“That’s what I call brains, Tee-hee,” he declared, reaching over and planting a hearty slap on the author of this ingenuity. “You deserve a bonus. The scheme is hereby adopted.”
“Without consulting me?” demanded Bud with very good simulation of hurt dignity.
“Absolutely, Bud, you fell asleep and let Tee-hee get ahead of you.”
“And meanwhile, what did you do?” Bud inquired pointedly.
“I sat in judgment over your suggestions,” Cub replied readily. “You fellows needed somebody to decide what your suggestions were worth. That’s my function—get me?—my function.”
“Well, I was goin’ to vote for Tee-hee’s idea,” said Bud with slight tone of resentment. “You might ’ave let me get my vote in.”
“It wasn’t needed, it wasn’t needed,” Cub ruled. “Two’s a majority of three.”
“I’m going to vote for it anyway. I think his idea is a dandy.”
“Your vote is accepted and recorded as surplus noise.”
“Static, you mean,” Bud suggested with modest sarcasm.
“To be up to date, yes.”
“Tee-hee,” laughed Tee-hee.
Tragedy or Joke?
The three boys discussed vacation plans along the line suggested by Hal for half an hour, and then Cub said:
“We can’t get any further on this subject to-night. It’s nearly 8 o’clock; Let’s go in the radio room and listen to some opera music for a while.”
He led the way into an adjoining apartment, a veritable radio laboratory. Two years before, as a wireless amateur, Cub had built for himself in this room an elaborate sending and receiving set, and he proved to be one of the first, boy though he was, to appreciate the outlook for the radiophone, even before “the craze” had gripped the country. He soon had his father almost as much interested in the subject as himself, so that the question of financing his latest radio ambition was no serious obstacle. An early result of this active interest on his part was the addition of a receiving amplification with which he could listen in to messages from major-power stations in the remotest parts of the country. Indeed, under favorable conditions, he had picked up messages from as far distant points as Edinburgh, Scotland, and Australia.
Cub sat down at the table and tuned to 360 meters. The other boys seated themselves comfortably and waited with a kind of luxurious contentment for the beginning of the program, which came in a few minutes. They “sat through” the entire Westinghouse program and then Cub began to “tune up and down” to find out what else was going on in the air. The room for several minutes was resonant with a succession of squeaks, squawks, whines, growls, dots-and-dashes, whistles, and musical notes. Suddenly he gave a start that aroused the curiosity of his friends and made them more attentive to his actions.