and the Hoover girls! Then Allison could take voice lessons and little Judy would be taken care of, and—"
Nancy hurriedly read on, hoping to learn something definite. But although she carefully examined every page in the book, there was no other mention of the will, nor any clue to its contents.
"No wonder the document didn't come to light," Nancy mused. "Who would have thought of looking for it in a safe-deposit box under the name of Josiah Johnston? In his desire for safekeeping, Josiah Crowley nearly defeated his own purpose."
Her thoughts were interrupted as she heard a car turn into the driveway. Rushing to the window, Nancy saw her father pull into the garage. She ran to meet him at the kitchen door.
"Why, hello, Nancy," he greeted her in surprise. "If I had known you were here, I'd have come home sooner. I was doing some special work on a case. Back from Moon Lake ahead of schedule, aren't you?"
"Yes," Nancy admitted, trying to hide her excitement. "But for a good reason."
Before her father could hang up his hat in the hall closet, she plunged into the story of her adventures and ended by showing him the notebook which she had found inside the mantel clock. When she had finished, Carson Drew stared at his daughter with mingled pride and amazement.
"You're a good detective, Nancy. You've picked up an excellent clue," he said.
"Dad, I thought it best not tell the police about the notebook. We don't want to reveal the secret of another will to the executor mentioned in the old one."
"You mean Mr. Topham. I agree," the lawyer replied. "The new will may name someone else as executor." He smiled. "I think you and I should try to see this will. But," he added, "which Merchants Trust Company is it in? There must be dozens of banks by that name."
Nancy suddenly snapped her fingers. "Dad, I believe I know. You recall that Judge Hart and his wife told me they had seen Josiah Crowley in Masonville a couple of times. And there's a Merchants Trust Company there."
Mr. Drew looked at his daughter admiringly. "I believe you have the answer, Nancy. And Judge Hart is just the man to help us. I'll phone him in the morning. Well, I guess we both need some sleep."
As the lawyer kissed his daughter good night, he added, "My dear, you were hi serious danger when you encountered those thieves. I don't like to have you take such risks. I am very grateful indeed that you are back home safe."
"The Tophams aren't going to thank me when they find out what I have done," Nancy said, as she went up the stairs ahead of her rather. "In fact, we may have a battle on our hands, Dad."
"That's right, Nancy. And it will be just as well that they don't learn the details of how the will was found until the matter is settled beyond a doubt."
"I'm certainly curious to find out if the new will left anything to the Tophams," said Nancy.
"If not," her father put in, "your discovery will strike them at an especially awkward time."
Nancy paused on the stairs and turned to face her father. "What do you mean?"
"Well, there's talk about town that Richard Topham has been losing heavily in the stock market this past month. He has been getting credit at a number of places on the strength of the inheritance, and I suspect he is depending on Crowley's money to pull him through a tight spot. He's making every effort to speed up the settlement of the estate."
"Then we'd better hurry," said Nancy, resuming the climb.
"Don't build your hopes too high," Mr. Drew advised her wisely. "There may be a slip, you know."
"We may fail to find the will in the safe-deposit box."
"Oh, I can't believe it, Dad. The notebook says it's there!"
"Then," the lawyer continued, "there is a chance that Josiah Crowley didn't dispose of the fortune as the Turners and the Hoovers and others expected he would."
"But he promised all those people—"
"I know, Nancy. But there's just the possibility that the notation in the notebook was wishful thinking and Mr. Crowley never got around to making the new will."
"You can discourage me all you want to, Dad, "but I'm not going to stop hoping!" Nancy said. "Oh, I can scarcely wait for morning to come!"
Her father laughed. "You're an incurable optimist! Now put Josiah Crowley out of your mind and get a good night's sleep."
At the door of her bedroom Nancy hesitated, then turned back toward the stairs.
"What's up?" Mr. Drew asked.
Without answering Nancy ran down to the living room, picked up the notebook which lay on the table, and hurried back up the carpeted steps.
"After all I've gone through to get my hands on this," she told her father, "I'm not going to take any chances!" Nancy laughed. "Tonight I'll sleep with it under my pillow!"