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| Home | Reading Room Tom Swift And His Submarine Boat

Tom Swift And His Submarine Boat
or Under the Ocean for Sunken Treasure
by Victor Appleton

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Chapter Two

Finishing the Submarine

"What's the matter?" cried Mrs. Baggert, the housekeeper,

hurrying in from the kitchen, where she was washing the

dishes. "Have you seen some of those scoundrels who robbed

you, Mr. Swift? If you have, the police down here ought to--"

"No, it's nothing like that," explained Mr. Swift. "Tom

has merely discovered in the paper an account of a sunken

treasure ship, and he wants us to go after it, down under

the ocean."

"Oh, dear! Some more of Captain Kidd's hidden hoard, I

suppose?" ventured the housekeeper. "Don't you bother with

it, Mr. Swift. I had a cousin once, and he got set in the

notion that he knew where that pirate's treasure was. He

spent all the money he had and all he could borrow digging

for it, and he never found a penny. Don't waste your time on

such foolishness. It's bad enough to be building airships

and submarines without going after treasure." Mrs. Baggert

spoke with the freedom of an old friend rather than a hired

housekeeper, but she had been in the family ever since Tom's

mother died, when he was a baby, and she had many


"Oh, this isn't any of Kidd's treasure," Tom assured her.

"If we get it, Mrs. Baggert, I'll buy you a diamond ring."

"Humph!" she exclaimed, as Tom began to hug her in boyish

fashion. "I guess I'll have to buy all the diamond rings I

want, if I have to depend on your treasure for them," and

she went back to the kitchen.

"Well," went on Mr. Swift after a pause, "if we are going

into the treasure-hunting business, Tom, we'll have to get

right to work. In the first place, we must find out more

about this ship, and just where it was sunk."

"I can do that part," said Mr. Sharp. "I know some sea

captains, and they can put me on the track of locating the

exact spot. In fact, it might not be a bad idea to take an

expert navigator with us. I can manage in the air all right,

but I confess that working out a location under water is

beyond me."

"Yes, an old sea captain wouldn't be a bad idea, by any

means," conceded Mr. Swift. "Well, if you'll attend to that

detail, Mr. Sharp, Tom, Mr. Jackson and I will finish the

submarine. Most of the work is done, however, and it only

remains to install the engine and motors. Now, in regard to

the negative and positive electric plates, I'd like your

opinion, Tom."

For Tom Swift was an inventor, second in ability only to

his father, and his advice was often sought by his parent on

matters of electrical construction, for the lad had made a

specialty of that branch of science.

While father and son were deep in a discussion of the

apparatus of the submarine, there will be an opportunity to

make the reader a little better acquainted with them. Those

of you who have read the previous volumes of this series do

not need to be told who Tom Swift is. Others, however, may

be glad to have a proper introduction to him.

Tom Swift lived with his father, Barton Swift, in the

village of Shopton, New York. The Swift home was on the

outskirts of the town, and the large house was surrounded by

a number of machine shops, in which father and son, aided by

Garret Jackson, the engineer, did their experimental and

constructive work. Their house was not far from Lake

Carlopa, a fairly large body of water, on which Tom often

speeded his motor

In the first volume of this series, entitled "Tom Swift

and His Motor-Cycle," it was told how be became acquainted

with Mr. Wakefield Damon, who suffered an accident while

riding one of the speedy machines. The accident disgusted

Mr. Damon with motor-cycles, and Tom secured it for a low

price. He had many adventures on it, chief among which was

being knocked senseless and robbed of a valuable patent

model belonging to his father, which he was taking to

Albany. The attack was committed by a gang known as the

Happy Harry gang, who were acting at the instigation of a

syndicate of rich men, who wanted to secure control of a

certain patent turbine engine which Mr. Swift had invented.

Tom set out in pursuit of the thieves, after recovering

from their attack, and had a strenuous time before he

located them.

In the second volume, entitled "Tom Swift and His Motor-

Boat," there was related our hero's adventures in a fine

craft which was recovered from the thieves and sold at

auction. There was a mystery connected with the boat, and

for a long time Tom could not solve it. He was aided,

however, by his chum, Ned Newton, who worked in the Shopton

Bank, and also by Mr. Damon and Eradicate Sampson, an aged

colored whitewasher, who formed quite an attachment for Tom.

In his motor-boat Tom had more than one race with Andy

Foger, a rich lad of Shopton, who was a sort of bully. He

had red hair and squinty eyes, and was as mean in character

as he was in looks. He and his cronies, Sam Snedecker and

Pete Bailey, made trouble for Tom, chiefly because Tom

managed to beat Andy twice in boat races.

It was while in his motor-boat, Arrow, that Tom formed the

acquaintance of John Sharp, a veteran balloonist. While

coming down Lake Carlopa on the way to the Swift home, which

had been entered by thieves, Tom, his father and Ned Newton,

saw a balloon on fire over the lake. Hanging from a trapeze

on it was Mr. Sharp, who had made an ascension from a fair

ground. By hard work on the part of Tom and his friends the

aeronaut was saved, and took up his residence with the


His advent was most auspicious, for Tom and his father

were then engaged in perfecting an airship, and Mr. Sharp

was able to lend them his skill, so that the craft was soon


In the third volume, called "Tom Swift and His Airship,"

there was set down the doings of the young inventor, Mr.

Sharp and Mr. Damon on a trip above the clouds. They

undertook it merely for pleasure, but they encountered

considerable danger, before they completed it, for they

nearly fell into a blazing forest once, and were later fired

at by a crowd of excited people. This last act was to effect

their capture, for they were taken for a gang of bank

robbers, and this was due directly to Andy Foger.

The morning after Tom and his friends started on their

trip in the air, the Shopton Bank was found to have been

looted of seventy-five thousand dollars. Andy Foger at once

told the police that Tom Swift had taken the money, and when

asked how he knew this, he said he had seen Tom hanging

around the bank the night before the vault was burst open,

and that the young inventor had some burglar tools in his

possession. Warrants were at once sworn out for Tom and Mr.

Damon, who was also accused of being one of the robbers, and

a reward of five thousand dollars was offered.

Tom, Mr. Damon and Mr. Sharp sailed on, all unaware of

this, and unable to account for being fired upon, until they

accidentally read in the paper an account of their supposed

misdeeds. They lost no time in starting back home, and on,

the way got on the track of the real bank robbers, who were

members of the Happy Harry gang.

How the robbers were captured in an exciting raid, how Tom

recovered most of the stolen money, and how he gave Andy

Foger a deserved thrashing for giving a false clue was told

of, and there was an account of a race in which the Red

Cloud (as the airship was called) took part, as well as

details of how Tom and his friends secured the reward, which

Andy Foger hoped to collect.

Those of you who care to know how the Red Cloud was

constructed, and how she behaved in the air, even during

accidents and when struck by lightning, may learn by reading

the third volume, for the airship was one of the most

successful ever constructed.

When the craft was finished, and the navigators were ready

to start on their first long trip, Mr. Swift was asked to go

with them. He declined, but would not tell why, until Tom,

pressing him for an answer, learned that his father was

planning a submarine boat, which he hoped to enter in some

trials for Government prizes. Mr. Swift remained at home to

work on this submarine, while his son and Mr. Sharp were

sailing above the clouds.

On their return, however, and after the bank mystery had

been cleared up, Tom and Mr. Sharp, aided Mr. Swift in

completing the submarine, until, when the present story

opens, it needed but little additional work to make the

craft ready for the water.

Of course it had to be built near the sea, as it would

have been impossible to transport it overland from Shopton.

So, before the keel was laid, Mr. Swift rented a large

cottage at a seaside place on the New Jersey coast and

there, after, erecting a large shed, the work on the

Advance, as the under-water ship was called, was begun.

It was soon to be launched in a large creek that extended

in from the ocean and had plenty of water at high tide. Tom

and Mr. Sharp made several trips back and forth from Shopton

in their airship, to see that all was safe at home and

occasionally to get needed tools and supplies from the

shops, for not all the apparatus could be moved from Shopton

to the coast.

It was when returning from one of these trips that Tom

brought with him the paper containing an account of the

wreck of the Boldero and the sinking of the treasure she


Until late that night the three fortune-hunters discussed

various matters.

"We'll hurry work on the ship," said Mr. Swift it length.

"Tom, I wonder if your friend, Mr. Damon, would care to try

how it seems under Water? He stood the air trip fairly


"I'll write and ask him," answered the lad. "I'm sure

he'll go."

Securing, a few days later, the assistance of two

mechanics, whom he knew he could trust, for as yet the

construction of the Advance was a secret, Mr. Swift prepared

to rush work on the submarine, and for the next three weeks

there were busy times in the shed next to the seaside

cottage. So busy, in fact, were Tom and Mr. Sharp, that

they only found opportunity for one trip in the airship, and

that was to get some supplies from the shops at home.

"Well," remarked Mr. Swift one night, at the close of a

hard day's work, "another week will see our craft completed.

Then we will put it in the water and see how it floats, and

whether it submerges as I hope it does. But come on, Tom. I

want to lock up. I'm very tired to-night."

"All right, dad," answered the young inventor coming from

the darkened rear of the shop. "I just want to--"

Ne paused suddenly, and appeared to be listening. Then he

moved softly back to where he had come from.

"What's the matter?" asked his father in a whisper.

"What's up, Tom?"

The lad did not answer Mr. Swift, with a worried look on

his face, followed his son. Mr. Sharp stood in the door of

the shop.

"I thought I heard some one moving around back here," went

on Tom quietly.

"Some one in this shop!" exclaimed the aged inventor

excitedly. "Some one trying to steal my ideas again! Mr.

Sharp, come here! Bring that rifle! We'll teach these

scoundrels a lesson!"

Tom quickly darted hack to the extreme rear of the

building. There was a scuffle, and the next minute Tom cried


"What are you doing here?"

"Ha! I beg your pardon," replied a voice. "I am looking

for Mr. Barton Swift."

"My father," remarked Tom. "But that's a queer place to

look for him. He's up front. Father, here's a man who wishes

to see you," he called.

"Yes, I strolled in, and seeing no one about I went to the

rear of the place," the voice went on. "I hope I haven't


"We were busy on the other side of the shop, I guess,"

replied Tom, and he looked suspiciously at the man who

emerged from the darkness into the light from a window. "I

beg your pardon for grabbing you the way I did," went on the

lad, "but I thought you were one of a gang of men we've been

having trouble with."

"Oh, that's all right," continued the man easily. "I know

Mr. Swift, and I think he will remember me. Ah, Mr. Swift,

how do you do?" he added quickly, catching sight of Tom's

father, who, with Mr. Sharp, was coming to meet the lad.

"Addison Berg!" exclaimed the aged inventor as he saw the

man's face more plainly. "What are you doing here?"

"I came to see you," replied the man. "May I have a talk

with you privately?"

"I--I suppose so," assented Mr. Swift nervously. "Come

into the house."

Mr. Berg left Tom's side and advanced to where Mr. Swift

was standing. Together the two emerged from the now fast

darkening shop and went toward the house.

"Who is he?" asked Mr. Sharp of the young inventor in a


"I don't know," replied the lad; "but, whoever he is, dad

seems afraid of him. I'm going to keep my eyes open."



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