Part 1 out of 4
TOM SWIFT AND HIS UNDERSEA SEARCH
The Treasure on the Floor of the Atlantic
I UNTOLD MILLIONS
II A STRANGE OFFER
III THINKING IT OVER
IV AGAINST HIS WILL
V BUSY DAYS
VI MARY'S ODD STORY
VII THE TRIAL TRIP
VIII THE MUD BANK
IX READY TO START
X STARTLING REVELATIONS
XI BARTON KEITH'S STORY
XII IN DEEP WATERS
XIII THE SEA MONSTER
XIV IN STRANGE PERIL
XV TOM TO THE RESCUE
XVI GASPING FOR AIR
XVII WHERE IS IT?
XVIII A SEPARATION
XIX THE SERPENT WEED
XX THE DEVIL FISH
XXI A WAR REMINDER
XXII STUDYING CURRENTS
XXIII AN UNDERSEA COLLISION
XXIV THE TREASURE SHIP
XXV THE STEEL BOX
TOM SWIFT AND HIS UNDERSEA SEARCH
"Tom, this is certainly wonderful reading! Over a hundred
million dollars' worth of silver at the bottom of the ocean! More
than two hundred million dollars in gold! To say nothing of fifty
millions in copper, ten millions in--"
"Say, hold on there, Ned! Hold on! Where do you get that stuff;
as the boys say? Has something gone wrong with one of the adding
machines, or is it just on account of the heat? What's the big
idea, anyhow? How many millions did you say?" and Tom Swift, the
talented young inventor, looked at Ned Newton, his financial
manager, with a quizzical smile.
"It's all right, Tom! It's all right!" declared Ned, and it
needed but a glance to show that he was more serious than was his
companion. "I'm not suffering from the heat, though the
thermometer is getting close to ninety-five in the shade. And if
you want to know where I get 'that stuff' read this!"
He tossed over to his chum, employer, and friend--for Tom Swift
assumed all three relations toward Ned Newton--part of a Sunday
newspaper. It was turned to a page containing a big illustration
of a diver attired in the usual rubber suit and big helmet,
moving about on the floor of the ocean and digging out boxes of
what was supposed to be gold from a sunken wreck.
"Oh, that stuff!" exclaimed Tom, with a smile of disbelief as
he saw the source of Ned's information. "Seems to me I've read
something like that before, Ned!"
"Of course you have!" agreed the young financial manager of the
newly organized Swift Construction Company. "It isn't anything
new. This wealth of untold millions has been at the bottom of the
sea for many years--always increasing with nobody ever spending a
cent of it. And since the Great War this wealth has been
enormously added to because of the sinking of so many ships by
"Well, what's that got to do with us, Ned?" asked Tom, as he
looked over some blue prints and other papers on his desk, for
the talk was taking place in his office. "You and I did our part
in the war, but I don't see what all this undersea wealth has to
do with us. We've got our work cut out for us if we take care of
all the new contracts that came in this week."
"Yes, I know," admitted Ned. "But I couldn't help calling your
attention to this article, Tom. It's authentic!"
"Authentic? What do you mean
"Well, the man who wrote it went to the trouble of getting from
the ship insurance companies a list of all the wrecks and lost
vessels carrying gold and silver coin, bullion, and other
valuables. He has gone back a hundred years, and he brings it
right down to just before the war. Hasn't had time to compile
that list, the article says. But without counting the vessels the
Germans sank, there is, in various places on the bottom of the
ocean today, wrecks of ships that carried, when they went down,
gold, silver, copper and other metals to the value of at least
ten billions of dollars!"
Tom Swift did not seem to be at all surprised by the explosive
emphasis with which Ned Newton conveyed this information. He
gazed calmly at his friend and manager, and then handed the paper
"I haven't time to look at it now," said Tom. "But is there
anything new in the story? I mean has any of the wealth been
recovered lately--or is it in a way to be?"
"Yes!" exclaimed Ned. "It is! A company has been formed in
Japan for the purpose of using a new kind of diving bell,
invented by an American, it seems. The inventor claims that in
his machine he can go down deeper than ever man went before, and
bring up a lot of this lost ocean wealth."
"Well, every so often an inventor, or some one who calls
himself that, crops up with a new proposal for cleaning up the
untold millions on the floor of the Atlantic or the Pacific,"
replied Tom. "Mind you, I'm not saying it isn't there. Everybody
knows that hundreds of ships carrying gold and silver have gone
down in storms or been sunk in war. And some of the gold and
silver has been recovered by divers--I admit that. In fact, if
you recall, my father and I perfected a new style diving dress a
few years ago that was successfully used in getting down to a
wreck off the Cuban coast. A treasure ship went down there, and I
believe they recovered a large part of the gold bullion--or
perhaps it was silver.
"But this diving bell stunt isn't new, and it hasn't been
successful. Of course a man can go down to a greater depth in a
thick iron diving bell than he can in a diving suit. That's
common knowledge. But the trouble with a diving bell is that it
can't be moved about as a man can move about in a diving suit.
The man in the bell can't get inside the wreck, and it's there
where the gold or silver is usually to be found."
"Can't they blow the wreck apart with dynamite, and scatter the
gold on the bottom of the ocean?" asked Ned.
"Yes, they could do that, but usually they scatter it so far,
and the ocean currents so cover it with sand, that it is
impossible ever to get it again. I admit that if a wreck is blown
apart a man in a diving bell can perhaps get a small part of it.
But the limitations of a diving bell are so well recognized that
several inventors have tried adjusting movable arms to the bell,
to be operated by the man inside."
"Did they work?" asked Ned.
"After a fashion, yes. But I never heard of any case where the
gold and silver recovered paid for the expenses of making the
bell and sending men down in it. For it takes the same sort of
outfit to aid the man in the diving bell as it does the diver in
his usual rubber or steel suit. Air has to be pumped to him, and
he has to be lowered and raised."
"Well, isn't there any way of getting at this gold on the floor
of the ocean?" asked Ned, his enthusiasm a little cooled by the
practical "cold water" Tom had thrown.
"Oh, yes, of course there is, in a way," was the answer of the
young inventor. "Don't you remember how my father and I, with Mr.
Damon and Captain Weston, went in our submarine, the Advance, and
discovered the wreck of the Boldero?"
"I do recall that," admitted Ned.
"Well," resumed Tom, "there was a case of showing how much
trouble we had. An ordinary diving outfit never would have
answered. We had to locate the wreck, and a hard time we had
doing it. Then, when we found it, we had to ram the old ship and
blow it apart before we could get inside. Even after that we just
happened to discover the gold, as it were. I'm only mentioning
this to show you it isn't so easy to get at the wealth under the
sea as writers in Sunday newspaper supplements think it is."
"I believe you, Tom. And yet it seems a shame to have all those
millions going to waste, doesn't it?" And Ned spoke as a banker
and financial man, who is not happy unless money is earning
interest all the while.
"Well, a billion of dollars is a lot," Tom admitted. "And when
you think of all that have been sunk, say even in the last
hundred years, it amazes one. But still, all the gold and silver
was hidden in the earth before it was dug out, and now it's only
gone back where it came from, in a way. We got along before men
dug it out and coined it into money, and I guess we'll get along
when it's under water. No use worrying over the ocean treasures,
as far as I'm concerned."
"You're a hopeless proposition!" laughed Ned. "You'd never make
a banker, or a Napoleon of finance."
"That's why my father and I got you to look after our financial
affairs," and Tom smiled. "You're just the one--with your
interest-bearing mind--to keep us off the shoals of business
"Yes, I suppose I can do that, while you and your father go on
inventing giant cannons, great searchlights, submarines, and
airships," conceded Ned. "But this, to me, did look like an easy
way of making money."
"How's that, Ned?" asked Tom, a new note coming into his voice.
"Were you thinking of going to Japan and taking a hand in the
"No. But stock in this company is being sold, and shareholders
stand to win big returns--if the wrecks are come upon."
"That's just it!" exclaimed Tom. "If they find the wrecks! And
let me tell you, Ned, that there's a mighty big 'if' in it all.
Do you realize how hard it is to find anything on the ocean, to
say nothing of something under it?"
"I hadn't thought of it."
"Well, you'd better think of it. You know on the ocean sailors
have to locate a certain imaginary position by calculation, using
the sun and stars as guides. Of course, they have navigation down
pretty fine, and a good pilot can get to a place on the surface
of the ocean and meet another craft there almost as well as you
and I can make an appointment to meet at Main and Broad streets
at a certain hour.
"But lots of times there are errors in calculations or a storm
comes up hiding the sun and stars, and, instead of a captain
getting to where he wants to, he's anywhere from one to a hundred
miles out. Now the location of Broad and Main Streets doesn't
change even in a storm.
"And I'm not saying that a location on an ocean changes. I'm
only saying that the least disturbance or error in calculation
makes it almost impossible to find the exact spot. And if it's
that hard on the surface, where you can see what you're doing,
how much harder is it in regard to something on the bottom of the
sea? So don't take any stock in these ocean treasure recovering
companies. They may not be fakes, but they're mighty uncertain."
"Oh, I don't know that I was really going to buy any stock in
this Japanese concern, Tom. I only thought it would be
interesting to think about. And perhaps you might sell them a
submarine or some of your diving apparatus."
"Nothing doing, Ned. We've got other plans, my father and I.
There's that new tractor for use in the big wheat-growing belt,
to say nothing of--"
Tom's remarks were interrupted by voices outside his office
door. One voice, in particular, rose above the others. It said:
"No can go in! The Master he am busily! No can go in!"
"Nonsense, Koku!" exclaimed a man, and at the sound of his
voice Tom and Ned smiled. "Nonsense! Of course I can go in! Why,
bless my watch fob, I must go in! I've got the greatest
proposition to lay before Tom Swift that he ever heard of!
There's at least a million in it! Let me pass, Koku!"
"Mr. Damon!" murmured Tom Swift. "I wonder what he has on his
As he spoke the door opened rather violently and a short, stout
man, evidently much excited, fairly burst into the room,
followed, more sedately, by a stranger.
A STRANGE OFFER
"Hello, Tom Swift! Hello, Ned! Glad to see you both! Busy, as
usual, I'll wager. Bless my check book! I never saw you when you
weren't busy at some scheme or other, Tom, my boy. But I won't
take up much of your time. Tom Swift, let me introduce my friend,
Mr. Dixwell Hardley. Mr. Hardley, shake hands with Tom Swift, one
of the youngest, and yet one of the greatest, inventors in the
world! I've told you a little about him, but it would take me all
day to tell you what he really has done and--"
"Hold on, Mr. Damon!" laughed Tom, as he shook hands with the
man whom Mr. Damon had named Dixwell Hardley. "Hold on, if you
please. There's a limit to it, you know, and already you've said
enough about me to--"
"Bless my ink bottle, Tom, I haven't said half enough!"
interrupted the little, eccentric man. "Wait until you hear what
he has done, Mr. Hardley. Then, if you don't say he's the very
chap for your wonderful scheme, I'm mighty much mistaken! And
shake hands with Ned Newton, too. He's Tom's financial manager,
and of course he'll have something to say. Though when he hears
how you are going to turn over a couple of million dollars or
more, why, I know he'll be on our side."
Ned's eyes sparkled at the mention of the money. In truth he
dealt in dollars and cents for the benefit of Tom Swift. Ned
shook hands with Mr. Hardley and Tom motioned Mr. Damon and his
friend to chairs.
"Now, Tom," went on the strange little man, "I know you're
busy. Bless my adding machine, I never saw you when--"
At that moment there arose in the corridor outside Tom's
private office a discord of voices, in which one could be heard
"Now yo' clear out oh heah! Massa Tom done tole me to sweep
dish yeah place, an' ef yo' doan let me alone, why--why--"
"Huh! Radicate him big stiff--dat's what! Big stiff! Too stiff
for sweep Master's floor. Koku sweep one hand!"
"Oh, yo' t'ink 'case yo' is sich a big giant, yo' kin git de
best ob ole black Rad! But I'll show yo' dat--"
"Excuse me a moment," said Tom, with a smile to his guests as
he arose. "Eradicate and Koku are at it again, I'm sorry to say.
I'll have to go out and arbitrate the strike," and he left the
While he is settling the differences between his faithful old
black servant and Koku, the giant, I will take the opportunity of
telling my new readers something about Tom Swift.
Those who are familiar with the previous books of this series
may skip this part. But it will give my new audience a better
insight into this story if they will bear with me a moment and
peruse these few lines.
As related in the first book, "Tom Swift and His Motor Cycle,"
the hero seemed born an inventive genius. It was this inventive
faculty which enabled him to take the motor cycle that tried to
climb a tree with Mr. Wakefield Damon on it and make the wreck
into a serviceable bit of mechanism. Thus Tom became acquainted
with Mr. Damon, who among other eccentricities, was always
"blessing" something personal.
Tom Swift lived in the city of Shopton with his father and
their faithful housekeeper, Mrs. Baggert. It was so named because
the Swift shops were an important industry there. Tom's father,
as well as Tom himself, was an inventor of note, and employed
many men in building machines of various kinds. During the Great
War the services of Tom and his father had been dedicated to the
There are a number of books dealing with Tom's activities, the
list of titles of which may be found at the beginning of this
Sufficient to say here, that Tom invented and operated motor
boats, airships, and submarines. In addition he traveled on many
expeditions with Mr. Damon, Ned, and others. He went among the
diamond makers and it was when he escaped from captivity that he
managed to bring away Koku, the giant, with him. Since then Koku
and Eradicate Sampson, the faithful colored man, had periodic
quarrels as to who should serve the young inventor.
Besides inventing and using many machines of motive power, Tom
Swift engaged in other industries. He helped dig a big tunnel, he
constructed a photo-telephone, a great searchlight and a monster
cannon. Occasionally he had searched for treasure, once under
the sea, with considerable success.
Of late his and his father's industries had become so important
that a number of new buildings had been constructed and the plant
greatly enlarged. Ned Newton, who had once worked in a Shopton
bank, became financial manager for Tom and his father, and plenty
of work he found with which to occupy himself.
Just prior to the opening of this story Tom had perfected a
noiseless aeroplane--or one so nearly silent as to justify the
name. The details of it will be found in the book called "Tom
Swift and His Air Scout." In this mechanism of the air Tom had
had some wonderful experiences, and they had not been at home
more than a few weeks when New Newton broached the subject of
The talk of Tom and his financial manager was interrupted by
the arrival of Mr. Damon and the stranger he had introduced as
Eradicate, or "Rad," and Koku, have been mentioned. Rad was an
ancient colored man who once owned a mule named Boomerang.
Sampson was the colored servant's last name, and he declared he
had chosen the one "Eradicate" because in his younger days he was
a great cleaner and whitewasher, "eradicating" the dirt, so to
Boomerang had, some time since, gone where all good mules go,
though Eradicate declared he would get another and call him
Boomerang II. But, so far, he had not done so.
Rad, though too old to do heavy work, still believed he was
indispensable to the welfare of Tom and his father; and as the
giant Koku, who was physically an immense man, held the same
view, it followed there were frequent clashes between the two, as
on the occasion just mentioned.
"What was the matter, Tom?" asked Ned, when the young inventor
came back into the room.
"Oh, the same old story," replied Tom. "Rad wanted to sweep the
hall, and Koku insisted he was to do it."
"What'd you do, Tom?" asked Mr. Damon.
"I settled it by having Rad sweep this hall and sending Koku to
do another--a bigger one I told him. He likes hard work, so he
was pleased. Now we'll have it quiet for a little while. Did I
understand you to say, Mr. Damon, that--er--Mr. Hardley I believe
the name is--had a proposition to make to me
"That's exactly it, my dear Mr. Swift!" broke in the man in
question. "I have a wonderful offer to make you, and I'm sure you
will admit that it will be well worth your while to consider and
accept it. There will be at least a million in it--"
"Bless my check book, I thought you said several millions!"
exclaimed Mr. Damon.
"So I did," was the rather nettled answer. "I was about to say,
Mr. Damon, that there will be at least a million in it for Mr.
Swift, and another million for myself. There may be more, but I
want to be conservative."
"Talking in millions, and calling himself conservative," mused
Ned Newton. "Somehow or other I don't just cotton to this
"When our mutual friend, Mr. Damon, told me about you, my dear
Mr. Swift," went on Mr. Hardley, "I at once came to the
conclusion that you were the very man I wanted to do business
with. I'm sure it will be to our mutual advantage."
Tom Swift said nothing. He was willing to let the other talk,
while he waited to see how far he would go. And, as Tom said
afterward, he, as had Ned, took an instinctive dislike to Mr.
Hardley. He could not say definitely what it was, but that was
his feeling. That he might be mistaken, he admitted frankly. Time
alone could tell.
"Have you a half hour to give me while it explain matters?"
asked Mr. Hardley. "I may go farther and say I need considerable
time to go into all the details. May I speak now?"
To tell the truth Tom Swift had many important matters to
consider, and, in addition, Ned Newton was prepared to go over
some financial ends of the business with Tom. But the young
inventor felt that, in justice to his friend Mr. Damon, who had
brought Mr. Hardley, he could do no less than give the stranger a
hearing. But only the introduction by Mr. Damon brought this
"I shall be glad to hear what you have to say, Mr. Hardley,"
said Tom, as courteously as he could. "I will not go so far as to
say that my time is unlimited, but I will listen to you now if
you care to go into details."
"That's good!" exclaimed the visitor. "I'm sure that when you
have listened you will agree with me."
"He's a little bit too sure!" mused Ned.
"Bless my pocketbook, Tom, but there are millions in it!"
exclaimed Mr. Damon. "Literally millions, Tom!"
Mr. Hardley settled himself comfortably in his chair and looked
from Tom to Ned.
"May I speak freely here?" he asked, with obvious intent.
"You may," the young inventor answered. "Mr. Newton is my
financial manager, and I do nothing of importance without
consulting him. You may regard him as a member of the firm, in
fact, as he does own some stock. My father is practically
retired, and I do not trouble him with unimportant details. So
Mr. Newton and I are prepared to listen to you."
"Very well, Mr. Swift, I'm going to ask you a question. Have
you all the money you want?"
"I suppose any man would answer that question in the negative,"
he replied. "Frankly, I could use more money, though I am not
"So I have heard. Well, would a million dollars clear profit
appeal to you?"
"It certainly would," was the answer.
"Then I am prepared to offer you that sum," went on Mr.
Hardley. "But there are certain conditions, and I may say that
this vast wealth is not easy to come at. However, with your
inventive genius, I am sure you will be able to solve the mystery
of the sea. Now then as to details. There lies, on the floor of
"Hark!" exclaimed Tom, raising a hand to enjoin silence. "I
think I hear some one coming." At that moment there was a knock
at the door.
THINKING IT OVER
"FATHER, is that you?" asked Tom. "Father hasn't been feeling
well, of late," he said to the assembled company, "and I told him
to go to lie down. But he's hard to manage, and he won't rest
more than ten minutes at a time. My father, I might explain, Mr.
Hardley," Tom went on, "is actively associated with me in
"So I have understood," said the man who had been introduced by
"Dis Koku!" came the guttural voice of the giant from the other
side of the door. "Koku want more work. Hall, him all clean.
Maybe I help dat no-good Rad now."
"No you don't, Koku!" exclaimed the young inventor, with a
laugh. "You keep away from Rad. You'll get to disputing again and
interrupt me, and I have business on hand. Here, wait a minute.
I'll find something for you to do," he went on, opening the door
to disclose the immense man standing outside, a broom in his hand
seeming like a toy.
"Excuse me one moment," went on Tom to his friends. Taking up
his desk telephone he called one of the shops, asking: "Have you
any heavy work on hand this morning; lifting big castings, or
anything like that? You have? Good! I'll send Koku right over."
Turning to the giant who apparently had not paid much attention
to the talk over the wire, Tom said:
"Koku, go over to shop number ten, ask for the foreman, and
he'll keep you busy. There are some five-hundred-pound castings
that need assembling, and you can help him."
"Good!" exclaimed the giant, with a cheerful grin. "Koku like
big work--no like sweep. Good for women and Rad, but not for
"He spoke the truth there," remarked Ned Newton, as the giant
stalked down the hall. "I never saw such a strong man. I'm afraid
to shake hands with him, for fear I'll be minus a couple of
fingers in the operation."
"Well, he's disposed of," remarked Tom, as he closed the door.
"And now, Mr. Hardley, I'm at your service, as far as listening
to your proposition is concerned."
"Thank you. I shall endeavor to be brief," remarked the
visitor. "Am I correct in assuming that you have had some
experience in submarine work? I believe Mr. Damon mentioned
something of that sort."
"Submarine work? Bless my hydrometer, I should say so!"
exclaimed the eccentric man. "And not only in submarine, but in
aeroplane! but you don't need any aeroplanes, my dear Mr.
Hardley. It's the submarine end of it that you are interested in,
as far as Tom Swift is concerned. Now go ahead and tell him what
you told me, and how many millions there are in it."
"Very well," assented the visitor. "Have you ever had any
experience in recovering treasure from sunken wrecks?" he asked
"Yes," was the answer. "And it is curious that you should ask
me that, for my friend here, Ned Newton, and I were just talking
about that very matter. Here's what brought it up," and Tom
showed the page from the Sunday paper.
"Hum! Yes!" musingly remarked Mr. Hardley. "That's all very
well. Part of it is true; but I imagine most of it is the work of
imagination of some enterprising reporter. Of course there is no
question but that there are untold millions on the bottom of the
ocean. The only trouble, as I think you will agree with me, Mr.
Swift, is in coming at the money."
"Exactly," said Tom.
"And will you bear me out when I say that if the wreck of a
treasure ship could be exactly located in water that is not too
deep, half the trouble would be solved?" asked Mr. Hardley.
"A good share of it would," answered Tom. "That is usually the
chief difficulty--locating the wreck. Nearly always they are
anywhere from one to five miles from where the persons seeking
them think they are. And five miles, or even half a mile, is a
good distance on the bottom of the ocean."
"Exactly," echoed Mr. Hardley. "Then if I could give you the
exact location of a sunken treasure ship, and prove to you that
the owners had given up the search for it, leaving it open to
salvage on the part of whoever wished to try--would that be any
inducement to you to make an attempt, Mr. Swift?"
"I should want to hear more about it before I gave an answer,"
replied Tom. "As perhaps Mr. Damon has told you, I once went on a
hunt for treasure in my submarine. We found it, but only after
considerable trouble, and then I declared I'd never again engage
in such a search. There wasn't enough net profit in it."
"But there are millions in this, Tom! Bless my gold tooth, but
there are millions!" cried the excitable Mr. Damon. "Hurry up and
tell him!" he urged his friend.
"I will," assented Mr. Hardley. "I can readily believe," he
went on, "that the cost of hunting for undersea treasure is
great. I have taken that into consideration. Now, in brief, my
plan is this. I will join forces with you, and bear half the
expense if I am allowed to share half the proceeds. That's fair,
isn't it?" he asked Tom.
"So far, yes," replied the young inventor.
"Now then, to business!" exclaimed the visitor. "Will you join
with me in searching for some of the wealth-laden wrecks that are
rotting at the bottom of the sea, Mr. Swift?"
"Do you mean make an indiscriminate search for any one of a
number of wrecks?" Tom wanted to know.
"I should want the understanding broad enough to include all
wrecks we might discover," was the answer, "but I have in mind
one in particular now. It is the wreck of the steamer Pandora
which was sunk off the coast of one of the West Indian Islands
about a year ago."
Ned Newton quickly caught up the page of the Sunday supplement
and scanned the list of wrecks given there.
"No mention of the Pandora here," he said.
"No," agreed Mr. Hardley, "the story of this wreck is not
generally known, and the story of the treasure she carried is
hardly known at all. As a matter of fact, this money, mostly in
gold, was to finance a South American revolution, and such
matters are generally kept quiet. That is why nothing much
appeared in the papers about the Pandora. But I happen to know
that she carried over two million dollars in gold, and I know--"
"Think of that, Tom! Think of that!" cried Mr. Damon. "Two
million dollars in gold! Why bless my--bless my--"
But the eccentric man could think of nothing adequate to bless
under the circumstances, and he subsided with a murmur.
"Excuse me for interrupting you," he said to his new friend.
"But I just couldn't help it."
"That's all right," Mr. Hardley remarked, with a smile that
showed two rows of very even, white teeth. "I don't blame you for
getting excited. Does that interest you?" he asked Tom. "Two
million dollars in gold, besides a quantity of silver --just how
much I don't know."
"It certainly sounds interesting," replied Tom, with a smile.
"But are you sure of your facts?"
"Absolutely," was the answer. "I was a passenger on the Pandora
when she was wrecked in a storm. I saw the gold put on board. It
was not taken off, and is on her now as she lies at the bottom of
"And the location?" queried Tom.
"I know that, too!" said Mr. Hardley eagerly. "I was with the
captain just before we had to abandon ship, and I heard the exact
nautical location given him by an officer who made the
calculation. I have it written down to the second--latitude and
longitude. That will be a help in locating the wreck, won't it?"
"Why, yes," Tom had to agree, "it will be. but if you know it,
then the captain and others must know it. And what is to prevent
them from making a search for the Pandora if they have not
already done so
"The best reason in the world," was the answer. "The boat
containing the captain and the officer who gave him the ship's
position was sunk, and all on board lost. The boat I was in was
the only one picked up, and I believe I am the only one who knows
exactly where the Pandora lies.
"Now, here is my offer, Mr. Swift," went on the seeker after
the ocean's hidden wealth. "I will bear half the expense of
fitting out a submarine, or for any other kind of expedition to
go in search of the wreck of the Pandora. I will furnish you with
the exact nautical location, as I have it. And when the wealth is
found and brought to the surface, I will give you half--in other
words at least a million dollars! Does that appeal to you?"
"I must say it is a fair, though perhaps strange, offer,"
conceded Tom. "And a million dollars is not made every day nor
every year. But what about the title to this money? After we have
recovered it--provided we are successful--will not some person or
some government lay claim to it?"
"None can successfully," declared Mr. Hardley. "As I told you,
the money was to finance a revolution. It was raised for an
unlawful purpose, so to speak, and no one has a valid claim to it
under the circumstances, so lawyers whom I have consulted have
told me. But if that is not enough, I have papers to prove that
those who might be called the owners have given up the search for
it. More than a year has elapsed, and though I don't know just
how long it takes to outlaw an under-ocean claim, I feel sure
that we would have a legal and moral right to take this gold if
we could find it."
"I should want to be satisfied on that point before I undertook
the search," said Tom.
"Then you will undertake it?" eagerly exclaimed Mr. Hardley.
"I will think it over," Tom answered quietly--so quietly that
distinct disappointment showed on the face of the visitor.
AGAINST HIS WILL
For a moment it seemed that Mr. Damon, as well as Mr. Hardley,
felt disappointment at Tom's answer, for the eccentric man
"Bless my leather belt, Tom, but you aren't very keen on making
a million dollars!"
"Oh, yes, I like to make money," the young inventor answered.
"I guess you know that, as well as any one, for you've been with
me on several trips. And I don't mind hard work, nor danger."
"I'll say you don't!" added Ned, as he thought of some of Tom's
perilous voyages, among the diamond makers and in the caves of
"Well, if you are anxious to make money, as I admit I am," said
Mr. Hardley, "why can't you give me an answer now?"
"Because," answered Tom, "there are many things to be
considered. Hunting for a treasure on the floor of the Atlantic
isn't like going to some location on land, however wild or
inaccessible it might be. Do you realize, Mr. Hardley, what a
large difference in miles a small error in nautical calculations
makes? We might go to the exact spot where you thought the wreck
of the Pandora lies, only to find that we would have to hunt
around a long time.
"I must think of that, and also think of my other business
affairs. Then, too, there is my father. He is getting old, and
while he is still active in the affairs of the company,
particularly when it comes to taking up new lines of work, I do
not like to think of leaving him, as I should have to, in case I
went on this trip."
"Take him along!" exclaimed Mr. Damon. "He's gone with us
"He's too old now," said the young inventor a bit sadly.
"Father will never make another extended trip. But I will let you
have my answer as soon as I can, Mr. Hardley, and I will give the
matter considerable thought."
"I'm sure I hope you will, and also that you will consent to
go," was the answer. "A million is not easily to be come at in
these days after the Great War."
"I realize that," agreed Tom with a smile. "And you shall have
my answer as soon as possible."
With this the visitor was forced to be content, and a little
later he withdrew with Mr. Damon, the latter telling Tom that he
would see him. again soon.
"Well, that was queer, wasn't it?" remarked Ned, when he and
Tom were alone again.
"What was?" asked Tom, as though his mind was far away, as
indeed it was.
"That this man should come in with his project to search for a
sunken treasure wreck just as we were talking about how many
millions were on the bottom of the ocean."
"Yes, it was quite a coincidence," Tom admitted.
"What do you think of it--and him?" asked Ned.
"Well, to tell you the truth, I didn't take a great fancy to
Mr. Hardley," Tom said. "I think he's altogether too cocksure,
and takes too much for granted. Still I may misjudge him.
Certainly he doesn't have a chance at a million dollars every
"Do you think you could get the treasure out of this wreck,
Tom, if you could locate her?"
"Why, it's possible; yes. We proved that with the Boldero."
"Would you use the same submarine?"
"No, I think I'd have to rebuild it, or make an altogether new
one. Possibly I might get one of Uncle Sam's and add some
improvements of my own."
"Yes, you could do that," agreed Ned. "You've done so much for
the government that it couldn't refuse you something reasonable,
now that the war is over. Then do you think you'll go?"
"Really, Ned, I can't make up my mind yet. Now let's forget the
Pandora and all the millions and get down to business. This
Criterion company seems to me to want altogether too much, We'll
have to trim their request down a bit. They owe the money and
ought to pay it."
"Yes, I'll get after them," said Ned, and then he and his chum,
as well as employer, plunged into a mass of business details.
It was the next afternoon, when Tom, following a strenuous
morning of work, leaned back in his chair at his desk, that Mr.
Damon was announced.
"Tell him to come in," ordered Tom, always glad to see his
friend. "Wait a minute, though!" he called to the messenger. "Is
any one with him?"
"No, sir; he is alone."
"Good! Then show him right in. I was afraid," said Tom to Ned,
who was also in the office, "that he had Hardley with him. I'm
not quite ready to see him yet."
"Then you haven't made up your mind about going for the
"Not exactly. I shall, perhaps, this week."
"Bless my matchbox, Tom, but I'm glad to see you!" cried Mr.
Damon, as he hastened forward with outstretched hand. "I was
afraid you might be out. Now look here! What about my friend
Hardley? He's very anxious to know your decision about going for
that treasure, and I said I'd come over and sound you. I don't
mind saying, Tom, that if you go I'm going too; if you'll take
me, of course."
"Well, Mr. Damon, you know you'll always be welcome, as far as
I am concerned," said the young inventor; "but, as a matter of
fact, I don't believe I'm going."
"What? Not going to pick up a million dollars off the floor of
the ocean, Tom? Bless my bank balance! but that's foolish, it
seems to me."
"Perhaps it is, but I can't help it."
"What's your principal objection?" asked the eccentric man. "It
isn't that you don't want the money, is it?"
"Then it must be that you object to Mr. Hardley personally."
went on Mr. Damon. "I began to suspect that, Tom, and I want to
say that you are wrong. Mr. Hardley is a friend of mine--a good
friend. I have not known him long, but he strikes me as being all
right. He had some good letters of introduction, and I believe he
"Where'd he get it?" asked Tom.
"I don't know, exactly. Seems to me I heard him mention silver
mines, or it may have been gold. Anyhow, it had something to do
with getting wealth out of the ground. Now, Tom, I don't mind
saying that I stand to make a little money in case this thing
"How's that, Mr. Damon?" asked the young scientist in surprise.
"Why, I agreed to bear part of the expense," was the answer. "I
thought this was a pretty good scheme, and when Mr. Hardley came
to me and told me of the possibilities I agreed to help him
finance the expenses. That is, I have taken shares in the company
he formed to raise his half of the expense money.
"Of course I thought of you at once when he spoke of having to
search out a sunken wreck, and I proposed your name. He'd heard
of you, he said, but didn't know you. So I brought you together
and now--bless my apple pie, Tom! I hope you aren't going to turn
down a chance to make a million and, incidentally, help an old
"Well," remarked Tom, slowly, "I must admit, Mr. Damon, that I
didn't think you'd go into a thing like this. Not that it is more
risky than other schemes, but I thought you didn't care for
"Well, this sort of appealed to me Tom. You know--sunken wreck
under the ocean, down in a diving bell perhaps, and all that!
There's romance to it."
"Yes, there is romance," agreed Tom. "And hard work, too. If I
undertook this it would mean an extra lot of work getting ready.
I suppose I could use my own submarine. I could get her in
commission, and make improvements more quickly than on any
"Then you'll go?" quickly cried the eccentric man.
"Well, since you tell me you are interested financially, I
believe I will," assented Tom, but he spoke reluctantly. "As a
matter of fact, I am going against my better judgment. Not that I
fear we shall be in danger," he hastened to add; "but I think it
will prove a failure. However, as Mr. Hardley will bear half the
expense, and as by using my own submarine that will not be much,
"Then I'll tell him!" exclaimed Mr. Damon. "Hurray! This is
great! I haven't had an exciting trip for a long while! Don't
tell my wife about it," he begged Tom and Ned. "At least not
until just before we start. Then she can't object in time. I'll
have a wonderful experience, I know. This will be good news to
And as Mr. Damon hastened away to acquaint his new friend with
Tom's decision, the young inventor remarked to Ned:
"I'll go; but, somehow, I have a feeling that something will
"Something bad?" asked the financial manager. "No, I wouldn't
go so far as to say that. But I believe we'll have trouble. I'll
start on the search for the sunken millions, but rather against
my better judgment. However, maybe Mr. Damon's luck and good
nature will pull us through!"
ONCE Tom Swift had made up his mind to do a thing he did it--
even though it was against his better judgment. His word, passed,
was his bond.
In conformity then with his decision to take Mr. Damon and the
latter's friend, Mr. Hardley, on an undersea search for treasure,
Tom at once proceeded to make his preparations. Ned, too, had his
work to do, since the decision to make what might be a long trip
would necessitate a change in Tom's plans. But, as in everything
he did, he threw himself into this whole-heartedly and with
Not once did Tom Swift admit to himself that he was going into
this scheme because he thought well of it. It was all for Mr.
Damon, after Tom had learned that his friend had invested
considerable money in a company Mr. Hardley had formed to pay
half the expenses of the trip.
Tom even tried to buy Mr. Damon off, by offering the latter
back all the money the eccentric man had invested with his new
friend. But Mr. Damon exclaimed:
"Bless my gasolene tank, Tom! I'm in this thing as much for the
love of adventure, as I am for the money. Now let's go on with
it. You will like Hardley better when you know him better."
"Perhaps," said Tom dryly, but he did not think so.
The young inventor insisted, before making any preparations for
the trip, that all the cards be laid on the table. That is, he
wanted to be sure there had been such a ship as the Pandora, that
she was laden with gold, and that she had sunk where Mr. Hardley
said she had. The latter was perfectly willing to supply all
needful proofs, even though some were difficult, because of the
nature of the voyage of the treasure craft. As a filibuster she
was not trading openly.
"Here are all the records," said Mr. Hardley to Tom one day,
when the young inventor, Ned, and Mr. Damon were gathered in
Tom's office. "You may satisfy yourself."
And, with Ned's help, Tom did.
There was no question but what the Pandora had sailed from a
certain port on a certain date. The official reports proved that.
And that she did carry a considerable treasure in gold was also
established to the satisfaction of Tom Swift. Because the gold
was to be used for furthering ends against one of the South
American governments, the gold shipment was not insured and, in
consequence, no recovery could be made.
"Then you are satisfied, are you, Mr. Swift, that the ship, set
out with over two millions in gold on board?" asked Mr. Hardley.
"Yes, that seems to be proved," Tom admitted, and Ned nodded.
"The next thing to prove is that she foundered in a storm about
the position I am going to tell you," went on Mr. Damon's friend.
"He doesn't tell you the exact location now, Tom," explained
Mr. Damon, "because it might leak out. He'll disclose it to us as
soon as we are out of sight of land in the submarine."
"I'm willing to agree to that proposition," Tom said. "But I
want to be sure she really did sink."
This was proved to him by official records. There was no
question but that the Pandora had gone down in a big storm. And
Mr. Hardley was on board. He proved that, too, a not very
difficult task, since the official passenger list was open to
Mr. Hardley repeated his story about having overheard the exact
location of the ship a few minutes before she sank, and he also
told of the captain and several members of the ship's company
having been drowned. This, too, was confirmed.
"Then," went on Mr. Hardley, "all that remains for me to do is
to deposit at some bank my half of the expenses and await your
word to go aboard the submarine."
"I believe that is all," returned Tom. "But, on my part, it
will take some little time to fit the submarine out as I want to
have her. There are some special appliances I want to take along
which will aid us in the search for the gold, if we find the
place where the Pandora is sunk."
"Oh, we'll find that all right," declared Mr. Hardley, "if you
will only follow my directions."
Tom looked slightly incredulous, but said nothing.
Then followed busy days. The submarine Advance, which had made
several successful trips, as related in the book bearing the
title, "Tom Swift and His Submarine Boat," was hauled into dry
dock and the work of overhauling her begun. Tom put his best men
to work, and, after a consultation with his father, decided on
some radical changes in the craft.
"Tom, my boy," said the aged Mr. Swift, "I wish you weren't
going on this trip."
"Why, Dad?" asked the young inventor.
"Because I fear something will happen. We don't really need
this money, and suppose--suppose--"
"Oh, I'm not worrying, Dad," was the answer. "I've taken worse
risks than this, many a time. I'm really doing it as a favor to
Mr. Damon. He's got too much money invested to let him lose it.
And we can use a million dollars ourselves. It will enable me to
put in operation a plan to pension our workmen. I've long had
that in mind, but I've never had enough capital to carry it out."
"Well, of course, Tom, that's a worthy object, and I won't make
any further objections. But take my advice, and strengthen the
"Why, Dad?" asked Tom in some surprise. "Because you'll find
the water there of a greater depth than you think," was the
answer. "I know you have the official hydrographic charts, but
there's a mistake, I'm sure. I once made a study of that part of
the ocean, and there are currents there at certain seasons of the
year that no one suspects, and deep caverns that aren't charted.
If the Pandora lies in one of these you'll need a great strength
of walls to your submarine to withstand the pressure of deep
The craft Tom Swift proposed to use in searching for the
treasure ship Pandora was of the regular cigar-shape, but inside
it had many special features. It was more comfortable than the
usual submarine, not being intended for fighting, though it did
carry guns and a torpedo tube. Tom intended renaming the craft,
which had been called Advance, and one day, when there had been
some discussion as to what the undersea craft ought to be called,
"Why don't you name it after her?"
"After whom?" inquired Tom, in some surprise, looking up from a
letter he was writing.
"Your friend and future wife, Mary Nestor," answered Ned. "I'm
sure she'd appreciate it."
"That isn't such a bad idea," conceded Tom musingly. "The only
thing about it is that I don't want Mary's name bandied about
"Use her initials, then," suggested Ned.
"How do you mean
"Why not call it the M. N. 1.? Isn't that a good name?"
"The M. N. 1." mused Tom. "Not so bad. If the N. C. 4 flew over
the ocean the M. N. 1 ought to be able to navigate under it. I
think I'll do that, Ned."
So the Advance, rebuilt and refitted in many ways, was
christened the M. N. 1, and a wonderful craft she proved to be.
Mary Nestor was quite pleased when Tom told her what he had done.
She appreciated the delicate compliment he had paid her.
Busy and more busy were the days that passed. As the M. N. 1
had to be refitted some miles from Tom's home, where it was
feasible to launch her for the trip, he had to make the journey
between the drydock and his shop either by automobile or
aeroplane. Often he choose the latter, since he had a number of
small, speedy craft in his hangars. Sometimes Ned or Mr. Damon
went with him, but Mr. Hardley could never be induced to ride in
"I'll travel on the ocean or under it," he said, "but I'm not
going to take a chance in the air. I'm too afraid of falling."
"Tom, what's this?" asked Ned one day, when he and Tom had come
to see how the work of remodeling the submarine was getting
along. "It looks like something you used when you dug your big
"That's a new kind of diving bell," Tom answered. "You know it
isn't easy to get treasure out of a sunken ship. It isn't like
picking it off the bottom of the ocean. We've got to get it out
from inside--perhaps from inside a strong box or a safe. This
bell may come in useful."
"Can't you use the special diving suits that you always used to
carry?" the financial manager wanted to know.
"We might, if the water isn't too deep," replied Tom. "But you
know there is a limit to how far down a man in even my kind of
diving dress can go. With this diving bell a much greater depth
can be reached. And this diving bell is not like any you have
ever seen or read about. My father gave me the idea for it. I'll
demonstrate it to you some day."
A diving bell is shaped like its name. A common glass tumbler
thrust down into a pail of water, with the open side down, will
show exactly the principle on which a diving bell works. It
illustrates the fact that two things cannot occupy the same place
at the same time.
Pushing the tumbler, open end down, into the pail of water,
leaves a space in the upper end of the tumbler which the water
cannot fill, because it is already occupied with air. Imagine a
big tumbler, made of thick steel, lowered into the water. Air
pumped into the upper part not only keeps the water from
entering, but also enables a man inside to breathe and to move
about inside the bell which may be lowered to the floor of the
ocean. But, as Tom told Ned, his diving bell was a big
improvement over those commonly used.
The two young men inspected the progress made in refitting the
submarine, and Tom expressed himself as satisfied.
"How soon do you think you can start?" asked Ned.
"In about two weeks," was the answer. "I'll want to get to the
West Indies before the fall storms start. Not only will it be
impossible to make a search then, but the very location of the
sunken wreck may be changed."
"How so?" asked Ned.
"Because of undersea currents. They are strong enough, not only
to sweep a wreck away from the place where it may have settled,
but they may cover it with sand, and then it is hopeless to try
to dig it out. So We've got to go soon, if we go at all."
"Well, I'm with you!" exclaimed Ned. "Hello! here's some one
looking for you, I guess," he added, as a boy came hurrying down
to the dock from the temporary office Tom had set up there.
"You're wanted on the telephone, Mr. Swift," said the
messenger. "It's important, too."
"All right. I'll come at once," was the answer. "Hope it isn't
bad news," mused Ned, as his chum hurried on in advance. "Maybe
Hardley has found out he hasn't a right to search for that sunken
gold after all. That would be too bad for Mr. Damon!"
MARY'S ODD STORY
"HELLO! Hello! Yes, this is Tom Swift. What's that? You've had
an accident? Great Scott, Mary! I hope you aren't hurt."
Ned overheard these words as he stood outside the temporary
office, from inside which Tom Swift was telephoning.
"There's been an accident!" thought the financial manager. "I
wonder if I can help?"
He was about to hurry in to offer his services when he heard
Tom laugh, and then he knew it was all right. He heard his chum
"I'll be right over and get you. Just where are you?"
Then followed a period of listening on the part of Tom, to be
broken by the words:
"All right, I'll be right with you. Lucky I have my Air Scout
with me. You aren't afraid to ride in that, are you? No, that's
good! I'll be right over. Ned is here with me, and I'll have him
telephone to your father and mother."
With that Tom hung up the receiver and joined his chum.
"Mary had a slight automobile accident about five miles from
here," Tom told his chum. "Some green driver ran into her and
dished one of her wheels. No one hurt, but she hasn't a spare
wheel and can't navigate. She called me up at the house, not
wishing to alarm her father, and Mrs. Baggert told her you and I
had come down to the dock, so she reached me here. I'll go in the
small aeroplane and get her. Luckily I left it here the last time
I made a trip. Will you call up Mary's home and let them know
she's all right and that I'll soon be home with her? They might
hear an exaggerated account of the accident."
Ned promised to do this, and at once put in a call for the home
of his chum's fiancee, while Tom had one of his men run out the
Air Scout. This was an aeroplane recently perfected by the young
inventor which slipped through space with scarcely a sound. So
silent was it that the craft had been dubbed "Silent Sam," and it
stood Tom in good stead as those of you know who have read the
volume just before the present book. This sky glider Tom would
now use in going to the rescue of Mary Nestor was not, however,
the same large craft that figured in the previous story. That
airship had been given to the United States government for war
purposes. But Tom had built himself a smaller one for his own
use. It had the advantage of enabling him to carry on a
conversation with his passenger when he took one aloft.
About a week before Tom and Ned had flown from Shopton to the
dry dock where the submarine was being reconstructed in this
small airship. Engine trouble had developed after they had
landed, and they had gone back by automobile, leaving the Air
Scout to be repaired. This had been done, and now Tom intended to
use it in going to Mary's rescue.
Now, when the Air Scout had been run out of the hangar, Tom
climbed into it.
"Sorry I can't take you along," he called to Ned, who had
finished telephoning to Mary's home, "but, under the
"Two's company and three's a crowd!" laughed Ned. "I know!"
"No, I didn't mean that," Tom said. "You know Mary likes you,
but this will carry only two."
"I know!" answered his chum. "On your way!"
And with an almost noiseless throb of her engine and a whirr of
her propeller, the aeroplane rolled swiftly over the level
starting ground and took the air like a swan leaving its lake.
Tom did not rise to a great height, as he would need only a few
minutes to reach the place where Mary was stalled by the accident
to her machine. Soon he was hovering over a level field, one of
several that lined the country highways in that section. A small
crowd on the turnpike gathered about an evidently disabled
automobile gave Tom the clew he needed, and presently he made a
landing. Instantly the throng of country people who had gathered
to look at the automobile crash deserted that for a view of
something more sensational--an airship.
Cautioning the boys who gathered about not to "monkey" with any
of the mechanism, Tom hastened over to where Mary was standing
near her car.
"Are you sure you aren't hurt?" he asked her anxiously.
"Oh, yes, very sure," she replied, smiling at him. "It isn't
much of an accident--only one wheel smashed. We were both going
"But it was all my fault!" insisted a young fellow who had been
driving the car that crashed into Mary's. "I'm all kinds of
sorry, and of course I'll pay all damages. I wanted this young
lady to let me drive her home and then send a garage man to tow
her car, but she said she had other plans. I don't blame her for
not wanting to ride in my jitney bus when I see what kind of car
you have," and he looked over toward Tom's aeroplane.
"Thank you, just the same," murmured Mary. "I'm not quite sure
that it was all your fault. But if you will be so good as to send
a man after my machine I'll go back with Mr. Swift. Wait until I
get my bag," she added, and she extracted it from the seat in her
automobile. "There'll be room for this, won't there?" she asked.
"I've been shopping."
"You must have made some large purchases," laughed Tom, looking
critically at the small bag. "Yes, there'll be room for that, all
He made a brief examination of Mary's machine, ascertaining
that the dished wheel was the main damage, and then, having given
the young man who caused the accident directions for the garage
attendant, Tom led his pretty companion across the field to the
Of course a crowd gathered to see them start off, and this was
not long delayed, as Tom was not fond of curiosity seekers. In a
few minutes he and Mary were soaring aloft.
"Well, how are you?" he asked Mary, when they were alone well
above the earth.
"Fine and dandy," she answered, smiling at him, for they were
riding side by side and could converse with little difficulty
owing to the silent running of Tom's latest invention. "I'm sorry
to have called you away from your work," she added, "but when
Mrs. Baggert told me you were at the submarine dock I thought
perhaps you could run out and get me in your machine. I didn't
expect you to fly to me."
"I'm always ready to do that!" exclaimed Tom, as he shot
upward to avoid a bank of low-lying clouds. "Were you frightened
at the crash in the machine?"
"Not greatly. I saw it coming, and knew it was unavoidable.
That chap hasn't been running autos very long, I imagine, and he
lost his head in the emergency. But I had my brakes on and he
just coasted into me. I was lucky in that it wasn't worse."
"I should say so! Do you want to get right home?"
"I think I'd better. Mother and father may be a little worried
about me. And they've had trouble enough of late."
"Trouble!" exclaimed Tom, in a questioning voice. "Anything
"No, just family financial matters. Not ours she hastened to
add, as she saw Tom look quickly at her. "A relative. I shouldn't
have mentioned it, but father and mother are a little worried,
and I don't want to add to it."
"Of course not," agreed Tom. "If there's anything I can do?"
"Oh, I expected you to say that!" laughed Mary. "Thanks. If
there is we'll call on you. But it may all be straightened out.
Father was expecting a message from Uncle Barton today. So,
though I'd like to take a cloud-ride with you, I think I'd better
"All right," agreed Tom. "I told Ned to telephone that you were
all right, so they won't worry. And now try to enjoy yourself."
"I'll try," promised Mary, but it was obvious, even from the
quick glances Tom gave her, that she was worried about something.
Mary was not her usual, spontaneous, jolly self, and Tom realized
"Well, here we are!" he announced a little later, as they
soared above a level field not far from her home. "Sorry I can't
let you down right on your roof, but it isn't flat enough nor big
"Oh, I don't mind a little walk, especially as I didn't have to
hike it all the way in from Bailey Corners," she said, referring
to the place of the automobile accident. "I suppose the time will
come when everybody who now has an auto will have an airship and
a landing place, or a starting place, for it at his own door,"
"Either that, or else we'll have airships so compact that they
can set off and land in as small a space as an auto now
requires," said Tom. "The latter would be the best solution, as
one great disadvantage of airships now is the manner of starting
and stopping. It's too big."
Tom left his Air Scout in a field owned by Mr. Nestor, where he
had often landed before, and walked up to the house with Mary.
"Oh, I'm glad you're back!" exclaimed Mrs. Nestor, when she saw
the two coming up the steps.
"You weren't worried, were you, after Ned telephoned?" asked
"Not exactly worried, but I thought perhaps he was making light
of it. Do tell me what happened, Mary!"
Thereupon the girl related all the circumstances of the smash,
and Tom added his share of the story.
"Did father hear anything from Uncle Barton?" asked Mary, after
her mother's curiosity had been satisfied.
"Yes," was the answer, in rather despondent tones, "he did, but
the news was not encouraging. The papers cannot be found."
"It's mother's brother we're talking about," Mary explained to
Tom. "Barton Keith in his name. Perhaps you remember him?"
"I've heard you speak of him," Tom admitted.
"Well," resumed Mary, "Uncle Barton is in a. peck of trouble.
He was once very rich, and he invested heavily in oil lands, in
Oklahoma, I believe."
"No, in Texas," corrected Mrs. Nestor.
"Yes, it was Texas," agreed Mary. "Well he bought, or got,
somehow, shares in some valuable oil lands in Texas, and expected
to double his fortune. Now, instead, he's probably lost it all."
"That's too bad!" exclaimed Tom. "How did it happen?"
"In rather an odd way," went on Mary. "He really owns the
lands, or at least half of them, but he cannot prove his title
because the papers he needs were taken from him, and, he thinks,
by a man he trusted. He's been trying to get the documents back,
and every day we've been expecting to hear that he has them, but
mother says there has been no result."
"No," said Mrs. Nestor. "My brother thought sure he had a trace
of the man he believes has the papers, or who had them, but he
lost track of him. If we could only find him--"
At that moment a maid came into the room to announce that Tom
Swift was wanted at the telephone.
THE TRIAL TRIP
"THIS is my busy day!" announced the young inventor as he went
into the Nestor sitting room, where the telephone was installed.
"Perhaps it is some one else who wants you to come to their
rescue," suggested Mary.
But it was not, as Tom related a little later when he had
finished his talk over the wire.
"Just a business matter," he announced to Mary and her mother,
when he rejoined them. "A gentleman with whom I expect to make a
submarine trip is at the house, and wants to consult with me
about details. He is getting anxious to start. Mr. Damon is
"Blessing every thing he lays eyes on, I suppose," remarked
Mrs. Nestor, with a smile.
"Yes, and some things he doesn't see," agreed Tom. "He is going
with us on this submarine trip."
"Oh, Tom, are you going to undertake another of those dangerous
voyages?" asked Mary, in some alarm.
"Well, I don't know that they are particularly dangerous,"
replied Tom, with a smile. "But we expect to make a search for a
sunken treasure ship in a submarine. That's the vessel I'm
working on now," he added. "We're rebuilding the Advance, you
know, making her more up-to-date, and adding some new features,
including her name--M. N. 1."
"I suppose Mr. Damon's friend is getting anxious to make a
start, particularly as he has already invested several thousand
dollars in the project," went on the young inventor. "He formed a
company to pay half the expenses of the search, and they will
share in the~ treasure--if we find it," Tom said. "I wish Mr.
Damon, who holds most of the shares the promoter let out of his
own hands, had not gone into it, but, since he has, I'm going to
do the best I can for him."
"Then aren't you friendly with the other man?" asked Mary.
"I don't especially care for him," the young inventor admitted.
"He isn't just my style--too fond of himself, and all that. Still
I may be misjudging him. However, I'm in the game now, and I'm
going to stick. I'll have to be traveling on," he said. "Mr.
Damon and his friend are at my house, and they've been
telephoning all over to find me. I guess this was one of the
first places they tried," he said with a smile, referring to the
fact that he spent considerable time at Mary's home.
"Well, I'm glad they found you, but I'm sorry you have to go,"
Mary said with a smile.
A little later Tom Swift, with Ned, for whom he called, was on
his way back home in his Air Scout, having said goodbye to Mary
and her mother and expressing the hope that Mr. Keith would soon
be over his business troubles.
"Oil wells are queer, anyhow," mused Tom.
Then Tom got to thinking about Dixwell Hardley: "I don't like
the man, and the more I see of him the less I like him. But I'm
in for it now, and I'll stick to the finish. I only wish I could
locate the treasure ship, give him his share, and get back to my
work. I'm going to try to turn out an airship that a man can use
as handily as he does a flivver now."
Musing on the possibilities in this field, Tom, having left Ned
at the latter's home, soared down from aloft, and a little later,
having told Koku to look after the Air Scout, much to the delight
of the giant and the discomfiture of Rad, the young inventor was
closeted with Mr. Damon and Dixwell Hardley.
"Bless my straw hat, Tom!" exclaimed the eccentric man, "but we
just couldn't wait any longer. How are you coming on, and when
can we start on this treasure-hunting trip? I declare it makes me
feel young again to think about it!"
"Well, it won't be long now," was the answer. "The men are
working hard to get the submarine in shape, and I should say that
in another week, or two weeks at the most, we could set off!"
"Good!" exclaimed Mr. Hardley. "I have received additional
information," he went on, "to the effect that the amount of gold
on board the Pandora was even greater than we at first thought."
"That sounds encouraging," replied Tom. "It only remains to
find the sunken ship now. But what interests me greatly is
whether, after we have gotten this gold, supposing we are
successful, we shall be allowed to keep it."
"Bless my bank book! why not?" asked Mr. Damon. "Isn't it
wealth abandoned at the bottom of the sea, and isn't finding
"Not always," answered Tom. "There are certain rules and laws
about treasure, and it might happen that after we got this--if we
do--it could be taken away from us."
"I think there will be no difficulty on this score," said Mr.
Hardley. "In the first place, two attempts were made to get this
wealth, and were unsuccessful. Then it was practically abandoned,
and I believe under the law the persons who now find it will be
entitled to keep it. Besides the persons who gathered it together
did so for an unlawful purpose--that of starting a revolution in
a friendly country--and they would not dare claim it for fear of
giving their secret away."
"Well, perhaps you are right," assented Tom. "We'll make a try
for it, anyhow."
"You say the submarine is nearly ready?" asked Mr. Hardley.
"She will be ready for a trial trip at the end of this week,"
said Tom, "and be fitted up for the voyage within another seven
days, I hope. Then for the great adventure!" and he laughed,
though, truth to tell, he had no real liking for his task. The
more he saw of Mr. Hardley the less he liked him.
"I shall begin getting my affairs in shape," said the latter,
as he gathered up some papers he had brought to attempt to prove
to Tom that the wealth of the Pandora was greater than had been
supposed. "I have many large interests," he went on, rather
pompously, "and they need looking after; especially if I
undertake anything so extra hazardous as a submarine trip."
"Yes, there always is some danger," admitted Tom. "But then
there is danger walking along the street."
"Oh, there's no danger with Tom Swift!" exclaimed Mr. Damon.
"I've been under the sea and above the clouds with him, and,
bless my rainbow! he always brought us safe home."
"And I'll try to do the same this time," said the young
Busy days followed for Tom Swift and his friends. The force at
work on the submarine turned night into day to rush her
completion, and in due season she was set afloat in the dry dock
basin and formally rechristened the M. N. 1.
Mary blushed as she gave the boat her new name, and there was a
little cheer from the group of workmen gathered at the dock.
There was no launching in the real sense of the word, since as
the Advance that ceremony had been gone through with for the
She had been greatly changed interiorly and outwardly. Her
skin, or plates, having been doubled and strengthened. For Tom
proposed to go to a much greater depth than ever before.
In addition to using the submarine herself in a search for the
gold on the Pandora, Tom had installed on board some new kinds of
diving apparatus and also a diving bell. If one would not serve,
the other might, he reasoned.
"Well, Tom," remarked his aged father the night before they
were to start on the trial trip, "I understand you have
practically rebuilt the Advance."
"Yes; and I think she's a much better craft, too, Father."
"Glad to hear that, Tom. Of course you kept the gyroscope
"No, I didn't," replied Tom. "If I had left that installed it
would have meant carrying a smaller diving bell, and I think that
last will be more useful than the gyroscope. I put in a set of
double-acting depth rudders instead."
Mr. Swift shook his head.
"I'm sorry for that, Tom," he remarked. "There's nothing like
the gyroscope rudder in a tight pinch--say when there's a storm.
And for holding the boat steady, if you have to make a sudden
turn under water, to avoid an obstruction you come upon
unexpectedly, a gyroscope can't be improved on. It holds you
steady and prevents your turning turtle."
"I've put side fin-keels to correct that," Tom explained.
But still his father was not satisfied.
"I'd rather you had kept the gyroscope," he said, and the time
was to come when Tom Swift wished that himself.
But it was too late to make the change now, and so, with more
than usual confidence in his own designing abilities, the next
day the young inventor and his friends went aboard the M. N. 1
for the trial trip.
"You don't easily get seasick, do you?" Tom asked Mr. Hardley,
as they descended the hatchway into the interior of the craft.
"No, I'm considered a good sailor."
"Well, you'll need to be," went on Tom, with a smile. "Not that
we are likely to strike any rough water now, though the reports
say a stiff breeze is blowing in the bay. But when we once start
for the West Indies you are likely to experience a new sensation.
I've known sailors who never had any qualms, even in terrible
storms, to get ill in a submarine when she went through only a
small blow. The motion is different from that on a surface boat."
"I can imagine so," returned Mr. Hardley. "But I'll be thinking
of the millions in gold on the Pandora, and that will keep my
mind off being seasick."
"Let us hope so," murmured Tom.
He gave the word, they all descended, the hatch covers were
closed down, and the M. N. 1 was ready to start on a trial trip.
THE MUD BANK
"WHAT'S that noise?" asked Mr. Hardley.
Mr. Hardley, Tom Swift, Mr. Damon, Ned Newton, Koku, and one or
two navigating officers of the craft, were gathered in the
operating cabin of the M. N. 1.
"That's water being pumped into the tanks," explained Tom. "We
are now going down. If you'll watch the depth gauge you can note
"Going down, are we?" remarked Mr. Hardley. "Well, it's
interesting to say the least," and he observed the gauge, which
showed them to be twenty feet under the surface.
"Bless my hydrometer, but he's got nerve for a first trip in a
submarine! He's all right, isn't he?" whispered Mr. Damon to Tom.
"Well, I'm glad to see he isn't nervous," remarked Tom, honest
enough to give his visitor credit for what was due him. And
indeed many a person is nervous going down in a submarine for the
first time. "Still we can't go more than thirty feet down in this
water," went on Tom. "A better test will be when we get about
five hundred feet below the surface. That's a real test, though
as far as knowing it is concerned, a person can't tell ten feet
from ten hundred in a submarine under water, unless he watches
"Well, I think you'll find Mr. Hardley all right," said Mr.
Damon, who seemed to have taken a strong liking to his new
Certainly the latter showed no signs of nervousness as the
craft slowly settled to the proper depth. He asked numberless
questions, showing his interest in the operation of the M. N. 1,
but he showed not the least sign of fear. However, as Tom said,
that might come later.
"We are going down now," Tom explained, as he pointed out to
Mr. Hardley the various controlling wheels and levers, "by
filling our ballast tanks with water. We can rise, when needful,
by forcing out this water by means of compressed air. When we are
on the ocean we can go down by using our diving rudders, and in
much quicker time than by filling our tanks."
"How is that?" asked the seeker after the Pandora's gold.
"Filling the tanks is slow work in itself," replied Tom, "and
they have to be filled very carefully and evenly, so we don't
stand on our stern or bow in going down. We want to sink on an
even keel, and sometimes this is hard to accomplish. But we are
doing it now," and he called attention to an indicator which told
how much the M. N. 1 might be listing to one side or to one end
or the other.
"A submarine, as everyone knows, is essentially a water-tight
tank, shaped like a cigar, with a propeller on one end. It can
sink below the surface and move along under water. It sinks
because rudders force it down, and water taken into tanks in its
interior hold it to a certain depth. It can rise by ejecting this
extra water and by setting the rudders in the proper position.
A submarine moves under water by means of electric motors, the
current of which is supplied by storage batteries. On the surface
when the hatches can be opened, oil or gasolene engines are used.
These engines cannot be used under water because they depend on a
supply of air, or oxygen, and when the submarine is tightly
sealed all the air possible is needed for her crew to breathe.
While cruising on the surface a submarine recharges her storage
batteries to give her motive power when she is submerged.
There are many types of submarines, some comparatively simple
and small, and others large and complex. In some it is possible
for the crew to live many days without coming to the surface.
Tom Swift's reconstructed craft compared favorably with the
best and largest ever made, though she was not of exceptional
size. She was very strong, however, to allow her to go to a great
depth, for the farther down one goes below the surface of the
sea, the greater the pressure until, at, say, six miles, the
greatest known depth of the ocean, the pressure is beyond belief.
And yet is possible that marine monsters may live in that
pressure which would flatten out a block of solid steel into a
sheet as thin as paper.
"Well, we are as deep down as it is safe to go in the river,"
announced Tom, as the gauge showed a distance below the surface
of a little less than twenty-nine feet. "Now we'll move into the
bay. How do you like it, Mr. Hardley?"
"Very well, so far. But it isn't very exciting yet."
"Bless my accident policy!" exclaimed Mr. Damon, "I hope you
aren't looking for excitement."
"I'm used to it," was the answer. "The more there is the better
I like it."
"Well, you may get your wish," said Tom.
He turned a lever, and those on board the submarine became
conscious of a forward motion. She was no longer sinking.
She trembled and vibrated as the powerful electric motors
turned her propellers, and Tom, having seen that all was running
smoothly in the main engine room, called Mr. Damon, Ned, and Mr.
Hardley to him.
"We'll go into the forward pilot house and give
Mr. Hardley a view under water," he announced. "Of course, you'll
see nothing like what you'll view when we're in the ocean," added
the young inventor, "but it may interest you."
The four were soon in the forward compartment of the craft. She
could be directed and steered from here when occasion arose, but
now Tom was letting his navigator direct the craft from the
controls in the main engine room. A conning tower, rising just
above the deck of the craft, gave the pilot the necessary view.
"Here you are!" exclaimed Tom, as he switched out the lights in
the cabin. For a moment they were in darkness, and then, with a
click, steel plates, guarding heavy plate glass bull's-eyes,
moved back, and Mr. Hardley for the first time looked out on an
underwater scene. He saw the murky waters of river down which
they were proceeding to the bay moving past the glass windows.
Now and then a fish swam up, looking in, and, with a swirl of its
tail, shot away again, apparently frightened well-nigh to death.
"Bless my shoe laces, Tom!" exclaimed Mr. Damon, "this isn't a
marker compared to some of the sights we've seen, is it?"
"I can imagine not," said Mr. Hardley. "But it is interesting.
I shall be anticipating more wonderful sights."
"And you'll get them!" exclaimed Ned. "Do you remember, Tom,
the time the big octopus tried to hold us back?"
"Yes, indeed," answered the young inventor. "That gave us a
scare for the time being."
Steadily the M. N. 1 kept on her way under water. Her path was
illuminated to a considerable degree by a broad, diffused beam of
light from a powerful searchlight that was fixed just back of the
conning tower, giving the helmsman a certain degree of vision.
This light also served to illuminate the water, so that those in
the forward cabin could see what was going on around them.
"There isn't much of interest in the river," said Tom. "No big
fish, or anything else of moment. Even in the bay we won't see
much to attract our attention. But I want to make sure everything
is working smoothly before we start for the West Indies."
"That's right!" agreed Mr. Hardley. "We want to make a success
of this trip."
He remained at the glass bull's-eyes, now and then exclaiming
as some shad or other fair-sized fish came into view. Suddenly,
however, his exclamation was sharper than usual.
"Look!" he exclaimed. "There's part of a wreck!"
Ned, Mr. Damon, and Tom looked out and saw, sweeping past them,
the ribs and worm-eaten timbers of some craft, lying on the
bottom of the river.
"Yes, that's the remains of an old brick scow," the young
inventor explained. "That's one of our water-marks, so to speak.
It is at the bend of the river. We turn now, and head for the
As he spoke they all became aware of a sudden swerve in the
course of the submarine. The helmsman had, doubtless, noted the
"water-mark," as Tom termed it, and as an automobilist on land
might swing at the cross-roads, the steersman was changing the
course of his craft.
"We'll go deeper," said Tom a moment later, as the wreck passed
out of view. "We can go about fifty feet down now. Yes, he's
sinking her," he added, as a gauge showed the craft to be
descending. "Nelson knows his business all right."
"He is your captain?" asked Mr. Hardley.
"One of the best, yes. He'll go with us on the search for the
They talked of various matters, Tom relating to Mr. Hardley how
a tug had rammed the brick scow some years ago, and sunk it in
The submarine was now about forty-eight feet below the surface,
and suddenly they all became aware that her speed had increased.
"Guess he's going to give the motors a good try-out," observed
Tom. "I think I'll go back to the engine room. You may remain
here, if you like, and you'll probably see--"
A cry from Mr. Damon interrupted him.
"Bless my rubber boots, Tom! Look!" cried the eccentric man.
"We're going to ram a mud bank!"
As he spoke they all became aware of a solid black mass looming
in front of the bull's-eye window. An instant later the submarine
came to a jarring stop, as if she had struck some soft, yielding
substance. There was a confused shouting throughout the craft,
the noise of machinery, a trembling and vibration, and then
READY TO START
Characteristic it was of Tom Swift to act calmly in times of
stress and danger, and he ran true to form now. Only for an
instant did he show any sign of perturbation. Then with calmness
and deliberation the young inventor quickly did a number of
things to the controls within his reach.
First of all he signaled to the engine room that he was going
to take charge of the boat. This meant that the navigator in the
conning tower was to keep his hands off the various levers and
wheel-valves. It was possible to operate the M. N. 1 from three
positions, but Tom wanted no triplicate handling of his craft
Almost the instant Tom signaled that he would take charge back
came flashing the electrical signal from the conning tower that
his orders were understood. The next thing that those aboard the
craft became aware of was a tremor that seemed to run through the
whole under-sea ship. The quiet had changed to a subdued humming,
and the ominous lack of motion was succeeded by violent
"Backing her up, Tom?" asked Ned, in a low voice.
"Trying to," was the answer. "But I'm afraid her nose has gone
in pretty deep. I've reversed the propellers."
For perhaps a minute this vibration continued, showing that the
powerful electric motors were turning over the twin propellers at
the blunt stern of the craft. But she did not change her
With a touch of his hand, and still almost as cool as the
proverbial cucumber (though why they should be cool it is hard to
say), Tom stopped the motors. Once again the craft was quiet, but
now, instead of the occupants being able to see clearly from the
thick, glass windows in the forward cabin, the water showed muddy
and murky in the glare of the underwater searchlight.
"Bless my postage stamps, Tom! what has happened?" exclaimed
Mr. Damon. "Has a giant squid attacked us, as one did some time
ago, and is he roiling up the water?"
"No, it isn't a squid, Mr. Damon," replied the young inventor
easily; "though the water does look as if a squid had spilled a
lot of his ink in it. This is just the effect of mud stirred up
by our propellers. There may be more of it."
Ned looked toward Mr. Hardley to see how he was taking it. The
seeker after gold apparently had good control of his nerves, or
else he was ignorant of what was going on. For he asked, casually
"Have we stopped?"
"We have," answered Tom. "I thought I'd give you a view of the
Perhaps he spoke sarcastically, but, if he did, Mr. Damon's
friend did not seem to be aware of it. Coolly enough he replied:
"Well, if this is a fair sample of underwater scenery I prefer
something up above, though I appreciate that this may be
"We'll soon be traveling along," announced Tom. "Koku," he
added to the giant, who had been calmly sitting during the