Help via Ko-Fi

and the Border Smugglers


The incessant ringing of the telephone finally woke Dan Dunn, Secret Operative 48, from deep slumber. But keyed up for immediate action, even in his sleep, Dan was wide awake when he reached for the 'phone.

"Hello... hello, who is this?" he spoke tersely into the transmitter. "Operative Thoman? Yes. Yes, what is it?"

Suddenly, as he listened to the voice on the other end of the wire, he jumped from the bed.

"Jones was shot?" he shouted. "He's at the hospital? I'll be there! Wait for me!"

Dan dressed hurriedly. As he was about to leave, the door into the other bedroom opened, and Babs, his adopted daughter, stepped out.

At the girl's side was Wolf, Dan's police dog, who had helped catch many a criminal.

"Oh, hello, Babs; did I awaken you?"

"Yes, Mr. Dan," she said. "Where are you going this time of the night?"

"There is a little trouble and I've got to go to the office. Better climb back in bed and get some more shut-eye."

The little girl obediently did as she was told.

When Dan got to the hospital, he lost no time in getting the facts. Jones, one of Dan's best operatives, had been shot and was in a serious condition. Talking it over with Thoman, who had called Dan, Dan decided it must have been one of the smugglers. A lot of aliens were being smuggled into the country and Jones had been hot on their trail.

But Jones was the only operative on the case, and Dan knew he was the only one who could give him any helpful information.

Dan was talking to the doctor.

"We must wait, doctor. If he regains consciousness he may be able to give us some information."

"I'm afraid, Mr. Dunn, that Jones is through," the doctor answered. "He has a very bad wound."

The doctor was right. As Dan stood by the bedside, Jones came to for just a moment.

"O-o-oh, Dan? I—It was—girl—big g-green—eyes," was all the information they could get from the dying man.

Meanwhile, in a residential section of the city, a woman sat toying with her coffee. Her greenish eyes were filled with hatred as she looked at the morning paper.

"Humph! That fool operative! He's been trying to get at me for months; and last night he nearly spoiled my game. Well, he won't bother me any more."

She slammed the paper down on the table and rang a bell at her side. The door opened and Andy, her chauffeur, came in.

"Andy, I want the car in half an hour."

"Yeah, Sheila. Say, I see by the papers that the detective who was shot last night died this morning. Heh! I wonder who cud have done it?"

But Sheila had no time for talking. She prepared herself for going out.

Later, in the swanky office of the big boss, she would never have been recognized as the sleek lady of a while ago.

"I came for orders, Jug," she said, her eyes concealed behind dark glasses.

Jug, head of the smuggling ring chewed on the stub of a cigar.

"You'll have the heat on us now, Sheila," he reprimanded. "The place you're wrong is in not being careful so that you don't have to shoot."

"You tell me how," Sheila said,=. "We get the foreigners into the country, all right; but it's getting 'em away from the plant and into the city that's dangerous."

"Yeh, that's the weak spot; we'll have to fix that. From now on we'll take 'em to Oakville an' put 'em on the train there. They'll never see San Fragel."

"Yeh, that's a good idea, Jug," Sheila answered, as she got up to go. "These coppers will never catch us; our game is far too perfect."

But they failed to reckon with a group of operatives who, under the leadership of Dan Dunn, had sworn to get the murderers of their buddy, Jones. A few days later, Dan was talking to them very seriously at his office.

"T want all of you to be on the alert. Anything you think may be a clue, must be turned over to me." He pounded his fist on the desk. "From now on I'm taking charge of this case, personally!"


Dan was true to his pledge. He immediately went home, packed a small valise, and said farewell to his family. Kay, Dan's sweetheart, was there to say good-bye.

"Yes, Kay," Dan was saying, "I've got to attend to that smuggling case. The rats who got Jones must be punished."

"All I want you to do, Dan, is to take as good care of yourself as I will of Babs. Please be careful."

Dan smiled and promised.

With Babs left in the care of Kay, Dan left for the airport and hopped a plane for the seacoast town of Cuaga, where he suspected the smugglers operated.

After Dan had cleared the Customs, he proceeded up the narrow street.

Dozens of Mexican peons were about. A swarthy-faced figure shrouded in an Indian blanket approached him. Hidden beneath his colorful blanket was a camera and unseen by Dan, he snapped picture.

"You will buy a souvenir Señor?"

"No! No! Not today," Dan answered as he continued up the street.

The peon's eyes followed him like a cat's.

"Ha! Ha! The boss, he gives me a peso for each report about northern strangers who enter this town. I am lucky; I overhear this one's name. It is Dunn!"

Dan would have been a long way toward locating the smugglers if he could have followed this blanketed figure as he shuffled up the street. Halting before a door, the souvenir seller knocked three times in rapid succession.

"It is me, Señor Boss, with information!"

"Enter quickly, and cease the loud noises!" came a coarse voice from within.

Once inside, the peon hastily told of the arrival of a Mr. Dunn by plane. He received his pay, departed again, leaving the film behind.

Jose, the "smuggler" in charge of gathering the aliens together and sending them north, soon had the negative developed and brought the print out to the light, where he could examine it closely.

This name Dunn, it is familiar to me. If he is the same one it is best for me to be careful, for he is a great detective."

As he looked at the picture, he clinched his fist.

"Caramba! It is he. I have seen his picture many times in the paper." Jose looked worried. "We are sending fifteen aliens into the country tonight," he muttered in sullen contemplation. "He must not learn our secrets; I must something to stop him."

While Dan was making inquiries at the local police station and forming plans to obtain clues, he might have been a little uneasy had he known that someone was already making plans for him. Jose was wasting no time. He had to something about this dangerous new threat that had come to spoil his plans.

He was soon engaging the services of a beautiful Señorita.

"Conchita, I want you to get information from a man. He is stopping at the hotel. Find from him what his business is-why is here. Can you do it?"

"My friend, you insult the ability of Conchita," she said scornfully. "The information shall be obtained; but for it I must get a bonus!"

So when Dan, failing to get the local police interested in the smuggling game, set out to secure his own information, he was quickly spotted by Conchita as he sat down for a bite to eat in the hotel dining room.

Pondering the situation, wishing he might meet someone who could give him some information, his eyes followed the beautiful Señorita walking past his table. As she glided past, her purse dropped to the floor in front of Dan. He immediately retrieved it and handed it to the lady.

When a lady is dining alone, I she appreciates such gallant attention. May I thank you?" said Conchita, smiling coyly.

"The favor is small," Dan answered. "I am also alone; would you join me?"

He was thus playing right into the plans of Conchita. But Dan was considering himself fortunate for what he thought was an opportunity of picking up some clues. The two were soon seated at the same table.

Conchita tried to lead the conversation to the nature of his business in Cuaga, but Dan cleverly countered with a query concerning the principal activities of the seaport town.

"Ah, but this detective is a close-mouthed one," Conchita thought bitterly.

Her scheming mind went back to Jose, whom she knew would be furious at her failure.

But she must not fail. She would bring this detective to Jose and then he could do what he wanted with him.

"I must call home," she said suddenly. "My mother is not well and maybe she needs me."

As she went to make the 'phone call, Dan mused over the situation. He was certain that danger lurked behind the dark, narrow eyes of this woman, but he had to risk it.

Secret operative 48, as always, was determined to see his case through.

"When Conchita returned, she said, "I regret that I must go-But my family, would you care to meet them?"

Dan had a sort of hunch that his desire for information concerning the activities of the seaport town, was going to be fulfilled. Feeling for the bulge of his trusty automatic, he shrugged his shoulder and answered:

"Why, yes, I shall be glad to accompany you home."

They left the hotel together, they approached the far end of the town, Conchita pointed to a house in the shadows.

There, that is my home," she announced.

"But there are no lights in it?" I Dan questioned. "My family is in the courtyard. It is their custom, when the nights are fine, to enjoy the moonlight." Conchita considered this a good enough excuse. "Come," she continued.

"All right, Señorita, I will follow you," Dan said, wondering what had become of the sick mother.

As they entered the door, Conchita said, "Light no lights. father is eccentric and lights disturb him."

As soon as they had entered darkened room, a shadowy softly closed the door. Heavy bars slid noiselessly into place. Conchita turned to Dan.

"Stand there whilst I open door across the room. Otherwise you might stumble over a chair in the dark."

Dan thought, "Mm-m, I don't trust this woman." But all he said aloud was, "I'll wait."

The moments went by and no door opened. Dan knew it time for action.

"I'd better get my back to the wall and have my gun ready. I have a feeling that something going to happen. I'm sure she's in with the smugglers now."

"Señor, this way please," came Conchita's voice from across the room.

"All right, Conchita," Dan answered.

But as the secret operative stepped across the floor, it suddenly gave away-and he plunged the darkness below. Outside door of the room stood Jose and Conchita.

"Are you sure he fell into trap, Jose?" Conchita asked.

"Of course! I heard a thud as he hit the bottom," Jose laughed.

Conchita smiled too. Her little scheme to trap the detective had worked beautifully.


I'm lucky I didn't break legs," said Dan as he viewed the situation from below.

A heavy grillwork was being put in place over the pit. Jose, and a man he called Louis, were discussing their success.

"I will inform Jug immediately that we have caught that vile detective, Dan Dunn, and see what fa wants us to do with him," said Jose.

"And if he orders you to him?" questioned the other.

"Then he shall be killed!" snarled Jose. "But come, we have another load to take to sea tonight."

Dan heard the verdict and the plans being made.

"Humph! I've found the smugglers, or rather they've found me, he said. "But I've got to find some way to get out of here."

So Dan lay helpless at the bottom of the pit, while the smuggle gang continued to operate. That night a little tug headed for the open sea with its cargo of smuggled aliens.

When that boat returned, & would bring the final verdict P to the disposal of Dan Dunn.

Several days later, word reached Jug, head of the smuggling ring, that Dan had been captured was being held awaiting further instructions.

Jug and Sheila talked it over in his office.

"Yeah," Sheila was saying. "Jose sent word by our fishing boat. What do you think we should about it?"

Jug did not act pleased. He would rather not meddle with this detective at all.

"This is a sorry mess," he snarled. "But there is only one thing to do, now. Dan Dunn must be disposed of!"

"Then what message shall I send back?" Sheila asked.

"You understood what I said!" barked Jug. "Now get word back to Jose and tell him to see that all Dan's belongings are destroyed. This is bad. We must act fast to get rid of that smart detective."

Meanwhile, in the dungeon in Jose's house, Dan made a discovery.

"There's water seeping through the wall here. Now I just wonder. Louis, oh, Louis," he called.

''What is it, worthless police man?" the guard answered.

"Where does this water come from? I may get drowned if it continues to seep through the wall."

"Ha! Ha! That is from one of the ancient underground sewers. But why worry about that? You may as well go that way as any other, for we will soon have your carcass floating in the sewer, anyway," answered Louis, jeeringly.

But the information was valuable to Dan. He got busy with his pocket knife.

"What a break," he mused. "An old sewer, eh?" And right next to this pit. The mortar is loose; now if only I can dig through it before Jose returns."

After an hour of painful effort, Dan removed one of the heavy cement blocks. It took almost every ounce of his strength.

"I've for to be careful that they don't catch me at this work," he thought.

At this moment he heard voices from above.

"Ho! Louis, how is our prisoner?"

"Like all vermin, Jose. He seems to be thriving," Louis sneered.

"Has word come from Jug since I've been away?" Jose wanted to know.

"None yet, Señor."

There was a knock at the door. Dan heard the door being opened and recognized a strange voice as they drew near the pit.

"Ha! You come from the north, my friend," Jose was saying.

"Yes, from Jug. He says for you to get rid of that detective," the other voice replied.

"You mean he wants me to dispose of him, eh? Does he say how it shall be done?" Jose asked in a portentous tone.

"Jug don't care how you do it. Just make a good job of it."

In the pit, Dan's thoughts went back to the fate of Jones. He expected that at any moment now they might step over and put a volley of bullets into the pit. But the next words gave him new hope.

"Then we shall do the job tomorrow morning," Jose concluded. "Come, let us eat­and drink."

"Okay, pal. You're a man after my own heart," said the other man as their voices faded out of the room.

"Well, that gives me until tomorrow morning to get out of here," Dan said as he breathed a sigh of relief.

Taking some extra bullets from his pocket, he pried off the slugs and dumped the powder on a small piece of paper. Then he pushed the wad into a small hole he burrowed toward the old sewer. Twisting a thread, taken from his coat, into the powder, he made a good fuse, and soon the charge was all set to touch off.

"If that doesn't blow through to the sewer, things will be bad," Dan said as he lit a match to the fuse.

After a moment, there was a muffled explosion. Dan hesitated, expecting to hear someone coming to investigate, but luckily they were all busy celebrating his execution. Suddenly there was a rush of water from the hole.

"It's through! The water is starting in from the sewer. I be able to give Jose the slip yet," he thought as he stuck his head into the opening.

"Now for a try," he said, pushing his way into the flow of water.

Soon he was in a large conduit with foul, fast-flowing sewage high over his waist. Striving t0 keep his gun above the water, Dan pushed against the stream.

"They say these old sewers are lull of rats. I'll have to watch to keep from being bitten."

At that instant a large, gray came sailing through the air, straight for Dan. Raising his gun quickly, he brought the butt down sharply on the head of the attacking rodent.

"I got rid of him," Dan said grimly. He stopped to contempt the division of the tunnel into two separate channels. Finally choosing the larger of the two, he felt he was well on his way to escape, when a new and far more threatening danger confronted him.

"There's gas in here!" he gasped.

Deadly fumes began to choke him. He quickly tied his wet handkerchief over his nose.

That will last for a little while," he thought, continuing on his way.

For hours he struggled, many times spurred on by a light ahead only to be met with disappointment, to find it was only an air vent.


Daylight had come, and the house of Jose the smugglers were astir.

"Now, my friend," Jose was saying, "if you will come with me, I will show you how we will execute the order of my friend, Jug."

But as they approached the pit, where Dan was held prisoner, they were surprised to see it full of water.

"What's this?" Jose shouted. "The pit is full of water. Ha! He must be drowned. There is something floating there. Our work has been done for us by the old sewer. So back to breakfast."

In the meantime, Kay Fields, not having heard from Dan for several days, became alarmed. Against the protests of Irwin, Dan's right-hand man, she took a plane to Cuaga, taking Wolf with her. Going to the hotel, where he was staying she was told that the detective had not been seen for several days.

Knowing now that he must have met with foul play, Kay began a systematic search of every street the city. Dan's trusty dog, Wolf was at her side.

"This is the last street. If we don't find him here, Wolf, we'll have to give up."

Wolf answered with a "wuf!" hen with a sudden growl he rushed up to a door. His keen nose had warned him of Dan's presence as he stood before Jose's house.

Wolf! Is Dan in there?"

Kay rushed to the door. The dog's continued growling convinced her that Dan had entered that doorway.

"When I open the door, be ready for anything, boy!" she said as she took out a small automatic from her purse.

As she threw open the door, Wolf rushed in. No one met them just inside and they went on.

Reaching the bottom of the narrow steps, they were suddenly confronted by Jose.

"Put up your hands!" Kay ordered.

The dog Wolf snarled his contempt for this stranger. His keen canine intelligence told him that they were in the presence of an enemy.

"You have Mr. Dan Dunn here; Where is he?" Kay demanded, keeping her automatic trained on Jose.

Jose, taken by surprise, raised his hands.

"Me no understand; who is thees Dan Dunn?" he asked, feigning a lack of comprehension.

As Kay questioned Jose, the gleaming eyes of Conchita peered wickedly into the room. Listening to the demands of Kay, she suddenly conceived a scheming plan to help Jose.

Walking boldly out, she demanded; "What is this, Jose? Who is this woman who dares enter our house with a drawn pistol in her hand?"

Stand where you are!" Kay ordered.

in her determination to help Dan, Kay had forgotten all about her for her own welfare.

But what is it you want?" Conchita asked, with arms upraised.

"I want to know where Dan Dunn is! He is in this house!"

Conchita had her plan. She answered in a soft, engaging voice. "You mean the strange foreigner who called here several days since? If it is, follow me; he has lodged with us but has departed. I'll show you his bed."

"All right," Kay said. "Lead the way, but no funny business!"

Disarmed by Conchita's apparent innocence, Kay eagerly entered the bedroom and approached the bed. But the door slammed and she turned to find herself alone with Wolf in the room.

"O-oh!" she gasped. "Oh! I'm trapped! Whatever shall I do?" The wicked laugh of Jose rang through the barred window in the door.

"Ha! Ha! There is nothing you can do, smart one. Your detective will never be able to help you; and soon you will be as he is."

Meanwhile, Dan reached the mouth of the sewer. Weakened by lack of food and the struggle against the underground waters, he fell exhausted on the bank.

"Got to get up­keep going. Got­to­get­smugglers."

He tried to force back the complete exhaustion that was overtaking his senses. But he failed. After several hours he came to, wondering how long a time had elapsed.

Revived from his enforced sleep, he started out for the city, feeling in good spirits in having outsmarted the smugglers. But, back at his room in the hotel, Dan discovered that someone had ransacked his luggage. Calling the manager for an explanation, he was told of the coming of a blonde woman and a dog.

"That must have been Kay. Where did she go?" he demanded, sharply.

I do not know," the manager said, quailing under the piercing eyes of Dan. "For three days she walked about town with the dog. I believe she was searching for you."

Dan knew what must have happened. Sending a telegram for help, he prepared himself for action.

There is only one thing to do. Get my pistol loaded; be sure it works, and then get back to Jose's house."

At the office of the secret operatives in San Fragel, Dan's message was received. Irwin Higgs was giving all the necessary instructions.

"Dan says for us to take ten men and fly immediately to Cuaga; that he has located the smugglers and believes that Kay is in their hands. Hurry, men!"

But, in the meantime, Jose had made a decision.

"No, I do not think we should kill her," he said to Conchita, "She might be more valuable to us alive. We must get her gun and then hide her."

"But where, Jose?" Conchita asked.

"Out in the hills, where we gather the foreigners which we smuggle," Jose explained.

That's a good idea, Jose. But you better not delay. Keeping her here is dangerous if she should be discovered by police," advised Conchita.


Oh, what are they going to do to me, Wolf? Be ready to help," Kay whispered, as she heard Jose Conchita outside the door.

Jose put his head between the bars.

Come here, lady," he urged.

Kay advanced, with the faithful Wolf at her side, the hypnotic gaze of Jose's eyes reached into the room and strangely pulled Kay toward him.

"You will look me in the eye. Ah! That is good. Now give me your gun and tell your dog to obey me," Jose commanded.

"Oh, oh, oh!" was all Kay could say.

Soon the girl was completely under Jose's hypnotic influence.

She was quickly hustled out into a waiting carriage.

"Everything is ready, Jose. Let's be gone," Conchita said, wrapping a blanket over Kay.

As the carriage moved down the street, with Jose escorting it on horseback, he commanded Kay make the dog follow.

"Come on, Wolf; follow us, boy!" Kay said, obediently.

So as Dan Dunn approached the house of Jose, he did not realize that the cloud of dust just settling up the street, was as close as he came to rescuing Kay. Walking up to the door, he did not bother to knock. Throwing the door open, he advanced quickly into the interior. Not to be trapped the second time, he was prepared when he bumped into Louis.

Drop that gun, Louis, quick!" he commanded sharply.

"A ghost!" wailed Louis. "My ancestors! You have been drowned and now you return to haunt me. O-o-oh!"

I'm no ghost. But if you don't tell me where the blonde woman is, you'll be one, Louis!" Dan told him in a tone that meant business, at the same time taking a step forward.

But I know of no blonde woman, detective!"

Dan grabbed the cringing outlaw and threw him against the wall.

"You lie! Quick! Tell me where she's gone!"

Louis was completely subdued by this show of violence.

All I can tell you is that Jose and Conchita left for the hills. It's a secret place and only Jose knows its location."

Dan realized that he was wasting his time here. Taking Louis with him, he hurried back to the hotel. The other operatives were there waiting for him.

"Boys, I've found who is at the head of the smuggling down here. But the first thing we must do is find Kay."

"Where is she, Dan?" Irwin asked.

I believe that Jose has her hidden in the hills. We'll get back to his house and wait for him to return; then we'll force him to lead us to her," Dan explained.

So, as Dan and the operatives lay in wait, Jose made ready to return to Cuaga. Kay, under the hypnotic spell of Jose, had ordered Wolf to submit to being tied up. Now, inside the adobe hut in the hills, the spell was broken, and she began to question Conchita.

"Jose will attend to you at the proper time, don't you worry about that!" Conchita answered sneeringly, as she left the room.

"So I'm going to be a prisoner here until Jose makes up his mind what to do with me? I guess there is very little hope for me, now that Dan is gone. What a fool I've been!" Kay thought.

Dan Dunn's sweetheart sadly watched Jose ride away.

In Cuaga, the operatives were watching patiently for Jose to return.

After several hours a lone horseman appeared.

The operatives felt their muscles grow taut. Each man reassured himself of the presence of his guns. Jose entered his house but after some moments reappeared, not knowing that Louis was not around because Dan was holding him prisoner in the hotel.

As he left, the shadowy figure of Dan Dunn, disguised as a peon followed stealthily.

"He's headed for the docks. I'll follow; maybe that's where Kay is hidden," Dan thought.

Arriving at the docks, Jose boarded a ship. A sallow-faced individual came out to greet him and Jose began giving him instructions.

"Have everything in readiness for tomorrow. I have word that we will have thirty foreigners to be smuggled."

The boat will be ready, Jose," the other called as Jose left the boat again.

Dan and the operatives were watching from behind a shed.

Watch closely, boys," Dan ordered. "If they cast off, we'll jump aboard and raid. This must be their smuggling boat."

"We're ready, Dan. But look, Jose is coming off again," Irwin whispered.

Yes, he's leaving the ship. Now don't forget our system, men; I'm shadow him and you follow me," Dan instructed.

"Right, Dan! We'll be careful!" they agreed.

As Jose mounted his horse and headed for the hills, Dan and his men, being well prepared, also mounted horses and followed.

"He's turning off the main road. I'll have to be careful that he doesn't see me following," Dan mused. He halted behind some bushes but kept his eyes on the lone horseman ahead. "Hm-m going down the canyon, I guess. I'll wait here for the rest of the operatives to catch up to me. They ought to be here in a minute, I think!"

As the reliable operatives put in their appearances, Irwin looked worried.

"You haven't lost Jose, have you, Dan?"

Dan smiled. "He's headed up this canyon and I believe he's close to their hide-out They may have sentinels out But I'm going ahead, so keep me in sight."

Dan was right. Jose was near the hide-out and soon he was confronting Conchita in the hut.

How is our prisoner, Conchita? I want to see her immediately," he commanded in a sharp tone.

"She is all right. And outside, the foreigners are all gathered, ready for the trip north," Conchita explained.

He strode across the room and threw open the door to the room where Kay was kept prisoner.

Ah, good evening. I see you are none the worse for being here," he said gruffly.

Kay felt helpless without Wolf at her side.

What do you want of me? Why do you keep me in this place?" she pleaded.

"I'll tell you why!" Jose shouted, suddenly becoming forcible. "I want to know all you know about I these detectives! What do they know about us?"

"I know nothing about them," Kay cried.

"You better tell me, lady." Jose jumped forward and grabbed her by the arm. "It will save you a lot of trouble."

"I don't know anything about the detectives! Ouch! You're hurting me!" Kay screamed in pain.

Jose cruelly twisted her arm, forcing her to the floor.

"You lie! Tell me what you know!" Jose snarled.

Outside, Wolf heard Kay's cry and strained at his leash. Turning around, he snapped at the cord with his razor-sharp teeth. Suddenly the rope was severed and with a snarl he leaped for the window.

Just as Jose threw Kay to the floor, the snarling form of landed on his shoulders, hurling him down with such force that he was knocked unconscious.

Kay wasted no time in getting out.

"Wolf! Wolf!" she called. "Come, let's get out of here."

One of Jose's followers, gun in hand, blocked their way. But Wolf flashed at him and his slashing teeth left the gun hand helpless.

As Kay and Wolf disappeared in the darkness up the canyon, Dan Dunn and his followers approached the house. They paused as Dan gave final instructions.

There's Jose's house, boys. You hide in the bushes here while I as close as I can and see if I ca* find out what is going on."

Soon Dan was crouched beneath a window of the adobe house. He could hear Jose cursing.

"So she got away, eh?" he shouted. "Have two of the boys go after her, and kill that dog on sight. I'll take the foreigners down to the dock. They must be shipped tonight!"

Dan had heard enough. He hurried back to his men. Explaining the situation, he ordered two of the men to search the valley for Kay.

"Two of Jose's men are hunting for her, too. You'll have to be careful!" he warned.

"O.K., Dan, we'll find her; don't you worry," they said as they stepped out into the darkness.

Then the remaining operatives heard the rumble of wagons as they came down the rough canyon road.


"Sh-h, here they come now," Dan whispered.

A quaint, old covered wagon came lumbering up the canyon. The operatives watched in silence as it passed close by, with only two shadowy figures visible on the front seat. As it disappeared into the darkness, Dan stepped out from the bushes.

"Come on, fellows. We want to follow them right to the boat. We'll cover all their movements and maybe we can get their northern tie-up and take in the whole gang. But be careful!" Dan cautioned as they set out after the rumbling wagon.

Although duty called Dan to follow the smugglers ahead, thoughts remained on the drama being relentlessly enacted in the valley below.

Kay, exhausted by her ordeal, had stumbled through the darkness of the canyon. Finally giving up, she fell down and was soon in deep slumber, while faithful Wolf lay near by, every sense alert to the approach of any danger.

The two henchmen to whom Jose assigned the task of finding Kay were searching every possible hiding place.

I wonder, have we missed the girl on our way?" one of them asked.

"Impossible, my friend; she is before us. The canyon walls cannot be scaled, so it is but a matter of moments till she is in our group," the other replied.

They did not know that in that same canyon were a pair of secret operatives, also cautiously searching for Kay.

With guns drawn, these ace crime-busters, selected by Dan, were scanning their surroundings as they rapidly advanced.

This thing is beginning to worry me," one operative said. Suppose they have already recaptured her?"

Thee other only shrugged.

Daylight had come when a scream reverberated through the canyon walls.

In a flash the two operatives were off toward the sound of the call for help. Coming up over a knoll, they saw Wolf spring straight for the throat of one of the ruffians, who was sprinting f or a large boulder where the head of Kay could be seen.

As Wolf brought the man to the ground, the other stood with his gun poised, ready to shoot.

"He's going to shoot Wolf!" one operative gasped.

But Dan had selected his men wisely. With lightning speed the other operative whipped up his gun and fired.

You shot his gun right out of his hand!" his comrade shouted as they raced toward the awestricken outlaws.

As they headed back toward town with the subdued villains securely handcuffed, Kay's joy in being rescued was intensified in learning that Dan Dunn was still alive.

But where is he now?" she asked.

He's back in Cuaga, trailing Jose and thirty foreigners," the operative answered.

Back in Cuaga, Dan had formed his plan. Having trailed Jose and his aliens to the house, where they would probably be kept until dark, Dan had posted a guard and gone to his hotel.

"I'll get these old clothes on," Dan said as he bustled around his room. "Now the grease paint; and then the whiskers. When I put on these colored glasses, I don't believe anyone will recognize me."

Dan the hotel room. Coming up to where his men were keeping watch on Jose's house, he called out:

"How do you like it, boys; do you think I'll pass?"

"My gosh! Is 'at really you, Dan? I'd never recognize you in a million years," Irwin said, admiringly.

Another operative came running up.

"Hurry, Dan, they're packing up over at Jose's!" he cried.

As Dan hurried his men to the dock, he explained his plan in a few words.

Hell march them down to the dock. On the way we'll pull one of the men out of line and I'll take his place."

You'll what?" an operative interrupted, dumbfounded.

I'll get on the boat and let them smuggle me into the country," Dan continued to explain.

"Here is the place." They were at the docks. "All you boys get back in this alley so you can't be seen. I'll move into the line back up the street a little bit."

Some minutes later, as a solemn procession of aliens were led toward the docks, one more, with a bag over his shoulders, slipped unseen into the line of march.

"It was easy enough to get here," Dan mused. "Now to get this fellow ahead of me a space over to one side." Then, exactly opposite the alley where the operatives were hiding, Dan gave the unlucky fellow a mighty push.

There you go. Sorry you can't make the voyage with me; but you won't!" Dan breathed to himself, as be heard one of his faithful operatives say:

"I got him!"

On board ship they were hurried along.

"Come on, step lively. Get below, you swine!" the captain shouted.

He was counting them as they were rushed down the hold.

"So this is the smuggling ship," Dan thought. "Hm-m, my plans are working fine so far. Wonder what will happen next?"

Down in the filthy stench of the hold, the foreigners huddled in a group.

Jose came down and gave them final orders.

"Now listen, all of you," shouted in a rough voice. "Remain quietly until you are called. Should you make any disturbance, we will pull the levers which will open the sides of the hull, and all of you will be cast into the ocean!"

"But we will make no disturbance. We are anxious to go across the border," a lady spoke up.

"Never mind the conversation," Jose barked. "We take no chance of being caught in this risky business. You will obey orders or death will be the penalty!"

Jose turned and left the fear-stricken group in the dark.

Nice, sociable people, these smugglers. Hope the coast guard doesn't run afoul this boat; I wouldn't care for the swim," Dan said to himself. Looking over the huddled forms around him, Dan felt sorry for them.

"Poor people," he mused. "The pawns of a vicious group who take their money and promise them safe passage into a land of hope. I wonder how many loads of them have been cruelly dumped into the sea?"

Being tired from a week without any sleep, Dan crawled into a corner and fell asleep, preparing himself for needed energy for what lay ahead.


As the two operatives entered Cuaga, with Kay safely in their care and Conchita a prisoner, the little ship headed out to the open sea, with Dan Dunn and the twenty-nine foreigners at the mercy the heartless arch villain, Jose.

The complete exhaustion of Dan enabled him to get several hours of deep sleep, but the foulness of the air in the crowded, stuffy hold suddenly caused him to sit up, gasping for air.

"Whew! The air is foul in here, must be a false compartment underneath a fish bin by the smell!"

Suddenly the throb of the motors ceased.

The boat's slowing down," Dan muttered, getting to his feet.

The foreigners all got to their feet also, tensely waiting, ever fearful of some slip-up that would cause Jose dump them ocean.

But Dan was to see another trick of this smuggling gang. On the bridge Jose was peering out over the water.

"Isn't that the boat from the north, Ramon?" he asked.

As Jose spoke he pointed to distant smoke on the horizon.

It is indeed, Señor Jose. I'll get the foreigners ready to be transferred, the mate answered, having inspected the distant smoke through a pair of powerful binoculars.

As the aliens sat waiting, the door opened and they were ordered on deck.

We are going to load you on another boat. Come on, hurry up!" the mate yelled at them.

Glad to get out in the open again, Dan observed every detail of their operations.

Get the mooring lines ready," Jose was ordering. "We'll be alongside in a minute now. Careful, do not let the boats smash together. That's it; get those fenders out!"

Everything was quite clear in Dan's mind, now. All he needed to know was where they would land and who was behind all the illicit traffic in smuggling aliens and thereby profitably avoiding the complications of the immigration laws.

"If I'm lucky, I'll know all this soon," he thought as they were all ushered over into the other boat.

But back in San Fragel, Jug was becoming more wary for each shipment coming in.

"I'm telling you, Sheila, from now on I want you to give your orders through one of the men. No more of you making a personal appearance at the docks," he said in conference with Sheila.


"Never mind!" Jug would stand for no more interruptions. "Those are my orders. We've got to put more distance between ourselves and our operations. It's too dangerous otherwise!"

"All right, but I think you're getting to be an old sissy," Sheila commented.

Had she known the identity one of the aliens coming in on then boat, she might have felt more pleased with the new orders from Jug.

It was a move that would keep them safe even though their entire smuggling operations were discovered.

But Dan was tingling with a feeling of success as, late that night, they docked and were rushed ashore.

As they were hustled to waiting cars, Dan thought, "I must remember this place. I'll be coming back here when everything is set."

As the early morning mists lifted, a string of black cars approached the little railroad station at Oakdale. Thirty hopeful smuggled aliens tumbled out and clambered into the waiting train like so many sheep.

In the confusion, it was not noticed that one of them continued on through the coach and out the other side.

Pulling off his false whiskers and dark glasses, Dan headed for a waiting cab.

Cab! Cab! I want you to take me to San Fragel as fast as you can! he shouted on the run.

But it's twenty miles!" said the astonished driver.

"Never mind that; get me there and don't argue!" commanded Dan.

O.K., mister, if you don't mind the expense," remarked the driver, as he noted the ragged appearance of his fare.

But as they arrived in San Fragel and he was handed an extra five for a tip, he exclaimed, "My gosh! And I thought you were a tramp."


Arriving at his office, Dan immediately put into action all their facilities with secret-operative efficiency. The operative in charge responded without hesitation, as Secret Operative 48 shot forth a volley of orders.

"Smith, get a code wire off to the boys in Cuaga to hold everything until I get there!"

"Yes, sir, Mr. Dunn," the operative said.

He went to do so.

Dan meanwhile was getting out of the old suit had worn on the recent trip of investigation, and soon the other was back.

"Tell two of the operatives to dress up as mechanics get down to Tuna Fisheries Company and see if they can get jobs. They're doing the smuggling down there."

The operative followed Dan around as he darted here and there making a complete change into clean clothes.

"Now," Dan concluded, straightening his tie, "Call the rest of the boys in here and then get me a ticket on the afternoon's plane to Cuaga!"

"Boy! You're really going to town, aren't you, Mr. Dunn," Smith commented enthusiastically, as he executed the orders.

Winding up his instructions to the men, Dan left for the airport and was soon flying southward to meet Jose and bring him in. Not wishing to bother with the red tape of extradition, Dan had a plan whereby he hoped to arrest Jose on the high seas and bring him in police custody into the United States for trial.

"Hello, Irwin," Dan greeted as he finally arrived back to the hotel in Cuaga. "Where are the rest of the boys?"

Irwin reported smartly.

"Well, we got two watching Conchita and three of Jose's gang. The others are watching Jose's house. His boat got in last night, Irwin explained.

"He knows nothing about us, eh?" Dan questioned.

"That's right. But what's the big idea? I would have took him single-handed without no trouble at all!"

I'll explain that to you, later. But now let us go down to Jose's house and see what is taking place," Dan said.

Arriving in the alley where the operatives were on guard, Dan Dunn carefully and guardedly explained his plan.

"Boys, we're going to follow Jose to his hide-out. When he gets his aliens together we're going to HELP him smuggle them into the country!"

Just then one of the operatives on guard interrupted.

There, he's leaving the house now; heading for the hills," he called.

"All right, we'll follow and force him to take the aliens to the boat. We'll board the ship, divide into two groups. One group will remain on Jose's boat, the other will mingle with the aliens and board the boat from the north," Dan continued to explain as they began to follow Jose at a distance.

Reaching the door of the hideout Jose called out:

Hello! Here I am! Ho, Conchita, has the girl been found? Conchita! Conchita! Where are you?"

He searched the place, but found no one because Dan was holding them prisoners in Cuaga. Coming to the shack where the foreigners Were held, awaiting shipment, he came across one of his men on guard.

Where are Conchita and her men?" he demanded.

I do not know, Señor boss. We were bringing in the foreigners and when we arrived no one was to be found, the man explained in a Pleading voice, fearing the wrath of his ruthless employer might fall on his luckless head.

Jose had just concluded that Conchita must have gone to Cuaga when avoice, sharp and commanding, startled him out of his brooding thoughts.

"Jose! You're under arrest! Put up your hands!"

When Jose turned around, with hands in the air, it was not the wicked-looking automatic, pointed at his middle, that made him gasp with astonishment.

"Dan Dunn! But you are dead!" Jose exclaimed.

"Oh, yes?" Dan moved up to Jose. "Don't any of your gang move or you'll find out differently!"

But what are you going to do?" cried Jose.

Jose, I'm going to help you smuggle these foreigners across the border," Dan answered, in a confidential tone.

"But I need no help!" snarled Jose.

Dan slipped the handcuffs on him. "Oh, yes, you do; and, boy, you are certainly going to get it. Come on!"

In a few minutes a strange caravan started from Jose's hide-out, with Jose's gang and the aliens under the watchful eyes of the operatives.

Jose did not yet realize the daring plan Dan had in mind. In a sneering tone he taunted the secret operative.

You shall pay dearly, Dan Dunn, when my government hears of this."

Dan chuckled.

That's exactly and precisely where you're guessing wrong, Jose. Your government won't hear­until too late!"

And why won't they?" Jose asked.

Because we are going to smuggle you and your whole outfit over the border!"

You are what?" Jose shouted, as significance of his predicament came upon him.

"Smuggle you over the border," Dan repeated. He was enjoying this moment very much. "You've been smuggling for a long time; you ought to be used to it."

On the dock in Cuaga, Dan and his operatives moved with lightning speed in executing one of the most daring feats of their career­that of smuggling out smugglers from an alien country.

Ordering his men to keep guard, Dan and Irwin boarded the ship and captured the crew. Taken by surprise, they were quickly subdued and Dan was ready to load his ship.

Everything's all right, boys. Come on," he called ashore. "Let's go!"

But how are we going to know where to meet the other boat?" Irwin questioned.

The others were already bringing Jose aboard.

"Yeh, how will you know where to find them? The ocean is big," sneered Jose.

I expected that, Jose," Dan said. "If you don't navigate so that we meet the boat from the north by tomorrow night, you will be fed to the sharks!"

So you make idle threats, eh, detective?" Jose jeered.

Dan showed his contempt for Jose and his kind.

"Never mind the conversation," he told them. "I'm not threatening; I'm promising!"

Then to Irwin, Dan said, "Here, Irwin, take this man back into the cabin," pointing to Jose. "Keep a sharp eye on him. I'll let you know when I want him."

Everything was in readiness to cast off. Dan, leaning on the railing, watched the approach of the operatives with Kay, Wolf and the rest of Jose's gang.

As the party boarded the ship and the prisoners were taken below, Dan bowed gracefully to Kay.

"Hello, Kay. Won't you join me for a yachting party?"

Oh, Dan! I'm so happy to see you. I thought­I was sure you were d-d-d­!" Kay stammered.

Yes, yes, I know, Kay. But that is over now; might just as well enjoy this. We're headed for San Fragel," Dan interrupted cheerfully.


With the operatives in charge, the ship began to clear the harbor. Dan and Kay, on deck, were discussing their recent experiences.

"As soon as we clear the harbor, I'll have Jose up on deck where I can keep an eye on him," Dan was saying.

Suddenly Kay screamed, "Look out, Dan! Behind you!"

Jose was rushing toward them with gun in hand.

Put up your hands, quick!" he snarled, jabbing the gun into Dan's back.

But Dan was ready with a trick of his own. Pretending to raise his hands as he turned around, he suddenly dropped the right, quick as a shot, smack on the jaw of his assailant. Jose's head snapped back as he fell to the floor, apparently lifeless.

"What happened, Dan. I heard a shot!"

One of the operatives came rushing up.

Get in there and see what happened to Irwin," Dan barked. "Jose got away from him somehow."

Irwin was found on the floor, just coming to from a big bump on the head and a blackened eye. An operative assisted him to his feet and brought him forward to face Dan.

"The prisoners were waiting for Jose to come back and free them," the operative exclaimed.

"Irwin, what happened?" Dan wanted to know.

"Wh-wh-who hit me?" Irwin groaned.

Then as his mind became more clear, Irwin stammered, "I-I turned my back; someone slugged me. That's all I know."

Dan thought of what could have happened to all his carefully laid plans.

"You're a fine detective! All the prisoners handcuffed and you let them knock you out!" he scolded. "I'll just keep Jose here on the bridge."

Dan turned to the task of guiding the ship out onto the high seas. He barked a sharp order­in a tone that brooked no opposition­to Jose.

"Now you guide this boat to the meeting place of the northern boat or I'll serve you a better dish. Get to work!"

Jose, not wishing to collide with any more of Dan's smashing fists, obediently took over the piloting of the ship.

Dan Dunn then called a selected group of his men together.

"You fellows disguise yourselves in old clothes and be sure your guns are in working order. You will go aboard the northern ship as aliens," he explained.

Right, Dan," the leader answered in an eager voice.

Dan was proud of the courage these men showed in the face of this dangerous duty they were asked to perform. He continued his instruction.

"Stay with the foreigners until the ship docks at San Fragel. When they start unloading, take command of the ship!"

As the ship sailed on, Dan was confident.

"If everything moves smoothly we will have them all in prison before the end of the week," he told Kay.

"That's wonderful, Dan," Kay said, admiringly.

Jose must have realized the futility of going against the will of this determined detective, for as Dan kept watch through powerful glasses, he spied a ship on the horizon.

There is the boat from the north, now!" he exclaimed.

"Oh!" Kay gasped at his side. "Aren't you excited, Dan?"

But Dan's expression of determination did not reveal that every nerve in his body was tingling with expectation. Calling one of his men to take over the wheel of the ship, he gave Jose his final sailing orders.

Here, Jose! Pay close attention! This is your list of aliens," Dan instructed, giving Jose a sheet of paper. Have the captain of the northern boat come aboard stand right outside this window. Do you get that?"

Yes, detective," Jose grumbled sullenly.

And listen! Do all your talking there. I'll be inside with my gun on you! Keep your face full in view and no monkey shines or I'll let you have it. Understand?" Dan barked into the face of Jose.

"I understand," Jose replied, but not at all happily.

There was no denying the grim forcefulness of those orders, which meant, Dan Dunn hoped, the end of the Border Smugglers.

A group of operatives, dressed as deck hands, leaned on the railing near by. Following Dan's orders, they made ready to handle the mooring lines as the other ship hove to.

In the calm sea the two ships maneuvered until they were alongside each other. With the operatives at the lines and Jose on the bridge, closely watched by Dan Dunn, a tense moment arrived. One suspicious move and a pitched battle between the armed smugglers and the operatives would have resulted.

"All right, Jose," Dan whispered. "Act natural. If they suspect anything, you will be the very first to go!"

Then the Captain of the other ship came on board. He approached Jose.

Thirty again, eh?" he said, looking over the list. "Well, well, it does my heart good to get all this dough, an' beatin' the law the way we're doing. Heh! Heh!" he chuckled.

Yes, that is good, Captain," was all Jose could reply.

Jose was sure he could feel the sharp eyes from the window upon him.

"Yep, the list is correct," the captain concluded. "When do you expect to meet me with another load?" he called as he turned take his departure.

"Within the week, Captain. Good-bye and good luck!" Jose answered as though with a sigh of relief.

The mooring lines were hauled in and soon the other ship, with its mixed cargo of smugglers, aliens and disguised operatives, moved away.

There goes the smuggling ship. We'll head back until we are out of sight, and then swing north and follow them to San Fragel," Dan informed Kay.

So far, everything has been successful, hasn't it Dan?" Kay inquired.

"Yes, Kay, but the trip isn't over yet. When the northern ship leaches port there may be a gun battle and lives lost, if someone moves too fast."

"I do hope that won't happen. That would be terrible, Dan!" Kay exclaimed.


Dan took over the task of bringing the ship around. With the wheel in his hand, he turned to Jose at his side.

"Jose, tell your fireman to put on full steam!" And as Jose hesitated, he added, "Get going!"

"Yes, Mr. Detective," Jose muttered and left the pilot house.

With the ship full of operatives, there was not much danger in letting Jose go around by himself. At least, so thought Dan as he sent him down below to give orders to the fireman. Jose welcomed the opportunity to talk to one of his own men.

"The detective wants us to put on full steam. Do it!" he ordered in a tone of voice that made the fireman step up close.

"Yes, Jose?"

Keep the steam up close to the safety point," he whispered. "We'll blow this boat up just as we come into the harbor. Understand?"

The fireman looked frightened.

"You're going to blow the boat up?" he gasped.

Jose heard someone coming. Grasping the fireman by the arm he whispered, "That's right. Now be on the alert!" He turned to go, but a stern voice halted him.

"Come on there! What's all this talking about?" shouted an operative, running up with drawn gun.

Jose pretended complete innocence.

"Why, Meester Dunn told me to tell the engineer to put full steam bead, and I was telling him!" said, meekly.

Well, now that you have told him, get back on deck where you belong! the operative snapped.

As Jose disappeared up the steps and the fireman busied himself with the boilers, the operative stroked his chin in contemplation.

"They were doing a lot of talking," he mused. "I better check on this with Dan."

He hurried up the steps and to the cabin.

"Oh, Dan, Dan! Come here a minute, will you?" he called.

What's up? Something happened?" Dan asked as he came forward.

The operative told of the suspicious conversation he had interrupted and of his feeling that something might be afoot.

"I don't think so," Dan said. "But watch everything that goes on. We should be in San Fragel some time tonight."

"You bet I'll keep on the job, Dan," the operative replied.

As night came on, the little fish tug steamed steadily toward San Fragel. The needle on the steam gauge hovered close to the safety mark. A few more shovels of coal­if a draft was opened a bit more, the boilers might burst.

Jose's evil-looking eyes narrowed as he chuckled to himself.

"Heh! Heh! That dumb detective will find out something when I blow this tug up. He will be sent to his doom!"

Unaware of the dastardly trick Jose was planning, Dan and Kay were on the bridge, watching their entry into the harbor.

"Dan! Dan! Isn't that land, ahead?" Kay exclaimed.

"Yes, Kay, those lights should be San Fragel. We're making speed and should reach the docks within another two hours," Dan said, confidently.

Then I suppose you will raid the fish factory tonight and get the smugglers; is that right?"

"Yes, we'll go after them right away! I think we're safely ahead of the smugglers. We should have them all in jail by morning," he assured Kay.

Jose, standing near by, listened to the conversation.

Ha! he chuckled. "But he does not know that this boat will never reach the docks. I must contrive some excuse to get to the engineer and tell him to open the drafts and blow the ship up."

As Dan and Kay conversed they were suddenly interrupted by Jose. "Excuse, pleeze, Mister Dunn, but I feel very ill. The movement the water does not agree with me," he said, as though he were about to fall into a faint.

Within a few minutes you will be on dry land, and well taken care of, Jose," Dan said, meaningly.

But Jose insisted that he needed to get out on deck for fresh air; and Dan finally consented.

Jose strode off. He walked up and down the deck, leaned on the railing and inhaled the sea air as the boat glided smoothly through the harbor waters. He was clever enough to know that Dan would watch him, at least until he was assured that it was the fresh air he wanted.

But as Jose reached the door leading to the engine room and out of the line of vision from the bridge, he suddenly duck through the doorway.

"Ah! Now to tell the engineer; then poof!­and the detectives will be no more. I can swim ashore from here," he muttered.

He called the engineer.

"Open the drafts! Blow up the boat! As soon as the boilers are ready to burst, jump into the harbor; we'll swim ashore!"

Just then he heard running footsteps from behind. Turning around, he was met by Dan.

"So that's the stunt, eh?" Dan snapped. "Well, I'll spoil that! Get back to the bridge, Jose!"

But Jose was not ready to have his well-laid plan thwarted now.

"Do your job, engineer! I'll take care of this detective!" he shouted.

He thrust his hand into the sleeve of his coat; a shining flash of steel and his arm was poised, ready to strike.

But again he failed to reckon with the lightning speed of Dan's fist. There was a dull crack on Jose's jaw as Dan stepped forward. The knife fell harmlessly to the floor and Jose toppled alongside it, inert.

Dan stepped over the body of Jose and shouted down the engine room.

"Jerry, bring that engineer on deck; and guard Jose! Don't let them move!"

"We're coming up, Dan!" the operative called as Dan rushed down to the boilers.

"So! The steam's up to the danger point," Dan said with a quick glance at the gauge. "I've got to kill that fire or we'll blow up!"

He jumped forward and slammed the drafts shut and opened the fire door.

"There!" Dan leaped back from the heat that shot out from the furnace. "With the drafts closed and the fire door open, the heat will die down. We've got enough steam to run her up to the dock."

On deck, Jerry guarded the culprits who had been halted in their plans not a minute too soon. The boat was coasting up to the docks. Dan ordered the men to the bridge and the rest of the prisoners to be made ready for landing. Dan spoke to Kay as his men moved with efficient speed in unloading their cargo of smugglers.

"Now, Kay, you go right to Babs," he was saying as he prepared to accompany the prisoners to jail. "I'll be home as soon as the rest of the smugglers are arrested!"

"Please be careful, Dan," Kay begged, knowing full well that capture the incoming ship of armed smugglers and aliens might mean dangerous gun battle.

But Dan was thinking, not so much of his own danger as of the necessity of speed and secrecy in catching the head of the smuggling ring unawares. So far his plan had worked. He was determined that this job should be finished soon.


As a blood-red sun sank below the western rim of the darkening sea, a small sinister-looking fish boat suddenly picked up speed and headed straight for the port of San Fragel.

Below deck a human cargo, aliens unfit for proper entrance, anxiously waited for the smugglers to bring the boat to the docks so they might sneak into a country which did not want them. In the bedraggled group were five secret operatives.

"I figure we'll land soon," the leader whispered. "As soon as they let us out, two of us will go forward; one remain amidships and two go aft."

They were guardedly reviewing their plans. Not knowing how Dan had come out in the other boat, they had to depend on clock-work precision of their own little group to overcome the armed smugglers.

We've got it," one informed the leader. "As fast as we cover a man, we'll put the cuffs on him. The boys from San Fragel will take care of the shore gang."

That's right. And Dan will he there too, if he has been able to reach the harbor ahead of us."

Up to the docks steamed a second ship on that evening, preparing to land a human cargo. The captain was at the helm, with the mate alongside.

"Did you search the dock, mate?" the captain asked.

"Aye, the signal light burns. Everything is clear; we can land."

Unaware of the reception awaiting them, the pair was jubilant as they discussed their trip.

This has been a good voyage," the captain said. "Thirty squealing foreigners this time; and a payoff at the end of the trip. I'm going to have me a swell time as soon as I can get rid of this cargo."

Me too, Cap. I'm dying for a good time. I been working steady, the mate answered with a grin.

On shore, plans were being laid to give them a warm reception.

"Here comes the ship, Dan," exclaimed an operative as they hid behind boxes on the wharf. "Do you want us to move in?"

Not yet," Dan warned. "They have signals and we don't want to upset anything."

Breathless moments passed as the suppressed chug of the boat could be heard. Then, following the movements of their leader, the operatives rushed forward with drawn guns.

Now they're close enough." Dan raised his voice. "Get everyone around the plant covered, quickly!"

Dan came upon one of the workers on the dock.

You're under arrest! Put up your hands!" he ordered.

Stick 'em up! Don't move or I'll shoot; Reach high, bud!" could be heard from all parts of wharf as the operatives moved in. Deft and sure, the operatives soon had the entire shore crew grouped together and handcuffed.

Well done, boys," Dan commented proudly. "Get them out of sight; no one on the boat must suspect that anything has happened."

Slowly the smuggling boat swung up to the dock. Little did the captain and the crew suspect that the men who stood on the dock and helped make her fast were secret operatives.

However, the Captain was careful. He was closely eyeing the men on the docks.

Say lissen," he suddenly muttered to the mate. "They's somethin' wrong; them fellers on the dock don't act like the regular crew!"

"What d'yuh mean, Cap?" The mate stepped to his side.

"They don't act like Heinie's gang, I tell you," the captain snarled, "I smell trouble! Tell the gang to get their guns ready; an' hand me that machine gun!"

The mate turned to obey as he drawled, "O.K., Cap; but I can't make out anything wrong."

"I'm taking no chances," the captain snapped. Turning to the docks, he called to a man on the dock. "Hey, Heinie! Come aboard!"

Heinie's in the office waitin' for yuh!" the disguised operative answered.

"You tell him we want him to come aboard by hisself. I ain't stepping on shore!"

"O.K., I'll tell him," the operative replied as he disappeared through a doorway.

The situation called for strategy. The captured shore crew might at any moment break loose; or the armed men on deck might open fire on operatives scattered around the dock. Dan realized this as the operative rushed up and said, "What-What will we do, Dan?"

The captain of the boat is suspicious," Dan mused, as he pondered the complication.

Then, straightening his shoulders, he made one of those decisions that held him in such high repute with his men.

"I'll make believe I'm Heinie and go aboard," he decided. "In the dark he won't recognize me."

"But they are armed, Dan. As soon as they see you are not Heinie, they'll shoot to kill!" his man warned him.

"Never mind that. We can't have them cutting the mooring lines and getting to sea. You follow my orders here on shore and we'll see what happens," he said in a tone of finality.

The operative stepped out and called, "Here comes Heinie. He's coming right out."

"And see that he comes aboard alone!" the wary captain ordered.

Dan walked slowly out on the dock and toward the boat.

"Stop there on the dock an' speak to me, Heinie!" he was commanded.

The slightest hesitation, and he would have been riddled with bullets. Dan raised his head and in a disguised voice called, "I gotta bad code; I cad yell!"

The ruse worked. The captain could not take a chance on shooting one of the big boss' key men.

Aw right; step up here!" he ordered.

No sooner did Dan put his foot on the deck of the ship than he sprang into action. In a leap he was in front of the captain. Dan stood on the deck facing him. In a short second the captain looked him up and down.

You ain't Heinie; stand by for trouble!"

There could be no choice for Dan. That trusty left must be resorted to again. Held out, parallel with his gun hand, it never came back an inch but traveled that short arc with such invincible power that the machine gun clattered noisily to the deck of the boat.

Dan's gun spat flame in the darkness as his operatives were met with lead from the smugglers. The alert operatives poured up the gangplank and out of the hold of the boat, shooting. To hold fire now meant certain death, and the men were trained to shoot when the situation demanded it.

Suddenly the chatter of automatics ceased. As the smoke cleared, the smugglers were cowering in a corner, the operatives busy disarming them. Some forms lay still on the deck.

"Put the handcuffs on them, men!" Dan said in a tone of victory. Then in a grave, more stern voice, he added, "Get the wounded together and rush them to the hospital!"

A few minutes later Dan and his men again gathered on the dock. The ship lay alongside, desolate, forever doomed as a smuggling ship-to the credit of these men who now surveyed her. But the chief of this illegal racket was still to be located.


"That didn't come off as easily as I thought," Dan reported to his men. "Three operatives wounded and two of their men gone. Now to get the brains of the mob." Turning to Irwin, he continued, "Don't forget what I told you!"

"I won't, Dan," Irwin answered eagerly, as he strode off toward the shack where Heinie was held prisoner.

Dan then hurried to a car parked near by.

"This is Heinie's car. I'll hide behind these boxes and as soon as he gets in the car, I'll hang onto the spare tire."

After a time, Heinie was seen to approach his car, furtively looking' back.

"The rats!" he was muttering to himself. "That dick sold out for a ten-dollar bill. I've got to get to Sheila and warn her that the heat's on plenty!"

He was playing right into the plans of Dan, to let Irwin be bribed, so as to lead them to their headquarters.

Heinie quickly got into the car and drove off. Behind crouched the figure of Dan. The car picked up speed as it wove its way through the streets.

"Nope! No one's following me," Heinie thought as he looked back for a trailing automobile.

Eventually the coupe stopped before a large apartment building in the best district in the city. As Heinie disappeared through the door he was followed by Dan Dunn though he did not know it.

As Dan sauntered in the hallway he heard conversation at the information desk.

"Yeh, tell Miss Sheila that Heinie is downstairs."

"She says for you to come right up," the switchboard operator replied.

Up in Sheila's room, Heinie's news was received with exclamations of despair.

"They raided! Have everybody?" Sheila gasped. "Why did you come here, you fool! Maybe they followed you!"

"Aw, no, they didn't," Heinie consoled in a braggart's tone. "I looked and the coast is clear. But we got to get out of town-and pronto!"

"You're telling me?" Sheila sneered. "Here, give me that phone!"

He gave her the telephone gladly.

As connection was made on the phone, she poured out the story over the wire.

"O.K., Jug, I'll meet you right away in my car!" she finished her instructions.

"What's the dope, Sheila?" Heinie asked.

Slinging things together in suitcases, she did not look up.

Here," she ordered, "grab these; we're going down the freight elevator. Take it to the third floor and walk the rest of the way."

So as Sheila's car sped away to a secret rendezvous with Jug, Dan gathered his men in the lobby. Preparing for a raid, he assigned each man to a post around the building.

Securing the apartment number from the information booth, he and Irwin went up to Sheila's room only to find it empty.

"Hm-m! Irwin, whoever was here has gone. I didn't think it possible for them to leave so quickly."

Instructing Irwin to tell the men to keep a sharp eye out for anyone leaving the building, Dan proceeded with a thorough search of the apartment.

When Irwin returned, Dan had found something of interest.

"I just found a telephone number, Irwin," he said. "I located the address-1514 Corn Building. Have any of the boys found anything?"

"Naw!" Irwin drawled, as he picked something off a table. "Nobody has left the building. Say-y, what's this?" He handed Dan a photograph.

"Hmm!" Dan viewed the picture. Possibly the woman who occupied this apartment! Let's ask the girl downstairs."

To Dan's inquiry the telephone operator replied, "Yes, that's Miss Sheila's picture; why?"

"Nothing, only she's wanted by the federal government for smuggling."

Then suddenly Dan leaned forward and said, "By the way, did this Miss Sheila have peculiar eyes?"

Why, yes," the girl answered willingly. "You couldn't help but notice them. They were very green eyes!"

"The lady with the green eyes, Irwin," Dan muttered. "Do you remember the last words of Operative Jones?"

"I sure do, Dan! Let's go get her!" Irwin said, vehemently.

"O.K., Irwin. I'll leave that telephone number I found here with the boys, and then we'll go over there and see if we can catch those birds."

But again they were disappointed. The office of Jug was quite empty.

As they searched for clues in this office, a powerful sedan, with the three ringleaders of the smuggling mob, Heinie, Jug and Sheila, was leaving the city limits.

But Dan was piling up clues back in the office of Jug; enough so that he could call up the local police and have them be on the lookout for a Borman sedan with two men and a woman.

The result was astonishing. The phone rang sharply, as Dan and Irwin continued their earnest rummaging.

Dan picked up the receiver.

"What's that!" he shouted suddenly. "Repeat that! Yes, that's the one. One woman-yes, two men, eh! Oh, you found identifications on them. Yes, yes, that settles it, then!" Dan hung the receiver slowly on the hook.

"What's up, Dan. Have they got them cornered already?" Irwin inquired anxiously.

"Yes, Irwin, more than that," Dan said. "They're caught, tried and convicted. Turned a corner too sharp outside the city; all three dead when a patrol car got there."

"Well, we're all done then, eh, Dan?"

"Yep, ready for the next case," Dan answered with a smile, as they strode out of the office.