Pat moved fast. He recognized that he had not been up to his duty so far and he meant to make amends. With Gus following, the boy’s nerves on edge with the possibility that the housebreaker would shoot, the Irishman, who was no coward, reached the house, entered the basement, flooded the house with light, alarmed the inmates and in a few minutes had every avenue of escape guarded, the chauffeur, butler and gardener coming on the scene, all half dressed and armed.
What followed needs little telling. Hardly had the men decided to search the house before the sound of a rapidly approaching motor horn was heard and from the quickly checked car two men leaped out, the constable and a deputy from the town—and then Bill Brown! The illuminated house had stopped their course. The search revealed Thad cowering in a closet, all the fight gone out of him. Grace and Skeets were not even awakened; Mrs. Hooper did not leave her room.
As the constable turned a light on the handcuffed prisoner he remarked: “That’s the chap all right. Description fits. He’ll bring that five hundred all right.”
“A reward; is it?” said the watchman. “An’ don’t ye fergit who gits it. Not me, ner you, Constable, but the bye here.” He laid his hand on Gus’s shoulder. The constable laughed:
“Oh, you’re slow, Pat. We all know that. The kid and his pal, that young edition of Edison by the name of Billy Brown, got the thing cinched over their radio. We didn’t know that the description that Willstown sent out fitted Mr. Hooper’s own nephew.”
And so with relief, mixed with regret for Mr. Hooper’s sake, Gus and Bill saw a sulky and rebellious Thad vanish into the night and out of their immediate affairs.
GENIUS IS OFTEN ERRATIC
The fourth radio talk on the life, character and accomplishments of the world’s foremost inventor proved to be the most interesting of the series. Fairview had heard of these entertainments and so many people had asked Bill and Gus if they might attend, the boys became aware that the modest little living-room of the Brown home would not hold half of them. They, therefore, decided to let the radio be heard in the town hall, if a few citizens would pay the rent for the evening.
This was readily arranged, but when the suggestion was made that an admission be charged, the boys refused. This was their treat all round, even to transferring their aerial to the hall between its cupola and a mast at the other end of the roof, put up by the ever willing Mr. Grier who could not do too much to further the boys’ interests.
Early in the evening the hall was filled to overflowing, and ushers were appointed to seat the crowd. Naturally there was much chattering and scraping of feet until suddenly a strain of music, an orchestral selection, began to come out of the horn and there was instant quiet. After its conclusion came the voice: