MURRAY LEINSTER “The Fourth Dimensional Demonstrator.” First published in Astounding Stories, December 1935. Reprinted in The Other Worlds, edited by Phil Stong (Funk, hardcover, 1941), and The Future Makers, edited by Peter Haining (Belmont, paperback, US edition, 1971). First collected in Sidewise in Time (Shasta, hardcover, 1950), then The Best of Murray Leinster (Ballantine/Del Rey, paperback, 1978), and A Logic Named Joe (Baen, paperback, 2005).

   This one begins with a fellow named Pate Davidson complaining to his newly inherited man servant Thomas that his uncle had left him nothing of value after his death. He is especially upset because his fiancée Daisy (currently the star attraction of the Green Paradise floor show) expects (had been allowed to expect) … well, something more than that.

   “Not so,” says Thomas, and shows Pete one of inventions his late uncle was working on. It’s in the shape of a cylinder standing upright with an open side and all kinds of gadgetry lining the inner surface. On the floor, in the center of the opening is a small plate, and as Peter soon discovers, if something is on the plate when the machinery is turned on, the demonstrator (that’s its name) brings that same object back to the present from a few seconds earlier.

   Never mind the physics behind this. Pete has a mind that quickly begins to work overtime. Place a dime on the plate, turn the switch on, then there’s two. Turn the handle again, than there’s four; then eight, then sixteen. (I hope I’m explaining this correctly.)

   This is only petty cash, though, right? Dimes, pah! Why not dollar bills? You probably know as well I do why not, and as soon as Peter realizes why not too, the cops are knocking on the door. And so is Daisy, and somehow they all end up stepping on the plate, and …

   Most SF stories from 1935 are staid and serious. Not this one. This one is a lot of fun.

   I might have done without the cigarette-eating kangaroo(s), though.