“Right. But what makes you think we’ll catch up with them? They’re way ahead of us by now.”
“True. On the other hand, if they suspect we tipped off the police, they may change their minds and not go to their boat. We may be able to find The Whisper at a dock,” Nancy reasoned.
“Pretty smart,” Bess agreed. “Let’s go!”
The young sleuths drove as close to the water’s edge as they could, then got out of the car and walked. They looked for a red sedan, as well as The Whisper. After carefully scanning all the boats and parking areas, without finding either they gave up.
“I’ll bet they took the boat and skipped to Crocodile Island,” George said. “They probably parked the car in some garage.”
“Well, it was a good try,” Bess added.
Nancy drove to the Cosgrove house. Their hosts were not there. The telephone was ringing so Nancy answered it. The caller was Colombo.
“Oh, hello,” Nancy said. “How are things going for you?”
“Very fine,” the young man replied. “I like my work, and the people at the dub are very good to me.”
“Have you heard any news from Crocodile Island?”
“Yes, I have,” Colombo answered. “A worrisome piece of news. My friend Sol there got a message through to me at the YMCA. He advised me to get out as fast as I could, since Gimler had found out I was staying there and threatened to have me arrested.”
“Oh, dear,” Nancy said. “I’m sorry to hear you’ve been tracked down. Have you any idea how Gimler knew?”
“No. But I took Sol’s advice and moved out right away. If you have a pencil and paper handy, I’ll give you my new address and phone number.”
“Good. Hold on just a minute.”
When Nancy returned with a note pad, he dictated the information. Then she asked him, “Colombo, did you ever see a submarine near Crocodile Island?”
“A submarine? No. But it’s strange you should ask. Sol mentioned once that he’d seen a periscope. But the sub never surfaced while he was watching, so I thought he’d mistaken something else for a periscope.”
“Has Sol told you anything else?” Nancy asked.
“Yes. He overheard Gimler say to one of the workmen that he wanted no more visitors on Crocodile Island until he gave the word. He said something like ‘People are too inquisitive, and not about crocodiles, either.'”
Nancy thanked Colombo for the information and then said to him, “You’d better be careful.”
“I will,” he promised.
Nancy reported the conversation to Bess and George, and added, “I have a strong hunch that the crocodile farm is a cover-up for some bigger operation. I wish I knew what it was.”
Bess spoke up. “Do you think it involves that big pine box we saw lowered from the freighter?”
“Probably,” Nancy replied, “The freighter, The Whisper, and the submarine are all part of it, I’m sure.”
“If you’re right,” George said, “what do we do next?”
“Tomorrow, let’s see if we can locate the periscope and try to follow the sub,” Nancy suggested.
“What!” Bess exclaimed. “If you’re going on another wild-goose chase, count me out!”
“Okay,” said George, “we’ll leave the chicken at home. If you prefer that to a great adventure, you can have it. Nancy, I like your plan. I suppose our going will depend on the tide. When Danny comes home, let’s ask him.”
Nancy nodded. “Also, we’ll have to find out if the Pirate has been repaired.”
Bess laughed. “I see there’s no holding you back. And you know perfectly well I don’t want to be thought of as a chicken. We’ll all go.”
“Thank goodness!” George said. “I was just beginning to think I’d have to put you in a coop.”
Bess made a face at her cousin, then she changed the subject. “Here comes Danny. Let’s ask him about his boat.”
The young man said he was happy to tell them that the Pirate was in good running order once more. “I’ll look up the tide table,” he said. When he returned, Danny announced that morning would be the best time to go. “Are yon game to get tip real early?”