Off in the distance thunder boomed, and lightning streaked the nighttime sky.
The "corpse" was sitting up straight now. His eyes were wide and angry, and he was staring straight at Collin.
"What is the meaning of this?! That was several days worth of work you just destroyed!"
The man not only moved, but he talked, and Collin wished he could run away, but Morgan was holding onto his arm as if he could save the day.
"Speak up! What are you doing in my laboratory?" the man bellowed.
"We were trying to wake you," Collin murmured.
"Speak up!" the man yelled, as he climbed down from the table and cupped his hand behind his ear.
Collin gulped. Not even Mrs. Lee had hollered at him this way. "We thought you were dead."
"Dead? Do I look dead?"
Collin shook his head. "You didn't answer when we spoke to you."
"I'm a trifle hard of hearing, if you must know. Besides that, I'm not in the habit of being pestered by children."
The man picked up a large shard of glass from the broken light bulb, walked close to Collin and waved it in his face. "This lab is off limits to children for this very reason. This electric lamp experiment is very important to me, and what you've just done causes me further delay."
"Collin didn't mean to break the bulb," Morgan said. "It was an accident."
The man glared at Morgan. "Is he incapable of speaking for himself? Must a woman stand up for him?"
"We're friends," Collin said. "We stick up for each other." Collin pointed at the piece of broken glass. "I don't see what the big deal is. It's just a light bulb. They're cheap. You can buy them anywhere."
"Do you know what you're saying? This experimental lamp has been burning for 14 hours. That may not seem like much to you, but to me, Thomas Edison, it's extremely important. For your information -- that's a record!"