The Witchmaster's Key

The Witchmaster's Key by Franklin W. Dixon Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: The Witchmaster's Key by Franklin W. Dixon Read Free Book Online
Authors: Franklin W. Dixon
in the United States.”
    He handed one each to Frank and Joe. They were stretch-type rubber masks with a skin-tight fit. The features were those of two freckle-faced youths.
    â€œThe actors portrayed Scottish boys of about your age,” Burelli explained.
    The Hardys slipped the masks on and stared at the dentist.
    â€œA perfect fit,” he said. “You could fool your own mother, not to mention the criminals you keep under surveillance.”
    The boys pulled the masks off and pocketed them.
    â€œThanks,” Joe said. “Could we fool a witch?”
    Burelli became serious. “I don’t know about a witch. But there’s talk about what you’re up to in Griffinmoor. The Gravesend Players were discussing you backstage last night. They know you were at John Pickenbaugh’s funeral and are investigating the burglary at the Witch Museum.”
    â€œWhat do you think?” Frank queried.
    Burelli grinned. “I think you two cover a lot of ground in one big hurry. Better be cautious.”
    Another patient needed attention, so they left the office and caught the London train.
    On arriving, they quickly located Soho Square, the international district of the city. They heard languages from French to Arabic. Chinese merchants peered out of dingy windows. Spanish sailors sauntered past. North African gold speculators conversed among themselves, and sleazy-looking characters buttonholed easy marks.
    â€œFrank, I have a notion we could buy anything illegal in Soho,” Joe remarked. “Stolen gems, hijacked TV sets—”
    â€œForged passports,” Frank finished the sentence. “But there’s Marshall Street and the MedmenhamBook Store, and a sign that says ‘
Locksmith
.’ That’s what we want.”
    A small bell over the door tinkled as they stepped inside. The locksmith was a large, heavyset, jolly man, who guffawed when they showed him their plaster cast.
    â€œThat’s no key! It must have been a piece of scrap the masons dropped into the concrete when it was poured. And even if it was a key, the cast is too rough to work with.”
    Frank and Joe could not convince him to try to make a key. But they did peek into his workshop because the door was ajar. They were fascinated by a suit of armor.
    The locksmith noticed their interest. He said jovially, “Boys, how about minding the shop for me? I have to step out for a minute. Be my guests and look around.”
    They eagerly agreed. As soon as he left, they pushed the door open and went into the workshop. A remarkable sight met their eyes.
    There were several suits of medieval armor. A pair of crossed swords hung on the wall. A crossbow stood in a corner, cocked and ready to fire a steel-tipped arrow. A headsman’s ax lay on the floor, its wicked blade gleaming in the dim light of a small window overhead. A battleax was balanced in a vise with a file beside it. Darts and daggers littered the workbench.
    Joe stood spellbound. “Frank, this guy must be hipped on medieval weapons!”
    â€œI’d say he knows as much about them as Richard the Lion-Hearted. He should have been a crusader. Isn’t there anything besides weapons in this room?”
    Just then a noise made them stiffen.
Click!
The door snapped into place behind them. Whirling, Joe seized the knob and strove to wrestle the lock open. It refused to budge.
    â€œFrank!” he exclaimed. “We’re locked in! We’re trapped!”

CHAPTER VIII
The Fortuneteller
    F RANK placed the plaster cast for the key on the workbench and tried the door. Like Joe, he failed to get it open.
    â€œWhat’s up?” he wondered.
    â€œMaybe it’s somebody’s idea of a joke,” Joe said.
    Frank looked worried. “I think the locksmith is trying to scare us, or something worse.”
    â€œLike what?”
    â€œLike keep us prisoners!”
    Joe whistled. “How do we get out of here?”
    They

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