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Room | Tom
Swift And His Submarine Boat
Tom Swift And
His Submarine Boat
Captain Weston's Advent
"Bless my water ballast, but that certainly is a fine boat!"
cried Mr. Damon, when he had been shown over the new craft.
"I think I shall feel even safer in that than in the Red Cloud."
"Oh, don't go back on the airship!" exclaimed Mn Sharp. "I
was counting on taking you on another trip."
"Well, maybe after we get back from under the ocean,"
agreed Mr. Damon. "I particularly like the cabin
arrangements of the Advance. I think I shall enjoy myself."
He would be hard to please who could not take pleasure
from a trip in the submarine. The cabin was particularly
fine, and the sleeping arrangements were good.
More supplies could be carried than was possible on the
airship, and there was more room in which to cook and serve
food. Mr. Damon was fond of good living, and the kitchen
pleased him as much as anything else.
Early the next morning Tom set out for Atlantis, to meet
Captain Weston at the hotel. The young inventor inquired of
the clerk whether the seafaring man had arrived, and was
told that he had come the previous evening.
"Is he in his room?" asked Tom.
"No," answered the clerk with a peculiar grin. "He's an
odd character. Wouldn't go to bed last night until we had
every window in his room open, though it was blowing quite
hard, and likely to storm. The captain said he was used to
plenty of fresh air. Well, I guess he got it, all right."
"Where is he now?" asked the youth, wondering what sort of
an individual he was to meet.
"Oh, he was up before sunrise, so some of the scrubwomen
told me. They met him coming from his room, and he went
right down to the beach with a big telescope he always
carries with him. He hasn't come back yet. Probably he's
down on the sand."
"Hasn't he had breakfast?"
"No. He left word he didn't want to eat until about four
bells, whatever time that is."
"It's ten o'clock," replied Tom, who had been studying up
on sea terms lately. "Eight bells is eight o'clock in the
morning, or four in the afternoon or eight at night,
according to the time of day. Then there's one bell for
every half hour, so four bells this morning would be ten
o'clock in this watch, I suppose."
"Oh, that's the way it goes, eh?" asked the clerk. "I
never could get it through my head. What is twelve o'clock
"That's eight bells, too; so is twelve o'clock midnight.
Eight bells is as high as they go on a ship. But I guess
I'll go down and see if I can meet the captain. It will soon
be ten o'clock, or four bells, and he must be hungry for
breakfast. By the way, is that Mr. Berg still here?"
"No; he went away early this morning. He and Captain
Weston seemed to strike up quite an acquaintance, the night
clerk told me. They sat and smoked together until long after
midnight, or eight bells," and the clerk smiled as he
glanced down at the big diamond ring on his little finger.
"They did?" fairly exploded Tom, for he had visions of
what the wily Mr. Berg might worm out of the simple captain.
"Yes. Why, isn't the captain a proper man to make friends
with?" and the clerk looked at Tom curiously.
"Oh, yes, of course," was the hasty answer. "I guess I'll
go and see if I can find him--the captain, I mean."
Tom hardly knew what to think. He wished his father, or
Mr. Sharp, had thought to warn Captain Weston against
talking of the wreck. It might be too late now.
The young inventor hurried to the beach, which was not far
from the hotel. He saw a solitary figure pacing up and down,
and from the fact that the man stopped, every now and then,
and gazed seaward through a large telescope, the lad
concluded it was the captain for whom he was in search. He
approached, his footsteps making no sound on the sand. The
man was still gazing through the glass.
"Captain Weston?" spoke Tom.
Without a show of haste, though the voice must have
startled him, the captain turned. Slowly he lowered the
telescope, and then he replied softly:
"That's my name. Who are you, if I may ask?"
Tom was struck, more than by anything else, by the gentle
voice of the seaman. He had prepared himself, from the
description of Mr. Sharp, to meet a gruff, bewhiskered
individual, with a voice like a crosscut saw, and a rolling
gait. Instead he saw a man of medium size, with a smooth
face, merry blue eyes, and the softest voice and gentlest
manner imaginable. Tom was very much disappointed. He had
looked for a regular sea-dog, and he met a landsman, as he
said afterward. But it was not long before our hero changed
his mind regarding Captain Weston.
"I'm Tom Swift," the owner of that name said, "and I have
been sent to show you the way to where our ship is ready to
launch." The young inventor refrained from mentioning
submarine, as it was the wish of Mn Sharp to disclose this
feature of the voyage to the sailor himself.
"Ha, I thought as much," resumed the captain quietly.
"It's a fine day, if I may be permitted to say so," and he
seemed to hesitate, as if there was some doubt whether or
not he might make that observation.
"It certainly is," agreed the lad. Then, with a smile he
added: "It is nearly eight bells."
"Ha!" exclaimed the captain, also smiling, but even his
manner of saying "Ha!" was less demonstrative than that of
most persons. "I believe I am getting hungry, if I may be
allowed the remark," and again he seemed asking Tom's pardon
for mentioning the fact.
"Perhaps you will come back to the cabin and have a little
breakfast with me," he went on. "I don't know what sort of a
galley or cook they have aboard the Beach Hotel, but it
can't be much worse than some I've tackled."
"No, thank you," answered the youth. "I've had my
breakfast. But I'll wait for you, and then I'd like to get
back. Dad and Mr. Sharp are anxious to meet you."
"And I am anxious to meet them, if you don't mind me
mentioning it," was the reply, as the captain once more put
the spyglass to his eye and took an observation. "Not many
sails in sight this morning," he added. "But the weather is
fine, and we ought to get off in good shape to hunt for the
treasure about which Mr. Sharp wrote me. I believe we are
going after treasure, he said; "that is, if you don't mind
talking about it."
"Not in the least," replied Tom quickly, thinking this a
good opportunity for broaching a subject that was worrying
him. "Did you meet a Mr. Berg here last night, Captain
Weston?" he went on.
"Yes. Mr. Berg and I had quite a talk. He is a well-
"Did he mention the sunken treasure?" asked the lad, eager
to find out if his suspicions were true.
"Yes, he did, if you'll excuse me putting it so plainly,"
answered the seaman, as if Tom might be offended at so
direct a reply. But the young inventor was soon to learn
that this was only an odd habit with the seaman.
"Did he want to know where the wreck of the Boldero was
located?" continued the lad. "That is, did he try to
discover if you knew anything about it?"
"Yes," said Mr. Weston, "he did. He pumped me, if you are
acquainted with that term, and are not offended by it. You
see, when I arrived here I made inquiries as to where your
father's place was located. Mr. Berg overheard me, and
introduced himself as agent for a shipbuilding concern. He
was very friendly, and when he said he knew you and your
parent, I thought he was all right."
Tom's heart sank. His worst fears were to be realized, he
"Yes, he and I talked considerable, if I may be permitted
to say so," went on the captain. "He seemed to know about
the wreck of the Boldero, and that she had three hundred
thousand dollars in gold aboard. The only thing he didn't
know was where the wreck was located. He knew it was off
Uruguay somewhere, but just where he couldn't say. So he
asked me if I knew, since he must have concluded that I was
going with you on the gold-hunting expedition."
"And you do know, don't you?" asked Tom eagerly.
"Well, I have it pretty accurately charted out, if you
will allow me that expression," was the calm answer. "I took
pains to look it up at the request of Mr. Sharp."
"And he wanted to worm that information out of you?"
inquired the youth excitedly.
"Yes, I'm afraid he did."
"Did you give him the location?"
"Well," remarked the captain, as he took another
observation before closing up the telescope, "you see, while
we were talking, I happened to drop a copy of a map I'd
made, showing the location of the wreck. Mr. Berg picked it
up to hand to me, and he looked at it."
"Oh!" cried Tom. "Then he knows just where the treasure
is, and he may get to it ahead of us. It's too bad."
"Yes," continued the seaman calmly, "Mr. Berg picked up
that map, and he looked very closely at the latitude and
longitude I had marked as the location of the wreck."
"Then he won't have any trouble finding it," murmured our
"Eh? What's that?" asked the captain, "if I may be
permitted to request you to repeat what you said."
"I say he won't have any trouble locating the sunken
Boldero," repeated Tom.
"Oh, but I think he will, if he depends on that map," was
the unexpected reply. "You see," explained Mr. Weston, "I'm
not so simple as I look. I sensed what Mr. Berg was after,
the minute he began to talk to me. So I fixed up a little
game on him. The map which I dropped on purpose, not
accidentally, where he would see it, did have the location
of the wreck marked. Only it didn't happen to be the right
location. It was about five hundred miles out of the way,
and I rather guess if Mr. Berg and his friends go there for
treasure they'll find considerable depth of water and quite
a lonesome spot. Oh, no, I'm not as easy as I look, if you
don't mind me mentioning that fact; and when a scoundrel
sets out to get the best of me, I generally try to turn the
tables on him. I've seen such men as Mr. Berg before. I'm
afraid, I'm very much afraid, the sight he had of the fake
map I made won't do him much good. Well, I declare, it's
past four bells. Let's go to breakfast, if you don't mind me
asking you," and with that the captain started off up the
beach, Tom following, his ideas all a whirl at the unlooked-
for outcome of the interview.
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Room | Tom
Swift And His Submarine Boat