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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 Twenty

Doomed to Death

There was no room on the small deck of the submarine to

make a stand against the officers and crew of the Brazilian

warship. In fact, the capture of the gold-seekers had been

effected so suddenly that their astonishment almost deprived

them of the power to think clearly.

At another command from the officer, who was addressed as

Admiral Fanchetti, several of the sailors began to lead Tom

and his friends toward the small boat.

"Do you feel all right, father?" inquired the lad

anxiously, as he looked at his parent. "These scoundrels

have no right to treat us so."

"Yes, Tom, I'm all right as far as the electric shock is

concerned, but I don't like to be handled in this fashion."

"We ought not to submit!" burst out Mr. Damon. "Bless the

stars and stripes! We ought to fight."

"There's no chance," said Mr. Sharp. "We are right under

the guns of the ship. They could sink us with one shot. I

guess we'll have to give in for the time being."

"It is most unpleasant, if I may be allowed the

expression," commented Captain Weston mildly. He seemed to

have lost his sudden anger, hut there was a steely glint in

his eyes, and a grim, set look around his month that showed

his temper was kept under control only by an effort. It

boded no good to the sailors who had hold of the doughty

captain if he should once get loose, and it was noticed that

they were on their guard.

As for Tom, he submitted quietly to the two Brazilians who

had hold of either arm, and Mr. Swift was held by only one,

for it was seen that he was feeble.

"Into the boat with them!" cried Admiral Fanchetti. "And

guard them well, Lieutenant Drascalo, for I heard them

plotting to escape," and the admiral signaled to a younger

officer, who was in charge of the men guarding the


"Lieutenant Drascalo, eh?" murmured Mr. Damon. "I think

they made a mistake naming him. It ought to be Rascalo. He

looks like a rascal."

"Silenceo!" exclaimed the lieutenant, scowling at the odd


"Bless my spark plug! He's a regular fire-eater!" went on

Mr. Damon, who appeared to have fully recovered his spirits.

"Silenceo!" cried the lieutenant, scowling again, but Mr.

Damon did not appear to mind.

Admiral Fanchetti and several others of the gold-laced

officers remained aboard the submarine, while Tom and his

friends were hustled into the small boat and rowed toward

the warship.

"I hope they don't damage our craft," murmured the young

inventor, as he saw the admiral enter the conning tower.

"If they do, we'll complain to the United States consul

and demand damages," said Mr. Swift

"I'm afraid we won't have a chance to communicate with the

consul," remarked Captain Weston.

"What do you mean?" asked Mr. Damon. "Bless my shoelaces,

but will these scoundrels--"

"Silenceo!" cried Lieutenant Drascalo quickly. "Dogs of

Americans, do you wish to insult us?"

"Impossible; you wouldn't appreciate a good, genuine

United States insult," murmured Tom under his breath.

"What I mean," went on the captain, "is that these people

may carry the proceedings off with a high hand. You heard

the admiral speak of a court-martial."

"Would they dare do that?" inquired Mr. Sharp.

"They would dare anything in this part of the world, I'm

afraid," resumed Captain Weston. "I think I see their plan,

though. This admiral is newly in command; his uniform shows

that He wants to make a name for himself, and he seizes on

our submarine as an excuse. He can send word to his

government that he destroyed a torpedo craft that sought to

wreck his ship. Thus he will acquire a reputation."

"But would his government support him in such a hostile

act against the United States, a friendly nation?" asked


"Oh, he would not claim to have acted against the United

States as a power. He would say that it was a private

submarine, and, as a matter of fact, it is. While we are

under the protection of the stars and stripes, our vessel is

not a Government one," and Captain Weston spoke the last in

a low voice, so the scowling lieutenant could not hear.

"What will they do with us?" inquired Mr. Swift.

"Have some sort of a court-martial, perhaps," went on the

captain, "and confiscate our craft Then they will send us

back home, I expect for they would not dare harm us."

"But take our submarine!" cried Tom. "The villains--"

"Silenceo!" shouted Lieutenant Drascalo and he drew his


By this time the small boat was under the big guns of the

San Paulo, and the prisoners were ordered, in broken

English, to mount a companion ladder that hung over the

side. In a short time they were on deck, amid a crowd of

sailors, and they could see the boat going back to bring off

the admiral, who signaled from the submarine. Tom and his

friends were taken below to a room that looked like a

prison, and there, a little later, they were visited by

Admiral Fanchetti and several officers.

"You will be tried at once," said the admiral. "I have

examined your submarine and I find she carries two torpedo

tubes. It is a wonder you did not sink me at once."

"Those are not torpedo tubes!" cried Tom, unable to keep

silent, though Captain Weston motioned him to do so.

"I know torpedo tubes when I see them," declared the

admiral. "I consider I had a very narrow escape. Your

country is fortunate that mine does not declare war against

it for this act. But I take it you are acting privately, for

you fly no flag, though you claim to be from the United


"There's no place for a flag on the submarine," went on

Tom. "What good would it be under water?"

"Silenceo!" cried Lieutenant Drascalo, the admonition to

silence seeming to be the only command of which he was


"I shall confiscate your craft for my government," went on

the admiral, "and shall punish you as the court-martial may

direct. You will be tried at once."

It was in vain for the prisoners to protest. Matters were

carried with a high hand. They were allowed a spokesman, and

Captain Weston, who understood Spanish, was selected, that

language being used. But the defense was a farce, for he was

scarcely listened to. Several officers testified before the

admiral, who was judge, that they had seen the submarine

rise out of the water, almost under the prow of the San

Paulo. It was assumed that the Advance had tried to wreck

the warship, but had failed. It was in vain that Captain

Weston and the others told of the reason for their rapid

ascent from the ocean depths--that Mr. Swift had been

shocked, and needed fresh air. Their story was not believed.

"We have heard enough!" suddenly exclaimed the admiral.

"The evidence against you is over-whelming--er--what you

Americans call conclusive," and be was speaking then in

broken English. "I find you guilty, and the sentence of this

court-martial is that you be shot at sunrise, three days


"Shot!" cried Captain Weston, staggering back at this

unexpected sentence. His companions turned white, and Mr.

Swift leaned against his son for support.

"Bless my stars! Of all the scoundrelly!" began Mr. Damon.

"Silenceo!" shouted the lieutenant, waving his sword.

"You will be shot," proceeded the admiral. "Is not that

the verdict of the honorable court?" he asked, looking at

his fellow officers. They all nodded gravely.

"But look here!" objected Captain Weston. "You don't dare

do that! We are citizens of the United States, and--"

"I consider you no better than pirates," interrupted the

admiral. "You have an armed submarine--a submarine with

torpedo tubes. You invade our harbor with it, and come up

almost under my ship. You have forfeited your right to the

protection of your country, and I have no fear on that

score. You will be shot within three days. That is all.

Remove the prisoners."

Protests were in vain, and it was equally useless to

struggle. The prisoners were taken out on deck, for which

they were thankful, for the interior of the ship was close

and hot, the weather being intensely disagreeable. They were

told to keep within a certain space on deck, and a guard of

sailors, all armed, was placed near them. From where they

were they could see their submarine floating on the surface

of the little bay, with several Brazilians on the small

deck. The Advance had been anchored, and was surrounded by a

flotilla of the native boats, the brown-skinned paddlers

gazing curiously at the odd craft.

"Well, this is tough luck!" murmured Tom. "How do you

feel, dad?"

"As well as can be expected under the circumstances," was

the reply. "What do you think about this, Captain Weston?"

"Not very much, if I may be allowed the expression," was

the answer.

"Do you think they will dare carry out that threat?" asked

Mr. Sharp.

The captain shrugged his shoulders. "I hope it is only a

bluff," he replied, "made to scare us so we will consent to

giving up the submarine, which they have no right to

confiscate. But these fellows look ugly enough for

anything," he went on.

"Then if there's any chance of them attempting to carry it

out," spoke Tom, "we've got to do something."

"Bless my gizzard, of course!" exclaimed Mr. Damon. "But

what? That's the question. To be shot! Why, that's a

terrible threat! The villains--"

"Silenceo!" shouted Lieutenant Drascalo, coming up at that




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