HENRY HORN'S X-RAY EYE GLASSES
by DWIGHT V. SWAIN
[Transcriber Note: This etext was produced from Amazing Stories December 1942. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]
"Look!" said Henry Horn with a gasp. "Here, you look at the camp through the glasses!"
Henry Horn had a new invention; a pair of glasses that worked on the x-ray principle. But he didn't expect them to reveal Nazi secret agents and their works of sabotage!
"It's not enough to have a nudist colony move in next door!" fumed Professor Paulsen. "No, indeed! That wouldn't disrupt things enough. Now, in addition, every ne'er-do-well in the county comes prowling over our farm in order to spy on the naked numbskulls!"
Scowling ferociously, the gaunt scientist stamped violently back across the meadow's lush verdure toward the little country home he shared with his partner, Henry Horn. Beside him, matching his own long strides, came the savant's old friend, Major Ray Coggleston of Army Intelligence.
"None of us can hope for a bed of roses all the time, Joe," Coggleston remarked, grinning at the professor's outburst. "'Into each life some rain must fall,' you know. You've got trespassers to bother you. Me, I'm responsible for protecting one of the biggest explosives laboratories in the country against Axis espionage and sabotage."
Instinctively, as he spoke, the officer's eyes sought out the long, low Ordnance experiment station, barely a mile away. Professor Paulsen, following the glance, nodded.
"You're right," he agreed. "And when you come right down to it, my worries over the nudist camp back there"—he jerked his head toward the high board fence which marked the boundary—"aren't very important. Not with a war in progress."
By now the two were in the yard and rounding the corner of the house.
The next instant they stopped dead in their tracks.
There, in the shade of the building, stood a slight, familiar figure. A figure which, at the moment, was the center of attention for a little knot of interested spectators.
"Oh, yes, gentlemen, it certainly does work!" cried Henry Horn enthusiastically, his scraggly goatee jerking spasmodically with each nod of emphasis. He waved the battered pair of binoculars he clutched in his right hand. "Yes, it's a marvelous invention. You can see everything you want to, just like you were right inside that camp. And only a dollar for a minute's look!"
The professor's face jumped to beet red, then apoplectic purple. His fists clenched, and the sound he made as he sucked in his breath closely resembled that of a cow pulling her foot out of a mudhole. He started forward.
Major Coggleston choked off an incipient frame-racking spasm of mirth barely in time. He caught the tall scientist's arm.
"See you later, Joe!" he snickered. "I've got to get back on duty. There's a new super-explosive being tested, and I'm supposed to be on hand."
"All right. Later." Professor Paulsen grated the words through clenched teeth, but it is doubtful that he was even conscious of speaking. His eyes were focussed straight at Henry in a horrible glare, and the smoke of indignation hovered about him in clouds.
"Only a dollar, gentlemen!" cried Henry, oblivious to all this new attention. "It's just like going inside the camp. Really it is!"
"He's right, boys!" broke in a burly, red-headed character. "Those glasses of his are better than a seat on the fence." And, turning to the little man: "I'll even buy 'em from you. How much'll you take?"
"You see, gentlemen?" whooped Henry, steel-rimmed spectacles nearly sliding off the end of his nose in his excitement. "The gentleman says