ment later the table crashed into the door. The
door creaked and groaned but did not give way.
**It won't work/' said Hugh with great con-
^*Yes, it will too/' exclaimed Bob. *^ Stick to
They dragged the table back and once again
drove it hurtling against the door. This time
their efforts met with some success for the cor-
ner of the table drove straight through one of the
**See thatf cried Bob excitedly. **I believe
that if I put my hand through that opening I can
reach the key and unlock the door."
^^You don't suppose for a second that that man
left the key in the door, do you?"
**I don't suppose he did," admitted Bob, some-
what crestfallen. ** Still there's no harm in try-
*' There may be somebody on guard in the
"Well have to risk that." Bob thrust his arm
through the opening made in the door panel, but
soon withdrew it '*The key is not there," he
**0f course not," exclaimed Hugh. ^*Get out
of the way and let me get a few whacks^ at that
panel with the chair. ' ' He attacked the door furi-
ously and in a few moments had knocked out the
116 BOB OOOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
^*I gaess we can squeeze through there now,'*
**Let me go first,*' exclaimed Bob. **I*ve got
He squirmed through the opening in the door
and seeing no sign of any one outside called to
Hugh to follow him. A moment later they stood
side by side in the dark and narrow hallway.
< < We 'd better get out of here as fast as we can, ' '
"The sooner it is, the better I'm pleased," re-
turned Hugh grimly.
They stole along the hall, every sense alert.
Presently they came to the head of the stairs and
discovering nothing to alarm them, started down.
The stairs still creaked and groaned, but the boys'
confidence was rapidly returning as they neared
outdoors and safety, and they hurried along.
A side door stood open and toward this they
made their way. Bob had returned his revolver
to his pocket for he really thought he should not
need it any more. He stepped out of the door-
way and started down the steps. As he did so a
man sprang at him and with a blackjack dealt him
a stunning blow over the head. Bob reeled
uncertainly for an instant, and then sank un-
conscious to the floor; there he lay in a limp
Before the man could deal with Bob's compan-
ion, Hugh had grappled with him, and a moment
later they were rolling over and over on the
ground fighting like wild cats.
HTJQH had seized the man by his right
wrist and as they went down the black-
jack was sent spinning. It was man to
man^ bare hands for weapons.
Hugh's assailant was not large, bnt he was ex-
tremely agile. He squirmed and wriggled, kicked
and butted, in fact he used every weapon at his
command. Pugh probably outweighed his eneiny,
and in addition was a splendid wrestler, but he
was young and his antagonist's strength was more
Each fighter struggled desperately to get an
arm free. Once Hugh succeeded, but it was his
left arm, and when he seized his opponent's throat
his hold was soon shaken loose. They fought
fiercely, both breathing hard, their faces were red
and blotched, and their eyes were staring. Over
and over they rolled, the stones and twigs on the
ground tearing and lacerating their hands and
Hugh got hold of his: opponent's right arm.
He bent it back with every bit of strength he pos-
Digitized by LjOOQIC
MISTAKEN IDENTITY 119
sessed, until the man cried ont in pain. Hugh
knew, however, that he wonld receive no mercy if
he was overcome and he pressed home his advan-
tage. Suddenly, with a convulsive twist of his
body, the man shook loose Hugh's hold, and dealt
Mm a heavy blow in the chest. Hugh felt his
wind badly shaken and he seized his opponent
around the waist with both arms, squeezing with
all the strength in his body. His one idea was to
keep as dose to his enemy as he could, so that
the man would have no opportunity to strike him
Gradually Hugh felt his strength slipping. He
knew he could not hold out much longer, and even
as he struggled he wondered how soon it would
be before the other Germans returned and made
an end of him. Then when he least expected it,
help came to him.
Bob had opened his eyes after a moment. He
had seen millions of stars, and as he came to his
senses again his head felt sore and battered. He
did not recall for a moment just what had befallen
him. Suddenly, however, he heard the sounds of
a violent struggle being waged near at hand, and
sitting up he spied Hugh and his assailant locked
in each other's grasp, and still fighting. Bob
sprang to his feet and approached them.
He remembered everything now. His throb-
bing head recalled to him the blow he had received
120 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
and he could feel a large lump on the back of it.
He wondered what would have happened to him
if he had not worn a hat. A moment later, how-
ever, he had dismissed from his mind all thought
of himself and was engaged in assisting his friend.
He grasped Hugh's assailant by his throat and
knelt on his shoulders with both knees. Grad-
ually the man's strength waned; Hugh could feel
it slipping. A moment later he lay gasping on
the ground too weak to offer any resistance to
the two boys. Hugh held his arms, while Bob re-
leased his hold on the man's throat and sat on his
legs. The prisoner, his breath rattling in his
chest, lay with eyes half-dosed, completely done
Suddenly Hugh spied something that made him
start violently. The man's coat lay wide open
and pinned on his vest was a badge. More than
that, it was a police badge, one of the badges of
the police of High Bidge.
**Bob," gasped Hugh in alarm, "this man's a
*'WhatI" cried Bob. **You're crazy."
" I am not. Look here. * '
He released his hold on his erstwhile opponent
and stood up. Bob followed suit. In amazement
they looked at the man on the groimd at their
MISTAKEN IDENTITY 121
. "That's a High Bidge police badge all right,'*
said Bob. ** No doubt of if'
**Are you a detective!" Hugh asked their vic-
The man looked at them through narrowed eye-
lids. * * Yes, ' ' he said weakly, and started to reach
towards his hip pocket.
"Here, here I" cried Hugh. "None of that!
This whole thing is a mistake."
"Let me help you up," urged Bob, offering his
hand to the beaten man. Hugh also assisted him
and they raised him to his feet.
"I guess we were after the same people you
were," exclaimed Bob, taking it for granted that
the detective had trailed the Qermans to the de-
serted house as he and Hugh had done. "They
had us locked up in there and we had just broken
down the door and were coming out. We didn't
know you were a detective."
"You didn't give us a chance to find out,"
laughed Hugh, greatly relieved at the unexpected
turn of events. He also felt safer to have an of-
ficer of the law with them.
The detective rubbed his neck, and looked at
the two boys narrowly.
"Germans in this house?" he said at length.
"They had a meeting here last night," said Bob.
"How do you know?"
122 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
**We followed them out here. Look at this
too/' and he handed over the list of buildings to
be destroyed that they had found in the old house.
The detective snatched the paper out of his
hand and scanned it eagerly.
** Where did you get thisf he demanded.
**We found it upstairs/' said Bob.
**Hxunph/' ejaculated the detective and thrust
it into his pocket.
*^ Weren't you trailing these Germans too?" in-
**How do you know they were Germans!"
"Who else would want to blow up bridges and
'^Did they intend to do that?"
*^ That's what that list says," exclaimed Hugh,
nettled by the questions the man asked as well as
by his odd behavior.
"Well," said the detective, "you take my ad-
vice. This is no place for a couple of boys like
you to be hanging around. You might get hurt
the first thing you know." He glanced about him
nervously as though he expected some one else to
arrive upon the scene at any moment.
"A man locked us in that room just before you
arrived," said Bob. "Then he dashed off in a
big gray roadster.**
"Well, you'd better get out of here yourselves,"
said the detective shortly.
Digitized by VjOOQIC
MISTAKEN IDENTITT 123
"They may come back at any minute and per-
haps you'll need help/* protested Bob.
**I'll tike care of that part of it,** exclaimed
the detective. "You get out.**
Convinced that there was nothing else for them
to do, Bob and Hugh started off through the
woods, leaving the detective in undisputed pos-
session of the premises. They were greatly puz-
zled by their recent experience.
"What do you think of that detective?** de-
manded Bob, when they had reached a point out
of sight of the house.
"I think he was an old grouch,** exclaimed
Hugh. * * I don *t see why he had to be so disagree-
able to us; all we wanted to do was to help him.**
"Yes, when those Germans come back he*s apt
to be handled roughly.**
"He was jealous of us, I believe,** said Bob.
"Well, we had gone ahead on our own accoilnt,
and from the way he acted I guess we knew more
about what was going on than he did..**
"Perhaps that*s it,** said Hugh. "Maybe he
was afraid we might take some glory away from
"How silly!** exclaimed Bob. "What do we
want with glory?**
"We*d better tell your father what happened
124 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
**0f course. Hell think I'm a pretty poor
fighter though ; a bla(& eye one day and a big lump
on my head the nexf
"How does your head feel anyway?'* inquired
"Oh, pretty weU. It still throbs though.' '
"I should think it mighty and you can consider
yourself pretty lucky that you didn't get your
skull cra<d:ed open.''
"He was a queer looking man, wasn't het"
"Yes, and his actions were even queerer."
"I guess he was jealous," said Bob. "Oh,
well, I don't suppose it makes any difference who
comers those (Germans, so long as somebody
"Personally, I'm sort of glad to get away from
that house," said Hugh. "I believe that if we
had stayed much longer we never ^rould have
"How about the detective?"
"If he wants to stay that's his lookout, not
"That's right, and I suppose heTl go for help
"Perhaps theyll just watch the house for a
day or two," said Hugh. "It may be though that
now that those Germans know they are watdied
they may meet in some other place."
MISTAKEN IDENTITY 125
* * Tme enough. I wish we could find the place. ' '
Presently they came to the spot where they had
left their bicycles. They were still there, and a
moment later the boys were wheeling them back
across the field again. Once more in the road,
they mounted and soon were riding towards home.
Their minds were busy with plots and Germans
and the recent experiences they had undergone.
They felt sure that they were on the trail of a des-
perate gang, and that quick action perhaps wad
necessary to prevent untold damage, and possi-
ble loss of life.
They were confused, however. Everywhere
they turned they seemed to run into some new
angle of the affair, or some other person who
might bear watching. Hugh was still of the opin-
ion that Heinrich and Lena should be looked after
pretty carefully, though Bob laughed at him. He
knew his family felt that their servants could be
relied upon absolutely. Bob wondered about his
father's plant; was it properly guarded t Per-
haps his father might consent to let him go down
there and help watch over it at night.
Talking but little they spun along the road.
Each boy was occupied with his own thoughts, and
consequently did not notice an automobile rapidly
approaching down the road.
^^Here comes^a car," exclaimed Bob suddenly.
126 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
They swung over to the right side of the road to
let it pass, and a moment later it roared past them
in a doud of dnst.
**Bob," cried Hugh excitedly. **The gray
**I know it Did you see who was in it?"
**I didn't notice.^'
**It certainly wap."
^'I guess your father was right about him then.
He said he was a dangerous man, and I guess he
is, if he's mixed up with that gang out there."
**Well, Frank wouldn't talk the way he does
unless he'd heard it at home."
"Probably not. Do you suppose they recog-
** Suppose they did?" said Bob, carelessly.
**We have a right to the road, haven't we?"
"Certainly, but the man who locked us in the
rooml He must have been in the car and would
surely recognize us as the ones who were in the
"That's true," exclaimed Bob. "Do you think
they'll turn around and come after us?"
Hugh glanced back over his shoulder. "The
car has stopped," he exdaimed. "Come on. Bob,
we'd better ride for all there is in us."
The two boys leaned forward on their pedals^
MISTAKEN IDENTITT 127
bent low over the handlebars, and rode as hard
as they could. They were not far from the town
now and they knew that the oocapants of the gray
roadster would not dare molest them, when once
they had gained the populated districts. Not
once did they look back until they were safely
within the city limits.
'*I didn't think they'd follow us/' puffed Hugh.
^^ Still it's just as well to take no chances."
'^I wasn't so much afraid of them chasmg us,"
said Bob. "What worries me is that probably
they know who we are now, and consequently we
wont be safe no matter where we are."
**I guess we'll have to report to the police."
**If we do I hope they treat us better than that
"I hope so, too," laughed Hugh. ** At any rate
we'll ask your father."
**You are coming to our house for luncheon,
"We can talk it over with father then."
They arrived at the Cook residence without fur-
ther adventure or mishap. They left their bi-
cycles in the garage, and then started for the
house. Half-way across the lawn they met Mr.
"Well, boys," he said, plainly relieved at see-
ing them safely back, "what luckt"
128 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
"Feel my head,** said Bob, removing his cap.
Mr. Cook did so. "Whewl** he exclaimed.
**Where did you get that?**
Bob related the story of their experiences that
morning. Mr. Cook offered no comment imtil he
had finished. "This looks serious,** he said at
length. "It's too bad yon got snch a bump from
a detective, a man on your own side.**
"What do you think of our seeing Mr. Wem-
bergt** asked Hugh.
Mr. Cook's face douded and he shook his head.
"I was afraid of him,** he said.
"What shall we do about itt** Bob inquired.
"I think we*d better report it to the police, and
do it soon, too.** He looked at his watch.
"We*ve got time before luncheon,** he exclaimed.
"Was Heinrich in the garage t**
"How about the cart**
"That's there all right.**
"Well, come along then,** exdaimed Mr. Cook.
" We*ll get it and go straight down to police head-
"Don't you think our friend the detective will
make a report?** asked Hugh.
"Possibly. Still, as Bob says, those men are
sometimes very jealous and he might not tell the
whole story, particularly about what you did.**
A few moments later all three were on their
MISTAKEN IDENTITY 129
way to the police station. Bob's old friend, Ser-
geant Biley, was still beliind the desk and gave
them a jovial greeting.
**Yez haven't got no Germans for me, have
yezf he demanded.
**No,'* said Mr. Cook, **we haven't, but we can
tell yon where to get some."
** Sounds interesting," said the sergeant laying
aside his pen and carefully blotting the sheet of
paper on which he had been writing. ^^Tell me
**Go ahead, Bob," his father urged. **Tell
your story, and first of all let Sergeant Eiley feel
the bump on your head. That 11 convince him."
^^It would indade," exclaimed the sergeant,
after examining the swelling on Bob's head.
**Not that I'd ever doubt anything a son of yours
told me, Misther Cook."
Bob related the events of that day to Sergeant
Riley. The police officer Ustened attentively and
interestedly until Bob came to the part about the
detective. As he began to tell of that the serr
geant started perceptibly.
**A detective, yez said?" he demanded.
**Tes," said Bob, "he had a badge on."
**Can yez describe himt"
**Well," said Bob, **he was a man about five
feet seven inches tall ; he had dark hair and a close-
cut black mustache. I should think he would
130 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
weigh possibly about a hundred and fifty pounds;
maybe not quite so much. He had on a soft brown
hat and a dark suit of clothes. I can't remember
anything more about him.'*
** That's a plenty," exdaimed the sergeant.
He had been jotting down the description of the
detective as Bob spoke.
**He was a groudiy fellow all right,'' exclaimed
Hugh. ^^He chased us away from Ihere as
though he was jealous of us and didn't want us
**I daresay he didn't want yez," said Eiley.
** What's his name?" asked Bob.
"I don't know," replied the sergeant.
**Come on, Eiley," laughed Mr. Cook, "you
can't tell me that. Why I thought you knew every
one in High Bidge to say nothing of your own
force. You don't mean to tell me you don't know
a detective that wears the same badge you dot"
**Yes, sir, I do," said Biley soberly. ** And 111
tell yez why. That man these boys met this morn-
ing is no detective at alL"
â€¢R. COOK and the two boys were so com-
pletely taken abadk by the sergeant's
\A^ â–¼ JL statement that for a moment all they
could do wai^ stare at one another in amazement
Bob was the first to regain his voice.
"What do yon mean, Sergeants he demanded.
" Jnst what I say/'
"That man was not a detectivef stammered
Bob. "He is not a member of the High Bidge
"There is no man answering to that descrip-
"Then he was a fake/'
"Well,'* exclaimed Hugh, Bob, and Mr. Cook in
one breath. They conld say no more.
"He was a fake," repeated Sergeant Eiley em-
phatically. "There is no donbt of it."
The boys were too surprised for words. What
kind of a business was this they were becoming in-
volved in anyway? The further they went the
more confused they -became. If you could not
132 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
trast a man with a regulation police badge, whom
oould you trust t
^'It seems incredible/' said Mr. Cook.
**We are at war with Germany, aren't wet"
asked Sergeant BUey calmly.
**We are,'* Mr. Cook agreed.
^'WeU, then,'' said the sergeant, '^that explains
it They want to do us all the harm they can and
as they can't bring soldiers over here, thanks to
the English fleet, they've got to strike at us with
plots and bombs and such things. They will stop
"Are there many to guard against in High
Eidge?" asked Mr. Cook. **You know I am in-
terested because my factory is making ammuni-
tion for the Government."
** There are several," the sergeant admitted.
"Can you tell me who they are?"
"I cannot. 'Twould be against my orders.
Yez might feel better to know that we are watch-
ing them pretty carefully though."
"I hope so," said Mr. Cook fervently.
"Have yez had lunch?" asked the sergeant
"No," replied Mr. Cook. "Not yet."
"Well, suppose yez go home and get it. I may
telephone yez a little later to go out to that house
with some of our men."
"Good," cried Mr. Cook. "We'll hurry and
AN EXPEDITION 133
you may be sure well be ready any time you call
They left the police station and were soon on
their way home. Arriving at the house, Hugh and
Mr. Cook got out, and Bob drove the car down to
the garage. There he found Heinrich seated on
a box in one comer intently studying a sheet of
paper he held in his hand.
**What you got, Heiniet^' asked Bob cheerily.
**A love letter?''
Heinrich looked up at Bob, a curious expres-
sion in his pale blue eyes. He made no comment,
however, and presently returned to the perusal
of the paper he held.
"What is it?'* demanded Bob, impressed by
the chauffeur's manner. An air of gloom seemed
to pervade the garage, even the dog, the cat, and
the parrot appeared to be affected by it. The
dog stood listlessly by his master's side, the cat
walked idly up and down, and the bird failed to
greet Bob with his usual cheery **How do"; he
sat limply on his perch, his feathers ruffled, and
muttered to himself.
Heinrich handed the paper to Bob. It was a
sheet evidently torn from a pad and in a large
scrawling hand was written the following: *'We
warned your boss to keep his car at home; now
tell him to keep his son there, too." No name
was signed and Bob turned the paper over and
134 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
looked at the opposite side. A picture of an alli-
gator was drawn there. Bob recognized the sheet
as similar to the one that he and Hugh had found
in the deserted house and the detective had taken
from them; apparently it had been torn from the
**Where did you get this, Heinief he de-
'^I go up to the house to see Lena," said Hein-
rich. **That is maybe a half -hour ago. I only
stay there a few minutes and when I come back
here is this.'*
**Lying on the floorf
"Have you no idea who sent itf
**How should It" exclaimed Heinrich.
** Somebody must have slipped in here while you
were absent and left it," said Bob. ** There are
queer things happening around here these days,
"There is," the chauffeur admitted solemnly.
"Do you mind if I keep this paper?"
Bob started out.
"You better do as that says, too," exclaimed
Heinrich earnestly. "You would not want any-
thing to happen to you."
"I'm not afraid," said Bob soberly. "You
know, Heinie," he continued, "some people are
AN EXPEDITION 135
trying to blow up things around here. Some of
your countrymen, and we can't let them do any-
thing like that, you know.*'
Heinrich seemed much perturbed at this.
**Sot'* he exclaimed his eyes wide.
**Tes,'* said Bob, "and it'sf men like you who
ought to stop them. Ton men who were Ger-
mans but are now Americans, could do yourselves
a good turn if you did. Some people of German
blood are under suspicion nowadays and if you
showed that you were loyal to the United States
it would be a good thing for you. Not that I
mean to say we are suspicious of yofi/' Bob has-
tened to add.
This speech of Bob's seemed to offer a new
line of thought to Heinrich who merely stared at
Bob and said nothing.
*' Heinrich is so loyal himself that it never oc-
curred to him that any one would be suspicious,"
thought Bob as he hurried off toward the house,
the strange paper clutched tightly in one hand.
He arrived to find every one at the dining-table,
and consequently he said nothing about the warn-
ing, for he did not wish to alarm his mother.
She had just heard from Harold; his company had
been ordered away from High Bidge that morning
for an unknown destination. She was worried
enough over that without having another son on
her mind. Fortunately the lump on Bob's head
136 BOB COOK AND THE GERMAN SPY
was covered by his hair so that it was not notice-
able enough to draw attention to it. His black
eye already had been explained.
Luncheon was hardly over when the telephone
summoned Mr. Cook. Sergeant BUey was on the
wire inquiring if Mr. Cook and Bob and Hugh
could not meet him at headquarters immediately.
A few moments later they were in the car and
on their way down the street. Bob was at the
Another car was drawn up alongside the curb
in front of the police station and in it were four
plain-dothes men. Sergeant Biley was there to
explain that they planned to go out to the de-
serted house and search it thoroughly, by force if