in his amazement at finding her lying there? But she must not let herself think of him in that way. It was her duty, her sacred duty to trap him, to thwart his nefarious plans against her country. She must do her duty just as her soldier brother was doing his in far away France.
Still supported by Hoff's arms she sat up, trying to collect her thoughts and gingerly testing the movement of her arms and limbs.
"Tell me," he cried again, "Jane, dear, are you hurt?"
"I don't think so," she managed to say.
With his assistance she got up on her feet and walked uncertainly to the car, shuddering as she looked at Dean's crumpled senseless body.
"Your friend," said Hoff, as he placed her in the forward seat and wrapped a rug about her, "I am afraid, is badly hurt."
"It's our chauffeur, Thomas Dean," she explained confusedly.
She had been wondering what she could say to Frederic to account for her presence there. It was unconventional at least for a girl to be motorcycling about the country dressed in man's clothes with a chauffeur. Hoff must surely realize now that she had been shadowing him.
She felt almost certain that he had known it from the very first, since that afternoon when he had overheard her telephoning about the "fifth book." Yet never by word or manner had he betrayed the fact that he suspected her. Beyond his customary reserve in speaking about himself or his activities, there was nothing to indicate that he knew anything yet.
Whatever she told him now she must be careful not to betray her mission.
Perhaps even in spite of all that had happened she still might be able to aid Chief Fleck in trapping them.
But did she really want to trap Frederic Hoff? Had Thomas Dean's bitter charge that she was trying to protect him been true? Frederic Hoff loved her. She, yes--she had to admit it to herself--she was beginning to love him. Could she go on with it?
Hoff had been busy lifting the unconscious Dean into the tonneau. As she watched him as he lifted up the body unaided she was conscious of admiration of his great strength.
"Will he die?" she whispered.
"I don't know," he answered. "He is badly hurt. We must get him to a doctor at once."
He stopped a moment longer to examine the car. Fortunately the glancing blow that it had struck the motorcycle had done no more damage than shatter one of the lamps and bend the mud guard. Soon they were moving rapidly in the direction of New York.