Chapter 8 – Another Visitor
Frank answers to the door to find … Chief Collig and Detective Smuff (my theory was correct). The officers say they have some questions for the boys and the boys say they have questions of their own. As the enter the living room, the cops notice Mr. Dalrymple and are not as confident as before in their questioning of the boys. They say that they followed a car heading into Bayport that they assumed was driven by river thieves, but lost it near the Purdy Place. Then the spotted a roadster near the Purdy entrance and figured it the same. Only when they reached Applegate’s house did they notice their error, but decided to question the drivers of the new car anyway. Mr. Dalrymple is angry that the boys are being questioned when they’ve done nothing wrong and shames the cops into leaving.
Dalrymple is about to advise the boys to give up the case until their father arrives home, when the bell rings yet again. Joe answers to find … Mr. Applegate. Applegate says he wants to talk through his experience now, so the boys invite him in. When Applegate see Dalrymple he is enraged and yell that Dalrymple stole his valuable stamps! Dalrymple claims innocence, but Applegate insists he came to his house that afternoon looking to buy some rare stamps. When Applegate left the room to retrieve more stamps, Dalrymple took the collection and left. Applegate was able to track him back to the Purdy Place and entered when he saw lights go on. Only he then heard a terrible scream, ran away and was grabbed by the Hardy boys. Dalrymple insists he was not the man and says he must have a double who his hiding out in the house he owns! Applegate eventually leaves, still distraught over the night’s events.
Dalrymple agrees to spend the night at the Hardy home, since it is so late, and gives up the idea of closing the case now. As the Hardy’s get ready for bed, they wonder whether Dalrymple’s theory of having a double could be a hoax. But they decide he must be truthful because why would a thief hire detectives himself?
The Hardy’s doorbell won’t stop ringing in this expository chapter. Dalrymple is doing nothing to avoid suspicion here. First, he quickly chases away police officers. Then he determines that he must have a doppelganger that lives in his own house. But if he is guilty of the stamp theft, why would a rich banker want to steal rare stamps?