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Penny Nichols Finds a Clue   By:

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[Transcriber's note: Extensive research found no evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]

Penny Nichols

Finds a Clue

By

JOAN CLARK

The Goldsmith Publishing Company

CHICAGO

COPYRIGHT MCMXXXVI BY

THE GOLDSMITH PUBLISHING COMPANY

MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. A WARNING II. INSIDE THE TRUNK III. AN IMPULSIVE ACT IV. THE MOLBERG GANG V. PENNY TURNS SLEUTH VI. SUSAN'S MISFORTUNE VII. AN AWKWARD SITUATION VIII. A REVEALING CLUE IX. A TRAP X. THE VANISHING CAR XI. A THREAT XII. KIDNAPPED XIII. THE RAID XIV. BRUNNER'S EXPLANATION XV. INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE XVI. A VALUABLE PHOTOGRAPH XVII. UNDER THE CANVAS XVIII. AT THE OLD SAWMILL XIX. TRAPPED XX. PENNY'S TRIUMPH

Penny Nichols Finds a Clue

CHAPTER I

A Warning

Penny Nichols flung open the office door of the Nichols Detective Agency, descending upon a dignified, gray haired man who was busy at his desk.

"Dad," she announced, "I've come to report a mysterious disappearance!"

Christopher Nichols dropped the correspondence upon which he was working and regarded his daughter for a moment, his gray eyes flashing an indulgent welcome.

"What sort of disappearance?" he inquired cautiously.

Penny laughed as she opened her purse, disclosing an empty coin container.

"It seems to be my allowance again. Yesterday I had two dollars. Now the old pocketbook is as bare as Mother Hubbard's cupboard!"

Mr. Nichols' chief interest in life centered about his charming young daughter and he found it hard at times to keep from pampering her. It was especially difficult at this very moment as Penny stood there, her blue eyes twinkling mischievously, her full red lips parted in an enticing smile, and a few unruly ringlets of curly golden hair framing her forehead in an artistry both casual and becoming.

"Now that is a most bewildering case," he agreed with mock seriousness. "I don't suppose that rattle trap roadster of yours might offer a clue to the mystery?"

"I'm afraid it does," Penny admitted. "Only this time I indulged in seat covers instead of spare parts. As a result I'm flat broke. And I'm to meet Susan Altman at the tennis courts in ten minutes."

Mr. Nichols smiled indulgently as he reached into his pocket for a roll of bills.

"I'll come to the rescue this time, young lady, but mind, I'm charging it up to next week's allowance."

"That's fair enough." Carelessly, Penny picked up several papers from the desk, studying them curiously. "What's this? A new case?"

Her father nodded as he quickly retrieved the documents.

"I've been hired by the Reliance Insurance Company to track down a gang of auto thieves."

"Sounds interesting."

"Unless I miss my guess it will prove a baffling case. I am afraid we may have to postpone our vacation trip to the mountains, Penny."

"Can't you arrange to capture the bold, bad men a little ahead of schedule?" Penny bantered.

"I wish it would prove as simple as that."

"It seems a shame to give up the vacation, because you've worked so hard lately. You really need a long rest."

"We'll both take it when this case is solved," Mr. Nichols promised. "Run along now, for I'm particularly busy."

Not in the least offended by the abrupt dismissal, Penny blew her father an impudent kiss as she went out the door.

Since the death of Mrs. Nichols many years before, Penelope and her father had lived together in a large white house on Hilburn Street with only Mrs. Gallup, an elderly housekeeper, to see that the establishment ran smoothly. It was not surprising that under such an arrangement the fifteen year old girl enjoyed rare freedom. Yet Penny never abused her privileges and she enjoyed the complete confidence of her father.

Penny owned her own roadster and drove it well. To be sure, the car was a second hand model, but one of which she was very proud, for she had paid for it herself by teaching swimming at the Y... Continue reading book >>




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