Chapter 13 – Mr. Dalrymple’s Clerk
The next morning the boys are working on their car when Chet strolls into their yard. They sternly confront him about the previous night. At first Chet denies following them, but realizes the gig is up and confesses that he followed them wanting to know what the mystery was all about. The boys ask him what he saw through the window that made him run in fear. Chet insists he didn’t see anything, in fact he heard a scream that set him running – a scream that seemed to originate far back in the house. The Hardys had been too far off to hear it. Chet says he’ll never go back to the estate, but still wants to know what the mystery is all about. But the Hardy boys tell him they cannot discuss it.
Frank and Joe decide not to go back to the Purdy place that day and instead wait to hear from Dalrymple. When they don’t, they decide to call on him the next day in Lakeside at his bank. When they arrive, Dalrymple is surprised to see them. Indeed, he feels that the mystery is solved with the recovery of the stolen goods and that the river thieves are long gone now that their cache is busted. The boys relate the events of two nights ago with the scream and the fleeing man in the boat. This concerns Dalrymple and he mulls it over a bit when they are interrupted by a bank clerk with some papers for Dalrymple to sign. The Hardys recognize the clerk – he is the fleeing man they saw by the moonlight! When the clerk leaves the office, they tell Dalrymple their news. He is aghast and calls the man, Sid Balpert, one of his most faithful employees. What is going on?
There sure are a lot of threads to this mystery now and they just keep getting more and more tangled.