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Page 59 text:
THE WARRIOR 57
When Wave Lengths Wcwer---continued
"Don't care if all your cousins, and aunts, and uncles are sick, I guess l can
skate on this walk if l want to" Kenneth retorted. But just then Mrs. Marks ap-
peared in the doorway and her sour look and threatening air impressed Kenneth and
Snubs with the fact that at the present, retreat was the better part of valor, so they
turned and skated slowly back to Snubs' home.
Mrs. Marks had taken all the joy out of skating, so for the remainder of the after-
noon they sprawled on the grass and discussed Percy's radio until the subject was worn
"Did you know that the "Ladies Aid" was going to be entertained at the
Marks' tomorrow afternoon," Snubs remarked after an hour or so conversation.
i'Nope," answered Kenneth. "Are they going to have ice cream?"
"Yep, strawberry. I heard Mrs. Marks tell ma so."
Full an hour was spent in discussing the probable chances of partaking in the
mortuary services of the afoesaid ice cream, but no definite conclusion was reached.
However, on the next day the two boys could be seen hanging around the back
door of the Marks' house, about the usual time for the Heats." Inside, the "Ladies
Aid" as they sewed on pillow-cases for the heads of the poor, starving Armenians, were
being entertained by a marvelous speech on "Child Training" given by Monsieur Bu-
soni of New Orleans, over the radio.
Snubs and Kenneth heard as much of it as they could stand, listening by the side
window. They also obtained a fairly good view of the radio. It was a queer looking
contraption, not at all like their own nor the ones they'd read about. There was a
large horn, which resembled those used on phonographs, and a whole lot of little
wheels, screws, bolts, etc., as might have been extracted from an alarm clock. Percy
was standing by it twisting a little wheel on the front, endeavoring to pick up a con-
cert but with no success, so, he, lon the suggestion of several ladies present! switched
back to the "Child Training" talk. At that moment refreshments were announced so
Kenneth and Snubs deeming it a suitable time to get some too. raced around to the
Mrs. Marks was there and the door was open so Snubs went hesitatingly up the
"Please, Mrs. Marks," he began obsequiously, "we're very sorry we skated on
your front walk, yesterday-
"That's all right," Mrs. Marks cut in sharply.
"And if you'd give us some ice cream we'd never do it again," Snubs continued.
Not enough for you and the ladies too," Mrs. Marks said, biting off each word.
"But we wouldn't eat very much" Snubs said pleadingly.
"And we'd hoe your garden for you" Kenneth added desperately.
Just then a crash as of a falling dish came from the front of the house. Mrs.
Marks turned and swished out of the room towards the noise, leaving the kitchen
vacant. Immediately, two boys with but a single thought tip-toed into the room
towards the ice cream freezer, but as no means of eating it could be discovered they
compromised on cake. Just as they reached out their arms towards the cake-plate,
steps were heard in the hall leading to the kitchen. Both boys turned startled faces
toward the door. Not enough time to gain the outside entrance, so with surprising
celerity they grabbed a piece of cake and disappeared noiselessly through a door open-
ing into a small, heavily-walled room, just lately built on to accommodate Mrs. Marks'
Page 58 text:
56 THE WARRIOR
When Wave Lengths Wafver
Spectackled-owl-faced-darling of the Ladies' Aid Society-head of his class-
in other words, Percy Marks, was Snub's and Kenneth's mortal enemy. Their rea-
sons for hating him were numerous, but the last offense committed was the worst.
insomuch that he installed a radio made by himself. Ordinarily this would have
been all right but now, it was an outrage in their estimation. Reason? Because
they felt certain that Percy had made the set just to throw their own small crystal
set in the shade.
It happened in the days when radio was a novelty, and the purchase of one in
town Lespecially a delapidated one-horse, or maybe one-auto town, like Tulipvillel
was likely to cause a great deal of excitement. Kenneth and Snubs had had the first
radio in the afore-mentioned town, in which they resided. For awhile it was the
greatest curiosity, most-gossiped, most-talked about thing in town, and then about
the time the two boys were considering running jointly lthey did everything in that
mannerl for mayor. Percy appeared on the scene with a set, over which you could
hear any city of the United States. True, it didn't always work, but when it did,
it far outshone their own set,
It was the first home-made radio in Tulipville and everyone was proud of it.
No one knew anything about radio but everyone said, "How clever," and such re-
marks as "What a bright little boy" and "I wouldn't be surprised if he turned out
to be a second Edison" could be heard on all sides.
The very name of Percy Marks became idious to Snubs and Kenneth. When
they sat down to supper in the evening their parents were sure to begin conversa-
tion with 'iWe heard a speech from Denver over the Marks boy's radio. Why don't
you improve your set so that you can hear that far?" XVhen they went to school
the main topic of conversation at recess was sure to be The Radio and what a long
distance you could hear on it.
Percy, himself didn't say much about it. He let it be
known that it was a very expensive one and that it had taken M 7
him a long time to make it as he had invented a few of the
parts himself, but otherwise he was non-committal. , W
Snubs wondered a great deal about that radio. He had gi
never seen it but he felt certain that Percy never could have ll
made it. He was not of a mechanical mind and it seemed ' I "T
impossible that he had invented some of it. All-ineall Snubs li .HMM
was quite disgusted with the world as he lay on the ground ' ,
staring up at the antenna wavering back and forth over the '
Marks' home next door. ' 'Um
"Yoof Hoof Snubsfu came Kenneth's voice, breaking M 5 if
the silence of the still afternoon. "Come on over and go
skating, or I'll come over therein and fitting his actions to
his words he vaulted over the back fence. "Lets skate here f
in front of yours and "Little Angel's place." E U
Snubs assented. So, soon, with arms swinging back Q:
and forth and hair flying up on end, they flew down the S S
sidewalk. As they came abreast the Mark's residence, Percy
stepped out on the porch and said sweetly: 'iMy cousin is
very sick so I wish you'd please skate farther down the walk.
Those skates do make so much noise," Percy hose ,
Page 60 text:
58 THE WARRIOR
When Wave Lengths Wcwer---continued
The entrance of the two boys did not disturb the young man seated in a huge,
padded chair by the window, at whose side a large phonograph well stocked with records
stood, He was evidently talking to someone but who the boys could not ascertain as
the chair, in which he sat, was so large that it deadened the sound of conversation to a
Snubs and Kenneth in fear of pursuit dived under the bed. Prom there they
could hear the man quite well. Snubs peeped out from under the bed and saw that
the man was talking vehemently into a phone-like instrument. "Many authorities
advise the appliance of force to correct any moral defects of the child, but I consider
this an incorrect and even harmful method of procedure," he was saying. "In these
modern days when nearly every child is precocious, and all are educated far beyond
their years, they should be shown the correct thing and in nine cases out of ten, the
child will use his own judgment for the right."
"Why the big fake," Kenneth Whispered. "Percy hasn't got a radio at all. We
ought to put a stop to this."
But Snubs was already crawling out from under the bed and towards the orator's
chair. It was only the work of a second to clap a hand over the invalid's mouth, bind,
and gag him. The man made no resistance when they removed the phone-instrument
from his hand and started speaking into it.
"This is New York, K. Z. H. speaking" Snubs began. Pause.-"We have just
received official notice, that the biggest hum-bug of the United States has been dis-
covered. He was located in Tulipville and his name is Percy Marks. For nearly a
month he has been fooling the citizens of the town with a certain radio by giving them
fake speeches and phonograph concerts. lf he is now present in his front room, l'm
sure he'll be charmed to guide the members of the 'Ladies' Aid" to his cousin's room
where the speaker is. If he's afraid he's a coward and he's already a fake, and a cheat
and a swindler and a liar."
In the front room consternation fell. Nothing like this had happened in Tulip-
ville since the time Eliza Hokums pretended she had a millionaire fiance in the city.
Percy got very red in the face trying to explain matters. In the end he was forced to
conduct the ladies to the back room. As he entered, Snubs and Kenneth departed, via
"Oh Gosh!" Snubs said. "We left our cake under the bed, but anyway Percy is
And that's why the second Edison will never come from Tulipville.
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