NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES
THE NEW YOSK
THERE WAS A CRASH AS THE GREAT WAR TANK HIT THE WA^L.
AND CRUMPLED IT UP.
'Tcm Swift and His War Ta'nk Page 124
TOM SWIFT AND
HIS WAR TANK
Doing His Bit For Uncle Sam
AUTHOR OF "TOM SWIFT AND His MOTOR CYCLE/' "ToM
SWIFT AND His BIG TUNNEL," "TOM SWIFT IN THE
LAND OF WONDERS/' "THE MOVING PICTURE
BOYS IN THE JUNGLE/' ETC.
GROSSET & DUNLAE
Made in the United States of America'
BOOKS FOR BOYS BY
12mo Cloth. Illustrated. Price per volume, 50 cents, postpaid
THE TOM SWIFT SERIES
TOM SWIFT AND HIS MOTOR CYCLE
TOM SWIFT AND HIS MOTOR BOAT
TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIRSHIP
TOM SWIFT AND HIS SUBMARINE BOAT
TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RUNABOUT
TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIRELESS MESSAGE
TOM SWIFT AMONG THE DIAMOND MAKERS
TOM SWIFT IN THE CAVES OF ICE
TOM SWIFT AND HIS SKY RACER
TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RIFLE
TOM SWIFT IN THE CITY OF GOLD
TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIR GLIDER
TOM SWIFT IN CAPTIVITY
TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIZARD CAMERA
TOM SWIFT AND HIS GREAT SEARCHLIGHT
TOM SWIFT AND HIS GIANT CANNON
TOM SWIFT AND HIS PHOTO TELEPHONE
V TOM SWIFT AND HIS AERIAL WARSHIP
TOM SWIFT AND HIS BIG TUNNEL
TOM SWIFT IN THE LAND OF WONDERS
TOM SWIFT AND HIS WAR TANK
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS SERIES
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS IN THE WEST
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS ON THE COAST
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS IN THE JUNGLE
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS IN EARTHQUAKE
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS AND THE FLOOD
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS AT PANAMA
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS UNDER THE SEA
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS ON THE WAR FRONT
THE MOTION PICTURE CHUMS SERIES
THE MOTION PICTURE CHUMS' FIRST VENTURE
THE MOTION PICTURE CHUMS AT SEASIDE PARK
THE MOTION PICTURE CHUMS ON BROADWAY
THE MOTION PICTURE CHUMS' OUTDOOR
THE MOTION PICTURE CHUMS' NEW IDEA
THE MOTION PICTURE CHUMS AT THE FAIR
THE MOTION PICTURE CHUMS' WAR SPECTACLE
Copyright, 1918, by
GROSSET & DUNLAP
Tom Swift and His War Tank
I PAST MEMORIES , 1
II TOM'S INDIFFERENCE 1C
III NED Is WORRIED 20
IV QUEER DOINGS 27
V "Is HE A SLACKER?" 36
VI SEEING THINGS 44
VII UP A TREE 53
VIII DETECTIVE RAD 61
IX A NIGHT TEST 70
X A RUNAWAY GIANT 79
XI TOM'S TANK 86
XII BRIDGING A GAP 94
XIII INTO A TRENCH 107
XIV THE RUINED FACTORY 114
XV ACROSS COUNTRY 121
XVI THE OLD BARN 129
XVII VEILED THREATS 137
XVIII READY FOR FRANCE 144
XIX TOM Is MISSING 155
XX THE SEARCH 164
XXI A PRISONER 171
XXII RESCUED 180
XXIII GONE 188
XXIV CAMOUFLAGED to 198
XXV FOILED 209
TOM SWIFT AND HIS
CEASING his restless walk up and down the
room, Tom Swift strode to the window and
gazed across the field toward the many build-
ings, where machines were turning out the prod-
ucts evolved from the brains of his father and
himself. There was a worried look on the face
of the young inventor, and he seemed preoccu-
pied, as though thinking of something far re-
<moved from whatever it was his eyes gazed
"Well, I'll do it!" suddenly exclaimed Tom.
"I don't want to, but I will. It's in the line of
'doing my bit/ I suppose; but I'd rather it was
something else. I wonder "
"Ha! Up to your old tricks, I see, Tom!"
2 TOM SWIFT AND HIS WAR TANK
exclaimed a voice, in which energy and friend-
liness mingled pleasingly. "Up to your old
"Oh, hello, Mr. Damon!" cried Tom, turning
to shake hands with an elderly gentleman that
is, elderly in appearance but not in action, for he
crossed the room with the springing step of a
lad, and there was the enthusiasm of youth on his
face. 'What do you mean my old tricks?"
'Talking to yourself, Tom. And when you da
that it means there is something in the wind. I
hope, as a sort of side remark, it isn't rain that's
in the wind, for the soldiers over at camp have
had enough water to set up a rival establishment
with Mr. Noah. But there's something going
on, isn't there? Bless my memorandum book,
but don't tell me there isn't, or I shall begin to
believe I have lost all my deductive powers of
reasoning! I come in here, after knocking two
or three times, to which you pay not the least at-
tention, and find you mysteriously murmuring to
; "The last time that happened, Tom, was just
before you started to dig the big tunnel No,
I'm wrong. It was just before you started for the
Land of Wonders, as we decided it ought to be
called. You were talking to yourself then, when
I walked in on you, and Say,Tom !" suddenly
PAST MEMORIES 3
exclaimed Mr. Damon eagerly, "don't tell me
you're going off on another wild journey like that
"Why?" asked Tom, smiling at the energy of
"Because if you are, I'll want to go with you,
of course, and if I go it means I'll have to start
In as soon as I can to bring my wife around to
my way of thinking. The last time I went it
took me two weeks to get her to consent, and
then she didn't like it. So if "
"No, Mr. Damon," interrupted Tom, "I don't
count on going on any sort of a trip that is, any
long one. I was just getting ready to take a
little spin in the Hawk, and if you'd like to come
'You mean that saucy little airship of yours,
Tom, that's always trying to sit down on her
tail, or tickle herself with one wing?"
"That's the Hawkl" laughed Tom; "though,
that tickling business you speak of is when I
spiral. Don't you like it?"
: Can't say I do," observed Mr. Damon dryly.
Well, I'll promise not to try any stunts if you-
come along," Tom went on.
'Where are you going?" asked his friend.
"Oh, no place in particular. As you surmised,
I've been doing a bit of thinking, and "
4 TOM SWIFT 'AND HIS WAR TANK
"Serious thinking, too, Tom!" interrupted Mr.
Damon. "Excuse me, but I couldn't help over-
hearing what you said. It was something about
going to do something though you didn't want
to, and that it was part of your 'bit.' That
sounds like soldier talk. Are you going to en-
"Urn! Well, then "
"It's something I can't talk about, Mr. Damon,
even to you, as yet," Tom said, and there was a
new quality in his voice, at which his friend
looked up in some surprise.
"Oh, of course, Tom, if it's a secret : "
"Well, it hasn't even got that far, as yet. It's
all up in the air, so to speak. I'll tell you in due
season. But, speaking of the air, let's go for a
spin. It may drive some of the cobwebs out of
my brain. Did I hear you say you thought it
"No, it's as clear as a bell. I said I hoped it
wouldn't rain for the sake of the soldiers in
camp. They've had their share of wet weather,
and, goodness knows, they'll get more when they
get to Flanders. It seems to do nothing but rain
"It is damp," agreed Tom. "And, come to
think of it, they are going to have some airship
PAST MEMORIES 5
contests over at camp to-day for the men who
are being trained to be aviators, you know. It
just occurred to me that we might fly over there
and watch them."
"Fine!" cried Mr. Damon. "That's the very
thing I should like. I'll take a chance in your
Hawk, Tom, if you'll promise not to try any-
spiral stunts/ 3
"I promise, Mr. Damon. Come on! I'll have
Koku run the machine out and get her ready for
a flight to camp. It's a good day for a jaunt in
"Get out the Hawk, Koku," ordered the young
inventor, as he motioned to a big man a ver-
itable giant who nodded to show he understood.
Koku was really a giant, one of a race of strange
beings, and Tom Swift had brought the big man
t with him when he escaped from captivity, as
those will remember who have read that book.
"Going far, Tom?" asked an aged man, com-
ing to the door of one of the many buildings of
which the shed where the airship was kept
"Not very far, Father," answered the young
inventor. "Mr. Damon and I are going for a
little spin over to Camp Grant, to see some air-
craft contests among the army birdmen.
"Oh, all right, Tom. I just wanted to tell you
6 TOM SWIFT AND HIS WAR TANK
that I think I've gotten over that difficulty you
found with the big carbureter you were working
on. You didn't say what you wanted it for, ex-
cept that it was for a heavy duty gasolene engine,
and you couldn't get the needle valve to work as
you'd like. I think I've found a way."
"Good, Dad ! I'll look at it when I come back.
That carbureter did bother me, and if I can get
that to work well, maybe we'll have something
soon that will "
But Tom did not finish his sentence, for Koku
was getting the aircraft in operation and Mr.
Damon was already taking his place behind the
pilot's seat, which would be occupied by Tom.
"All ready, are you, Koku?" asked the young
"All ready, Master," answered the giant.
There was a roar like that of a machine gun
as the Hawk's engine spun the propeller, and
then, after a little run across the sod, it mounted
into the air, carrying Tom and Mr. Damon
"Mind you, Tom, no stunts!" called the vis-
itor to the young inventor through the speaking
tube apparatus, which enabled a conversation to
be carried on, even above the roar of the power-
ful engine. "Bless my overshoes! if you try
looping the loop with me "
PAST MEMORIES T
"I won't do anything like that!" promised
Away they soared, swift as a veritable hawk,
and soon, after there had unrolled below their
eyes a succession of fields and forest, there came
into view rows and rows of small brown objects,
among which beings, like ants, seemed crawling
"There's the camp!" exclaimed Tom.
"I see," and Mr. Damon nodded.
As they approached, they saw, starting up from
a green space amid the brown tents, what ap-
peared to be big bugs of a dirty white color
splotched with green.
"The aircraft and they have camouflage paint
on," said Tom. "We can watch 'em from up
Mr. Damon nodded, though Tom could not see
him, sitting in front of his friend as he was.
Up and up circled the army aircraft, and they
seemed to bow and nod a greeting to the Hawk,
which was soon in the midst of them. Tom and
Mr. Damon, flying high, though at no great
speed, looked at the manoeuvres of the veterans
and the learners many of whom might soon be
engaging the Boches in far-off France.
"Some of 'em are pretty good!" called Tom,
through the tube. "That one fellow did the loop
8 TOM SWIFT AND HIS WAR TANK
as prettily as I've ever seen it done," and Tom
Swift had a right to speak as one of authority.
Tom and his friend watched the aircraft for
some time, and then started off in a long flight,
attaining a high speed, which, at first, made Mr.
Damon gasp, until he became used to it. He was
no novice at flying, and had even operated aero-
planes himself, though at no great height.
Suddenly the Hawk seemed to falter, almost as
does a bird stricken by a hunter's gun. The
craft seemed to hang in the air, losing motion as
though about to plunge to earth unguided.
"What's the matter?" cried Mr. Damon.
"One of the control wires broken!" was Tom's
laconic answer. "I'll have to volplane down. Sit
tight, there's no danger!"
Mr. Damon knew that with so competent a
pilot as Tom Swift in the forward seat this was
true, but, nevertheless, he was a bit nervous until
he felt the smooth, gliding motion, with now and
then an upward tilt, which showed that Tom was
coming down from the upper regions in a series
of long glides. The engine had stopped, and the
cessation of the thundering noise made it possible
for Tom and his passenger to talk without the
use of the speaking tube.
"All right?" asked Mr. Damon.
"All right," Tom answered, and a little later
PAST MEMORIES 9
the machine was rolling gently over the turf of a
large field, a mile or so from the camp.
Before Tom and Mr. Damon could get out of
their seats, a man, seemingly springing up from
some hollow in the ground, walked toward them.
"Had an accident?'" he asked, in what he evi-
dently meant for a friendly voice.
"A little one, easily mended," Tom answered.
He was about to take off his goggles, but at
sight of the man's face a change came over the
countenance of Tom Swift, and he replaced the
eye protectors. Then Tom turned to Mr. Da-
mon, as if to ask a question, but the stranger
came so close, evidently curious to see the air-
craft at close quarters, that the young inventor
could not speak without being overheard.
Tom got out his kit of tools to repair the bro-
ken control, and the man watched him curiously.
As he tinkered away, something was stirring
among the past memories of the inventor. A
question he asked himself over and over again
"Where have I seen this man before? His
face is familiar, but I can't place him. He is as-
sociated with something unpleasant. But where
have I seen this man before?"
"DiD you make this machine yourself?" asked
the stranger of Tom, as the young inventor
worked at the damaged part of his craft.
Mr. Damon had also alighted, taken off his
goggles, and was looking aloft, where the army
aircraft were going through various evolutions,
and down below, where the young soldiers were
drilling under such conditions, as far as possible,
as they might meet with when some of their num-
ber went "over the top." Mr. Damor was mur-
muring to himself such remarks as:
"Bless my fountain pen! look at that chap
turning upside down ! Bless my inkwell ! "
"I beg your pardon," remarked Tom Swift,
following the remark of the man, whose face he
was trying to recall. It was not that Tom had
not heard the question, but he was trying to gain
time before answering.
"I asked if you made this machine yourself,"
TOM'S INDIFFERENCE 11
went on the man, as he peered about at the Hawk.
"It isn't like any I've ever seen before, and I
know something about airships. It has some
I new wrinkles on it, and I thought you might
have evolved them yourself. Not that it's an
amateur affair, by any means!" he added hastily,
as if fearing the young inventor might resent the
implication that his machine was a home-made
"Yes, I originated this," answered Tom, as he
put a new turn-buckle in place; "but I didn't ac-
tually construct it that is, except for some small
parts. It was made in the shop "
"Over at the army construction plant, I pre-
sume," interrupted the man quickly, as he mo-
tioned toward the big factory, not far from Shop-
ton, where aircraft for Uncle Sam's Army were
being turned out by the hundreds.
"Might as well let him think that," mused
Tom; "at least until I can figure out who he is
and what he wants."
'This is different from most of those up
there," and the stranger pointed toward the cir-
cling craft on high. "A bit more speedy, I guess,
'Well, yes, in a way," agreed Tom, who was
bending over his craft. He stole a side look at
the man. The face was becoming more and more
12 TOM SWIFT AND HIS WAR TANK
familiar, yet something about it puzzled Tom
"I've seen him before, and yet he didn't look
like that," thought the young inventor. "It's
different, somehow. Now why should my mem-
ory play me a trick like this? Who in the world
can he be?"
Tom straightened up, and tossed a monkey
[wrench into the tool box.
"Get everything fixed?" asked the stranger.
"I think so," and the young inventor tried to
make his answer pleasant. "It was only a small
break, easily fixed."
'Then you'll be on your way again?"
"Yes. Are you ready?" called Tom to Mr,
"Bless my timetable, yes! I didn't think you'd
start back again so soon. There's one young fel-
low up there who has looped the loop three
times, and I expect him to fall any minute."
"Oh, I guess he knows his business," Tom said
easily. 'We'll be getting back now."
"One moment!" called the man. "I beg your
pardon for troubling you, but you seem to be a
mechanic, and that's just the sort of man I'm
looking for. Are you open to an offer to do some
inventive and constructive work?"
Tom was on his guard instantly.
TOM'S INDIFFERENCE 13
"Well, I can't say that I am," he answered.
"I am pretty busy "
"This would pay well," went on the man
eagerly. "I am a stranger around here, but I
can furnish satisfactory references. I am in need
of a good mechanic, an inventor as well, who can
do what you seem to have done so well. I had
hopes of getting some one at the army plant."
"I guess they're not letting any of their men
go," said Tom, as Mr. Damon climbed to his seat
in the Hawk.
"No, I soon found that out But I thought
perhaps you "
Tom shook his head.
"I'm sorry," he answered, "but I'm otherwise
engaged, and very busy."
"One moment!" called the man, as he saw Tom
about to start. "Is the Swift Company plant far
Tom felt something like a thrill go through
him. There was an unexpected note in the man's
voice. The face of the young inventor lightened,
and the doubts melted away.
"No, it isn't far," Tom answered, shouting to
be heard above the crackling bangs of the motor.
And then, as the craft soared into the air, he
"I have it! I know who he is! The scoun-
U TOM SU'IFT AND HIS V.'AR TANK
drel! His beard fooled me, and he probably
didn't know me with these goggles on. But now
I know him!"
"Bless my calendar I" cried Mr. Damon.
"What are you talking about?"
But Tom did not answer, for the reason that
just then the Hawk fell into an "air pocket," and
needed all his attention to straighten her out and
get her on a level course again.
And while Tom Swift is thus engaged in
speeding his aircraft along the upper regions to-
ward his home, it will take but a- few moments to
acquaint my new readers with something of the
history of the young inventor. Those who have
read the previous books in this series need be
told nothing about our hero.
Tom Swift was an inventor of note, as was his
father. Mr. Swift was now quite aged and not
in robust health, but he was active at times and
often aided Tom when some knotty point
Tom and his 'father lived on the outskirts of
the town of Shopton, and near their home were
various buildings in which the different machines
and appliances were made. Tom's mother was
dead, but Mrs. Baggert, the housekeeper, was as
careful in looking after Tom and his father as
any woman could be.
TOM'S INDIFFERENCE 15
In addition to these three, the household con-
sisted of Eradicate Sampson, an aged colored
servant, and, it might almost be added, his mule
Boomerang; but Boomerang had manners that,
at times, did not make him a welcome addition to
any household. Then there was the giant Koku,
one of two big men Tom had brought back with
him from the land where the young inventor had
been held captive for a time.
The first book of this series is called "Tom
Swift and His Motor Cycle/' and it was in ac-
quiring possession of that machine that Tom met
his friend Mr. Wakefield Damon, who lived in a
neighboring town. Mr. Damon owned the motor
cycle originally, but when it attempted to climb a
tree with him he sold it to Tom.
Tom had many adventures on the machine, and
it started him on his inventive career. From then
on he had had a series of surprising adventures.
He had traveled in his motor boat, in an airship,
and then had taken to a submarine. In his elec-
tric runabout he showed what the speediest car
on the road could do, and when he sent his wire-
less message, the details of which can be found
set down in the volume of that name, Tom saved
the castaways of Earthquake Island.
Tom Swift had many other thrilling escapes,
one from among the diamond makers, and an-
16 TOM SWIFT AND HIS WAR TANK
other from the caves of ice; and he made the
quickest flight on record in his sky racer.
Tom's wizard camera, his great searchlight,
his giant cannon, his photo telephone, his aerial
warship and the big tunnel he helped to dig,
brought him credit, fame, and not a little money.
He had not long been back from an expedition to
Honduras, dubbed "the land of wonders," when
he w r as again busy on some of his many ideas.
And it was to get some relief from his thoughts
that he had taken the flight with Mr. Damon on
the day the present story opens.
'What are you so excited about, Tom?" asked
his friend, as the Hawk alighted near the shed
back of the young inventor's home. "Bless my
scarf pin ! but any one would think you'd just dis-
covered the true method of squaring the circle."
'Well, it's almost as good as that, and more
practical," Tom said, with a smile, as he mo-
tioned to Koku to put away the aircraft. "I
know who that man is, now.' 3
"What man, Tom?"
'The one who was questioning me when I was
fixing the airship. I kept puzzling and puzzling
as to his identity, and, all at once, it came to
me. Do you know who he is, Mr. Damon?"
"No, I can't say that I do, Tom. But, as you
say, there was something vaguely familiar about
TOM'S INDIFFERENCE 17
him. It seemed as if I must have seen him be-
fore, and yet "
"That's just the way it struck me. What
would you say if I told you that man was Blake-
son, of Blakeson and Grinder, the rival tunnel
contractors who made such trouble for us?"
'You mean down in Peru, Tom?"
Mr. Damon started in surprise, and then ex-
"Bless my ear mufflers, Tom, but you're right!
That was Blakeson ! I didn't know him with his
beard, but that was Blakeson, all right! Bless
my foot- warmer! What do you suppose he is
doing around here?"
"I don't know, Mr. Damon, but I'd give a good
deal to know. It isn't any good, I'll wager on
that. He didn't seem to know me or you, either
*- unless he did and didn't let on. I suppose it
was because of my goggles and you were gaz-
ing up in the air most of the time. I don't think
he knew either of us."
"It didn't seem so, Tom. But what is he doing
here? Do you think he is working at the army
camp, or helping make Liberty Motors for the
aircraft that are going to beat the Germans?"
"Hardly. He didn't seem to be connected with
the camp. He wanted a mechanic, and hinted
18 TOM SWIFT AND HIS WAR TANK
that I might do. Jove! if he really didn't know
who I was, and finds out, say! won't he be sur-
"Rather," agreed Mr. Damon. "Well, Tom, I
had a nice little ride. And now I must be get-
ting back. But if you contemplate a trip any-
where, don't forget to let me know."
"I don't count on going anywhere soon," Tom
answered. "I have something on hand that will
occupy all my time, though I don't just like it.
However, I'm going to do my best," and he
waved good-bye to Mr. Damon, who went off
blessing various parts of his anatomy or clothing,
an odd habit he had.
As Tom turned to go into the house, the un-
settled look still on his face, some one hailed him.
"I say, Tom. Hello! Wait a minute! I've
got something to show you!"
"Oh, hello, Ned Newton!" called back the
young inventor. "Well, if it's Liberty Bonds,
you don't need to show me any, for dad and I
will buy all we can without seeing them. "
'I know that, Tom, and it was a dandy sub-
scription you gave me. I didn't come about that,
though I may be around the next time Uncle Sam
wants the people to dig down in their socks.
This is something different," and Ned Newton, a
young banker of Shopton and a lifelong friend
of Tom's, drew a paper from his pocket as he
advanced across the lawn.
"There, Tom Swift!" he cried, flipping out an
illustrated page, evidently from some illustrated
newspaper. "There's the very latest from the
other side. A London banker friend of mine
sent it to me, and it got past the censor all right.
It's the first authentic photograph of the newest
and biggest British tank. Isn't that a wonder?"
Ned held up the paper which had in it a full-
page photograph of a monster tank those weird
machines traveling on endless steel belts of cater-
pillar construction, armored, riveted and plated,
with machine guns bristling here and there.
"Isn't that great, Tom? Can you beat it? It's
the most wonderful machine of the age, even
counting some of yours. Can you beat it?' :
Tom took the paper indifferently, and his man-
ner surprised his chum.
"Well, what's the matter, Tom?" asked Ned.
"Don't you think that great? Why don't you say
something? You don't mean to say you've seen