Read Get Smart 4 - Max Smart and the Perilous Pellets Online

Authors: William Johnston

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Get Smart 4 - Max Smart and the Perilous Pellets

MAX SMART
and the
PERILOUS PELLETS

KAOS AND CONTROL BOTH HAVE THE
MEANS TO DESTROY EACH OTHER—
SO BOTH ORGANIZATIONS ARE IN
DANGER OF BEING DESTROYED.

It looked like an ordinary green pea, but that tiny pellet could mean the end of KAOS—and it was up to Max Smart to see that Control planted its explosives before the KAOS agents planted theirs.

In an atom-powered helicopter, piloted by Lance Chalfont, silent birdman (courageous, compassionate and conscientious, but unable to read a map), Max and Agent 99 set off on their vital mission, carrying the satchel of explosives that determined the future of the world—and their jobs.

The first stop was the scientific laboratory in the middle of the Sahara Desert, run by the nefarious Dr. Yeh!; then the Weapons Arsenal deep under the Atlantic where Dr. Gill, half man, half fish, could apprehend them and use his deadly weapon; next was the training school high in the Alps, presided over by The Professor, a man whose ideas were old-fashioned but fatally effective; then, the building that masqueraded as an Old Agents Home—what dreadful devices were behind those walls?

Racing neck and neck to the secret Control sites were the KAOS men, and all of Max’s remarkable talent and ingenuity are called into play in his most perilous adventure.

GET SMART
novels
by William Johnston

Get Smart!
Sorry Chief . . .
Get Smart Once Again!
Max Smart and the Perilous Pellets
Missed It By That Much!
And Loving it!
Max Smart - The Spy Who Went Out to the Cold
Max Smart Loses Control
Max Smart and the Ghastly Ghost Affair

© 1966 TALENT ASSOCIATES—PARAMOUNT LTD.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THE RIGHT
TO REPRODUCE IN WHOLE OR IN PART
IN ANY FORM

PUBLISHED SIMULTANEOUSLY IN CANADA

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARD NUMBER
AC66-10860

A TEMPO BOOKS
Original

TEMPO BOOKS EDITION, 1966
FIRST PRINTING, September 1966

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

CONTENTS

MAX SMART and the PERILOUS PELLETS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MAX SMART
and the
PERILOUS PELLETS
1.

M
AX
S
MART
, otherwise known as Agent 86 of Control, stepped from his car, glanced to the left, then to the right, then strode forward toward the secret entrance to Control Headquarters. Max should have also looked to the front. For the moment he strode forward he tripped over a small boy and fell flat on his face.

“Shine, mister?” the small boy asked. Having lowered Max to his level, he was now eye-to-eye with him.

“I don’t have time for a shine, sonny,” Max replied, rising. “You see, I just received an emergency call from the Chief. Something big is popping. The fate of the entire civilized world is probably hanging in the balance again.”

The small boy looked at him disappointedly. “You shouldn’t make up stories, mister,” he said. “It’ll become a habit. When you grow up, no one will believe anything you say. Remember the boy who cried ‘Wolf!’?”

Max frowned, shaking his head. “No—what about the boy who cried ‘Wolf!’?”

The boy placed his shoe shine box in front of Max. “Put your foot right there and I’ll tell you about it,” he said.

Max placed a foot on the box. “Yes . . . ?”

“Well, once upon a time,” the small boy began, smearing polish on Max’s shoe, “there was a little boy named Pedro Hernandez. He lived in a small town called Andy’s Mountain. Pedro’s father ran the local coffee house.”

“Coffee house?”

“A small café that served only coffee,” the small boy explained. “The men of the town would sit in the coffee house drinking coffee from morn ’til night. There was one man, however, who was no longer allowed to sit in the coffee house and drink coffee from morn ’til night. His name was Wolf Barnschlager. And the reason Wolf Barnschlager was not allowed to sit in the coffee house and drink coffee from morn ’til night was because for years Wolf Barnschlager had been sitting in the coffee house drinking coffee from morn ’til night and he had run up a tab of four-hundred-and-seven dollars and twenty-eight cents, including tax.”

“I see. A deadbeat.”

“No, he was still very much alive,” the small boy replied, buffing Max’s shoe. “In fact, a rumor began circulating in Andy’s Mountain that Wolf Barnschlager planned to disguise himself as a local Indian named Francis X. Sheepfoot, enter the coffee house, order a cup of coffee, drink it, then slip out without paying for it, thereby executing a cruel but clever hoax.”

Max sighed sadly. “Everybody picks on the Indians.”

“Yes. Well, soon after that, little Pedro observed a man entering the coffee house who looked suspiciously like Francis X. Sheepfoot. Immediately, so as to alert his father, he cried, ‘Wolf! Wolf!’ His father, alerted, rushed at the man, got him by the feathers, and hurled him bodily from the coffee house.”

“I know,” Max smiled. “But, as it turned out, the man who looked suspiciously like Francis X. Sheepfoot was, in fact, not Wolf Barnschlager, but Francis X. Sheepfoot. Right?”

“No, it was Wolf Barnschlager, all right,” the small boy replied. “Other shoe, please.”

Max placed the other shoe on the shine box. “Then why was it wrong for Pedro to cry ‘Wolf! Wolf!’?” he asked.

“Wrong? It wasn’t wrong. It was exactly the right thing to do. His father rewarded him handsomely. He made him assistant manager of the coffee house.”

Max looked down at the boy puzzledly. “Then I don’t see the point—”

He was interrupted by a ringing sound.

“Excuse me,” Max said. “I’ll have to have my shoe back. It’s ringing.”

The small boy groaned. “It happens every time! Right in the middle of a shine!”

Max removed his foot from the box, then removed the shoe from his foot.

Max:
Maxwell Smart, Secret Agent 86 here.

Chief:
Max! Where are you? We’re waiting!

Max:
I’m on my way, Chief. I’m right outside Headquarters now. The instant this boy finishes polishing my telephone, I’ll be right in.

Operator:
Polishing your telephone! If that boy ruins our instrument, there’ll be Bell to pay!

Chief:
Max, this is no time to get a shoe shine!

Max:
Same old thing hanging in the balance again, Chief?

Chief:
Worse, Max! Worse—believe me! Now, get in here!

Operator:
The idea! Smearing gunk all over our phone!

Max:
Please accept my apology—both of you. I’m on my way, Chief.

Max slipped his shoe back on his foot. “I’m sorry I can’t stay to hear the end of the story,” he said to the small boy.

“That
was
the end,” the boy replied. “Unless, of course, you’re interested in the part about—” He shook his head. “No, you wouldn’t be interested in that part.”

“I would, I would,” Max said. “What happened?”

“That’s Part II,” the boy replied. “You get Part II when you get a second shoe shine.”

“Drat!” Max said. “Just when it was getting interesting, too. Look, uh, would it be in bad taste to get my second shoe shine right now? I know you shoe shine boys have your rules and all that, but—”

Max’s shoe began ringing again.

“The Chief again,” Max said. “I better get inside.” He handed the small boy a coin. “Anyway,” he said, “thank you for a very enjoyable experience.” He patted the boy’s head. “You’re a bright lad, and I’m sure you’ll go far.”

The boy picked up his box. “It’s not in the cards,” he said sorrowfully.

“Oh?”

“I’m failure-prone,” the boy replied. “Look at me now—a lowly shoe shine boy. And—would you believe it?—I was once the assistant manager of a coffee house.”

“You mean . . . ?”

“If you ever need another shine, look me up,” the boy said, walking away. “Ask for Pedro.”

Max stared after him for a moment, then turned and entered Control Headquarters. “I’d
still
like to hear the details,” he said to himself.

When Max reached the Chief’s office he rapped briskly on the door.

“How many ‘s’s in Mississippi?” a voice responded.

“I don’t know, Chief—how many ‘s’s are there in Mississippi?” Max asked.

“Max, that’s the code for today!”

“Oh. Well, let’s see, there are four ‘a’s in Alabama. And there are two ‘l’s in Pennsylvania. And there are—”

“Max! The correct answer is, ‘there are no “s”s in Mississippi!’ ”

“I don’t think that’s quite right, Chief. I may not be too great on Pennsylvania, but I’m a whiz on Mississippi. There happen to be—”

“Max! Come in!”

Max opened the door and stepped into the Chief’s office. He saw Agent 99 seated in a chair next to the desk. “99,” he said, “would you straighten the Chief out on Mississippi? He seems to think—”

“Max, he was using the code,” 99 replied. “The code is, ‘There are no “s”s in Mississippi.’ In other words, the wrong answer is the right answer. But, if you didn’t know the code, you wouldn’t know that. So, you’d give the right answer—and that would be the wrong answer. You couldn’t get in here without the wrong answer, Max.”

“I see. Then how did I get in here?”

“In your case, I always make an exception, Max,” the Chief explained. “You never have the wrong answer.”

Max smiled appreciatively. “Thank you, Chief.”

“You’re welcome. Now, can we get down to business?”

Max put up a hand. “Just a minute, Chief. I haven’t punched in.” He went to the rack of time cards, selected one, then placed it into the slot of the time clock. A bell rang. Max extracted the card and placed it back in the rack. “Which reminds me,” Max said, turning back to the Chief. “My last pay check was short a dollar and seventy-four cents.”

“Well, I’m sorry, Max, but—”

“For overtime,” Max said, approaching the desk. “I don’t want to be petty about it, but if I owed Control a dollar and seventy-four cents for overtime, I would certainly pay up. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

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