The Ice-cold Case

Free The Ice-cold Case by Franklin W. Dixon

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Authors: Franklin W. Dixon
greeted them, barking and wagging his tail. Hank came out of his office to see what Red was so excited about.
    â€œHey there—how’re you doing?” Hank asked as Frank and Joe got out of the van.
    â€œWe just played some hockey, so we’re feeling pretty good,” Joe said, still enjoying the win over Vinnie and John.
    â€œSpeak for yourself, Joe. I’m starting to feel pretty sore,” Frank said. He rubbed his side where John had rammed into him.
    â€œHow about some hot cider?” Hank said. “Come inside.”
    They went into Hank’s cluttered trailer and managed to pull three chairs up to Hank’s table.
    â€œI can’t believe you ever find anything in here,” Frank said as he moved an air filter off a chair.
    â€œOh, I know where everything is,” Hank said. “Unless someone else comes in and moves something. Then I’m in big trouble,” he added, with a chuckle.
    Hank took a pot off a little electric hot plate and poured three cups of steaming cider. Frank and Joe wrapped their cold hands around the hot mugs.
    â€œSo, what brings you here?” Hank asked as he sat back in his chair.
    â€œWe had a run-in with someone on the lake last night after you left,” Frank said.
    â€œThey locked us in one of the shanties,” Joe added.
    â€œWhoever it was must have been expecting us. The shanty was all sealed up,” Frank said.
    â€œWhose shanty was it?” Hank asked.
    â€œPaul Rizzo’s,” Frank said.
    â€œThere’s no way that Rizzo is involved,” Hank said without a hint of hesitation. “Little guy, maybe seventy-five years old. He used to run the diner out near the highway with his brother. He comes to the lake only on weekends now,” Hank said.
    â€œRizzo didn’t know about any of this, I’ll bet,” Joe said.
    â€œThat’s right. He barely knows which shack is his,” Hank said with a chuckle. “He’s a nice guy, but he isn’t much of a fisherman.”
    â€œDoes he have any family who might use the shack?” Frank asked.
    â€œI think he’s got two daughters who live in Florida. His brother still runs the diner. I tell you, Rizzo isn’t the type to be mixed up in anything,” Hank said.
    â€œBut everyone knows he’s on the lake only on weekends?” Joe asked.
    Frank knew what Joe was thinking. “So, anyone who’s out there with any regularity would know the shanty is empty most of the time?”
    â€œYup,” Hank said as he poured them more steaming cider.
    â€œAnd unless I miss my guess, they’ve been keeping a pretty close watch on us every time we’re out there,” Frank said.
    â€œHank, did you see anybody hitchhiking around here last night?” Joe asked.
    â€œIn this weather? It’s way too cold,” Hank said.
    â€œIt does sound crazy,” Frank said.
    â€œSure does. Red would have barked his fool head off if someone had walked by, and he didn’t,” Hank said. “So, who do you think it is?”
    â€œWell, we don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but I’m beginning to think we should be spending more time around Tuttle’s Bait Shop,” Frank said.
    â€œErnie?” Hank said. “That’s ridiculous.”
    â€œIt’s got to be someone who can watch the lake pretty much all the time,” Frank said.
    â€œDo you know much about Ernie’s grandsons?” Joe asked.
    Hank sat back in his chair. “No, I don’t know them very well,” he admitted. “They stay pretty much to themselves.”
    â€œIt’s only a theory,” Frank said.
    â€œI’ll keep my mouth shut,” Hank said. “You can count on me.”
    â€œThanks a lot, Hank. And don’t take any chances. Whoever’s out there hurt Lang pretty bad,” Frank said as he stood up.
    â€œDon’t you worry, Red and I will be safe,” Hank said as he

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