Turning the Tables
When the young inventor informed his father what he had
overheard Mr. Berg saying, the aged inventor was not as much
worried as his son anticipated.
"All we'll have to do, Tom," he said, "is to keep quiet
about where we are going. Once we have the Advance afloat,
and try her out, we can start on our voyage for the South
American Coast and search for the sunken treasure. When we
begin our voyage under water I defy any one to tell where we
are going, or what our plans are. No, I don't believe we
need worry about Mr. Berg, though he probably means
"Well, I'm going to keep my eyes open for him and Andy
Foger," declared Tom.
The days that followed were filled with work. Not only
were there many unexpected things to do about the submarine,
but Mr. Sharp was kept busy making inquiries about the
sunken treasure ship. These inquiries had to he made
carefully, as the adventurers did not want their plans
talked of, and nothing circulates more quickly than rumors
of an expedition after treasure of any kind.
"What about the old sea captain you were going to get to
go with us?" asked Mr. Swift of the balloonist one afternoon.
"Have you succeeded in finding one yet?"
"Yes; I am in communication with a man think will be just
the person for us. His name is Captain Alden Weston, and he
has sailed all over the world. He has also taken part in
more than one revolution, and, in fact, is a soldier of
fortune. I do not know him personally, but a friend of mine
knows him, and says he will serve us faithfully. I have
written to him, and he will he here in a few days."
"That's good. Now about the location of the wreck itself.
Have you been able to learn any more details?"
"Well, not many. You see, the Boldero was abandoned in a
storm, and the captain did not take very careful
observations. As nearly as it can be figured out the
treasure ship went to the bottom in latitude forty-five
degrees south, and longitude twenty-seven east from
Washington. That's a pretty indefinite location, but I hope,
once we get off the Uruguay coast, we can better it. We can
anchor or lay outside the harbor, and in the small boat we
carry go ashore and possibly gain more details. For it was
at Montevideo that the shipwrecked passengers and sailors
"Does Captain Weston know our object?" inquired Tom.
"No, and I don't propose to tell him until we are ready to
start," replied Mr. Sharp. "I don't know just how he'll
consider a submarine trip after treasure, but if I spring it
on him suddenly he's less likely to back out. Oh, I think
Somewhat unexpectedly the next day it was discovered that
certain tools and appliances were needed for the submarine,
and they had been left in the house at Shopton, where
Eradicate Sampson was in charge as caretaker during the
absence of Mr. Swift and his son and the housekeeper.
"Well, I suppose we'll have to go back after them,"
remarked Tom. "We'll take the airship, dad, and make a two-
days' trip of it. Is there anything else you want?"
"Well, you might bring a bundle of papers you'll find in
the lower right hand drawer of my desk. They contain some
memoranda I need."
Tom and Mr. Sharp had become so used to traveling in the
airship that it seemed no novelty to them, though they
attracted much attention wherever they went. They soon had
the Red Cloud in readiness for a flight, and rising in the
air above the shop that contained the powerful submarine, a
craft utterly different in type from the aeroplane, the nose
of the airship was pointed toward Shopton.
They made a good flight and landed near the big shed where
the bird of the air was kept. It was early evening when they
got to the Swift homestead, and Eradicate Sampson was glad
to see them.
Eradicate was a good cook, and soon had a meal ready for
the travelers. Then, while Mr. Sharp selected the tools and
other things needed, and put them in the airship ready for
the start back the next morning, Tom concluded he would take
a stroll into Shopton, to see if he could see his friend,
Ned Newton. It was early evening, and the close of a
beautiful day, a sharp shower in the morning having cooled
Tom was greeted by a number of acquaintances as he
strolled along, for, since the episode of the bank robbery,
when he had so unexpectedly returned with the thieves and
the cash, the lad was better known than ever.
"I guess Ned must be home" thought our hero as he looked
in vain for his chum among the throng on the streets. "I've
got time to take a stroll down to his house."
Tom was about to cross the street when he was startled by
the sound of an automobile horn loudly blown just at his
side. Then a voice called:
"Hey, there! Git out of the way if you don't want to be
He looked up, and saw a car careening along. At the wheel
was the red-haired bully, Andy Foger, and in the tonneau
were Sam Snedecker and Pete Bailey.
"Git out of the way," added Sam, and he grinned
maliciously at Tom.
The latter stepped back, well out of the path of the car,
which was not moving very fast. Just in front of Tom was a
puddle of muddy water. There was no necessity for Andy
steering into it, but he saw his opportunity, and a moment
later one of the big pneumatic tires had plunged into the
dirty fluid, spattering it all over Tom, some even going as
high as his face.
"Ha! ha!" laughed Andy. "Maybe you'll get out of my way
next time, Tom Swift."
The young inventor was almost speechless from righteous
anger. He wiped the mud from his face, glanced down at his
clothes, which were all but ruined, and called out:
"Hold on there, Andy Foger! I want to see you!" for he
thought of the time when Andy had shut him in the tank.
"Ta! ta!" shouted Pete Bailey.
"See you later," added Sam.
"Better go home and take a bath, and then sail away in
your submarine," went on Andy. "I'll bet it will sink."
Before Tom could reply the auto had turned a corner.
Disgusted and angry, he tried to sop up some of the muddy
water with his handkerchief. While thus engaged he heard his
name called, and looked up to see Ned Newton.
"What's the matter? Fall down?" asked his chum.
"Andy Foger," replied Tom.
"That's enough," retorted Ned. "I can guess the rest.
We'll have to tar and feather him some day, and ride him out
of town on a rail. I'd kick him myself, only his father is a
director in the bank where I work, and I'd be fired if I
did. Can't afford any such pleasure. But some day I'll give
Andy a good trouncing, and then resign before they can
discharge me. But I'll be looking for another job before I
do that. Come on to my house, Tom, and I'll help you clean
Tom was a little more presentable when he left his chum's
residence, after spending the evening there, but he was
still burning for revenge against Andy and his cronies. He
had half a notion to go to Andy's house and tell Mr. Foger
how nearly serious the bully's prank at the sub marine had
been, but be concluded that Mr. Foger could only uphold his
son. "No, I'll settle with him myself," decided Tom.
Bidding Eradicate keep a watchful eye about the house, and
leaving word for Mr. Damon to be sure to come to the coast
if he again called at the Shopton house, Tom and Mr. Sharp
prepared to make their return trip early the next morning.
The gas tank was filled and the Red Cloud arose in the
air. Then, with the propellers moving at moderate speed, the
nose of the craft was pointed toward the New Jersey coast.
A few miles out from Shopton, finding there was a contrary
wind in the upper regions where they were traveling, Mr.
Sharp descended several hundred feet. They were moving over
a sparsely settled part of the country, and looking down,
Tom saw, speeding along a highway, an automobile.
"I wonder who's in it?" he remarked, taking down a
telescope and peering over the window ledge of the cabin.
The next moment he uttered a startled exclamation.
"Andy Foger, Sam Snedecker and Pete Bailey!" he cried.
"Oh, I wish I had a bucket of water to empty on them."
"I know a better way to get even with them than that,"
said Mr. Sharp.
"How?" asked Tom eagerly.
"I'll show you," replied the balloonist. "It's a trick I
once played on a fellow who did me an injury. Here, you
steer for a minute until I get the thing fixed, then I'll
Mr. Sharp went to the storeroom and came back with a long,
stout rope and a small anchor of four prongs. It was carried
to be used in emergencies, but so far had never been called
into requisition. Fastening the grapple to the cable, the
"Now, Tom, they haven't seen you. You stand in the stern
and pay out the rope. I'll steer the airship, and what I
want you to do is to catch the anchor in the rear of their
car. Then I'll show you some fun."
Tom followed instructions. Slowly he lowered the rope with
the dangling grapple. The airship was also sent down, as the
cable was not quite long enough to reach the earth from the
height at which they were. The engine was run at slow speed,
so that the noise would not attract the attention of the
three cronies who were speeding along, all unconscious of
the craft in the air over their heads. The Red Cloud was
moving in the same direction as was the automobile.
The anchor was now close to the rear of Andy's car.
Suddenly it caught on the tonneau and Tom called that fact
to Mr. Sharp.
"Fasten the rope at the cleat," directed the balloonist.
Tom did so, and a moment later the aeronaut sent the
airship up by turning more gas into the container. At the
same time he reversed the engine and the Red Cloud began
pulling the touring car backward, also lifting the rear
wheels clear from the earth.
A startled cry from the occupants of the machine told Tom
and his friend that Andy and his cronies were aware
something was wrong. A moment later Andy, looking up, saw
the airship hovering in the air above him. Then he saw the
rope fast to his auto. The airship was not rising now, or
the auto would have been turned over, but it was slowly
pulling it backward, in spite of the fact that the motor of
the car was still going.
"Here! You let go of me!" cried Andy. "I'll have you
arrested if you damage my car."
"Come up here and cut the rope." called Tom leaning over
and looking down. He could enjoy the bully's discomfiture.
As for Sam and Pete, they were much frightened, and cowered
down on the floor of the tonneau.
"Maybe you'll shut me in the tank again and splash mud on
me!" shouted Tom.
The rear wheels of the auto were lifted still higher from
the ground, as Mr. Sharp turned on a little more gas. Andy
was not proof against this.
"Oh! oh!" he cried. "Please let me down, Tom. I'm awful
sorry for what I did! I'll never do it again! Please, please
let me down! Don't You'll tip me over!"
He had shut off his motor now, and was frantically
clinging to the steering wheel.
"Do you admit that you're a sneak and a coward?" asked
Tom, "rubbing it in."
"Yes, yes! Oh, please let me down!"
"Shall we?" asked Tom of Mr. Sharp.
"Yes," replied the balloonist. "We can afford to lose the
rope and anchor for the sake of turning the tables. Cut the
Tom saw what was intended. Using a little hatchet, he
severed the rope with a single blow. With a crash that could
be heard up in the air where the Red Cloud hovered, the rear
wheels of the auto dropped to the ground. Then came two loud
"Both tires busted!" commented Mr. Sharp dryly, and Tom,
looking down, saw the trio of lads ruefully contemplating
the collapsed rubber of the rear wheels. The tables had been
effectually turned on Andy Foger. His auto was disabled, and
the airship, with a graceful sweep, mounted higher and
higher, continuing on its way to the coast.
Top of Page
Room | Tom
Swift And His Submarine Boat