“Let’s see what notice he put up,” suggested Ned. “Maybe he has lost something.”
They walked over to the bulletin board. There, in Noddy’s rather poor handwriting, was a challenge. It was to the effect that he would race, on the track near the hotel, any automobilist who would choose to compete with him, for money, up to five hundred dollars, or merely for fun.
“Noddy must have a new car,” remarked Ned. “His old one couldn’t go for a cent. We beat it several times.”
“What’s the matter with trying again?” asked Jerry, a light of excitement coming into his eyes. “I’d like to have a race. Maybe several cars will enter, and we can have some fun out of it. Our machine has a lot of ‘go’ left in it yet.”
“That’s the stuff!” exclaimed Bob. “I’m with you. But let’s get supper first, maybe—”
“I guess he’s afraid there won’t be any left,” remarked Jerry. “But come on, I can eat a bit myself.”
As the boys left the office of the hotel, they saw several men reading the notice Noddy had tacked up.
“A race on this circular track here!” exclaimed one man to a friend as the boys passed him. “It’s very risky! The turns are not banked enough. I wouldn’t do it, but I suppose some will take the chance.”
“Yes, it will be a dangerous race,” responded the other. “Who is this Noddy Nixon?”
“A son of that rich Nixon over in Cresville, I believe. His father made a lot of money in stocks lately, and, I guess the son is helping spend it. He has a powerful car.”
The motor boys did not stay to hear more, but went to their rooms to change their clothes, and were soon eating supper. There was talk of nothing but automobile topics in the hotel corridors and office that evening. Many motorists were planning to leave the next day, but some said they would stay and see if the Nixon race would amount to anything.
“Let’s accept the challenge,” suggested Jerry.
“I don’t want to have anything to do with Noddy,” objected Ned.
“We don’t have to,” replied Bob, “I was talking to the clerk about it. All we have to do is register our names, and the name of the car. It’s an informal affair, only for fun. They won’t race for money. Come on, let’s go in it.”
Hearing this, Ned agreed, and the boys put their names down. As Noddy had stipulated there must be four passengers in each car it would necessitate the motor boys getting some one else to ride with them. This the clerk agreed to arrange.
There were six entries in the race, which was to take place the next day. Early in the morning, before breakfast, Ned, Jerry and Bob went out in their car to try the course. When they were half way around it they heard a car coming behind them. In a moment it had passed them, and they recognized it as the same machine that had nearly collided with them in Cresville.
“Look who’s in it!” cried Bob.