USE DENTO A genuine, safe, pleasing paste for the teeth, prepared and sold only by the Auer Dental Company, New York.

He tried all the methods of solving cipher letters that he thought of.

He drew diagonals this way and that across the advertisement. He tried reading it backward. He tried reading every other word, every third word, both backward and forward. Nothing that he did revealed any combination of words that made sense.

"Passports," he muttered to himself, "that's it. If there is a message there it must be something about passports."

In despair he turned to the other advertisement. It read: DON'T Forget it is imperative for one and all to use cleansing agents on teeth that leave no bad results.

"Ship more of that wonder-working paste immediately. Workers, employers, wives, all ready to commend it. Friday's supply gone," writes a druggist to whom a big shipment was made last week.

USE DENTO A genuine, safe, pleasing paste for the teeth, prepared and sold only by the Auer Dental Company, New York.

Fleck's eyes gleamed with satisfaction as he read this advertisement and caught the phrase "wonder-working." He felt sure now that he was on the right track. He recalled that Jane Strong over the dictograph had heard old Hoff speak of something that he called the "wonder-worker." As soon as Carter returned with the other advertisements that had been appearing he felt positive that he would be able to unravel the cipher.

Two words he was sure of--"passports" and "wonder-working." One footprint does not lead anywhere, but two do, and given three footprints, a pathway is indicated.

His telephone rang sharply. He turned to answer it, suspecting it must be Carter with some message about the papers he had sent for.


"Hello," he called.

"Hello," came a faint voice, as if the speaker were using long distance, and had a bad connection, "is this Fleck?"

"Yes, Fleck," he answered, "who is this?"

"Dean speaking," came the voice faintly.

"Dean," cried Fleck, excitedly, "yes, yes. What is it, Dean?"

He had not expected to hear any results from the expedition that Dean and Jane Strong had undertaken until late in the afternoon after the Hoffs returned. The fact that Dean was calling him up now would seem to indicate that something of importance had happened.

"I'm telephoning from a doctor's house near Nyack," said Dean.

"What's that? Speak louder."

"I'm here in Doctor Spencer's office near Nyack with a broken arm," Dean continued. "We've had an accident. Somebody's auto smashed into us, I guess."

"Miss Strong? Where is she? Is she hurt?" asked the chief anxiously.