Friday, October 5, 2007


TOM SWIFT AND HIS SUBMARINE BOAT or Under the Ocean for Sunken Treasure

Under the Ocean for Sunken Treasure
I News of a Treasure Wreck
II Finishing the Submarine
III Mr. Berg Is Astonished
IV Tom Is Imprisoned
V Mr. Berg Is Suspicious
VI Turning the Tables
VII Mr. Damon Will Go
VIII Another Treasure Expedition
IX Captain Weston's Advent
X Trial of the Submarine
XI On the Ocean Bed
XII For a Breath of Air
XIII Off for the Treasure
XIV In the Diving Suits
XV At the Tropical Island
XVI "We'll Race You For It!"
XVII The Race
XVIII The Electric Gun
XIX Captured
XX Doomed to Death
XXI The Escape
XXII At the Wreck
XXIII Attacked by Sharks
XXIV Ramming the Wreck
XXV Home with the Gold
Chapter One
News of a Treasure Wreck
There was a rushing, whizzing, throbbing noise in the air.
A great body, like that of some immense bird, sailed along,
casting a grotesque shadow on the ground below. An elderly
man, who Was seated on the porch of a large house, started
to his feet in alarm.
"Gracious goodness! What was that, Mrs. Baggert?" he
called to a motherly-looking woman who stood in the doorway.
"What happened?"
"Nothing much, Mr. Swift," was the calm reply "I think
that was Tom and Mr. Sharp in their airship, that's all. I
didn't see it, but the noise sounded like that of the Red Cloud."
"Of course! To be sure!" exclaimed Mr. Barton Swift, the
well-known inventor, as he started down the path in order to
get a good view of the air, unobstructed by the trees. "Yes,
there they are," he added. "That's the airship, but I didn't
expect them back so soon. They must have made good time from
Shopton. I wonder if anything can be the matter that they
hurried so?"
He gazed aloft toward where a queerly-shaped machine was
circling about nearly five hundred feet in the air, for the
craft, after Swooping down close to the house, had ascended
and was now hovering just above the line of breakers that
marked the New Jersey seacoast, where Mr. Swift had taken up
a temporary residence.
"Don't begin worrying, Mr. Swift," advised Mrs. Baggert,
the housekeeper. "You've got too much to do, if you get that
new boat done, to worry."
"That's so. I must not worry. But I wish Tom and Mr. Sharp
would land, for I want to talk to them."
As if the occupants of the airship had heard the words of
the aged inventor, they headed their craft toward earth. The
combined aeroplane and dirigible balloon, a most wonderful
traveler of the air, swung around, and then, with the
deflection rudders slanted downward, came on with a rush.
When near the landing place, just at the side of the house,
the motor was stopped, and the gas, with a hissing noise,
rushed into the red aluminum container. This immediately
made the ship more buoyant and it landed almost as gently as
a feather.
No sooner had the wheels which formed the lower part of
the craft touched the ground than there leaped from the
cabin of the Red Cloud a young man.
"Well, dad!" he exclaimed. "Here we are again, safe and
sound. Made a record, too. Touched ninety miles an hour at
times--didn't we, Mr. Sharp?"
"That's what," agreed a tall, thin, dark-complexioned man,
who followed Tom Swift more leisurely in his exit from the
cabin. Mr. Sharp, a veteran aeronaut, stopped to fasten guy
ropes from the airship to strong stakes driven into the
"And we'd have done better, only we struck a hard wind
against us about two miles up in the air, which delayed us,"
went on Tom. "Did you hear us coming, dad?"
"Yes, and it startled him," put in Mrs. Baggert. "I guess
he wasn't expecting you."
"Oh, well, I shouldn't have been so alarmed, only I was
thinking deeply about a certain change I am going to make in
the submarine, Tom. I was day-dreaming, I think, when your
ship whizzed through the air. But tell me, did you find
everything all right at Shopton? No signs of any of those
scoundrels of the Happy Harry gang having been around?" and
Mr. Swift looked anxiously at his son.
"Not a sign, dad," replied Tom quickly. "Everything was
all right. We brought the things you wanted. They're in the
airship. Oh, but it was a fine trip. I'd like to take
another right out to sea."
"Not now, Tom," said his father. "I want you to help me.
And I need Mr. Sharp's help, too. Get the things out of the
car, and we'll go to the shop."
"First I think we'd better put the airship away," advised
Mr. Sharp. "I don't just like the looks of the weather, and,
besides, if we leave the ship exposed we'll be sure to have
a crowd around sooner or later, and we don't want that."
"No, indeed," remarked the aged inventor hastily. "I don't
want people prying around the submarine shed. By all means
put the airship away, and then come into the shop."
In spite of its great size the aeroplane was easily
wheeled along by Tom and Mr. Sharp, for the gas in the
container made it so buoyant that it barely touched the
earth. A little more of the powerful vapor and the Red
Cloud would have risen by itself. In a few minutes the
wonderful craft, of which my readers have been told in
detail in a previous volume, was safely housed in a large
tent, which was securely fastened.
Mr. Sharp and Tom, carrying some bundles which they had
taken from the car, or cabin, of the craft, went toward a
large shed, which adjoined the house that Mr. Swift had
hired for the season at the seashore. They found the lad's
father standing before a great shape, which loomed up dimly
in the semi-darkness of the building. It was like an immense
cylinder, pointed at either end, and here and there were
openings, covered with thick glass, like immense, bulging
eyes. From the number of tools and machinery all about the
place, and from the appearance of the great cylinder itself,
it was easy to see that it was only partly completed.
"Well, how goes it, dad?" asked the youth, as he deposited
his bundle on a bench. "Do you think you can make it work?"
"I think so, Tom. The positive and negative plates are
giving me considerable trouble, though. But I guess we can
solve the problem. Did you bring me the galvanometer?"
"Yes, and all the other things," and the young inventor
proceeded to take the articles from the bundles he carried.
Mr. Swift looked them over carefully, while Tom walked
about examining the submarine, for such was the queer craft
that was contained in the shed. He noted that some progress
had been made on it since he had left the seacoast several
days before to make a trip to Shopton, in New York State,
where the Swift home was located, after some tools and
apparatus that his father wanted to obtain from his workshop
"You and Mr. Jackson have put on several new plates,"
observed the lad after a pause.
"Yes," admitted his father. "Garret and I weren't idle,
were we, Garret?" and he nodded to the aged engineer, who
had been in his employ for many years.
"No; and I guess we'll soon have her in the water, Tom,
now that you and Mr. Sharp are here to help us," replied
Garret Jackson.
"We ought to have Mr. Damon here to bless the submarine
and his liver and collar buttons a few times," put in Mr.
Sharp, who brought in another bundle. He referred to an
eccentric individual Who had recently made an airship voyage
with himself and Tom, Mr. Damon's peculiarity being to use
continually such expressions as: "Bless my soul! Bless my
"Well, I'll be glad when we can make a trial trip," went
on Tom. "I've traveled pretty fast on land with my motorcycle,
and we certainly have hummed through the air. Now I
want to see how it feels to scoot along under water."
"Well, if everything goes well we'll be in position to
make a trial trip inside of a month," remarked the aged
inventor. "look here, Mr. Sharp, I made a change in the
steering gear, which I'd like you and Tom to consider."
The three walked around to the rear of the odd-looking
structure, if an object shaped like a cigar can be said to
have a front and rear, and the inventor, his son, and the
aeronaut were soon deep in a discussion of the
technicalities connected with under-water navigation.
A little later they went into the house, in response to a
summons from the supper bell, vigorously rung by Mrs.
Baggert. She was not fond of waiting with meals, and even
the most serious problem of mechanics was, in her
estimation, as nothing compared with having the soup get
cold, or the possibility of not having the meat done to a
The meal was interspersed with remarks about the recent
airship flight of Tom and Mr. Sharp, and discussions about
the new submarine. This talk went on even after the table
was cleared off and the three had adjourned to the sittingroom.
There Mr. Swift brought out pencil and paper, and soon
he and Mr. Sharp were engrossed in calculating the pressure
per square inch of sea water at a depth of three miles.
"Do you intend to go as deep as that?" asked Tom, looking
up from a paper he was reading.
"Possibly," replied his father; and his son resumed his
perusal of the sheet.
"Now," went on the inventor to the aeronaut, "I have
another plan. In addition to the positive and negative
plates which will form our motive power, I am going to
install forward and aft propellers, to use in case of
"I say, dad! Did you see this?" suddenly exclaimed Tom,
getting up from his chair, and holding his finger on a
certain place in the page of the paper.
"Did I see what?" asked Mr. Swift.
"Why, this account of the sinking of the treasure ship."
"Treasure ship? No. Where?"
"Listen," went on Tom. "I'll read it: 'Further advices
from Montevideo, Uruguay, South America, state that all hope
has been given up of recovering the steamship Boldero, which
foundered and went down off that coast in the recent gale.
Not only has all hope been abandoned of raising the vessel,
but it is feared that no part of the three hundred thousand
dollars in gold bullion which she carried will ever be
recovered. Expert divers who were taken to the scene of the
wreck state that the depth of water, and the many currents
existing there, due to a submerged shoal, preclude any
possibility of getting at the hull. The bullion, it is
believed, was to have been used to further the interests of
a certain revolutionary faction, but it seems likely that
they will have to look elsewhere for the sinews of war.
Besides the bullion the ship also carried several cases of
rifles, it is stated, and other valuable cargo. The crew and
what few passengers the Boldero carried were, contrary to
the first reports, all saved by taking to the boats. It
appears that some of the ship's plates were sprung by the
stress in which she labored in a storm, and she filled and
sank gradually.' There! what do you think of that, dad?"
cried Tom as he finished.
"What do I think of it? Why, I think it's too bad for the
revolutionists, Tom, of course."
"No; I mean about the treasure being still on board the
ship. What about that?"
"Well, it's likely to stay there, if the divers can't get
at it. Now, Mr. Sharp, about the propellers--"
"Wait, dad!" cried Tom earnestly.
"Why, Tom, what's the matter?" asked Mr. Swift in some
"How soon before we can finish our submarine?" went on
Tom, not answering the question.
"About a month. Why?"
"Why? Dad, why can't we have a try for that treasure? It
ought to be comparatively easy to find that sunken ship off
the coast of Uruguay. In our submarine we can get close up
to it, and in the new diving suits you invented we can get
at that gold bullion. Three hundred thousand dollars! Think
of it, dad! Three hundred thousand dollars! We could easily
claim all of it, since the owners have abandoned it, but we
would be satisfied with half. Let's hurry up, finish the
submarine, and have a try for it."
"But, Tom, you forget that I am to enter my new ship in
the trials for the prize offered by the United States
"How much is the prize if you win it?" asked Tom.
"Fifty thousand dollars."
"Well, here's a chance to make three times that much at
least, and maybe more. Dad, let the Government prize go, and
try for the treasure. Will you?"
Tom looked eagerly at his father, his eyes shining with
anticipation. Mr. Swift was not a quick thinker, but the
idea his son had proposed made an impression on him. He
reached out his hand for the paper in which the young
inventor had seen the account of the sunken treasure.
Slowly he read it through. Then he passed it to Mr. Sharp.
"What do you think of it?" he asked of the aeronaut
"There's a possibility," remarked the balloonist "We might
try for it. We can easily go three miles down, and it
doesn't lie as deeply as that, if this account is true. Yes,
we might try for it. But we'd have to omit the Government
"Will you, dad?" asked Tom again.
Mr. Swift considered a moment longer.
"Yes, Tom, I will," he finally decided. "Going after the
treasure will be likely to afford us a better test of the
submarine than would any Government tests. We'll try to
locate the sunken Boldero."
"Hurrah!" cried the lad, taking the paper from Mr. Sharp
and waving it in the air. "That's the stuff! Now for a
search for the submarine treasure!"
Chapter Two
Finishing the Submarine
"What's the matter?" cried Mrs. Baggert, the housekeeper,
hurrying in from the kitchen, where she was washing the
dishes. "Have you seen some of those scoundrels who robbed
you, Mr. Swift? If you have, the police down here ought to--"
"No, it's nothing like that," explained Mr. Swift. "Tom
has merely discovered in the paper an account of a sunken
treasure ship, and he wants us to go after it, down under
the ocean."
"Oh, dear! Some more of Captain Kidd's hidden hoard, I
suppose?" ventured the housekeeper. "Don't you bother with
it, Mr. Swift. I had a cousin once, and he got set in the
notion that he knew where that pirate's treasure was. He
spent all the money he had and all he could borrow digging
for it, and he never found a penny. Don't waste your time on
such foolishness. It's bad enough to be building airships
and submarines without going after treasure." Mrs. Baggert
spoke with the freedom of an old friend rather than a hired
housekeeper, but she had been in the family ever since Tom's
mother died, when he was a baby, and she had many
"Oh, this isn't any of Kidd's treasure," Tom assured her.
"If we get it, Mrs. Baggert, I'll buy you a diamond ring."
"Humph!" she exclaimed, as Tom began to hug her in boyish
fashion. "I guess I'll have to buy all the diamond rings I
want, if I have to depend on your treasure for them," and
she went back to the kitchen.
"Well," went on Mr. Swift after a pause, "if we are going
into the treasure-hunting business, Tom, we'll have to get
right to work. In the first place, we must find out more
about this ship, and just where it was sunk."
"I can do that part," said Mr. Sharp. "I know some sea
captains, and they can put me on the track of locating the
exact spot. In fact, it might not be a bad idea to take an
expert navigator with us. I can manage in the air all right,
but I confess that working out a location under water is
beyond me."
"Yes, an old sea captain wouldn't be a bad idea, by any
means," conceded Mr. Swift. "Well, if you'll attend to that
detail, Mr. Sharp, Tom, Mr. Jackson and I will finish the
submarine. Most of the work is done, however, and it only
remains to install the engine and motors. Now, in regard to
the negative and positive electric plates, I'd like your
opinion, Tom."
For Tom Swift was an inventor, second in ability only to
his father, and his advice was often sought by his parent on
matters of electrical construction, for the lad had made a
specialty of that branch of science.
While father and son were deep in a discussion of the
apparatus of the submarine, there will be an opportunity to
make the reader a little better acquainted with them. Those
of you who have read the previous volumes of this series do
not need to be told who Tom Swift is. Others, however, may
be glad to have a proper introduction to him.
Tom Swift lived with his father, Barton Swift, in the
village of Shopton, New York. The Swift home was on the
outskirts of the town, and the large house was surrounded by
a number of machine shops, in which father and son, aided by
Garret Jackson, the engineer, did their experimental and
constructive work. Their house was not far from Lake
Carlopa, a fairly large body of water, on which Tom often
speeded his motor
In the first volume of this series, entitled "Tom Swift
and His Motor-Cycle," it was told how be became acquainted
with Mr. Wakefield Damon, who suffered an accident while
riding one of the speedy machines. The accident disgusted
Mr. Damon with motor-cycles, and Tom secured it for a low
price. He had many adventures on it, chief among which was
being knocked senseless and robbed of a valuable patent
model belonging to his father, which he was taking to
Albany. The attack was committed by a gang known as the
Happy Harry gang, who were acting at the instigation of a
syndicate of rich men, who wanted to secure control of a
certain patent turbine engine which Mr. Swift had invented.
Tom set out in pursuit of the thieves, after recovering
from their attack, and had a strenuous time before he
located them.
In the second volume, entitled "Tom Swift and His Motor-
Boat," there was related our hero's adventures in a fine
craft which was recovered from the thieves and sold at
auction. There was a mystery connected with the boat, and
for a long time Tom could not solve it. He was aided,
however, by his chum, Ned Newton, who worked in the Shopton
Bank, and also by Mr. Damon and Eradicate Sampson, an aged
colored whitewasher, who formed quite an attachment for Tom.
In his motor-boat Tom had more than one race with Andy
Foger, a rich lad of Shopton, who was a sort of bully. He
had red hair and squinty eyes, and was as mean in character
as he was in looks. He and his cronies, Sam Snedecker and
Pete Bailey, made trouble for Tom, chiefly because Tom
managed to beat Andy twice in boat races.
It was while in his motor-boat, Arrow, that Tom formed the
acquaintance of John Sharp, a veteran balloonist. While
coming down Lake Carlopa on the way to the Swift home, which
had been entered by thieves, Tom, his father and Ned Newton,
saw a balloon on fire over the lake. Hanging from a trapeze
on it was Mr. Sharp, who had made an ascension from a fair
ground. By hard work on the part of Tom and his friends the
aeronaut was saved, and took up his residence with the
His advent was most auspicious, for Tom and his father
were then engaged in perfecting an airship, and Mr. Sharp
was able to lend them his skill, so that the craft was soon
In the third volume, called "Tom Swift and His Airship,"
there was set down the doings of the young inventor, Mr.
Sharp and Mr. Damon on a trip above the clouds. They
undertook it merely for pleasure, but they encountered
considerable danger, before they completed it, for they
nearly fell into a blazing forest once, and were later fired
at by a crowd of excited people. This last act was to effect
their capture, for they were taken for a gang of bank
robbers, and this was due directly to Andy Foger.
The morning after Tom and his friends started on their
trip in the air, the Shopton Bank was found to have been
looted of seventy-five thousand dollars. Andy Foger at once
told the police that Tom Swift had taken the money, and when
asked how he knew this, he said he had seen Tom hanging
around the bank the night before the vault was burst open,
and that the young inventor had some burglar tools in his
possession. Warrants were at once sworn out for Tom and Mr.
Damon, who was also accused of being one of the robbers, and
a reward of five thousand dollars was offered.
Tom, Mr. Damon and Mr. Sharp sailed on, all unaware of
this, and unable to account for being fired upon, until they
accidentally read in the paper an account of their supposed
misdeeds. They lost no time in starting back home, and on,
the way got on the track of the real bank robbers, who were
members of the Happy Harry gang.
How the robbers were captured in an exciting raid, how Tom
recovered most of the stolen money, and how he gave Andy
Foger a deserved thrashing for giving a false clue was told
of, and there was an account of a race in which the Red
Cloud (as the airship was called) took part, as well as
details of how Tom and his friends secured the reward, which
Andy Foger hoped to collect.
Those of you who care to know how the Red Cloud was
constructed, and how she behaved in the air, even during
accidents and when struck by lightning, may learn by reading
the third volume, for the airship was one of the most
successful ever constructed.
When the craft was finished, and the navigators were ready
to start on their first long trip, Mr. Swift was asked to go
with them. He declined, but would not tell why, until Tom,
pressing him for an answer, learned that his father was
planning a submarine boat, which he hoped to enter in some
trials for Government prizes. Mr. Swift remained at home to
work on this submarine, while his son and Mr. Sharp were
sailing above the clouds.
On their return, however, and after the bank mystery had
been cleared up, Tom and Mr. Sharp, aided Mr. Swift in
completing the submarine, until, when the present story
opens, it needed but little additional work to make the
craft ready for the water.
Of course it had to be built near the sea, as it would
have been impossible to transport it overland from Shopton.
So, before the keel was laid, Mr. Swift rented a large
cottage at a seaside place on the New Jersey coast and
there, after, erecting a large shed, the work on the
Advance, as the under-water ship was called, was begun.
It was soon to be launched in a large creek that extended
in from the ocean and had plenty of water at high tide. Tom
and Mr. Sharp made several trips back and forth from Shopton
in their airship, to see that all was safe at home and
occasionally to get needed tools and supplies from the
shops, for not all the apparatus could be moved from Shopton
to the coast.
It was when returning from one of these trips that Tom
brought with him the paper containing an account of the
wreck of the Boldero and the sinking of the treasure she
Until late that night the three fortune-hunters discussed
various matters.
"We'll hurry work on the ship," said Mr. Swift it length.
"Tom, I wonder if your friend, Mr. Damon, would care to try
how it seems under Water? He stood the air trip fairly
"I'll write and ask him," answered the lad. "I'm sure
he'll go."
Securing, a few days later, the assistance of two
mechanics, whom he knew he could trust, for as yet the
construction of the Advance was a secret, Mr. Swift prepared
to rush work on the submarine, and for the next three weeks
there were busy times in the shed next to the seaside
cottage. So busy, in fact, were Tom and Mr. Sharp, that
they only found opportunity for one trip in the airship, and
that was to get some supplies from the shops at home.
"Well," remarked Mr. Swift one night, at the close of a
hard day's work, "another week will see our craft completed.
Then we will put it in the water and see how it floats, and
whether it submerges as I hope it does. But come on, Tom. I
want to lock up. I'm very tired to-night."
"All right, dad," answered the young inventor coming from
the darkened rear of the shop. "I just want to--"
Ne paused suddenly, and appeared to be listening. Then he
moved softly back to where he had come from.
"What's the matter?" asked his father in a whisper.
"What's up, Tom?"
The lad did not answer Mr. Swift, with a worried look on
his face, followed his son. Mr. Sharp stood in the door of
the shop.
"I thought I heard some one moving around back here," went
on Tom quietly.
"Some one in this shop!" exclaimed the aged inventor
excitedly. "Some one trying to steal my ideas again! Mr.
Sharp, come here! Bring that rifle! We'll teach these
scoundrels a lesson!"
Tom quickly darted hack to the extreme rear of the
building. There was a scuffle, and the next minute Tom cried
"What are you doing here?"
"Ha! I beg your pardon," replied a voice. "I am looking
for Mr. Barton Swift."
"My father," remarked Tom. "But that's a queer place to
look for him. He's up front. Father, here's a man who wishes
to see you," he called.
"Yes, I strolled in, and seeing no one about I went to the
rear of the place," the voice went on. "I hope I haven't
"We were busy on the other side of the shop, I guess,"
replied Tom, and he looked suspiciously at the man who
emerged from the darkness into the light from a window. "I
beg your pardon for grabbing you the way I did," went on the
lad, "but I thought you were one of a gang of men we've been
having trouble with."
"Oh, that's all right," continued the man easily. "I know
Mr. Swift, and I think he will remember me. Ah, Mr. Swift,
how do you do?" he added quickly, catching sight of Tom's
father, who, with Mr. Sharp, was coming to meet the lad.
"Addison Berg!" exclaimed the aged inventor as he saw the
man's face more plainly. "What are you doing here?"
"I came to see you," replied the man. "May I have a talk
with you privately?"
"I--I suppose so," assented Mr. Swift nervously. "Come
into the house."
Mr. Berg left Tom's side and advanced to where Mr. Swift
was standing. Together the two emerged from the now fast
darkening shop and went toward the house.
"Who is he?" asked Mr. Sharp of the young inventor in a
"I don't know," replied the lad; "but, whoever he is, dad
seems afraid of him. I'm going to keep my eyes open."
Chapter Three
Mr. Berg is Astonished
Following his father and the stranger whom the aged
inventor had addressed as Mr. Berg, Tom and Mr. Sharp
entered the house, the lad having first made sure that
Garret Jackson was on guard in the shop that contained the
sub marine.
"Now," said Mr. Swift to the newcomer, "I am at your
service. What is it you wish?"
"In the first place, let me apologize for having startled
you and your friends," began the man. "I had no idea of
sneaking into your workshop, but I had just arrived here,
and seeing the doors open I went in. I heard no one about,
and I wandered to the back of the place. There I happened to
stumble over a board--"
"And I heard you," interrupted Tom.
"Is this one of your employees?" asked Mr. Berg in rather
frigid tones.
"That is my son," replied Mr. Swift.
"Oh, I beg your pardon." The man's manner changed quickly.
"Well, I guess you did hear me, young man. I didn't intend
to hark my shins the way I did, either. You must have taken
me for a burglar or a sneak thief."
"I have been very much bothered by a gang of unscrupulous
men," said Mr. Swift, "and I suppose Tom thought it was some
of them sneaking around again."
"That's what I did," added the lad. "I wasn't going to
have any one steal the secret of the submarine if I could
help it."
"Quite right! Quite right!" exclaimed Mr. Berg. "But my
purpose was an open one. As you know, Mr. Swift, I represent
the firm of Bentley & Eagert, builders of submarine boats
and torpedoes. They heard that you were constructing a craft
to take part in the competitive prize tests of the United
States Government, and they asked me to come and see you to
learn when your ship would be ready. Ours is completed, but
we recognize that it will be for the best interests of all
concerned if there are a number of contestants, and my firm
did not want to send in their entry until they knew that you
were about finished with your ship. How about it? Are you
ready to compete?"
"Yes," said Mr. Swift slowly. "We are about ready. My
craft needs a few finishing touches, and then it will be
ready to launch."
"Then we may expect a good contest on your part,"
suggested Mr. Berg.
"Well," began the aged inventor, "I don't know about
"What's that?" exclaimed Mr. Berg.
"I said I wasn't quite sure that we would compete," went
on Mr. Swift. "You see, when I first got this idea for a
submarine boat I had it in mind to try for the Government
prize of fifty thousand dollars."
"That's what we want, too," interrupted Mr. Berg with a
"But," went on Tom's father, "since then certain matters
have come up, and I think, on the whole, that we'll not
compete for the prize after all."
"Not compete for the prize?" almost shouted the agent for
Bentley & Eagert. "Why, the idea! You ought to compete. It
is good for the trade. We think we have a very fine craft,
and probably we would beat you in the tests, but--"
"I wouldn't be too sure of that," put in Tom. "You have
only seen the outside of our boat. The inside is better
"Ah, I have no doubt of that," spoke Mr. Berg, "but we
have been at the business longer than you have, and have had
more experience. Still we welcome competition. But I am very
much surprised that you are not going to compete for the
prize, Mr. Swift. Very much surprised, indeed! You see, I
came down from Philadelphia to arrange so that we could both
enter our ships at the same time. I understand there is
another firm of submarine boat builders who are going to try
for the prize, and I want to arrange a date that will he
satisfactory to all. I am greatly astonished that you are
not going to compete."
"Well, we were going to," said Mr. Swift, "only we have
changed our minds, that's all. My son and I have other
"May I ask what they are?" questioned Mr. Berg.
"You may," exclaimed Tom quickly; "but I don't believe we
can tell you. They're a secret," he added more cordially.
"Oh, I see," retorted Mr. Berg. "Well, of course I don't
wish to penetrate any of your secrets, but I hoped we could
contest together for the Government prize. It is worth
trying for I assure you--fifty thousand dollars. Besides,
there is the possibility of selling a number of submarines
to the United States. It's a fine prize."
"But the one we are after is a bigger one," Cried Tom
impetuously, and the moment he had spoken the wished he
could recall the words.
"Eh? What's that?" exclaimed Mr. Berg. "You don't mean to
say another government has offered a larger prize? If I had
known that I would not have let my firm enter into the
competition for the bonus offered by the United States.
Please tell me."
"I'm sorry," went on Tom more soberly. "I shouldn't have
spoken. Mr. Berg, the plans of my father and myself are such
that we can't reveal them now. We are going to try for a
prize, but not in competition with you. It's an entirely
different matter."
"Well, I guess you'll find that the firm of Bentley &
Eagert are capable of trying for any prizes that are
offered," boasted the agent. "We may be competitors yet."
"I don't believe so," replied Mr. Swift
"We may," repeated Mr. Berg. "And if we do, please
remember that we will show no mercy. Our boats are the
"And may the best boat win," interjected Mr. Sharp.
"That's all we ask. A fair field and no favors."
"Of course," spoke the agent coldly. "Is this another son
of yours?" he asked.
"No but a good friend," replied the aged inventor. "No,
Mr. Berg, we won't compete this time. You may tell your firm
"Very good," was the other's stiff reply. "Then
I will bid you good night. We shall carry off the
Government prize, but permit me to add that I
am very much astonished, very much indeed, that
you do not try for the prize. From what I have
seen of your submarine you have a very good
one, almost as good, in some respects, as ours.
I bid you good night," and with a bow the man
left the room and hurried away from the house.
Chapter Four
Tom is Imprisoned
"Well, I must say he's a cool one," remarked Tom, as the
echoes of Mr. Berg's steps died away. "The idea of thinking
his boat better than ours! I don't like that man, dad. I'm
suspicious of him. Do you think he came here to steal some
of our ideas?"
"No, I hardly believe so, my son. But how did you discover
"Just as you saw, dad. I heard a noise and went back there
to investigate. I found him sneaking around, looking at the
electric propeller plates. I went to grab him just as he
stumbled over a hoard. At first I thought it was one of the
old gang. I'm almost sure he was trying to discover
"No, Tom. the firm he works for are good business men, and
they would not countenance anything like that. They are
heartless competitors, however, and if they saw a legitimate
chance to get ahead of me and take advantage, they would do
it. But they would not sneak in to steal my ideas. I feel
sure of that. Besides, they have a certain type of submarine
which they think is the best ever invented, and they would
hardly change at this late day. They feel sure of winning
the Government prize, and I'm just as glad we're not going
to have a contest."
"Do you think our boat is better than theirs?"
"Much better, in many respects."
"I don't like that man Berg, though," went on Tom.
"Nor do I," added his father. "There is something strange
about him. He was very anxious that I should compete.
Probably he thought his firm's boat would go so far ahead of
ours that they would get an extra bonus. But I'm glad he
didn't see our new method of propulsion. That is the
principal improvement in the Advance over other types of
submarines. Well, another week and we will be ready for the
"Have you known Mr. Berg long, dad?"
"Not very. I met him in Washington when I was in the
patent office. He was taking out papers on a submarine for
his firm at the same time I got mine for the Advance. It is
rather curious that he should come all the way here from
Philadelphia. merely to see if I was going to compete. There
is something strange about it, something that I can't
The time was to come when Mr. Swift and his son were to
get at the bottom of Mr. Berg's reasons, and they learned to
their sorrow that he had penetrated some of their secrets.
Before going to bed that night Tom and Mr. Sharp paid a
visit to the shed where the submarine was resting on the
ways, ready for launching. They found Mr. Jackson on guard
and the engineer said that no one had been around. Nor was
anything found disturbed.
"It certainly is a great machine," remarked the lad as he
looked up at the cigar-shaped bulk towering over his head.
"Dad has outdone himself this trip."
"It looks all right," commented Mr. Sharp. "Whether it
will work is another question."
"Yes, we can't tell until it's in the water," con ceded
Tom. "But I hope it does. Dad has spent much time and money
on it."
The Advance was, as her name indicated, much in advance of
previous submarines. There was not so much difference in
outward construction as there was in the means of propulsion
and in the manner in which the interior and the machinery
were arranged.
The submarine planned by Mr. Swift and Tom jointly, and
constructed by them, with the aid of Mr. Sharp and Mr.
Jackson, was shaped like a Cigar, over one hundred feet long
and twenty feet in diameter at the thickest part. It was
divided into many compartments, all water-tight, so that if
one or even three were flooded the ship would still be
Buoyancy was provided for by having several tanks for the
introduction of compressed air, and there was an emergency
arrangement so that a collapsible aluminum container could
be distended and filled with a powerful gas. This was to be
used if, by any means, the ship was disabled on the bottom
of the ocean. The container could be expanded and filled,
and would send the Advance to the surface.
Another peculiar feature was that the engine-room, dynamos
and other apparatus were all contained amidships. This gave
stability to the craft, and also enabled the same engine to
operate both shafts and propellers, as well as both the
negative forward electrical plates, and the positive rear
These plates were a new idea in submarine construction,
and were the outcome of an idea of Mr. Swift, with some
suggestions from his son.
The aged inventor did not want to depend on the usual
screw propellers for his craft, nor did he want to use a jet
of compressed air, shooting out from a rear tube, nor yet a
jet of water, by means of which the creature called the
squid shoots himself along. Mr. Swift planned to send the
Advance along under water by means of electricity.
Certain peculiar plates were built at the forward and aft
blunt noses of the submarine. Into the forward plate a
negative charge of electricity was sent, and into the one at
the rear a positive charge, just as one end of a horseshoe
magnet is positive and will repel the north end of a compass
needle, while the other pole of a magnet is negative and
will attract it. In electricity like repels like, while
negative and positive have a mutual attraction for each
Mr. Swift figured out that if he could send a powerful
current of negative electricity into the forward plate it
would pull the boat along, for water is a good conductor of
electricity, while if a positive charge was sent into the
rear plate it would serve to push the submarine along, and
he would thus get a pulling and pushing motion, just as a
forward and aft propeller works on some ferry boats.
But the inventor did not depend on these plates alone.
There were auxiliary forward and aft propellers of the
regular type, so that if the electrical plates did not work,
or got out of order, the screws would serve to send the
Advance along.
There was much machinery in the submarine There were
gasolene motors, since space was too cramped to allow the
carrying of coal for boilers. There were dynamos, motors and
powerful pumps. Some of these were for air, and some for
water. To sink the submarine below the surface large tanks
were filled with water. To insure a more sudden descent,
deflecting rudders were also used, similar to those on an
airship. There were also special air pumps, and one for the
powerful gas, which was manufactured on board.
Forward from the engine-room was a cabin, where meals
could be served, and where the travelers could remain in the
daytime. There was also a small cooking galley, or kitchen,
there. Back of the engine-room were the sleeping quarters
and the storerooms. The submarine was steered from the
forward compartment, and here were also levers, wheels and
valves that controlled all the machinery, while a number of
dials showed in which direction they were going, how deep
they were, and at what speed they were moving, as well as
what the ocean pressure was.
On top, forward, was a small conning, or observation
tower, with auxiliary and steering and controlling apparatus
there. This was to be used when the ship was moving along
on the surface of the ocean, or merely with the deck awash.
There was a small flat deck surrounding the conning tower
and this was available when the craft was on the surface.
There was provision made for leaving the ship when it was
on the bed of the ocean. When it was desired to do this the
occupants put on diving suits, which were provided with
portable oxygen tanks. Then they entered a chamber into
which water was admitted until it was equal in pressure to
that outside. Then a steel door was opened, and they could
step out. To re-enter the ship the operation was reversed.
This was not a new feature. In fact, many submarines to-day
use it
At certain places there were thick bull's-eye windows, by
means of which the under-water travelers could look out into
the ocean through which they were moving. As a defense
against the attacks of submarine monsters there was a steel,
pointed ram, like a big harpoon. There were also a bow and a
stern electrical gun, of which more will be told later.
In addition to ample sleeping accommodations. there were
many conveniences aboard the Advance. Plenty of fresh water
could be carried, and there was an apparatus for distilling
more from the sea water that surrounded the travelers.
Compressed air was carried in large tanks, and oxygen could
be made as needed. In short, nothing that could add to the
comfort or safety of the travelers had been omitted. There
was a powerful crane and windlass, which had been installed
when Mr. Swift thought his boat might be bought by the
Government. This was to be used for raising wrecks or
recovering objects from the bottom of the ocean. Ample
stores and provisions were to be carried and, once the
travelers were shut up in the Advance, they could exist for
a month below the surface, providing no accident occurred.
All these things Tom and Mr. Sharp thought of as they
looked over the ship before turning in for the night. The
craft was made immensely strong to withstand powerful
pressure at the bottom of the ocean. The submarine could
penetrate to a depth of about three miles. Below that it was
dangerous to go, as the awful force would crush the plates,
powerful as they were.
"Well, we'll rush things to-morrow and the next day,"
observed Tom as he prepared to leave the building. "Then
we'll soon see if it works."
For the next week there were busy times in the shop near
the ocean. Great secrecy was maintained, and though
curiosity seekers did stroll along now and then, they
received little satisfaction. At first Mr. Swift thought
that the visit of Mr. Berg would have unpleasant results,
for he feared that the agent would talk about the craft, of
which he had so unexpectedly gotten a sight. But nothing
seemed to follow from his chance inspection, and it was
It was one evening, about a week later, that Tom was alone
in the shop. The two mechanics that had been hired to help
out in the rush had been let go, and the ship needed but a
few adjustments to make it ready for the sea.
"I think I'll just take another look at the water tank
valves," said Tom to himself as he prepared to enter the big
compartments which received the water ballast. "I want to be
sure they work properly and quickly. We've got to depend on
them to make us sink when we want to, and, what's more
important, to rise to the surface in a hurry. I've got time
enough to look them over before dad and Mr. Sharp get back."
Tom entered the starboard tank by means of an emergency
sliding door between the big compartments and the main part
of the ship. This was closed by a worm and screw gear, and
once the ship was in the water would seldom be used.
The young inventor proceeded with his task, carefully
inspecting the valves by the light of a lantern he carried.
The apparatus seemed to be all right, and Tom was about to
leave when a peculiar noise attracted his attention. It was
the sound of metal scraping on metal, and the lad's quick
and well-trained ear told him it was somewhere about the
He turned to leave the tank, but as he wheeled around his
light flashed on a solid wall of steel back of him. The
emergency outlet had been closed! He was a prisoner in the
water compartment, and he knew, from past experience, that
shout as he would, his voice could not be heard ten feet
away. His father and Mr. Sharp, as he was aware, had gone to
a nearby city for some tools, and Mr. Jackson, the engineer,
was temporarily away. Mrs. Baggert, in the house, could not
hear his cries.
"I'm locked in!" cried Tom aloud. "The worm gear must have
shut of itself. But I don't see how that could be. I've got
to get out mighty soon, though, or I'll smother. This tank
is airtight, and it won't take me long to breath up all the
oxygen there is here. I must get that slide open."
He sought to grasp the steel plate that closed the
emergency opening. His fingers slipped over the smooth,
polished surface. He was hermetically sealed up--a captive!
Blankly he set his lantern down and leaned hopelessly
against the wall of the tank.
"I've got to get out," he murmured.
As if in answer to him he heard a voice on the outside,
"There, Tom Swift! I guess I've gotten even with you now!
Maybe next time you won't take a reward away from me, and
lick me into the bargain. I've got you shut up good and
tight, and you'll stay there until I get ready to let you
"Andy Foger!" gasped Tom. "Andy Foger sneaked in here and
turned the gear. But how did he get to this part of the
coast? Andy Foger, you let me out!" shouted the young
inventor; and as Andy's mocking laugh came to him faintly
through the steel sides of the submarine, the imprisoned lad
beat desperately with his hands on the smooth sides of the
tank, vainly wondering how his enemy had discovered him.
Chapter Five
Mr. Berg is Suspicious
Not for long did the young inventor endeavor to break his
way out of the water-ballast tank by striking the heavy
sides of it. Tom realized that this was worse than useless.
He listened intently, but could hear nothing. Even the
retreating footsteps of Andy Foger were inaudible.
"This certainly is a pickle!" exclaimed Tom aloud. "I
can't understand how he ever got here. He must have traced
us after we went to Shopton in the airship the last time.
Then he sneaked in here. Probably he saw me enter, but how
could he knew enough to work the worm gear and close the
door? Andy has had some experience with machinery, though,
and one of the vaults in the bank where his father is a
director closed just like this tank. That's very likely how
he learned about it. But I've got to do something else
besides thinking of that sneak, Andy. I've got to get out of
here. Let's see if I can work the gear from inside."
Before he started, almost, Tom knew that it would be
impossible. The tank was made to close from the interior of
the submarine, and the heavy door, built to withstand the
pressure of tons of water, could not be forced except by the
proper means.
"No use trying that," concluded the lad, after a tiring
attempt to force back the sliding door with his hands. "I've
got to call for help."
He shouted until the vibrations in the confined space made
his ears ring, and the mere exertion of raising his voice to
the highest pitch made his heart beat quickly. Yet there
came no response. He hardly expected that there would be
any, for with his father and Mr. Sharp away, the engineer
absent on an errand, and Mrs. Baggert in the house some
distance off, there was no one to hear his calls for help,
even if they had been capable of penetrating farther than
the extent of the shed, where the under-water craft had been
"I've got to wait until some of them come out here,"
thought Tom. "They'll be sure to release me and make a
search. Then it will be easy enough to call to them and tell
them where I am, once they are inside the shed. But--" He
paused, for a horrible fear came over him. "Suppose they
should come--too late?" The tank was airtight. There was
enough air in it to last for some time, but, sooner or
later, it would no longer support life. Already, Tom
thought, it seemed oppressive, though probably that was his
"I must get out!" he repeated frantically. "I'll die in
here soon."
Again he tried to shove back the steel door. Then he
repeated his cries until be was weary. No one answered him.
He fancied once he could hear footsteps in the shed, and
thought, perhaps, it was Andy, come back to gloat over him.
Then Tom knew the red-haired coward would not dare venture
back. We must do Andy the justice to say that he never
realized that he was endangering Tom's life. The bully had
no idea the tank was airtight when he closed it. He had seen
Tom enter and a sudden whim came to him to revenge himself.
But that did not help the young inventor any. There was no
doubt about it now--the air was becoming close. Tom had been
imprisoned nearly two hours, and as he was a healthy, strong
lad, he required plenty of oxygen. There was certainly less
than there had been in the tank. His head began to buzz, and
there was a ringing in his ears.
Once more he fell upon his knees, and his fingers sought
the small projections of the gear on the inside of the door
He could no more budge the mechanism than a child could open
a burglar-proof vault.
"It's no use," he moaned, and he sprawled at full length
on the floor of the tank, for there the air was purer. As he
did so his fingers touched something. He started as they
closed around the handle of a big monkey wrench. It was one
he had brought into the place with him. Imbued with new hope
be struck a match and lighted his lantern, which he had
allowed to go out as it burned up too much of the oxygen. By
the gleam of it he looked to see if there were any bolts or
nuts he could loosen with the wrench, in order to slide the
door back. It needed but a glance to show him the futility
of this.
"It's no go," he murmured, and he let the wrench fall to
the floor. There was a ringing, clanging sound, and as it
smote his ears Tom sprang up with an exclamation.
"That's the thing!" he cried. "I wonder I didn't think of
it before. I can signal for help by pounding on the sides of
the tank with the wrench. The blows will carry a good deal
farther than my voice would." Every one knows how far the
noise of a boiler shop, with hammers falling on steel
plates, can be heard; much farther than can a human voice.
Tom began a lusty tattoo on the metal sides of the tank.
At first he merely rattled out blow after blow, and then, as
another thought came to him, he adopted a certain plan. Some
time previous, when he and Mr. Sharp had planned their trip
in the air, the two had adopted a code of signals. As it was
difficult in a high wind to shout from one end of the
airship to the other, the young inventor would sometimes
pound on the pipe which ran from the pilot house of the Red
Cloud to the engine-room. By a combination of numbers,
simple messages could be conveyed. The code included a call
for help. Forty-seven was the number, but there had never
been any occasion to use it.
Tom remembered this now. At once he ceased his
indiscriminate hammering, and began to beat out regularly--
one, two, three, four--then a pause, and seven blows would
be given. Over and over again he rang out this number--forty
seven--the call for help.
"If Mr. Sharp only comes back he will hear that, even in
the house," thought poor Tom "Maybe Garret or Mrs. Baggert
will hear it, too, but they won't know what it means.
They'll think I'm just working on the submarine."
It seemed several hours to Tom that he pounded out that
cry for aid, but, as he afterward learned, it was only a
little over an hour. Signal after signal he sent vibrating
from the steel sides of the tank. When one arm tired he
would use the other. He grew weary, his head was aching, and
there was a ringing in his ears; a ringing that seemed as if
ten thousand bells were jangling out their peals, and he
could barely distinguish his own pounding.
Signal after signal he sounded. It was becoming like a
dream to him, when suddenly, as he paused for a rest, he
heard his name called faintly, as if far away.
"Tom! Tom! Where are you?"
It was the voice of Mr. Sharp. Then followed the tones of
the aged inventor.
"My poor boy! Tom, are you still alive?"
"Yes, dad! In the starboard tank!" the lad gasped out, and
then he lost his senses. When he revived he was lying on a
pile of bagging in the submarine shop, and his father and
the aeronaut were bending over him.
"Are you all right, Tom?" asked Mr. Swift.
"Yes--I--I guess so," was the hesitating answer. "Yes,"
the lad added, as the fresh air cleared his head. "I'll be
all right pretty soon. Have you seen Andy Foger?"
"Did he shut you in there?" demanded Mr. Swift.
Tom nodded.
"I'll have him arrested!" declared Mr. Swift "I'll go to
town as soon as you're in good shape again and notify the
"No, don't," pleaded Tom. "I'll take care of Andy myself.
I don't really believe he knew how serious it was. I'll
settle with him later, though."
"Well, it came mighty near being serious," remarked Mr.
Sharp grimly. "Your father and I came back a little sooner
than we expected, and as soon as I got near the house I
heard your signal. I knew what it was in a moment. There
were Mrs. Baggert and Garret talking away, and when I asked
them why they didn't answer your call they said they thought
you were merely tinkering with the machinery. But I knew
better. It's the first time we ever had a use for 'fortyseven,'
"And I hope it will be the last," replied the young
inventor with a faint smile. "But I'd like to know what Andy
Foger is doing in this neighborhood."
Tom was soon himself again and able to go to the house,
where he found Mrs. Baggert brewing a big basin of catnip
tea, under the impression that it would in some way be good
for his. She could not forgive herself for not having
answered his signal, and as for Mr. Jackson, he had started
for a doctor as soon as he learned that Tom was shut up in
the tank. The services of the medical man were canceled by
telephone, as there was no need for him, and the engineer
came back to the house.
Tom was fully himself the next day, and aided his father
and Mr. Sharp in putting the finishing touches to the
Advance. It was found that some alteration was required in
the auxiliary propellers, and this, much to the regret of
the young inventor, would necessitate postponing the trial a
few days.
"But we'll have her in the water next Friday." promised
Mr. Swift.
"Aren't you superstitious about Friday?" asked the
"Not a bit of it," replied the aged inventor. "Tom," he
added, "I wish you would go in the house and get me the roll
of blueprints you'll find on my desk."
As the lad neared the cottage he saw, standing in front of
the place, a small automobile. A man had just descended
from it, and it needed but a glance to show that he was Mr.
Addison Berg.
"Ah, good morning, Mr. Swift," greeted Mr. Berg. "I wish
to see your father, but as I don't wish to lay myself open
to suspicions by entering the shop, perhaps you will ask him
to step here."
"Certainly," answered the lad, wondering why the agent had
returned. Getting the blueprints, and asking Mr. Berg to sit
down on the porch, Tom delivered the message.
"You come back with me, Tom," said his father. "I want you
to be a witness to what he says. I'm not going to get into
trouble with these people."
Mr. Berg came to the point at once.
"Mr. Swift," he said, "I wish you would reconsider your
determination not to enter the Government trials. I'd like
to see you compete. So would my firm."
"There is no use going over that again," replied the aged
inventor. "I have another object in view now than trying for
the Government prize. What it is I can't say, but it may
develop in time--if we are successful," and he looked at
his son, smiling the while.
Mr. Berg tried to argue, but it was of no avail Then he
changed his manner, and said:
"Well, since you won't, you won't, I suppose. I'll go back
and report to my firm. Have you anything special to do this
morning?" he went on to Tom.
"Well, I can always find something to keep me busy,"
replied the lad, "but as for anything special--"
"I thought perhaps you'd like to go for a trip in my
auto," interrupted Mr. Berg. "I had asked a young man who is
stopping at the same hotel where I am to accompany me, but
he has unexpectedly left, and I don't like to go alone. His
name was--let me see. I have a wretched memory for names,
but it was something like Roger or Moger."
"Foger!" cried Tom. "Was it Andy Foger?"
"Yes, that was it. Why, do you know him?" asked Mr. Berg
in some surprise.
"I should say so," replied Tom. "He was the cause of what
might have resulted in something serious for me," and the
lad explained about being imprisoned in the tank.
"You don't tell me!" cried Mr. Berg. "I had no idea he was
that kind of a lad. You see, his father is one of the
directors of the firm by whom I am employed. Andy came from
home to spend a few weeks at the seaside, and stopped at the
same hotel that I did. He went off yesterday afternoon, and
I haven't seen him since, though he promised to go for a
ride with me. He must have come over here and entered your
shop unobserved. I remember now he asked me where the
submarine was being built that was going to compete with our
firm's, and I told him. I didn't think he was that kind of
a lad. Well, since he's probably gone back home, perhaps you
will come for a ride with me, Tom."
"I'm afraid I can't go, thank you," answered the lad. "We
are very busy getting our submarine in shape for a trial.
But I can imagine why Andy left so hurriedly. He probably
learned that a doctor had been summoned for me, though, as
it happened, I didn't need one. But Andy probably got
frightened at what he had done, and left. I'll make him
more sorry, when I meet him."
"Don't blame you a bit," commented Mr. Berg. "Well, I must
be getting back."
He hastened out to his auto, while Tom and his father
watched the agent.
"Tom, never trust that man," advised the aged inventor
"Just what I was about to remark," said his son. "Well,
let's get back to work. Queer that he should come here
again, and it's queer about Andy Foger."
Father and son returned to the machine shop, while Mr.
Berg puffed away in his auto. A little later, Tom having
occasion to go to a building near the boundary line of the
cottage property which his father had hired for the season,
saw, through the hedge that bordered it, an automobile
standing in the road. A second glance showed him that it was
Mr. Berg's machine. Something had gone wrong with it, and
the agent had alighted to make an adjustment.
The young inventor was close to the man, though the latter
was unaware of his presence.
"Hang it all!" Tom heard Mr. Berg exclaim to himself. "I
wonder what they can be up to? They won't enter the
Government contests, and they won't say why. I believe
they're up to some game, and I've got to find out what it
is. I wonder if I couldn't use this Foger chap?"
"He seems to have it in for this Tom Swift," Mr. Berg went
on, still talking to himself, though not so low but that Tom
could hear him. "I think I'll try it. I'll get Andy Foger to
sneak around and find out what the game is. He'll do it, I
By this time the auto was in working order again, and the
agent took his seat and started off.
"So that's how matters lie, eh?" thought Tom. "Well, Mr.
Berg, we'll be doubly on the lookout for you after this. As
for Andy Foger, I think I'll make him wish he'd never locked
me in that tank. So you expect to find out our 'game,' eh,
Mr. Berg? Well, when you do know it, I think it will
astonish you. I only hope you don't learn what it is until
we get at that sunken treasure, though."
But alas for Tom's hopes. Mr. Berg did learn of the object
of the treasure-seekers, and sought to defeat them, as we
shall learn as our story proceeds.
Chapter Six
Turning the Tables
When the young inventor informed his father what he had
overheard Mr. Berg saying, the aged inventor was not as much
worried as his son anticipated.
"All we'll have to do, Tom," he said, "is to keep quiet
about where we are going. Once we have the Advance afloat,
and try her out, we can start on our voyage for the South
American Coast and search for the sunken treasure. When we
begin our voyage under water I defy any one to tell where we
are going, or what our plans are. No, I don't believe we
need worry about Mr. Berg, though he probably means
"Well, I'm going to keep my eyes open for him and Andy
Foger," declared Tom.
The days that followed were filled with work. Not only
were there many unexpected things to do about the submarine,
but Mr. Sharp was kept busy making inquiries about the
sunken treasure ship. These inquiries had to he made
carefully, as the adventurers did not want their plans
talked of, and nothing circulates more quickly than rumors
of an expedition after treasure of any kind.
"What about the old sea captain you were going to get to
go with us?" asked Mr. Swift of the balloonist one afternoon.
"Have you succeeded in finding one yet?"
"Yes; I am in communication with a man think will be just
the person for us. His name is Captain Alden Weston, and he
has sailed all over the world. He has also taken part in
more than one revolution, and, in fact, is a soldier of
fortune. I do not know him personally, but a friend of mine
knows him, and says he will serve us faithfully. I have
written to him, and he will he here in a few days."
"That's good. Now about the location of the wreck itself.
Have you been able to learn any more details?"
"Well, not many. You see, the Boldero was abandoned in a
storm, and the captain did not take very careful
observations. As nearly as it can be figured out the
treasure ship went to the bottom in latitude forty-five
degrees south, and longitude twenty-seven east from
Washington. That's a pretty indefinite location, but I hope,
once we get off the Uruguay coast, we can better it. We can
anchor or lay outside the harbor, and in the small boat we
carry go ashore and possibly gain more details. For it was
at Montevideo that the shipwrecked passengers and sailors
"Does Captain Weston know our object?" inquired Tom.
"No, and I don't propose to tell him until we are ready to
start," replied Mr. Sharp. "I don't know just how he'll
consider a submarine trip after treasure, but if I spring it
on him suddenly he's less likely to back out. Oh, I think
he'll go."
Somewhat unexpectedly the next day it was discovered that
certain tools and appliances were needed for the submarine,
and they had been left in the house at Shopton, where
Eradicate Sampson was in charge as caretaker during the
absence of Mr. Swift and his son and the housekeeper.
"Well, I suppose we'll have to go back after them,"
remarked Tom. "We'll take the airship, dad, and make a twodays'
trip of it. Is there anything else you want?"
"Well, you might bring a bundle of papers you'll find in
the lower right hand drawer of my desk. They contain some
memoranda I need."
Tom and Mr. Sharp had become so used to traveling in the
airship that it seemed no novelty to them, though they
attracted much attention wherever they went. They soon had
the Red Cloud in readiness for a flight, and rising in the
air above the shop that contained the powerful submarine, a
craft utterly different in type from the aeroplane, the nose
of the airship was pointed toward Shopton.
They made a good flight and landed near the big shed where
the bird of the air was kept. It was early evening when they
got to the Swift homestead, and Eradicate Sampson was glad
to see them.
Eradicate was a good cook, and soon had a meal ready for
the travelers. Then, while Mr. Sharp selected the tools and
other things needed, and put them in the airship ready for
the start back the next morning, Tom concluded he would take
a stroll into Shopton, to see if he could see his friend,
Ned Newton. It was early evening, and the close of a
beautiful day, a sharp shower in the morning having cooled
the air.
Tom was greeted by a number of acquaintances as he
strolled along, for, since the episode of the bank robbery,
when he had so unexpectedly returned with the thieves and
the cash, the lad was better known than ever.
"I guess Ned must be home" thought our hero as he looked
in vain for his chum among the throng on the streets. "I've
got time to take a stroll down to his house."
Tom was about to cross the street when he was startled by
the sound of an automobile horn loudly blown just at his
side. Then a voice called:
"Hey, there! Git out of the way if you don't want to be
run over!"
He looked up, and saw a car careening along. At the wheel
was the red-haired bully, Andy Foger, and in the tonneau
were Sam Snedecker and Pete Bailey.
"Git out of the way," added Sam, and he grinned
maliciously at Tom.
The latter stepped back, well out of the path of the car,
which was not moving very fast. Just in front of Tom was a
puddle of muddy water. There was no necessity for Andy
steering into it, but he saw his opportunity, and a moment
later one of the big pneumatic tires had plunged into the
dirty fluid, spattering it all over Tom, some even going as
high as his face.
"Ha! ha!" laughed Andy. "Maybe you'll get out of my way
next time, Tom Swift."
The young inventor was almost speechless from righteous
anger. He wiped the mud from his face, glanced down at his
clothes, which were all but ruined, and called out:
"Hold on there, Andy Foger! I want to see you!" for he
thought of the time when Andy had shut him in the tank.
"Ta! ta!" shouted Pete Bailey.
"See you later," added Sam.
"Better go home and take a bath, and then sail away in
your submarine," went on Andy. "I'll bet it will sink."
Before Tom could reply the auto had turned a corner.
Disgusted and angry, he tried to sop up some of the muddy
water with his handkerchief. While thus engaged he heard his
name called, and looked up to see Ned Newton.
"What's the matter? Fall down?" asked his chum.
"Andy Foger," replied Tom.
"That's enough," retorted Ned. "I can guess the rest.
We'll have to tar and feather him some day, and ride him out
of town on a rail. I'd kick him myself, only his father is a
director in the bank where I work, and I'd be fired if I
did. Can't afford any such pleasure. But some day I'll give
Andy a good trouncing, and then resign before they can
discharge me. But I'll be looking for another job before I
do that. Come on to my house, Tom, and I'll help you clean
Tom was a little more presentable when he left his chum's
residence, after spending the evening there, but he was
still burning for revenge against Andy and his cronies. He
had half a notion to go to Andy's house and tell Mr. Foger
how nearly serious the bully's prank at the sub marine had
been, but be concluded that Mr. Foger could only uphold his
son. "No, I'll settle with him myself," decided Tom.
Bidding Eradicate keep a watchful eye about the house, and
leaving word for Mr. Damon to be sure to come to the coast
if he again called at the Shopton house, Tom and Mr. Sharp
prepared to make their return trip early the next morning.
The gas tank was filled and the Red Cloud arose in the
air. Then, with the propellers moving at moderate speed, the
nose of the craft was pointed toward the New Jersey coast.
A few miles out from Shopton, finding there was a contrary
wind in the upper regions where they were traveling, Mr.
Sharp descended several hundred feet. They were moving over
a sparsely settled part of the country, and looking down,
Tom saw, speeding along a highway, an automobile.
"I wonder who's in it?" he remarked, taking down a
telescope and peering over the window ledge of the cabin.
The next moment he uttered a startled exclamation.
"Andy Foger, Sam Snedecker and Pete Bailey!" he cried.
"Oh, I wish I had a bucket of water to empty on them."
"I know a better way to get even with them than that,"
said Mr. Sharp.
"How?" asked Tom eagerly.
"I'll show you," replied the balloonist. "It's a trick I
once played on a fellow who did me an injury. Here, you
steer for a minute until I get the thing fixed, then I'll
take charge."
Mr. Sharp went to the storeroom and came back with a long,
stout rope and a small anchor of four prongs. It was carried
to be used in emergencies, but so far had never been called
into requisition. Fastening the grapple to the cable, the
balloonist said:
"Now, Tom, they haven't seen you. You stand in the stern
and pay out the rope. I'll steer the airship, and what I
want you to do is to catch the anchor in the rear of their
car. Then I'll show you some fun."
Tom followed instructions. Slowly he lowered the rope with
the dangling grapple. The airship was also sent down, as the
cable was not quite long enough to reach the earth from the
height at which they were. The engine was run at slow speed,
so that the noise would not attract the attention of the
three cronies who were speeding along, all unconscious of
the craft in the air over their heads. The Red Cloud was
moving in the same direction as was the automobile.
The anchor was now close to the rear of Andy's car.
Suddenly it caught on the tonneau and Tom called that fact
to Mr. Sharp.
"Fasten the rope at the cleat," directed the balloonist.
Tom did so, and a moment later the aeronaut sent the
airship up by turning more gas into the container. At the
same time he reversed the engine and the Red Cloud began
pulling the touring car backward, also lifting the rear
wheels clear from the earth.
A startled cry from the occupants of the machine told Tom
and his friend that Andy and his cronies were aware
something was wrong. A moment later Andy, looking up, saw
the airship hovering in the air above him. Then he saw the
rope fast to his auto. The airship was not rising now, or
the auto would have been turned over, but it was slowly
pulling it backward, in spite of the fact that the motor of
the car was still going.
"Here! You let go of me!" cried Andy. "I'll have you
arrested if you damage my car."
"Come up here and cut the rope." called Tom leaning over
and looking down. He could enjoy the bully's discomfiture.
As for Sam and Pete, they were much frightened, and cowered
down on the floor of the tonneau.
"Maybe you'll shut me in the tank again and splash mud on
me!" shouted Tom.
The rear wheels of the auto were lifted still higher from
the ground, as Mr. Sharp turned on a little more gas. Andy
was not proof against this.
"Oh! oh!" he cried. "Please let me down, Tom. I'm awful
sorry for what I did! I'll never do it again! Please, please
let me down! Don't You'll tip me over!"
He had shut off his motor now, and was frantically
clinging to the steering wheel.
"Do you admit that you're a sneak and a coward?" asked
Tom, "rubbing it in."
"Yes, yes! Oh, please let me down!"
"Shall we?" asked Tom of Mr. Sharp.
"Yes," replied the balloonist. "We can afford to lose the
rope and anchor for the sake of turning the tables. Cut the
Tom saw what was intended. Using a little hatchet, he
severed the rope with a single blow. With a crash that could
be heard up in the air where the Red Cloud hovered, the rear
wheels of the auto dropped to the ground. Then came two loud
"Both tires busted!" commented Mr. Sharp dryly, and Tom,
looking down, saw the trio of lads ruefully contemplating
the collapsed rubber of the rear wheels. The tables had been
effectually turned on Andy Foger. His auto was disabled, and
the airship, with a graceful sweep, mounted higher and
higher, continuing on its way to the coast.
Chapter Seven
Mr. Damon Will Go
"Well, I guess they've had their lesson," remarked Tom, as
he took an observation through the telescope and saw Andy
and his cronies hard at work trying to repair the ruptured
tires. "That certainly was a corking good trick."
"Yes," admitted Mr. Sharp modestly. "I once did something
similar, only it was a horse and wagon instead of an auto.
But let's try for another speed record. The conditions are
just right."
They arrived at the coast much sooner than they had dared
to hope, the Red Cloud proving herself a veritable wonder.
The remainder of that day, and part of the next, was spent
in working on the submarine.
"We'll launch her day after to-morrow," declared Mr. Swift
enthusiastically. "Then to see whether my calculations are
right or wrong."
"It won't be your fault if it doesn't work," said his son.
"You certainly have done your best."
"And so have you and Mr. Sharp and the others, for that
matter. Well, I have no doubt but that everything will be
all right, Tom."
"There!" exclaimed Mr. Sharp the next morning, as he was
adjusting a certain gage. "I knew I'd forget something. That
special brand of lubricating oil. I meant to bring it from
Shopton, and I didn't."
"Maybe I can get it in Atlantis," suggested Tom, naming
the coast city nearest to them. "I'll take a walk over. It
isn't far."
"Will you? I'll be glad to have you," resumed the
balloonist. "A gallon will be all we'll need."
Tom was soon on his way. He had to walk, as the roads were
too poor to permit him to use the motor-cycle, and the
airship attracted too much attention to use on a short trip.
He was strolling along, when from the other side of a row of
sand dunes, that lined the uncertain road to Atlantis, he
heard some one speaking. At first the tones were not
distinct, but as the lad drew nearer to the voice he heard
an exclamation.
"Bless my gold-headed cane! I believe I'm lost. He said it
was out this way somewhere, bet I don't see anything of it.
If I had that Eradicate Sampson here now I'd--bless my
shoelaces I don't know what I would do to him."
"Mr. Damon! Mr. Damon!" cried Tom. "Is that you?"
"Me? Of course it's me! Who else would it be?" answered
the voice. "But who are you. Why, bless my liver! If it
isn't Tom Swift!" he cried. "Oh, but I'm glad to see you! I
was afraid I was shipwrecked! Bless my gaiters, how are you,
anyhow? How is your father? How is Mr. Sharp, and all the
rest of them?"
"Pretty well. And you?"
"Me? Oh, I'm all right; only a trifle nervous. I called at
your house in Shopton yesterday, and Eradicate told me, as
well as he could, where you were located. I had nothing to
do, so I thought I'd take a run down here. But what's this I
hear about you? Are you going on a voyage?"
"In the air? May I go along again? I certainly enjoyed my
other trip in the Red Cloud. What is, all but the fire and
being shot at. May I go?"
"We're going on a different sort of trip this time," said
the youth.
"Under water."
"Under water? Bless my sponge bath! You don't mean it!"
"Yes. Dad has completed the submarine he was working on
when we were off in the airship, and it will be launched the
day after to-morrow."
"Oh, that's so. I'd forgotten about it. He's going to try
for the Government prize, isn't he? But tell me more about
it. Bless my scarf-pin, but I'm glad I met you! Going into
town, I take it. Well, I just came from there, but I'll walk
back with you. Do you think--is there any possibility --that
I could go with you? Of course, I don't want to crowd you,
"Oh, there'll be plenty of room," replied the young
inventor. "In fact, more room than we had in the airship. We
were talking only the other day about the possibility of you
going with us, but we didn't think you'd risk it."
"Risk it? Bless my liver! Of course I'll risk' it! It
can't be as bad as sailing in the air. You can't fall,
that's certain."
"No; but maybe you can't rise," remarked Tom grimly.
"Oh, we won't think of that. Of course, I'd like to go. I
fully expected to be killed in the Red Cloud, but as I
wasn't I'm ready to take a chance in the water. On the
whole, I think I prefer to be buried at sea, anyhow. Now,
then, will you take me?"
"I think I can safely promise," answered Tom with a smile
at his friend's enthusiasm.
The two were approaching the city, having walked along as
they talked. There were still some sand dunes near the road,
and they kept on the side of these, nearest the beach, where
they could watch the breakers.
"But you haven't told me where you are going," went on Mr.
Damon, after blessing a few dozen objects. "Where do the
Government trials take place?"
"Well," replied the lad, "to be frank with you, we have
abandoned our intention of trying for the Government prize."
"Not going to try for it? Bless my slippers! Why not?
Isn't fifty thousand dollars worth striving for? And, with
the kind of a submarine you say you have, you ought to be
able to win."
"Yes, probably we could win," admitted the young inventor,
"but we are going to try for a better prize."
"A better one? I don't understand."
"Sunken treasure," explained Tom. "There's a ship sunk off
the coast of Uruguay, with three hundred thousand dollars in
gold bullion aboard. Dad and I are going to try to recover
that in our submarine. We're going to start day after
to-morrow, and, if you like, you may go along."
"Go along! Of course I'll go along!" cried the eccentric
man. "But I never heard of such a thing. Sunken treasure!
Three hundred thousand dollars in gold! My, what a lot of
money! And to go after it in a submarine! It's as good as a
"Yes, we hope to recover all the treasure," said the lad.
"We ought to be able to claim at least half of it."
"Bless my pocketbook!" cried Mr. Damon, but Tom did not
hear him. At that instant his attention was attracted by
seeing two men emerge from behind the sand dune near which
he and Mr. Damon had halted momentarily, when the youth
explained about the treasure. The man looked sharply at Tom.
A moment later the first man was joined by another, and at
the sight of him our hero could not repress an exclamation
of alarm. For the second man was none other than Addison
The latter glanced quickly at Tom, and then, with a hasty
word to his companion, the two swung around and made off in
the opposite direction to that in which they had been
"What's the matter?" asked Mr. Damon, seeing the young
inventor was strangely affected.
"That--that man," stammered the lad.
"You don't mean to tell me that was one the Happy Harry
gang, do you?"
"No. But one, or both of those men, may prove to be worse.
That second man was Addison Berg, and he's agent for a firm
of submarine boat builders who are rivals of dad's. Berg has
been trying to find out why we abandoned our intention of
competing for the Government prize."
"I hope you didn't tell him."
"I didn't intend to," replied Tom, smiling grimly, "but
I'm afraid I have, however He certainly overheard what I
said. I spoke too loud. Yes, he must have heard me. That's
why he hurried off so."
"Possibly no harm is done. You didn't give the location of
the sunken ship."
"No; but I guess from what I said it will be easy enough
to find. Well, if we're going to have a fight for the
possession of that sunken gold, I'm ready for it. The
Advance is well equipped for a battle. I must tell dad of
this. It's my fault."
"And partly mine, for asking you such leading questions in
a public place," declared Mr. Damon. "Bless my coat-tails,
but I'm sorry! Maybe, after all, those men were so
interested in what they themselves were saying that they
didn't understand what you said."
But if there had been any doubts on this score they would
have been dissolved had Tom and his friend been able to see
the actions of Mr. Berg and his companion a little later.
The plans of the treasure-hunters had been revealed to their
Chapter Eight
Another Treasure Expedition
While Tom and Mr. Damon continued on to Atlantis after the
oil, the young inventor lamenting from time to time that his
remarks about the real destination of the Advance had been
overheard by Mr. Berg, the latter and his companion were
hastening back along the path that ran on one side of the
sand dunes.
"What's your hurry?" asked Mr. Maxwell, who was with the
submarine agent. "You turned around as if you were shot when
you saw that man and the lad. There didn't appear to be any
cause for such a hurry. From what I could hear they were
talking about a submarine. You're in the same business. You
might be friends."
"Yes, we might," admitted Mr. Berg with a peculiar smile;
"but, unless I'm very much mistaken, we're going to be
"Rivals? What do you mean?"
"I can't tell you now. Perhaps I may later. But if you
don't mind, walk a little faster, please. I want to get to a
long-distance telephone."
"What for?"
"I have just overheard something that I wish to
communicate to my employers, Bentley & Eagert."
"Overheard something? I don't see what it could be, unless
that lad--"
"You'll learn in good time," went on the submarine agent.
"But I must telephone at once."
A little later the two men had reached a trolley line that
ran into Atlantis, and they arrived at the city before Mr.
Damon and Tom got there, as the latter had to go by a
circuitous route. Mr. Berg lost no time in calling up his
firm by telephone.
"I have had another talk with Mr. Swift," he reported to
Mr. Bentley, who came to the instrument in Philadelphia.
"Well, what does he say?" was the impatient question. "I
can't understand his not wanting to try for the Government
prize. It is astonishing. You said you were going to
discover the reason, Mn Berg, but you haven't done so."
"I have."
"What is it?"
"Well, the reason Mr. Swift and his son don't care to try
for the fifty thousand dollar prize is that they are after
one of three hundred thousand dollars."
"Three hundred thousand dollars!" cried Mr, Bentley. "What
government is going to offer such a prize as that for
submarines, when they are getting almost as common as
airships? We ought to have a try for that ourselves. What
government is it?"
"No government at all. But I think we ought to have a try
for it, Mr. Bentley."
"Well, I have just learned, most accidentally, that the
Swifts are going after sunken treasure--three hundred
thousand dollars in gold bullion."
"Sunken treasure? Where?
"I don't know exactly, but off the coast of Uruguay," and
Mr. Berg rapidly related what he had overheard Tom tell Mr.
Damon. Mr. Bentley was much excited and impatient for more
details, but his agent could not give them to him.
"Well," concluded the senior member of the firm of
submarine boat builders, "if the Swifts are going after
treasure, so can we. Come to Philadelphia at once, Mr. Berg,
and we'll talk this matter over. There is no time to lose.
We can afford to forego the Government prize for the chance
of getting a much larger one. We have as much right to
search for the sunken gold as the Swifts have. Come here at
once, and we will make our plans."
"All right," agreed the agent with a smile as he hung up
the receiver. "I guess," he murmured to himself, "that you
won't be so high and mighty with me after this, Tom Swift.
We'll see who has the best boat, after all. We'll have a
contest and a competition, but not for a government prize.
It will be for the sunken gold."
It was easy to see that Mr. Berg was much pleased with
Meanwhile, Tom and Mr. Damon had reached Atlantis, and had
purchased the oil. They started back, but Tom took a street
leading toward the center of the place, instead of striking
for the beach path, along which they had come.
"Where are you going?" asked Mr. Damon.
"I want to see if that Andy Foger has come back here,"
replied the lad, and he told of having been shut in the tank
by the bully.
"I've never properly punished him for that trick," he went
on, "though we did manage to burst his auto tires. I'm
curious to know how he knew enough to turn that gear and
shut the tank door. He must have been loitering near the
shop, seen me go in the submarine alone, watched his chance
and sneaked in after me. But I'd like to get a complete
explanation, and if I once got hold of Andy I could make him
talk," and Tom clenched his fist in a manner that augured no
good for the squint-eyed lad. "He was stopping at the same
hotel with Mr. Berg, and be hurried away after the trick he
played on me. I next saw him in Shopton, but I thought
perhaps he might have come back here. I'm going to inquire
at the hotel," he added.
Andy's name was not on the register since his hasty
flight, however, and Tom, after inquiring from the clerk and
learning that Mr. Berg was still a guest at the hostelry,
rejoined Mr. Damon.
"Bless my hat!" exclaimed that eccentric individual as
they started back to the lonely beach where the submarine
was awaiting her advent into the water. "The more I think
of the trip I'm going to take, the more I like it."
"I hope you will," remarked Tom. "It will be a new
experience for all of us. There's only one thing worrying
me, and that is about Mr. Berg having overheard what I
"Oh, don't worry about that. Can't we slip away and leave
no trace in the water?"
"I hope so, but I must tell dad and Mr. Sharp about what
The aged inventor was not a little alarmed at what his son
related, but he agreed with Mr. Damon, whom he heartily
welcomed, that little was to be apprehended from Berg and
his employers.
"They know we're after a sunken wreck, but that's all they
do know," said Tom's father. "We are only waiting for the
arrival of Captain Alden Weston, and then we will go. Even
if Bentley & Eagert make a try for the treasure we'll have
the start of them, and this will be a case of first come,
first served. Don't worry, Tom. I'm glad you're going, Mn
Damon. Come, I will show you our submarine."
As father and son, with their guest, were going to the
machine shop, Mr. Sharp met them. He had a letter in his
"Good news!" the balloonist cried. "Captain Weston will be
with us to-morrow. He will arrive at the Beach Hotel in
Atlantis, and wants one of us to meet him there. He has
considerable information about the wreck."
"The Beach Hotel," murmured Tom. "That is where Mr. Berg
is stopping. I hope he doesn't worm any of our secret from
Captain Weston," and it was with a feeling of uneasiness
that the young inventor continued after his father and Mr.
Damon to where the submarine was.
Chapter Nine
Captain Weston's Advent
"Bless my water ballast, but that certainly is a fine boat!"
cried Mr. Damon, when he had been shown over the new craft.
"I think I shall feel even safer in that than in the Red Cloud."
"Oh, don't go back on the airship!" exclaimed Mn Sharp. "I
was counting on taking you on another trip."
"Well, maybe after we get back from under the ocean,"
agreed Mr. Damon. "I particularly like the cabin
arrangements of the Advance. I think I shall enjoy myself."
He would be hard to please who could not take pleasure
from a trip in the submarine. The cabin was particularly
fine, and the sleeping arrangements were good.
More supplies could be carried than was possible on the
airship, and there was more room in which to cook and serve
food. Mr. Damon was fond of good living, and the kitchen
pleased him as much as anything else.
Early the next morning Tom set out for Atlantis, to meet
Captain Weston at the hotel. The young inventor inquired of
the clerk whether the seafaring man had arrived, and was
told that he had come the previous evening.
"Is he in his room?" asked Tom.
"No," answered the clerk with a peculiar grin. "He's an
odd character. Wouldn't go to bed last night until we had
every window in his room open, though it was blowing quite
hard, and likely to storm. The captain said he was used to
plenty of fresh air. Well, I guess he got it, all right."
"Where is he now?" asked the youth, wondering what sort of
an individual he was to meet.
"Oh, he was up before sunrise, so some of the scrubwomen
told me. They met him coming from his room, and he went
right down to the beach with a big telescope he always
carries with him. He hasn't come back yet. Probably he's
down on the sand."
"Hasn't he had breakfast?"
"No. He left word he didn't want to eat until about four
bells, whatever time that is."
"It's ten o'clock," replied Tom, who had been studying up
on sea terms lately. "Eight bells is eight o'clock in the
morning, or four in the afternoon or eight at night,
according to the time of day. Then there's one bell for
every half hour, so four bells this morning would be ten
o'clock in this watch, I suppose."
"Oh, that's the way it goes, eh?" asked the clerk. "I
never could get it through my head. What is twelve o'clock
"That's eight bells, too; so is twelve o'clock midnight.
Eight bells is as high as they go on a ship. But I guess
I'll go down and see if I can meet the captain. It will soon
be ten o'clock, or four bells, and he must be hungry for
breakfast. By the way, is that Mr. Berg still here?"
"No; he went away early this morning. He and Captain
Weston seemed to strike up quite an acquaintance, the night
clerk told me. They sat and smoked together until long after
midnight, or eight bells," and the clerk smiled as he
glanced down at the big diamond ring on his little finger.
"They did?" fairly exploded Tom, for he had visions of
what the wily Mr. Berg might worm out of the simple captain.
"Yes. Why, isn't the captain a proper man to make friends
with?" and the clerk looked at Tom curiously.
"Oh, yes, of course," was the hasty answer. "I guess I'll
go and see if I can find him--the captain, I mean."
Tom hardly knew what to think. He wished his father, or
Mr. Sharp, had thought to warn Captain Weston against
talking of the wreck. It might be too late now.
The young inventor hurried to the beach, which was not far
from the hotel. He saw a solitary figure pacing up and down,
and from the fact that the man stopped, every now and then,
and gazed seaward through a large telescope, the lad
concluded it was the captain for whom he was in search. He
approached, his footsteps making no sound on the sand. The
man was still gazing through the glass.
"Captain Weston?" spoke Tom.
Without a show of haste, though the voice must have
startled him, the captain turned. Slowly he lowered the
telescope, and then he replied softly:
"That's my name. Who are you, if I may ask?"
Tom was struck, more than by anything else, by the gentle
voice of the seaman. He had prepared himself, from the
description of Mr. Sharp, to meet a gruff, bewhiskered
individual, with a voice like a crosscut saw, and a rolling
gait. Instead he saw a man of medium size, with a smooth
face, merry blue eyes, and the softest voice and gentlest
manner imaginable. Tom was very much disappointed. He had
looked for a regular sea-dog, and he met a landsman, as he
said afterward. But it was not long before our hero changed
his mind regarding Captain Weston.
"I'm Tom Swift," the owner of that name said, "and I have
been sent to show you the way to where our ship is ready to
launch." The young inventor refrained from mentioning
submarine, as it was the wish of Mn Sharp to disclose this
feature of the voyage to the sailor himself.
"Ha, I thought as much," resumed the captain quietly.
"It's a fine day, if I may be permitted to say so," and he
seemed to hesitate, as if there was some doubt whether or
not he might make that observation.
"It certainly is," agreed the lad. Then, with a smile he
added: "It is nearly eight bells."
"Ha!" exclaimed the captain, also smiling, but even his
manner of saying "Ha!" was less demonstrative than that of
most persons. "I believe I am getting hungry, if I may be
allowed the remark," and again he seemed asking Tom's pardon
for mentioning the fact.
"Perhaps you will come back to the cabin and have a little
breakfast with me," he went on. "I don't know what sort of a
galley or cook they have aboard the Beach Hotel, but it
can't be much worse than some I've tackled."
"No, thank you," answered the youth. "I've had my
breakfast. But I'll wait for you, and then I'd like to get
back. Dad and Mr. Sharp are anxious to meet you."
"And I am anxious to meet them, if you don't mind me
mentioning it," was the reply, as the captain once more put
the spyglass to his eye and took an observation. "Not many
sails in sight this morning," he added. "But the weather is
fine, and we ought to get off in good shape to hunt for the
treasure about which Mr. Sharp wrote me. I believe we are
going after treasure, he said; "that is, if you don't mind
talking about it."
"Not in the least," replied Tom quickly, thinking this a
good opportunity for broaching a subject that was worrying
him. "Did you meet a Mr. Berg here last night, Captain
Weston?" he went on.
"Yes. Mr. Berg and I had quite a talk. He is a wellinformed
"Did he mention the sunken treasure?" asked the lad, eager
to find out if his suspicions were true.
"Yes, he did, if you'll excuse me putting it so plainly,"
answered the seaman, as if Tom might be offended at so
direct a reply. But the young inventor was soon to learn
that this was only an odd habit with the seaman.
"Did he want to know where the wreck of the Boldero was
located?" continued the lad. "That is, did he try to
discover if you knew anything about it?"
"Yes," said Mr. Weston, "he did. He pumped me, if you are
acquainted with that term, and are not offended by it. You
see, when I arrived here I made inquiries as to where your
father's place was located. Mr. Berg overheard me, and
introduced himself as agent for a shipbuilding concern. He
was very friendly, and when he said he knew you and your
parent, I thought he was all right."
Tom's heart sank. His worst fears were to be realized, he
"Yes, he and I talked considerable, if I may be permitted
to say so," went on the captain. "He seemed to know about
the wreck of the Boldero, and that she had three hundred
thousand dollars in gold aboard. The only thing he didn't
know was where the wreck was located. He knew it was off
Uruguay somewhere, but just where he couldn't say. So he
asked me if I knew, since he must have concluded that I was
going with you on the gold-hunting expedition."
"And you do know, don't you?" asked Tom eagerly.
"Well, I have it pretty accurately charted out, if you
will allow me that expression," was the calm answer. "I took
pains to look it up at the request of Mr. Sharp."
"And he wanted to worm that information out of you?"
inquired the youth excitedly.
"Yes, I'm afraid he did."
"Did you give him the location?"
"Well," remarked the captain, as he took another
observation before closing up the telescope, "you see, while
we were talking, I happened to drop a copy of a map I'd
made, showing the location of the wreck. Mr. Berg picked it
up to hand to me, and he looked at it."
"Oh!" cried Tom. "Then he knows just where the treasure
is, and he may get to it ahead of us. It's too bad."
"Yes," continued the seaman calmly, "Mr. Berg picked up
that map, and he looked very closely at the latitude and
longitude I had marked as the location of the wreck."
"Then he won't have any trouble finding it," murmured our
"Eh? What's that?" asked the captain, "if I may be
permitted to request you to repeat what you said."
"I say he won't have any trouble locating the sunken
Boldero," repeated Tom.
"Oh, but I think he will, if he depends on that map," was
the unexpected reply. "You see," explained Mr. Weston, "I'm
not so simple as I look. I sensed what Mr. Berg was after,
the minute he began to talk to me. So I fixed up a little
game on him. The map which I dropped on purpose, not
accidentally, where he would see it, did have the location
of the wreck marked. Only it didn't happen to be the right
location. It was about five hundred miles out of the way,
and I rather guess if Mr. Berg and his friends go there for
treasure they'll find considerable depth of water and quite
a lonesome spot. Oh, no, I'm not as easy as I look, if you
don't mind me mentioning that fact; and when a scoundrel
sets out to get the best of me, I generally try to turn the
tables on him. I've seen such men as Mr. Berg before. I'm
afraid, I'm very much afraid, the sight he had of the fake
map I made won't do him much good. Well, I declare, it's
past four bells. Let's go to breakfast, if you don't mind me
asking you," and with that the captain started off up the
beach, Tom following, his ideas all a whirl at the unlookedfor
outcome of the interview.
Chapter Ten
Trial of the Submarine
Tom felt such a relief at hearing of Captain Weston's ruse
that his appetite, sharpened by an early breakfast and the
sea air, came to him with a rush, and he had a second
morning meal with the odd sea captain, who chuckled heartily
when he thought of how Mn Berg had been deceived.
"Yes," resumed Captain Weston, over his bacon and eggs, "I
sized him up for a slick article as soon as I laid eyes on
him. But he evidently misjudged me, if I may be permitted
that term. Oh, well, we may meet again, after we secure the
treasure, and then I can show him the real map of the
location of the wreck."
"Then you have it?" inquired the lad eagerly.
Captain Weston nodded, before hiding his face behind a
large cup of coffee; his third, by the way.
"Let me see it?" asked Tom quickly. The captain set down
his cup. He looked carefully about the hotel dining-room.
There were several guests, who, like himself, were having a
late breakfast.
"It's a good plan," the sailor said slowly, "when you're
going into unknown waters, and don't want to leave a wake
for the other fellow to follow, to keep your charts locked
up. If it's all the same to you," he added diffidently, "I'd
rather wait until we get to where your father and Mr. Sharp
are before displaying the real map. I've no objection to
showing you the one Mr. Berg saw," and again he chuckled.
The young inventor blushed at his indiscretion. He felt
that the news of the search for the treasure had leaked out
through him, though he was the one to get on the trail of it
by seeing the article in the paper. Now he had nearly been
guilty of another break. He realized that he must be more
cautious. The captain saw his confusion, and said:
"I know how it is. You're eager to get under way. I don't
blame you. I was the same myself when I was your age. But
we'll soon be at your place, and then I'll tell you all I
know. Sufficient now, to say that I believe I have located
the wreck within a few miles. I got on the track of a sailor
who had met one of the shipwrecked crew of the Boldero, and
he gave me valuable information. Now tell me about the
craft we are going in. A good deal depends on that."
Tom hardly knew what to answer. He recalled what Mr. Sharp
had said about not wanting to tell Captain Weston, until
the last moment, that they were going in a submarine, for
fear the old seaman (for he was old in point of service
though not in years) might not care to risk an under-water
trip. Therefore Tom hesitated. Seeing it, Captain Weston
remarked quietly:
"I mean, what type is your submarine? Does it go by
compressed air, or water power?"
"How do you know it's a submarine?" asked the young
inventor quickly, and in some confusion.
"Easy enough. When Mr. Berg thought he was pumping me, I
was getting a lot of information from him. He told me about
the submarine his firm was building, and, naturally, he
mentioned yours. One thing led to another until I got a
pretty good idea of your craft. What do you call it?"
"The Advance."
"Good name. I like it, if you don't mind speaking of it."
"We were afraid you wouldn't like it," commented Tom.
"What, the name?,'
"No, the idea of going in a submarine."
"Oh," and Captain Weston laughed. "Well, it takes more
than that to frighten me, if you'll excuse the expression.
I've always had a hankering to go under the surface, after
so many years spent on top. Once or twice I came near going
under, whether I wanted to or not, in wrecks, but I think I
prefer your way. Now, if you're all done, and don't mind me
speaking of it, I think we'll start for your place. We must
hustle, for Berg may yet get on our trail, even if he has
got the wrong route," and he laughed again.
It was no small relief to Mn Swift and Mr. Sharp to learn
that Captain Weston had no objections to a submarine, as
they feared he might have. The captain, in his diffident
manner, made friends at once with the treasure-hunters, and
he and Mr. Damon struck up quite an acquaintance. Tom told
of his meeting with the seaman, and the latter related, with
much gusto, the story of how he had fooled Mr. Berg.
"Well, perhaps you'd like to come and take a look at the
craft that is to be our home while we're beneath the water,"
suggested Mr. Swift and the sailor assenting, the aged
inventor, with much pride, assisted by Tom, pointed out on
the Advance the features of interest. Captain Weston gave
hearty approval, making one or two minor suggestions, which
were carried out.
"And so you launch her to-morrow," he concluded, when he
had completed the inspection "Well, I hope it's a success,
if I may be permitted to say so."
There were busy times around the machine shop next day. So
much secrecy had been maintained that none of the residents,
or visitors to the coast resort, were aware that in their
midst was such a wonderful craft as the submarine. The last
touches were put on the under-water ship; the ways, leading
from the shop to the creek, were well greased, and all was
in readiness for the launching. The tide would soon be at
flood, and then the boat would slide down the timbers (at
least, that was the hope of all), and would float in the
element meant to receive her. It was decided that no one
should be aboard when the launching took place, as there was
an element of risk attached, since it was not known just how
buoyant the craft was. It was expected she would float,
until the filled tanks took her to the bottom, but there was
no telling.
"It will be flood tide now in ten minutes," remarked
Captain Weston quietly, looking at his watch. Then he took
an observation through the telescope. "No hostile ships
hanging in the offing," he reported. "All is favorable, if
you don't mind me saying so," and he seemed afraid lest his
remark might give offense.
"Get ready," ordered Mr. Swift. "Tom, see that the ropes
are all clear," for it had been decided to ease the Advance
down into the water by means of strong cables and
windlasses, as the creek was so narrow that the submarine,
if launched in the usual way, would poke her nose into the
opposite mud bank and stick there.
"All clear," reported the young inventor.
"High tide!" exclaimed the captain a moment later,
snapping shut his watch.
"Let go!" ordered Mr. Swift, and the various windlasses
manned by the inventor, Tom and the others began to unwind
their ropes. Slowly the ship slid along the greased ways.
Slowly she approached the water. How anxiously they all
watched her! Nearer and nearer her blunt nose, with the
electric propulsion plate and the auxiliary propeller, came
to the creek, the waters of which were quiet now, awaiting
the turn of the tide.
Now little waves lapped the steel sides. It was the first
contact of the Advance with her native element.
"Pay out the rope faster!" cried Mr. Swift.
The windlasses were turned more quickly Foot by foot the
craft slid along until, with a final rush, the stern left
the ways and the submarine was afloat. Now would come the
test. Would she ride on an even keel, or sink out of sight,
or turn turtle? They all ran to the water's edge, Tom in the
"Hurrah!" suddenly yelled the lad, trying to stand on his
head. "She floats! She's a success! Come on! Let's get
For, true enough, the Advance was riding like a duck on
the water. She had been proportioned just right, and her
lines were perfect. She rode as majestically as did any ship
destined to sail on the surface, and not intended to do
double duty.
"Come on, we must moor her to the pier," directed Mr.
Sharp. "The tide will turn in a few minutes and take her out
to sea."
He and Tom entered a small boat, and soon the submarine
was tied to a small dock that had been built for the
"Now to try the engine," suggested Mr. Swift, who was
almost trembling with eagerness; for the completion of the
ship meant much to him.
"One moment," begged Captain Weston. "If you don't mind,
I'll take an observation," he went on, and he swept the
horizon with his telescope. "All clear," he reported. "I
think we may go aboard and make a trial trip."
Little time was lost in entering the cabin and engineroom,
Garret Jackson accompanying the party to aid with the
machinery. It did not take long to start the motors, dynamos
and the big gasolene engine that was the vital part of the
craft. A little water was admitted to the tanks for ballast,
since the food and other supplies were not yet on board. The
Advance now floated with the deck aft of the conning tower
showing about two feet above the surface of the creek. Mr.
Swift and Tom entered the pilot house.
"Start the engines," ordered the aged inventor, "and we'll
try my new system of positive and negative electrical
There was a hum and whir in the body of the ship beneath
the feet of Tom and his father. Captain Weston stood on the
little deck near the conning tower.
"All ready?" asked the youth through the
speaking tube to Mr. Sharp and Mr. Jackson in
the engine-room.
"All ready," came the answer.
Tom threw over the connecting lever, while his father
grasped the steering wheel. The Advance shot forward, moving
swiftly along, about half submerged.
"She goes! She goes!" cried Tom
"She certainly does, if I may be permitted to say so," was
the calm contribution of Captain Weston. "I congratulate
Faster and faster went the new craft. Mr. Swift headed her
toward the open sea, but stopped just before passing out of
the creek, as he was not yet ready to venture into deep
"I want to test the auxiliary propellers," he said. After
a little longer trial of the electric propulsion plates,
which were found to work satisfactorily, sending the
submarine up and down the creek at a fast rate, the screws,
such as are used on most submarines, were put into gear.
They did well, but were not equal to the plates, nor was so
much expected of them.
"I am perfectly satisfied," announced Mr. Swift as he once
more headed the boat to sea. "I think, Captain Weston, you
had better go below now."
"Why so?"
"Because I am going to completely submerge the craft. Tom,
close the conning tower door. Perhaps you will come in here
with us, Captain Weston, though it will be rather a tight
"Thank you, I will. I want to see how it feels to be in a
pilot house under water."
Tom closed the water-tight door of the conning tower. Word
was sent through the tube to the engine-room that a more
severe test of the ship was about to be made. The craft was
now outside the line of breakers and in the open sea.
"Is everything ready, Tom?" asked his father in a quiet
"Everything," replied the lad nervously, for the
anticipation of being about to sink below the surface was
telling on them all, even on the calm, old sea captain.
"Then open the tanks and admit the water," ordered Mr.
His son turned a valve and adjusted some levers. There was
a hissing sound, and the Advance began sinking. She was
about to dive beneath the surface of the ocean, and those
aboard her were destined to go through a terrible experience
before she rose again.
Chapter Eleven
On the Ocean Bed
Lower and lower sank the submarine. There was a swirling
and foaming of the water as she went down, caused by the air
bubbles which the craft carried with her in her descent.
Only the top of the conning tower was out of water now, the
ocean having closed over the deck and the rounded back of
the boat. Had any one been watching they would have imagined
that an accident was taking place.
In the pilot house, with its thick glass windows, Tom, his
father and Captain Weston looked over the surface of the
ocean, which every minute was coming nearer and nearer to
"We'll be all under in a few seconds," spoke Tom in a
solemn voice, as he listened to the water hissing into the
"Yes, and then we can see what sort of progress we will
make," added Mr. Swift. "Everything is going fine, though,"
he went on cheerfully. "I believe I have a good boat."
"There is no doubt of it in my mind," remarked Captain
Weston, and Tom felt a little disappointed that the sailor
did not shout out some such expression as "Shiver my
timbers!" or "Keel-haul the main braces, there, you lubber!"
But Captain Weston was not that kind of a sailor, though his
usually quiet demeanor could be quickly dropped on
necessity, as Tom learned later.
A few minutes more and the waters closed over the top of
the conning tower. The Advance was completely submerged.
Through the thick glass windows of the pilot house the
occupants looked out into the greenish water that swirled
about them; but it could not enter. Then, as the boat went
lower, the light from above gradually died out, and the
semi-darkness gave place to gloom.
"Turn on the electrics and the searchlight, Tom," directed
his father.
There was the click of a switch, and the conning tower was
flooded with light. But as this had the effect of
preventing the three from peering out into the water, just
as one in a lighted room cannot look out into the night, Tom
shut them off and switched on the great searchlight. This
projected its powerful beams straight ahead and there, under
the ocean, was a pathway of illumination for the treasureseekers.
"Fine!" cried Captain Weston, with more enthusiasm than he
had yet manifested. "That's great, if you don't mind me
mentioning it. How deep are we?"
Tom glanced at a gage on the side of the pilot tower.
"Only about sixty feet," he answered.
"Then don't go any deeper!" cried the captain hastily. "I
know these waters around here, and that's about all the
depth you've got. You'll be on the bottom in a minute."
"I intend to get on the bottom after a while," said Mr.
Swift, "but not here. I want to try for a greater distance
under water before I come to rest on the ocean's bed. But I
think we are deep enough for a test. Tom, close the tank
intake pipes and we'll see how the Advance will progress
when fully submerged."
The hissing stopped, and then, wishing to see how the
motors and other machinery would work, the aged inventor and
his son, accompanied by Captain Weston, descended from the
conning tower, by means of an inner stairway, to the
interior of the ship. The submarine could be steered and
managed from below or above. She was now floating about
sixty-five feet below the surface of the bay.
"Well, how do you like it?" asked Tom of Mr. Damon, as he
saw his friend in an easy chair in the living-room or main
cabin of the craft, looking out of one of the plate-glass
windows on the side.
"Bless my spectacles, it's the most wonderful thing I ever
dreamed of!" cried the queer character, as he peered at the
mass of water before him. "To think that I'm away down under
the surface, and yet as dry as a bone. Bless my necktie, but
it's great! What are we going to do now?"
"Go forward," replied the young inventor.
"Perhaps I had better make an observation," suggested
Captain Weston, taking his telescope from under his arm,
where he had carried it since entering the craft, and
opening it. "We may run afoul of something, if you don't
mind me mentioning such a disagreeable subject." Then, as he
thought of the impossibility of using his glass under water,
he closed it.
"I shall have little use for this here, I'm afraid," he
remarked with a smile. "Well, there's some consolation.
We're not likely to meet many ships in this part of the
ocean. Other vessels are fond enough of remaining on the
surface. I fancy we shall have the depths to ourselves,
unless we meet a Government submarine, and they are hardly
able to go as deep as we can. No, I guess we won't run into
anything and I can put this glass away."
"Unless we run into Berg and his crowd," suggested Tom in
a low voice.
"Ha! ha!" laughed Captain Weston, for he did not want Mr.
Swift to worry over the unscrupulous agent. "No, I don't
believe we'll meet them, Tom. I guess Berg is trying to work
out the longitude and latitude I gave him. I wish I could
see his face when he realizes that he's been deceived by
that fake map."
"Well, I hope he doesn't discover it too soon and trail
us," went on the lad. "But they're going to start the
machinery now. I suppose you and I had better take charge of
the steering of the craft. Dad will want to be in the
"All right," replied the captain, and he moved forward
with the lad to a small compartment, shut off from the
living-room, that served as a pilot house when the conning
tower was not used. The same levers, wheels and valves were
there as up above, and the submarine could be managed as
well from there as from the other place.
"Is everything all right?" asked Mn Swift as he went into
the engine-room, where Garret Jackson and Mr. Sharp were
busy with oil cans.
"Everything," replied the balloonist. "Are you going to
start now?"
"Yes, we're deep enough for a speed trial. We'll go out to
sea, however, and try for a lower depth record, as soon as
there's enough water. Start the engine."
A moment later the powerful electric currents were flowing
into the forward and aft plates, and the Advance began to
gather way, forging through the water.
"Straight ahead, out to sea, Tom," called his father to
"Aye, aye, sir," responded the youth.
"Ha! Quite seaman-like, if you don't mind a reference to
it," commented Captain Weston with a smile. "Mind your helm,
boy, for you don't want to poke her nose into a mud bank, or
run up on a shoal."
"Suppose you steer?" suggested the lad. "I'd rather take
lessons for a while."
"All right. Perhaps it will be safer. I know these waters
from the top, though I can't say as much for the bottom.
However, I know where the shoals are."
The powerful searchlight was turned, so as to send its
beams along the path which the submarine was to follow, and
then, as she gathered speed, she shot ahead, gliding through
the waters like a fish.
Mr. Damon divided his time between the forward pilot-room,
the living-apartment, and the place where Mr. Swift, Garret
Jackson and Mr. Sharp were working over the engines. Every
few minutes he would bless some part of himself, his
clothing, or the ship. Finally the old man settled down to
look through the plate-glass windows in the main apartment.
On and on went the submarine. She behaved perfectly, and
was under excellent control. Some times Tom, at the request
of his father, would send her toward the surface by means of
the deflecting rudder. Then she would dive to the bottom
again. Once, as a test, she was sent obliquely to the
surface, her tower just emerging, and then she darted
downward again, like a porpoise that had come up to roll
over, and suddenly concluded to seek the depths. In fact,
had any one seen the maneuver they would have imagined the
craft was a big fish disporting itself.
Captain Weston remained at Tom's side, giving him
instructions, and watching the compass in order to direct
the steering so as to avoid collisions. For an hour or more
the craft was sent almost straight ahead at medium speed.
Then Mr. Swift, joining his son and the captain, remarked:
"How about depth of water here, Captain Weston?"
"You've got more than a mile."
"Good! Then I'm going down to the bottom of the sea! Tom,
fill the tanks still more.
"Aye, aye, sir," answered the lad gaily. "Now for a new
"And use the deflecting rudder, also," advised his father.
"That will hasten matters."
Five minutes later there was a slight jar noticeable.
"Bless my soul! What's that?" cried Mr. Damon. "Have we
hit something?"
"Yes," answered Tom with a smile.
"What, for gracious sake?"
"The bottom of the sea. We're on the bed of the ocean."
Chapter Twelve
For a Breath of Air
They could hardly realize it, yet the depth-gage told the
story. It registered a distance below the surface of the
ocean of five thousand seven hundred feet--a little over a
mile. The Advance had actually come to rest on the bottom of
the Atlantic.
"Hurrah!" cried Tom. "Let's get on the diving suits, dad,
and walk about on land under water for a change."
"No," said Mr. Swift soberly. "We will hardly have time
for that now. Besides, the suits are not yet fitted with the
automatic air-tanks, and we can't use them. There are still
some things to do before we start on our treasure cruise.
But I want to see how the plates are standing this
The Advance was made with a triple hull, the spaces
between the layers of plates being filled with a secret
material, capable of withstanding enormous pressure, as were
also the plates themselves. Mr. Swift, aided by Mr. Jackson
and Captain Weston, made a thorough examination, and found
that not a drop of water had leaked in, nor was there the
least sign that any of the plates had given way under the
terrific strain.
"She's as tight as a drum, if you will allow me to make
that comparison," remarked Captain Weston modestly. "I
couldn't ask for a dryer ship."
"Well, let's take a look around by means the searchlight
and the observation windows, and then we'll go back,"
suggested Mr. Swift. "It will take about two days to get the
stores and provisions aboard and rig up the diving suits;
then we will start for the sunken treasure.
There were several powerful searchlights on the Advance,
so arranged that the bow, stern or either side could be
illuminated independently. There were also observation
windows near each light.
In turn the powerful rays were cast first at the bow and
then aft. In the gleams could be seen the sandy bed of the
ocean, covered with shells of various kinds. Great crabs
walked around on their long, jointed legs, and Tom saw some
lobsters that would have brought joy to the heart of a
"Look at the big fish!" cried Mr. Damon suddenly, and he
pointed to some dark, shadowy forms that swam up to the
glass windows, evidently puzzled by the light.
"Porpoises," declared Captain Weston briefly. a whole
school of them."
The fish seemed suddenly to multiply, and soon those in
the submarine felt curious tremors running through the whole
"The fish are rubbing up against it," cried Tom. "They
must think we came down here to allow them to scratch their
backs on the steel plates."
For some time they remained on the bottom, watching the
wonderful sight of the fishes that swam all about them.
"Well, I think we may as well rise," announced Mr. Swift,
after they had been on the bottom about an hour, moving here
and there. "We didn't bring any provisions, and I'm getting
hungry, though I don't know how the others of you feel about
"Bless my dinner-plate, I could eat, too!" cried Mr.
Damon. "Go up, by all means. We'll get enough of under-water
travel once we start for the treasure."
"Send her up, Tom," called his father. "I Want to make a
few notes on some needed changes and improvements."
Tom entered the lower pilot house, and turned the valve
that opened the tanks. He also pulled the lever that started
the pumps, so that the water ballast would be more quickly
emptied, as that would render the submarine buoyant, and she
would quickly shoot to the surface. To the surprise of the
lad, however, there followed no outrushing of the water. The
Advance remained stationary on the ocean bed. Mr. Swift
looked up from his notes.
"Didn't you hear me ask you to send her up, Tom?" he
inquired mildly.
"I did, dad, but something seems to be the matter," was
the reply.
"Matter? What do you mean?" and the aged inventor hastened
to where his son and Captain Weston were at the wheels,
valves and levers.
"Why, the tanks won't empty, and the pumps don't seem to
"Let me try," suggested Mr. Swift, and he pulled the
various handles. There was no corresponding action of the
"That's odd," he remarked in a curious voice "Perhaps
something has gone wrong with the connections. Go look in
the engine-room, and ask Mr. Sharp if everything is all
right there."
Tom made a quick trip, returning to report that the
dynamos, motors and gas engine were running perfectly.
"Try to work the tank levers and pumps from the conning
tower," suggested Captain Weston. "Sometimes I've known the
steam steering gear to play tricks like that."
Tom hurried up the circular stairway into the tower. He
pulled the levers and shifted the valves and wheels there.
But there was no emptying of the water tanks. The weight and
pressure of water in them still held the submarine on the
bottom of the sea, more than a mile from the surface. The
pumps in the engine-room were working at top speed, but
there was evidently something wrong in the connections.
Mr. Swift quickly came to this conclusion.
"We must repair it at once," he said. "Tom, come to the
engine-room. You and I, with Mr. Jackson and Mr. Sharp, will
soon have it in shape again."
"Is there any danger?" asked Mr. Damon in a perturbed
voice. "Bless my soul, it's unlucky to have an accident on
our trial trip."
"Oh, we must expect accidents," declared Mr. Swift with a
smile. "This is nothing."
But it proved to be more difficult than he had imagined
to re-establish the connection between the pumps and the
tanks. The valves, too, had clogged or jammed, and as the
pressure outside the ship was so great, the water would not
run out of itself. It must be forced.
For an hour or more the inventor, his son and the others,
worked away. They could accomplish nothing. Tom looked
anxiously at his parent when the latter paused in his
"Don't worry," advised the aged inventor. "It's got to
come right sooner or later."
Just then Mr. Damon, who had been wandering about the
ship, entered the engine-room.
"Do you know," he said, "you ought to open a window, or
"Why, what's the matter?" asked Tom quickly, looking to
see if the odd man was joking.
"Well, of course I don't exactly mean a window," explained
Mr. Damon, "but we need fresh air."
"Fresh air!" There was a startled note in Mr. Swift's
voice as he repeated the words.
"Yes, I can hardly breathe in the living-room, and it's
not much better here."
"Why, there ought to be plenty of fresh air," went on the
inventor. "It is renewed automatically."
Tom jumped up and looked at an indicator. He uttered a
startled cry.
"The air hasn't been changed in the last hour!" he
exclaimed. "It is bad. There's not enough oxygen in it. I
notice it, now that I've stopped working. The gage indicates
it, too. The automatic air-changer must have stopped
working. I'll fix it."
He hurried to the machine which was depended on to supply
fresh air to the submarine.
"Why, the air tanks are empty!" the young inventor cried.
"We haven't any more air except what is in the ship now!"
"And we're rapidly breathing that up," added Captain
Weston solemnly.
"Can't you make more?" cried Mr. Damon. "I thought you
said you could make oxygen aboard the ship."
"We can," answered Mr. Swift, "but I did not bring along a
supply of the necessary chemicals. I did not think we would
be submerged long enough for that. But there should have
been enough in the reserve tank to last several days. How
about it, Tom?"
"It's all leaked out, or else it wasn't filled," was the
despairing answer. "All the air we have is what's in the
ship, and we can't make more."
The treasure-seekers looked at each other. It was an awful
"Then the only thing to do is to fix the machinery and
rise to the surface," said Mr. Sharp simply. "We can have
all the air we want, then."
"Yes, but the machinery doesn't seem possible of being
fixed," spoke Tom in a low voice.
"We must do it!" cried his father.
They set to work again with fierce energy, laboring for
their very lives. They all knew that they could not long
remain in the ship without oxygen. Nor could they desert it
to go to the surface, for the moment they left the
protection of the thick steel sides the terrible pressure of
the water would kill them. Nor were the diving suits
available. They must stay in the craft and die a miserable
death-unless the machinery could be repaired and the Advance
sent to the surface. The emergency expanding lifting tank
was not yet in working order.
More frantically they toiled, trying every device that was
suggested to the mechanical minds of Tom, his father, Mr.
Sharp or Mr. Jackson, to make the pumps work. But something
was wrong. More and more foul grew the air. They were
fairly gasping now. It was difficult to breathe, to say
nothing of working, in that atmosphere. The thought of their
terrible position was in the minds of all.
"Oh, for one breath of fresh air!" cried Mr. Damon, who
seemed to suffer more than any of the others. Grim death was
hovering around them, imprisoned as they were on the ocean's
bed, over a mile from the surface.
Chapter Thirteen
Off for the Treasure
Suddenly Tom, after a moment's pause, seized a wrench and
began loosening some nuts.
"What are you doing?" asked his father faintly, for he was
being weakened by the vitiated atmosphere.
"I'm going to take this valve apart," replied his son. "We
haven't looked there for the trouble. Maybe it's out of
He attacked the valve with energy, but his hands soon
lagged. The lack of oxygen was telling on him. He could no
longer work quickly.
"I'll help," murmured Mr. Sharp thickly. He took a wrench,
but no sooner had he loosened one nut than he toppled over.
"I'm all in," he murmured feebly.
"Is he dead?" cried Mr. Damon, himself gasping.
"No, only fainted. But he soon will be dead, and so will
all of us, if we don't get fresh air," remarked Captain
Weston. "Lie down on the floor, every one. There is a little
fairly good air there. It's heavier than the air we've
breathed, and we can exist on it for a little longer. Poor
Sharp was so used to breathing the rarified air of high
altitudes that he can't stand this heavy atmosphere."
Mr. Damon was gasping worse than ever, and so was Mr.
Swift. The balloonist lay an inert heap on the floor, with
Captain Weston trying to force a few drops of stimulant down
his throat
With a fierce determination in his heart, but with fingers
that almost refused to do his bidding, Tom once more sought
to open the big valve. He felt sure the trouble was located
there, as they had tried to locate it in every other place
without avail.
"I'll help," said Mr. Jackson in a whisper. He, too, was
hardly able to move.
More and more devoid of oxygen grew the air. It gave Tom a
sense as if his head was filled, and ready to burst with
every breath he drew. Still he struggled to loosen the nuts.
There were but four more now, and he took off three while
Mr. Jackson removed one. The young inventor lifted off the
valve cover, though it felt like a ton weight to him. He
gave a glance inside.
"Here's the trouble!" he murmured. "The valve's clogged.
No wonder it wouldn't work. The pumps couldn't force the
water out."
It was the work of only a minute to adjust the valve. Then
Tom and the engineer managed to get the cover back on.
How they inserted the bolts and screwed the nuts in place
they never could remember clearly afterward, but they
managed it somehow, with shaking, trembling hands and eyes
that grew more and more dim.
"Now start the pumps!" cried Tom faintly. "The tanks will
be emptied, and we can get to the surface."
Mr. Sharp was still unconscious, nor was Mr. Swift able to
help. He lay with his eyes closed. Garret Jackson, however,
managed to crawl to the engine-room, and soon the clank of
machinery told Tom that the pumps were in motion. The lad
staggered to the pilot house and threw the levers over. An
instant later there was the hissing of water as it rushed
from the ballast tanks. The submarine shivered, as though
disliking to leave the bottom of the sea, and then slowly
rose. As the pumps worked more rapidly, and the sea was sent
from the tank in great volumes, the boat fairly shot to the
surface. Tom was ready to open the conning tower and let in
fresh air as soon as the top was above the surface.
With a bound the Advance reached the top. Tom frantically
worked the worm gear that opened the tower. In rushed the
fresh, life-giving air, and the treasure-hunters filled
their lungs with it.
And it was only just in time, for Mr. Sharp was almost
gone. He quickly revived, as did the others, when they could
breathe as much as they wished of the glorious oxygen.
"That was a close call," commented Mr. Swift. "We'll not
go below again until I have provided for all emergencies. I
should have seen to the air tanks and the expanding one
before going below. We'll sail home on the surface now."
The submarine was put about and headed for her dock. On
the way she passed a small steamer, and the passengers
looked down in wonder at the strange craft.
When the Advance reached the secluded creek where she had
been launched, her passengers had fully recovered from their
terrible experience, though the nerves of Mr. Swift and Mr.
Damon were not at ease for some days thereafter.
"I should never have made a submerged test without making
sure that we had a reserve supply of air," remarked the aged
inventor. "I will not be caught that way again. But I can't
understand how the pump valve got out of order."
"Maybe some one tampered with it," suggested Mr. Damon.
"Could Andy Foger, any of the Happy Harry gang, or the rival
gold-seekers have done it?"
"I hardly think so," answered Tom. "The place has been too
carefully guarded since Berg and Andy once sneaked in. I
think it was just an accident, but I have thought of a plan
whereby such accidents can be avoided in the future. It
needs a simple device."
"Better patent it," suggested Mr. Sharp with a smile.
"Maybe I will," replied the young inventor. "But not now.
We haven't time, if we intend to get fitted out for our
"No; I should say the sooner we started the better,"
remarked Captain Weston. "That is, if you don't mind me
speaking about it," he added gently, and the others smiled,
for his diffident comments were only a matter of habit
The first act of the adventurers, after tying the
submarine at the dock, was to proceed with the loading of
the food and supplies. Tom and Mr. Damon looked to this,
while Mr. Swift and Mr. Sharp made some necessary changes to
the machinery. The next day the young inventor attached his
device to the pump valve, and the loading of the craft was
All was in readiness for the gold-seeking expedition a
week later. Captain Weston had carefully charted the route
they were to follow, and it was decided to move along on the
surface for the first day, so as to get well out to sea
before submerging the craft. Then it would sink below the
surface, and run along under the water until the wreck was
reached, rising at times, as needed, to renew the air
With sufficient stores and provisions aboard to last
several months, if necessary, though they did not expect to
be gone more than sixty days at most, the adventurers arose
early one morning and went down to the dock. Mr. Jackson was
not to accompany them. He did not care about a submarine
trip, he said, and Mr. Swift desired him to remain at the
seaside cottage and guard the shops, which contained much
valuable machinery. The airship was also left there.
"Well, are we all ready?" asked Mr. Swift of the little
party of gold-seekers, as they were about to enter the
conning tower hatchway of the submarine.
"All ready, dad," responded his son.
"Then let's get aboard," proposed Captain Weston. "But
first let me take an observation."
He swept the horizon with his telescope, and Tom noticed
that the sailor kept it fixed on one particular spot for
some time.
"Did you see anything?" asked the lad.
"Well, there is a boat lying off there," was the answer.
"And some one is observing us through a glass. But I don't
believe it matters. Probably they're only trying to see what
sort of an odd fish we are."
"All aboard, then," ordered Mr. Swift, and they went into
the submarine. Tom and his father, with Captain Weston,
remained in the conning tower. The signal was given, the
electricity flowed into the forward and aft plates, and the
Advance shot ahead on the surface.
The sailor raised his telescope once more and peered
through a window in the tower. He uttered an exclamation.
"What's the matter?" asked Tom.
"That other ship--a small steamer--is weighing anchor and
seems to be heading this way," was the reply.
"Maybe it's some one hired by Berg to follow us and trace
our movements," suggested Tom.
"If it is we'll fool them," added his father. "Just keep
an eye on them, captain, and I think we can show them a
trick or two in a few minutes."
Faster shot the Advance through the water. She had started
on her way to get the gold from the sunken wreck, but
already enemies were on the trail of the adventurers, for
the ship the sailor had noticed was steaming after them.
Chapter Fourteen
In the Diving Suits
There was no doubt that the steamer was coming after the
submarine. Several observations Captain Weston made
confirmed this, and he reported the fact to Mr. Swift.
"Well, we'll change our plans, then," said the inventor.
"Instead of sailing on the surface we'll go below. But first
let them get near so they may have the benefit of seeing
what we do. Tom, go below, please, and tell Mr. Sharp to get
every thing in readiness for a quick descent. We'll slow up
a bit now, and let them get nearer to us."
The speed of the submarine was reduced, and in a short
time the strange steamer had overhauled her, coming to
within hailing distance.
Mr. Swift signaled for the machinery to stop and the
submarine came to a halt on the surface, bobbing about like
a half-submerged bottle. The inventor opened a bull's-eye in
the tower, and called to a man on the bridge of the steamer:
"What are you following us for?"
"Following you?" repeated the man, for the strange vessel
had also come to a stop. "We're not following you."
"It looks like it," replied Mr. Swift. "You'd better give
it up."
"I guess the waters are free," was the quick retort.
"We'll follow you if we like."
"Will you? Then come on!" cried the inventor as he quickly
closed the heavy glass window and pulled a lever. An instant
later the submarine began to sink, and Mr. Swift could not
help laughing as, just before the tower went under water, he
had a glimpse of the astonished face of the man on the
bridge. The latter had evidently not expected such a move as
Lower and lower in the water went the craft, until it was
about two hundred feet below the surface. Then Mr. Swift
left the conning tower, descended to the main part of the
ship, and asked Tom and Captain Weston to take charge of the
pilot house.
"Send her ahead, Tom," his father said. "That fellow up
above is rubbing his eyes yet, wondering where we are, I
Forward shot the Advance under water, the powerful
electrical plates pulling and pushing her on the way to
secure the sunken gold.
All that morning a fairly moderate rate of speed was
maintained, as it was thought best not to run the new
machinery too fast.
Dinner was eaten about a quarter of a mile below the
surface, but no one inside the submarine would ever have
known it. Electric lights made the place as brilliant as
could be desired, and the food, which Tom and Mr. Damon
prepared, was equal to any that could have been served on
land. After the meal they opened the shutters over the
windows in the sides of the craft, and looked at the myriads
of fishes swimming past, as the creatures were disclosed in
the glare of the searchlight.
That night they were several hundred miles on their
journey, for the craft was speedy, and leaving Tom and
Captain Weston to take the first watch, the others went to
"Bless my soul, but it does seem odd, though, to go to bed
under water, like a fish," remarked Mr. Damon. "If my wife
knew this she would worry to death. She thinks I'm off
automobiling. But this isn't half as dangerous as riding in
a car that's always getting out of order. A submarine for
mine, every time."
"Wait until we get to the end of this trip," advised Tom.
"I guess you'll find almost as many things can happen in a
submarine as can in an auto," and future events were to
prove the young inventor to be right.
Everything worked well that night, and the ship made good
progress. They rose to the surface the next morning to make
sure of their position, and to get fresh air, though they
did not really need the latter, as the reserve supply had
not been drawn on, and was sufficient for several days, now
that the oxygen machine had been put in running order.
On the second day the ship was sent to the bottom and
halted there, as Mr. Swift wished to try the new diving
suits. These were made of a new, light, but very strong
metal to withstand the pressure of a great depth.
Tom, Mr. Sharp and Captain Weston donned the suits, the
others agreeing to wait until they saw how the first trial
resulted. Then, too, it was necessary for some one
acquainted with the machinery to remain in the ship to
operate the door and water chamber through which the divers
had to pass to get out.
The usual plan, with some changes, was followed in letting
the three out of the boat, and on to the bottom of the sea.
They entered a chamber in the side of the submarine, water
was gradually admitted until it equaled in pressure that
outside, then an outer door was opened by means of levers,
and they could step out
It was a curious sensation to Tom and the others to feel
that they were actually walking along the bed of the ocean.
All around them was the water, and as they turned on the
small electric lights in their helmets, which lights were
fed by storage batteries fastened to the diving suits, they
saw the fish, big and little, swarm up to them, doubtless
astonished at the odd creatures which had entered their
domain. On the sand of the bottom, and in and out among the
shells and rocks, crawled great spider crabs, big eels and
other odd creatures seldom seen on the surface of the water.
The three divers found no difficulty in breathing, as there
were air tanks fastened to their shoulders, and a constant
supply of oxygen was fed through pipes into the helmets. The
pressure of water did not bother them, and after the first
sensation Tom began to enjoy the novelty of it. At first the
inability to speak to his companions seemed odd, but he
soon got so he could make signs and motions, and be
They walked about for some time, and once the lad came
upon a part of a wrecked vessel buried deep in the sand.
There was no telling what ship it was, nor how long it had
been there, and after silently viewing it. they continued on
"It was great!" were the first words Tom uttered when he
and the others were once more inside the submarine and had
removed the suits. "If we can only walk around the wreck of
the Boldero that way, we'll have all the gold out of her in
no time. There are no life-lines nor air-hose to bother with
in these diving suits."
"They certainly are a success," conceded Mr. Sharp.
"Bless my topknot!" cried Mr. Damon. "I'll try it next
time. I've always wanted to be a diver, and now I have the
The trip was resumed after the diving chamber had been
closed, and on the third day Captain Weston announced, after
a look at his chart, that they were nearing the Bahama
"We'll have to be careful not to run into any of the small
keys," he said, that being the name for the many little
points of land, hardly large enough to be dignified by the
name of island. "We must keep a constant lookout."
Fortune favored them, though once, when Tom was steering,
he narrowly avoided ramming a coral reef with the submarine.
The searchlight showed it to him just in time, and he
sheered off with a thumping in his heart.
The course was changed from south to east, so as to get
ready to swing out of the way of the big shoulder of South
America where Brazil takes up so much room, and as they went
farther and farther toward the equator, they noticed that
the waters teemed more and more with fish, some beautiful,
some ugly and fear-inspiring, and some such monsters that it
made one shudder to look at them, even through the thick
glass of the bulls-eye windows.
Chapter Fifteen
At the Tropical Island
It was on the evening of the fourth day later that Captain
Weston, who was steering the craft, suddenly called out:
"Land ho!"
"Where away?" inquired Tom quickly, for he had read that
this was the proper response to make.
"Dead ahead," answered the sailor with a smile. "Shall we
make for it, if I may be allowed the question?"
"What land is it likely to be?" Mr. Swift wanted to know.
"Oh, some small tropical island," replied the seafaring
man. "It isn't down on the charts. Probably it's too small
to note. I should say it was a coral island, but we may be
able to find a Spring of fresh water there, and some fruit."
"Then we'll land there," decided the inventor. "We can use
some fresh water, though our distilling and ice apparatus
does very well."
They made the island just at dusk, and anchored in a
little lagoon, where there was a good depth of water.
"Now for shore!" cried Tom, as the submarine swung around
on the chain. "It looks like a fine place. I hope there are
cocoanuts and oranges here. Shall I get out the electric
launch, dad?"
"Yes, you may, and we'll all go ashore. It will do us good
to stretch our legs a bit."
Carried in a sort of pocket on the deck of the submarine
was a small electric boat, capable of holding six. It could
be slid from the pocket, or depression, into the water
without the use of davits, and, with Mr. Sharp to aid him,
Tom soon had the little craft afloat. The batteries were
already charged, and just as the sun was going down the
gold-seekers entered the launch and were soon on shore.
They found a good spring of water close at hand, and Tom's
wish regarding the cocoanuts was realized, though there were
no oranges. The lad took several of the delicious nuts, and
breaking them open poured the milk into a collapsible cup he
carried, drinking it eagerly. The others followed his
example, and pronounced it the best beverage they had tasted
in a long time.
The island was a typical tropical one, not very large, and
it did not appear to have been often visited by man. There
were no animals to be seen, but myriads of birds flew here
and there amid the trees, the trailing vines and streamers
of moss.
"Let's spend a day here to-morrow and explore it,"
proposed Tom, and his father nodded an assent. They went
back to the submarine as night was beginning to gather, and
in the cabin, after supper, talked over the happenings of
their trip so far.
"Do you think we'll have any trouble getting
the gold out of the wrecked vessel?" asked Tom of Captain
Weston, after a pause.
"Well, it's hard to say. I couldn't learn just how the
wreck lays, whether it's on a sandy or a rocky bottom. If
the latter, it won't be so hard, but if the sand has worked
in and partly covered it, we'll have some difficulties, if I
may be permitted to say so. However, don't borrow trouble.
We're not there yet, though at the rate we're traveling it
won't be long before we arrive."
No watch was set that night, as it was not considered
necessary. Tom was the first to arise in the morning, and he
went out on the deck for a breath of fresh air before
He looked off at the beautiful little island, and as his
eye took in all of the little lagoon where the submarine was
anchored he uttered a startled cry.
And well he might, for, not a hundred yards away, and
nearer to the island than was the Advance, floated another
craft--another craft, almost similar in shape and size to
the one built by the Swifts. Tom rubbed his eyes to make
sure he was not seeing double. No, there could be no mistake
about it. There was another submarine at the tropical
As he looked, some one emerged from the conning tower of
the second craft. The figure seemed strangely familiar. Tom
knew in a moment who it was--Addison Berg. The agent saw the
lad, too, and taking off his cap and making a mocking bow,
he called out:
"Good morning! Have you got the gold yet?"
Tom did not know what to answer. Seeing the other
submarine, at an island where he had supposed they would not
be disturbed, was disconcerting enough, but to be greeted by
Berg was altogether too much, Tom thought. His fears that
the rival boat builders would follow had not been without
"Rather surprised to see us, aren't you?" went on Mr.
Berg, smiling.
"Rather," admitted Tom, choking over the word.
"Thought you'd be," continued Berg. "We didn't expect to
meet you so soon, but we're glad we did. I don't altogether
like hunting for sunken treasure, with such indefinite
directions as I have."
"You--are going to--" stammered Tom, and then he concluded
it would be best not to say anything. But his talk had been
heard inside the submarine. His father came to the foot of
the conning tower stairway.
"To whom are you speaking, Tom?" he asked.
"They're here, dad," was the youth's answer.
"Here? Who are here?"
"Berg and his employers. They've followed us, dad."
Chapter Sixteen
"We'll Race You For It"
Mr. Swift hurried up on deck. He was accompanied by
Captain Weston. At the sight of Tom's father, Mr. Berg, who
had been joined by' two other men, called out:
"You see we also concluded to give up the trial for the
Government prize, Mr. Swift. We decided there was more money
in something else. But we still will have a good chance to
try the merits of our respective boats. We hurried and got
ours fitted up almost as soon as you did yours, and I think
we have the better craft."
"I don't care to enter into any competition with you,"
said Mr. Swift coldly.
"Ah, but I'm afraid you'll have to, whether you want to or
not," was the insolent reply.
"What's that? Do you mean to force this matter upon me?"
"I'm afraid I'll have to--my employers and I, that is. You
see, we managed to pick up your trail after you left the
Jersey coast, having an idea where you were bound, and we
don't intend to lose you now."
"Do you mean to follow us?" asked Captain Weston softly.
"Well, you can put it that way if you like," answered one
of the two men with Mr. Berg.
"I forbid it!" cried Mr. Swift hotly. "You have no right
to sneak after us."
"I guess the ocean is free," continued the rascally agent.
"Why do you persist in keeping after us?" inquired the
aged inventor, thinking it well to ascertain, if possible,
just how much the men knew.
"Because we're after that treasure as well as you," was
the bold reply. "You have no exclusive right to it. The
sunken ship is awaiting the first comer, and whoever gets
there first can take the gold from the wreck. We intend to
be there first, but we'll be fair with you."
"Fair? What do you mean?" demanded Tom.
"This: We'll race you for it. The first one to arrive will
have the right to search the wreck for the gold bullion. Is
that fair? Do you agree to it?"
"We agree to nothing with you," interrupted Captain
Weston, his usual diffident manner all gone. "I happen to be
in partial command of this craft, and I warn you that if I
find you interfering with us it won't be healthy for you.
I'm not fond of fighting, but when I begin I don't like to
stop," and he smiled grimly. "You'd better not follow us."
"We'll do as we please," shouted the third member of the
trio on the deck of the other boat, which, as Tom could see,
was named the Wonder. "We intend to get that gold if we
"All right. I've warned you," went on the sailor, and
then, motioning to Tom and his father to follow, he went
"Well, what's to be done?" asked Mr. Swift when they were
seated in the living-room, and had informed the others of
the presence of the rival submarine.
"The only thing I see to do is to sneak away unobserved,
go as deep as possible, and make all haste for the wreck,"
advised the captain. "They will depend on us, for they have
evidently no chart of the wreck, though of course the
general location of it may be known to them from reading the
papers. I hoped I had thrown them off the track by the false
chart I dropped, but it seems they were too smart for us."
"Have they a right to follow us?" asked Tom.
"Legally, but not morally. We can't prevent them, I'm
afraid. The only thing to do is to get there ahead of them.
It will be a race for the sunken treasure, and we must get
there first."
"What do you propose doing, captain?" asked Mr. Damon.
"Bless my shirt-studs, but can't we pull their ship up on
the island and leave it there?"
"I'm afraid such high-handed proceedings would hardly
answer," replied Mr. Swift. "No, as Captain Weston says, we
must get there ahead of them. What do you think will be the
best scheme, captain?"
"Well, there's no need for us to forego our plan to get
fresh water. Suppose we go to the island, that is, some of
us, leaving a guard on board here. We'll fill our tanks with
fresh water, and at night we'll quietly sink below the
surface and speed away."
They all voted that an excellent idea, and little time was
lost putting it into operation.
All the remainder of that day not a sign of life was
visible about the Wonder. She lay inert on the surface of
the lagoon, not far away from the Advance; but, though no
one showed himself on the deck, Tom and his friends had no
doubt but that their enemies were closely watching them.
As dusk settled down over The tropical sea, and as the
shadows of the trees on the little island lengthened, those
on board the Advance closed the Conning tower. No lights
were turned on, as they did not want their movements to be
seen, but Tom, his father and Mr. Sharp took their positions
near the various machines and apparatus, ready to open the
tanks and let the submarine sink to the bottom, as soon as
it was possible to do this unobserved.
"Luckily there's no moon," remarked Captain Weston, as he
took his place beside Tom. "Once below the surface and we
can defy them to find us. It is odd how they traced us, but
I suppose that steamer gave them the clue."
It rapidly grew dark, as it always does in the tropics,
and when a cautious observation from the conning tower did
not disclose the outlines of the other boat, those aboard
the Advance rightly concluded that their rivals were unable
to see them.
"Send her down, Tom," called his father, and with a hiss
the water entered the tanks. The submarine quickly sank
below the surface, aided by the deflecting rudder.
But alas for the hopes of the gold-seekers. No sooner was
she completely submerged, with the engine started so as to
send her out of the lagoon and to the open sea, than the
waters all about were made brilliant by the phosphorescent
phenomenon. In southern waters this frequently occurs.
Millions of tiny creatures, which, it is said, swarm in the
warm currents, give an appearance of fire to the ocean, and
any object moving through it can plainly be seen. It was so
with the Advance. The motion she made in shooting forward,
and the undulations caused by her submersion, seemed to
start into activity the dormant phosphorus, and the
submarine was afloat in a sea of fire.
"Quick!" cried Tom. "Speed her up! Maybe we can get out of
this patch of water before they see us."
But it was too late. Above them they could hear the
electric siren of the Wonder as it was blown to let them
know that their escape had been noticed. A moment later the
water, which acted as a sort of sounding-board, or
telephone, brought to the ears of Tom Swift and his friends
the noise of the engines of the other craft in operation.
She was coming after them. The race for the possession of
three hundred thousand dollars in gold was already under
way. Fate seemed against those on board the Advance.
Chapter Seventeen
The Race
Directed by Captain Weston, who glanced at the compass and
told him which way to steer to clear the outer coral reef,
Tom sent the submarine ahead, signaling for full speed to
the engine-room, where his father and Mr. Sharp were. The
big dynamos purred like great cats, as they sent the
electrical energy into the forward and aft plates, pulling
and pushing the Advance forward. On and on she rushed under
water, but ever as she shot ahead the disturbance in the
phosphorescent water showed her position plainly. She would
be easy to follow.
"Can't you get any more speed out of her?" asked the
captain of the lad.
"Yes," was the quick reply; "by using the auxiliary screws
I think we can. I'll try it."
He signaled for the propellers, forward and aft, to be put
in operation, and the motor moving the twin screws was
turned on. At once there was a perceptible increase to the
speed of the Advance.
"Are we leaving them behind?" asked Tom anxiously, as he
glanced at the speed gage, and noted that the submarine was
now about five hundred feet below the surface.
"Hard to tell," replied the Captain. "You'd have to take
an observation to make sure."
"I'll do it," cried the youth. "You steer, please, and
I'll go in the conning tower. I can look forward and aft
there, as well as straight up. Maybe I can see the Wonder."
Springing up the circular ladder leading into the tower,
Tom glanced through the windows all about the small pilot
house. He saw a curious sight. It was as if the submarine
was in a sea of yellowish liquid fire. She was immersed in
water which glowed with the flames that contained no heat.
So light was it, in fact, that there was no need of the
incandescents in the tower. The young inventor could have
seen to read a paper by the illumination of the phosphorus.
But he had something else to do than observe this
phenomenon. He wanted to see if he could catch sight of the
rival submarine.
At first he could make out nothing save the swirl and
boiling of the sea, caused by the progress of the Advance
through it. But suddenly, as he looked up, he was aware of
some great, black body a little to the rear and about ten
feet above his craft.
"A shark!" he exclaimed aloud. "An immense one, too."
But the closer he looked the less it seemed like a shark.
The position of the black object changed. It appeared to
settle down, to be approaching the top of the conning tower.
Then, with a suddenness that unnerved him for the time
being, Tom recognized what it was; it was the underside of a
ship. He could see the plates riveted together, and then, as
be noted the rounded, cylindrical shape, he knew that it was
a submarine. It was the Wonder. She was close at hand and
was creeping up on the Advance. But, what was more
dangerous, she seemed to be slowly settling in the water.
Another moment and her great screws might crash into the
Conning tower of the Swifts' boat and shave it off. Then the
water would rush in, drowning the treasure-seekers like rats
in a trap.
With a quick motion Tom yanked over the lever that allowed
more water to flow into the ballast tanks. The effect was at
once apparent. The Advance shot down toward the bottom of
the sea. At the same time the young inventor signaled to
Captain Weston to notify those in the engine-room to put on
a little more speed. The Advance fairly leaped ahead, and
the lad, looking up through the bull's-eye in the roof of
the conning tower, had the satisfaction of seeing the rival
submarine left behind.
The youth hurried down into the interior of the ship to
tell what he had seen, and explain the reason for opening
the ballast tanks. He found his father and Mr. Sharp
somewhat excited over the unexpected maneuver of the craft.
"So they're still following us," murmured Mr. Swift. "I
don't see why we can't shake them off."
"It's on account of this luminous water," explained
Captain Weston. "Once we are clear of that it will be easy,
I think, to give them the slip. That is, if we can get out
of their sight long enough. Of course, if they keep close
after us, they can pick us up with their searchlight, for I
suppose they carry one."
"Yes," admitted the aged inventor, "they have as strong a
one as we have. In fact, their ship is second only to this
one in speed and power. I know, for Bentley & Eagert showed
me some of the plans before they started it, and asked my
opinion. This was before I had the notion of building a
submarine. Yes, I am afraid we'll have trouble getting away
from them."
"I can't understand this phosphorescent glow keeping up so
long," remarked Captain Weston. "I've seen it in this
locality several times, but it never covered such an extent
of the ocean in my time. There must be changed conditions
here now."
For an hour or more the race was kept up, and the two
submarines forged ahead through the glowing sea. The Wonder
remained slightly above and to the rear of the other, the
better to keep sight of her, and though the Advance was run
to her limit of speed, her rival could not be shaken off.
Clearly the Wonder was a speedy craft.
"It's too bad that we've got to fight them, as well as run
the risk of lots of other troubles which are always present
when sailing under water," observed Mn Damon, who wandered
about the submarine like the nervous person he was. "Bless
my shirt-studs! Can't we blow them up, or cripple them in
some way? They have no right to go after our treasure."
"Well, I guess they've got as much right as we have,"
declared Tom. "It goes to whoever reaches the wreck first.
But what I don't like is their mean, sneaking way of doing
it. If they went off on their own hook and looked for it I
wouldn't say a word. But they expect us to lead them to the
wreck, and then they'll rob us if they can. That's not
"Indeed, it isn't," agreed Captain Weston, "if I may be
allowed the expression. We ought to find some way of
stopping them. But, if I'm not mistaken," he added quickly,
looking from one of the port bull's-eyes, "the
phosphorescent glow is lessening. I believe we are running
beyond that part of the ocean."
There was no doubt of it, the glow was growing less and
less, and ten minutes later the Advance was speeding along
through a sea as black as night. Then, to avoid running into
some wreck, it was necessary to turn on the searchlight.
"Are they still after us?" asked Mr. Swift of his son, as
he emerged from the engine-room, where he had gone to make
some adjustments to the machinery, with the hope of
increasing the speed.
"I'll go look," volunteered the lad. He climbed up into
the conning tower again, and for a moment, as he gazed back
into the black waters swirling all about, he hoped that they
had lost the Wonder. But a moment later his heart sank as he
caught sight, through the liquid element, of the flickering
gleams of another searchlight, the rays undulating through
the sea.
"Still following," murmured the young inventor. "They're
not going to give up. But we must make 'em--that's all."
He went down to report what he had seen, and a
consultation was held. Captain Weston carefully studied the
charts of that part of the ocean, and finding that there was
a great depth of water at hand, proposed a series of
"We can go up and down, shoot first to one side and then
to the other," he explained. "We can even drop down to the
bottom and rest there for a while. Perhaps, in that way, we
can shake them off."
They tried it. The Advance was sent up until her conning
tower was out of the water, and then she was suddenly forced
down until she was but a few feet from the bottom. She
darted to the left, to the right, and even doubled and went
back over the course she had taken. But all to no purpose.
The Wonder proved fully as speedy, and those in her seemed
to know just how to handle the submarine, so that every
evolution of the Advance was duplicated. Her rival could not
be shaken off.
All night this was kept up, and when morning came, though
only the clocks told it, for eternal night was below the
surface, the rival gold-seekers were still on the trail.
"They won't give up," declared Mr. Swift hopelessly.
"No, we've got to race them for it, just as Berg
proposed," admitted Tom. "But if they want a straightaway
race we'll give it to 'em Let's run her to the limit, dad."
"That's what we've been doing, Tom."
"No, not exactly, for we've been submerged a little too
much to get the best speed out of our craft. Let's go a
little nearer the surface, and give them the best race
they'll ever have."
Then the race began; and such a contest of speed as it
was! With her propellers working to the limit, and every
volt of electricity that was available forced into the
forward and aft plates, the Advance surged through the
water, about ten feet below the surface. But the Wonder kept
after her, giving her knot for knot. The course of the
leading submarine was easy to trace now, in the morning
light which penetrated ten feet down.
"No use," remarked Tom again, when, after two hours, the
Wonder was still close behind them. "Our only chance is that
they may have a breakdown."
"Or run out of air, or something like that," added Captain
Weston. "They are crowding us pretty close. I had no idea
they could keep up this speed. If they don't look out," he
went on as he looked from one of the aft observation
windows, "they'll foul us, and--"
His remarks were interrupted by a jar to the Advance. She
seemed to shiver and careened to one side. Then came another
"Slow down!" cried the captain, rushing toward the pilot
"What's the matter?" asked Tom, as he threw the engines
and electrical machines out of gear. Have we hit anything?"
"No. Something has hit us," cried the captain. "Their
submarine has rammed us."
"Rammed us!" repeated Mr. Swift. "Tom, run out the
electric cannon! They're trying to sink us! We'll have to
fight them. Run out the stern electric gnu and we'll make
them wish they'd not followed us.
Chapter Eighteen
The Electric Gun
There was much excitement aboard the Advance. The
submarine came to a stop in the water, while the treasureseekers
waited anxiously for what was to follow. Would they
be rammed again? This time, stationary as they were, and
with the other boat coming swiftly on, a hole might be stove
through the Advance, in spite of her powerful sides.
They had not long to wait. Again there came a jar, and
once more the Swifts' boat careened. But the blow was a
glancing one and, fortunately, did little damage.
"They certainly must be trying to sink us," agreed Captain
Weston. "Come, Tom, we'll take a look from the stern and see
what they're up to."
"And get the stern electric gun ready to fire," repeated
Mr. Swift. "We must protect ourselves. Mr. Sharp and I will
go to the bow. There is no telling what they may do. They're
desperate, and may ram us from in front"
Tom and the captain hurried aft. Through the thick plateglass
windows they could see the blunt nose of the Wonder
not far away, the rival submarine having come to a halt.
There she lay, black and silent, like some monster fish
waiting to devour its victim.
"There doesn't appear to be much damage done back here,"
observed Tom. "No leaks. Guess they didn't puncture us."
"Perhaps it was due to an accident that they rammed us,"
suggested the captain.
"Well, they wouldn't have done it if they hadn't followed
us so close," was the opinion of the young inventor.
"They're taking too many chances. We've got to stop 'em."
"What is this electric gun your father speaks of?"
"Why, it's a regular electric cannon. It fires a solid
ball, weighing about twenty-five pounds, but instead of
powder, which would hardly do under water, and instead of
compressed air, which is used in the torpedo tubes of the
Government submarines, we use a current of electricity. It
forces the cannon ball out with great energy."
"I wonder what they will do next?" observed the captain,
peering through a bull'seye.
"We can soon tell," replied the youth. "We'll go ahead,
and if they try to follow I'm going to fire on them."
"Suppose you sink them?"
"I won't fire to do that; only to disable them. They
brought it on themselves. We can't risk having them damage
us. Help me with the cannon, will you please, captain?"
The electric cannon was a long, steel tube in the after
part of the submarine. It projected a slight distance from
the sides of the ship, and by an ingenious arrangement could
he swung around in a ball and socket joint, thus enabling it
to shoot in almost any direction.
It was the work of but a few minutes to get it ready and,
with the muzzle pointing toward the Wonder, Tom adjusted the
electric wires and inserted the solid shot.
"Now we're prepared for them!" he cried. "I think a good
plan will be to start ahead, and if they try to follow to
fire on them. They've brought it on themselves."
"Correct," spoke Captain Weston.
Tom hurried forward to tell his father of this plan.
"We'll do it!" cried Mr. Swift. "Go ahead, Mr. Sharp, and
we'll see if those scoundrels will follow."
The young inventor returned on the run to the electric
cannon. There was a whir of machinery, and the Advance
moved forward. She increased her speed, and the two watchers
in the stern looked anxiously out of the windows to see what
their rivals would do.
For a moment no movement was noticeable on the part of the
Wonder. Then, as those aboard her appeared to realize that
the craft on which they depended to pilot them to the sunken
treasure was slipping away, word was given to follow. The
ship of Berg and his employers shot after the Advance.
"Here they come!" cried Captain Weston. "They're going to
ram us again!"
"Then I'm going to fire on them!" declared Tom savagely.
On came the Wonder, nearer and nearer. Her speed was
rapidly increasing. Suddenly she bumped the Advance, and
then, as if it was an unavoidable accident, the rear
submarine sheered off to one side.
"They're certainly at it again!" cried Tom, and peering
from the bull's-eye he saw the Wonder shoot past the mouth
of the electric cannon. "Here it goes!" he added.
He shoved over the lever, making the proper connection.
There was no corresponding report, for the cannon was
noiseless, but there was a slight jar as the projectile left
the muzzle. The Wonder could be seen to heel over.
"You hit her! You hit her!" cried Captain Weston. "A good
"I was afraid she was past me when I pulled the lever,"
explained Tom. "She went like a flash."
"No, you caught her on the rudder," declared the captain.
"I think you've put her out of business. Yes, they're rising
to the surface."
The lad rapidly inserted another ball, and recharged the
cannon. Then he peered out into the water, illuminated by
the light of day overhead, as they were not far down. He
could see the Wonder rising to the surface. Clearly
something had happened.
"Maybe they're going to drop down on us from above, and
try to sink us," suggested the youth, while he stood ready
to fire again. "If they do--"
His words were interrupted by a slight jar throughout the
"What was that?" cried the captain.
"Dad fired the bow gun at them, but I don't believe he hit
them," answered the young inventor.
"I wonder what damage I did? Guess we'll go to the surface
to find out."
Clearly the Wonder had given up the fight for the time
being. In fact, she had no weapon with which to respond to a
fusillade from her rival. Tom hastened forward and informed
his father of what had happened.
"If her steering gear is out of order, we may have a
chance to slip away," said Mr. Swift "We'll go up and see
what we can learn."
A few minutes later Tom, his father and Captain Weston
stepped from the conning tower, which was out of water, on
to the little flat deck a short distance away lay the
Wonder, and on her deck was Berg and a number of men,
evidently members of the crew.
"Why did you fire on us?" shouted the agent angrily.
"Why did you follow us?" retorted Torn.
"Well, you've broken our rudder and disabled us," went on
Berg, not answering the question. "You'll suffer for this!
I'll have you arrested."
"You only got what you deserved," added Mr. Swift. "You
were acting illegally, following us, and you tried to sink
us by ramming my craft before we retaliated by firing on
"It was an accident, ramming you," said Berg. "We couldn't
help it. I now demand that you help us make repairs."
"Well, you've got nerve!" cried Captain Weston, his eyes
flashing. "I'd like to have a personal interview with you
for about ten minutes. Maybe something besides your ship
would need repairs then."
Berg turned away, scowling, but did not reply. He began
directing the crew what to do about the broken rudder.
"Come on," proposed Tom in a low voice, for sounds carry
very easily over water. "Let's go below and skip out while
we have a chance. They can't follow now, and we can get to
the sunken treasure ahead of them."
"Good advice," commented his father. "Come, Captain
Weston, we'll go below and close the conning tower."
Five minutes later the Advance sank from sight, the last
glimpse Tom had of Berg and his men being a sight of them
standing on the deck of their floating boat, gazing in the
direction of their successful rival. The Wonder was left
behind, while Tom and his friends were soon once more
speeding toward the treasure wreck.
Chapter Nineteen
"Down deep," advised Captain Weston, as he stood beside
Tom and Mr. Swift in the pilot house. "As far as you can
manage her, and then forward. We'll take no more chances
with these fellows."
"The only trouble is," replied the young inventor, "that
the deeper we go the slower we have to travel. The water is
so dense that it holds us back."
"Well, there is no special need of hurrying now," went on
the sailor. "No one is following you, and two or three days
difference in reaching the wreck will not amount to
"Unless they repair their rudder, and take after us
again," suggested Mr. Swift.
"They're not very likely to do that," was the captain's
opinion. "It was more by luck than good management that they
picked us up before. Now, having to delay, as they will, to
repair their steering gear, while we can go as deep as we
please and speed ahead, it is practically impossible for
them to catch up to us. No, I think we have nothing to fear
from them."
But though danger from Berg and his crowd was somewhat
remote, perils of another sort were hovering around the
treasure-seekers, and they were soon to experience them.
It was much different from sailing along in the airship,
Tom thought, for there was no blue sky and fleecy clouds to
see, and they could not look down and observe, far below
them, cities and villages. Nor could they breathe the
bracing atmosphere of the upper regions.
But if there was lack of the rarefied air of the clouds,
there was no lack of fresh atmosphere. The big tanks carried
a large supply, and whenever more was needed the oxygen
machine would supply it.
As there was no need, however, of remaining under water
for any great stretch of time, it was their practice to rise
every day and renew the air supply, also to float along on
the surface for a while, or speed along, with only the
conning tower out, in order to afford a view, and to enable
Captain Weston to take observations. But care was always
exercised to make sure no ships were in sight when emerging
on the surface, for the gold-seekers did not want to be
hailed and questioned by inquisitive persons.
It was about four days after the disabling of the rival
submarine, and the Advance was speeding along about a mile
and a half under water. Tom was in the pilot house with
Captain Weston, Mr. Damon was at his favorite pastime of
looking out of the glass side windows into the ocean and its
wonders, and Mr. Swift and the balloonists were, as usual,
in the engine-room.
"How near do you calculate we are to the sunken wreck?"
asked Tom of his companion.
"Well, at the calculation we made yesterday, we are within
about a thousand miles of it now. We ought to reach it in
about four more days, if we don't have any accidents."
"And how deep do you think it is?" went on the lad.
"Well, I'm afraid it's pretty close to two miles, if not
more. It's quite a depth, and of course impossible for
ordinary divers to reach. But it will be possible in this
submarine and in the strong diving suits your father has
invented for us to get to it. Yes, I don't anticipate much
trouble in getting out the gold, once we reach the wreck of
The captain's remark was not finished. From the engineroom
there came a startled shout:
"Tom! Tom! Your father is hurt! Come here, quick!"
"Take the wheel!" cried the lad to the captain. "I must go
to my father." It was Mr. Sharp's voice he had heard.
Racing to the engine-room, Tom saw his parent doubled up
over a dynamo, while to one side, his hand on a copper
switch, stood Mr. Sharp.
"What's the matter?" shouted the lad.
"He's held there by a current of electricity," replied the
balloonist. "The wires are crossed."
"Why don't you shut off the current?" demanded the youth,
as he prepared to pull his parent from the whirring machine.
Then he hesitated, for he feared he, too, would be glued
fast by the terrible current, and so be unable to help Mr.
"I'm held fast here, too," replied the balloonist. "I
started to cut out the current at this switch, but there's a
short circuit somewhere, and I can't let go, either. Quick,
shut off all power at the main switchboard forward."
Tom realized that this was the only thing to do. He ran
forward and with a yank cut out all the electric wires. With
a sigh of relief Mr. Sharp pulled his hands from the copper
where he had been held fast as if by some powerful magnet,
his muscles cramped by the current. Fortunately the
electricity was of low voltage, and he was not burned. The
body of Mr. Swift toppled backward from the dynamo, as Tom
sprang to reach his father.
"He's dead!" he cried, as he saw the pale face and the
closed eyes.
"No, only badly shocked, I hope," spoke Mr. Sharp. "But we
must get him to the fresh air at once. Start the tank pumps.
We'll rise to the surface."
The youth needed no second bidding. Once more turning on
the electric current, he set the powerful pumps in motion
and the submarine began to rise. Then, aided by Captain
Weston and Mr. Damon, the young inventor carried his father
to a couch in the main cabin. Mr. Sharp took charge of the
Restoratives were applied, and there was a flutter of the
eyelids of the aged inventor.
"I think he'll come around all right," said the sailor
kindly, as he saw Tom's grief. "Fresh air will be the thing
for him. We'll be on the surface in a minute."
Up shot the Advance, while Mr. Sharp stood ready to open
the conning tower as soon as it should be out of water. Mr.
Swift seemed to be rapidly reviving. With a bound the
submarine, forced upward from the great depth, fairly shot
out of the water. There was a clanking sound as the aeronaut
opened the airtight door of the tower, and a breath of fresh
air came in.
"Can you walk, dad, or shall we carry you?" asked Tom
"Oh, I--I'm feeling better now," was the inventor's reply.
"I'll soon be all right when I get out on deck. My foot
slipped as I was adjusting a wire that had gotten out of
order, and I fell so that I received a large part of the
current. I'm glad I was not burned. Was Mr. Sharp hurt? I
saw him run to the switch, just before I lost
"No, I'm all right," answered the balloonist. "But allow
us to get you out to the fresh air. You'll feel much better
Mr. Swift managed to walk slowly to the ladder leading to
the conning tower, and thence to the deck. The others
followed him. As all emerged from the submarine they uttered
a cry of astonishment.
There, not one hundred yards away, was a great warship,
flying a flag which, in a moment. Tom recognized as that of
Brazil. The cruiser was lying off a small island, and all
about were small boats, filled with natives, who seemed to
be bringing supplies from land to the ship. At the
unexpected sight of the submarine, bobbing up from the
bottom of the ocean, the natives uttered cries of fright.
The attention of those on the warship was attracted, and the
bridge and rails were lined with curious officers and men.
"It's a good thing we didn't come up under that ship,"
observed Tom. "They would have thought we were trying to
torpedo her. Do you feel better, dad?" he asked, his wonder
over the sight of the big vessel temporarily eclipsed in his
anxiety for his parent.
"Oh, yes, much better. I'm all right now. But I wish we
hadn't disclosed ourselves to these people. They may demand
to know where we are going, and Brazil is too near Uruguay
to make it safe to tell our errand. They may guess it,
however, from having read of the wreck, and our departure."
"Oh, I guess it will be all right," replied Captain
Weston. "We can tell them we are on a pleasure trip. That's
true enough. It would give us great pleasure to find that
"There's a boat, with some officers in it, to judge by the
amount of gold lace on them, putting off from the ship,"
remarked Mr. Sharp.
"Ha! Yes! Evidently they intend to pay us a formal visit,"
observed Mr. Damon. "Bless my gaiters, though. I'm not
dressed to receive company. I think I'll put on my dress
"It's too late," advised Tom. "They'll be here in a
Urged on by the lusty arms of the Brazilian sailors, the
boat, containing several officers, neared the floating
submarine rapidly.
"Ahoy there!" called an officer in the bow, his accent
betraying his unfamiliarity with the English language. "What
craft are you?"
"Submarine, Advance, from New Jersey," replied Tom. "Who
are you?"
"Brazilian cruiser San Paulo," was the reply. "Where are
you bound?" went on the officer.
"On pleasure," answered Captain Weston quickly. "But why
do you ask? We are an American ship, sailing under American
colors. Is this Brazilian territory?"
"This island is--yes," came back the answer, and by this
time the small boat was at the side of the submarine. Before
the adventurers could have protested, had they a desire to
do so, there were a number of officers and the crew of the
San Paulo on the small deck.
With a flourish, the officer who had done the questioning
drew his sword. Waving it in the air with a dramatic
gesture, he exclaimed:
"You're our prisoners! Resist and my men shall cut you
down like dogs! Seize them, men!"
The sailors sprang forward, each one stationing himself at
the side of one of our friends, and grasping an arm.
"What does this mean?" cried Captain Weston indignantly.
"If this is a joke, you're carrying it too far. If you're in
earnest, let me warn you against interfering with
"We know what we are doing," was the answer from the
The sailor who had hold of Captain Weston endeavored to
secure a tighter grip. The captain turned suddenly, and
seizing the man about the waist, with an exercise of
tremendous strength hurled him over his head and into the
sea, the man making a great splash.
"That's the way I'll treat any one else who dares lay a
hand on me!" shouted the captain, who was transformed from a
mild-mannered individual into an angry, modern giant. There
was a gasp of astonishment at his feat, as the ducked sailor
crawled back into the small boat. And he did not again
venture on the deck of the submarine.
"Seize them, men!" cried the gold-laced officer again, and
this time he and his fellows, including the crew, crowded so
closely around Tom and his friends that they could do
nothing. Even Captain Weston found it impossible to offer
any resistance, for three men grabbed hold of him but his
spirit was still a fighting one, and he struggled
desperately but uselessly.
"How dare you do this?" he cried.
"Yes," added Tom, "what right have you to interfere with
"Every right," declared the gold-laced officer.
"You are in Brazilian territory, and I arrest you."
"What for?" demanded Mr. Sharp.
"Because your ship is an American submarine, and we have
received word that you intend to damage our shipping, and
may try to torpedo our warships. I believe you tried to
disable us a little while ago, but failed. We consider that
an act of war and you will be treated accordingly. Take them
on board the San Paulo," the officer Went on, turning to his
aides. "We'll try them by court-marital here. Some of you
remain and guard this submarine. We will teach these
filibustering Americans a lesson."
Chapter Twenty
Doomed to Death
There was no room on the small deck of the submarine to
make a stand against the officers and crew of the Brazilian
warship. In fact, the capture of the gold-seekers had been
effected so suddenly that their astonishment almost deprived
them of the power to think clearly.
At another command from the officer, who was addressed as
Admiral Fanchetti, several of the sailors began to lead Tom
and his friends toward the small boat.
"Do you feel all right, father?" inquired the lad
anxiously, as he looked at his parent. "These scoundrels
have no right to treat us so."
"Yes, Tom, I'm all right as far as the electric shock is
concerned, but I don't like to be handled in this fashion."
"We ought not to submit!" burst out Mr. Damon. "Bless the
stars and stripes! We ought to fight."
"There's no chance," said Mr. Sharp. "We are right under
the guns of the ship. They could sink us with one shot. I
guess we'll have to give in for the time being."
"It is most unpleasant, if I may be allowed the
expression," commented Captain Weston mildly. He seemed to
have lost his sudden anger, hut there was a steely glint in
his eyes, and a grim, set look around his month that showed
his temper was kept under control only by an effort. It
boded no good to the sailors who had hold of the doughty
captain if he should once get loose, and it was noticed that
they were on their guard.
As for Tom, he submitted quietly to the two Brazilians who
had hold of either arm, and Mr. Swift was held by only one,
for it was seen that he was feeble.
"Into the boat with them!" cried Admiral Fanchetti. "And
guard them well, Lieutenant Drascalo, for I heard them
plotting to escape," and the admiral signaled to a younger
officer, who was in charge of the men guarding the
"Lieutenant Drascalo, eh?" murmured Mr. Damon. "I think
they made a mistake naming him. It ought to be Rascalo. He
looks like a rascal."
"Silenceo!" exclaimed the lieutenant, scowling at the odd
"Bless my spark plug! He's a regular fire-eater!" went on
Mr. Damon, who appeared to have fully recovered his spirits.
"Silenceo!" cried the lieutenant, scowling again, but Mr.
Damon did not appear to mind.
Admiral Fanchetti and several others of the gold-laced
officers remained aboard the submarine, while Tom and his
friends were hustled into the small boat and rowed toward
the warship.
"I hope they don't damage our craft," murmured the young
inventor, as he saw the admiral enter the conning tower.
"If they do, we'll complain to the United States consul
and demand damages," said Mr. Swift
"I'm afraid we won't have a chance to communicate with the
consul," remarked Captain Weston.
"What do you mean?" asked Mr. Damon. "Bless my shoelaces,
but will these scoundrels--"
"Silenceo!" cried Lieutenant Drascalo quickly. "Dogs of
Americans, do you wish to insult us?"
"Impossible; you wouldn't appreciate a good, genuine
United States insult," murmured Tom under his breath.
"What I mean," went on the captain, "is that these people
may carry the proceedings off with a high hand. You heard
the admiral speak of a court-martial."
"Would they dare do that?" inquired Mr. Sharp.
"They would dare anything in this part of the world, I'm
afraid," resumed Captain Weston. "I think I see their plan,
though. This admiral is newly in command; his uniform shows
that He wants to make a name for himself, and he seizes on
our submarine as an excuse. He can send word to his
government that he destroyed a torpedo craft that sought to
wreck his ship. Thus he will acquire a reputation."
"But would his government support him in such a hostile
act against the United States, a friendly nation?" asked
"Oh, he would not claim to have acted against the United
States as a power. He would say that it was a private
submarine, and, as a matter of fact, it is. While we are
under the protection of the stars and stripes, our vessel is
not a Government one," and Captain Weston spoke the last in
a low voice, so the scowling lieutenant could not hear.
"What will they do with us?" inquired Mr. Swift.
"Have some sort of a court-martial, perhaps," went on the
captain, "and confiscate our craft Then they will send us
back home, I expect for they would not dare harm us."
"But take our submarine!" cried Tom. "The villains--"
"Silenceo!" shouted Lieutenant Drascalo and he drew his
By this time the small boat was under the big guns of the
San Paulo, and the prisoners were ordered, in broken
English, to mount a companion ladder that hung over the
side. In a short time they were on deck, amid a crowd of
sailors, and they could see the boat going back to bring off
the admiral, who signaled from the submarine. Tom and his
friends were taken below to a room that looked like a
prison, and there, a little later, they were visited by
Admiral Fanchetti and several officers.
"You will be tried at once," said the admiral. "I have
examined your submarine and I find she carries two torpedo
tubes. It is a wonder you did not sink me at once."
"Those are not torpedo tubes!" cried Tom, unable to keep
silent, though Captain Weston motioned him to do so.
"I know torpedo tubes when I see them," declared the
admiral. "I consider I had a very narrow escape. Your
country is fortunate that mine does not declare war against
it for this act. But I take it you are acting privately, for
you fly no flag, though you claim to be from the United
"There's no place for a flag on the submarine," went on
Tom. "What good would it be under water?"
"Silenceo!" cried Lieutenant Drascalo, the admonition to
silence seeming to be the only command of which he was
"I shall confiscate your craft for my government," went on
the admiral, "and shall punish you as the court-martial may
direct. You will be tried at once."
It was in vain for the prisoners to protest. Matters were
carried with a high hand. They were allowed a spokesman, and
Captain Weston, who understood Spanish, was selected, that
language being used. But the defense was a farce, for he was
scarcely listened to. Several officers testified before the
admiral, who was judge, that they had seen the submarine
rise out of the water, almost under the prow of the San
Paulo. It was assumed that the Advance had tried to wreck
the warship, but had failed. It was in vain that Captain
Weston and the others told of the reason for their rapid
ascent from the ocean depths--that Mr. Swift had been
shocked, and needed fresh air. Their story was not believed.
"We have heard enough!" suddenly exclaimed the admiral.
"The evidence against you is over-whelming--er--what you
Americans call conclusive," and be was speaking then in
broken English. "I find you guilty, and the sentence of this
court-martial is that you be shot at sunrise, three days
"Shot!" cried Captain Weston, staggering back at this
unexpected sentence. His companions turned white, and Mr.
Swift leaned against his son for support.
"Bless my stars! Of all the scoundrelly!" began Mr. Damon.
"Silenceo!" shouted the lieutenant, waving his sword.
"You will be shot," proceeded the admiral. "Is not that
the verdict of the honorable court?" he asked, looking at
his fellow officers. They all nodded gravely.
"But look here!" objected Captain Weston. "You don't dare
do that! We are citizens of the United States, and--"
"I consider you no better than pirates," interrupted the
admiral. "You have an armed submarine--a submarine with
torpedo tubes. You invade our harbor with it, and come up
almost under my ship. You have forfeited your right to the
protection of your country, and I have no fear on that
score. You will be shot within three days. That is all.
Remove the prisoners."
Protests were in vain, and it was equally useless to
struggle. The prisoners were taken out on deck, for which
they were thankful, for the interior of the ship was close
and hot, the weather being intensely disagreeable. They were
told to keep within a certain space on deck, and a guard of
sailors, all armed, was placed near them. From where they
were they could see their submarine floating on the surface
of the little bay, with several Brazilians on the small
deck. The Advance had been anchored, and was surrounded by a
flotilla of the native boats, the brown-skinned paddlers
gazing curiously at the odd craft.
"Well, this is tough luck!" murmured Tom. "How do you
feel, dad?"
"As well as can be expected under the circumstances," was
the reply. "What do you think about this, Captain Weston?"
"Not very much, if I may be allowed the expression," was
the answer.
"Do you think they will dare carry out that threat?" asked
Mr. Sharp.
The captain shrugged his shoulders. "I hope it is only a
bluff," he replied, "made to scare us so we will consent to
giving up the submarine, which they have no right to
confiscate. But these fellows look ugly enough for
anything," he went on.
"Then if there's any chance of them attempting to carry it
out," spoke Tom, "we've got to do something."
"Bless my gizzard, of course!" exclaimed Mr. Damon. "But
what? That's the question. To be shot! Why, that's a
terrible threat! The villains--"
"Silenceo!" shouted Lieutenant Drascalo, coming up at that
Chapter Twenty-One
The Escape
Events had happened so quickly that day that the goldhunters
could scarcely comprehend them. It seemed only a
short time since Mr. Swift had been discovered lying
disabled on the dynamo, and what had transpired since seemed
to have taken place in a few minutes, though it was, in
reality, several hours. This was made manifest by the
feeling of hunger on the part of Tom and his friends.
"I wonder if they're going to starve us, the scoundrels?"
asked Mr. Sharp, when the irate lieutenant was beyond
hearing. "It's not fair to make us go hungry and shoot us in
the bargain."
"That's so, they ought to feed us," put in Tom. As yet
neither he nor the others fully realized the meaning of the
sentence passed on them.
From where they were on deck they could look off to the
little island. From it boats manned by natives were
constantly putting off, bringing supplies to the ship. The
place appeared to be a sort of calling station for Brazilian
warships, where they could get fresh water and fruit and
other food.
From the island the gaze of the adventurers wandered to
the submarine, which lay not far away. They were chagrined
to see several of the bolder natives clambering over the
"I hope they keep out of the interior," commented Tom. "If
they get to pulling or hauling on the levers and wheels they
may open the tanks and sink her, with the Conning tower
"Better that, perhaps, than to have her fall into the
hands of a foreign power," commented Captain Weston.
"Besides, I don't see that it's going to matter much to us
what becomes of her after we're--"
He did not finish, but every one knew what he meant, and a
grim silence fell upon the little group.
There came a welcome diversion, however, in the shape of
three sailors, bearing trays of food, which were placed on
the deck in front of the prisoners, who were sitting or
lying in the shade of an awning, for the sun was very hot
"Ha! Bless my napkin-ring!" cried Mr. Damon with something
of his former gaiety. "Here's a meal, at all events. They
don't intend to starve us. Eat hearty, every one."
"Yes, we need to keep up our strength," observed Captain
"Why?" inquired Mr. Sharp.
"Because we're going to try to escape!" exclaimed Tom in a
low voice, when the sailors who had brought the food had
gone. "Isn't that what you mean, captain?"
"Exactly. We'll try to give these villains the slip, and
we'll need all our strength and wits to do it. We'll wait
until night, and see what we can do."
"But where will we escape to?" asked Mr. Swift. "The
island will afford no shelter, and--"
"No, but our submarine will," went on the sailor.
"It's in the possession of the Brazilians," objected Tom.
"Once I get aboard the Advance twenty of those brownskinned
villains won't keep me prisoner," declared Captain
Weston fiercely. "If we can only slip away from here, get
into the small boat, or even swim to the submarine, I'll
make those chaps on board her think a hurricane has broken
"Yes, and I'll help," said Mr. Damon.
"And I," added Tom and the balloonist
"That's the way to talk," commented the captain. "Now
let's eat, for I see that rascally lieutenant coming this
way, and we mustn't appear to be plotting, or he'll be
The day passed slowly, and though the prisoners seemed to
be allowed considerable liberty, they soon found that it was
only apparent. Once Tom walked some distance from that
portion of the deck where he and the others had been told to
remain. A sailor with a gun at once ordered him back. Nor
could they approach the rails without being directed,
harshly enough at times, to move back amidships.
As night approached the gold-seekers were on the alert for
any chance that might offer to slip away, or even attack
their guard, but the number of Brazilians around them was
doubled in the evening, and after supper, which was served
to them on deck by the light of swinging lanterns, they were
taken below and locked in a stuffy cabin. They looked
helplessly at each other.
"Don't give up," advised Captain Weston. "It's a long
night. We may be able to get out of here."
But this hope was in vain. Several times he and Tom,
thinking the guards outside the cabin were asleep, tried to
force the lock of the door with their pocket-knives, which
had not been taken from them. But one of the sailors was
aroused each time by the noise, and looked in through a
barred window, so they had to give it up. Slowly the night
passed, and morning found the prisoners pale, tired and
discouraged. They were brought up on deck again, for which
they were thankful, as in that tropical climate it was
stifling below.
During the day they saw Admiral Fanchetti and several of
his officers pay a visit to the submarine. They went below
through the opened conning tower, and were gone some time.
"I hope they don't disturb any of the machinery," remarked
Mr. Swift. "That could easily do great damage."
Admiral Fanchetti seemed much pleased with himself when he
returned from his visit to the submarine.
"You have a fine craft," he said to the prisoners. "Or,
rather, you had one. My government now owns it. It seems a
pity to shoot such good boat builders, but you are too
dangerous to be allowed to go."
If there had been any doubt in the minds of Tom and his
friends that the sentence of the court-martial was only for
effect, it was dispelled that day. A firing squad was told
off in plain view of them, and the men were put through
their evolutions by Lieutenant Drascalo, who had them load,
aim and fire blank cartridges at an imaginary line of
prisoners. Tom could not repress a shudder as he noted the
leveled rifles, and saw the fire and smoke spurt from the
"Thus we shall do to you at sunrise to-morrow," said the
lieutenant, grinning, as he once more had his men practice
their grim work.
It seemed hotter than ever that day. The sun was fairly
broiling, and there was a curious haziness and stillness to
the air. It was noticed that the sailors on the San Paula
were busy making fast all loose articles on deck with extra
lashings, and hatch coverings were doubly secured.
"What do you suppose they are up to?" asked Tom of Captain
"I think it is coming on to blow," he replied, "and they
don't want to be caught napping. They have fearful storms
down in this region at this season of the year, and I think
one is about due."
"I hope it doesn't wreck the submarine," spoke Mr. Swift.
"They ought to close the hatch of the conning tower, for it
won't take much of a sea to make her ship considerable
Admiral Fanchetti had thought of this, however, and as the
afternoon wore away and the storm signs multiplied, he sent
word to close the submarine. He left a few sailors aboard
inside on guard.
"It's too hot to eat," observed Tom, when their supper had
been brought to them, and the others felt the same way about
it. They managed to drink some cocoanut milk, prepared in a
palatable fashion by the natives of the island, and then,
much to their disgust, they were taken below again and
locked in the cabin.
"Whew! But it certainly is hot!" exclaimed Mr. Damon as he
sat down on a couch and fanned himself. "This is awful!"
"Yes, something is going to happen pretty soon," observed
Captain Weston. "The storm will break shortly, I think."
They sat languidly about the cabin. It was so oppressive
that even the thought of the doom that awaited them in the
morning could hardly seem worse than the terrible heat. They
could hear movements going on about the ship, movements
which indicated that preparations were being made for
something unusual. There was a rattling of a chain through a
hawse hole, and Captain Weston remarked:
"They're putting down another anchor. Admiral Fanchetti
had better get away from the island, though, unless he wants
to be wrecked. He'll be blown ashore in less than no time. No
cable or chain will hold in such storms as they have here."
There came a period of silence, which was suddenly broken
by a howl as of some wild beast.
"What's that?" cried Tom, springing up from where he was
stretched out on the cabin floor.
"Only the wind," replied the captain. "The storm has
The howling kept up, and soon the ship began to rock. The
wind increased, and a little later there could be heard,
through an opened port in the prisoners' cabin, the dash of
"It's a regular hurricane!" exclaimed the captain. "I
wonder if the cables will hold?"
"What about the submarine?" asked Mr. Swift anxiously.
"I haven't much fear for her. She lies so low in the water
that the wind can't get much hold on her. I don't believe
she'll drag her anchor."
Once more came a fierce burst of wind, and a
dash of rain, and then, suddenly above the outburst of the
elements, there sounded a crash on deck. It was followed by
excited cries.
"Something's happened!" yelled Tom. The prisoners gathered
in a frightened group in the middle of the cabin. The cries
were repeated, and then came a rush of feet just outside the
cabin door.
"Our guards! They're leaving!" shouted Tom.
"Right!" exclaimed Captain Weston. "Now's our chance! Come
on! If we're going to escape we must do it while the storm
is at its height, and all is in confusion. Come on!"
Tom tried the door. It was locked.
"One side!" shouted the captain, and this time he did not
pause to say "by your leave." He came at the portal on the
run, and his shoulder struck it squarely. There was a
splintering and crashing of wood, and the door was burst
"Follow me!" cried the valiant sailor, and Tom and the
others rushed after him. They could hear the wind howling
more loudly than ever, and as they reached the deck the rain
dashed into their faces with such violence that they could
hardly see. But they were aware that something had occurred.
By the light of several lanterns swaying in the terrific
blast they saw that one of the auxiliary masts had broken
off near the deck.
It had fallen against the chart house, smashing it, and a
number of sailors were laboring to clear away the wreckage.
"Fortune favors us!" cried Captain Weston. "Come on! Make
for the small boat. It's near the side ladder. We'll lower
the boat and pull to the submarine."
There came a flash of lightning, and in its glare Tom saw
something that caused him to cry out.
"Look!" he shouted. "The submarine. She's dragged her
The Advance was much closer to the warship than she had
been that afternoon. Captain Weston looked over the side.
"It's the San Paula that's dragging her anchors, not the
submarine!" he shouted. "We're bearing down on her! We must
act quickly. Come on, we'll lower the boat!"
In the rush of wind and the dash of rain the prisoners
crowded to the accommodation companion ladder, which was
still over the side of the big ship. No one seemed to be
noticing them, for Admiral Fanchetti was on the bridge,
yelling orders for the clearing away of the wreckage. But
Lieutenant Drascalo, coming up from below at that moment,
caught sight of the fleeing ones. Drawing his sword, he
rushed at them, shouting:
"The prisoners! The prisoners! They are escaping!"
Captain Weston leaped toward the lieutenant
"Look out for his sword!" cried Tom. But the doughty
sailor did not fear the weapon. Catching up a coil of rope,
he cast it at the lieutenant. It struck him in the chest,
and he staggered back, lowering his sword.
Captain Weston leaped forward, and with a terrific blow
sent Lieutenant Drascalo to the deck.
"There!" cried the sailor. "I guess you won't yell
'Silenceo!' for a while now."
There was a rush of Brazilians toward the group of
prisoners. Tom caught one with a blow on the chin, and
felled him, while Captain Weston disposed of two more, and
Mr. Sharp and Mr. Damon one each. The savage fighting of the
Americans was too much for the foreigners, and they drew
"Come on!" cried Captain Weston again. "The storm is
getting worse. The warship will crash into the submarine in
a few minutes. Her anchors aren't holding. I didn't think
they would."
He made a dash for the ladder, and a glance showed him
that the small boat was in the water at the foot of it. The
craft had not been hoisted on the davits.
"Luck's with us at last!" cried Tom, Seeing it also.
"Shall I help you, dad?"
"No; I think I'm all right. Go ahead."
There came such a gust of wind that the San Paula was
heeled over, and the wreck of the mast, rolling about,
crashed into the side of a deck house, splintering it. A
crowd of sailors, led by Admiral Fanchetti, who were again
rushing on the escaping prisoners, had to leap back out of
the way of the rolling mast.
"Catch them! Don't let them get away!" begged the
commander, but the sailors evidently had no desire to close
in with the Americans.
Through the rush of wind and rain Tom and his friends
staggered down the ladder. It was hard work to maintain
one's footing, but they managed it. On account of the high
side of the ship the water was comparatively calm under her
lee, and, though the small boat was bobbing about, they got
aboard. The oars were in place, and in another moment they
had shoved off from the landing stage which formed the foot
of the accommodation ladder.
"Now for the Advance!" murmured Captain Weston.
"Come back! Come back, dogs of Americans!" cried a voice
at the rail over their heads, and looking up, Tom saw
Lieutenant Drascalo. He had snatched a carbine from a
marine, and was pointing it at the recent prisoners. He
fired, the flash of the gun and a dazzling chain of
lightning coming together. The thunder swallowed up the
report of the carbine, but the bullet whistled uncomfortable
close to Tom's head. The blackness that followed the
lightning shut out the view of everything for a few seconds,
and when the next flash came the adventurers saw that they
were close to their submarine.
A fusillade of shots sounded from the deck of the warship,
but as the marines were poor marksmen at best, and as the
swaying of the ship disconcerted them, our friends were in
little danger.
There was quite a sea once they were beyond the protection
of the side of the warship, but Captain Weston, who was
rowing, knew how to manage a boat skillfully, and he soon had
the craft alongside the bobbing submarine.
"Get aboard, now, quick!" he cried.
They leaped to the small deck, casting the rowboat adrift.
It was the work of but a moment to open the conning tower.
As they started to descend they were met by several
Brazilians coming up.
"Overboard with 'em!" yelled the captain. "Let them swim
ashore or to their ship!"
With almost superhuman strength he tossed one big sailor
from the small deck. Another showed fight, but he went to
join his companion in the swirling water. A man rushed at
Tom, seeking the while to draw his sword, but the young
inventor, with a neat left-hander, sent him to join the
other two, and the remainder did not wait to try
conclusions. They leaped for their lives, and soon all could
be seen, in the frequent lightning flashes, swimming toward
the warship which was now closer than ever to the submarine
"Get inside and we'll sink below the surface!" called Tom.
"Then we don't care what happens."
They closed the steel door of the conning tower. As they
did so they heard the patter of bullets from carbines fired
from the San Paulo. Then came a violent tossing of the
Advance; the waves were becoming higher as they caught the
full force of the hurricane. It took but an instant to
sever, from within, the cable attached to the anchor, which
was one belonging to the warship. The Advance began
"Open the tanks, Mr. Sharp!" cried Tom. "Captain Weston
and I will steer. Once below we'll start the engines."
Amid a crash of thunder and dazzling flashes of lightning,
the submarine began to sink. Tom, in the conning tower had a
sight of the San Paulo as it drifted nearer and nearer under
the influence of the mighty wind. As one bright flash came
he saw Admiral Fanchetti and Lieutenant Drascalo leaning
over the rail and gazing at the Advance.
A moment later the view faded from sight as the submarine
sank below the surface of the troubled sea. She was tossed
about for some time until deep enough to escape the surface
motion. Waiting until she was far enough down so that her
lights would not offer a mark for the guns of the warship,
the electrics were switched on.
"We're safe now!" cried Tom, helping his father to his
cabin. "They've got too much to attend to themselves to
follow us now, even if they could. Shall we go ahead,
Captain Weston?"
"I think so, yes, if I may be allowed to express my
opinion," was the mild reply, in strange contrast to the
strenuous work in which the captain had just been engaged.
Tom signaled to Mr. Sharp in the engine-room, and in a few
seconds the Advance was speeding away from the island and
the hostile vessel. Nor, deep as she was now, was there any
sign of the hurricane. In the peaceful depths she was once
more speeding toward the sunken treasure.
Chapter Twenty-Two
At the Wreck
"Well," remarked Mr. Damon, as the submarine hurled
herself forward through the ocean, "I guess that firing
party will have something else to do to-morrow morning
besides aiming those rifles at us."
"Yes, indeed," agreed Tom. "They'll be lucky if they save
their ship. My, how that wind did blow!"
"You're right," put in Captain Weston. "When they get a
hurricane down in this region it's no cat's paw. But they
were a mighty careless lot of sailors. The idea of leaving
the ladder over the side, and the boat in the water."
"It was a good thing for us, though," was Tom's opinion.
"Indeed it was," came from the captain. "But as long as we
are safe now I think we'd better take a look about the craft
to see if those chaps did any damage. They can't have done
much, though, or she wouldn't be running so smoothly.
Suppose you go take a look, Tom, and ask your father and Mr.
Sharp what they think. I'll steer for a while, until we get
well away from the island."
The young inventor found his father and the balloonist
busy in the engine-room. Mr. Swift had already begun an
inspection of the machinery, and so far found that it had
not been injured. A further inspection showed that no damage
had been done by the foreign guard that had been in
temporary possession of the Advance, though the sailors had
made free in the cabins, and had broken into the food
lockers, helping themselves plentifully. But there was still
enough for the gold-seekers.
"You'd never know there was a storm raging up above,"
observed Tom as he rejoined Captain Weston in the lower
pilot house, where he was managing the craft. "It's as
still and peaceful here as one could wish."
"Yes, the extreme depths are seldom disturbed by a surface
storm. But we are over a mile deep now. I sent her down a
little while you were gone, as I think she rides a little
more steadily."
All that night they speeded forward, and the next day,
rising to the surface to take an observation, they found no
traces of the storm, which had blown itself out. They were
several hundred miles away from the hostile warship, and
there was not a vessel in sight on the broad expanse of blue
The air tanks were refilled, and after sailing along on
the surface for an hour or two, the submarine was again sent
below, as Captain Weston sighted through his telescope the
smoke of a distant steamer.
"As long as it isn't the Wonder, we're all right," said
Tom. "Still, we don't want to answer a lot of questions
about ourselves and our object."
"No. I fancy the Wonder will give up the search," remarked
the captain, as the Advance was sinking to the depths.
"We must be getting pretty near to the end of our search
ourselves," ventured the young inventor.
"We are within five hundred miles of the intersection of
the forty-fifth parallel and the twenty-seventh meridian,
east from Washington," said the captain. "That's as near as
I could locate the wreck. Once we reach that point we will
have to search about under water, for I don't fancy the
other divers left any buoys to mark the spot."
It was two days later, after uneventful sailing, partly on
the surface, and partly submerged, that Captain Weston,
taking a noon observation, announced:
"Well, we're here!"
"Do you mean at the wreck?" asked Mr. Swift eagerly.
"We're at the place where she is supposed to lie, in about
two miles of water," replied the captain. "We are quite a
distance off the coast of Uruguay, about opposite the harbor
of Rio de La Plata. From now on we shall have to nose about
under water, and trust to luck."
With her air tanks filled to their capacity, and Tom
having seen that the oxygen machine and other apparatus was
in perfect working order, the submarine was sent below on
her search. Though they were in the neighborhood of the
wreck, the adventurers might still have to do considerable
searching before locating it. Lower and lower they sank into
the depths of the sea, down and down, until they were deeper
than they had ever gone before. The pressure was tremendous,
but the steel sides of the Advance withstood it
Then began a search that lasted nearly a week. Back and
forth they cruised, around in great circles, with the
powerful searchlight focused to disclose the sunken treasure
ship. Once Tom, who was observing the path of light in the
depths from the conning tower, thought he had seen the
remains of the Boldero, for a misty shape loomed up in front
of the submarine, and he signaled for a quick stop. It was a
wreck, but it had been on the ocean bed for a score of
years, and only a few timbers remained of what had been a
great ship. Much disappointed, Tom rang for full speed ahead
again, and the current was sent into the great electric
plates that pulled and pushed the submarine forward.
For two days more nothing happened. They searched around
under the green waters, on the alert for the first sign, but
they saw nothing. Great fish swam about them, sometimes
racing with the Advance. The adventurers beheld great ocean
caverns, and skirted immense rocks, where dwelt monsters of
the deep. Once a great octopus tried to do battle with the
submarine and crush it in its snaky arms, but Tom saw the
great white body, with saucer-shaped eyes, in the path of
light and rammed him with the steel point. The creature died
after a struggle.
They were beginning to despair when a full week had passed
and they were seemingly as far from the wreck as ever. They
went to the surface to enable Captain Weston to take another
observation. It only confirmed the other, and showed that
they were in the right vicinity. But it was like looking for
a needle in a haystack, almost, to and the sunken ship in
that depth of water.
"Well, we'll try again," said Mr. Swift, as they sank once
more beneath the surface.
It was toward evening, on the second day after this, that
Tom, who was on duty in the conning tower, saw a black shape
looming up in front of the submarine, the searchlight
revealing it to him far enough away so that he could steer
to avoid it. He thought at first that it was a great rock,
for they were moving along near the bottom, but the peculiar
shape of it soon convinced him that this could not be. It
came more plainly into view as the submarine approached it
more slowly, then suddenly, out of the depths in the
illumination from the searchlight, the young inventor saw
the steel sides of a steamer. His heart gave a great thump,
but he would not call out yet, fearing that it might be some
other vessel than the one containing the treasure.
He steered the Advance so as to circle it. As he swept
past the bows he saw in big letters near the sharp prow the
word, Boldero.
"The wreck! The wreck!" he cried, his voice ringing
through the craft from end to end. "We've found the wreck at
"Are you sure?" cried his father, hurrying to his son,
Captain Weston following.
"Positive," answered the lad. The submarine was slowing up
now, and Tom sent her around on the other side. They had a
good view of the sunken ship. It seemed to be intact, no
gaping holes in her sides, for only her plates had started,
allowing her to sink gradually.
"At last," murmured Mr. Swift. "Can it be possible we are
about to get the treasure?"
"That's the Boldero, all right," affirmed Captain Weston.
"I recognize her, even if the name wasn't on her bow. Go
right down on the bottom, Tom, and we'll get out the diving
suits and make an examination."
The submarine settled to the ocean bed. Tom glanced at the
depth gage. It showed over two miles and a half. Would they
be able to venture out into water of such enormous pressure
in the comparatively frail diving suits, and wrest the gold
from the wreck? It was a serious question.
The Advance came to a stop. In front of her loomed the
great bulk of the Boldero, vague and shadowy in the
flickering gleam of the searchlight As the gold-seekers
looked at her through the bull's-eyes of the conning tower,
several great forms emerged from beneath the wreck's bows.
"Deep-water sharks!" exclaimed Captain Weston, "and
monsters, too. But they can't bother us. Now to get out the
Chapter Twenty-Three
Attacked by Sharks
For a few minutes after reaching the wreck, which had so
occupied their thoughts for the past weeks, the adventurers
did nothing but gaze at it from the ports of the submarine.
The appearance of the deep-water sharks gave them no
concern, for they did not imagine the ugly creatures would
attack them. The treasure-seekers were more engrossed with
the problem of getting out the gold.
"How are we going to get at it?" asked Tom, as he looked
at the high sides of the sunken ship, which towered well
above the comparatively small Advance.
"Why, just go in and get it," suggested Mr. Damon. "Where
is gold in a cargo usually kept, Captain Weston? You ought
to know, I should think. Bless my pocketbook!"
"Well, I should say that in this case the bullion would be
kept in a safe in the captain's cabin," replied the sailor.
"Or, if not there, in some after part of the vessel, away
from where the crew is quartered. But it is going to be
quite a problem to get at it. We can't climb the sides of
the wreck, and it will be impossible to lower her ladder
over the side. However, I think we had better get into the
diving suits and take a closer look. We can walk around
"That's my idea," put in Mr. Sharp. "But who will go, and
who will stay with the ship?"
"I think Tom and Captain Weston had better go, suggested
Mr. Swift. "Then, in case anything happens, Mr. Sharp, you
and I will be on board to manage matters."
"You don't think anything will happen, do you, dad?" asked
his son with a laugh, but it was not an easy one, for the
lad was thinking of the shadowy forms of the ugly sharks.
"Oh, no, but it's best to be prepared," answered his
The captain and the young inventor lost no time in donning
the diving suits. They each took a heavy metal bar, pointed
at one end, to use in assisting them to walk on the bed of
the ocean, and as a protection in case the sharks might
attack them. Entering the diving chamber, they were shut in,
and then water was admitted until the pressure was seen, by
gages, to be the same as that outside the submarine. Then
the sliding steel door was opened. At first Tom and the
captain could barely move, so great was the pressure of
water on their bodies. They would have been crushed but for
the protection afforded by the strong diving suits.
In a few minutes they became used to it, and stepped out
on the floor of the ocean. They could not, of course, speak
to each other, but Tom looked through the glass eyes of his
helmet at the captain, and the latter motioned for the lad
to follow. The two divers could breathe perfectly, and by
means of small, but powerful lights on the helmets, the way
was lighted for them as they advanced.
Slowly they approached the wreck, and began a circuit of
her. They could see several places where the pressure of the
water, and the strain of the storm in which she had
foundered, had 'opened the plates of the ship, but in no
case were the openings large enough to admit a person.
Captain Weston put his steel bar in one crack, and tried to
pry it farther open, but his strength was not equal to the
task. He made some peculiar motions, but Tom could not
understand them.
They looked for some means by which they could mount to
the decks of the Boldero, but none was visible. It was like
trying to scale a fifty-foot smooth steel wall. There was no
place for a foothold. Again the sailor made some peculiar
motions, and the lad puzzled over them. They had gone nearly
around the wreck now, and as yet had seen no way in which to
get at the gold. As they passed around the bow, which was in
a deep shadow from a great rock, they caught sight of the
submarine lying a short distance away. Light streamed from
many hull's-eyes, and Tom felt a sense of security as he
looked at her, for it was lonesome enough in that great
depth of water, unable to speak to his companion, who was a
few feet in advance.
Suddenly there was a swirling of the water, and Tom was
nearly thrown off his feet by the rush of some great body. A
long, black shadow passed over his head, and an instant
later he saw the form of a great shark launched at Captain
Weston. The lad involuntarily cried in alarm, but the result
was surprising. He was nearly deafened by his own voice,
confined as the sound was in the helmet he wore. But the
sailor, too, had felt the movement of the water, and turned
just in time. He thrust upward with his pointed bar. But he
missed the stroke, and Tom, a moment later, saw the great
fish turn over so that its mouth, which is far underneath
its snout, could take in the queer shape which the shark
evidently thought was a choice morsel. The big fish did
actually get the helmet of Captain Weston inside its jaws,
but probably it would have found it impossible to crush the
strong steel. Still it might have sprung the joints, and
water would have entered, which would have been as fatal as
though the sailor had been swallowed by the shark. Tom
realized this and, moving as fast as he could through the
water, he came up behind the monster and drove his steel bar
deep into it.
The sea was crimsoned with blood, and the savage creature,
opening its mouth, let go of the captain. It turned on Tom,
who again harpooned it. Then the fish darted off and began a
wild flurry, for it was dying. The rush of water nearly
threw Tom off his feet, but he managed to make his way over
to his friend, and assist him to rise. A confident look from
the sailor showed the lad that Captain Weston was uninjured,
though he must have been frightened. As the two turned to
make their way back to the submarine, the waters about them
seemed alive with the horrible monsters.
It needed but a glance to show what they were, Sharks!
Scores of them, long, black ones, with their ugly, undershot
mouths. They had been attracted by the blood of the one Tom
had killed, but there was not a meal for all of them off the
dying creature, and the great fish might turn on the young
inventor and his companion.
The two shrank closer toward the wreck. They might get
under the prow of that and be safe. But even as they started
to move, several of the sea wolves darted quickly at them.
Tom glanced at the captain. What could they do? Strong as
were the diving suits, a combined attack by the sharks, with
their powerful jaws, would do untold damage.
At that moment there seemed some movement on board the
submarine. Tom could see his father looking from the conning
tower, and the aged inventor seemed to be making some
motions. Then Tom understood. Mr. Swift was directing his
son and Captain Weston to crouch down. The lad did so,
pulling the sailor after him. Then Tom saw the bow electric
gun run out, and aimed at the mass of sharks, most of whom
were congregated about the dead one. Into the midst of the
monsters was fired a number of small projectiles, which
could be used in the electric cannon in place of the solid
shot. Once more the waters were red with blood, and those
sharks which were not killed swirled off. Tom and Captain
Weston were saved. They were soon inside the submarine
again. telling their thrilling story.
"It's lucky you saw us, dad," remarked the lad, blushing
at the praise Mr. Damon bestowed on him for killing the
monster which had attacked the captain.
"Oh, I was on the lookout," said the inventor. "But what
about getting into the wreck?"
"I think the only way we can do it will be to ram a hole
in her side," said Captain Weston. "That was what I tried to
tell Tom by motions, but he didn't seem to understand me."
"No," replied the lad, who was still a little nervous from
his recent experience. "I thought you meant for us to turn
it over, bottom side up," and he laughed.
"Bless my gizzard! Just like a shark," commented Mr.
"Please don't mention them," begged Tom. "I hope we don't
see any more of them."
"Oh, I fancy they have been driven far enough away from
this neighborhood now," commented the captain. "But now
about the wreck. We may be able to approach it from above.
Suppose we try to lower the submarine on it? That will save
ripping it open."
This was tried a little later, but would not work. There
were strong currents sweeping over the top of the Boldero,
caused by a submerged reef near which she had settled. It
was a delicate task to sink the submarine on her decks, and
with the deep waters swirling about was found to be
impossible, even with the use of the electric plates and the
auxiliary screws. Once more the Advance settled to the ocean
bed, near the wreck.
"Well, what's to be done?" asked Tom, as he looked at the
high steel sides.
"Ram her, tear a hole, and then use dynamite," decided
Captain Weston promptly. "You have some explosive, haven't
you, Mr. Swift?"
"Oh, yes. I came prepared for emergencies."
"Then we'll blow up the wreck and get at the gold."
Chapter Twenty-Four
Ramming the Wreck
Fitted with a long, sharp steel ram in front, the Advance
was peculiarly adapted for this sort of work. In designing
the ship this ram was calculated to be used against hostile
vessels in war time, for the submarine was at first, as we
know, destined for a Government boat. Now the ram was to
serve a good turn.
To make sure that the attempt would be a success, the
machinery of the craft was carefully gone over. It was found
to be in perfect order, save for a few adjustments which
were needed. Then, as it was night, though there was no
difference in the appearance of things below the surface, it
was decided to turn in, and begin work in the morning. Nor
did the gold-seekers go to the surface, for they feared they
might encounter a storm.
"We had trouble enough locating the wreck, said Captain
Weston, "and if we go up we may be blown off our course. We
have air enough to stay below, haven't we, Tom?"
"Plenty," answered the lad, looking at the gages.
After a hearty breakfast the next morning, the submarine
crew got ready for their hard task. The craft was backed
away as far as was practical, and then, running at full
speed, she rammed the wreck. The shock was terrific, and at
first it was feared some damage had been done to the
Advance, but she stood the strain.
"Did we open up much of a hole?" anxiously asked Mr.
"Pretty good," replied Tom, observing it through the
conning tower bull's-eyes, when the submarine had backed off
again. "Let's give her another."
Once more the great steel ram hit into the side of the
Boldero, and again the submarine shivered from the shock.
But there was a bigger hole in the wreck now, and after
Captain Weston had viewed it he decided it was large enough
to allow a person to enter and place a charge of dynamite so
that the treasure ship would be broken up.
Tom and the captain placed the explosive. Then the Advance
was withdrawn to a safe distance. There was a dull rumble, a
great swirling of the water, which was made murky; but when
it cleared, and the submarine went back, it was seen that
the wreck was effectively broken up. It was in two parts,
each one easy of access.
"That's the stuff!" cried Tom. "Now to get at the gold!"
"Yes, get out the diving suits," added Mr. Damon. "Bless
my watch-charm, I think I'll chance it in one myself! Do you
think the sharks are all gone, Captain Weston?"
"I think so."
In a short time Tom, the captain, Mr. Sharp and Mr. Damon
were attired in the diving suits, Mr. Swift not caring to
venture into such a great depth of water. Besides, it was
necessary for at least one person to remain in the submarine
to operate the diving chamber.
Walking slowly along the bottom of the sea the four goldseekers
approached the wreck. They looked on all sides for a
sight of the sharks, but the monster fish seemed to have
deserted that part of the ocean. Tom was the first to reach
the now disrupted steamer. He found he could easily climb
up, for boxes and barrels from the cargo holds were
scattered all about by the explosion. Captain Weston soon
joined the lad. The sailor motioned Tom to follow him, and
being more familiar with ocean craft the captain was
permitted to take the lead. He headed aft, seeking to locate
the captain's cabin. Nor was he long in finding it. He
motioned for the others to enter, that the combined
illumination of the lamps in their helmets would make the
place bright enough so a search could be made for the gold.
Tom suddenly seized the arm of the captain, and pointed to
one corner of the cabin. There stood a small safe, and at
the sight of it Captain Weston moved toward it. The door was
not locked, probably having been left open when the ship was
deserted. Swinging it back the interior was revealed.
It was empty. There was no gold bullion in it.
There was no mistaking the dejected air of Captain Weston.
The others shared his feelings, but though they all felt
like voicing their disappointment, not a word could be
spoken. Mr. Sharp, by vigorous motions, indicated to his
companions to seek further.
They did so, spending all the rest of the day in the
wreck, save for a short interval for dinner. But no gold
rewarded their search.
Tom, late that afternoon, wandered away from the others,
and found himself in the captain's cabin again, with the
empty safe showing dimly in the water that was all about.
"Hang it all!" thought the lad, "we've had all our trouble
for nothing! They must have taken the gold with them."
Idly he raised his steel bar, and struck it against the
partition back of the safe. To his astonishment the
partition seemed to fall inward, revealing a secret
compartment. The lad leaned forward to bring the light for
his helmet to play on the recess. He saw a number of boxes,
piled one upon the other. He had accidentally touched a
hidden spring and opened a secret receptacle. But what did
it contain?
Tom reached in and tried to lift one of the boxes. He
found it beyond his strength. Trembling from excitement, he
went in search of the others. He found them delving in the
after part of the wreck, but by motions our hero caused them
to follow him. Captain Weston showed the excitement he felt
as soon as he caught sight of the boxes. He and Mr. Sharp
lifted one out, and placed it on the cabin floor. They pried
off the top with their bars.
There, packed in layers, were small yellow bars; dull,
gleaming, yellow bars! It needed but a glance to show that
they were gold bullion. Tom had found the treasure. The lad
tried to dance around there in the cabin of the wreck,
nearly three miles below the surface of the ocean, but the
pressure of water was too much for him. Their trip had been
Chapter Twenty-Five
Home With the Gold
There was no time to be lost. They were in a treacherous
part of the ocean, and strong currents might at any time
further break up the wreck, so that they could not come at
the gold. It was decided, by means of motions, to at once
transfer the treasure to the submarine. As the boxes were
too heavy to carry easily, especially as two men, who were
required to lift one, could not walk together in the
uncertain footing afforded by the wreck, another plan was
adopted. The boxes were opened and the bars, a few at a
time, were dropped on a firm, sandy place at the side of the
wreck. Tom and Captain Weston did this work, while Mr. Sharp
and Mr. Damon carried the bullion to the diving chamber of
the Advance. They put the yellow bars inside, and when quite
a number had been thus shifted, Mr. Swift, closing the
chamber, pumped the water out and removed the gold. Then he
opened the chamber to the divers again, and the process was
repeated, until all the bullion had been secured.
Tom would have been glad to make a further examination of
the wreck, for he thought he could get some of the rifles
the ship carried, but Captain Weston signed to him not to
attempt this.
The lad went to the pilot house, while his father and Mr.
Sharp took their places in the engine-room. The gold had
been safely stowed in Mr. Swift's cabin.
Tom took a last look at the wreck before he gave the
starting signal. As he gazed at the bent and twisted mass of
steel that had once been a great ship, he saw something
long, black and shadowy moving around from the other side,
coming across the bows.
"There's another big shark," he observed to Captain
Weston. "They're coming back after us."
The captain did not speak. He was staring at the dark
form. Suddenly, from what seemed the pointed nose of it,
there gleamed a light, as from some great eye.
"Look at that!" cried Tom. "That's no shark!"
"If you want my opinion," remarked the sailor, "I should
say it was the other submarine--that of Berg and his
friends--the Wonder. They've managed to fix up their craft
and are after the gold."
"But they're too late!" cried Tom excitedly. "Let's tell
them so."
"No, advised the captain. "We don't want any trouble with
Mr. Swift came forward to see why his son had not given
the signal to start. He was shown the other submarine, for
now that the Wonder had turned on several searchlights,
there was no doubt as to the identity of the craft.
"Let's get away unobserved if we can," he suggested. "We
have had trouble enough."
It was easy to do this, as the Advance was hidden behind
the wreck, and her lights were glowing but dimly. Then, too,
those in the other submarine were so excited over the
finding of what they supposed was the wreck containing the
treasure, that they paid little attention to anything else.
"I wonder how they'll feel when they find the gold gone?"
asked Tom as he pulled the lever starting the pumps.
"Well, we may have a chance to learn, when we get back to
civilization," remarked the captain.
The surface was soon reached, and then, under fair skies,
and on a calm sea, the voyage home was begun. Part of the
time the Advance sailed on the top, and part of the time
They met with but a single accident, and that was when the
forward electrical plate broke. But with the aft one still
in commission, and the auxiliary screws, they made good
time. Just before reaching home they settled down to the
bottom and donned the diving suits again, even Mr. Swift
taking his turn. Mr. Damon caught some large lobsters, of
which he was very fond, or, rather, to be more correct, the
lobsters caught him. When he entered the diving chamber
there were four fine ones clinging to different parts of his
diving suit. Some of them were served for dinner.
The adventurers safely reached the New Jersey coast, and
the submarine was docked. Mr. Swift at once communicated
with the proper authorities concerning the recovery of the
gold. He offered to divide with the actual owners, after he
and his friends had been paid for their services, but as the
revolutionary party to whom the bullion was intended had
gone out of existence, there was no one to officially claim
the treasure, so it all went to Tom and his friends, who
made an equitable distribution of it. The young inventor did
not forget to buy Mrs. Baggert a fine diamond ring, as he
had promised.
As for Berg and his employers, they were, it was learned
later, greatly chagrined at finding the wreck valueless.
They tried to make trouble for Tom and his father, but were
not successful.
A few days after arriving at the seacoast cottage, Tom,
his father and Mr. Damon went to Shopton in the airship.
Captain Weston, Garret Jackson and Mn Sharp remained behind
in charge of the submarine. It was decided that the Swifts
would keep the craft and not sell it to the Government, as
Tom said they might want to go after more treasure some day.
"I must first deposit this gold," said Mr. Swift as the
airship landed in front of the shed at his home. "It won't
do to keep it in the house over night, even if the Happy
Harry gang is in jail."
Tom helped him take it to the bank. As they were making
perhaps the largest single deposit ever put in the
institution, Ned Newton came out.
"Well, Tom," he cried to his chum, "it seems that you are
never going to stop doing things. You've conquered the air,
the earth and the water."
"What have you been doing while I've been under water,
Ned?" asked the young inventor.
"Oh, the same old thing. Running errands and doing all
sorts of work in the bank."
Tom had a sudden idea. He whispered to his father and Mr.
Swift nodded. A little later he was closeted with Mr.
Prendergast, the bank president. It was not long before Ned
and Tom were called in.
"I have some good news for you, Ned," said Mr.
Prendergast, while Tom smiled. "Mr. Swift er--ahem--one of
our largest depositors, has spoken to me about you, Ned. I
find that you have been very faithful. You are hereby
appointed assistant cashier, and of course you will get a
much larger salary."
Ned could hardly believe it, but he knew then what Tom had
whispered to Mr. Swift. The wishes of a depositor who brings
much gold bullion to a bank can hardly be ignored.
"Come on out and have some soda," invited Tom, and when
Ned looked inquiringly at the president, the latter nodded
an assent.
As the two lads were crossing the street to a drug store,
something whizzed past them, nearly running them down.
"What sort of an auto was that?" cried Tom.
"That? Oh, that was Andy Foger's new car," answered Ned.
"He's been breaking the speed laws every day lately, but no
one seems to bother him. It's because his father is rich, I
suppose. Andy says he has the fastest car ever built."
"He has, eh?" remarked Tom, while a curious look came into
his eyes. "Well, maybe I can build one that will beat his."
And whether the young inventor did or not you can learn by
reading the fifth volume of this series, to be called "Tom
Swift and His Electric Runabout; Or, The Speediest Car on
the Road."
"Well, Tom, I certainly appreciate what you did for me in
getting me a better position," remarked Ned as they left the
drug store. "I was beginning to think I'd never get
promoted. Say, have you anything to do this evening? If you
haven't, I wish you'd come over to my house. I've got a lot
of pictures I took while you were away."
"Sorry, but I can't," replied Tom.
"Why, are you going to build another airship or submarine?"
"No, but I'm going to see-- Oh, what do you want to know
for, anyhow?" demanded the young inventor with a blush.
"Can't a fellow go see a girl without being cross-questioned?"
"Oh, of course," replied Ned with a laugh. "Give Miss
Nestor my regards," and at this Tom blushed still more. But,
as he said, that was his own affair.

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