“I’m hungry,” groaned Cooper.

On cue his stomach grumbled loud enough for everyone to hear, and his fellow Trackers laughed in good fun as the bookmobile turned off the exit ramp and chugged up Route 280 heading for Newark.

“What have I been telling you for the last twenty miles since we left the Lighthouse down in Barnegat. I’m starving.”

“When are you not?” Maya said rolling her eyes.

“Hey—my brain needs proper nourishment. Mr. C—how about we make a stop at Dickie Dee’s and get a hot dog?”

One side of Mr. C’s mouth turned up in a sly grin as he gave a quick look into the rearview mirror and glanced back at Cooper. “I’m afraid those Bloomfield Avenue dogs are a little out of the way from the Jazz Institute, Coop.”
“Looks like you’ll have to find a way to somehow manage without food for a little longer,” said Maya with a playful nudge to Cooper’s ribs.

“That’s news my stomach doesn’t like hearing,” he moaned as a second chorus of gut rumblings sounded from his middle.

“Besides the Devil getting to Coop and his bottomless pit, what do you think he’s up to by sending us here?” asked Chelsea as the van sidled up to the curb on University Avenue and came to a stop.

“Guess we’re going to find out,” said Maya unbuckling her seat belt then hopping out from the backseat. “The IJS is the most extensive library of jazz archives in the world . . . Who knows—maybe the Jersey Devil is a music lover.”

“And all this time I was thinking he played hockey, not the saxophone,” said Jamal with chuckle.