G. Harvey Ralphson.

Boy Scouts in a Submarine : or, Searching an Ocean Floor online

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[Illustration: But the Sea Lion was equal to the task set for her, and
all the remainder of the night the chase went on.]





Author of





The handsome clubroom of the Black Bear Patrol, Boy Scouts of America,
in the City of New York, was ablaze with light, and as noisy as
healthy, happy boys could well make it.

"Over in the Chinese Sea!" shouted Jimmie McGraw from a table which
stood by an open window overlooking the brilliantly illuminated city.
"Do we go to the washee-washee land this time?"

"Only to the tub!" Jack Bosworth put in.

"What's the answer?" asked Frank Shaw, sitting down on the edge of the
table and rumpling Jimmie's red hair with both hands.

Jimmie broke away and, after bouncing a football off his tormentor's
back, perched himself on the back of a great easy chair.

"The answer?" Jack said, after peace had been in a measure restored,
"I thought everybody knew that the Chinks wash their clothes in the
Gulf of Tong King and hang them out to dry on the mountains of Kwang
Tung! Are we going there, Ned?" he added, turning to Ned Nestor, who
sat by a nearby window, looking out over the city. "Are we going to
the gulf of Tong King?"

Ned left his chair by the window and walked over to the table.

"I hardly know," he said, taking a roll of maps and drawings from his
breast pocket and spreading them out on the table. "When Captain Moore
arrives we shall know more about it."

"Who's Captain Moore?"

This from Jimmie, still sitting on the back of the chair, elbows on
knees, chin on palms.

"Is he going to be the big noise?"

This from Jack Bosworth, who was reaching out with his foot in a vain
effort to tip Jimmie's chair and send him sprawling.

"Is Captain Moore going with us?"

This question was asked by Frank Shaw with a show of anxiety. When out
on their trips the Boy Scouts did not relish having older men about to
show authority.

"One question at a time!" laughed Ned. "To answer the first query
first, Captain Moore is the Secret Service officer who is to post us
with regard to our mission to Chinese waters. Second he will, to use
the slang adopted by Jack, be the 'Big Noise' as long as he is with
us. Third, I don't know whether he is going on the journey with us or

"Here's hopin' he don't!" cried Jimmie.

"He'll want us to sit in baby chairs at tables and object to our
takin' moonlight walks on the bottom of the sea! Is he covered all
over with brass buttons, an' does he strut like this?"

Jimmie bounded to the floor and walked up and down the room with a
mock military stride which set his companions into roars of laughter.

"I have never seen him," Ned replied. "He is coming here tonight, and
you must judge for yourself what kind of a man he is."

"Here?" asked Frank. "Here to this club-room? The boys won't do a
thing to him if he puts on dog!"

"Is he a submarine expert?" asked Frank.

"Sure!" replied Jack. "He wouldn't be sent here to post us if he
wasn't, would he?"

"I don't believe he knows any more about a submarine, right now, than
Ned does," Jimmie exclaimed. "Ned's been taking walks on the bottom of
the Bay every mornin' for a week!"

Jack and Frank turned to Ned with amazement showing on their faces.

"Have you, Ned?" they asked, in chorus.

"Have you been out training without letting us know about it?"

"You bet he has!" Jimmie grinned. "I've been with him most of the time
too. This Captain Moore, whoever he is, hain't got nothin' on Ned when
it comes to makin' the wheels go round under the water."

"Oh, you!" laughed Jack, pointing a finger at Jimmie. "You can't run a
submarine, even if Ned can."

"You wait an' see!" retorted the boy, indignantly. "You wait until we
get into the Chinese sea, then you'll see what I know about boats that
travel on ocean beds!"

"Can he run a submarine, Ned?" asked Jack.

"Well," was the laughing reply, "he did pretty well on the last trip.
If some one hadn't interfered with his steering I reckon he would have
tipped the Statue of Liberty into the Atlantic!"

Jimmie winked when the others roared at him and then looked
reproachfully at Ned.

"You promised not to tell about that!" he said, accusingly.

At that moment a knock came on the door of the clubroom, which was on
the top of the palatial residence of Jack Bosworth's father, and a
moment later a tall, military-looking man with a white, stern face,
thin straight lips and cold blue eyes was shown in. He paused just
outside the doorway, and the boy who did not catch the sneer on his
chalky face as he looked superciliously over the group must have been
very unobservant indeed.

"Gee! He don't seem to like the looks of us!" Jimmie whispered to
Frank Shaw, as Ned stepped forward to greet the newcomer.

"Looks like a false alarm!" Frank replied, in an aside. "I hope we
don't have to lug him along with us."

"We won't need any cold storage arrangement on the submarine if he
does go!" Jimmie went on. "That face of his would freeze hot steel."

Captain Moore of the United States Secret Service remained standing
near the door until Ned reached his side. Then he lifted a single
glass, inserted it in his eye-orbit and stood gazing at the boy who
had advanced to welcome him.

Ned stepped back, coldly, and Jimmie nudged Jack delightedly when he
saw the lad's face harden into bare civility.

"Aw," began the visitor, "I'm looking for - ah! - Mr. Nestor!"

"I'm Ned Nestor," said the boy, shortly.


Ned pointed toward the table where the other boys were sitting and
moved away.

"Fawncy!" repeated the visitor.

Ned made no reply. Instead, he marched to the table, drew a chair
forward, and motioned Captain Moore to be seated.

Before complying with this gracious invitation the Captain glanced
around the apartment with the supercilious sneer he had shown on
entering. The boys watched him with heavy frowns on their faces.

"If we've got to take this along in the submarine," Jimmie whispered
to Jack, "I hope the boat will drop down into a deep hole and stay
there. Look at it!"

"Hush!" whispered the other. "It has ears!"

Those who have read the first and second volumes of this series will
understand without being told here that it was a very fine clubroom
upon which the frosty blue eyes of the Secret Service man looked.

The walls were adorned with all manner of hunting and fishing
paraphernalia, together with many trophies of the chase. Foils,
gloves, ball bats, paddles and many other athletic aids were scattered
about the large room.

This clubroom, that of the Black Bear Patrol, as has been said, was
the handsomest in New York, the members of the Patrol being sons of
very wealthy men. The father of Frank Shaw was editor and owner of one
of the important daily newspapers of the metropolis. Jack Bosworth's
father was a prominent corporation lawyer, while Harry Stevens, a lad
with a historical hobby, was a prominent automobile manufacturer.

Ned Nestor, the boy just now trying to entertain the very formal
Captain Moore, was a member of the Wolf Patrol, also of New York, as
was also Jimmie McGraw, who had been a Bowery newsboy before joining
fortunes with Ned.

As is well known to most of our readers, Ned had, at one time and
another, undertaken and successfully accomplished delicate and
hazardous enterprises for the United States Government. Accompanied by
Frank, Jack, Jimmie, Harry, and other members of the Boy Scout Patrols
of the United States, he had visited Mexico, the Canal Zone, the
Philippines, the Great Northwest, had navigated the Columbia river in
a motor boat, and had covered the continent of South America in an

He was now about to enter upon, perhaps, the most important mission
ever assigned to him by the Secret Service department. The story of
the quest upon which he was about to enter will best be told in the
conversation which now took place in the clubroom of the Black Bear
Patrol on this evening of the 11th of September.

Presently Captain Moore transferred his gaze from the apartment to the
boys gathered about the table and grouped about the place. As a matter
of course all conversation in the room had ceased on the arrival of
the Captain. While the boys who were not fortunate enough to be
planning on the trip in the submarine were too courteous to openly
stare at their guest of the moment, it may well be believed that his
every look and word was closely noted.

Concluding his rather rude observations, Captain Moore dropped his
glass, shrugged his shoulders, which were heavily padded, and gave
utterance to his feelings in the one word of comments which he had
twice used before:


Ned said not a word, but waited for the visitor to lead out in the
talk. Captain Moore was in no haste to begin, but he finally broke the
silence by asking:

"You are Ned Nestor?"

Ned bowed stiffly. He did not like the man he was supposed to do
business with, and did not try to conceal the fact.

"The Ned Nestor who undertook the Secret Service work in the Canal
Zone and South America?"

Ned nodded again.


"You said that before?" broke in Jimmie, who was fuming under the idea
that the Captain was not treating his chum with proper courtesy.

The Captain brought his glass into use again and looked the boy over,
much as he would have inspected a curio in a museum. Jimmie glared
back, and the eyes of the two fenced for a moment before a twinkle of
humor appeared in those of the Captain.

"You are Jimmie, eh?" the latter demanded.

Jimmie would have made some discourteous reply only for the tug Ned
gave at his sleeve. As it was he only nodded.

"Aw, I've heard of you!" the Captain said, then. "Quite remarkable - quite

"You came to deliver instructions regarding the submarine trip?" Ned
asked, feeling revolt in the air of the room.

Unless something was done, the boys, all resenting the manner of the
Captain, would be beyond control, and then the Secret Service man
would be likely to leave the place in anger.

This, in turn, might endanger the adventure already planned and
prepared for, for the chief of the department might see fit to adopt
whatever recommendations Captain Moore made in the matter.

The visitor might have sensed the hostility, for he hastened to take
from a pocket a sheaf of papers and place them on the table. The next
moment the boys all saw that they had not gained a correct estimate of
the Secret Service man.

The instant he began talking of the matter which had brought him to
the clubroom his manner changed. He was no longer the drawling,
supercilious naval officer in resplendent uniform. He was a
keen-brained mechanical expert, questioning Ned regarding his knowledge
of submarines.

"You are fairly well up in the matter," the Captain said, going back
to his old drawl, in a few moments. "I shall not object to your going
on the Diver with me."

The boys all gasped. So their worst fears were coming true! The
Captain was indeed going with them! He would be the commander, and Ned
would be obliged to work under his orders if he went at all!

Would Ned do this? Would he submit to the authority of another while
practically responsible for the results of the trip? Frank, Jack, and
Jimmie saw their cherished plans go glimmering.

Ned made no reply whatever. Instead he began asking questions
concerning the Diver as the submarine the Captain had in view was
named, and also about the object of the expedition.

"A short time ago," the Captain said, "the Cutaria, a fast mail boat,
went down in the Gulf of Tong King, carrying with her many passengers,
the United States mails, and $10,000,000 in gold consigned to the
Chinese Government. We are to search the ocean floor for the gold, and
also for information sought by the Department of State."

"Who got careless and dropped $10,000,000 on an ocean floor?" asked



The Captain gazed at Jimmie for a moment without answering. Then he
parted his thin lips and uttered the old, familiar word:


"The Cutaria went down as the result of a collision?" Ned hastened to
ask, observing that Jimmie was growing flushed and angry.

"Yes," was the reply, "and it is asserted in the diplomatic circles of
foreign governments that she was rammed by the orders of a power
alleged to be friendly to our Government, and that our department of
state does not dare remonstrate and ask for reparation for the reason
that an investigation would reveal the fact that the $10,000,000 in
gold which was lost was not really, as alleged, on its way from the
sub-treasury in New York to the treasurer of the Chinese Empire."

"But why should Uncle Sam be sending money over there?" asked Ned.

"It is asserted that the money was sent at the command of men high in
influence in Washington who understood that it was to be seized while
in transit, after reaching Chinese soil, and used to assist the
radical fomentation now going on in China."

"An indirect way, a sly and underhand way, of assisting the
revolutionary party in China to get control of the government, eh?"
asked Ned.

"Aw, that is what is claimed," was the reply.

"And you are to have charge of the expedition?" asked Ned, quietly,
his eyes fixed keenly on the face of the visitor.

"Orders," was the slow reply.

"And the Diver has been chosen as the boat?"

"At my request, yes."

"But," Ned then said, by way of protest, "I have made all my trial
trips in the Sea Lion."

"You will soon learn to help handle the Diver," was the lofty reply.

"The Diver is no more like the Sea Lion than she is like the Ark," was
Ned's reply. "It will take me another fortnight to learn to run her,
I'm afraid."

"You can take lessons from my son on the way over," was the
unsatisfactory reply.

"Why, the submarine is not going to sail across the Pacific," said the
boy. "As I understand it, we are to take passage in a mail steamer at
San Francisco and find the submarine in some harbor of the island of
Hainan, after she arrives on the other side in a man-of-war which will
be detailed to carry her over."

"I have changed all that," said the Captain.

Ned said no more on that phase of the matter at that time, but the
boys knew that he had not given up his original intention of making
the explorations in the Sea Lion, the submarine which the Secret
Service chief at New York had placed at his disposal soon after his
return from South America.

"You will be permitted to take one of your - ah, Boy Scouts with you,"
the Captain went on. "Baby bunch, the Boy Scouts, what?" he added,
lifting his glass and surveying the boys grouped about in a manner
which brought the hot blood to their cheeks.

"I'm afraid you have never investigated the Boy - "

Ned's conciliatory remark was cut short by Jimmie.

"Will the Boy Scout who goes with him be allowed to breathe?" the boy

Captain Moore eyed the lad critically through his glass.

"You needn't concern yourself about that, bub," he said, after an
exasperating silence, "for you won't be the one to go, don't you know - not
the Boy Scout to go."

Jimmie was about to make some angry reply, but Frank seized him by the
arm and marched him to a distant part of the large room.

"You'll queer the whole thing!" Frank said.

Jimmie shook himself free of the detaining hand and faced the Captain
with flashing eyes.

"I don't care if I do!" he said. "That thing is not going to make ugly
remarks about the Boy Scouts without bein' called for it. He's an old
false alarm, anyway. I'll bet he never heard a real gun go off!"

Captain Moore heard the insulting words and arose.

"If you'll, aw, come to my office tomorrow morning," he said, to Ned,
"we'll discuss the, aw, mattah. I cawn't remain here and quarrel with
boys who ought to be, aw, spanked and put, aw, to bed as soon as the
sun goes down."

Ned did not rise from his chair to escort the Captain to the door. His
face was pale and there was a dangerous light in his eyes.

"It won't be necessary for me to visit you in the morning," he said.

The Captain fixed his glass.

"Fawncy!" he exclaimed.

"Anything you like!" Ned said.

"Fawncy!" repeated the Captain.

"As you please," Ned smiled. "Fawncy anything you like - anything
agreeable, you know."

"And why won't you come to my office in the morning?" asked the
Captain, with a tightening of his thin lips.

"I have decided to withdraw from the enterprise," was the quiet reply.
"I'm out of it."

The boys gathered about Ned with cheers and words of encouragement.

"Go it, old boy!" cried one.

"Don't let him bluff you!" cried another.

"Dad will buy you a submarine!" Frank Shaw put in.

The Captain stood in the middle of the group, gazing in perplexity
from face to face.

"My word!" he said, presently.

"What about it?" asked Jimmie, edging closer.

"Not going?" continued the Captain; "why?"

"I've changed my mind," was the unsatisfactory reply.

"But the submarine is waiting," urged the Captain.

"I shall never go to the bottom in the Diver," Ned replied.

"My word!"

The Captain loitered, as if anxious to reopen the whole matter, but
Ned turned his back and seemed inclined to consider the case closed.

"And so we're not going?" asked Frank.

"Rotten shame!" declared Jack.

"So fades me happy, happy dream!" chanted Jimmie.

The Captain stuck his glass in his eye and moved toward the door, an
expression of satisfaction on his stern face.

No one opened the door for him, and when he opened it for himself, he
found a slender, middle-aged man with a pleasant face and brilliant
eyes confronting him. His supercilious manner vanished instantly, and
the military cap he had already donned came off with a jerk.

"Admiral!" he exclaimed.

The boys gathered about the doorway, all excitement. A real, live
admiral in the Boy Scout clubroom! That was almost too much to expect.

The admiral saluted and stepped inside the room.

"Pardon me," he said, addressing Ned rather than the Captain, "but I
must confess that I have been doing a discourteous thing. I have been
listening at your door."

"I sincerely hope you heard all that was said," the Captain ventured.
"I have been shamefully insulted here."

"Did you hear all that was said?" asked Nestor.

The Admiral bowed.

"I think so," he said.

"I'm glad of that," Frank said, "for this Captain does not tell the

Captain Moore frowned in the direction of the speaker but said not a

"When I reached the door," the Admiral said, "I heard Captain Moore
saying that the trip was to be made in the Diver, and that he was to
have charge."

"That is the way I understand it," Captain Moore hastened to say.
"And," continued the Admiral, "he said, further, that only one Boy
Scout would be permitted to accompany Mr. Nestor."

"That will be quite enough, judging from the samples we see here," the
Captain observed, with a vicious glance toward Jimmie, whose face was
now set in a broad grin.

"Those are the statements made by Captain Moore," Ned said. "I refused
to accept them."

"Quite right!" said the Admiral.

Captain Moore stuck his glass in his eye again and, saluting, turned
toward the door.

"Wait!" commanded the Admiral.

The angry Captain turned back, a scowl on his face.

"Mr. Nestor," the Admiral continued, "goes in charge of the
expedition, and in the Sea Lion, the submarine he has been
experimenting with. He will be permitted to take three of his
companions with him. Any officer who goes in the Sea Lion will
necessarily remain under Mr. Nestor's orders."

"Then I ask for a transfer," scowled the Captain.

"Granted," answered the Admiral. "You may go now."

Captain Moore lost no time getting out of the door, and then the
Admiral seated himself and motioned Ned to do likewise. The boys
gathered about, but Ned asked them to proceed with their sports, and
only the ex-newsboy remained at the table.

"I'm sorry to say," the Admiral began, "that there are hints of the
most despicable disloyalty and treachery in this matter. I don't like
to cast suspicions on Captain Moore, who really is an expert submarine
officer, but it appears to me that he went beyond his authority in
changing the plans for the cruise."

"He had no authority for changing from the Sea Lion to the Diver?"
asked Ned.

"Not the slightest."

"Or for changing from a steamer ride to China to a long journey on the

"Not at all."

"But he was sent here by the Secret Service department to instruct
me," Ned said.

"Exactly, and that is all he was expected to do in the case. I don't
understand his conduct."

Jimmie, who had been looking over an afternoon newspaper which lay on
the table, now broke into the conversation.

"Just look here," he said. "This tells why Captain Moore butted into
the game wrong. Just read that."

The Admiral took the newspaper into his hand and read, aloud:

"The Diver, the famous submarine boat invented by Arthur Moore, the
talented son of Captain Henry Moore, of the United States navy, is
soon to be put in commission for a most extraordinary voyage. Under
the command of Captain Moore, who will be accompanied by the inventor,
his son, the Diver will make the trip from San Francisco to China,
almost entirely under water. It is understood that the submarine goes
on secret service for the Government."

"There you are!" cried Jimmie.

"I rather think that does explain a lot," laughed Ned.

"The Diver," said the Admiral, thoughtfully, "has not yet been
accepted by the Government, and I see trouble ahead for the Sea Lion."



The Sea Lion was a United States submarine, yet she was not
constructed along the usual naval lines. It was said of her that she
looked more like a pleasure yacht built for under-surface work than
anything else.

It is not the purpose of the writer to enter into a minute description
of the craft. She was provided with a gasoline engine and an electric
motor. She was not very roomy, but her appointments were very handsome
and costly.

There were machines for manufacturing pure air, as is common with all
submarines of her class, and the apparatus for the production of
electricity was modern and efficient. Every compartment could be
closed against every other chamber in case of damage to the shell.

The pumps designed to expel the water taken into the hold for the
purpose of bringing the craft to the bottom were powerful, so that she
seemed to sink and rise as easily as does a bird on the wing. At top
speed she would make about twenty miles an hour.

On a trial trip taken by Ned on the day before the visit of Captain
Moore to the Black Bear clubroom, the double doors and closet which
enabled one to leave or enter the boat while under water had been
thoroughly tested and found to work perfectly.

The diving suits - which had been manufactured to fit Ned and Frank,
Jack and Jimmie - were also found to be in perfect condition.

On the whole, the Sea Lion and her appurtenances were in as perfect
condition as science and experience could make them on the day the
four boys, accompanied by a naval officer, left the train at Oakland
and proceeded to the navy yard up the bay.

By the middle of the afternoon the boys were on board, receiving their
final instructions from Lieutenant Scott, who had arranged for the
transportation of the Sea Lion from New York and attended to all other
details connected with the trip.

After a long talk regarding the perils to be encountered, Lieutenant

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