“Listen to me, lad. This nevvy o’ mine is me dead sister’s child, an’ I swore t’ her I’d do all I could fer him. His brother Bob, he’s in the Navy, a decent lad; won’t have nothin’ to do with Thad. An’ you can’t blame him, fer Thad’s a rapscallion. Smart, too, an’ friendly enough to his old uncle. But now, though, I’m done with him. I’m fer lettin’ him slide, not wantin’ to put the law on him. I’ll take care o’ George. He shall have the best doctor in the country, an’ I’ll keep him an’ his wife in comfort, but I don’t want Thaddeus to be arrested. Now I reckon he’s gone an’ so let luck take him—good, bad, er indifferent. Won’t you let him hit his own trail, foot-loose?”
“I’d like to see him arrested and jailed,” said Gus, “but for you and because of what you’ll do for George and your being so good to Bill and me, I’ll keep mum on it.”
“Good, me lad. An’ now you git back to George an’ tell him to keep Thad’s name out of it. I’ll ’phone fer ‘Doc’ Little and ‘Doc’ Yardley, an’ have an ambulance sent fer the poor feller. Then you can tell his wife. It means very little sleep fer you this night, but you can lay abed late.”
Gus went away upon these duties, but with a heavy heart; he felt that Mr. Hooper, because of the very gentleness of the man was defeating justice, and though he had been nearly forced to give his promise, he felt that he must keep it.
CONSTRUCTION AND DESTRUCTION
Bill and Gus worked long hours and diligently. All that the power plant construction had earned for Bill, the boy had turned in to help his mother. But Mr. Grier, busy at house building and doing better than at most other times, was able to add something to his boy’s earnings, so that Gus could capitalize the undertaking, which he was eager to do.
The layout of the radio receiver outfits to be built alike were put at first on paper, full size; plan, side and end elevations and tracings were made of the same transferred to heavy manila paper. These were to be placed on the varnished panels, so that holes could be bored through paper and panel, thus insuring perfect spacing and arrangement. Sketches, also, were made of all details.
The audion tubes, storage batteries and telephone receivers had been purchased in the city. Almost all the other parts were made by the boys out of carefully selected materials. The amplifiers consisted of iron core transformers comprising several stages of radio frequency. The variometers were wound of 22-gauge wire. Loose couplers were used instead of the ordinary tuning coil. The switch arms, pivoting shafts and attachments for same, the contact points and binding posts were home-made. A potentiometer puzzled them most, both the making and the application, but they mastered this rather intricate mechanism, as they did the other parts.
In this labor, with everything at hand and a definite object in view, no boys ever were happier, nor more profitably employed, considering the influence upon their characters and future accomplishments. How true it is that they who possess worthy hobbies, especially those governed by the desire for construction and the inventive tendency, are getting altogether the most out of life and are giving the best of themselves!