Once, a long time ago, someone had told him that an Army training was useful in many ways. Coke knew now
that that was true. There was a drainpipe at the back of the garage that led to the roof, and Coke managed
to climb up it. He had often done such things in the army. There was a window in the roof, or a sky-light,
as it is called. It was closed but not locked. Coke managed to get it open and then peered down into the
dark garage below. There was a lorry parked almost directly underneath. He jumped down onto it. It was
completely dark inside the garage itself.
"Masters told me the secrets were kept in the office, but
where's the office?" he wondered. Suddenly be heard a sound behind him, and realised he was not alone in
the garage. Before he could turn around, someone grabbed him from behind and someone else shone a powerful light into
his eyes. He was blinded. Then, there was an explosion of pain in his
head. He realised, just before he
lost consciousness, that what had happened in Epping Forest was happening to him all over again. When he
came to again, he was lying on the floor of the garage. It was at least an hour later. He heard loud
voices. When he opened his eyes, he saw Kate tied to a chair. Four men were standing above him. One of
them was Masters, looking pale and frightened. He was listening to a short blond man. Coke knew it must be
Hugo himself. Hugo was shouting.
"I told you you were a fool ... and idiot! Do you believe me now?" he demanded.
Masters tried to say
something but could not. Hugo slapped him across the face.
"I asked you if you believed me now?" he
"But ... but Hugo. Pl ... please listen to me!" Masters stammered. "I told you someone had phoned
me and had asked me to look at some pistols! I told you it was an old, blind man but you said there was
nothing to worry about!" Masters said.
"No, I didn't. I asked you what you wanted me to do about it, you
idiot!" Hugo roared. Suddenly, one of the other men interrupted.
"What did you say we were going to do
with the girl and Coke?" he asked.
"I said we were going to kill them! And I said we were going to do the
job properly this time!" Hugo answered.
Hugo saw that Coke had come to. Coke tried to get up but his hands were tied. His head hurt terribly. Hugo
looked at him like a shark inspecting his dinner.
"We would never have become suspicious if you hadn't
used Masters' white Jaguar," he said.
"When we saw it parked halfway up the road, we decided to wait and
see what would happen. Then, after we got you, we went out and got your girl friend," he continued.
knew he would never have made such a stupid mistake if he had not been so tired. He had not slept properly
for days. He looked at Kate.
"I'd never have got you into all this if I hadn't asked you for help," he
said to her. He was trapped. It seemed there was nothing he could do and nobody who could help him. Hugo
took out a revolver.
"You'd never have bothered us again if I'd used this four years ago," he said. He
came closer to Coke and aimed the revolver carefully at his head.
Suddenly there was a terrific crash as three policemen broke down the side-door of the garage. Hugo
turned round and gaped.
"No, Hugo. Look up here!" a voice roared from the sky-light above. Suddenly,
everybody stopped. Nobody made a move. Then Baxter dropped through the sky-light, which was still open,
and onto the lorry and finally to the ground. Three more policemen followed him. Baxter walked over to
"Your revolver, please," he said simply.
"I was only protecting my property," Hugo answered. "This
man broke in. That girl helped him. Send him back to prison!"
Baxter listened and smiled. "Certainly, but
only after you've given me that revolver," he replied. Hugo handed it to him silently.
The policemen around Baxter and at the door suddenly moved forward and seized Hugo, Masters and the three
"We've followed you everywhere for days; that's why we're here now," Baxter told Masters.
turned to Hugo and said "And I've been up there for half an hour. I've heard everything you've said. Also,
I think you'd have phoned us an hour ago, when Coke first broke in, if you'd only wanted to protect your
Before Hugo could protest, he and the others were led away. Baxter helped Coke to his feet.
"What we know now already proves you were innocent," he said.
Then he untied Coke's hands. Coke was a free
What happened when Coke got into the garage
and before he lost his consciousness?
2. Why was Hugo angry with Masters?
3. When and how did the police get into the
4. Did the police believe Hugo that he was
protecting his property? Why?
5. Why did Baxter untie Coke's hands?