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G-MAN . . . and the Kidnap Ring


TOM TRAYLOR, able young G-Man, hurried into the office of the chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in response to a telephone call.

"Something big has popped, Traylor," die Chief told him. "Have you ever heard of a Mr. Green of Detroit?"

"You mean J. B. Green, the millionaire?" Traylor asked. "Sure, why?"

"He's been kidnaped," the Chief announced calmly.

"Wow! Chief, that IS a case! Who's going to handle it?"

"You are, Traylor," said the Chief, with a smile at Traylor's eagerness. "Report to the Detroit office as soon as you can, and good luck, my boy!"

The following morning Traylor was reporting at the F. B. I. office in Detroit. The head of the office welcomed him warmly and proceeded to unfold the details of the case.

"Green was returning from a business meeting. Miss Evans, his secretary, was with him, but the kidnapers, who were hiding in ambush along the prairie road, let her go. She is now at the Green home, under a physician's care—nervous shock, you know. Mr. Green's lawyer, Dawson, informed the office of the crime.

"Now I would suggest that you run out to the Green home and talk with Mrs. Green and that secretary; I think she knows more than she's telling. And remember, the man-power and resources of this office are at your disposal."

"Thank you, sir," said Traylor, and hurried away toward the Greens' home.

In a short time Traylor had announced himself to Dawson, the Greens' dapper lawyer, and was being presented to Mrs. Green.

They had just seated themselves in the handsome living-room, and were going into the background of the case, when a trim maid interrupted to speak to Mrs. Green.

"Pardon, Madame, a messenger just delivered this for you."

She handed over a crumpled envelope.

With nervous fingers Mrs. Green slit the envelope and withdrew a single sheet of paper. As she glanced at it she gasped in horror.

"Great heavens! It's from the kidnapers!"

At these words Traylor leaped to his feet and raced past the maid to the still open door.

"Get that messenger!" he cried, charging out into the street.

But the quiet street was deserted at that moment, and there was no longer any sign of the messenger. Or was there? As Tom was about to turn back to the house, discouraged by the temporary set-back, a dark splotch on the trim lawn caught his eye, and he whooped with delight as he saw that it was a man's hat!

"Did he get away?" asked Dawson, who came puffing out to meet Traylor.

"Yes," Tom admitted, "but he left a valuable souvenir—his hat."

Back at the house, the G-Man faced Mrs. Green with a cheerful smile.

"That messenger vanished into thin air; but may I see the note from the kidnapers, Mrs. Green?"

With growing concern he read the hastily scrawled message:

"Mrs. Green: It will cost you one hundred thousand dollars in small bills for the safe return of your husband. I warn you, DON'T mark the money. Keep police out of this. Instructions for delivery The Maid Announced a Phone Call of money will be found in the Daily Gazette personals column from day to day.

Signed, X. Y. Z."

"Hmph! Well, there's work to be done here. First, about this hat—. So it was purchased at a shop here in Detroit," he noted, glancing inside the crown.

Turning to the telephone he called the F. B. I. office.

"Hello, Flint?" he spoke to the Detroit chief. "Traylor talking. I'm at the Green home. Things have been popping since I arrived. Send me three of your best men immediately. And, Flint, look up a fellow named Zeck—A. C. Zeck. He runs a hat shop at 816 Grand. Yeah, I'll send one of the men back with a hat purchased there; I must know who bought this hat. Yes, thanks a lot, Flint. See you later."

While they were awaiting the arrival of the other G-Men, Tom asked Dawson to take him to Miss Evans, the kidnaped man's secretary, who was resting at the Green home.

"Now, Miss Evans," he told the nervous girl when Dawson had left them alone, "you can be a great help if you will give me an account of Mr. Green's kidnaping."

"I want very much to help," she replied earnestly. "I shall tell you all I know."

But she did not finish her account until much later. For at that moment the maid appeared again in the doorway to summon Tom Traylor to the telephone.

Traylor answered cheerfully, expecting a familiar voice from the F. B. I. office. To his amazement a growl greeted him:

"Lissen, copper, we warned Green's secketary if th' police was called in ol' man Green would never return. Now lay offa this job OR ELSE! Savvy?"

With a shout Traylor summoned Dawson to his side.

"What is it, Traylor?" asked the startled lawyer.

"One of the gang who kidnaped Green phoned. They've learned we G-Men are on the case, but HOW did they find out? Get the operator to trace that call, Dawson; I've got to know where it came from. Let me know as soon as you get the information ; I'll be upstairs."

Once again Miss Evans began her story of the horrible encounter with the kidnapers; once again she was interrupted, this time by Mr. Dawson.

"That phone call came from Chicago, Traylor," he announced. "That's all I could find out about it."

"Chicago?" gasped Tom. "How could—"

The G-Man was thoughtfully silent for a moment; then he turned again to the waiting lawyer.

"Dawson," he confided, "there's something mighty peculiar about this case. I've hardly arrived on the scene when some of the kidnap gang phone from Chicago, and ask for me by name. What do you make of that?"

"I don't know what to think," admitted the baffled lawyer.

"Well, I do," Tom replied. "And I've got a hunch someone in this very household is acting as an informer, but WHO?"

The answer to this question was to come sooner than Tom expected.

At that moment the maid entered to announce the arrival of the three G-Men Tom had requested, and to his delight he found among them his friend, Ed Dale.

After friendly greetings all around, Ed dispatched one of his young assistants with the captive hat, on the trail of its purchaser. Then Tom hastily outlined the developments in the case for Ed and his other assistant.

"I'm convinced by certain events that have transpired around here that someone in this household is involved with this kidnap gang, and I'm going to find out who it is. Now here's my plan."

Again Traylor paused to outline the course of action he had decided upon. First of all the servants must be questioned. But while they were questioning Marie, the maid, they were interrupted again.

Terry, the young G-Man who had been sent off with the hat was back.

"Hello, Terry," Ed greeted him. "Any luck tracing the hat?"

"Plenty, Ed. Zeck sold it to a bird named Grecco, and you'll be interested to know that he lives or works at the estate right next to this one," Terry announced.

"Hot dog!" Tom enthused. "That checks with my theory, too; of course servants next door would be swapping gossip, so this Grecco could keep posted."

"Well, Tom, what's your plan now?" Ed inquired.

"To surround the house next door," Tom announced firmly. "It's good and dark out now. You and Terry cover the back of the house; I'll ring the front door bell. If no one answers, crash in the back door when I whistle. I'll bust in the front way—O.K.?"

"Righto!" the others agreed.

"Well, come on then."

After cautiously skirting the broad stretch of open lawn, the three G-Men met again behind the neighbors' garage.

"Remember, if no one answers the doorbell we'll crash our way in when I whistle," Tom whispered.

"O.K., Tom," came the quiet response.

With leveled automatic before him, Tom circled around the house.

"Not a light in the place," he noted.

Three times he pressed the bell; three times he waited tensely as the long, clear blasts echoed faintly from the dark interior. Then a sharp whistle broke the stillness of the night. This was Tom's signal to break into the mysterious house.

"Well, here goes," Tom murmured to himself.

To his amazement, as his shoulder hit the door it swung easily inward, sending him sprawling on the floor. Before he could right himself or accustom his eyes to the inky gloom, a beam of light shot into his face, and a voice commanded, "Drop that gun!"

As Tom let his weapon fall to the floor, and cursed himself for his blunder, his captor gave a startled cry, the beam of light swung wildly up to the ceiling, and Tom heard Terry's sturdy voice say, "I've got 'im, Tom!"

Tom heard a small thud and stooped to get the crook's flashlight. Ele swung it up, and halted in amazement at the sight of the man struggling in Terry's grip.

"Butch the Ripper!" he shouted. "Just how do you fit into this Green kidnaping picture?"

Butch the Ripper was in a surly mood.

"I ain't talkin', see?"

"Frankly, that's no surprise," Tom admitted cheerfully. He turned to Terry. "Keep an eye on our new playmate, Terry; I want to look around a bit."

"O.K., Tom," Terry agreed.

Tom was wandering through the halls when a cry from Ed brought him to the library on the run.

"Hey, Tom! Come here quick!"

"What's up, Ed?" Tom asked.

"I found this slip under the phone. It has a telephone number on it."

Traylor glanced at the slip and stared thoughtfully off into space.

"Whitehall 6133—hmm. Whitehall—Whitehall—where have I ever heard of that exchange? I've got it, Ed!" he burst out. "I've got it, and if my hunch is right we're really getting some place!"

"How so, Tom?"

"If you recall, Ed, Mrs. Green got a threatening telephone call from the kidnapers in Chicago and Whitehall is a Chicago telephone exchange!"

Tom jiggled the telephone until he got the long distance operator.

"I want the name and street address of tire party who has Whitehall 6133 in Chicago. Yes, I'll hold the wire. Hello! Yes, operator, oh, yes—yes, I have that. No, don't call them. Thanks a lot."

Tom turned from the phone.

"Well, Ed, Whitehall 6133 is the number of a party named Ghezzie at 613 N. Smelt Street in Chicago. As soon as we can get some men out to take our pal Butch in tow we'll hop a plane for Chicago, and if I'm not mistaken we'll make the acquaintance of the Green kidnapers."

"That suits me great, Tom," Ed Dale enthused.

The following afternoon, Tom, Ed, Terry, and Buzz, the four G-Men, were sighting the Chicago sky-line from the air. It was a matter of moments before they had hopped a cab to North Smelt Street. They left the cab a block from their destination, in a tumble-down district, and laid out their campaign.

"613 is that run-down tavern there on the next corner, Tom," Ed pointed out.

"Yep," Tom agreed. "Buzz and I will go and put in a call to Whitehall 6133, to make sure it's the place. Ed, you and Terry drop into that tavern and hang around. Be near the telephone if you can. I'll get the telephone operator to help me fake a call from Butch the Ripper in Detroit. We must get Ghezzie to answer the phone so you can look him over. We'll all meet here in ten minutes."

"O.K., Tom, in ten minutes," Ed and Terry agreed, and sauntered off.

In the tavern they lounged at a table near the open telephone on the bar and were soon rewarded by hearing the barman call to a flashily dressed individual, "Hey, Ghezzie, it's fer you—Detroit callin'—wanta take it?"

"Yeah!" he agreed.

From a nearby booth Tom Traylor growled out, " 'Lo, Ghezzie? Butch talkin'. Things is swell over here so far. What about th' dough?"

"I ain't heard yet, Butch," Ed and Terry heard Ghezzie reply. "Jus' sit tight. I'll call ya back after I run out to th' shack."

This was just what the G-Men wanted to hear! Back on the street, Tom flashed his badge to commandeer an automobile, picked up Buzz and Ed, and they all streaked through town on the trail of a sleek black sedan.

An hour's dizzy ride brought them to a wooded side-road down which the gangsters' sedan had disappeared.

"It's a cinch the shack isn't far away now," Tom reasoned. "Let's spread out in the woods and close in on them. Is everybody ready?"

Tom's assignment was to rush the door. He inched his way up to the shack, keeping to the cover of trees; then, with two leveled automatics before him, he swung at the door with a hefty kick.

"All right, everybody, hands up!" he commanded.

"Oh, yeah?" came a snarl he recognized as Ghezzie, "take that, copper!"

There was a flash of flame in Tom's direction, then another from the window where Terry was silhouetted, and Ghezzie dropped his gun with a scream of pain. That did for the gangsters! Fumblingly they raised their hands in surrender as Traylor led the G-Men into the shack.

It was Ed Dale, entering through a rear window, who came upon the trap door. Lifting it he saw a shallow hole just large enough to hold the cramped, bound body of J. B. Green!

"Here he is, Tom!" he shouted, and he and Tom soon had the kidnap victim.

Soon Buzz, Terry, and Ed were loaded into the sleek sedan with their hand-cuffed prisoners, while Tom and Mr. Green prepared to follow them back to Detroit. Tom Traylor felt that he and his friends had done a worth-while job!