"Report to me at once," he said to the operative who answered his call, "the minute the Hoffs have arrived home."

"The old man is home now," the operative answered.

"What's that?" cried Fleck.

"He came in alone five minutes ago on foot. The young man is not home yet with the automobile."

"Let me know as soon as he arrives," said Fleck curtly, turning away from the 'phone.

He was more perplexed than ever. What could have happened? Where was young Hoff with the motor? Where was Jane Strong? Why had she disappeared after Dean had been hurt? How had she vanished? The Hoffs' affairs had assuredly taken a new and bothersome turn, over which Fleck sat puzzling many minutes.

Where was Jane Strong? In the answer to that question, he decided at length, lay the crux of the whole situation.