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Tom Slade : Boy Scout of the Moving Pictures   By: (1876-1950)

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Tom Slade Boy Scout of the Moving Pictures

by Percy K. Fitzhugh Adapted and Illustrated from the Photo Play “The Adventures of a Boy Scout”

Table of Contents

Sticks and Stones Hats Off! In Jail and Out Again Camp Solitaire Connover’s Party Hitting the Bull’s Eye “On My Honor” Stung! “Burglars” Tom Turns Detective R R R evenge! Up Against It for Fair He Who Has Eyes to See Roy to the Rescue Lemonade and Olives Connover Breaks Loose The Real Thing Mrs. Bennett Comes Across First Aid by Wireless Tom Tosses it Back

Tom Slade Boy Scout of the Moving Pictures

Chapter I Sticks and Stones

It happened in Barrel Alley, and it was Tom Slade, as usual, who did it. Picking a barrel stave out of the mud, he sidled up to Ching Wo’s laundry, opened the door, beat the counter with a resounding clamor, called, “Ching, Ching, Chinaman!” and by way of a grand climax, hurled the dirty barrel stave at a pile of spotless starched shirts, banged the door shut and ran.

Tom was “on the hook” this morning. In one particular (and in only one) Tom was like “Old John Temple,” who owned the bank as well as Barrel Alley. Both took one day off a week. “Old John” never went down to the bank on Saturdays and Tom never went to school on Mondays. He began his school week on Tuesday; and the truant officer was just about as sure to cast his dreaded net in Barrel Alley on a Monday as old John Temple was sure to visit it on the first of the month—­when the rents were due.

This first and imminent rock of peril passed, Tom lost no time in offering the opening number of his customary morning program, which was to play some prank on Ching Wo. But Ching Wo, often disturbed, like a true philosopher, and knowing it was Monday, picked out the soiled shirts, piled up the others, threw the muddy stave out and quietly resumed his ironing.

Up at the corner Tom emerged around John Temple’s big granite bank building into the brighter spectacle of Main Street. Here he paused to adjust the single strand of suspender which he wore. The other half of this suspender belonged to his father; the two strands had originally formed a single pair and now, in their separate responsibilities, each did duty continuously, since neither Tom nor his father undressed when they went to bed.

His single strand of suspender replaced, Tom shuffled along down Main Street on his path of glory.

At the next corner was a coal box. This he opened and helped himself to several chunks of coal. A little farther on he came to a trolley car standing still. Sidling up behind it, he grabbed the pole rope, detaching the pulley from the wire.

The conductor emerged, shook his fist at the retreating boy and sent a few expletives after him. Tom then let fly one piece of coal after another at the rear platform of the car, keeping a single chunk for future use.

For, whenever Tom Slade got into a dispute (which was on an average of a dozen times a day), he invariably picked up a stone. Not that he expected always to throw it, though he often did, but because it illustrated his attitude of suspicion and menace toward the world in general, and toward other boys in particular.

So firmly rooted had the habit become that even indoors when his father threatened him (which was likewise on an average of a dozen times a day) he would reach cautiously down behind his legs, as if he expected to find a stone on the kitchen floor conveniently near at hand.

First and last, Tom had heard a good deal of unfavorable comment about his fancy for throwing stones. Mrs. Bennett, the settlement worker, had informed him that throwing stones was despicable, which went in one ear and out the other, because Tom did not know what “despicable” meant. The priest had told him that it was both wicked and cowardly; while the police had gone straight to the heart of the matter by threatening to lock him up for it... Continue reading book >>




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