“Everybody quiet! Something else!” and in the instant hush was heard the completion of an announcement:
“—Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts and other organizations of kindred nature, upon their urgent invitation. We are making this announcement now for the fourth and last time in the hope that it may be universally received. Mr. Edison will now probably be here within an hour from this minute. All the youth of the land who may avail themselves of radio service will please respond and listen in. In a warmly appreciative sense this must be a gala occasion.”
“That’s all, folks; I’m certain.” Bill shouted the school yell and the class year: “Umpah, umpah, ho, ho; it’s up to you, Fairview, 1922!” Then: “Bring ’em all back here, Gus.”
But not one of them needed urging nor reminding. Separating themselves from the rapidly diminishing and retreating audience came Ted, Terry, Cora, Dot, Grace, with Skeets as a guest, Bert Haskell, Mary Dean, Lem Upsall, Walt Maynard, Lucy Shore and Sara Fortescue, the entire bunch eagerly attentive. They crowded around Bill and Gus and were well aware of the purpose.
“Sure, we’ll all be here, I’ll bet a cow!” shouted Ted.
“Dot and I could listen in on our own radio,” said Cora. “We’ve got it finished and it works fine and dandy, Billy. We want you and Gus and everybody to come over and try it. But we’ll join in with the class on this; eh, Dot?”
“Sure will,” agreed Dot. “Ours is only a crystal set, but it has some improvements you boys haven’t seen. Wait till we get it all done, and we’ll give you a spread and a surprise.”
“Say, Bill, this thing’s great,” Terry said. “Father is going to get me an outfit in the city and I’ll pay you and Gus to set it up for—”
“Set it up yourself, you lazy thing!” said Cora.
“If you please, miss, I’ve got other matters—”
“All right, Terry,—see you later about it. Now, listen, hopefuls. You’ll all be here, but this occasion is going to be incomplete, unless we have a lot more on deck. We all want to get out, and scout round and fetch in every kid that wants to amount to anything at all and is big enough to understand and appreciate what’s going on. And even then it won’t be quite up to snuff unless—”
“I know! You want Mr. Hooper here, too!” shouted Skeets. But in trying to rise to make herself heard, she upset her chair and then sat down on the floor, jarring the building. When the shout of mirth subsided, Bill said:
“That’s right. Mr. Hooper and Professor Gray. We’ll have to tell them about it.”
“Father wrote that he’s coming home to-night,” announced Grace proudly.
“Great shakes! Did he? Gus, get on the ’phone and find out!” Bill commanded. “Now, then, let’s all get busy and——”
“Righto, Billy, but what will our folks think has become of us when it’s so late?” Dot questioned.