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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 Nine

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-

informed man."

"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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