He suddenly straightened up, the receiver at his ear.
“I didn’t quite get that, Dan. A medium sized yacht, you say? Where is it? Oh, at the Jackson Park lagoon. I see; and who did you say owned it? What’s that? I didn’t quite catch the name—Coolidge? What Coolidge? Exactly; the fellow who killed himself out south. Hold the wire.”
He swung about to face West, the receiver still at his ear.
“This mean anything to you?”
“It surely does,” eagerly. “The girl I spoke of was Natalie Coolidge. By all the gods, we are on the right track.”
“All right, Dan,” resuming his conversation. “What’s that? Coolidge had the boat up the river a few weeks ago trying to sell it. That’s how you happened to remember the name—I see. Say, is there any one out at Jackson Park I could talk to at this hour? Who? Oh, yes, the Life Saving Station. Sure: somebody will be on duty there. Thanks, old man—good night.”
He hung the receiver up on the hook, and reached for the telephone directory.
“Some luck, I say. Jackson Park—oh, yes, here it is. All right, Central; sure, that is the proper number. This is the City Hall Police Headquarters again; hustle it up, please. Hullo, Jackson Park Life Saving Station? Good; this is McAdams speaking from the City Detective Bureau. Is there a yacht out there in the lagoon called the Seminole? belongs to a man named Coolidge; medium sized boat, with gas engine. Yes; what’s that? Not there now; went out into the lake about two hours ago. The hell it did! Who was aboard? do you know? Say that again; oh, you wasn’t on watch when she sailed; your partner said what? Three men and a woman. All right, yes, I got it. Say now, listen; this is a police matter, so keep your eyes open. It will be daylight pretty soon, and if you get sight of that boat, call up the City Hall Station at once. Do you get me?”
He wheeled about, smiling whimsically.
“It’s on again, off again, Flannigan. We had it, and we have it not. Dave I am getting interested; I feel the lure of the chase. What say you? Can you spare me for a day or two? You can? good enough; we’ll comb the lakes until we find out who is sailing aboard the Seminole. You’re with me, old man?”
West extended his hand silently, and the fingers of the two clasped in a mutual pledge.
The yacht “Seminole”
There was little to do but wait impatiently for some further message of guidance. McAdams dispatched a few telegrams to nearby lake ports, and briefly outlined certain plans of action for the morrow, provided nothing further was heard from the missing boat; these included a possible visit to Fairlawn, and a city-wide search for Hobart, who both men decided could not be included among the party on the yacht. West told his new assistant the entire story in detail,