The Lazarus Plot

Free The Lazarus Plot by Franklin W. Dixon

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Authors: Franklin W. Dixon
bottle smashed through a front window, and the Hardy boys were crouched behind a next-door stoop by the time the super appeared.
    The boy was honest - he earned his pay. He waited for the super to spot him, then tore down the street.
    The super went after him.
    "That white hair has got to be fake." said Joe, watching him. "That guy moves like a pro halfback."
    "We'd better move fast, too," said Frank, leading the way through the front door that the enraged guard had neglected to close.
    "Wow," said Joe as he looked around him. "Who would have thought it?"
    They weren't in a decaying tenement. They were in a modern office complex, with brightly lit corridors leading past rows of gleaming doors. In front of them on the wall was an office directory.
    "Could this be it?" said Frank, his eyes scanning the list of names. "Edward Gray, Operations chief. Four twenty-two."
    "Sounds worth checking out," Joe replied.
    "Let's get in that elevator before somebody comes along and spots us," said Frank.
    They entered the small elevator near them and rode to the fourth floor. There they followed the numbers on the doors until they reached422.
    "We won't bother to knock," said Frank. "It's a little late in the day to worry about being polite.”
    He swung open the door and entered, with Joe right behind him. Joe breathed a sigh of relief. Their gamble had paid off. The Gray Man was sitting there, behind the desk.
    Even better, the Gray Man's eyes lit up when he saw them.
    "Frank and Joe Hardy," he' said. "What a surprise. Good to see you. What can I do for you?" Joe grinned. Their troubles were over.
    Except that Frank didn't seem to see it that way.
    Joe's mouth dropped open as he saw Frank dash toward the Gray Man. Frank hurtled himself over the desk. He smashed into the Gray Man, toppling him out of his swivel chair. Then he sat on the Gray Man's chest and raised his fist menacingly over his deathly gray face. Frank had gone crazy-or had he?
    Suddenly Joe had a horrifying thought, and his blood turned to ice. Was this really Frank, or was this-?
    He didn't bother finishing his thought. Instead he moved forward, his fists clenched, as he asked harshly, "Who are you anyway?"

Chapter 10
    FRANK, STILL SITTING on the Gray Man's chest, looked up at Joe and grinned. "Relax. I'm still me," he said. "And I haven't gone nuts."
    "But-" Joe looked quizzically at the Gray Man, who was unsuccessfully struggling to get out from under Frank.
    "I saw him reaching for his desk buzzer," said Frank. "He was going to sound the alarm and bring in guards to haul us away." He looked at the Gray Man, who had given up struggling. "Am I right?"
    "You'll never get away with this," the Gray Man said, glaring defiantly at Frank.
    "What's gotten into him?" Joe asked his brother. "It's not what's gotten into him. It's who's gotten to him," said Frank. "Our doubles must have arrived here already and convinced him they were us. So when we arrived, he thought we were imposters. Right, Mr. Gray?" "Very clever," said the Gray Man. "But not clever enough to fool me." "See what I mean, Joe?" said Frank. "That's why I didn't want him to call the guards. It would have taken too long to convince everybody that we're really us, especially if they tossed us in jail instead of hearing us out. I couldn't risk that. We have to stop our doubles before they do whatever they're out to do. What are they out to do, Mr. Gray? You must know. What did they come to see you for? We have to know their next move so we can stop it."
    "I'm not talking," the Gray Man said, his jaw clenched with determination. "Look, we're us," said Joe. "Can't you tell?"
    "I can tell that those are convenient bandages-now we can't check the thumbprints in your files," said the Gray Man. "And I can tell that you're trying to bluff your way through this masquerade even though you've found out I'm on to your game." Joe looked helplessly at Frank. "What can we do? The guy won't listen." " Frank's brows furrowed. Then

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