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DAN DUNN Secret Operative 48

A New Racket for Wu Fang

DAN DUNN is coming home."

To some, the news brought happiness; to others, consternation. Fresh from one of the most brilliant feats of his sensational career, the ace of the United States Secret Service was headed toward the West Coast. Behind him, at Honolulu, where they were securely confined within prison walls, he had left the remnants of the smuggling syndicate headed by the notorious Chinese criminal, Wu Fang. One task remained to make the job complete—to capture Wu Fang himself. Dan Dunn would not rest content until this task had been accomplished.

His good friends, Ann Vare and her little brother, Bobby, were informed of the secret operative's return by a radiogram from Dan Dunn himself. Said his message: "Meet me at San Fragel Tuesday. Tell Wolf I'm coming home." There was really no need of the second part of the radiogram, for Dan's faithful jDolice dog, Wolf, seemed to sense from the excitement going on about him that his master was on his way home.

Also informed of Dan Dunn's return was Wu Fang's first lieutenant, Fagan the gunman. The formality of a radiogram was not necessary to apprise this rascal of his enemy's approach. He got the news quickly enough through that mysterious grapevine telegraphic service which operates throughout the underworld. Already, down in the Chinatown section of San Fragel, Gunman Fagan was preparing a characteristic reception for the detective.

"I'm not going to trust any of you Chinks with this job," Fagan told Wu Fang's oriental henchmen. 'Tm going to do it myself. You get to work and shadow Dunn from the minute he lands. After you've found out where he's going to stay, leave the rest to me."

Dan Dunn had hardly arrived at the Gorce Hotel before Fagan was in possession of the fact. His preparations were simple: He loaded his revolver, disguised himself in the garb of an old woman and went to a public telephone. From there he called Dan.

"Hello, Mr. Dunn?" he asked in a disguised voice. "This is Jerry, from Chinatown. Remember me, don't you ? I'm the guy who helped you raid Wu Fang's joint here last month. Listen. Wu Fang is back in town. You can collar him easy. Come down to Fourth and Oak Streets. I'll lead you to his new hangout. Follow me. I'll be in an old woman's getup. Don't speak to me until we get there."

"There's something phoney about this," Dan told Ann Vare, "but I'm going to follow it through."

He left the hotel and went immediately to the street corner given him by telephone. Here he found the bogus old woman, who, on seeing him, started on a circuitous route through the back streets. Dan followed closely behind, his hand clutching the butt of his revolver in his pocket.

"I happen to know," he said to himself, "that Wu Fang is hiding out up in Canada at Edmonton, and so I'm going to take no chances with this fellow."

He kept his eyes on the skirted figure ahead of him, hoping that by some gesture or mannerism the man would give a clue to his identity. He was quite certain he was being led into some sort of trap, but was confident that he could shoot his way out. At last the mysterious figure turned into a dark alley. Dan crooked his finger on the trigger of his revolver.

"Here it comes," he told himself. "I wonder if he's got a gang waiting in there for me."

He turned into the narrow passageway. It was pitch dark and he had to pause to accustom his eyes to the gloom before he could perceive the person ahead of him. The alley proved a cul-de-sac, ending at a high board fence. The form in female attire halted at the fence. Dan could see him making a beckoning gesture.

"This is the place," the latter said in measured tones.

"What place?" asked Dan.

"The place where you get yours," the voice snarled.

Dan discerned a quick movement by the stranger. It was not quick enough, however, to effect its purpose, for Dan had whipped his revolver from his pocket and fired point blank into his unknown enemy. The latter's weapon flew harmlessly into the air and landed in the alley mud. With an agonized oath, the bogus old woman slumped to the earth. Dan bent over the prone figure, rolled it over and removed its hat and veil. He peered into the face.

"Fagan!" he muttered.

He put his hand inside the blouse and felt against the gunman's heart. Fagan was dead.

Dan acted quickly. He had no desire to be found here with Fagan's body. It would mean loss of time, and to Dan Dunn every minute was precious if he was to succeed in his ambition to find Wu Fang and take him prisoner. He returned at once to the hotel, regretfully bade Ann and Bobby Vare farewell and hastened with his dog Wolf to the San Fragel airport.

"Just in time," he said to Wolf as they reached the airport and heard the motors of the giant transport plane warming up.

Authorities of the air line agreed to hold the ship until Dan Dunn arranged the papers necessary to fly over the Canadian border. This was accomplished in quick order, and fifteen minutes later the detective and his canine companion were on their way to Edmonton.

At Edmonton, meanwhile, that wily master criminal Wu Fang was beginning to wonder why he had not heard from his always dependable emissary, Fagan.

"Odd indeed/' he was saying to Ace Bart. "Odd that I should not have heard from Fagan. He was to wire my agents the moment that man Dan Dunn had been wiped out. This delay is most inconvenient."

"Inconvenient!" grunted Ace Bart. "I'll say it's inconvenient. Looky here, Wu Fang, my mob's getting restless. They want to get started. We got a hundred grand in phoney dough ready to send out. And when we get rid of that, we'll turn out twice as much in the next batch. We got Hymie Herrmann making the stuff and he's the best in the racket. We want to get going."

"You are impatient, my friend,'* said Wu Fang. "Large projects require time. First we must be rid of Dan Dunn, then we can proceed with greater safety in what you call our 'racket'."

"O.K. I suppose we'll have to wait, but as soon as you get word from Fagan, let me know. I and the gang will be waiting at the hideout."

"You shall hear from me within a day or two," were Wu Fang's parting words.

At noon of the following day, Secret Operative Dunn and Wolf arrived at Edmonton. They went straight to the nearest barracks of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police. Here Dan introduced himself to the officer in charge.

"So you're Dan Dunn, eh?" the latter asked. "We've heard of j'ou, and I'm certainly glad to meet you. My name's Bannister."

"Bannister? Know L. D. Bannister of the Leaderville Express?"

"He's a cousin of mine."

"We're great friends."

"What can we do to help you, sir?" asked Bannister.

"I'm up here to get a Chinese dope smuggler named Wu Fang," Dan replied, "and of course I'll need your co-operation. I want to start after him in the morning."

"You know where he is?"

"I have a pretty good idea," answered Dan, reaching into his inside pocket and producing a paper. "This paper I got off the body of one of Wu Fang's gangsters named Fagan. I've studied it and figured it out as a map showing the location of the Chinaman's hideout."

Together they pored over the paper.

"I've got it. I see now," Bannister suddenly cried. "Sure, I know that place. It's about forty miles from here. I can lead you right to it."

"He'll probably fight extradition," the American said.

"Don't worry, Dan," the Canadian replied. "When we get him, we'll take him to the border, and I've got a good plan for extradition."

"I hope you have," Dan said.

Wings Over the Wilderness

While Detective Dunn and Officer Bannister were riding toward the hiding place of Wu Fang, that sly fellow paced his quarters in impatient unrest.

"This Fagan is causing me concern," he was muttering to himself. "Here we are on the threshold of a house of gold, and we await without, in expectation of a word from him. If I do not hear from him tomorrow that Dan Dunn has been removed, I shall proceed with Ace Bart and his counterfeiting' business, regardless of the accursed detective."

His thoughts were interrupted by the sudden appearance of one of his oriental henchmen.

"I come with news from Ho Ling, your servant at San Fragel," said the yellow man.

"And what is that news?" demanded Wu Fang.

"I regret to report, Master, that your servant, the white man Fagan, has failed in his mission."


"More than that, Master," the underling continued. "He is no more. He was killed during an attempt to lure the detective Dan Dunn to his death. His body was found in an alley arrayed in the clothes of an old woman. It is helieved by Ho Ling that he was killed by Dan Dunn himself."

"So," murmured Wu Fang, then shrugged his shoulders. "Then we proceed with Ace Bart and his men. We cannot afford to w'au longer. We shall tend to the accursed Dunn later."

How close he was at that moment to the subject of his remarks was of course unknown to the oriental gang leader. Dan Dunn and Bannister had arrived at the isolated hiding place of Wu Fang.

"This is it," announced the Roy-' al Mounted officer.

"Yes," answered Dan, "and we'll have to be careful. Wu Fang and his whole outfit are killers."

"Come on, let's rush the place," Bannister urged.

"Wait. What's that?" Dan cupped an ear in one hand.

"A plane," Bannister whispered. "What sort of business would bring a flyer 'way up here?"

"You don't know Wu Fang," Dan laughed. "He's likely to be up to any kind of business—so long as it's crooked. Let's wait until the flyer is inside the house, then rush the place and take the whole gang together."


They waited until the plane had landed and the operator had entered the cabin. By now dusk had descended upon the scene. Dan crept warily toward one side of the cabin while Bannister approached from the other side. Leaning against one corner of the building, rifle tucked under his right arm, stood a guard. Dan came up in back of him unheard. He tapped the man on the shoulder. The guard turned about to receive on his astonished jaw a terrific wallop from the butt of Dan's revolver. With a slight moan, the man sank to the ground.

Dan crept toward the cabin and peered through a window.

Inside he discerned two figures facing each other across a table. They were Wu Fang and the man who had come in the plane. Dan strained his ears to hear them.

"I have sent messages to my associates all over the States, telling them to be ready," he heard the oriental say. "You can instruct Ace Bart to deliver the counterfeit money to me here. Within twenty-four hours it will be released all over the country through a hundred channels.

"This Dan Dunn raided my headquarters in San Fragel and now news has come to me that my trusted white confederate has been slain," Wu Fang continued. "Fear nothing, however, for my organization is still practically intact Furthermore, I am planning to dispose of the detective Dan Dunn. My best hatchet men shall be assigned to the task."

Dan drew away from the window and skirted the cabin. On the other side he found Bannister, his revolver drawn for action.

"Let's wait until that plane pulls out," Dan whispered. "After he's gone, we'll rush in and take Wu Fang. He's in there and now's our chance."

They had not long to wait before Wu Fang's visitor zoomed off.

"0. K., Bannister, let's go," Dan said. "Have your gun ready."

He stepped up to the door and gave it several thumps. Then he stepped backward, his weapon trained on the spot where a head would appear when the door opened. The moments before the knob turned seemed interminable. At last the door opened, revealing one of Wu Fang's Chinese gangsters. Behind him Dan caught a glimpse of the master criminal himself.

"Throw up your hands, Wuj Fang!" Dan shouted. "One move and we'll start shooting!"

Wu Fang recoiled, a nasty expression of malevolence distorting his yellow face.

"Dan Dunn!" he snarled, unable to hide his surprise.

"In person," Dan asserted. "It all up with you, Wu Fang."

Quickly, the two raiders frisked the orientals for weapons, then handcuffed their hands behind them. They had scarcely a moment to spare, for the noise they had created attracted the other occupants of the hideout, who rushed into the room. But Dan and Bannister were the masters of the situation. They unarmed the gangstem one by one, clamped handcuffs on their wrists and lined them against the wall.

"A pretty set of mugs for the rogues gallery," the secret service man commented. He turned upon Wu Fang, saying: "Wu Fang, where did that fellow come from who flew here in the plane ? Where is the headquarters of this counterfeiting gang you're hooked up with?"

"Naturally, I refuse to answer," was the oriental's reply. "You are a fool, Dan Dunn, to expect me to."

"Never mind that," Dan snapped. Then, to Bannister, he said: "Bannister, think you can get these hoodlums back to Edmonton alone? I'm going to stay here and wait for that plane to come back. Take Wolf with you. He'll help to keep your prisoners in tow."

"You can depend on me," the Royal Mounted officer replied. "I'll take these fellows back without any trouble and lock them up* You'll find them waiting for you when you return."

"Thanks, Bannister, and if they start causing any trouble, don't hesitate to shoot them."

Dan watched the procession depart—Wu Fang and his confederates marching ahead, wrists manaeled behind their backs, with Bannister riding in the rear and Wolf trotting along beside them.

Ahead of Dan Dunn lay a tedious night of waiting for the return of the counterfeiters' plane. He .spent the time cooking himself a hearty meal, searching th cabin for incriminating evidence to use against Wu Fang, and gazing into the skies for the approach of the expected aircraft.

It was dawn before he heard the drone of the long-waited aircraft,! Ahead of Dan Dunn Lay a Tedious Night Out of the plane stepped the samman who had visited Wu Fang the day before. From the cabin hunloaded two large suit ca: which he earned toward the house.

"Open up," he yelled outside th door. The door opened quickly, revealing Dan Dunn, revolver in hand.

"Drop those suit cases and reach for the sky, young fellow," he commanded.

The astonished stranger lost no time in obeying.

"And now put your hands behind you while I decorate you with these bracelets/' Dan added. "You are under arrest. United States Secret Service."

He snapped handcuffs on the fellow's wrists, searched him for firearms and, finding none, turned his attention to the suit cases. He tossed one on a table and opened it. Inside was packed a fortune io greenbacks.

"Counterfeit money! Come on what's the story?"

"There ain't no story. I don't know nothin' about the stuff," the aviator insisted. "All I know is I was hired to fly here with them two suit cases."

"You were hired by whom?"

"I don't know who he is. Honest, Mister, I don't."

"Then where did you fly here from?" demanded the secret operative.

"I flew from—. Say, how do I know you got a right to ask questions? I ain't goin' to talk."

"You can talk now or later, & you choose," Dan replied. "Bir you're going to come through wit: the truth before I'm through wit! you. You're in for a tough time young fellow. The United State Government doesn't waste much time with counterfeiters. Now, ge; out of here. You're going to to me back to Edmonton, where Pr going to lock you up and sho-c you whether I've got authority t; ask questions. Get going!"

The stranger hesitated, the: with a surly grumble he precedeDan out of the cabin and toward the plane. Dan carried the sui: cases filled with spurious currency Beside the plane the detective unlocked his captive's handcuffs.

"You're going to fly us to Edmonton, understand?" he said "One false move and I'll drill s hole straight through you. And if we aren't within sight of the cit\ within forty minutes, you'll be ir a mess of trouble."

Dan sat at the controls while his man spun the propeller. Then the motor roaring, the two ei changed places, Dan sitting imme diately in back of the pilot with hi* revolver aimed at the latter's back.

"Remember—Edmonton in forty minutes or—

The plane soared over the mountain tops. Some ten or fifteen minutes had elapsed when Dan suddenly arose from his seat.

"What's that?" he asked. "Smell something?"

"Smoke!" the pilot gasped, "Smoke! She's on fire. Somethin'; happened to the motor!"

Suddenly the plane plunged it? nose toward the earth.

"We're in a spin!" shrieked the pilot. "It's a broken oil line! We'r. goners!"

An instant later the machine was in flames, hurtling with ten rifle speed toward a forest fa* below. Dan tumbled on top of the pilot, shoving him from the stiei in an effort to straighten out th: plane himself. It was too late now however, to try to right the machine. It was completely out of conrol. One more crazy flipflop and the plane descended on the tree tops.

Two towering pines snapped under the weight of the fallin| vehicle. A hollow explosion rever berated through the forest as t flames reached the gas tanks. Th only the crackle of flames co suming canvas wings disturbed thi deep hush of the wooded wilder ness.

Wu Fang in Captivity

The progress of Sergeant Bannister and his captives through the forest had been slow and arduous, They had hardly traversed all night the distance Dan Dunn and his pilot had flown in a short fifteen or twenty minutes.

They were emerging from the forest when Wolf, who was trotting along beside Wu Fang and the other prisoners, suddenly stopped in his tracks, his body taut, his ears standing erect. He whirled about and raced full-tilt back into the woodlands.

"Wolf, Wolf!" yelled Bannister "Come back here! Where you going?"

Unheeding, the dog continued his dash into the forest.

"Wonder what ails that animal," Bannister asked himself.

Suddenly from their pointed tips he saw arise a billow of black smoke. Then he heard Wolf barking as though in dire need of assistance. Tom between the fear of losing his prisoners and the urge to determine what terror lay inside the forest, he decided to investigate the latter. He dug his heels into the horse's flanks and plunged on a mad ride.

Guided by Wolf's insistent barks, he came to a forest stream, beside which lay the smoke-blackened skeleton of an airplane. The last flicker of flame was licking the gas tank. Wolf was circling around the ruined machine, whimpering and whining. Suddenly he leaped into the stream near at hand.

When Bannister reached the water's edge, he saw the dog struggling valiantly to tug something out of the stream. The Royal Mounted officer's eyes widened in surprise. Wolf's burden was Secret Operative Dunn!

Bannister dismounted to help Wolf drag his master ashore. One glance at the unconscious man told him that Dan was in a critical condition, severely burned, badly bruised and perhaps with serious internal injuries.

In frantic haste, the Royal Mounted sergeant began dressing Dan's bums with materials contained in the first aid kit in his saddle bag.

"You must have heard the crash of the plane, old boy," Bannister said to Wolf. "How did you know Dan Dunn was in it? You're a grand dog. Now we'll get your master fixed up temporarily and rush him to Edmonton to the hospital. What say?"

Wolf barked as though in perfect understanding of the sergeant's words. After he had applied ointment to the injured man's numerous burns and swathed him in so many bandages that he looked like a mummy, Bannister lifted Dan into the saddle, climbed into it himself, and headed his horse in the direction from which they had come. Somewhat to his surprise and certainly to his pleasure, he found his prisoners exactly where he had left them. Wu Fang and his fellowrogues had made no attempt to escape.

This fact can be attributed to Wu Fang's disinclination to become lost in the Canadian wilds. Besides, he had utilized Sergeant Bannister's absence to good advantage. With his henchmen he had formulated a scheme for their escape to be carried out when they approached Edmonton.

In spite of the bandages that covered the secret operative's face, Wu Fang recognized the unconscious figure in the saddle with Bannister.

"It's the detective Dan Dunn," he whispered to his nearest neighbor as the trek was resumed toward Edmonton. "This new circumstance is much in our favor. The Mounted one's hands are occupied supporting the obnoxious Dunn. For that reason he cannot readily pursue us when we make our break for freedom, for to jostle the unconscious one would endanger that person's detestable life. Fortune smiles upon us."

It was almost nightfall and the party was but a few miles from Edmonton when Wu Fang gave the word. From one captive to the other down the line went the whispered message: "When Wu Fang coughs, every man make a break in a different direction."

Wu Fang coughed. At this signal, each prisoner broke into a run. They scattered in all directions. Bannister, surprised and confused, drew his revolver and started firing, first at one fleeing rogue, then at another, but without hitting anybody.

The situation looked hopeless, and would have been, had it not been for that reliable ally, the dog Wolf. Only for a moment was Wolf confused, but then, sensing the situation, he leaped into action, tearing with lightning speed after the fleeing Wu Fang. A few seven-league bounds brought him within nipping distance of the oriental's retreating heels. Wu Fang glanced back over his shoulder. The sight of Wolf, his eyes blazing in fury, his teeth bared in savage hatred, froze him in terror.

"Do not bite, savage one," he begged. "I will return promptly."

Thus, like a stray sheep being driven back to the fold, the oncepowerful master mind was forced by a dog to return to his captor. Then, having recaptured the leader, Wolf darted after the other runaways, bringing them back one by one to Sergeant Bannister.

"Fine work, Wolf old boy," said; the Royal Mountie. "If it hadn't] been for you, we'd have lost the whole gang."

He climbed back into his saddle, crooked one arm around the unconscious American detective, and the trek to Edmonton was resumed. This time no attempt was1 made by Wu Fang and his cohorts to break for freedom.

Another two hours brought the party into Edmonton. On the outskirts of the city, Bannister hailed a passing motorist.

"I have a man here who's badly hurt," he told the driver. "Will you rush him to the hospital at once?"

"Sure I will, Officer," the motorist replied. "Glad to help. What happened?"

"Airplane crash," Bannister answered. "Get this man in a doctor's hands as quickly as you can. Every minute is precious. It may bd too late to save his life even now. Tell them at the hospital that I'll be there to explain everything as soon as I can." He gestured toward his prisoners, adding: "I've got to get this gang in jail first."

Dan was lifted gingerly from the saddle and stretched out in the back seat of the automobile. The car was out of sight within a few moments, with Wolf, who in the excitement of the moment had been forgotten, chasing madly after it, intent upon the safety of his master.

Half an hour later, the reign of that monarch of crime, the wily Wu Fang, had ended behind prison bars. But even as he sat in his cell, cut off from all communication with his criminal underlings, his mind was busy with schemes for effecting his release.

"One circumstance is in our favor," he mused. "The obnoxious Dan Dunn has little chance of living. If he obliges by dying, the chief witness against us has been removed. Then, too, we are not without staunch allies in this accursed city. If somehow I can establish contact with my local representatives, I can gain freedom." Wu Fang twirled the tips of his long drooping mustache and pondered his situation.

Anxious Days

Meanwhile, Sergeant Bannister had hastened to the hospital. Outside Dan Dunn's room he was met by the nurse assigned to the case.

"You're Dan Dunn's nurse?" he asked. "How is he?"

"He's in a pretty serious condition," she answered. "Doctor McKinnon says it's a lucky thing he was brought here as soon as he was. Another hour's delay and he would not be alive."

All that night, while in the darkened hospital room the nurse kept vigil beside the motionless figure on the cot, Sergeant Bannister and the faithful Wolf waited anxiously in an adjacent room.

"Just be patient, Wolf old boy," the Mountie said. "Dan'll be all right. He's got to pull through. And won't he be pleased when he learns that we've got Wu Fang and his gang safely tucked away?"

Bannister might not have been so confident that Wu Fang was "safely tucked away" could he at that moment have looked in upon the wily oriental in his cell. Wu Fang was shrieking in his highpitched voice.

"Guard, 0, guard!"

A gaoler answered his call.

"What you yelling for, Chink?"

"I should like very much," Wu Fang announced, "to have some coffee, if you would be so kind. I feel faint. I have not partaken of nourishment in many hours."

You'll feel fainter than you do now," the gaoler answered, "when Dan Dunn gets out of the hospital. I'll get you a cup of coffee later."

Would you bring me, then, paper and pen so that I may write a message to friends so that I may inform them of my plight?"

"I'm not allowed to let prisoners have sharp implements," the guard explained, but I'll let you write your letter while I watch you."

He got pen, paper and ink, and stood at the door while the oriental penned his message. While he was thus engaged, Wu Fang's cup of coffee was brought to the cell. He sipped the drink as he continued writing. A moment's inattention on the part of the gaoler gave him the opportunity for which he had hoped: Quickly wiping the pen dry on the sleeve of his gown, he dipped it into the coffee and scribbled four words between the lines of his seemingly harmless missive.

"The message is written," he told the guard. "You will be good enough to mail it?"

"I will, after Sergeant Bannister has looked it over," the guard said.

"Looks all right," was Bannister's comment. "I guess it's safe to mail it."

And so it came to pass that two days later one of Wu Fang's most trusted lieutenants at distant San Fragel received an urgent message from his superior. He read the letter many times, certain that somewhere in the seemingly innocent words was a command of urgent importance. Having failed to discover any decipherable code therein, he subjected the paper to close scrutiny under several types of light filters. At length his patience was rewarded. Under the filtered light four words became visible. "Kill Dunn, Edmonton hospital."

Wu Fang's lieutenant whispered the message. He pondered the contents of the epistle.

"Wu Fang in jail. The detective Dunn in a hospital. What can these things mean?"

He lost little time in conjecture, however, for within the hour he had arranged to cany out Wu Fang's command, "Kill Dunn."

The assignment was entrusted to two of the underworld's most ruthless killers, a pair of orientals whose apprenticeship in crime had been served in the Tong wars. From hatchet men they had been graduated to machine gunners, their talents for homicide having increased in ratio to the deadliness of their weapons.

"You two shall proceed to Edmonton and seek out Dan Dunn," they were told. "You may use your own methods, but you shall not fail to remove him. You shall also negotiate to free the master, Wu Fang. Now go."

No further words were needed to hasten the assassins on their way. In their secret arsenal they chose their weapons, chief among which was a vicious machine gun.

"Ah, this one is a beauty indeed," commented one. "It will send a hundred messengers of death with the mere pressure of a finger. This one must most surely go with us."

Three days later, the lethal pair arrived at Edmonton. They had carefully skirted all large communities and succeeded in evading all customs officials. Their first move in the city was to establish contact with Wu Fang's local emissaries. Their next was to locate the prison cell occupied by the oriental master mind and, having located it, to signal him from the street that his orders had been received and would be executed.

Peering through the bars of his cell, Wu Fang, with immense satisfaction, watched his gunmen wigwag in their signal system: "We have come, 0 Master, to remove Dunn and liberate you. Dunn shall die and you shall be free tonight."

Anxiety regarding Secret Operative Dunn's condition had by this time abated, for the hardy detective had shown amazing powers of recuperation. His third day in the hospital found him insisting on sitting up in bed and fretting over the fact that his doctors refused to discharge him within less than two weeks. To Bannister he explained how he came to be in the airplane crash, and in turn from the Royal Mountie he learned that Wu Fang was lodged with his gang in the Edmonton jaiL This knowledge was comforting and made his confinement to the hospital more tolerable. Also a source of comfort to him was the presence of his faithful dog, in whom he confided his hopes and plans.

"Wolf," he said, "this sticking around a hospital when there's work to be done is no fun. We've got to get out of here as quickly as we can. I don't want Wu Fang's counterfeiting gang to get panicky and leave this section of the country, and that's what they'll surely do when they learn what has become of Wu Fang."

That night, when lights had been put out throughout the hospital, two furtive figures approached the building and engaged in whispered conversation at the foot of the fire escape.

"The fifth floor, that's certain?" asked one.

"Certain," replied the other. "And his room is the first to the right at the end of the corridor."

"Splendid," chuckled the first man. "That makes it simple. Everything is in readiness?"

"Everything. Hasten up the fire escape. Do the job quickly and well. I shall have the automobile here, with motor running so that you can leap in the instant you return."

"Never fear," the gunman asserted. "I have never failed. Wish me luck."

"Good luck, then—and be quick."

The gunman started up the iron steps. A few moments later he had entered the fifth floor. The window opening on the fire escape led into a short corridor. Dan Dunn's room was at the right of this corridor. The yellow-skinned gunman poked his head stealthily around the edge of the door. An expression of annoyance crossed his face, for at that moment a nurse entered the detective's room.

He heard her saying: "It's against the rules, Mr. Dunn."

"Rules or no rules," answered Dan Dunn's voice. "Wolf stays here with me."

The nurse departed. The gunman smiled. He waited a few moments to be certain that no one was in the hall, then quickly stepped into the detective's room. It was dark, but silhouetted against the window the gunman could easily discern his target. He leveled his weapon at the figure in the bed.

"Who's that? Who's there?" demanded Dan Dunn.

The answer was the hollow report of an automatic.

Almost at the same instant, however, came another sound—a snarl of unbridled fury. The wielder of the automatic perceived a heavy body hurtling through space, then felt a pair of sharp-fanged jaws clamp down on his wrist. An instant later he was fighting desperately on the floor with a snarling, growling beast.

"Good work, Wolf!" cried Dan. The would-be assassin somehow succeeded in regaining his feet. He fired again, hoping this time to destroy his canine assailant. His finger had twitched against the trigger but once when Wolf, unscathed, plunged at him again. The full weight of the animal struck his chest. The oriental felt himself carried backward. He felt the backs of his knees against the window sill. The next horrorstricken instant he felt himself toppling out the open window. Twisting and turning, his arms and legs gyrating in a crazy dance through space, he plunged earthward. Dan, who had stumbled out of his bed to assist Wolf, heard the ghastly impact as the gunman struck the ground below.

A minute later the hospital was in a turmoil of excitement. And three hours later, four hours later and five hours later, Wu Fang was wondering why he had not heard from "those slothful servants" who had promised to release him that night.

The Truth Serum

These had been anxious days for Aee Bart, too.

With no word from the confederate he had dispatched in an airplane to deliver the first half-million in counterfeit bills, he was beginning to' suspect a double-cross.

"That blasted Chink may have sold me out," he complained to his female companion, the Duchess. "Here it is a week since I sent him that first batch of phoney stuff. I gotta look into this business. You know what? I gotta mind to hire a plane and fly up to Wu Fang's hideout and see what it's all about. I'll get that pilot, Jake Berger. He can be trusted."

"So you're going to leave me in this forsaken place again, are you?" the Duchess sighed.

"Sorry, Duchess, but I gotta do it. But I'll be back in a coupla days. And don't fret, old girl, when I get this racket going good, we'll be rolling in dough."

Pilot Jake Berger was a man who never asked questions and never answered any. He agreed to fly Ace Bart into the wilderness hiding place of the oriental criminal chief. That night they flew over the border and the next morning had descended at Wu Fang's secluded cabin. Even before he opened the door, Ace suspected that the place was deserted.

"Looks bad," he muttered. "Looks as though nobody was here. The double-crosser! He's skipped with the phoney dough!"

He swung open the cabin door.

"Looks as though they left in a hurry, too," Ace commented. He turned abruptly. "No use wasting time here, Jake. Let's get in the plane and scram over to Edmonton. Wu Fang's got cronies there."

He and his pilot climbed back into their ship. They had flown about fifteen minutes when Jake leaned out over the fuselage and pointed down to earth.

"Look!" he screamed above the roar of the motor. "A plane crash!"

Ace Bart looked down. There beside a forest stream he could see the charred remains of a plane.

"Can you land?" he yelled.

"I'll try it!"

Jake circled the forest until he found a clearing, then guided the ship to earth. Ace Bart clambered out and hurried to the scene of the wreck. He peered into the debris. There lay the body of the flyer to whom he had assigned the job of delivering the spurious bills to Wu Fang.

"So that's it," he mused. "Crashed on his way to Wu Fang's hideout with the phoney dough. The dough must have burned up with him. Well, that's a break, anyways... But I wonder what the devil became of Wu Fang and his outfit. Must have scrammed."

He returned to the plane.

"0. K., Jake. Let's get on to Edmonton. Gotta find out what it's all about."

He found out enough, indeed, to send him scurrying out of Edmonton as fast as he could. A day later, still visibly excited, he burst in upon the Duchess in their hiding place.

"Hurry, we gotta pack and get out of here," he exploded. "I just got back from Edmonton. They've nabbed Wu Fang. If he sings, they will be after us. That secret service dick, Dan Dunn is putting the screws on the gang. Hurry! We gotta scram!"

"What!" the Duchess complained. "We have to go dodging all over the country again on account of that yellow man Wu Fang?"

Ace Bart did not answer. He was darting about the place picking up his belongings and tossing them into trunks and suit cases. In the midst of his activities he looked up to find the Duchess, gazing at him disdainfully.

"Hey! Aren't you packing?" Ace demanded.

"No, and I'm not going to."

Ace charged across the room.

"Listen, Duchess," he roared. "Get to work, or the first thing you know you'll be living in a place with iron bars over the windows."

The gangster's tone told the Duchess she had best obey him. Within an hour she had packed her belongings and sped off with Ace to a new hiding place.

The doctors had been wrong in their guess that Dan Dunn would be in the hospital two weeks. He improved so rapidly and objected so vehemently to his confinement that within ten days he was on his feet again, dressed, and ready to resume his work.

"But take it easy, please, Dan," begged the house physician. "You are not so strong as you think you are."

Dan nodded, bade his acquaintances at the hospital a grateful farewell and proceeded at once to the Edmonton jail. Here he was greeted by Sergeant Bannister.

"Ah, Sergeant, how about Wu Fang?" he asked.

"He's been examined, Dan. Everything is ready. He won't talk. I've tried to make him open up, but no luck."

"He'll talk before I'm through with him," Dan promised.

They went to the oriental's cell.

"So, Wu Fang, you won't tell us where that counterfeit money came from, eh?" Dan asked.

"I will not talk," the yellowskinned criminal asserted. "Furthermore, Dan Dunn, I despise you and defy you."

"All right, Bannister. Get the doctor and let's give Wu Fang the works," Dan said to Bannister.

"Righto, Dan," the Mountie answered, leaving the cell.

"And what, may I ask, do you intend to do with me?" asked the oriental.

"You'll learn soon enough," was the secret operative's reply.

Sergeant Bannister returned shortly. He and a guard seized Wu Fang and bore him, protesting in his shrill voice, into another cell. Here they forced him onto a cot and trussed him to it securely. A mild-mannered man adressed by Bannister as "Doctor" entered.

"All ready, Doctor?" Dan asked.

"All ready," the doctor said. "Three shots of this scopolamine, or Truth serum,' as you call it, and our oriental friend should be answering any questions you care to put to him."

"0. K. Let him have it, Doctor."

The physician scrubbed Wu Fang's wrist with cotton soaked in antiseptic, then jabbed it with a hypodermic needle. Three minutes later he performed the operation again, then, after three more minutes, repeated once again.

"There you are, Mr. Dunn," he said. "Give the stuff about five minutes to enter the brain, and he will answer any question."

Wu Fang had sunk into a stupor. Dan waited the required five minutes, then sat down on the cot beside the helpless Chinese and began his questions: Who had sent him the half-million in counterfeits? Ace Bart? Who was Ace Bart? Where1 was Ace Bart? Where was the money being made? By whom?

Docile as a penitent child, the once mighty Wu Fang gave a truthful reply to each question asked. The truth serum worked.

His inquisition completed, Dan conferred with Bannister.

"Dan," advised the latter, "you better start back to the States with Wu Fang before some smart attorney gets busy on this case."

The jangle of a telephone bell interrupted. The Mountie answered. For some time he talked excitedly with the party on the other end of the wire.

"Well, it's happened," he sighed, replacing the receiver. "Just what I was afraid of. That call was from a friend of Judge Milan's court. He says a lawyer named Sharp has been retained by Wu Fang's representatives. This Sharp has presented a writ of habeas corpus for the person of Wu Fang and the Judge has set tomorrow for a hearing with the Chinaman."

"Hm-m-m. You see what that means, Sergeant? It means that if the judge grants habeas corpus, I can't extradite Wu Fang."

"I know this fellow Sharp. He's a shyster, a bad character, but he's shrewd. It's just like him to take this case, for he probably knows there's plenty of money in Wu Fang's outfit."

"We've got to act, and act quickly, if we're going to get Wu Fang out of the Dominion and into the States. I've worked too hard on f this case to let a shyster lawyer cheat me out of success."

"What can you do, Dan?"

"I'll show you what I can do, Sergeant," Dan replied. He picked up the telephone book, thumbed ___________________ 198 DAN DUNN through it quickly, then lifted the telephone receiver. Having been connected with the party he desired, he spoke rapidly: "Hello Edmonton airport? I want to charter a large plane at once, tonight if possible. I want to fly over the border... Yes, I can have my papers ready... All right. Tonight? Fine!"

"What's it all about?" asked the Mountie.

"Sergeant, I'm going to get Wu Fang out of the country before "I'll Show You What I Can Do." the court can act. I'm going to kidnap him, if that's the only way to keep him."

Bannister chuckled, saying: "And I'll help you, Dan." He was looking out the window as he spoke. Suddenly he wheeled around, exclaiming, "Look, Dan. Coming down the street. Here comes a clerk from Judge Milan's office. I'll wager my right eye he's bringing an order to the jail for Wu Fang. Come on, let's get down there and head him off."

"You hold him in conversation," Dan said. "Keep him talking. Do anything to prevent him from getting that order into the chief's hands."

Luckily, the clerk was not a youth of great intelligence. A hearty greeting from Sergeant Bannister tickled his ego. An introduction to the noted American detective made him feel the most important person in Edmonton.

"Pleased to meet you, Mr. Dunn," he gushed. "Say, I got an order for Wu Fang to appear in court tomorrow morning."

"You have?" Dan asked in feigned surprise. "Here, you talk to Sergeant Bannister a few minutes, will you? And wait until I come back. I'll want to talk to you."

With a wink at Bannister, Dan entered the police station.

"Come on, Chief. Get the cuffs on Wu Fang and his gang and get them out the back way. I'll explain later."

Less than five minutes later, the oriental gang chief and his cohorts had been loaded into the patrol car and were being whirled off to the airport.

"You can't do this, Dunn," protested Wu Fang. "I have my rights. My lawyer—"

"I don't give a hoot for your lawyer," Dan snapped. "This is one occasion when justice will be done regardless of lawyers. You're going back to the States to get your just deserts."

At the airport Dan hastily transferred his prisoner's from the patrol car into the plane he had been promised, a large transport craft.

Meanwhile, Lawyer Sharp had been advised of the abduction of his client. He was consumed with rage, tore out of his office, hopped into his car and sped off to the airport. He careened onto the field at the moment the propeller of Dan's plane had been spun. Dan was on the point of swinging into the cabin when he saw the approaching machine.

"That lawyer, I'll bet," he said to himself. "Right on our trail. They certainly would like to keep Wu Fang here." He clambered inside. "Go ahead, Pilot. Everybody's on board. Make it snappy."

"Right, Mr. Dunn," the pilot replied. "We're off."

Lawyer Sharp's car was scarcely three lengths from the plane when it left the ground. He tumbled out shaking his fist in futile rage at the departing aircraft.

"So that smart detective thinks he's safely away," he fumed. "Well, he forgets that the plane has a radio and Judge Milan's orders will be broadcast to the pilot, and they must be obeyed."

He hurried to the offices of the air line to demand the broadcast. Dan Dunn was one jump ahead of him, however, for he had foreseen the lawyer's next move. He counteracted it very simply by leaning over in back of the pilot and surreptitiously disconnecting his radio receiver.

Thus Dan Dunn arrived at San Fragel with his prisoners safely in tow. A veritable army of police lined up beside the plane as it taxied up to the hangar.

"Ah there, Commissioner," Dan laughed as he alighted. "Did you bring out the whole San Fragel police force to welcome us?"

"Pretty near all of it," the Commissioner replied, grasping the secret operative's right hand. "We got a wire from the Royal Mounted at Edmonton that you were bringing in Wu Fang. We decided to take no chances on losing him, so I brought out a big enough escort to handle him should he start any funny business."

"I'm glad you did, Commissioner," Dan said. " I hope you succeed in getting Wu Fang a long prison term. It's up to you fellows now. I've done my part."

"And you've done it excellently, I would say."

"I'm not staying with you, Commissioner," Dan announced. "I'ffl taking this plane to start in on another case. I don't want to talk about it now. It's urgent that I start in at once, however, so I'm turning Wu Fang over to you."

Fifteen minutes later, Secret Operative 48 was winging his v?ay eastward on the trail of Ace Bart, chief of the counterfeiters.

A Ship of Mystery

Trailing Ace Bart and his counterfeiting crew was not to be as simple as Dan Dunn had supposed. The money-manufacturers had covered their tracks well on leaving their previous headquarters and were now using a large city on the shores of Lake Michigan as their base of operations.

Ace Bart's next move was a shrewd hit of strategy. From a close-mouthed boat broker he bought an old lake steamer, on which he intended to locate his counterfeiting plant.

"Smart idea," commented Barnacle Bailey, Bart's first lieutenant. "Nobody'd ever suspect a counterfeiting layout on a boat. When do we get going?"

"At once," was Ace Bart's reply. "The boat's ours. Paid cold cash for it. And we can load the outfit aboard tonight."

That, it transpired, is what they did. It was after midnight when the gang, moving stealthily about the fog-screened waterfront, loaded its criminal equipment aboard the ship of mystery.

Hymie, Bart's money-copying expert and one of the most skillful exponents of his nefarious craft, was delighted with the new arrangement.

"A perfect layout," he enthused, "and I'm just itching to get back to work."

"You'll have plenty of time to work, Hymie," Ace Bart assured him. "Take all the time you need to do a perfect job. There'll be nobody to bother you."

The gang leader conferred with his first lieutenant.

'"All set, Barnacle?" he asked.

"We'll be ready to shove off in another hour, Ace."

"Good. You know where to go and what to do, eh? You got ten men, and none of 'em are to go ashore without you along. I'm getting a speed boat and I'll be in touch with you in a coupla days. Now be careful. We can't have no slip-ups. We had enough trouble with that Chink Wu Fang and we don't want no more."

"Sure, we'll get along better," Barnacle agreed.

"And one other thing, Barnacle. You got a radio aboard. The Duchess and me will be listening for you every morning at two o'clock. Now, remember the secret code and don't get it balled up."

"O.K., Ace."

True to Barnacle's prophecy, the ship of mystery pulled away from the waterfront within an hour.

At dawn it had come to the end of its voyage, a secluded cove where the ship could not be observed from any of the customary routes taken by lake steamers. Here Hymie set up his engraving cameras, his dark room equipment, and his printing presses.

Meanwhile, Dan Dunn had arrived at Ace Bart's former hiding place, the location of which he had learned from Wu Fang while the oriental was under the influence of the truth serum. The place was deserted, of course. But Dan Dunn was not one to be easily discouraged. He examined every nook and cranny of the place, determined to find there some clue to the location of the place to which Ace Bart and his criminal colleagues had fled.

He was almost resigned to failure when Wolf, his efficient canine assistant, came into the room with a paper in his mouth. Dan took the paper from the animal's jaws and examined it. It was an automobilist's road map.

"Good work, Wolf," he complir mented the dog. "This may give us a clue. It's a new map—hardly been used. There are fingerprints here, too. Can't make them out, but I notice they follow along this highway to Chicago. . .Yessir, unless I miss my guess, Ace Bart headed for there. Well, it's a hunch worth following. Later I'll have these fingerprints photographed to make sure I'm right."

He flew directly to Chicago, where he dismissed the plane he had chartered at Edmonton and proceeded at once to the federal building. Here he conferred with one of his superiors.

"Dan Dunn, of all people!" exclaimed the latter. "Say, you're hopping all over North America. Only yesterday I heard you had brought Wu Fang and his gang to San Fragel from Canada. That was a fine piece of work, Dan. But what brings you here?"

"I have reason to believe that Ace Bart is back in the counterfeiting racket, and that he's somewhere in Chicago."

"Ace Bart at it again? Why, he just got out of the pen after a twenty year stretch. They never learn, do they?"

"So it seems," Dan agreed. "But this will be his last splurge. I'll get him if it's the last job I do."

"We'll give you any help you need, Dan."

"That's just what I want. Would you lend me some of your local men to help me find him?"

"I certainly would."

Within a very few minutes, no less than nine skilled investigators had been assigned the task of hunting down Ace Bart. It was to be no easy assignment, for Ace had carefully avoided contacts with any members of the Chicago underworld. Furthermore, lie had bought a lonely cottage at a small resort on the shore of Lake Michigan several miles from Chicago.

This did not please the Duchess. She had anticipated a gay life in the metropplis of the midwest Confinement in a rustic cottage, far removed from the gay places of the city, was not to her liking.

To add to her discontent, Ace had no sooner placed her in this detestable place than he left her. with a group of uninteresting hoodlums as companions, to go in his speedboat to spend several days on his counterfeiting ship.

''How you boys making out?" were his first words to his man Barnacle on boarding the ship.

"Fine, Ace," was the answer. "We're doing fine. This is a slick hideout. No chance of anybody ever looking here for us. Hymie's been working night and day on a new batch of phoney bills. They look perfect, as near the real stuff as the mint itself is turning out."

Ace visited Hymie in his seagoing workshop. Puffed with pride, the money-maker exhibited the latest manifestations of his artistry. Ace bent over them with a magnifying glass.

"Perfect, Hymie, perfect!" he exclaimed. "Couldn't tell it from the real thing."

"I'll have a half-million of it off the presses before another week has passed," Hymie promised.

"Slick!" Ace chuckled. "I'll have the stuff distributed out of Chicago as soon as you get it to me."

Ace remained aboard the mystery ship long enough to assure himself that his schemes were progressing satisfactorily, then left in his speedboat.

His parting words to Barnacle were: "Keep up the good work, Barnacle, and let us know by your radio how things are going."

On his return to their cottage, the Duchess greeted him with: "Ace Bart, the Big Shot, home from the sea—and it's about time."

"Aw, quit crabbing, Duchess," pleaded Bart. "Give a feller a break. Can't you see I gotta tend to business if we're going to get anywheres. And wait till you get a load of what I've got to tell you. Say, Duchess, in another month I'll have you decked out in diamonds, head to foot."

Ace proceeded at once into a detailed account of the activities on the counterfeiting ship, hoping by his enthusiastic picture to soothe his disgruntled companion The Duchess, however, refused to be soothed.

"I tell you, Ace Bart," she insisted, "I'm sick and tired of being cooped up in these dreary shanties. It may be all right for you. You keep your mind occupied, but what do you expect me to docrochet?"

"Aw, quit your whining, Duchess. We can't go gadding out anywheres where we'll be seen. Can't you see this deal won't be worth a plugged nickel if we're seen in the hot spots? We gotta play safe."

"Safe!" jeered the Duchess. "That's all you think of—playing safe. The whole trouble with you is, you're yellow. Just because you did one stretch in the pen, you're scared to death of the cops. I think you've lost your nerve. You're yellow, that's what you are!"

Ace Bart's flabby jowls turned crimson. He raised his pudgy fists as though to strike the Duchess, then changed his mind and struck an heroic pose.

"So, I'm yellow, eh?" he declaimed. "Well, Duchess, you can get on your glad rags. I'll show you whether I'm yellow. I'm going to take you out to the hot spots and show you the time of your life, if I have to spend the rest of ray life in the pen for it."

Hot on the Trail

Dan Dunn regarded the couple at the next table with deep interest. He had been doing the rounds of the night clubs, taverns, ballrooms and hotels in the conviction that some time, somewhere, he would spot Ace Bart. Criminal whose philosophy is invariably, "easy come and easy go," can no more stay away from the gay night life than a moth can resist the flame.

"Fve a strong hunch that's none other than Ace Bart," Dan told himself. "Looks just like the rogues gallery pictures."

But Ace Bart had not been unaware of the attention being accorded him and the Duchess by the lone man at the next table. He arose from his chair and bent over his companion.

"Come on, Duchess. We're dragging out of here. We're being shadowed. I told you," he complained, "it wasn't safe to be out where we'd be seen. Hurry up."

"All right," the Duchess replied "All right, we'll go. But I think you've just got the jitters. I can't see anything suspicious about that guy."

"Well, I can," Ace said. "And we're clearing out of here."

Clear out they did, but not with, out Secret Operative 48 close on their heels.

When Ace and the Duchess had left Chicago behind they were quite unconscious of the fact that their pursuer was still on their trail. The chase was many miles longer than Dan had anticipated, but when at length it ended at the lonely lakeside cottage, he had to admit that Ace was a sharp strategist.

"It's a perfect spot for a counterfeiter," he said to himself "Well, here I am, and here FD stick until I've got the goods on Mr. Bart."

With the greater part of the night before him, Dan utilized the time to good advantage by poking about deserted barns and cottages in search of cast-off clothing with which to disguise himself. By morning he had transformed himself into a shabby hobo. Then he selected a secluded spot near the cottage to await developments. The first development came about noon, when Ace Bait boarded a powerful speedboat and skimmed out over the lake.

"I get it now," Dan told himself. "He's doing his engraving and planting at some hideaway up the lake, and is bringing the stuff down here as a distribution point."

He determined to make good use of Bart's absence by looking over the grounds surrounding the counterfeiter's headquarters.

"They've certainly got this place well fenced," he muttered as he observed a high barbed wire ban rier. "When it becomes darker, I'll dig under the bottom strand and crawl inside. Odd, though, that I haven't seen any part of Bart's gunmen on guard."

With the coming of dusk, Dan, had dug a hole under the fence and entered the grounds. He had been wrong about the lack of guards, for as he crawled inside the fence he was being watched by an armed sentinel. The latter waited until the trespasser was well inside the grounds, then crept ,up stealthily behind him.

"Throw up your hands!" he barked suddenly when a few feet in back of the stranger.

Dan Dunn's heart sank. Caught! He threw one hand up.

"Put up the other, or I'll plug you," the gangster threatened.

"I can't brother. It's paralyzed. Honest."

"Well keep the good one up and tell me what business you've got prowling around private property."

"Listen," said Dan. "I'm just a bum. I ain't doing nothing. I'm just picking up trash—old clothes and bottles and stuff."

He made a quick gesture, exclaiming: "Look, somebody coming!"

The gangster turned his head. Sock! Dan swung the supposedly withered arm with all his might, catching the hoodlum flush on the jaw and throwing him down.

Dan was on top of him in an instant, shoved a gag inside the unconscious man's mouth and bound him hand and foot. Then he lifted the fellow from the ground, slung him over his back and dumped him in a remote part of the grounds.

"He's fixed for a few minutes anyway—long enough for me to get a look into that house," Dan said to himself.

As he approached the cottage, he observed one bright light illuminating a window on the first floor. Inside that room, he hoped, he might see some of the equipment used by the counterfeiters, or at least get a glimpse of some of Bart's underlings. He crept to the lighted window. No sound was coming from within. He stood on tiptoes and looked inside. There he saw the woman who had been at the night club with Ace Bart the night before.

The Duchess saw the face at the window reflected in her mirror. Without betraying her knowledge of the eavesdropper's presence, she calmly reached into a drawer of the dresser and pulled out an automatic.

"Some one at the window," she whispered to herself. "One of Ace's gorilla's. I'll teach him a lesson."

Quickly she swung around and fired point blank at the window. The head at the window dropped from sight as the report of the shot thundered throughout the cottage. The sound had scarcely subsided before two of Bart's henchmen plunged into the Duchess' room.

"Hey, what's going on here, Duchess?" one of them demanded.

"There was somebody looking in that window," said the Duchess. "I let him have it. I'll teach you apes to peep into a lady's boudoir!"

"There's nobody out there but Joe, Duchess, and you know he wouldn't be doing such a thing," the other gangster said.

"Well, go out and pick up the remains, whoever it is," the Duchess answered.

Meanwhile, Dan Dunn, cursing his luck, was sprinting from the cottage. It had been a narrow escape. The Duchess' bullet had narrowly missed his head and he was not minded to take a chance on dodging the next one. Close behind him came the two gangsters whom had been sent out by the Duchess. Dan dropped to the ground behind a clump of bushes. Here he lay while the gangsters searched the grounds. Several times they walked within a few feet of his hiding place, but each time failed to see him.

At last they returned to the Duchess, saying, "You're wrong, Duchess. Nobody around."

"It's just your imagination, Duchess," said another of the gang.

"My imagination, eh?" cried the Duchess. "Well, you're all here except Joe. Go out and find him. Maybe he can tell us who was peeking."

The search for Joe was in vain. Joe, who had lain unconscious in a remote part of the grounds during the shooting incident, had been aroused by Dan Dunn and hauled to his feet.

"All right, fellow," Dan commanded. "Get up and get going. Step along now, and don't try to break away from me or I'll let you have it right through the middle."

He prodded his captive with the automatic and marched him on ahead. To his ears came the sound of voices, and he knew he was being pursued.

"Come on, fellow, step along faster," Dan commanded. "I don't intend to lose you. I can use you later on. So step along before those hoodlums catch up with us."

It was a close race, but Dan succeeded in driving his prisoner from the grounds and reaching a farmhouse some distance down the road. Here he gave a partial explanation of his activities and had the farmer drive him and his captive into the city. Here he delivered Gunman Joe to the federal authorities.

"Here's one of Ace Bart's hooligans," he announced. "I want you fellows to lock him up and get all the information out of him you can."

"Fast work, Dan," his superior complimented him. "You're on Ace Bart's trail, then?"

"Hot on it," Dan answered. "But I'd rather work alone, if you don't mind. I think I can handle it. Give me another week—perhaps two, and I'll be escorting Ace Bart himself into these portals."

Introducing Little Babs

While Dan Dunn was keeping the hiding place of Ace Bart under close surveillance, on the other side of Lake Michigan a little drama was being enacted by two picnickel's and a little girl. To say three picnickers would not be correct, for the little girl seemed to be excluded from the party. She was, it appears, present merely to perform the chores demanded of her by her elders—an extraordinarily brutal man and a heartless woman. As her guardians, these two had made little Babs' childhood a nightmare of misery.

"Babs," the man roared, "bring Matilda a cushion—and be quick about it!"

"But I'm tired," the child sighed.

"Tired!" the man bellowed, "That's all we've heard from you for months. You're just a lazy brat. Now go on, get that cushion."

Babs hesitated. The man brought his open hand across the child's face with a loud slap. Babs clapped one hand to her stinging cheek and ran whimpering away. She sat down on the running board of her guardian's automobile, where she sobbed out her tired sorrow.

Then the little girl arose, clenched her fists and vowed: "I'm not going to wait on them any longer. He's slapped me for the last time. I'm going away, and I'm not coming back again—ever."

She stamped her foot in determination, then bolted on her spindly legs into the woods. She ran until exhaustion made her eyes swim and her sides ache. She sat down to rest, her heart pounding from exertion and the fear that her guardians would overtake her.

Her strength renewed, she continued her flight. A swamp made progress difficult, but she refused to turn back. When darkness descended she sank down beneath a tree to sleep.

With the coming of daylight, she awoke and continued her blind flight. It ended at a secluded inlet leading from the lake. Here her attention was arrested by the masts of a steamer. She approached the boat and, resting her chin on her forearms as she leaned against a boulder, regarded it hungrily.

"I wonder if the people on that boat would give me something to eat if I asked them," she thought. She was about to cry out when she felt some one grab her by the hair. She looked up to find herself in the grasp of a burly and hardfaced man who demanded:

"Hey, Brat, what the devil you doin' sneakin' around here?"

"Let go my hair," Babs pleaded. "I'm not doing anything — just looking. What's the matter with just looking?"

The man tightened his grip on the child's hair and marched her in front of him down to the water's edge.

"Hey, Barnacle!" he shouted. "Send the dinghy here. Look—a kid hangin' around here spyin'."

Despite her protests that she was no spy, but only a hungry runaway, Babs was taken aboard the steamer, where she was locked in a chamber in the hold of the craft.

During these events, Dan Dunn was keeping his lonely vigil in the vicinity of Ace Bart's cottage.

"Ace Bart's gang has certainly been quiet since their man Joe was nabbed," he mused. "I hope they're not too seared to continue operations. I've still got to learn where that counterfeiting ship is anchored."

The next morning Dan's patience was rewarded. To his delight, he observed Ace Bart and one of his underlings leaving the cottage to board the speedboat. He watched the powerful lake-skimmer bound over the water, carefully noting the direction in which it disappeared from view. Then he hastened in a car he had borrowed from headquarters to the nearest telephone pay station. Here he telephoned the nearest coast guard station.

"Hello, Coast Guard?" he asked. "Let me speak to Captain John Anderson... That you, Captain?... This is Dan Dunn, secret operative 48... I want you to let me have a fast motorboat right away... Yes, I'm on the trail of a counterfeiting gang which is operating here on the lake... I'll be there in half an hour. Have the boat ready... All right, Captain. Thanks."

In less than the appointed halfhour, Dan had reached the coast guard station and was out on the lake in a swift coast guard launch, with Captain John Anderson guiding the wheel.

"There's the place," Dan announced after almost an hour's journey. "Now swing around and point straight across on a course east by south."

"But," the Captain objected, "the charts show nothing but wild dune country along the opposite shore."

"That's right, Captain," Dan replied. "And that's why I suspect that that's the place where Ace Bart and his gang are operating."

Through the night, they watched closely for the speedboat containing Bart and his accomplice. And as the night wore on, the waters became more troubled. A storm was brewing.

"If those fellows are out in only a small speedboat, they're in for plenty of trouble," the Captain prophesied.

"Perhaps they've reached their counterfeiting ship by this time," Dan suggested.

"I hardly think so," the Captain answered.

"Did you see what I think I saw?" Dan suddenly asked. "It looked like a flare... There! See it?"

"I see it," the Captain said. "Dan, it is a flare. It's a distress signal. We'll have to change our course and give them a hand."

''Sure, we'll have to," Dan agreed. "It might be Ace Bart's speedboat. What a break for me if it is!"

'What'll we do in that case?"

"If it's Bart," Dan asked, "don't mention my name or what I am I'll act as one of your men. I don't want them to become alarmed. 1 can't take them in yet. I haven't the evidence yet to make a case against them."

"O.K., Dan," the Captain replied.

The boat sped toward the flickering distress signal. When it was within reach of the floundering craft, Dan plunged out on deck. Through the slashing rain, he recognized the boat ahead.

"Ace Bart!"

He chuckled as he tossed out a line, yelling through the gale: "Heave on it! Pull it in steady!"

Ace Bart caught the rope and he and his companion hauled desperately toward the rescue craft.

Dan poked his head inside the door of the wheelhouse and cried: "What luck, Captain! It's Aee Bart. He and his man will be aboard in a few seconds."

Dan leaned out over the side, clutching a guard rail. He held out his hand as the two approached.

"Here you are," he yelled. "Give me your hand and I'll pull you aboard."

Ace was first to reach the safety of the deck. His henchman followed. Both were drenched to the skin. They staggered inside the salon while Dan fastened then speedboat securely to the stern of the larger craft.

When he returned inside, he was set upon by Ace Bart, all too anxious to explain his presence on the lake.

"We were on our way to Benton Harbor," he lied. "Got friends at a camp there. The storm took us unawares. WVd have capsized sure if you hadn't come along."

"You had a narrow squeak, all right," Dan agreed. "We were just cruising about looking for distressed craft when we saw you."

"What do you want to do with them, Dan?" asked the Captain when the secret operative returned to the wheelhouse.

"Take them back at once to the other shore and let them go," Dan said.

The next morning Ace Bart and his man were set ashore.

"I wanta thank you guys for what you did for us," Ace said.

"Forget it," Dan told him. "It was nothing. Hope we'll see each other again some time."

Captain Anderson swung the coast guard boat out into the lake.

"Where to, Dan?" he inquired.

"Right back to the spot where we picked them up, if you don't mind," was Dan's answer.

Late that afternoon, they reached the spot. Dan was peering at the shore through glasses.

"Look there, Captain. Isn't that an inlet over there? Say, put me ashore there, will you?"

"Whatever you say, Dan," the Captain said.

He rowed the detective ashore in the dinghy.

"I may want to stay here for some time, Captain," Dan announced. "You stand by for an hour, will you? If you don't hear from me within an hour, go back and return for me tomorrow."

Dan trudged along the sandy beach, looking about him. Suddenly he halted. In the wet sand he observed a fresh footprint.

"H-m-m," he muttered to himself. "This begins to bear out my hunch." He followed the footprints. So intent was he upon the marks in the sand that he did not see, some distance above him, two armed men watching his movements. He had walked into guarded territory. The first realization of his danger did not come until he found himself suddenly confronted by a tommy gun and an automatic, held by two unfriendly strangers.

"What's the matter, boys?" asked Dan innocently.

"Whatcha doin' here, stranger?" one of the gunmen asked. "Talk, and talk fast!"

"Youse guys look like you was in some hot racket," Dan answered. "Well, I'm not interested. I got troubles of my own. I'm on the lam from the law. Just happened to run onto this place. How's chances on usin' your hideout for a coupla days?"

"How do we know, it might be a frame-up?" the other gunman asked. "Come on, Gimp. Let's take him to the ship and see what Barnacle wants to do with him."

They took Dan to the counterfeiting ship and presented him.

"We picked up this bird on the lake shore," Gimp reported. "Says he's on the lam from the bulls."

Barnacle surveyed the captive in silence, then said: "Oh yeah? Well, we ain't addin' to our crew list. How do we know who you are?... Take him below and toss him in with that other one we picked up."

Gimp led Dan below, thrust him into a chamber in the hold and locked him in.

"Aw, youse guys oughta give a pal a break," Dan complained as the door slammed in his face.

He stood facing the closed door, his arms folded and his brow creased in thought.

"Now what?" he mused. "Here I am in a jam again. If Ace Bart comes back to this barge, he'll recognize me as the fellow who rescued him, and perhaps as the fellow who watched him in the Chicago night club. Then I'll be in a pretty predicament. But I've got one thing to be thankful for. That fellow named Gimp and his partner forgot in their excitement to frisk me for weapons, and so I still have my automatic."

A small sound behind him made him whirl around suddenly. Before him stood a frail little girl.

"Who are you?" he asked.

"I'm Babs," the child answered. "They've kept me here two days."

Within a very few minutes Dan Dunn and Babs were close friends, and Dan had learned all he needed to know about the ship of mystery. It was, he learned from Babs, the counterfeiting ship for which he had been searching.

"Don't worry, Babs," Dan assured the little girl. "I'll get you out of this, and you'll be the heroine of a big and important roundup."

The Capture

Dan's incarceration was of shorter duration than he had expected. An hour after he had been locked up, one of the gunmen came below, unlocked the door and beckoned him outside.

"Well, stranger," he announced. "We're turnin' you loose. We know you're a good guy and all that, but we don't need no more help around here. The boss says for me to show you the way to the shore and get you started on the path back to town. Come on."

Dan turned to little Babs and said: "So long, Babs. These guys will be good to you, I know."

He turned and followed his escort up the steps, leaving the little girl mystified and pitifully scared. When he had been rowed ashore, Dan was marched ahead of his gangster escort.

As he walked along, Dan said, "No hard feelin's on my part, brother. I'll just amble along lookin' for another hideout." But to himself, he was saying: "As soon as we're out of sight of that ship, I know what's going to happen. I'm being put on the spot. This hooligan is going to pull his gun on me and shoot me in the back."

They were now out of sight of the counterfeiting craft. It was time for Dan to act. He acted, and with devastating speed. He fell back against the gangster's knees, upsetting him and pitching him forward on his face. Then he whipped out his automatic and slammed it with all his strength on the surprised gunman's jaw. The blow sent him into dreamland. Dan took to his heels.

Before his would-be assassin had recovered his senses, the detective was well on his way to the nearest town inland.

His first act there was to make a telephone call—a call to federal headquarters at Chicago, a call which was to bring two squadrons of powerful cars roaring over the roads to his assistance.

High excitement reigned on the counterfeiting ship when Dan's would-be assassin returned to report that his intended victim had escaped.

"If he's a gangman like us, he may come back with his mob and raid us. If he's a copper, he'll bring back a troop of bulls," Barnacle reasoned with excellent logic. "What we gotta do is scram outa here with this barge. If things get hot, we may have to dump all the equipment overboard. But first, radio a message to Ace Bart. Tell him a suspicious guy has been around here and made his getaway."

Another hour found the "suspicious guy" greeting reinforcements.

"We got here as quickly as we could," the superior officer said as he leaped from his car and grasped Dan's hand. "I brought twenty men, with machine guns, riot guns, and gas bombs. Is there anything else we need?"

"All we need now is a lot of speed and a little luck," Dan replied. "Let's go."

The small army of federal officers proceeded as far toward the lake in their automobiles as the rough rural roads would allow, then alighted and continued on foot. At last they came within sight of the ship of mystery.

"There it is," Dan announced, pointing toward the inlet. "We've got to be careful. They have sentinels out and all of them are armed with the latest type firearms. Then too, there's a little girl being held captive on it, and if we start shooting, those hoodlums are likely to use her as a shield. I don't want any harm to come to that kid."

"Well, what's your plan, then?" asked the other federal officer.

"It's this: Somehow we must capture one of their sentinels and take his place. I know the ship fairly well, and if I can get on it, I can save the little girl. The only way to do it is to disguise myself as a member of the gang."

Luck was with the raiders, for, by careful maneuvering, they were able to capture two gangster guards who had been stationed ashore. Luckier still, they were able to effect the capture without gun play, which would have warned the other counterfeiters of approaching danger. Dan quickly exchanged clothing with one of the captives. Then, giving instructions to his colleagues to keep close watch on the ship, he entered a rowboat and began rowing toward the steamer.

"Hey, youse guys, drop the ladder!" he yelled as he pulled up beside the ship. "I'm cornin' aboard. Got somethin' in me eye and wanta get it out."

The ruse succeeded. A rope ladder was dropped down beside the rowboat and Dan climbed to the deck. He kept his hat pulled far down over his eyes, then, on reaching the ship's rail, held his handkerchief over his face as though protecting a painfully sore eye.

"Whassa matter?" asked one of the gang on deck.

"Somethin' in me eye," Dan answered. "Gotta get it out."

He proceeded toward the deckhouse. Inside, he listened intently several moments to determine whether there was much activity aboard. He heard footsteps on deck and, looking out, saw the hoodlum named Gimp leading little Babs toward the stern.

"Wonder what he's up to," Dan pondered.

Gimp led the little girl to the railing, speaking to her in words that Dan could not hear. He pointed down into the water. Then, in a voice loud enough to cany to Dan's ears, he said:

"Look down into the water there, Kid, and you'll see somethin' there you never seen before."

"But, I'm afraid," the child whimpered.

"Don't be a-scared," Gimp growled. "Look over that rail, I'm tellin' you."

Babs obeyed, and as she bent over the railing, Dan was appalled to see the heartless gunman reach into his holster for his automatic.

Quick as a flash Dan snatched his automatic from his rear pocket. He took as careful aim as time allowed and pulled the trigger.

The automatic spoke with a loud crack that resounded over the surrounding waters. Gimp's right ami dropped and from his right hand the weapon fell to the deck.

"You dastardly devil!" Dan yelled.

He rushed to the gangster, shoved him to the railing and battered him overboard.

"Come on, Babs," he panted. "We're clearing out of here."

He snatched the child's arm and started toward the railing. The sound of excited voices came to him from all parts of the ship. Before he could mount the railing and lift Babs over it, he saw the first of the aroused counterfeiting gang rounding the comer of the deckhouse. He leaped back onto the deck, his automatic in hand.

"Come on, youse guys!" the first hoodlum cried. "There's somebody aboard!"

Ban threw a protecting arm about Babs, then fired point blank into the middle of the man as he turned the comer. The fellow threw his arms in the air and flopped to the deck. Those behind him turned back in amazement and terror. Dan took advantage of the momentary retreat to climb over the railing, pull Babs over after him and leap overboard with her in his arms.

An instant later they struck the water. When they came to the surface they could hear the clatter of firearms. Dan ducked under again, pulling Babs with him. The child clung to him with the terrible grip of one who fears the water.

At last they reached shore, and as they did, Dan was immensely relieved to note that the attentions of the men on the ship were now being occupied by a battle with the federal officers ashore. The latter had opened fire on the steamer, spraying her from stem to stern with a barrage of machine gun and riot gun bullets.

Dan lifted Babs in his arms, dropped her at the edge of the stream and pounded her soundly to force the water from her nose and lungs.

"I—I'm all right," the child sputtered and began staggering up the banks.

Before they had reached the raiding party, the firing had ceased.

"We thought you and the child were done for," the superior officer said as Dan approached. "It was a mighty close shave, Dan, for both of you. But we've got that gang under cover now."

"Thanks very much, Tommy," Dan replied. "I'm tickled to death you boys opened fire when you did. It looked pretty bad for a few minutes there."

"How the devil are we going to get over to that ship to take them prisoners? I don't think they'll surrender. They seem to be a pretty tough bunch," the other officer said.

Dan thought a few moments, then answered: "There's only one way to get them off that ship and get them alive. That way is to smoke them out with tear gas."

"But how are we going to get to the boat to toss in the bombs?"

"Have you any good swimmers among your men?"

"Well, I'm pretty good myself, if that'll be of any help to you," Tommy grinned.

"O.K., then," Dan said. "Here's what we'll do: You and I will swim out to the ship while your men keep the gang under control with their machine guns. We'll board the ship and let them have a barrage of gas bombs. We ought to be able to carry about four bombs apiece by strapping them around our waists."

"I'm with you, Dan. Let's go."

The two detectives with their gas bombs fastened around their waists, slipped into the water.

The barrage from shore was admirably effectual in keeping the gangsters inside the ship, and the swimmers reached the steamer without being fired upon by those aboard. The firing ceased as Dan and Tommy came within touching distance of the boat. The two then worked their way noiselessly along the hull until they reached the gangway. By reaching up out of the water, they were able to get a hold on the open passageway, through which they intended to climb into the ship.

As Dan looked up, he saw a figure towering above him. It was one of the gangsters, with gun in hand ready to fire. Dan made a quick movement, grasping a ring beside the gangway with one hand, yanking his automatic from his back pocket and firing it at the man overhead. The bullet struck the fellow's leg. The shock of the impact felled him. Before he could pull himself into a position which would enable him to return the fire, Dan had pulled himself inside the hold. Tommy was inside a second later, and together the two detectives tossed the struggling gangster out into the stream.

"It seems pretty quiet here," Tommy whispered. "Wonder where the gang is. Perhaps they're waiting for us at the top of the bulkhead."

"Listen," Dan whispered. "Hear that? What luck! They're down in the engine room, trying to get up steam to move out of the inlet."

They crept to the stairs leading into the engine room. Below they could hear excited voices. Tommy replaced his automatic in his pocket and iDoised at the head of the stairs with a bomb.

"This'll clean them out," he chuckled, tossing the bomb into I the engine room.

"And another one for the crew's / quarters in case some of them are in there," Dan added as he flung another bomb in that direction. In the engine room they could hear sputtering, gasping and cursing. The tear bomb was doing its work.

"They'll all be up here in a few seconds," Tommy prophesied.

"Come on, then," Dan suggested, heading for the eompanionway. "We'll get upstairs and welcome them when they come up on deck."

They clambered up the steps mid out on deck. Here Dan was surprised to find one man gazing shoreward with a revolver in his hand. It was Barnacle, who had come up out of the engine room to determine the source of the shot he had heard from near the gangway. Dan crept quietly up behind the skipper of the counterfeiting ship and, poking his automatic into the fellow's back, he said calmly, "Drop it, Barnacle. Show's over."

More from astonishment than from obedience, Barnacle dropped his revolver. Dan drew a pair of handcuffs from one pocket, snapped one bracelet over the gangster's wrist and clamped the other over a convenient ring* on the deckhouse wall. "0.K., Mr. Barnacle," Dan laughed. "Now you can watch the rest of the performance from the ringside."

Turning to Tommy he added: "Those rats don't seem to be coming out of their hole quickly enough. Let's give them a little more rat poison. They love it."

He stepped over to the companionway and tossed two more gas bombs below. A few moments later, choking, blubbering and holding their hands over their teardimmed eyes, the rest of the counterfeiting crew staggered up the stairs and out on deck. Tommy quickly went among them depriving them of their weapons while Dan stood in front of them with his automatic poised for action.

While Dan held the crew at bay, Tommy went to the ship's rail and yelled at the top of his voice: "Yo-ho! Yo-ho! Come and get 'em. They're all yours!"

Boatloads of police were soon heading for the captured counterfeiting ship, where each of the gang was taken into custody.

"A great job, Dan," his superior officer said. "A great job, and one of your best."

The Law Wins Again

Now that the counterfeiting ship had been captured and its occupants safely in the custody of federal officers, Dan Dunn's first thought was of little Babs.

He was in the first rowboat to pull away from the ship toward the shore. He found the child bundled up in his cast-off coat shivering from cold and excitement.

"Hello there, little girl," he cried. "All right? Poor kid, you'll catch your death of cold in those wet clothes. We're going to town right away, though, and I'll see that you are all fixed up nicely."

"0 sir," the child replied. "I'm not afraid for myself, but I was awfully scared for you. There was so much shooting and everything."

Dan Dunn held little Babs in his lap during the ride to the city.

"I want you to meet Wolf, my police dog," he told her as she nestled in his arms. "He's a great fellow. I'm sure you and he will be great friends."

He looked down into the little girl's face, expecting an answer. The child was fast asleep.

A good supper, a good night's sleep in a soft hotel bed and a new dress for her when she awoke in the morning transformed Babs into a new and happier child. Dan's prophecy that Babs and Wolf would become good friends was fulfilled.

"What a restful scene," Dan mused. "A sweet child and a trusty dog. If I could only keep things like this! But here I am, spending my life wandering over the earth hunting down criminals that never seem to come to an end," he sighed.

His reveries were suddenly interrupted by the ringing of the telephone.

"Hello," he spoke into the instrument. There followed a silence while he listened to the person on the other end of the wire. At last he said: "Tommy, that's fine work. You say you've got Ace Bart and the Duchess and all the counterfeiting gang rounded up? And they'll all be in Judge Level's court in the morning. I'll be there, Tommy. You bet I'll be there."

He arose from his chair and spoke to Wolf.

"Wolf, old boy," he said. "We've scored another victory for the law. Wu Fang, Ace Bart and all the others in the counterfeiting ring have been brought in. And now to get them the long terms they deserve. They'll hire the slickest lawyers money can buy, but I've got the goods on them and I don't intend to let them get off easily." Sure enough, the next morning I Dan Dunn learned on his arrival at court that Ace Bart had hired Benjamin Bilk, one of the shrewdest of criminal lawyers.

Attorney Bilk's greeting to Dan was: "Mr. Secret Operative, as attorney for these unfortunate and misunderstood victims of society, I'm not going to allow you to railroad them into long terms in the penitentiary on a lot of trumpedup charges. We will fight you to the last ditch."

Dan eyed Attorney Bilk calmly.

"0. K., we'll fight then," Dan said.

Ace Bart and his fellow gangsters were tried before Judge Level, as fair and conscientious a magistrate as ever sat on an American bench. Lawyer Bilk had taken this fact into consideration before the trial, and the result was that when he was called upon to present his defense, he sprang a surprise.

"Your Honor," he announced, "the defendants, Ace Bart and his companions, wish to plead guilty to the charge of counterfeiting and to throw themselves on the mercy of the court. Nevertheless, Your Honor, you must realize that these boys—twenty of them—never had a chance in life. They never enjoyed the privileges extended to most children. And, deprived of these privileges, they did not realize the terribly consequences of their wrong-doings. They were merely playing a game. Your Honor, upon you alone depends their futures. Should you show them mercy, they can be shown the error of their ways and made into useful citizens. To deny them mercy will blight their lives with long prison sentences. Consider, too, Your Honor, their dear wives, sweethearts, mothers and their little children, hoping and praying—"

"Mr. Bilk," interrupted Judge Level, "I shall consider your words. You may be sure I shall examine the case from every angle. My decision shall be handed down at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning. Mr. Dunn, may I see you in my chambers?"

Dan Dunn entered Judge Level's chambers.

"You wished to see me, Your Honor?"

"I did, Dan," the judge replied. "I want to ask you what you think of leniency for Ace Bart and his gang."

"Judge Level," Dan said, "You have asked me and I'll tell you. Every one of those men is a cold blooded killer and a lazy loafer who never did an honest day's work. If you don't crack down on them, every boy and girl in this country will feel that breaking the law is just a game."

"Thank you, Dan," Judge Level said. "I respect your judgment. You'll be at court in the morning to hear the decision?"

"I shall."

At ten o'clock the next morning Judge Level entered his court, faced Ace Bart and his gang and pronounced this sentence:

"I sentence each of you, upon the charges to which you have pleaded guilty, to twenty-five years in the penitentiary."

Dan Dunn smiled.