One is he has to work in the bank, and the other is that he has no motor-cycle." Tom swept past house after house along the road, heading in the opposite direction from that in which lay the town of Shopton and the city of Mansburg. For several miles Tom's route would lie through a country district. The first large town he would reach would be Centreford.
"How far is that from Centreford?" "About seventy miles." "As far as that?" cried Tom. "They must have carried me a good way in their automobile." "Was you in that automobile?" demanded the farmer. "Which one?" asked Tom quickly. "The one that stopped down the road just before supper. I see it, but I didn't pay no attention to it. If I'd 'a' knowed you fell out, though, I'd 'a' come to help you."
He rode into Pompville, and on inquiring in a plumbing shop managed to get a bit of copper wire that answered better than did the galvanized piece from the fence. The readjustment was quickly made, and he was on his way again. As it was getting close to noon he stopped near a little spring outside of Pompville and ate a sandwich, washing it down with the cold water. Then he started for Centreford.
As he was coming into the city he heard an automobile behind him. He steered to one side of the road to give the big car plenty of room to pass, but it did not come on as speedily as he thought it would. He looked back and saw that it was going to stop near him. Accordingly he shut off the power of his machine. "Is this the road to Centreford?" asked one of the travelers in the auto.
From Dunkirk Tom went back over the route he had taken in going from Pompville to Centreford, and made some inquiries in the neighborhood of the church shed, where he had taken shelter. The locality was sparsely settled, however, and no one could give any clues to the robbers. The young inventor next made a trip over the lonely, sandy road, where he had met with the tramp, Happy Harry.
He was to meet us in Centreford, but he did not show up." "Oh, I shouldn't be surprised if he had trouble in that tramp rig he insisted on adopting. I told him he was running a risk, but he said he had masqueraded as a tramp before." "So he has. He's pretty good at it. Now, Simpson, if you will " "Not Simpson!
They could not tell their exact location now, but by calculating their speed, which was about thirty miles an hour, Tom figured out that they were above the town of Centreford, near where he had been attacked once by the model thieves. For several hours the airship kept on her way, maintaining a height of about a mile, for when it was found that Mr.
I didn't pay no attention to them, 'cause I was busy about the milkin'. The next I knowed I seen some one strikin' matches in my wagon shed, an' I come out to see what it was." "The men must have brought me all the way from the church shed near Centreford to here," declared Tom. "Then they lifted me out and put me in your shed. Maybe they left my motor-cycle also."
The more Tom tried to reason out the cause of the men's actions, the more he dwelt upon his encounter with the tramp, and the harder he endeavored to seek a solution of the queer puzzle, the more complicated it seemed. He rode on until he saw in a valley below him the buildings of the town of Centreford, and, with a view of them, a new idea came into his mind.