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Who wants more of the weirdest early science fiction novel for kids? That’s right, it’s time for more of 1903’s THE WONDERFUL ELECTRIC ELEPHANT!

Grab beverages or the mute button, as needed.
We are on Chapter Seven: The Elephant Visits the Island of Santa Catalina.

This chapter starts wholesomely enough as our terrible protagonist and his girlfriend are in the middle of the Pacific, having taken the elephant underwater. They are very excited by fish and shells.
Ione says “Isn’t it too lovely for anything that this elephant belongs to us?” (She is already staking linguistic claim here, I note.)
Harold says that the best of his luck was finding her, for nothing is worth much without love and companionship.
(I still have no idea how old they are. They keep referring to themselves as children.)
A swordfish attacks the elephant and breaks its nose off on the handwavium. Harold is using the trunk to pick up shells and pearls without flooding the elephant.
They head off to an island. Ione did not realize islands were the tops of mountains, she thought they floated. She is looking forward to coming out of the water and frightening the people like a sea monster.

I believe these two deserve each other.
A steamer passes overhead and drops a dead body over the side. They watch it sink to the bottom.
“Let’s go frighten the seals first!” says Harold, who is a goddamn sociopath. They go to traumatize the seals. A passing glass bottomed rowboat sees the elephant and the passengers think it’s a whale.

A goddamn sociopath whale.
Anyway, Harold walks the elephant onto the beach and then charges a stagecoach for fun, trumpeting. Ione, displaying a rare twinge of conscience, says she is afraid he scared the horses and the passengers might be killed.
“I hope not,” says Harold, but adds that he saw some guys holding the horses, so they can probably keep them from plunging over the precipice.

Or...you could just...not play chicken with horses on a cliff IN A METAL ELEPHANT?!
The rest of the chapter is dedicated to Ione cooking and thinking “wow, it would suck if the elephant broke down underwater and we died.”
Chapter Eight is very long and ninety percent sightseeing. The big excitement comes when they are attacked by a giant octopus. It is bigger than the elephant, grabs it, flips it over, and the Harold electrocutes it.
Ione decides she is done with walking on the ocean bed. She will not do this again. She demands Harold invent a flying machine or build a bridge over the Atlantic to get her home.
Harold is all “We’ll pretend to be an elephant sent to the circus and ship ourselves home!” Ione thinks this sounds godawful and will involve being seasick inside an elephant.
But then they see land! And Ione is so happy she demands Harold hand her her banjo so she can play and sing.

Ok, time out. When did she get a goddamn banjo?
Anyway, they stop at a salt cave. Harold admires the stalactites and says it’s a shame to break any of them off, but obviously he’s going to do it anyway for a souvenir.

How much crap is in the elephant right now? Two bearskins, food, a bunch of pearls and shells...
...a random banjo, a bunch of stuff stolen from the native tribe, dead prairie chickens, the old man’s pipe rack and weapon collection...
Just...it cannot all go under the couch, people! There is a limit to the holding capacity of a couch!

And how did they poop underwater?! And what are they wearing? And when was the last time someone showered?!
*pant pant*
Okay, I’m better now. Onward.

Chapter Nine: Harold And Ione Make New Friends
The elephant is now sailing along on the surface of the water. How does that work? Screw you, that’s how, says Frances Montgomery.
Harold puts the top down on the elephant to give it a good airing out.

Just...just go with it, people.
They encounter an ocean liner, which hails them like another boat. They wave handkerchiefs and Harold gets out an American flag—presumably from under the couch—and then they address each other by megaphone. Harold has a megaphone. Presumably it was next to the banjo.
Ione goes aboard the ship and Harold tells the Captain he can’t leave the elephant. This is conversation #1. This will be important later.

Ione goes on board and explains about the elephant. Everyone is very impressed.
Ione has ice cream and cake and says she wants to go back to the elephant because if it breaks down, she wants to die with Harold.

The captain is very moved by this example of love.
Harold missed her terribly for those three hours and decided that if anything happened to her, he would die. He asks Ione to marry him.

I still have no idea how old they are.
Chapter Ten: A Wedding In Honolulu

They arrive in Hawaii. Harold parks the elephant and goes to the steamer captain to ask him to perform the wedding. This is Conversation #2.
Captain agrees, in memory of his own daughter who died on her wedding day and whose gown, slippers, and fan he has been carrying around for decades. He asks Ione wear them. Harold wipes a tear from his eye.
“What I would not give to have a son like you!” says the captain, in the middle of the second conversation he has ever had with a genocidal elephant pilot.
“And what I would not give to have a father like you!”
The Captain adopts him on the spot.
I just kinda suspect this is not the first kid the captain has adopted. This all seems very...rapid.
“By the Great Horn Spoon! I do love them as if they were my own!” the captain thinks, about two people he has known for approximately four hours total.
Ione is like “ok, that dress is too much.” The Captain begs her to wear it in memory of “my dear daughter whom I hope to live to see again in you.” She throws her arms around him and calls him her dear adopted father.

The rest of the chapter is just wedding stuff.
Chapter Eleven! They put seats on the back of the elephant and the wedding party is riding the elephant up an active volcano.
Yes, it’s Kilauea. The natives are like “It’s about to erupt, man, don’t do this.” Harold blows this off, but doesn’t tell Ione because he doesn’t want to scare her. (Not like random strangers on the beach.)
The volcano is definitely having indigestion. There’s a storm. Ione is like “we should turn back!” The rest of the party says “It is grand though terrible!” and demands to go on.

The elephant has a search light in the mouth now, for reasons. It was probably just under the couch.
The volcano erupts. Harold runs the elephant away, the Captain jumps on his ocean liner and puts out to sea at high speed because liners are knows for that. Harold shouts to the captain that he will meet him in New York in a year and a day and then sinks the elephant.
No, not permanently, just under the waves. This ends the chapter and my patience with these idiots for the night.
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