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coininfocap > An Instinct For Trouble > Part 3
Jennifer and Alicia nodded to Bess. Jack glanced at her, smiled broadly, and held out his hand to shake hers. "h.e.l.lo there, I'm Jack Billings. Boy, does Ned Nickerson have some great-looking friends."

Bess blushed but said nothing.

Nancy got to her feet. "Someone obviously wanted something. Is all the equipment still here?"

Alicia had been studying the computer ta- ble. "It doesn't look as if anything was taken."

Nancy crossed to the supply room. Every- thing looked much as it had when she had seen it a couple of hours earlier. Then she noticed the hypodermic syringe and several vials of tranquilizer were missing.

"Did anyone take a syringe and some tran- quilizer vials out of here?" Nancy asked over her shoulder.

Alicia stepped inside and checked the shelf.

"Oh-they are missing. But who would have taken them?"

Nancy's thoughts raced. First the group had discovered fifty marmots missing, and now someone seemed to have stolen tranquilizers that could sedate more marmots. Was some- one planning to tranquilize the fifty stolen creatures so they could be quietly s.h.i.+pped out of the park?

Before she could ask more questions. Nancy saw Professor Trainey at the doorway.

"Now what?" he demanded, slightly out of breath. "Can't I leave this project for five minutes without-" His voice faded as he noticed Ned on the floor.

"Someone hit Ned over the head," Jennifer told her father. "And tranquilizers are missing from the supply room."

Trainey's eyes widened as he knelt beside Ned. "We've got to get you up to the hospital in Gardiner as soon as we can." He glanced around the room, clearly upset. "Can someone drive him there? We can't take chances-not with a head injury."

"I'll go," Nancy quickly offered. "Where is it?"

"Gardiner is just over the state line in Montana, right outside the north entrance of the park. I'll ride along and show you the way," Jack offered. "Just give me a couple of minutes to clear it with headquarters."

Nancy remembered the object she had stashed in her pocket. She slipped it out un.o.b- trusively. It was a Phi Beta Kappa key. Turning it over, she saw the initials D.T. engraved on the back. Dan Trainey.

She leaned down to pat Ned's shoulder, then crossed the room.

"Professor?" she said quietly. "May I speak to you privately for a moment?"

Frowning, Trainey followed her outside.

"If you're concerned about Ned's care, don't be," he began.

"It's not that," Nancy replied. She showed him the gold medallion. "I found this just now under Ned. It's yours, isn't it?"

Trainey took the key from her palm and examined it. "Yes," he said. "I noticed I'd lost it a few days ago. Thanks."

"How do you suppose it came to be lying under Ned-now?" Nancy asked.

Trainey flushed. "What are you implying?"

"Professor Trainey," Nancy said, "I'm a de- tective. Something strange is going on here.

Ned asked me to help find out what it is."

"Now, look h

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