“’So one dark night I called, “Corporal of the Guard Number One!” The second sentry, thinking it had come from the man stationed at the end, repeated this, and the words went down the line as usual. This reached Corporal Number One, and brought him back to our end only to find out that he had been tricked by someone.
“’We did this three times, but on the third night they were watching. They caught the Dutch boy and locked him up in the fort. Several soldiers chased me home. I ran down cellar where there were two barrels of potatoes and a third which was almost empty. I dumped the contents of three barrels into two, sat down, pulled the empty barrel over my head, bottom upwards. The soldiers woke my father, and they all came hunting for me with lanterns and candles.
“’The corporal was perfectly sure I had come down cellar. He couldn’t see how I had got away, and asked father if there wasn’t a secret place for me to hide in the cellar. When father said “No,” he exclaimed, “Well, that’s very strange!”
“’You can understand how glad I was when they left, for I was in a cramped position, and as there had been rotten potatoes in that barrel, I was beginning to feel sick.
“’The next morning father found me in bed and gave me a good switching on my legs—the only whipping I ever received from him, though mother kept behind the old clock a switch which had the bark well worn off! My mother’s ideas differed somewhat from mine, most of all when I mussed up the house with my experiments.
“‘The Dutch boy was released the next morning.’
“Another escapade described by Edison was pulled off on the Canada side of the St. Clair, in Port Sarnia, opposite Port Huron.
“’In 1860 the Prince of Wales (afterward King Edward) visited Canada. Nearly every lad in Port Huron, including myself, went over to Sarnia to see the celebration. The town was profusely draped in flags—there were arches over some streets—and carpets were laid on the crossings for the prince to walk on.
“’A stand was built where the prince was to be received by the mayor. Seeing all these arrangements raised my idea of the prince very high. But when he finally came I mistook the Duke of Newcastle for Albert Edward. The duke was a very fine-looking man. When I discovered my mistake—the Prince of Wales being a mere stripling—I was so disappointed that I couldn’t help mentioning the fact. Then several of us American boys expressed our belief that a prince wasn’t much after all! One boy got well whipped for this and there was a free-for-all fight. The Canucks attacked the Yankee boys and, as they greatly outnumbered us, we were all badly licked and I got a black eye. This always prejudiced me against that kind of ceremonial and folly.’”
THE MAKING OF AN INVENTOR
“It was during the time young Edison was employed at Port Huron,” the radio continued, “that the cable under River St. Clair between that city and Port Sarnia was severed by an ice jam. The river at that point is three quarters of a mile wide. Navigation was suspended and the ice had broken up so that the stream could not be crossed on foot nor could the broken cable lying in the bed of the river be mended.