The Hooded Hawk Mystery

Free The Hooded Hawk Mystery by Franklin W. Dixon

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Authors: Franklin W. Dixon
    THE Hardys had been following the mysterious dory for some time when the Sleuth’s motor began to sputter and the craft lost way.
    Joe, seated on the forward deck as lookout, whirled around and asked, “What’s the matter?”
    â€œSounds as if we’re out of gas,” Frank replied.
    â€œImpossible,” Joe said. “The gauge read full when I checked at the dock.”
    Frank unscrewed the tank cap and beamed his flashlight inside. “I have news for you, Joe,” he said. “It still reads full, but there isn’t a drop of gas in the tank!”
    The Hardys examined the gauge and discovered that it was jammed.
    â€œThis didn’t jam by itself,” Frank declared. “Someone tampered with it!”
    â€œSomeone from the Daisy K!” Joe guessed.
    By this time the motor dory was out of sight. In disgust the boys brought out the emergency fuel can and emptied its contents into the tank. Since there was little hope now of locating the dory with their limited gas supply, the Hardys headed for home. While Frank fixed the gauge, they speculated about where the dory had come from. Perhaps from a ship waiting at sea? The boys could see no lights to indicate any vessel, however, and concluded that the dory might be planning to meet a passing ship later.
    â€œI wonder who those two men were who climbed off the Daisy K,” Frank said thoughtfully.
    Joe shrugged. “I guess our only hope of solving that is to keep the Daisy K’s crew under close observation,” he commented. “When we get back to town, let’s ask one of Dad’s operatives to watch them.”
    â€œJeff Kane’s in town,” Frank suggested.
    When the boys reached Bayport, Frank telephoned the detective. Kane readily agreed to take over the assignment.
    Early the next morning, after feeding the falcon, the boys took turns phoning the pet shops which they had not had time to call the day before. This time they were more successful. Two of the owners supplied them with the names of carrier pigeon fanciers. Some of these were in Bayport, while the others were a distance away.
    With Frank at the wheel of the convertible, the Hardys started on their quest. The first place was only a half mile from their home. The pigeon keeper, a young man about twenty-five, proved to be a squab breeder who kept a few carrier pigeons as a hobby. He showed them to Frank and Joe.
    â€œI enter these in cross-country races,” he said. “My birds have brought me several cups and ribbons,” he added, stroking one of the racers fondly.
    In reply to a question from Frank, the young man said he had never taken his birds out on the water and released them.
    â€œIn fact, I don’t know anyone around here who would have reason to,” he said, “because the contests are always from inland cities to the coast.”
    The Hardys thanked him for the information and went on their way. Both of the other local men proved to be above suspicion as well.
    The next name on their list was Reed Newton, who lived five miles away. When Frank and Joe reached his home, they found him to be a retired carpenter in late middle age, who had flown pigeons as a hobby for many years. He had a large cote and several breeding cages.
    â€œYou raise more pigeons than you train and fly, don’t you, Mr. Newton?” Frank asked.
    â€œOh, yes,” the fancier replied. “I sell them.” He smiled boyishly. “I may sound a bit vain, but my pigeons are becoming known all over the world.”
    â€œHas anyone purchased a large number of birds from you recently?”
    Reed Newton wrinkled his brow for some moments, then replied, “Not recently. But about two years ago I had a big order. A young man from India, named Bhagnav, bought a whole flock of pigeons.”
    â€œBhagnav!” Joe exclaimed, but recovered quickly and added, “That’s an unusual

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