Tom Swift And His Submarine Boat

Part 3 out of 3

gleams of another searchlight, the rays undulating through
the sea.

"Still following," murmured the young inventor. "They're
not going to give up. But we must make 'em--that's all."

He went down to report what he had seen, and a
consultation was held. Captain Weston carefully studied the
charts of that part of the ocean, and finding that there was
a great depth of water at hand, proposed a series of

"We can go up and down, shoot first to one side and then
to the other," he explained. "We can even drop down to the
bottom and rest there for a while. Perhaps, in that way, we
can shake them off."

They tried it. The Advance was sent up until her conning
tower was out of the water, and then she was suddenly forced
down until she was but a few feet from the bottom. She
darted to the left, to the right, and even doubled and went
back over the course she had taken. But all to no purpose.
The Wonder proved fully as speedy, and those in her seemed
to know just how to handle the submarine, so that every
evolution of the Advance was duplicated. Her rival could not
be shaken off.

All night this was kept up, and when morning came, though
only the clocks told it, for eternal night was below the
surface, the rival gold-seekers were still on the trail.

"They won't give up," declared Mr. Swift hopelessly.

"No, we've got to race them for it, just as Berg
proposed," admitted Tom. "But if they want a straightaway
race we'll give it to 'em Let's run her to the limit, dad."

"That's what we've been doing, Tom."

"No, not exactly, for we've been submerged a little too
much to get the best speed out of our craft. Let's go a
little nearer the surface, and give them the best race
they'll ever have."

Then the race began; and such a contest of speed as it
was! With her propellers working to the limit, and every
volt of electricity that was available forced into the
forward and aft plates, the Advance surged through the
water, about ten feet below the surface. But the Wonder kept
after her, giving her knot for knot. The course of the
leading submarine was easy to trace now, in the morning
light which penetrated ten feet down.

"No use," remarked Tom again, when, after two hours, the
Wonder was still close behind them. "Our only chance is that
they may have a breakdown."

"Or run out of air, or something like that," added Captain
Weston. "They are crowding us pretty close. I had no idea
they could keep up this speed. If they don't look out," he
went on as he looked from one of the aft observation
windows, "they'll foul us, and--"

His remarks were interrupted by a jar to the Advance. She
seemed to shiver and careened to one side. Then came another

"Slow down!" cried the captain, rushing toward the pilot

"What's the matter?" asked Tom, as he threw the engines
and electrical machines out of gear. Have we hit anything?"

"No. Something has hit us," cried the captain. "Their
submarine has rammed us."

"Rammed us!" repeated Mr. Swift. "Tom, run out the
electric cannon! They're trying to sink us! We'll have to
fight them. Run out the stern electric gnu and we'll make
them wish they'd not followed us.

Chapter Eighteen

The Electric Gun

There was much excitement aboard the Advance. The
submarine came to a stop in the water, while the treasure-
seekers waited anxiously for what was to follow. Would they
be rammed again? This time, stationary as they were, and
with the other boat coming swiftly on, a hole might be stove
through the Advance, in spite of her powerful sides.

They had not long to wait. Again there came a jar, and
once more the Swifts' boat careened. But the blow was a
glancing one and, fortunately, did little damage.

"They certainly must be trying to sink us," agreed Captain
Weston. "Come, Tom, we'll take a look from the stern and see
what they're up to."

"And get the stern electric gun ready to fire," repeated
Mr. Swift. "We must protect ourselves. Mr. Sharp and I will
go to the bow. There is no telling what they may do. They're
desperate, and may ram us from in front"

Tom and the captain hurried aft. Through the thick plate-
glass windows they could see the blunt nose of the Wonder
not far away, the rival submarine having come to a halt.
There she lay, black and silent, like some monster fish
waiting to devour its victim.

"There doesn't appear to be much damage done back here,"
observed Tom. "No leaks. Guess they didn't puncture us."

"Perhaps it was due to an accident that they rammed us,"
suggested the captain.

"Well, they wouldn't have done it if they hadn't followed
us so close," was the opinion of the young inventor.
"They're taking too many chances. We've got to stop 'em."

"What is this electric gun your father speaks of?"

"Why, it's a regular electric cannon. It fires a solid
ball, weighing about twenty-five pounds, but instead of
powder, which would hardly do under water, and instead of
compressed air, which is used in the torpedo tubes of the
Government submarines, we use a current of electricity. It
forces the cannon ball out with great energy."

"I wonder what they will do next?" observed the captain,
peering through a bull'seye.

"We can soon tell," replied the youth. "We'll go ahead,
and if they try to follow I'm going to fire on them."

"Suppose you sink them?"

"I won't fire to do that; only to disable them. They
brought it on themselves. We can't risk having them damage
us. Help me with the cannon, will you please, captain?"

The electric cannon was a long, steel tube in the after
part of the submarine. It projected a slight distance from
the sides of the ship, and by an ingenious arrangement could
he swung around in a ball and socket joint, thus enabling it
to shoot in almost any direction.

It was the work of but a few minutes to get it ready and,
with the muzzle pointing toward the Wonder, Tom adjusted the
electric wires and inserted the solid shot.

"Now we're prepared for them!" he cried. "I think a good
plan will be to start ahead, and if they try to follow to
fire on them. They've brought it on themselves."

"Correct," spoke Captain Weston.

Tom hurried forward to tell his father of this plan.

"We'll do it!" cried Mr. Swift. "Go ahead, Mr. Sharp, and
we'll see if those scoundrels will follow."

The young inventor returned on the run to the electric
cannon. There was a whir of machinery, and the Advance
moved forward. She increased her speed, and the two watchers
in the stern looked anxiously out of the windows to see what
their rivals would do.

For a moment no movement was noticeable on the part of the
Wonder. Then, as those aboard her appeared to realize that
the craft on which they depended to pilot them to the sunken
treasure was slipping away, word was given to follow. The
ship of Berg and his employers shot after the Advance.

"Here they come!" cried Captain Weston. "They're going to
ram us again!"

"Then I'm going to fire on them!" declared Tom savagely.

On came the Wonder, nearer and nearer. Her speed was
rapidly increasing. Suddenly she bumped the Advance, and
then, as if it was an unavoidable accident, the rear
submarine sheered off to one side.

"They're certainly at it again!" cried Tom, and peering
from the bull's-eye he saw the Wonder shoot past the mouth
of the electric cannon. "Here it goes!" he added.

He shoved over the lever, making the proper connection.
There was no corresponding report, for the cannon was
noiseless, but there was a slight jar as the projectile left
the muzzle. The Wonder could be seen to heel over.

"You hit her! You hit her!" cried Captain Weston. "A good

"I was afraid she was past me when I pulled the lever,"
explained Tom. "She went like a flash."

"No, you caught her on the rudder," declared the captain.
"I think you've put her out of business. Yes, they're rising
to the surface."

The lad rapidly inserted another ball, and recharged the
cannon. Then he peered out into the water, illuminated by
the light of day overhead, as they were not far down. He
could see the Wonder rising to the surface. Clearly
something had happened.

"Maybe they're going to drop down on us from above, and
try to sink us," suggested the youth, while he stood ready
to fire again. "If they do--"

His words were interrupted by a slight jar throughout the

"What was that?" cried the captain.

"Dad fired the bow gun at them, but I don't believe he hit
them," answered the young inventor.

"I wonder what damage I did? Guess we'll go to the surface
to find out."

Clearly the Wonder had given up the fight for the time
being. In fact, she had no weapon with which to respond to a
fusillade from her rival. Tom hastened forward and informed
his father of what had happened.

"If her steering gear is out of order, we may have a
chance to slip away," said Mr. Swift "We'll go up and see
what we can learn."

A few minutes later Tom, his father and Captain Weston
stepped from the conning tower, which was out of water, on
to the little flat deck a short distance away lay the
Wonder, and on her deck was Berg and a number of men,
evidently members of the crew.

"Why did you fire on us?" shouted the agent angrily.

"Why did you follow us?" retorted Torn.

"Well, you've broken our rudder and disabled us," went on
Berg, not answering the question. "You'll suffer for this!
I'll have you arrested."

"You only got what you deserved," added Mr. Swift. "You
were acting illegally, following us, and you tried to sink
us by ramming my craft before we retaliated by firing on

"It was an accident, ramming you," said Berg. "We couldn't
help it. I now demand that you help us make repairs."

"Well, you've got nerve!" cried Captain Weston, his eyes
flashing. "I'd like to have a personal interview with you
for about ten minutes. Maybe something besides your ship
would need repairs then."

Berg turned away, scowling, but did not reply. He began
directing the crew what to do about the broken rudder.

"Come on," proposed Tom in a low voice, for sounds carry
very easily over water. "Let's go below and skip out while
we have a chance. They can't follow now, and we can get to
the sunken treasure ahead of them."

"Good advice," commented his father. "Come, Captain
Weston, we'll go below and close the conning tower."

Five minutes later the Advance sank from sight, the last
glimpse Tom had of Berg and his men being a sight of them
standing on the deck of their floating boat, gazing in the
direction of their successful rival. The Wonder was left
behind, while Tom and his friends were soon once more
speeding toward the treasure wreck.

Chapter Nineteen


"Down deep," advised Captain Weston, as he stood beside
Tom and Mr. Swift in the pilot house. "As far as you can
manage her, and then forward. We'll take no more chances
with these fellows."

"The only trouble is," replied the young inventor, "that
the deeper we go the slower we have to travel. The water is
so dense that it holds us back."

"Well, there is no special need of hurrying now," went on
the sailor. "No one is following you, and two or three days
difference in reaching the wreck will not amount to

"Unless they repair their rudder, and take after us
again," suggested Mr. Swift.

"They're not very likely to do that," was the captain's
opinion. "It was more by luck than good management that they
picked us up before. Now, having to delay, as they will, to
repair their steering gear, while we can go as deep as we
please and speed ahead, it is practically impossible for
them to catch up to us. No, I think we have nothing to fear
from them."

But though danger from Berg and his crowd was somewhat
remote, perils of another sort were hovering around the
treasure-seekers, and they were soon to experience them.

It was much different from sailing along in the airship,
Tom thought, for there was no blue sky and fleecy clouds to
see, and they could not look down and observe, far below
them, cities and villages. Nor could they breathe the
bracing atmosphere of the upper regions.

But if there was lack of the rarefied air of the clouds,
there was no lack of fresh atmosphere. The big tanks carried
a large supply, and whenever more was needed the oxygen
machine would supply it.

As there was no need, however, of remaining under water
for any great stretch of time, it was their practice to rise
every day and renew the air supply, also to float along on
the surface for a while, or speed along, with only the
conning tower out, in order to afford a view, and to enable
Captain Weston to take observations. But care was always
exercised to make sure no ships were in sight when emerging
on the surface, for the gold-seekers did not want to be
hailed and questioned by inquisitive persons.

It was about four days after the disabling of the rival
submarine, and the Advance was speeding along about a mile
and a half under water. Tom was in the pilot house with
Captain Weston, Mr. Damon was at his favorite pastime of
looking out of the glass side windows into the ocean and its
wonders, and Mr. Swift and the balloonists were, as usual,
in the engine-room.

"How near do you calculate we are to the sunken wreck?"
asked Tom of his companion.

"Well, at the calculation we made yesterday, we are within
about a thousand miles of it now. We ought to reach it in
about four more days, if we don't have any accidents."

"And how deep do you think it is?" went on the lad.

"Well, I'm afraid it's pretty close to two miles, if not
more. It's quite a depth, and of course impossible for
ordinary divers to reach. But it will be possible in this
submarine and in the strong diving suits your father has
invented for us to get to it. Yes, I don't anticipate much
trouble in getting out the gold, once we reach the wreck of

The captain's remark was not finished. From the engine-
room there came a startled shout:

"Tom! Tom! Your father is hurt! Come here, quick!"

"Take the wheel!" cried the lad to the captain. "I must go
to my father." It was Mr. Sharp's voice he had heard.

Racing to the engine-room, Tom saw his parent doubled up
over a dynamo, while to one side, his hand on a copper
switch, stood Mr. Sharp.

"What's the matter?" shouted the lad.

"He's held there by a current of electricity," replied the
balloonist. "The wires are crossed."

"Why don't you shut off the current?" demanded the youth,
as he prepared to pull his parent from the whirring machine.
Then he hesitated, for he feared he, too, would be glued
fast by the terrible current, and so be unable to help Mr.

"I'm held fast here, too," replied the balloonist. "I
started to cut out the current at this switch, but there's a
short circuit somewhere, and I can't let go, either. Quick,
shut off all power at the main switchboard forward."

Tom realized that this was the only thing to do. He ran
forward and with a yank cut out all the electric wires. With
a sigh of relief Mr. Sharp pulled his hands from the copper
where he had been held fast as if by some powerful magnet,
his muscles cramped by the current. Fortunately the
electricity was of low voltage, and he was not burned. The
body of Mr. Swift toppled backward from the dynamo, as Tom
sprang to reach his father.

"He's dead!" he cried, as he saw the pale face and the
closed eyes.

"No, only badly shocked, I hope," spoke Mr. Sharp. "But we
must get him to the fresh air at once. Start the tank pumps.
We'll rise to the surface."

The youth needed no second bidding. Once more turning on
the electric current, he set the powerful pumps in motion
and the submarine began to rise. Then, aided by Captain
Weston and Mr. Damon, the young inventor carried his father
to a couch in the main cabin. Mr. Sharp took charge of the

Restoratives were applied, and there was a flutter of the
eyelids of the aged inventor.

"I think he'll come around all right," said the sailor
kindly, as he saw Tom's grief. "Fresh air will be the thing
for him. We'll be on the surface in a minute."

Up shot the Advance, while Mr. Sharp stood ready to open
the conning tower as soon as it should be out of water. Mr.
Swift seemed to be rapidly reviving. With a bound the
submarine, forced upward from the great depth, fairly shot
out of the water. There was a clanking sound as the aeronaut
opened the airtight door of the tower, and a breath of fresh
air came in.

"Can you walk, dad, or shall we carry you?" asked Tom

"Oh, I--I'm feeling better now," was the inventor's reply.
"I'll soon be all right when I get out on deck. My foot
slipped as I was adjusting a wire that had gotten out of
order, and I fell so that I received a large part of the
current. I'm glad I was not burned. Was Mr. Sharp hurt? I
saw him run to the switch, just before I lost

"No, I'm all right," answered the balloonist. "But allow
us to get you out to the fresh air. You'll feel much better

Mr. Swift managed to walk slowly to the ladder leading to
the conning tower, and thence to the deck. The others
followed him. As all emerged from the submarine they uttered
a cry of astonishment.

There, not one hundred yards away, was a great warship,
flying a flag which, in a moment. Tom recognized as that of
Brazil. The cruiser was lying off a small island, and all
about were small boats, filled with natives, who seemed to
be bringing supplies from land to the ship. At the
unexpected sight of the submarine, bobbing up from the
bottom of the ocean, the natives uttered cries of fright.
The attention of those on the warship was attracted, and the
bridge and rails were lined with curious officers and men.

"It's a good thing we didn't come up under that ship,"
observed Tom. "They would have thought we were trying to
torpedo her. Do you feel better, dad?" he asked, his wonder
over the sight of the big vessel temporarily eclipsed in his
anxiety for his parent.

"Oh, yes, much better. I'm all right now. But I wish we
hadn't disclosed ourselves to these people. They may demand
to know where we are going, and Brazil is too near Uruguay
to make it safe to tell our errand. They may guess it,
however, from having read of the wreck, and our departure."

"Oh, I guess it will be all right," replied Captain
Weston. "We can tell them we are on a pleasure trip. That's
true enough. It would give us great pleasure to find that

"There's a boat, with some officers in it, to judge by the
amount of gold lace on them, putting off from the ship,"
remarked Mr. Sharp.

"Ha! Yes! Evidently they intend to pay us a formal visit,"
observed Mr. Damon. "Bless my gaiters, though. I'm not
dressed to receive company. I think I'll put on my dress

"It's too late," advised Tom. "They'll be here in a

Urged on by the lusty arms of the Brazilian sailors, the
boat, containing several officers, neared the floating
submarine rapidly.

"Ahoy there!" called an officer in the bow, his accent
betraying his unfamiliarity with the English language. "What
craft are you?"

"Submarine, Advance, from New Jersey," replied Tom. "Who
are you?"

"Brazilian cruiser San Paulo," was the reply. "Where are
you bound?" went on the officer.

"On pleasure," answered Captain Weston quickly. "But why
do you ask? We are an American ship, sailing under American
colors. Is this Brazilian territory?"

"This island is--yes," came back the answer, and by this
time the small boat was at the side of the submarine. Before
the adventurers could have protested, had they a desire to
do so, there were a number of officers and the crew of the
San Paulo on the small deck.

With a flourish, the officer who had done the questioning
drew his sword. Waving it in the air with a dramatic
gesture, he exclaimed:

"You're our prisoners! Resist and my men shall cut you
down like dogs! Seize them, men!"

The sailors sprang forward, each one stationing himself at
the side of one of our friends, and grasping an arm.

"What does this mean?" cried Captain Weston indignantly.
"If this is a joke, you're carrying it too far. If you're in
earnest, let me warn you against interfering with

"We know what we are doing," was the answer from the

The sailor who had hold of Captain Weston endeavored to
secure a tighter grip. The captain turned suddenly, and
seizing the man about the waist, with an exercise of
tremendous strength hurled him over his head and into the
sea, the man making a great splash.

"That's the way I'll treat any one else who dares lay a
hand on me!" shouted the captain, who was transformed from a
mild-mannered individual into an angry, modern giant. There
was a gasp of astonishment at his feat, as the ducked sailor
crawled back into the small boat. And he did not again
venture on the deck of the submarine.

"Seize them, men!" cried the gold-laced officer again, and
this time he and his fellows, including the crew, crowded so
closely around Tom and his friends that they could do
nothing. Even Captain Weston found it impossible to offer
any resistance, for three men grabbed hold of him but his
spirit was still a fighting one, and he struggled
desperately but uselessly.

"How dare you do this?" he cried.

"Yes," added Tom, "what right have you to interfere with

"Every right," declared the gold-laced officer.

"You are in Brazilian territory, and I arrest you."

"What for?" demanded Mr. Sharp.

"Because your ship is an American submarine, and we have
received word that you intend to damage our shipping, and
may try to torpedo our warships. I believe you tried to
disable us a little while ago, but failed. We consider that
an act of war and you will be treated accordingly. Take them
on board the San Paulo," the officer Went on, turning to his
aides. "We'll try them by court-marital here. Some of you
remain and guard this submarine. We will teach these
filibustering Americans a lesson."

Chapter Twenty

Doomed to Death

There was no room on the small deck of the submarine to
make a stand against the officers and crew of the Brazilian
warship. In fact, the capture of the gold-seekers had been
effected so suddenly that their astonishment almost deprived
them of the power to think clearly.

At another command from the officer, who was addressed as
Admiral Fanchetti, several of the sailors began to lead Tom
and his friends toward the small boat.

"Do you feel all right, father?" inquired the lad
anxiously, as he looked at his parent. "These scoundrels
have no right to treat us so."

"Yes, Tom, I'm all right as far as the electric shock is
concerned, but I don't like to be handled in this fashion."

"We ought not to submit!" burst out Mr. Damon. "Bless the
stars and stripes! We ought to fight."

"There's no chance," said Mr. Sharp. "We are right under
the guns of the ship. They could sink us with one shot. I
guess we'll have to give in for the time being."

"It is most unpleasant, if I may be allowed the
expression," commented Captain Weston mildly. He seemed to
have lost his sudden anger, hut there was a steely glint in
his eyes, and a grim, set look around his month that showed
his temper was kept under control only by an effort. It
boded no good to the sailors who had hold of the doughty
captain if he should once get loose, and it was noticed that
they were on their guard.

As for Tom, he submitted quietly to the two Brazilians who
had hold of either arm, and Mr. Swift was held by only one,
for it was seen that he was feeble.

"Into the boat with them!" cried Admiral Fanchetti. "And
guard them well, Lieutenant Drascalo, for I heard them
plotting to escape," and the admiral signaled to a younger
officer, who was in charge of the men guarding the

"Lieutenant Drascalo, eh?" murmured Mr. Damon. "I think
they made a mistake naming him. It ought to be Rascalo. He
looks like a rascal."

"Silenceo!" exclaimed the lieutenant, scowling at the odd

"Bless my spark plug! He's a regular fire-eater!" went on
Mr. Damon, who appeared to have fully recovered his spirits.

"Silenceo!" cried the lieutenant, scowling again, but Mr.
Damon did not appear to mind.

Admiral Fanchetti and several others of the gold-laced
officers remained aboard the submarine, while Tom and his
friends were hustled into the small boat and rowed toward
the warship.

"I hope they don't damage our craft," murmured the young
inventor, as he saw the admiral enter the conning tower.

"If they do, we'll complain to the United States consul
and demand damages," said Mr. Swift

"I'm afraid we won't have a chance to communicate with the
consul," remarked Captain Weston.

"What do you mean?" asked Mr. Damon. "Bless my shoelaces,
but will these scoundrels--"

"Silenceo!" cried Lieutenant Drascalo quickly. "Dogs of
Americans, do you wish to insult us?"

"Impossible; you wouldn't appreciate a good, genuine
United States insult," murmured Tom under his breath.

"What I mean," went on the captain, "is that these people
may carry the proceedings off with a high hand. You heard
the admiral speak of a court-martial."

"Would they dare do that?" inquired Mr. Sharp.

"They would dare anything in this part of the world, I'm
afraid," resumed Captain Weston. "I think I see their plan,
though. This admiral is newly in command; his uniform shows
that He wants to make a name for himself, and he seizes on
our submarine as an excuse. He can send word to his
government that he destroyed a torpedo craft that sought to
wreck his ship. Thus he will acquire a reputation."

"But would his government support him in such a hostile
act against the United States, a friendly nation?" asked

"Oh, he would not claim to have acted against the United
States as a power. He would say that it was a private
submarine, and, as a matter of fact, it is. While we are
under the protection of the stars and stripes, our vessel is
not a Government one," and Captain Weston spoke the last in
a low voice, so the scowling lieutenant could not hear.

"What will they do with us?" inquired Mr. Swift.

"Have some sort of a court-martial, perhaps," went on the
captain, "and confiscate our craft Then they will send us
back home, I expect for they would not dare harm us."

"But take our submarine!" cried Tom. "The villains--"

"Silenceo!" shouted Lieutenant Drascalo and he drew his

By this time the small boat was under the big guns of the
San Paulo, and the prisoners were ordered, in broken
English, to mount a companion ladder that hung over the
side. In a short time they were on deck, amid a crowd of
sailors, and they could see the boat going back to bring off
the admiral, who signaled from the submarine. Tom and his
friends were taken below to a room that looked like a
prison, and there, a little later, they were visited by
Admiral Fanchetti and several officers.

"You will be tried at once," said the admiral. "I have
examined your submarine and I find she carries two torpedo
tubes. It is a wonder you did not sink me at once."

"Those are not torpedo tubes!" cried Tom, unable to keep
silent, though Captain Weston motioned him to do so.

"I know torpedo tubes when I see them," declared the
admiral. "I consider I had a very narrow escape. Your
country is fortunate that mine does not declare war against
it for this act. But I take it you are acting privately, for
you fly no flag, though you claim to be from the United

"There's no place for a flag on the submarine," went on
Tom. "What good would it be under water?"

"Silenceo!" cried Lieutenant Drascalo, the admonition to
silence seeming to be the only command of which he was

"I shall confiscate your craft for my government," went on
the admiral, "and shall punish you as the court-martial may
direct. You will be tried at once."

It was in vain for the prisoners to protest. Matters were
carried with a high hand. They were allowed a spokesman, and
Captain Weston, who understood Spanish, was selected, that
language being used. But the defense was a farce, for he was
scarcely listened to. Several officers testified before the
admiral, who was judge, that they had seen the submarine
rise out of the water, almost under the prow of the San
Paulo. It was assumed that the Advance had tried to wreck
the warship, but had failed. It was in vain that Captain
Weston and the others told of the reason for their rapid
ascent from the ocean depths--that Mr. Swift had been
shocked, and needed fresh air. Their story was not believed.

"We have heard enough!" suddenly exclaimed the admiral.
"The evidence against you is over-whelming--er--what you
Americans call conclusive," and be was speaking then in
broken English. "I find you guilty, and the sentence of this
court-martial is that you be shot at sunrise, three days

"Shot!" cried Captain Weston, staggering back at this
unexpected sentence. His companions turned white, and Mr.
Swift leaned against his son for support.

"Bless my stars! Of all the scoundrelly!" began Mr. Damon.

"Silenceo!" shouted the lieutenant, waving his sword.

"You will be shot," proceeded the admiral. "Is not that
the verdict of the honorable court?" he asked, looking at
his fellow officers. They all nodded gravely.

"But look here!" objected Captain Weston. "You don't dare
do that! We are citizens of the United States, and--"

"I consider you no better than pirates," interrupted the
admiral. "You have an armed submarine--a submarine with
torpedo tubes. You invade our harbor with it, and come up
almost under my ship. You have forfeited your right to the
protection of your country, and I have no fear on that
score. You will be shot within three days. That is all.
Remove the prisoners."

Protests were in vain, and it was equally useless to
struggle. The prisoners were taken out on deck, for which
they were thankful, for the interior of the ship was close
and hot, the weather being intensely disagreeable. They were
told to keep within a certain space on deck, and a guard of
sailors, all armed, was placed near them. From where they
were they could see their submarine floating on the surface
of the little bay, with several Brazilians on the small
deck. The Advance had been anchored, and was surrounded by a
flotilla of the native boats, the brown-skinned paddlers
gazing curiously at the odd craft.

"Well, this is tough luck!" murmured Tom. "How do you
feel, dad?"

"As well as can be expected under the circumstances," was
the reply. "What do you think about this, Captain Weston?"

"Not very much, if I may be allowed the expression," was
the answer.

"Do you think they will dare carry out that threat?" asked
Mr. Sharp.

The captain shrugged his shoulders. "I hope it is only a
bluff," he replied, "made to scare us so we will consent to
giving up the submarine, which they have no right to
confiscate. But these fellows look ugly enough for
anything," he went on.

"Then if there's any chance of them attempting to carry it
out," spoke Tom, "we've got to do something."

"Bless my gizzard, of course!" exclaimed Mr. Damon. "But
what? That's the question. To be shot! Why, that's a
terrible threat! The villains--"

"Silenceo!" shouted Lieutenant Drascalo, coming up at that

Chapter Twenty-One

The Escape

Events had happened so quickly that day that the gold-
hunters could scarcely comprehend them. It seemed only a
short time since Mr. Swift had been discovered lying
disabled on the dynamo, and what had transpired since seemed
to have taken place in a few minutes, though it was, in
reality, several hours. This was made manifest by the
feeling of hunger on the part of Tom and his friends.

"I wonder if they're going to starve us, the scoundrels?"
asked Mr. Sharp, when the irate lieutenant was beyond
hearing. "It's not fair to make us go hungry and shoot us in
the bargain."

"That's so, they ought to feed us," put in Tom. As yet
neither he nor the others fully realized the meaning of the
sentence passed on them.

From where they were on deck they could look off to the
little island. From it boats manned by natives were
constantly putting off, bringing supplies to the ship. The
place appeared to be a sort of calling station for Brazilian
warships, where they could get fresh water and fruit and
other food.

From the island the gaze of the adventurers wandered to
the submarine, which lay not far away. They were chagrined
to see several of the bolder natives clambering over the

"I hope they keep out of the interior," commented Tom. "If
they get to pulling or hauling on the levers and wheels they
may open the tanks and sink her, with the Conning tower

"Better that, perhaps, than to have her fall into the
hands of a foreign power," commented Captain Weston.
"Besides, I don't see that it's going to matter much to us
what becomes of her after we're--"

He did not finish, but every one knew what he meant, and a
grim silence fell upon the little group.

There came a welcome diversion, however, in the shape of
three sailors, bearing trays of food, which were placed on
the deck in front of the prisoners, who were sitting or
lying in the shade of an awning, for the sun was very hot

"Ha! Bless my napkin-ring!" cried Mr. Damon with something
of his former gaiety. "Here's a meal, at all events. They
don't intend to starve us. Eat hearty, every one."

"Yes, we need to keep up our strength," observed Captain

"Why?" inquired Mr. Sharp.

"Because we're going to try to escape!" exclaimed Tom in a
low voice, when the sailors who had brought the food had
gone. "Isn't that what you mean, captain?"

"Exactly. We'll try to give these villains the slip, and
we'll need all our strength and wits to do it. We'll wait
until night, and see what we can do."

"But where will we escape to?" asked Mr. Swift. "The
island will afford no shelter, and--"

"No, but our submarine will," went on the sailor.

"It's in the possession of the Brazilians," objected Tom.

"Once I get aboard the Advance twenty of those brown-
skinned villains won't keep me prisoner," declared Captain
Weston fiercely. "If we can only slip away from here, get
into the small boat, or even swim to the submarine, I'll
make those chaps on board her think a hurricane has broken

"Yes, and I'll help," said Mr. Damon.

"And I," added Tom and the balloonist

"That's the way to talk," commented the captain. "Now
let's eat, for I see that rascally lieutenant coming this
way, and we mustn't appear to be plotting, or he'll be

The day passed slowly, and though the prisoners seemed to
be allowed considerable liberty, they soon found that it was
only apparent. Once Tom walked some distance from that
portion of the deck where he and the others had been told to
remain. A sailor with a gun at once ordered him back. Nor
could they approach the rails without being directed,
harshly enough at times, to move back amidships.

As night approached the gold-seekers were on the alert for
any chance that might offer to slip away, or even attack
their guard, but the number of Brazilians around them was
doubled in the evening, and after supper, which was served
to them on deck by the light of swinging lanterns, they were
taken below and locked in a stuffy cabin. They looked
helplessly at each other.

"Don't give up," advised Captain Weston. "It's a long
night. We may be able to get out of here."

But this hope was in vain. Several times he and Tom,
thinking the guards outside the cabin were asleep, tried to
force the lock of the door with their pocket-knives, which
had not been taken from them. But one of the sailors was
aroused each time by the noise, and looked in through a
barred window, so they had to give it up. Slowly the night
passed, and morning found the prisoners pale, tired and
discouraged. They were brought up on deck again, for which
they were thankful, as in that tropical climate it was
stifling below.

During the day they saw Admiral Fanchetti and several of
his officers pay a visit to the submarine. They went below
through the opened conning tower, and were gone some time.

"I hope they don't disturb any of the machinery," remarked
Mr. Swift. "That could easily do great damage."

Admiral Fanchetti seemed much pleased with himself when he
returned from his visit to the submarine.

"You have a fine craft," he said to the prisoners. "Or,
rather, you had one. My government now owns it. It seems a
pity to shoot such good boat builders, but you are too
dangerous to be allowed to go."

If there had been any doubt in the minds of Tom and his
friends that the sentence of the court-martial was only for
effect, it was dispelled that day. A firing squad was told
off in plain view of them, and the men were put through
their evolutions by Lieutenant Drascalo, who had them load,
aim and fire blank cartridges at an imaginary line of
prisoners. Tom could not repress a shudder as he noted the
leveled rifles, and saw the fire and smoke spurt from the

"Thus we shall do to you at sunrise to-morrow," said the
lieutenant, grinning, as he once more had his men practice
their grim work.

It seemed hotter than ever that day. The sun was fairly
broiling, and there was a curious haziness and stillness to
the air. It was noticed that the sailors on the San Paula
were busy making fast all loose articles on deck with extra
lashings, and hatch coverings were doubly secured.

"What do you suppose they are up to?" asked Tom of Captain

"I think it is coming on to blow," he replied, "and they
don't want to be caught napping. They have fearful storms
down in this region at this season of the year, and I think
one is about due."

"I hope it doesn't wreck the submarine," spoke Mr. Swift.
"They ought to close the hatch of the conning tower, for it
won't take much of a sea to make her ship considerable

Admiral Fanchetti had thought of this, however, and as the
afternoon wore away and the storm signs multiplied, he sent
word to close the submarine. He left a few sailors aboard
inside on guard.

"It's too hot to eat," observed Tom, when their supper had
been brought to them, and the others felt the same way about
it. They managed to drink some cocoanut milk, prepared in a
palatable fashion by the natives of the island, and then,
much to their disgust, they were taken below again and
locked in the cabin.

"Whew! But it certainly is hot!" exclaimed Mr. Damon as he
sat down on a couch and fanned himself. "This is awful!"

"Yes, something is going to happen pretty soon," observed
Captain Weston. "The storm will break shortly, I think."

They sat languidly about the cabin. It was so oppressive
that even the thought of the doom that awaited them in the
morning could hardly seem worse than the terrible heat. They
could hear movements going on about the ship, movements
which indicated that preparations were being made for
something unusual. There was a rattling of a chain through a
hawse hole, and Captain Weston remarked:

"They're putting down another anchor. Admiral Fanchetti
had better get away from the island, though, unless he wants
to be wrecked. He'll be blown ashore in less than no time. No
cable or chain will hold in such storms as they have here."

There came a period of silence, which was suddenly broken
by a howl as of some wild beast.

"What's that?" cried Tom, springing up from where he was
stretched out on the cabin floor.

"Only the wind," replied the captain. "The storm has

The howling kept up, and soon the ship began to rock. The
wind increased, and a little later there could be heard,
through an opened port in the prisoners' cabin, the dash of

"It's a regular hurricane!" exclaimed the captain. "I
wonder if the cables will hold?"

"What about the submarine?" asked Mr. Swift anxiously.

"I haven't much fear for her. She lies so low in the water
that the wind can't get much hold on her. I don't believe
she'll drag her anchor."

Once more came a fierce burst of wind, and a
dash of rain, and then, suddenly above the outburst of the
elements, there sounded a crash on deck. It was followed by
excited cries.

"Something's happened!" yelled Tom. The prisoners gathered
in a frightened group in the middle of the cabin. The cries
were repeated, and then came a rush of feet just outside the
cabin door.

"Our guards! They're leaving!" shouted Tom.

"Right!" exclaimed Captain Weston. "Now's our chance! Come
on! If we're going to escape we must do it while the storm
is at its height, and all is in confusion. Come on!"

Tom tried the door. It was locked.

"One side!" shouted the captain, and this time he did not
pause to say "by your leave." He came at the portal on the
run, and his shoulder struck it squarely. There was a
splintering and crashing of wood, and the door was burst

"Follow me!" cried the valiant sailor, and Tom and the
others rushed after him. They could hear the wind howling
more loudly than ever, and as they reached the deck the rain
dashed into their faces with such violence that they could
hardly see. But they were aware that something had occurred.
By the light of several lanterns swaying in the terrific
blast they saw that one of the auxiliary masts had broken
off near the deck.

It had fallen against the chart house, smashing it, and a
number of sailors were laboring to clear away the wreckage.

"Fortune favors us!" cried Captain Weston. "Come on! Make
for the small boat. It's near the side ladder. We'll lower
the boat and pull to the submarine."

There came a flash of lightning, and in its glare Tom saw
something that caused him to cry out.

"Look!" he shouted. "The submarine. She's dragged her

The Advance was much closer to the warship than she had
been that afternoon. Captain Weston looked over the side.

"It's the San Paula that's dragging her anchors, not the
submarine!" he shouted. "We're bearing down on her! We must
act quickly. Come on, we'll lower the boat!"

In the rush of wind and the dash of rain the prisoners
crowded to the accommodation companion ladder, which was
still over the side of the big ship. No one seemed to be
noticing them, for Admiral Fanchetti was on the bridge,
yelling orders for the clearing away of the wreckage. But
Lieutenant Drascalo, coming up from below at that moment,
caught sight of the fleeing ones. Drawing his sword, he
rushed at them, shouting:

"The prisoners! The prisoners! They are escaping!"

Captain Weston leaped toward the lieutenant

"Look out for his sword!" cried Tom. But the doughty
sailor did not fear the weapon. Catching up a coil of rope,
he cast it at the lieutenant. It struck him in the chest,
and he staggered back, lowering his sword.

Captain Weston leaped forward, and with a terrific blow
sent Lieutenant Drascalo to the deck.

"There!" cried the sailor. "I guess you won't yell
'Silenceo!' for a while now."

There was a rush of Brazilians toward the group of
prisoners. Tom caught one with a blow on the chin, and
felled him, while Captain Weston disposed of two more, and
Mr. Sharp and Mr. Damon one each. The savage fighting of the
Americans was too much for the foreigners, and they drew

"Come on!" cried Captain Weston again. "The storm is
getting worse. The warship will crash into the submarine in
a few minutes. Her anchors aren't holding. I didn't think
they would."

He made a dash for the ladder, and a glance showed him
that the small boat was in the water at the foot of it. The
craft had not been hoisted on the davits.

"Luck's with us at last!" cried Tom, Seeing it also.
"Shall I help you, dad?"

"No; I think I'm all right. Go ahead."

There came such a gust of wind that the San Paula was
heeled over, and the wreck of the mast, rolling about,
crashed into the side of a deck house, splintering it. A
crowd of sailors, led by Admiral Fanchetti, who were again
rushing on the escaping prisoners, had to leap back out of
the way of the rolling mast.

"Catch them! Don't let them get away!" begged the
commander, but the sailors evidently had no desire to close
in with the Americans.

Through the rush of wind and rain Tom and his friends
staggered down the ladder. It was hard work to maintain
one's footing, but they managed it. On account of the high
side of the ship the water was comparatively calm under her
lee, and, though the small boat was bobbing about, they got
aboard. The oars were in place, and in another moment they
had shoved off from the landing stage which formed the foot
of the accommodation ladder.

"Now for the Advance!" murmured Captain Weston.

"Come back! Come back, dogs of Americans!" cried a voice
at the rail over their heads, and looking up, Tom saw
Lieutenant Drascalo. He had snatched a carbine from a
marine, and was pointing it at the recent prisoners. He
fired, the flash of the gun and a dazzling chain of
lightning coming together. The thunder swallowed up the
report of the carbine, but the bullet whistled uncomfortable
close to Tom's head. The blackness that followed the
lightning shut out the view of everything for a few seconds,
and when the next flash came the adventurers saw that they
were close to their submarine.

A fusillade of shots sounded from the deck of the warship,
but as the marines were poor marksmen at best, and as the
swaying of the ship disconcerted them, our friends were in
little danger.

There was quite a sea once they were beyond the protection
of the side of the warship, but Captain Weston, who was
rowing, knew how to manage a boat skillfully, and he soon had
the craft alongside the bobbing submarine.

"Get aboard, now, quick!" he cried.

They leaped to the small deck, casting the rowboat adrift.
It was the work of but a moment to open the conning tower.
As they started to descend they were met by several
Brazilians coming up.

"Overboard with 'em!" yelled the captain. "Let them swim
ashore or to their ship!"

With almost superhuman strength he tossed one big sailor
from the small deck. Another showed fight, but he went to
join his companion in the swirling water. A man rushed at
Tom, seeking the while to draw his sword, but the young
inventor, with a neat left-hander, sent him to join the
other two, and the remainder did not wait to try
conclusions. They leaped for their lives, and soon all could
be seen, in the frequent lightning flashes, swimming toward
the warship which was now closer than ever to the submarine

"Get inside and we'll sink below the surface!" called Tom.
"Then we don't care what happens."

They closed the steel door of the conning tower. As they
did so they heard the patter of bullets from carbines fired
from the San Paulo. Then came a violent tossing of the
Advance; the waves were becoming higher as they caught the
full force of the hurricane. It took but an instant to
sever, from within, the cable attached to the anchor, which
was one belonging to the warship. The Advance began

"Open the tanks, Mr. Sharp!" cried Tom. "Captain Weston
and I will steer. Once below we'll start the engines."

Amid a crash of thunder and dazzling flashes of lightning,
the submarine began to sink. Tom, in the conning tower had a
sight of the San Paulo as it drifted nearer and nearer under
the influence of the mighty wind. As one bright flash came
he saw Admiral Fanchetti and Lieutenant Drascalo leaning
over the rail and gazing at the Advance.

A moment later the view faded from sight as the submarine
sank below the surface of the troubled sea. She was tossed
about for some time until deep enough to escape the surface
motion. Waiting until she was far enough down so that her
lights would not offer a mark for the guns of the warship,
the electrics were switched on.

"We're safe now!" cried Tom, helping his father to his
cabin. "They've got too much to attend to themselves to
follow us now, even if they could. Shall we go ahead,
Captain Weston?"

"I think so, yes, if I may be allowed to express my
opinion," was the mild reply, in strange contrast to the
strenuous work in which the captain had just been engaged.

Tom signaled to Mr. Sharp in the engine-room, and in a few
seconds the Advance was speeding away from the island and
the hostile vessel. Nor, deep as she was now, was there any
sign of the hurricane. In the peaceful depths she was once
more speeding toward the sunken treasure.

Chapter Twenty-Two

At the Wreck

"Well," remarked Mr. Damon, as the submarine hurled
herself forward through the ocean, "I guess that firing
party will have something else to do to-morrow morning
besides aiming those rifles at us."

"Yes, indeed," agreed Tom. "They'll be lucky if they save
their ship. My, how that wind did blow!"

"You're right," put in Captain Weston. "When they get a
hurricane down in this region it's no cat's paw. But they
were a mighty careless lot of sailors. The idea of leaving
the ladder over the side, and the boat in the water."

"It was a good thing for us, though," was Tom's opinion.

"Indeed it was," came from the captain. "But as long as we
are safe now I think we'd better take a look about the craft
to see if those chaps did any damage. They can't have done
much, though, or she wouldn't be running so smoothly.
Suppose you go take a look, Tom, and ask your father and Mr.
Sharp what they think. I'll steer for a while, until we get
well away from the island."

The young inventor found his father and the balloonist
busy in the engine-room. Mr. Swift had already begun an
inspection of the machinery, and so far found that it had
not been injured. A further inspection showed that no damage
had been done by the foreign guard that had been in
temporary possession of the Advance, though the sailors had
made free in the cabins, and had broken into the food
lockers, helping themselves plentifully. But there was still
enough for the gold-seekers.

"You'd never know there was a storm raging up above,"
observed Tom as he rejoined Captain Weston in the lower
pilot house, where he was managing the craft. "It's as
still and peaceful here as one could wish."

"Yes, the extreme depths are seldom disturbed by a surface
storm. But we are over a mile deep now. I sent her down a
little while you were gone, as I think she rides a little
more steadily."

All that night they speeded forward, and the next day,
rising to the surface to take an observation, they found no
traces of the storm, which had blown itself out. They were
several hundred miles away from the hostile warship, and
there was not a vessel in sight on the broad expanse of blue

The air tanks were refilled, and after sailing along on
the surface for an hour or two, the submarine was again sent
below, as Captain Weston sighted through his telescope the
smoke of a distant steamer.

"As long as it isn't the Wonder, we're all right," said
Tom. "Still, we don't want to answer a lot of questions
about ourselves and our object."

"No. I fancy the Wonder will give up the search," remarked
the captain, as the Advance was sinking to the depths.

"We must be getting pretty near to the end of our search
ourselves," ventured the young inventor.

"We are within five hundred miles of the intersection of
the forty-fifth parallel and the twenty-seventh meridian,
east from Washington," said the captain. "That's as near as
I could locate the wreck. Once we reach that point we will
have to search about under water, for I don't fancy the
other divers left any buoys to mark the spot."

It was two days later, after uneventful sailing, partly on
the surface, and partly submerged, that Captain Weston,
taking a noon observation, announced:

"Well, we're here!"

"Do you mean at the wreck?" asked Mr. Swift eagerly.

"We're at the place where she is supposed to lie, in about
two miles of water," replied the captain. "We are quite a
distance off the coast of Uruguay, about opposite the harbor
of Rio de La Plata. From now on we shall have to nose about
under water, and trust to luck."

With her air tanks filled to their capacity, and Tom
having seen that the oxygen machine and other apparatus was
in perfect working order, the submarine was sent below on
her search. Though they were in the neighborhood of the
wreck, the adventurers might still have to do considerable
searching before locating it. Lower and lower they sank into
the depths of the sea, down and down, until they were deeper
than they had ever gone before. The pressure was tremendous,
but the steel sides of the Advance withstood it

Then began a search that lasted nearly a week. Back and
forth they cruised, around in great circles, with the
powerful searchlight focused to disclose the sunken treasure
ship. Once Tom, who was observing the path of light in the
depths from the conning tower, thought he had seen the
remains of the Boldero, for a misty shape loomed up in front
of the submarine, and he signaled for a quick stop. It was a
wreck, but it had been on the ocean bed for a score of
years, and only a few timbers remained of what had been a
great ship. Much disappointed, Tom rang for full speed ahead
again, and the current was sent into the great electric
plates that pulled and pushed the submarine forward.

For two days more nothing happened. They searched around
under the green waters, on the alert for the first sign, but
they saw nothing. Great fish swam about them, sometimes
racing with the Advance. The adventurers beheld great ocean
caverns, and skirted immense rocks, where dwelt monsters of
the deep. Once a great octopus tried to do battle with the
submarine and crush it in its snaky arms, but Tom saw the
great white body, with saucer-shaped eyes, in the path of
light and rammed him with the steel point. The creature died
after a struggle.

They were beginning to despair when a full week had passed
and they were seemingly as far from the wreck as ever. They
went to the surface to enable Captain Weston to take another
observation. It only confirmed the other, and showed that
they were in the right vicinity. But it was like looking for
a needle in a haystack, almost, to and the sunken ship in
that depth of water.

"Well, we'll try again," said Mr. Swift, as they sank once
more beneath the surface.

It was toward evening, on the second day after this, that
Tom, who was on duty in the conning tower, saw a black shape
looming up in front of the submarine, the searchlight
revealing it to him far enough away so that he could steer
to avoid it. He thought at first that it was a great rock,
for they were moving along near the bottom, but the peculiar
shape of it soon convinced him that this could not be. It
came more plainly into view as the submarine approached it
more slowly, then suddenly, out of the depths in the
illumination from the searchlight, the young inventor saw
the steel sides of a steamer. His heart gave a great thump,
but he would not call out yet, fearing that it might be some
other vessel than the one containing the treasure.

He steered the Advance so as to circle it. As he swept
past the bows he saw in big letters near the sharp prow the
word, Boldero.

"The wreck! The wreck!" he cried, his voice ringing
through the craft from end to end. "We've found the wreck at

"Are you sure?" cried his father, hurrying to his son,
Captain Weston following.

"Positive," answered the lad. The submarine was slowing up
now, and Tom sent her around on the other side. They had a
good view of the sunken ship. It seemed to be intact, no
gaping holes in her sides, for only her plates had started,
allowing her to sink gradually.

"At last," murmured Mr. Swift. "Can it be possible we are
about to get the treasure?"

"That's the Boldero, all right," affirmed Captain Weston.
"I recognize her, even if the name wasn't on her bow. Go
right down on the bottom, Tom, and we'll get out the diving
suits and make an examination."

The submarine settled to the ocean bed. Tom glanced at the
depth gage. It showed over two miles and a half. Would they
be able to venture out into water of such enormous pressure
in the comparatively frail diving suits, and wrest the gold
from the wreck? It was a serious question.

The Advance came to a stop. In front of her loomed the
great bulk of the Boldero, vague and shadowy in the
flickering gleam of the searchlight As the gold-seekers
looked at her through the bull's-eyes of the conning tower,
several great forms emerged from beneath the wreck's bows.

"Deep-water sharks!" exclaimed Captain Weston, "and
monsters, too. But they can't bother us. Now to get out the

Chapter Twenty-Three

Attacked by Sharks

For a few minutes after reaching the wreck, which had so
occupied their thoughts for the past weeks, the adventurers
did nothing but gaze at it from the ports of the submarine.
The appearance of the deep-water sharks gave them no
concern, for they did not imagine the ugly creatures would
attack them. The treasure-seekers were more engrossed with
the problem of getting out the gold.

"How are we going to get at it?" asked Tom, as he looked
at the high sides of the sunken ship, which towered well
above the comparatively small Advance.

"Why, just go in and get it," suggested Mr. Damon. "Where
is gold in a cargo usually kept, Captain Weston? You ought
to know, I should think. Bless my pocketbook!"

"Well, I should say that in this case the bullion would be
kept in a safe in the captain's cabin," replied the sailor.
"Or, if not there, in some after part of the vessel, away
from where the crew is quartered. But it is going to be
quite a problem to get at it. We can't climb the sides of
the wreck, and it will be impossible to lower her ladder
over the side. However, I think we had better get into the
diving suits and take a closer look. We can walk around

"That's my idea," put in Mr. Sharp. "But who will go, and
who will stay with the ship?"

"I think Tom and Captain Weston had better go, suggested
Mr. Swift. "Then, in case anything happens, Mr. Sharp, you
and I will be on board to manage matters."

"You don't think anything will happen, do you, dad?" asked
his son with a laugh, but it was not an easy one, for the
lad was thinking of the shadowy forms of the ugly sharks.

"Oh, no, but it's best to be prepared," answered his

The captain and the young inventor lost no time in donning
the diving suits. They each took a heavy metal bar, pointed
at one end, to use in assisting them to walk on the bed of
the ocean, and as a protection in case the sharks might
attack them. Entering the diving chamber, they were shut in,
and then water was admitted until the pressure was seen, by
gages, to be the same as that outside the submarine. Then
the sliding steel door was opened. At first Tom and the
captain could barely move, so great was the pressure of
water on their bodies. They would have been crushed but for
the protection afforded by the strong diving suits.

In a few minutes they became used to it, and stepped out
on the floor of the ocean. They could not, of course, speak
to each other, but Tom looked through the glass eyes of his
helmet at the captain, and the latter motioned for the lad
to follow. The two divers could breathe perfectly, and by
means of small, but powerful lights on the helmets, the way
was lighted for them as they advanced.

Slowly they approached the wreck, and began a circuit of
her. They could see several places where the pressure of the
water, and the strain of the storm in which she had
foundered, had 'opened the plates of the ship, but in no
case were the openings large enough to admit a person.
Captain Weston put his steel bar in one crack, and tried to
pry it farther open, but his strength was not equal to the
task. He made some peculiar motions, but Tom could not
understand them.

They looked for some means by which they could mount to
the decks of the Boldero, but none was visible. It was like
trying to scale a fifty-foot smooth steel wall. There was no
place for a foothold. Again the sailor made some peculiar
motions, and the lad puzzled over them. They had gone nearly
around the wreck now, and as yet had seen no way in which to
get at the gold. As they passed around the bow, which was in
a deep shadow from a great rock, they caught sight of the
submarine lying a short distance away. Light streamed from
many hull's-eyes, and Tom felt a sense of security as he
looked at her, for it was lonesome enough in that great
depth of water, unable to speak to his companion, who was a
few feet in advance.

Suddenly there was a swirling of the water, and Tom was
nearly thrown off his feet by the rush of some great body. A
long, black shadow passed over his head, and an instant
later he saw the form of a great shark launched at Captain
Weston. The lad involuntarily cried in alarm, but the result
was surprising. He was nearly deafened by his own voice,
confined as the sound was in the helmet he wore. But the
sailor, too, had felt the movement of the water, and turned
just in time. He thrust upward with his pointed bar. But he
missed the stroke, and Tom, a moment later, saw the great
fish turn over so that its mouth, which is far underneath
its snout, could take in the queer shape which the shark
evidently thought was a choice morsel. The big fish did
actually get the helmet of Captain Weston inside its jaws,
but probably it would have found it impossible to crush the
strong steel. Still it might have sprung the joints, and
water would have entered, which would have been as fatal as
though the sailor had been swallowed by the shark. Tom
realized this and, moving as fast as he could through the
water, he came up behind the monster and drove his steel bar
deep into it.

The sea was crimsoned with blood, and the savage creature,
opening its mouth, let go of the captain. It turned on Tom,
who again harpooned it. Then the fish darted off and began a
wild flurry, for it was dying. The rush of water nearly
threw Tom off his feet, but he managed to make his way over
to his friend, and assist him to rise. A confident look from
the sailor showed the lad that Captain Weston was uninjured,
though he must have been frightened. As the two turned to
make their way back to the submarine, the waters about them
seemed alive with the horrible monsters.

It needed but a glance to show what they were, Sharks!
Scores of them, long, black ones, with their ugly, undershot
mouths. They had been attracted by the blood of the one Tom
had killed, but there was not a meal for all of them off the
dying creature, and the great fish might turn on the young
inventor and his companion.

The two shrank closer toward the wreck. They might get
under the prow of that and be safe. But even as they started
to move, several of the sea wolves darted quickly at them.
Tom glanced at the captain. What could they do? Strong as
were the diving suits, a combined attack by the sharks, with
their powerful jaws, would do untold damage.

At that moment there seemed some movement on board the
submarine. Tom could see his father looking from the conning
tower, and the aged inventor seemed to be making some
motions. Then Tom understood. Mr. Swift was directing his
son and Captain Weston to crouch down. The lad did so,
pulling the sailor after him. Then Tom saw the bow electric
gun run out, and aimed at the mass of sharks, most of whom
were congregated about the dead one. Into the midst of the
monsters was fired a number of small projectiles, which
could be used in the electric cannon in place of the solid
shot. Once more the waters were red with blood, and those
sharks which were not killed swirled off. Tom and Captain
Weston were saved. They were soon inside the submarine
again. telling their thrilling story.

"It's lucky you saw us, dad," remarked the lad, blushing
at the praise Mr. Damon bestowed on him for killing the
monster which had attacked the captain.

"Oh, I was on the lookout," said the inventor. "But what
about getting into the wreck?"

"I think the only way we can do it will be to ram a hole
in her side," said Captain Weston. "That was what I tried to
tell Tom by motions, but he didn't seem to understand me."

"No," replied the lad, who was still a little nervous from
his recent experience. "I thought you meant for us to turn
it over, bottom side up," and he laughed.

"Bless my gizzard! Just like a shark," commented Mr.

"Please don't mention them," begged Tom. "I hope we don't
see any more of them."

"Oh, I fancy they have been driven far enough away from
this neighborhood now," commented the captain. "But now
about the wreck. We may be able to approach it from above.
Suppose we try to lower the submarine on it? That will save
ripping it open."

This was tried a little later, but would not work. There
were strong currents sweeping over the top of the Boldero,
caused by a submerged reef near which she had settled. It
was a delicate task to sink the submarine on her decks, and
with the deep waters swirling about was found to be
impossible, even with the use of the electric plates and the
auxiliary screws. Once more the Advance settled to the ocean
bed, near the wreck.

"Well, what's to be done?" asked Tom, as he looked at the
high steel sides.

"Ram her, tear a hole, and then use dynamite," decided
Captain Weston promptly. "You have some explosive, haven't
you, Mr. Swift?"

"Oh, yes. I came prepared for emergencies."

"Then we'll blow up the wreck and get at the gold."

Chapter Twenty-Four

Ramming the Wreck

Fitted with a long, sharp steel ram in front, the Advance
was peculiarly adapted for this sort of work. In designing
the ship this ram was calculated to be used against hostile
vessels in war time, for the submarine was at first, as we
know, destined for a Government boat. Now the ram was to
serve a good turn.

To make sure that the attempt would be a success, the
machinery of the craft was carefully gone over. It was found
to be in perfect order, save for a few adjustments which
were needed. Then, as it was night, though there was no
difference in the appearance of things below the surface, it
was decided to turn in, and begin work in the morning. Nor
did the gold-seekers go to the surface, for they feared they
might encounter a storm.

"We had trouble enough locating the wreck, said Captain
Weston, "and if we go up we may be blown off our course. We
have air enough to stay below, haven't we, Tom?"

"Plenty," answered the lad, looking at the gages.

After a hearty breakfast the next morning, the submarine
crew got ready for their hard task. The craft was backed
away as far as was practical, and then, running at full
speed, she rammed the wreck. The shock was terrific, and at
first it was feared some damage had been done to the
Advance, but she stood the strain.

"Did we open up much of a hole?" anxiously asked Mr.

"Pretty good," replied Tom, observing it through the
conning tower bull's-eyes, when the submarine had backed off
again. "Let's give her another."

Once more the great steel ram hit into the side of the
Boldero, and again the submarine shivered from the shock.
But there was a bigger hole in the wreck now, and after
Captain Weston had viewed it he decided it was large enough
to allow a person to enter and place a charge of dynamite so
that the treasure ship would be broken up.

Tom and the captain placed the explosive. Then the Advance
was withdrawn to a safe distance. There was a dull rumble, a
great swirling of the water, which was made murky; but when
it cleared, and the submarine went back, it was seen that
the wreck was effectively broken up. It was in two parts,
each one easy of access.

"That's the stuff!" cried Tom. "Now to get at the gold!"

"Yes, get out the diving suits," added Mr. Damon. "Bless
my watch-charm, I think I'll chance it in one myself! Do you
think the sharks are all gone, Captain Weston?"

"I think so."

In a short time Tom, the captain, Mr. Sharp and Mr. Damon
were attired in the diving suits, Mr. Swift not caring to
venture into such a great depth of water. Besides, it was
necessary for at least one person to remain in the submarine
to operate the diving chamber.

Walking slowly along the bottom of the sea the four gold-
seekers approached the wreck. They looked on all sides for a
sight of the sharks, but the monster fish seemed to have
deserted that part of the ocean. Tom was the first to reach
the now disrupted steamer. He found he could easily climb
up, for boxes and barrels from the cargo holds were
scattered all about by the explosion. Captain Weston soon
joined the lad. The sailor motioned Tom to follow him, and
being more familiar with ocean craft the captain was
permitted to take the lead. He headed aft, seeking to locate
the captain's cabin. Nor was he long in finding it. He
motioned for the others to enter, that the combined
illumination of the lamps in their helmets would make the
place bright enough so a search could be made for the gold.
Tom suddenly seized the arm of the captain, and pointed to
one corner of the cabin. There stood a small safe, and at
the sight of it Captain Weston moved toward it. The door was
not locked, probably having been left open when the ship was
deserted. Swinging it back the interior was revealed.

It was empty. There was no gold bullion in it.

There was no mistaking the dejected air of Captain Weston.
The others shared his feelings, but though they all felt
like voicing their disappointment, not a word could be
spoken. Mr. Sharp, by vigorous motions, indicated to his
companions to seek further.

They did so, spending all the rest of the day in the
wreck, save for a short interval for dinner. But no gold
rewarded their search.

Tom, late that afternoon, wandered away from the others,
and found himself in the captain's cabin again, with the
empty safe showing dimly in the water that was all about.

"Hang it all!" thought the lad, "we've had all our trouble
for nothing! They must have taken the gold with them."

Idly he raised his steel bar, and struck it against the
partition back of the safe. To his astonishment the
partition seemed to fall inward, revealing a secret
compartment. The lad leaned forward to bring the light for
his helmet to play on the recess. He saw a number of boxes,
piled one upon the other. He had accidentally touched a
hidden spring and opened a secret receptacle. But what did
it contain?

Tom reached in and tried to lift one of the boxes. He
found it beyond his strength. Trembling from excitement, he
went in search of the others. He found them delving in the
after part of the wreck, but by motions our hero caused them
to follow him. Captain Weston showed the excitement he felt
as soon as he caught sight of the boxes. He and Mr. Sharp
lifted one out, and placed it on the cabin floor. They pried
off the top with their bars.

There, packed in layers, were small yellow bars; dull,
gleaming, yellow bars! It needed but a glance to show that
they were gold bullion. Tom had found the treasure. The lad
tried to dance around there in the cabin of the wreck,
nearly three miles below the surface of the ocean, but the
pressure of water was too much for him. Their trip had been

Chapter Twenty-Five

Home With the Gold

There was no time to be lost. They were in a treacherous
part of the ocean, and strong currents might at any time
further break up the wreck, so that they could not come at
the gold. It was decided, by means of motions, to at once
transfer the treasure to the submarine. As the boxes were
too heavy to carry easily, especially as two men, who were
required to lift one, could not walk together in the
uncertain footing afforded by the wreck, another plan was
adopted. The boxes were opened and the bars, a few at a
time, were dropped on a firm, sandy place at the side of the
wreck. Tom and Captain Weston did this work, while Mr. Sharp
and Mr. Damon carried the bullion to the diving chamber of
the Advance. They put the yellow bars inside, and when quite
a number had been thus shifted, Mr. Swift, closing the
chamber, pumped the water out and removed the gold. Then he
opened the chamber to the divers again, and the process was
repeated, until all the bullion had been secured.

Tom would have been glad to make a further examination of
the wreck, for he thought he could get some of the rifles
the ship carried, but Captain Weston signed to him not to
attempt this.

The lad went to the pilot house, while his father and Mr.
Sharp took their places in the engine-room. The gold had
been safely stowed in Mr. Swift's cabin.

Tom took a last look at the wreck before he gave the
starting signal. As he gazed at the bent and twisted mass of
steel that had once been a great ship, he saw something
long, black and shadowy moving around from the other side,
coming across the bows.

"There's another big shark," he observed to Captain
Weston. "They're coming back after us."

The captain did not speak. He was staring at the dark
form. Suddenly, from what seemed the pointed nose of it,
there gleamed a light, as from some great eye.

"Look at that!" cried Tom. "That's no shark!"

"If you want my opinion," remarked the sailor, "I should
say it was the other submarine--that of Berg and his
friends--the Wonder. They've managed to fix up their craft
and are after the gold."

"But they're too late!" cried Tom excitedly. "Let's tell
them so."

"No, advised the captain. "We don't want any trouble with

Mr. Swift came forward to see why his son had not given
the signal to start. He was shown the other submarine, for
now that the Wonder had turned on several searchlights,
there was no doubt as to the identity of the craft.

"Let's get away unobserved if we can," he suggested. "We
have had trouble enough."

It was easy to do this, as the Advance was hidden behind
the wreck, and her lights were glowing but dimly. Then, too,
those in the other submarine were so excited over the
finding of what they supposed was the wreck containing the
treasure, that they paid little attention to anything else.

"I wonder how they'll feel when they find the gold gone?"
asked Tom as he pulled the lever starting the pumps.

"Well, we may have a chance to learn, when we get back to
civilization," remarked the captain.

The surface was soon reached, and then, under fair skies,
and on a calm sea, the voyage home was begun. Part of the
time the Advance sailed on the top, and part of the time

They met with but a single accident, and that was when the
forward electrical plate broke. But with the aft one still
in commission, and the auxiliary screws, they made good
time. Just before reaching home they settled down to the
bottom and donned the diving suits again, even Mr. Swift
taking his turn. Mr. Damon caught some large lobsters, of
which he was very fond, or, rather, to be more correct, the
lobsters caught him. When he entered the diving chamber
there were four fine ones clinging to different parts of his
diving suit. Some of them were served for dinner.

The adventurers safely reached the New Jersey coast, and
the submarine was docked. Mr. Swift at once communicated
with the proper authorities concerning the recovery of the
gold. He offered to divide with the actual owners, after he
and his friends had been paid for their services, but as the
revolutionary party to whom the bullion was intended had
gone out of existence, there was no one to officially claim
the treasure, so it all went to Tom and his friends, who
made an equitable distribution of it. The young inventor did
not forget to buy Mrs. Baggert a fine diamond ring, as he
had promised.

As for Berg and his employers, they were, it was learned
later, greatly chagrined at finding the wreck valueless.
They tried to make trouble for Tom and his father, but were
not successful.

A few days after arriving at the seacoast cottage, Tom,
his father and Mr. Damon went to Shopton in the airship.
Captain Weston, Garret Jackson and Mn Sharp remained behind
in charge of the submarine. It was decided that the Swifts
would keep the craft and not sell it to the Government, as
Tom said they might want to go after more treasure some day.

"I must first deposit this gold," said Mr. Swift as the
airship landed in front of the shed at his home. "It won't
do to keep it in the house over night, even if the Happy
Harry gang is in jail."

Tom helped him take it to the bank. As they were making
perhaps the largest single deposit ever put in the
institution, Ned Newton came out.

"Well, Tom," he cried to his chum, "it seems that you are
never going to stop doing things. You've conquered the air,
the earth and the water."

"What have you been doing while I've been under water,
Ned?" asked the young inventor.

"Oh, the same old thing. Running errands and doing all
sorts of work in the bank."

Tom had a sudden idea. He whispered to his father and Mr.
Swift nodded. A little later he was closeted with Mr.
Prendergast, the bank president. It was not long before Ned
and Tom were called in.

"I have some good news for you, Ned," said Mr.
Prendergast, while Tom smiled. "Mr. Swift er--ahem--one of
our largest depositors, has spoken to me about you, Ned. I
find that you have been very faithful. You are hereby
appointed assistant cashier, and of course you will get a
much larger salary."

Ned could hardly believe it, but he knew then what Tom had
whispered to Mr. Swift. The wishes of a depositor who brings
much gold bullion to a bank can hardly be ignored.

"Come on out and have some soda," invited Tom, and when
Ned looked inquiringly at the president, the latter nodded
an assent.

As the two lads were crossing the street to a drug store,
something whizzed past them, nearly running them down.

"What sort of an auto was that?" cried Tom.

"That? Oh, that was Andy Foger's new car," answered Ned.
"He's been breaking the speed laws every day lately, but no
one seems to bother him. It's because his father is rich, I
suppose. Andy says he has the fastest car ever built."

"He has, eh?" remarked Tom, while a curious look came into
his eyes. "Well, maybe I can build one that will beat his."

And whether the young inventor did or not you can learn by
reading the fifth volume of this series, to be called "Tom
Swift and His Electric Runabout; Or, The Speediest Car on
the Road."

"Well, Tom, I certainly appreciate what you did for me in
getting me a better position," remarked Ned as they left the
drug store. "I was beginning to think I'd never get
promoted. Say, have you anything to do this evening? If you
haven't, I wish you'd come over to my house. I've got a lot
of pictures I took while you were away."

"Sorry, but I can't," replied Tom.

"Why, are you going to build another airship or submarine?"

"No, but I'm going to see-- Oh, what do you want to know
for, anyhow?" demanded the young inventor with a blush.
"Can't a fellow go see a girl without being cross-questioned?"

"Oh, of course," replied Ned with a laugh. "Give Miss
Nestor my regards," and at this Tom blushed still more. But,
as he said, that was his own affair.


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