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|High Explosives (youngsters:non fiction, 1011 words)|
|Author: Lou Hill||Added: Mar 31 2002||Views/Reads: 2967/1445||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Our continuing efforts to recreate the "big bang."|
HIGH EXPLOSIVES I used to like to blow up things. Not with any particularly malicious intent, I wasn't looking to do any damage to anyone or to his or her property. I just liked explosions. Wendell Corron, my oldest friend, and I started hanging around together when he was about 8 and I was 6. One of the things that I remember about those early days of our friendship was a big metal structure located down in back of his house. I soon learned that it was an old safe. Many years before it had been used as a records vault when the Enosburg Town offices were at Enosburg Center. When the Town clerks office was moved from the Center to Enosburg Falls, the safe was moved to a spot in a field in back of the Corron's house next to Tyler Branch. It was used by the Town Highway Department as a secure place for the storage of dynamite. For years Wendell and I tried every imaginable way to break into that vault. If we had ever been able to get into it, we had every intention of stealing some dynamite. Fortunately for all concerned, we were never successful. Every time we passed by that vault we tried the handles. Maybe, just maybe, someone had forgotten to lock I remember one day when we thought that fortune had smiled down on us. We were on our way through the field to the fishing and swimming hole that we called "Two Streams". As we passed the vault, we saw that one of the doors was ajar. We pulled both doors open and there in front of us were two heavy waxed cardboard boxes with the magic words printed on them---DYNAMITE. We pawed madly through the boxes. Nothing! Empty! Visions of blowing up something, anything, faded. Never again would we come that close to our goal. Wendell's grandfather, a veteran of the Spanish American war, lived near the Corrons. He still had the old government issue 45-70 rifle that he had carried in that campaign. One winter day, when we were in our early teens, he made Wendell a present of the rifle. Along with the rifle, he gave him half a dozen rounds of ammunition. They were loaded with black powder and were probably issued to him along with the rifle. The cartridges were huge and seemed like shells for a howitzer to Wendell and I who were used to the relatively tiny .22 cartridges that we normally fired. Naturally we couldn't wait to shoot the old rifle. We hurried back to the Corron's house and down back by their garage. Wendell opened the breech, it was a rolling block, and loaded it with one of those monster shells. The gun was massive, it must have weighed well over twelve pounds and been nearly five feet long. In order to steady it, Wendell leaned the gun up against the corner of the garage. I peered over Wendell' shoulder, so anxious to see what was going on that I was practically riding him pig-a-back. Wendell cocked the rifle and squeezed off a shot. The resulting explosion and concussion shook the garage so much that all the snow on the roof cascaded down on top of us. Wendell's father, Fred, raced out of the house. When he got outside, he was met by the sight of a cloud of foul smelling smoke and two laughing boys covered with snow. He quickly collared us, positive that we had finally succeeded in breaking into the vault and been able to get our hands on some dynamite. We were finally able to convince him that we hadn't set off a stick of dynamite. Then we caught what-for because we had fired the old gun without his having checked it and given us permission to shoot it. Since we couldn't steal dynamite, we decided to do the the next best thing, manufacture our own explosives. Somewhere one of us found the formula for mixing black powder. For obvious reasons I won't reveal it here. Suffice it to say that the ingredients were fairly easy for us to obtain. We also picked up the information that, to insure a good even mixture, the ingredients should be mixed with water and then dried out. We Click here to read the rest of this story (34 more lines)
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