This ebook was produced from Astounding Stories, December 1931. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.
hat in that automatic rifle, firing hexynitrate bullets, each equivalent to a six-pounder T.N.T. shell in destructiveness, Sergeant Walpole carried greater "fire-power" than Napoleon ever disposed in battle.
The tread of the Wabbly made a perfect roadway. Presently Sergeant Walpole looked up to find himself scrutinizing somebody's dining-room table, set for lunch. The Wabbly had crossed a house in its path without swerving. Walls, chimneys, timbers and planks, all had gone beneath its treads. But they had been pressed so smoothly flat that until Sergeant Walpole looked down at his footing, he would not have known he was walking on the wreckage of a building.
It was half an hour before he reached the village. The Wabbly had gone from end to end, backed up, and gone over the rest of it again. There was the taint of gas in the air. Sergeant Walpole halted outside the debris. His gas-mask had been blown to atoms with Observation-Post Fourteen.
"They're tryin' to beat the news o' their comin',
I found this quite imaginative. The enemy (unnamed) lands an enormous impregnable land-battleship on the east coast, and a sergeant and a cadet have to figure out how to stop the thing. A good little mystery/adventure story that seems to predict radio-beam destructive weapons (MASERs).
All of the characters are distinct (all military guys, no babes), some good guesses about the future, even when they're wrong, and good plotting to keep things moving.
Very prophetic of Mr. Jenkins in this war story to choose 1941 to 1943 as the time setting. This work would be aimed at early teenagers i imagine, and as such is exempt from anything too caustic. It is what it is and nothing more. Just one thing: where exactly is the word "wabbly" supposed to have come from?