After losing sight of the ships we were following and ditching Ropkind’s aeroplane, we swim back to land. Now, dyslogistically behind schedule, we have no choice but to join aunt Humperdink’s ship The Scavenger.
Calling in to see Gordon in the testing laboratory, we find him surrounded by interesting looking electronic machinery, he tells us that a lot of electronic testing equipment is too noisy, especially for fitting on submarines, when silent operation is vital, and that he is working on a beeper, used for testing a pinger, an advanced piece of electronic testing equipment, used for testing beepers which, if the beeper is broken, goes ping. Juan asks him how he knows if the pinger is working. Gordon explains that he has a ping-testing device, which, if the ping doesn’t work, goes bong. On top of that, Gordon explains, he has a dedicated bong tester which goes buzz if the bonger doesn’t work and, as an additional back-up, he uses a buzz tester that goes pop if the buzzer isn’t working then, for absolute surety, he tests the popper with a pop tester that rings a bell if the popper is broken, but, as there is absolute silence, the beeper must be working correctly. Just then, a bell goes off, swiftly followed by a cacophony of pops, buzzes, bongs, pings and beeps. Gordon yells that the beeper is broken and rushes around soldering things, Juan shouts to me that, if this is how our top electricians are spending their time, it isn’t surprising that we are losing the war. I remind him that we are not losing the war, but he brushes this aside as being beside the point, and, covering our ears over the horrendous noise, we wish Gordon the best of luck and leave the laboratory as quickly as we can.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary