[Chief Bentley was fuming. Well, did you get the hop on that dissolving dog?]
IF all the cops were as clever as some of their press-agents there would be nothing to it but to beat the handcuffs into hero medals; and if all the crooks were as clever as some folks think most of the cops are stupid the penal law would look like a section of fence at a county fair where some would-be Ralph DePalma had blown out both rear tires on the sharp turn in the trotting-track.
Whenever a crook with an original style is snared, the cops who haul in the net behave like astronomers when they smell a new star. Like the boys who work nights trying to fish another minnow of a planet out of the Milky Way, the cops get busy “charting” their catch—if they can hold him down long enough to get his blackened finger-tips on the paper or keep his face straight when they shove him before the camera for a front-face and a profile view.
There are more kinds of crooks than cactus plants, and some of them make the police business very thorny. Outside of books, a real-life “Raffles” blossoms into crime about as a century plant competes with a sunflower.
But now and then one turns up working strictly on his own, or with a pal that canʼt “peach” even if he can “squeal.” That was the kind of a chap who worked with Hyperspace.
Hyperspace wasnʼt an alias for this “Fourth Dimension” stuff, although he looked that way for a while to a cop who tried to “make” him. He was just a Pomeranian puppy hardly bigger than a three-card-monte manʼs watch-fob, vintage of 1888.
The first time Hyperspace figured in police business was when Joe Dunn, veteran thief-taker, had a chat one morning with Chief Hiram Bentley of the Bluevale force.
“Go out and see Mrs. Theodore Wayne, directed Bentley, “and try and make head or tail of what sheʼs been telling me on the ʼphone. Somebody’s turned off her house in broad daylight and while she was there, and sheʼs shy a lot of jewelry and cash. That part of it I understand. But when she begins to explain how a dissolving dog figured in the game, while the lad that had him stood outside the front door all the while—well, it made me wormy trying to listen to her.”
Joe Dunn stared at his superior. “But, Chief, dogs donʼt dissolve, do they?”
“Mrs. Wayne cuts a lot of ice in this burg,” growled Bentley, “and as I wasn’t there when it happened, how can I tell her it didnʼt? That’s your job. Run out there and get the hop on this dog.”
Joe enjoyed a brief period of advance mystification ere he reached the residence. The nearest car line ran behind it and he came up to the house from the rear. Mrs. Wayne invited him in, sat him down in the library, and told him a tale that was more weird than any other complaint regarding thieves that Joe had ever heard in twenty years of work.
She was a very fetching lady, young, with blonde hair and a brisk, direct manner. Her husband was a New
York broker and the family were quite well-to-do. They had lived in Bluevale for more than a few years, and Joe remembered Mrs. Wayne when she was a schoolgirl in short frocks and he was a traffic cop. The prepossessing young matron also remembered Joe, and her mien was both candid and engaging when she started her story.
“The doorbell rang,” said Mrs. Wayne, “and Elsie, my maid, answered it. She came to tell me a man was outside with a Pomeranian puppy which he wanted me to look at. Did you know I had a pet Pom which died, not so long ago?”
“I didn’t know it,” said Dunn. “But I can understand that if you had lost a dog you might be interested in getting another.”
Her grateful glance said more plainly than words: “I can see that you are a very intelligent police officer.” Aloud she continued: “Exactly. Well, I went to the door. One doesn’t ask a dog fancier into one’s house, you know. Usually one goes to the kennels to make a selection. At the door I saw a rather well-groomed young man.”
“Can you describe how he looked?” asked the detective, notebook and pencil in hand.
“Yes. He was a little taller than I. He wore a well-fitting grey sack suit with a sort of herringbone pattern, a grey fedora hat and grey spats. His face was thin but not sharp; he had a straight nose, grey-blue eyes and thin lips that smiled, pleasantly, when he bowed to me. He wore no beard of any kind and he had brown hair. I remember that much, although I was much more interested in the dog he had in his hands than in him.”
Joe nodded. “What did he say?”
“He said he had read in the Herald that I had lost Paw-Paw, and he was a third-prize Pom at the last show. He said he had a little Pom and was traveling about a good deal and wanted to place him where he would have a good home. That was his only excuse for intruding on me.”
“Pardon me—did he use that word ‘intruding’?”
°I am quite sure that he did. His language was in keeping with his appearance. He was quite an unusual sort for a chance caller, and when he added that he had been a professor of mathematics I could believe it. So, I looked at the dog. It was a darling. I do believe it could have curled up on a saucer to take a nap. And it had the brightest eyes and it wore a cute little leather and brass collar with a license tag and the tiniest little spikes.”
“Spikes? On a Pomeranian?”
”Yes, Mr. Dunn I’ve seen similar collars on larger dogs, but I never saw one on a Pom before. I asked him the dog’s name and he said ‘Hyperspacee.”
“Hyper—what?” Joe poised the pencil over his notebook.
“Hyperspace,” reiterated the matron.
“What kind of a name is that for a dog?”
“I thought it odd, myself, and said so. But the man said that it was a mathematical term, and, as he formerly taught that subject, he had named that Pom in a whim. I could see that it was a very well-bred little animal from its points. All of this, you understand, did not take as long as telling it.”
“Quite so, Mrs. Wayne. What happened next?”
“I asked the price, and he said it was worth five thousand dollars and if I bought it he would give me a certified pedigree. He said the dog was in excellent health and one and a half years old. But, of course, the price was—well, very, very high even for a Pomeranian of the most exclusive strain.
“I told him that I would have to speak to Mr. Wayne before considering its purchase. He inclined his head,
as if that were what he had expected me to say. Then the dog looked at me in the most appealing way, and the man said: ʻTake him in your hands and look him over, if you like.’ As he said this he stretched out the dog to me and I took him in my hands.”
For the first time in her story Mrs. Wayne hesitated and her color heightened.
“Now,” thought Dunn, “we’re getting warm. This stall with a Pomeranian pup is a new one for a pair of second-story workers. Of course there were a pair of them on the job—the other guy was shoving up a window while his pal put up this spiel at the front door.”
“Really,” said Mrs. Wayne, after a short pause, “the rest of it sounds so downright silly, Mr. Dunn, that I can hardly expect you to credit it, offhand. Mr. Wayne, to be candid, says it’s too utterly preposterous to be believed—although he admits he doesn’t doubt it in the least,” she naively hurried along. “Oh, how I wish you might have been in the hall behind me! Perhaps in that event you could have understood what puzzles me so much.”
“So do I,” said Dunn in his matter-of-fact way. “But, since I wasn’t, Iʼll take your word for what happened, the same as your husband. Just what did happen, as you remember it?”
“Thank you. Well, I took the dog. Iʼm quite sure of that, for I felt its weight, its coat, and the warmth of its body. As I said before, it was just a little mite of an animal. And it licked my hand, just as poor Paw-Paw used to do. Now, can you believe that when I took that darling little puppy in my hands it actually dissolved?”
Dunn blinked. Although he was prepared for this identical statement, now that he heard it made, deliberately, by a very pretty woman of wealth and social position, it was so unusual that it sounded exactly as she had declared it would.
However, Joe was shrewd, a quick thinker and, in his rough-and-ready way, an impromptu diplomat, on occasions. That was why he had been in plain clothes for upwards of ten years instead of in uniform. His reply was casual, but sincere.
“If I had been in your place, Mrs. Wayne, I am sure I would have believed that it dissolved. And, since you say that it did, why, I must take what you say for what really happened, unless, between us, we can find some other way to explain it. But, you can understand, dissolving dogs are as new to me as they are to you.”
Mrs. Wayne looked her pleased relief. Her mien conveyed much more than mere words, and Dunn liked her better for leaving unsaid what she felt. It was another evidence of her complete candor, despite her evident embarrassment. His own curiosity was proportioned to her perplexity as he waited to hear what she would next say.
“NEVERTHELESS,”'said Mrs. Wayne with slight emphasis, “that dog just dissolved in my hands!”
“Pardon me,” interposed Dunn, “but why do you use the word dissolved? Do you mean he melted down?”
“Worse than that. He actually dissolved—into nothing!”
“But you said he was a real dog?”
“As real as you are a police officer.”
The comic look of perplexity which Joe could not conceal induced her to actually laugh. Then: “Pardon me, please. I told you it was preposterous, you know.”
Dunn shook his head.
“Itʼs mysterious,” said he soberly. “Please go on.”
“I was, as you can imagine, not only
mystified myself, but actually dazed. Really, the thing was quite uncanny. I just stood there for—well, I imagine at least a couple of minutes. Then my thoughts cleared a little and I looked at the man and he looked at me. He was smiling in his well-bred way. Then he said: ʻWell, what do you think of him?’ Of course I said: ʻWhy—where is he?’ What else could I say?”
“Not a thing in the world,” croaked the detective. “What did the man reply to your question?”
“He said, very courteously: ‘Hyperspace seems to have taken quite a liking to you. He ran up your front stairway. I fancy you’ll find him on the floor above, somewhere.’ ”
“Did he say ‘fancy’?” growled Dunn. He had to say something, and he seized the word while he alternated between sheer mystiﬁcation and disgust that any crook with a line of “sofa-pillow chatter” should “stack him up against the guns” in this way.
“Oh, yes. Well, I was rather relieved, although I didnʼt understand in the least how the dog had gotten out of my hands without my seeing him. I asked the man to wait a moment. I closed the front door. It cannot be opened from the porch without a key. Then I went upstairs and, sure enough, in my dressing-room, that little Pomeranian was sitting on my dressing-table looking at his three reflections in the three mirrors!Paw-Paw had sat there in the same spot more than once. When he caught sight of me coming in he raised himself on his hind legs and crossed his front paws in the cutest way and seemed to fairly beg me to keep him!”
Joe nodded and waited.
“I took him downstairs, and he licked my fingers until I gave him back to the man on the front porch. He was standing right where I had left him. I thanked him for calling and said I would talk it over with my husband—the same as I had said before, you know. Although, of course, I had no idea of paying anywhere near that amount for a dog or even a fifth of it.”
“Did the man say anything?” queried the detective.
“Oh, yes. He gave me his card. Here it is.”
Joe took the bit of engraved pasteboard and read:
MR. HERBERT FOLLENSBEE
With a dogged air he wrote the name in his book and returned the card, wordlessly.
“Mr. Follensbee—if that is his name—said that he was not able to give me a permanent address, as he was travelling,” continued Mrs. Wayne, “But he also said that if Mr. Wayne or I felt like communicating with him in the future, we could put a personal in the Herald and, as he read the paper daily, he would see it. He thanked me, tipped his hat and walked down the drive with the dog. I went back into the house, upstairs and into the same room where I had found the puppy.
“I had planned to go to Lake George that morning. The day before Mr. Wayne had brought out some of my jewels and also seven hundred and fifty dollars in currency, for my trip, as I expected to be gone between four and six weeks, and there were to be several social affairs at the Lake. When I got back to my room, the little safe in which I had put the jewel-case and currency the night before was locked as usual. I opened it. I was thunderstruck to find that it had been rifled of both money and jewels. Here is a list of the articles. You may keep it, if you wish.”
“Thanks,” said Dunn, putting it in his book gingerly. “Is that all?”
“Not quite all. This happened two weeks ago—did I say that before?”
The detective looked his chagrin. “Heʼs got a flying start on me. What made you wait so long?”
“Well, I called up Mr. Wayne on the telephone. He was rather put out, of course. But, on his advice, I said nothing until he got home and we talked it over together. Then, after a day or two, Mr. Wayne put this advertisement in the Herald personals.”
She handed him a copy of the newspaper, and the ad was there in plain view:
FOLLENSBEE—One thousand dollars, cash, and no questions asked for return of jewelry Hyperspace carried away—T. W.
Purposely the sleuth studied the words for several minutes in utter silence, holding the paper between himself and the lady.
A hundred seething thoughts were churning in his brain. At first he had concluded this was a clever bit of work with one man “stalling” the lady of the house at the front door while his confederate “turned off” the rooms above.
Another alternative presented itself. Mr. Wayne was a broker. Men of that type have been known to become involved with other than their wives. Still, that didnʼt exactly “hook up,” since if there was anything smudgy in Wayneʼs marital life, the least he would be likely to do would be to allow his wife to go to Lake George, as planned.
Again, he, might have been “hit in the market” and tried to pawn his wifeʼs jewels, temporarily, while waiting to recoup. But that theory, too, was utterly untenable, for the reason that it did not explain the phenomenon of the dissolving dog.
Having considered and dismissed these first fleeting conjectures, Joe Dunn laid down the newspaper and looked again at Mrs. Wayne. His thoughts reverted to his first theory. It seemed the most promising of any. So he asked:
“Is there any way that anyone else might have gotten into your room and opened your safe and taken these things while you were talking with Mr. Follensbee at the front door?”
“I do not see how they could have done so,” said the lady. “But, before we go further, suppose you look at the front door to see if he could gave gotten in while it was locked, and then look around on the floor above.”
Ten minutes showed the now worried police officer that nothing of the sort was possible—much less probable. Besides, again, the story of the dissolving dog didnʼt fit with the theory of the confederate at all.
They were coming downstairs again when Mrs. Wayne, with an air truly feminine, turned to him and hit him a smash between the eyes that all but floored him, as she artlessly remarked:
“I hadnʼt quite finished, Mr. Dunn. Mr. Wayne got a letter from Mr. Follensbee in reply to the advertisement he put in the Herald. That was why I called up Chief Bentley this morning. Would you like to read it?”
“I sure would, Mrs. Wayne,” said the now all but stupefied sleuth, as they returned to the library.
“Well, here it is,” said she. “And, before you read it, let me show you something else.”
From a volume in the dust-proof bookcases which lined the room she extracted ten crisp one-hundred-dollar bills.
“Mr, Wayne told me to give them to him if he brought back the jewels,” said she. It seems a pity to pay seventeen hundred and ﬁfty dollars to get them back, even if they were stolen from a locked safe by a Pomeranian puppy, doesnʼt it?”
Joe managed a nod as he inspected the letter she had given him.
It was postmarked and dated at Palm Beach, Florida, and quite evidently had been mailed there. Then he read:
MY DEAR SIR:
I do not exactly understand the Personal I ran across in the Herald. So, I am writing you in the first mail. So far as I know, Hyperspace has not committed any theft and so far as I know it is equally impossible for me to negotiate the return of any jewelry. I am surprised—not to say shocked—for my recollection of Mrs. Wayne, until I spied this Personal, was only a pleasing one. I shall try and be back in New York about the 14th of this month and, if you care to have me do so, will certainly call on you at your home and answer any questions in my power on the day following. If this meets your views, put another Personal in the Herald on the 14th. I am,
Joe Dunn laid down the letter with a feeling that his brain must be full of soap-suds, judging from the fresh chaos of his ideas. He looked at Mrs. Wayne, who smiled bravely at him.
“Today is the fifteenth,” said she, “and yesterday’s Herald contained the personal, asking Mr. Follensbee to call today at eleven o’clock, if convenient. Mr. Wayne can run out in his machine in an hour from New York. It is now ten o’clock. Do you care to wait and see what happens?”
“Do I?” jubilantly echoed Joe Dunn. “Say—I ain’t been so anxious to see what will happen since the first circus struck town when I was a kid. I sat up all night to watch them unload and carried two million buckets of water for the menagerie to get a ticket for the sideshow.”
“Then,” dimpled the matron, “I’ll ʼphone Mr. Wayne and tell him to be on hand, too.”
THEODORE WAYNE drove up on the tick of the clock in a smart little underslung roadster with a pointed radiator, warranted to “step 70 miles an hour” with the windshield up.
He drove it into the garage and came in the back way.
Dunn and he exchanged a perfunctory handshake.
There was a very brief conference.
“Will you stay inside or hide out?” asked the broker.
Why, this Follensbee ainʼt done a thing that I can harpoon him for—yet,” said the detective “and it seems to me, since he is struck so hard with grief at the very idea of anything being missed, that I might sit in as an old friend of Mrs. Wayne’s—and sort of help sweep the suspicion offʼn him. Letʼs tell him that!”
“Heʼs coming up the drive right now!” announced Mrs. Wayne, who was at the front window, ere her husband could make a decision.
“All right,” he acquiesced. “If heʼs a thief he’s as clever as they make them and he’s as nervy as he is clever.”
“Oh!” gurgled his wife, “heʼs got Hyperspace with him!”
Theodore Wayne flashed a whimsical glance at the detective.
“This is a case where ʻdog eats dogʼ—eh?”
“The Chief,” said Joe Dunn stolidly, “told me to get the hop on this pup Hyperspace. I donʼt know as I can. But I do know I couldnʼt even try if he hadn’t brought the dog with him.”
There was a peal at the doorbell. Dunn hastily flung himself into a luxurious Turkish rocker and nervously bit the end off a cigar for a dry smoke. Mr. Wayne also sat down. His wife went to the door, in person, and, presently, ushered in Mr. Follensbee, who preceded her.
“This is my husband,” said Mrs. Wayne. “Theodore, Mr. Follensbee!”
The gentleman held his pearl-gray fedora hat in one hand and Hyper-
space in the other. He bowed. “How do you do?” said he.
“And Mr. Dunn, of the Bluevale police force,” said Mr. Wayne, succinctly. Joe nodded. “I’m looking for the stuff that Mrs. Wayne missed,” said he drily.
“Ah! Quite so,” said the visitor.
”Please have a chair,” said Mrs. Wayne.
“Thank you,” said Follensbee, as he complied. He was garbed as on his former visit. He laid his hat on the library table and put the dog on his knees. “Well I came,” said he, “as I wrote you I would do. Really, this is all very—shall I say confusing?—and quite distressing to me personally. Upon my word, it is! Now where shall we begin?”
Dunn rolled his cigar to the corner of his mouth and chewed it, as he sized up Mr. Herbert Follensbee. There was nothing about the man to identify him, off-hand, with any crook in the world. Floods of circulars came to Bluevale headquarters from far and wide, but nothing like this face adorned such as carried photographs. Joe studied these circulars in his spare time; and he often had idle time; for Bluevale, while “rich pickings,” was so well policed that even the sharpest New York crooks had come to know that the game was hardly worth the candle. So they usually gave it a wide berth.
The pause was awkward and surcharged with suspense. Follensbee, if anything, was quite the best poised of the group. His manner was attentive and respectful, nothing more. The little puppy on his knees, Joe could see by peering over the intervening table, was regarding Mrs. Wayne with pleading eyes, and, despite the particular situation, the matron could not resist flashing a friendly smile in its direction.
“I’m sure I don’t know where to begin,” said Mr. Wayne, shuffling his feet. “All I know is that after your visit, Mr. Follensbee, Mrs. Wayne was minus her jewel-case and seven hundred and fifty in cash. As you were a stranger to us, of course we connected your visit with its disappearance.”
“Really,” said Follensbee, “I don’t exactly see why you should have done so. My visit, as you term it, was only to your front door. I am perfectly willing to abide by Mrs. Wayne’s statement as to how far I figured in this affair.”
“I told Mr. Dunn,” said the lady “that you were on the front porch all of the time, so far as I know.
“I am very grateful to you for that,” said Mr. Follensbee, and he looked it, as well. “Now, what else?”
“My first personal stated my views about the affair,” said Mr. Wayne. He was a short, dapper man, with a smug face and pudgy hands with square tips to his fingers, which he continually placed end to end.
“Yes,” said Mr. Follensbee, after another moment of silence, “and my letter to you, Mr. Wayne, stated my position with regard to your personal. We are not getting on, I fear, if you take the attitude I am here to make terms with you over stolen goods. I did not come for that reason. May I inquire just what jewels were missing—not the identity but the approximate value?”
“Between ten and fifteen thousand dollars,” said Mr. Wayne.
“Thank you. I am not as familiar with jewels as I am with the profession I followed until recently,” said the visitor. “However, if the stolen jewels were as valuable as that, it should not be difficult for whoever took them to dispose of them for a sum at least equal to what you offered for their return, in my judgment. In the event the
thief was I, what would I have to gain by writing you from Tampa?”
“Not a thing in the world that I know of,” said Mr. Wayne. “Mrs. Wayne sent for Mr. Dunn this morning, thinking he might help us out.”
“I am very glad that she did,” said Mr. Follensbee. “Maybe Mr. Dunn can help us out.”
Joe removed his cigar and flicked an imaginary ash from it in the direction of a tray. “Iʼm up in the air over it,” said he, candidly. “You told Mrs. Wayne, I believe, that you taught mathematics?”
“Where—that is, if you don’t mind?”
Mr. Follensbee folded the spiked collar around Hyperspace’s neck as he replied. “But that is just the point, I do mind. I’m—well, I’m fairly well connected, as families go. And I don’t particularly care to have my relatives or friends made the subject of a police inquisition. That was the principal reason I came here today. That personal, imputing to me theft of Mrs. Wayneʼs jewels and money was a dreadful thing.”
“I can’t compel you to prove that you ever taught mathematics,” said he, feeling his way like an elephant walking out on a strange bridge. “But if your profession was what you said it was—it is a big step on removing even a baseless suspicion about your part in the affair.”
“I am willing to meet any teacher or professor of mathematics in New York,” countered Mr. Follensbee earnestly, but with a negative shake of his head, “and answer any questions touching on my knowledge of that science—if you doubt that I am familiar with it enough to teach it. Inasmuch, however, as my name is now connected with a theft—although by a baseless suspicion—I much prefer to let matters stand as they now are until you, Mr. Dunn, clear up things. In saying this I wish to voice no disrespect for you or your office.”
“Well,” said Joe with a shrug, “as you said a while back, ʻweʼre not getting on.ʼ ”
“I am entirely at your service,” said Mr. Follensbee, “if you wish to place me under arrest. Although, of course, the idea isn’t pleasant. I donʼt know what more I can say that will prove my good faith besides putting my head in the lion’s mouth, as it were. I donʼt in the least understand why Mr. Wayne worded his personal as he did. How could Hyperspace steal jewels or money? If it had been a bone—it might have been different. And where were they kept, pray?”
“In my boudoir and in my private safe,” said Mrs. Wayne. “In justice to all concerned, I should say that even Mr. Wayne doesn’t know the combination. I’ve had the safe for years.”
Mr. Follensbee bowed slightly and held his peace. Joe Dunn was more mystified than before. He looked at the dog and he looked at the man. The dog looked solid enough. Yet, according to Mrs. Wayne’s unequivocal statement, this identical dog was the very animal that had dissolved in her hands.
For the first time since the interview had begun Joe looked at the young matron whom he had often piloted as a schoolgirl across crowded street-crossings with her mates. She was very much distressed. Her fine eyes showed it.
Her story, improbable and savoring of a mental disorder unless confirmed, was positively preposterous and a complete alibi for Mr. Herbert Follensbee, with his polite articulation and his well-groomed personality, unless it could be established as true.
Joe Dunn replaced his cigar and studied Hyperspace for a few seconds.
[She came into the room, just then, with Hyperspace in one
hand and her jewel case
in the other.]
Then he drawled:
“I donʼt know how weʼre going to get on, as Mr. Follensbee puts it, but weʼve got to do something. Suppose we go upstairs and have a look at that safe?”
Mr. Follensbee shrugged his shoulders.
“I’m willing,” said he, “but I donʼt see how that will mend matters any. However, I came here to try and figure this out. Itʼs quite beyond me, you now!”
“Itʼs way beyond me,” chuckled Joe, “and I’m in the business of figuring things out. Will you take us up, Mrs. Wayne, please?”
Mr. Follensbee rose, picked up his hat with his free hand, and moved over toward the door as Mrs. Wayne complied. Her husband lingered with the detective, who rose, stretched his arms and yawned.
“I’m dead for a smoke,” admitted Joe Dunn.
“Say,” whispered the broker, “what good do you think looking at the safe will do?”
“Mr. Wayne,” grinned Joe Dunn, “if I tried to think, I’d think I was a dissolving dog. I havenʼt got an idea in the world. I donʼt know as Iʼll ever be able to say I have another. But weʼve got to do something!”
They walked out of the library and as they reached the foot of the stairway, with Mrs. Wayne already near the top and Mr. Follensbee half way up, the broker again whispered:
“Do you think he took the stuff?”
“Iʼve just told you I donʼt think,” said Joe, without rancor. What do you think?”
“Well, I donʼt think if he did take it that heʼd be fool enough to come back here with it on him. Do you?”
“I donʼt think any crook as clever as he is—provided he is a crook—would take a chance like that, unless he had a way of dissolving jewels like he may have of dissolving his dog,” muttered the detective as he started to climb the stairs.
INSPECTING the safe proved to be a very tame affair. It was a small, old-fashioned but sturdy steel-constructed device. Mrs. Wayne rippled the combination while kneeling in front of it and threw the door wide.
Mr. Follensbee looked at it with the air of one too well bred to wish to seem bored. Hyperspace looked around the well-appointed little room with a look of mild interest, then he looked up at his master, then he yawned and cuddled down in his hands.
Joe Dunn and Mr. Wayne gave perfunctory glances and Mrs. Wayne pushed the door shut.
Not a word was spoken as the four again descended the stairs.
At the entrance to the library Mr. Follensbee paused, stroking Hyperspace with two fingers and holding his pearl-gray fedora hat with the other two and his thumb by the brim.
“Can I be of any further assistance to you?” he asked politely.
Joe Dunn chuckled. “Not especially, speaking strictly from the standpoint of regular hard-and-fast police business, Mr. Follensbee. But if you donʼt mind sitting down in the library again for a moment, I’d like to talk to you a minute about mathematics.”
The visitor looked at his watch.
“I can spare about thirty minutes more,” said he. “I have a dinner engagement with friends in the city this evening and must get back to my hotel in time to dress.”
“Oh, youʼve got plenty of time for that,” said Joe.
“Yes; but I had also intended to buy a few books before I go back to
Florida,” amended the caller as he re-entered the room. He sat at down in the first chair, put his hat on the table and asked: “What is your pleasure?”
“Well,” said the detective, “I don’t know much about mathematics. But this morning Mrs. Wayne told me that you named your dog after a branch of mathematics. When I went to school I never heard of it. Just what is this hyperspace?”
For the first time since entering the house, Mr. Follensbee smiled.
“Itʼs a rather transcendental subject,” said he. “I don’t know that I can make it plain to you. You’ve heard of Columbia University?”
“Oh, yes. Itʼs in New York.”
“Quite so,” purred the visitor. “Did you ever hear of Professor Cassius J. Keyser?”
“I don’t believe we ever got a circular about him at Bluevale headquarters,” chuckled Dunn. “What’s his line?”
“He’s the Adrian professor of mathematics at the University” explained Mr. Follensbee, very seriously, “and he has written two very erudite essays on hyperspace. In one of them he says that one time a friend called on him and asked him what he was doing. Professor Keyser replied: ‘I am trying to tell how a world, which probably does not exist, would look like if it did. Can you grasp that?”
The detective looked chop-fallen. But inwardly his brain was singing. Every crook has a hobby. If Follensbee was a crook he had a hobby. If this hobby was hyperspace, and he could be set astride it, no matter how mysterious hyperspace was, there was one chance of “hooking him.”
The trick is as old as police business. Get a crook to talk freely and in some mystic fashion he often talks himself into a police trap.
So Joe Dunn dissembled chagrin to conceal a slight inward triumph. Follensbee was on his hobby. It must have been a hobby with him, otherwise why would he name a pet dog after it? And, if the dog was named after it, did the hobby and the dog hold the key to the riddle of the dogʼs “dissolving,” as Mrs. Wayne had declared?
The dog had not repeated this astounding performance. There was no need for his repeating it, if it had been allowed to occur the first time simply to enable the theft to be achieved.
Somehow, in spite of the absolute absurdity of the story, Dunn felt Mrs. Wayne was telling the simple truth or what she felt was the truth, which amounted to the same thing. And somehow, again, Joe felt that, despite the absolute absurdity of such a wild theory this dissolving dog had something to do with the theft.
“I can understand what the professor said,” replied the detective, “but what has that remark of his to do with my question?”
“He was speaking of hyperspace,” returned Follensbee, with a slightly superior air which gratified Joe Dunn exceedingly.
“But a world that doesn’t exist—”
“He didnʼt say it did not exist. He said ‘which probably does not exist.’ There is a difference. Other authorities on hyperspace seem to think that it may exist. The term means a higher space than ours.”
“I’m out of my depth,” said Dunn. “If you understand that stuff you’re qualified to teach big-league mathematics. But, while you’ve got me winging, I wish I could understand it. It might help me in police business when I’m in a box, like in this case. I’ve known Mrs. Wayne since she went to grammar school. I don’t believe she’d tell a lie. But the story she told me of how her safe was robbed is as mysterious as the name of your dog. I’m
much obliged to you, Mr.Follensbee. But, speaking for Joe Dunn, you're a poor teacher if that’s all you can tell me.”
“Pardon me,” said he haughtily, “I hadn’t begun to try to tell you as yet. Mrs. Wayne, have you a sheet of paper?”
He drew a pencil from his pocket and placed the dog on the table. The broker’s wife brought a box of monogrammed stationery and the visitor took one sheet of it and laid it on the table. Joe Dunn leaned over with a surreptitious wink at Theodore Wayne, as Follensbee placed his pencil on it.
“Do you follow me?” he asked.
“I’m as close to you as the collar is on the dog,” smiled the sleuth. “Shoot!”
Mr. Follensbee made a fat dot on the paper.
“A point in space,” he began, “has no dimension. It merely signifies a location. Is that clear?”
“I get you. Go on.”
“A line is a series of points prolonged in space,” continued the suspected man. Let us suppose that this line I next draw is a creature endowed with life. It has an eye in this end.”
“Only one eye?” queried Joe.
“Because it has no dimension except in length.”
“I get that, too.”
“If this line-man were out in space above the table, what would it see?”
“It might see your dog,” hazarded the detective.
“If the dog was directly in front of it—yes. But, having only a point-eye, It could only see points. It could not see what you and I see as a dog, because it could see nothing of the dog’s shape or form not exactly in front of it. It could see nothing to the right or left, nothing above or below.”
“I get the point,” said Joe in a hushed whisper. He was frowning at the line and evidently unconscious of a bad pun.
Mr. Follensbee next sketched a square with four swiftly drawn lines.
Joe Dunn was breathing hard. It was a gamble—this fishing expedition—and he was gambling on just one thing—this well-poised gentleman’s sense of absolute security. It was that sense of security which had brought him back to the Wayne mansion; it was that feeling of complete superiority over both Mr. and Mrs. Wayne and even the unexpected presence of the police officer as well which had kept him cool and collected during this call; and that sense of complete ascendency over common mortals had a reason, provided Follensbee was a crook.
Other educated men had “gone wrong” and had relied on their superior knowledge to protect their crimes. In this, the theory that Follensbee might be pursuing the same well-known road was bearing a little fruit. His manner indicated that the ego all men with dexterous but twisted brains possess was in the saddle. Joe didn’t know how it would all come out. he hoped it would give him something more tangible than he had at present.
For, notwithstanding Mr. Follensbee’s cock-sure air throughout, Joe Dunn had already deduced one thing which would enable him to make a technical arrest of this man, and he had already determined to make it, but not in sight of Mr. or Mrs. Wayne. To put that lady on the stand as a witness
against this well-groomed and educated man was tantamount to causing his immediate discharge from custody if any court ever heard the story of the “dissolving dog.”
Joe Dunn therefore was gambling that he might learn more. How much or how little he had no idea. It was a pure propositlon of chance. He was matching his own turtle-like brain against this chap, whose mind worked with the flashing brilliance of a meteor falling from the sky.
“IF we move a line through space,” continued Mr. Follensbee, we get a plane. That is to say, a square figure which has length and breadth but no depth.”
He patted the polished top of the library table. “The surface of this table is a plane.”
“Teacher,” jeered Joe Dunn, “you’re improving. I get that, too. What next?”
“Can you imagine this little square as a creature endowed with life and vision, as I asked you to imagine the line-man?”
“Yep. What next?”
Swiftly Mr. Follensbee rolled the sheet of note-paper into a cone-like shape.
“Suppose next, said he, “that the top of this table is not solid but is a fluid like water. Suppose this little square-man, as we will call him, lives on the surface of it. He cannot see either up or down as you and I can.”
“I’m with you—all the way,” gurgled Joe Dunn.
“If I next take this cone and pass it down through the surface of the water on which this little square-man lives,” continued Follensbee affably, “what would he see?”
“Now, said the detective candidly, I’m dumb again. Could he see anything at all?”
“He could see the cone, but only at first as a point. Then he would continue to see the cone as it kept passing lower.” Mr. Follensbee illustrated by allowing the cone to pass slowly down by the edge of the table. “But all he would see would be a line—a circle that would widen as the body of the cone kept growing larger and larger, for he cannot see up or down. Then, when the top of the cone, where it is largest, appeared, he would see a large circle one minute and next he would see—nothing.”
“That’s a fact,” smiled Joe. “But is that hyperspace? You said hyperspace was a term meaning a higher space than ours, didn’t you?”
Mr. Follensbee looked at him intently before replying.
“You are an apt pupil,” said he drily. “I did say so. But the next step is harder. With the line-man we were dealing with one dimension of space. With the square-man we were dealing with two dimensions of space. Now in both illustrations we were looking down, as it were, from a higher order of space than either one or two dimensions. We are three-dimensioned creatures. We have length, breadth and thickness. Is that plain?”
“I’m thick enough at times,” groaned Joe Dunn.
Even Follensbee joined in the laugh that Mr. and Mrs. Wayne indulged. So did Joe. There are times in police business when it pays to laugh at yourself. This was one of the times.
“Give me the hypo on the hyperspace,” pleaded the sleuth, “and then we’ll dismiss the class.”
“It isn’t as easy as what I’ve shown thus far, as I said,” returned Follensbee. “But, I’ll try. If you were a four-dimensioned intelligence, according to some writers, you could do what Mr.
Wayne thought little Hyperspace did. You could go into a locked safe and take anything out of it without unlocking it, and without in any way disturbing the structure of the safe.”
“I believe you,” said Joe Dunn. “But, I don’t see how?”
Mr. Follensbee pulled out his watch.
“Really,” he said, “I should like to try to explain it. But, today, I’m rather pressed for time. Is there anything more?”
“Not a thing in the world that I know of,” said Joe Dunn. “Only, I’ll lay a bet that if I was a four-dimensional cop and knew as much as you do that I could take that dog of yours and shove him out of sight into thin air.”
“You flatter me,” smiled Mr. Follensbee as he picked up Hyperspace. “Well—let’s try it!”
Joe Dunn’s heart all but stood still. His jaw sagged and his eyes protruded. He did not look toward either Mr. or Mrs. Wayne. He was watching Mr. Herbert Follensbee far more intently than any cat ever watched a hole for a mouse.
With a half-smile of disdain Mr. Follensbee passed the dog under their very noses. The next thing that Joe Dunn knew, Hyperspace had vanished. Mrs. Wayne had told him that she felt “dazed.” Joe Dunn felt worse. He was fairly petrified.
The reaction from the uncanny spectacle was so acute that he could hardly breathe. The thing was too incredible. Follensbee was sitting where he had sat all through his impromptu lecture on hyperspace—behind the library table. Mrs. Wayne, her husband and Joe Dunn were grouped around it. Joe and Mr. Wayne were between Mr. Follensbee and the door to the hall.
There was no sign of the dog. The fishing expedition which Joe Dunn had successfully tried to bring about had been a success so complete that it left him inert. By degrees, however, he regained his control over his faculties.
Whatever Mr. or Mrs. Wayne thought they kept to themselves. The broker’s face was livid in the spots where it was not pasty white. He rose from his chair, staggered out into the next room and helped himself from a decanter. Then he strolled back.
Follensbee rose, fingering his fedora.
He turned to Mrs. Wayne.
“I dislike to trouble you,” said he, “but would you mind looking around for my Pomeranian?”
“But where did he go?” gasped the lady.
“I passed him into hyperspace at Mr. Dunn’s challenge, silkily returned the caller. “I fancy he ran up to the top floor. You know he did that when I called before. He seems to be determined on taking up his home here with you. That was why I brought him back from New York with me, since I had an idea I might meet and talk with Mr. Wayne. Really, he is a very valuable Pomeranian. Would you care to look at his pedigree, sir?”
“Who? Me?” exploded the broker as Mrs. Wayne walked unsteadily out. “Not by a damn sight. That dog was sired by Satan!”
“Very well, sir,” returned Mr. Follensbee, putting the paper he had tendered back in his pocket. “But you are in error. He is a very well-bred Pomeranian, and despite your unfavorable opinion of him, he is quite affectionate. Really, you ought not to let a concrete illustration of an abstract mathematical principle rouse your anger. Mr. Dunn, as you distinctly heard, pressed me rather hard.”
“I’m the goat,” admitted the sleuth. “But this is all new hop for me. When Mrs. Wayne told me that dog dissolved into nothing, I thought she was a
candidate for a booby hatch. If she is, I’m headed the same way.”
The name of the lady precipitated a new element of mystery even more acute than that which had made her husband seek a hooker of his “private stock.” She came into the room, just then, with Hyperspace in one hand and her jewel case in the other.
“Can you imagine?” she cried. “He was sitting on it—in the safe. The door was shut and locked. I heard a scratching on the inside. It frightened me. I opened it and there he sat.”
Joe Dunn all but dissolved. He gripped the edge of the library table hard. Somehow, all of this made him feel sick in the pit of his stomach. But the tendency to nausea passed as he watched the lady open her jewel case with a little gurgle of joy and caught the resplendent gleam of the contents.
He rose on unsteady legs. Once more he was a plain cop. He picked up his own hat as Mr. Follensbee recovered Hyperspace, and walked toward the door behind that gentleman.
“If you’re going to New York,” said the detective, “the shortest way is around the house to the car-line. You can be at the station in ten minutes. I go the other way back to headquarters.”
“Thanks, old chap,” said Follensbee. “Good afternoon,” he remarked as they stepped out on the porch together.
“Good-day,” murmured Mrs. Wayne.
Her husband stood and stared without a word. Theodore Wayne was positively incivil in his demeanor. Herbert Follensbee, however, didn’t seem to mind it, in the least, as he followed Joe Dunn down to the car line.
Joe’s intentlon to make an arrest had been superseded.
The reason which he intended incorporating in his short affidavit was dissipated, as well, by Mr. Follensbee, in their conversation, while they waited for the first car to arrive.
In the open air the effect of the astounding thing he had witnessed swiftly wore off. The trees were good old three-dimensional trees, firmly rooted, their branches waving in a rather comforting fashion in the breeze.
“There was one thing about this which I didn’t get,” said Joe, slowly. Would you mind explaining it to me?”
“If I can before my car arrives,” returned Hyperspace’s owner. “What was it?”
“The Herald, containing Mr. Wayne’s personal, offering you a thousand dollars reward to return that stuff, was dated the 2d of the month. It’s about three days to Tampa, isn’t it, by mail? That would make it the 5th. Your letter was dated the 10th. Yet, you said you were writing in the first mail. How was that?”
“There is a file of the Herald in the public library in Tampa,” returned Mr. Follensbee. “I missed several issues. It is my favorite newspaper. I went over to read the back numbers and happened on that personal. Then I wrote. Is this my car?”
“No. This is mine. Good afternoon, Mr. Follensbee.”
“Good afternoon, Mr. Dunn.”
Joe stepped on board, ﬂashed his “tin” to the conductor and rode straight to headquarters. Chief Bentley was fuming.
“Well, did you get the hop on that dissolving dog?”
Joe grinned broadly. “Did I?” he reiterated. “Say, Chief, I’ve seen enough to last me all my life. Listen to me.”
He sketched the events from the time Follensbee had come to the house. His superior frowned.
“What you grinning at?” he demanded.
“Why—the man is an artist. He’s the slickest crook that ever—”
The phone jangled. Chief Bentley
picked up the receiver.
“Police Headquarters. Mr. Bentley speaking. Yes, Mr. Dunn is here. Who is this? Oh, Mr. Wayne. Yes, he just came back. What’s that? The jewels are paste? . . . Oh, the dog brought them back—hey, wait a minute!”
He handed the instrument to his subordinate, who took it, nonchalantly. “Yes . . . I understand . . . Why, I’m going to lock him up. Sure . . . I know he was a crook . . . Oh, don't worry. I’ll try and spare Mrs. Wayne the annoyance of coming into court. . . . Yes. I’ll get the jewels . . . What’s that? Why, they’re as good as in my hands, right now. Good-bye.”
He replaced the instrument on the table and grinned down at the fidgeting man in the chair.
“As I was saying, when they rung in,” continued Joe Dunn, “this guy is the slickest crook that ever stepped into this little burg. And nerve? Oodles of it. And I let him have his head. No, I ain’t lost mine—not yet. I’m just letting him have his for a few minutes. He ain’t going to New York. And, I’ll bet you a month’s pay against a suspender button he ain’t never been in Tampa in his life, either. He mailed that letter to a confederate to remail. Sit tight. I’ll get him and get him with the goods. We’ve got to convict this guy or he’ll tear up the whole country by the roots with that dog of his’n. He ain’t been out of Bluevale since he turned this trick, either, an I’ll lay another bet he’s been living where he could watch that house of Wayne’s, every day, to see if there was a blow-off and any cops went to it.”
JOE DUNN reached for a Bluevale phone directory and rumpled the leaves. He found a number. Then he pulled out his watch. For two minutes he gazed at it without moving a muscle or saying a word while Chief Bentley squirmed nervously in his chair.
“Hyperspace,” mused Joe Dunn, as if thinking aloud, “is great hop. But, Chief, it’s new hop to me.”
“Well,” said his superior, querulously,“What is the hop on this dog?”
“Wait a bit, I want to call a number,” said Dunn, phlegmatically. “I think I’ve got the right hop on this gentleman that says his name is Herbert Follensbee and who is a teacher of hypodermic mathematics. Now, I’m going to test out my own hyper-hop. Gimme Bluevale 3824,” he told the operator.
There was a slight pause.
“Is this Jerry McCann’s newsstand? Is Jerry there? . . . Let me talk to him, please. This is Joe Dunn, at police headquarters . . . Hello, Jerry, how’s tricks? . . . So-so, eh. Well, are you selling many New York Heralds? Had any new customers lately? . . . How many? . . . Men or women? . . . What was his name? . . . Mr. Latowsky, eh? Does he wear a grey sack suit and a grey fedora hat and grey spats? . . . Yes, I know him . . . He’s a friend of mine. Was with him today. Forgot to ask what his local address is . . . Thanks, Jerry.”
He hung up. “Have you got a spare motorcycle downstairs, Chief? I’m going after him, now. Of course he wasn’t going to New York. I told you that before. He was going back to where he had the stuff planted. He took a chance and brought back the case to the house with the paste stuff and planted in the safe—aw, wait until I bring him in, and I tell it to you.”
In half an hour Joe phoned in for the “wagon.” In another thirty minutes he returned bearing a Pomeranian puppy which was licking his hand, affectionately. Linked to his
other wrist with a circlet of three-dimensional steel was Mr. Herbert Follensbee, who was, by and large, quite the most dejected-looking prisoner that had entered the portals of Bluevale police headquarters for some time.
Joe took him into Chief Bentley’s office and locked the door.
“Now, here’s the hop on hyperspace,” said he. “First, Mrs. Wayne’s story as as true as gospel—and then, again, it wasn’t true, at all. But, she told what she thought was the truth. So, that part of it was true. Mr. Follensbee here, come to her door and give her a line of patter about this dog. He gave the animal to her to hold. While he was playing with it, he twisted one of the spikes on its collar. You can see they twist—easy, Chief. Every one of these little spikes is loaded with some kind of hop—an invisible gas, like that used in war, but not deadly enough to kill. It merely makes you petrified for a few minutes.
“In them few minutes,” continued Mr. Dunn, with a fine disregard for grammar as well as abstract mathematical theories, “Mr. Follensbee puts over the job. He gave the dog to Mrs. Wayne to hold, as she said. Then he let the hop in this loosened spike get in its work in the air—meanwhile grabbing the dog again. Then he rumbles upstairs, grabs the stuff and beats it back to where he was outside the door, leaving the dog up above.
“Of course, when Mrs. Wayne comes out of it, she’s mystified as well as semi-petrified. I was myself, this afternoon. Yet, all along, I knew how he done it, because I saw him twist the spike when he passed the dog under our noses before slipping him into what he calls hyperspace—but, I give you my word, Chief, this hop ain’t got any perceptible odor. That was where he fooled me. I egged him on to repeat. There’s just one flaw in Mrs. Wayne’s story. Her safe wasn’t locked when he went up. She only thought it was the morning he grabbed the stuff. He locked it behind him, to make it look harder to steal the stuff and left the dog on her dressing table.
“This afternoon, when he’d handed all three of us our little dose of invisible hop from this Hyperspace’s collar, he locked the dog in the safe with the phony jewels in the identical case. He had them on him all the time. But he didn’t know I was going to be there. I had come in the back way, you see. Mr. Wayne, he drove up in his roadster in front. That was where Mr. Follensbee’s foot slipped, at first. But, he didn’t have to be afraid. If I’d grabbed him, when he first showed, he’d have slipped me the knockout from the dog-collar and made a clean getaway, then and there.”
“But, why did he bring back the paste stuff?” growled Bentley.
“Because he wanted to put up that on-the-level-all-the-way stall of his. He even dared me to arrest him,” explained Joe. “I told you that before. I kidded him along on his hobby. I’m only a thick cop. This guy understands hyperspace. Now shall we put him down below and let him cool off before we finger-print him? Here’s the stones he pried loose from the settings.”
He showered them down on the table.
Then he turned to Follensbee. “Excuse me, professor, while I take Hyperspace’s collar off, will you? Then you can take him with you. Until a chemist goes over this hop, I don’t know how deadly it is. It’s good hop—I’ll say that much. But, if you happened to loosen two or three spikes all to once, you might hop off into a real hyperspace and the indictment wouldn’t do me no good if I had to get an undertaker to read it to you.”
SOURCE: Blighton, Frank. “The Hop on Hyperspace (short story), The Black Mask, vol. 1, no. 2, May 1920, pp. 76-93.
Note: Neither the original typography nor the original two-column formatting is preserved here.
Our first task is to decode the title. Hop is a slang term of the time, referring to drugs. It is evidently synonymous with one more familiar to us: dope, meaning both opiates and information as in the straight dope, the skinny, the 411. Hyperspace turns out to be a dog! But the rudiment of four-dimensional geometry is also embedded in this pulp detective tale. And Cassius J[ackson] Keyser was a real mathematician, an important exponent of innovations in the foundations of mathematics, and who also wrote about four-dimensional geometry, as well as expositions of his philosophical views. Hyperspace must have been a hobby not only for the criminal in this story, but for Blighton himself, as he exploited the concept of higher dimensions in a less refined manner in his earlier (anti-?)detective stories featuring Swami Ram: Into the Fourth Dimension (1913) and Into the Fifth Dimension (1915).
None of these stories can comfortably be classified as science fiction, but pulp fiction of that time often combined elements of what are now recognized genres or types: crime fiction, the supernatural or occult, science fiction. ‘Hyperspace’ in science fiction tends to diverge from its meaning in mathematics limted to higher-dimensional geometry: like the notion of ‘dimension’, ‘hyperspace’ in science fiction usually denotes a space with quite different properties from normal space, facilitating space travel. “The Hop on Hyperspace” limits the use of the concept to the traditional mathematical usage, and is somewhat reminiscent of earlier scientific romances such as Abbotts Flatland.
Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction: hyperspace dates the peculiar science-fictional use of the term back to 1928. The entries on hyperspace in Wikipedia and SFE: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction elaborate on this history, and the various links from these entries confirm it.
I checked the provenance of the word hyperspace in several other general and specialized online reference works, e.g.: dictionary.com, The Free Dictionary, Astronomy Cafe, Star Wars Technical Commentaries.
Curiously, the entry for Frank Blighton in ISFDB: The Internet Speculative Fiction Database lists only “Into the Fifth Dimension” with other, unrelated stories.
Checking a variety of reference works on the pulps, science fiction, and fantasy, I found no mention of Frank Blighton whatever. The Age of Dimes and Pulps: A History of Sensationalist Literature (Jeremy Agnew, 2018) Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers (Lee Server, 2002) Historical Dictionary of Fantasy Literature (Brian Stableford, 2005) lack mention of either Frank Blighton, the fourth dimension, or hyperspace. Even the introduction to the anthology The Hard-boiled Detective: Stories from Black Mask Magazine 1920-1951 (ed. Herbert Ruhm, 1977) is absent any mention of Blighton. There are entries on both the fourth dimension and hyperspace in Science Fact and Science Fiction: An Encyclopedia (Brian Stableford, 2006) and Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience (William F. Williams, 2000). There are two stories mentioning the fourth dimension in the anthology The History of the Science Fiction Magazine. Part 1: 1926 – 1935 (ed. Michael Ashley, 1974).
Edwin Abbott Abbotts Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884) set the stage for the fictional use of higher dimensional space. The Annotated Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (introduction and notes by Ian Stewart, 2002, 2008) provides deep background on the subject, but Blighton is absent from this story as well.
So, were in not for the documentation of the contents of The Black Mask magazine in The FictionMags Index we would not know of the existence of this story. Of Blightons fiction only Heres to the day! is mentioned in the one biographical document I have found: The Strangled Shout of the Voice of the People: Editor Frank Harris Blighton And His Mentor, E.W. Scripps by Michael S. Sweeney (Elon University, Media History Monographs, vol. 1, no. 2, 1998).
In lieu of contrary information, I conclude that, while the fictional use of the fourth dimension can already be found in the 19th century, and while the special, different use of the term hyperspace in science fiction dates from 1928, and while Blighton’s use of the term hyperspace is equivalent to the mathematical meaning (while, paradoxically, Blighton’s use of the fourth and fifth dimensions is more akin to the later use of hyperspace), and while the story reproduced here is not science fiction, strictly speaking, “The Hop on Hyperspace,” published in 1920, is the first fictional use of the term hyperspace.
Frank Blighton & the Fourth Dimension
Into the Fourth Dimension
by Frank Blighton
Into the Fifth Dimension
by Frank Blighton
by Frank Blighton
Black mystic in hyperspace
by R. Dumain
Martin Gardner, Mathematical Games, & the Fourth Dimension
(web guide & bibliography)
The Cavalier: Covers & Contents
J. U. Giesy (John Ulrich, 1877-1948) & His Collaborators
American Philosophy Study Guide
Science Fiction & Utopia Research Resources: A Selective Work in Progress
Cassius Jackson Keyser - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction: hyperspace
Swami Ram’s Reincarnation
by Frank Blighton
Heres to the day!
by Charles Agnew MacLean & Frank Blighton
The Strangled Shout of the Voice of the People:
Editor Frank Harris Blighton And His Mentor, E.W. Scripps
by Michael S. Sweeney
Cassius Jackson Keyser @ archive.org
Home Page |
Site Map |
What's New | Coming
Attractions | Book News
Bibliography | Mini-Bibliographies | Study Guides | Special Sections
My Writings | Other Authors' Texts | Philosophical Quotations
Blogs | Images & Sounds | External Links
CONTACT Ralph Dumain
Uploaded 19 February 2022
Site © 1999-2022 Ralph Dumain