Elbow-Room eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 248 pages of information about Elbow-Room.
home at once.”  The lines were down, however, and the despatch was held over; and meanwhile the general reached home, and found his wife doing pretty well and the nurse walking around with an infant a day old.  After staying twenty-four hours, and finding that everybody was tolerably comfortable, he returned to Williamsport without anything having been said about the despatch, his mother-in-law supposing of course that he had received it.  The day after his arrival the lines were fixed, and that night he received a despatch from the telegraph office dated that very day, and conveying the following intelligence: 

“Another daughter has just arrived.  Hannah is poorly; come home at once.”

The general was amazed and bewildered.  He couldn’t understand it.  He walked the floor of his room all night trying to get the hang of the thing; and the more he considered the subject, the more he became alarmed at the extraordinary occurrence.  He took the early train for the city, and during the journey was in a condition of frantic bewilderment.  When he arrived, he jumped in a cab, drove furiously to the house, and scared his mother-in-law into convulsions by rushing in in a frenzy and demanding what on earth had happened.  He was greatly relieved to find that there was but one infant in the nursery, and to learn how the mistake occurred.  But he felt as if he would like to see the telegraph operator who changed the date of that despatch.  He wanted to remonstrate with him.

CHAPTER XXVIII.

THE MISDIRECTED ENERGIES OF MR. BRADLEY.

Mr. Bradley, our inventor, has had some experiences in addition to those already recorded which may perhaps be entertaining to the reader.  One of the peculiarities of Bradley’s contrivances is that when they are designed to do a specified work, that is conspicuously the work they cannot possibly be induced to do.  There, for instance, was Bradley’s famous steam-pump.

Some years ago Bradley invented a steam-pump for use on shipboard.  He claimed for it that it would pump about three times as many gallons in a minute as any other pump, and he got some of his political friends in Congress to use their influence with the Navy Department to have it tried on one of the navy vessels.  Finally he succeeded in having it introduced upon a small steamer, which we will call the Water Witch; and when everything was ready, the ship started upon a trial trip.  Soon after she got to sea, Bradley, who was aboard, said he would like to try the pump upon the bilge-water to see how she worked.

The captain ordered the engineer to turn it on, and the machine operated apparently in the most beautiful manner.  In about an hour one of the officers reported that the water was gaining rapidly in the hold, and the captain sent some men down to discover where the leak was.  They came back and reported that they couldn’t find the hole, but that the water was pouring in somewhere in frightful quantities.

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Elbow-Room from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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