The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy
Little Follies
Life on the Bolotomy
Chapter 4: The Adventurer’s Bubble
by Eric Kraft, as Peter Leroy
Little Follies cover



Adventurer’s Bubble
Opens High Road to Adventure
Bubbles in the Field

THE DREAM of adventure has whispered into the ear of each of us, yet few of us dare respond to its siren call.  We are deterred by the thought of slogging through muck or fording icy rivers, by the anticipation of the whining mosquito’s proboscis and the lumbering porcupine’s quills, are we not?  Well, here you are, adventure fans.  Thanks to the ingenuity of Arnold Benson, part-time inventor, armchair explorer, and lifetime reader of IC, even the most timorous of us can now answer the call to adventure without getting his feet wet. 
    Benson’s remarkable invention, which the gang here at IC has christened the Adventurer’s Bubble, shields the explorer from the nastier side of nature inside a sturdy metal sphere.  Why not build a number of these bubbles and run some cross-country races this summer?  They are simple and inexpensive, and just about anyone can build one in a short time.

All the Adventurer’s Needs Are Supplied

    The adventurer sits comfortably inside the bubble in a clever sling-type arrangement.  Close at hand is an ingenious set of closed cabinets and crannies (adapted from IC Plan Set 3355) that hold the essentials for any journey.  Here you will find a first-aid kit, fishing gear, collapsible cookstove, nesting utensils, food lockers, built-in water cans, short-wave sending and receiving set, quadrant for celestial navigation, map table, uncanny collapsible latrine outfit, and a deck of playing cards.  Don’t look for a tent, though!  You won’t find one because the adventurer won’t need one.  Like the turtle, the adventurer travels inside his shelter!  (Want to build a tent anyway, just for the hell of it?  Send for Plan Set 185 or 987).

Bubble Details
The drawing above will give you a pretty fair idea of the way the “Adventurer’s Bubble” will look when she’s completed.  Note the clever sling support, sturdy metal shell, handy air vent, and circumferential window panels.  This drawing is what we here at IC call a “cutaway drawing.”  Do not actually cut the side panel away as we’ve done, though, or you’ll be in big trouble.

Materials Are Easily Obtainable

    The scrap heaps behind your local heavy industries should yield most of the materials needed for the bubble, but if you do encounter any trouble acquiring the needed supplies, be inventive!  If you followed last month’s instructions for making a convertible out of your sedan, you’ve got a spare roof on your hands!  That sheet metal would go a long way toward the construction of a bubble.  Think about starting a home sedan-conversion business.  If you convert your neighbors’ sedans, you’ll have plenty of sheet metal for your bubble and a few extra bucks in your pocket besides.

Construction Is Simplicity Itself

    With just a few simple tools, such as a hammer, chisel, saw, drills, and portable welding outfit, you can build a bubble in those wasted evening hours after work.  (No tools?  With Tool Outfit 326, you can fit yourself out with a neat workshop in the garage or barn where you can build a bubble without annoying disturbances from your loved ones.  Don’t have a garage or barn?  Order Plan Set 6024 for an inflatable rubber garage or Plan Set 2214 for a barn constructed of laminated back issues of IC.  No welding experience?  You can learn welding at home in six short months of spare time.  Order Home Study Course 319.)
    Panels can be shaped by hand over a simple wooden mold, or they can be formed much more quickly through the use of a hydraulic press.  (A good hydraulic press for home use is the Bulldog model manufactured by Whitworth Novelties of Chicago, Illinois, which will produce a force of 2,500 pounds per square inch.)  It is possible to form the metal panels entirely out of empty food cans, but a sturdier and more durable bubble will result if galvanized sheet steel is used, and aluminum panels would add the virtue of lightness, which will be much appreciated over the course of a long journey. 

(Continued on page 194)
  Little Follies Dust Jacket

Candi Lee Manning and Alec "Nick" Rafter
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Little Follies is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, dialogues, settings, and businesses portrayed in it are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.

“My Mother Takes a Tumble,” “Do Clams Bite?,” “Life on the Bolotomy,” “The Static of the Spheres,” “The Fox and the Clam,” “The Girl with the White Fur Muff,” “Take the Long Way Home,” and “Call Me Larry” were originally published in paperback by Apple-Wood Books.

Little Follies was first published in hardcover by Crown Publishers, Inc., 201 East 50th Street, New York, New York 10022. Member of the Crown Publishing Group.


For information about publication rights outside the U. S. A., audio rights, serial rights, screen rights, and so on, e-mail the author’s imaginary agent, Alec “Nick” Rafter.

The illustration at the top of the page is an adaptation of an illustration by Stewart Rouse that first appeared on the cover of the August 1931 issue of Modern Mechanics and Inventions. The boy at the controls of the aerocycle doesn’t particularly resemble Peter Leroy—except, perhaps, for the smile.

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