Meanwhile, as Dominic and the Tin Can Society prepared to rescue Mr. Finchley from the clutches of the guardian robots, their sworn enemies — the Radio Boys — met to plot their revenge for having been thwarted in their plan to raid the Society’s secret lair deep in Stonegood Park . . .
Eddie pounded his fist on the desk in his bedroom. “This emergency meeting of the Radio Boys is now in session. The agenda is: how to attack the Tin Can Society’s fort in the park and steal their treasury of tin cans. I’m opening the floor to discussion.”
The seven boys sitting on the floor muttered quietly among themselves for a few moments before one of them raised a hand. Eddie pointed to him. “Louie, you may speak.”
Louie stood up awkwardly. “What we want to know is, where did they get the robots? I mean, how do you robots?” Everyone else nodded and mumbled in agreement. Clearly, the surprise encounter in the park with the two lumbering robots had dispirited the normally quite exuberant Radio Boys, and now they were experiencing something they had never felt before: fear.
Eddie pounded his fist on the table to quiet the room before their fear led to a mutiny. “All right! So they managed to build a couple of stinking robots. You know what that means. They’ve escalated the rivalry. And by the rules of clubs, that means we have to escalate right back.”
“But how?” asked one of the kids. “We can’t make a bigger robot. We don’t know how to do that, and we’ll never be able to learn in time.”
“We could steal one,” another kid said, but several of the others sitting next to him pushed his shoulder and slapped his head.
“Where we gonna get a robot in Stratton?” they all asked in unison, laughing the suggestion away.
After that, everyone started talking to each other as various ideas were tossed around. After holding counsel with his two top lieutenants, Eddie tried to gavel the meeting back to order with his fist. After several rounds of pounding, he was able to quiet the room.
“Look, if we want to do something we have to do it fast,” he began. “That means we’ll have to use the weapons we have right now. Our airplanes.” He pointed to the walls of his room against which several model planes leaned, their taut fabric wings gleaming under coats of bright paint.
Everyone looked at each other in surprise. The Radio Boys built and flew radio-controlled model airplanes for fun — to dogfight with each other, to buzz unsuspecting neighbor kids, and to chase startled pigeons. But to use them in a fight?
“We’ll arm them. Fred here can use his chemistry set to make some bombs, which we can mount on the wings and drop using the remote controls. We’ve tried it before, remember?”
Several of the kids nodded.
“Okay, here’s what we do. We’ll set up an assembly line to make the bombs. Smokers, flashers, and bangers. Then we modify our planes with racks to carry them and wire them to the remote controls to drop them. We’ll have a whole squadron of bombers.”
Everyone was leaning forward now, hanging on Eddie’s every word. “Then, we spy on the Tin Can Society. When we know they’re not in the park, we launch a surprise attack on their hideout with the airplanes. We buzz the robots and drop the bombs to confuse them. They’ll stumble around and try to chase after the planes, so we’ll keep circling the planes over them but gradually move them away, so that the robots will follow them trying to reach them. When the robots are out of the way, we run in and steal the cans!”
The Radio Boys cheered in unison at Eddie’s plan, surging to their feet and gathering around Eddie to slap him and each other on the back.
It was a fiendishly clever plan, and one that The Tin Can Society would never suspect. But of course, what the Radio Boys didn’t know was that the robots didn’t belong to the Society — and so the escalation was something for which the Society was completely unprepared!
* * *
Now, suddenly, The Tin Can Society faced two threats — not just the mysterious scientist and his robots, but also an aerial assault by their rival club! Will they be able to rescue the NASA engineer being held captive by the mysterious scientist and also protect their tin can treasury? Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of The Tin Can Society!