“No, because we don’t know how to settle it,” Cub admitted. “If we knew what we’re talkin’ about, we wouldn’t be batting this nonsense back and forth. We can’t hit the nail on the head, so we just fan the air. By the way, what did that fellow say before Bud and I began to listen-in?”
Hal reviewed the first half of the statement received by him. Then Mr. Perry, who had just returned from ashore, where he had been testing the security of the tie-up, entered the cabin.
“What’s the trouble, boys?” he asked, noting the studied expression of their faces.
“No trouble, exactly,” Cub replied. “Just another mystery.”
“That’s interesting,” the yachtsman commented. “Tell me about it.”
“You get my goat, dad,” Cub declared.
Mr. Perry laughed.
“Why do I get your goat, Bob?” he asked.
“Because the more mystery there is floating around, the better pleased you are.”
“Is that so? Well, what’s the mystery now?”
“You tell ’im, Hal,” requested the youth of the “goat-got affliction”.
Hal did as requested. Quiet of several moments followed.
“Well?” Mr. Perry interrogated.
“Well!”. repeated Cub vociferously. “Is that all you can say?”
“I’d like to return your goat, Bob, but I don’t see how I can,” Mr. Perry announced provokingly.
“In other words, you don’t see anything startling about that fellow’s last performance,” Cub inferred.
“No—o, nothing startling,” his father replied slowly.
“What do you make out of it, then?”
“I don’t know that I make anything out of it, except a lot of nonsense.”
“You think it’s a joke?”
“I wouldn’t call it anything but a lot of nonsense until I know more about it.”
“But doesn’t it make you impatient to find out what it all means?” Cub demanded.
“No, not in the least. I got over that long ago, my son. Don’t let any such habit grip you; it’ll wear your nerves out, and then you won’t have any lead-in to connect your antennae with your brains.”
“Ha, ha, ha,” laughed the man’s youthful audience in chorus, even Cub appreciating the illustration.
“When did you begin to study radio, Mr. Perry?” asked Bud.
“Oh, I’ve been learning rapidly ever since I was thrown into the company of you hams,” was the reply. “But don’t let me get you off the question.”
“The question—what was the question?” asked Cub, digging his fingers into his rather lengthy locks of hair.
“Mystery, wasn’t it?” reminded Mr. Perry.
“Yes, that’s it,” Bud replied. “The mystery of the Radio Robinson Crusoe in the Lake of the Thousand Isles.”
“That sounds interesting, but it’s mostly a poetic, or ecstatic, jumble of words,” said Mr. Perry. “And right there is the secret of many a mystery. It’s clothed in a maze of language. Remove the maze, and it begins to look simple.”