HARDYS INN DANGER by Ann
I wondered what Joe had planned for me. I’m pretty sure I was the number one suspect. The surprise on his face still showed somewhat when he came back downstairs. I got him good. Our girlfriends were busy this morning anyway, so I knew he wouldn’t miss a call.
Pranks aside, I couldn’t wait to go out and see the Duesenberg again. Joe had wanted to sleep in the garage after we’d gotten it yesterday, but it wasn’t necessary.
Still, I think both Dad and I were relieved to see the beautiful Duesenberg in the garage. Not just because of how cool it is, but also due to how much it’s worth. We have security, but since it belongs to someone else, we felt the responsibility.
While the rest of our family got ready, Dad and I admired the Doozy. The outside was blue metallic, with chrome attachments, and leather seats in perfect condition inside. Gleaming in the garage, it would really sparkle in the sunshine. The engine, an eight cylinder, wasn’t the fastest by today’s standards, but it could leave plenty of modern cars in the dust. And look great doing so. When the Duesenberg brothers designed the chassis, they wisely used aluminum for as many parts as possible, which kept the vehicle light. That contributed to faster speeds along with the racing engine. Quality shone in every detail.
No surprise, Joe was the next Hardy member ready. Looking like he just stepped from the pages of a 1927 mystery novel, he hurried into the garage, anxious to see the car again.
“Wow,” he stated. “I still can hardly believe it.”
Each of us Hardys had gotten to drive it yesterday. It was awesome as you could imagine. If I had one of those, I would want to drive it every day.
The couple who owned it hadn’t told us much about the actual history of this particular Duesenberg. They hadn’t had the vehicle that long. We knew both the husband and wife traveled a lot and were sometimes vague with exact details prior to leaving.
When the ladies of the house entered the garage, our Dad immediately went over to our Mom as Joe went to the right of Aunt Trudy and me to the left. Offering our arms to the elegantly attired Hardy females, we escorted them the few steps to the Duesenberg. Joe reached out and opened the back door for our aunt while Dad got the front in honor of Mom. Both ladies smiled with appreciation and got in.
Dad had the privilege of driving to the show, although Joe had tried to get the job of chauffeur. All of us wanted to drive it and I’m really glad we had the opportunity yesterday. Mom told us we all could do so again, but she thought Dad should get to drive the first day to the show and we ultimately agreed, including Joe.
Just riding in the Duesenberg was amazing. We enjoyed the smooth engine and ride in big time style. I’m not into opulence, but I appreciate well-done quality.
We passed a lot of boring, generic vehicles on the road. I couldn’t help but think that those kind of vehicles wouldn’t get people to come from far away to showcase them or to look at them. The schlocky ones wouldn’t even last very long.
It didn’t take us much time to get to the car show. There were a number of cars already there since many people had traveled and were staying at Inn the Bay where the majority of the show was taking place. It’s one of Bayport’s most highly rated and luxurious landmarks. Notorious, too, since it had belonged to a ruthless and murderous gangster in the 1920s. The name of the inn comes from the fact that it is built on a cliff and is so close to the water that you’re practically in the bay. It was named by the first owners who’d been forced out by the gangster.
The inn itself had recently doubled its previous capacity. Just days before the show was to begin they completed the year-long renovations. I personally thought it had looked better before. It still looked nice, but I thought the original had more elegance. They could have kept with that style, and they almost did, except for the weird-looking addition to the left side. I don’t know what it was supposed to be.
Dad followed the signs to where we were supposed to display the car. We planned to take turns staying with the car and going around checking out the sights. We waved to the new police officer who wore a 1927 style uniform, helping out with the show. It really felt like we were stepping back in time. Officer Landau had just joined the Bayport Police Department. Nice, friendly guy. A short time later we returned another wave from another friend on the police force, Con Riley.
We knew pretty much everyone at the Bayport PD. Not from being arrested, but from solving mysteries and cases. You see, Joe and I had started investigating crimes when we were younger. Dad had been a highly successful detective on the NYPD then he went into private investigation with just as many expertly solved, tough cases. It’s in our blood and training to do whatever we can to help people.
The sun was shining on all of the incredible paint jobs and chrome decorating the vehicles lining the roped-off areas. Those that stood out as quality were Chevrolets, Buicks, Packards, Stutz Bearcat, Auburns, Cords, Cadillacs and those from the Dodge Brothers. Each car had their marked-off rectangle to sit while people came by to look at them. There would also be an auction and an award show for various categories. Everyone voted each day of the event then the winners would be announced at the finale, complete with fireworks and music.
I climbed out of the car, admiring it as I did. Holding out my hand to Aunt Trudy, I helped her out. She looked very nice in her 1927 dress and hat. Thankfully she and Mom picked some of the nicer styles rather than the really um, odd hats and all. Like some of the women walking around.
Joe and I instantly began searching the crowd for two particular ladies – our girlfriends.
“Since I found my phone, I’m going to find out where Iola is.” Joe gave me a look and I just grinned.
“You could, but I think I just spotted her,” I told my brother. He immediately started looking in the direction I’d nodded my head in.
“I see her!” exclaimed Joe enthusiastically. “Wow, she’s beautiful!”
He was right and he ran to meet her, easily sidestepping people so he could go faster. They started talking right away. I grinned and waved at Iola. She returned both even as they kept walking and talking. Then she tilted her head to the right and my eyes followed the direction. With the sun shining on her was Callie, looking right into my heart.