“Now. you can see,” Bill went on, with ever increasing enthusiasm, “just how that shows where Mr. Edison stands. Nobody can get ahead of him, and there isn’t anyone with brains who knows him who doesn’t admit he has more brains and is wider awake than anybody else. There’s nothing that he does that doesn’t show it. You have all seen his questionnaires for the men who are employed in his laboratories and you can bet they’re no joke. And his inventions—they’re not just the trifling things like egg-beaters, rat-traps, coat-hangers, bread-mixers, fly-swatters and lipsticks.”
“But some of these things are mighty cute and they coin the dough,” said Ted.
“Oh, they’re ingenious and money-makers some of them, I’ll admit, but we could get along very well without them and most of us do. But think of the real things Edison has done. The first phonograph; improving the telegraph so that six messages can be sent over the same wire at the same time; improving the telephone so that everybody can use it; collecting fine iron ore from sand and dirt by magnets; increasing the power and the lightness of the storage battery. And there are the trolleys and electric railways that have been made possible. And the incandescent electric lamp—how about that? Edison has turned his wonderful genius only to those things that benefit millions of—”
“And he deserved to make millions out of it,” said Ted.
“I guess he has, too,” offered one of the girls.
“You bet, and that’s what he works for: not just to benefit people,” asserted Terry.
“I suppose your dad and most other guys got their dough all by accident while they were trying to help other folks; eh?” Bill fired at Terry.
But the rich boy walked away, his usual method to keep from getting the worst of an argument.
“Oh, I wish Grace Hooper were here,” Cora said. “She’s no snob like Terry and wouldn’t she enjoy this?”
“And her dad, too. Isn’t he a nice old fellow, even though he’s awfully rich?” laughed Dot.
“He’d have his say about this argument, grammar or no grammar. He thinks a lot of this chap he calls Eddy’s son,” Mary Dean declared.
“Great snakes! Does he really think the wizard is the child of some guy named Eddy?” Ted queried.
“Sounds so,” Cora said. “But you can’t laugh at him, he’s so kind and good and it would hurt Grace. He would be interested in radio, too.”
“Wonder he hasn’t got a peach of a receiver set up in his house,” Lucy Shore ventured.
“Is he keen for all new-fangled things?” asked Ted.
“You bet he is, though somebody would have to tell him and show him first. Well, people, I’m going home; who’s along?”
With one accord the others got to their feet and started up or down the street. Gus and Bill went together, as always; they had much to talk about.