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Dan Dunn Secret Operative 48
On the Trail of Wu Fang


"I guess we sort of filled your jail, eh?" Dan Dunn said to the chief, after the capture of Eviloff and his desperate gang.

"Dan, you planned the capture of Eviloff and his crowd perfectly—we didn't fire a shot—what are you going to do now?"

"First, I must report to my chief—then I want to try to find where Wu Fang is," Dan replied. "He's dangerous and he'll cause a lot of trouble if he's not caught!"

"I'll put your call through!" said the chief, picking up the telephone.

In a short time Dan was connected with the chief of secret operatives, at Washington.

"Hello, Chief? Yes, we got the whole crowd—Wu Fang was with them but he got away—what's that? Aw—you don't want me to do that!"

Dan's voice was a bit disappointed.

"Yes, Dan, from now on you're going to work with a partner—you're too valuable to the department—we don't want you taking all those risks alone—that goes!" replied the chief.

Dan turned to the chief of police, as he replaced the telephone.

"Yeh, the chief says I'll have a partner—Hmph! I'd rather work alone—I can figure things out better that way!" he said.

"Yes, Dan, but two men harder to beat than one. Say, do you want to try to get that information out of Eviloff now—come on, maybe he'll tell us where Fang is!" said the chief.

The two men made their way to Eviloff's cell. Inside, Dan pointed an accusing finger at the master criminal.

"Now, Eviloff," he said, "tell us, where is Wu Fang? He double-crossed you, didn't he?"

"I will tell you nothing," Eviloff snarled, clenching his fist.

"It might go a little easier for you if you did. Your life of crime is over. We know you shot Judge Borland and other things you've done—come clean now," Dan said.

"No! You can prove nothing!" Eviloff exclaimed angrily.

"We can prove everything. You're a doomed man, Eviloff. No one can get away with crime, not even you, clever as you are. You're headed straight for the chair—get that? The chair!"

Dan's voice carried a world of emphasis.

"No! No!" Eviloff cried. "You don't really think they'll send to the chair?"

Genuine terror was now registered in the man's every feature.

"We've got the goods on you Eviloff," Dan replied. "Your murder of Borland was the most wanton thing I've ever encountered—you had no reason to do it!"

"But he put me in the insane asylum—I was not crazy!"

"You were adjudged insane by the courts—Borland had nothing to do with it! No, you're going to pay the price all murderers pay—you're going to the chair!" Dan exclaimed angrily.

Eviloff covered his eyes with his hand.

"No, I shall never do that!" We vowed in a tone of desperation.

"But you cap do something to try to make amends for your crimes," Dan said. "Tell me where Fang has gone!"

Dan thought he would take a shot in the dark. Wu Fang might have gone back to his old stamping grounds. Aloud he said:

"All right, never mind—we know where he is. I just wanted to see if you would help us. He's in San Fragel!"

"H-How did you know? I-I mean, he did not—No!" Eviloff stammered.

But the master criminal had given himself away.


"Hm-m—here comes a fellow, chief—wonder what he's in such a rush about?" Dan said, a few minutes after they had left Eviloff.

"He's carrying a suitcase—be from out of town!" the chief replied.

The stranger approached and addressed the chief of police.

"Good morning. I'm Irwin Higgs They sent me to help this Dan Dunn catch Eviloff—I'm a new secret operative!"

"Well, well, Irwin, I'm sure Dan will be glad to know you're here. But you're a bit late—Eviloff is in a cell now!" replied the chief chidingly.

"Oh, is that so?" asked Irwin "Well, well, I probably would have had him there weeks ago. Where's Dan Dunn stopping?"

At this juncture Dan himself stepped forward.

"Why, Irwin, at the Riggs Hotel Approach him carefully—you might be too much for him—this early in the morning!"

"Well, I'll go down and let him take a look at a REAL detective Irwin Higgs said, with a self-satisfied air.

With that he turned on his heels and breezed airily out the door.

A short time later Dan said:

"Well, I guess I'll have to be leaving you, chief—I'll take this great Irwin Higgs to San Fragel and see if I can get Wu Fang back where he belongs!"

"I'm afraid that Irwin is going to be a trial to you, Dan—here be comes now!"

Sure enough, Irwin Higgs was at that moment hurrying back through the door. An ugly look adorned his rotund face. He approached Dan, an accusing finger pointed toward the famous operative's chest.

"Say, wise guy," he said, "you said Dan Dunn was at the hotel—he ain't there at all!"

"He isn't?" questioned Dan, a twinkle in his eyes. "Well, did you get any clews to his whereabouts? Maybe he's hiding out on you Haven't you got a description of him?"

"Better'n that, fellow—I've got a picture of his homely mug right here!" Irwin Higgs said.

"Oh, you have—well you better take a good look at it!" Dan suggested.

Irwin reached into his inside coat pocket and brought forth a picture of Dan. When he glanced at it his; face turned red as a beet.

"Yes, I'm the ugly mug, Dan Dunn—the man you want, eh?" asked Dan, looking stern.

"Ah—er—I—that is—I'm r-r-reporting for d-duty, s-sir!"

Irwin stammered in his embarrassment.


"Good-bye, Chief. Don't be too hard on Eviloff and his gang," Dan said to the chief as he was leaving on his new assignment.

Don't worry, Dan—and don't let Irwin get lost!" the chief replied.

"You don't need to worry about me, nawsir! I'll be right then with Dan all the time, you bet!" exclaimed Irwin.

"That's what I'm afraid of, Irwin," Dan replied sarcastically.

"And believe me," Irwin said, when they were outside, "you can depend on me to the last ditch!"

That's fine, Irwin. Wu Fang is one of the best ditch diggers I know," Dan said. "I think I'll let you bring him in alone!"

Irwin's hat nearly popped off at this exclamation of Dan's. He had not figured on anything like that when he bragged about himself. But he said nothing.

"What town is this, Dan?" In win asked, some time later on this train.

"This is San Fragel, Irwin, and somewhere in it is Wu Fang, one of the most treacherous criminals that ever lived!" Dan replied.

The two men left the train when it pulled into the station.

"Will we start hunting for him right away?" Irwin asked as they walked away from the station.

Well, now, it might be a good idea to find a place to live first. Then you can go out and see if you can dig up some clews," Dan answered.

"Clews are important, aren't they?" Irwin asked.

I'll say so," Dan agreed. "Here's the hotel. I'll register under an assumed name—I don't want any one to know that I'm in town.

The two men entered the hotel When they were settled in their rooms, Dan said:

"There, we're all set. Now you can go out and see what you car find. And by the way, don t tell anyone your business!"

"You can depend on me, Dan. I might surprise you when I get back," Irwin replied.

"Be careful about that—my heart's not any too good and the shock might be fatal!" Dan exclaimed, a humorous twinkle in his eyes.

"Good-bye, then, I'll see you at five," Irwin said.

The two operatives separated. Irwin going on an inevitable wild-goose chase—Dan headed for the office of the supervising operative in charge of the San Fragel district.

"There! He's gone. I don't know why the chief had to fasten an amateur detective on me, but I'll keep him busy running around—then maybe I'll get some real work done," Dan told himself.

A few minutes later he entered the San Fragel headquarters.

"Hello, Tom. How are you!" Dan exclaimed warmly.

Why, Dan. It's great to see; you! We just got a confidential report that you'd arrested Eviloff! What are you here for?" the chief asked, extending his hand in greeting.

"Wu Fang is in San Fragel somewhere—I'm here to get him!" Dan replied, dropping into a chair beside the chief's desk.

"We got the report that he'd escaped from prison, but nothing more. How do you know he's here?" Tom asked.

We trapped Eviloff into telling Us that," Dan explained. "I want to see you at the hotel for dinner tonight—if I can get rid of my partner on this case. We'll soon see what we can do toward locating Wu Fang!"

"Fine! So you have a partner now, eh?" Tom asked.

"Yeah! And what a partner. He's a wow," Dan replied. "Green as grass."

That evening, Dan and Tom were seated at a table in the dining room of the hotel. Dan opened the conversation.

"The best thing will be to get in touch with Wa Sing—He's the Oriental merchant who helped me before when I was running Wu Fang down!" was Dan Dunn's first suggestion.

"That's a good idea, Dan! By the way, who's the fellow rushing over this way?" Tom asked, pointing toward the door of the dining room.

"That, Tom, is none other than the great Irwin Higgs—the aforesaid partner. The chief has made him my guardian and protector. I'll bet he has some great news for us!" Dan exclaimed ironically.

Irwin Higgs rushed up to their table. Excitement was apparent in every line of his face.

"Dan, Dan!" he cried, "I have a theory—where we can locate Wu Fang!"

"What? You have a theory already?" Dan asked, assumed consternation on his face.

"Yes, sir—I've been around looking for clews and found there's a big Chinatown here! Since Wu Fang is an Oriental my deduction is that that's where he'll be found. Irwin said.

His voice was as serious as it possibly could be.

"There, Tom, what do you think of that?" Dan asked with mock earnestness.

"Hmm—he is positively brilliant, Dan!" Tom answered slowly.


The following morning spoke to his ally.

"Irwin, I want you to stay here while I make a call—I may be able to find out something about Wu Fang."

"Gee, Dan, I'd like to go with you. Can't I?" the new operative asked.

"I'm afraid not," Dan answered. "These are old friends I'm calling on—and they might not give me information if a stranger were along."

"All right, Dan!" Irwin assented, but with bad grace.

It was plain to be seen that the new operative did not like the way Dan Dunn was giving him "the run around" on all his activities so far. Irwin thought that Secret Operative 48 should take him into his confidence more than he did.

A short time later Dan arrived at a fashionable dwelling in the better section of Chinatown.

"Ah, at last. Wa Sing's house. I hope he's home!" Dan thought to himself, ascending the steps to the front door.

He rang the bell, which was answered in a few moments by a Chinese servant, who bowed courteously and stepped aside, beckoning Dan to enter.

"Is Wa Sing in?" Dan asked.

"He is. Would you step in please. Who shall I say is calling upon the master?" asked the almond-eyed servant.

"Just tell your master that an old friend wishes to see him, Dan replied.

"As you say, sir," the Chinese replied, bowing and shuffling silently away.

In a few moments the old merchant entered the room. Dan stepped quickly forward, offering his hand.

"Wa Sing, I am Dan Dunn. Do you remember me?"

"This humble person could hardly forget such an illustrious one as yourself—I believe I know the reason for your visit," the aged Chinese answered.

Then you know Wu Fang has escaped prison?" asked Dan.

Our people gather quickly news of interest to them! I was hoping you would come, for many of us do not desire the return of Wu Fang!"

The cultured Chinese voice was very earnest.

"Yes, he will be meeting tonight with friends of ill repute in a secret place not far from here. But you will need assistance to get him!" Wa Sing warned.

"I will go alone and arrest him," Dan returned. "No evidence is needed and I don't believe his new-found friends will dare resist me!"

"You may be fooled, my brave friend," Wa Sing replied seriously. "But here is their address—they meet at eleven."

Wa Sing shook his head doubtfully He knew these countrymen is much better than even the great operative, Dan Dunn.

That evening in the hotel Dan laid down the law to his "partner."

"Irwin," he said, "I want you to stay here while I make a call—may be able to learn something about Wu Fang."

"B-But the chief told me to stick with you all the time!" the new operative complained.

"Irwin, you stay here. If I don't call you by twelve-thirty, get Tom and come after me—I'll need help! Dan instructed.

At the prospect of Dan Dunn in need of help, Irwin brightened a little.

Without further ado, Dan walked out and entered a taxicab in front of the hotel.

Irwin was a bit peeved about the way Dan had gone without him, so he shoved his hat on his head and followed Dan out.

"So he would leave me behind, eh? Well, I'll just show him I'm a real operative and shadow him. He's getting into a cab—I'll get in to another!" Irwin muttered wit determination.

The new operative got into a taxi and told the driver:

"Follow that cab that just pulled away."

Soon the cab carrying Dan led them into the heart of Chinatown. Dark shadowy figures slipped silently between darkened buildings along dimly lighted streets.

"Gee, this is a spooky part town," Irwin muttered. Chinatown—I'll bet Dunn knows when Wu Fang is right now."

The cabs continued on their way one a little distance behind the other, for a short time. Suddenly the cab ahead pulled up to the curb and Dan got out.

"There—he's stopping at that dark corner. I'll get out, too!" Irwin exclaimed to himself.

He signaled the driver to stop—then he paid his fare and sauntered down the street after Dan.

Irwin felt jittery at the silent shadows of the street, which seemed more unnerving than a great deal of noise.

Ahead, Dan had suddenly stepped into a darkened doorway and stood very still. Irwin saw this and stopped.

"I'll watch from here and see what happens—though this street gives me the creeps!" Irwin murmured under his breath.


Dan, across the street from the dive where Wu Fang was scheduled to meet his sinister Oriental friends, was unaware that Irwin Higgs was watching him.

"Hmm—there goes another one of them into the place!" Dan exclaimed, as a shadowy figure slipped into the building.

A few minutes later, Dan discerned still another figure coming down the street.

"Who is this man—?" he asked himself. "He's in the doorway—it's Wu Fang! I'll wait a few minutes and go in after him!"

After an interval Dan crossed the street and slipped quietly into the building he had been watching so closely. He knew he was taking a big chance sneaking into the meeting place of these sinister Orientals.

In the inner hall he came suddenly upon a Chinese sentry. Dan jabbed his automatic colt into the Chinaman's ribs.

"All right, buddy, lead me to the secret chamber. This gun's loaded and liable to go off—so be careful!" he warned.

The Chinese was taken by surprise—the expression on his face betrayed that fact. However, he quickly recovered his composure.

"Lead the way, buddy, straight to Wu Fang's secret chamber—and don't try any tricks!" Dan cautioned the Oriental.

"Me show you—this way, please."

The yellow-skinned sentry led the way, his hands raised above his head. He paid due respect to firearms—and also to the determined looking man who held this particular weapon.

Soon they reached a door, where the Chinaman stopped.

"Here is the door—now kindly remove the loathesome gun from my unworthy presence!" he marked.

"Hmm!" Dan exclaimed, peering through a small hole in the door. "All right, you can go," he said "But remember no funny business or there'll be trouble plenty for you."

Bowing respectfully, the Chinese backed away, bis gaze still fasten ed on the automatic.

In the secret chamber, Dan saw a group of sinister-looking men, a Orientals. They were seated upon the floor in a circle—their leg folded beneath them. All were intent upon the words of one then leader and master, Wu Fang.

"But before anything can be accomplished, we must first lay plans to do away with that hated one, Dan Dunn!" Wu Fang hissed, his cunning face taking on a cruel look.

The other Chinamen murmured assent in their native tongue. Dan gathered, however, from the look on their faces, that they shared Wu Fang's idea.

Unhesitatingly, Dan placed his hand on the door-knob and slowly turned it till the catch clicked. Then he hurled the door suddenly inward and shouted:

"All right, boys, the game's up!"

But the Chinese reacted differently to this command than Dali had expected.

Frightened by the sudden appearance of the secret operative, the Chinamen rushed for the several exits from the room.

"These fellows don't seem to recognize a gun when they see one! Dan muttered, taking a quick shot at the disappearing back of Wu Fang.

The Oriental's steps faltered slightly for a second after the shot, but he continued on his headlong rush for freedom.

A second later Irwin Higgs hurried into the room.

"I heard a shot, Dan, are you hurt?" he asked anxiously.

"No, but I think I winged Wu Fang. He got away again! He's like a slippery eel!" Dan replied.


The following day, Dan Dunn and Irwin walked around to the office of the chief of policeIn answer to Dan's inquiry, the chief replied:

"Dan, we've raided every likely place in Chinatown, but Wu Fang could not be found anywhere!"

"I thought that would be the results of your efforts, chief," Dan said.

"What would you suggest doing now, then?" the chief queried, in some puzzlement.

"Keep a strict watch on all roads. I don't think he'll attempt to leave by train—the risk would be too great. In the meantime, I'll see what I can find," Dan answered.

A few moments later, Dan and Irwin left to continue their work.

"Gee, Dan, it's too bad he gave you the go-by, ain't it?" Irwin asked as they reached the street.

"Wu Fang's a pretty slippery article, Irwin—but he wouldn't have escaped if there had been more than one light down there!" Dan responded.

"Do you think you winged him. Dan?" Irwin asked.

"Yes, you heard him scream when I fired that shot, didn't you? Dan asked.

"Then he'll have to go to a doctor to get his wound treated, won't he? Why not check them?" Irwin suggested.

"Simply because he won't go to a doctor that can't be absolutely trusted. There are a few doctor? who make a business of taking care of criminals!" Dan exclaimed.

He knew only too well what would be the answers to his questions put to such a doctor, even if he could be found.

"Well, I guess I can't give you any more ideas, Dan—Let's get something to eat," Irwin said, scratching his head in perplexity.

"All right, Irwin. I'll buy your lunch if you won't mention Wu Fang again. I feel badly over his escape and besides I want to think!" Dan said.

This clinched the bargain, so the two operatives made their way to a near-by restaurant.

Meanwhile, in an obscure part of Chinatown, Wu Fang was recovering from his wound. His only remaining follower stood beside his bed.

"You sent for me, Honorable One?" the Asiatic hireling humbly asked.

"Yes, I have a mission for you to perform," Wu Fang replied.

"Then I am at your service," said the underling.

Seating himself on the edge of the bed, lie was prepared to listen to the instructions of Wu Fang.

"Listen closely," Wu Fang said. "You shall visit in the various parts of town, the places where pawnbrokers display their wares."

"Yes, and then?" questioned the other.

"From each you will buy one pistol and some cartridges. When you have procured thirty-five pistols return with them to me!" Wu Fang1 instructed the trustworthy Chinaman.

"I understand," replied Wu Fang's emissary.

"Use discretion in your conversation with them that they may have no hint they are for my use—they must not question you too closely."

Wu Fang's words of warning were spoken in a soft-measured cadence, which had a special meaning to the Chinaman who listened to them. He knew well enough what would be his fate if he did not obey the instructions to the letter.

"I shall hurry to perform your wishes," he replied, rising from his position on the edge of the bed.

"Here is the necessary money—and if you should happen upon one who can procure us a sub-machine gun, I would be particularly delighted!" Wu Fang said.

As he spoke, he shoved a roll of bills into the other's hands.

"I have a humble friend who may be able to arrange that detail for us," the hireling said.

"Ah!" exclaimed Wu Fang. "That is good! But remember my name must not be mentioned, for, with the police looking everywhere for me, it would only add to the danger!"

Wu Fang's friend departed to attend to his mission. The international criminal with the slanting eyes and drooping mustache, clenched his fists in anticipated revenge.

"As soon as the firearms are collected and my wound is healed, I shall depart for the prison where my trusty followers are, and arrange for them to release themselves. Once they are free, I shall rid the world of that vile Dan Dunn!" Wu Fang muttered to himself.


Two days later Wu Fang's emissary returned to his master's room. He carried a large heavy package beneath his one arm.

"So you have procured the guns? That is well!" Wu Fang exclaimed.

"Yes, Wu Fang, and I have arranged for the getting of a machine gun, if I can have the money," he replied.

"And how much will it cost?" asked Wu Fang.

"Five hundred dollars with ammunition," was the laconic answer.

"Then get it—we may find good use for it trying to get my loyal followers out of prison," Wu Fang responded.

"I shall be back in but a few moments," said Wu Fang's follower, disappearing through the door.

"As soon as the guns are assembled we will depart and leave the police and that accursed detective Dan Dunn, trying to find me—heh! heh!" Wu Fang chuckled.

A short time later Wu Fang's loyal henchman returned carrying two suitcases. He placed them upon a table in the room and turned to his chief.

"Everything is in readiness?" asked Wu Fang.

"Yes, Wu Fang, the guns are packed in these suitcases under our clothing," replied the underling.

"My wound is sufficiently healed so I may travel—help me don this woman's garb," said Wu Fang.

"Ah! Then you are to disguise yourself?" questioned the follower of Wu Fang.

"Yes, as an aged and deaf female—you will drive the car and if we are stopped you will explain that you are taking me to an invalid home," Wu Fang finished.

While he talked, the wily Asiatic had been struggling into the clothes of a woman—a woman's suit and hat, shoes and stockings—and a dark veil completed the out-, fit.

"Then you expect the police to interfere?" asked his servant, assisting Wu Fang into the concealing garb.

"I would not be surprised—I understand the dragnet is out for me, and we cannot be too careful!" Wu Fang exclaimed.

"Then if you are ready, let us depart," said the faithful one, picking up the two heavily packed suitcases.

Outside, a car was waiting at the curb. The attendant helped Wu Fang to enter the rear seat, holding his arm as though he were indeed an old and weak woman. Then he loaded in the suitcases and took his own place behind the wheel of the car, prepared to drive Wu Fang wherever he decreed.

Soon they were speeding along outside the city limits of San Fragel.

"We should be in the town near the prison in two days. Luckily, we got out of the city without being questioned," Wu Fang said.

"Yes, Wu Fang, but look ahead, see—! Police are stopping the cars!" cried the Chinaman who was at the wheel.

Wu Fang quickly raised his dark veil for an instant and looked ahead.

"Keep a bold front," he said. "And remember, I am nearly blind and absolutely deaf—should it be necessary, I'll use this machine gun which I have concealed beneath the blanket!"

The man at the wheel nodded his head in understanding and drove calmly forward. Soon he saw a state trooper step out in the road ahead of him and signal him to stop. The Chinaman applied the brakes and the car rolled to a standstill.

"Hey, there! Where yuh goin' buddy?" the trooper asked as soon as the car was within hailing distance.

"I am on my way to a sanitarium—conveying this aged grandmother who is very feeble!" replied the Chinaman, who had been coached just what to say.

The trooper walked around to the side of the car and opened the rear door. He poked his head inside and addressed Wu Fang.

"Hey, Granny! Speak up! Tell us who you are," the trooper said pointing his finger at Wu Fang's quiet figure.

The Chinaman behind the wheel cut in at this juncture.

"The reason she does not answer is because she is deaf. Please do not alarm her—the results might be serious to her health!"

"You're all right. We're searching for Wu Fang—but I guess he isn't in this car!" said the trooper.

"No, he isn't—but I hope you succeed in finding him, officer!" replied the Chinaman in an oily tone.

He eased in the clutch, and the car moved slowly forward, away from the danger of the law.

"Ha! You did well. That stupid oaf had no suspicion that I, the feeble-appearing one, was none other than the much wanted Wu Fang. On to the little town near the prison!" Wu Fang chuckled, settling back comfortably in his seat.

"We will stop in town?" questioned the faithful one.

"No, that would be coo dangerous—on north of it we will find a marshland where we may be able to locate a place that is well concealed," Wu Fang replied.


After a search of some hours, Wu Fang found just the sort of house he was looking for. It was located on a small, densely wooded island, in the middle of a deserted swamp. A small group of determined men, if well armed, could hold it for some time against attack.

After they had looked over the house and the surrounding island, Wu Fang said:

"The location is splendid. Since you are not known, buy provisions of sufficient quantity to last us for a month, and also such other things as we may need."

"Yes, Wu Fang. You will make a list?" asked the servant.

"Yes, I will attend to that immediately we get inside and I remove this confining garb."

The two entered the house Wu Fang removed the hat and veil which had covered his sinister features.

"After we are properly settled, you will proceed with the actual plan of arranging the escape from prison which will restore my followers to me," Wu Fang said, removing his female attire piece by piece.

"But how will we do that? In prison they are closely guarded," said the trusty one.

"My plan will not be easy—but it is sufficiently bold so that it should succeed. First, we must inform our friends and then arrange for smuggling guns into the prison."

"Yes?" questioned the other with respectful interest.

"Enough questions! Get the things we need—and return as soon as you can. I am hungry and impatient," Wu Fang snarled.

The following day, after the faithful one had secured sufficient provisions and other things to last them for a month, and they had become a little more used to their surroundings, Wu Fang said:

"When my men release themselves from prison they will proceed to this spot secretly, and we will remain in hiding until such time as the police search shall have lost its vigor."

"What is the first move, Wu Fang?"

"First you will proceed to the prison and hold conversation with Wong. He is the craftiest of our clan. You will speak nothing but our dialect when you tell him of our plan."

"And then?" asked the faithful one.

"The prison uses nails which are delivered in small kegs—we will obtain some of these kegs and in them we will conceal, under a layer of nails, our guns and ammunition."

"Yes, I see!" replied the slant-eyed servant.

"And," continued Wu Fang, "we will contrive delivery of the kegs, within the prison walls, marked with a red band so that our friends can readily pick them out."

"The plan is an ingenious one. I will visit Wong today!" exclaimed the Chinese fervently.


"Tell Wong that the nail kegs with the red band will contain the firearms—and the rest of the plan," said Wu Fang, as a closing instruction to the faithful servant when he departed for the prison.

"Depend upon me, Wu Fang," replied the faithful one. "I shall carry out instructions to the letter."

A short time later he was speeding toward the penitentiary where Wong and the rest of Wu Fang's notorious gang were imprisoned. He was proud of the part he was playing in this plan of Wu Fang's to smuggle arms to the Asiatics now behind the bars. The master was good to his servants.

He drew up before one of the guards in front of the prison yard. He slowly turned down the car window and addressed the armed sentinel.

"I come to visit my fellow countryman, Wong, who is in this prison."

"Then leave your car here and walk up to the main entrance," answered the guard, gruffly.

The Chinaman did as he was told, and soon found himself before the warden in the prison office.

"So you want to see Wong, eh? Well, go in the visiting room—we'll send for him," replied the warden.

He indicated a room off to one side.

"Thank you most kindly, sir!" the Oriental replied, politely.

In a few minutes Wong was ushered into the visitor's room, where his countryman was already awaiting him.

They were stationed on opposite sides of a long table—and a guard stood only a short distance away.

"Ah, Wong, I am glad to see you—I have news for you—we will converse wholly in our native tongue," he said to Wong.

As he spoke the messenger from Wu Fang kept tapping the table top with a pencil he had between his fingers.

"Why do you keep tapping the table with your pencil?" Wong asked, curiously.

"I have a message of greatest importance for you and this tapping will disrupt the hearing of any concealed dictagraph which might be listening!" he replied.

"Ah! And the message is?" asked Wong, extremely interested.

"The Great One will send into the prison, in the next load of nails, firearms for each of you—the kegs will be marked with a red band!" continued the messenger.

"I understand—and then?" questioned Wong.

"When you are fully armed, you will watch for the switch engine which enters and leaves the prison every day."

"Yes, yes?" said Wong, excitedly.

"When an auspicious moment arrives you will rush the engineer and fireman, take control of the engine and smash your way out of the prison!"

The faithful one continued:

"A mile down the track at the crossing, Wu Fang and I will keep vigil—four cars will be provided in which to escape."

"With the proper arms we should succeed!" Wong exclaimed.

"On the day we are sure the nails will be delivered, you will receive a letter saying your aunt is very ill," the messenger finished.

"We will be watching, loyal one," Wong said.

The two men arose and bade each other farewell.

Meanwhile, back in San Fragel, Dan, Irwin, and the chief of police were talking about Wu Fang.

"No, chief, I think Wu Fang has been spirited out of the city. After that raid of mine, no trace can be found of him!" Dan said.

"You're going to visit the penitentiary? I don't see what you expect to find there!" the chief said.

"He thinks Wu Fang may try to get in touch with his old gang in there," Irwin said.


"You are back already?" inquired Wu Fang as his servant returned from his visit to Wong in the prison.

"Yes, Wu Fang—the message about the firearms which we are to smuggle into the prison and the rest of the plan has been given Wong," he answered.

"Then we must proceed immediately—come, we will row across to our car," Wu Fang said.

He started for the shore of their little island.

At the shoreline they stopped beside a clump of overhanging bushes, and, spreading them apart, drew a small boat from within their depth. In a few minutes they had rowed across to the mainland where they again hid their boat.

Their car was parked some distance up the road near a farmhouse. They climbed in and soon were speeding toward the near-by town.

"Here is the hardware store—buy three small keg's of nails and have them brought to the car!" Wu Fang said, as they pulled up across the street from the hardware store.

"Immediately it shall be done, sire!" The almond-eyed hireling hastened to do his master's bidding.

Wu Fang's servant left the car and entered the hardware store, where, he made the purchase of three kegs of nails. He accompanied the clerk, who pulled them out to the car on a small truck.

"Is that the car?" asked the clerk, pointing to Wu Fang's car.

"Yes, this is the car—load them in the back seat, please," replied the Chinaman.

"Come, come, we must hurry," called Wu Fang impatiently.

After the kegs of nails had been loaded into the back seat of their car, the two Asiatics hurried back to the mainland opposite their island.

Later, when the nails had been emptied out and replaced by the firearms, Wu Fang said:

"Now paint on the red bands so the kegs will easily be identified."

"I am doing that, Wu Fang," replied his faithful servant. "In a moment I will be through."

It was done.

"Now proceed with speed and find out when the next shipment will be made—be careful so that your inquiries will not be suspected," Wu Fang instructed.

"I go immediately, sire," answered the other, obediently.

In a short time he was at the door of the hardware store. Luck seemed to be playing right into Wu Fang's hands, for as he entered the store, the owner was just speaking to the clerk who had sold him the nails.

"You say you sold a Chinaman three kegs of nails? Why, they were part of that special lot I am delivering to the prison!" he exclaimed.

Wu Fang's agent stepped forward.

"Your pardon, sir," he said, "but I am the buyer of those nails. They are not right for my purpose—may I return them?" he asked.

"Sure. How soon can we get 'em?" the store proprietor asked.

He was more than delighted to be able to get them back.

"I shall have them here within a few hours," the Chinaman said.

He hurried from the store and drove rapidly to the mainland opposite their island.

Soon he was in the presence of Wu Fang again.

"We are in luck, Wu Fang!" he said. "The store needs our kegs to complete their order to the prison. I told them I would return them!"

"Ah! And in those kegs are the arms which our friends will use to free themselves!" Wu Fang exclaimed, triumphantly. "I shall prepare the note to warn them that the arms will be delivered in the kegs tomorrow."

"Yes, master, and I will post it," replied the faithful one.

In a few minutes the letter was completed.

"Here is the letter," said Wu Fang, "mail it immediately after you deliver the kegs."

"I am going right now!" the henchman stated.

A few hours later, in the prison, Wong received the news as to when the arms would arrive.

"Wu Fang has not failed us! I must tell my friends that our guns are coming!" Wong chuckled.


"Spread the word quietly that in three kegs of nails, which will be marked by a red band, will come arms and ammunition from Wu Fang," Wong quietly whispered to one of his fellow Oriental prisoners.

"Ah! That is great news, Wong," was the reply.

Like any other news of importance to convicts, the message from Wu Fang spread like wildfire throughout the prison confines in a very short time.

"Be sure that those of us who work in the carpenter shop, open the kegs!"

These words spread from lip to lip, and invariably the answer was:

"They will all be warned."

Thus went the command of Wu Fang to every yellow-skinned prisoner.

A short time later the fateful load of nails was delivered. Four Orientals quickly spotted the kegs bearing the red bands. Carrying them into the carpenter shop, they stacked them a little to one side of the balance of the shipment.

One guard, seeing them stop and whisper to each other, cried:

"All right, hurry up! Stack those kegs there. Don't stall around talkin' so much!"

"Yes, honorable one, we will speed our labors," one with slanting eyes replied.

But within the carpenter shop, with the guard out of sight on the outside, things were different. One of the convicts quickly broke open the three red-banded kegs. Then, as they entered, one Oriental villain after another stuffed a revolver inside his jacket.

"The guard is not looking—here, conceal these revolvers beneath your shirt," Wong said to one of his comrades.

"Then we give them to our comrades, eh?" asked the other.

"Yes, that is the idea," replied Wong, stuffing the inside of his own shirt with smuggled guns.

When they had secured enough of the guns to go the rounds, they left the carpenter shop and began to deliver them to their confederates. Soon every Oriental in the prison was equipped with a revolver.

"Every man has a revolver, Wong. What are your instructions?" asked one of the four who had been delivering the guns.

"We shall approach the switch engine, and when I give the word we overpower the fireman and engineer and force them to smash through the gates!" exclaimed Wong.

Immediately the word was passed around, and each Oriental within the prison yard began to edge closer to the tracks.

Wong, beside one of his comrades, said:

"Down the track about eight miles at a cross roads, Wu Fang will be waiting for us."

"We are ready," the other replied.

Slowly, cautiously, the convicts approached the switch engine, until nearly upon it. Then, suddenly. Wong rushed with drawn gun upon it, followed by his comrades. It took but a few moments to overpower the engineer and fireman.

Pressing his revolver against the engineer's chest, Wong said:

"Quick, start the engine."

Realizing the hopelessness of trying to balk, the engineer threw in the throttle and the engine careened forward, crashing through the prison gates.

"Attempt not to betray us. Increase the speed or you are a dead man!" Wong cried to the engineer.

"Don't shoot!" the engineer gasped, as he obeyed the convict's order.

Down the track, Wu Fang and his faithful agent awaited their jailbirds in nervous anxiety. Four stolen cars were hidden near by in the woods.

"I hope that they run into no difficulty in making their escape," Wu Fang said. "However, the plan should have worked out very well, with a little carefulness. Ah! I hear the engine coming now. They must have been successful."

Wu Fang chuckled to himself.

Meanwhile, in search of Wu Fang, Dan Dunn neared the penitentiary. Suddenly the wailing of the prison siren proclaimed that there was trouble ahead.

"Hear that, Dan?" Irwin Higgs asked. "That siren means an escape has been made—hang on!" Dan exclaimed, showing the accelerator pedal to the floor boards of the car.

The car leaped forward with a new velocity, swiftly shortening the distance between them and the prison.

Back in the switch engine, between the prison and the cross road, Wong was trying to push the engineer to do more speed.

"Don't get nervous with that gun—the engine's going as fast as it can!" exclaimed the frightened engineer.

"Keep up that speed, engineer—if you don't you are a dead man!" Wong warned.

One Chinese was hanging on the side of the engine, watching ahead. Soon he reported:

"I see a cross road ahead—someone is standing in the middle of the track waving a white handkerchief."

"That is Wu Fang!" said Wong. "Slow down!" he ordered the engineer.

The frightened engineer obeyed the order, and the powerful "iron horse" came quickly to a stop.

"You have escaped—that is good. Have the men hurry to the cars concealed in yonder wood. We have far to go!" Wu Fang said.

The escaped convicts hurried to the cars which were hidden under the trees.

Wong, turning to Wu Fang and indicating the engineer and fireman with his thumb, asked:

"What do we do with them?"

"I have planned for those two—you stay here with me," Wu Fang said.

They climbed into the cab of the engine and confronted the two men.

"We will bind them first—here are some cords!" Wu Fang said, producing some ropes.

"All right—lie down on your faces, swine—quickly," Wong ordered the train crew.

The two men did as they were ordered, and soon Wong had them securely tied hand and foot.

"What now?" asked Wong.

"Start the engine—and run it slowly. We do not want those following to find too quickly where you abandoned the train," Wu Fang replied.

Slowly the engine gathered speed and disappeared around a bend in the track, bearing with it the two helplessly bound men.

Wu Fang and Wong then made their way into the woods to join their companions.

"We have a long way to go, Wu Fang?" inquired Wong as they neared their car.

"No, the distance is short. I said that so the prison authorities would learn nothing of value from the engineer if that worthy person lives!" Wu Fang chuckled.

He was well pleased with his whole plan of escape so far. If they did not run into unforeseen difficulties now, they should be safely on their island in a very short time. Once there he was fairly well assured of safety.

"Then you have a place of concealment near by?" Wong asked.

His surprise was very apparent in his voice.

"Yes, on a little island in a lonely marshland. We have found an abandoned house—we will be well concealed until the fervor of the search for us has died !" Wu Fang said.

"And tonight in the darkness," Wu Fang continued, "four of u? will return these stolen cars—then all trace of our means of flight will be lost!"

"A most wise plan, master!" Wong replied.


Meanwhile Dan Dunn had entered the office of the warden at the prison.

"What's happened here, warden?" he asked.

"Thirty-three prisoners broke out just now, Dan—battered their way through the railroad gates with the switch engine," replied the warden, mopping his perspiring brow with his handkerchief.

"Who were they, warden?" Dan asked.

"They were Wu Fang's mob—somehow they all obtained arms. The searching parties are out after them!" the warden replied.

"Then Wu Fang must be somewhere in the vicinity!" Dan exclaimed.

Here at last was a trace of Wu Fang's presence in the locality.

"Yes, I guess so, Dan," replied the warden.

At this point the two men were disturbed in their conversation by the entrance of a prison official.

"Warden, word just came from Ashley, thirty miles away—the switch engine has just passed there traveling slowly!" he cried excitedly.

"Ah! They evidently have left the engine and taken to other means of travel," Dan said.

He was sure that if Wu Fang's mob were still aboard the switch engine, they would have been traveling at top speed.

Meanwhile, Wu Fang, Wong, anti the rest of the Orientals, were speeding rapidly away from the prison, toward their island retreat.

"You have planned the escape well, Wu Fang—and sending that engine on with the engineer and fireman tied up was good, too!" Wong exclaimed.

"Yes, it should be some time before the police find the place where you left the railroad," Wu Fang answered.

"By that time all of us should be well concealed, eh?" Wong asked.

The master nodded.

"At the next road we turn to the right to a swamp—then row to an island where we will be safe!" Wu Fang replied, confidently. "I will send the boys to return these stolen cars. Then all traces of our escape will be gone!"

So far as he could see, Wu Fang figured there was not the slightest chance of a slip up.

Meanwhile, at the prison, Dan Dunn continued his conversation with the warden.

"Was anyone seen on that engine which just passed that small town thirty miles up the railroad?" Dan questioned.

"No," the warden replied.

"That confirms my suspicions," said Dan. "It means that they have already left the railroad and taken to other means of travel," Dan said.

A few minutes later another communication was brought to the warden's office.

"Here's another report about the switch engine on which those Orientals escaped, Dan," the warden exclaimed, tearing the envelope open and eagerly scanning the page.

"What does it say, warden?" Dan asked, eagerly.

"The engineer and fireman were tied up—the convicts jumped off at Sam's Crossing—eight miles from here," the warden said, crumpling the message and throwing it into the waste basket.

"Let's get up there and see what trace we can find of them," Dan said. Secret Operative 48 was anxious to get upon Wu Fang's trail as soon as possible. No one knew better than he how slippery an eel to catch was the arch criminal, Wu Fang.

The two men left the warden's office and made their way to the garage where the warden kept his car.

"It won't take my chauffeur long to get there!" he promised.

"Tell him to step on it," Dan said, "every minute counts when you're trailing Wu Fang. The quicker we get on his trail, the better chance we have of getting him and his crowd back where they belong—in barred cells!"

The warden's chauffeur made good his employer's boast of his ability. It was but a very short time before they arrived at Sam's Crossing.

"Here's the place, Dan!" the warden exclaimed, leaping from the car.

Dan was right at the warden's heels. His quick eyes roamed over the landscape, taking in every smallest detail at a glance.

"See where the accomplices hid the cars while they waited for the escaped convicts to arrive?" he asked, pointing to the tire tracks in the soft ground.

"Warden, they used four cars—see these cigarette butts? The accomplices must have waited around for some time," Dan said.

He pointed to where a number of cigarette butts littered the ground. Many were thrown away after a few puffs had been taken, showing that the person who had smoked them was very nervous at the time.

"That's right, Dan," the warden agreed. "A shrewd observation."

"The next thing is to see if we can find which way the convicts went!" Dan exclaimed, looking around for further signs.

"How can you do that, Dan?" the warden asked, puzzled as to just how they were going to go about trailing the convicts on an open road.

"You can tell by the tracks—they drove in from the east—here's where they backed out again—but they didn't go back—the tracks go on west—let's follow!" Dan summed it up.

The warden could not see how Dan Dunn could tell so much from a few tire tracks at the side of the road, but he said nothing and climbed back into the car, nodding to his chauffeur to follow Dan's orders.

They drove west for some time in silence. Dan kept his head out of the window and watched the road, like an eagle watching for prey. After a time they saw a crossroads some distance ahead.

"There's a junction ahead, chauffeur. Slow down, I want to see if they turned off!" Dan ordered.

"Yes, sir," the chauffeur replied placing his foot on the brake.

The car lost speed.

At the crossroads they stopped completely, and Dan and the warden got out of the car. After a moment's study of the road, Dan said:

"Warden, the tracks turn to the left here—see—the convicts went down this concrete road."

"I guess we lose the trail now Dan!" the warden said.

"Not yet," Dan said, his voice more determined than ever. "Drive on, chauffeur—stop at every crossroads."

As he spoke Dan leaped upon the running-board of the car and hung there.

"Yes, sir—there'll be another about a mile farther on, the chauffeur replied.

He threw his car into gear and sped forward again, intent upon savingevery possible moment.

As the chauffeur had said, they came to another crossroads about a mile farther on. Dan studied the dust on either side of the highway for a moment and then returned to the car.

"They didn't turn off at either of these—go on to the next!" he said again leaping to the running-board and hanging to the side of the car.

"O. K., Dan," came the quick reply from within the car.

At the next crossroads the result was different. After studying the dust for a few minutes, Dan straightened up with a new light gleaming in his eyes.

"They turned here! The same tire markings are in the dust!" Dan exclaimed.

The excitement of the chase now showed in his voice.

"Hurry—let's follow!" the warden cried. "We've no time to lose!"

Dan leaped upon the running-board once more as the chauffeur swung the car into the left-hand road.

"I didn't think they would stay long on the concrete, warden—they knew that all the main roads would be watched. Have you got a map of this locality?" Dan asked.

"Yes, Dan! I have one somewhere in the pocket of this door if I can only find it now," the warden replied.

He rummaged through a pile of junk he had taken from the door pocket of the car.

"Ah! Here it is," he cried, handing the map to Dan.

The detective studied the map for several minutes.

"Hmm—this road leads to a deserted swampland, warden—an ideal place for crooks to hide!" lie announced.

"It sounds reasonable," the warden agreed. "They couldn't have picked a better place."

The chauffeur shot the car forward again, down the dirt road ir the direction of the swamp. He drove a little more slowly and cautiously now, at the orders of Dan. who was watching the road ahead again, as a hawk would watch hi? prey. Not a slightest disturbance of dust missed his keen eyes.

"See, their cars stopped by this path—let me look around for a moment!" Dan urged.

In a few moments he had spotted some footprints in the dirt of the pathway.

"They got out of their cars here and went up this path—see their footprints in this soft spot?" he asked the warden, indicating the tracks in the path.

"I see the footprints all right, Dan, but how could you tell they had stopped?" the warden asked.

It was beyond his ken to understand how Dan Dunn could figure out all the things he did from apparently no perceivable clew whatever.

Dan smiled.

"You can tell the cars stopped, warden, because when they started again, one of them put in the gears fast and spun the wheels—see where the gravel has been kicked up?"

"You certainly are observing, Dan! I never would have seen that by myself!" said the warden admiringly.

"Have the chauffeur take the car and bring reinforcements—meanwhile, let's you and I see what we can find!" Dan said.

"All right, let's go!" he agreed.


"The trail leads right to the water's edge—they evidently had some means of getting across. We'll wait until help arrives and then see if we can find them in the swamp," Dan proposed, as they came to the edge of the swamp.

"That's a good idea, Dan," the warden acquiesced.

After a while, the warden wandered back toward the road. Dan remained by the edge of the swamp, busy with his own thoughts.

"I wonder—could Wu Fang be behind all this—and will I meet him here in this wilderness?" Dan murmured to himself.

Could Dan but have known it, soon he and Wu Fang would meet under distressing circumstances.

Some time later the warden's chauffeur returned with a number of guards from the prison.

"Warden, I want one of the guards to remain at the road. Maybe part of Wu Fang's gang has not yet joined him—we should be warned if any of them approach!" Dan said.

"I'll have the cars driven away also, Dan," the warden replied.

When all the guards were assembled, except the one who had been stationed by the road, Dan told his plan.

"Come on, men, we want to get down to the edge of the swamp. Be careful not to make any noise," he warned.

"Let's get going!" one of the guards said, impatiently.

They moved forward in single file, Dan leading the way. Each man was grim with determination.

Silently, they entered the dismal swampland. The dank air seemed charged with the forbidding presence of Wu Fang, as they approach the stagnant waters of the lowlands. Each step seemed to bring them nearer to some sinister, unknown evil—an evil which could not be seen but which could almost be felt.

What horrible fate might not this monster Wu Fang have in store for them!

When they had reached the edge of the swamp, Dan held up his hand to signal a halt. Quickly the men gathered around him.

"Now, men, pay close attention. I want you to follow my instructions to the letter," Dan told them solemnly.

"We're listening, Dan," the guards replied in a chorus.

They waited anxiously for the next words of the great detective.

To a man, they knew that whatever Dan Dunn said was the proper procedure—was the best possible way to go about recapturing the escaped convicts.

"I think the escaped convicts are here in the swamp—but some of them have taken the cars somewhere and hidden them. I don't believe that they have had time to return yet," Dan outlined.

He hesitated for a moment be fore he went on.

"If I am correct, they should be returning shortly—we'll all hide in the bushes along here and await for them until daylight."

Dan paused again for a moment.

"When they do show up allow them to pass—I'll follow and try to find their hiding place. Then we can take the whole gang without endangering ourselves too much," Dan finished.

He glanced at the warden to get his approval.

The warden thought a moment, studying the plan from every angle. He knew Dan Dunn for a fearless—yes, sometimes even reckless—operative. But Dan was too valuable to the government to be taking unnecessary chances.

"Dan, that scheme exposes you to too much danger—they'll shoot you on sight! They're desperate, I tell you!" he said.

But Dan was not to be so easily talked out of his plan. With him the best plan was the one to follow, regardless of how much danger there was in it for himself. He never thought of danger as a personal menace.

"If we go," Dan said, "there's certain to be shooting—some of us will get hurt. If I go alone, only one life is being risked."

"But you shouldn't take the chance!" the warden replied. "You're too valuable a man."

"I won't hear of it!" Dan avowed. "I'm used to taking chances—I'll be all right."

He could see no sense in the entire group risking their lives, when he could scout around alone and probably do much more good than if they all tried to follow Wu Fang's men—when and if they returned as he thought they would Danger was a part of his business, and Dan could not see anything wrong with his determination.

Just then the argument was interrupted by the sound of someone approaching.

"Sh-h-h! Here comes someone now!" Dan exclaimed, glad of this chance to break off the argument.

When the time came, he knew he would follow ant his plan.

"It's the guard we left back at the roadway. He's running!" the warden exclaimed.

Sure enough, the guard was returning on the run. He must have some news to report.

Meanwhile, deep in the swamp in a well-concealed and tumbledown house, Wu Fang and the escaped convicts were celebrating their successful break from prison. Wong arose and addressed Wu Fang.

"To you, sire, we all pledge again our undying loyalty."

"Thank you, my brave ones! Again, when the proper time arrives, we will go forth to secure our place in the world—I have a fine scheme for obtaining money!" Wu Fang told them. "But we must take no chances. You, Ling Low, will act as sentry with Huang Ting. Be alert for the signal from our comrades on the mainland, who should be returning to us at any moment."


"The guards got here promptly, warden," Dan pointed out.

"Yes, Dan—and here comes the man we left at the road!"

This guard hurried over to where Dan and the warden waited. He was all excited.

"Detective, a car just pulled up back there—they hid it in the woods and four Orientals are headed this way!" the man panted.

"Fine! Conceal yourselves, men!" Dan cried to the rest of the guards.

Immediately, the score of men who had come from the prison, concealed themselves behind trees and bushes, which abounded all about them.

In a few minutes four shadowy figures could be seen approaching from the direction of the road.

Dan Dunn and the warden ducked behind some shrubs which lined the path.

"Now don't forget—I'll follow them alone, find Wu Fang's hideout, and then come back for you!" Dan exclaimed.

"But suppose you DON'T come back?" questioned the warden, skeptically.

"If you don't hear anything in an hour come after me—these men are desperate and I want to avoid gunplay," Dan answered in a whisper.

"Sh-h-h! Here they are!" the warden whispered.

He drew farther back behind the bush which sheltered him from the path. As he spoke, the four Orientals came even with them. Their shadowy figures slid stealthily along the path, making hardly a sound.

The four Asiatics continued to the water's edge. There they flashed a signal with a pocket electric torch. Soon a small boat appeared out on the water, coming toward them.

"There—someone's rowing across the slew to meet the men. They haven't discovered us, Dan!" the warden exalted.

"That's right—I'll have to swim after him. I'll take off my shoes and coat," Dan said.

In a few minutes Dan had stripped off the necessary garments and was prepared to follow the Orientals in their boat. Dan was a very good swimmer and looked eagerly forward to the adventure ahead of him.

"Good luck, and be careful," the warden cautioned.

"Don't worry, warden," Dan said. "I'll be back in a short time with the necessary information to take them all by surprise."

As the boat disappeared in the night mists of the swamp, Dan stepped into the chilly waters and with powerful strokes followed the Chinese.

The night was an exceptionally dark one. The sky was overcast with a blanket of clouds, through which the pale moon peeped only on rare occasions. Dan was glad of this because it lessened his chances of detection.

"I'm glad they're not rowing fast. Hm-m, they're heading for that little cove!" Dan muttered, as the five Orientals suddenly changed their course and headed for a small inlet on the banks of the island.

The moon came out now for a little, but the mists which were rising from the water effectively hid Dan's head and shoulders from the group in the small boat.

In a short time the group of Asiatics had reached the shore of their little island and beached their small craft.

The leader of this party of four was Wu Fang's faithful servant—the same that had helped him plan the jail break.

They appeared before Wu Fang to report their mission.

"Ah, you left the stolen cars in the city?" Wu Fang asked, his eyes gleaming with cunning.

"Yes, Wu Fang, and we returned unnoticed. How long must we stay here?" the faithful one asked.

"About thirty days, I think—at least until the prison officials give up intensive search for us!" Wu Fang replied.

"And then we start operating again, eh?" asked the faithful follower.

"Yes, and when we do start operating again, I have a plan for a very lucrative business," Wu Fang reminded them.

Meanwhile Dan, in pursuit of the Orientals, reached the shore and came upon the tumbledown house among the trees and bushes.

"Those convicts went in that house," he decided. "I'll have to be careful—there are thirty-five of them heavily armed!"


Dan studied the outside of the house for several minutes.

"Hm-m!" he said. "A perfect hide-out—an old tumbledown house completely hidden from the mainland. I wonder if Wu Fang is with them."

Dan started back toward the shore.

"Now that I know where Wu Fang and his gang are hidden I'll get back and bring the guards. It should be a simple matter to arrest them," Dan told himself.

Suddenly leaping over a fallen tree, he came upon the Orientals' boat.

"Ah, there's the boat," he said. "I'll row it back. We can bring four of the guards across at a time until they are all here."

But, unknown to Dan, he was being followed by a slinking Oriental whose beady eyes watched his every move with deadly coldness.

In his hand the Chinese clutched a revolver, which he was prepared to use if necessary.

"And if Wu Fang is with them I'll finish this whole affair at once," Dan muttered.

He would certainly be glad to get the capture of these villains assured, so he could take the long-promised vacation he had coming.

"This has been simple—in two hours I'll have Wu Fang and his whole mob under arrest," Dan told himself confidently.

But he was bargaining without the dark sinister figure which followed him stealthily down to the water's edge.

As Dan bent over the boat to cast it loose, one beady eye of the Oriental played over the sights of his revolver. How near Dan was to danger without even the slightest inkling of it!

Suddenly, the dank night air echoed to the crack of the assassin's pistol—and Dan's dim figure plunged headlong into the boat over which he had been bending.

From all appearances Dan was done for—there was not the slightest movement from his body. It lay prone in the bottom of the boat, as the prowling Oriental came forward to make sure his shot had been effective.

"That will teach prowlers a lesson! I'll make sure he is finished and report to Wu Fang!" the Chinese muttered to himself, as he moved stealthily toward the small craft.

Wu Fang would compliment him very highly for this piece of work, Ling Low was certain of that Their master was always profuse in his compliments for a job well done, especially a job like this one—a spontaneous stroke.

As the Oriental advanced toward the boat, however, he did not notice Dan Dunn's hand slowly travel toward the gun in his holster at his waist. Inch by inch, Dan's hand traveled upward until it rested upon the butt of his automatic revolver. When his hand closed around the butt, he lay still, waiting for the Chinaman to come up to the very edge of the boat.

Not the slightest movement betrayed Dan's alertness.

The Oriental stood for a moment studying Dan's quiet body.

"That was a good shot!" he complimented himself. "I will dispatch another bullet to make doubly sure he will cause us no trouble!"

As he spoke the slant-eyed gunman raised his revolver and leveled it at Dan's head. For a moment the air was charged with tenseness. Secret operative 48's life hung on the tiniest of threads for a split second.

Suddenly, Dan whipped up with his right hand and fired a quick shot at the Oriental, who pitched forward on his face.


Dan rose quickly to his feet and picked up Ling Low in his arms.

"I tried to be careful. Hmm—got him through the shoulder. I'm glad these fellows aren't expert pistol shots," Dan told himself as he carried the limp Chinaman to the boat and dropped him in.

The detective proceeded to row across the slew, traveling with long powerful strokes. He did not know whether the rest of the Orientals had heard the shots, and therefore he wanted to get away before they had a chance to investigate.

When he reached the mainland, the warden and his guards were preparing to come across to the island.

"I heard two shots, Dan! We were just starting after you!" the warden said.

"This fellow tried to knock me off, warden—I put a bullet through his shoulder," Dan replied. "Let one of the men bandage him—and be sure to put the handcuffs on."

"All right!" the warden said, taking the Oriental in hand and directing one of his men to bandage his punctured shoulder and place him in irons.

Then he returned to Dan to find out exactly how they were to spring the attack.

"We can ferry four men across the slew at a time—let's get started," Dan said.

"Good! Here are four to start with," replied the warden, motioning four men forward.

"I've got Wu Fang's hide-out located—I'll go with the first load and wait for the rest of the men on the other side," Dan decided.

He was anxious to be on the scene as soon as possible, to make sure there was no slip.

The four guards and Dan piled into the boat, and started across the slew. Every moment was filled with pent-up excitement. They did not know but what Wu Fang and his crowd were waiting for them to come within range, so that they could fire upon them.

With muffled swish the oars propelled the boat through the water. Every eye aboard carefully scanned the shoreline ahead.

"As soon as we get across we'll hide in the bushes along the shore. Don't make any noise—Wu Fang must not be warned of our approach!" Dan warned the guards with him, as they neared the island.

Each man seemed to sense that danger which lurked ahead. They had all heard of Wu Fang—of his animal-like cunning and cruelty. All of them feared and loathed the Oriental master criminal.

At last they reached the island and landed.

Dan Dunn turned to the men and said:

"All right, men, get in this undergrowth. We'll wait here for the rest of the guards to join us—they should all be here so we can raid at daybreak!"

The four guards looked about for a thicket of undergrowth large enough and dense enough to conceal their entire number. Soon they had found just what they sought.

All night long the rowboat plied its way back and forth, under cover of a damp, low-hanging mist. Each trip added four more guards to the raiding party already on the little island.

Each time the boat arrived with another group of guards, Dan instructed them where to hide. As the night wore on and dawn was near at hand, he complimented himself on his good luck in so successfully getting his men across.

Meanwhile, let us return for a time to Wu Fang and his crowd of escaped convicts in the little tumbledown house on the island. One of the Orientals had heard the two shots, fired by Dan and the Chinese sentry, Ling Low.

"But I was sure, Wu Fang, that I heard a shot, and then another!" the man was repeating to Wu Fang.

"I think you have an active imagination, stupid one," Wu Fang said, sarcastically.

"But—" the man began again.

Wu Fang cut him short.

"Had there been a stranger about, our sentry would have warned us. Fear not, we are well concealed here, and safe!"

At this juncture, a third Oriental broke into the argument. He had been listening to their leader and the other for some moments. He decided to take the side of their leader.

"That's right, Wu Fang—our comrade is unnerved by the stress of the escape. Maybe his nerves are not strong enough for the hazards which our life demands," he said.

The man who had heard the shots, knew that they were no hallucination. He was positive he had heard two shots and he was becoming angry with this skepticism. It was bad enough for Wu Fang to scold him, but to have this other man cast reflections on his courage was more than he could stand. He leaped at the intruder.

"Then you accuse me of cowardice?" he snapped, drawing his gun.

There was murder in his heart at this untimely insult. A moment more and there would certainly have been a casualty, had not Wu Fang interfered.

"Now, now, my followers, stop this bickering. We must think of other things!" he cried stepping between the two.

"And that is?" questioned the man whose courage had been slurred.

"We must sleep, for tomorrow when refreshed we make plans for the future. Remember—I have a scheme which will produce vast sums of money for our treasury!" Wu Fang remarked.

The Attack

Back on the shore of the little island, Dan Dunn was preparing for his attack upon Wu Fang's hide-out.

"Are all of the guards here, warden?" he asked.

"Yes Dan, the last just came over from the mainland," the warden replied.

Dan turned to the group of armed men gathered together on the shore.

"All right, men, follow me in single file. When we get near the house we'll surround the place and I'll call to the convicts to surrender!" Dan told them.

Dan started for the house and the guards followed him in single file as he had instructed them to do. The warden brought up the rear of the procession.

Through the tangled undergrowth, as the eastern sky paled with dawn, Dan led the file of officers toward the heavily armed camp of Wu Fang.

Inside the house all was darkness. Dan and his group of guards could not tell whether the Orientals were asleep or merely playing 'possum. Perhaps they were waiting for the officers of the law, ready to give battle from ambush.

Finally, when they had approached within a short distance of the 1 louse, Dan raised his hand in signal for the posse to stop.

"Sh-h-h! Spread out now and surround the house. Watch closely when I approach. If they offer resistance—shoot to kill!"

The guards nodded their heads in understanding, and Dan, seeing that they, were ready, sought the warden.

"Everything is okay, warden. I'm going to enter that house now!" Dan said.

"Be careful, Dan. You know they're desperate and will shoot you down on sight," the warden cautioned.

"Yes, I know—but someone must enter the house and it may as well he me," Dan replied.

He swung about on .his heel and strode toward the tumbledown house.

When he reached the door, automatic in hand, he shoved gently against it.

"Ah! The door—now if it doesn't squeak when I open it—"

It was almost a prayer which Dan uttered. Luck seemed to be with him, however, for the door opened without a sound and he stepped gingerly inside. Here he paused for a moment, to allow his eyes to grow accustomed to the greater darkness.

After a time he could make out a number of shadowy figures lying parallel on the floor.

"They're sleeping on the floor—wish the light were better—now SjVj' let's see whether they fight or give up!" Dan thought.

He gripped his automatic a little W tighter and, stepping to one side so as not to be lined up with the doorway, he shouted:

"All right—get up! You're all under arrest!"

Dan's words were greeted with some mutterings in Chinese.

"Come on! Line up along the wall! You can't get away! The house is surrounded!"

Dan's voice carried a note of finality.

The Orientals hastened to obey the command of this determined lookingindividual with the threatening gun.

But as Dan backed the cowering convicts up against the wall, the sly figure of Wu Fang slid through the doorway at his back, a machine-gun grasped in his clawlike hands.

For a fraction of a second, Dan's life hung in the balance. He had his back turned to the worst fiend in the country—and the possessor of a machine-gun besides.

However, Wu Fang was his own undoing. His passion to gloat over his prospective victim outstripped his common sense.

"You dog! Your time has come! I shall slay you!" he snarled.

Slight as this warning was, it was sufficient for the alert operative. Dan swung around like a flash, his automatic spitting a sheet of flame—just a fraction of a second before Wu Fang's machine gun droned out a horde of bullets.


"You waited too long to shoot, Wu Fang, and I was ready for you. Come on, get up off the door!" Dan said, holding his automatic in readiness for further action.

But Wu Fang remained quietly upon the floor.

"Hmm—I got him with that one shot, eh? Guess I better call the guards!" he muttered. "All right men! Come on and get them!" he shouted aloud.

In a moment the house was filled with armed guards, who took charge of the Orientals lined up against the wall. Soon they were all handcuffed and out of the house on their way back to the prison from which they had made their break.

While the convicts were being ushered out the warden approached Dan.

"Dan, Wu Fang won't .trouble us any more—that one shot of yours finished him!"

"He sneaked up behind me—had a machine gun—but I shot first," Dan explained.

"Well, let's get started back—all the escaped convicts are accounted for and our job appears done," the warden said.

"I'm sorry I had to shoot Wu Fang—even though he was one of the most desperate criminals!" Dan exclaimed.

The two men followed the guards out of the tumbledown house, out into the fresh morning air. Dawn was just beginning to brighten up in the east. Dan drew in a deep breath of the early morning air.

It seemed good to feel free again to do as one pleased. It was the end of a perfect day.

Back at the prison the following day, Dan and the warden were sitting in the latter's office.

"What are you going to do now that Wu Fang is out of the way. Going to stay with us for a while?" asked the warden.

"First I'm going to find my lost partner, Irwin Higgs—then we'll wait for orders from my chief," Dan replied.

He wondered vaguely what had happened to Irwin Higgs.

Dan was not to be kept long in suspense, for at that very moment who should come barging into the warden's office but the selfsame notable Irwin Higgs!

"S-a-a-y, Dan!" he exclaimed in astonishment.

"Oh, hello, Irwin. Where have you been?" Dan asked.

The great operative was always amused at Irwin's actions. That gentleman wanted to be a great detective and he had not a Chinaman's chance, Dan thought with sardonic humor.

He was still the same old Irwin. The inevitable cigar was still burning away, unheeded. The same blank look was still decorating his vacant face.

"Gee! I've been lookin' everywhere for you—I got a theory!" the unquenchable Irwin said.

"What, another?" Dan asked, feigned unbelief on his face. "Irwin, you're simply stupendous."

"Yeh. Say, I'll bet Wu Fang was behind that jailbreak—I've been all over the prison lookin' for a clue!" Irwin said, with a seriousness which, under the circumstances, was comic.

"Well, your theory was right, Irwin—the convicts are back in jail and Wu Fang WAS with them! Now you can rest your theory machine for a while!" Dan replied.

The warden stood in the background, smiling to himself.

Irwin became rather peeved at Dan's manner.

"So you don't want to know my theory of the jail break, eh, Dan?" he inquired.

Dan smiled.

"Why should I, Irwin—the whole episode is closed."

Irwin clenched his cigar a little tighter, and strode up and down the full length of the warden's office several times, stopping now and then to remove his derby and scratch his bald head.

Finally he came to a stop in front of Dan.

"Then, what are we going to do, Dan?" he asked, as though the question had just now occurred to him for the first time.

"I've wired the chief for orders, and we'll stay here until I hear from him," Dan replied.

"Well, I sort of like it here anyway—hope he let's us stay for a while," Irwin said, taking a puff of his cigar for a change.

"I thought you must like it, Irwin!" Dan said.

"Why?" asked Irwin.

"Because when we went out looking for those desperadoes you couldn't be found. Maybe you like it well enough so you'd like to stay here permanently!" Dan said with mock seriousness.


Irwin's face turned three shades redder. He did not realize that Dan Dunn was only kidding him.

Dan turned to the warden and gave him a wink.

"Warden, Irwin would like to be shown around the prison," he said.

"Yeh, I'd like to see how you handle all these convicts," Irwin acknowledged.

"All right, come on," replied the warden.

And so we leave Dan and Irwin to go on to other adventures.