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Room | Tom
Swift And His Submarine Boat
Tom Swift And
His Submarine Boat
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
"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
"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
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
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
"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
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
"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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Room | Tom
Swift And His Submarine Boat