TOM SWIFT AMONG THE DIAMOND MAKERS or The Secret of Phantom Mountain

Part 1 out of 3

The Secret of Phantom Mountain







"Well, Tom Swift, I don't believe you will make any mistake if
you buy that diamond," said the jeweler to a young man who was
inspecting a tray of pins, set with the sparkling stones. "It is
of the first water, and without a flaw."

"It certainly seems so, Mr. Track. I don't know much about
diamonds, and I'm depending on you. But this one looks to be all

"Is it for yourself, Tom?"

"Er--no--that is, not exactly," and Tom Swift, the young
inventor of airships and submarines, blushed slightly.

"Ah, I see. It's for your housekeeper, Mrs. Baggert. Well, I
think she would like a pin of this sort. True, it's rather
expensive, but--"

"No, it isn't for Mrs. Baggert, Mr. Track," and Tom seemed a
bit embarrassed.

"No? Well, then, Tom--of course it's none of my affair, except
to sell you a good stone, But if this brooch is for a young lady,
I can't recommend anything nicer. Do you think you will take
this; or do you prefer to look at some others?"

"Oh, I think this will do, Mr. Track. I guess I'll take--"

Tom's Words were interrupted by a sudden action on the part of
the jeweler. Mr. Track ran from behind the showcase and hastened
toward the front door.

"Did you see him, Tom?" he cried. "I wonder which way he went?"

"Who?" asked the lad, following the shopkeeper.

"That man. He's been walking up and down in front of my place
for the last ten minutes--ever since you've been in here, in
fact, and I don't like his looks."

"What did he do?"

"Nothing much, except to stare in here as if he was sizing my
place up."

"Sizing it up?"

"Yes. Getting the lay of the land, so he or some confederate
could commit a robbery, maybe."

"A robbery? Do you think that man was a thief?"

"I don't know that he was, Tom, and yet a jeweler has to be
always on the watch, and that isn't a joke, either, Tom Swift.
Swindlers and thieves are always on the alert for a chance to rob
a jewelry store, and they work many games."

"I didn't notice any particular man looking in here," said Tom,
who still held the diamond brooch in his hand.

"Well I did," went on the jeweler. "I happened to glance out of
the window when you were looking at the pins, and I saw his eyes
staring in here in a suspicious manner. He may have a confederate
with him, and, when you're gone, one may come in, and pretend to
want to look at some diamonds. Then, when I'm showing him some,
the other man will enter, engage my attention, and the first man
will slip out with a diamond ring or pin. It's often done."

"You seem to have it all worked out, Mr. Track," observed the
lad, with a smile. "How do you know but what I'm in with a gang
of thieves, and that I'm only pretending to want to buy a diamond

"Oh, I guess I haven't known you, Tom Swift, ever since you
were big enough to toddle, not to be sure about what you're up
to. But I certainly didn't like the looks of that man. However,
let's forget about him. He seems to have gone down the street,
and, after all, perhaps I was mistaken. Just wait until I show
you a few more styles before you decide. The young lady may like
one of these," and the jeweler went to another showcase and took
out some more trays of brooches.

"What makes you think she's a young lady, Mr. Track?" asked the

"Oh, it's easy guessing, Tom. We jewelers are good readers of
character. I can size up a young fellow coming in here to buy an
engagement or a wedding ring, as soon as he enters the door. I
suppose you'll soon be in the market for one of those, Tom, if
all the reports I hear about you are true--you and a certain Mary

"I--er--I think I don't care for any of these pins," spoke Tom,
quickly, with a blush. "I like the first lot best. I think I'll
take the one I had in my hand when that man alarmed you. Ha!
That's odd! What did I do with it?"

Tom looked about on the showcase, and glanced down on the
floor. He had mislaid the brooch, but the jeweler, with a laugh,
lifted it out of a tray a moment later.

"I saw you lay it down," he said. "We jewelers have to be on
the watch. Here it is. I'll just put it in a box, and--"

With an exclamation, Mr. Track gave a hasty glance toward his
big show window. Tom looked up, and saw a man's face peering in.
At the sight of it, he, too, uttered a cry of surprise.

The next instant the man outside knocked on the glass,
apparently with a piece of metal, making a sharp sound. As soon
as he heard it, the jeweler once more sprang from behind the
showcase, and leaped for the door crying:

"There's the thief! He's trying to cut a hole through my show
window and reach in and get something! It's an old trick. I'll
get the police! Tom, you stay here on guard!" and before the lad
could utter a protest, the jeweler had opened the door, and was
speeding down the street in the gathering darkness.

Tom stared about him in some bewilderment. He was left alone in
charge of a very valuable stock of jewelry, the owner of which
was racing after a supposed thief, crying:

"Police! Help! Thieves! Stop him, somebody!"

"This is a queer go," mused Tom. "I wonder who that man was? He
looked like somebody I know, and yet I can't seem to place his
face. I wonder if he was trying to rob the placer Maybe there's
another one--a confederate--around here."

This thought rather alarmed Tom, so he went to the door, and
looked up and down the street. He could see no suspicious
characters, but in the direction in which the jeweler was running
there was a little throng of people, following Mr. Track after
the man who had knocked on the window.

"I wish I was there, instead of here," mused the lad. "Still I
can't leave, or a thief might come in. Perhaps that was the game,
and one of the gang is hanging around, hoping the store will be
deserted, so he can enter and take what he likes."

Tom had read of such cases, and he at once resolved that he
would not only remain in the jewelry shop, but that he would lock
the door, which he at once proceeded to do. Then he breathed

The town of Shopton, in the outskirts of which Tom lived with
his father, and where the scene above narrated took place, was
none too well lighted at night, and the lad had his doubts about
the jeweler catching the oddly-acting man, especially as the
latter had a good start.

"But some one may head him off," reasoned Tom. "Though if they
do catch him, I don't see what they can prove against him. Hello,
here I am carrying this diamond pin around. I might lose it.
Guess I'll put it back on the tray."

He replaced in the proper receptacle one of the pins he bad
been examining when the excitement occurred.

"I wonder if Mary will like that?" he said, softly. "I hope she
does. Perhaps it would be better if she could come here herself
and pick out one--"

Tom's musing was suddenly interrupted by a sharp tattoo on the
glass door of the jewelry shop. With a start, he looked up, to
see staring in on him the face of the man who had been there
before--the man of whom the jeweler was even then in chase.

"Why─why──" stammered Tom.

The man knocked again.

"Tom--Tom Swift!" he called. "Don't you know me?"

"Know you--you?" repeated the lad.

"Yes ─ don't you remember Earthquake Island--how we were nearly
killed there--don't you remember Mr. Jenks?"

"Mr. Jenks?"

Tom was so startled that he could only repeat words after the
strange man, who was talking to him from outside the glass door.

"Yes, Mr. Jenks," was the reply. "Mr. Barcoe Jenks, who makes
diamonds. I saw you in the store about to buy a diamond--I wanted
to tell you not to--I'll give you a better diamond than you can
buy--I just arrived in this place--I must have a private talk
with you--Come out--I'll share a wonderful secret with you."

A flood of memory came to Tom. He did recall the very strange
man who walked around Earthquake Island--where Tom and some
friends had been marooned recently--walked about with a pocketful
of what he said were diamonds. Now Barcoe Jenks was here.

"I must see you privately, Tom Swift," went on Mr. Jenks, as he
once more tapped on the glass. "Don't waste money buying
diamonds, when you and I can make better ones. Where can I have a
talk with you? I--" Mr. Jenks suddenly looked down the dimly-
lighted street. "They're coming back!" he cried. "I don't want to
be seen. I'll call at your house later to-night--be on the watch
for me--until then--good-by!"

He waved his hand, and was gone in an instant. Tom stood
staring at the glass door. He hardly knew whether to believe it
or not--perhaps it was all a dream.

He pinched himself to make sure that he was awake. Very
substantial flesh met his thumb and finger, and he felt the pain.

"I'm awake all right," he murmured. "But Barcoe Jenks here--and
still talking that nonsense about his manufactured diamonds. I
think he must be crazy. I wonder--"

Once more the lad's musing was interrupted. He heard a murmur
of excited voices outside the store, on the street. Then the door
of the jewelry shop was tried. Mr. Track's face was pressed
against the glass.

"Open the door! Let me in, Tom!" he called. "I've caught the
thief," and as the lad unlocked the portal he saw that the
jeweler held by the arm a ragged lad. "Ah; you scoundrel! I've
caught you!" cried the diamond merchant, shaking the small chap,
while Tom looked on, more mystified than ever.


While Mr. Track, the jeweler, and several citizens, attracted
by the chase after the supposed thief, are crowded into the
store, anxious to hear explanations of the strange affair, I will
take the opportunity to tell you something of Tom Swift, the lad
who is to figure in this story.

Many of you have already made his acquaintance, when he has
been speeding about in his airship or fast electric runabout, and
to others we will state that our hero first made his bow to the
public in the book called "Tom Swift and His Motor-Cycle," the
initial volume of this series.

In that story there was related how Tom made the acquaintance
of an odd individual, named Mr. Wakefield Damon, who was
continually blessing himself, some part of his anatomy, or his
possessions. Mr. Damon was riding a motor-cycle, and it started
to climb a tree, to his pain and fright. Afterward Tom purchased
the machine, and had many adventures on it, including a chase
after a gang of men who had stolen a valuable patent model
belonging to Mr. Swift.

Mr. Swift, and his son were both inventors. They lived together
in a fine house in the suburbs of Shopton, New York, and with
them dwelt Mrs. Baggert, the housekeeper (for Tom's mother was
dead), and also Garret Jackson, an expert engineer, who aided the
young inventor and his father in perfecting many machines.

There was also another semi-member of the household, to wit,
Eradicate Sampson, an eccentric colored man, who owned a mule
called Boomerang. Eradicate did odd jobs around the place, and
the mule assisted his owner--that is when the mule felt like it.

In the second volume of the series, entitled "Tom Swift and His
Motor-Boat," there was related the incidents following a pursuit
after a gang of unprincipled men, who sought to get Possession of
some of Mr. Swift's patents, and it was while in this boat that
Tom, his father, and a friend, Ned Newton, rescued from Lake
Carlopa a Mr. John Sharp, who fell from his burning balloon. Mr.
Sharp was a skilled aeronaut, and after his recovery he joined
Tom in building a big airship, called the Red Cloud. Tom's
adventures in this craft are set down in detail in the third
volume of the series, called "Tom Swift and His Airship." Not
only did he and Mr. Sharp and Mr. Damon make a great trip, but
they captured some bank robbers, and incidentally cleared
themselves from the imputation of having looted the vault of
seventy-five thousand dollars, which charge was fostered by a
certain Mr. Foger, and his son Andy, who was Tom's enemy.

Not satisfied with having conquered the air, Tom and his father
set to work to gain a victory over the ocean. They built a boat
that could navigate under water, and, in the fourth book of the
series, called "Tom Swift and His Submarine Boat," you will find
an account of how they went under the ocean to secure a sunken
treasure, and the fight they had with their enemies who sought to
get it away from them. They went through many perils, not the
least of which was capture by a foreign warship.

In the fifth book, entitled "Tom Swift and His Electric
Runabout," there was told the story of a wonderfully speedy
electric automobile the young inventor constructed, and how he
made a great race in it, and saved from ruin a bank, in which his
father and Mr. Damon were interested.

Tom's ability as an inventor had, by this time, become well
known. One day, as related in a volume called "Tom Swift and His
Wireless Message," he received a letter from a Mr. Hosmer
Fenwick, of Philadelphia, asking his aid in perfecting an airship
which the resident of the Quaker City had built, but which would
not work. In his small monoplane, the Butterfly, Tom and Mr.
Damon went to Philadelphia, as Mr. Damon was acquainted with Mr.

Tom carefully inspected the Whizzer which was the name of Mr.
Fenwick's airship, and, after some difficulties, succeeded in
getting the electric craft in shape to make a flight.

Tom, Mr. Damon and Mr. Fenwick started to make a trip to Cape
May in the Whizzer, but were caught in a terrific storm, and
blown out to sea. The wind became a hurricane, the airship was
disabled, and wrecked in mid-air. When it fell to earth it landed
on one of the small West Indian islands, but what was the terror
of the three castaways to find that the island was subject to
earthquake shocks.

But the earth-tremors were not the only surprise in store for
Tom and his two friends, On the island they found five men and
two ladies, who, by strange chance, had been stranded there when
the yacht Resolute, owned by Mr. George Hosbrook, was wrecked in
the same storm that disabled the airship. Mr. Hosbrook, a
millionaire, was taking a party of friends to the West Indies.

When the castaways (among whom were Mr. and Mrs. Amos Nestor,
parents of Mary Nestor, a girl of whom Tom was very fond) found
that there was danger of the island being destroyed in an
earthquake, they were in despair. There seemed no way of being
rescued, as the island was out of the line of regular ship

Tom, however, was resourceful. With the electrical apparatus
from the wrecked airship, he built a wireless plant, and sent
messages for help, broadcast over the ocean.

They were finally heard, and answered, by an operator on board
the steamer Camberanian, which came on under forced draught, and
rescued Tom and his friends. It was only just in time, for, no
sooner had they gotten aboard the steamer in lifeboats, than the
whole island was destroyed by an earthquake shock.

But Tom, the parents of Mary Nestor, Mr. Damon, Mr. Fenwick,
and all the others, got safely home. Among the survivors from the
yacht Resolute was a Mr. Barcoe Jenks, who now, most
unexpectedly, had confronted Tom through the glass window of the
jewelry store. Mr. Jenks was a peculiar man. Tom discovered this
on Earthquake Island. Mr. Jenks carried with him some stones
which he said were diamonds. He asserted that he had made them,
but Tom did not know whether or not to believe this.

When it seemed that the castaways would not be saved Mr. Jenks
offered Tom a large sum in these same diamonds for some plan
whereby he might escape the earthquakes. Mr. Jenks said there was
a certain secret in connection with the manufactured diamonds
that he had to solve--that he had been defrauded of his rights--
and that a certain Phantom Mountain figured in it. But Tom, at
that time, paid little attention to Mr. Jenks' talk. The time was
to come, however, when he would attach much importance to it.

When this story opens, Tom was more interested in Mr. Barcoe
Jenks than in any one else, and was wondering what he wanted to
see him about. The young inventor could not quite understand how
Mr. Track, the jeweler, could come back with a lad he suspected
of being a thief, when the person who had acted so suspiciously,
and who had knocked on the glass, was the queer man, Mr. Jenks.

"Yes, Tom I caught him," the jeweler went on. "I chased after
him, and nabbed him. It was hard work, too, for I'm not a good
runner. Now, you little rascal, tell me why you tried to rob my
store?" and the diamond merchant shook the lad roughly.

"I--I didn't try to rob your store," was the timid answer.

"Well, perhaps you didn't, exactly, but your confederates did.
Why did you rap on the glass, and why were you staring in so

"I wasn't lookin' in."

"Well, if it wasn't you, it was some one just like you. But why
did you run when I raced down the street?"

"I--I don't know," and the lad began to snivel. "I--I jest ran-
-that's all--'cause I see everybody else runnin', an' I thought
there was a fire."

"Ha! That's a likely story! You ran because you are guilty! I'm
going to hand you over to the police."

"Did he get anything, Mr. Track?" asked one of the men who had
joined the jeweler in the chase.

"No, I can't say that he did. He didn't get a chance. Tom Swift
was in here at the time. But this fellow was only waiting for a
chance to steal, or else to aid his confederates."

"But, if he didn't take anything, I don't see how you can have
him arrested," went on the man.

"On suspicion; that's how!" asserted Mr. Track. "Will some one
get me a constable?"

"I wouldn't call a constable," said Tom, quietly.

"Why not?"

"Because that isn't the person who looked in your window."

"How do you know, Tom?"

"Because that person came back while you were out. I saw him."

"You saw him? Did he try to steal any of my diamonds, Tom?"

"No, I guess he doesn't need any."

"Why not?" There was wonder in the jeweler's tone.

"Why, he claims he can make all he wants."

"Make diamonds?"

"So he says."

"Why, he must be crazy!" and Mr. Track laughed.

"Perhaps he is," admitted Tom, "I'm only telling you what he
says. He's the person who acted so suspiciously. He came back
here, I'm telling you, while you were running down the street,
and spoke to me."

"Oh, then you know him?" The jeweler's voice was suspicious.

"I didn't at first," admitted Tom. "But when he said he was Mr.
Barcoe Jenks, I remembered that I had met him when I was cast
away on Earthquake Island."

"And he says he can make diamonds?" asked Mr. Track.

"What did he want of you?" and the jeweler looked at Tom,

"He wanted to have a talk with me," replied the lad, "and when
he saw me in your store, he tried to attract my attention by
knocking on the glass."

"That's a queer way to do," declared Mr. Track. "What did he

"I don't know exactly," answered Tom, not caring to go into
details just then. "But I'm sure, Mr. Track, that you've got the
wrong person there. That lad never looked in the window, nor
knocked on the glass."

"That's right--I didn't," asserted the captive.

The jeweler looked doubtful.

"Why did you run?" he asked.

"I told you, I thought there was a fire."

"That's right, I don't believe he's the fellow you want," put
in another man. "I was standing on the corner, near White's
grocery store, and I noticed this lad. That was before I heard
you yelling, and saw you coming, and then I joined in the chase.
I guess the man you were after got away, Track."

"He did," asserted Tom. "He came back here, a little while ago,
and he ran away just now, as he heard you coming."

"Where did he go?" asked the jeweler, eagerly.

"I don't know," answered Tom. "Only you've got the wrong lad

"Well, perhaps I have," admitted the diamond merchant. "You can
go, youngster, but next time, don't run if you're not guilty."

"I thought there was a fire," repeated the lad, as he hurriedly
slipped through the crowd in the store, and disappeared down the
dark street.

"Well, I guess the excitement's all over, and, anyhow, you
weren't robbed, Track," said a stout man, as he left the store.
The others soon followed, and Tom and the jeweler were once more
alone in the shop.

"Can you tell me something about this man, Tom?" asked Mr.
Track, eagerly. "So he really makes diamonds. Who is he?"

"I'd rather not tell--just now," replied the young inventor. "I
don't take much stock in him, myself. I think he's visionary. He
may think he has made diamonds, and he may have made some stones
that look like them. I'm very skeptical."

"If you could bring me some, Tom, I could soon tell whether
they were real or not. Can you?"

The lad shook his head.

"I don't expect to see Mr. Jenks again," he said. "He talked
rather wildly about waiting to meet me, but that man is odd--
crazy, perhaps--and I don't imagine I'll see him. He's harmless,
but he's eccentric. Well, there was quite some excitement for a

"I should say there was. I thought it was a plan to rob me,"
and the jeweler began putting away the diamond pins. In fact, the
excitement so filled the minds of himself and Tom that neither of
them thought any more of the object of the lad's visit, and the
young inventor departed without purchasing the pin he had come

It was not until he was out on the street, walking toward his
home, that the matter came back to his mind.

"I declare!" he exclaimed. "I didn't get that pin for Mary,
after all! Well, never mind, I have a week until her birthday,
and I can get it to─morrow."

He walked rapidly toward home, for the weather looked
threatening, and Tom had no umbrella. He was musing on the
happenings of the evening when he reached his house. His father
was out, as was Garret Jackson, the engineer; and Mrs. Baggert,
the housekeeper, was entertaining a lady in the sitting-room, so,
as Tom was rather tired, he went directly to his own room, and, a
little later got into bed.

It was shortly after midnight when he was awakened by hearing a
rattling on the window of his room. The reason he was able to fix
the time so accurately was because as soon as he awakened he
pressed a little electric button, and it illuminated the face of
a small clock on his bureau. The hands pointed to five minutes
past twelve.

"Humph! That sounds like hail!" exclaimed Tom, as he arose, and
looked out of the casement. "I wonder if any of the skylights of
the airship shed are open? There might be some damage. Guess I'd
better go out and take a look."

He had mentally reasoned this far before he had looked out, and
when he saw that the moon was brightly shining in a clear sky, he
was a bit surprised.

"Why-─that wasn't hail," he murmured. "It isn't even raining. I
wonder what it was?"

He was answered a moment later, for a shower of fine gravel
from the walk flew up and clattered against the glass. With a
start, Tom looked down, and saw a dark figure standing under an
apple tree.

"Hello! Who's there?" called the lad, after he had raised the

"It's I--Mr. Jenks," was the surprising answer.

"Mr. Jenks?" repeated Tom.

"Yes--Barcoe Jenks, of Earthquake Island."

"You here? What do you want?"

"Can you come down?"

"What for?"

"Tom Swift, I've something very important to tell you," was the
answer in a low voice, yet which carried to Tom's ears perfectly.
"Do you want to make a fortune for yourself--and for me?"

"How?" Tom was beginning to think more and more that Mr. Jenks
was crazy.

"How? By helping me to discover the secret of Phantom Mountain,
where the diamonds are made! Will you?"

"Wait a minute--I'll come down," answered Tom, and he began to
grope for his clothes in the dim light of the little electric

What was the secret of Phantom Mountain? What did Mr. Jenks
really want? Could he make diamonds? Tom asked himself these
questions as he hastily dressed to go down to his midnight


"Well, Mr. Jenks," began Tom, when he had descended to the
garden, and greeted the man who had acted so strangely on
Earthquake Island, "this is rather an odd time for a visit."

"I realize that, Tom Swift," was the answer, and the lad
noticed that the man spoke much more calmly than he had that
evening at the jewelry shop. "I realize that, but I have to be
cautious in my movements."


"Because there are enemies on my track. If they thought I was
seeking aid to discover the secret of Phantom Mountain, my life
might pay the forfeit."

"Are you in earnest, Mr. Jenks?"

"I certainly am, and, while I must apologize for awakening you
at this unseemly hour, and for the mysterious nature of my visit,
if you will let me tell my story, you will see the need of

"Oh, I don't mind being awakened," answered Tom, good-
naturedly, "but I will be frank with you, Mr. Jenks. I hardly can
believe what you have stated to me several times--that you know
how diamonds can be made."

"I can prove it to you," was the quiet answer.

"Yes, I know. For centuries men have tried to discover the
secret of transmuting base metals into gold, and how to make
diamonds by chemical means. But they have all been failures."

"All except this process--the process used at Phantom
Mountain," insisted the queer man. "Do you want to hear my

"I have no objections."

"Then let me warn you," went on Mr. Jenks, "that if you do hear
it, you will be so fascinated by it that I am sure you will want
to cast your lot in with mine, and aid me to get my rights, and
solve the mystery. And I also want to warn you that if you do,
there is a certain amount of danger connected with it."

"I'm used to danger," answered Tom, quietly. "Let me hear your
story. But first explain how you came to come here, and why you
acted so strangely at the jewelry store."

"Willingly. I tried to attract your attention at the store,
because I saw that you were going to buy a diamond, and I didn't
want you to."

"Why not?"

"Because I want to present you with a beautiful stone, that
will answer your purpose as well or better, than any one you
could buy. That will prove my story better than any amount of
words or argument. But I could not attract your attention without
also attracting that of the jeweler. He became suspicious, gave
chase, and I thought it best to vanish. I hope no one was made to
suffer for what may have been my imprudence."

"No, the lad whom Mr. Track caught was let go. But how did you
happen to come to Shopton?"

"To see you. I got your address from the owner of the yacht
Resolute. I knew that if there was one person who could aid me to
recover my rights, it would be you, Tom Swift. Will you help me?
Will you come with me to discover the secret of Phantom Mountain?
If we go, it will have to be in an airship, for in no other way,
I think, can we come upon the place, as it is closely guarded.
Will you come? I will pay you well."

"Perhaps I had better hear your story," said the young
inventor. "But first let me suggest that we move farther away
from the house. My father, or Mr. Jackson, or the housekeeper,
may hear us talking, and it may disturb them. Come with me to my
private shop," and Tom led the way to a small building where he
did experimental work. He unlocked the door with a key he
carried, turned on the lights, which were run by a storage
battery, and motioned Mr. Jenks to a seat.

"Now I'll hear your story," said Tom.

"I'll make it as short as possible," went on the queer man. "To
begin with, it is now several years ago since a poorly dressed
stranger applied to me one night for money enough to get a meal
and a bed to sleep in. I was living in New York City at the time,
and this was midnight, as I was returning home from my club.

"I was touched by the man's appearance, and gave him some
money. He asked for my card, saying he would repay me some day. I
gave it to him, little thinking I would hear from the man again.
But I did. He called at my apartments about a week later, saying
he had secured work as an expert setter of diamonds, and wanted
to repay me. I did not want to take his money, but the fact that
such a sorry looking specimen of manhood as he had been when I
aided him, was an expert handler of gems interested me. I talked
with the man, and he made a curious statement.

"This man, who gave his name as Enos Folwell, said he knew a
place where diamonds could be made, partly in a scientific
manner, and partly by the forces of nature. I laughed at him, but
he told me so many details that I began to believe him. He said
he and some other friends of his, who were diamond cutters, had a
plant in the midst of the Rocky Mountains, where they had
succeeded in making several small, but very perfect diamonds.
They had come to the end of their rope, though, so to speak,
because they could not afford to buy the materials needed.
Folwell said that he and his companions had temporarily
separated, had left the mountain where they made diamonds, and
agreed to meet there later when they had more money with which to
purchase materials. They had all agreed to go out into
civilization, and work for enough funds to enable them to go on
with their diamond making.

"I hardly knew whether to believe the man or not, but he
offered proof. He had several small, but very perfect diamonds
with him, and he gave them to me, to have tested in any way I

"I promised to look into the matter, and, as I was quite
wealthy, as, in fact I am now, and if I found that the stones he
gave me were real, I said I might invest some money in the

"Were the diamonds good?" asked Tom, who was beginning to be

"They were--stones of the first water, though small. An expert
gem merchant, to whom I took them, said he had never seen any
diamonds like them, and he wanted to know where I got them. Of
course I did not tell him.

"To make a long story short, I saw Folwell again, told him to
communicate with his companions, and to tell them that I would
agree to supply the cash needed, if I could share in the diamond
making. To this they agreed, and, after some weeks spent in
preparation, a party of us set out for Phantom Mountain."

"Phantom Mountain?" interrupted Tom. "Where is it?"

"I don't know, exactly--it's somewhere in the Rockies, but the
exact location is a mystery. That is why I need your help. You
will soon understand the reason. Well, as I said, myself, Folwell
and the others, who were not exactly prepossessing sort of men,
started west. When we got to a small town, called Indian Ridge,
near Leadville, Colorado, the men insisted that I must now
proceed in secret, and consent to be blindfolded, as they were
not yet ready to reveal the secret of the place where they made
the diamonds.

"I did not want to agree to this, but they insisted, and I gave
in, foolishly perhaps. At any rate I was blindfolded one night,
placed in a wagon, and we drove off into the mountains. After
traveling for some distance I was led, still blindfolded, up a
steep trail.

"When the bandage was taken off my eyes I saw that I was in a
large cave. The men were with me, and they apologized for the
necessity that caused them to blindfold me. They said they were
ready to proceed with the making of diamonds, but I must promise
not to seek to discover the secret until they gave me permission,
nor was I to attempt to leave the cave. I had to agree.

"Next they demanded that I give them a large sum, which I had
promised when they showed me, conclusively, that they could make
diamonds. I refused to do this until I had seen some of the
precious stones, and they agreed that this was fair, but said I
would have to wait a few days.

"Well, I waited, and, all that while, I was virtually a
prisoner in the cave. All I could learn was that it was in the
midst of a great range, near the top, and that one of the peaks
was called Phantom Mountain. Why, I did not learn until later.

"At last one night, during a terrific thunder storm, the
leader of the diamond makers--Folwell--announced that I could now
see the stones made. The men had been preparing their chemicals
for some days previous. I was taken into a small chamber of the
cave, and there saw quite a complicated apparatus. Part of it was
a great steel box, with a lever on it.

"We will let you make some diamonds for yourself," Folwell said
to me, and he directed me to pull the lever of the box, at a
certain signal. The signal came, just as a terrific crash of
thunder shook the very mountain inside of which we were. The box
of steel got red-hot, and when it cooled off it was opened, and
was given a handful of white stones."

"Were they diamonds?" asked Tom, eagerly.

Mr. Jenks held out one hand. In the palm glittered a large
stone--ostensibly a diamond. In the rays of the moon it showed
all the colors of the rainbow--a beautiful gem. "That is one of
the stones I made--or rather that I supposed I had made," went on
Mr. Jenks. "It is one of several I have, but they have not all
been cut and polished as has this one.

"Naturally I was much impressed by what I saw, and, after I had
made certain tests which convinced me that the stones in the
steel box were diamonds, I paid over the money as I had promised.
That was my undoing."


"As soon as the men got the cash, they had no further use for
me. The next I remember is eating a rude meal, while we discussed
the future of making diamonds. I knew nothing more until I found
myself back in the small hotel at Indian Ridge, whence I had gone
some time previous, with the men, to the cave in the mountain."

"What happened?" asked Tom, much surprised by the unexpected
outcome of the affair. "I had been tricked, that was all! As soon
as the men had my money they had no further use for me. They did
not want me to learn the secret of their diamond making, and they
drugged me, carried me away from the cave, and left me in the

"Didn't you try to find the cave again?"

"I did, but without avail. I spent some time in the Rockies,
but no one could tell where Phantom Mountain was; in fact, few
had heard of it, and I was nearly lost searching for it.

"I came back East, determined to get even. I had given the men
a very large sum of money, and, in exchange, they had given me
several diamonds. Probably the stones are worth nearly as much as
the money I invested, but I was cheated, for I was promised an
equal share in the profits. These were denied me, and I was
tricked. I determined to be revenged, or at least to discover the
secret of making diamonds. It is my right."

"I agree with you," spoke Tom.

"But, up to the time I met you on Earthquake Island, I could
form no plan for discovering Phantom Mountain, and learning the
secret of the diamond makers," went on Mr. Jenks. "I carried the
gems about with me, as you doubtless saw when we were on the
island. But I knew I needed an airship in which to fly over the
mountains, and pick out the location of the cave where the
diamonds are made."

"But how can you locate it, if you were blindfolded when you
were taken there, Mr. Jenks?"

"I forgot to tell you that, on our journey into the mountains,
and just before I was carried into the cave, I managed to raise
one corner of the bandage. I caught a glimpse of a very
peculiarly shaped cliff--it is like a great head, standing out in
bold relief against the moonlight, when I saw it. That head of
rock is near the cave. It may be the landmark by which we can
locate Phantom Mountain."

"Perhaps," admitted the young inventor.

"What I want to know is this," went on Mr. Jenks. "Will you go
with me on this quest--go in your airship to discover the secret
of the diamond makers? If you will, I will share with you
whatever diamonds we can discover, or make; besides paying all
expenses. Will you go, Tom Swift?"

The young inventor did not know what to answer. How far was Mr.
Jenks to be trusted? Were the stones he had real diamonds? Was
his story, fantastical as it sounded--true? Would it be safe for
Tom to go?

The lad asked himself these questions. Mr. Jenks saw his

"Here," said the strange man, "I will prove what I say. Take
this diamond. I intended it for you, anyhow, for what you did for
me on Earthquake Island. Take it, and--and give it to the person
for whom you were about to purchase a diamond to-night. But,
first of all, take it to a gem expert, and get his opinion. That
will prove the truth of what I say, Tom Swift, and I feel sure
that you will cast your lot in with mine, and help me to discover
the secret of Phantom Mountain, and aid me to get my rights from
the diamond makers!"


Tom Swift considered a few minutes. On the face of it, the
proposition appealed to him. He had been home some time now after
his adventures on Earthquake Island, and he was beginning to long
for more excitement. The search for the mysterious mountain, and
the cave of the diamond makers, might offer a new field for him.
But there came to him a certain distrust of Mr. Jenks.

"I don't like to doubt your word," began Tom, slowly, "but you
know, Mr. Jenks, that some of the greatest chemists have tried in
vain to make diamonds; or, at best, they have made only tiny
ones. To think that any man, or set of men, made real diamonds as
large as the ones you have, doesn't seem--well--" and Tom

"You mean you can hardly believe me?" asked Mr. Jenks.

"I guess that's it," assented Tom.

"I don't blame you a bit!" exclaimed the odd man. "In fact, I
didn't believe it when they told me they could make diamonds. But
they proved it to me. I'm ready now to prove it to you."

"I'll tell you what I'll do. Here's this one stone, cut ready
for setting. Here's another, uncut," and Mr. Jenks drew from his
pocket what looked like a piece of crystal. "Take them to any
jeweler," he resumed--"to the one in whose place I saw you to-
night. I'll abide by the verdict you get, and I'll come here to-
morrow night, and hear what you have to say."

"Why do you come at night?" asked Tom, thinking there was
something suspicious in that.

"Because my life might be in danger if I was seen talking to
you, and showing you diamonds in the daytime--especially just

"Why at this particular time?"

"For the reason that the diamond makers are on my trail. As
long as I remained quiet, after their shabby treatment of me, and
did not try to discover their secret, they were all right. But,
after I realized that I had been cheated out of my rights, and
when I began to make an investigation, with a view to discovering
their secret whereabouts, I received mysterious and anonymous
warnings to stop."

"But I did not. I came East, and tried to get help to discover
the cave of the diamond makers, but I was unsuccessful. I needed
an airship, as I--said, and no person who could operate one,
would agree to go with me on the quest. Again I received a
warning to drop all search for the diamond makers, but I
persisted, and about a week ago I found I was being shadowed."

"Shadowed; by whom?" asked Tom.

"By a man I never remember seeing, but who, I have no doubt, is
one of the diamond-making gang."

"Do you think he means you harm?"

"I'm sure of it. That is the reason I have to act so in secret,
and come to see you at night. I don't want those scoundrels to
find out what I am about to do. On my return from Earthquake
Island, I again endeavored to interest an airship man in my plan,
but he evidently thought me insane. Then I thought of you, as I
had done before, but I was afraid you, too, would laugh at my
proposition. However, I decided to come here, and I did. It
seemed almost providential that my first view of you was in a
jewelry shop, looking at diamonds. I took it as a good omen. Now
it remains with you. May I call here to-morrow night, and get
your answer?"

Tom Swift made up his mind quickly. After all it would be easy
enough to find out if the diamonds were real. If they were, he
could then decide whether or not to go with Mr. Jenks on the
mysterious quest. So he answered:

"I'll consider the matter, Mr. Jenks. I'll meet you here to-
morrow night. In the meanwhile, for my own satisfaction, I'll let
an expert look at these stones."

"Get the greatest diamond expert in the world, and he'll
pronounce them perfect!" predicted the odd man. "Now I'll bid you
goodnight, and be going. I'll be here at this time to─morrow."

As Mr. Jenks turned aside there was a movement among the trees
in the orchard, and a shadowy figure was seen hurrying away.

"Who's that?" asked the diamond man, in a hoarse whisper. "Did
you see that, Tom Swift? Some one was here--listening to what I
said! Perhaps it was the man who has been shadowing me!"

"I think not. I guess it was Eradicate Sampson, a colored man
who does work for us," said Tom. "Is that you, Rad?" he called.

"Yais, sah, Massa Tom, heah I is!" answered the voice of the
negro, but it came from an entirely different direction than that
in which the shadowy figure had been seen.

"Where are you, Rad?" called the young inventor.

"Right heah," was the reply, and the colored man came from the
direction of the stable. "I were jest out seein' if mah mule
Boomerang were all right. Sometimes he's restless, an' don't
sleep laik he oughter."

"Then that wasn't you over in the orchard?" asked Tom, in some

"No, sah, I ain't been in de orchard. I were sleepin' in mah
shack, till jest a few minutes ago, when I got up, an' went in t'
see Boomerang. I had a dream dat some coon were tryin t' steal
him, an' it sort ob 'sturbed me, laik."

"If it wasn't your man, it was some one else," said Mr. Jenks,

"We'll have a look!" exclaimed Tom. "Here, Rad, come over and
scurry among those trees. We just saw some one sneaking around."

"I'll sure do dat!" cried the colored man. "Mebby it were
somebody arter Boomerang! I'll find 'em."

"I don't believe it was any one after the mule," murmured Mr.
Jenks, "but it certainly was some one--more likely some one after

The three made a hasty search among the trees, but the intruder
had vanished, leaving no trace. They went out into the road,
which the moon threw into bold relief along its white stretch,
but there was no figure scurrying away.

"Whoever it was, is gone," spoke Tom. "You can go back to bed,
Rad," for the colored man, of late, had been sleeping in a shack
on the Swift premises.

"And I guess it's time for me to go, too," added Mr. Jenks.
"I'll be here to-morrow night, Tom, and I hope your answer will
be favorable."

Tom did not sleep well the remainder of the night, for his
fitful slumbers were disturbed by dreams of enormous caves,
filled with diamonds, with dark, shadowy figures trying to put
him into a red-hot steel box. Once he awakened with a start, and
put his hand under his pillow to feel if the two stones Mr. Jenks
had given him, were still there. They had not been disturbed.

Tom made up his mind to find out if the stones were really
diamonds, before saying anything to his father about the chance
of going to seek Phantom Mountain. And the young inventor wished
to get the opinion of some other jeweler than Mr. Track--at
least, at first.

"Though if this one proves to be a good gem, I'll have Mr.
Track set it in a brooch, and give it to Mary for her birthday,"
decided the young inventor. "Guess I'll take a run over to
Chester in the Butterfly, and see what one of the jewelers there
has to say."

In addition to his big airship, Red Cloud, Tom owned a small,
swift monoplane, which he called Butterfly. This had been damaged
by Andy Foger just before Tom left on the trip that ended at
Earthquake Island, but the monoplane had been repaired, and Andy
had left town, not having returned since.

Telling his father that he was going off on a little business
trip, which he often did in his aeroplane, Tom, with the aid of
Mr. Jackson, the engineer, wheeled the Butterfly out of its shed.

Adjusting the mechanism, and seeing that it was in good shape,
Tom took his place in one of the two seats, for the monoplane
would carry two. Mr. Jackson then spun the propellers, and, with
a crackle and roar the motor started. Over the ground ran the
dainty, little aeroplane, until, having momentum enough, Tom
tilted the wing planes and the machine sailed up into the air.

Rising about a thousand feet, and circling about several times
to test the wind currents, Tom headed his craft toward Chester,
a city about fifty miles from Shopton. In his pocket, snugly
tucked away, were the two stones Mr. Jenks had given him.

It was not long before Tom saw, looming up in the distance the
church spires and towering factory chimneys of Chester, for his
machine was a speedy one, and could make ninety miles an hour
when driven. But now a slower speed satisfied our hero.

"I'll just drop down outside of the city," he reasoned, "for
too much of a crowd gathers when I land in the street. Besides I
might frighten horses, and then, too, it's hard to get a good
start from the street. I'll leave it in some barn until I want to
go back."

Tom sent his craft down, in order to pick out a safe place for
a landing. He was then over the suburbs of the city, and was
following the line of a straight country road.

"Looks like a good place there," he murmured. "I'll shut off
the motor, and vol-plane down."

Suiting the action to the word, Tom shut off his power. The
little craft dipped toward the ground, but the lad threw up the
forward planes, and caught a current of air that sent him
skimming along horizontally.

As he got nearer to the ground, he saw the figure of a lad
riding a bicycle along the country highway. Something about the
figure struck Tom as being familiar, and he recognized the
cyclist a moment later.

"It's Andy Foger!" said Tom, in a whisper. "I wondered where he
had been keeping himself since he damaged the Butterfly.
Evidently he doesn't dare venture back to Shopton. Well, here's
where I give him a scare."

Tom's monoplane was making no more noise, now, than a soaring
bird. He was gliding swiftly toward the earth, and, with the plan
in his mind of administering some sort of punishment to the
bully, he aimed the machine directly at him.

Nearer and nearer shot the monoplane, as quietly as a sheet of
paper might fall. Andy pedaled on, never looking up nor behind
him, A moment later, as Tom threw up his headplanes, to make his
landing more easy, and just as he swooped down at one side of the
cyclist, our hero let out a most alarming yell, right into Andy's

"Now I've got you!" he shouted. "I'll teach you to slash my
aeroplane! Come with me!"

Andy gave one look at the white bird-like apparatus that had
flown up beside him so noiselessly, and, being too frightened to
recognize Tom's voice, must have thought that he had been
overtaken by some supernatural visitor.

Andy gave a yell like an Indian, about to do a stage scalping
act, and fairly dived over the handlebars of his bicycle,
sprawling in a heap on the dusty road.

"I guess that will hold you for a while," observed Tom, grimly,
as he put on the ground-brake and brought his monoplane to a stop
not far from the fallen rider.


For several minutes Andy Foger did not arise. He remained
prostrate in the dust, and Tom, observing him, thought perhaps
the bully might have been seriously injured. But, a little later,
Andy cautiously raised his head, and inquired in a frightened

"Is it--is it gone?"

"Is what gone?" asked Tom, grimly.

At the sound of his voice, Andy looked up. "Was that you, Tom
Swift?" he demanded. "Did you knock me off my wheel?"

"My monoplane and I together did," was the reply; "or, rather,
we didn't. It was the nervous reaction caused by your fright, and
the knowledge that you had done wrong, that made you jump over
the handlebars. That's the scientific explanation."

"You--you did it!" stammered Andy, getting to his feet. He
wasn't hurt much, Tom thought.

"Have it your own way," resumed our hero. "Did you think it was
a hob-goblin in a chariot of fire after you, Andy?"

"Huh! Never mind what I thought! I'll have you arrested for

"Will you? Delighted, as the boys say. Hop in my airship and
I'll take you right into town. And when I get you there I'll make
a charge of malicious mischief against you, for breaking the
propeller of the Butterfly and slashing her wings. I've mended
her up, however, so she goes better than ever, and I can take you
to the police station in jig time. Want to come, Andy?"

This was too much for the bully. He knew that Tom would have a
clear case against him, and he did not dare answer. Instead he
shuffled over to where his wheel lay, picked it up, and rode
slowly off.

"Good riddance," murmured Tom. He looked about, and saw that he
was near a house, in the rear of which was a good-sized barn.
"Guess I'll ask if I can leave the Butterfly there," he murmured,
and, ringing the doorbell, he was greeted by a man.

"I'll pay you if you'll let me store my machine in the barn a
little while, until I go into the city, and return," spoke the

"Indeed, you're welcome to leave it there without pay," was the
answer. "I'm interested in airships, and, I'll consider it a
favor if you'll let me look yours over while it's here."

Tom readily agreed, and a few minutes later he had caught a
trolley going into the city. He was soon in one of the largest
jewelry stores of Chester.

"I'd like to get an expert opinion as to whether or not those
stones are diamonds," spoke Tom, to the polite clerk who came up
to wait on him, and our hero handed over the two gems which Mr.
Jenks had given him. "I'm willing to pay for the appraisement, of
course," the young inventor added, as he saw the clerk looking
rather doubtfully at him, for Tom had on a rough suit, which he
always donned when he flew in his monoplane.

"I'll turn them over to our Mr. Porter, a gem expert," said the
clerk. "Please be seated."

The young man disappeared into a private office with the
stones, and Tom waited. He wondered if he was going to have his
trouble for his pains. Presently two elderly gentlemen came from
the little room, on the glass door of which appeared the word

"Who brought these stones in?" asked one of the men, evidently
the proprietor, from the deference paid him by the clerk. The
latter motioned to Tom.

"Will you kindly step inside here?" requested the elderly man.
When the door was closed, Tom found himself in a room which was
mostly taken up with a bench for the display of precious stones,
a few chairs, and some lights arranged peculiarly; while various
scales and instruments stood on a table.

"You wished an opinion on--on these?" queried the proprietor of
the place. Tom noticed at once that the word "diamonds" was not

"I wanted to find out if they were of any value," he said. "Are
they diamonds?"

"Would you mind stating where you got them?" asked the other of
the two men.

"Is that necessary?" inquired the lad. "I came by them in a
legitimate manner, if that's what you mean, and I can satisfy you
on that point. I am willing to pay for any information you may
give me as to their value."

"Oh, it isn't that," the proprietor hastened to assure him.
"But these are diamonds of such a peculiar kind, so perfect and
without a flaw, that I wondered from what part of the world they

"Then they are diamonds?" asked Tom, eagerly.

"The finest I have ever tested!" declared the other man,
evidently Mr. Porter, the gem expert. "They are a joy to look at,
Mr. Roberts," he went on, turning to the proprietor. "If it is
possible to get a supply of them you would be justified in asking
half as much again as we charge for African or Indian diamonds.
The Kimberly products are not to be compared to these," and he
looked at the two stones in his hand--the one cut, and sparkling
brilliantly, the other in a rough state.

"Do you care to state where these diamonds came from?" asked
Mr. Roberts, looking critically at Tom.

"I had rather not," answered the lad. "It is enough for me to
know that they are diamonds. How much is your charge?"

"Nothing," was the unexpected answer. "We are very glad to have
had the opportunity of seeing such stones. Is there any chance of
getting any more?"

"Perhaps," answered Tom, as he accepted the gems which the
expert held out to him.

"Then might we speak for a supply?" went on Mr. Roberts,
eagerly. "We will pay you the full market price."

"What is the value of these stones?" asked Tom.

Mr. Roberts looked at his gem expert.

"It is difficult to say," was the answer of the man who had
handed Tom the gems. "They are so far superior to the usual run
of diamonds, that I feel justified in saying that the cut one
would bring fifteen hundred dollars, anywhere. In fact, I would
offer that for it. The other is larger, though what it would lose
in cutting would be hard to say. I should say it was worth two
thousand dollars as it is now."

"Thirty-five hundred dollars for these two stones!" exclaimed

"They are worth every cent of it," declared Mr. Roberts. "Do
you want to sell?"

Tom shook his head. He could scarcely believe the good news.
Mr. Jenks had told the truth. Now the young inventor could go
with him to seek the diamond makers.

"Can you get any more of these?" went on Mr. Roberts.

"I think so--that is I don't know--I am going to try," answered
the lad.

"Then if you succeed I wish you would sell us some," fairly
begged the proprietor of the store.

"I will," promised Tom, but he little knew what lay before him,
or perhaps he would not have made that promise. He thanked the
diamond merchant for his kindness, and arranged to have the cut
stone set in a pin for Miss Nestor. The uncut gem Tom took away
with him.

Thinking of many things, and wondering how best to start in his
airship Red Cloud for the mysterious Phantom Mountain, Tom
hurried back to where he had left the monoplane, wheeled it out,
and was soon soaring through the air toward Shopton.

"I think I'll go with Mr. Jenks," he decided, as he prepared
for a landing in the open space near his aeroplane shed. "It will
be a risky trip, perhaps, but I've taken risks before. When Mr.
Jenks comes to-night I'll tell him I'll help him to get his
rights, and discover the secret of the diamond makers."

As Tom was wheeling the Butterfly into the shed, Eradicate came
out to help him.

"Dere's a gen'man here to see yo', Massa Tom," said the colored

"Who is it?"

"I dunno. He keep askin' ef yo' de lad what done bust up
Earthquake Island, an' send lightnin' flashes up to de sky, an'
all sech questions laik dat."

"It isn't Mr. Damon; is it, Rad? He hasn't been around in some

"No, Massa Tom, it ain't him. I knows dat blessin' man good an'
proper. I jest wish he'd bless mah mule Boomerang some day, an'
take some oh de temper out ob him. No, sah, it ain't Massa Damon.
De gen'man's in de airship shed waitin' fo' you."

"In the airship shed! No strangers are allowed in there, Rad."

"I knows it, Massa Tom, but he done persisted his se'f inter
it, an' he wouldn't come out when I told him; an' your pa an' Mr.
Jackson ain't home."

"I'll see about this," exclaimed Tom, striding to the large
shed, where the Red Cloud was kept. As he entered it he saw a man
looking over the wonderful craft.

"Did you want to see me?" asked Tom, sharply, for he did not
like strangers prowling around.

"I did, and I apologize for entering here, but I am interested
in airships, and I thought you might want to hire a pilot. I am
in need of employment, and I have had considerable to do with
balloons and aeroplanes, but never with an airship like this,
which combines the two features. Do you wish to hire any one."

"No, I don't!" replied Tom, sharply, for he did not like the
looks of the man.

"I was told that you did," was the rather surprising answer.

"Who told you?"

The man looked all around the shed, before replying, as if
fearful of being overheard. Then, stepping close to Tom, he

"Mr. Jenks told me!"

"Mr. Jenks?" Tom could not conceal his astonishment.

"Yes. Mr. Barcoe Jenks. But I did not come here to merely ask
you for employment. I would like to hire out to you, but the real
object of my visit was to say this to you."

The man approached still closer to Tom, and, in a lower voice,
and one that could scarcely be heard, he fairly hissed:

"Don't go with Barcoe Jenks to seek the diamond makers!"

Then, before Tom could put out a hand to detain him, had the
lad so wished, the man turned suddenly, and fairly ran from the


The young inventor stood almost spellbound for a few moments.
Then recovering himself he made a dash for the door through which
the mysterious man had disappeared. Tom saw him sprinting down
the road, and was half-minded to take after him, but a cooler
thought warned him that he had better not.

"He may be one of those men who are on Mr. Jenks' trail,"
reasoned Tom, in which case it might not be altogether safe to
attempt to stop him, and make him explain. Or he may be a
lunatic, and in that case it wouldn't be altogether healthy to
interfere with him.

"I'll just let him go, and tell Mr. Jenks about him when he
comes to-night. But I must warn Rad never to let him in here
again. He might damage the airship."

Calling to the colored man, Tom pointed to the stranger, who
was almost out of sight down the road, and said earnestly:

"Rad, do you see that fellow?"

"I sho do, Massa Tom, but I sorter has t' strain my eyes t' do
it. He's goin' laik my mule Boomerang does when he's comm' home
t' dinnah."

"That's right, Rad. Well, never let that man set foot inside
our fence again! If he comes, and I'm home, call me. If I'm away,
call dad or Mr. Jackson, and if you're here alone, drive him
away, somehow."

"I will, Massa Tom!" exclaimed the colored man, earnestly, "an'
if I can't do it alone, I'll get Boomerang t' help. Once let dat
ar' mule git his heels on a pusson, an' dat pusson ain't goin' t'
come bodderin' around any mo'--that is, not right away."

"I believe you, Rad. Well, keep a lookout for him, and don't
let him in," and with that Tom entered the house to think over
matters. They were beginning to assume an aspect he did not
altogether like. Not that Tom was afraid of danger, but he
preferred to meet it in the open, and the warning, or threat, of
the mysterious man disquieted him.

When Mr. Swift came home, a little later, his son told him of
the midnight interview with Mr. Jenks, for, up to this time, the
aged inventor was unaware of it, and Tom also gave an account of
the diamonds, speaking of their value.

"And do you propose to go to Phantom Mountain, in search of the
makers of these gems, Tom?" asked Mr. Swift.

"I had about decided to do so, dad."

"And you're going in the Red Cloud?'


"Who are going with you?"

"Well, Mr. Jenks will go, of course, and I've no doubt but that
if I mention the prospective trip to Mr. Damon, that he'll bless
his skating cap, or something like that, and come along."

"I suppose so, Tom, and I'd like to have you take him. But I
think you'll need some one else."

"Because, from what you have told me, you are going out to a
dangerous part of the country, and you may have to deal with
unscrupulous men. Three of you are hardly enough to cope with
them. You ought to have at least another member of your party. If
I was not busy on my invention of a new wireless motor I would go
along, but I can't leave. You might take Mr. Jackson."

"No, you need him here to help you, dad."

"How about Eradicate?"

Tom smiled.

"Rad would get homesick for his mule Boomerang, and I'd have to
bring him back just when we'd found the diamonds," replied the
young inventor. "No, we'll have to think of some one else. I'll
ask Mr. Damon, and then I'll consider matters further. I expect
to see Mr. Jenks to-night, and he may have some one in mind."

"Perhaps that will be a good plan. Well, Tom, I trust you will
take good care of yourself, and not run into unnecessary danger.
Is the Red Cloud in good shape for the voyage?"

"It needs looking over. I'm going to get right at it."

"It's a pretty indefinite sort of a quest you're going on, Tom,
my son. How do you expect to find Phantom Mountain?"

"Well, it's going to be quite a task. In the first place we'll
head for Leadville, Colorado, and then we'll go to Indian Ridge
and make some inquiries. We may get on the track of the place
that way. If we don't, why I'll take the airship up as high as is
necessary and sort of prospect until we see that big cliff that's
shaped like a head. That will give us something to go by."

"Well, do the best you can. If you can discover the secret of
making diamonds it will be a valuable one."

"I guess it will, dad; and Mr. Jenks is entitled to know it,
for he paid his good money to that end. He has promised to go
halves with me, as payment for the use of the airship, and I must
say the two diamonds he gave me last night have proved very

"Two diamonds, Tom? You only showed me one, an uncut gem"; and
Mr. Swift looked at his son.

"Oh, the other--er--the other is--I left it with a jeweler,"
and Tom blushed a trifle, as he thought of the present he
contemplated making to Mary Nestor.

That afternoon, as Tom was out in the shed of the Red Cloud
looking over the airship, to see what would be necessary to do to
it in order to get it in shape for a long trip, he heard voices

"Yes--yes, I know the way in perfectly well," he caught. "You
needn't bother to come, my good fellow. Just step this way, and
I'll show you something worth seeing."

"I wonder if it's that mysterious man coming back?" thought
Tom. He dropped the tool he was using, and hurried to the door.
As he approached it he heard the voice continue.

"Why bless my shoe laces, Mr. Parker! You'll see a wonderful
airship, I promise you. Wonderful! Bless my hatband, but I hope
Tom is here!"

"Mr. Damon!" exclaimed our hero, as he recognized the tones of
his eccentric friend. "But who is with him?"

A moment later he caught sight of the gentleman who was always
blessing himself, or something. Behind him stood another man,
whose features Tom could not see plainly.

"Hello, Tom Swift!" called Mr. Damon. "Looking over the Red
Cloud, eh? Does that mean you're off on another trip?"

"I guess it does," answered the lad.

"Where to this time? if I may ask."

"I'm thinking of going off to the mountains to find a band of
men engaged in making diamonds," replied Tom.

"Making diamonds! Bless my finger ring! Making diamonds! A trip
to the mountains! Bless my disposition! but do you know I'd like
to go with you!"

"I was thinking of asking you, Mr. Damon."

"Were you? Bless my heart, I'm glad you thought of me. You
don't by any possible chance want another person; do you?"

"We were thinking of having four in the party, Mr. Damon," and
Tom wondered who was with his eccentric friend.

"Then bless my election ticket! This is the very chance for
you, Mr. Parker!" cried Mr. Damon. "Will you go with us? It will
be just what you need," and Mr. Damon stepped aside, revealing to
Tom the features of Mr. Ralph Parker, the scientist who had
correctly predicted the destruction of Earthquake Island.


Tom Swift was a most generous lad, but when he saw that Mr.
Damon had with him Mr. Parker, the gloomy scientist, who seemed
to take delight in predicting disasters, our hero's spirits were
not exactly of the best. He would have much preferred not to take
Mr. Parker on the quest for the diamond makers, but, since Mr.
Damon had mentioned it, he did not see how he could very well

"But perhaps he won't care to go," thought Tom.

He was undeceived a moment later, however, for the scientist

I am very glad to meet you once more, Mr. Swift. I have
scarcely thanked you enough for what you did for us in erecting
your wireless station on Earthquake Island, which, as you recall,
I predicted would sink into the sea. It did, I am glad to say,
not because I like to see islands destroyed, but because science
has been vindicated. Now I have just heard you remark that you
are about to set off to the mountains in search of some men who
are making diamonds. I need hardly state that this is utterly
useless, for no diamonds, commercially valuable, can be made by
men. But the trip may be valuable in that it will permit me to
demonstrate some scientific facts.

"Therefore, if you will permit me, I will be very glad to
accompany you and Mr. Damon. I shall be delighted, in short, and
I can start as soon as you are ready."

"There's no hope for it!" thought Tom, dismally. "I suppose
he'll wake up every morning, and predict that before night the
world will come to an end, or he'll prophesy that the airship
will blow up, and vanish, when about seven miles above the
clouds. Well, there's no way out of it, so here goes."

Thereupon Tom welcomed the scientist as cordially as he could,
and invited him to form one of the party that would set off in
the airship to search for Phantom Mountain.

"Bless my jewelry box!" exclaimed Mr. Damon. when this
formality was over. "Tell me more about it, Tom."

Which our hero did, stating the need of maintaining secrecy on
account of the danger to Mr. Jenks. Mr. Damon and Mr. Parker both
agreed to say nothing about the matter, and then the scientist
became much interested in the Red Cloud, which he closely
examined. He even complimented Tom on the skill shown in making
it, and, contrary to our hero's expectation, did not predict that
it would blow up the next time it was used.

"How did you happen to arrive just at this time, Mr. Damon?"
asked Tom.

"It was partly due to Mr. Parker," was the answer. "I had not
seen him since we were rescued from the island, until a few days
ago he called on me at my home. I happened to mention that you
lived near here, and suggested that he might like to see some of
your inventions. He agreed, and we came over in my auto. And now,
bless my liver-pin! I find you about to start off on another

"And have you fully decided to go with me?" asked Tom. "There
may be danger, and I don't like the way that mysterious man

"Oh, bless my revolver!" cried Mr. Damon. "I'm used to danger
by this time. Of course I'm going, and so is Mr. Parker. Do you
know," and the man, who was always blessing something, came
closer to the lad, and whispered: "Do you know, Tom, Mr. Parker
is a very peculiar individual."

"I'm sure of it," answered the young inventor, looking at the
gentleman in question, who was then inside the airship cabin.

"But he's all right, even if he is predicting unpleasant
things," went on Mr. Damon. "I think we'll get better acquainted
with him after a bit."

"I hope so," agreed Tom, but he did not realize then how close
his companionship with Mr. Parker was to be, nor what dangers
they were to share later.

The friends talked at considerable length of the prospective
trip, and Tom, by this time, had ascertained what needed to be
done to the airship to get it in shape to travel. It would take
about a week, and, in the meanwhile, Mr. Damon would go home and
get his affairs in order for the voyage. Tom's father was
introduced to Mr. Parker, and, the former, finding that the
scientist held some views in common with him, invited the gloomy
predictor to remain at the Swift home until the Red Cloud was
ready to sail. Tom could not repress a groan at this, but he
decided he would have to make the best of it.

Mr. Damon left for home that afternoon, promising to be on hand
at the time set to start for Phantom Mountain.

Tom was up waiting for Mr. Jenks at twelve o'clock that night.
Shortly after the hour he saw a dark figure steal into the
orchard. At first he feared lest it might be one of the spies who
were, he was now convinced, on the trail of the man who was
seeking to discover the secret of the diamond makers. But a
whistle, which came to the lad's ear a moment later (that being a
signal Mr. Jenks had agreed to sound), told Tom that it was none
other than the visitor he expected.

"All right, Mr. Jenks, I'm here," called Tom, cautiously. "Come
over this way," and he went out from the shadow of the house,
where he had been waiting, and met the men. "We'll go into my
private work-shop," the youth added, leading the way.

"Have you decided to go with me?" asked Mr. Jenks, in an
anxious whisper. "Did you find the diamonds to be real ones?"

"I did; and I'm going," spoke Tom.

"Good! That relieves my mind. But we are still in danger. I was
followed by my shadower to-day, and only succeeded in shaking him
off just before coming here. I don't believe he knows what I am
about to do."

"Oh, yes he does," said Tom.

"He does? How?"

"Because he was here, and warned me against you!"

"You don't mean it! Well, they are getting desperate! We must
be on our guard. What sort of a man was he?"

Tom described the fellow, and Mr. Jenks stated that this
tallied with the appearance of the person who had been shadowing

"But we'll fool them yet!" cried Tom, who had now fully entered
into the spirit of the affair. "If they can follow us in the Red
Cloud they're welcome to. I think we'll get ahead of them."

He then told of Mr. Damon and Mr. Parker, and Mr. Jenks agreed
that it would add to the strength of the party to take these two
gentlemen along.

"Though I can't say I care so much for Mr. Parker," he added.
"But now as to ways and means. When can we start?"

Thereupon he and Tom talked over details in the seclusion of
the little office, and arranged to leave Shopton in about a week.
In the meanwhile the airship would be overhauled, stocked with
supplies and provisions, and be made ready for a swift dash to
the mountains.

"And now I must be going," said Mr. Jenks. "I have a great deal
to do before I can start on this trip, and I hope I am not
prevented by any of those men who seem to be trailing me."

"How could they prevent you?" Tom wanted to know.

"Oh, there are any number of ways," was the answer. "But I'm
glad you found that my diamonds were real. We'll soon have
plenty, if all goes well."

As Mr. Jenks left the shop, he started back, in some alarm.

"What's the matter?" asked Tom.

"Over there--I thought I saw a figure sneaking along under the
trees--that man--perhaps--"

"That's Eradicate, our colored helper," replied Tom, with a
laugh. "I posted him there to see that no strangers came into the
orchard. Everything all right, Rad?" he asked, raising his voice.

"Yais, sah, Massa Tom. Nobody been around yeah this night."

"That's good. You can go to bed now," and Eradicate, yawning
loudly, went to his shack. A little later Tom sought his own
room, Mr. Jenks having hurried off to town, where he was

The next few days saw Tom busily engaged on the airship, making
some changes and a few repairs that were needed. His father,
Eradicate and Mr. Jackson helped him. As for Mr. Parker, the
scientist, he went about the place, being much interested in the
various machines which Tom or Mr. Swift had patented.

At other times the scientist would stroll about the extensive
grounds, making what he said were "observations." One afternoon
Tom saw him, apparently much excited, kneeling down back of a
shed, with his ear to the ground.

"What is the matter?" asked the lad, thinking perhaps Mr.
Parker might be ill.

"Have you ever had any earthquakes here, Tom Swift?" asked the
scientist, quietly.

"Earthquakes? No. We had enough of them on the island."

"And you are going to have one here, in about two minutes!"
cried Mr. Parker. "I predict that this place will be shaken by a
tremendous shock very soon. We had all better get away from the
vicinity of buildings."

"What makes you think there will be an earthquake?" asked Tom.

"Because I can hear the rumbling beneath the ground at this
very minute. It is increasing in volume, showing that the tremors
are working this way. There will soon be a great subterranean
upheaval! Listen for yourself."

Tom cast himself down on the grass. Placing his ear close to
the ground he did hear a series of dull thuds. He arose, not a
little alarmed. There had never been any earthquakes in Shopton,
yet he had great respect for Mr. Parker's scientific attainments.

Just then Eradicate Sampson came along. He saw Tom and Mr.
Parker lying flat on the ground, and surprise showed on his
honest, black face.

"Fo' de land sakes!" cried Eradicate. "What am de mattah now,
Massa Tom?"

"Earthquake coming," answered Tom, briefly. "Better get away
from the buildings, Rad. They might fall!" Tom's face showed the
alarm he felt. What would happen to all of his valuable
machines─to the Red Cloud?

"Earthquake?" murmured Eradicate, and he, too, cast himself
down to listen. A moment later he arose with a laugh.

"What's the matter?" cried Tom.

"Why, dat ain't no earthquake!" declared the colored man.

"No. Then perhaps you know what it is," said Mr. Parker,
somewhat sharply.

"Course I knows what it am," answered Eradicate, with dignity.
"Dat noise am my mule Boomerang, kickin' in his stable, on
account oh me not feedin' him yet. Dat's what it am. I'se gwine
right now t' gib him his oats, and den yo' see dat de noise stop.
Boomerang allers kick dat way when he's hungry. I show yo'!"

And, sure enough, when Eradicate had gone to the mule's stable,
which was near where Mr. Parker had heard the mysterious sounds,
they immediately ceased.

"Dat mule was all de earthquake dere was around here," said the
colored man as he came out.

Mr. Parker walked away, saying nothing, and Tom did not make
any comments--just then.


It was a great relief to Tom, to find that there was no danger
from an earth tremor. Now that he had made up his mind to go in
search of the diamond makers, he wanted nothing to interfere with
it. Lest the feelings of Mr. Parker might be hurt by the mistake
he had made, the young inventor cautioned Eradicate not to say
anything more about the matter.

"'Deed an' I won't," the colored man promised. "I'se only too
glad dere wa'n't no earthquake, dat's what I is."

As for Mr. Parker, he did not appear much put out by his error
in predicting.

"I am sure that what I heard was a tremor, due to some distant
earthquake shock," he said. "The mule's kicking was only a

And Tom let him have his way about it. The week was drawing to
a close, and the Red Cloud was nearly in shape for the voyage. At
almost the last minute Tom found that he needed some electrical
apparatus for the airship, and as he had to go to Chester for it,
he decided he would make the trip in his monoplane, and, while in
the city, would also get the diamond pin he was having made for
Mary Nestor.

He started off early one morning, in the swift little craft
Butterfly, and soon had reached Chester. The diamond brooch was
ready for him.

"It is one of the most beautiful stones we have ever set," the
diamond merchant told him. "Don't forget, if you find any more,
Mr. Swift, to let us have a chance to bid on them."

"I may," Tom promised, rather indefinitely. Then, having
purchased his electrical supplies, he made a quick trip to
Shopton, stopping on the way to call on Miss Nestor.

"Why Tom, I'm delighted to see you!" cried the girl, blushing
prettily. "Did you come for some apple turnovers?" and she
laughed, as she referred to a call Tom had once paid, when a new
cook had been engaged, and when the pastry formed a feature of
the meal.

"No turnovers this time," said the young inventor. "I came to
wish you many happy returns of the day."

"Oh, you remembered my birthday! How nice of you!"

"And here is something else," added our hero, rather awkwardly,
as he handed her the diamond pin.

"Oh, Tom! This for me! Oh, it's too lovely--it's far too much!"

"It isn't half enough!" he declared, warmly. "Oh, what a large
diamond!" Mary cried as she saw the sparkling stone. "I never saw
one so large and beautiful!"

"It's just as easy to make them large as small," explained Tom.

"Make them?" she looked the surprise she felt.

"Yes, I'm about to start for the place where diamonds are

"Oh, Tom! But isn't it dangerous? I mean won't you have to go
to some far country--like Africa--to get to where diamonds are

"Well, we are going on quite a trip, but not as far as that.
And as for the danger--well, we'll have to take what comes," and
he told her something of the proposed quest.

"Oh, it sounds--sounds scary!" Mary exclaimed, when she had
heard of Mr. Jenks' experience. Do be careful, Tom!"

"I will," he promised, and, somehow he was glad that she had
cautioned him thus--and in such tones as she had used. For Mary
Nestor was a girl that any young chap would have been glad to
have manifest an interest in him.

"Well, I guess I'll have to say good-by," spoke Tom, at length.
"We expect to start in a couple of days, and I may not get
another chance to see you."

"Oh, I--I hope you come back safely," faltered Mary, and then
she held out her hand, and Tom--well, it's none of our affair
what Tom did after that, except to say that he hurried out,
fairly jumped into his monoplane, and completed the trip home.

As the Red Cloud has been fully described in the volume
entitled "Tom Swift and His Airship," we will not go into details
about it now. Sufficient to say that it was a combination of a
biplane and dirigible balloon. It could be used either as one or
the other, and the gas-bag feature was of value when the wind was
too great to allow the use of the planes, or when the motive
power, for some reason stopped. In that event the airship could
remain suspended far above the clouds if necessary. There was
provision for manufacturing the gas on board.

The Red Cloud was fitted up to accommodate about ten persons,
though it was seldom that this number was carried. Two persons
could successfully operate the machinery. There were sleeping
berths, and in the main cabin a sitting-room, a dining-room, and
a kitchen. There was also the motor compartment, and a steering
tower, from which the engines could be controlled.

It was in this craft that the seekers after the diamond makers
proposed undertaking the trip. Mr. Damon came on from his home in
Waterfield about two days before the date set to leave, and Mr.
Jenks, had, three days before this, taken up his abode at the
Swift home. Mr. Parker, as has been stated, was already there,
and he had put in his time making a number of scientific
observations, though he had made no more predictions.

Nothing more had been seen of the mysterious man who had warned
Tom, and the young inventor and Mr. Jenks began to hope that they
had thrown their enemies off the track.

"Though I don't imagine they'll give up altogether," said Mr.
Jenks. "They're too desperate for that. We'll have trouble with
them yet."

"Well, it can't be helped," decided Tom. "We'll try and be
ready for it, when it comes," and then, dismissing the matter
from his mind, he busied himself about the airship.

The food and supplies had all been put aboard, and they
expected to start the next morning. In order to make sure that
any stones which they might succeed in getting from the diamond
makers were real gems, a set of testing apparatus was taken
along. Mr. Parker had had some experience in this line, and, in
spite of the fact that he might make direful predictions, Tom was
rather glad, after all, that the scientist was going to accompany

"But what is worrying me," said Mr. Damon, "is what we are
going to do after we get to Phantom Mountain. What are your
plans, Mr. Jenks? Will you go in, and demand your share of the
diamond-making business?"


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