HARDYS INN DANGER by Ann
CHAPTER THIRTY ONE
The thugs holding onto Joe began to carry him toward the door. Before they exited, Joe turned his head to look at me.
“Stop him from calling, Frank!” he yelled.
Yes, we were way outnumbered, but we weren’t giving up. I had figured out we were in the new section of the inn. So no guests would hear any shouting in these private quarters of the cousin of 1920s Ugly Notting.
The thugs holding onto me let loose and I took off in the direction of my brother. As I ran up the stairs to the roof, I had my phone and tapped as fast as I could. First I called for help then I activated a special app blocking all calls from Notting’s office and prayed it worked. I knew what I had to do. No way were they going to throw my brother off the roof and over the cliff.
I reached the roof and the thugs laughed at me. Like that was going to stop me – it just encouraged me. A plan about now would be great. I wasn’t too late, seeing Joe. One thug was tying something around his ankles. Looked like a bungee cord. With an evil laugh, the thug punched Joe right off the roof. I shouted and lunged forward.
“Shame he decided to bungee jump off the roof,” one of the thugs said. “When his brother tried to save him, him fell, too. How tragic.”
“Huh. Is that what you think is going to happen?” I asked as I timed and aimed my kick while pivoting to take out the next guy with a punch that I prayed was right on target. There had been four jerks trying to kill off the Hardy brothers on the roof and now there were two. Practicing flying kicks is important then you have that down when you get thrown the variable of trying to do that on a slanting roof. Interesting.
The one thug noticed it wasn’t going too well for his associates. I saw a glint in my peripheral as the other one tried to draw my focus and fight. The jerk had a knife and it was on its way to cut the bungee cord wrapped around the chimney.
I felt sick as the knife cut through the cord. Just barely ducking in time from a blow thrown by the other creep, I leaped toward the edge, praying I could grab the cord in time.
The feel of the bungee cord against my hand taunted me for a moment as I grasped at it. Did I have a firm enough hold? It would have to be as I slammed on the brakes and pulled on the cord. It went taut, but threatened every second to fly through my hold.
“Joe!” I yelled. “Hang on!”
I wasn’t even sure if he was conscious and could hear me, but I wanted him to know help was there. He would have been at least dazed by that punch.
As my fear heightened, I suddenly sensed someone nearby. I was so focused on Joe, I realized it was amazing I hadn’t been kicked or stabbed by either thug.
“Hang on, Frank,” Biff said as he grabbed onto the cord as well. Nearby the sounds of a struggle could be heard, but my focus was on my brother still in danger.
Painfully slow, Biff and I pulled Joe back to the roof. Soon, as more cord got pulled onto the roof, additional hands took up the slack. Then it was hardly any time before a mostly conscious Joe was on the roof and I was giving him a hug.
“I was prepared to do my part if any of the bad guys tried to get away, Frank,” Joe said, a little out of breath. “If they went by below where I was hanging onto, I was going to throw up on them.”
We looked around as the roof was full of activity. Dad, Biff, Ned, Nancy, Chet, Phil, Tony, George, Bess, and our girls, Callie and Iola, all gathered around us. They’d gotten there in time, coming as soon as they could, and holding onto the cord. Callie and Iola had called for help as Joe and I were being captured.
As law enforcement made arrests, Nancy and Ned caught us up on what was going on about the attack on them.
“Nancy’s got quite a rep for catching villains,” Ned said proudly.
“Those jokers who attacked us worked for a guy who had come to a business meeting with Bruce Notting. An escaped convict, hoping to hide out here, named Al Fordham, had just checked in shortly before we did. He spotted us and panicked, thinking I was on his trail. So he sent his goons to attack.” Nancy smiled as she said, “I’m glad he did. Now he’s in custody.”
“Nice job,” I said with a grin. “It’s good when the bad guys are helpful like that.”
“Frank, did you keep the Notting cousin from calling DC?” Joe asked suddenly.
“I hope so,” I stated as I checked my phone.
“It was intercepted,” Dad assured us. “And the accomplice in DC, the politician, she’s being arrested as we speak.”
“Ugly Notting’s cousin, Bruce’s little empire collapses in defeat,” I said.
“Hey,” Tony exclaimed. “What about those bottles? I’ve been wondering about them.”
“I told you – bootlegging,” Joe responded.
Nancy had the answer for Tony from her investigation into Notting’s businesses. “I think they were bottles he bought for his own brand of root beer. They’re red glass, which has gold in them and those he actually bought. But with other peoples’ money, of course.”
“Speaking of gold….” I said and looked at my fellow treasure hunters.
The tunnel we’d found, which had been used by bootleggers during Prohibition, branched to three different places. One was to the inn, the other to a hangar nearby, and the third, to the Bijou. Peter was ecstatic about the gold and split it with us, and we included others who had helped. The Bijou mortgage was taken care of and the thugs who’d been bothering him were in jail.
At the grand finale of the Bayport Car and Air Show, Joe nudged me as we walked toward the entertainment area.
“What year is this?” he asked me quietly.
“You’re not going to believe what happened the first day of this,” Joe stated.
I grinned. “Right back atcha.”
The grand finale had several big acts. The Harlem Globetrotters, the winningest and best team ever in basketball, had a special show. The history of the team started even before they went pro in 1927. Abe Saperstein knew that they were the best and not just because they won the most games. They are also the most entertaining. Whenever they found themselves with a blowout lead, like 112-5, they would showcase their humor and tricks of skill for the audience. That was exactly what they did in 2015 at the annual Bayport Car and Air Show.
Special musical guests, Big Time Rush, sang and entertained as well. They had visited kids at the hospitals in Bayport, as did the Harlem Globetrotters. Not only do they have a fun musical comedy show on TV, but they also sing great harmony together. Their song “Picture This” is a perfect picture of a summer date that Callie and I, as well as Joe and Iola, have enjoyed. Their song “Worldwide” fits really well, too, when Joe and I have to travel for cases. Callie and Iola are always playing their music.
All this was followed by a spectacular fireworks display over Barmet Bay.
The previous owners of Inn the Bay were able to buy it back eventually. They appreciated it so much, that they asked if there was anything they could do to repay us. We were thankful justice had prevailed and the bad people had been stopped, so that was the main thing. There was, however, a request from Joe.
“Tear down that hideous monstrosity and restore it to its former glory.” And they honored Joe’s very heartfelt request.