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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 Fifteen

At the Tropical Island

It was on the evening of the fourth day later that Captain

Weston, who was steering the craft, suddenly called out:

"Land ho!"

"Where away?" inquired Tom quickly, for he had read that

this was the proper response to make.

"Dead ahead," answered the sailor with a smile. "Shall we

make for it, if I may be allowed the question?"

"What land is it likely to be?" Mr. Swift wanted to know.

"Oh, some small tropical island," replied the seafaring

man. "It isn't down on the charts. Probably it's too small

to note. I should say it was a coral island, but we may be

able to find a Spring of fresh water there, and some fruit."

"Then we'll land there," decided the inventor. "We can use

some fresh water, though our distilling and ice apparatus

does very well."

They made the island just at dusk, and anchored in a

little lagoon, where there was a good depth of water.

"Now for shore!" cried Tom, as the submarine swung around

on the chain. "It looks like a fine place. I hope there are

cocoanuts and oranges here. Shall I get out the electric

launch, dad?"

"Yes, you may, and we'll all go ashore. It will do us good

to stretch our legs a bit."

Carried in a sort of pocket on the deck of the submarine

was a small electric boat, capable of holding six. It could

be slid from the pocket, or depression, into the water

without the use of davits, and, with Mr. Sharp to aid him,

Tom soon had the little craft afloat. The batteries were

already charged, and just as the sun was going down the

gold-seekers entered the launch and were soon on shore.

They found a good spring of water close at hand, and Tom's

wish regarding the cocoanuts was realized, though there were

no oranges. The lad took several of the delicious nuts, and

breaking them open poured the milk into a collapsible cup he

carried, drinking it eagerly. The others followed his

example, and pronounced it the best beverage they had tasted

in a long time.

The island was a typical tropical one, not very large, and

it did not appear to have been often visited by man. There

were no animals to be seen, but myriads of birds flew here

and there amid the trees, the trailing vines and streamers

of moss.

"Let's spend a day here to-morrow and explore it,"

proposed Tom, and his father nodded an assent. They went

back to the submarine as night was beginning to gather, and

in the cabin, after supper, talked over the happenings of

their trip so far.

"Do you think we'll have any trouble getting

the gold out of the wrecked vessel?" asked Tom of Captain

Weston, after a pause.

"Well, it's hard to say. I couldn't learn just how the

wreck lays, whether it's on a sandy or a rocky bottom. If

the latter, it won't be so hard, but if the sand has worked

in and partly covered it, we'll have some difficulties, if I

may be permitted to say so. However, don't borrow trouble.

We're not there yet, though at the rate we're traveling it

won't be long before we arrive."

No watch was set that night, as it was not considered

necessary. Tom was the first to arise in the morning, and he

went out on the deck for a breath of fresh air before


He looked off at the beautiful little island, and as his

eye took in all of the little lagoon where the submarine was

anchored he uttered a startled cry.

And well he might, for, not a hundred yards away, and

nearer to the island than was the Advance, floated another

craft--another craft, almost similar in shape and size to

the one built by the Swifts. Tom rubbed his eyes to make

sure he was not seeing double. No, there could be no mistake

about it. There was another submarine at the tropical


As he looked, some one emerged from the conning tower of

the second craft. The figure seemed strangely familiar. Tom

knew in a moment who it was--Addison Berg. The agent saw the

lad, too, and taking off his cap and making a mocking bow,

he called out:

"Good morning! Have you got the gold yet?"

Tom did not know what to answer. Seeing the other

submarine, at an island where he had supposed they would not

be disturbed, was disconcerting enough, but to be greeted by

Berg was altogether too much, Tom thought. His fears that

the rival boat builders would follow had not been without


"Rather surprised to see us, aren't you?" went on Mr.

Berg, smiling.

"Rather," admitted Tom, choking over the word.

"Thought you'd be," continued Berg. "We didn't expect to

meet you so soon, but we're glad we did. I don't altogether

like hunting for sunken treasure, with such indefinite

directions as I have."

"You--are going to--" stammered Tom, and then he concluded

it would be best not to say anything. But his talk had been

heard inside the submarine. His father came to the foot of

the conning tower stairway.

"To whom are you speaking, Tom?" he asked.

"They're here, dad," was the youth's answer.

"Here? Who are here?"

"Berg and his employers. They've followed us, dad."



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