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Dynamite Stories

by Hudson Maxim

Editor's Note—The name of Hudson Maxim, author of the accompanying series of Dynamite Stories, is perhaps the most distinguished in the development of high explosives and kindred inventions. First to make smokeless powder in the United States, he has worked with dynamite, maximite, stabilite and motorite, with torpedoes and rams, with projectiles and armor-plate, with automatic guns and detonating fuses, as a veritable familiar of these grim agents of destruction. Long the most famous inventor in his field, he has gathered many an anecdote of explosion. Though some of these stories make saturnine sport of death, they are unique in their crisp dramatic quality, and ADVENTURE is fortunate in giving them to its readers.

THE SINGULAR GOOD FORTUNE OF AN ENGLISH GENTLEMAN

IT SO happened that during a tour of inspection seven of us were together, going over the works. On entering the guncotton dry-house, I noticed a strong odor of nitric acid.

"Out of here—quick!" I cried. "The place is going to blow up!"

There were perhaps a hundred pounds of dry guncotton in the room at the time, spread out in pans. As was afterward learned, the foreman, being in a hurry for the guncotton, had turned live steam into the pipes instead of circulating hot water through them as instructed.

We were barely out of the room when the guncotton burned with a flash, wrecking the building, and setting fire to the fragments. I was just congratulating myself that no one had been injured by the explosion, when it was discovered that one of the party, the Englishman, the even tenor of whose way nothing could accelerate or disturb, who feared nothing, had not quite made up his mind in time to get out of the room before the flash occurred. On seeing him emerge at last from the zone of destruction, I was horror-stricken, for apparently every hair had been burned from his head and face, while shreds of skin hung from his hands and cheeks and brow; the dark portions of his eyes even were white under the influence of the dreadful shock he had undergone.

Nevertheless, the Englishman's usual phlegmatic manner was wholly unruffled, and he spoke in his conventional voice, hardly tinged with enthusiasm:

"I say, Mr. Maxim, you know, it's not often one has the chance to witness what actually occurs, by Jove!"

LIVING BOMBS

AN AMERICAN reporter, who was with the Japanese during the Manchurian campaign, told me the following story:

Column after column of Japanese had assaulted a Russian positio...

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