Sunday, March 20, 2016
The Perfesser and the Kid, by Roberta Rogow
This story takes place on the day of Nikola Tesla's funeral. An aging politician decides to entertain the gathered reporters with the true story of the great inventor's first day in America.
We know that Tesla was robbed on the ship and stepped onto dry land with four cents in his pocket. The official version says that he then met a man on the street with a broken machine and fixed it on the spot, thereby earning his first dollar on these shores.
Our politician-narrator begs to disagree. He was a newsboy at the time and he tells a very different story involving a pool hall, a gang of street toughs, and Tammany Hall.
My favorite part is a scene near the end when Tesla solemnly pays his debts. I can only say: I have known people like that.
There is a clever twist at the end of the story. I enjoyed it a lot.