“It’s important that we catch them. They’re the ones who made phone calls and acted as spies whenever necessary.”
“As far as we know, they are still on the island. They are Gimler and Sacco’s special henchmen named Stryker and Jackson. Unfortunately for them they were not quick enough to follow Gimler on The Whisper, which set off in a hurry when you people showed up at the key.”
Nancy asked if Gimler had gone off with Matt Carmen and Breck Tobin. Patman nodded. “Yunki told us that. We sent word for a police helicopter to go out and intercept the craft.”
The listening group also learned that the fake Mr. and Mrs. Cosgrove and their daughter, who had posed as Miss Boonton, had been arrested. They were part of the Gimler-Sacco gang. The weapon E-fee dug up belonged to Sacco, who buried it so the police would not find it if they visited Crocodile Island. He left the dog on the deserted key because E-fee had almost bitten one of the men on The Whisper, whose cruelty he hated.
Nancy looked at the police officers and asked, “Did I understand you to say that you think two of the workmen are still on the island?”
“Yes. A couple of Sacco’s special buddies, and bad, both of them. They have records.”
“Where did they go?” Nancy asked.
“We don’t know,” Patman replied. He walked off to join his fellow officer in another hunt.
Nancy said to her friends, “Why don’t we start a search?”
“Great idea!” Ned agreed.
The others were eager to begin but Bess was cautious. “Maybe the men are armed. If so, we’re walking into danger!”
Ned hurried off to ask the officers about the firearms. Patman replied, “According to Yunki they were not armed—didn’t have time to go for any. I doubt that you’d be in any danger if you want to look around. Fifer and I must stay within sight of the beach until the launch returns. It took all the captives to jail.”
Nancy had followed Ned and was alarmed at its import. She asked quickly. “Was one of the prisoners a man named Sol?”
Patman pulled a pad from his pocket and consulted it “I have the list of prisoners here. There’s no one named Sol on it.”
“I’m glad,” Nancy said, “that he’s not with Gimler and Sacco. We’ve talked to him. He’s very nice. Probably he didn’t come back to the island after being in Key Biscayne.”
Nancy and Ned returned to their friends. She suggested that they separate into couples and make their search on the island some distance from one another. We’ll be couple one, George and Burt, two; and Bess and Dave, three. In case of trouble call out your numbers instead of your names.
“And, Danny, how about your going around the island in the skiff? If you see anyone or anything suspicious, sound your horn.”
“Okay,” he agreed.
The three couples started off on their search. Bess and Dave stopped for a few minutes to look at the crocodiles, and Bess remarked, “If all the workers are gone, who’s going to take care of these reptiles?”
Dave grinned. “How would you like the job?”
Instead of answering, Bess made a face at him.
Just then one of the old male crocodiles grunted, then hissed, and opened its jaws wide. Within seconds he closed them with such a resounding snap that the couple jumped.
Bess and Dave waited no longer. They took off for a copse of mangroves to start their hunt for the missing suspects.
Meanwhile, Burt and George tramped through a jungle area, looking up into trees, behind bushes, and on the ground. They stopped every few minutes to listen, but everything was quiet and there was no sign anywhere of the wanted men.
They came to a low coral cave and stopped. “Isn’t that attractive?” George whispered. “I wonder if those men are hiding inside.”
“I’ll look,” Burt said.
“No! They might trap you and attack!”
“I’ll be careful. Just follow me, but wait when I get to the entrance.”
The two advanced without making a sound. Slowly they neared the entrance. Then Burt picked up a stone and threw it inside. There was no reaction from within.