“I see,” remarked Kennedy, “that it is a very compact system with facilities for a quick change from one wave length to another.”
“Yes,” grunted Pedersen, as averse to talking, evidently, as others on the Lucie.
“Spark gap, quenched type,” I heard Kennedy mutter almost to himself, with a view to showing Pedersen that he knew something about it. “Break system relay—operator can overhear any interference while transmitting—transformation by a single throw of a six-point switch which tunes the oscillating and open circuits to resonance. Very clever—very efficient. By the way, Pedersen, are you the only person aboard who can operate this?”
“How should I know?” he answered almost surlily.
“You ought to know, if anybody,” answered Kennedy unruffled. “I know that it has been operated within the past few days.”
Pedersen shrugged his shoulders. “You might ask the others aboard,” was all he said. “Mr. Edwards pays me to operate it only for himself, when he has no other operator.”
Kennedy did not pursue the subject, evidently from fear of saying too much just at present.
“I wonder if there is anyone else who could have operated it,” said Waldon, as we mounted again to the deck.
“I don’t know,” replied Kennedy, pausing on the way up. “You haven’t a wireless on the Nautilus, have you?”
Waldon shook his head. “Never had any particular use for it myself,” he answered.
“You say that Miss Verrall and her mother have gone back to the city?” pursued Kennedy, taking care that as before the others were out of earshot.
“I’d like to stay with you tonight, then,” decided Kennedy. “Might we go over with you now? There doesn’t seem to be anything more I can do here, unless we get some news about Mrs. Edwards.”
Waldon seemed only too glad to agree, and no one on the Lucie insisted on our staying.
We arrived at the Nautilus a few minutes later, and while we were lunching Kennedy dispatched the tender to the Marconi station with a note.
It was early in the afternoon when the tender returned with several packages and coils of wire. Kennedy immediately set to work on the Nautilus stretching out some of the wire.
“What is it you are planning?” asked Waldon, to whom every action of Kennedy seemed to be a mystery of the highest interest.
“Improvising my own wireless,” he replied, not averse to talking to the young man to whom he seemed to have taken a fancy. “For short distances, you know, it isn’t necessary to construct an aerial pole or even to use outside wires to receive messages. All that is needed is to use just a few wires stretched inside a room. The rest is just the apparatus.”