TWT logo

Together We Teach
Reading Room

Take time to read.
Reading is the
fountain of wisdom.

| 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

< BACK    NEXT >



Chapter Seventeen

The Race

Directed by Captain Weston, who glanced at the compass and

told him which way to steer to clear the outer coral reef,

Tom sent the submarine ahead, signaling for full speed to

the engine-room, where his father and Mr. Sharp were. The

big dynamos purred like great cats, as they sent the

electrical energy into the forward and aft plates, pulling

and pushing the Advance forward. On and on she rushed under

water, but ever as she shot ahead the disturbance in the

phosphorescent water showed her position plainly. She would

be easy to follow.

"Can't you get any more speed out of her?" asked the

captain of the lad.

"Yes," was the quick reply; "by using the auxiliary screws

I think we can. I'll try it."

He signaled for the propellers, forward and aft, to be put

in operation, and the motor moving the twin screws was

turned on. At once there was a perceptible increase to the

speed of the Advance.

"Are we leaving them behind?" asked Tom anxiously, as he

glanced at the speed gage, and noted that the submarine was

now about five hundred feet below the surface.

"Hard to tell," replied the Captain. "You'd have to take

an observation to make sure."

"I'll do it," cried the youth. "You steer, please, and

I'll go in the conning tower. I can look forward and aft

there, as well as straight up. Maybe I can see the Wonder."

Springing up the circular ladder leading into the tower,

Tom glanced through the windows all about the small pilot

house. He saw a curious sight. It was as if the submarine

was in a sea of yellowish liquid fire. She was immersed in

water which glowed with the flames that contained no heat.

So light was it, in fact, that there was no need of the

incandescents in the tower. The young inventor could have

seen to read a paper by the illumination of the phosphorus.

But he had something else to do than observe this

phenomenon. He wanted to see if he could catch sight of the

rival submarine.

At first he could make out nothing save the swirl and

boiling of the sea, caused by the progress of the Advance

through it. But suddenly, as he looked up, he was aware of

some great, black body a little to the rear and about ten

feet above his craft.

"A shark!" he exclaimed aloud. "An immense one, too."

But the closer he looked the less it seemed like a shark.

The position of the black object changed. It appeared to

settle down, to be approaching the top of the conning tower.

Then, with a suddenness that unnerved him for the time

being, Tom recognized what it was; it was the underside of a

ship. He could see the plates riveted together, and then, as

be noted the rounded, cylindrical shape, he knew that it was

a submarine. It was the Wonder. She was close at hand and

was creeping up on the Advance. But, what was more

dangerous, she seemed to be slowly settling in the water.

Another moment and her great screws might crash into the

Conning tower of the Swifts' boat and shave it off. Then the

water would rush in, drowning the treasure-seekers like rats

in a trap.

With a quick motion Tom yanked over the lever that allowed

more water to flow into the ballast tanks. The effect was at

once apparent. The Advance shot down toward the bottom of

the sea. At the same time the young inventor signaled to

Captain Weston to notify those in the engine-room to put on

a little more speed. The Advance fairly leaped ahead, and

the lad, looking up through the bull's-eye in the roof of

the conning tower, had the satisfaction of seeing the rival

submarine left behind.

The youth hurried down into the interior of the ship to

tell what he had seen, and explain the reason for opening

the ballast tanks. He found his father and Mr. Sharp

somewhat excited over the unexpected maneuver of the craft.

"So they're still following us," murmured Mr. Swift. "I

don't see why we can't shake them off."

"It's on account of this luminous water," explained

Captain Weston. "Once we are clear of that it will be easy,

I think, to give them the slip. That is, if we can get out

of their sight long enough. Of course, if they keep close

after us, they can pick us up with their searchlight, for I

suppose they carry one."

"Yes," admitted the aged inventor, "they have as strong a

one as we have. In fact, their ship is second only to this

one in speed and power. I know, for Bentley & Eagert showed

me some of the plans before they started it, and asked my

opinion. This was before I had the notion of building a

submarine. Yes, I am afraid we'll have trouble getting away

from them."

"I can't understand this phosphorescent glow keeping up so

long," remarked Captain Weston. "I've seen it in this

locality several times, but it never covered such an extent

of the ocean in my time. There must be changed conditions

here now."

For an hour or more the race was kept up, and the two

submarines forged ahead through the glowing sea. The Wonder

remained slightly above and to the rear of the other, the

better to keep sight of her, and though the Advance was run

to her limit of speed, her rival could not be shaken off.

Clearly the Wonder was a speedy craft.

"It's too bad that we've got to fight them, as well as run

the risk of lots of other troubles which are always present

when sailing under water," observed Mn Damon, who wandered

about the submarine like the nervous person he was. "Bless

my shirt-studs! Can't we blow them up, or cripple them in

some way? They have no right to go after our treasure."

"Well, I guess they've got as much right as we have,"

declared Tom. "It goes to whoever reaches the wreck first.

But what I don't like is their mean, sneaking way of doing

it. If they went off on their own hook and looked for it I

wouldn't say a word. But they expect us to lead them to the

wreck, and then they'll rob us if they can. That's not


"Indeed, it isn't," agreed Captain Weston, "if I may be

allowed the expression. We ought to find some way of

stopping them. But, if I'm not mistaken," he added quickly,

looking from one of the port bull's-eyes, "the

phosphorescent glow is lessening. I believe we are running

beyond that part of the ocean."

There was no doubt of it, the glow was growing less and

less, and ten minutes later the Advance was speeding along

through a sea as black as night. Then, to avoid running into

some wreck, it was necessary to turn on the searchlight.

"Are they still after us?" asked Mr. Swift of his son, as

he emerged from the engine-room, where he had gone to make

some adjustments to the machinery, with the hope of

increasing the speed.

"I'll go look," volunteered the lad. He climbed up into

the conning tower again, and for a moment, as he gazed back

into the black waters swirling all about, he hoped that they

had lost the Wonder. But a moment later his heart sank as he

caught sight, through the liquid element, of the flickering

gleams of another searchlight, the rays undulating through

the sea.

"Still following," murmured the young inventor. "They're

not going to give up. But we must make 'em--that's all."

He went down to report what he had seen, and a

consultation was held. Captain Weston carefully studied the

charts of that part of the ocean, and finding that there was

a great depth of water at hand, proposed a series of


"We can go up and down, shoot first to one side and then

to the other," he explained. "We can even drop down to the

bottom and rest there for a while. Perhaps, in that way, we

can shake them off."

They tried it. The Advance was sent up until her conning

tower was out of the water, and then she was suddenly forced

down until she was but a few feet from the bottom. She

darted to the left, to the right, and even doubled and went

back over the course she had taken. But all to no purpose.

The Wonder proved fully as speedy, and those in her seemed

to know just how to handle the submarine, so that every

evolution of the Advance was duplicated. Her rival could not

be shaken off.

All night this was kept up, and when morning came, though

only the clocks told it, for eternal night was below the

surface, the rival gold-seekers were still on the trail.

"They won't give up," declared Mr. Swift hopelessly.

"No, we've got to race them for it, just as Berg

proposed," admitted Tom. "But if they want a straightaway

race we'll give it to 'em Let's run her to the limit, dad."

"That's what we've been doing, Tom."

"No, not exactly, for we've been submerged a little too

much to get the best speed out of our craft. Let's go a

little nearer the surface, and give them the best race

they'll ever have."

Then the race began; and such a contest of speed as it

was! With her propellers working to the limit, and every

volt of electricity that was available forced into the

forward and aft plates, the Advance surged through the

water, about ten feet below the surface. But the Wonder kept

after her, giving her knot for knot. The course of the

leading submarine was easy to trace now, in the morning

light which penetrated ten feet down.

"No use," remarked Tom again, when, after two hours, the

Wonder was still close behind them. "Our only chance is that

they may have a breakdown."

"Or run out of air, or something like that," added Captain

Weston. "They are crowding us pretty close. I had no idea

they could keep up this speed. If they don't look out," he

went on as he looked from one of the aft observation

windows, "they'll foul us, and--"

His remarks were interrupted by a jar to the Advance. She

seemed to shiver and careened to one side. Then came another


"Slow down!" cried the captain, rushing toward the pilot


"What's the matter?" asked Tom, as he threw the engines

and electrical machines out of gear. Have we hit anything?"

"No. Something has hit us," cried the captain. "Their

submarine has rammed us."

"Rammed us!" repeated Mr. Swift. "Tom, run out the

electric cannon! They're trying to sink us! We'll have to

fight them. Run out the stern electric gnu and we'll make

them wish they'd not followed us.



Top of Page

< BACK    NEXT >

| Home | Reading Room Tom Swift And His Submarine Boat





Why not spread the word about Together We Teach?
Simply copy & paste our home page link below into your emails... 

Want the Together We Teach link to place on your website?
Copy & paste either home page link on your webpage...
Together We Teach 






Use these free website tools below for a more powerful experience at Together We Teach!

****Google™ search****

For a more specific search, try using quotation marks around phrases (ex. "You are what you read")


*** Google Translate™ translation service ***

 Translate text:


  Translate a web page:

****What's the Definition?****
(Simply insert the word you want to lookup)

 Search:   for   

S D Glass Enterprises

Privacy Policy

Warner Robins, GA, USA