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Tom Swift And His Undersea Search or The Treasure on the Floor of the Atlantic

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excitement, "go to the engine room and help with the big levers."

"Yes, Master," was the answer. Koku had implicit faith in Tom.

Waiting a moment for his faithful servant to reach the post
assigned to him, Tom again signaled to his helpers and then
quickly turned a wheel which produced startling results. For all
within the submarine suddenly slid forward across the cabin floor.

"Bless my hammock hooks, Tom! are you standing her on her
head?" cried Mr. Damon.

"That's exactly what I'm doing," was the answer. "I've started
to empty one of the after ballast tanks, and that, naturally,
raises the stern while the nose is held down."

The submarine was indeed in a peculiar position. She was on a
slant in the water, her nose held fast in the soft mud bank, and
it was Tom's idea that by making the stern buoyant it might help
to pull her free.

To this end he also gave what assistance the propellers were
capable of adding by starting the motors again, so that the craft
once more trembled and vibrated.

But it all seemed to no purpose. Aside from the slanting
position, there was no change in the M. N. 1. Ned, looking out
into the murky water, which had cleared slightly, saw that the
craft was still held fast. And then, for the first time, Mr.
Hardley seemed to become aware that something serious was the
matter. Up to now he seemed to think that all that had occurred
was done for the purpose of testing the newly outfitted underseas

"Is there anything wrong?" he asked sharply of Tom. "Why are we
in this position, and why don't we go on out to the open ocean
and make a test at considerable depth? We'll have to go down
deeper than this if we find the Pandora!"

"I suppose so," agreed Tom. "But we have had an accident,

"An accident!" interrupted the gold-seeker, and then Ned saw
him turn pale. "Do you mean to say this is not part of the test?"

"We have run into a mud bank," said Tom. "The steersman must
have become confused, or else, since we last used the submarine,
there has been a shift of the mud banks in this river and one
exists where there was none before. At any rate, we ran our nose
deep into it, and here we are--stuck!"

"Can't we get loose--go up to the surface?"
demanded Mr. Hardley.

"I'm trying to bring that about," announced Tom calmly. "So far
her engines haven't been able to pull her loose."

"But Great Scott, man, we can't stay here!" cried the now
excited adventurer. "We'll be drowned like rats in a trap! Let me
out! Isn't there some way? I'll be shot through a torpedo tube,
if necessary! I must get out! I can't stay here to be drowned! I
have too much at stake!"

"Now wait a minute!" calmly advised Tom Swift. "You haven't any
more at stake than the rest of us. None of us wants to be
drowned, and there is only a remote possibility that we shall be.
I haven't played all my cards yet. We can live on this boat for a
week, if need be."

"You mean under water as we are now?" asked Mr. Hardley.

"Yes. I always keep the boat provisioned and with plenty of air
and water for a long stay, if need be," replied Tom. "And I did
not overlook the fact that we might have an accident on the trial

"I don't see how you let an accident happen before we even got
started," complained the gold-seeker. "I should think your
steersman would have been more careful."

"He is very careful," explained Tom. "But we have not used the
craft for some time, and, meanwhile, there have been changes in
the river, due, I suppose, to heavy tides. But we may get out of
the grip of the mud bank soon."

"And if we don't, what then?" asked Mr. Hardley.

"Then there is always the torpedo tube," said Tom calmly. "And
we are not very deep down. I think I can save you all."

"I certainly hope so!" was the fretful comment of the
adventurer. "I have too much at stake to be drowned like a rat in
a trap! You must send me up first if it becomes necessary to use
the tube."

Tom did not answer. But as he looked out of the observation
windows to see if possible the conformation of the mud bank, the
young inventor whispered to Ned one word. And that word was:


"You said it!" was Ned's whispered rejoinder.

Tom Swift arrived at a sudden determination. Once again the
motors were stopped, and the boat gradually assumed an even keel.

"What are you going to try, Tom?" asked Ned.

"I'm going to shove her farther into the mud bank," announced
the young inventor. "I think that's the only way to get her

"Bless my apple pie, Tom!" cried Mr. Damon, "doesn't that seem
a foolish thing to do?"

"It's the only thing to do, I believe," was the answer. "This
mud is of a peculiar sticky and holding kind. The sub's nose is
in it like a peg in a hole. What I propose to do now is to
enlarge the hole, and then our nose will come loose--I hope."

"But you haven't any right to shove our nose further in!" cried
Mr. Hardley. "I won't allow it! I demand to be put on the
surface! I won't be drowned down here before I get the gold
that's coming to me--the gold and--"

"Now look here!" suddenly cried Tom. "I'm in command of this
boat, and you'll do as I say. I'll gladly set you on the surface
if I can, and this is the only way it can be brought about--it's
the only way to save all of us. I'm going to enlarge the mud hole
so we can pull out. Please keep still!"

Mr. Hardley stared at the young inventor a moment, seemed about
to say something, and then changed his mind.

"Hold fast, everybody!" suddenly called Tom. The next moment
the M. N. 1 began behaving in a most peculiar manner.

She appeared to be acting like a corkscrew. While her bow was
comparatively steady, her stern described a circle in the water
which was churned to mud by the two propellers, each being
revolved in a different direction.

"I'm trying to make the hole bigger just as an amateur
carpenter makes a nail hole bigger, so he can pull out the nail,
by twisting it around," explained Tom. "The motion may be a bit
unpleasant, but it is needful."

And indeed the motion was unpleasant. Tom, veteran airman and
sailor that he was, began to feel a trifle seasick, and Hr.
Hardley was in very evident distress.

Suddenly, however, something happened. The M. N. 1 gave a lurch
to one side and then shot upward so quickly that Ned and Mr.
Damon lost their balance and slumped over on the bench that ran
around three sides of the room.

"Are we free?" cried Mr. Hardley.

"We have come loose from the mud bank," said Tom quietly. "By
boring into it the hole was enlarged sufficiently to enable us to
pull loose. There is no more danger!"

His announcement was received in momentary silence, and then
Ned exclaimed:


"Bless my accident policy!" voiced Mr. Damon.

Mr. Hardley appeared dazed, and then, as the submarine was
again moving through the water, seemingly none the worse for the
accident, the gold seeker approached Tom Swift.

"I want to apologize, Mr. Swift, for my actions and words,"
said Mr. Hardley frankly. "I admit that I lost my head. But it's
my first trip in a submarine."

"I realize that," said Tom, equally frank, "and we'll forget
all about it. It was a strain on you--on all of us--though there
really was no very great danger. Now, are you game enough to
continue the trip?"

"Try me!" exclaimed the adventurer. "You won't find me acting
so like a baby again."

Nor did he, even when the craft reached the open ocean and went
down to a considerable depth, where, had any accident occurred,
there would have been grave danger to all. But Mr. Hardley seemed
to enjoy it.

"Maybe I've misjudged him," Tom said to Ned, when they were
getting ready to go back.

"It's possible," agreed the financial manager. This trial,
which so nearly ended disastrously, was only one of several. No
damage resulted from the collision with the river mud bank, and
that trip and the ones following gave Tom some new ideas in
interior construction which he followed out.

About a month later all was ready for the trip to the West
Indies to look for the ill-fated Pandora. Tom's affairs were put
in shape, the submarine was laden with stores and provisions, the
new diving bell and other wonderful apparatus were put aboard,
and the crew and officers picked. Ned, Mr. Damon, Koku, and Tom
were, of course, together, and though Mr. Hardley was a stranger,
he seemed to become more friendly as the days passed.

"Well, we start in the morning," said Tom to Ned one evening.
"I'm going over to tell Mary goodbye."

"Give her my regards," requested Ned, and Tom said he would.



"OH, Tom! And so you are really ready to start on that perilous
trip!" exclaimed Mary Nestor, a little later that same evening,
when Tom called at Mary's house in his speedy electric runabout,
a car in which he had once made a sensational ride.

"Perilous? I don't know why you call it that!" exclaimed the
young inventor.

"Didn't you tell me you were stuck in a mud bank away down
under the river and had hard work to get loose?" asked the young
lady, as she made a place for Tom on the sofa beside her.

"Oh, that! Why, that wasn't anything!" he declared.

"It would have been if you hadn't come up."

"Ah, but we did come up, Mary."

"Suppose you get in a similar position when you find the wreck
of the Pandora? You won't get up so easily, will you?"

"No. But there aren't any mud banks in that part of the
Atlantic, so I can't be stuck in one," answered Tom.

For some time Tom Swift and Mary talked of mutual friends and
happenings in which they were both interested. Mr. and Mrs.
Nestor stepped into the room for a minute, to wish the young
inventor good luck on his voyage, and when they had gone out,
promising to see Tom before he left for the night, the latter
remarked to Mary:

"Did your uncle ever find the oil-well papers and get his
affairs straightened out?"

"No," was the answer, "he never did. And we feel very sorry for
him. Just think, he had a fortune in his grasp, and now it is
slipping away."

"Just what happened?" asked Tom, hoping there might be some way
in which he could aid Mary's uncle. Of course, Tom wanted to help
Mary, and this was one of the ways.

"Well, I don't exactly understand it all," she replied. "Father
says I'll never have a head for business. But as nearly as I can
tell, my uncle, Barton Keith, went into partnership with a man to
prospect for oil in Texas. My uncle has been in that business
before, and he was very successful. He supplied the working
knowledge about oil wells, I believe, and the other man put up
the money. My uncle was to have a half share in whatever oil
wells he located, and his partner supplied the cash for putting
down the pipe, or whatever is done."

"I believe putting down a pipe is the proper term," said Tom.

"Well, anyhow," went on Mary, "my uncle spent many weary months
prospecting in Texas. In fact, he made himself ill, being out in
all sorts of weather, looking after the drilling. At last they
struck oil, as I believe they call it. They drilled down until
they brought in what my uncle called a 'gusher,' and there was a
chance of him and his partner getting rich."

"Why didn't he?" asked Tom. "A gusher, I believe, is one of the
best sort of oil wells. Why didn't your uncle clean up a fortune,
to use a slang term?"

"Because he lost the papers showing that he had a right to half
the oil well," answered Mary. "At least my uncle thinks he lost
them, but he was so ill, directly after the well proved a
success, that he says he isn't sure what happened. At any rate,
his partner claims everything and my uncle can do nothing. He has
been hoping he might find the papers somewhere, or that something
would happen to prove the rights of his claim."

"And nothing has?" inquired Tom.

"Not yet. My father and mother have been trying to help him,
and dad engaged a lawyer, but he says nothing can be done unless
my uncle recovers the partnership and other papers. As it stands
now, it is my uncle's word against the word of his partner, and
both are equally good in a court of law. But if Uncle Barton
could find the documents everything would come out all right. He
could claim his half of the oil well then."

"Is it still producing?" Tom questioned.

"Yes, better than ever. But that's all the good it does my
uncle. He is ill, discouraged, and despondent. All his fortune
was eaten up in prospecting, and he depended on the gusher to
make him rich again. And now, because of a rascally partner, he
may be doomed to die a poor man. Of course we will always help
him, but you know what it is to be dependent on relatives."

"I can imagine," conceded Tom. "It is tough luck! I wish I
could help, and perhaps I can after I get back from this trip."

"The only way you or any one could help, would be to get back
my uncle's missing papers," said Mary. "And as he himself isn't
sure what became of them, it seem hopeless."

"It does," Tom agreed. "But wait until I get back."

"I wish you weren't going," sighed Mary.

"So do I--more than a little," was Tom's remark. "I'm sorry I
ever let Mr. Damon persuade me to go into this deal with Dixwell

Mary sat bolt upright on the couch.

"What name did you say?" she cried.

"Dixwell Hardley," repeated Tom. "That's he name of the man who
claims to know where the wreck of the Pandora lies. He says she
has two millions or more in gold on board, and I'm to get half."

"Well!" exclaimed Mary, with spirit, "if you don't get any
bigger share out of the wreck than my uncle got out of the oil
well, you won't be doing so very nicely, Tom."

"What do you mean?" asked the young inventor. "What has the oil
well to do with recovering gold from the wreck?"

"A good deal, I should say," answered the girl, "seeing that
the same man is mixed up in both."

"What same man?"

"Dixwell Hardley!"

"Is he the man who cheated your uncle?" cried Tom.

"I won't say that he cheated him," said Mary. "But Dixwell
Hardley is the man who furnished the money when my uncle went
into partnership with him to locate oil wells in Texas. The oil
wells were located, Mr. Hardley got his share, and my uncle got
nothing. And just because he can't prove there was a legal
partnership! I hope you won't have the same experience with Mr.
Hardley, Tom."

"Whew!" whistled the young inventor. "This is news to me! I can
say one thing, though. Mr. Hardley doesn't take a dollar out of
that wreck unless I get one to match it. I think I hold the best
cards on this deal. But, Mary, are you sure it's the same man?"

"Pretty sure. Wait, I'll call my father and make certain," she
answered, and as she went from the room to summon Mr. Nestor, Tom
felt a vague sense of uneasiness.



"What's this Mary tells me, Tom?" asked Mr. Nestor, as he
followed his daughter back into the room.

"You mean about Dixwell Hardley?"

"Yes. Do you suppose he can be the same man who has so meanly
treated my brother-in-law?"

"I wouldn't want to say, Mr. Nestor, until you describe to me
the Mr. Hardley you know. Then I can better tell. But from what
little I have seen of the man to whom I was introduced by my
friend Mr. Damon, I'd say, off hand, that he was capable of such

"Does Mr. Damon know this Mr. Hardley well?" asked Mrs. Nestor,
who accompanied her husband.

"I wouldn't say that he did," Tom replied. "I don't know just
how Mr. Damon met this chap--I think it was in a financial way,

"Well, if it's the same Mr. Hardley, I'll say he has some queer
financial ways," said Mr. Nestor. "Now let's see if we can make
the two jibe. Describe him, Tom."

This the young inventor did, and when this description had been
compared with one given of the Mr. Hardley with whom Mr. Keith
once was associated, Mrs. Nestor said:

"It surely is the same man! The Mr. Hardley who wants you to
get wealth from the bottom of the ocean, Tom, is the same fellow
who is keeping my brother out of the oil well property! I'm sure
of it!"

"It does seem so," Tom agreed. "Dixwell Hardley is not a usual
name; but we must be careful In spite of its unusualness there
may be two very different men who have that name. I think the
only way to find out for certain is to see Mr. Keith. He'd know a
picture of the Dixwell Hardley who, he claims, cheated him,
wouldn't he?"

"Indeed he would!" exclaimed Mrs. Nestor. "But where could we
get a picture of your Mr. Hardley? I call him that, though I
don't suppose you own him, Tom," and she smiled at her future

"No, I don't own him, and I don't want to," was Tom's answer.
"But I happen to have a picture of him. I made him furnish me
with proofs that he was on the Pandora at the time she foundered
in a gale, and among the documents he gave was his passport. It
has his picture on. I have it here."

Tom drew the paper from his pocket. In one corner was pasted a
photograph of the man who had been introduced to Tom by Mr.

"It looks like the same man my brother described," said Mrs.
Nestor, "but of course I couldn't be sure."

"There is only one way to be," Tom stated, "and that is to show
this picture to Mr. Keith. Where is he?"

"Ill at his home in Bedford," answered Mrs. Nestor.

"Then we'll go there and see him!" declared Tom.

"But it's a hundred miles from here!" exclaimed Mary. "And you
are leaving on your submarine trip the first thing in the
morning, Tom!"

"No, I'm not leaving until I settle this matter," declared the
young inventor. "I'm not going on an undersea voyage with a man
who may be a cheater. I want this matter settled. I'll postpone
this trip until I find out. A day's delay won't matter."

"But it will take longer than that," said Mr. Nestor. "Bedford
is a small place, and there's only one train a day there. You'll
lose at least three days Tom, if you go there."

"Not necessarily," was the quick answer. "I can go by airship,
and make the trip in a little over an hour. I can be back the
same day, perhaps not in time to start our submarine trip, as Mr.
Keith may be too ill to see me. But I won't lose much time in my
Air Scout.

"Mary, will you go with me to see your uncle? We'll start the
first thing in the morning and I'll show him this picture. Will
you go?"

"I will!" exclaimed the girl.

"Good!" cried Tom. "Then I'll make preparations. I don't want
to form any rash judgment, so we'll make certain; but it wouldn't
surprise me a bit to have it turn out that the Dixwell Hardley
who wants me to help him recover the Pandora treasure is the same
one who is trying to cheat Mr. Keith."

Early the next morning, when Tom arose in his own home, he met
Mr. Damon and Mr. Hardley, both of whom were guests at the Swift
house, pending the beginning of the undersea trip.

"Well, Tom," began the eccentric man, "we have good weather for
the start. Bless my rubber boots! Not that it much matters,
though, what sort of weather we have when we're in the submarine.
But I always like to start in the sunshine."

"So do I," agreed Mr. Hardley. "I suppose we'll get off early
this morning," he added.

"We'll go to the dock in the auto, as usual, shall we not?" he

"We aren't going to start this morning," said Tom, as he sat
down to breakfast.

"Not going to start this morning!" exclaimed Mr. Hardley. "Why

"Bless my alarm clock!" voiced Mr. Damon, "has anything
happened, Tom? No accident to the M. N. 1 is there? You aren't
backing out now, at the last minute, are you?"

"Oh, no," was the easy answer. "We'll go, as arranged, but not
today. I had some unexpected news last night which necessitates
making a trip this morning. I expect to be back tonight, if all
goes well, and we'll start tomorrow morning instead of this. It's
a matter of important business."

"Well, I don't know that we can find fault with Mr. Swift for
attending to business," said Mr. Hardley, with a short laugh.
"Business is what keeps the world moving. And we are a little
ahead of our schedule, as a matter of fact. May I ask where you
are going, Mr. Swift?"

"To Bedford, to call on a Mr. Barton Keith," answered Tom
quickly, looking the adventurer straight in the eyes.

Mr. Hardley was a good actor, or else he was a perfectly
innocent man, for he showed not the least sign of perturbation.

"Oh, Bedford," he remarked. "Don't know that I ever heard of
the place."

"Or Mr. Keith, either?" asked Tom, a bit sharply.

"No, certainly not. Why should I?" he asked, boldly.

"I didn't know," Tom replied. "I'm sorry to postpone our trip,
but it's necessary," he added. "I'll be back as soon as I can.
Everything is in readiness, so there will be no delay."

Tom made a hurried meal, and then, giving Ned a hint of what
was in the wind, but cautioning him to say nothing about it, Tom
had the small Air Scout brought out, and in that he flew over to
Mary's home.

He found her waiting for him, and, after being duly cautioned
by her mother to "be careful," though whether that was of any
value or not is possibly debatable, the small, speedy craft again
took the air.

"You haven't heard anything from your uncle since last night,
have you?" asked Tom, as they flew along.

"Yes," answered Mary, "mother had a letter. He is worse, if
anything, and the doctor says the only thing that will save him
is the knowledge that the oil-well matter has turned out right
and that my uncle will get his share of the wealth."

"That's too bad!" sympathized Tom. "I hope we can make it turn
out that way. If the two Dixwell Hardley chaps are the same it
may be that I can do something for your uncle. If not--we'll have
to wait and see."

It was not difficult for Tom and Mary to talk while in the
aeroplane, as it was almost noiseless. In due time, Bedford was
reached without mishap, and Tom and Mary were soon at the home of
her uncle.

An explanation to the housekeeper and an inspection on the part
of the nurse, brought forth permission for Tom to see the
patient. Though he had never known Mr. Keith he could see that
the man's health was indeed fast waning.

Wasting little time in preliminaries, the object of the visit
was told and Tom showed the passport photograph of Dixwell

"Is that the man who cheated you on the oil-well deal?" asked
the young inventor.

"I won't admit he has yet cheated me, but he is trying to!"
exclaimed Mr. Keith, with something of a return of his former
spirit. "If I ever get off my back I'm going to fight him tooth
and nail. But that's the same scoundrel! He got me to locate the
wells, and when they panned out big--bigger than either of us
dreamed--he turned me out cold. He denied he had ever offered to
share with me, and said I was only working for monthly wages!
Why, sometimes I didn't get even that!"

"How did he get the best of you?" asked Tom.

"By making away with or hiding the papers by which I could
prove our partnership and my right to half a share in all the
wells," answered Mary's uncle. "Yes, that's the same man all
right. I'd know his face anywhere, and he ha& the same name."

"He isn't going under a false name, that's sure," agreed Tom.
"He must be a bold chap."

"He is--bold and unscrupulous! That's what makes him so
successful in his own way!" declared Mr. Keith. "And so you are
working with him! Well, I'm sorry for you."

"I'm not exactly working with him," replied Tom. "As a matter
of fact, I'm sorry I ever agreed to look for this wreck."

He told the details of the pending treasure-trove expedition,
and mentioned it as his belief that Mr. Damon had been mistaken
in his estimate of Mr. Hardley.

"But, so far, Mr. Damon is quite taken with him," Tom went on.
"Now, Mr. Keith, if it isn't too much for you, I should like to
hear all the particulars."

Thereupon Mary's uncle told his story. It was a long one. After
many hardships in life, which Mr. Keith related in some detail to
Tom. the oil-well prospector at last fell in with Dixwell
Hardley. Then followed the combination of interests.

"We are actually partners," declared Mr. Keith. "I agreed to do
the work, and he agreed to furnish the money. I must say this for
him, that he kept to that end of the bargain. He supplied the
money to locate and drill the wells, but I got very little of it
personally. And I fulfilled my end of it. I discovered the wells.
Then, when the break came, and I wanted to be rid of the man--for
I caught him in some crooked transactions--he surprised me by
telling me to get out. I asked for my share of the oil-well
stock, and was told I was not entitled to any.

"I put up a fight, naturally, and took the matter to court. But
when it came to trial Dixwell Hardley did not appear, and, though
I won a technical victory over him, I never got any money."

"Where was he during the trial?" asked Tom.

"At sea, I believe."

"At sea?"

"Yes, he was mixed up in some South American revolution, I

"A South American revolution!" exclaimed Tom, and a great light
came to him.

"Yes," went on Mary's uncle. "He was always that kind--mixing
up in anything he thought would produce money. He didn't make out
very well in the revolution business, so I understood. The
revolutionary party was beaten, or they lost their shipment of
arms, or something like that. At any rate, Dixwell Hardley had a
narrow escape with his life when a ship went down, and from then
on I've been trying to get him to restore my rights to me."

"Did he have the papers that would prove you were entitled to a
half share in the oil wells?" asked Tom.

"He certainly did!" said the sick man, who was obviously being
weakened by this long and exhausting talk. "At first I was not
sure of what happened, but now I am positive he stole the papers
and took them to sea with him. What happened to them after that I
don't know. But if I had Dixwell Hardley here--now--I--I'd--"

Mr. Keith fell back in a faint on the bed, and, in great alarm,
Tom summoned the nurse.



Mary Nestor, as well as Tom Swift, felt great alarm over the
condition of Mr. Keith. But the nurse, after reviving him, said:

"He is in no special immediate danger. Talking about his
trouble overstrained him, but in the end it may do him good."

"Then will he get well?" asked Mary.

"He may," was the noncommittal answer. "His recovery would be
hastened, however, if his mind could be relieved. He keeps
worrying about the loss of his papers that proved his share in
the Texas oil wells. Until they can be given back to him he is
bound to suffer mentally, and of course that effects him

"Oh, if we only could do something!" murmured Mary.

"Perhaps we can," said Tom in a low voice. "I've learned
something these last few hours. I don't want to promise too much,
but I think I begin to see how matters lie. There, he's rousing.
Speak to him, Mary."

Mr. Keith opened his eyes, and smiled at his niece.

"Did I dream it," he asked in a low voice, "or was there some
young man with you, Mary, my dear, to whom I was telling my
troubles about the oil-well papers?"

"You didn't dream it, Uncle," Mary answered. "You were talking
to Tom Swift. Here he is," and Tom came forward.

"Oh, yes, I remember now," said Mr. Keith passing his hand
wearily over his eyes. "I thought, for a moment, that he had
recovered my papers for me. But that was a dream, I'm sure."

"It may not be, Mr. Keith!" exclaimed Tom.

"May not be? What do you mean?"

"I mean," replied the young inventor, "that I am much
interested in what you have told me. Now that I have proved that
the Dixwell Hardley who is to sail with me is the same one who
has treated you so shabbily, I think I understand the truth. I
don't want to make a promise that I may not be able to carry out,
but I am going to watch this man while he's on the submarine with

"Then you are going on with the voyage, Tom?" asked Mary.

"I shall have to," he said. "I have entered into an agreement
with this man and I'm not going to break my contract, no matter
what he does. But I think I know what his game is. Mr. Keith, I'm
going to ask you to keep quiet about this matter until I come
back from the treasure search. I may then have some news for

"I hope you do, young man, I hope you do!" exclaimed the oil
contractor, with more energy than he had previously shown. "It
means a lot, at my age, to lose a small fortune. If I were well
and strong I'd tackle this Dixwell Hardley myself, and make him
give up the papers I'm sure he has hidden away. He has them, I'm

"Well, he may not have them, but perhaps he knows where they
are," said Tom. "And I'm going to make it my business to watch
him and see if I can find out his secret. I won't let him know
I've heard from you. I'll apply the old saying of giving him
plenty of rope, and I'll watch what happens.

"Now, Mr. Keith, take care of yourself. Mary and I must be
getting back. Try not to worry, and I'll do my best for you," Tom

Mary added a few words of comfort and encouragement to her
uncle, and then she and Tom took leave of him, flying back to
Shopton in the speedy Air Scout.

"What are you going to do, Tom?" asked Mary, as he left her at
her home, having told Mr. and Mrs. Nestor his part in the visit
to Barton Keith.

"I'm going to start on the submarine voyage tomorrow," was the
answer of the young inventor.

"Do you really believe there is a treasure ship?"

"Well, I've satisfied myself that a ship named the Pandora sunk
about where Hardley says it did, and she had some treasure on
board. Whether it's just the kind he has told me it was I don't
know. But I'm going to find out."

"Then you'll be saying goodbye for a long time," observed Mary,
rather wistfully.

"Oh, it may not be for so very long," and Tom tried to speak
cheerfully. "I'll bring you back some souvenirs from the bottom
of the sea," he added with a laugh.

"Bring me back--yourself!" said Mary in a low voice, and then
she hurried away.

By appointment Tom met Mr. Damon and Mr. Hardley at the
submarine dock the next morning. Everything had been made ready
for the start, postponed from the day before. Mr. Hardley's
estimated share of the expenses had been deposited in a bank, to
be paid over later.

"Well, are we really going this time, or are you going to delay
again?" asked the gold seeker, and his voice lacked a pleasant

"Oh, were going this time!" exclaimed Tom. "And I hope
everything turns out the way I want it to," he added meaningly.

"We'll find the treasure on the ship all right, if we can find
the ship," said Mr. Hardley. "That part is your job, Mr. Swift."

"And I'll find her if she's where you say she went down,"
answered Tom. "Now then, as soon as Ned comes we'll start."

Ned Newton had been intrusted with some last-moment messages,
but he arrived a little later, and hurried on board the M. N. 1
which lay at her dock, just afloat.

"All aboard!" called Tom, when he saw his financial manager
coming down the pier. "We're ready to start now."

"Bless my fountain pen!" exclaimed Mr. Damon, "but we ought to
do something, Tom--sing a song, make a speech or something,
oughtn't we

"We'll sing a song of victory when we come back," replied Tom,
with a laugh. "Everything all right at home, Ned?" he asked, for
his chum had just come on from Shopton.

"Yes; your father sent his regards, but he told me to make a
last appeal to you to install a gyro-scope rudder."

"It's too late for that now," said Tom. "He attaches, I think,
too much importance to that device. I shan't need it with the
improvements I have made to the craft. Get aboard!"

Ned climbed down the hatchway, which, however, was not closed,
as it was decided to navigate the craft on the surface until it
was necessary to submerge her because of too rough water, or when
the vicinity of the wreck was reached.

"Though we will go down to the bottom when we get to the
Atlantic for the purpose of testing her in deep water," decided
Tom. "Most of the time we'll steam on the surface, for we'll save
our batteries that way, and it's more comfortable breathing
natural air."

So, with part of her deck above the surface, the M. N. 1 began
her voyage, sent on her way by the cheers of the small force of
Tom's workmen at the submarine plant. The general public was not
admitted, for the object of the quest was kept secret from all
save those immediately interested.

"Rad, him be plenty mad he not come," said Koku to Tom, as the
giant moved about the cabin, putting things to rights.

"Well, don't start crowing over him until we get back," warned
the young inventor. "He may have the laugh on us."

"Rad no laugh," declared Koku. "Rad him too mad dat I come on

"A submarine voyage is no place for old, faithful Eradicate,"
murmured Tom. "He's better off looking after my father."

The first part of the trip was without incident of moment. No
mishap attended the voyage of the M. N. 1 down the river, out
into the bay, and so on to the great Atlantic.

Fairly good time was made, as there was no particular object in
speeding, and on the second day after leaving the dock Tom gave
orders for the hatch to be closed, the deck cleared, and
everything made tight and fast.

"What's up?" asked Ned, hearing the instructions passed around.

"We're approaching deep water," was the answer. "I'm going to

A little later, by means of her diving rudders, aided also by
the tanks, the M. N. 1 began to sink. Down, down, down she went.

"Now I'll be able to show you some pretty sights, Mr. Hardley,"
said Tom, as he and his friends entered the forward compartment,
while the steel shutters were rolled back from the heavy glass
windows. "We'll be in deep waters presently."

Ten minutes later the depth gauge showed that they were down
about three hundred feet, and that is pretty deep for a
submarine. But Tom's boat was capable of even greater depths than

At first there was nothing much to observe save the opal-tinted
water illuminated by the powerful lights of the submarine. Small,
and evidently frightened, fish darted to and fro, but there was
nothing especially to attract the attention of Tom and his
friends, who had made much more sensational trips than this under

Mr. Hardley, however, was fascinated, and kept close to the
observation windows.

"Are there any wrecks around here?" he asked Tom.

"Possibly," was the answer. "Though they do not contain any
treasure, I imagine--brick schooners or cargo boats would be
about all."

The submarine went deeper, plowing her way through the Atlantic
at a depth of more than three hundred and fifty feet, for Tom
wanted to subject her to a good test.

Suddenly Mr. Hardley, who was now alone at the window on the
port side, uttered a cry of alarm.

"Look! Look!" he fairly shouted. "We're surrounded by a school
of sharks! What monsters! Are we in danger?"



Tom Swift, who had been making readings of the various gauges,
taking notes for future use, and otherwise busying himself about
the navigation of his reconstructed craft, turned quickly from
the instrument board at the cry from Mr. Hardley. The gold-
seeker, with a look of terror on his face, had recoiled from the
observation windows.

"Bless my hat band!" cried Mr. Damon. "Look, Tom!"

They all turned their attention to the glass, and through the
plates could be seen a school of giant fishes that seemed to be
swimming in front of the submarine, keeping pace with it as
though waiting for a chance to enter.

"Are we well protected against sharks, Mr. Swift?" demanded the
adventurer. "Are these sea monsters likely to break, the glass
and get in at us?"

"Indeed not!" laughed Tom. "There is absolutely no danger from
these fish--they aren't sharks, either."

"Not sharks?" cried Mr. Hardley. "What are they, then?"

"Horse mackerel," Tom answered. "At least that is the common
name for the big fish. But they are far from being sharks, and we
are in no danger from them."

"Oh!" exclaimed Mr. Hardley, and he seemed a little ashamed of
the exhibition of fear he had manifested. "Well, they certainly
seem determined to follow us," he added.

The big fish were, indeed, following the submarine, and it
required no exertion on their part to maintain their speed, since
below the surface the M. N. 1 could not move very fast, as indeed
no submarine can, due to the resistance of the water.

"They do look as though they'd like to take a bite or two out
of us," observed Ned. "Are they dangerous, Tom?"

"Not as a rule," was the answer. "I don't doubt, though, but if
a lone swimmer got in a school of horse mackerel he'd be badly
bitten. In fact, some years ago, when there was a shark scare
along the New Jersey coast, some fishermen declared that it was
horse mackerel that were responsible for the death and injury of
several bathers. A number of horse mackerel were caught and
exhibited as sharks, but, as you can easily see, their mouths
lack the under-shot arrangement of the shark, and they are not
built at all as are the man-eaters."

"Bless my toothbrush!" exclaimed Mr. Damon. "Still, between a
horse mackerel and a shark there isn't much choice!"

Mr. Hardley, with a shudder, turned away from the glass
windows, and Tom glanced significantly at Ned. It was another
exhibition of the man's lack of nerve.

"We'll have trouble with him before this voyage is over,"
declared the young inventor to his chum, a little later.

"What makes you think so?" asked Ned.

"Because he's yellow; that's why. I thought him that once
before, and then I revised my opinion. Now I'm back where I
started. You watch--we'll have trouble."

"Well, I guess we can handle him," observed the financial

"I'm going a little deeper," announced Tom, toward evening on
the first day of the voyage on the open ocean. "I want to see how
she stands the pressure at five hundred feet. I feel certain she
will, and even at a greater depth. But if there's anything wrong
we want to correct it before we get too far away from home. We're
going down again, deeper than before."

A little later the submarine began the descent into the lower
ocean depths. From three hundred and fifty feet she went to four
hundred, and when the hand on the gauge showed four hundred and
fifty there was a tense moment. If anything went wrong now there
would be serious trouble.

But Tom Swift and his men had done their work well. The M. N. 1
stood the strain, and when the gauge showed four hundred and
ninety feet Mr. Damon gave a faint cheer.

"Bless my apple dumpling, Tom!" he replied, "this is

"Oh, we've been deeper than this," replied the young inventor,
"but under different conditions. I'm glad to see how well she is
standing it, though."

Suddenly, as the needle pointer on the depth gauge showed five
hundred and two feet, there came a slight jar and vibration that
was felt throughout the craft.

"What's that?" suddenly and nervously cried Mr. Hardley. "Have
we struck something?"

"Yes, the bottom of the ocean," answered Tom quietly. "We are
now on the floor of the Atlantic, though several hundred miles,
and perhaps a thousand, from the treasure ship. We bumped the
bottom, that's all," and as he spoke he brought the submarine to
a stop by a signal to the engine room.

And there, as calmly and easily as some of the masses of
seaweed growing on the ocean floor around her, rested the
M. N. 1. It was a test of her powers, and well had she stood the
test, though harder ones were in store for her.

And inside the submarine Tom and his party were under scarcely
greater discomfort than they would have been on the surface.
True, they were confined to a restricted space, and the air they
breathed came from compression tanks, and not from the open sky.
The lights had to be kept aglow, of course, for it was pitch dark
at that depth. The sunlight cannot penetrate to more than a
hundred feet. But sunlight was not needed, for the craft carried
powerful electric lights that could illuminate the sea in the
immediate vicinity of the submarine.

"Are you going to stay here long?" asked Mr. Hardley, when Tom
had spent some time making accurate readings of the various
instruments of the boat. "Of course, I realize that you are the
commander, but if we don't get to the treasure ship soon some one
else may loot her before we have a chance. She's been given up as
a hopeless task more than once, but the lure of the millions may
attract another gang."

"I want to stay here until I make sure that nothing is leaking
and that everything is all right," answered the young inventor.
"This is a test I have not given her since the rebuilding. But I
think she is coming through it all right, and we can soon start
off again. Before we do, though, I want to try the new diving
outfit. Ned, are you game for it now? This is a little deeper
than you have gone out in for some time, but--"

"Oh, I'm game!" exclaimed the young financial manager. "Get out
the suit, Tom, and I'll put it on. I'll go for a stroll on the
bottom of the sea. Who knows? Perhaps I may pick up a pearl."

"Pearls aren't found in these northern waters, any more than
are sharks," said Tom with a laugh. "However, I'll have the suits
made ready. I'll send Koku with you, and I'll stay in this time.
Mr. Damon, do you want to go out?"

"Not this time, Tom," answered the eccentric man. "My heart
action isn't what it used to be. The doctor said I mustn't strain
it. At a depth not quite so great I may take a chance."

"How about you, Mr. Hardley?" asked Tom. "Do you want to put on
one of my portable diving suits and walk around on the bottom of
the sea?"

"I--I don't believe I've had enough experience," was the
hesitating answer. "I'll watch the others first."

Tom felt that it would be this way, but he said nothing. He
ordered the diving suits made ready, a special size having been
built for the giant, and soon preparations were under way for the
two to step outside the craft.

Those who have read of Tom Swift's submarine boat know how his
special diving outfit was operated. Instead of the diver being
supplied with the air through a hose connected with a pump on the
surface, there was attached to the suit a tank of compressed air,
which was supplied as needed through special reducing valves.

The diving dress, too, was exceptionally strong, to withstand
the awful pressure of water at more than five hundred feet below
the surface. The usual rubber was supplemented by thin,
reinforced sheets of steel, and this feature, together with an
auxiliary air pressure, kept the wearer safe.

Thus Ned and Koku could leave the submarine, walk about on the
floor of the ocean as they pleased, and return, unhampered by an
air hose or life line. In dangerous waters, infested by sea
monsters, weapons could be carried that were effective under
water. The diving suit was also provided with a powerful electric
light operated by a new form of storage current, compact and

"Well, I think we're all ready," announced Ned, as he and Koku
were helped into their suits and they waited for the glass-
windowed helmets to be put on. Once these were fastened in place
talk would have to be carried on with the outside world by means
of small telephones or by signals.

"Give me axe!" exclaimed Koku, as some of the sailors were
about to put his helmet in place.

"What do you want of an axe?" Tom asked.

"Maybe so one them cow fish come along," explained the giant.
"Koku whack him with axe."

"He means horse mackerel," laughed Ned. "Give him the axe, Tom.
I don't like the looks of those fish, either. I'll take a weapon

Two keen axes were handed to the divers, their helmets were
screwed on, and they immediately began breathing the compressed
air carried in a tank on their shoulders.

Slowly and laboriously they walked to the diving chamber. Their
progress would be easier in the water, which would buoy them up
in a measure. Now they were heavily weighted.

To leave the submarine the divers had to enter a steel chamber
in the side of the craft. This craft contained double doors. Once
the divers were inside the door leading to the interior of the
submarine was hermetically closed. Water from outside was then
admitted until the pressure was equalized. Then the outer door
was opened and Ned and Koku could step forth.

They entered the chamber, the door was closed tightly and then
Tom Swift turned the valve that admitted the sea water. With a
hiss the Atlantic began rushing in, and in a short time the outer
door would be opened.

"If you'll come around to the observation windows you can see
them," said Tom, when a look at the indicators told him Ned and
Koku had stepped forth.

To the front cabin he and the others betook themselves, and
when the interior lights were turned out and the exterior ones
turned on they waited for a sight of the two divers.

"Bless my pickle bottle!" cried Mr. Damon, "there they are,

As he spoke there came into view, moving slowly, Ned and Koku.
Their portable lights were glowing, and then, in order to see
them better, Tom turned out the exterior searchlights. This made
the two forms, in their rather grotesque dress, stand out in bold
relief amid the swirling green waters of the Atlantic.

Ned and the giant moved slowly, for it was impossible to
progress with any speed wader that terrific pressure. They looked
toward the submarine and waved their hands in greeting. They had
no special object on the ocean floor, except to try the new
diving dress, and it seemed to operate successfully. Ned made a
pretense of looking for treasure amid the sand and seaweed, and
once he caught and held up by its tail a queer turtle. Koku
stalked about behind Ned, looking to right and left, possibly for
a sight of some monster "cow fish."

"They're coming back in, I think," remarked Tom, when he saw
Ned turn and start back for the side of the craft, where,
amidships, was located the diving chamber. "They're satisfied
with the test."

Suddenly Koku was seen to glide to the side of Ned, and point
at something which none of the observers in the M. N. 1 could
see. The giant was evidently perturbed, and Ned, too, showed some

"Bless my rubber shoes! what's the matter?" cried Mr. Damon.

"I don't know," answered Tom. "Perhaps they have sighted a
wreck, or something like that."

"Look! It's a sea monster!" cried Mr. Hardley. "I can see the
form of some great fish, or something. Look! It's coming right at

As he spoke all in the observation chamber saw a great, black
form, as if of some monster, move close to the two divers.



"What is it, Tom? What is it?" cried Mr. Damon, not stopping in
this moment of excitement to bless anything. "What is going to
attack Ned and Koku?"

"I don't know," answered the young inventor. "It's some big
fish evidently. I must get to the diving chamber!"

He gave a quick glance through the observation windows. Ned and
the giant were moving as fast as they could toward the side of
the craft where they could enter. The black, shadowy form was
nearer now, but its nature could not be made out.

Calling to his force of assistants, Tom stood ready to let his
chum and Koku out of the diving chamber as soon as the water
should have been pumped from it.

A little later, as they all stood waiting in tense eagerness,
there came a signal that the two divers had entered the side
chamber. Quickly Tom turned the lever that closed the outer door.

"They're safe!" he exclaimed, as he started the pumps to
working. But even as he spoke they felt a jar, and the submarine
rolled partly over as if she had collided with some object. Yet
this could not be, as she was stationary on the floor of the

"Bless my cake of soap, Tom!" cried Mr. Damon, "what in the
world is that?"

"If it's an accident!" exclaimed Mr. Hardley, "I think it ought
to be prevented. There have been too many happenings on this trip
already. I thought you said your submarine was safe for
underwater trips!" he fairly snapped at Tom.

The young inventor gave one look at the irate man who was
coming out in his true colors. But it was no time to rebuke him.
Too much yet remained to be done. Ned and Koku were still in the
chamber and protected from some unknown sea monster by only a
comparatively thin door. They must be inside to be perfectly

Tom speeded up the pumps that were forcing the water from the
chamber so the inner door could be opened. Eagerly he and his men
watched the gauges to note when the last gallon should have been
forced out by the compressed air. Not until then would it be safe
to let Ned and Koku step into the interior of the craft.

The submarine had not ceased rolling from the force of the blow
she had received when there came another, and this time on the
opposite side. Once more she rolled to a dangerous angle.

"Bless my tea biscuit!" cried Mr. Damon, "what is it all about,
Tom Swift?"

"I don't know," was the low-voiced answer, "unless a pair of
monsters are attacking us on both sides alternately. But we'll
soon learn. There goes the last of the water!"

The gauge showed that the diving chamber was empty. Quickly the
inner doors were opened, stud, with their suits still dripping
from their immersion in the salty sea, Ned and Koku stepped
forth. In another moment their helmets were loosed from the
bayonet catches, and they could speak.

"What was it, Ned?" cried Tom.

"Big fish!" answered Koku.

"Two monster whales!" gasped Ned. "We barely got away from
them! They're ramming the sub, Tom!"

As he spoke there came a blow on the port side, greater than
either of the two preceding ones. Those in the M. N. 1 staggered
about, and had to hold on to objects to preserve their footing.

"Both at the same time!" cried Ned. "The two whales are coming
at us both at once!"

This was evidently the case. Tom Swift quickly hurried to the
engine room.

"What are you going to do?" asked Mr. Hardley. "You ought to
do something! I'm not going to be killed down here by a whale.
You've got to do something, Swift! I've had enough of this!"

Tom did not deign an answer, but hurried on. Mr. Damon followed
him, having seen that some of the sailors were helping Ned and
Koku out of the diving suits.

"Are we in any danger, Tom?" asked the eccentric man.

"Yes; but I think it is easily remedied," was the answer.
"We'll go up to the surface. I don't believe the whales will
follow us. Or, if they do, they can't do much damage when we are
in motion. It's because we are stationary and they are moving
that the blows seem so violent. Unless they collide head on with
us, in the opposite direction to ours, we ought to be able to get
clear of them. If they persist in following us--"

He paused as he pulled over the lever that would send the M. N.
1 to the surface.

"Well, what then?" asked Mr. Damon.

"Then we'll have to use some weapon, and I have several,"
finished the young inventor.

A few moments later the craft was in motion, not before,
however, she was struck another blow, but only a glancing one.

"We're puzzling them!" cried Tom.

Having done all that was possible for the time being, Tom
hurried to the observation chamber, followed by the ethers. There
Tom switched on the powerful lights. For a moment nothing was to
be seen but the swirling, green water. Then, suddenly, a great
shape came into view of the glass windows, followed by another.

"Whales!" cried Tom Swift. "And the largest I've ever seen

It was true. Two immense specimens of the cetacean species were
in front of the submarine, one on either bow, evidently much
puzzled over the glaring lights. They were bow-heads, and immense
creatures, and it would not take many blows from them to disable
even a stouter craft than was the submarine.

But the motion of the undersea ship, the bright lights, and
possibly the feel of her steel skin was evidently not to the
liking of the sea monsters. One, indeed, came so close to the
glass that he seemed about to try to break it, but, to the relief
of all, he veered off, evidently not liking the look of what he

Just once again, before the craft reached the surface, was
there another blow, this time at the stern. But it was a parting
tap, and none others followed.

"They've gone!" exclaimed Mr. Damon, as the whales vanished
from the sight of those in the forward cabin.

"Have you any adequate protection against these monsters of the
deep?" asked Mr. Hardley in a fault-finding voice. "I should
think you would have taken precautions, Swift!"

He had dropped the formal "Mr." and seemed to treat Tom as an

"We have other protection than running away," said the young
inventor quietly. "There are guns we can use, and, if the whales
had been far enough away, I could have sent a small torpedo at
them. Close by it would be dangerous to use that, as it would
operate on us just as the depth bombs operated on the German
submarines. However, I fancy we have nothing more to fear."

And Tom was right. When the surface was reached and the main
hatch opened, the sea was calm and there was no sight of the
whales. They evidently had had enough of their encounter with a
steel fish, larger even than themselves.

"But they surely were monsters," said Ned, as he told of how he
and Koku had sighted the animals; for a whale is an animal, and
not a fish, though often mistakenly called one.

"Koku was for attacking them with his axe," went on Ned, "but I
motioned to him to beat it. We wouldn't have stood a show against
such creatures. They were on us before we noticed their coming,
but I presume the big submarine attracted them away from us."

"It might have been the lights you carried that drew them,"
suggested Tom. "I am glad you came out of it so well."

Mr. Hardley seemed to recover some of his former manners, once
the peril was passed, but his conduct had been a revelation to
Mr. Damon.

"Tom," said the eccentric man in private to the young inventor,
"I'm disgusted with that fellow. I don't see how I was ever
bamboozled into taking up his offer."

"I don't, either," replied Tom frankly. "But we're in for it
now. We've agreed to do certain things, and I'll carry out my end
of the bargain. However, I won't put up with any of his nonsense.
He's got to obey orders on this ship! I know more than he thinks
I do!"

The next two days the M. N. 1 progressed along on the surface,
and nothing of moment occurred. Then, as they neared southern
waters, and Tom desired to make some observations of the
character of the bottom, it was decided to submerge. Accordingly,
one day the order was given.

Not until the gauge showed a hundred fathoms, or six hundred
feet, did the craft cease descending, and then she came to rest
on the bottom of the sea--a greater depth than she had yet
attained on this voyage.

"How beautiful!" exclaimed Mr. Damon, when Tom turned on the
lights and they looked out of the forward cabin windows. "How
wonderful and beautiful!"

Well might he say that, for they were resting on pure white
sand, and about them, growing on the bottom of this warm,
tropical sea were great corals, purple and white, of wondrous
shapes, waving plants like ferns and palms, and, amid it all,
swam fish of queer shapes and beautiful colors.

"This is worth waiting for!" murmured Ned. "If only moving
pictures of this could be taken in colors, it would create a

"Perhaps I may try that some day," said Tom with a smile. "But
just now I have something else to do. Ned, are you game for
another try in the diving dress? I want to see how it operates
with a new air tank I've fitted on. Want to try?"

"Sure I'll go out," was the ready answer. "It's nicer walking
around on this white sand than on the black mud where we saw the
whales. You can see better, too."

A little later he and one of the sailors were outside the
submarine, walking around in the diving dress, while Tom and the
others watched through the glass windows. The new air tank seemed
to be working well, for Ned, coming close to the window, signaled
that he was very comfortable.

He walked around with the sailor, breaking off bits of odd-
shaped coral to bring back to Tom. Suddenly, as those inside the
craft looked out, they saw the sailor turn from Ned's side, and
with a warning hand, point to something evidently approaching.
The next instant a queer shape seemed to envelope Ned Newton,
coming out from behind a ledge of weed-draped coral. And a cry
went up from those in the submarine as Ned was seen to be
enveloped in long, waving arms.

"An octopus!" cried Mr. Damon. "Bless my soul, Tom, an octopus
has Ned!"

"No, it isn't that!" cried the young inventor hoarsely. "It's
some other monster. It has only five arms--an octopus has eight!
I've got to save Ned!"

And he hurried toward the diving chamber, while the others, in
fascinated horror, looked at the diver who was in such strange



Mr. Damon came to a pause in the compartment from which the
diving chamber gave access to the ocean outside. Tom, standing
before the sliding steel door, had summoned to him several of his
men and was rapidly giving them directions.

"What are you going to do, Tom Swift?" asked the eccentric man.

"I'm going out there to save Ned!" was the quick answer. "He's
in the grip of some strange monster of the sea. What it is I
don't know, but I'm going to find out. Koku, you come with me!"

"Yes, Master, me come!" said the giant simply, as if Tom had
told him to go for a pail of water instead of risking his life.

"Barnes, the electric gun!" cried the young inventor to one of
his helpers, while others were getting out the diving suits.

"The electric gun!" exclaimed the man. "Do you mean the small

"No, the largest. The improved one."

"Right, sir! Here you are!"

"Do you mean to say you are going out there, where that monster
is, and attack it with a gun?" asked Mr. Hardley.

"That's what I'm going to do!" answered Tom, as he began to
put on the suit of steel and rubber, an example followed by Koku.

"But you may be attacked by the monster! You may be killed! You
are risking your life!" cried the gold seeker.

"I know it." Tom spoke simply. "Ned would do the same for me!"

"But hold on!" cried Mr. Hardley. "If you are killed there will
be no one to navigate this boat to the place of the wreck! You
can't desert this way!"

Tom gave the man one look of contempt. "You need have, no
fears," he said. "This submarine is under international maritime
laws. If I die, Captain Nelson, the next in command, takes
charge, and the original orders will be carried out. If it is
possible to get the gold for you it will be done. Now let me
alone. I've got work to do!"

"Bless my apple cart, Tom, that's the way to talk!" exclaimed
Mr. Damon, and he, too, for the first time, seemed ready to break
with Hardley. "If I were a bit younger I'd go out with you myself
and help save Ned."

"Koku and I can do it--if he's still alive!" murmured the young
inventor. "Lively now, boys! Is that gun ready?"

"Yes, and doubly charged," was the answer. "Good! I may need
it. Koku, take a gun also!"

"Me take axe, Master," replied the giant.

"Well, perhaps that will be better," Tom agreed. "If two of us
get to shooting under the water we may hit one another. Quick,
now! The helmets. And, Nash, you work the big searchlight!"

"Aye, aye, sir!" answered the sailor.

The helmets were now put on, and any further orders Tom had to
give must come through the telephone, and it was by that same
medium that he must listen to the talk of his friends. It was
possible for the divers to talk and listen to one another while
in the water by means of these peculiarly constructed telephones.

"All ready, Koku?" asked Tom.

"All ready, Master," answered the giant, as he grasped his keen

The inner door of the diving chamber was now opened, and, the
water having been pumped out of the chamber since Ned and the
sailor had emerged, it was ready for Tom and Koku. They entered,
the door was closed, and presently they felt the pressure of
water all about them, the sea being admitted through valves in
the outer door.

While this was going on Mr. Damon, the gold-seeker, and some of
the crew and officers went into the forward chamber to observe
the undersea fight against the monster that had attacked Ned.

Suddenly the waters glowed with a greatly increased light, and
in this illumination it was seen that the monster, whatever it
was, had almost completely enveloped Tom's chum with its five

"What makes it possible to see better?" asked Mr. Damon.

"I've turned on the big searchlight," was the answer. "Mr.
Swift had it installed at the last moment. It's the same kind he
invented and gave to the government, but he retained the right to
use it himself."

"It's a good thing he did!" exclaimed the eccentric man. "Now
he can see what he's doing! Poor Ned! I'm afraid he's done for!"

"Look!" exclaimed one of the crew. "Norton, the sailor who went
out with Mr. Newton, is trying to kill the monster with his

This was so. Ned's companion, armed with a lone pole to which
he had lashed a knife, was stabbing and jabbing at the black form
which almost completely hid Ned from sight. But the efforts of
the sailor seemed to produce little effect.

"What in the world can it be?" asked Mr. Damon. "Tom says it
isn't an octopus, and it can't be, unless it has lost three of
its arms. But what sort of monster is it?"

No one answered him. The powerful searchlight continued to
glow, and in the gleam Ned could be seen trying to break away
from the grip of the Atlantic beast. But his efforts were
unavailing. It was as if he was enveloped in a sort of sack, made
in segments, so that they opened and closed over his head. About
all that could be seen of him was his feet, encased in the heavy
lead-laden boots. The form of the other sailor, who had gone out
of the submarine with him, could be seen moving here and there,
stabbing at the huge creature.

"Here comes Tom!" suddenly exclaimed Mr. Damon, and the young
inventor, followed by the giant Koku, came into view. They had
emerged from the diving chamber, walked around the submarine as
it rested on the ocean floor, and were now advancing to the
rescue. Tom carried his electric rifle, and Koku an axe.

So desperately was Norton engaged in trying to kill the sea
beast that had attacked Ned, that for the moment he was unaware
of the approach of Tom and Koku. Then, as a swirl of the water
apprised him of this, he turned and, seeing them, hastened toward

"What is it?" Tom asked through the telephone, this information
being given to the watchers in the submarine later, as all they
could gather then was by what they saw. "What sort of monster is

"A giant starfish!" answered Norton, speaking into his
mouthpiece and the water serving as a transmitting medium instead
of wires. "I never knew they grew so big! This one has its five
arms all around Mr. Newton!"

"A starfish!" murmured Tom. This accounted for it, and, as he
looked at the monster from closer quarters, he saw that Norton
had spoken the truth.

Small starfish, or even large ones, two feet or more in
diameter, may be seen at the seashore almost any time. Nearly
always the specimens cast up on the beach are in extended form,
either limp, or dead and dried. In almost every instance they
are spread out just as their name indicates, in the conventional
form of a star.

But a starfish alive, and at its business of eating oysters or
other shell animals in the sea, is not at all this shape.
Instead, it assumes the form of a sack, spreading its five
radiating arms around the object of its meal. It then proceeds
to suck the oyster out of its shell, and so powerful a suction
organ has the starfish that he can pull an oyster through its
shell, by forcing the bivalve to open.

And it was a gigantic starfish, a hundred times as large as any
Tom had ever seen, that had Ned in its grip. The creature had
doubtless taken the diver for a new kind of oyster, and was
trying to open it. An octopus has suckers on the inner sides of
its eight arms. A starfish has little feelers, or "fingers,"
arranged parallel rows on the inner side of its armsÄthousands of
little feelers, and these exert a sort of sucking action.

The gigantic starfish had attacked Ned from above, settling
down on him so that the head of the diver was at the middle of
the creature's body, the five arms, dropping over Ned in a sort
of living canopy. And the arms held tightly.

"Come on, Koku, and you, too, Norton!" called Tom through his
headpiece telephone. "We'll all attack it at once. I'll fire, and
then you begin to hack it. The electric charge ought to stun it,
if it doesn't kill the beast!"

Tom's new electric gun, unlike one kind he had first invented,
did not fire an electrically charged bullet. Instead it sent a
powerful charge of electricity, like a flash of lightning, in a
straight line toward the object aimed at. And the current was
powerful enough to kill an elephant.

Bracing his feet on the white sand, which gleamed and sparkled
in the glare of the searchlight, Tom aimed at the gigantic
starfish which had enveloped Ned. Standing on either side of him,
ready to rush in and attack with axe and lance, were Koku and

For an instant Tom hesitated. He was wondering whether the
powerful electric charge might not penetrate the body of the
starfish and kill his chum.

"But the rubber suit ought to insulate and protect him," mused
the young inventor. "Here goes!"

Taking quick aim, Tom pulled the switch, and the deadly charge
shot out of the rifle toward the sea monster.



For an instant after the electrical charge had been fired
nothing seem to happen. The giant starfish still enveloped Ned
Newton in its grip, while Tom and his two companions stood
tensely waiting and those in the submarine looked anxiously out
through the thick glass windows.

Then, as the powerful current made itself felt, those watching
saw one of the arms slowly loosen its grip. Another floated
upward, as a strand of rope idly drifts in the current. Tom saw
this, and called through his telephone:

"He's feeling it! Go to him, boys! Koku, you with the axe!"

They needed no second urging.

Springing toward the monster, Koku with upraised axe and Norton
with the lance, they attacked the starfish. Hacking and stabbing,
they completed the work begun by Tom's electric gun. With one
powerful stroke, even hampered as he was by the heavy medium in
which he operated, Koku lopped off one of the legs. Norton thrust
his lance deep into the body of the monster, but this was hardly
needed, for the starfish was now dead, and gradually the
remaining arms relaxed their hold.

Pushing with their weapons, the giant and the sailor now freed
Ned from the bulk of the creature, which floated away. It was
almost immediately attacked by a school of fish that seemed to
have been waiting for just this chance. Ned Newton was freed, but
for a moment he staggered about on the floor of the sea, hardly
able to stand.

"Are you all right, Ned? Did he pierce your suit?" asked Tom,
anxiously through the telephone.

"Yes, I'm all right," came back the reassuring answer. "I'm a
bit cramped from the way he held me, but that's all. Guess he
found this suit of rubber and steel too much for his digestion."

Slowly, for Ned was indeed a bit stiff and cramped, they made
their way back to the submarine, passing through a vast horde of
small fishes which had been attracted by the dismemberment of the
monster that had been killed.

"There'll be sharks along soon," said Tom to Ned through the
telephone. "They're not going to miss such a gathering of food as
these small fry present. And sharks will present a different
emergency from starfish."

Tom spoke truly, for a little later, when they were all once
more safely within the submarine, looking through the windows,
they saw a school of hungry sharks feeding on the millions of
small fish that gathered to eat the creature that had attacked

"What did you think was happening to you out there?" asked
Tom, when the diving suits had been put away.

"I didn't know what to think," was the answer. "I was
prospecting around, and I leaned over to pick up a particularly
beautiful bit of coral. All at once I felt something over me, as
a cloud sometimes hides the sun. I looked up, saw a big black
shape settling down, and then I felt my arms pinned to my sides.
At first I thought it was an octopus, but in a moment I realized
what it was. Though I never thought before that starfish grew so

"Nor I," added Tom. "Well, you've had an experience, to say the

They remained a little longer in the vicinity, Tom and his
officers making observations they thought would be useful to them
later, and then the submarine went up to the surface.

They cruised in the open the rest of that day, recharging the
storage batteries and getting ready for the search which, Tom
calculated, would take them some time. As he had explained, it
would not be easy to locate the Pandora in the fathomless depths
of the sea.

Ned and Mr. Damon did some fishing while they were on the
surface, and, as their luck was good, there was a welcome change
from the usual food of the M. N. 1. Though, as Tom had installed
a refrigerating plant, fresh meat could be kept for some time,
and this, in addition to the tinned and preserved foods, gave
them an ample larder.

"When are we going to begin the real search for the gold?"
asked Mr. Hardley that evening.

"I should say in another day or two," Tom answered, after he
had consulted the charts and made calculations of their progress
since leaving their dock. "We shall then be in the vicinity of
the place where you say the Pandora went down, and, if you are
sure of your location, we ought to be able to come approximately
near to the location of the gold wreck."

"Of course I am sure of my figures," declared Mr. Hardley. "I
had them directly from the first mate, who gave them to the

"Well, it remains to be seen," replied Tom Swift. "We'll know
in a few days."

"And I hope there will be no more taking chances," went on the
gold-seeker. "I don't see any sense in you people going out in
diving suits to fight starfish. We need those suits to recover
the gold with, and it's foolish to take needless risks."

His tone and manner were dictatorial, but Tom said nothing.
Only when he and Mr. Damon were alone a little later the
eccentric man said:

"Tom will you ever forgive me for introducing you to such a

"Oh, well, you didn't know what he was," said Tom good-
naturedly. "You're as badly taken in as I am. Once we get the
gold and give him his share, he can get off my boat. I'll have
nothing more to do with him!"

Not wishing to navigate in the darkness, for fear of not being
able to keep an accurate record of the course and the distance
made Tom submerged the craft when night came and let her come to
rest on the bottom of the sea. He calculated that two days later
they would be in the vicinity of the Pandora.

The night passed without incident, situated, as they were, on
the sand about three hundred feet below the surface; and after
breakfast Tom announced that they would go up and head directly
for the place where the Pandora had foundered.

The ballast tanks were emptied, the rising rudder set, and the
M. N. 1 began to ascend. She was still several fathoms from the
surface when all on board became aware of a violent pitching and
tossing motion.

"Bless my postage stamp, Tom!" exclaimed Mr. Damon, "what's the
matter now?"

"Has anything gone wrong?" demanded Mr. Hardley.

"Nothing, except that we are coming up into a storm," answered
the young inventor. "The wind is blowing hard up above and the
waves are high. The swell makes itself felt even down here."

Tom's explanation of the cause of the pitching and rolling of
the submarine proved correct. When they reached the surface and
an observation was taken from the conning tower, it was seen that
a terrific storm was raging. It was out of the question to open
the hatches, or the M. N. 1 would have been swamped. The waves
were high, it was raining hard and the wind blowing a hurricane.

"Well, here's where we demonstrate the advantage of traveling
in a submarine," announced Tom, when it was seen that journeying
on the surface was out of the question. "The disturbance does not
go far below the top. We'll submerge and be in quiet waters."

He gave the orders, and soon the craft was sinking again. The
deeper she went the more untroubled the sea became, until, when
half way to the bottom, there was no vestige of the storm.

"Are we going to lie here on the bottom all day, or make some
progress toward our destination?" asked the gold-seeker, when Tom
came into the main cabin after a visit to the engine room. "It
seems to me," went on Mr. Hardley, "that we've wasted enough
time! I'd like to get to the wreck, and begin taking out the

"That is my plan," said Tom quietly. "We will proceed
presently--just as soon as navigating calculations can be made
and checked up. If we travel under water we want to go in the
right direction."

His manner toward the gold-seeker was cool and distant. It was
easy to see that relations were strained. But Tom would fulfill
his part of the contract.

A little later, after having floated quietly for half an hour
or so, the craft was put in motion, traveling under water by
means of her electric motors. All that day she surged on through
the salty sea, no more disturbed by the storm above than was some
mollusk on the sandy bottom.

It was toward evening, as they could tell by the clocks and not
by any change in daylight or darkness, that, as the submarine
traveled on, there came a sudden violent concussion.

"What's that?" cried Mr. Damon.

"We've struck something!" replied Tom, who was with the others
in the cabin, the navigation of the craft having been entrusted
to one of the officers. "Keep cool, there's no danger!"

"Perhaps we have struck the wreck!" exclaimed Mr. Hardley.

"We aren't near her," answered the young inventor. "But it may
be some other half-submerged derelict. I'll go to see, and--"

Tom's words were choked off by a sudden swirl of the craft. She
seemed about to turn completely over, and then, twisted to an
uncomfortable angle, so that those within her slid to the side
walls of the cabin, the M. N. 1 came to an abrupt stop. At the
same time she seemed to vibrate and tremble as if in terror of
some unknown fate.

"Something has gone wrong!" exclaimed Tom, and he hurried to
the engine room, walking, as best he could with the craft at that
grotesque angle. The others followed him.

"What's the matter, Earle?" asked Tom of his chief assistant.

"One of the rudders has broken, sir," was the answer. "It's
thrown us off our even keel. I'll start the gyroscope, and that
ought to stabilize us."

"The gyroscope!" cried Tom. "I didn't bring it. I didn't think
we'd need it!"

For a moment Earle looked at his commander. Then he said:

"Well, perhaps we can make a shift if we can repair the broken
rudder. We must have struck a powerful cross current, or maybe a
whirlpool, that tore the main rudder loose. We've rammed a sand
bank, or stuck her nose into the bottom in some shallow place,
I'm afraid. We can't go ahead or back up."

"Do you mean we're stuck, as we were in the mud bank?" asked
Mr. Hardley.

"Yes," answered Tom, and Earle nodded to confirm that version
of it.

"But we'll get out!" declared Tom. "This is only a slight
accident. It doesn't amount to anything, though I'm sorry now I
didn't take my father's advice and bring the gyroscope rudder
along. It would have acted automatically to have prevented this.
Now, Mr. Earle, we'll see what's to be done."

All night long they worked, but when morning came, as told by
the clocks, they were still in jeopardy.

And then a new peril confronted them!

Earle, coming from the crew's quarters, spoke to Tom quietly in
the main cabin.

"We'll have to turn on one of the auxiliary air tanks," he
said. "We've consumed more than the usual amount on account of
the men working so hard, and we used one of the compressed air
motors to aid the electrics. We'll have to open up the reserve

"Very well, do so," ordered Tom.

But a grim look came to his face when Earle, returning a little
later, reported with blanched cheeks:

"The extra tank hasn't an atom of air in it, sir!"

"What do you mean?" asked Tom, in fear and alarm.

"I mean that the valve has been opened in some way--broken
perhaps by accident--and all the air we have is what's in the
submarine now. Not an atom in reserve, sir!"

"Whew!" whistled Tom, and then he stood up and began breathing

Already the atmosphere was beginning to be tainted, as it
always becomes in a closed place when no fresh oxygen can enter.
Without more fresh air the lives of all in the submarine were in
imminent peril. And even as Tom listened to the report of his
officer, he and the others began gasping for breath.



"Down on your faces!" called Tom to those with him in the
cabin. "Lie down, every one! The freshest air is near the floor;
the bad air rises, being lighter with carbonic acid. Lie down!"

All obeyed, Tom following the advice he himself gave. It was a
little easier to breathe, lying on the tilted cabin floor, but
how long could this be kept up? That was a question each one
asked himself.

"Is every bit of our reserve air used?" asked Tom, speaking to

"As far as I can learn, yes, sir. If I had known that the
auxiliary tank was empty I wouldn't have ordered the compressed
air motor used. But I didn't know."

"No one is to blame," said Tom in a low voice. "It is one of
the accidents that could not be foreseen. If there is any blame
it attaches to me for not installing the gyroscope rudder. If we
had had that when we were caught in the cross current, or the
whirlpool swirl, our equilibrium would have been automatically
maintained. As it is--"

He did not finish, but they all knew what he meant.

"Bless my soda fountain, Tom!" murmured Mr. Damon, "but isn't
there any way of getting fresh air?"

"None without rising to the top," Tom answered. "We'll have to
try that. Come with me to the engine room, Mr. Earle. It may be
possible we can pull her loose."

They started to crawl on their hands and knees, to take
advantage of the purer air at the floor level. The situation of
the M. N. 1 was exactly the same as it had been when she ran into
the mud bank in the river, with the exception that now she was in
graver danger, for the supply of air for breathing was almost

Reaching the engine room, where he found the crew lying down to
take advantage of the better air near the floor, Tom made a hasty
examination of the apparatus. There was still plenty of power
left in the storage batteries, but, so far, the motors they
operated had not been able to pull the craft loose from where her
nose was stuck fast.

"Are the tanks completely emptied?" asked Tom.

"As nearly so as we could manage with the pumps not acting to
their full capacity," answered Earle. "If we could turn the craft
on a more level keel we might empty them further, and then her
natural buoyancy would send her up."

"Then that's the thing to try to do!" exclaimed Tom, his head
beginning to feel the heaviness due to the impure air. "We'll move
every stationary object over to the port side, and we'll all
stand there, or lie there, ourselves. That may heel her over, and
help loosen the grip of the sand."

"It's worth trying," said Earle. "Get ready, men!" he called to
the crew.

Tom crawled back to the main cabin and told Mr. Damon and the
others what was to be attempted.

"Koku, you come and help move things," requested Tom.

"Me move anything!" boasted the giant, who, because of his
great strength and reserve power did not seem as greatly
affected as were the others.

Going back to the engine room with Koku, Tom assisted, as well
as he could, in the shifting of pieces of apparatus, stores and
other things that were movable. They all worked at a great
disadvantage except Koku, and he did not seem to feel the lack of
vitalizing air.

One thing after another was shifted, and still the M. N. 1
maintained the dangerous angle.

"It isn't going to work!" gasped Tom, as he noticed the
indicator which told to what angle the craft was still off an
even keel. "We'll have to try something else."

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