Chapter 20 – The Face at the Window
The Hardy boys are still tied to the chairs and unable to escape. The madman makes a call on the telephone and they quickly realize he is calling Mr. Dalrymple in Lakeside. When Dalrymple answers, the madman does an uncanny impression of Frank’s voice and completely fools Dalrymple into thinking he is Frank. He tells Dalrymple that they have solved the mystery and he must come to the Purdy Place at once. Dalrymple is reluctant at first since it is the middle of the night, but agrees and says he will be there in about 30 minutes. The madman hangs up and cackles with glee as he exits the room.
The boys furiously try to free themselves in this moment of solitude. Frank works his fingers into his pocket in an attempt to reach is jack knife. He has just gotten it out and opened the blade when the madman returns. He has been watching the struggle. He takes Frank’s knife and searches Joe’s pockets where he finds another knife. He leaves again, content that they are helpless.
Frank and Joe are utterly defeated and sit waiting for their fate. It is then that they hear a noise at the window and see a figure peering in. At first they can’t tell who it is, but then the window opens and a man scrambles into the house. They are completely flabbergasted to see that the man is, in fact, Hurd Applegate! What is HE doing there?
The loss of the knife is a good touch to up the fear factor in the scene. Then the boys redemption comes thanks to the simpering stamp collector! Finally, this annoying stamp subplot is paying its dividends!