In the early years most radio stations didn't sell airtime or run commercials, so they couldn't afford to pay performers, and were dependent on unpaid amateur talent for most of their programs. In order to fill their schedules, stations came up with a wide variety of innovative offerings. This extract reviews this period of pioneering broadcasting, especially 1922 and 1923, at WHAS in Louisville, where Credo Fitch Harris was the station manager.
Microphone Memoirs, Credo Fitch Harris, 1937, pages 42-51:

    After our return from Detroit, while waiting the arrival of the transmitter and the completion of that iron platform between buildings so we could cross without having to swing on ropes like Sinbad, I found another office space and began to write masses of letters. The director up in Michigan strongly advised this, for his station had opened nine months before my visit and he was old with wisdom besides having lost twenty pounds. Following his tip, I gathered a list of musical persons in Louisville and contiguous areas, and began my letters--explaining what a radio telephone broadcasting station was and inviting them to come and register their willingness to entertain for us--free of charge, as a matter of course. The idea of paying radio talent was then as remote as selling time to advertisers.
    I was careful not to say to the prospects as much as the publisher had told me that first day I called upon him, for had I got into the enigmas of "a small piece of wire on a cabin roof," and the manipulation of "a black box" acting as a magic carpet to whisk them over the earth or even to Mars, they wouldn't have come anywhere near us. They might have turned and run at my approach. And we needed them, not alone their abilities but their friendship, faith and loyalty.
    For it should be remembered there were no networks in those days, and no electrical wizard had devised a way of picking up entertainment by telephone lines at remote control points. Every program we broadcast had to originate within our own padded room, so it was necessary to have a long string of volunteers on call and for them to be dependable enough to cross our threshold promptly thirty minutes before starting time. Otherwise there would be no concert, or one that got off late. What those troubadors wished to sing or play I left to their own choosing, and half an hour was none too long in which to orientate their introductions, think up a few words about each musical selection and, if possible, some interesting fact concerning the life of its composer.
    Although the Department of Commerce had granted us use of the entire twenty-four hours, should we want it, on the other hand there might be trouble afoot were we to remain entirely silent or even tardy in beginning periods which we had publicly committed ourselves to fill. So my letters, while meant to be subtly enticing, were emphatic.
    You may think that the preparation of shows from four to five o'clock every afternoon, and seven-thirty to nine each night except Sundays, would be quite a simple undertaking. Comparing that weekly total of sixteen hours to our present schedule of one hundred and twenty-four, it is. But sometime when you've nothing else to do, try it for a few years, depending entirely upon unpaid amateur talent. First, however, accept a friendly tip and engage your room in a sanitorium.
    The scores of daily replies which began to arrive reflected a fine co-operation. Except for a few who expected babies, I do not recall that any declined. At times the queue of registrants outside my door seemed interminable.
    One woman with tender eyes, whose telltale throat hinted at how long ago she had passed the age of feminine despair, came to say that although she had not been invited nor had she sung for several years, she would gladly make an exception in our case; and that her husband, "celebrating tomorrow his seventieth birthday" had really a lovely tenor voice.
    This is not written in levity or disrespect. It was a kindly and courageous gesture--more kind than wise, perhaps. A stout heart rested there, and if the voice had wandered off and got itself lost in the shadows of proud memory, what of it!
    A few weeks later, when driven desperate by a last minute cancellation of a flu-stricken quartette booked for the afternoon program, and further distracted after my secretary and I had called a score of telephone numbers only to find they led into an epidemic of colds, I bethought myself of the elderly soprano and her seventy-year-old husband tenor. You understand that I was quite desperate. The starting hour was close upon us. Another telephone call! Almost at once a taxi was speeding after them, and they arrived breathless but in time. Writing this many years later, I am glad they had that one great radio adventure. Of its kind, it was their only one. Both have since joined the Celestial Choir. Sweet sing to them!
    As our opening night approached, citizens almost raided electrical stores to buy crystal sets and earphones. Tube receivers had scarcely come into the broadcasting picture. A scattered few were built by budding young engineers (without loud speakers, of course), yet they spread out over so much room--or rather so many rooms--that few homes were physically able to house them. Crystal sets were fairly good while they worked. On going dead, the frantic fan would wiggle his wire whisker to another part of the crystal, or another, and still another. Then he might dash to the medicine chest and give it a dab of rubbing alcohol. If that failed he might put it in the oven for a ten minute baking. Meanwhile the concert was probably over. Those were good recipes in their day and generation, and during our first year of broadcasting we must have repeated them by telephone to a thousand anxious inquirers.
    Carefully I had gone over my talent list and picked out the choicest material for our first big night, announced to open Tuesday, July 18, 1922. A cinema concern moved in to take a thousand feet of film. Some of it they shot in the afternoon, keeping a reserve for the first studio program. That reel, by the way, was later shown in almost every theatre of size throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana.
    By half past six o'clock newspaper photographers, executives, departmental heads, reporters and a few especially invited others had arrived, and were very much in the way, standing around with mouths more or less agape while cautiously refraining from coming into contact with any metal surface. Will I ever forget it!
    We were to open at seven-thirty o'clock. Yet by seven each singer and instrumentalist was placed, as well as eminent citizens who, according to pre-arrangement, were to be introduced to our great unseen audience. Then the movie men began to grind. Their klieg lights added to the dazzling ensemble, and to the heat. By seven-twenty the studio was closed. There we waited as the clock ticked off minute after minute. Mercury in the thermometer was about the only other thing that moved. Then, one by one handkerchiefs appeared, but I frowned them back into their pockets. Handkerchiefs might make a noise.
    Two minutes more to go! At the end of those torturous one hundred and twenty seconds a red signal light would flash on the studio wall, and we would be--on the air! I explained this quickly in a hoarse whisper, and once more warned the room to silence. No cough! No sneeze! My heart was pounding. Our star soprano was breathing painfully. I could see the contralto's pulse beating in her throat. All nerves were tuned to concert pitch. Suddenly the red light glowed! Someone gave a little gasp. I, also, wanted to gasp, but swallowed it and exclaimed in my best manly voice: "This is WHAS, the radio telephone broadcasting station of the Courier-Journal and the Louisville Times, in Louisville, Kentucky!"
    It was the first cry of our infant broadcaster. A rather long cry, but a lusty one.
    I had rehearsed it at home until the family was almost crazy, and had further prepared a brief explanation of what our adventure hoped to accomplish. Those who lived more than a thousand miles away were asked to wire us, collect, if they heard us or not--a somewhat ambiguous Irish twist which got by without comment. But afterwards a destitute creature accused me of having said to send those telegrams "prepaid" instead of "collect." Maybe so.
    Now came the moment for introductions of executives and a few broad-browed notables who were waiting in line, pale and perspiring. They looked frightened and forlorn. I recall thinking that they looked very much as I felt.
    It was expected, as a matter of course, that when their names were called each would step forward and at least say "Good evening," or "How-do-you-do." But microphone-itis is a fearful disease, and as one after the other was presented he made only a low, courtly bow in the most--or nearly most--approved drawing-room manner, with never a word coming from his frozen lips.
    Those silences were awful. They fairly thundered, seeming to shatter the calm air with earsplitting roars.
    It is gratifying to exonerate our president, the publisher, from any such exhibition of microphone fright. He was out of the city. Yet, even if he had stood in that palpitating line-up, I shall not believe he would have let me down as those others did. Until then he never had, nor has he since, so without conclusive evidence I find it difficult to conceive his nerve failing at the very moment when our little bark launched upon uncharted seas--and rough seas, too!
    However, (there's always a however) that old carbon microphone produced amazing and terrifying effects upon those who faced it! Buck ague, fire panics, bayonet charges were child's play in comparison.
    I did not sleep much that night.


    GOING in town next day I passed a church. On the bulletin-board out front was the subject of the pastor's following Sabbath sermon: GOD IS ALWAYS BROADCASTING.
    Broadcast had instantly taken its place in the public mind. At least, throughout our locality, it became an active and controversial subject of conversation, whereas two months earlier the word was scarcely mentioned. In fact, I did my utmost at dinners and other gatherings to steer away from it, rather than openly admit ignorance.
    But that minister's salesmanship appealed to me and, wishing to enlarge upon a beautiful thought, I added to our schedule a Sunday forenoon service from ten to ten-thirty o'clock, quickly ordered a melodeon moved into the studio, and an electric motor device placed outside the wall to keep the bellows pumped up.
Pages 55-56:

    Hundreds and hundreds of pathetically grateful letters from shut-ins really plunged me into a black depression. I had had no concept of the fact that there could be so many paralytics, lame, halt or blind tucked away--with tender care, for the most part--in top or back rooms of as many homes. While visitors came and went below stairs, those others were the attic hermits whom the public did not see. It was only when our station became a daily companion that their years of loneliness found expression in penciled words.
    These were not local, by any means. From Wethersfield, Connecticut, came a letter--it lies before me--saying: "I am glad to write and congratulate you on your wonderful broadcasting. I have a broken back, and your station makes a fellow feel happy, and the programs are marvelous. I want to send my congratulations and best wishes, and hope they will be accepted as I always enjoy tuning in your station."
    He was one of the early investors in a tube set, quite new upon the market, using earphones, of course.
    That, and other such letters, more than repaid our public-spirited publisher for his heavy expenditures in radio. His dream was coming true; a genuine satisfaction in bringing to just such unfortunates a new and exciting pleasure was his dividend.
    While many wrote touchingly about the Sunday morning services, which were of a more personal nature than musical broadcasts, several hinted at a drawback, and it became apparent that some means must be devised for annihilating the spiritual distance between microphone and listener, pulpit and pew. Because of the obvious fact that our radio congregation was made up of all denominations, I asked our ministers to avoid sectarianism and build their sermons solely upon a fine human philosophy, thus touching all listeners alike.
Pages 62-65:

    That WHAS Church Service Congregation marked our first and most profound epoch in radio advancement. Studio services still go on, and that "really great preacher" to whom I just referred has unfailingly continued throughout these fifteen years to take the first Sunday of each month. But membership cards have long since been abandoned. Eventually the national networks came into being, using numerous outlets which served more satisfactorily distant areas with a Church of the Air.
    One of our first gratifying returns was a letter, written with difficulty, from a woman in southern Indiana. It was dated "Sunday."
"Dear WHAS, for the past nineteen year I've been living from my bed to a wheel char and back to bed, and aint never had a chance at going to church except listening to yore radio and that seemed a long way off. But last week my membership card come. This morning I opened the Book on my lap, laid my card on Its blessed page, and felt just like I was setting in the front pew."
    We were encouraged.
    Wielding such influence, the power of radio became more and more apparent. There was no imposition of an arbitrary censorship then, nor is there now, except within a station manager's concept of propriety. But I realized, and have continued to realize through the years, that upon each microphone, upon the conduct of each station, must rest a solemn obligation. So I posted a Code in the studio which to this day has remained unchanged:
"A station's value is in proportion to the esteem of its listeners.
"One objectionable word will ruin the most beautiful program ever built.
"Had the Lord written an Eleventh Commandment it might have been: Thou Shalt Not Be Common.
"Entertainment, if not in good taste, belies its name.
"Mispronunciation is worse than no pronunciation.
"Avoid controversies."
    And beneath this I attempted, alas! to editorialize:
"The culture of a people is molded by spoken words. There are said to be nearly a million receiving sets in America. An audience of this size is impressive, but that it should be under the domination of relatively few microphones is startling. The possession of such power to influence, places squarely upon the voice of each station a solemn responsibility for decent and intelligent address. Failing in either of these, silence becomes a virtue."
    I could not help smiling just now as I copied that yellowing, dusty page. Mile-posts have sped by rapidly. Nevertheless, our old Code is even more valuable today, when two-thirds of the nation's population are forming ideas from six hundred microphones, and children's minds are everywhere being grooved into habits of thought--tidy, or otherwise.
Pages 69-72:

    God protect me from temperamental artists! It was one of these who caused our first program breakdown. To begin with she arrived somewhat late, and entered twisting her handkerchief into a wee ball, breathlessly declaring she could not "go on with it."
    "That's ridiculous!" I made a fair bluff at laughing. "Of course, you can."
    "I can't--I can't--I can't," she crescendoed. "I'll see a thousand ears wagging and flapping at me!"
    The sand was running out of the glass and we had to get started. She was a pretty thing. Indeed, as I remember it now, she possessed an unusually rare and dazzling order of beauty. A week or so before, when she had come for a booking, our observant technician quietly remarked to me that she could "crash a Beauty Show in a calico josie."
    I have never seen a "josie," and doubt if anyone else has. But josie or no, she now was late, and getting jumpy, and putting crinkles in my own nerves. For a moment it was a toss-up whether to get tough or give the soothing-syrup. The syrup seemed more promising--at least pleasanter.
    "Forget those ears, my dear sweet singer! Just think intensively about the thousands of sick and suffering people whose pillows are hot with fever, and how your gorgeous voice will penetrate the walls and soothe them!"
    I did not actually mean soothe the walls. Radio had not quite got to that. But when program time drew near and tardy artists went hysterical, a proper arrangement of words meant less than nothing.
    It wasn't a gorgeous voice, either.
    Anyhow, with a few encouraging grunts from her accompanist she stiffened up, walked determinedly into the studio; the light flashed, she was introduced and began.
    Half through her first song I heard a suspicious quaver, turned quickly and saw her eyes brimming with tears. A storm of some kind seemed imminent. In desperation I made angry gestures, funny gestures, all sorts of gestures to distract her from those "thousands of wagging, flapping ears." But the hurricane was upon us and, in another instant, she broke down completely with a wail that sounded scarcely human.
    Whispering frantically to the piano accompanist to keep on playing something, anything, I led the--by this time--bawling soprano outside.
    "What do you mean by ruining this broadcast," I stormed. "Didn't I tell you to forget those confounded ears?"
    "I w-w-wasn't thinking about th-th-the ears," she sobbed. "I was th-thinking of all those s-s-suffering people you told me to think about!"
    That should have taught me something. It was only our first month, and not much water had run over the dam since my publisher friend told me of this miraculous invention. I have sometimes wondered if he deliberately avoided any intimation concerning temperamental sopranos, lest he scare me off, or if he actually had no knowledge of them!
Pages 78-81:

    WITH no one to teach us, no precedents to guide, I blazed our trail through an unknown forest of perplexities and nightmares, begging dear old Providence to lead us out alive, even if deranged. It would hardly have been sporting to expect both.
    Experience can be a bitter school, but when once it teaches, there is no forgetting. The conglomerate information my Detroit confrere imparted had seemed complete at the moment, but after a first plunge into actualities those kindly words fell away, leaving me stark and alone, facing the several duties of manager, announcer, program director, continuity writer, and the doer of whatever else turned up, including host and bouncer.
    Oh, yes, still another duty fell upon the manager-announcer, as alien to my talents as walking a tight-rope, and this was playing the chorus of "My Old Kentucky Home" on chimes. Imagine! In an unguarded moment, thinking that it might be an effective way to sign the station off, afternoons and nights, I had these metal bars constructed--eight were sufficient--and, after giving the correct time, that famous old tune was hit off note by note. Invariably I went at it with fear and trembling, lest the do-dad I struck with hit the wrong thing--and the marvel is that it did not miss oftener. In fact, my daily agony was the anticipation of that moment when, hammer in hand, heart in mouth, alone and forsaken before a listening multitude, I should assume the role of virtuoso. What devil put the idea in my head to begin with, may never be known. But, once started, there was no turning back.
    The way we gave that correct time seems now almost too ridiculous to be true. Having arranged the program of singers and players to conclude at four and a half minutes to nine--if threatening to run over, making signs to the performer to stop at a specific verse; or, if running short, signaling for a repetition of verses and chorus,--I would announce: "Now we shall give you the correct Central Standard time, calling the next three minutes in fifteen second intervals, and the last minute in intervals of five seconds. Are your watches ready? (Keeping my eyes glued to the large master clock with a pendulum swing of half a second.) Are your watches ready? (A pause.) It is four minutes to nine! (Then a stifling series of pauses.) Fifteen seconds!--Thirty seconds!--Forty-five seconds!-- Three minutes to nine!--Fifteen seconds!--Thirty seconds!--Forty-five seconds!--Two minutes to nine!--Fifteen seconds!--Thirty seconds!--Forty-five seconds!--One minute to nine! -- Five -- Ten -- Fifteen -- Twenty -- Twenty-five -- Thirty -- Thirty-five -- Forty -- Forty-five -- Fifty -- Fifty-five -- NINE O'CLOCK!"
    That was the place for my musical solo, and then: "This is WHAS, the radio telephone broadcasting station of the Courier-Journal and the Louisville Times, in Louisville, Kentucky. We hope we have brought you pleasure, and now wish you a very--good--night."
    And another day had passed into history!
    I have written all of this out, only to give some of you a chance to say: "Why, I remember that! Doesn't it seem a million years ago?"
    Such long drawn pronouncements would put modern radio listeners to death--if they stayed with it all the way through. But then people had different ideas, and radio was more of a novelty. It was great fun keeping grandfather's clock and daddy's watch set to the second!
Pages 88-89:

AS THAT fourth dimensional value in announcing spelled success, a complete absence of it was correspondingly destructive. I recall the time when my managerial duties grew to proportions which required someone else to do this part of the work, and I employed a likable chap with good basic qualifications. After he had carried on for a short while he came to my room. There was a gleam of triumph in his eye.
    "Well, sir, I've conquered it!"
    "Conquered what?" I inquired.
    "The microphone," he answered proudly. "I don't pay any more attention to it now than if it were that"--pointing to my inkwell.
    "You mean that you've no longer a screwed-up-tight feeling when you go to it?"
    "Exactly! I've finally overcome it!"
    "Well," I sighed, "as an announcer you're dead on your feet without knowing it. Unless you immediately recapture that quality, our listeners will begin turning thumbs down on you."
    I could see that he was not at all convinced; but two weeks later the first of a flood of objections arrived. It came from Mississippi.
    "What's the matter with your new announcer? Was he an undertaker in private life? I expect any moment to hear him tell us that the remains are in a room to the right, and please step quietly."
    When I showed him a number of these he shook his head sadly, remarking:
    "I've killed my best friend."
    And so he had.
Pages 134-137:

IT WAS in the early days of our "prehistoric era" that we launched out upon a new adventure, one that later brought us more favorable national comment. This was an offer to broadcast for persons missing from home, who could not otherwise be located. We called it: "Paging the Ether." Really, some of our finds were extraordinary, and showed us anew the penetrating, all-reaching power of radio.
    Replying to that announcement a letter came one day from a gentleman in Russellville, Kentucky. The writing indicated age and effort. He had received no word from his son, Dan, for more than a year, and had abandoned hope of finding him until hearing the offer from our station. Now, perhaps, through this new science, we might bring some light again into his life.
    So that afternoon I asked for news concerning Dan's whereabouts and said that his father wanted him to come home.
    Several weeks elapsed, and then a brief but happy note arrived from the father saying that Dan had sent him a post card from Seattle. We were pleased, of course, but I did think the chap had taken an inexcusably long time notifying his dad, because our message had reached that northwestern city in less than a tenth of a second. However, in a few days, this letter came, again from the father:
"I am writing to tell you that the prodigal, Dan, whom you broadcast for, has returned; the fatted calf has been killed, the ring placed upon his finger and shoes upon his feet. He was on the Pacific Ocean, out from Seattle, on a boat. The Captain sent for him and said: 'Dan, your father is calling you. He wants you in Russellville.'"
    This had the scent of a good story and needed following up. In brief it turned out that Dan was on a freighter, en route from Australia to Seattle. One day when they were 200 miles off Cape Blanco a sailor came into the fo'castle telling Dan the Captain wanted him. He deferentially entered the master's room, saw him lolling back with sea boots up on the table and two strange looking black things clamped to his ears. These were removed as he sat up and delivered the message.
    Now Dan knew as much about radio as I had a few months before, and that was nothing. So he backed, away, quietly closed the door, then dashed down the companionway stairs among his fellows, shouting:
    "The old man s hearing voices--gone crazy as hell! Says my father's been talking to him from Russellville, Kentucky, and wants me to come home!"
    I can sympathize with Dan, having entertained similar sentiments toward my friend, the newspaper publisher, when he told me the previous April what this radio thing would do.
    At any rate, when Dan finally went ashore at Seattle, he sent his father the post card, and then followed upon its heels.
    Even our signal having reached so far was most exceptional, and the Captain might have tried daily for months before he caught us again. But broadcasting waves from our little 500 watter, when conditions of air and earth were exactly right, sometimes registered in almost unbelievably distant places.
    In glancing over ancient clippings from home and foreign newspapers, I vividly recall many of the happy surprises which we were the medium of bringing to worried families. And I feel again, as I did then, humbled in the presence of an invention which all but approaches the solemnity of a divine miracle. Results were so simply obtained! No effort, skill or ability was required by the announcer. He merely said into the microphone something like this: "We desire information concerning the whereabouts of so-and-so." Age and appearance of the missing person followed, and also the place where last heard from. Listeners were asked to telegraph, charges collect, if they could assist us.
    That inquiry went into hotels, boarding houses, lowly rooming places, farms, cabins in the woods, highway garages and filling stations. It penetrated places where individual searchers would not have thought to look.
    In our old scrapbook of those clippings I see that "E. Anderson learns of uncle family gave up as dead thirty-five years ago;" "radiophone finds Mary Allison who has been lost twenty-four years."
Pages 162-165:

    Would you mind my telling just one more "Paging the Ether" story? It is somewhat different, because it never got on the air, at all.
    I looked up. Standing patiently by to get my attention, was a small boy. Blue, large and wistful were his eyes, and his cheeks were smeared with dirt and tear stains. Not in recent hours had a comb and brush touched his tousled hair. He held a worn cap with both hands, grasping it tightly as if suffering under some strong emotion. As I smiled, he essayed a smile in return, but it was half-hearted.
    "Mister," he began, "don't you radio for lost people?"
    "Well, I wisht you'd send one fer Mister Mac! He's been gone since yesterday and I can't find him nowhere!"
    "What's his full name?" I asked, taking up a pen.
    "Just--Mister Mac, is all we know him by."
    "Oh, he's awful old!"
    "We must have something more definite than this! What's the color of his eyes?"
    "Brown," the little boy spoke up confidently. "Brown, Mister! But he can't see, hardly. There's sort of something white growin' over 'em."
    "It's black an' white spots."
    "Spots," I exclaimed, sitting straighter. "Are you talking about a dog?"
    "Yes, sir, he's a setter."
    "I'm sorry," I said, laying down my pen. "Our rules only let us broadcast for lost people."
    "But he is people, Mister!" The little urchin's body grew tense as he saw a likelihood of having his request refused. "He's just as much people as anybody!"
    Tears were gathering afresh in his eyes. He had banked his last hope of finding Mister Mac through the necromancy of radio and, as he saw this slipping, a kind of panic seized him.
    "Please don't turn me down! Suppose he was your dawg!"
    That was exactly what I had been supposing. I had owned many dogs in days gone by. They had owned large portions of me. Through a mist I seemed now to see their honest eyes of chestnut brown, looking at me as steadfastly as the blue eyes of the little boy, pleading with me to extend to this suffering youngster a mite of the kindness I had shown to them.
    "Even if he were mine," I answered softly, "I couldn't break the rule."
    "Oh, Mister," he choked back a sob, "you don't know how bad it is! Why, when I was just a baby me mudder put Mister Mac in bed with me. He was a puppy then, an' him an' me grew old together. An'--an'--well, when me mudder died--. Well, every day when they made me leave for school Mister Mac came to the corner with me, an' watched me out of sight. An' when I got near home again, he was always there a-waitin'. An' he'd hold my hand in his mouth, Mister, like as if to lead me. That's the way we was. An' if things went bad an' I had to cry, he'd put his head clost on my chest an' cry, too. Honest to God, he'd cry just like me! Or if I'd laugh a lot, he'd wag his tail an' grin so wide you could see all his teeth. Oh, he was just as much folks as anyone, Mister!
    "An' yesterday I did him a dirty trick--without meanin' to. Us kids was playin' on the street, an' I jumped in a passin' wagon without his seein' me. An' then I called, like as if I was in trouble. An' bein' half blind Mister Mac couldn't see where I was. He looked around ever'where, awful anxious an' scairt, an' then run off the wrong way. That's the last I've saw of him. An' maybe he's been hit by a ottermobile, lyin' up in a alley somewhere dyin', with no one to give him water, or pet him, or tell him I'm sorry I played that dirty trick. Oh, Mister, won't you please, sir, help me find him?"
    I am not in the least ashamed to admit that as he told his little story I wanted to throw him downstairs. It would have been against rules to grant his request; yet I did not have the moral courage to refuse it. Thus, for half a minute, I stared at the wall, while he waited expectantly.
    It was during this torturous interval, as the shades of my dead dog friends were passing before me, that three boys dashed into the studio, stopping abruptly when they saw us. Then one whispered excitedly, "We got 'im, Bud!"
    As though in obedience to a magic wand, they instantly vanished. I heard the clattering of their shoes upon the iron steps, the slamming of the iron door.
    Finally I went to the control room window--the only one that opened--and looked down upon the street, a hundred feet below. There, within a circle of enthusiastic urchins, a tousled-headed kid kneeled with his arms tightly wrapped about the neck of a benign old setter, which vigorously wagged its tail.
    Would I have broadcast for the lost Mister Mac? I don't know, even now.