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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesTom Swift And His Giant Telescope - Chapter 10. Success
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Tom Swift And His Giant Telescope - Chapter 10. Success Post by :DonTino Category :Long Stories Author :Victor Appleton Date :May 2012 Read :1414

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Tom Swift And His Giant Telescope - Chapter 10. Success

CHAPTER X. SUCCESS

"Me tell!" said Koku. "Hear bell, know bad mans hide in cave. I creep up an' watch!" His dramatic pause might have seemed funny at any other time but Tom was badly worried.

(Illustration: Tom Swift Was Worried)

"Hurry up!" commanded the young inventor sharply, grabbing the giant's arm. "What happened?"

"Nothing happen US," answered Koku. "Plenty happen HIM! I catchum fella, crawl up fum cave, knockum out, callum policemans."

"Good boy! You rate a new suit for that. You can tell the tailor to make it as loud as you like!"

Nothing could have pleased the simple giant more, for he loved to dress up in gaudy clothes, a trait left over from his savage life before the young inventor had brought him to America.

(Illustration: "I Catchum Fella!")

Too excited to sleep, Tom Swift went straight to his office and called the police station. The desk sergeant verified what Koku had said and asked the young scientist to come down and prefer charges.

As he was about to leave he saw on top of his accumulated mail a letter from the Apex Glass Works. It was from Mr. Stern. The man advised Tom that he suspected two discharged workmen as the pair who had attempted to rob him. Photographs were enclosed.

(Illustration: Photographs Were Enclosed)

"That he, Master!" suddenly boomed Koku, who had been gazing at the photos. "That man steal green glass thing I ketch back!"

"By Jove, I believe you're right!" declared Tom. "This picture most certainly resembles the fellow you dragged in here. Come on, you and I will go over to the jail and check up."

Late as the hour was, the two took out a car and hastened over to the county prison. No sooner had the sleepy officer on duty conducted them back to the prisoner's cell than Tom immediately recognized the man as the one Koku had captured with the green disk.

(Illustration: They Drove to the County Prison)

Eager to get off as lightly as possible, the fellow, who had been a confidential clerk in the main offices of the glass works, made a full confession.

"It was Hammer who got me into this, Mr. Swift," whined Anton. "He overheard Mr. Stern talking about your experiments with bendable glass. He said you'd surely succeed and that the invention would be worth a fortune. So we decided to steal your formula. I've got a sick wife, Mr. Swift--"

(Illustration: Hammer Overheard Mr. Stern)

"A pack of lies!" roughly interrupted the policeman. "He's a single man, Mr. Swift, and has a police record to boot!"

"Well, hold him. And I hope you will catch his confederate."

"Don't worry. The boys'll bring him in!"

(Illustration: "He Has a Police Record.")

Although the hour was late, Tom decided to return to the laboratory and inspect the vault. There had been a certain sly expression in Anton's eyes which had vaguely disturbed the inventor. It was as if the man were holding something back and grinning over it.

In a few minutes Tom's feeling was proven correct, for the formula dealing with the flexible glass was gone! Koku, when questioned, admitted that he had seen some papers drop from Anton's pocket when he had seized him just outside the laboratory, but the simple giant had paid no attention to them. There followed a frantic search with a flashlight by Tom but there was no trace of the missing documents.

(Illustration: The Formula Was Gone)

"They couldn't have blown away!" he declared. "They were clipped together by a special heavy binder. Somebody must have picked them up!"

(Illustration: He Made a Frantic Search)

When Tom visited Anton in jail the next day, the fellow denied loudly that he had taken anything. The police promised to redouble their efforts to capture Hammer. With that assurance the inventor was forced to content himself.

The next few days Tom was so busy that he gave only an occasional thought to his loss. Analysis of the sample cut from the meteorite showed that it was even richer than he had hoped in the new substance, X. Immediately he telegraphed a large science supply house for huge flasks, beakers, retorts and other paraphernalia necessary to extract and refine the material.

(Illustration: The Sample Was Rich in X)

This done, he arranged for the loan of a large refracting telescope from a near-by observatory to be used in conjunction with the big green disk he proposed to make. Professor Standish of the college was so interested in the project that Tom invited him to the forthcoming test.

Work was begun on an improvised observatory to be erected on a mountain in the Adirondacks. This would place the telescope above most of the blurring effects of the dense, lower atmosphere, filled as it is with smoke and dust.

(Illustration: Work Was Begun on the Observatory)

Ned Newton wired that the meteorite had been safely placed on a fast freight train. He added that he was traveling in the caboose of the same train by special arrangement with the road officials. Tom met his chum at the station.

"How do you like riding in style?" he teased.

(Illustration: Ned Traveled in the Caboose)

"Humph!" grunted Ned. "I'll take a plane next time."

A huge truck transported the planet stone to the shops of the Swift Construction Company. One of the buildings had been cleared of all other work, and in it a very large furnace had been erected to cast the green disk. Powerful mechanisms crushed the meteorite to a fine powder which was dissolved by strong acids, then separated into its various ingredients.

(Illustration: The Meteorite Was Crushed)

"The furnace will have to be enlarged!" declared Tom. "I had planned to make a disk twenty feet long but there is so much X that we can easily make it thirty-five feet. There'll still be several hundred pounds left."

"Why not use it all and make the biggest 'scope you can?" suggested Ned Newton.

"I believe this will be large enough. Besides, I have an idea that the X has other and even more remarkable powers. I don't want to use it all up in this device."

(Illustration: "We Can Make a Larger Disk!")

A gang of men had been employed to clear a trail up the side of the mountain in the Adirondacks and construct a road to the summit as none ever had been made to the spot Tom intended to use. A specially large motor truck was built to carry first the telescope, then the giant green disk.

It may well be supposed that all these preparations ran into money. Many a groan did Ned give when he studied the mounting cost sheets. Tom, however, was deaf to all his chum's protestations.

(Illustration: A Special Truck Was Built)

"I had hoped your new bendable glass would more than repay the cost of your telescope," grumbled Ned. "That's gone, and it looks to me as though everything else'll go too. The Swift Construction Company will soon be bankrupt, Tom Swift, if you don't slow down!"

"What do you mean, my flexible glass is gone? Why, I've had an application on file in the Patent Office for several months."

"Well, for Pete's sake, why didn't you tell me? Here I've been worrying my head off for nothing!"

(Illustration: "You'll Be Bankrupt!" Warned Ned)

"Sorry, old man. But you know I've had a lot on my mind. However, we must get back the papers, for the thief can make things pretty uncomfortable if he chooses to."

As Tom had found out, X would be useful only in an absolutely pure state. To refine it to the proper degree was a painfully slow process, taking in this case a full six weeks. While his chemists labored away under the young inventor's supervision, everything else had been made ready. At last the new element was prepared. The tons of yellow powder were dumped into the heated furnace.

(Illustration: His Chemists Worked Away)

Three days later the stuff had cooled sufficiently for an inspection to be made. A traveling crane slowly hoisted the massive iron lid of the electric furnace. Tom climbed a ladder and peered down.

"It's perfect!" he shouted a moment later. Mr. Damon and Barton Swift were standing anxiously with Ned and the workmen to hear the verdict. At the young inventor's words the group gave a cheer.

(Illustration: Tom Peered Down at the Disk)

"Bless my stars and planets!" cried Mr. Damon, capering about like a boy. "I can hardly wait till you have your big glass set up!"

"It won't be long now," promised Tom, much pleased himself.

While the giant disk was being given a final electrical treatment, the youthful inventor was called to the police station. The fugitive crook, Hammer, had finally been nabbed, still with the formula for the bendable glass in his possession. Tom was glad to get this back, even though patent proceedings were under way, for anyone holding the papers could have instituted a costly legal contest.

(Illustration: Hammer Had Been Nabbed)

At last the time arrived when the great disk was wrapped in hundreds of bales of cotton, suspended on racks and loaded onto the great truck. Tom insisted upon riding with his precious creation. The rest of his party, including his father, Ned Newton, Mr. Damon, Professor Standish, Koku and Rad, traveled by train to the foot of the mountain.

(Illustration: The Disk Was Loaded on the Truck)

"Massa Tom gonna look about six scrillion miles froo space," confided Eradicate Sampson to Koku. The old Negro leaned heavily upon the massive arm of his huge companion. "He see wonderful things!"

"He sure make big medicine!" declared the giant, for once agreeing with his old rival. He had only the vaguest idea about what his master was attempting.

(Illustration: Koku and Rad Went Along)

When the entire group assembled on top the mountain there was a sudden hush. The sun had set in a fiery glow that presaged a clear night, and now darkness overtook the expectant onlookers.

At last Tom stepped to the giant telescope and adjusted it upon the planet Mars. He electrified the immense disk, which glowed, then could not be seen at all.

Looking through the eyepiece, the young inventor stood as though transfixed. One minute! Two!

(Illustration: Tom Stepped to the Telescope)

"Tom! How does it work?" asked Ned finally, unable to restrain himself any longer.

"Look for yourself!" cried Tom, turning from the instrument. His face wore an expression of awe.

Ned quickly took his place.

"Marvelous!" he exclaimed.

Before his eyes were revealed a great city, nearly seventy-five million miles distant!

Peculiar people surged along the avenues, weird aircraft thronged the upper atmosphere, and gigantic buildings and palaces dotted the place. All on far-distant Mars!

(Illustration: He Saw a Gigantic City)

As each one in Tom's party saw the wonderful sight, he in turn congratulated the youthful inventor in his own way. Ned grasped his chum's hand but could say nothing. Mr. Damon blessed the distant stars. Koku and Rad fell upon their knees. Into the eyes of Barton Swift came tears as he said:

"Tom, my son, you have performed the greatest miracle of the Age!"

(Illustration: "You Have Performed a Miracle!")


(THE END)
Victor Appleton's Novel: Tom Swift and His Giant Telescope

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