rich would sulk in the garage and mutter threats
against him. Karl was twice Heinrich 's size, but
the little blue-eyed, spectacled chauffeur never
U BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
seemed to question his ability to deal with him.
Mr. Cook rose from the table. ** I'll go down
and ask Heinrich about this car business," he
said, **and then I'll go down to the office/' He
kissed Mrs. Cook and Louise and left the room.
Bob followed him out. His father put on his coat
and hat and stepped out onto the front porch.
A sudden resolution seized Bob.
'^Father," he said.
'*What is it, Bobt" asked Mr. Cook, turning to
glance at his son.
**I think I can explain about the car."
**You cant" exclaimed his father in surprise,
looking curiously at Bob's pale face.
**Yes, sir," said Bob, nervously. **It's a sort
of a long story. Shall I tell it aUt"
.** Certainly. Come out here to the summer
They walked in silence to the little rustic house
on the lawn and sat down side by side on the rough
wooden seat Bob was excited, but still deter-
mined that the best thing for him to do was to tell
his father the whole story. He knew his father
would understand and see things from his point of
view; they were more like two brothers than a
father and son.
'*Hugh and I had the car out last night," said
Bob, and then he began at the beginning and re-
BOB IS MYSTIFIED 95
lated the entire story through to the end. He
told of their visit to the armory, their meeting
with Harold on the bridge, the narrow escape with
the bomb, their decision to watch the Wembergs'
house, their trip to the deserted house, the disap-
pearance of the automobile, and finally its strange
Mr. Cook listened intently throughout the whole
narrative, one exclamation as Bob told of the
bomb episode being his sole interruption.
**That card must have been sent by the one that
brought the car back,'' said Bob.
*^It would seem so,'' his father agreed, and fell
"That was a close call you boys had with that
bomb," he said finally.
'*Yes, sir," said Bob.
'*What have you planned to do to-day?"
**We were going to report the loss of the car
to police headquarters and then go out to the de-
serted house again, to see what we could find."
**You weren't going to say anything to the
police about itt"
"That might be dangerous, you know."
"Yes, sir," said Bob. * * We wanted to solve the
tiling ourselves if we could though."
"I don't know about that," said Mr. Cook
96 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
musingly. **I hate to think of you two boys fool-
ing around out there with a lot of desperate men
** Don't do anything until this afternoon any-
way/' Bob pleaded.
Mr. Cook thought for a minute. **A11 right,"
he agreed. **I'll wait until after luncheon. Do
you and Hugh expect to go out there this mom-
**Have you got a gun?"
**No, we haven't."
'*Well, there's an automatic pistol and two
boxes of cartridges in the second drawer of my
bureau. Go up and get them before you start, for
I think you ought to be armed. And above all
don't say anything about it to your mother."
** Certainly not," exclaimed Bob, much excited
that his father was helping them.
'*Be careful," warned his father. "I'll be
home for luncheon and we'll talk more then."
Heinrich appeared with the car and Mr. Cook
got in and was soon on the way to his office. Bob
hurried into the house to telephone to Hugh and
possess himself of his father's automatic pistol.
Hugh promised to hurry over as fast as he
could, and he could tell from the tone of Bob's
voice that something stirring was on foot. Bob
BOB IS MYSTIFIED 97
had answered his question ahont the car evasively
and he was anxious to hear the latest develop-
ments. Consequently by the time that Bob had
tucked the pistol safely in his back pocket and
had gone to the garage for his bicycle, Hugh ap-
Bob related the story of the car and its strange
return, and also told about the postal card his
father had received that morning. The mystery
seemed to deepen rather than clear up, and both
boys were profoundly mystified by the strange
events of the previous day.
**Your eye's better anyway,*' remarked Hugh.
**Yes,'' said Bob. **But I may get another one
**We'll hope not. When do you want to start?"
** Eight away."
**Come ahead then," and jumping on their bi-
cycles the two boys pedalled out of the yard. lit-
tle did they dream that bright April morning, as
they rode along, that they were headed for ad-
ventures which would make the events that had
gone before appear mild in comparison.
THB DESEBTBD HOUSE
**^^OMEBODY stole Percy,'' said Bob when
they had ridden a little way.
**Yes, Heinrich's pet, yon know."
**Why shonld any one want to do that?"
^'I can't imagine, and poor old Heinie is all
broken np abont it, I've never seen any one who
liked animals as mnch as he does."
**Who do yon snppose did it?"
''I've no idea. Perhaps the man who retnmed
the car stole him and is planning to wait nntil he
grows big and then train him to come and bite
ns," langhed Bob.
**Let's hope not," smiled Hngh. '^There are
too many strange things going on for me to un-
derstand just now. My brain is all mixed np."
**And so's mine. I shonld like to know who
sent that postal card though."
'* Perhaps we'll get on the trail of it when we
get to the deserted house."
**Do you suppose we can break in?"
THE DESERTED HOUSE 99
** Perhaps we can. IVe brought an electric
flashlight along that may come in handy/'
'*A good idea/' exclaimed Bob. **I have an
**We'd better not ride too far down the road.
Let's leave our wheels this side of the hill, and
then go across the country and come in to the
house from the back. In that way I think we'll
stand less chance of being seen."
** Probably you're right. At any rate I hope
no one steals our bicycles."
**I wonder if they'd be returned," said Bob.
'^Wasn't that a queer thing!"
'*It certainly was."
They rode in silence for some time and pres-
ently came within sight of the hill of which they
had been speaking. They dismounted from their
bicycles, and wheeling them by their sides started
across the fields. A hundred yards from the main
road they concealed them under a clump of bushes
and then continued on their way. They walked
for about a half-mile until they saw the fringe
of the woods in the middle of which stood the de-
**Bob," said Hugh suddenly. **I know who
took your automobile."
'^Whatt" exclaimed Bob. **What are you
100 BOB COOK AND THE GEEMAN SPY
**I know who took your automobile.''
Bob burst out laughing. **What are you talk-
ing about?'* he demanded. **How could Hein-
rich take it? Hugh, you're going crazy."
"Isn't Heinrich a German?"
"Weren't there a lot of Germans meeting out
here in the old house last night?"
"We think so. I still don't see what that has
to do with Heinie."
â€¢ "How do you know Heinrich wasn't here?"
"You mean that Heinrich is a plotter?" ex-
claimed Bob, suddenly realizing what his friend
was driving at.
"He might bear watching," said Hugh. "He
and that German cook of yours."
"They're both honest and reliable," exclaimed
"Well," said Hugh, "I heard a story last night
about two men coming to a house where they had
a nice * honest and reliable' German girl and de-
manding to see her. The owner of the house re-
fused, and the men then showed secret service
badges. Of course when he saw the badges he
had to do as they said and he called in the girl.
As soon as she came into the room one of the men
THE DESERTED HOUSE 101
went up to her and grabbed hold of her hair.
Well, sir, it came right oflF her head and then they
discovered that the maid was nothing more nor
less than a man, a German in disgoise, trying to
get information for his government. '^
**Is that a true story t" exclaimed Bob in
^^The man in whose house it happened told it
to father, '* said Hugh. **It only goes to show
that you can't be too careful. I wouldnH be too
sure about Heinrich and Lena if I were you. The
Germans are a bad lot and I suspect them
''Perhaps,'' said Bob. ** Still Heinie and Lena
**They may be tools of Mr. Wemberg for all
**You're foolish," exclaimed Bob. **Why even
if they weren't loyal to the United States they'd
be loyal to father and mother. I know that."
Hugh shrugged his shoulders. ' ' It sounds fishy
to me, that's all," he said. **Didn't Heinrich say
he went to a party last night? How do you know
the party wasn't held out here, and that he just
happened to run across your car and decided to
bring it home."
**If he had he would have washed the car last
night, not this morning."
102 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
'^Because he's so methodical, like all the Ger-
mans. He never could have slept if he had known
the car was dirty.'*
'*Why, Bob,'* Hngh protested, '^Heinrich says
he didn't come in until twelve o'clock and he says
the car was there then. Why didn't he notice
that it was dirty thent I'd like to know."
**He probably didnt light but one light in the
garage and didn't notice it"
'* Sounds likely," snorted Hugh. **Take my
advice and watch 'em both."
"They're just as faithful as you or I," ex-
claimed Bob. "You can't talk me into getting
suspicious of those two."
"The faithful ones are the ones to suspect,"
said Hugh grimly.
"Nonsense," said Bob, but his friend's words
nevertheless set him to thinking. What if Hein-
rich and Lena should turn out to be working in the
interests of Germanyf He recalled the light in
Lena's room the night before, and then he thought
of all the money Heinrich had had and how em-
barrassed and uneasy he had been when Bob spoke
of it. Ugly stories of Germans crowded through
his mind, but he refused to believe that their two
servants were of that sort.
Presently they reached the edge of the woods.
The wagon road they had followed the night be-
fore ran all the way through the stretch and a
THE DESEETED HOUSE 103
break in the trees a short distance away showed
where it came out on that side.
**We must go carefully now,'* warned Hugh.
**How far in is the old house!*'
**0h, about a quarter of a mile/' said Bob.
**I don't believe any one is apt to be out here in
the daytime." He felt for his back pocket, how-
ever, and the knowledge that he had a revolver
with him was most reassuring.
They stole along through the woods, stepping
softly and keeping a sharp lookout in all direc-
tions. All was silent, however, and seemingly
they were alone. Before long they were able to
glimpse the old deserted house through the trees.
They stopped and gazed at it intently.
It was two stories high and of wood. Years
had evidently passed since any one had lived there
and the house was in need of repairing. Some of
the shutters were missing, others sagged or were
hanging limply from the frames, the glass in most
of the windows was broken, and the wind and
weather had stripped practically all the paint
from the sides of the abandoned dwelling. The
cellar door was missing and all in all the place
presented a forlorn and desolate appearance.
Hugh and Bob both recalled tales of ghosts con-
nected with the old house, and somehow now that
they were there they wished they had stayed at
104 BOB COOK AND THE GEBMAN SPY
"Perhaps we ought to report this business to
the police after all,'* whispered Hugh.
"Yes," said Bob. "StiU I'd hate to go home
and tell father that we didn't even go inside the
"That's true," Hugh agreed. "What shall we
"Let's walk around it and see if we can see
"All right We'd better keep in the shelter of
the woods though."
"Oh, yes, of course."
Bemaining almost a hundred feet distant from
the little clearing, in the center of which stood
the house, the boys began to walk. Save for an
occasional nervous glance about them they never
took their eyes off the deserted dwelling. When
they came to the wagon-road they darted across
quickly, fearful lest they should be discovered.
Their progress was slow and an hour had elapsed
when they returned to their starting point.
"I dont believe any one is there," whispered
"It doesn't look so. Shall we go in?"
"I suppose so," said Bob, though it was plain
to be seen that neither boy much relished the
task. However they dared not go home and re-
port failure to Mr. Cook, so presently they ven-
tured forth from the woods and started across
TH^ DESEETED HOUSE 105
the clearing. The cellar door was open and to-
ward this they made their way.
A gentle breeze rattled one of the shutters,
causing the boys to start nervously. Bob kept
his hand on his hip pocket and they walked closely
together. Presently they came to the cellar steps
and peered in cautiously. Their faces were pale,
as gingerly they walked down the stone steps and
entered the gloomy cellar.
** Flash your light," whispered Bob.
Hugh did so, and a huge gray rat scuttled across
the floor, startling the boys so that they almost
cried out. Little by little their courage returned,
however, and they advanced a few steps. They
listened intently, but no sound came to their ears.
Hugh's flashlight revealed the stairs leading to
the first floor and stepping noiselessly the boys
Slowly and very cautiously they ascended and
presently came to the top of the stairs. Bob was
in the lead, his pistol gripped tightly in one hand.
With his free hand he pushed the door open gently
and looked within. The kitchen was deserted, a
broken-down stove in one comer, a water heater
covered with dirt and rust, a sagging sink, and
two battered chairs and a table completing the
furnishings. A soft breeze entered through a
broken window and gently stirred the strip of
wall paper hanging limply from the ceiling.
106 BOB COOK AND THE GEBMAN SPY
Bob beckoned to Hugh and they emerged into
the room. They listened intently. Not a sound
was to be heard. Reassured they passed out of
the kitchen through a narrow back hall, and into
the parlor. The same aspect of neglect and de-
cay was everywhere evident, but nothing sus-
picious was to be seen.
** Shall we go upstairs?'* whispered Bob.
"We might as well. I dont believe there's
any one here anyway.'*
The stairs leading to the second floor creaked
and groaned under the weight of the boys, but as
they were now convinced that the house was un-
inhabited they were not worried. Coming to the
second story they proceeded to the room located
in the front of the house.
"This must be the place," whispered Bob ex-
A table stood in the center of the room; around
it were grouped five seats, chairs and old boxes,
as if five men had had a meeting or conference
"This is where they had their meeting last
night," said Hugh. "Here are places for five
men, and we saw that many come out."
"Yes, sir," echoed Bob. "This looks like
"Suppose we could expose them," exclaimed
Hugh. "Wouldn't it be great?"
Digitized by LjOOQIC
THE DESERTED HOUSE 107
'*If we only could,'' said Bob eagerly. *'Let's
Pen and ink, together with a pad of writing pa-
per were lying on the table. Besides the table
and seats, however, there was no furniture in the
room, and there seemed small promise of any-
thing of interest to the two searchers. They lifted
every box and searched under it, but all in vain.
Finally Bob looked behind the door. With an
exclamation of delight he stooped and picked up
a piece of paper lying upon the floor.
**What is it. Bob?" inquired Hugh eagerly.
**I don't know. I can't see very well."
** Bring it over here by the window. It's aw-
fully dark and gloomy in this room."
Bob followed this suggestion, and presently was
reading what was written on the paper. Hugh
looked on over his shoulder.
** *List of places to be attacked,' " Bob read.
** ^Railroad bridge. Court House, Armory, Na-
tional Cartridge Company, High Bidge Steel Com-
pany. More to be added later.' "
**This looks like the real thing," exclaimed Bob
excitedly. **I wonder if they plan to take these
in order. At any rate we fooled them once on
the railroad bridge."
**Yes," said Hugh, "and we want to fool them
on the others if we can."
'^They've got father's factory listed," ex-
108 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
claimed Bob. * *I was afraid they would ; the Ger-
mans don't like him. He's too good an Ameri-
^^Some one must have dropped that paper by
mistake," said Hugh. **They never would have
left anything like that lying around."
** Suppose they discover they've left it and come
back after it."
Both boys looked nervously out of the window,
but all they saw was the little clearing and the
quiet trees, swaying gently under the light breeze.
^^ Isn't it signed t" asked Hugh.
'^Look on the back; there may be something
Bob turned over the sheet of paper. "No writ-
ing," he said. "There's a picture here though."
"What is it!"
"I can't see very well. It looks like some sort
of a bug."
"It looks like an alligator," said Hugh, taking
the paper from Bob and examining it closely.
"Let me see," exclaimed Bob. "That's what
it is," he announced a moment later. "What do
you suppose is the idea of that!"
"I'm sure I dont know. Probably some man
was just trying to amuse himself by drawing pic-
tures, and happened to draw an alligator."
"Maybe it's a picture of Percy," laughed Bob.
THE DESERTED HOUSE 109
'^Say/' exclaimed Hugh suddenly, *4t's
strange, thouglL Heinle's alligator was probably
stolen by the man that returned the car, and who-
ever returned the car was probably out here at
this meeting. What's the connection?"
'*I don't believe there is any," said Bob.
**You're too suspicious, Hugh."
**Won't you admit that it's queer?"
**0f course I will, but I think it also proves that
Heinie couldn't have been the one who returned
our car last night. That is, if you think the man
who stole the alligator was the one who brought
back the car. Heinrich wouldn't cry about the
loss of his pet if he was the one who took it, would
"It's too deep for one to understand," sighed
Hugh with a shake of his head. "At any rate one
thing is sure and that is that some plots are be-
ing hatched around here and â€” "
Before he could finish there was a loud crash
behind them, the only door leading out of the room
was slammed shut, and a key turned in the lock.
BOB and Hugli stared at each other in aston-
ishment. They had been tricked and were
now prisoners. A moment later they re-
covered somewhat from their surprise and with
one accord sprang for the door.
Bob seized the knob and shook it violently. To
no purpose, however.
**Get a chair, Hugh/' he cried. '^We'U smash
the door in.*'
**How do we know what's waiting for us in the
*^I don't care. We've got to get out of here."
There was a deafening report of a gun fired* in
the narrow hall. The panel of the door close to
Bob's head was splintered, and a bullet shot across
the room, shivering the one remaining pane of
glass left in the window.
* * Duck I ' ' shouted Hugh. * * Gtet away from that
Bob needed no second urging. He sprang aside
and cowered against the side of the wall. The
two boys looked at each other, pale-lipped and
**Wliew," exdaimed Hugh. **That was a close
Bob whipped his pistol out of his pocket, and
began to crawl back toward the door.
**What are you going to do!^' demanded Hugh
*^I'm going to send a bullet through there my-
self/' said Bob. ''We might just as well let
them know we're alive too.'*
''Don't you do it. You'll only waste your bul-
lets and it may help us later if they don't know
we are armed."
Bob hesitated. "I guess you're right," he said
a moment later, and presently resumed his place
against the walL
"What'U we do!" said Hugh.
"I don't know. Did you hear anybody!"
"Not a soul. All I heard was the door bang
and then the pistol shot."
"I guess we're in for it," said Bob nervously.
"We must get out of here."
"I think so too, but how!"
"We can smash the door."
"Yes, and the minute we stick our heads out of
the door we'll get a bullet through us* I don't
see that we stand a chance."
"But we can't stay here," protested Hugh.
"If we do they'll certainly fix us one way or an-
112 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
^^If I don't come home to Innch father will get
worried and bring help to us; he knows where we
*^ These people won't wait that long. If they
are spies and plotters they'll be desperate and
they won't waste mnch time dealing with ns."
**I wonder how far it is to the ground."
** We'd break a leg trying to jump," said Hugh.
**I'll look anyway," and Bob carefully raised
himself to his feet and advanced toward the win-
dow. He peered out and then suddenly uttered an
**Hugh," he cried in a low voice. *'The gray
roadster is out there. A man just got in and is
With one bound Hugh was by his friend's side.
** Could you see who it was?" he demanded
eagerly. The roadster had disappeared down the
/^I couldn't see," said Bob. *^His back was
toward me all the time."
"How do you suppose that car got in here with-
out our hearing it!"
"I don't know. Of course they had the cut-
**Do you think that man has gone for help?"
"I wouldn't be surprised."
*^Then now is our dbance to get out of here."
"Perhaps he left a guard."
^'I can't help it. At any rate we'll never have
a better opportunity than this/'
** Shall we smash the door in with a chairf
**I don't see what else we can do."
**It's a diance."
**0f course it is, but it's no bigger chance than
it is to stay here."
**A11 right then," said Bob. *'Let's each get
They possessed themselves of diairs and then
took their places one on each side of the door.
They held the chairs by the backs and prepared
to swing them against the panels.
**One, two, three," counted Bob, and smote the
door with all the strength he could muster. A
second later Hugh followed suit. The door was
made of heavy oak, however, and stood fast Bob
and Hugh shrank back against the wall and waited
for any result of their efforts. Silence pervaded
^^I guess that man was the only one here," said
**It seems so; let's try it again."
Once more the chairs crashed against the door,
but without effect. Again and again the two boys
exerted themselves to the utmost, but the sole re-
sult of their efforts was to break the chairs.
Finally, well-nigh exhausted, they stopped.
114 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
"It's no use, Bob,'* panted Hngh. **The door
is stronger than the chairs/'
** We've got to get out of here though."
**The only way I can see is the window/'
'*But we can't jump that farj we'd only break
a leg or something. There isn't even a roof to
"Can't we make a rope out of our clothes and
"I say to try the door again," exclaimed Bob.
"But we can't smash it with these chairs,"
"I know it; let's try the table."
"How are you going to do that!"
"I'll show you," said Bob. "Take hold of this
end with me."
They grasped the table and dragged it to a spot
directly in front of the door and eight or ten feet
distant from it. "Now," exclaimed Bob.
"When I say, *three,' we'll push it with all our
might against the door."
"It'll never work," said Hugh, with a shake of
"Try it," cried Bob. "We've got to do some-
They took firm hold of the table and set them-
selves. "Now," said Bob. "One, two, three."
They pushed with all their strength and a mo-