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ON the way back the chief wrote the copy for the headlines to be inserted in the evening edition. He got out at the Post building to leave the copy in the composing room. In the meantime Tommy dashed to the nearest telephone booth. “Hello! Hello! Is this the Automobile Registration Bureau? Hello! This is Tommy Bighead—O.K—of the Evening Post. Will you please look up the name of the owner of the twenty-fIve-ton truck, license number F00I? Yes.” In less than a minute came the information: “F200I is owned by Longfields Brothers in the Eighth District.”

“Good. Thanks.” Tommy looked up the number of the firm in the telephone book and made the call.

“Longfields Brothers,” promptly answered a Woman’s voice. “Hello. I need immediately a heavy truck—at least twenty-five tons.”

“I’m sorry, our twenty-five-ton truck is in use. Could you use two smaller ones?”

“That won’t do. I must have the big one.”

“It has been rented for three days.”

“Perhaps I can make an arrangement with the one who is renting it. What’s his name?”

“Mr. Hardt.”

Tommy nodded in satisfaction and said in the tone of one who has heard good news:

“Oh, Mr. Hardt. That’s luck. He’s an old friend of mine. He is staying at the Metropolis Hotel, isn’t he?”

“No, he’s at MacAllan’s Hotel on Boston Street.”

Tommy then added: “I tried to see him a while ago, but he had left for Europe.”

“Left? That can’t be. Mr. Hardt was here in our office two minutes ago.”

Tommy almost dropped the receiver with surprise and forgot to answer. “Well, if that isn’t—” he said to himself. “Hardt here yet?”

Stunned, he sat for a few moments, trying vainly to collect his thoughts. “Have we been hoodwinked,” he muttered ill-humoredly, as he finally arose.

Then he drove to Boston Street, stopped at MacAllan’s Hotel, and entered the hall.

“Yes, sir,” the clerk replied courteously to his question. “Mr. Hardt has Room 45”—looking for the key—”and he seems to be in, because the key for Number 45 isn’t here.”

Tommy took out a visiting card and had himself announced.

A moment later a light appeared on the telephone switchboard.

“Mr. Hardt is awaiting you in the smoking room on the eighth floor,” reported a bellhop.

Tommy, following him, stepped into the elevator and rode in tense expectation to the eigth floor.

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