Jane Darcy Mini-Novel – Chapter XXVII!

There the ship could be seen rolling in through the morning mist, with small figures visibly scuttling across the deck in preparation of nearing the docks.

“What are we going to do?” Jane asked, looking over her shoulder at her chums in search of an explanation. 

They all seemed as aghast as she was, and she looked back to reread the name of the ship.

“There’s no doubt about it, that’s the ship-” Jane said, “We have to work fast; quick, let’s make for the docks!”

As they hastened closer to the docks, they halted suddenly in their tracks as they could see several hurried shadows ahead of them, moving through the mist.  Their outlines were distinct, and a large burly man had taken a rope out and threw it aboard the approaching ship.

Hand over fist the enormous ape-like shadow pulled himself up the side to climb aboard, and Jane marveled at the sight of it.  It seemed incredible that such a giant shadow could move as seamlessly as an anthropoid in the jungle.

As Jane turned, she could see Josh stabling his elbows on a barrel to take pictures, when her eyes caught something aboard the ship that rapidly reverted her gaze to the commotion on deck.

Flying over the side of the railing appeared to be a man, flailing his arms in the air as he soared to the waters below.  Followed shortly after was another man, and yet another; at the same time two more crooks from the docks had hoisted themselves aboard with the rope.

Jane lifted the binoculars to her eyes, and she could see more clearly the happenings onboard.  Only a few minutes had passed, before a large crate was lowered down from the ship with ropes into a waiting truck below.

Once the crate had been secured, the men aboard came scrambling down the rope once more and piled into the open door of the truck.  The job was flawless, and passed without hardly a sound; the workers at the dock were too preoccupied with the other ships at the harbor to even notice.

No one paid them any attention, and it wasn’t before a man had come racing to the edge of the railing above, and shouted below that caused a few workers to look up:

“We’ve been robbed!”

Jane turned round and made for Josh’s car at the curb where they had left it.

“Come on, we’ve got to follow that truck!”  She shouted, pulling at Josh’s arm, and motioning for the others to head for the car.

In their haste they left behind their bags, and dove into the seats of the automobile.  Jane shut the passenger door the same time Josh started up the engine; and they sped down the gravel road, leaving a trail of dust behind them.

“They’re just ahead, turning that corner-” Jane said.

“Are we going to lose them?” Margaret asked from the back seat,

Josh laughed,

“Not a chance, this car is supercharged and can overtake anything; they’re driving a hunk of scrap metal in comparison.”

“Take it easy,” Jane added, “we don’t want them to know we’re tailing them; they might lead us to their hideout.”

The truck sped down the road ahead of them at a considerable speed, and an arm appeared to be reaching out of the side of the car.

“What are they doing?” Ted asked, leaning up between the seats; when suddenly they heard the startling sound of a gun; and a bullet whizzed by the windows.

   “They mean business!” Jane said, “they’re firing at us!”

The man ahead fired wildly at them; one bullet could be heard as it grazed the side of their car, and another nearly hit the windshield.

“Everyone duck down, they might hit us!” Joshed cautioned.

Margaret and Ted hunkered behind the seats, and Jane lowered her head to the level of the dashboard to keep track of the truck.

The tense chase brought them down a back road, winding through sharp turns and overgrown areas which were intended for slower vehicles and milder traffic.

“Be careful around these turns, Josh; they’re driving like maniacs and I don’t want to show up in any headlines!” Jane said, her eyes following every move of the truck ahead of them.

“I’m practically a professional,” Josh reassured, “I used to race cars, remember?”

Josh closed the gap between them and the truck; and with an attempt to spin the crooks off the road, he ran into their fender and scraped the paint off in a streak.

 “Nothing will stop them!” he said, as they screeched around another close corner.

The crate in the back of the truck had been tightly secured; the men clearly knew what they were doing, and by the way they were driving; they seemed pretty confident they would escape without a hitch.

Fortunately the truck had taken sparsely trafficked roads up until then, but as they raced into the nearest town, they were now dodging oncoming automobiles.

Josh capably steered around the cars, as they began to near the train tracks that ran through the town.  To make matters worse, closing in on them was a train not too far off in the distance, and they were headed straight for it!

“They’re crossing over those tracks, they must be crazy!” Jane shouted, “they’ll never make it!”

But the truck glided over the tracks with ease, and the train grew ever closer.

“We’re not going to lose them now!” Josh said, as the car accelerated towards the tracks.

“Josh, no!”  Margaret exclaimed,

“We’ll never make it!”

…To be continued, on Sunday, November 14th! Jane Darcy needs your help to solve the hair-raising mystery surrounding Pinecrest; keep your magnifying glass handy, and don’t miss the next exciting chapter!