The Apartment Next Door (Chapter 9, page 1 of 11)


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Chapter 9

Masked by an enormous pair of motor goggles and further shielded from recognition by a cap drawn down almost over his nose, Thomas Dean in a basket-rigged motorcycle impatiently sat awaiting the arrival of Jane Strong at a corner they had agreed upon the evening before. He had been particularly insistent that Jane should be on hand at a quarter before eight. He had learned by judicious inquiries that always on Wednesdays--at least on the Wednesdays previous--the Hoffs had started off on their mysterious trips at eight sharp. His intention was to get away ahead of them and pick them up somewhere outside the city limits.

Jane had promised that she would be on hand promptly. Once more he looked impatiently at his watch. It lacked just half a minute of the quarter, but there was no sign of his fellow operative. The only person visible in the block was a boy strolling carelessly in his direction.

With a muttered exclamation of annoyance Dean restored his watch to his pocket, debating with himself how long he ought to wait and whether or not he had better wait if she did not appear soon. Very possibly, he realized, something entirely unforeseen might have detained her or have prevented her coming. Perhaps her family had doubted her story that she was going off on an all-day motor trip with a friend? Maybe their suspicions had been aroused by his having reported sick? He had almost decided to go on alone when he observed that the boy he had seen approaching was standing beside the motorcycle.

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