Tuesday, November 28, 2006

And Many Diverse Characters Appear

Chapter 4 begins with a scene in which we are introduced to a number of characters:

  • Merle Rideout: the photographer who was seen by the boys in Chapter 1 chasing
    the nude model
  • Chevrolette McAdoo: the model; dancer at the South Seas Pavilion
  • Dahlia Ridout: precocious five-year-old, daughter of Merle and Erlys
  • Professor Heino Vanderjuice: Pedagogical mentor to the Chums, inventor, Yale
  • Ray Ipsow: a friend of the professor, and a Socialist
  • Scarsdale Vibe: mogul and Capitalist
  • Foley walker: One of Vibe’s thugs

The plot in this chapter revolves around Vibe’s efforts to get Vanderjuice to develop a device to counter an invention of the great Nicholas Tesla. Tesla’s invention promises free power, what Vibe describes as “the most terrible weapon the world has seen, designed not to destroy armies or matériel, but the very nature of exchange” (34).


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