and oxygen. That is just what I wish to read about. You must have clippings about it in your morgue.”

“Clippings!” Jimmie exclaimed. “Clippings in the morgue! Oh, sure. It’s over this way.” Suddenly he had recalled that the files where pictures and clippings were kept was often called the morgue.

“You, no doubt, think me a trifle strange,” the old man half apologized. “Old clothes and all that. Truth is, I haven’t time for dressing up. I have a chemical laboratory and it is astonishing what a busy place that can be, truly astonishing. Here is my card.” He pressed a paste-board square into the boy’s hand. “Come and see me sometime. I will show you things that will astonish you.”


“I—I’ll come,” said Jimmie. He said this just to be polite. The time was to come when he would gladly visit those laboratories and the results were to be nothing short of tremendous.

“Take this heavy water,” the old man went on. “Someone discovered that. It may revolutionize many things. Many forms of insect life cannot live in it nor can some fishes. Others thrive in it. Many plants are immensely benefited by it. You would think——”

“Here we are at the morgue,” said Jimmie. “This is George Beck. He’s in charge of it.

“George, this man wants to see the clippings about heavy water,” he explained. “May he?”

“Surely,” said George. “Right this way, please.”

“Well, goodbye son,” said the old man. “I’ll be seeing you.”

“Oh—oh, yes. Goodbye,” said Jimmie.

“What’d he want?” Tim asked when Jimmie returned to his seat.

“Wanted to know about heavy water,” Jimmie grinned broadly.


“What’d I tell you?” exclaimed Tim. “Regular nut.” Jimmie made no reply.

Late in the morning, once more in his place after running a dozen errands, Jimmie was dreaming of the trap he was to set that night when he heard a loud booming voice say:

“Is there a boy by the name of Jimmie Drury here?”

“Why, yes,” came in a feminine voice. “He’s one of our copy boys.”

“Want to see him,” boomed the other voice.

“It’s Harm Stark, the silver fox king,” said Jimmie, springing to his feet.

“Here I am,” he called.

“Oh, there you are,” Harm Stark roared. “I had one old time getting by the policeman at the elevator. Thought I was some crook, I guess. Come along with me. I’ll show you things.”


“Just a minute,” Jimmie hurried to say a few words to the man at the desk. The man smiled, threw a hasty glance at Jimmie’s giant, then nodded. At once Jimmie was away.

Once on the sidewalk Stark hailed a taxi, crowded Jimmie in beside him, then called a number.

One habit Jimmie had formed which he was to live to regret was that once inside a taxi he felt as if he were in a room with shades down. The world of streets outside meant nothing to him, if another had given orders; nor did he pay any attention to the direction and destination toward which the cab was going. His whole interest was in the person who rode with him.

It was so today. Harm Stark was an interesting man. He had been everywhere that was north. He talked in a drawling voice of Fairbanks, Dawson, Nome, of Fort McMurray, and Great Slave Lake.

When the taxi at last came to a halt Jimmie had no idea of the direction they had taken nor of the distance that they had traveled.


“This is the place,” said Harm Stark, fairly lifting Jimmie out of the car. “Not much for looks but the vaults are good.”

“Vaults?” said Jimmie.

“Sure! Don’t you know, furs are kept in vaults.”

“To prevent them from being stolen?” Jimmie asked.

“Partly that. More because they must be kept at a cool, even temperature, air conditioned, you might say. Heat is bad for them.

“Hello, Sol!” exclaimed Harm Stark, grasping the hand of a short, pudgy man who greeted him at the door with a smile. “I just wanted to show Jimmie here some of my fox skins.”

“But they are my skins now.” The man rubbed his small hands together nervously.

“Sure they are. You bought them,” Stark laughed good-naturedly. “But lookin’ at them won’t do them any harm.”

“You can’t be too keerful,” said the short man. “Remember they cost me a half-million dollars.”


“Yes, and you’ll turn it into a million,” Stark laughed again.

“Ach! The market is already down!” exclaimed the little man. “I lose my shirt.”

“If you do you can have mine,” Stark slapped the little man on the back. “Come on. Lead the way.”

Reluctantly, the little man led the way. After he had worked the combination lock on a heavy steel door, they were ushered into a room as cool and damp as a November morning. Their nostrils were greeted by a strange oily smell. It was one of the rarest sights Jimmie had ever looked upon; hundreds and hundreds of silver fox skins with fur as soft as silk.

“What fine lady would not give you a grand hug for one of these?” said Harm Stark, reading the look of admiration on Jimmie’s face.

“I know one that would,” smiled Jimmie.

“Ho! So you have a girl!” Stark roared. “I don’t blame you!”


“It’s my mother,” said Jimmie with a grin.

“Ah. There you’re right.” The big man’s voice was a little less gruff. “You’re dead right.”

When they were at last in the outer room Stark murmured a few words in a low tone to the little man.

“Yes, Mr. Stark! With pleasure!” the little man exclaimed. “A fine skin.”

“It had better be!” said Stark. “You might fool the Queen of England but you can’t fool the silver-fox king.”

“No, and I vouldn’t even try,” said the little man. “Vait!”

He stepped across the room to say a few words to a girl at a desk. She hurried away to return a few minutes later with a small, paper-wrapped package.


“Well!” Stark boomed when they were once more on the street. “You have seen the world’s finest collection of fox skins. How would you like to see a thousand beautiful ladies all dolled up in them and walking down that Boulevard of yours?”

“That would be swell,” said Jimmie. Truth was, he had scarcely heard, for of a sudden the street with its low, old-fashioned brick business structures, had become hauntingly familiar to him. He had a feeling that he had been there before. But when? And why? For the life of him he could not recall.

“I feel as if I should know,” he told himself. “As if it were tremendously important that I should know. And yet——”

Wrack his brain as he might, he found no answer to this question. And so they drove away.

“Well, good luck, son,” Harm Stark said as they left the taxi, at the news building. “I’ll be hobbling along.”

“Wait,” Jimmie exclaimed. “You’re leaving your package.”


“That’s right,” Stark reached for the brown paper package. “I meant that for you. You are to give it to that best girl of yours.”

“My mother?”

“Who else?” Harm Stark smiled broadly.

“Gee! Thanks—I don’t know how to thank you for such a swell present,” said Jimmie. “I know she’ll be thrilled with it.”

“I shouldn’t wonder,” said Stark as he turned to go striding away.

Jimmie was doubly sure she would like it, when, on meeting the red-haired lady reporter, Mary Dare, he paused to unwrap it and show it to her.

“A silver fox!” Mary exclaimed. “A beauty! Oh! I never saw a grander one!”

“It’s for my mother,” said Jimmie. “She’s got silver-gray hair to match it and day after tomorrow is her birthday.”

“Jimmie, you’re a dear!” the lady reporter exclaimed. Then she did a strange thing. She grabbed Jimmie and kissed him on the cheek.


“She may be hard-boiled about her work,” Jimmie said to John a few minutes later. “But she’s a softie inside just the same, the right kind of a softie.”

“I wouldn’t doubt it,” said John.

On his way home that night Jimmie absentmindedly pulled a card from his pocket. On it he read, “Dr. Amos Andre.” “Now where did I get that?” he asked himself. Then he remembered, it was the card of the little, old man who wanted to know all about heavy water. He thrust it back into his pocket. He might want to ask this old man something. Why not make a collection of such cards? Paul Leach, one of the star reporters had a stack of them two inches high. He could direct you to most any person or any sort of place, just by consulting these cards.


As Jimmie sat in his big chair after dinner that night a disturbing sense of things half thought through and unfinished seemed to haunt him. The feeling that the part of the city surrounding the silver-fox storage plant came back to him more strangely than before. Closing his eyes he pictured the low, old-fashioned business structures. Then, of a sudden, he gave a great start. Could it be that this feeling was connected to that other taxi journey, the one he and Tom Howe had taken while following that truck owned and operated by men known to be gangsters? The thought was startling, yet, for the moment he could discover no ground for believing it true.

“I’ll find my way back there,” he told himself. “I surely will, and soon. Perhaps tomorrow.”

One other scene remained vividly pictured on the walls of his memory: three men sitting at a dimly lit table fingering gold nuggets, diamonds and—and “bubbles,” he said aloud. “Or perhaps they were rare eggs.”


Bubbles? The thought was queer. Whatever had put that in his head. One does not handle bubbles, much less carry them in his pocket.

One other feeling haunted him. This also seemed groundless, yet it remained with him. This was the feeling that he had seen that mysterious, more than half invisible man who had been seated in the shadows behind the light in the ancient mansion. There had been something vaguely familiar about the restless movement of his long fingers. It all seemed to be somehow connected up with some voice, a loud voice. But what voice? For the life of him he could not tell.

Of a sudden, all this was driven from his mind.

“The trap!” he thought, springing to his feet. “I was going to set that camera trap tonight.”



It was well after dark when he set out from his home that night. In a leather bag he carried a strange assortment of items. An old camera with a good lens and shutter, coils of wire, some dry batteries, flashlight and flash bulbs were mingled with various types of tools.

He headed straight for the big, shadowy, abandoned house. Had John been at the hideout he most surely would have passed that way and taken him along. The old house had always inspired within him a sense of dread. “As if it were haunted,” he had said more than once. John was off on a special reporting job so there was nothing to do but go alone, for his “trap” must be set.


Arrived at the old house he paused for a moment to look and listen. If those men staged a sudden return he must be prepared for instant flight.

Hearing no sound, he applied John’s key and found himself inside the vast, echoing castle. From somewhere a bat sprang into the air to go snap-snapping away. The silence that followed seemed to speak of grandeur that was gone forever, of splendid prancing horses, high traps, liveried coachmen, and grand ladies.

“How different it must have been,” he thought to himself.

But he must be about his task. Shaking himself free of dreams he began flashing his light about the room. It at last came to rest on a framed picture, the faded print of a moonlit bay.

“That’ll do,” he told himself.

Removing the picture from its hook he pried away the board that had for so long held the picture in place, then with a sharp knife cut out the golden moon. When he returned the picture to its spot the old camera was securely attached to it. Its lens had replaced the paper moon that had done duty all too long.


“There,” he breathed.

Tiptoeing to the door he listened again. A robin chirped sleepily to his mate. No other sound disturbed the silence of the night.

After that, sometimes inside, sometimes out among the bushes at the side of the house, the boy worked busily. At last, with a heavy sigh of satisfaction he murmured:

“There! Now let ’em come. The trap is set.”

After locking the door he hurried home and to bed, there to dream of diamonds and silver-fox skins, of a man with a long face who tossed white balls in the air by twos, threes and fours, of safes and gold nuggets, haunted houses and pictures with cut-out moons. Then morning came and it was another day.

On that day Jimmie received a glorious surprise; also, he and Tom Howe made one or two astonishing discoveries.


“Package for you there,” Scottie said as Jimmie looked into the photographer’s room for a cheery “Good morning!”

“For me?” Jimmie exclaimed.

“Came in care of my department, insured. Must be valuable,” said Scottie, “I signed for it.”

It was valuable, indeed. After removing the wrappings Jimmie found inside the latest, most elaborate and perfect camera yet made. “And a telescopic lens with a telescope for a sight!” he exclaimed. “What does it mean?”

A card attached to the camera answered this question. On this card he read:

“To Jimmie Drury from ‘Oggie’ Durant.”

“Boy, oh boy!” Jimmie did a wild dance about the room. As he quieted down and turned back to the box from which he had unwrapped the camera something he had overlooked fell to the floor. It was a big-league baseball autographed by every member of the team.


“What a day!” Jimmie exclaimed. “How will I ever work now?”

But all that long day he answered to the call of:


Down to the press rooms, up to the literary editor, across to the Woman’s Department and back to the Art Department he sped, always finding time to tell of his good luck and to receive sincere congratulations.

“What I won’t do with that new camera!” he exclaimed over and over.

Toward the close of that day Jimmie sat dreaming in his chair. What pictures he would take now! He would get some lulus of Oggie Durant in his next ball game. He surely would. But what of the Silent Terror? Would he be in his place razzing the millionaire pitcher? And would they get him? How many more people would hear those fateful words: “As you are?” And how many would waken once again to the light of day as he had done?


“We must get him! Get him!” He clenched his fists tight. “We will. We——”

He was recalled from his revery by a voice at his elbow.

“Day dreaming?” It was Tom Howe, the young detective.

“Yes—no, I—” Jimmie stammered confusedly.

“Well, snap out of it,” said Tom. “Come on down to the Plaza. I’ve got a thing or two to tell you.”

“And I’ve got something to show you,” said Jimmie, reaching for his camera.

“There’s been a fresh development down there in the block where we saw those crooks stop their truck. You know the place?” said Tom.

“Yes,—ah, yes,” Jimmie had a vaguely uneasy feeling that he should know more.

“There’s a mysterious tapping at night,” said Tom. “As if someone were working underground, perhaps cutting a tunnel toward some vault.”


“Vault,” Jimmie thought with a start, “those silver fox skins are in a vault.” He started to speak but in the end said nothing. What chance was there that this was the same location? There were thousands of city blocks.

“A night watchman has been hearing it,” Tom went on. “Has heard it two nights. His firm manufactures machinery for binderies, all massive stuff. Couldn’t be after that. Question is, what are they after? That’s what we’ve got to find out.

“By the way!” he exclaimed, “You remember those Alaskan matches we found on the floor?”

“By the diamond safe?” suggested Jimmie.

“Yes. Well, there’s a man wanted for robbing a safe full of placer gold up on Great Bear lake. Somehow he got out of the country.


“Two things are strange about that.” Tom paused for emphasis. “One is that the owner of that mine has his offices right here in this city, the other is that the description of the man fits Stumps Sharpe, one of the big-time crooks I’m looking for. He has two fingers off his left hand. So has Stumps.”

“Two fingers off,” Jimmie started up. “So had the man in the old house!”

“Old house?” said Tom. “What man? What house?”

“I haven’t had a chance to tell you,” said Jimmie. “It was like this——”

He went on to tell of his strange experience with John looking into the old house at night, of the invisible man with hands of an artist or a card-shark, the four white balls, the diamonds, the bag of gold nuggets and all the rest.

“And here’s the stub of the match they used,” he concluded, digging into his pocket.

“Same kind of a match!” Tom became greatly excited. “That must be Stumps. What do you know about that! Using that old house for a meeting place! You and John may be a lot of help to us.”

“That’s what I thought,” Jimmie agreed. “I’ve got a trap set.”


“A trap?” Tom’s brow wrinkled.

“Sure. We’ll get their picture. You see,” he explained eagerly, “I’ve placed flash bulbs attached to flash lights close to the door. By a switch and wires outside I can set them off without being seen. At the same time I can open the shutter to a camera hidden behind a picture.”

“Keen!” said Tom. “Only you can’t pull off your stunt until the zero hour. Don’t shoot too soon or you’ll scare them away.”

“I’ll wait ’till I see the whites of their eyes,” said Jimmie. “One thing more,” he added, “We found one of those gold nuggets.”

“Whe—where is it?” Tom demanded.

“John Nightingale has it.”

“That’s great!” said Tom. “I’ll get it. Then I’ll take it to that owner of the gold mine. He’ll have samples of his placer gold. We’ll have some of it and this nugget tested. See if they’re the same gold. If it is we’ve got a case against Stumps.”

“And you’ll arrest him?” said Jimmie.


“No—o. Not yet,” Tom drawled. “We’ve got a strong, broad net out. We’ll gather the whole bunch in at once. You see, if we don’t——”

To Jimmie the workings of a city detective was a matter of great mystery. They might have a clear case on a man but would not take him in. How strange!

“Here’s the stub of a candle I found in the old house,” he said, digging once again into his pocket. “It’s rough on the bottom.”

“Let me see,” Tom turned it over. “Oh! Ah! Looks as if it might be the one used in that diamond robbery. And if it is! Then the pattern of that ash tray we took from that diamond merchant’s back room is on its bottom. And that was Tungsten Tom you were looking at, back there in that old house. Boy! But you’ve been seeing things.”

“And if it is you’ll take them in, Stumps and Tungsten? Two cases?” said Jimmie.

“No—o. Not yet,” was Tom’s slow reply.



That evening Jimmie’s father and mother were to be in the city with friends. It often fell to the lot of this popular Sports Editor to entertain big men of his own little world who happened to be in town. So, once again Jimmie was all set to dine with John Nightingale in the hideout.

For once, without knowing why, he wished his mother was to be home, that he might eat a delicious hot meal such as only a mother can prepare, then curl up and listen to the radio.

The weather was bad. There was a cold wind suggesting autumn. There was a threat of storm in the sky.

As he and John entered the hideout Jimmie’s eyes were greeted by a great panful of unwashed dishes, and an unswept floor.


“What we need around here,” he said soberly, “is a woman. Women keep places warm and clean while you are away. And they meet you at the door with a smile.”

“Yes,” John grinned good-naturedly, “if it’s pay day.

“The only trouble with that,” he said, striking a match to light the fire, “is that a woman would want a stove without cracks in the lids.”

“Then she’d want a gas range,” added Jimmie.

“Yes, and after that an electric refrigerator, an automatic water heater and all the rest that makes for a real home which we haven’t got. So—o,” John drawled, “what say we wash the dishes?”

Wash them they did and after that they prepared a meal of pork chops, brown gravy, french fried potatoes, and apple turnovers.


After the meal John sat thoughtfully by the fire. Jimmie was half asleep. The fire gleamed brightly through the cracks in the lids. All was peace among the pines, when, quite without warning there came a knock at the door.

“Who’s that?” John sprang to his feet.

Jimmie thought of that other night’s adventure and of the trap he had set. His skin had begun to crawl when the door burst open and a smiling face beneath a tumbled mass of red hair looked in upon them.

“Behold the woman,” said John with a sweeping gesture. It was Mary Dare.

“Why the dramatics?” she asked with a laugh.

“We were discussing the merits of women,” said John.

“And John said a woman wouldn’t like cracked stove-lids,” put in Jimmie.

“I think they’re lovely,” said Mary. “But jokes are off. I’ve come on an errand. It’s important.”

“Have a chair,” said John.


“For just one minute,” said Mary, seating herself. She perched on the edge of her chair as she explained, “Tom Howe sent me. He couldn’t come. He thinks there is stolen treasure hidden in that big, old house on this estate. He has a direct tip from a certain man who sells information. He wants us to search the house.”

“Tonight?” John sprang to his feet.

“Cellar to garret.” The girl nodded.

“But listen,” exclaimed John. At that instant there came a distant peal of thunder. “It’s going to rain.”

“Orders are orders,” said Mary, becoming a trifle dramatic herself. “The law must be served.”

“All right,” said John. There was a tired note in his voice. He reached for his coat. “Come on, Jimmie. We must search that house.”

As they marched away Jimmie was thrilled, John just plain tired, and Mary? Who knows what a woman thinks at such a time?

“Probably thinking what a grand story it will make,” Jimmie told himself. “Anyway, she’s no fraidy.”


As they approached the deserted mansion Jimmie felt a chill course up his spine. Never before had the place seemed so dark and forbidding. Already black clouds were sweeping across the sky. The moon, hidden for a moment, came out with a strange, startling light, then disappeared for good. The wind went rushing through the pines. Involuntarily they began speaking in whispers.

“That thunder sounds like a warning to us to stay away,” the girl agreed, much to Jimmie’s astonishment. “But we’re not going to stay away.” There was a note of finality in her voice.

“There may be gold hidden there,” said Jimmie, “or diamonds or—or just nothing at all.”

“That’s what we’re to find out,” said the girl. “Well, here we are,” she laughed a short little laugh. “Anyway, nothing’s got us yet.”


John unlocked the door and let them in. As he did so a fresh burst of wind rushing past them stirred draperies long hanging in decay. It closed a distant door with a bang like the report of a gun. Then, as if it would precede them in their search, it went whispering away up the deserted stairs.

Their search from cellar to attic, was long and thorough and quite fruitless. They had just begun going over the attic when the storm which had long been brewing broke upon the old house in a tumult of wild fury.

“Think of the men and women, yes, and little children who have lived here in days long gone by,” whispered Mary. “Think how many times they have shuddered at just such a storm as this. And yet, the chimneys, so old that bricks fall from their tops, still stand while those who shuddered are all gone.”

As she finished speaking the three tired searchers fell silent.



The attic was immense. It had never been finished off into rooms. It contained a rare assortment of cast-off things that had accumulated over a period of years. To really do a thorough job of searching seemed impossible. And yet——

“We’ve got to get done with this,” said Jimmie, after prying into a dozen dusty chests of drawers. “You can’t tell when those men might come here again and then——”

“We’d be trapped,” said Jimmie and saw the girl’s hand tremble.

“Say!” the boy exclaimed. “Here’s a queer sort of box. Looks Oriental. Such queer hinges. Dragons done in green with yellow eyes. Let’s have a look.”

As he lifted the heavy lid he moved the box a little and there came forth the clank of steel.


“Oh!” the girl breathed. “Battle axes, or something.”

“No,” said Jimmie, ten seconds later with an uncertain laugh, “head-hunter’s weapons from Borneo or somewhere. See!” He lifted a heavy affair with a keen blade. “I’ve read about these. You tap the victim with the small end, then cut off his head with the blade. Stained with blood many a time, like as not. Man that got these must have traveled.” He dropped the axe with a clang that rose above the roar of thunder.

“Hey! What’s that?” John came rushing over to them.

“Just an echo from out of the past,” Jimmie laughed.

“Look!” said John, calling them to the half-round window. “Did you ever see a wilder sight.”

“Never,” Mary Dare gripped his arm hard.

Since the old house stood on the crest of the hill they could see far away across the treetops.


The wind was at its wildest.

“See how the trees twist and sway,” the girl whispered.

“As if each one had some monstrous serpent twined about it crushing out its life,” said Jimmie.

“Gosh, how the old house shakes and shudders!” the girl exclaimed, as a tremendous peal of thunder fairly set the massive beams creaking.

“They say,” John’s tone was impressive, “that when the foundation of this house was laid they dug down twenty feet to the limestone rock and set it there. I am not sure that’s true but there is a wine-cellar beneath the main cellar.”

“Perhaps that’s where the treasure is hidden,” suggested Mary.

“Not there,” said John. “I was down there only two days ago. Two great casks and three wicker-covered flasks in a dark corner was all I found.

“But look!” he exclaimed. “It’s getting worse.”


This was true. Never in all his life had Jimmie seen such forks and chains of lightning. Beside this, fourth of July with all its rockets paled into insignificance.

“The heavens declare the glory of God,” John murmured, quoting from a very old book. “Day unto day uttereth speech,

“And night unto night sheweth knowledge.”

“Stop!” exclaimed Mary. “It’s wild enough without that.”

“Well,” John shook himself as if to drive away a spell, “guess we’d better——”

He did not finish for at that instant there came such a flash and roar as none of them had ever before experienced.

Mary sprang back clutching her eyes as if blinded. Jimmie stood rigid as a statue. He was thinking, “I am about to die.” Then came in a flash, “I shall not die. Lightning kills instantly.”

“John! Mary! Are you hurt,” he called.

“I—I can’t see,” Mary answered.


“Of course not. I dropped my flashlight. It’s pitch dark,” Jimmie laughed in spite of himself.

There came a minor flash of lightning.

“There!” Mary exclaimed. “I’m all right.”

But by the light of that flash Jimmie had seen something. John was lying on the floor.

“John!” he called. “Are—are you hurt?” A great wave of cold fear swept over him.

“No, not—not ser—seriously.” John’s words came slowly and sounded far away, as if he had gone somewhere and was just coming back.

“Where’s that flash-light?” Jimmie murmured. “Here—here it is. But it—it won’t work.”

“There’s a fountain pen flash-light in my pocket,” John drawled. “Wait. I—I’ll get it.”

A moment later a pencil of light appeared and John struggled to his feet.


“We—we’ve got to get down out of here,” he managed to say. “That bolt struck the chimney. It may have set the house on fire. We’ll be trapped.”

The stairway was near the massive chimney. As Jimmie passed close to it he stumbled over a loose brick.

“John was right,” he thought. “It did strike the chimney.”

As they reached the third story, the second, then the first, an increasing feeling of relief came over them.

“Cold bolt,” said John as they once more reached the living room. “Cold bolts don’t set anything on fire. They——

“Say!” his tone changed. “What’s that? Look! Only look!”

As his pencil of light played over the floor before the broad fireplace it revealed masses of broken mortar and bricks scattered far and wide. The lightning had done its work well.

This was not what held their eyes glued to the spot. Mingled with the debris were scores of white and blue flashes of light.


“Unset diamonds,” John muttered thickly. “Thousands of dollars worth. The lightning destroyed their place of hiding.

“Here! Quick!” He snatched the evening paper from his pocket. “Spread this out, Mary. Then you two start gathering them up and putting them on the paper while I catch their gleam with this bum lamp.”

For a full ten minutes after that the storm was forgotten. When the wind died down, they did not know. After the last peal of thunder rolled away in the distance and the last flash of lightning came, silence engulfed the room.

One thing John’s keen eye did catch. From time to time his gaze wandered to the beginning of that winding drive leading to the house.

At last, with a low exclamation he whispered, “That’s all. And just in time. A high-powered car just drove into the place. It will be here in about sixty seconds. Mary, fold that paper carefully and bring it along. Both of you come on. I know a way out.”


The way they followed was narrow and winding. It led to servant’s quarters and a back door.

One moment more and they stood shaking in a dark corner.

“John,” Jimmie whispered hoarsely, “the trap is set.”



“The trap is set.” John repeated the words after Jimmie without realizing their full meaning. The truth is he had all but forgotten that Jimmie had laid plans to take a flashlight picture of the mysterious persons using this old house as a hideout. Even now he had only a vague impression of batteries, wires, a camera and flash bulbs.

“The trap is set,” he repeated slowly. “But to spring it now might be dangerous.”

“Come on,” said Jimmie. “We’ve got to get their picture.”

“A picture taken in that room might go far toward convicting them,” John said slowly. “If these diamonds really were stolen they can be identified and if the men are photographed in the place the diamonds were found——”


“That will get them,” Jimmie whispered eagerly. “I’ll spring the trap, you and Mary start for the hideout. We—we wouldn’t like to have them catch up with us, not with those diamonds in our hands.”

“Mary will start for the hideout.” There was a note of authority in John’s voice. “I’ll go with you. When you throw the switch for the flash-picture I’ll fire off this old cannon. I’ve got a gun, you know. Or, perhaps you didn’t. Anyway, I have. Regular cannon! My uncle used it out west. They may think it’s a police trap and beat it.”

“Fine!” Jimmie exclaimed. “But come on. There’s not a second to lose.”

Mary faded into the night. Slipping and sliding over the drenched grass the two boys moved around the house to the spot where the switch was hidden.

“Good!” Jimmie whispered hoarsely. “Switch isn’t wet at all. Should work fine.”


“Listen! They’re here.” Jimmie felt John’s hand tremble on his shoulder. “Wait until you’re sure they’re inside and then——”

“The flash,” Jimmie was thrilled to the very roots of his hair.

They heard the rattle of a key, then the creak of a rusty hinge.

“Now,” John’s whisper could scarcely be heard.

At that instant the moon, coming out from behind a cloud, shone through a window bringing out three figures. They were standing in the doorway.

“Great!” John murmured aloud. “Let ’em have it.”

There followed a blinding flash, a loud roar, then deep, moonlit silence.

This silence was broken by a sudden rush of heavy feet, then the purr of a motor. This picked up, became a pulsing roar, then faded away in the distance.


“Gone! What did I tell you,” John laughed. “Cowards. Crooks are all like that. Like rats or snakes they’ll only fight when they’re cornered.

“Come!” Once more he was on the move. “There may be a few more sparklers in there. No matter how they came there, whether they were stolen or are part of the old Judge’s fortune long lost to the family, we’ll gather them in.”

Jimmie’s feelings were a tumult as he once again entered the old house. A score of questions crowded his busy brain. What of those diamonds? Whose were they? Had they remained long hidden in a recess of the chimney or had they recently been stolen and stored there?


More important still was the picture. Was it a success? He must get that old camera at once. And he did. With this securely attached to his belt he joined John in his search for diamonds. He found three. They seemed a little queer to him as he had seen very few diamonds. Perhaps, after all, they were only imitations. This thought gave him a sinking feeling. To risk one’s life for a few bits of glass, that would be terrible.

From time to time he paused to listen. What if those men came back?

But they did not come. At last John rose with a sigh. “Guess we’d better call that good. I—I’m tired. We’ll sneak home. Not down the drive. That might be dangerous.”

In absolute silence they tiptoed out of the place. John turned the key in the door. Then they were away.

After that for a full quarter hour they went dodging and weaving about among the brush and trees.

When at last they arrived at the dense clump of pines, it was on the side opposite John’s entrance.

“From here we crawl,” he said in a low voice.


Suiting actions to words he dropped on hands and knees to start crawling through the black caverns beneath the pines. Once again Jimmie followed.

“There,” John sighed, as at last he stood up to grasp the latch to the hideout, “we’re here.”

“But—but where do you suppose Mary is?” Jimmie stammered.

“Here I am,” came in a whisper as the door opened. “I didn’t dare to light a lamp. I—I’m frozen.”

“We’ll make a fire. Smoke won’t show in the night.” John lifted one cracked lid of the stove, took paper and wood from the box in the corner, placed it in the stove, scratched a match, and soon the crackle of a wood fire cheered the heart of the tired trio.

“Look!” the girl whispered as she spread John’s newspaper on the floor, then allowed a pencil of light to play upon it.

Like many white, winking eyes, the stones that men have fought and died for gleamed up at them.


“Thousands of dollars worth,” Jimmie whispered. “If those men knew where we were at this moment!”

“But they don’t. Thank God for that!” Mary sighed.

“Listen!” Jimmie whispered. “What’s that?”

A low, strange sound had reached his ears. For a full minute they stood at breathless attention. Then, as the sound, much nearer and louder now burst on their ears, they laughed.

“Some old hoot-owl talking to his mate in the night,” Jimmie murmured. After that for sometime there was silence.

Through the cracks in John’s stove lids the light of the fire gleamed cheerily. From time to time the dry wood popped and crackled. Other than these, no light, no sound disturbed the night. And the moments, waiting there as Jimmie did for the next move in this strange drama, were long.

“We’ll bury them,” said John, rousing at last. “Bury them out under the pines.”


It took no great stretch of imagination on Jimmie’s part to know that he spoke of the diamonds.

Emptying his sugar bowl, John poured the handful of sparkling gems into it, replaced the lid, then led the way into the night.

Without a light and with only the owl as a witness, they buried the bowl beneath a tree, and, after carefully rearranging the fallen pine-needles, stole silently back into the hideout.

“They say,” suggested John, “that women brew marvelous tea. The tea kettle is hot.”

Mary responded to his invitation. So, in the small hours of the night they drank a toast to the future in a steaming cup.

After that Jimmie saw Mary to her train, then crept sleepily back to his own cozy bed.

“Life,” he thought, “is not so bad, but all this excitement cuts into a fellow’s sleeping program.”


Tired as he was he was not able to at once quiet his active brain. That picture? Had it been a success? What would it reveal? Who were those men? Had he at last taken a picture showing a real front view or profile? Would Tom Howe say the instant he saw them, “Yes, this is so and so. Boy! We’ll take them now!” Or would his face go blank at sight of them?

As his mind quieted down he thought of matters farther afield. “Clues,” he thought dreamily. “How very little it takes to put a finger on the guilty man. He drops matches, lights a candle, blows it out and forgets it. He leaves through a window, his knee leaves a pattern in the dust. These little things get him. Why does he care to go on with it?” To this question he could find no answer.

He was almost asleep when a sub-conscious thought working its way to the surface brought him up with a jerk wide awake once more.


“Bubbles!” he whispered excitedly. “It might be that! Who knows? I’ll work that out. If only the Terror would strike again! And yet, what a wish?”

At that he settled back on his pillow. Two minutes later nature’s demand for repose took him to dreamland.



As he rode down town next morning Jimmie carried the precious old camera with the unusual flashlight picture, taken by the trap in the old house, in a case safely strapped over his shoulder.

“The way Kentucky mountaineers carry their guns,” he assured himself. “No one can take it from me.”

As a thought came to him with sudden shock he whispered, “Glass bubbles.” Then, digging deep in his pocket he brought forth the card of Dr. Amos Andre, the little old chemist who had a laboratory all his own and who was interested in heavy water.

“I’ll go and see him as soon as I can,” he told himself. “I am sure he is a man who can be trusted. He’ll be able to tell me whether there’s anything to my theory. And if there is, I’ll take it to Tom Howe.”


At that, feeling quite pleased with himself for doing the old gentleman who wanted to know all about heavy water a friendly turn, he folded the card and stowed it carefully away in a small pocket of his coin purse. There it was to remain until what John Nightingale would have called the dramatic moment, had arrived.

He was keenly disappointed to find when he reached the office that Scottie had been sent out of town on a special assignment.

“Won’t be back until late in the day,” he was told. “One of the other boys will do anything you want done.”

“Ho kay,” said Jimmie. But it was not O. K. Not by a long shot. Only Scottie should be entrusted with that precious film. So the camera still hung under his coat while he looked into other matters.

Following out a hunch that had come to him the night before, he got Tom Howe on the phone.


“Tom,” he said, “you told me about a mysterious tapping. What place was that?”

“Not so loud,” Tom cautioned. “Phones sometimes have ears. On Washington between Honore and Hawthorne.”

“I’m going over there at the noon-hour,” said Jimmie. “Got a hunch.”

“Right,” said Tom. “Let me know what you find out.”

The discovery he made in the block on Washington Avenue was startling enough. Hurrying back to the office he begged an hour’s leave of absence. The leave granted, he got Tom on the phone, then raced away to his sky-scraper room.

“Tom! Tom!” he exclaimed quite out of breath from climbing the stairs, “Know what? That tapping is in the same block as that fur storage place.”

“Sure! I knew that!” Tom smiled.

“And a half million dollars worth of fox skins are stored there,” Jimmie breathed.


“What? How do you know that?” Tom was on his feet.

“I’ll tell you,” said Jimmie. He proceeded to tell his story of the Silver Fox King.

“Jimmie, you’re a wonder!” Tom exclaimed.

“Beginner’s luck,” Jimmie grinned. “But, Tom!” he demanded, “Don’t you think those crooks are tunneling to get those furs?”

“Undoubtedly,” Tom agreed. “They’ll come up through the cement floor of the fur storage vaults, then take the skins out to the alley to load.”

“And if a fellow was to be watching at some window across the street he might see how they made the entrance to that tunnel of theirs.”

“He might.”

“And if there was light, he could get a picture of them.”

“At that distance?”


“With my telescopic camera.”

“Perhaps. But it would be necessary to exercise the greatest care, Jimmie.” Tom was very much in earnest. “We must catch this entire gang with the goods on them. We simply must. We——”

He broke off short for at that moment his phone jangled loudly.

Jimmie heard him say in a casual tone, “Yes?” Then, excitedly, “That right? Again! Subway to the Washington Street station? I’ll be right down.”

“It’s the Silent Terror!” he exclaimed as he dropped the receiver. “He’s struck again. In broad day-light, not five blocks from here.” He reached for his coat.

“May I go with you?” Jimmie’s voice rose.

“Yes—yes, certainly.”

“And may I take this?” Jimmie asked.

“Yes, sure.” Tom did not even look.

Jimmie dropped a small clothes brush into his pocket.


A moment more and they were on their way. At the outer door Jimmie seized a newspaper and threw a nickel at the boy as he ran.

They arrived at the subway quite out of breath. A row of blue-coats kept the crowd back, but Tom Howe and Jimmie passed at once. The subway had been cleared. Three policemen stood over a small, gray-haired man who apparently was struggling to regain consciousness.

“The—the pay—pay—roll,” he murmured thickly. “Is—is it gone?”

“That’s all right,” one of the officers reassured him. “Tell us what happened.”

“I—I was taking the pay-roll from the bank when some—something happened. I—I saw a hand. I heard a voice, and—and then I must have had some sort of sinking spell.”

“Same old story,” Tom said in a low tone to Jimmie.

“The Bubble Man,” Jimmie said.


“What’s that?” Jimmie made no reply.

“Tom,” Jimmie gripped his arm, “will they mind if I sort of brush around the floor?”

“Who? They?” Tom nodded at the officers. “No, I guess not. But why——”

“Don’t ask me. I’ll explain later.” Dropping on hands and knees the boy began brushing the floor in a wide circle. He used Tom’s clothes brush. When at last his circle had narrowed to a spot the size of a man’s hat he placed a single square of newspaper on the polished floor of the subway and appeared to brush an invisible something onto the paper. Truth was, his arduous brushing appeared to have caught only three insignificant bits of paper, one of them a fragment of a chewing gum wrapper.

“There,” he sighed, as, having folded the bit of newspaper neatly, then wrapped it in another square, he thrust it into his pocket.


Tom was too busy asking questions, examining the victim’s clothing and looking for possible clues to pay any attention to his actions.

When at last they walked out into the street, Tom said,

“Same old stuff! No information worth considering. But we’re going to get that man. We’ve got to do it.”



One hour later, with his small package of sweepings in his pocket and with the camera still under his arm, Jimmie found himself on the tenth floor of a down-town office building. On the glass of the door he read:

Dr. Amos Andre,
Consulting Chemist

“That’s it,” Jimmie whispered. “The very thing! Consulting chemist.”

“Doctor Andre,” he burst out before he was fairly through the door, “I want you to heat something for me. Heat it good and hot.”

“To what temperature?” The doctor stared at him.

“Hot enough to melt glass.”

“That is easy. What have you there?” The doctor pointed at Jimmie’s paper package.


“That,” said Jimmie, “is what I want to know. Shake the contents of this into one of those heating things of yours and see what comes of it.”

“Very well.” The doctor took the package and followed instructions. “A hot flame now,” he murmured. “There it is. The bits of paper burn quickly and we have——”

Jimmie held his breath. What would they have? Nothing? Just nothing at all?

“Ah,” the chemist breathed, “you were right. There is something left. A very little glass.”

“Good! Oh, good!” Jimmie was all but dancing a jig. “How—how much do I owe you?”

“Nothing, my boy. Nothing at all.”

“Dr. Andre, tell me,” Jimmie was in deadly earnest now, “would it be possible for one to produce a gas that would put a person to sleep but not kill them?”

“Certainly,” said the chemist. “There are several such gases.”


“Doc—doctor,” Jimmie stammered again, “would it be possible to blow some of this gas into a glass bubble so thin that it would burst at the slightest compact?”

“That,” said the doctor, “I could not say for sure. I am not an authority on glass. I could, however, send you to a man who is. There’s the man who does my test tubes for me. He is what you might call a ‘keen’ glass blower.”

“Will you send me to him?”


“But—but first,” Jimmie insisted eagerly, “do you think the amount of gas in a bubble like that the size of an indoor baseball would put a person to sleep—almost at once?”

“It is entirely possible; in fact, quite probable that it would do so, providing the gas was compressed and if the bubble struck closely enough to the person’s face.

“And is there a gas that under those circumstances would kill a person?” Jimmie drew in a long breath.


“Yes. Instantly,” was the startling reply.

“Thanks—oh, thanks,” Jimmie headed for the door.

“But the glass blower!” The doctor stopped him. “Did you wish his address?”

“Yes! Yes! Sure!”

Slowly the old man scrawled an address on a slip of paper.

“There it is, my son.”

“Doctor Andre, I’m sorry I can’t tell you more,” Jimmie apologized. “You—you’ll know more very soon, I am sure.”

“That is quite all right,” the old man bowed him out.

“Yes. He’ll know much more,” the boy thought grimly. “But will I be here to tell him?”


Arrived at the glass-blower’s place, Jimmie plied the astonished man with questions for a full ten minutes. His answers were, “Ja, I tink so!” “It might be so. Aber, I cannot say.” “Ja, some glass iss thin like paper. It break very easy. Some it is thick unt tough. Maybe you throw it on the floor unt it do not break.” “Ja. Ja.” “Nein, it cannot be so.”

At last, wearied by the boy’s persistence, he said:

“Wait, I show you, maybe!”

After heating glass until it was in molten form, he left the room to return with a package of yellow powder. To this he applied a match. The powder burned with a blue blaze. Jimmie smelled burning sulphur. After drawing some of the sulphur fumes into a pair of hand bellows, the glass blower thrust a long tube into his molten glass, puffed the fumes into the tube, removed the end of the tube from the pool of glass and, with three quick puffs, blew a bubble of thin glass the size of an indoor baseball. With a deft twist he closed the hollow glass ball and severed it from his tube.

“Now,” he breathed, “you stand there. I stand here unt I throw the glass bubble.”


The next instant the glass bubble struck Jimmie’s chest. It chanced to hit a button and burst with a low pop, at the same time treating the boy to a large dose of sulphur fumes.

“That—that’s the answer,” Jimmie sputtered, trying to get a breath. “Thanks—thanks a lot.”

At that, to the glass blower’s astonishment, he dashed for the door and was away.

When Tom Howe had been told of Jimmie’s theory, that the Bubble Man filled fragile glass bubbles with gas and burst them by throwing them at his victim, and when he had heard of the test just made, he was convinced.

“That’s the answer sure as shooting,” he exclaimed. “And that is the reason we must get him. In time he will use a deadly poison gas and add murder to his list of specialties.


“And that gives me an idea!” he sprang to his feet. “At least it’s worth looking into. An old woman who keeps a boarding house phoned only yesterday that one of her roomers who at times had a wild look kept his room cluttered with tubes, vials and packages of chemicals. She was afraid to turn him out. Wanted to know if we would please look into the matter. We will, and that right now.”

“Oh! Yer from the Police! I’m that relieved!” said the broad-faced boarding-house keeper as Tom and Jimmie appeared at her door a half hour later. “Go right up. Here’s the key. The room’s number ten. He’s out jest now. And may Heaven bless ye if he returns right soon.”

“We’ll chance it,” Tom replied grimly.

One whiff at the room suggested a laboratory. Three minutes of looking convinced them that they were in the chemist’s den.

“Here are fragments of glass bubbles,” said Tom. “That’s proof enough. But where does he keep his poison gas?”


Stepping to a door he opened it. “Ah! A dark closet.” He threw on his flashlight. “There,” he breathed. On the shelf were six black, steel tubes. Stepping quickly forward, he turned one about, then caught a deep breath. On the back side of that tube was a label marked:


“God grant that we are in time,” he whispered. “Let’s see.” He turned the other tubes about. “Three labeled, and three unlabeled. We’ve got to get that man. We’ll set a watch but he may suspect, may escape us. He——”

A step sounded in the hall. Jimmie dodged as if to miss a glass bubble. Tom clicked something, in his pocket.

It was only the landlady. “He’s that wild lookin’ at times,” she murmured. “What is there to be done?”

“Nothing at present,” Tom Howe replied in as steady a tone as he could command. “We’ll have him watched.”

“Will ye, now?” The woman heaved a great sigh of relief. “May Heaven bless ye fer that now.”


It was impossible for Jimmie to read Tom’s thoughts as they left the place. His own feeling was one of intense relief. He had faced the Bubble Man once and had heard his sharp order: “As you are.” His gas bubbles had been harmless then. But what about now?

“I have something I want to do tonight,” Jimmie said to his father late that afternoon.

“For how long?” His father gave him a sharp look.

“All night.”

“I hope,” his father’s face took on a worried look, “that you’re not going into anything dangerous. You know, son, we can’t help worrying about you when we don’t know where you are, mother and I.”

“I know,” Jimmie replied slowly. “But this time it is nothing dangerous. I shall sleep in the men’s lounge until midnight. After that I’ll be in the office of a publishing firm on the third floor of a building watching what goes on across the street and, perhaps, shooting a few pictures.”


“That doesn’t sound very dangerous. O. K., son, I’ll see you in the morning.”

Jimmie’s plan was to watch the section of street that lay back of that fur-storage place. If anyone was tunneling toward that building he must enter and leave from that side. But how? Through the door of a vacant building? Through a basement window? Perhaps, and perhaps not. He wanted to know.

There were, however, other matters to be attended to before he took up his night’s work.

“Let me see,” he thought. “Scottie should be back. And there’s that picture we took with the trap last night. Boy, oh, boy! How life does whirl about us.”

“And we’re to meet Tom Howe at seven, John, Mary and I. The big story’s sure to break soon. And such a story!” He hurried away to find Scottie.



“That—” Tom Howe spoke slowly, with a suggestion almost of awe in his voice, “That is the most remarkable picture I have ever seen. In fact, the thing it reveals is almost unbelievable.”

He paused to cast a sweeping glance at his companions. Not one of them, Tom, John, or Jimmie, said a word. They were waiting for the revelation they all knew must come.

Down deep inside himself, Jimmie was the most excited of them all, for the picture which Tom held with fingers that trembled was the one taken by the old camera set as a trap in the abandoned mansion. What story did it tell? He could only wait with the rest.


Scottie had done the picture and pronounced it first class. They had gathered, the four of them, in a small, secret room for a look at it. Naturally, Tom had the first good look.

“That man,” Tom pointed a pencil, “the one in the center, is the Silent Terror.”

“The Terror! Terror! Silent Terror!” they echoed.

“Not a doubt about it,” Tom was emphatic. “It’s a halfside view. Look at that ear! There’s only one of its kind in the world. See for yourself.”

After placing a flat box containing a wax reproduction of an ear on the table, he held a magnifying glass before the picture.

One look was enough to convince them. “It is! It is!” They were agreed.

“But what—” Jimmie could not go on. Instead he sat staring in astonishment.

“What is he doing in such company?” John asked. He had recognized in one of the others the notorious Sharpe.


“The others,” said Tom, “are Stumps Sharpe and Tungsten Tom. There can be but one answer to that question. These professional crooks read about the Silent Terror and decided that he had something they wanted, silent death for those who opposed them. So they hunted him up and struck some sort of a bargain with him.”

“And we saw them at it!” Jimmie exclaimed, recalling the night he and John had watched this terrifying trio in the old mansion.

“And I had a gun on me,” John groaned aloud.

“I’m glad you didn’t use it,” said Tom. “We’ll get them and all their pals. If we don’t send them up for trying to get away with those silver fox skins we’ll take them for that diamond robbery. You’ve got the proof, the diamonds,” he turned to John.

“Oh, no you won’t,” was John’s surprising reply.

“Why—what—” they all turned upon him.


“I took the diamonds over to the man whose safe was robbed,” he explained. “He said the diamonds we took from the old house were very nice stones, very fine indeed, and worth a lot of money. But—” he heaved a sigh, then added, “he’d never seen them before.”

“Never seen——”

“They were cut in an old-fashioned manner that belongs to another generation,” John went on. “It seems more than probable that the eccentric old Judge hid them there many years ago.

“So—o,” he concluded, “I’ve filed them away in a vault for future reference.”

“Then,” said Tom, “we’ll get that gang with the goods on them, the night they come after those furs. Only—” deep lines appeared on his face. “That will be taking a desperate chance. If the Terror puts deadly poison in his silent messengers, his bubbles, you know, the city will be obliged to employ some new detectives on the morning after.

“Let me see,” he puzzled for a moment. “I would throw a guard about the place now only they might get wise. No, I’ll watch that garage. The truck will give them away.”


“And tonight,” Jimmie said, “I’ll try for a picture from across the street.”

“That—why, yes, I guess that will be O. K.” said Tom. “Even if they see you they won’t suspect anything. A boy can go anywhere.”

And so the party broke up.

Late that night Jimmie made his way to that dark and forbidding section of the city in which the tapping had been heard.

Assured by the watchman of the near-by factory that the tapping was going on again, he took his place well in the shadows behind a window.

His watch was long. Twice he fell asleep to awake with a start. To keep himself awake he set himself wondering about many things. There was the ball game that would be played day after tomorrow. Would the Bubble Man be there? Or, would Tom Howe get him before that? There was the reward. He wished he might get in on that. It would pay for his first year at college. People said it was best not to work the first year. Yet he must work unless——


Was his watch to be futile? Was his theory all wrong? Did those men enter some other way? He took to studying the windows, the tall first-story windows, the coal chute and all other possible entrances. Repair work was going on in the street, had been for days. A new water main was being laid. A cave-in had delayed the work. The place was boarded up to hold the earth in place. Seemed like streets in this city were always torn up. Seemed like——

Once again he fell asleep to wake with a start. This wouldn’t do. Dawn was approaching. A milk wagon lumbered down the street. Those men would leave with the dawn.

Rising, he began pacing the floor. He had kept this up for a quarter of an hour when he stopped dead in his tracks to stare in astonishment. Then he reached for his new camera with the telescopic lens.


What had happened? Two of the boards in that street embankment had been lifted aside. A man dressed in a workman’s garb, was coming out. Jimmie guessed he was no ordinary workman. Waiting until his full profile was exposed, the boy snapped his picture twice. Not much light, but perhaps enough for a sort of shadow picture.

Another man came out, another and yet another. The boards were replaced. The three men marched down the street. There was in their walk more of a lockstep than the slow slouch of tired workmen.

Jimmie went down to drink a steaming cup of coffee, then to sleep for two hours in a big, soft chair.

After that he burst into Scottie’s studio to place a film on his table and exclaim:

“Develop those, Scottie. They’ll make us famous.”

“Like fun they will!” Scottie laughed.


Nevertheless he did develop them, and, mere shadow pictures taken at dawn though they were, Tom Howe recognized them at once as pictures of Piccalo, the Pipe, Stumps Sharpe, and Black Dolan.

“MY PALS!” he exclaimed. “I have a direct tip that the job is to be pulled tonight and I have a feeling that we shall all meet in the alley by that fur storage place by the moonlight.”

“And the Bubble Man,” suggested Jimmie.

“We haven’t got him yet,” Tom frowned. “I set a watch but someone must have tipped him off. I feel sure enough that he’s got a supply of his infernal bubbles with him. Question is, what kind of gas is in ’em, sleeping or killing?”

“Perhaps we’ll get him at the ball game tomorrow,” Jimmie suggested.

“We’ll get him tonight or he’ll get us,” Tom flashed back grimly.



It was night. The small clock on Tom Howe’s desk was ticking its way toward nine. Tom sat by the window. With one eye squinting through his telescope, he kept up a running conversation with Jimmie. Tom did most of the talking which was unusual for him. Perhaps this gave him an outlet for the excitement bottled up inside of him.

“Something tells me things will be popping soon,” he said, shifting his position a little. “Well, let them start. We’ll be right on their tail.

“Wonder if they ever thought it strange that a large sign should be put up on the storage place back of their garage and then a flood-light trained on it.”


“Probably not,” said Jimmie. “There are flood-lights all over the city.”

“It helps anyway.” Tom smiled. “I can see every car or truck that leaves, just as if it were day. We’ll get them if they make a move.”

“And the Bubble Man?” Jimmie suggested.

“Yes,” Tom’s brow wrinkled. “There’s the Bubble Man. I don’t mind admitting he’s got me worried. You see, we’re used to automatics, even machine guns, but a fellow like that—it—it’s sort of like hunting rattle-snakes for years, then coming on one of those puffing adders. You don’t know how to go after him.

“But we’ll get him,” his voice picked up. “You’ll see.

“And mind you!” He wheeled about. “You’re out of this.”

“Aw! Say! Now——”


“Absolutely out of it until after the mop-up.” Tom’s voice was steady and firm. “Reporters come in after the fight. You’ll get your story and the pictures right enough. But a fight like this is nothing for a boy.”

“Oh, all right,” Jimmie agreed reluctantly.

“Sometimes I think,” Tom droned, squinting through his telescope, “that it’s no sort of a thing for any decent fellow to be in this detective business.

“And yet,” he paused for a space of seconds, “if some of us didn’t go in for it where’d everyone else be? Always in fear of their lives. It’s war! That’s what it is.” His voice rose. “War against crime. Not so many years ago there was a terrible war in Europe. Millions of fine fellows were killed. And yet, when you ask the boys who lived through it what they were fighting for they’ll tell you they don’t know.


“But we know!” He struck the table with his fist. “In this war against crime we know we’re fighting for the safety of simple, honest, kindly people, a whole city full of them. And in the end we’ll win. We——

“There!” he exclaimed springing to his feet. “There goes their truck! Come on! This is our zero hour!”

A half hour later, from his hiding-place behind a trash box in the dark alley beside the fur storage warehouse, Jimmie was witnessing a strange sight. The basement of the storage place had been built out under the alley. The outlaws, having tunneled to this basement, had made one hole up into the large storage room and another up through the alley. Now, like a pack of rats carrying away grain, they were passing up bundle after bundle of silver-fox furs worth a king’s ransom. And no one was there to stop them; at least, no one appeared to be. It was eerie, fantastic, impossible, like a scene played on the movie screen. And yet it was intensely real.


By their shadowy profiles Jimmie recognized them. He could almost call the roll, Tungsten Tom, Black Dolan, Stumps Sharpe. And back of all, in the shadows, where he could scarcely be seen at all, not moving, but very real for all that, was another. Jimmie found his stiff lips refusing to form the name even in a whisper. Still he thought it, “The Bubble Man,” and shuddered.

The long procession of bundles was slowing when, at last, that alley became a scene of quick action. A figure sprang out here, another there and one there. Not a word was spoken above a whisper, but Jimmie knew it was the pinch.

As he sprang to his feet he saw something gleam white then saw a figure fall. Another gleam, another plunging figure. The Bubble Man was getting in his terrible work.

Jimmie seemed to see the word, “Poison.” “Poison gas,” he muttered. “That man must not escape.”


He sprang forward. There came a blinding burst of light. He staggered for an instant. Then, realizing that he had, without knowing it touched off the flash-bulb on his belt beside his candid camera, he made one flying leap for a pair of legs. He and the Bubble Man fell in a heap. At the same instant, with a pop-pop that could scarcely be heard, two bubbles in the mad chemist’s hands exploded.

The Bubble Man lay still. Striving to regain his feet Jimmie felt once more that strange sensation of dizziness. Without so much as a groan he sank to the pavement. For an instant he saw six black tubes, three marked poison. Was there poison in those bubbles? Was he going to die? Jimmie went to sleep.

Sometime later he felt himself to be climbing out of a pit filled with sliding sand. Where was he? In his own good world or another?

With a heroic effort he forced his eyes open to find Mary Dare looking down at him and to hear her exclaim joyously,

“He’s opened his eyes! He’s coming ’round. Thank God, it was not poison.”


“Did—did they get them?” Jimmie whispered.

“Every one,” said Mary.

“And the Bubble Man?” Jimmie tried to sit up.

“He’s dead. Couldn’t take his own medicine. Bad heart, the doctor thinks.”

“That’s good,” Jimmie whispered. “We got him at last.”



The whole affair left Jimmie feeling dizzy and a little sick. He was willing enough, next morning, to accept his father’s suggestion that he remain at home all day.

As he reclined on a heap of pillows in the sun-room, gazing dreamily out of the door, he saw Joe, Dick, Jerry, and Ned, his good school pals, practicing kick-offs and runs in the vacant lot across the way.

“Football,” he thought. “I used to play that.” Then, waking to sudden reality, he exclaimed, “Week after next high school opens and I have one more year of it. Hurray!”


Closing his eyes he called it all back, the gay throng, the shouting, the school yells, the band, the kick-off, the good feel of the ball as it dropped into his waiting arms, then the dash down the field.

“School days, school days,” he hummed. Yes, school days. They began next week. All these newspaper thrills would, for the time at least, belong to the past. They would remain only as half-forgotten dreams. Was he sorry? He did not know. Perhaps——

“Here’s the paper, son,” said his mother. “Such a remarkable picture on the front page.”

It was remarkable. Even the editor had admitted it. “THE BUBBLE MAN’S LAST TOSS,” Jimmie read above it, and below, “MOST UNUSUAL PICTURES EVER PRODUCED, TAKEN BY A BOY’S CANDID CAMERA.”

“Why!” Jimmie sat up. “I took that picture.”

“You, son!” his mother’s eyes widened. “How could you?”


“I did, for all that,” Jimmie admitted reluctantly. “Well,” he thought, “the cat’s out of the bag. The whole story of the Bubble Man is here and my part in his capture too. This will be the end of my newspaper career for this year. And who cares? One week till school starts.”

Then he told his mother the whole story. At the end he said, “When the Bubble Man went into action I got excited and pressed my switch. The flash bulbs exploded. The distance happened to be right. So—o, I got that picture. Played into luck, that’s all.”

“I think,” said his mother soberly, “that you played into luck all the way through. And now,” she sighed, “I hope you are ready to be just a boy again.”

“I am,” said Jimmie simply.

Jimmie heard the ball game on the radio. It was a grand scrap. “Oggie,” his idol, pitched a glorious game and won. Needless to say, there was no Bubble Man in the grand-stand to razz him.


Three days later, when Jimmie made a short visit to his old haunts in the News Building, he came upon Tom Howe, John Nightingale, and Mary Dare. They were gathered in a corner and seemed both happy and excited about something.

“Here’s Jimmie now!” John exclaimed. “Shall we tell him?”

“No! Wait!” Mary protested. “Let’s all go down to the Purple Mug for a cup of coffee. This must be done in the proper setting.”

“Now,” said Jimmie, fifteen minutes later, “what’s it all about?” He was fairly bursting with curiosity.

“It’s about all of us,” said Mary.

“May I tell him?” she turned to her companions.

“Sure! Certainly!” they agreed.

“First,” she said, “there is the reward for the capture of the Bubble Man. Tom just collected that.”

“Great!” exclaimed Jimmie. “Congrat——”

“Wait!” Mary held up a hand. “Half of it was awarded to a boy named Jimmie Drury.”


“But say!” Jimmie burst out.

“Fair enough,” Tom insisted. “I tried to have them give it all to you but they claimed I’d had a part in it.”

“Five hundred dollars,” Jimmie thought. “My first year in college.”

“But say!” he burst out once more. “John and Mary had a hand in it too.”

“We’ve been taken care of in another way.” There was a happy smile in John’s eyes. “Perhaps you’ve forgotten the diamonds we found in the old house.”

“Oh, oh, yes,” said Jimmie.

“They weren’t stolen at all,” Mary broke in. “They were part of the Judge Stark estate.”

“We turned them over to the Stark boys,” John continued. “They thought we should have some sort of reward. The old place is to be sub-divided and sold. There’s a small house, used to be a coachman’s house, in one corner by the drive.”

“A perfectly ducky little house,” Mary exclaimed. “All built of stone.”


“And they are giving us a deed to it,” said John.

“Us?” said Jimmie. Then, as the light broke in upon him, “You two are going to live there. Mary and John.”

“After a clergyman has said a few kind words to us,” John admitted.

“And is there a stove in it with cracked lids?” Jimmie asked.

“No, but we’ll move in the one from the hideout,” said Mary. “We couldn’t do without that. And we’ll be looking for you at least once a week for bitter chocolate and broiled steak.”

“Never fear. I’ll be there,” exclaimed Jimmie. “And many congratulations.”

And so this story ends, as all stories must. But you may be sure that Jimmie will have many happy hours with his friends around the stove with the cracked lid, and that he will have, too, many more adventures as thrilling as those recounted in these pages.



Transcriber’s Notes

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Jimmy Drury: Candid Camera Detective, by 
David O'Hara


***** This file should be named 57825-h.htm or *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Produced by Stephen Hutcheson and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions will
be renamed.

Creating the works from print editions not protected by U.S. copyright
law means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works,
so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United
States without permission and without paying copyright
royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part
of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm
concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark,
and may not be used if you charge for the eBooks, unless you receive
specific permission. If you do not charge anything for copies of this
eBook, complying with the rules is very easy. You may use this eBook
for nearly any purpose such as creation of derivative works, reports,
performances and research. They may be modified and printed and given
away--you may do practically ANYTHING in the United States with eBooks
not protected by U.S. copyright law. Redistribution is subject to the
trademark license, especially commercial redistribution.



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full
Project Gutenberg-tm License available with this file or online at

Section 1. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works

1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or
destroy all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your
possession. If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a
Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound
by the terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the
person or entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph

1.B. "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark. It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. See
paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this
agreement and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works. See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the
Foundation" or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection
of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works. Nearly all the individual
works in the collection are in the public domain in the United
States. If an individual work is unprotected by copyright law in the
United States and you are located in the United States, we do not
claim a right to prevent you from copying, distributing, performing,
displaying or creating derivative works based on the work as long as
all references to Project Gutenberg are removed. Of course, we hope
that you will support the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting
free access to electronic works by freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm
works in compliance with the terms of this agreement for keeping the
Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with the work. You can easily
comply with the terms of this agreement by keeping this work in the
same format with its attached full Project Gutenberg-tm License when
you share it without charge with others.

1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are
in a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States,
check the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this
agreement before downloading, copying, displaying, performing,
distributing or creating derivative works based on this work or any
other Project Gutenberg-tm work. The Foundation makes no
representations concerning the copyright status of any work in any
country outside the United States.

1.E. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other
immediate access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear
prominently whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work
on which the phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed,
performed, viewed, copied or distributed:

  This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and
  most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no
  restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it
  under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this
  eBook or online at If you are not located in the
  United States, you'll have to check the laws of the country where you
  are located before using this ebook.

1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is
derived from texts not protected by U.S. copyright law (does not
contain a notice indicating that it is posted with permission of the
copyright holder), the work can be copied and distributed to anyone in
the United States without paying any fees or charges. If you are
redistributing or providing access to a work with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the work, you must comply
either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 or
obtain permission for the use of the work and the Project Gutenberg-tm
trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any
additional terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms
will be linked to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works
posted with the permission of the copyright holder found at the
beginning of this work.

1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including
any word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access
to or distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format
other than "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official
version posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site
(, you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense
to the user, provide a copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means
of obtaining a copy upon request, of the work in its original "Plain
Vanilla ASCII" or other form. Any alternate format must include the
full Project Gutenberg-tm License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
provided that

* You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
  the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
  you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. The fee is owed
  to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he has
  agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the Project
  Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Royalty payments must be paid
  within 60 days following each date on which you prepare (or are
  legally required to prepare) your periodic tax returns. Royalty
  payments should be clearly marked as such and sent to the Project
  Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the address specified in
  Section 4, "Information about donations to the Project Gutenberg
  Literary Archive Foundation."

* You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
  you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
  does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
  License. You must require such a user to return or destroy all
  copies of the works possessed in a physical medium and discontinue
  all use of and all access to other copies of Project Gutenberg-tm

* You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of
  any money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
  electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days of
  receipt of the work.

* You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
  distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work or group of works on different terms than
are set forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing
from both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and The
Project Gutenberg Trademark LLC, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm
trademark. Contact the Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
works not protected by U.S. copyright law in creating the Project
Gutenberg-tm collection. Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may
contain "Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate
or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or
other medium, a computer virus, or computer codes that damage or
cannot be read by your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium
with your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you
with the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in
lieu of a refund. If you received the work electronically, the person
or entity providing it to you may choose to give you a second
opportunity to receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If
the second copy is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing
without further opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS', WITH NO

1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of
damages. If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement
violates the law of the state applicable to this agreement, the
agreement shall be interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or
limitation permitted by the applicable state law. The invalidity or
unenforceability of any provision of this agreement shall not void the
remaining provisions.

1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in
accordance with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the
production, promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works, harmless from all liability, costs and expenses,
including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of
the following which you do or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this
or any Project Gutenberg-tm work, (b) alteration, modification, or
additions or deletions to any Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any
Defect you cause.

Section 2. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of
computers including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It
exists because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations
from people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future
generations. To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation and how your efforts and donations can help, see
Sections 3 and 4 and the Foundation information page at

Section 3. Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by
U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is in Fairbanks, Alaska, with the
mailing address: PO Box 750175, Fairbanks, AK 99775, but its
volunteers and employees are scattered throughout numerous
locations. Its business office is located at 809 North 1500 West, Salt
Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887. Email contact links and up to
date contact information can be found at the Foundation's web site and
official page at

For additional contact information:

    Dr. Gregory B. Newby
    Chief Executive and Director

Section 4. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To SEND
DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any particular
state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses. Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations. To
donate, please visit:

Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works.

Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project
Gutenberg-tm concept of a library of electronic works that could be
freely shared with anyone. For forty years, he produced and
distributed Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of
volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as not protected by copyright in
the U.S. unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not
necessarily keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.