Part 3 out of 3
"Bless my toothpick! Of course, I'll not," promised Mr. Damon.
When the removal of most of the machinery of the wrecked airship had
been completed, Mrs. Nestor exclaimed:
"Well, since you are moving that out of harm's way, don't you think
it would be a good idea to change our camp, also? I'm sure I'll
never sleep a wink, thinking that part of the island may fall into
the ocean at any moment in the night, and create a wave that may
wash us all out to sea. Can't we move the camp, Mr. Swift?"
"No reason why we can't," answered the lad, smiling. "I think it
would be a good plan to take it farther back. We are likely to be
here some time, and, while we are about it, we might build more
complete shelters, and have a few more comforts."
The others agreed with this idea, so the little shacks that had been
erected were taken down, and moved to higher ground, where a better
outlook could be had of the surrounding ocean. At the same time as
safe a place as possible, considering the frequent earthquakes, was
picked out--a place where there were no overhanging rocks or cliffs.
Three huts were built, one for the two ladies, one for the men, and
third where the cooking could be done. This last also held the food
supplies and stores, and Tom noted, with satisfaction, that there
was still sufficient to eat to last over a week. Mr. Fenwick had not
stinted his kitchen stores.
This work done, Captain Mentor and Mate Fordam went to the highest
part of the island, where they erected a signal, made from pieces of
canvas that had been in the life boat. The boat itself was brought
around to the new camp, and at first it was hoped that it could be
repaired, and used. But too large a hole had been stove in the
bottom, so it was broken up, and the planks used in making the
This work occupied the better part of two days, and during this
time, there were no more earthquakes. The castaways began to hope
that the island would not be quiet for a while. Mrs. Anderson and
Mrs. Nestor assumed charge of the "housekeeping" arrangements, and
also the cooking, which relieved Tom from those duties. The two
ladies even instituted "wash-day," and when a number of garments
were hung on lines to dry, the camp looked like some summer colony
of pleasure-seekers, out for a holiday.
In the meanwhile, Tom had spent most of his time among the machinery
which had been taken from the airship. He inspected it carefully,
tested some of the apparatus, and made some calculations on a bit of
paper. He seemed greatly pleased over something, and one afternoon,
when he was removing some of the guy and stay wires from the
collapsed frame of the WHIZZER, he was approached by Mr. Barcoe
"Planning something new?" asked Mr. Jenks, with an attempt at
jollity, which, however, failed. The man had a curious air about
him, as if he was carrying some secret that was too much for him.
"Well, nothing exactly new," answered Tom. "At best I am merely
going to try an experiment."
"An experiment, eh?" resumed Mr. Jenks, "And might I ask if it has
anything to do with rescuing us from this island?"
"I hope it will have," answered Tom, gravely.
"Good!" exclaimed Mr. Jenks. "Well, now I have a proposition to make
to you. I suppose you are not very wealthy, Mr. Swift?" He gazed at
"I am not poor," was the young inventor's proud answer, "but I would
be glad to make more money--legitimately."
"I thought so. Most every one would. Look here!"
He approached closer to Tom, and, pulling his hand from his pocket,
held it extended, in the palm were a number of irregularly-shaped
objects--stones or crystals the lad took them to be, yet they did
not look like ordinary stones or crystals.
"Do you know what those are?" asked Mr. Jenks.
"I might guess," replied Tom.
"I'll save you the trouble. They are diamonds! Diamonds of the very
first water, but uncut. Now to the point. I have half a million
dollars worth of them. If you get me safely off this island, I will
agree to make you a quarter of a million dollars worth of diamonds!"
"Make me a quarter of a million dollars worth of diamonds?" asked
Tom, struck by the use of the work "make."
"Yes, 'make,'" answered Mr. Jenks. "That is if I can discover the
secret--the secret of Phantom Mountain. Get me away from the island
and I will share my knowledge with you--I need help--help to learn
the secret and help to make the diamonds--see, there are some of the
first ones made, but I have been defrauded of my rights--I need the
aid of a young fellow like you. Will you help? See, I'll give you
some diamonds now. They are genuine, though they are not like
ordinary diamonds. I made them. Will you--"
Before Tom could answer, there came a warning rumble of the earth,
and a great fissure opened, almost at the feet of Mr. Jenks, who,
with a cry of fear, leaped toward the young inventor.
"Help me save this machinery!" yelled Tom, whose first thought was
for the electrical apparatus. "Don't let it fall into that chasm!"
For the crack had widened, until it was almost to the place where
the parts of the wrecked airship had been carried.
"The machinery? What do I care about the machinery?" cried Mr.
Jenks. "I want to save my life!"
"And this machinery is our only hope!" retorted Tom. He began
tugging at the heavy dynamos and gasolene engine, but he might have
saved himself the trouble, for with the same suddenness with which
it opened, the crack closed again. The shock had done it, and, as if
satisfied with that phenomena, the earthquake ceased, and the island
no longer trembled.
"That was a light one," spoke Tom, with an air of relief. He was
becoming used to the shocks now, and, when he saw that his precious
machinery was not damaged he could view the earth tremors calmly.
"Slight!" exclaimed Mr. Jenks. "Well, I don't call it so. But I see
Captain Mentor and Mr. Hosbrook coming. Please don't say anything to
them about the diamonds. I'll see you again," and with that, the
queer Mr. Jenks walked away.
"We came to see if you were hurt," called the captain, as he neared
the young inventor.
"No, I'm all right. How about the others?"
"Only frightened," replied the yacht owner. "This is getting awful.
I hoped we were free from the shocks, but they still continue."
"And I guess they will," added Tom. "We certainly are on Earthquake
"Mr. Parker, the scientist, says this last shock bears out his
theory," went on the millionaire. "He says it will be only a
question of a few days when the whole island will disappear."
"Comforting, to say the least," commented Tom.
"I should say so. But what are you doing, Mr. Swift?"
"Trying an experiment," answered the young inventor, in some
confusion. He was not yet ready to talk about his plans.
"We must begin to think seriously of building some sort of a boat or
raft, and getting away from the island," went on the millionaire.
"It will be perilous to go to sea with anything we can construct,
but it is risking our lives to stay here. I don't know what to do."
"Perhaps Captain Mentor has some plan," suggested Tom, hoping to
change the subject.
"No," answered the commander, "I confess I am at a loss to know what
to do. There is nothing with which to do anything, that is the
trouble! But I did think of hoisting another signal, on this end of
the island, where it might be seen if our first one wasn't. I
believe I'll do that," and he moved away, to carry out his
"Well, I think I'll get back, Tom, and tell the others that you are
all right," spoke Mr. Hosbrook. "I left the camp, after the shock,
because Mrs. Nestor was worried about you." The place to which the
airship machinery had been removed was some distance from the camp,
and out of sight of the shacks.
"Oh, yes. I'm all right," said Tom. Then, with a sudden impulse, he
"Do you know much about this Mr. Barcoe Jenks, Mr. Hosbrook?"
"Not a great deal," was the reply. "In fact, I may say I do not know
him at all. Why do you ask?"
"Because I thought he acted rather strangely."
"Just what the rest of us think," declared the yacht owner. "He is
no friend of mine, though he was my guest on the RESOLUTE. It came
about in this way. I had invited a Mr. Frank Jackson to make the
trip with me, and he asked if he could bring with him a Mr. Jenks, a
friend of his. I assented, and Mr. Jackson came aboard with Mr.
Jenks. Just as we were about to sail Mr. Jackson received a message
requiring his presence in Canada, and he could not make the trip."
"But Mr. Jenks seemed so cut-up about being deprived of the yachting
trip, and was so fond of the water, that I invited him to remain on
board, even if his friend did not. So that is how he came to be
among my guests, though he is a comparative stranger to all of us."
"I see," spoke Tom.
"Has he been acting unusually strange?" asked Mr. Hosbrook
"No, only he seemed very anxious to get off the island, but I
suppose we all are. He wanted to know what I planned to do."
"Did you tell him?"
"No, for the reason that I don't know whether I can succeed or not,
and I don't want to raise false hopes."
"Then you would prefer not to tell any of us?"
"No one--that is except Mr. Fenwick and Mr. Damon. I may need them
to help me."
"I see," responded Mr. Hosbrook. "Well, whatever it is, I wish you
luck. It is certainly a fearful place--this island," and busy with
many thoughts, which crowded upon him, the millionaire moved away,
leaving Tom alone.
A little while after this Tom might have been seen in close
conversation with Mr. Damon and Mr. Fenwick. The former, on hearing
what the young inventor had to say, blessed himself and his various
possessions so often, that he seemed to have gotten out of breath.
Mr. Fenwick exclaimed:
"Tom, if you can work that it will be one of the greatest things you
have ever done!"
"I hope I can work it," was all the young inventor replied.
For the next three days Tom, and his two friends, spent most of
their time in the neighborhood of the pile of machinery and
apparatus taken from the wrecked WHIZZER. Mr. Jenks hung around the
spot, but a word or two from Mr. Hosbrook sent him away, and our
three friends were left to their work in peace, for they were
inclined to be secretive about their operations, as Tom did not want
his plans known until he was ready.
The gasolene motor was overhauled, and put in shape to work. Then it
was attached to the dynamo. When this much had been done, Tom and
his friends built a rude shack around the machinery shutting it from
"Humph! Are you afraid we will steal it?" asked Mr. Parker, the
scientist, who held to his alarming theory regarding the ultimate
disappearance of the island.
"No, I simply want to protect it from the weather," answered Tom.
"You will soon know all our plans. I think they will work out."
"You'd better do it before we get another earthquake, and the island
sinks," was the dismal response.
But there had been no shocks since the one that nearly engulfed Mr.
Jenks. As for that individual he said little to any one, and
wandered off alone by himself. Tom wondered what kind of diamonds
they were that the odd man had, and the lad even had his doubts as
to the value of the queer stones he had seen. But he was too busy
with his work to waste much time in idle speculation.
THE WIRELESS PLANT
The castaways had been on Earthquake Island a week now, and in that
time had suffered many shocks. Some were mere tremors, and some were
so severe as to throw whole portions of the isle into the sea. They
never could tell when a shock was coming, and often one awakened
them in the night.
But, in spite of this, the refugees were as cheerful as it was
possible to be under the circumstances. Only Mr. Jenks seemed
nervous and ill at ease, and he kept much by himself.
As for Tom, Mr. Damon and Mr. Fenwick, the three were busy in their
shack. The others had ceased to ask questions about what they were
doing, and Mr. Nestor and his wife took it for granted that Tom was
building a boat.
Captain Mentor and the mate spent much time gazing off to sea,
hoping for a sight of the sail of some vessel, or the haze that
would indicate the smoke of a steamer. But they saw nothing.
"I haven't much hope of sighting anything," the captain said. "I
know we are off the track of the regular liners, and our only chance
would be that some tramp steamer, or some ship blown off her course,
would see our signal. I tell you, friends, we're in a bad way."
"If money was any object--," began Mr. Jenks.
"What good would money be?" demanded Mr. Hosbrook. "What we need to
do is to get a message to some one--some of my friends--to send out
a party to rescue us."
"That's right," chimed in Mr. Parker, the scientist. "And the
message needs to go off soon, if we are to be saved."
"Why so?" asked Mr. Anderson.
"Because I think this island will sink inside of a week!"
A scream came from the two ladies.
"Why don't you keep such thoughts to yourself?" demanded the
millionaire yacht owner, indignantly.
"Well, it's true," stubbornly insisted the scientist.
"What if it is? It doesn't do any good to remind us of it."
"Bless my gizzard, no!" exclaimed Mr. Damon. "Suppose we have
dinner. I'm hungry."
That seemed to be his remedy for a number of ills.
"If we only could get a message off, summoning help, it WOULD be the
very thing," sighed Mrs. Nestor. "Oh, how I wish I could send my
daughter, Mary, word of where we are. She may hear of the wreck of
the RESOLUTE, and worry herself to death."
"But it is out of the question to send a message for help from
Earthquake Island," added Mrs. Anderson. "We are totally cut off
from the rest of the world here."
"Perhaps not," spoke Tom Swift, quietly. He had come up silently,
and had heard the conversation.
"What's that you said?" cried Mr. Nestor, springing to his feet, and
crossing the sandy beach toward the lad.
"I said perhaps we weren't altogether cut off from the rest of the
world," repeated Tom.
"Why not," demanded Captain Mentor. "You don't mean to say that you
have been building a boat up there in your little shack, do you?"
"Not a boat," replied Tom, "but I think I have a means of sending
out a call for help!"
"Oh, Tom--Mr. Swift--how?" exclaimed Mrs. Nestor. "Do you mean we
can send a message to my Mary?"
"Well, not exactly to her," answered the young inventor, though he
wished that such a thing were possible. "But I think I can summon
"How?" demanded Mr. Hosbrook. "Have you managed to discover some
cable line running past the island, and have you tapped it?"
"Not exactly." was Tom's calm answer, "but I have succeeded, with
the help of Mr. Damon and Mr. Fenwick, in building an apparatus that
will send out wireless messages!"
"Wireless messages!" gasped the millionaire. "Are you sure?"
"Wireless messages!" exclaimed Mr. Jenks. "I'll give--" He paused,
clasped his hands on his belt, and turned away.
"Oh, Tom!" cried Mrs. Nestor, and she went up to the lad, threw her
arms about his neck, and kissed him; whereat Tom blushed.
"Perhaps you'd better explain," suggested Mr. Anderson.
"I will," said the lad. "That is the secret we have been engaged
upon--Mr. Damon, Mr. Fenwick and myself. We did not want to say
anything about it until we were sure we could succeed."
"And are you sure now?" asked Captain Mentor.
"How could you build a wireless station?" inquired Mr. Hosbrook.
"From the electrical machinery that was in the wrecked WHIZZER,"
spoke Tom. "Fortunately, that was not damaged by the shock of the
fall, and I have managed to set up the gasolene engine, and attach
the dynamo to it so that we can generate a powerful current. We also
have a fairly good storage battery, though that was slightly damaged
by the fall."
"I have just tested the machinery, and I think we can send out a
strong enough message to carry at least a thousand miles."
"Then that will reach some station, or some passing ship," murmured
Captain Mentor. "There is a chance that we may be saved."
"If it isn't too late," gloomily murmured the scientist. "There is
no telling when the island will disappear beneath the sea."
But they were all so interested in Tom's announcement that they paid
little attention to this dire foreboding.
"Tell us about it," suggested Mr. Nestor. And Tom did.
He related how he had set up the dynamo and gasolene engine, and
how, by means of the proper coils and other electrical apparatus,
all of which, fortunately, was aboard the WHIZZER, he could produce
a powerful spark.
"I had to make a key out of strips of brass, to produce the Morse
characters," the lad said. "This took considerable time, but it
works, though it is rather crude. I can click out a message with
"That may be," said Mr. Hosbrook, who had been considering
installing a wireless plant on his yacht, and who, therefore, knew
something about it, "you may send a message, but can you receive an
"I have also provided for that," replied Tom. "I have made a
receiving instrument, though that is even more crude than the
sending plant, for it had to be delicately adjusted, and I did not
have just the magnets, carbons, coherers and needles that I needed.
But I think it will work."
"Did you have a telephone receiver to use?"
"Yes. There was a small interior telephone arrangement on Mr.
Fenwick's airship, and part of that came in handy. Oh, I think I can
hear any messages that may come in answer to ours."
"But what about the aerial wires for sending and receiving
messages?" asked Mr. Nestor.
"Don't you have to have several wires on a tall mast?"
"Yes, and that is the last thing to do," declared Tom. "I need all
your help in putting up those wires. That tall tree on the crest of
the island will do," and he pointed to a dead palm that towered
gaunt and bare like a ship's mast, on a pile of rocks in the centre
of Earthquake Island.
MESSAGES INTO SPACE
Tom Swift's announcement of the practical completion of his wireless
plant brought hope to the discouraged hearts of the castaways. They
crowded about him, and asked all manner of questions.
Mr. Fenwick and Mr. Damon came in for their share of attention, for
Tom said had it not been for the aid of his friends he never could
have accomplished what he did. Then they all trooped up to the
little shack, and inspected the plant.
As the young inventor had said, it was necessarily crude, but when
he set the gasolene motor going, and the dynamo whizzed and hummed,
sending out great, violet-hued sparks, they were all convinced that
the young inventor had accomplished wonders, considering the
materials at his disposal.
"But it's going to be no easy task to rig up the sending and
receiving wires," declared Tom. "That will take some time."
"Have you got the wire?" asked Mr. Jenks.
"I took it from the stays of the airship," was Tom's reply, and he
recalled the day he was at that work, when the odd man had exhibited
the handful of what he said were diamonds. Tom wondered if they
really were, and he speculated as to what might be the secret of
Phantom Mountain, to which Mr. Jenks had referred.
But now followed a busy time for all. Under the direction of the
young inventor, they began to string the wires from the top of the
dead tree, to a smaller one, some distance away, using five wires,
set parallel, and attached to a wooden spreader, or stay. The wires
were then run to the dynamo, and the receiving coil, and the
necessary ground wires were installed.
"But I can't understand how you are going to do it," said Mrs.
Nestor. "I've read about wireless messages, but I can't get it
through my head. How is it done, Mr. Swift?"
"The theory is very simple," said the young inventor. "To send a
message by wire, over a telegraph system, a battery or dynamo is
used. This establishes a current over wires stretched between two
points. By means of what is called a 'key' this current is
interrupted, or broken, at certain intervals, making the sounding
instrument send out clicks. A short click is called a dot, and a
long click a dash. By combinations of dots, dashes, and spaces
between the dots and dashes, letters are spelled out. For instance,
a dot and a space and a dash, represent the letter 'A' and so on."
"I understand so far," admitted Mrs. Nestor.
"In telegraphing without wires," went on Tom, "the air is used in
place of a metallic conductor, with the help of the earth, which in
itself is a big magnet, or a battery, as you choose to regard it.
The earth helps to establish the connection between places where
there are no wires, when we 'ground' certain conductors."
"To send a wireless message a current is generated by a dynamo. The
current flows along until it gets to the ends of the sending wires,
which we have just strung. Then it leaps off into space, so to
speak, until it reaches the receiving wires, wherever they may be
erected. That is why any wireless receiving station, within a
certain radius, can catch any messages that may be flying through
the air--that is unless certain apparatus is tuned, or adjusted, to
"Well, once the impulses, or electric currents, are sent out into
space, all that is necessary to do is to break, or interrupt them at
certain intervals, to make dots, dashes and spaces. These make
corresponding clicks in the telephone receiver which the operator at
the receiving station wears on his ear. He hears the code of clicks,
and translates them into letters, the letters into words and the
words into sentences. That is how wireless messages are sent."
"And do you propose to send some that way?" asked Mrs. Anderson.
"I do," replied Tom, with a smile.
"Where to?" Mrs. Nestor wanted to know.
"That's what I can't tell," was Tom's reply. "I will have to project
them off into space, and trust to chance that some listening
wireless operator will 'pick them up,' as they call it, and send us
"But are wireless operators always listening?" asked Mr. Nestor.
"Somewhere, some of them are--I hope," was Tom's quiet answer. "As I
said, we will have to trust much to chance. But other people have
been saved by sending messages off into space; and why not we?
Sinking steamers have had their passengers taken off when the
operator called for help, merely by sending a message into space."
"But how can we tell them where to come for us--on this unknown
island?" inquired Mrs. Anderson.
"I fancy Captain Mentor can supply our longitude and latitude,"
answered Tom. "I will give that with every message I send out, and
help may come--some day."
"It can't come any too quick for me!" declared Mr. Damon. "Bless my
door knob, but my wife must be worrying about my absence!"
"What message for help will you send?" Captain Mentor wanted to
"I am going to use the old call for aid," was the reply of the young
inventor. "I shall flash into space the three letters 'C.Q.D.' They
stand for 'Come Quick--Danger.' A new code call has been instituted
for them, but I am going to rely on the old one, as, in this part of
the world, the new one may not be so well understood. Then I will
follow that by giving our position in the ocean, as nearly as
Captain Mentor can figure it out. I will repeat this call at
intervals until we get help--"
"Or until the island sinks," added the scientist, grimly.
"Here! Don't mention that any more," ordered Mr. Hosbrook. "It's
getting on my nerves! We may be rescued before that awful calamity
"I don't believe so," was Mr. Parker's reply, and he actually seemed
to derive pleasure from his gloomy prophecy.
"It's lucky you understand wireless telegraphy, Tom Swift," said Mr.
Nestor admiringly, and the other joined in praising the young
inventor, until, blushing, he hurried off to make some adjustments
to his apparatus.
"Can you compute our longitude and latitude, Captain Mentor," asked
the millionaire yacht owner.
"I think so," was the reply. "Not very accurately, of course, for
all my papers and instruments went down in the RESOLUTE. But near
enough for the purpose, I fancy. I'll get right to work at it, and
let Mr. Swift have it."
"I wish you would. The sooner we begin calling for help the better.
I never expected to be in such a predicament as this, but it is
wonderful how that young fellow worked out his plan of rescue. I
hope he succeeds."
It took some little time for the commander to figure their position,
and then it was only approximate. But at length he handed Tom a
piece of paper with the latitude and longitude written on it.
In the meanwhile, the young inventor had been connecting up his
apparatus. The wires were now all strung, and all that was necessary
was to start the motor and dynamo.
A curious throng gathered about the little shack as Tom announced
that he was about to flash into space the first message calling for
help. He took his place at the box, to which had been fastened the
apparatus for clicking off the Morse letters.
"Well, here we go," he said, with a smile.
His fingers clasped the rude key he had fashioned from bits of brass
and hard rubber. The motor was buzzing away, and the electric dynamo
was purring like some big cat.
Just as Tom opened the circuit, to send the current into the
instrument, there came an omnious rumbling of the earth.
"Another quake!" screamed Mrs. Anderson. But it was over in a
second, and calmness succeeded the incipient panic.
Suddenly, overhead, there sounded a queer crackling noise, a
vicious, snapping, as if from some invisible whips.
"Mercy! What's that?" cried Mrs. Nestor.
"The wireless," replied Tom, quietly. "I am going to send a message
for help, off into space. I hope some one receives it--and answers,"
he added, in a low tone.
The crackling increased. While they gathered about him, Tom Swift
pressed the key, making and breaking the current until he had sent
out from Earthquake Island the three letters--"C.Q.D." And he
followed them by giving their latitude and longitude. Over and over
again he flashed out this message.
Would it be answered? Would help come? If so, from where? And if so,
would it be in time? These were questions that the castaways asked
themselves. As for Tom, he sat at the key, clicking away, while,
overhead, from the wires fastened to the dead tree, flashed out the
After the first few minutes of watching Tom click out the messages,
the little throng of castaways that had gathered about the shack,
moved away. The matter had lost its novelty for them, though, of
course, they were vitally interested in the success of Tom's
undertaking. Only Mr. Damon and Mr. Fenwick remained with the young
inventor, for he needed help, occasionally, in operating the dynamo,
or in adjusting the gasolene motor. Mrs. Nestor, who, with Mrs.
Anderson, was looking after the primitive housekeeping arrangements,
occasionally strolled up the hill to the little shed.
"Any answer yet, Mr. Swift?" she would ask.
"No." was the reply. "We can hardly expect any so soon," and Mrs.
Nestor would depart, with a sigh.
Knowing that his supply of gasolene was limited, Tom realized that
he could not run the dynamo steadily, and keep flashing the wireless
messages into space. He consulted with his two friends on the
subject, and Mr. Damon said:
"Well, the best plan, I think, would be only to send out the flashes
over the wires at times when other wireless operators will be on the
lookout, or, rather, listening. There is no use wasting our fuel. We
can't get any more here."
"That's true," admitted Tom, "but how can we pick out any certain
time, when we can be sure that wireless operators, within a zone of
a thousand miles, will be listening to catch clicks which call for
help from the unknown?"
"We can't," decided Mr. Fenwick. "The only thing to do is to trust
to chance. If there was only some way so you would not have to be on
duty all the while, and could send out messages automatically, it
would be good."
Tom shook his head. "I have to stay here to adjust the apparatus,"
he said. "It works none too easily as it is, for I didn't have just
what I needed from which to construct this station. Anyhow, even if
I could rig up something to click out 'C.Q.D.' automatically, I
could hardly arrange to have the answer come that way. And I want to
be here when the answer comes."
"Have you any plan, then?" asked Mr. Damon. "Bless my shoe laces!
there are enough problems to solve on this earthquake island."
"I thought of this," said Tom. "I'll send out our call for help from
nine to ten in the morning. Then I'll wait, and send out another
call from two to three in the afternoon. Around seven in the evening
I'll try again, and then about ten o'clock at night, before going to
"That ought to be sufficient," agreed Mr. Fenwick. "Certainly we
must save our gasolene, for there is no telling how long we may have
to stay here, and call for help."
"It won't be long if that scientist Parker has his way," spoke Mr.
Damon, grimly. "Bless my hat band, but he's a MOST uncomfortable man
to have around; always predicting that the island is going to sink!
I hope we are rescued before that happens."
"I guess we all do," remarked Mr. Fenwick. "But, Tom, here is
another matter. Have you thought about getting an answer from the
unknown--from some ship or wireless station, that may reply to your
calls? How can you tell when that will come in?"
"Then won't you or some of us, have to be listening all the while?"
"No, for I think an answer will come only directly after I have sent
cut a call, and it has been picked up by some operator. Still there
is a possibility that some operator might receive my message, and
report to his chief, or some one in authority over him, before
replying. In that time I might go away. But to guard against that I
will sleep with the telephone receiver clamped to my ear. Then I can
hear the answer come over the wires, and can jump up and reply."
"Do you mean you will sleep here?" asked Mr. Damon, indicating the
shack where the wireless apparatus was contained.
"Yes," answered Tom, simply.
"Can't we take turns listening for the answer?" inquired Mr.
Fenwick, "and so relieve you?"
"I'm afraid not, unless you understand the Morse code," replied Tom.
"You see there may be many clicks, which result from wireless
messages flying back and forth in space, and my receiver will pick
them up. But they will mean nothing. Only the answer to our call for
help will be of any service to us."
"Do you mean to say that you can catch messages flying back and
forth between stations now?" asked Mr. Fenwick.
"Yes," replied the young inventor, with a smile. "Here, listen for
yourself," and he passed the head-instrument over to the WHIZZER's
former owner. The latter listened a moment.
"All I can hear are some faint clicks," he said.
"But they are a message," spoke Tom. "Wait, I'll translate," and he
out the receiver to his ear. "'STEAMSHIP "FALCON" REPORTS A SLIGHT
FIRE IN HER FORWARD COMPARTMENT,'" said Tom, slowly. "'IT IS UNDER
CONTROL, AND WE WILL PROCEED.'"
"Do you mean to say that was the message you heard?" cried Mr.
Damon. "Bless my soul, I never can understand it!"
"It was part of a message," answered Tom. "I did not catch it all,
nor to whom it was sent."
"But why can't you send a message to that steamship then, and beg
them to come to our aid?" asked Mr. Fenwick. "Even if they have had
a fire, it is out now, and they ought to be glad to save life."
"They would come to our aid. or send," spoke Tom, "but I can not
make their wireless operator pick up our message. Either his
apparatus is not in tune, or in accord with ours, or he is beyond
"But you heard him," insisted Mr. Damon.
"Yes, but sometimes it is easier to pick up messages than it is to
send them. However, I will keep on trying."
Putting into operation the plan he had decided on for saving their
supply of gasolene, Tom sent out his messages the remainder of the
day, at the intervals agreed upon. Then the apparatus was shut down,
but the lad paid frequent visits to the shack, and listened to the
clicks of the telephone receiver. He caught several messages, but
they were not in response to his appeals for aid.
That night there was a slight earthquake shock, but no more of the
island fell into the sea, though the castaways were awakened by the
tremors, and were in mortal terror for a while.
Three days passed, days of anxious waiting, during which time Tom
sent out message after message by his wireless, and waited in vain
for an answer. There were three shocks in this interval, two slight,
and one very severe, which last cast into the ocean a great cliff on
the far end of the island. There was a flooding rush of water, but
no harm resulted.
"It is coming nearer," said Mr. Parker.
"What is?" demanded Mr. Hosbrook.
"The destruction of our island. My theory will soon be confirmed,"
and the scientist actually seemed to take pleasure in it.
"Oh, you and your theory!" exclaimed the millionaire in disgust.
"Don't let me hear you mention it again! Haven't we troubles
enough?" whereat Mr. Parker went off by himself, to look at the
place where the cliff had fallen.
Each night Tom slept with the telephone receiver to his ear, but,
though it clicked many times, there was not sounded the call he had
adopted for his station--"E. I."--Earthquake Island. In each appeal
he sent out he had requested that if his message was picked up, that
the answer be preceded by the letters "E.I."
It was on the fourth day after the completion of the wireless
station, that Tom was sending out his morning calls. Mrs. Nestor
came up the little hill to the shack where Tom was clicking away.
"No replies yet, I suppose?" she inquired, and there was a hopeless
note in her voice.
"None yet, but they may come any minute," and Tom tried to speak
"I certainly hope so," added Mary's mother, "But I came up more
especially now, Mr. Swift, to inquire where you had stored the rest
of the food."
"The rest of the food?"
"Yes, the supply you took from the wrecked airship. We have used up
nearly all that was piled in the improvised kitchen, and we'll have
to draw on the reserve supply."
"The reserve," murmured Tom.
"Yes, there is only enough in the shack where Mrs. Anderson and I do
the cooking, to last for about two days. Isn't there any more?"
Tom did not answer. He saw the drift of the questioning. Their food
was nearly gone, yet the castaways from the RESOLUTE thought there
was still plenty. As a matter of fact there was not another can,
except those in the kitchen shack.
"Get out wherever there is left some time to-day, if you will, Mr.
Swift," went on Mrs. Nestor, as she turned away, "and Mrs. Anderson
and I will see if we can fix up some new dishes for you men-folks."
"Oh--all right," answered Tom, weakly.
His hand dropped from the key of the instrument. He sat staring into
space. Food enough for but two days more, with earthquakes likely to
happen at any moment, and no reply yet to his appeals for aid! Truly
the situation was desperate. Tom shook his head. It was the first
time he had felt like giving up.
A REPLY IN THE DARK
The young inventor looked out of the wireless shack. Down on the
beach he saw the little band of castaways. They were gathered in a
group about Mr. Jenks, who seemed to be talking earnestly to them.
The two ladies were over near the small building that served as a
"More food supplies needed, eh?" mused Tom. "Well, I don't know
where any more is to come from. We've stripped the WHIZZER bare." He
glanced toward what remained of the airship. "I guess we'll have to
go on short rations, until help comes," and, wondering what the
group of men could be talking about, Tom resumed his clicking out of
his wireless message.
He continued to send it into space for several minutes after ten
o'clock, the hour at which he usually stopped for the morning, for
he thought there might be a possible chance that the electrical
impulses would be picked up by some vessel far out at sea, or by
some station operator who could send help.
But there came no answering clicks to the "E. I." station--to
Earthquake Island--and, after a little longer working of the key,
Tom shut down the dynamo, and joined the group on the beach.
"I tell you it's our only chance," Mr. Jenks was saying. "I must get
off this island, and that's the only way we can do it. I have large
interests at stake. If we wait for a reply to this wireless message
we may all be killed, though I appreciate that Mr. Swift is doing
his best to aid us. But it is hopeless!"
"What do you think about it, Tom?" asked Mr. Damon, turning to the
"Think about what?"
"Why Mr. Jenks has just proposed that we build a big raft, and
launch it. He thinks we should leave the island."
"It might be a good idea," agreed the lad, as he thought of the
scant food supply. "Of course, I can't say when a reply will be
received to my calls for aid, and it is best to be prepared."
"Especially as the island may sink any minute," added Mr. Parker.
"If it does, even a raft will be little good, as it may be swamped
in the vortex. I think it would be a good plan to make one, then
anchor it some distance out from the island. Then we can make a
small raft, and paddle out to the big one in a hurry if need be."
"Yes, that's a good idea, too," conceded Tom.
"And we must stock it well with provisions," said Mr. Damon. "Put
plenty of water and food aboard."
"We can't," spoke Tom, quietly.
"Because we haven't plenty of provisions. That's what I came down to
speak about," and the lad related what Mrs. Nestor had said.
"Then there is but one thing to do," declared Mr. Fenwick.
"What?" asked Captain Mentor.
"We must go on half rations, or quarter rations, if need be. That
will make our supply last longer. And another thing--we must not let
the women folks know. Just pretend that we're not hungry, but take
only a quarter, or at most, not more than a half of what we have
been in the habit of taking. There is plenty of water, thank
goodness, and we may be able to live until help comes."
"Then shall we build the raft?" asked Mr. Hosbrook.
It was decided that this would be a good plan, and they started it
that same day. Trees were felled, with axes and saws that had been
aboard the WHIZZER, and bound together, in rude fashion, with strong
trailing vines from the forest. A smaller raft, as a sort of ferry,
was also made.
This occupied them all that day, and part of the next. In the
meanwhile, Tom continued to flash out his appeals for help, but no
answers came. The men cut down their rations, and when the two
ladies joked them on their lack of appetite, they said nothing. Tom
was glad that Mrs. Nestor did not renew her request to him to get
out the reserve food supply from what remained in the wreck of the
airship. Perhaps Mr. Nestor had hinted to her the real situation.
The large raft was towed out into a quiet bay of the island, and
anchored there by means of a heavy rock, attached to a rope. On
board were put cans of water, vhich were lashed fast, but no food
could be spared to stock the rude craft. All the castaways could
depend on, was to take with them, in the event of the island
beginning to sink, what rations they had left when the final shock
This done, they could only wait, and weary was that waiting. Tom
kept faithfully to his schedule, and his ear ached from the constant
pressure of the telephone receiver. He heard message after message
flash through space, and click on his instrument, but none of them
was in answer to his. On his face there came a grim and hopeless
One afternoon, a week following the erection of the wireless
station, Mate Fordam came upon a number of turtles. He caught some,
by turning them over on their backs, and also located a number of
nests of eggs under the warm sands.
"This will be something to eat," he said, joyfully, and indeed the
turtles formed a welcome food supply. Some fish were caught, and
some clams were cast up by the tide, all of which eked out the
scanty food supply that remained. The two ladies suspected the truth
now and they, too, cut down their allowance.
Tom, who had been sitting with the men in their sleeping shack, that
evening, rose, as the hour of ten approached. It was time to send
out the last message of the night, and then he would lie down on an
improvised couch, with the telephone receiver clamped to his ear, to
wait, in the silence of the darkness, for the message saying that
help was on the way.
"Well, are you off?" asked Mr. Damon, kindly. "I wish some of us
could relieve you, Tom."
"Oh, I don't mind it," answered the lad "Perhaps the message may
Hardly had he spoken than there sounded the ominous rumble and
shaking that presaged another earthquake. The shack rocked, and
threatened to come down about their heads.
"We must be doomed!" cried Mr. Parker. "The island is about to sink!
Make for the raft!"
"Wait and see how bad it is," counseled Mr. Hosbrook. "It may be
only a slight shock."
Indeed, as he spoke, the trembling of the island ceased, and there
was silence. The two ladies, who had retired to their own private
shack, ran out screaming, and Mr. Anderson and Mr. Nestor hastened
over to be with their wives.
"I guess it's passed over," spoke Mr. Fenwick.
An instant later there came another tremor, but it was not like that
of an earthquake shock. It was more like the rumble and vibration of
an approaching train.
"Look!" cried Tom, pointing to the left. Their gaze went in that
direction, and, under the light of a full moon they saw, sliding
into the sea, a great portion of one of the rocky hills.
"A landslide!" cried Captain Mentor. "The island is slowly breaking
"It confirms my theory!" said Mr. Parker, almost in triumph.
"Forget your theory for a while, Parker, please," begged Mr.
Hosbrook. "We're lucky to have left a place on which to stand! Oh,
when will we be rescued?" he asked hopelessly.
The worst seemed to be over at least for the present, and, learning
that the two ladies were quieted, Tom started up the hill to his
wireless station. Mr. Damon and Mr. Fenwick went with him, to aid in
starting the motor and dynamo. Then, after the message had been
clicked out as usual Tom would begin his weary waiting.
They found that the earthquake shock had slightly disturbed the
apparatus, and it took them half an hour to adjust it. As there had
been a delay on account of the landslide, it was eleven o'clock
before Tom began sending out any flashes, and he kept it up until
midnight. But there came no replies, so he shut off the power, and
prepared to get a little rest.
"It looks pretty hopeless; doesn't it?" said Mr. Fenwick, as he and
Mr. Damon were on their way back to the sleeping shack.
"Yes, it does. Our signal hasn't been seen, no ships have passed
this way, and our wireless appeal isn't answered. It does look
hopeless but, do you know, I haven't given up yet."
"Because I have faith in Tom Swift's luck!" declared the eccentric
man. "If you had been with him as much as I have, up in the air, and
under the water, and had seen the tight places he has gotten out of,
you'd feel the same, too!"
"Perhaps, but here there doesn't seem to be anything to do. It all
depends on some one else."
"That's all right. You leave it to Tom. He'll get an answer yet, you
see if he doesn't."
It was an hour past midnight. Tom tossed uneasily on the hard bed
in the wireless shack. The telephone receiver on his ear hurt him,
and he could not sleep.
"I may as well sit up for a while," he told himself, and he arose.
In the dimness of the shack he could see the outlines of the dynamo
and the motor.
"Guess I'll start her up, and send out some calls," he murmured. "I
might just happen to catch some ship operator who is up late. I'll
The young inventor started the motor, and soon the dynamo was
purring away. He tested the wireless apparatus. It shot out great
long sparks, which snapped viciously through the air. Then, in the
silence of the night, Tom clicked off his call for help for the
castaways of Earthquake Island.
For half an hour he sent it away into space, none of the others in
their shacks below him, awakening. Then Tom, having worked off his
restless fit, was about to return to bed.
But what was this? What was that clicking in the telephone receiver
at his ear? He listened. It was not a jumble of dots and dashes,
conveying through space a message that meant nothing to him. No! It
was his own call that was answered. The call of his station--"E.
"WHERE ARE YOU? WHAT'S WANTED?"
That was the message that was clicked to Tom from somewhere in the
"I GET YOUR MESSAGE 'E. I.' WHAT'S WANTED? DO I HEAR YOU RIGHT?
REPEAT." Tom heard those questions in the silence of the night.
With trembling fingers Tom pressed his own key. Out into the
darkness went his call for help.
"WE ARE ON EARTHQUAKE ISLAND." He gave the longitude and latitude.
"COME QUICKLY OR WE WILL BE ENGULFED IN THE SEA! WE ARE CASTAWAYS
FROM THE YACHT 'RESOLUTE,' AND THE AIRSHIP 'WHIZZER.' CAN YOU SAVE
Came then this query:
"WHAT'S THAT ABOUT AIRSHIP?"
"NEVER MIND AIRSHIP," clicked Tom. "SEND HELP QUICKLY! WHO ARE YOU?"
The answer flashed to him through space:
"STEAMSHIP 'CAMBARANIAN' FROM RIO DE JANEIRO TO NEW YORK. JUST
CAUGHT YOUR MESSAGE. THOUGHT IT A FAKE."
"NO FAKE," Tom sent back. "HELP US QUICKLY! HOW SOON CAN YOU COME?"
There was a wait, and the wireless operator clicked to Tom that he
had called the captain. Then came the report:
"WE WILL BE THERE WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS. KEEP IN COMMUNICATION
"YOU BET I WILL," flashed back Tom, his heart beating joyously, and
then he let out a great shout. "We are saved! We are saved! My
wireless message is answered! A steamer is on her way to rescue us!"
He rushed from the shack, calling to the others.
"What's that?" demanded Mr. Hosbrook.
Tom briefly told of how the message had come to him in the night.
"Tell them to hurry," begged the rich yacht owner. "Say that I will
give twenty thousand dollars reward if we are taken off!"
"And I'll do the same," cried Mr. Jenks. "I must get to the place
where--" Then he seemed to recollect himself, and stopped suddenly.
"Tell them to hurry," he begged Tom. The whole crowd of castaways,
save the women, were gathered about the wireless shack.
"They'll need to hurry," spoke Mr. Parker, the gloomy scientist.
"The island may sink before morning!"
Mr. Hosbrook and the others glared at him, but he seemed to take
delight in his prediction.
Suddenly the wireless instruments hummed.
"Another message," whispered Tom. He listened.
"THE 'CAMBARANIAN' WILL RUSH HERE WITH ALL SPEED," he announced, and
not a heart there on that lonely and desolate island but sent up a
prayer of thankfulness.
"WE ARE LOST!"
There was little more sleep for any one that night. They sat up,
talking over the wonderful and unexpected outcome of Tom Swift's
wireless message, and speculating as to when the steamer would get
"Bless my pocket comb! But I told you it would come out all right,
if we left it to Tom!" declared Mr. Damon.
"But it hasn't come out yet," remarked the pessimistic scientist.
"The steamer may arrive too late."
"You're a cheerful sort of fellow to take on a yachting trip,"
murmured Mr. Hosbrook, sarcastically. "I'll never invite you again,
even if you are a great scientist."
"I'm going to sit and watch for the steamer," declared Mr. Damon, as
he went outside the shack. The night was warm, and there was a full
moon. "Which way will she come from, Tom?"
"I don't know, but I should think, that if she was on her way north,
from South America, she'd pass on the side of the island on which we
"That's right," agreed Captain Mentor. "She'll come up from over
there," and he pointed across the ocean directly in front of the
shacks and camp.
"Then I'm going to see if I can't be the first to sight her lights,"
declared Mr. Damon.
"She can't possibly get here inside of a day, according to what the
operator said," declared Tom.
"Wire them to put on all the speed they can," urged the eccentric
"No, don't waste any more power or energy than is needed," suggested
Mr. Hosbrook. "You may need the gasolene before we are rescued. They
are on their way, and that is enough for now."
The others agreed with this, and so Tom, after a final message to
the operator aboard the CAMBARANIAN stating that he would call him
up in the morning, shut down the motor.
Mr. Damon took up his position where he could see far out over the
ocean, but, as the young inventor had said, there was no possible
chance of sighting the relief steamer inside of a day. Still the
nervous, eccentric man declared that he would keep watch.
Morning came, and castaways brought to breakfast a better appetite
than they had had in some time. They were allowed larger rations,
too, for it was seen that they would have just enough food to last
until taken off.
"We didn't need to have made the big raft," said Mr. Fenwick, as Tom
came down from his station, to report that he had been in
communication with the Camabarian and that she was proceeding under
forced draught. "We'll not have to embark on it, and I'm glad of
"Oh, we may need it yet," asserted Mr. Parker. "I have been making
some observations just now, and the island is in a very precarious
state. It is, I believe, resting on only a slim foundation, and the
least shock may break that off, and send it into the sea. That is
what my observations point out."
"Then I wish you wouldn't make any more observations!" exclaimed
Mrs. Nestor, with spirit. "You make me nervous."
"And me, also," added Mrs. Anderson.
"Science can not deceive, madam," retorted Mr. Parker.
"Well it can keep quiet about what it knows, and not make a person
have cold chills," replied Mary's mother. "I'm sure we will be
rescued in time."
There was a slight tremor of an earthquake, as they were eating
dinner that day, but, aside from causing a little alarm it did no
damage. In the afternoon, Tom again called up the approaching
steamer, and was informed that, because of a slight accident, it
could not arrive until the next morning. Every effort would be made
to keep up speed, it was said. There was much disappointment over
this, and Mr. Damon was observed to be closely examining the food
supply, but hope was too strong to be easily shattered now.
Mr. Parker went off alone, to make some further "observations" as he
called them, but Mr. Hosbrook warned him never again to speak of his
Mr. Barcoe Jenks called Tom aside just before supper that evening.
"I haven't forgotten what I said to you about my diamonds," he
remarked, with many nods and winks. "I'll show you how to make them,
if you will help me. Did you ever see diamonds made?"
"No, and I guess very few persons have." replied the lad, thinking
perhaps Mr. Jenks might not be quite right, mentally.
The night passed without alarm, and in the morning, at the first
blush of dawn, every one was astir, looking eagerly across the sea
for a sight of the steamer.
Tom had just come down from the wireless station, having received a
message to the effect that a few hours more would bring the
CAMBARANIAN within sight of the island.
Suddenly there was a tremendous shock, as if some great cannon had
been fired, and the whole island shook to its very centre.
"Another earthquake! The worst yet!" screamed Mrs. Anderson.
"We are lost!" cried Mrs. Nestor, clinging to her husband.
An instant later they were all thrown down by the tremor of the
earth, and Tom, looking toward his wireless station, saw nearly half
of the island disappear from sight. His station went down in
collapse with it, splashing into the ocean, and the wave that
followed the terrible crash washed nearly to the castaways, as they
rose and kneeled on the sand.
"The island is sinking!" cried Mr. Parker. "Make for the raft!"
"I guess it's our only chance," murmured Captain Mentor, as he gazed
across the water. There was no steamer in sight. Could it arrive on
time? The tremors and shaking of the island continued.
Down to where the small raft was moored ran Mr. Parker. He was
followed by some of the others.
"We must put off at once!" he cried. "Half the island is gone! The
other half may disappear any moment! The steamer can not get here on
time, but if we put off they may pick us up, if we are not engulfed
in the ocean. Help, everybody!"
Tom gave one more look at where his wireless station had been. It
had totally disappeared, there being, at the spot, now but a sheer
cliff, which went right down into the sea.
The women were in tears. The men, with pale faces, tried to calm
them. Gradually the earthquake tremor passed away; but who could
tell when another would come?
Captain Mentor, Mr. Hosbrook and the others were shoving out the
small raft. They intended to get aboard, and paddle out to the
larger one, which had been moored some distance away, in readiness
for some such emergency as this.
"Come on!" cried Mr. Fenwick to Tom who was lingering behind. "Come
on, ladies. We must all get aboard, or it may be too late!"
The small raft was afloat. Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Nestor, weeping
hysterically, waded out through the water to get aboard.
"Have we food?" cried Mr. Damon. "Bless my kitchen range! but I
nearly forgot that."
"There isn't any food left to take," answered Mrs. Anderson.
"Shove off!" cried Captain Mentor.
At that instant a haze which had hung over the water, was blown to
one side. The horizon suddenly cleared. Tom Swift looked up and gave
"The steamer! The steamer! The CAMBARANIAN!" he shouted, pointing to
The others joined in his exclamations of joy, for there, rushing
toward Earthquake Island was a great steamer, crowding on all speed!
"Saved! Saved!" cried Mrs. Nestor, sinking to her knees even in the
"It came just in time!" murmured Mr. Hosbrook.
"Now I can make my diamonds," whispered Mr. Jenks to Tom.
"Push off! Push off!" cried Mr. Parker. "The island will sink,
"I think we will be safer on the island than on the raft," declared
Captain Mentor. "We had better land again."
They left the little raft, and stood on the shore of the island.
Eagerly they watched the approach of the steamer. They could make
out hands and handkerchiefs waving to them now. There was eager hope
in every heart.
Suddenly, some distance out in the water, and near where the big
raft was anchored, there was a curious upheaval of the ocean. It was
as if a submarine mine had exploded! The sea swirled and foamed!
"It's a good thing we didn't go out there," observed Captain Mentor.
"We would have been swamped, sure as guns."
Almost as he spoke the big raft was tossed high into the air, and
fell back, breaking up. The castaways shuddered. Yet were they any
safer on the island? They fancied they could feel the little part of
it that remained trembling under their feet.
"The steamer is stopping!" cried Mr. Damon.
Surely enough the CAMBARANIAN had slowed up. Was she not going to
complete the rescue she had begun?
"She's going to launch her lifeboats," declared Captain Mentor. "Her
commander dare not approach too close, not knowing the water. He
might hit on a rock."
A moment later and two lifeboats were lowered, and, urged on by the
sturdy arms of the sailors, they bounded over the waves. The sea
seemed to be more and more agitated.
"It is the beginning of the end," murmured Mr. Parker. "The island
will soon disappear."
"Will you be quiet?" demanded Mr. Damon, giving the scientist a
nudge in the ribs.
The lifeboats were close at hand now.
"Are you all there?" shouted some one, evidently in command.
"All here," answered Tom.
"Then hurry aboard. There seems to be something going on in these
waters--perhaps a submarine volcano eruption. We must get away in a
The boats came in to the shelving beach. There was a little stretch
of water between them and the sand. Through this the castaways
waded, and soon they were grasped by the sailors and helped in. In
the reaction of their worriment Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Nestor were
both weeping, but their tears were those of joy.
"Give way now, men!" cried the mate in charge of the boats. "We must
get back to the ship!"
The sea was now swirling angrily, but the sailors, who had been in
worse turmoils than this, rowed on steadily.
"We feared you would not get here in time," said Tom to the mate.
"We were under forced draught most of the way," was his answer.
"Your wireless message came just in time. An hour later and our
operator would have gone to bed."
The young inventor realized by what a narrow margin they had been
"The island will soon sink," predicted Mr. Parker, as they reached
the steamer, and boarded her. Captain Valasquez, who was in command,
warmly welcomed the castaways.
"We will hear your story later," he said. "Just now I want to get
out of these dangerous waters."
He gave the order for full speed, and, as the CAMBARANIAN got under
way, Tom, and the others, standing on the deck, looked back at
Suddenly there sounded a dull, rumbling report. The whole ocean
about the island seemed to upheave. There was a gigantic shower of
spray, a sound like an explosion, and when the waters subsided the
island had sunk from sight.
"I told you it would go," cried Mr. Parker, triumphantly, but the
horror of it all--the horror of the fate that would have been theirs
had they remained there an hour longer--held the castaways dumb. The
scientist's honor of having correctly predicted the destruction of
the island was an empty one.
The agitation of the sea rocked even the mighty CAMBARANIAN and, had
our friends been aboard the frail raft, they would surely have
perished in the sea. As it was, they were safe--saved by Tom Swift's
The steamer resumed her voyage, and the castaways told their story.
Captain Valasquez refused to receive the large amount of money Mr.
Hasbrook and Mr. Jenks would have paid him for the rescue, accepting
only a sum he figured that he had lost by the delay, which was not a
great deal. The castaways were given the best aboard the ship, and
their stories were listened to by the other passengers with bated
In due time they were landed in New York, and Mr. and Mrs. Nestor
accompanied Tom to Shopton. Mr. Damon, with many blessings also
accompanied them, going to his home in Waterfield. Later it was
learned that the other boats from the RESOLUTE had been picked up,
and the sailors and guests were all saved.
Of course, as soon as our friends had been rescued by the steamer,
the wireless operator aboard her, with whom Tom soon struck up an
acquaintance, sent messages to the relatives of the castaways,
apprising them of their safety.
And the joy of Mary Nestor, when she found that it was Tom who had
saved her parents, can well be imagined. As for our hero, well, he
was glad too--for Mary's sake.
"I won't forget my promise to you, Tom Swift," said Mr. Barcoe
Jenks, as he parted from the young inventor, and what the promise
was will be told in the next volume of this series, to be called:
"Tom Swift Among the Diamond Makers; or, The Secret of Phantom
Mountain." In that Tom is destined to have many more surprising
adventures, as is also Mr. Damon, who learned new ways to call down
blessings on himself and his possessions.
And now, for a time, we will take leave of the young inventor and
also of his many friends, who never ceased to wonder over Tom
Swift's skill with the wireless.