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The Boy Scouts on a Submarine   By:

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By Captain John Blaine



A great barking of dogs broke the silence of the sleepy summer afternoon. Elinor Pomeroy laid down her knitting and slowly walked around the house. The barking of the three big dogs had been on a joyous tone. A young man was racing up the long front drive, the dogs leaping and bounding around him.

"Three rousing cheers, old dear," he cried. "Three cheers! I have won out!"

"Do you really mean it, Lester?" she cried. "Do you really mean that your invention is a success?"

"It certainly is, Elinor," he answered, a certain gravity coming into his face and manner. "I know now that it is all right. We have even tried it out, and I am sure of it."

Elinor took her excited brother by the arm and led him to the wide, swinging hammock.

"Begin at the beginning," she ordered gently. "I want to hear the whole thing."

"Well, then," he commenced obediently, "this morning, as soon as I got to the plant, I asked for a meeting with the bureau of management. Well, I went in and told them what I had done; how I happened on a partial combination when I was analyzing something for the office. I told them that I had worked it out further and further, and that finally I found what I was hunting for a gas that was powerful enough to affect a large number of men and put them out temporarily, without injuring them after the effects wore off.

"Well, they listened, and when I told them my idea was to use it along the battle front instead of the ghastly deadly gases used by the Germans, they commenced to sit up and take notice. You see, sis, my invention is far reaching than anything yet known. It puts out thousands of men with the contents of one grenade, and sinks them into such a deep sleep that they are absolutely helpless for hours. During this time, our men can occupy their positions, and send hundreds of trucks to the rear loaded with sleeping prisoners. When they come to, they are all right.

"They listened, all right, and then they commenced to ask questions. I offered to try it out right there, but they didn't seem to want to. Then Mr. Leffingwell spoke up. You know what a good sport he is. He said, 'Well, fellows, there may be a lot to this. I have a couple of hundred cows out Marcellus way, and I'm going to sacrifice them to my country. Let's take the car, and try this thing out if this young man has enough on hand for a man sized bomb.'

"Some of the men said he was a fool to risk that herd. My own opinion was that he thought the stuff wouldn't work at all in the open. Anyway, we got into the cars, and went out to the dandiest farm you ever saw.

"We drove the cows all into one end of a big lot because there was no way to send the grenade with sufficient force to spread the gas; but I went as close as I dared, and threw with all my might. It struck a stone and broke and right quick a couple of cows close to the grenade sort of crumpled up and laid down, and some more, and then one on the outskirts of the group looked around and said, 'Dear me suz, it gets late early now!' and she put her head on her arm, and went sleepy sleepums "

"It's too wonderful; too wonderful!" mused Elinor.

"Well, the best part is," said her brother, "that it is so simple and so cheap. That is, it is simple to combine."

"Where is the formula?" asked the business like Elinor. "In a safe, I hope."

"No, not yet. The only formula in the world is here in my coat pocket." He patted the coat lying, on the hammock beside him.

"There!" cried Elinor. "Why, Lester, I call that awfully careless! I do truly think you ought to put it in a safe!"

"That's all right," said Lester, leaning back and playing with one of the dogs. "I have it in my head anyhow. Come on, hon; I'm dead tired. Let's forget about it for a little while; let's go see how the grapes are ripening... Continue reading book >>

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