Chapter 15 – Captured!
There seems to be a bit of an intermission between chapters here, because we’re dropped right into the action in chapter 15. Two unknown figures are sneaking up to the Purdy Place in the dark of night. We quickly learn that these are the Hardy boys again looking for clues. They have a key to the exterior cellar entrance and manage to get inside without being seen by any of the constables who have been assigned to patrol the estate. A recurring theme is emerging here of the local police force being quite incompetent when compared to the teenage Hardy boys.
Once inside the basement the boys opt to not use their flashlight in case the cops spy it through the cellar windows. Instead they try to find their way in the dark to the stairs and up into the house, but it proves difficult and they get lost in a maze of cellar rooms. Soon they hear footsteps upstairs followed by the familiar piercing scream and the loud sounds of a struggle! They must use their flashlight now and they quickly find the stairway and bound up to find the door is locked. The backtrack outside and see two men leap from the backdoor and run towards the river. The Hardys give chase as they hear the police mobilizing behind them.
As the boys reach the river bank, they are attacked by the two fleeing men. The boys are no match for the stronger men and they are bound, gagged and tossed into a motor boat. The boat casts off and rushes up the river as confusion reigns among the police force on shore.
The men discuss throwing the boys overboard, but decide they don’t want to be party to murder and make plans to toss them on shore up the river. However, a police boat draws near and shouts to the men. They quickly tell the cops that they are farmers and saw some men get arrested back by the Purdy Place. The cops believe the story and let them pass. Again, dimwitted police work.
Things really get going in this chapter with the Hardy apparently being kidnapped. What next?