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

Part 3 out of 3

glare of the fire.

"Mr. Jenks!" he called in a whisper.

The diamond man, who was behind the tent, came toward Tom.

"What is it?" he asked. Then, as he saw the ghostly visitor, he
added: "Oh--the phantom again! What's it up to?"

"The same thing," replied Tom, "but it won't do it long, if my
plan succeeds."

"What plan is that, Tom?"

"I'm going to try to capture that--that man--or whatever it is.
Will you help?"


"Then let's work around behind it, while Mr. Damon and Mr.
Parker come up from in front. We'll solve this part of the
mystery, anyhow, if it's possible!"

The two other men were soon told of the plan. Meanwhile the
thing in white had advanced slowly, until within a few hundred
feet of the camp. They could see now that it was no shaft of
light, but some white body, shaped like a tall, thin man, draped
in a white garment. The long arms waved to and fro. There was no
semblance of a head.

"You and Mr. Parker go right toward it, slowly, Mr. Damon,"
advised Tom. "Mr. Jenks and I will make a circle, and get in
back. Then, if it's anything alive we'll have it."

The "ghost" continued to advance. Tom and the diamond man stole
off to one side, their buckskin moccasins making no sound. Mr.
Damon and the scientist went boldly forward.

This movement appeared to disconcert the spirit. It halted,
waved the arms with greater vigor than before, and seemed to
indicate to the adventurers that it was dangerous to advance. But
Mr. Damon and Mr. Parker kept on. They wanted to give Tom and Mr.
Jenks time enough to make the circuit.

Suddenly the stillness of the night was broken by a low
whistle. It was Tom's signal that he and Mr. Jenks were ready.

"Come on! Run!" cried Mr. Damon.

The scientist and the eccentric man leaped forward.

The "ghost" heard the whistle, and heard the spoken words. The
thing in white hesitated a moment, and then raised one arm. There
was a flash of lire, and a loud report.

"He's firing in the air!" cried Tom. "Come on, we have him

Undaunted by the display of firearms, Mr. Damon and Mr. Parker
kept on. They could hear Tom and Mr. Jenks running up in back of
the figure. The latter also heard this, and suddenly turned.
Caught between the two forces of our friends, the "ghost" was at
a loss what to do.

The next instant Tom, who had distanced Mr. Jenks, made a
flying tackle for the figure in white, and caught it around the
legs. Very substantial legs they were, too, Tom felt--the legs of
a man.

"Wow!" yelled the "ghost," as he went down in a heap, the
revolver falling from his hand.

"Come on!" cried Tom. "I have him!"

His friends rushed to his aid. There was a confused mass of
dark bodies, arms and legs mingled with something tall and thin,
all in white. Suddenly the moon came from behind a cloud and they
could see what they had captured--for captured the phantom was.

It proved to be a rather small man, who wore upon his shoulders
a framework of wood, over which some white cloth was draped. It
had fallen off him when Tom made that tackle.

"Well," remarked the young inventor, as he sat on the
struggling man's chest. "I guess we've got you."

"I rather guess you have, stranger," was the cool reply.


They were all panting from the exertion of the run up the
mountain and the contest with the phantom--a phantom no longer--
though, truth to tell, the struggle was not nearly so fierce as
Tom had expected. He thought the "ghost" would put up a stiff

"Got any ropes to tie him with?" asked Mr. Damon, who was
helping Tom hold the man down.

"Ropes? You aren't going to tie me up are you, strangers?"
asked the captive.

"That's what we are!" exclaimed Mr. Jenks. "We've had trouble
enough in this matter, and if I've got one of the gang, perhaps I
can get some of the others, and have my rights. So tie him up,
Tom, and we'll take him to camp.

"Oh, you needn't go to all that trouble, strangers," went on
the man, calmly. "If one of you will get off my chest, and the
other gentleman ease up on my stomach a bit, I'll walk wherever
you want me, and not make any trouble. I haven't got a gun."

"Bless my gloves! But you're a cool one," commented Mr. Damon,
as he complied with the man's request, and got up from his
stomach. "But look out for him, Tom. He had a gun, for he fired
it in the air."

"He hasn't it now," answered the young inventor. "I knocked it
from his hand when I leaped for him."

"That's what you did," assented the man, as he got up, while
Tom kept a tight hold of him, as did Mr. Jenks. "What kind of a
grizzly bear hug do you call that, anyhow, that you gave me?"

"That was a football tackle," explained Tom.

"I allers heard that was a dangerous game!" remarked the former
phantom simply. "Well, now you've got me, what are you going to
do with me?"

"Take you where we can have a good look at you," replied Mr.
Jenks, as he kicked aside the wooden framework, and the sheet
which had made the "ghost" appear so tall. "So this is how you
worked it; eh?"

"Yep. That was the 'haunt' stranger. I made it myself, and it
worked all right until you folks come along. I rather suspicioned
from the first, when I played the trick over on 'tother side of
the mountain, that you wouldn't be so easy to fool as most
prospectors are."

"Oh, so you're the only ghost then?" asked Tom.

"I'm the only one."

By this time they had reached the camp. Tom threw some light
logs on the fire, which blazed up brightly. As the flames
illuminated the face of their captive, Mr. Jenks looked at him,
and cried out:

"Why it's Bill Renshaw!"

"That's me," admitted the man who had played the part of the
phantom, "and thunder-turtles! if it ain't Mr. Jenks who was once
in the diamond cave with us. Whatever happened to you? I never
heard. The others said you got tired and went away."

"They took me away--defrauded me of my rights!" declared Mr.
Jenks, bitterly. "But I'll get them back! To think of Bill
Renshaw playing the part of a ghost!"

"They made me do it," went on the man, somewhat dejectedly. "I
wanted to be at work in the cave, but they wouldn't let me."

"Is this man one of the diamond makers?" asked Tom, in great

"He is--one of the helpers, though I don't believe he knows the
secret of making the gems," explained Mr. Jenks. "He was one of
the men in the cave when I was there before, and he and I struck
up quite a friendship; didn't we, Renshaw?"

"That's what, and there ain't no reason why we can't be friends
now; that is unless you hold a grudge against me for firing at
you. But I only shot in the air, to scare you away. Them's my
instructions. I'm supposed to be on guard, and scare away
strangers. I'm tired of the work, too, for I don't get my share,
and those other fellows, in the cave, get all the money from the

Tom Swift uttered an exclamation. A sudden plan had come to
him. Quickly he whispered to Mr. Jenks:

"Make a friend of this man if possible. He evidently is
dissatisfied. Offer him a sum to show us another way into the
cave, and we may yet discover the secret of the diamond makers."

"I will," declared Mr. Jenks, quietly. Then, turning to
Renshaw, he added:

"Bill, come over here. I want to have a talk with you. Perhaps
it will be to our mutual advantage."

He led the former phantom to one side, and for some time
conversed earnestly with him. Mr. Jenks told the story of how he
had been deceived by Folwell and the others who were at the head
of the gang of diamond makers. The rich man related how they had
taken his money, and, after promising to disclose the secret
process to him, had broken faith, and had drugged him, afterward
taking him out of the cave.

"I want only my rights, and that for which I paid," concluded
Mr. Jenks. "Now, I gather that these men haven't treated you
altogether fairly, Bill."

"Indeed they haven't. I helped 'em to the best of my ability,
and all I get out of it is to stay out on this lonely side of the
mountain, and play ghost. They owe me money, too, and they won't
pay me, either, though they have lots, for they sold some
diamonds lately."

"Then they are still making diamonds?" asked Mr. Jenks,
eagerly. "Have you seen them? Do you know the secret?"

"No, I don't know it, for they won't let me in on it. I'm
always sent out of the cave just before they make the gems. But I
know they've made some lately, and have sold 'em. I want my

"Look here!" exclaimed Mr. Jenks, quickly, wishing to strike
while the iron was hot. "I'll make you a proposition. Show us how
to get into that cave, unknown to the diamond makers, and I'll
pay you twice what they agreed to. Is it a bargain?"

Bill Renshaw considered a moment. Then he thrust out his hand,
clasped that of Mr. Jenks, and exclaimed:

"It is. I'll take you into the cave by an entrance that's
seldom used. There are four ways to get in. The one where the two
men drove you back is the rear one. The front one is on the other
side of the mountain, but it's so well concealed that you'd never
find it. But I can take you to one where you can get in, and
those fellows will never know it. And, what's more, I'll help you
if it comes to a fight!"

"Good!" exclaimed Mr. Jenks. "I think we'll discover the secret
of the diamond makers this time," and he went to tell the others
of the success of his talk. Bill Renshaw had been converted from
an enemy into a friend, and the former phantom was now ready to
lead Tom and the others into the secret cave.

"We'll start in the morning," decided Mr. Jenks, who, after
many disappointments, at last saw success ahead of him.


Tom Swift was up at break of day, and the others were not far
behind him.

"Now for the secret cave!" cried the young inventor as he gazed
up the mountain, in the interior of which the mysterious band of
men were making the diamonds.

"Have you made any plans, Bill?" asked Mr. Jenks of the former
phantom, who had cast his lot in with the adventurers. "What will
be the best course for us to follow?"

"You just leave it to me, Mr. Jenks," was the answer. "I'll get
you into the cave, and those fellows, who, I believe, are trying
to do me out of my rights, as they did you out of yours, will
never know a thing about it."

"Bless my finger-nails!" cried Mr. Damon. "That will be great!"
We can get in the cave, and watch them make the diamonds at our

"They don't make them every day," explained Renshaw. "It seems
they have to wait for certain occasions. Mostly they make the
diamonds when there's a big storm."

"A big storm" asked the scientist with a sudden show of
interest. "Do you mean one of those electrical storms, such as we
had the other night?"

"That's it, Mr. Parker, though why they wait until there's a
storm is more than I can tell."

"Perhaps they know that on such occasions no one will venture
up the mountain," spoke Mr. Damon.

"No, it isn't that," declared the scientist. "I think I am on
the track of a great scientific discovery, and I will soon be
able to make observations that will confirm it."

"Well, I'm going to make an observation right now," said Tom,
with a laugh. "I'm going to see what there is for breakfast."

"And that reminds me," came from Mr. Jenks, "shall we move our
camp, Bill, and take the tent with us to the cave?"

"I hardly think so," was the answer. "I think the best plan
would be to conceal the tent somewhere around here, in case you
might need it again. You can also store what food you have left."

"But, bless my appetite, we don't want to starve in that
diamond cave!" objected Mr. Damon.

"I'll see that you don't," declared Bill Renshaw. "I'll take
you in there, unbeknownst to those fellows, and I'll provide you
with plenty of food and water. You see the cave is so big that
there are some parts they never visit."

"And we can stay in one of those parts, and eat?" asked Tom.

"Sure," answered Bill.

"And watch the diamond makers at work?" asked Mr. Jenks.

"That's it," replied the former phantom.

"Then the sooner we get started the better," remarked Mr.
Damon. Mr. Parker said nothing. He appeared to be thinking
deeply, and was tapping at some rocks with his little hammer.

The advice of Bill Renshaw was followed, and the tent, and what
food remained, was concealed in the bushes, with rocks piled over
to keep away prowling animals. Then they started for the secret

The man who played the part of a ghost picked up the framework
and white cloth that had formed his disguise.

"I'll still have to use this," he explained, "for I don't want
those fellows to know that I'm helping you. I'll continue to play
the spirit of the mountain, but there won't be much need of it. I
don't think any more people will come prospecting out here."

"Have you heard of the arrival of Farley Munson?" asked Tom, as
he related the facts about the stowaway.

"He hadn't arrived up to a day or so ago," answered Bill. "I
guess he's still traveling. Farley is one of the heads of the
gang," he added, "and a dangerous man."

As Bill led the way toward the cave, taking a route that the
adventurers had never suspected led to it, he explained that the
cavern was a large one, capable of holding an army.

"But there's only a small part of it used by the diamond
makers," he added. "They work in a small recess, near the summit
of the mountain. The little cave, where I'm going to take you,
opens off from it by a long passage. And, except that you'll be
pretty much in the dark, you'll be quite comfortable. There are
tables, chairs, and some bunks in the place. I can get you some
lights, and plenty of food."

"But, if you are seen taking away food, won't the others
suspect something?" asked Tom.

"I do pretty much as I please," said Bill. "I go and come when
I like. All I'm supposed to do is to watch my two sides of the
mountain, play the ghost, and give warning when any one is
coming. Sometimes I leave black and white messages, like the one
I put on your tent. Those fellows fix 'em up for me. I've told
'em about you, though I didn't know who you were, and they think
you have gone, for the two men on guard at the rear entrance so
reported. Sometimes I stay out on the mountain for a couple of
days at a time, when the weather's good, and don't go back to the
cave. Those times I take food with me, and so if they see me
making off with some supplies they'll think I'm going to camp

"It doesn't look as though we'd ever get into a cave near the
top of the mountain, going this way," said Tom, as they marched
along. "We're going down, instead of up."

"That's the secret of this trail," explained Bill. "We go down
in a sort of valley, and then go up a pretty stiff place, and
then we're on a direct trail to the entrance I told you about.
It's a steep road to climb, but I guess we can manage it."

And a hard climb the adventurers did find it. The road was
almost as bad as the one along the edge of the chasm, but they
managed to negotiate it, and finally found themselves on a fairly
good trail.

"We'll soon be there," Bill assured them. "After you get in the
little cave, where I'm going to hide you, I'll have to leave you
for a spell, until I get my ghost rigging fixed up again. But
I'll see that you have plenty of food and drink."

A little later their guide came to a sudden halt, and peered
around anxiously.

"What's the matter?" asked Tom.

"I was just looking to see if any of the men were about," he
answered. "But I guess not--it looks all right. The entrance is
right here."

They were on a side of the mountain, near the summit. Below
stretched a magnificent scene. A great valley lay at their feet,
and they could look off to many distant peaks. The main trail to
Leadville, and the one to the settlement of Indian Ridge, was in

Suddenly Tom, who had been using a small but powerful
telescope, uttered an exclamation, and focussed the instrument on
a speck that seemed moving along on the trail below.

"A man--coming up the mountain," cried Tom. "And--it can't be--
yet it is--it's Farley Munson--the stowaway!" he cried. "He's
coming here!"

"Let me look!" begged Mr. Jenks, taking the glass from Tom. An
instant later the diamond man exclaimed: "Yes, it's Munson!"

"Then in here with you--quick!" cried Renshaw. "He can't see us
yet, and we'll be out of sight in another minute."

The former spirit pulled aside some thick bushes, and pointed
to a hole which was disclosed.

"The entrance to the secret cave," he announced. "Slip in all
of you."

Tom, after another glance at the man toiling his way up the
mountain, entered the cavern. He was followed by the others. Bill
was the last to enter, and he replaced the bushes over the

"At last!" exclaimed Mr. Jenks, as he gazed up at the roof of
the dimly-lighted vault in which they found themselves.

"Yes, we're in the diamond makers' secret cave," added Tom.
"Now to catch them at work!"

"Come on," advised Bill, in a low tone, "We're not safe yet,"
and he produced a lantern from some hidden recess, lighted the
wick, and led the way. As the others followed they were aware of
a subdued noise in the great cavern.


"What's that noise?" asked Tom, as their guide flashed the
lantern to show them the way.

"That's the men getting ready to make diamonds, I guess," was
the answer. "You see it takes quite a while to get the stuff
ready. I don't know what they use--they never tell me any of
their secrets."

"Oh, I know the ingredients well enough," said Mr. Jenks, "but
I don't know the secret of how they apply the terrific heat and
pressure necessary to fuse the materials into diamonds."

"Well, you'll soon know," declared Bill Renshaw. "Of course it
isn't always successful. I've known 'em to try half a dozen times
before they got any diamonds big enough to satisfy 'em. They gave
me some of the small ones when I asked for my wages.

"How did you come to get in with these men?" asked Tom, curious
to understand how a person seemingly as honest as Renshaw
appeared to be had cast his lot in with the men who had broken
faith with Mr. Jenks.

"Oh, I've lived around these parts all my life," was the
answer. "I knew of this cave before these diamond fellers came to
it. In fact, I showed it to 'em. It was several years ago that a
party of men who were prospecting around here came to me and
asked if I knew of a small cave near the top of a high mountain,
where lightning storms were frequent. I told them about Phantom
Mountain, as it was called then, and also of this cave. If
there's any place where they have worse lightning storms than
here, I'd like to know it. They scare me, sometimes, like the
night when that landslide happened, and I'm sort of used to 'em.

"Well, I took these men to the cave, and they hired me as a
sort of lookout. Then they began their work, and at first I
didn't know what they were up to, but finally I caught on. Then
Mr. Jenks came, and disappeared mysteriously, though then I
didn't know that they had played a trick on him. I was outside
most of the time, pretending I was the ghost. So that's how I
came to get in with 'em, and I wish I was out."

"You soon will be, I think," declared Mr. Jenks. "But won't our
talking be heard by the men?"

"No danger. There is a thick wall between this part of the
cave, and the part where they live and work. I'll soon have you
well hid, and then you wait until I come back."

"What about Munson?" asked Tom. "He is evidently on his way
here to tell his confederates about us."

"He won't know what has happened to us," said Mr. Jenks, "and
he won't see anything of us. I guess we're safe enough."

Through the dark passage they followed Bill Renshaw until he
came to a halt in a place that suddenly widened and broadened
into a good-sized cave.

"Here's your stopping place," said the former ghost. "Now if
you follow that passage, off to the left," and he pointed to it,
"you'll come to the larger part of the cave where the diamond
makers are. But go cautiously, and don't make any noise. I won't
be responsible for what happens."

"We'll take all the risk," interrupted Tom.

"All right. Now there's a couple of lanterns around here. I'll
light them, and leave you for a while until I can get some grub.
I'll be back as soon as I can."

He glided away, after lighting two lanterns, by the gleams of
which the adventurers could see that they were in a vaulted
cavern that had evidently been fitted up as a living apartment.
The sides, roof and floor were of stone. It was clean, and the
air was fresh. There were some chairs, a table, and several cots,
with pieces of bagging for bedding, though it was warm in the

"I guess we can stay here until we discover the secret," spoke

"Bless my watch! We can if we have something to eat," came from
Mr. Damon, with something like a sigh. "I'm hungry!"

"And I want to make some observations," said Mr. Parker. "From
what I have seen of this mountain, I would not be surprised if
this cave was to be suddenly destroyed by a landslide or a
lightning bolt. I will make some further investigations."

"Well, if it's going to cause you to make such gloomy
prophecies as that, I'd just as soon you wouldn't look any
further," spoke Tom. in a low voice. But Mr. Parker, taking one
of the lanterns, set about examining the rock of which the cave

In a short time Bill Renshaw returned with enough food to last
for two days. He said he was going out on the mountain once more
to act the part of a lookout, and would visit the adventurers
again the next day.

"In the meanwhile you can do just as you please," he said.
"Nobody is likely to disturb you here, and you can sneak up and
take a look at the men in the other cave whenever you're ready.
Only be careful--that's all I've got to say. They're desperate

It was not very pleasant, eating in the gloomy cavern, but they
made the best of it. They cooked on a small oil-stove they found
in the place, and after some hot coffee they felt much better.

"Well," remarked Tom, after a while, "shall we take a chance,
and go look at the men at work?"

"I think so," answered Mr. Jenks. "The sooner we discover this
mystery, the better. Then we can go back home."

"And recover my airship," added Tom, who was a bit uneasy
regarding the safety of the Red Cloud.

"Then, bless my finger-rings! let's go and see if we can find
the big cave your friend the ghost told us of," suggested Mr.

Cautiously they made their way along the passage Bill had
pointed out. As they went forward the subdued noise became
louder, and finally they could feel the vibration of machinery.

"This is the place," whispered Mr. Jenks. "That sound we hear
is one of the mixing machines, for grinding the materials--carbon
and the other substances--which go to make up the diamonds. I
remember hearing that when I was in the cave before."

"Then we must be near the place," observed Tom.

"Yes, but I didn't have much chance to look around when I was
here before. They wouldn't let me. I never even knew of the small
cave Bill took us to."

"Well, if we're close to it, we'd better go cautiously, and not
talk any more than we're obliged to," suggested Mr. Parker, and
they agreed that this was good advice.

They walked on softly. Suddenly Tom, who was in the lead, saw a
gleam of light.

"We're here," he whispered. "I'll put out our lantern, now,"
which he did. Then, stealing forward he and the others beheld a
curious sight. The tunnel they were in ended at a small hole
which opened into a large cavern, and, fortunately, this opening
was concealed from the view of those in the main place.

"The diamond makers!" whispered Tom, hoarsely, pointing to
several men grouped about a number of strange machines.

"Yes--the very place where I was," answered Mr. Jenks, "and
there is the apparatus--the steel box--from which the diamonds
are taken --now to see how they make them."

Fascinated, the adventurers looked into the cave. The men there
were unaware of the presence of our friends, and were busily
engaged. Some attended to the grinding machine, the roar and
clatter of which made it possible for Tom and the others to talk
and move about without being overheard. Into this machine certain
ingredients were put, and they were then pulverized, and taken
out in powdery form.

The power to run the mixing machine was a gasoline motor, which
chug-chugged away in one corner of the cave.

As the powder was taken out, other men fashioned it into small
balls, which were put on pan, and into a sort of oven, that was
heated by a gasoline stove.

"Is that how they make the diamonds?" asked Mr. Damon.

"That is evidently the first step," said Mr. Jenks. "Those
balls of powdered chemicals are partly baked, and then they are
put into the steel box. In some way terrific heat and pressure
are applied, and the diamonds are made. But how the heat and
pressure are obtained is what we have yet to learn."

He paused to watch the men at work. They were all busy, some
attending to the machines, and others coming and going in and out
of the cave. In one part a man was apparently getting ready a

Suddenly there rushed into the cave a man who seemed much

"Are you nearly ready with that stuff?" he cried. "There's a
good storm gathering on the mountain!"

"Yes, we'll be ready in half an hour," answered one of the men
at the mixing machine.

"Good. It will be flashing lightning bolts then, and we can see
what luck we have. The last batch was a failure." The man hurried
out again. Mr. Parker touched Tom and Mr. Jenks on their

"What is it?" asked Tom.

"I know the secret of making the diamonds,~ said the scientist.

"What?" cried Mr. Jenks.

"It is by the awful power of the lightning bolts!" whispered
Mr. Parker. "Everything is explained now--the reason why they
make diamonds in this lonely place, near the top of the mountain.
They need a place where the lightning is powerful. I can
understand it now--I suspected it before. They make diamonds by

"Are you sure?" cried Mr. Jenks.


"I agree with you," said Tom Swift. "I was just getting on that
track myself, when I saw the electric wires running to the steel
box. That explains the upright rod on the top of the mountain.
The man says a storm is coming --very well; we'll stay here and
watch them make diamonds!"

As he spoke there came the mutter of thunder, and the mountain
vibrated slightly. The men in the cave redoubled their activity.
Tom and his friends felt that the secret process they had so long
sought was about to be demonstrated before their eyes.


Eagerly the adventurers looked through the opening at the end
of the passage into the larger cave. The men opened the small
oven in which the balls of white chemicals and carbon mixed, had
been baked, and a pile of things, that looked like irregularly-
shaped marbles, were placed in the steel box.

This box, which was about the size of a trunk, was of massive
metal. It was placed in a recess in the solid rock, and all about
were layers of asbestos and other substances that were
nonconductors of heat.

"That box becomes red hot," exclaimed Mr. Jenks, in a whisper.
"When things are in readiness, that lever is pulled and the
diamonds are made. I pulled it once, but I did not then know the
process involved. I supposed that the lightning had nothing to do
with making the diamonds."

"It has--a most important part," said Mr. Parker. The hidden
adventurers could talk in perfect safety now, for the men in the
large cave were too excited to pay much attention to them. The
muttering of the thunder grew louder, and at times a particularly
loud crash told that a bolt had struck somewhere in the vicinity
of the cave.

"But, bless my watch-charm!" exclaimed Mr. Damon, "I didn't
know lightning made diamonds."

"It does not--always," went on the scientist. "But great heat
and pressure are necessary to create the gems. In nature this was
probably obtained by prehistoric volcanic fires, and by the
terrific pressure of immense rocks. It is possible to make
diamonds in the laboratory of the chemist, but they are so minute
as to be practically valueless.

"However, these men seem to have hit upon a new plan. They
utilize the terrific heat of lightning, and the pressure which is
instantaneously obtained when the bolt strikes. I am anxious to
see how it is done. Look, I think they are getting ready to make
the gems."

Indeed there seemed to be an air of expectancy among the
diamond makers. The mixing machine had now been stopped, and, as
it was more quiet in the cave, our friends, in their hiding-
place, had to speak in mere whispers. All the men were now
gathered about the great steel box.

This receptacle had been closed by a solid metal door, which
was screwed and clamped tight. Then one of the men examined a
number of heavily insulated electric wires that extended from the
box off into the darkness where Tom and his companions could not
discern them.

"That's Folwell--the man I befriended, and who got me into this
game," whispered Mr. Jenks. "He was also one of the first to turn
against me. I think he's one of the leaders."

Folwell came back, after having gone into a dark part of the
cave. He went over to an electrical switch on one of the stone

"It's almost time," Tom heard him say to his confederates. "The
storm is coming up rapidly."

"Will it be severe enough?" asked one of the helpers. "We had
all our work for nothing last time. The flashes weren't heavy

"These will be," asserted Folwell. "The indicator shows nearly
a million volts now, and it's increasing."

"A million volts!" exclaimed Tom. "I hope it doesn't strike
anywhere around here."

"Oh, it will probably be harmlessly conducted down on the heavy
wires," said Mr. Parker. "We are in no danger, at present, though
ultimately I expect to see the whole mountain shattered by a
lightning bolt."

"Cheerful prospect," murmured Tom.

There was a terrific crash outside. The rocky floor of the cave

"Here she comes!" cried Folwell. "Get back, everybody! I'm
going to throw over the switch now!"

The men retreated well away from the steel box. Folwell threw
over the lever--the same one Mr. Jenks remembered pulling. Then
the man ran to the electric switch on the wall, and snapped that
into place, establishing a connection.

There was a moment's pause, as Folwell ran to join the others
in their place of safety. Then from without there came a most
nerve-racking and terrifying crash. It seemed as if the very
mountain would be rent into fragments.

Watching with eager eyes, the adventurers saw sparks flash from
the steel box. Instantly it became red hot, and then glowed white
and incandescent. It was almost at the melting point.

Then came comparative quiet, as the echoes of the thunder died
away amid the mountain peaks.

"I guess that did the trick!" cried Folwell. "It was a terrific
crash all right!"

He and the others ran forward. The steel box was now a cherry
red, for it was cooling. Folwell threw back the lever, and
another man disconnected the switch. There was a period of
waiting until the box was cool enough to open. Then the heavy
door was swung back.

With a long iron rod Folwell drew something from the retort. It
was the tray which had held the white balls. But they were white
no longer, for they had been turned into diamonds. From their
hiding-place Tom and the others could see the flashing gems, for,
in spite of the fact that the diamonds were uncut, some of them
sparkled most brilliantly, due to the peculiar manner in which
they were made.

"We have the secret of the diamonds!" whispered Mr. Jenks.
"There must be a quart of the gems there!"

The men gathered about Folwell, uttering exclamations of
delight. The diamonds were too hot to handle yet.

"That's going some!" exclaimed the chief of the diamond makers.
"We have a small fortune here."

The was a sudden commotion at one end of the cave. A man rushed
in. At the sight of him Tom stared and uttered an exclamation.

"Munson--the stowaway!" he whispered.

"Hello!" cried Folwell, as he saw his confederate. "I thought
you were East, keeping Jenks away from here."

"He got the best of me!" cried Munson, "he and that Tom Swift!
I stowed away on their airship, but they found me out by a
wireless message, and marooned me in the woods. I've been trying
to get here ever since! Didn't you get my messages of warning?"

"No--what warnings ?" cried Folwell.

"About Jenks, Tom Swift and the others. They're here--they must
be on Phantom Mountain now. In fact, I shouldn't be surprised if
they were in this cave. I traced them to their camp, but they're
gone. They may be among us now--in some of the secret recesses!"

For an instant Folwell stared at the bearer of these tidings.
Then he cried out:

"Scatter men, and find these fellows! We must get them before
they discover our secret!"

"It's too late--we know it!" exulted Tom Swift. Then he
whispered to the others to hurry to the part of the cave where
Bill Renshaw had first hidden them.


"Do you think there is any danger of them finding us?" asked
Mr. Damon, as he hurried along beside Tom.

"I'm afraid so," was the answer. "I've been worried ever since
we saw Munson heading this way. But we couldn't do any

"Perhaps Bill Renshaw may be able to conceal us," suggested Mr.
Jenks. "Very likely he knows that Munson is on hand. Perhaps we
will be safe for a while. I want to make a few more observations
as to how they manufacture the diamonds, and then, with what I
already know, I'll have the secret."

"And I'd like to make some scientific tests of the sides and
bottom rocks of the cave," spoke Mr. Parker. "I think it will
out my theory that the mountain will soon be destroyed."

"Well, you were right about Earthquake Island, and you may be
right about this mountain," said Tom, "but if it is going to be
annihilated I hope we get far enough away from it."

We can keep our presence here a secret for a few more days, I
think that will be long enough," proceeded Mr. Jenks. "Then we
will leave."

"And, in the meanwhile, they'll be searching for us," objected
Mr. Damon. "I wish that ghost-chap would come back and tell us
what to do. Bless my liver-pin, but we are going to be in
considerable danger, I'm afraid! Those men may capture us, and
decide to make diamond dust from us."

"Come on--hurry to the little cave," urged Tom. "Then we'll get
ready to defend ourselves."

"The main cave is a large one," said Mr. Jenks, "and there are
many hiding places in it. In fact, it is so large that it will
take those fellows several days to complete a circuit of it. By
that time Bill Renshaw may come back, and take us to some place
in which they have already searched for us. Then we'll be
comparatively safe."

This thought was some consolation to them, as they made their
way through the dark passage, dimly illuminated by the lantern
they had rekindled, to the place where Bill had hidden them. They
found things as they had left them, and proceeded to get a meal,
though Tom said it would be best not to cook anything, or even to
make coffee, for fear the odors would enable the searchers to
trail them.

So they ate cold food, glad to get that. Silently they sat
about the dimly-lighted cavern, and discussed the situation. True
they might even now retreat, going out of the entrance Bill had
showed them, and so escape. But Mr. Jenks felt that his mission
was not completed yet, and they all agreed to stay with him.

"For there are several points about making diamonds that are
not quite clear to me," he said. "I need to know how that steel
box is constructed, how the electrical switches are arranged,
what kind of lightning rods they use, and how they regulate the
pressure. The other things, and how to mix the ingredients, I
already know."

"Then we'll do our best to help you," promised Tom. "But now I
think we had better see what sort of a defense we can put up. We
have our guns and revolvers, and with these chairs and tables we
can build a sort of barricade behind which we can take refuge if
those fellows do discover our hiding place."

This was conceded to be a good idea, and soon a rude sort of
fort was made, behind which the adventurers could take their
stand and fight, if necessary, though they hoped this would not
come to pass.

They remained quietly in the cave the remainder of that day,
and, when it was night, as they could tell by their timepieces--
there was no daylight--they divided the hours into watches,
taking turns standing guard.

Morning, at least in point of time, came without any
disturbance, and they made a cold breakfast. They hoped that Bill
Renshaw would come, but he did not appear.

After sitting in the dark cave until afternoon, Tom said:

"I think we might as well go and take another observation of
the big cave. We can tell what the men are doing, then, for they
don't seem to have been near us. Maybe they have given up the
search for us, and we can see them at work, and Mr. Jenks can
gain what further knowledge he needs."

"That will be a good plan," agreed the diamond man. "It's
maddening to sit here, doing nothing."

"And it will be comparatively safe to go from here to our
former post of observation," added Tom, "for there doesn't seem
to be any opening along the tunnel, into the larger cave, except
the place where we were."

Accordingly they started off. Cautiously they looked through
the opening into the apartment where they had seen the diamonds

"There's not a soul here!" exclaimed Tom, in a whisper. The
others looked. The place was deserted--the machinery silent. Mr.
Jenks peered in for a moment, and then exclaimed:

"I'm going in! Now's my chance to find out all that I wish to
know! It may never come again, and then we can soon leave Phantom

It was a daring plan, but it seemed to be the best one to
follow. They were all tired of inactivity. Mr. Jenks managed to
get through the opening, and dropped into the big cave. The
others followed. Mr. Jenks hurried over to the steel box, and
began an examination of it. Tom Swift was looking at the
electrical switch. He saw how it was constructed. Mr. Damon and
Mr. Parker were peering interestedly about.

Suddenly the sound of voices was heard, and the echo of
footsteps. Mr. Jenks started.

"They're coming back!" he whispered hoarsely. "Run!"

They all turned and sped toward their hiding place. But they
were too late. An instant later Folwell, Munson and the other
diamond makers confronted them. Our friends made a bold rush, but
were caught before they could go ten feet.

"We have them!" cried Munson. "They walked right into our

It was true. Tom Swift and the others were the prisoners of the
diamond makers.


"Well," remarked Tom Swift, in mournful tones, "this looks as
if we were up against it; doesn't it?"

"Bless my umbrella, it certainly does," agreed Mr. Damon.

"And it's all my fault," said Mr. Jenks. "I shouldn't have gone
into the big cave. I might have known those men would come back
any time."

The above conversation took place as our friends lay securely
bound in a small cave, or recess, opening from the larger cavern,
where, about an hour before, they had been captured and made
prisoners by the diamond makers. Despite their struggles they had
been overpowered and bound, being carried to the cave, where they
were laid in a row on some old bags.

"It certainly is a most unpleasant situation, to say the
least," observed Mr. Parker.

"And all my fault," repeated Mr. Jenks.

"Oh, no it isn't," declared Tom Swift, quickly. "We were just
as ready to follow you into that cave as you were to go. No one
could tell that the men would return so soon. It's nobody's
fault. It's just our bad luck."

From where he lay, tied hand and foot, the young inventor could
look out into the cave where he and the others had been caught.
The diamond makers were busily engaged, apparently in getting
ready to manufacture another batch of the precious stones. They
paid little attention to their captives, save to warn them, when
they had first been taken into the little cave, that it was
useless to try to escape.

"They needn't have told us that," observed Tom, as he and the
others were talking over their situation in low voices. "I don't
believe any one could loosen these ropes."

"They certainly are pretty tight," agreed Mr. Damon. "I've been
tugging and straining at mine for the last half hour, and all
I've succeeded in doing is to make the cords cut into my flesh."

"Better give it up," advised Mr. Jenks.

"We'll just have to wait."

"For what?" the scientist wanted to know.

"To see what they'll do with us. They can't keep us here
forever. They'll have to let us go some time." Following their
capture, Folwell and Munson, the latter the stowaway of the
airship, had been in earnest conversation regarding our friends,
but what conclusion they had reached the adventurers could only

"And we didn't have time to examine the diamond-making
machinery close enough so that we could duplicate it if
necessary," complained Tom, a little later.

"No," agreed Mr. Jenks. "There are certain things about it that
are not clear to me. Well, I don't believe I'll have another
chance to inspect it. They'll take good care of that, though they
seem to be getting ready to make more diamonds."

"Perhaps they're going to manufacture a big batch, and then
leave this place," suggested Mr. Damon. "They will probably go to
some other secret cave, and leave us here."

"I hope they untie us before they leave, and give us something
to eat," remarked the young inventor.

For two hours longer the captives lay there, in most
uncomfortable positions. Then Folwell and Munson, leaving the
group of diamond makers who were grouped about the machinery,
approached the captives.

"Well," remarked Munson, "we got ahead of you after all; didn't
we. You thought you had our secret, but it will be a long while
before you ever make diamonds."

"What are you going to do with us?" asked Tom.

"Never mind. You came where you had no right to, and you must
take the consequences."

"We did have a right to come here!" exclaimed Mr. Jenks. "I am
entitled to know how the diamonds are made. I paid for the
information, and you tricked me. If ever it's possible I'll have
the whole gang arrested for swindling."

"You'll never get the chance!" declared Folwell. "You were
given some diamonds for the money you invested, and that makes us

"No, it doesn't!" declared Mr. Jenks. "I invested the money to
learn how to make diamonds, and you know it! You tricked me, and
I had a right to try to discover your secret! I nearly have it,
too, and I'll get it completely before I'm done with you!"

"No, you won't!" boasted Folwell. "But we didn't come here to
tell you that. We came to give you something to eat. We're not
savages and we'll treat you as well as we can in spite of the
fact that you are trespassers. We're going to give you some grub,
but I warn you that any attempt to escape will mean that some of
you will get hurt."

He signalled to some of his confederates. These men unbound the
captives' arms, and stood over them while they ate some coarse
food that was brought into the small cave. They were given coffee
to drink, and then, when the simple meal was over, they were
securely bound again, and left to themselves, while the diamond
makers went back to their machinery.

It was evident that they were going to attempt a big operation,
for an unusually large quantity of the white stuff was prepared.
The prisoners watched them idly. They could see some but not all
of the operations. In this way several hours passed.

Gloom possessed the hearts of Tom and his friends. Not only had
their expedition been almost a failure so far, but the young
inventor was worried lest the gang might discover and wreck his
airship. This would prove a serious loss. Lying there in the
semi-darkness the lad imagined all sorts of unpleasant

At times he dozed off, as did the others. They had become
somewhat used to the pain caused by the bonds, for their nerves
were numb from the strain and pressure.

Once, as he was lightly sleeping, Tom was awakened by hearing
loud voices in the main cave. He looked out, rolling over
slightly to get a better view. He saw the man who, once before
had run in to give news of an approaching electrical storm.

"Are you fellows all ready?" asked this same man again.

"Yes. Is there another storm coming?"

"Yes, and it's going to be a corker!" was the reply. "It's one
of the worst I've ever seen. It's sweeping right up the valley.
It'll be here in an hour."

"That's good. We need a big flash to make all the material we
have prepared into diamonds. It's the biggest batch we ever
tried. I hope it succeeds, for we're going to leave--" The rest
was in so low a tone that Tom could not catch it.

The storm messenger departed. Folwell and Munson busied
themselves about the machinery. Tom dozed off again, dimly
wondering what had become of Bill Renshaw, and whether the former
ghost knew of their plight. The others were asleep, as the young
inventor saw by the dim light of a lantern in the cave. Then, he
too, shut his eyes.

Tom was suddenly awakened by feeling some one's hands moving
about his clothing. At first he thought it was one of the
diamond-making gang, who had sneaked in to rob him. "Here! What
are you up to?" exclaimed Tom.

"Quiet!" cautioned a voice. "Are you all here?"

"All of us--yes. But who are you?"

"Easy--keep quiet, Tom Swift! I'm Bill Renshaw! I've been
searching all over for you, since I got back to your cave and
found it empty. Now I'm going to free you. I got in here by a
secret entrance. Wait, I'll cut your ropes." There was a slight
sound, and an instant later Tom was freed from his bonds.


The young inventor could scarcely believe the good luck that
had so unexpectedly come to him and his companions. No sooner was
Tom able to move freely about than Bill Renshaw performed the
same service for Mr. Jenks and the others, cautioning them to be
quiet as he awakened them, and cut the ropes.

"Bless my circulation!" exclaimed Mr. Damon, in a hoarse
whisper. "How did you ever get here. I'd given ourselves up for

"Oh, I came in off the mountain, as there's a big storm due,"
explained the man. "There was no need of me playing the haunt in
daytime, anyhow. I went to the cave, found you and your things
gone, and I surmised that you might have walked into some trap."

"We did," admitted Mr. Jenks, grimly.

"Well, I hunted around until I found you," went on Bill. "This
mountain is honeycombed with caves, all opening from the large
one, I know them better than these fellows do, so I could explore
freely, and keep out of their sight. They didn't know that there
was a second entrance to this place, but I did, and I made for
it, when I couldn't find you in some of the other caves where I
looked. And, sure enough, here you were."

"Well, we can't thank you enough," said Mr. Parker. "But you
say there is a big storm coming?"

"One of the biggest that's been around these parts in some
time," replied Bill.

"Then perhaps the mountain will be destroyed," went on the
scientist, as calmly as if he had remarked that it might rain.

"I hope nothing like that happens until we get away," spoke Mr.
Damon, fervently.

"What had we better do?" inquired Tom.

"Get away, unless you want to discover some more of their
secrets," advised Bill. "Those fellows are planning something,
but I can't find out what it is. They are suspicious of me, I
think. But they are up to something, and I believe, it would be
best for you to leave while you have the chance. It may not be
healthy to stay. That's why I did my best to untie you."

"We appreciate what you have done," declared Mr. Jenks, "but I
want my rights. I must learn a few more facts about how to make
diamonds from lightning flashes, and then I will have the same
secret they cheated me out of. I think if we wait a while we may
be able to see the parts of the process that are not quite clear
to us. What do you say, Tom Swift?"

"Well, I would like to learn the secret," replied the lad, "and
if Bill thinks it's safe to stay here a while longer--

"Oh, I guess it will be safe enough," was the reply. "Those
fellows won't bother about you now that they are about to make
some more diamonds. Besides, they think you're all tied up. Yes,
you can stay here and watch, I reckon. I've got a couple of guns,

"Then we'll stay," decided Tom. "We can put up a better fight

Silently, in their prison, but which they could now leave
whenever they pleased, the adventurers watched the diamond makers
once more. The same process they had witnessed before was gone
through with. The white balls were put inside the steel box and
sealed up. Then they waited for the storm to reach its height.

That this would not be long was evidenced by the mutterings of
thunder which every moment grew louder. The outburst of
electrical fury was likely to take place momentarily, and that it
would be unusually severe was shown by the precautions taken by
the diamond makers. They attached a number of extra wires, and
brought out some insulated, hard rubber platforms, on which they
themselves stood. Tom and Mr. Jenks were much interested in
watching this detail of the work, and sought to learn how each
part of the process was done.

"I almost think we can make diamonds, Tom, when we get back to
civilization," whispered Mr. Jenks.

"I hope we can," answered Tom, "and we can't get back any too
soon to suit me. I want to be in my airship again."

"I don't blame you. But look, they are getting ready to adjust
the switch."

The adventurers ceased their whispered talk, and eagerly
watched the diamond makers. Folwell and Munson were hurrying to
and fro in the big cave, attending to the adjustments of the

"On your insulated plates--all of you," Folwell gave the order.
"This is going to be a terrific storm. The gage shows twice the
power we have ever used, and it's creeping up every minute! We'll
have more diamonds than ever had before!"

"Yes, if the mountain isn't destroyed," added Mr. Parker, in a
low voice. "I predict that it will be split from top to bottom!"

"Comforting," thought Tom, grimly.

"I guess we're all ready," said Folwell, in a low tone to
Munson. "We'd better get insulated ourselves. I'm going to throw
the switch."

He did so. A moment later the man who had before given warning
of the storm came dashing in. He was very much excited.

"It's awful!" he cried. "The lightning is striking all over!
Big rocks are being split like logs of wood!"

"Well, it can't do any damage in here," said Munson. "We are
well protected. Get on one of the plates," and he motioned to one
of the hard-rubber platforms that was not occupied. The roar and
rumble of the storm outside had given place to short terrific
crashes. In their small cave the adventurers could feel the solid
ground shake.

A bluish light began dancing about the electrical wires. There
was a smell of sulphur in the air. Crash after crash resounded
outside. A flash of flame lit up the whole interior of the cave.
It came from the copper switch.

"Something's wrong with the insulation!" cried Munson.

"Don't go near it!" yelled Folwell. "If you value your life,
stand still!"

Hardly had he spoken than inside the cavern there sounded a
report like that of a small cannon. A big ball of fire danced
about the middle of the cave and then leaped on top of the steel

"This is a fearful storm," cried Munson.

The adventurers in the cave did not know what to say or do.
They were in deadly peril.

Suddenly there came a crash louder than any that had preceded
it. The whole side of the cave where the switches were was a mass
of bluish flame. Then came a ripping, tearing sound, and a tangle
of wires and copper connections were thrown to the floor. At the
same time the steel box, containing the materials from which
diamonds were made, turned blue, and flames shot from it.

"It's all up with us!" cried Munson. "Run for it, everybody!
The wires are down, and this place will be an electric furnace in
another minute!"

He leaped toward the exit from the cave.

"What about those fellows?" asked Folwell, indicating the place
where Tom and the others had been tied.

"They'll have to do the best they can! It's every man for
himself, now!" yelled Munson. There was a wild scramble from the

"Come on!" cried Tom. "We must escape! It's our only chance!"

He leaped into the big cave, followed by the others. Already
long tongues of electrical fire were shooting out from the walls
and roof as Tom Swift and his companions, evading them as best
they could, sought safety in flight.


"Can't we get some of the diamonds?" cried Mr. Damon, as he
raced along behind Tom. "Now's our chance. Those fellows have all
gone!" The odd man made a grab for something as he ran.

"It's as much as our lives are worth," declared the young
inventor. "We dare not stop! Come on!"

"I'd like to investigate some of the machinery," spoke Mr.
Jenks, "but I wouldn't stop, even for that."

"The storm is too dangerous," called Bill Renshaw. "I can show
you a shorter way out than the one those fellows have taken.
Follow me."

"No way can be too short," said Mr. Parker, solemnly. "This
mountain will go to pieces shortly, I think!"

Tom shuddered. He remembered how narrow had been their escape
when Earthquake Island sank into the sea. And that some terrific
upheaval was now imminent might be judged from the awful reports
that sounded more plainly as the adventurers raced toward the
opening of the cave. It was like the bombardment of some doomed

Mr. Jenks and Tom cast one longing look behind at the
complicated and expensive machinery that had been installed in
the cave by the diamond makers. They had abandoned it, and in it
lay the secret of making precious gems. But there was no time to
stop now, and investigate.

"This way," urged Bill Renshaw. "We'll soon be out."

"But won't it be dangerous to go outside?" asked Mr. Damon.
"Shan't we be struck by lightning? There is some protection in

"None at all," said Mr. Parker, quickly. "This mountain is a
natural lightning rod. To stay here in this cave will be sure
death when the storm gets directly over it. And that will be very
soon. We must get on insulated ground. Is there any part of this
mountain that does not contain iron ore?" the scientist asked of
the former spirit.

"Yes; the way out by which we are going lands on a dirt hill."

"That's good; then we may be saved."

On they ran. They had no lanterns, but the blue light of the
electricity, as it leaped from point to point inside the cave,
where there were outcroppings of iron ore, made the place bright
enough to see.

"Here we are!" cried Bill Renshaw at length. "Here's the way

Making a sudden turn in the winding passage he showed the
adventurers a small opening in the side of the crag. In an
instant they had passed through, and found themselves in daylight
once more. The sudden glare almost blinded them, for, though the
sky was overcast by clouds, from which jagged tongues of
lightning played, the outside was much lighter than the dark

"I should say it was a storm!" cried Tom Swift. "See, it is
striking every minute, and all around us!"

In fact, lightning bolts were falling on every side of the
adventurers. Every time the balls of fire struck, they burst open
great stones, or seared a livid scar on the face of some cliff.
As for Tom and the others, they stood on a dry dirt hill, in
which, fortunately, there was no iron ore. To this fact they
undoubtedly owed their lives, though had there been rain, to
moisten the ground and make the earth a good conductor of
electricity, they probably would have been badly shocked. But the
electrical outburst was not accompanied by rain.

Tom looked up. He saw a compact mass of cloud moving toward the
summit of the mountain on the slope of which they stood. From
cloud there played shafts of reddish-green fire.

"Look!" called the young inventor to Mr. Parker. The instant
the latter saw the cloud, he cried:

"We must get away from here by all means! That is the center of
the storm. As soon as it gets over the mountain, where that
lightning rod is, all the electrical fluid will be discharged in
one bolt at the mountain, and it will be destroyed! We must run,
but keep on the dirt places! Run for your lives!"

They needed no second warning. Turning, they fled down the
steep side of the mountain, slipping and stumbling, but taking
care not to step on any iron ore. Behind them flashed the
lightning bolts.

Suddenly there was a most awful crash. It seemed as if the end
of the world had come, and the ear drums of Tom and his
companion almost burst with the fearful report. The concussion
knocked them down, and they lay stunned for a moment.

Following the terrible report there was a low, rumbling sound.
Hardly knowing whether he was dead or alive, Tom opened his eyes
and looked about him. What he saw caused him to cry out in

The whole mountain seemed bathed in fire. Great blue, red and
green flashes played around it. Then the towering cliff seemed to
melt and crumble up, and the great peak, the top of it containing
the diamond makers' cave, from which they had fled but a few
minutes before, the entire summit was toppled over into the
valley on the other side, and in the direction opposite to that
where the adventurers stood.

Then came a profound silence, and the lightning ceased. The
storm was over, and only the rattle of stones and boulders, as
they came to rest in the valley below, reached the ears of our

"Phantom Mountain has been destroyed, just as I said it would
be," spoke Mr. Parker, solemnly. Once more he had prophesied

For a few minutes the adventurers hardly knew what to say. They
arose awkwardly from the ground where the shock had tossed them.
Then Tom remarked, as calmly as possible:

"Well, it's all over. I guess we may as well get back to our

"What became of Munson and the others?" asked Mr. Damon.

Mr. Jenks pointed to the trail, far below. The figures of some
men, running madly, could be seen.

"There they go," he said; "I fancy we have seen the last of
them." And they had, for some time at least.

There was little use lingering any longer on Phantom Mountain--
indeed little of it was left on which to remain. Looking back
toward the place where the cave had been, Tom and the others
started forward again. The diamond-making machinery had all been
destroyed. So, also, had the finished diamonds stored in the
cavern and the large supply which had probably been made by the
last terrific crash. No one would ever have them now. Tom and Mr.
Jenks felt a sense of disappointment, but they were glad to have
escaped with their lives. They sought their former camp, but the
tent and all their food was buried under tons of earth and rocks.

Three days later, after rather severe hardships, they were near
the place where they had left the Red Cloud. They had suffered
cold and hunger, for they had no food supplies, and, had it not
been that Bill Renshaw knew the haunts of some game, of which
they managed to snare some, they would have fared badly, for they
had left their guns in the cave.

"Well, there are the trees behind which I hope my airship is
hidden," announced Tom, as they came to the spot. "Good old Red
Cloud! Maybe we won't do some eating when we get aboard, eh?"

"Bless my appetite! but we certainly will!" cried Mr. Damon.

"There's somebody walking around the place," spoke Mr. Jenks.

"I hope it's no one who has damaged the ship," came from Tom,
apprehensively. He broke into a run, and soon confronted an aged
miner, who seemed to have established a rude sort of camp near
the airship.

"Is anything the matter?" asked Tom, breathlessly. "Is my
airship all right?"

"I guess she's all right, stranger," was the reply. "I don't
know much about these contraptions, but I haven't touched her. I
knowed she was an airship, for I've seen pictures of 'em, and
I've been waiting until the owner came along."

"Why?" asked Tom, wonderingly.

"Because I've got a proposition to make to you," went on the--
miner, who said his name was Abe Abercrombie. "I've been a miner
for a good many years, and I'm just back from Alaska, prospecting
around here. I haven't had any luck, but I know of a gold mine
in Alaska that will make us all rich. Only it needs an airship to
get to it, and I've been figuring how to hire one. Then I comes
along, and I sees this big one, and I makes up my mind to stay
here until the owners come back. That's what I've done. Now, if I
prove that I'm telling the truth, will you go to Alaska--to the
valley of gold with me?"

"I don't know," answered Tom, to whom the proposition was
rather sudden. "We've just had some pretty startling adventures,
and we're almost starved. Wait until we get something to eat, and
we'll talk. Come aboard the Red Cloud," and the lad led the way
to his craft which was in as good condition as when he left it to
go to the diamond cave. Later he listened to the miner's story.

Tom Swift did go to the valley of gold in Alaska, and what
happened to him and his companions there will be told of in the
next volume of this series, to be called "Tom Swift in the Caves
of Ice; or, the Wreck of the Airship."'

It did not take our friends long, after they had eaten a hearty
meal, to generate some fresh gas, and start the Red Cloud oh her
homeward way. Tom wanted to take Bill Renshaw with him, hut the
old man said he would rather remain among the mountains where he
had been born. So, after paying him well for his services, they
said good-by to him. Abercrombie, the miner, also remained
behind, but promised to call and see Tom in a few months.

"Well, we didn't make any money out of this trip," observed Mr.
Jenks, rather dubiously, as they were nearing Shopton, after an
uneventful trip. "I guess I owe you considerable, Tom Swift. I
promised to get you a lot of diamonds, but all I have are those I
had from my first visit to the cave."

"Oh, that's all right," spoke Tom, easily. "The experience was
worth all the trip cost."

"Speaking of diamonds, look here!" exclaimed Mr. Damon,
suddenly, and he pulled out a double handful.

"Where did you get them?" cried the others in astonishment.

"I grabbed them up, as we ran from the cave," said the
eccentric man; "but, bless my gaiters! I forgot all about them
until you spoke. We'll share them."

These diamonds, some of which were large, proved very valuable,
though the total sum was far below what Mr. Jenks hoped to make
when he started on the remarkable trip. Tom gave Mary Nestor a
very fine stone, and it was set in a ring, instead of a pin, this

On their arrival in Shopton, where Mr. Swift, the housekeeper,
Mr. Jackson and Eradicate Sampson were much alarmed for Tom's
safety, an attempt was made to manufacture diamonds, using a
powerful electric current instead of lightning. But it was not a
success, and so Mr. Jenks concluded to give up his search for the
secret which was lost on Phantom Mountain.

And now we will take leave of Tom Swift, to meet him again soon
in other adventures he is destined to have in the caves of ice
and the valley of gold.




Or Fun and Adventure on the Road
Or The Rivals of Lake Carlopa
Or The Stirring Cruise of the Red Cloud
Or Under the Ocean for Sunken Treasure
Or The Speediest Car on the Road
Or The Castaways of Earthquake Island
Or The Secret of Phantom Mountain
Or The wreck of the Airship
Or The Quickest Flight on Record
Or Daring Adventures In Elephant Land
Or Marvelous Adventures Underground
Or seeking the Platinum Treasure
Or A Daring Escape by Airship
Or The Perils of Moving Picture Taking
Or On the Border for Uncle Sam
Or The Longest Shots on Record
Or The Picture that Saved a Fortune
Or The Naval Terror of the Seas
Or The Hidden City of the Andes



In these stories we follow the adventures of three boys, who,
after purchasing at auction the contents of a moving picture
house, open a theatre of their own. Their many trials and
tribulations, leading up to the final success of their venture,
make very entertaining stories.


Or Opening a Photo Playhouse in Fairlands.

The adventures of Frank. Randy and Pep in running a Motion
Picture show. They had trials and tribulations hut finally


Or The Rival Photo Theatres of the Boardwalk.

Their success at Fairlands encourages the boys to open their
show at Seaside Park, where they have exciting adventures--also a
profitable season.


Or The Mystery of the Missing Cash Box.

Backed by a rich western friend the chums established a photo
playhouse in the great metropolis, where new adventures await


Or The Film that Solved a Mystery.

This time the playhouse was in a big summer park. How a film
that was shown gave a clew to an important mystery is
interestingly related.


Or The First Educational Photo Playhouse.

In this book the scene is shifted to Boston, and there is
intense rivalry in the establishment of photo playhouses of
educational value.


Or The Greatest Film Ever Exhibited.

The chums go to Sap Francisco, where they have some trials
but finally meet with great success.


Or The Film that Won the Prize.

Through being of service to the writer of n great scenario. the
chums are enabled to produce it and win a prize.



Never was there a cleaner, brighter, more manly boy than Frank
Allen, the hero of this series of boys tales, and never was there
a better crowd of lads to associate with than the students of the
School. All boys will read these stories with deep interest. The
rivalry between the towns along the river was of the keenest, and
plots and counterplots to win the champions, at baseball, at
football, at boat racing, at track athletics, and at ice hockey,
were without number. Any lad reading one volume of this series
will surely want the others.

Or The All Around Rivals of the School

Or Winning Out by Pluck

Or The Boat Race Plot that Failed

Or The Struggle for the Silver Cup

Or Out for the Hockey Championship

Or A Long Run that Won

Or Stirring Doings on Skates and Iceboats

12mo. Illustrated. Handsomely bound in cloth, with cover design
and wrappers in colors.




The outdoor chums are four wide-awake lads, Sons of wealthy men
of a small city located on a lake. The boys love outdoor life,
and are greatly interested in hunting, fishing, and picture
taking. They have motor cycles, motor boats, canoes, etc., and
during their vacations go everywhere and have all sorts of
thrilling adventures. The stories give full directions for
camping out, how to fish, how to hunt wild animals and prepare
the skins for stuffing, how to manage a canoe, how to swim, etc.
Full of the spirit of outdoor life.

Or The First Tour of the Rod, Gun and Camera Club.

Or Lively Adventures on Wildcat Island.

Or Laying the Ghost of Oak Ridge.

Or Rescuing the Lost Balloonists.

Or Perilous Adventures in the Wilderness.

Or The Rivals of the Mississippi.

Or The Rival Hunters at Lumber Run.

Or The Golden Cup Mystery.


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