Part 2 out of 4
"If we are going out to-night," Ned said, after reflection, "we may as
well shift the Sea Lion and inspect the bottom over where we saw the
"Yes; that may be the wreck," Jack admitted.
So the submarine was moved a short distance to the north, about the
space which had seemed to separate the boys from the elevation, and
preparations were made for going out. Jimmie was rather pleased at the
idea of being left in charge of the submarine.
"Of course you'll not touch the machinery," Ned warned. "All you can
do is to see that the air pumps are kept going. Any motion of the
boat, you understand, might break or disarrange the hose carrying the
air to us, so be careful."
"Oh, I guess I don't want to murder any of you," laughed the little
fellow. "Go ahead and I'll run things all right on board the boat. I
could operate her anywhere."
The Sea Lion was lifted only a trifle in order to make the change to
the new location. As she moved along she was not much more than a
fathom from the level sand below.
This was done by regulating the water in the tanks to the pressure at
the depth it was desired to navigate. The delicate mechanisms designed
to show depth, pressure, air value, and all the important details of a
submarine were absolutely perfect.
So the three boys entered the water chamber, leaving Jimmie grinning
through the glass panel. When the boat was brought to the bottom they
opened the outer door and stepped out.
The Sea Lion had traversed only a short distance, yet the surface upon
which the lads walked seemed very different from the smooth sand level
Ned had seen before. There were now little ridges of sand, and now and
then a pit opened up almost under their feet.
A dozen yards from where they emerged from the submarine they came
upon the elevation which Ned had observed on his first trip out. It
was not, however, a submerged rock or a bit of harder soil in the
desert of sand. It was the hull of a wrecked vessel.
Ned moved along one side of the wreck, as far as his air-hose would
permit him to go, and was satisfied that he had found the lost mail
ship. The sand was already drifting against her sides, but she was
still far from buried.
On the port side, about a third of the way to the stern from the bow,
the boy discovered the wound which had brought the stately vessel to
her present position. She lay, tilted about a quarter, in eighty feet
Ned wondered why passing vessels had not discovered her. The tall
stacks had been beaten down, probably snapped off at the collision,
but the superstructure was high, and not far below the surface, Ned
After motioning Jack and Frank to remain at the break in the side of
the ship, Ned clambered up and, being careful to protect his air-hose
and line from the jagged edges of the wound, crept inside. His
electric flashlight revealed the interior only a short distance ahead
of him, but at the very outset he saw that some of the air-tight
compartments remained intact.
There was a lifting, swaying motion occasionally which told him that
there was still air imprisoned in the broken ship. At that distance
from the surface there would be no wave motion to produce the
oscillations he observed.
"It is very strange," he mused, as he clambered over bales, chests and
boxes in the hold, "that the ship should have gone down so quickly.
Telegraphic reports at the time of the accident--if it was an
accident--stated that she sank slowly. It would require only a little
assistance to bring her to the surface."
The boy made his way as far into the interior as he could with his
comparatively short air-hose, and then turned back to where he had
left Jack and Frank. He had found it impossible, on account of the
shifting to the prow of the hold cargo, to reach the cabin and the
captain's offices without entering from the top deck.
As he turned around he stopped an instant, his attention attracted by
a sound which seemed to come from beyond the bulkhead back of him. It
sounded almost like the hiss of escaping steam. The lad knew that it
must be a strong vibration which could thus make itself felt at that
distance below the surface and through the heavy helmet he wore.
The more he considered the matter the clearer became the fact that it
was actually uniform sound he heard. That is, sound brought to his
ears by the water.
Some force might be moving the water, and the motion might be
conveying to his ears, through the thin sides of the air-hose, the
story of the action of the waves, if waves could be created at that
As he listened to the steady beating he became convinced that some
unknown power was at work in the wreck. What it was he could not even
Then he heard sharper sounds which seemed to be created by steel
striking steel. The jar brought the sound waves to his ears quite
"Either I'm going daffy," the boy mused, "or there is some one at work
on the wreck."
He left the hold and, without giving the others to understand that he
had discovered anything of importance, began an examination of the
sand along the line of the bottom. His air-hose was not long enough to
admit of passing entirely around the vessel, so he motioned to the
boys to accompany him and turned back to the submarine.
"Did you hear anything down there?" asked he as soon as the helmets
had been removed.
"What are you talking about?" asked Frank, with a laugh. "Water would
not convey sound to the ear."
"But the jar of water would," observed Jack. "I heard a jar while I
was down there."
"I don't believe it!" Jimmie cut in.
"When in swimming," said Frank, "did you ever sit on the bottom of the
swimming hole and pound two stones together?"
"Of course," laughed the little fellow.
"And you heard a noise?"
"I believe I did, but it was not such a noise as one would hear from
the same cause in the air."
"Well," Ned went on, "I heard noises down there, too, and I'll tell
you right here that I'm alarmed."
"Scared!" roared Jimmie.
"Alarmed at what?" demanded Frank. "I didn't see anything to be
"I have no theory as to what it was I heard," Ned went on, "but I'm
going to get a longer air-hose, shift the Sea Lion so she will hang
over the wreck, and go down again right away."
"I'm ready!" laughed Jack. "I want to hear that noise again."
"Do you think there are men down there removing the gold?" asked Jack.
ON GUARD UNDER THE SEA
"If there is anybody at work on the wreck," Ned replied, "they may be
removing the gold or they may be searching the vessel for
"I guess any documents found down there will be pretty wet," laughed
"They may be in sealed boxes," Ned replied. "Anyway, if there are
important documents on board they might be rendered legible by proper
and judicious handling." "Here we go, then," Jack exclaimed. "I'll
expel the water in the tanks until the Sea Lion rests at the right
altitude, over the wreck, and we can enter by way of the decks."
"But what will the other fellows be doing while we are getting into
position?" asked Frank.
"Gettin' ready to cut our lines, probably," interposed Jimmie.
"That's a fact," Jack said. "If there are men working in the ship they
must be supplied with air by a submarine. How could that be done, I'd
like to know."
"They might anchor the submarine some distance away," replied Ned,
"and lay an air-hose along the bottom. If attached to the hose leading
into the helmets before being placed, two or three might work from
such a supply, and such a system, too, would obviate a good deal of
the danger to be feared from crossed lines."
"You've got it all figured out!" cried Jimmie.
"Well," Frank intervened, "I'll bet that he has it right. Those Moore
persons were not born yesterday."
"That's right," Jack admitted. "We saw enough of the Captain in the
Black Bear club-room in New York to know that he is an expert in the
submarine business. He may be an imitation fop and a bounder, as he
would say, but he certainly is next to his job."
"Why wouldn't it be a good idea to sneak around in our water suits
until we find the lines an' cut them?" asked Jimmie.
"That would be plain murder," Ned replied.
"I guess they wouldn't hesitate long if the conditions were reversed,"
Frank suggested, "still, I wouldn't like to be in with anything as
brutal as that."
"Come to think of it," Jimmie admitted, "I wouldn't, either."
"I don't get the idea of these incriminating documents," Jack said, in
a moment. "That is one thing I did not pay attention to in the talk
with Captain Moore at the clubroom."
"What he said was this," Ned explained. "The Government is accused, in
certain hostile foreign circles, of conspiring with the leaders of the
revolution now brewing in China. He declared that the Washington
officials were even charged with sending the gold to the rebels by the
roundabout way of the present Chinese Government."
"You'll have to come again!" laughed Frank. "I'm dense as to that part
of it. It is too subtle for me."
"Me, too," Jimmie asserted.
"All I know about it," Ned answered, "is that Captain Moore declared
that the rebel leaders were purposely posted as to the shipment of the
gold, and that they were to seize it as soon as it left the protection
of the American flag, if they could. At least they were to be given a
chance to do so."
"Even in that case," Frank reasoned, "the Washington people wouldn't
be foolish enough to place incriminating papers with the shipment. The
whole scheme might fail, you know."
"It does look pretty fishy," Ned remarked, "but the ways of diplomacy
are often crooked ways. Anyway, it is claimed by some that the mail
boat was rammed, that it was no accident that sent her to keep company
with McGinty at the bottom of the sea."
Jack expelled the water from the tanks of the Sea Lion until the
instruments in the machine room showed her to be near the surface,
and, as Ned estimated, directly above the wreck. Then an anchor was
sent out, to prevent any possible drifting, and Ned, Frank and Jack
put on their helmets again.
The lines used for signaling and the air-hose had both been spliced,
and it was figured that any part of the wreck could now be visited.
The drop lines were also longer, and the machinery for hauling the
divers up on signal was made ready for use.
"We can't walk out and in the Sea Lion now," Ned said, "and a good
deal depends on the vigilance of the boy left in the boat. Watch for
the slightest signal, Jimmie," he warned.
The touching of a lever unwound the lifting and lowering lines when
all was ready, and in a minute the three boys found themselves on the
upper deck of the wreck. It was tilted at an angle of about twenty
degrees, so great care was exercised in traversing it.
As Jimmie swung the lever which lowered the three boys he peered out
of a darkened window. He saw only the dim surface light.
"They've got sense enough not to show any light," he mused, "so the
thieves won't know what is going on unless they see the shadow
overhead, or run into one of the fellows."
Leaving Frank, as the most cautious of the boys, to guard the lines
and air-hose when they touched sharp angles, Ned, accompanied by Jack,
advanced down the main companionway and was soon in the large and
handsomely furnished cabin.
Then the electric searchlights were put to use, and the great
apartment lay partly exposed to view. Their entrance into the room
seemed to create something like a current in the water, and articles
of light weight came driving at them.
Ned turned sick and faint as a dead body lifted from the floor and a
ghastly face was turned toward his own. A few unfortunate ones had
gone down with the ship, and most of the bodies lay in this cabin.
Those who had remained on deck until the final plunge had, of course,
drifted away. However, the boy soon recovered his equilibrium, and
went about his work courageously, notwithstanding the fact that many
terrifying forms of marine life swam and squirmed around him.
Clinging to heavy tables and chairs to prevent slipping, the boys made
their way to that part of the ship where, according to their drawings,
the captain's cabin had been. Their first duty was to make search for
any sealed papers which might be there.
The room was located at last, and then Ned motioned to Jack to
extinguish his light. The boy obeyed orders with a feeling of dread.
It was dark as the bottomless pit in the cabin now, and fishes and
squirming things brushed against his legs and rubbed against the line
which was supplying him with air.
In all the experiences of the Boy Scouts nothing like this had ever
been encountered before. In Mexico, in the Philippines, in the Great
Northwest, in the Canal Zone, in the cold air far above the roof of
the world, they had usually been in touch with all the great facts of
Nature, but now they seemed separated from all mankind--buried in a
fathomless pit filled with unclean things.
The door of the captain's cabin was closed. Ned put his ear against
it, then reached out and took Jack by the arm. The latter understood
the order and crowded close.
From the other side came sharp blows, and through the keyhole came the
glow of illuminated water. Ned's worst fears were realized. Some one
had reached the wreck in advance of his party.
He knew that he could not justly be censured for the activity of his
enemies, and yet the thought that he was in danger of failing in his
mission brought the hot blood surging to his head. He did not stop at
that time to deliberate as to how the hostile forces had gained this
advantage in time.
He did not even try to solve the problem as to the personality of the
hostile element. The men working on the other side of the door to the
captain's cabin might have crossed the Pacific in the Diver, or they
might have been recruited from foreign seaports.
The question did not particularly interest him. The point with him was
that they were there.
And, now, what course ought he to pursue? For a time, as he stood
against the door, he could reach no conclusion.
Directly, however, the important question presented by the unusual
situation came to the boy's mind. It was this:
Where was the boat into which the workers on the other side of the
door proposed to remove the plunder?
The Diver, or some other efficient submarine must be close at hand.
The men who were searching the captain's room were being supplied with
air from some source.
And here was another question:
Had the gold already been removed?
It seemed to Ned that the first thing for him to do was to locate the
submarine. For all he knew, prowlers from her might be nosing around
the Sea Lion.
He had left the door to the water chamber open, of course, and so it
must remain until he returned. Jimmie, owing to a defect afterwards
corrected, could not expel the water while the door was open, nor
could he close the door from the interior.
Fearful that some mischief was on foot, he grasped Jack by the arm and
hastened back to where Frank had been left. His first care should be
to find the exact location of the hostile submarine and then see that
no air-hose reached from her to the Sea Lion.
The three boys passed out of the wreck and came to the stern of the
once fine ship. She had gone down prow first, and the stern was a
little above the level sand floor of the sea.
Instead of passing around the stern and coming out on the other side,
the boys halted and crouched down, so as to see under the keel. As the
outer shell of the ship was here at least a yard above the bottom, it
was plain that the cargo had swept forward when she went down, thus
holding her by the nose.
There was no longer any doubt as to what was going on. There, only a
few yards away, lay the dark bulk of a submarine. Only for a light
glimmering through the closed door of the water chamber it could not
have been seen at all.
The men who were working in the wreck had taken no chances in leaving
the boat. Their lines and air-hose passed through the outer door in
well-guarded openings, and the interior was as safe from intrusion as
a walled-in fortress.
Ned regretted that he had not observed the same precaution in leaving
the Sea Lion, still he did not believe that his boat had been
attacked. After a few moments devoted to observation, Ned crept around
the keel and looked down the side of the ship which lay toward the
submarine. Men with electric lamps in their helmets were working
They appeared to be forcing an entrance into the lower hold of the
ship through a small break in the shell. This led him to the
conclusion that the way to the very bottom was blocked from the
inside, and that the gold--if it had been stored there--had not yet
He returned to his chums and all three started back to the Sea Lion.
The men about the wreck were all so busy that it did not seem to Ned
that they knew of the presence there of his submarine.
Still, he searched the bottom, as he passed along, with both hands and
feet for any line which, leaving the stranger, might be leading to her
rival. Finally he discovered, much to his annoyance, a hauling line
and an air-hose leading in the direction he was going.
"I'm afraid," he thought, "that Jimmie is in trouble."
"JIMMIE'S FOOLISH--LIKE A FOX"
Left alone in the Sea Lion, Jimmie spent most of his time watching
from a darkened window. He could distinguish little in the faint
sifting of moonlight which dropped down from the sparkling surface of
the sea, but there was companionship even in that.
He had been instructed by Ned to keep the interior dark, and so he
watched the ocean floor for the lights which his chums might be
obliged to turn on. As the reader knows, however, the exploring party
showed no lights at all until the interior of the wreck had been
Listening and waiting, half inclined to admit that he was just a
little bit lonesome, the boy stood at his post for about a quarter of
an hour. Then he saw an opaque object moving toward the submarine.
It was not a shark or other monster of the sea, for it walked upright
and seemed to move up and down as it came to the little undulations in
the ocean floor. When it came nearer Jimmie moved toward the door of
the water chamber.
"That must be Ned," he thought, "comin' back alone. Now, I wonder if
anythin' has happened to Frank an' Jack?"
For a moment the heart of the lad throbbed wildly, then he calmed
himself with the thought that in case of accident he would have been
notified by the lifting lines. The air machine was working perfectly,
too, and this indicated that all was well below.
Finally the moving object came to a position about ten yards distant
from the submarine and stopped. He was now about fifty feet below the
window out of which Jimmie looked, for the Sea Lion, as has been said,
lay well up from the bottom, not exactly over the wreck but not far
In a moment the boy saw the glimmer of a lamp down where the man was,
and saw that it was moving about on the bottom. Lights, of course, do
not show in water as they do in air, and so it was only a faint
illumination that Jimmie observed.
Still, he could see that whoever was carrying the light was fumbling
about on the bottom. He watched intently for a moment and then saw the
man coming toward him, swimming straight up.
"I guess it's one of the boys," Jimmie mused. "He must have lost his
line, and when I saw him fumbling he must have been removing the
weights designed to hold him down in spite of the air in the helmet."
This appeared to be a good explanation, and the boy stood with his
face pressed against the glass panel of the water chamber door,
waiting for whoever it was to enter, close the apartment, and push the
lever that controlled the exhaust which emptied the chamber.
At last the swimmer clambered into the chamber, and the waiting boy
was about to switch on a light when a suspicious action on the part of
the other caused him to hesitate. He could observe the actions of the
man in the water on the other side of the glass panel quite clearly
now, and was alarmed at what he saw him doing.
Instead of drawing his air-hose in with him and coiling it carefully
so as to clear the doorway and still leave free passage for the air
which was being pumped into it, he laid the hose carefully in a slide-
covered groove in the edge of the door. The hose did not seem to be
quite large enough to fill the groove, and the fellow took something
soft and pliable from a pocket and wrapped around it.
Then he closed the door and pushed the lever which released the power
that forced the water out of the chamber. Only one inference was to be
drawn from the scene which Jimmie had witnessed.
The man in the water chamber was a stranger. This was merely an
attempt to get possession of the Sea Lion.
The fellow was breathing air pumped into his hose by some other boat
than the Sea Lion. He had cast off his weights in order to gain the
chamber, which neither one of the boys would have found necessary, as
they would have been carried up by the machinery which worked the
lifting and descending lines.
Another thing the boy realized, as he waited with anxiety for the next
move. The man, whoever he was, was thoroughly familiar with the plan
of the Sea Lion.
The grooves in the edge of the door had been planned so as to give
entrance to visitors who were not receiving their air from the Sea
Lion. No one was believed to know anything about this arrangement--no
one save the builders and the Secret Service men.
While Jimmie watched, the intruder moved the lever and the water in
the chamber began to lower. When the water was forced out fresh air
was automatically forced in.
Before long the intruder disconnected his hose with his helmet and
threw the end over a hook provided for that purpose. When the water
was all out he knocked heavily on the door leading to the room where
"There'll be doings here directly," the boy thought.
Again and again the visitor beat upon the door, but Jimmie gave no
sign. He could not well observe the man now, for, with the water out
of the chamber, the light carried by the man inside shone brightly
against the glass panel, and the boy would have been observed had he
stood close to it.
Jimmie grew more anxious as the seconds passed. He was trying to put
away the thought that the intruder had cut the air-hose attached to
the helmets of his friends.
For all he knew all three boys might be lying drowned, on the floor of
the ocean. The thought was unbearable, and he resolved to banish it in
His first impulse was to disconnect the exhaust and fill the chamber
with water. The man in there had disconnected his air-hose and would
But the brutality of such a course soon presented itself, and Jimmie
cast about for some other method of meeting the dangerous situation.
He could hear the visitor fumbling at the door, and wondered if he
knew the secret of opening it.
After a time it seemed to the listening boy that the fellow was
feeling in the right locality for the hidden spring which would open
the door from the other side, and sprang for the bar which secured it
against such entrance. Then he dropped the bar and stood wiping the
sweat from his forehead.
"If I bar the door," he mused, "that robber will cut the air-hose
protecting the boys outside, if he has not already done so. I've just
got to let him in here an' take chances."
He hastened to the back of the room and brought a long coil of rope.
Making a running noose in one end, he released several loops from the
big coil and held them loosely in his hand.
"I wonder if I can assist him into our princely apartments?" thought
the boy, whimsically. "If I can get this rope around his body and over
his arms, I'll be the boss of the precinct! I expect he'll tumble
around a good deal, but I guess I can quell him!"
The boy waited in the darkness until a faint click told him that the
intruder had discovered the spring. This was followed by a slam as the
sliding door fell back.
Then all was still. Jimmie, hidden in the shadows, prepared to throw
his lasso as soon as the visitor left the doorway.
The voice carried a hoarse challenge.
"Any one here?"
The man was still in the doorway, and was swinging his light about so
as to give him a better view of the room.
"If he would only drop his arms!" Jimmie mused. "I'd like to hit him
with a ballclub!"
Directly the fellow did drop his arms, and at the same moment stepped
out of the shelter of the doorway. This was what Jimmie had been
waiting for, and he lost no time in acting.
The rope cut the air and descended over the intruder's head and arms.
The lad's hours of practice while playing cowboy now proved to be of
Jimmie gave a quick jerk as the rope landed and he ran to the back of
the room. He heard the other fall, and knew by the weight that he was
When he gained the wall he switched on the light and reached to a
shelf for a weapon. When he faced his captive he held an automatic
revolver in his hand.
By this time a torrent of expletives was coming through the helmet
opening where the air-hose had entered. The prisoner rolled about on
the floor, trying to get to his feet.
"Whoo-pee!" shouted the boy. "Look what one can catch out of the
A roar of rage was the only answer.
"Take off that helmet!" commanded the boy.
A muffled challenge came from the interior.
"All right," said the boy, "then I'll take it off for you. But I'll
have this gun handy, and if you try any foolishness you won't hold
water when I get done shootin'."
Before long the helmet was off, and Jimmie was looking into as evil a
face as he had ever seen. It was the face of a stranger, and yet there
seemed something familiar about it.
"What sort of a game is this?" demanded the captive. "If you know
what's good for you, you'll quit this cowboy business."
"Who are you?" asked Jimmie.
A snarl was the only reply. The enraged man was tugging fiercely at
"Quit it!" warned Jimmie. "I'll have to put you to sleep if you try
"You don't dare!"
"Don't four-flush!" the boy advised.
Jimmie sat down and leveled the weapon at the struggling man.
"I guess I'd better shoot," he said, calmly. "I suppose you've cut the
boys' air-hose, and I'll have to get back to New York the best way I
can--alone. So, you see, I can't be bothered with you."
The captive ceased his struggles and managed to rise to a sitting
position. His eyes were not so threatening as before.
"No," he declared, "I didn't cut the hose."
"Why? You're equal to such a trick."
"I was told not to."
Jimmie hesitated a moment. He wished devoutly that he could believe
what the fellow said.
"Who told you not to?" he then asked.
The captive shook his head.
"I don't know his name," he said.
"And you are sailing with him?"
"All I know is that he is called the Captain."
"I see," said the boy. "Now, how comes it that you know so much of the
plans of the Sea Lion?"
"What makes you think I do?"
"You found the groove in the door, and also the spring that opens the
door to the water chamber."
"Well?" the boy flourished his weapon, though nothing could have
induced him to fire on the unarmed man.
"I was told what to do when I got here," was the reply.
"Did you see my chums on the way here?" The captive nodded.
"At the wreck."
"Where is your boat?" was the next question.
"On the other side of the wreck."
"And you are after the gold?"
"And important papers?"
"I know nothing about that."
"What is the name of your boat?"
"Appropriate name that!" laughed Jimmie. "Used to be the Diver, didn't
"I don't know."
"What did you come here for?"
"To get the boat."
"And remove it?"
"That would have meant death to the boys who are out in the water at
"I suppose so. Say, there's something wrong with your air machine. I
know something about such contrivances, and this one acts as if a hose
out in the sea had been cut!"
A CHASE ON THE OCEAN FLOOR
Jimmie listened for an instant. There certainly was something the
matter with the air machine.
"Get a move on!" shouted the captive, "or we'll all be food for the
"Remain quietly where you are, then," Jimmie said, with a significant
flourish at the gun which he had no intention of using, except in a
case of the direst necessity.
"Go!" shouted the other.
Jimmie did not know what to do. While he had learned a good deal about
the submarine, he was by no means an expert in the handling of her.
His experience with the air machines had been very slight, as the boys
had made little use of them.
"It's getting close in here already!" cried the captive in alarm. "Why
don't you do something?"
"What is there for me to do?" asked the boy.
"Release me and I'll fix it," suggested the other.
Before Jimmie could explain the foolishness of this proposition, he
heard a pounding at the outer door of the water chamber. He bounded
through the open doorway and looked out.
There was a helmeted face against the pane. The boy was motioning for
the door to be opened.
"Now," mused Jimmie, "I wonder how he got up there? The lifting lines
haven't moved. Why didn't he let me know he was coming up?"
"Hurry!" called the captive.
Jimmie knew, from the flounderings on the floor, that the fellow was
again trying to get rid of the rope. He stepped to the door and lifted
a hand in warning, then slid the bolts and guards so the water chamber
door would open from the outside, then stepped back into the larger
apartment and closed the door.
He heard a rush of water and knew that some one was entering. Then,
satisfied that all was well, he turned to his prisoner.
The fellow was half out of the rope, and one hand was sneaking toward
a heavy ax which lay not far off.
"Cut that!" cried the boy.
He stood guarding the man while the water chamber filled and emptied.
Then the door opened and Ned came in, helmet in hand. First, he turned
a screw and the trouble at the air machine ceased.
"What the dickens!"
Ned stopped short in the middle of the room as he turned and gazed in
amazement at the prisoner.
"I've been fishin'," Jimmie explained, with a chuckle.
"What is it you caught?" asked Ned.
"This," said Jimmie, "is the original sea serpent!"
"Looks to me like Moore, Jr.," Ned said.
"No?" exclaimed the boy.
"Are you the son of Captain Moore?" asked Ned.
The other nodded.
"I thought you'd recognize me," he grunted. "I was a fool to come
"That's about the only true word you've said since you came on board,
I take it," Ned went on.
Young Moore scowled and bent his eyes to the floor.
Ned now turned to Jimmie and asked:
"Why didn't you draw us up?"
"Why," replied the little fellow, "I never got the signal."
"Guess you were too busy getting your sea serpent," smiled Ned.
"Did you pull?" asked Jimmie.
"Sure. Jack and Frank are out there now, ready to beat you up for
keeping them out so long."
The prisoner turned his face away from the two and sulked.
"There's the boys now," Jimmie said. "Let them in."
In ten minutes Jack and Frank were in the large room, busily engaged
in taking off their deep-sea clothes.
As Frank threw his helmet into a corner he held up the end of a line.
"You see," he said, glancing angrily at the prisoner, who had moved as
far away as possible. "The line was cut."
"Aw, it would have come away in your hand when you pulled, then," said
Jimmie. "You'd have found that out quick enough."
"I tell you it was cut," Frank insisted. "It was cut and tied to a
rock that lies at the bottom. When we pulled we pulled at the big old
boulder we saw lying there on the sand. Now, what do you think of
"Why did you do it?" asked Ned, turning to Moore.
"I didn't," was the reply.
"I don't know."
"I don't believe you."
"There were others besides me," insisted Moore.
Ned made an examination of the end of the three cords. All had been
cut. All had been tied to something, for the ends were frayed as if by
being twisted about in the hands.
"I presume you thought you were cutting the air-hose?" asked Ned,
"I reckon I know a line from a hose," was the reply.
"So you did cut them?"
Frank sprang toward the prisoner with flashing eyes. "I'll show you
what such sneaks get here."
Ned drew the enraged boy away.
"He'll get what's coming to him at some other time," he said. "Let him
alone for the present."
"But he did attempt to cut the hose!" Jack exclaimed. "We ought to
throw him out to the sharks."
"Not now," said Ned, coolly.
"Anyway," Frank said, a smile showing on his face, "he made us swim to
"He did that himself," laughed Jimmie, "and lost his weights."
"That's the worst of it," Jack remarked, "we've lost our weights, and
there's no knowing how we are to get more."
Jimmie now pointed to the air machine.
"Was there something wrong with it?" he asked.
Ned shook his head.
"Working perfectly," he said. "There wasn't a screw loose."
"Well, he," pointing to the prisoner, "said there was something wrong,
and I began to think he was right."
"Imagination!" laughed Jack.
Ned now faced Moore and asked:
"Have you taken the gold out of the wreck?"
A shake of the head was the answer.
"Have you discovered any important papers? You know what I mean by
"We have not."
"You came in the Diver?"
"Run her across?"
"No; came on a tow-line."
"I thought so. What steamer towed you over?"
"I can't answer that."
"I'm not permitted to."
"It was a Japanese boat?"
"Well, yes, it was."
"And she kept you out of sight all the way over and dropped you here
to do this dirty work?"
"She didn't put a brass band on board of us," replied the captive,
sullenly. "What is the meaning of this third degree business? Who do
you think you are?"
"Your people know that we are here, of course?"
"Oh, yes, we're not fools. We saw you from the first."
"And they know where you started for?"
"Is your father in the Diver?"
"I refuse to answer any more questions," Moore stormed. "You've got
the upper hand now, but the time will come when things will be
reversed. Release me!"
"Of course," replied Ned, "we'll release you and give you the run of
the boat! You came here to murder us, and so are entitled to the most
"Well, quit asking impertinent questions, then," snarled the other.
"You can at least do that."
Ned hunted up two pairs of handcuffs, ironed the prisoner, and then
conveyed him to a little room used for storage purposes. Moore did not
appear to like this program.
"If anything should happen," he declared, "I'd be left here to die
like a dog."
"And serve you good an' right!" Jimmie consoled.
"What do you expect is going to happen?" asked Jack.
"Oh, I don't know," was the hesitating reply. "Something might, you
The boys went out and shut the door, leaving young Moore protesting
against the treatment he was receiving.
"Now," Ned said, when the boys were assembled in the large room, "it
is plain that the rascals on board the Diver are preparing to attack
us, or do something to imperil our lives. You saw how frightened Moore
was when he was locked in that room."
"Yes, he seems to fear that he will be brought to death by his own
friends," Frank said.
"What do you suggest?" asked Ned.
"Stay an' fight!" urged Jimmie.
"Hide away from them!" Frank proposed.
"Wait here until we see what they propose doing," Jack ventured.
"I think," laughed Ned, "that we'll bunch your advice and utilize it
all. We'll hide in some deep spot until we see what they're up to, and
then we'll fight."
"I reckon they are about five to one."
This from Frank, who preferred meeting the enemy on dry land.
"Oh, we can't come to a hand-to-hand battle," Ned replied. "We've got
to fight submarine fashion."
Without attempting any explanation of this observation Ned proceeded
to make a careful inspection of the boat. There was a torpedo tube at
the prow, and this he studied over for a long time.
"Goin' to blow 'em up?" asked Jimmie.
"I was thinking," was the reply, "that we might use this as a bluff if
we come to a tight place."
"Aw, what's the use?" demanded Jimmie. "You don't make bluffs! You get
the winning hand before you call! If I had my way, I'd blow 'em out of
"Yes, you would!" Frank said. "You'd be the first one to kick if we
should attempt to put that thief in there out of the boat. You're the
tender-hearted little child of the bunch!"
All the boys laughed, including Jimmie, for they knew that what Frank
said was the truth. Jimmie liked to talk of merciless measures, but he
was not inclined to put them into practice.
"Well," Ned said, presently, "the Diver people will soon understand
that something has happened to Moore, and will be after us. We may as
well take a moonlight stroll."
The water tanks were filled, the power turned on, and the Sea Lion,
with no lights in sight, save the one at the prow from which Frank
watched the level ahead, began feeling her way to the south.
"The charts show a deep pit not far off," Ned said, "and we'll hide
there for a time and see if they give up the job of looting the wreck.
The loss of young Moore may scare them out."
"Why not go to the surface and air out the boat?" asked Jack. "Our air
apparatus is all right, of course, but I like the real thing better.
We can drop down again in a few minutes."
"That's a good idea," Ned replied, and in a moment the Sea Lion was
lifting to the surface.
In half an hour she was down again, dark and silent, in the pit of
which Ned had spoken. Occasionally the submarine was lifted a few
fathoms in order that anything unusual in the vicinity of the wreck
might be observed.
Sometime near morning the Diver was seen making her way to the north
as if setting out for a long voyage. The lights of the craft showed
plainly--that is, as plainly as lights ever show at that depth--and
the Sea Lion had no difficulty in following her.
"She's steamin' up!" Jimmie cried, presently. "I believe she knows
we're after her."
But the Sea Lion was equal to the task set for her, and all the
remainder of the night the chase went on.
JIMMIE GOES OUT HUNTING
"I hope she'll make for some port where there is an American man-of-
war," Ned said, as the sea grew shallower.
"You bet she won't," Jack replied. "She'll make for some out-of-the-
way place where she can get rid of her plunder."
"Why don't we go back an' see if she took all the plunder out of the
wreck?" asked Jimmie.
"If we lose sight of her now," Ned answered, "we may have hard work
picking her up again. If there is anything left in the wreck it will
keep. The thing to do now is to catch her and recover what she took
away, then have her held to await the action of the Washington
"But we ain't catchin' her!" urged the little fellow.
"Well, we are not losing her," Jack replied, "and that is the
"She may give us a long chase," Ned went on, "for she undoubtedly
knows that we are in pursuit, so we must get ready to travel over a
good deal of ocean floor before we get our hands on the thieves."
The chase went on all day and all the ensuing night. At dawn of the
second day the Diver ran up into what seemed to be a little bay
protected by two long points of land. The Sea Lion halted outside and
waited. Once she came to the surface in order to purify the boat, and
Ned took observations.
"Where are we?" Jimmie asked.
"We're here!" laughed Jack.
"This is all new land to me," Ned replied.
Frank clattered down the staircase into the bowels of the submarine
and brought out a map, which he spread out on the floor of the conning
tower. It was pretty crowded there, with the three boys grouped about
it, for the hatch was still open.
"We've been going north all the time?" he asked.
"Just a trifle east of north," Ned answered.
"And we've been running at the rate of about twenty miles an hour for
24 hours," continued Frank. "Figure that out."
"Not far from 480 miles," cried Jimmie.
"Then measure," Frank continued. "This map shows about 400 miles to
the inch. Now, where would a run of 480 miles bring us?"
"To the coast of Kwang Tung," suggested the little fellow.
"But this is an island," Ned explained, looking through his glass. "I
can see water where the main land ought to be."
"Figure it out, then," persisted Frank. "We've come to an island in
the China Sea by running 480 miles a little east of north. Where would
that bring us?"
"Hailing island," suggested Jimmie.
"Wise little chap!" laughed Frank. "You've hit it!"
Ned was silent for a moment. He was wondering why the Diver, or the
Shark as she was now appropriately called, had put in there. Could it
be that she was expecting to be met there by some vessel commissioned
to remove the plunder she had taken from the wreck?
Or was it true that the plot had included a hiding of the plunder on
the shore and the delivery of the documents--if any had been found--to
some official of the accusing power?
These thoughts were disquieting. The boy had already missed the
opportunity of searching the wreck in advance of all others, though
the fault was not his own. The best he could do now was to secure the
plunder from the pirates who had removed it.
In case assistance came to the people of the rival boat at that
distant point, he would not be able to do this. The conspirators might
hide the gold in the country near the port and deliver the papers and
he would be powerless to prevent.
"I wonder," he mused, "if anything can be gotten out of young Moore?
It is possible that he has been in solitary confinement long enough to
comb down that sneering attitude."
Leaving the boys on the conning tower, therefore, he hastened to the
room where Moore was incarcerated, although the irons had been removed
from his hands and feet.
"Well," snarled the young man, "you've come to the jumping off place,
"What do you mean by that?"
"You've chased the Shark to her lair, eh?" Moore added, with a leer.
"How do you know that we've been chasing the Shark?" demanded Ned.
"Oh, you wouldn't be running full speed unless you were after her."
"How do you know that we're not in Hong-kong harbor, ready to
communicate with Washington and an American man-of-war?"
Ned thought the fellow's face turned a shade whiter as the suggestive
words were spoken. However, he said nothing.
"Do you know where we are, if, as you seem to think, we have followed
the Shark?" asked Ned.
"How should I know?"
Moore had evidently reached the conclusion that he had said too much
at the opening of the conversation.
"You know where the Shark was headed for?" asked Ned.
"She's headed for a place where you can't butt in on her," answered
the young man with a snarl. "When are you going to turn me loose? Aw,
what's the matter with you?" he continued, assuming an air of good-
fellowship. "I never did anything to you. Why can't you let me go, and
say nothing about it?'
"Because," Ned answered, "you are a dangerous person to be at large.
The next time you attempt to murder the crew of a submarine you may
have better luck."
"Well, you keep right on," Moore scowled, "and you'll come to a place
where there'll be no such word as luck in your dictionary. You might
save yourself now by letting me go."
"You're a snake," cried Ned. "I wouldn't trust you with the life of a
rat I cared for. Such people as you ought to be smothered at birth."
"Pile it on, now that you have the inning," said Moore. "Pretty soon
you'll be playing second fiddle."
Ned went out of the temporary prison and locked the door without
further talk. He had gained the point he sought.
Nothing could be clearer, now, than that the Shark was to meet fellow
conspirators there. The boy was up against a tough proposition.
He believed that the Shark had secured the important papers. She would
hardly have left the wreck without them.
The gold did not matter so much, yet he did not like the idea of his
rival taking it out from under his very nose. He did not believe that
all the gold had been secured, and figured that the Shark would go
back after the remainder--but not until the important papers had been
delivered to the conspirators.
In order to clear her skirts of the false accusations being whispered
through foreign court circles, the Government must get possession of
those documents. Ned had no idea where they were, where they had been
stored, but he believed that, somewhere in the shipment of gold, full
instructions for its use had been given.
The papers might have been tucked away in a keg or package of gold
coins. At least they would have been placed where the revolutionary
leaders could find them, and where the Chinese federal officers could
not--or would not be apt to--find them in case the plans of the
conspirators failed in any way.
It struck Ned as a crude arrangement from start to finish. The idea of
shipping gold to the Chinese government in such a way that the
revolutionary leaders were sure to seize it looked too childish for
diplomats to entertain. The fact that it had miscarried was proof that
it was not well conceived.
A certain foreign nation, put wise to the conspiracy, had sent a ship
out to ram the gold bearing craft, and there she lay at the bottom of
the China Sea, with all sorts of rumors concerning her cargo and
mission circulating through Europe--greatly to the loss of Uncle Sam's
reputation as a square-dealing old chap.
Ned had no doubt that the foreign government which was kicking up the
most noise over the affair had sent the Shark to the China Sea to
search for the papers in the hope that they would bear out the
accusations that had been made. In case they did not the papers would
doubtless be destroyed--and the charges would continue to be made--the
charges that the subtreasury in New York had shipped the gold to aid
the revolutionary junta in making a republic of China.
So it will be seen that Ned was in no position to give further
attention to the wreck, or the gold it might or might not contain
until he had done everything in his power to secure the papers, if any
had been found, before they could be destroyed or delivered.
And now the question was this:
"How can I get to the Shark and have a look through the plunder taken
from the wreck?"
The decision was that he could not accomplish such a mission. It would
be impossible for him to board the Shark, or make a search even if he
should succeed in getting into the rival submarine.
What next? The men on board the Shark would undoubtedly go ashore if
the boat remained long in the bay. Why not land and watch about the
island for the arrival of the foreign conspirators?
The island was not a large one, and there were few inhabitants, so a
meeting such as Ned believed was set for the place could not fail to
attract some attention. Well, the first thing to do, he reasoned, was
to discover if the Shark was sending her men on shore.
"Jimmie," he said, as he returned to the conning tower, "how would you
like to go hunting in the bottom of the sea?"
"Fine!" shouted the lad.
"Bring in a catfish with a bunch of kittens," Frank laughed. "I'm
afraid we have mice in the provision room."
"I'll find a dogfish with a couple of puppies," replied Jimmie, "so we
can have plenty of bark to build fires with."
"A bad joke," Frank replied. "If you'd quit studying up slang and read
the best authors you wouldn't inflict such pain-giving jolts."
"Who's going with the kid?" asked Jack, sticking his nose up through
the open hatchway.
"I am," replied Frank, calmly. "It is not safe to trust him on the
"What do you want me to hunt?" asked Jimmie, turning his back on the
"I can get that in a book," said Jimmie, with a wink at Frank.
"Get into your promenade suit," Ned continued, "and I'll let you out
on the bottom. Then I'll warp the Sea Lion around that point of land,
so you can see where the Shark lies and what is going on, if
"Carry me around the point of land before you drop me," suggested the
"No," Ned answered. "I want you to search the ocean floor on the way
around the point. The rascals may have laid mines there, or the people
on board may be making trips to the point, just to see what we are up
"Oh, yes, I see the point, all right," was the reply. "And you want me
to go out in the wet and inspect another point?"
"Cut it out!" cried Jack.
Jimmie ran off, laughing, to put on his deep-sea suit, and in a moment
was back asking Ned to set his helmet in place.
"When you get down to the bottom," Ned said, before attaching the
heavy headpiece, "keep hold of your lifting line and signal stop or
forward, just as you find it easy or difficult to make your way along
the level. One jerk for stop and two to go ahead. You won't forget
that. Think of the signals on the surface cars in little Old New
"And keep your eyes out for signs of air-hose and lines on the
bottom," Frank put in.
"All right," the boy cried, cheerfully.
"You have a long air-hose and a very long line," Ned went on, "so you
can go up the bay where the Shark lies quite a distance after we stop
the Sea Lion at the point."
The helmet was now put on, the lad passed through the water chamber,
and directly there came a signal on the line--two quick jerks.
The submarine moved slowly ahead, and Jimmie almost crawled on the bed
of the ocean. The water was not very deep, not more than ten fathoms,
and the bright sunlight enabled the boy to see quite well.
Fishes, large and small, sea reptiles, hideous in aspect and
attractive as to coloring, swam around him, and terrifying forms rose
from the bottom and rubbed against his helmet windows. He felt safer
on the bottom, for then the creatures could come at him in only one
Presently the sand in front of him showed commotion. It stirred and
clouded the water. Jimmie stopped and looked, drawing his weapon--the
razor-pointed steel bar--to the front as he did so. Then he felt
something close about an ankle and draw him down. A serpent's head
showed on a level with his shoulder.
JACK MAKES A DISCOVERY
"Now," Ned said, when the Sea Lion stopped in response to a quick pull
from below, "who is going to shore with me?"
"Me for the shore!"
Both boys spoke at once.
"But one must remain on board," declared Ned.
"Then let Frank stay," laughed Jack. "Somehow, I always get into
trouble when I am left on guard."
Frank looked disappointed, but said nothing, and Ned and Jack prepared
to go ashore. When they were ready the submarine was carefully raised
so that the conning tower was out of water.
The boys did not know, while they were doing this, that the signal to
stop was an involuntary one on the part of the boy who was exploring
the ocean floor. They did know, however, that Jimmie had a very long
air-and signal-system, and that under ordinary circumstances it could
do no harm to lift the Sea Lion to the surface. The exact effect of
this action on the little fellow will be seen in a short time.
When the conning tower was out of water, the point showed still ahead
of the submarine, and Ned wondered why Jimmie had ordered a halt
there. In one way this was an advantage, as the people at the head of
the bay, if any were there, would not be able to see what was going on
at the spot where the Sea Lion lay.
As soon as the hatch was opened Ned and Jack brought up a small boat
and launched it. It was a narrow boat and seemed almost too small to
carry two husky boys, but she was capable of harder service than that.
"Keep a sharp watch for the line," Ned warned, as they left Frank
looking sadly over the rim of the tower. "Jimmie would be in a bad box
down there if you should forget him."
"All right!" Frank answered, cheerfully. "I'll take care of the little
scamp, but I don't believe there is water enough in the ocean to drown
The boys, paddling the boat softly, proceeded to the west of the point
of land near which the Sea lion had stationed herself. Ahead of them
they saw a sloping shore, running white and smooth as to surface for
some distance from the water. Then, at the back, rose a line of wooded
hills. There were no natives in sight.
"I'd like to know what kind of people live on this island," Jack said
as they landed and drew the boat up on the beach. "Whoever they are,
they don't appear to have houses."
They crossed the white rim of beach, keeping their eyes on the boat as
they advanced, and came to an elevation in the wild country beyond.
From this elevation a small clearing showed to the east, and in the
clearing were a number of buildings, some residences of a poor type
and some evidently erected for business purposes.
"There," Ned said, pointing, "if we could get down into the cluster of
buildings, with an interpreter, we might find out whether the Shark
fellows have landed yet, and whether there are strangers loitering
about the island."
"Yes," Jack answered, "the place is so small that any strange faces
would be instantly noted. Suppose I skip down there and see what I can
"I think that a good idea," replied Ned, "only you're such a reckless
chap that you're likely to get into trouble."
"I'll be the good little lad," laughed Jack. "You remain here and see
that no one steals the boat while I size up that burg."
Jack was off, creeping through the undergrowth, before Ned could utter
a warning, and the latter sat down to wait for his return. The cluster
of buildings was not very far away, and Jack could not be gone very
Ned was pretty well satisfied with the arrangements made to corner the
men who had plundered the wreck. With Jimmie watching operations from
the bottom and Jack investigating from the land, it seemed to him that
the robbers could not well make any important move without being
In the meantime Jack was making his way toward the little town, if
such it may be called, at the head of the bay. He could see people
moving about in the one lane-like street, but there was no one nearer
him than that--as he at first believed.
Presently, however, he heard a low whistle, coming, apparently, from a
thicket just ahead. It seemed to be an amazed whistle, at that, and
Jack paused in wonder.
Who could it be? If any of the people on the Shark had come onto the
island they certainly wouldn't be whistling to attract his attention.
More likely, he thought, they would be lying in wait for him with a
gun. What he hoped was that some American, familiar with the island
and friendly with the natives, had strayed into the thicket.
Jack whistled in reply and then stepped back out of sight. He had an
idea that he wanted to see the other fellow first.
Before long a voice came out of the thicket, a voice which might have
come from a tenement on Thompkins Square, in the city of New York.
"Vot iss?" were the words Jack heard.
"Show yourself!" commanded Jack.
"Py schimminy," came the answer, "you gif me in the pack one, two,
dree pain. What?"
"You're Dutch!" said Jack.
"Chermany!" corrected the other. "Come a liddle oudt."
Jack stepped out of the shelter and soon saw a boy of about seventeen
do likewise. The boy was short, round, fat, muscular, and big and red
of face. He was dressed in a checkered suit of ready-mades which did
not fit him, and his blond head was covered with a cap such as German
comedians use on the stage.
"Hello, Dutch!" Jack called out.
"Irish!" exclaimed the other.
Jack threw out his right hand in full salute, wondering if the German
boy was a member of the Boy Scout army, and was pleased to see him
make an awkward attempt to respond.
"I got it my headt in," the German said, "but I can't get it oudt. It
shticks. Vot is? I'm the Owl Padrol, Philadelphia."
"No one from Philadelphia ever does remember," laughed Jack. "What are
you doing here?"
The boy took himself by the back of the trousers with his right hand
and by the back of his neck with the other, then bounced himself
forward, as if being thrown out of a vessel or a building.
"You mean that you got fired off a ship here?" asked Jack, almost
choking with laughter.
"You bet me I didt!" exclaimed the other. "I hidt in a lifeboad to get
me pack to Gott's goundry, an' they foundt me. Shoo! Kick! Den I
schwim! Gott un himmel! Vot a goundry!"
"Where did you get aboard the ship?" asked Jack.
"What's your name?"
"Never mind the rest of it," laughed Jack. "I'll call you Hans. How
long have you been here?"
Hans ran his hands around his waist as if counting time by the number
of meals he had missed.
"Month," he finally said.
"Where are you stopping?"
Hans explained that there was one English trader in the place, and
that he was giving him about half what he needed to eat and a place to
sleep in return for about ten hours work each day.
"Do you want to get away?" asked Jack.
"Aindt it?" cried Hans. "I think I'm foolish to stay here. You schwim
Jack knew that it would take a long time to make Hans understand the
means of transportation he had used in reaching that part of the
world, so he merely shook his head and went on:
"If you'll do something for me, Hans, I'll take you off the island."
"Me--sure!" was the quick reply.
Jack then explained that he wished to know if there were any strangers
in the town, and if anything had been seen of the submarine people.
Hans listened attentively.
"I'll remain here until you come back," Jack said, after concluding
his instructions. "Get the information and I'll take you off the
island and land you in Philadelphia."
"Sure!" cried Hans, and disappeared from view in the thicket.
Jack lay a long time watching the sky and listening to the singing
leaves about him. He wished that he had instructed Hans to return to
the place where he had left Ned and gone there himself to await the
information he sought. The time passed heavily on his hands.
Once he moved out to the place where he had entered the thicket and
looked down toward the spot where Ned was. There was a certain amount
of companionship in that. He did not dare leave the thicket entirely,
for fear Hans would miss him on his return from the village.
When he returned to his waiting place, after this visit, and looked
down on the village, shimmering in the hot sun, he saw that something
unusual was going on there. Natives, clad in the long skirts worn by
many Chinamen, were flying up and down the street, and Jack recognized
three Europeans mixing into the excitement.
Then he saw people running toward the little wharf at the head of the
bay. Hans did not appear to be within the range of Jack's vision.
"There are doings of some kind down there," Jack mused, "and it seems
to me that the foreigners created the row, whatever it is. I wonder if
Hans will get out of it alive?"
The next moment Hans was there to answer for himself.
Jack saw the German lad chasing through the undergrowth as if the very
Old Nick was after him, swinging his cap as he ran, and shouting out
some words which he could not understand.
Finally Hans turned square about, pointed in the direction from which
he had come, and resumed his flight toward Jack.
"I guess some one is chasing the boy," Jack concluded, stationing
himself close to a slender path which Hans was certain to follow.
In a moment the wisdom of this remark and this arrangement became
apparent. Hans came nearer, puffing and grunting, and a second after a
runner who was gaining on the German shot around an angle of
undergrowth and reached out for Hans.
Hans had passed the spot where Jack crouched by this time, and the
pursuer was proceeding to foot it after him when Jack stuck out a leg
and brought him to the ground. Hans saw the action and fell flat on
the ground, blowing like a fat man on a thousand-step climb.
The man who had fallen, apparently an Englishman, middle aged, well
dressed for that country, and with a red, passionate face, sat up and
scowled at Jack.
"Wot the bloomin' mischief did ye do thot f'r?" he asked.
"To stop you," replied Jack.
"You're bloody roight ye stopped me!" cried the other, trying to get
on his feet. "An' now I'll be stoppin' of ye!"
Jack placed his hand on the man's shoulder and pushed him back to the
"Rest yourself," he said.
"You just wait, you bounder!" threatened the Englishman.
"What's it all about?" asked Jack, as Hans arose and cautiously
"Don't let that bloody robber get away!" shouted the Englishman,
trying once more to get up.
Jack presented his automatic, which he would not have used under any
circumstances, unless his life was actually in danger.
"Keep quiet," he said.
"I'll have your head for this!" bawled the other.
"What is it, Hans?" asked Jack, paying no attention to the threat of
the angry Englishman.
"I'll tell you what it is!" cried the Englishman. "That Dutch bounder
stole from my safe. I chased him up here an' you took occasion to
hinterfere, worse luck. Who are you, anyhow?"
"Did you steal anything from him, Hans?" asked Jack.
Hans shook his head.
Then explanations settled the trouble. A man from the submarine had
met another at the trader's store. Hans, in his anxiety to hear what
was being said, had crawled in behind a counter, near the safe, and
had been discovered there.
The event had created no little excitement in the town, for the chase
through the street had been witnessed by and participated in by about
half the population. To satisfy the Englishman, Hans was searched, and
nothing found. Then Ned asked him a question:
"Where did the submarine people go?"
"Back to their boat," was the prompt reply.
"And the man who met them there?"
"He went with them."
"Where did the latter come from?"
"From Hongkong, he said."
"How long ago?"
"Something over a week."
"He was waiting for the submarine?"
"I think so."
"What, if anything, did the submarine land?"
"Nothing at all."
"You are certain of that?"
"Oh, yes, of course. The submarine man brought some sealed papers with
him, and the discussion was all about them. The submarine man wanted
money, I guess, and the other wouldn't give it."
"So the submarine people still have the papers?"
"But the other man went on board?"
"Yes, that is the way of it."
"Do you know who that Hongkong man is?"
"He is an Englishman."
"Now," said Jack, "I wish you would come down to the beach with me. I
have a friend there I want you to talk with."
The Englishman, seeing that something interesting was in the air, went
without objection, but when they reached the beach they saw Ned making
for the Sea Lion in the boat. And just before he reached her, they saw
the conning tower disappear beneath the surface of the water.
JIMMIE DEMANDS A MEDAL
Jimmie's first thought, as he saw the flattened head of the sea
monster sliding upward toward his helmet, was that he had encountered
the original sea serpent. There seemed to be a coil about the boy's
leg, and he dropped down lower to see what the chances were for
cutting it away with his weapon.
The prospects did not seem favorable, for his steel bar, while very
sharp at the point, was not intended for chopping work. He could
pierce the body of the reptile, but could not weaken its strength so
that the coil would drop away.
It was when he dropped down that the spasmodic jerks on the line were
given. The sea monster had included the line in his coil, and it drew
as the boy bent lower.
The air-hose seemed to be clear, but Jimmie was afraid that the
flounderings of the serpent might break it. The horror was certain to
do some thrashing about when he felt the keen edge of the steel.
The only way was to strike some vital spot. That would end the combat
at once. The serpent's head lowered with the boy, as if he had great
curiosity to find out exactly what sort of a being it was that had
invaded his kingdom.
The boy was cheered by the thought that the submarine had stopped,
although he did not realize at the time that the signal had been given
by the action of his enemy. If the boat had continued on her course,
the air-hose and the lifting line must both have been broken in a
short time, as the boy's progress was stopped by the great weight of
his terrifying foe. Then the end would have come instantly.
The coil about the leg was drawing tighter now, and the boy was in
considerable pain. Also the coils were ascending as the head of the
sea monster swung around.
It was not only the pain and the deadly danger that brought a
momentary shiver to the boy. It was the fact that the repulsive body
of the serpent was winding closer and closer about him.
He seemed to feel the slimy skin of the deep sea terror slipping
through his waterproof suit, although his common sense told him that
such could not be the case. He even thought he scented the sickening
odor which he had now and then experienced in the Central Park Zoo. He
knew, too, that this was purely imaginary, but the horror of a
nightmare was on him, and for only an instant he lost his nerve.
Once more the head swung around and the boy presented his weapon and
struck with all his might. The needle-like point entered the throat of
the serpent and passed through just at the back of the long, spotted
There was a great switching in the water for an instant, and then the
coils loosened. The blow, as Jimmie afterwards discovered, had broken
the spinal cord.
While not yet dead, the serpent was incapable of moving the lower part
of his body. With a sense of loathing he pulled at the coils until he
was clear of them.
The water where he stood was now taking on a faint reddish hue, and
Jimmie hastened away. At first, weakened and shaken as he was by the
disgusting encounter, he determined to return to the submarine, then
the thought of what his chums would say to him if he gave up caused
him to proceed in the direction of the Shark.
He moved over the level bottom, looking for lines which would indicate
that the Shark people were out watching the movements of their rival,
but found none. When he came to the end of his line he signaled for
the submarine to go ahead.
In this manner, by slow degrees, and always keeping his eyes out for
creatures similar to the one he had vanquished, he advanced until he
saw the bulk of the Shark only a short distance away. Then he called
for a stop.
He remained there some moments, watching the Shark lift to the
surface. Then a dark object passed shoreward, and the boy was certain
that a boat had been sent to the little wharf.
"I guess that will be about all," he thought. "I've secured the
information Ned wants, and may as well go back."
To tell the truth, he was delighted at the thought of getting out of
the water again. His encounter with the serpent had considerably
lessened his enthusiasm for deep-sea work.
The Sea Lion dropped down when Jimmie gave the signal, and he was soon
in the water chamber, where he found Frank in sea dress. The two were
out of the water in a short time, with the chamber empty again.
"What did you do that for?" asked Jimmie, as soon as the helmets were
"Do what?" asked Frank, with a smile.
"Drop down and wait for me in the water chamber."
"Did you notice the color of the water?" asked Frank.
"Yes, down there, but up here--say," he added, "the blood of that
champion sea serpent never got to the surface, did it?"
"Just enough of it to cause me to think a shark was making a meal down
there," replied Frank.
Jimmie told the story of the encounter, laughing at the peril which
was past, but Frank looked grave.
"We'll have to be more careful how we wander about on the bottom of
the sea," he said. "It was just luck that brought you out alive. You
might wound a serpent a hundred times with that steel bar and never
again strike a vital spot."
"Then," Jimmie laughed, "when we get back to New York you put in a
claim for a Carnegie medal for me! It would look fine on the front of
me hat." "I'll have Ned make you a medal out of a fish's fin," laughed
"All right!" cried Jimmie. "It will be all right, just so it is a
Then Jimmie told of what he had seen in the vicinity of the Shark, and
Frank complimented him on his courage and good judgment in keeping
down until he had secured the desired information.
"We know now,' he said, "that the Shark people are communicating with
the shore. Perhaps Ned and Jack will learn just what they are doing
there. If they do, we shall know just what course to pursue."
"What's the answer?" asked the little fellow.
"Why, if the Shark people dispose of the documents--if there were any
documents in the plunder--we'll have to chase after the men who take
them. The gold doesn't count."
"Yes," laughed Jimmie, "and I suppose we'll leave the Sea Lion and go
over the mountains in an open boat! I'm goin' to stick to the little
old Sea Lion."
"Well," Frank remarked, after a short wait, "we must get back to the
spot where Ned left us."
"Never thought of that!" Jimmie cried. "He may be yelling his head off
because he can't come on board."
The boys lost no time in getting back to the first position, and then
lifted to the surface. The conning tower, as before, was out of sight
of anyone on the bay, the point of land intervening.
As the time passed the boys became anxious about Ned and Jack. They
might have returned while the Sea Lion was away, they thought, and
gone into the interior thinking that some accident had happened to the
"Anyway," Jimmie declared, "Ned told us to move along as my line gave
out, and he must know that we'd come back to pick him up."
While the lads speculated on the possible outcome of the visit to the
shore there came a sharp collision which keeled the Sea Lion over to
port. Both were active in an instant.
"That's the Shark!" exclaimed Jimmie.
"It must be," Frank agreed.
Jimmie hastened to the stern and looked out of the plate glass panel
"What do you see?" asked Frank, nervously.
"It is the Shark, all right," was the reply, "and she is backing off.
She may be going to ram us."
"Then it's us for the bottom," cried Frank.
"Why the bottom?" asked Jimmie.
Frank did not answer for a moment. He was still standing back of the
little fellow and looking over his shoulder, out of the glass panel.
"Because," he said, "the Shark takes chances in bumping us at a
considerable depth. She is higher than we are, and her prow sits a
great deal above our vulnerable parts. If she strikes us when we are
nestling on the bottom, her blow will glance off."
"If she knows it, then," Jimmie said, "she won't follow us down. What
will she do?"
"Chase herself off."
"I hope so!" cried Jimmie.
"It beats the Old Scratch why Ned and Jack don't come," Frank said,
presently. "I'm afraid something has happened to them."
"There is no use of their staying ashore," Jimmie said, "for I found
out what Ned wanted to know. He asked me to find out if the Shark
communicated with the shore, and I did it. He ought to know I wouldn't
fall down on a little thing like that," the boy added, with a grin.
"I'm the only original snake charmer!"
While this sharp exchange of ideas had been going on, Frank had been
working the various levers which controlled the altitude of the
submarine, and the gauge showed that she was close to the bottom as
the last word was spoken.
Jimmie turned away from the panel and caught hold of a railing which
ran along in front.
"Look out for the bumps!" he cried!
Then there came a shock which threw both boys off their feet. The
staunch craft shivered for an instant, then righted, swaying just a
little under the heavy pressure of the depth she was in.
Frank sprang to the delicate machinery which controlled the air supply
and the lights. No harm seemed to have been done to them.
"The Shark can't do that again!" Jimmie said, with a sigh of relief.
"We're on the bottom now, and her prow would slip over our back. The
only mischief she would do would be to knock off our conning tower,
and that would not disable us."
"Can you see her now?" asked Frank.
"Sure," replied the boy. "Her lights are on."
"What is she doing?"
"Rolling on the bottom. Say, 'bo, I believe she hurt herself when she
tried to soak us."
The ex-newsboy moved away from the panel and Frank took his place as
"She's crippled, all right," the latter said, after a moment's
inspection of their rival, "but I can't see what's the matter."
"Course you can't. The hurt's on the inside."
"Anyway, she doesn't seem to be able to move. I know she is trying to
get off by the way the water changes around her stern."
"Bump her!" advised Jimmie.
"I reckon that would settle her," Frank replied, "but I'm not in the
pirate business just now."
The boys watched the Shark for half an hour or more, and then saw her
move slowly away.
"She's going toward Hongkong," Frank said, "and we may as well bid her
"Not!" exclaimed Jimmie. "We've got to follow her."
"And leave Ned and Jack?"
Jimmie's jaw fell. This was something he had not thought of. The boys
were still on the island--might be in great peril.
"Well, jump up to the surface," the lad said, then, "and I'll go to
the island and see what's up."
"Fine chance you'd stand!" laughed Frank.
"Bet I can go ashore an' find a Boy Scout!" returned Jimmie. "We've
found 'em in every part of the world."
The Shark was still in view, her lights creating faint mists under the
water, but the boys did not consider her a formidable opponent now, so
they lifted to the top of the ocean.
Jimmie was first out on the conning tower. The sun was still shining
brightly and the water lay as quiet as the surface of a pond on a
When the boy turned to the white line of sand at the rim of the sea he
saw Ned and Jack standing there with two others. He waved his hat and
Jack swung back from where he stood.
"Guess they've found some one worth talking with," Frank remarked,
stepping up on the conning tower.
"Guess they have," responded Jimmie, "but there's some one creeping up
to 'em from the thicket," he added, lifting his glasses. "Look out,
boys!" he shouted, waving one hand frantically. "Look out! There's
some one makin' a sneak on you!"
"They don't catch what you say!" Frank exclaimed. "Look there!"