One prisoner stared at her. “Are you some kind of preacher?” he asked. “You sure talk like one. But what you say makes good sense. I’ll tell what I know after Gimler and Sacco are caught. They ran out on us, so I won’t mind squealing.”
Just then the group heard a motor and turned to see the police launch coming. After it docked and the two prisoners were taken aboard, the officer in charge, Lieutenant Royce, said, “The Whisper was spotted and the Coast Guard picked up Gimler, Sacco, Carmen, and Tobin.”
“Great!” said George. “But what about the submarine? Two of our friends are prisoners on it.”
“A copter and two Coast Guard revenue cutters are after it,” he replied. “They got directions from Danny Cosgrove. He followed The Whisper in the Pirate. The speedboat got away, but he spotted the sub as it came out the channel. Danny wigwagged signals to the copter. I’ll see what else I can find out.”
He leaped ashore and went at once to the office. In a few minutes he was back.
“Good news,” the officer said. “Your friends are safe and are on their way back. The smugglers have been arrested. They wouldn’t talk, but Nancy Drew and Ned Nickerson told their story for them, and for Gimler and Sacco. The freighter’s captain is also in custody.”
“Wonderful! Wonderful!” Bess cried out and the whole group clapped. Bess, George, Burt, and Dave hugged one another in their exuberance.
Lieutenant Royce smiled as he boarded the launch and said, “Nancy, Ned, and Danny will meet you at the Cosgroves. A copter will pick you all up. Good-by!” He waved and gave orders to shove off.
In a short time the helicopter landed and soon Nancy’s friends were back in Key Biscayne. There was a joyful reunion, and an exchange of stories far into the night.
Of course, Nancy, though happy at the successful outcome of the mystery, hoped another would soon come her way. It did. It was called The Thirteenth Pearl.
The following afternoon she and her friends went to see Mr. Gonzales in his hospital room. He was sitting up and declared he felt much better. “But let’s not talk about me,” he said, after Nancy introduced the others. “Tell me everything.”
After he had heard all the details and thanked the young sleuths, Nancy said, “There’s one question I have. When you told us not to come down here, was it because you were intimidated by Gimler and Sacco?”
“Yes,” he admitted. “I see now why they didn’t want you to investigate them.” He smiled. “But I’m mighty glad you came. Thank you all for your superb work. And now,” Mr. Gonzales said, “I have a surprise for you. I have taken over ownership of Crocodile Island. I want you to greet the new manager and his assistant.”
He waved toward the corridor. Through the doorway walked two smiling young men—Colombo and Sol! Nancy and the others cheered softly and congratulated them.
“Thank you,” said Colombo. “And now Sol and I must get back to feed our pets, the crocodiles of Crocodile Island.”