Chapter 17 – Dalrymple’s Double
The Hardy boys are walking down the street discussing what their next move should be. They decide they should check in with Mr. Dalrymple about the fact that the source of the threatening notes is still at large. As if on cue, they spy Dalrymple strolling down the street. However, when the talk to him, they realize it is not Dalrymple but a man who looks remarkably like him. Frank remembers that Hurd Applegate insisted that it was Dalrymple who stole his stamps. On a hunch, Frank confronts this doppelganger about the theft. The man is surprised to be accosted like this, but states that it was indeed he who took the stamps. His story is that he hoped to buy the stamps from Applegate. When Applegate left the room and was gone for some time, he figured he had gone to bed. He took the stamps and sent they to a New York appraisal service to verify that they are genuine. If they prove to be, he will pay Applegate. The boys are not buying the story, but the man gets into a car and leaves. Frank jots down the plate number of the car.
The boys head back to the police station to report the incident and ask for a trace on the car. Then they got to Applegate’s house to tell him of the incident. Applegate is not happy that the man got away, but the Hardys assure him the police will track him down again.
Upon leaving Applegate’s house, the Hardy decide Dalrymple should know about the existence of his double. They try calling his bank and home, but cannot reach him. That evening they drive to Lakeside to find him and hear that no one has seen him since that morning. The enlist the Lakeside police to search his home and find no trace. The police don’t believe there is much cause for concern and wonder if this is a prank. Frank and Joe are worried and wonder if he’s met some fate at the Purdy Place. They hop in their roadster and race back towards the estate.
Again, more threads to this mystery. We all surmised that there was a Dalrymple lookalike running around, but here we finally stumble onto him by sheer dumb luck. This stamp subplot just won’t die either. Every time we see Hurd Applegate he’s crying and fussing about his silly stamps.