The Golden Boys Rescued by Radio
“That cabin is exactly like the one I saw up at Moosehead,” he whispered, as soon as he was beside Bob.
THE GOLDEN BOYS RESCUED BY RADIO
“There, that’s done. Got that condenser ready, Jack?”
“I’ll have it in a jiffy, Bob. The wire’s come unsoldered and I’vegot to fix it but it won’t take but a minute.”
“All right, but make it snappy. I’m on pins to know whether thething’s going to work.”
The two boys, Bob and Jack Golden, aged nineteen and eighteenrespectively, had been hard at work for nearly three weeks in theirlaboratory in the basement of their home in Skowhegan, Maine, asmall town some hundred miles north of Portland, on the KennebecRiver. It was now nearly ten o’clock at night and they had been hardat work since early morning in an endeavor to bring their labors toan end before going to bed.
“There, she’s fixed,” Jack declared, with a sigh of relief as heplaced a small soldering iron in its place over the work bench.
“Good. Now you take your set up to the bedroom and we’ll give it atry out. If it only works, it’ll be the best thing we’ve ever done,Jack boy,” and Bob threw his arms about his brother’s neck and gavehim a hearty hug.
“Save the pieces,” Jack laughed as he turned to the bench and pickedup a small wooden case which he slipped into his coat pocket. Thenfrom a small drawer he took a brass cylinder about seven inches longand slightly over an inch thick. Caps, which had the appearance ofsilver, but were composed of an alloy, the secret of which was knownonly to the two boys, closed the ends of the cylinder. Some threefeet of fine wire was soldered to the center of each cap. From thesame drawer he took a small round object closely resembling the earpiece of a head telephone.
“I’ll call you in about ten minutes,” he said as he started towardthe door. “That is, I’ll try to,” he added turning with his hand onthe knob.
As soon as his brother had closed the door Bob set to workassembling his outfit similar, in all respects, to that which Jackhad taken with him. The small wooden case he put in an outside coatpocket pushing the two wires which led from it throughthe lining of the coat. These he quickly attached to the brasscylinder which he then slipped into his inside pocket. The littletelephone receiver, which was designed to serve as a transmitter aswell, he connected by two wires to the two terminals at one end ofthe case and slipped it into the same pocket. As he stood therethere was nothing visible about him to indicate that he carried onhis person their latest invention.
“There, I guess there’s nothing more to do except wait,” he saidaloud as he sat down in a chair.
While he is waiting will be as good a time as any other to introducethe two boys to any who have not read the previous volumes of thisseries.
Bob and Jack Golden were sons of a well-to-do manufacturer andlumberman, Mr. Richard Golden. Their home was in the little town ofSkowhegan on the Kennebec River. The boys, being of an inventiveturn, their father had fitted up for them, in the basement of thehome, a combined workshop and laboratory. Here they spent many hoursof their vacations and more than one useful invention had resultedfrom their labors. The most important was undoubtedly an entirelynew type of storage cell. This cell, though small enough to becarried in the pocket, was yet powerful enough to run a motor boator an automobile for a long time.
“It’s about time I was getting that call,” Bobthought as he glanced at his watch for the tenth time since Jack hadleft. “It’s been more than ten minutes. Guess I’d better go up andsee what’s up.”
But just as he started to rise from his chair a faint but distinctbuzzing sound caught his ear.
“There he is now,” he thought as he quickly pulled the receiver fromhis pocket and held it to his ear.
“Hello, Bob. Can you hear me?” The words were as distinctly audibleas if his brother had been standing at his side.
“Fine,” he replied holding the small receiver, which, by pressing abutton on the side of the case, he had converted into a transmitter,a few inches from his mouth. “It seems to work all right at thisend. Can you hear me?”
Pressing the button again he held the receiver to his ear once more.
“Plain as day,” came the delighted voice of his brother. “I’ll bedown in two shakes of a dog’s tail.”
Bob had hardly disconnected the wires and taken the case andcylinder from his pockets when Jack burst into the room.
“Whoop la, she’s a go all right,” the younger boy shouted as hecaught hold of his brother and for a moment the two delighted boysexecuted an Indian war dance about the room.
“We’d better not make too much noise,” Bobcautioned as out of breath he threw himself into a chair. “I expectthe folks are in bed by this time and they may think the house is onfire,” he laughed.
“But to think that we’ve hit it at last after trying more thantwenty different things,” Jack declared as he too sat down. “Itseems too good to be a fact, but those selenium plates are evidentlyjust the thing. They catch the waves just as well and perhaps betterthan aerials.”
“They seem to is right,” agreed more cautious Bob. “But rememberwe’ve tried them for only a comparatively few feet. How they willwork at a long distance is another question.”
“Of course that’s so,” agreed Jack thoughtfully, “but, for the lifeof me, I can’t see why they won’t catch them just as well at a longdistance as at a short. Anyhow we’ll know before long. I’ll take mybike and go up to the lake first thing in the morning and we’ll givethem another try.”
“That’s the ticket, and now I move we hit the hay for a few hours’sleep, I’m about played out working all day and most of the nightthe way we’ve been doing lately,” Bob said as he switched off thelight.
The two boys had indeed as Jack put it, “been burning the candle atboth ends,” and they no more than touched their pillows before theywere sound asleep. Nor did they awake until their sister, Edna,called them.
“Come on there, you sleepy heads. Think I’m going to keep breakfastwaiting for you all day?” she cried as she sprinkled a few drops ofwater on Jack’s face.
“Who called out the fire department?” the latter muttered as he satup and rubbed his eyes.
“It needs more than a fire department to get your eyes open,” Ednalaughed as she gave Bob a similar treatment. “You’ve got just threeminutes to get down to the table or you get nothing to eat,” andwith the ominous threat she ran from the room.
“Guess she means it,” Bob yawned as he threw the bed clothes to oneside.
They made it with ten seconds to spare, but, as Jack declared, “amiss is as good as a mile.”
“Thought I’d scare you into hustling,” Edna declared as she placed ahuge plate of hot cakes in front of them.
“I’ll call you in about fifteen minutes,” Jack said a few minuteslater as he stood in front of the house ready to mount his motorcycle.
“Better make it twenty,” Bob laughed. “You’ll have Switzer on yourtrail if you go to burning the road before you get out of town.”
“He’ll have a swell time catching me,” Jack declared as he started.
The motor cycle made not the slightest sound as he sped down thestreet. The putt-putt of the usualgas engine was absent as the wheel was equipped with a powerfulelectric motor driven by one of their new cells.
Lake Wesserunsette, a beautiful sheet of water, nearly five mileslong, lies to the north of Skowhegan and about six miles distant.Here the Goldens had a summer cottage situated near the shore of thelake in the midst of the tall pines. “The Shadow of the Pines” asthey had named the cottage, was a large comfortably furnished houseand during July and August the family spent much of their timethere. But this summer they were a little later than usual and hadnot as yet opened the house.
“Just sixteen minutes,” Jack declared after a glance at his watch,as he leaned the motor cycle against the steps of the front porch.
A moment later and he was sending the “call” to his brother bypressing a small switch at one end of the case. Almost at once theanswer came as clear and distinct as on the previous night when theyhad been in the same house.
“Distance don’t seem to cut any figure at all does it?” he declareda moment later after they had congratulated each other.
“Doesn’t seem to, that’s a fact,” Bob replied. “I’m coming up andwe’ll have a sail in the Sprite,” he added.
Leaving his motor cycle leaning against the stepsJack quickly ran down to the boat house. Fortunately he had the keyin his pocket and in a moment he had the door open. Everything wasas he remembered to have left it the previous summer. Slung abovethe water was the Sprite, an eighteen foot boat, which, the summerbefore, they had equipped with an electric motor in place of the gasengine.
“She’s sure a beauty,” Jack thought as he gazed at the boat’sgraceful lines.
He at once set to work lowering her to the water and had justfinished when Bob arrived.
“You didn’t lose any time getting up here,” Jack said.
“Seventeen minutes exactly.”
“Then I beat you by a minute,” Jack laughed. “But did you think tobring up a cell?”
“Two of ’em,” Bob replied taking two brass cylinders, about halflarge again as those which they had used for the radio outfits, fromhis inside coat pocket.
It was the work of but a moment to slip one of the cells in placeand in less than ten minutes they were ploughing through the watersof the lake, Jack at the helm while Bob lounged in the stern his handwithin reach of the switch which controlled the speed of the boat.
“Isn’t this simply glorious?” Bob asked as he pushed the switch overanother notch.
“It sure is the life,” Jack agreed enthusiastically, as he headedthe boat down the lake.
“I wonder just