"I don't agree with you. Not only do I think it can be done, but I'm going to do it. In fact, I've already started on it. As for wasting my time, well, I haven't anything in particular to do, now that my giant cannon has been perfected, so I might as well be working on my new photo telephone instead of sitting around idle."
"Yes, Tom, I agree with you there," said Mr. Swift. "Sitting around idle isn't good for anyone--man or boy, young or old. So don't think I'm finding fault because you're busy."
"It's only that I don't want to see you throw away your efforts, only to be disappointed in the end. It can't be done, Tom, it can't be done," and the aged inventor shook his head in pitying doubt.
Tom only smiled confidently, and went on:
"Well, Dad, all you'll have to do will be to wait and see. It isn't going to be easy--I grant that. In fact, I've run up against more snags, the little way I've gone so far, than I like to admit. But I'm going to stick at it, and before this year is
Unlike some of the original Tom Swift adventures, this one provides a page or so of plausible technical details. Selenium cells would be used to record a temporary or permanent 'electric photograph' to capture an image of an impersonator seeking a ransom. But vague details of electrical shocks and airships as part of the plot mix undoubtedly kept readers reading to the end.