Chapter 9 – The Last Warning
The Hardys and Mr. Dalrymple have breakfast together and then embark on their way back to the Purdy Place to investigate after the previous night’s events. When they arrive, they immediately notice that the gate that was wide open the previous night is now securely locked! Did the intruder bother to lock up as he left?
As the group ventures into the house itself, Joe comments that the grandfather clock is still running. Dalrymple is surprised at this because he says he has never wound the clock since buying the house! It seems the mysterious visitor from the night before wound it.
The boys are excited at the possibility of seeing the secret room and investigate it, but Dalrymple insists they remain downstairs while he first checks the area upstairs. Soon he calls the boys up and they are shown the time lock and hidden door to the chamber. It contains many bookshelves and a large fireplace. Once inside, they are treated to yet another surprise: on the floor in the room lies a ticking alarm clock with a note attached! The note reads: “Death while the clock ticks. THIS IS THE LAST WARNING!” Beneath the written words are stuck a number of rare stamps – Hurd Applegate’s stamps.
The already strange mystery of the previous night deepens as the boys learn that the gate is now locked, the clock was not wound by Dalrymple and yet another note has been placed in the supposedly secure secret room. The twist of the note containing Applegate’s stamps only furthers the intrigue. What now?
It’s funny that “the last warning” comes on page 81 of a 213 pages book.