The Titus Brothers Contractors company have won a government contract in Peru to blast a tunnel through a mountain and connect two isolated railroad lines. The deadline is approaching, and the contractors have hit a literal wall: excessively hard rock which defies conventional blasting techniques. The company is under pressure to finish, or else the contract will default to their rivals, Blakeson & Grinder. Mr. Job Titus has heard of Tom Swift and Tom's giant cannon, which is used in protecting the Panama Canal, and wants to hire Tom to develop a special blasting powder to help them finish the excavation. --Wikipedia
his profession wear very thick-soled shoes. Opposite the stranger sat Eradicate, a much-injured look on his honest, black face.
"Oh, Massa Tom!" exclaimed Eradicate, as soon as the young inventor entered. "Dat Koku he--he--he done gone and cotch me by de collar ob mah coat, an' den he lif' me up, an' he sot me down so hard--so hard--dat he jar loose all mah back teef!" and Eradicate opened his mouth wide to display his gleaming ivories.
"Eradicate, he no can come quick. He walk like so fashion!" and Koku, who had followed the young inventor, imitated the limping gait of the colored man with such a queer effect that Tom could not help laughing, and the stranger smiled.
"Ef I gits holt on yo'--ef I does, yo' great, big, overgrown lummox, Ah'll--Ah'll--" began the colored man, stammeringly.
"There. That will do now!" interrupted Tom. "Don't quarrel in here. Koku, get back to that engine and lift out the motor. Eradicate, didn't father tell you to whitewash the chicken coops to-day?"