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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-Four

Ramming the Wreck

Fitted with a long, sharp steel ram in front, the Advance

was peculiarly adapted for this sort of work. In designing

the ship this ram was calculated to be used against hostile

vessels in war time, for the submarine was at first, as we

know, destined for a Government boat. Now the ram was to

serve a good turn.

To make sure that the attempt would be a success, the

machinery of the craft was carefully gone over. It was found

to be in perfect order, save for a few adjustments which

were needed. Then, as it was night, though there was no

difference in the appearance of things below the surface, it

was decided to turn in, and begin work in the morning. Nor

did the gold-seekers go to the surface, for they feared they

might encounter a storm.

"We had trouble enough locating the wreck, said Captain

Weston, "and if we go up we may be blown off our course. We

have air enough to stay below, haven't we, Tom?"

"Plenty," answered the lad, looking at the gages.

After a hearty breakfast the next morning, the submarine

crew got ready for their hard task. The craft was backed

away as far as was practical, and then, running at full

speed, she rammed the wreck. The shock was terrific, and at

first it was feared some damage had been done to the

Advance, but she stood the strain.

"Did we open up much of a hole?" anxiously asked Mr.


"Pretty good," replied Tom, observing it through the

conning tower bull's-eyes, when the submarine had backed off

again. "Let's give her another."

Once more the great steel ram hit into the side of the

Boldero, and again the submarine shivered from the shock.

But there was a bigger hole in the wreck now, and after

Captain Weston had viewed it he decided it was large enough

to allow a person to enter and place a charge of dynamite so

that the treasure ship would be broken up.

Tom and the captain placed the explosive. Then the Advance

was withdrawn to a safe distance. There was a dull rumble, a

great swirling of the water, which was made murky; but when

it cleared, and the submarine went back, it was seen that

the wreck was effectively broken up. It was in two parts,

each one easy of access.

"That's the stuff!" cried Tom. "Now to get at the gold!"

"Yes, get out the diving suits," added Mr. Damon. "Bless

my watch-charm, I think I'll chance it in one myself! Do you

think the sharks are all gone, Captain Weston?"

"I think so."

In a short time Tom, the captain, Mr. Sharp and Mr. Damon

were attired in the diving suits, Mr. Swift not caring to

venture into such a great depth of water. Besides, it was

necessary for at least one person to remain in the submarine

to operate the diving chamber.

Walking slowly along the bottom of the sea the four gold-

seekers approached the wreck. They looked on all sides for a

sight of the sharks, but the monster fish seemed to have

deserted that part of the ocean. Tom was the first to reach

the now disrupted steamer. He found he could easily climb

up, for boxes and barrels from the cargo holds were

scattered all about by the explosion. Captain Weston soon

joined the lad. The sailor motioned Tom to follow him, and

being more familiar with ocean craft the captain was

permitted to take the lead. He headed aft, seeking to locate

the captain's cabin. Nor was he long in finding it. He

motioned for the others to enter, that the combined

illumination of the lamps in their helmets would make the

place bright enough so a search could be made for the gold.

Tom suddenly seized the arm of the captain, and pointed to

one corner of the cabin. There stood a small safe, and at

the sight of it Captain Weston moved toward it. The door was

not locked, probably having been left open when the ship was

deserted. Swinging it back the interior was revealed.

It was empty. There was no gold bullion in it.

There was no mistaking the dejected air of Captain Weston.

The others shared his feelings, but though they all felt

like voicing their disappointment, not a word could be

spoken. Mr. Sharp, by vigorous motions, indicated to his

companions to seek further.

They did so, spending all the rest of the day in the

wreck, save for a short interval for dinner. But no gold

rewarded their search.

Tom, late that afternoon, wandered away from the others,

and found himself in the captain's cabin again, with the

empty safe showing dimly in the water that was all about.

"Hang it all!" thought the lad, "we've had all our trouble

for nothing! They must have taken the gold with them."

Idly he raised his steel bar, and struck it against the

partition back of the safe. To his astonishment the

partition seemed to fall inward, revealing a secret

compartment. The lad leaned forward to bring the light for

his helmet to play on the recess. He saw a number of boxes,

piled one upon the other. He had accidentally touched a

hidden spring and opened a secret receptacle. But what did

it contain?

Tom reached in and tried to lift one of the boxes. He

found it beyond his strength. Trembling from excitement, he

went in search of the others. He found them delving in the

after part of the wreck, but by motions our hero caused them

to follow him. Captain Weston showed the excitement he felt

as soon as he caught sight of the boxes. He and Mr. Sharp

lifted one out, and placed it on the cabin floor. They pried

off the top with their bars.

There, packed in layers, were small yellow bars; dull,

gleaming, yellow bars! It needed but a glance to show that

they were gold bullion. Tom had found the treasure. The lad

tried to dance around there in the cabin of the wreck,

nearly three miles below the surface of the ocean, but the

pressure of water was too much for him. Their trip had been




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