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PROFESSOR AUGUSTUS S.F.X. VAN DUSEN is an eminent scientist and intellectual of the early 1900’s. Dubbed the “Thinking Machine” by his associates, Van Dusen would be the American equivalent of Sherlock Holmes, although his activities are not limited to the solving of crimes. Van Dusen is in demand to solve any puzzle that eludes explanation. One evening, he is in a discussion with his friends, DR. CHARLES RANSOME and MR. ALFRED FIELDING. Van Dusen is challenged to find a way out of the notorious Chisholm Prison, an impossible task. Van Dusen accepts the challenge. Wearing nothing but his shirt, trousers, socks and shoes, Van Dusen is given one week to escape. He blithely admonishes his housekeeper MARTHA to set the dinner table with artichokes for one week from that night. Our story is the intrigue-filled adventure of how Van Dusen escapes from Cell 13, the death cell of Chisholm Prison, with the encouragement and the clandestine help of his friend HUTCHINSON HATCH, a reporter for the Daily American newspaper.