For the original version of this book, see Footprints Under the Window (original text).

Footprints Under the Window is the twelfth volume in the Original series. It was first issued in 1933, but the text and artwork were revised and updated in 1965. The book was published by Grosset & Dunlap and produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate.

Plot summary

"A plot to steal a top-secret instrument vital to the United States space program poses a challenging case to Frank and Joe Hardy. The whereabouts of their famous detective father is a mystery, so Frank and Joe are on their own to foil the plotters."
— The Hardy Boys #12 Footprints Under the Window (1965), teaser page

While waiting for their Aunt Gertrude to return from her holiday in South America, Frank and Joe Hardy rescue an apparent stowaway when he plunges from the deck of a freighter into Barmet Bay. The man seems grateful but quickly disappears when they reach dry land and are confronted by a man claiming to be an immigration officer. Meanwhile, Micro-Eye Industries, Bayport's large photographic plant, are having trouble keeping spies at bay while they develop a secret project for the US government. The boys become convinced that the two cases are linked when a US Intelligence agent informs them that they believe the spies come from the same part of the world as their stowaway. When Orrin North a local shipping magnate hires the boys to find the stowaway from his ship, they become suspicious and soon discover that he is secretly in communication with the spies.

A series of Bayport residents become the victims of luggage thefts while holidaying in Cayenne, causing the Hardys to suspect a link to the spy ring. When one of these tourists goes missing, they set course for French Guiana to investigate with their friend Chet. Failing to find the missing man, the boys head to Baredo in the unfriendly Huella Islands where the dictator, Juan Posada is suspected of ordering his spies to target the Micro-Eye project. There they discover a group of rebels who are trying to smuggle their fellows out of the oppressive country, supposedly with the help of Orrin North! It transpires that their stowaway, Gomez is a member of this group who was sent to America to rally support and discover why none of the other escapees have made contact. Having exposed North's treachery to the underground movement, they head home to search for the missing refugees.

Returning to Bayport, Frank, Joe and Chet discover the spies' hideout in a North family tomb in an out-of-town cemetery. They overhear a plan to steal the Micro-Eye project and sell it to a foreign power but before they can spring into action they are captured and taken to an old wrecked North Lines ship in nearby Cobblewave Cove. There they befriend Gomez and discover the other refugees, bound and unable to escape. They are locked in a flooding chamber on the ship and left to die. However, they escape with the help of their father, Fenton who has been working on the case undercover in Bayport all along. Together they race to the Micro-Eye plant where the theft of the secret device, a satellite camera, is to take place. They arrive in time to see the plant surrounded by smoke and the spies escaping with the camera. Chasing the gang to the harbor, they switch to the Sleuth when they hit the water and eventually help the coastguard bring in the criminals, rescuing the device and finally bringing the spies to justice.




Businesses and organizations




Footprints Under The Window Israel: Hebrew language edition revised text, 1992, Hardcover

  • During the 1970s, Footprints Under The Window was published in Israel using the revised Grosset & Dunlap cover artwork. However, starting in 1992, the cover art was changed to a Norman Rockwell painting of an American astronaut leaving a moon vehicle and taking a step onto the moon. For both the 1970s and the 1990s versions the internal artwork was the same as the Grosset & Dunlap edition.

See also


  1. Who Wrote the Hardy Boys? at
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