The Flickering Torch Mystery (Hardy Boys, Book 22)
Franklin W. Dixon
Two unexplainable plane crashes near an airport on the East Coast plunge Frank and Joe Hardy into a bizarre case. From the moment Frank and Joe find a radioactive engine in an airplane junkyard, unexpected dangers strike like lightning. Despite the repeated attempts on their lives, the teenage detectives pursue their investigation, discovering two vital clues and others that provide the solution to one of the most baffling mysteries the boys and Mr. Hardy have ever encountered.
such a close brush with sudden death. “Think our friend Mudd was behind the accident?” Joe asked. “It’s possible. He’s our prime suspect,” Frank replied. After lunch Biff and Tony dropped in. “Your staff is reporting back from the Flickering Torch,” Biff announced with a grin. “What kind of place is it?” Frank asked. “Real jumping joint. Music is supplied by a hot combo called the Emergency Exit. We had a long talk with the drummer.” “He’s a second cousin of mine,” Tony added. “His name’s
pocket and saying, “Excuse me, but I came backstage hoping to get your autograph.” “Sure,” said the guitarist, who was about Joe’s age. He was obviously pleased. Quickly he took out a pen and wrote Seymour Schill across the back of the envelope. Joe threw a quick glance at Schill’s companion. He was square-jawed, with a scar across the left side of his face. Dale Nettleton! The pilot who had almost hit their plane! CHAPTER IX Callie Plays a Trick NETTLETON stared straight at Joe with
personnel,” he concluded. “As far as the band goes, I trust everybody with the possible exception of Seymour Schill. I can’t tell you why, it’s just a hunch.” Frank nodded slowly. “Your intuition and ours are surprisingly alike.” “What’s the next step?” the drummer asked. “We’d like to case the Flickering Torch,” Joe stated. “Listen, I’ve got a great idea!” Bernie exclaimed. “Why don’t one of you join the combo Saturday night? Who handles the lead guitar?” “I do,” Joe said. “What about your
pounding with excitement. All he could hear was a drip, drip, drip. The roof leaked, and droplets of rain splashed on the ladder. Perhaps that’s what had caught the man’s attention! Joe fervently hoped so. No other sound now. Joe craned forward cautiously. The shadow was moving toward the door. It opened quietly and the stranger disappeared into the night. “I’d better trail him,” Joe decided. He hastened down the ladder. It was wet from the rain. Joe’s feet slipped. His sagging weight was too
hundred yards along the runway, then stopped. Their flashlights bobbed about like fireflies in July. “They’re looking for something,” Joe whispered. Frank recalled the hard landing of the plane. Had a piece of the undercarriage broken off? Was that what the men were looking for? Now the searchers got down on their hands and knees. “It must be something small,” Frank surmised. “Oh, oh, look what’s coming,” Joe said. In the distance the landing lights of a plane blinked on, beaming down onto