The electric eye, or, Helped by the x-ray

Citation
The electric eye, or, Helped by the x-ray

Material Information

Title:
The electric eye, or, Helped by the x-ray
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Creator:
Cobb, Weldon J.
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Detective and mystery fiction ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
028876023 ( ALEPH )
07223978 ( OCLC )
B15-00029 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.29 ( USFLDC Handle )

USFLDC Membership

Aggregations:
Added automatically
Brave and Bold

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Format:
serial

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Full Text

PAGE 1

"Let me go!" wriggled llick. "You impostor and cheat 1 Blind! You can sec as well as myself." ...

PAGE 2

BR VE-.fl Different Complete Story Every Week I-4 W#Rly. By Subsr:riptio,. la.so Per year. Entered accordin;r to Act of Congress in tlteyear I<;OJ, in t"4 Oific of tlte Librarian of Con,rres1. Washington, .D. C. STREET & SMITH, 238 Wi1/iam St., N. Y. No. 40. NEW YORK, September 26, 1903. Price Five Cents. THE ELECTRIC EYE; OR Helped By the X-Ray . By WELDON .J. COBB. CHAPTER I. "BUSINESS FROM THE START." "Hi, there I" "Look out I" "My! but he's headed for a plunge!" "Is the queer old par y blind, or daft?'' In four seconds four boys shot out the excited ejaculations. They were seated on a bench outside a shed at the edge of the bustling Michigan town of Decatur. Once it seemed to have been a blacksmith shop, admirably located to catch highway trade, for five, roads came to a point before it. One of these was narrow, and running up a slant seemed to end at its apex. Along this had come a bicyclist well on in years, going at a good rate of speed, and completely absorbed in thought. As, instead of taking one of the main roads, he spun along that which every village boy knew ended abruptly at the creek, the four lads uttered the warning shouts. They came too late. The rider seemed about as impervious to the distracted clamor as the big, bobbing parcel tied to the bicycle. He went on, up and--0ver. "What's happened'" called out a fifth boy, appearing at the door of the little shop. "Wheel-creek road-he's struck!" Tang-splash! The sound echoed with dreadful distinctness just as eight pairs of iuvenile heels skimmed the rise. The boy left behind, bearing a hammer in his hand and wearing a leather lap apron, promptly followed in the wake of his vanished friends. At the top of the rise he halted. At its base was the creek, and two of the rescuing party were dragging the bicycle from its murky depths. Two others were helping up it! mud-streaked, water-soaked rider. "Hurt?" asked the aproned spectator, anxiously "No, only jarred, began the reply, when the old man wiggled up his head, and muttered vaguely: "Bike?" "Your bicycle?" questioned his right-hand supporter. "Yes." "They're bringing it." "Fix." "Get it fixed?" The drooping, dripping man nodded. "Ah, we'll do that!" was the effusive promise. "That's what we're here for, eh, boys? And what Dick Barry can't do to a wheel isn't discovered yet." The enthusiastic orator waved his hand toward the aproned artisan, Dick .Barry in qi:estion, and the little shop beyond. The old man, who had "ducked and turned in" so abruptly, hurried along as he observed the bench promising rest for hi s limping limbs, and the sign above it guaranteeing prompt atten tion for his battered wheel.

PAGE 3

2 BRA VE AND BOLD. It was a neatly-lettered inscription, and it read: ''BICYCLE AND GENEllilL REPAIRING, "D. I. Co." "'D. I. Co.,'" he repeated. "Pretty big name for a rather small ins titution. \Vhat is it, anyway?" "It's us, volunteered his left-hand supporter. "Decatur Improvement.Comp a ny. We're the Co., stock organization, regular officers, and all that." "Oh, I see Five of you?" "Just. Dick's the president. The pale fellow helping him is Van Merton treasurer. I'm Tom Green, vice-president. These other two, Frank and Elmer \Vinston, are directors," and the speaker swelled up at a sense of hi official dignity. "Not a bad idea," observed the man, "provided you all help as well as officer, and have work enough to keep yo.u busy." "Work!" cried the irrepressible Tom. "Say. give Dick credit for the scheme, but don't think we stand around with our hands in our pocket He and Van are the handy men, and run things here, but Frank can drum--" "Oh, you run a band, too?" "No, drum up trade, I mean. Decatur is a pretty big place, and there's twenty villages around. He brings in keys to make, scissors and knives to grind, lawn mowers to fix. Elmer yonder is the glazier. He can give you a pane in a jiffy! As to me, I sell the Ol.liput." "Of what?" asked the auditor, on a broad smile. "Over there," and Tom jerked his thumb back of the shop, "is the abandoned truck garden of the man Dick used to live with. We run it now. As to the shop, you'd be surprised to know what lots of bicycle and general repairs we attend to, what heaps of hammock hooks and screens we turn out. You know the lake is right over there? The hotels are crowded with tourists, and there's mighty few we haven't sold a natural wood souvenir cane to. why. sir! in the last month we've brought the joint bank account up to--" "Tom, you're talking too much," muttered Frank \Vinston. "I declare! it braces me like a whiff of boyhood memory to strike something new and ambitious," obsened the man. "Vvhat an assortment of tools!" he continued, looking into the shop. "A forge-by the way, what have you done with my parcel?" Dick was mending a spol'ce, while Van held the wheel in a clamp. He looked up vaguely. "Your parcel, sir?" "Yes. It was tied to the bicycle." "\Vhat was it?" "A--but you wouldn't understand the technical name. It was a glass receptacle, made at the works over near Blake. I have spent a day there getting it done just right. I hope it isn't broken." "I am positive nothing was attached to the wheel when it was brought in here." "Too bad, that." "It must have fallen in the water. We'll find it floating or sticking in the mud," pronounced the buoyant Tom. He and the Winstons started away. It was half an hour be fore they returned, and by that time Dick had got the bicycle fixed, Van had disappeared, and its owner was interestedly ques tioning the young artisan about the company of which he seemed the working and thinking head. "I declare, I'm vexed!". exclaimed tlw man as the searchers returned handed. "No trace of it, sir," reported Tom. "It may have sunk." "It was hollow." "Or floated away, or, what's more likely, got smashed." "Who'd smash it?" "vVell, there's a hard lot live over near the gully:_the Carter crowd. I saw three of them along the creek. and as they are generally pelting stray cows, boys and windows, if they caught sight of your glass dish, or whatever it was, biff they've made hash of it." The old man looked disappointed and disturbed. He con sulted his watch. "How much for repairing the bicycle?" he asked, and paid the amount. "This puts me out considerably," he went on. "The lost article is something very e s sential to some tests I am making, and I cannot afford the time to direct the making of another immediately." "We will take a further look for it," promised Dick. "I shall be at the depot til I the three o'clock train arrive If you find it by then try and catch me. If later, here is my cardJohn Marcy-everybody in Detroit knows me Send or bring it. I'll be glad to giYe you twenty-five dollars for your trouble." "Whew I" whistled Tom, ''twenty-five dollar s Why, that would bring our pile up to-" "You talk like a man ,hth a wooden leg!" nudged Frank, im patiently. "Why don't you tC'll everything you know?" As Mr. l\Iarcy started away on his wheel Dick took off his apron. "You tend shop till we look after the lost package, Tom. We won't be gone long," he said. As they came in sight of the shop again an hour later, they observed its custodian pacing the plot in front, tossing some thing up conjuror-fashion. "Hello!" chirped the effervescent Tom. "Didn't you find the package? I knew you wouldn't; but here's good luck to ofi.set it;" and he slapped two silver dollars into Dick's hand. "What' s this?" inquired the latter. "Money, isn't it?" "Yes, but where did you get it?" \\Tell." announced Tam, proudly, ''I've done a pretty g o od stroke of bu ine ss during your absence. It takes me to run tlie shop!" "What?" "You know the old soap box we've k pt filling wi t h fragments and fillings of brass and copper?" Dick nodded, but with a slight start. "You don't mean--" he began. "I sold the old truck to a passing junk peddler." "Sold it?" "Exactly." "Box and all?" "Oh, I threw in the box. Why, Dick, what's the matter?" Dick was betraying manifest emotion; his eyes were full of excitement. "Who did you sell it to?" he asked. "I never saw the man before." "Tom, you've made a terrible mistake if you only k11ew it. Quick! which way did the man go?" "I declare," observed Tom, blankly, "I never noticed." Dick uttered a groan of dismay. ''Tom Green," he said, choking up palpably, "rm afraid you've done me the worst turn of my life!"

PAGE 4

BRA VE AND BOLD. 3 CHAPTER II. THE DOUBLE LOSS. Tom's gobd-natured face grew long as a shingle, while his companions looked startled. "What have yo-q been domg now?" snapped Frank. "Trying to turn brass into silver, but I don't get any credit for it," blurted Tom. Dick was out in the road scanning the branching highways with unmistakable anxiety. "There was something in that box--" began Frank. "Of course there was---old junk." "No; something else. Look how worried Dick is. Tom Green, your name just fits you. If you had some of the rubber out of your neck and the wheels out of your head, you might make an average boy in time." 1 "That so!" flared up Tom. "\!Veil, calling a cockroach a canary don't put feathers on the insect, or you'd know the difference b etwee n a whiffle tree and a tug." "Booh!" "Bah!" "It's nothing you could help, I guess, Tom," sighed Dick, re-turning to the group. "I had something hidden in that box." "Valuable?" gulped the distressed Tom. "I fancy so." "What?" "I can't waste time telling now. Was the peddler driving?" "Yes; had a white horse. Can't we.overtake him?" "We can try. There's four' roads. We'll each take one." "And if we catch him?" "Get what you'll find lying under the pile of junk, Why, where's Van?" "He's not around. Hasn't been for an hour," exclaimed Elmer. "Dick," he continu ed, seriously, "what's ever come over him lately? He acts fidgety, morose, scared." "Oh, nonsense." / "He does. I don't want to say anything against him, for he's your friend. but there's somethi n g wrong. He shies away from all of us. I caught him crying yesterday, and Frank says he saw him with a most disreputable old fellow in the woods this m orn ing." "And I saw him talking with the Carter crowd," put in Tom. Dick's brow clouded, but he tried to dissipate the prejudices of his eompanions "Van's all ri ght, boys," h e insisted, "and as to these suspicious occurrences. I 'll have a talk with him to-night. I think myself he's not quite as chirp as usual. 11aybe, though, he 's just citysick-pining for a sight of the electric lights and th e tall houses again. But don't waste time Frank, you take the village road; Elmer, you follow the r idge highway. I'll go west, and you, Tom-some one must mind the shop, you d o that." "Thece's another road. I know the peddler best. I want to h e lp, too!" Tom protested, excitedly; but Dick's form was disappearing on tile trail of the junk dealer who had suddenly set the affairs of the Decatur Improvement Company all topsy turvy. "It's n onsense about anything being wrong with Van," solilo quized Dick. T've trusted him, and he's treated me li)<.e a brother. The boys never liked it, my making him treasurer, but I knew the confidence would lift him up wonderfully, and he's the hardest worker of the lot." Still, Dick's face s howed uneasiness. Practically he knew little of Van. A year previous, penniless and sick, Van had come from that great hiding place of humanity, the city. Pity had led to friendship. Dick got him work, and when the great company scheme sprang into existence Van's vim and industry did so much to help it on that Dick felt rewarded for his efforts. That scheme was the outcome of a series of circumstances that may be briefly r elated. Dick was an orphan. Forced to work for a Jiving, for three years he had found a home with the former occupant of the house just behind the repair shop Old Aaron Bird was a miserly, secretive man, but Dick got along very well with him. Periodically he would go away on long, mysterious journeys. Then he would settle down to rais ing garden truck. Dick helped him, but was getting dissatisfied with the ambition less life when Bird was taken sick. During his illness he commended all Dick's careful attentions, and quite raised his h opes by insisting that, should he die, he would be well taken care of. He did die, but, aside from a few sticks of furniture, Bird left the world as poor as he had entered it. Dick was disappointed. Boylike, he valued his devotion to the old man's interests; boy like, he had built up many opulent dreams on his munificent promises. All this, however, act e d as a spur to Dick's ambition. He saw his mistake in drudging for a pittance. He would be his own master henceforth-and he ca5t his eyes about for some enterprise that was fitted to a bright, energetic boy. He found it at his very side. The abandoned blacksmith shop could be had for the asking. Bird had been something of a tinker, had left an antiquated but useful kit of tools, and had taught Dick how to handle them. Bicycling was the rage in Decatur and the surrounding towns. Summer visitors to near resorts brought their wheels with them. Here was the opening field. Dick could hardly realize h ow it came about, but a month after Mr. Bird's death the company was a settled fact. He had gathered about him four stanch friends, and inside of ninety the little corporation was booming. Of his helpers, the two Winston boys lived with a stepfather who gave them indifferent care; Tom had a good home with a married brother, but longed for independence. It was a proud hour when, at their second regular meeting, the treasurer reported one hundred and fifty dollars in the bank, and sanguine pros pects ahead. "\.Vhen we get five hundred dollars!" that was the unfinished warcry of the group. They had a purpose in view which they lisped to nobody. They were not tugging and toiling for passing needs alone, and they were daily getting nearer, nearer to that covented D notch that was to lift them into an experience worth living for. All this time Dick felt that he was cheated out of something. He was sure Bir
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