Chapter 22 – The Plot for Vengeance
It’s wrap-up time! The henchmen are corralled into the house and the old man is laid down carefully inside. The boys ask how Dalrymple knew there was a plot when he thought Frank had called him on the phone. Dalrymple says he could tell it wasn’t Frank’s real voice and asked the police to come to the house with him.
Dalrymple now recognizes the old man as Amos Wandy. He explains that years ago he had managed Wandy’s money at the bank, but the collapse of an investment house lost both men considerable amounts of money. Wandy became senile and insisted that Dalrymple was to blame for making him destitute when in actually he still had money in his account at the bank. He threatened Dalrymple and eventually was placed in a sanitarium. Dalrymple had all but forgotten about the old man.
Wandy’s fall has, somehow, cleared his head and he apologizes profusely for his actions. He says he wants some absolution before dying as he is critically injured.
Frank then says he thinks he has figured out how the threatening notes were placed in the secret locked room. H brings Joe and Dalrymple to the rooftop from which Wandy fell. At the chimney, he pulls on the rope and hoists up an electric car of some kind on wires. He says that the car was lowered down the chimney, fitting through the bars within, and driven into the secret room by remote control. It would then deposit the note and Wandy would hoist it back up the chimney without a trace. Joe and Dalrymple go down into the secret room and watch as Frank demonstrates how it worked. No one had ever truly entered the room – the lunatic inventor had used this cart to deliver the notes.
The mystery is solved, except for one more thing. As they are leaving the secret room the encounter Hurd Applegate in a state of consternation. His stamps are still missing and he’s insistent that they are in the house somewhere. Frank and Joe remember that Dalrymple’s double (actually named Jensen) is still downstairs. They head that way to get an explanation and find the infernal stamps.
Seriously, these stamps. Always with the stamps.