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Categoria: Nikola Tesla

Outside stood Tesla, properly dressed in black cutaway coat and hat for the special occasion, his slender figure bearing signs of close relationship to the mastlike rod sticking out of his bizarre barnlike structure. He seemed even taller due to a layer of rubber on the soles and heels of his shoes, used as electrical insulation.

As he gave the switch-closing "Now'' signal to Czito, he looked at the ball on the top of the mast. He had hardly spoken when he saw a short hairlike spark dart from the ball. It was only about ten feet long, and thin. He had time to be pleased, there was a second and a third and a fourth spark, each longer, brighter and bluer than its predecessor.

 

"Ah!'' exclaimed Tesla, forgetting to close his mouth that was widely opened for a shout. He clenched his hands for joy and raised them skyward toward the top of the mast.

 

More sparks! Longer and longer! Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty feet. Brighter and bluer! Not thread-like sparks but fingers of fire throwing rods of flame that lashed viciously into the sky. The sparks were now as thick as his arm as they left the ball.

Tesla's eyes almost popped out of his head as he saw full-fledged bolts of lightning darting into the air, accompanied by a barrage of tremendous crashes of thunder. Those lightning bolts were now half again the length of the building, more than 135 feet long, and the thunder was being heard fifteen miles away.

Suddenly-silence!

Tesla rushed into the building.

 

"Czito! Czito! Czito! Why did you do that? I did not tell you to open the switch. Close it again quickly!''

Czito pointed at the switch. It was still closed. He then pointed at the voltmeter and ammeter on the switchboard. The needles of both of them registered zero.

 

Tesla sized up the situation instantly. The incoming wires carrying electricity to the laboratory were "dead.''

 

"Czito,'' he snapped," call up the power station quickly. They must not do that. They have cut off my electricity.''

 

The telephone call was put through to the power station. Tesla grabbed the phone and shouted into it:

 

"This is Nikola Tesla. You have cut off my electricity! You must give me back electricity immediately! You must not cut off my electricity.''

 

"Cut off your electricity, nothing,'' came the gruff reply from the other end of the line."You've thrown a short circuit on our line with your diabolical experiments and wrecked our station. You've knocked our generator off the line and it's on fire now. You will not get electricity any more!''

 

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