Part 4 out of 4
we've found the fortune anyhow, in spite of the fellows who
looted the gold boxes!"
There was no doubt about it. There were all the papers--the
certificates of shares, the partnership agreement and other
documents--to show that Mary's uncle was a rich man. The wreck of
the Pandora held a fortune after all.
"How do you account for Hardleys acts?" asked Ned of his chum.
"Well, there are several explanations. I think we may be
certain that he knew these papers were aboard the Pandora, for he
must have intrusted them to the purser himself when he made a
trip on the ship. When she sank he had not time to get them to
take with him."
"He either knew then, or found out later, that the vessel
carried, or was supposed to carry, a large amount of gold. He may
have been honestly mistaken in thinking it was two millions. In
any case he was playing safe, for he only promised me half if the
treasure was found. He could have claimed this box as his
property, and that is probably what he was after from the
beginning. He was using me as a cat's paw, so to speak."
"Well, you beat him to it," observed Ned.
"Bless my necktie, I should say so!" agreed Mr. Damon. "Do you
think he really expected to find the gold?"
"Either that or the papers," was Tom's answer. "He must have
engaged the vessel and the grappling apparatus, and, possibly, a
diver, after we set him ashore at St. Thomas. Well, we'll leave
him to his own fun."
The M. N. 1 made good time back to her home port, nothing
except a terrific storm occurring to mark the voyage. And as she
submerged when that was on she did not feel it. After greeting
his father, Tom lost little time in going to Mary's house with
the box of securities and other papers.
"I want you to hand these to your uncle with my compliments,"
he said. "I've got the Air Scout out in the meadow. We'll go over
in that. How is Mr. Keith?"
"Not very well," Mary answered, after she had got over her
surprise at seeing Tom. "But this good news will restore him, I
And it certainly was a great tonic. Mr. Keith could hardly
believe the story that Mary and Tom jointly told him. But at
length he grasped the idea that he was a wealthy man again, and
"Tom Swift, I'm going to share half with you!"
"Oh, no," retorted the young inventor. "I couldn't think of
that. If you want to pay part of the expenses of the trip I
shan't object to that, as I intend giving the gold I recovered to
Mr. Damon. But as for taking any of the oil shares--"
"Then, Mary, you shall take half!" exclaimed Mr. Keith. "I have
more money now than I'll ever spend. Mary, half of it is yours,
and if you don't let Tom Swift have a say in the spending of it--
Say, Mary, have you thanked him yet?" he asked with a twinkle of
his eyes. "Well, Uncle Barton, I--I don't know--"
"Then do it now!" cried her uncle. "Tom, if you could have any
reward you wanted, what would it be?"
Tom took Mary in his arms and--But I refuse to betray any
secrets. Anyhow, some time later when Ned asked his chum if he
felt entirely satisfied with the result of his undersea search,
the young inventor replied: "I certainly do!"
Tom admitted to his father that a mistake had been made in not
installing the gyroscope rudder. There was no excuse for not
taking it. Tom declared, as it was small and took up little room,
and it might have saved them from what was a close call at one
"I'll take it on my next submarine trip," the young inventor
Ned wanted to bring suit against Hardley to recover half the
expenses of the trip, but Tom would not consent to it. After all,
the value of the oil well property was more than the gold the
Pandora was reputed to have carried. No attempt was made to take
from Tom the comparatively small amount he had salvaged. Perhaps
whoever had put it on board did not want to admit the trick that
had been played in filling the boxes with iron disks.
Dixwell Hardley made no further trouble. He could not, for he
was so entirely in the wrong. He sold out his shares in the oil
property, and a company took possession which gave fair treatment
to Mary's uncle.
And this is the end of the story. But the future holds further
adventures for Tom Swift which, let it be hoped, he will see fit
to order recorded.