The Vanishing Thieves

Free The Vanishing Thieves by Franklin W. Dixon

Book: The Vanishing Thieves by Franklin W. Dixon Read Free Book Online
Authors: Franklin W. Dixon
three miles out,” Red told him.
    Chet gulped.
    â€œHe’s only trying to scare you,” Frank whispered in the plump boy’s ear.
    â€œSpeak up if you have anything to say,” Red said sharply. Frank fell silent.
    They rode for about an hour. When they finally stopped, Crafty Kraft opened the rear door.
    â€œAll clear,” he announced. “Nobody in sight.”
    Red and Anton jumped out, and immediately ordered the boys to move. They were parked on a dock containing dozens of boat slips. It was still light enough for them to see that the nearest boat was a large cabin cruiser with Sea Scorpion lettered on its bow.
    â€œI have to get the truck off the dock,” Crafty Kraft said to Red. “I’ll come back with Big Harry in the morning. ”
    He climbed into the vehicle and drove off, while the boys were taken aboard and herded down into the main cabin. Inside there were only two double bunks, but through a hatch they could see that the galley next door contained benches that could be converted into two more bunks.
    Red and Anton shoved the boys into the galley and ordered them to sit down. Then Red pulled out a table that folded into the wall and lowered it between them.
    â€œChow time,” he announced, and began rummaging in the refrigerator. “Nothing but bacon and eggs and bread,” he grumbled.
    Taking all the ingredients out, Red cooked an unappetizing dinner. He and Anton quickly ate, and then fed the prisoners, whose hands were still tied behind their backs.
    After they had eaten, the young detectives were herded back into the main cabin. Red assigned Chet and Vern the two lower bunks, and told Frank and Joe to climb into the upper ones.
    â€œYou’ll have to untie us before we can make it,” Frank objected.
    â€œNo way,” Red said. “You guys have gotten away from us twice, and I’m not taking any risks. Anton, help me lift them up.”
    The two men shoved the brothers into the upper bunks and hogtied them securely. In addition, the boys were bound to wall stanchions behind them so that they could not roll from their beds.
    When they were finished, Red and Anton went topside, leaving the cabin lights on.
    â€œWhat do you think they’re going to do to us?” Vern asked.
    â€œTake us over to Catalina Island, I guess, where Big Harry has a secluded cottage,” Frank said optimistically. “They’re only going to hold us until they finish stripping the cars they have at the warehouse, then they’re going to move to another location. As soon as they do that, they figure it will be safe to turn us loose.”
    â€œThat isn’t what Red Sluice said to Chet,” Joe stated.
    â€œHe was just trying to scare us. We overheard the big boss giving instructions. He wants them to squeeze out of us what Dad has learned about the theft ring so far.”
    â€œYou saw the big boss?” Joe asked.
    â€œI even took his picture,” Frank replied. “I don’t know who he is, but he’s a kind of rich-looking guy. I just hope those crooks don’t take my camera out of my pocket. ”
    Chet said, “I remember him telling Big Harry to get information from Joe and Vern, but he didn’t say anything about us.”
    â€œWe hadn’t been captured then, superbrain,” Frank told him. “What all of us should keep in mind is that if they make any threats, it’s just a bluff to get us to talk. They aren’t going to do any more than the big boss ordered them to do.”
    About nine o‘clock, Red and Anton came down again and checked the boys’ bonds. Finding them secure, they made up the two bunks in the galley for themselves and turned out the lights. Within minutes both were snoring.
    Unable to change position, the four boys slept fitfully. Sometime in the early part of the morning, they heard footsteps on deck. Moments later, Big Harry and Crafty Kraft came below.
    Sticking his

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