A group of brave astronauts make a startling discovery on the moon! It was not as empty as they thought it was!
"We've got to win that reward, Roger, or close up shop."
Ted Dustin, youthful president and general manager of Theodore Dustin, Inc. reached mechanically for his tobacco pouch, filled his black briar, and sighed.
Roger Sanders, assistant to the president, deposited his sheaf of papers on his desk, closed the door to the private office, and sat down in the chair facing his superior.
"I mean," replied Dustin, flicking his lighter with his thumb, "that in order to prepare the projectile for launching, we've spent every cent we had, and borrowed a lot besides. Theodore Dustin, Inc. is flat broke, and the plant is mortgaged from roof to drains. If we don't win that reward our creditors will be picking our bones in thirty days."
"Mr. Dustin." A female voice, apparently issuing from empty air, spoke his name. He turned to the radiovisiphone, a plain-looking disc resting on a small pedestal at his elbow. It was wireless, and contained no buttons, levers or controls of any kind.
"Yes." As he spoke, the picture of his information clerk flashed on the disc. The word "Yes" had completed the connection.
"Mr. Evans of the 'Globe' would like to know if you are ready to interview the representatives of the press."
"Any other reporters waiting?"
"There are twenty-seven in the reception room. Mr. Evans says you told them all to come at once."
"I did," replied Dustin. "Send them up in five minutes. Off."
When he spoke the word "Off," the picture disappeared, the connection having been broken by this word uttered alone with sharp emphasis.
While Roger went out for chairs, he rose and walked to the window. For some time he stood there, gazing at the smokeless, chimney-less factories beneath him. During twenty of the thirty years of his life, or until 1954, there had been chimneys on these factories. Combustion--the burning of coal and oil--had been necessary to keep their wheels turning.
But Dustin had changed all this by his invention which economically captured and stored the energy of the sun, converting it into electricity for light, heat and power, and putting manufacturing on a newer, cleaner basis. Now, at the age of thirty, he had lived to see his sun power units in almost universal use.