Cub was usually the dominating factor in all the boy arguments of their “bunch”, which varied in numbers from ten to twenty, according to the motive of interest that drew them together. He seldom started an argument, unless his disposition to “bawl” somebody out for uttering a, to him, foolish opinion, he regarded as a starter. He seldom spoke first, but usually last. One day he “bawled” Tee-hee for the latter’s “silly laugh”, telling him that he would never be a man unless he learned to “laugh from his lungs”.
“You seem to like a lot of noise,” Hal observed.
“Yes, it’s the only thing that convinces me,” Cub shot back rashly.
He realized his rashness, but it was too late. Tee-hee “got” him.
“I understand you now,” the sly youth announced. “Whenever we have a dispute, the only way for me to win is to make a bigger noise than you do.”
But Cub was not slow, and he evened matters up by roaring:
“You can’t do it; you ain’t got the lungs.”
However, there was a serious side to this trio of radio boys. They were not known chiefly for their frivolity, which probably would have characterized them if they had got into any bad scrapes. Their deportment was really above reproach, so that their parents reposed a good deal of confidence in them and allowed them to do pretty much as they wished in the matter of their recreation and sports. On the occasion with which the narrative opens we find them very serious minded over a very important problem, although it seemed well nigh impossible for them, even under such circumstances, to bar severely all manner of gaieties.
“I don’t see where there’s anything new for us to do this summer,” said Bud after the merriment over the “static repartee” with Cub had subsided. “We c’n go camping or fishin’, or we c’n stay at home and listen in.”
“Oh, you haven’t got any invention in that head o’ yours, Bud,” declared Cub with tone of disgust. “Tee-hee, take your turn and see if you can’t hand us somethin’.”
“Aw, why don’t you furnish some brains for us, Cub,” Bud objected with spirit. “I never knew you to yet. You just razz us till we turn up the thing all of us wants, and then you act as if you’d done all the work.”
“Well, what do I pay you for?” Cub demanded, with an air of final judgment.
Of course, Cub did not pay them anything; that was just a little evidence of his exasperating domination. Bud saw, as usual, that there was no use of trying to carry his protest further, so he gave way to Hal, who looked as if eager to take his turn.
“I tell you what let’s do,” proposed the latter. “Let’s go campin’ and take one of our radio sets with us.”
Cub leaped to his feet enthusiastically, bringing his feet down on the floor with a force that seemed to jar the whole house. Fortunately there was a substantial rug between his descending number 8’s and the floor.