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TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIZARD CAMERA
Thrilling Adventures While Taking Moving Pictures
by Victor Appleton
April, 1998 [Etext #1283
*Project Gutenberg's Etext of Tom Swift And His Wizard Camera*
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TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIZARD CAMERA
Thrilling Adventures While Taking Moving Pictures
I A STRANGE OFFER
II A MAN IN THE SNOW BANK
III TOM MAKES UP HIS MIND
IV HELD FAST
V TOM GETS A WARNING
VI TRYING THE CAMERA
VII WHAT THE CAMERA CAUGHT
VIII PHOTOS FROM THE AIRSHIP
IX OFF FOR INDIA
X UNEXPECTED EXCITEMENT
XI AN ELEPHANT STAMPEDE
XII THE LION FIGHT
XIII A SHOT IN TIME
XIV IN A GREAT GALE
XV SNAPPING AN AVALANCHE
XVI TELEGRAPH ORDERS
XVII SUSPICIOUS STRANGERS
XVIII THE NATIVE BATTLE
XIX A HEAVY LOSS
XX AFTER THE ENGLISHMEN
XXI THE JUNGLE FIRE
XXII A DANGEROUS COMMISSION
XXIII AT THE VOLCANO
XXIV THE MOLTEN RIM
XXV THE EARTHQUAKE--CONCLUSION
TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIZARD CAMERA
CHAPTER I - A STRANGE OFFER
"Some one to see you, Mr. Tom."
It was Koku, or August, as he was sometimes called, the new
giant servant of Tom Swift, who made this announcement to the
"Who is it, Koku?" inquired Tom, looking up from his work-bench
in the machine shop, where he was busy over a part of the motor
for his new noiseless airship. "Any one I know? Is it the
'Blessing Man?'" for so Koku had come to call Mr. Damon, an
eccentric friend of Tom's.
"No, not him. A strange man. I never see before. He say he got
"Quick business; eh? I guess you mean important, Koku," for
this gigantic man, one of a pair that Tom had brought with him
after his captivity in "Giant Land," as he called it, could not
speak English very well, as yet. "Important business; eh, Koku?
Did he send in his card?"
"No, Mr. Tom. Him say he have no card. You not know him, but he
very much what you call--recited."
"Excited I guess you mean, Koku. Well, tell him to wait a few
minutes, and I'll see him. You can show him in then. But I say,
Koku," and Tom paused as he looked at the big man, who had
attached himself to our hero, as a sort of personal helper and
"Yes, Mr. Tom; what is it?"
"Don't let him go poking around the shop. He might look at some
of my machines that I haven't got fully patented yet. Is he in
the front office?"
"That's where him am. He be lookin' at pictures on the walls."
"Oh, that's all right then. Just keep him there. And, Koku,
don't let him come back in the shop here, until I get ready to
see him. I'll ring the bell when I am."
"All right, Mr. Tom."
Koku, very proud of his, mission of keeping guard over the
strange visitor, marched from the room with his big strides, his
long arms and powerful hands swinging at his sides, for Koku, or
August, as Tom had rechristened him, and as he often called him
(for it was in the month of August that he had located the
giants) was a very powerful man. A veritable giant, being
extremely tall, and big in proportion.
"Be sure. Don't let him in here, Koku!" called Tom, in an
additional warning, as his new servant left the main shop.
"Sure not!" exclaimed Koku, very earnestly.
"I don't know who he may be," mused Tom, as he began putting
away the parts to his new noiseless motor, so that the stranger
could not see them, and profit thereby. "It looks rather funny,
not sending in his name. It may be some one who thinks he can
spring a trick on me, and get some points about my inventions, or
"It may even be somebody sent on by Andy Foger, or his father.
I can't be too careful. I'll just put everything away that isn't
fully covered by patents, and then if he wants to infringe on any
of the machines I can sue him."
Tom looked about the shop, which was filled with strange
machinery, most of which had been made by himself, or his father,
or under their combined directions. There was a big biplane in
one corner, a small monoplane in another, parts of a submarine
boat hanging up overhead, and a small, but very powerful,
electric auto waiting to have some repairs made to it, for on his
last trip in it Tom Swift had suffered a slight accident.
"There, I guess he can't see anything but what I want him to,"
mused Tom, as he put away the last part of a new kind of motor,
from which he hoped great things. "Let's see, yes, it's out of
sight now. I wish Ned Newton, or Mr. Damon were here to be a
witness in case he starts anything. But then I have Koku, even if
he doesn't speak much English yet. If it comes to blows--well, I
wouldn't want that giant to hit me," finished Tom with a laugh,
as he rang the bell to announce to his servant that the visitor
might be shown in.
There was a sound outside the door that separated the business
office from the main shop, and Tom heard Koku exclaim:
"Hold on! Wait! I go first. You wait!"
"What's the matter with me going ahead?" demanded a quick,
snappy voice. "I'm in a hurry, and--"
"You wait! I go first," was the giant's reply, and then came
the sound of a scuffle.
"Ouch! Say! Hold on there, my man! Take your hand off my
shoulder! You're crushing me with those big fingers of yours!"
This was evidently the visitor remonstrating with the giant.
"Humph! I guess Koku must have grabbed him," said Tom softly.
"I don't like that sort of a visitor. What's his hurry getting in
here?" and our hero looked about, to see if he had a weapon at
hand in case of an attack. Often cranks had forced their way into
his shop, with pet inventions which they wanted him to perfect
after they had themselves failed. Tom saw a heavy iron bar at
hand, and knew this would serve to protect him.
"You come after me!" exclaimed Koku, when the voice of the
other had ceased. "Do you stand under me?"
"Oh, yes, I understand all right. I'll keep back. But I didn't
mean anything. I'm just in a hurry to see Tom Swift, that is all.
I'm always in a hurry in fact. I've lost nearly a thousand
dollars this morning, just by this delay. I want to see Mr. Swift
at once; and have a talk with him."
"Another crank, I guess," mused Tom. "Well, I'm not going to
waste much time on him."
A moment later the door opened, and into the shop stepped Koku,
followed by a short, stout, fussy little man, wearing a flaming
red tie, but otherwise his clothes were not remarkable.
"Is this Mr. Tom Swift?" asked the stranger, as he advanced and
held out his hand to the young man.
"Yes," answered Tom, looking carefully at the visitor. He did
not seem to be dangerous, he had no weapon, and, Tom was relieved
to note that he did not carry some absurd machine, or appliance,
that he had made, hoping to get help in completing it. The youth
was trying to remember if he had ever seen the stranger before,
but came to the conclusion that he had not.
"Sorry to take up your time," went on the man, "but I just had
to see you. No one else will do. I've heard lots about you. That
was a great stunt you pulled off, getting those giants for the
circus. This is one; isn't he?" and he nodded toward Koku.
"Yes," replied Tom, wondering if the little man was in such a
hurry why he did not get down to business.
"I thought so," the caller went on, as he shook hands with Tom.
"Once you felt his grip you'd know he was a giant, even if you
didn't see him. Yes, that was a great stunt. And going to the
caves of ice, too, and that diamond-making affair. All of 'em
"How did you know about them?" interrupted Tom, wishing the man
would tell his errand.
"Oh, you're better known than you have any idea of, Tom Swift.
As soon as I got this idea of mine I said right away, to some of
the others in my business, I says, says I, 'Tom Swift is the boy
for us. I'll get him to undertake this work, and then it will be
done to the Queen's taste. Tom's the boy who can do it,' I says,
and they all agreed with me. So I came here to-day, and I'm sorry
I had to wait to see you, for I'm the busiest man in the world, I
believe, and, as I said, I've lost about a thousand dollars
waiting to have a talk with you. I--"
"I am sorry," interrupted Tom, and he was not very cordial.
"But I was busy, and--"
"All right! All right! Don't apologize!" broke in the man in
rapid tones, while both Tom, and his servant, Koku, looked in
surprise at the quick flow of language that came from him. "Don't
apologize for the world. It's my fault for bothering you. And
I'll lose several thousand dollars, willingly, if you'll
undertake this job. I'll make money from it as it is. It's worth
ten thousand dollars to you, I should say, and I'm willing to pay
He looked about, as though for a seat, and Tom, apologizing for
his neglect in offering one, shoved a box forward.
"We don't have chairs in here," said the young inventor with a
smile. "Now if you will tell me what you--"
"I'm coming right to it. I'll get down to business in a
moment," interrupted the man as he sat down on the box, not
without a grunt or two, I for he was very stout. "I'm going to
introduce myself in just a second, and then I'm going to tell you
who I am. And I hope you'll take up my offer, though it may seem
a strange one."
The man took out a pocketbook, and began searching through it,
evidently for some card or paper.
"He's as odd as Mr. Damon is, when he's blessing everything,"
mused Tom, as he watched the man.
"I thought I had a card with me, but I haven't," the visitor
went on. "No matter. I'm James Period--promoter of all kinds of
amusement enterprises, from a merry-go-'round to a theatrical
performance. I want you to--"
"No more going after giants," interrupted. Tom. "It's too
dangerous, and I haven't time--"
"No, it has nothing to do with giants," spoke Mr. Period, as he
glanced up at Koku, who towered over him as he sat on the box
"Well?" returned Tom.
"This is something entirely new. It has never been done before,
though if you should happen to be able to get a picture of giants
don't miss the opportunity."
"Get a picture?" exclaimed Tom, wondering if, after all, his
visitor might not be a little insane.
"Pictures, yes. Listen. I'm James Period. Jim, if you like it
better, or just plain 'Spotty.' That's what most of my friends
call me. Get the idea? A period is a spot. I'm a Period, therefor
I'm a spot. But that isn't the real reason. It's because I'm
always Johnny on the Spot when anything is happening. If it's a
big boxing exhibition, I'm there. If it's a coronation, I'm
there, or some of my men are. If it's a Durbar in India, you'll
find Spotty on the spot. That's me. If there's going to be a
building blown up with dynamite--I'm on hand; or some of my men.
If there's a fire I get there as soon as the engines do--if it's
a big one. Always on the spot--that's me--James Period--Spotty
for short. Do you get me?" and he drew a long breath and looked
at Tom, his head on one side.
"I understand that you are--"
"In the moving picture business," interrupted Mr. Period, who
never seemed to let Tom finish a sentence. "I'm the biggest
moving picture man in the world--not in size, but in business. I
make all the best films. You've seen some of 'em I guess. Every
one of 'em has my picture on the end of the film. Shows up great.
Advertising scheme--get me?"
"Yes," replied Tom, as he recalled that he had seen some of the
films in question, and good ones they were too. "I see your
"You want to know why I come to you; don't you?" again
interrupted "Spotty," with a laugh. "Well, I'll tell you. I need
you in my business. I want you to invent a new kind of moving
picture camera. A small light one--worked by electricity--a
regular wizard camera. I want you to take it up in an airship
with you, and then go to all sorts of wild and strange countries,
Africa, India--the jungles--get pictures of wild animals at peace
and fighting--herds of elephants--get scenes of native wars--
earthquakes--eruptions of volcanoes--all the newest and most
wonderful pictures you can. You'll have to make a new kind of
camera to do it. The kind we use won't do the trick.
"Now do you get me? I'm going to give you ten thousand dollars,
above all your expenses, for some films such as I've been
speaking of. I want novelty. Got to have it in my business! You
can do it. Now will you?"
"I hardly think--" began Tom.
"Don't answer me now," broke in Mr. Period. "Take four minutes
to think it over. Or even five. I guess I can wait that long.
Take five minutes. I'll wait while you make up your mind, but I
know you'll do it. Five minutes--no more,' and hastily getting up
off the box Mr. Period began impatiently pacing up and down the
CHAPTER II - A MAN IN THE SNOW BANK
Tom Swift looked somewhat in surprise at his strange visitor.
It had all happened so suddenly, the offer had been such a
strange one, the man himself--Mr. Period--was so odd, that our
hero hardly knew what to think. The moving picture agent
continued pacing up and down the room now and then looking at his
watch as if to note when the five minutes had passed.
"No," said Tom to himself. "I'm not going to take this offer.
There's too much work and risk attached to it. I want to stay at
home and work on my noiseless motor for the airship. After that--
well--I don't know what I'll do. I'll tell Mr. Period that he
needn't wait the five minutes. My mind is made up now!"
But as Tom was about to make this announcement, and dismiss his
caller, he looked again at the visitor. There was something
attractive about him--about his hasty way of talking, about his
manner of interrupting, about the way he proposed matters. Tom
was interested in spite of himself.
"Well," he reflected, "I may as well wait until the five
minutes are up, anyhow."
Koku, the giant servant, glanced at his young master, as if to
ask if there was anything that he could do. Tom shook his head,
and then the big man strolled over to the other side of the
machine shop, at the same time keeping a careful eye on Mr.
While Tom is waiting for the time to expire, I will take a few
minutes to tell you something more about him. Those of my friends
who have read the previous books in this series need no
introduction to my hero, but those who may chance upon this as
their first book in the Tom Swift series, will like to be more
Tom, whose mother had been dead some years, lived with his
father, Barton Swift, in the town of Shopton. Mr. Swift was an
inventor of prominence, and his son was fast following in his
footsteps. A Mrs. Baggert kept house for the Swifts, and another
member of the household was Eradicate Sampson, an aged colored
man, who said he used to "eradicate" the dirt. He had been with
Tom on many trips, but of late was getting old and feeble. Then
there was Garret Jackson, an engineer employed by the Swifts.
These were all the immediate members of the household.
Tom had a chum, Ned Newton, who used to work in a bank, and
there was a girl, Mary Nestor, a daughter of Amos Nestor, in
which young lady Tom was much interested.
Eradicate Sampson had a mule, Boomerang, of whom he thought
almost as much as he did of Tom. Eradicate was a faithful friend
and servant, but, of late, Koku, or August, the giant, had rather
supplanted him. I must not forget Mr. Wakefield Damon, of
Waterfield, a village near Shopton. Mr. Damon was an odd man,
always blessing everything. He and Tom were good friends, and had
been on many trips together.
The first book of the series was called "Tom Swift and His
Motor-Cycle," and related how Tom bought the cycle from Mr.
Damon, after the latter had met with an accident on it, and it
was in this way that our hero became acquainted with the odd man.
Tom had many adventures on his motor-cycle, and, later on he
secured a motor-boat, in which he beat his enemy, Andy Foger, in
a race. Next Tom built an airship, and in this he went on a
wonderful trip. Returning from this he and his father heard about
a treasure sunken under the ocean. In his submarine boat Tom
secured the valuables, and made a large sum for himself.
In his electric runabout, which was the swiftest car on the
road, Tom was able to save from ruin a bank in which his father
was interested, and, a short time after that, he went on a trip
in an airship, with a man who had invented a new kind. The
airship was smashed, and fell to Earthquake Island, where there
were some refugees from a shipwreck, among them being the parents
of Mary Nestor. In the volume called "Tom Swift and His Wireless
Message," I told how he saved these people.
When Tom went among the diamond makers he had more strange
adventures, on that trip discovering the secret of phantom
mountain. He had bad luck when he went to the caves of ice, for
there his airship was wrecked.
When Tom made the trip in his sky racer he broke all records
for an aerial flight, incidentally saving his father's life. It
was some time after this when he invented an electric rifle, and
went to elephant land, to rescue some missionaries from the red
The eleventh volume of the series is called "Tom Swift in the
Land of Gold," and relates his adventures underground, while the
next one tells of a new machine he invented--an air-glider--
which he used to save the exiles of Siberia, incidentally, on
that trip, finding a valuable deposit of platinum.
As I have said, it was on his trip to giant land that Tom got
his big servant. This book, the thirteenth of the series, is
called "Tom Swift in Captivity," for the giants captured him and
his friends, and it was only by means of their airship that they
made their daring escape.
Tom had been back from the strange land some time now. One
giant he had turned over to the circus representative for whom he
had undertaken the mission, and the other he retained to work
around his shop, as Eradicate was getting too old. It was now
winter, and there had been quite a fall of snow the day before
Mr. Period, the odd moving picture man, called on Tom. There were
many big drifts outside the building.
Tom had fitted up a well-equipped shop, where he and his father
worked on their inventions. Occasionally Ned Newton, or Mr.
Damon, would come over to help them, but of late Tom had been so
busy on his noiseless motor that he had not had time to even see
"Well, I guess the five minutes have passed, and my mind is
made up," thought Tom, as he looked at his watch. "I might as
well tell Mr. Period that I can't undertake his commission. In
the first place it isn't going to be an easy matter to make an
electric moving picture camera. I'd have to spend a lot of time
studying up the subject, and then I might not be able to get it
to work right.
"And, again, I can't spare the time to go to all sorts of wild
and impossible places to get the pictures. It's all well enough
to talk about getting moving pictures of natives in battle, or
wild beasts fighting, or volcanoes in action, but it isn't so
easy to do it. Then, too, I'd have to make some changes in my
airship if I went on that trip. No, I can't go. I'll tell him
he'll have to find some one else."
Mr. Period pulled out his watch, opened it quickly, snapped it
shut again, and exclaimed:
"Well, how about it, Tom Swift? When can you start! The sooner
the better for me! You'll want some money for expenses I think. I
brought my check book along, also a fountain pen. I'll give you a
thousand dollars now, for I know making an electric moving
picture camera isn't going to be cheap work. Then, when you get
ready to start off in your airship, you'll need more money. I'll
be Johnny-on-the-spot all right, and have it ready for you. Now
when do you think you can start?"
He sat down at a bench, and began filling out a check.
"Hold on!" cried Tom, amused in spite of himself. "Don't sign
that check, Mr. Period. I'm not going."
"Not going?" The man's face showed blank amazement.
"No," went on Tom. "I can't spare the time. I'm sorry, but
you'll have to get some one else."
"Some one else? But who can I get?"
"Why, there are plenty who would be glad of the chance."
"But they can't invent an electric moving picture camera, and,
if they could, they wouldn't know enough to take pictures with
it. It's got to be you or no one, Tom Swift. Look here, I'll make
it fifteen thousand dollars above expenses."
"No, I'm sorry, but I can't go. My work here keeps me too busy.
"Oh, pshaw! Now, look here, Tom Swift! Do you know who sent me
to see you?"
"It was Mr. Nestor, who has a daughter named Mary, I believe.
Mr. Nestor is one of the directors in our company, and one day,
when he told me about you sending a wireless message from
Earthquake Island, I knew you would be the very man for me. So
now you see you'll be doing Mr. Nestor a favor, as well as me, if
you go on this trip."
Tom was somewhat surprised, yet he realized that Mr. Period was
speaking the truth. Mr. Nestor was identified with many new
enterprises. Yet the youth was firm.
"I really can't go," said our hero. "I'd like to, but I can't.
I'd like to oblige Mr. Nestor, for--well, for more reasons than
one," and Tom blushed slightly. "But it is out of the question. I
really can't go."
"But you must!" insisted the camera man. "I won't take 'no' for
an answer. You've got to go, Tom Swift, do you hear that? You've
go to go?"
Mr. Period was apparently very much excited. He strode over to
Tom and smote his hands together to emphasize what he said. Then
he shook his finger at Tom, to impress the importance of the
matter on our hero.
"You've just got to go!" he cried. "You're the only one who can
help me, Tom. Do go! I'll pay you well, and--oh, well, I know you
don't need the money, exactly, but--say, you've got to go!"
In his earnestness Mr. Period laid his hand on Tom's arm. The
next instant something happened.
With a few big strides Koku was beside the picture man. With
great quickness he grasped Mr. Period by the coat collar, lifted
him off his feet with one hand, and walked over to a window with
him, easily lifting him above the floor.
With one fling the giant tossed the short, stout gentleman out
into a snow bank, while Tom looked on, too surprised to do
anything, even if he had had the chance.
"There. You touch Tom Swift again, and I sit on you and keep
you under snow!" cried the giant, while Mr. Period kicked and
squirmed about in the drift, as Tom made a leap forward to help
CHAPTER III - TOM MAKES UP HIS MIND
"Great Scott!" yelled the picture man. "What in the world
happened to me? Did I get kicked by that mule Boomerang of
Eradicate's, that I've heard so much about? Or was it an
earthquake, such as I want to get a picture of? What happened?"
He was still floundering about in the deep bank of snow that
was just outside the window. Fortunately the sash had been up,
and Koku had tossed Mr. Period through the open window.
Otherwise, had there been glass, the well-meaning, but
unreasoning giant would probably have thrown his victim through
that, and he might have been badly cut. Tom had the window open
for fresh air, as it was rather close in the shop.
"Why, Koku!" exclaimed the young inventor, as he leaned out of
the window, and extended his hand to the moving picture man to
help him out of the drift. "What do von mean by that?" Have you
"No, but no one shall lay hands on my master!" declared the
giant half savagely. "I have vowed to always protect you from
danger, in return for what you did for me. I saw this man lay his
hand on you. In another moment he might have killed you, had not
Koku been here. There is no danger when I am by," and he
stretched out his huge arms, and looked ferocious. "I have turned
over that man, your enemy!" he added.
"Yes, you overturned me all right," admitted Mr. Period, as he
got to his feet, and crawled in through the window to the shop
again. "I went head over heels. I'm glad it was clean snow, and
not a mud bank, Tom. What in the world is the matter with him?"
"I guess he thought you were going to harm me, said Tom in a
low voice, as the picture man came in the shop. "Koku is very
devoted to me, and sometimes he makes trouble," the youth went
on. "But he means it all for the best. I am very sorry for what
happened," and Tom aided Mr. Period in brushing the snow off his
garments. "Koku, you must beg the pardon of this gentleman," Tom
"What for?" the giant wanted to know.
"For throwing him into the snow. It is not allowed to do such
things in this country, even though it is in Giant Land. Beg his
"I shall not," said the giant calmly, for Tom had taught him to
speak fairly good English, though sometimes he got his words
"The man was about to kill you, and I stopped him--I will stop
him once more, though if he does not like the snow, I can throw
him somewhere else."
"No! No! You must not do it!" cried Tom. "He meant no harm. He
is my friend."
"I am glad to hear you say that," exclaimed the picture man. "I
have hopes that you will do what I want."
"He your friend?" asked Koku wonderingly. "Certainly; and you
must beg his pardon for what you did," insisted Tom.
"Very well. I am glad you did not hurt yourself," said the
giant, and with that "apology" he stalked out of the room, his
feelings evidently very much disturbed.
"Ha! Ha!" laughed Mr. Period. "I guess he can't see any one but
you, Tom. But never mind. I know he didn't mean anything, and, as
I'm none the worse I'll forgive him. My necktie isn't spotted; is
"No, the snow didn't seem to do that any harm," replied the
young inventor, as he looked at the brilliant piece of red silk
around Mr. Period's collar.
"I am very particular about my neckties," went on the picture
man. "I always wear one color. My friends never forget me then."
Tom wondered how they could ever forget him, even though he
wore no tie, for his figure and face were such as to not easily
"I'm glad it's not soiled," went on "Spotty" as he liked to be
called. "Now, Tom, you said you were my friend. Prove it by
accepting my offer. Build that wizard camera, and get me some
moving pictures that will be a sensation. Say you will!"
He looked appealingly at Tom, and, remembering the rather rude
and unexpected treatment to which Koku had submitted the
gentleman, Tom felt his mind changing. Still he was not yet ready
to give in. He rather liked the idea the more he thought of it,
but he felt that he had other duties, and much to occupy him at
home, especially if he perfected his silent motor.
"Will you go?" asked Mr. Period, picking up his fountain pen
and check book, that he had laid aside when he walked over to
Tom, just before the giant grasped him. "Say you will."
The young inventor was silent a moment. He thought over the
many adventures he had gone through--in the caves of ice, in the
city of gold, escaping from the giants, and the red pygmies--He
went over the details of his trips through the air, of the
dangers under the seas, of those he had escaped from on
Earthquake Island. Surely e was entitled to a little rest at
And yet there was a lure to it all. A certain fascination that
was hard to resist. Mr. Period must have seen what was going on
in Tom's mind, for he said:
"I know you're going. I can see it. Why, it will be just the
very thing you need. You'll get more fame out of this thing than
from any of your other inventions. Come, say you'll do it.
"I'll tell you what I'll do !" he went on eagerly. "After you
make the camera, and take a lot of films, showing strange and
wonderful scenes, I'll put at the end of each film, next to my
picture, your name, and a statement showing that you took the
originals. How's that? Talk about being advertised! Why you can't
beat it! Millions of people will read your name at the picture
shows every night."
"I am not looking for advertisements," said Tom, with a laugh.
"Well, then, think of the benefit you will be to science," went
on Mr. Period quickly. "Think of the few people who have seen
wild animals as they are, of those who have ever seen an earth-
quake, or a volcano in action. You can go to Japan, and get
pictures of earthquakes. They have them on tap there. And as for
volcanoes, why the Andes mountains are full of 'em. Think of how
many people will be thankful to you for showing them these
"And think of what might happen if I should take a tumble into
a crack in the earth, or down a hot volcano, or fall into a
jungle when there was a fight on among the elephants," suggested
Tom. "My airship might take a notion to go down when I was doing
the photographing," he added.
"No. Nothing like that will happen to Tom Swift," was the
confident answer of the picture man. "I've read of your doings.
You don't have accidents that you can't get the better of. But
come, I know you're thinking of it, and I'm sure you'll go. Let
me make you out this check, sign a contract which I have all
ready, and then get to work on the camera."
Tom was silent a moment. Then he said:
"Well, I admit that there is something attractive about it. I
hoped I was going to stay home. for a long time. But--"
"Then you'll go!" cried Mr. Period eagerly. "Here's the money,"
and he quickly filled out a check for Tom's first expenses,
holding the slip of paper toward the young inventor.
"Wait a minute! Hold on!" cried Tom. "Not so fast if you
please. I haven't yet made up my mind."
"But you will; won't you?" asked Mr. Period.
"Well, I'll make up my mind, one way or the other," replied the
young man. "I won't say I'll go, but--"
"I'll tell you what I'll do!" interrupted Mr. Period. "I'm a
busy man, and every second is worth money to me. But I'll wait
for you to make up your mind. I'll give you until to-morrow
night. How's that? Fair, isn't it?"
"Yes--I think so. I am afraid--"
"I'm not!" broke in the picture man. "I know you'll decide to
go. Think of the fun and excitement you'll have. Now I've taken
up a lot of your time, and I'm going to leave you alone. I'll be
back tomorrow evening for my answer. But I know you're going to
get those moving pictures for me. Is that giant of yours
anywhere about?" he asked, as he looked cautiously around before
leaving the shop. "I don't want to fall into his hands again."
"I don't blame you," agreed Tom. "I never knew him to act that
way before. But I'll go to the gate with you, and Koku will
behave him self. I am sorry--"
"Don't mention it !" broke in the picture man. "It was worth
all I suffered, if you go, and I know you will. Don't trouble
yourself to come out. I can find my way, and if your giant comes
after me, I'll call for help."
He hurried out before Tom could follow, and, hearing the gate
click a little later, and no call for help coming, our hero
concluded that his visitor had gotten safely away.
"Well, what am I going to do about it?" mused Tom, as he
resumed work on his silent motor. He had not been long engaged in
readjusting some of the valves, when he was again interrupted.
This time it was his chum, Ned Newton, who entered, and, as Ned
was well known to the giant, nothing happened.
"Well, what's up, Tom?" asked Ned.
"Why, did you notice anything unusual?" asked Tom.
"I saw Koku standing at the gate a while ago, looking down the
road at a short stout man, with a red tie. Your giant seemed
rather excited about something."
"Oh, yes. I'll tell you about it," and Tom related the details
of Mr. Period's visit.
"Are you going to take his offer?" asked Ned.
"I've got until tomorrow to make up my mind. What would you do,
"Why, I'd take it in a minute, if I knew how to make an
electric camera. I suppose it has to be a very speedy one, to
take the kind of pictures he wants. Wait, hold on, I've just
thought of a joke. It must be a swift camera--catch on--you're
Swift, and you make a swift camera; see the point?"
"I do," confessed Tom, with a laugh. "Well, Ned, I've been
thinking it over, but I can't decide right away. I will tomorrow
"Then I'm coming over, and hear what it is. If you decide to
go, maybe you'll take me along."
"I certainly will, and Mr. Damon, too."
"How about the giant?"
"Well, I guess there'll be room for him. But I haven't decided
yet. Hand me that wrench over there; will you," and then Tom and
Ned began talking about the new apparatus on which the young
inventor was working.
True to his promise Mr. Period called the next evening. He
found Tom, Ned and Mr. Swift in the library, talking over various
"Well, Tom, have you made up your mind?" asked the caller, when
Mrs. Baggert, the housekeeper, had shown him into the room. "I
hope you have, and I hope it is favorable to me."
"Yes," said Tom slowly, "I've thought it all over, and I have
decided that I will--"
At that moment there was a loud shouting outside the house, and
the sound of some one running rapidly through the garden that was
just outside the low library window--a garden now buried deep
"What's that?" cried Ned, jumping to his feet.
"That was Koku's voice," replied Tom, "and I guess he was
chasing after some one."
"They'll need help if that giant gets hold of them," spoke Mr.
Period solemnly, while the noise outside increased in volume.
CHAPTER IV - HELD FAST
"Here, Tom! Come back! Where are you going?" cried aged Mr.
Swift, as his son started toward the window.
"I'm going to see what's up, and who it is that Koku is
chasing," replied the young inventor.
As he spoke he opened the window, which went all the way down
to the floor. He stepped out on a small balcony, put his hand on
the railing, and was about to leap over. Back of him was his
father, Mr. Period and Ned.
"Come back! You may get hurt!" urged Mr. Swift. He had aged
rapidly in the last few months, and had been obliged to give up
most of his inventive work. Naturally, he was very nervous about
"Don't worry, dad; replied the youth. "I'm not in much danger
when Koku is around."
"That's right, agreed the moving picture man. "I'd sooner have
that giant look after me than half a dozen policemen."
The noise had now grown fainter, but the sound of the pursuit
could still be heard. Koku was shouting in his hearty tones, and
there was the noise of breaking twigs as the chase wound in and
out of the garden shrubbery.
Tom paused a moment, to let his eyes get somewhat used to the
darkness. There was a crescent moon, that gave a little light,
and the snow on the ground made it possible to notice objects
"See anything?" asked Ned, as he joined his chum on the
"No, but I'm going to have a closer look. Here goes!" and Tom
leaped to the ground.
"I'm with you," added Ned, as he followed.
Then came another voice, shouting:
"Dat's de way! Catch him! I'se comm', I is! Ef we gits him
we'll tie him up, an' let Boomerang walk on him!"
"Here comes Eradicate," announced Tom, with a look back toward
his chum, and a moment later the aged colored man, who had
evidently started on the chase with Koku, but who had been left
far behind, swung totteringly around the corner of the house.
"Did ye cotch him, Massa Tom?" asked Eradicate. "Did ye cotch
"Not yet, Rad. But Koku is after him. Who was he, and what did
"Didn't do nuffin yit, Massa Tom, 'case as how he didn't git no
chance," replied the colored man, as he hurried along as rapidly
as he could beside the two youths. "Koku and I was too quick for
him. Koku an' me was a-sittin' in my shack, sort of talkin'
togedder, when we hears a racket neah de chicken house. I'se
mighty partial t' de chickens, an' I didn't want nobody t' 'sturb
'em. Koku was jes' de same, an' when we hears dat noise, up we
jumps, an' gits t' chasm.' He runned dis way, an' us was arter
him, but land lub yo', ole Eradicate ain't so spry as he uster be
an' Koku an' de chicken thief got ahead ob me. Leastwise he ain't
no chicken thief yit, 'case as how he didn't git in de coop, but
he meant t' be one, jes' de same."
"Are you sure he was after the chickens?" asked Tom, with quick
suspicion in his mind, for, several times of late, unscrupulous
persons had tried to enter his shop, to get knowledge of his
valuable inventions before they were patented.
"Course he were arter de chickens," replied Eradicate. "But he
didn't git none."
"Come on, Ned!" cried Tom, breaking into a run. "I want to
catch whoever this was. Did you see him, Rad?"
"Only jes' had a glimpse ob his back."
"Well, you go back to the house and tell father and Mr. Period
about it. Ned and I will go on with Koku. I hope to get the
"Why, Tom?" asked his chum.
"Because I think he was after bigger game than chickens. My
noiseless motor, for the new airship, is nearly complete, and it
may have been some one trying to get that. I received an offer
from a concern the other day, who wished to purchase it, and,
when I refused to sell, they seemed rather put out."
The two lads raced on, while Eradicate tottered back to the
house, where he found Mr. Swift and the picture man awaiting him.
"I guess he got away," remarked Ned, after he and his chum had
covered nearly the length of the big garden.
"I'm afraid so," agreed Tom. "I can't hear Koku any more.
Still, I'm not going to give up."
Pantingly they ran on, and, a little later, they met the big
man coming back.
"Did he get away?" asked Tom.
"Yes, Mr. Tom, he scaped me all right."
"Escaped you mean, Koku. Well, never mind. You did your best."
"I would like to have hold of him," spoke the giant, as he
stretched out his big arms.
"Did you know who he was?" inquired Ned.
"No, I couldn't see his face," and he gave the same description
of the affair as had Eradicate.
"Was it a full grown man, or some one about my size?" Tom
wanted to know.
"A man," replied the giant.
"Why do you ask that?" inquired Ned, as the big fellow went on
to resume his talk with Eradicate, and the two chums turned to go
into the house, after the fruitless chase.
"Because, I thought it might be Andy Foger," was Tom's reply.
"It would be just like him, but if it was a man, it couldn't be
him. Andy's rather short."
"Besides, he doesn't live here any more," said Ned.
"I know, but I heard Sam Snedecker, who used to be pretty thick
with him, saying the other day that he expected a visit from
Andy. I hope he doesn't come back to Shopton, even for a day, for
he always tries to make trouble for me. Well, let's go in, and
tell 'em all about our chase after a chicken thief."
"And so he got away?" remarked Mr. Swift, when Tom had
completed his story.
"Yes," answered the young inventor, as he closed, and locked,
the low library window, for there was a chilly breeze blowing. "I
think I will have to rig up the burglar alarm on my shop again. I
don't want to take any chances."
"Do you remember what we were talking about, when that
interruption came?" asked Mr. Period, after a pause. "You were
saying, Tom, that you had made up your mind, and that was as far
as you got. What is your answer to my offer?"
"Well," spoke the lad slowly, and with a smile, "I think I
"Now don't say 'no'"; interrupted the picture man. "If you are
going to say 'no' take five minutes more, or even ten, and think
it over carefully. I want you--"
"I wasn't going to say 'no,'" replied Tom. "I have decided to
accept your offer, and I'll get right at work on the electrical
camera, and see what I can do in the way of getting moving
pictures for you."
"You will? Say, that's great! That's fine! I knew you would
accept, but I was the least bit afraid you might not, without
"Of course," began Tom, "it will take--"
"Not another word. Just wait a minute," interrupted Mr. Period
in his breezy fashion. "Take this."
He quickly filled out a check and handed it to Tom.
"Now sign this contract, which merely says that you will do
your best to get pictures for me, and that you won't do it for
any other concern, and everything will be all right. Sign there,"
he added, pointing to a dotted line, and thrusting a fountain pen
into Tom's hand. The lad read over the agreement, which was fair
enough, and signed it, and Ned affixed his name as a witness.
"Now when can you go?" asked Mr. Period eagerly.
"Not before Spring, I'm afraid," replied Torn. "I have first to
make the camera, and then my airship needs overhauling if I am to
go on such long trips as will be necessary in case I am to get
views of wild beasts in the jungle."
"Well, make it as soon as you can," begged Mr. Period. "I can
have the films early next Fall then, and they will be in season
for the Winter runs at the theatres. Now, I'm the busiest man in
the world, and I believe I have lost five hundred dollars by
coming here to-night. Still, I don't regret it. I'm going back
now, and I'll expect to hear from you when you are ready to
start. There's my address. Good-bye," and thrusting a card into
Tom's hand he hurried out of the room.
"Won't you stop all night?" called Mr. Swift after him.
"Sorry. I'd like to but can't. Got a big contract I must close
in New York to-morrow morning. I've ordered a special train to be
at the Shopton station in half an hour, and I must catch that.
Good night!" and Mr. Period hurried away.
"Say, he's a hustler all right!" exclaimed Ned.
"Yes, and I've got to hustle if I invent that camera," added
Tom. "It's got to be a specially fast one, and one that can take
pictures from a long distance. Electricity is the thing to use, I
"Then you are really going off on this trip. Tom?" asked his
father, rather wistfully.
"I'm afraid I am," replied his son. "I thought I could stay at
home for a while, but it seems not."
"I was in hopes you could give me a little time to help me on
my gyroscope invention," went on the aged man. "But I suppose it
will keep until you come back. It is nearly finished."
"Yes, and I don't like stopping work on my noiseless motor,"
spoke Tom. "But that will have to wait, too."
"Do you know where you are going?" inquired Ned.
"Well, I'll have to do considerable traveling I suppose to get
all the films he wants. But once I'm started I'll like it I
guess. Of course you're coming, Ned."
"I hope so."
"Of course you are!" insisted Tom, as if that settled it. "And
I'm sure Mr. Damon will go also. I haven't seen him in some time.
I hope he isn't ill."
Tom started work on his Wizard Camera, as he called it, the
next day--that is he began drawing the designs, and planning how
to construct it. Ned helped him, and Koku was on hand in case he
was needed, but there was little he could do, as yet. Tom made an
inspection of his shop the morning after the chicken thief scare,
but nothing seemed to have been disturbed.
A week passed, and Tom had all the plans drawn for the camera.
He had made several experiments with different forms of
electricity for operating the mechanism, and had decided on a
small, but very powerful, storage battery to move the film, and
take the pictures.
This storage battery, which would be inside the camera, would
operate it automatically. That is, the camera could be set up any
place, in the jungle, or on the desert, it could be left alone,
and would take pictures without any one being near it. Tom
planned to have it operate at a certain set time, and stop at a
certain time, and he could set the dials to make this time any
moment of the day or night. For there was to be a powerful light
in connection with the camera, in order that night views might be
taken. Besides being automatic the camera could be worked by
When it was not necessary to have the camera operate by the
storage battery, it could be connected to wires and worked by an
ordinary set of batteries, or by a dynamo. This was for use on
the airship, where there was a big electrical machine. I shall
tell you more about the camera as the story proceeds.
One afternoon Tom was alone in the shop, for he had sent Koku
on an errand, and Eradicate was off in a distant part of the
grounds, doing some whitewashing, which was his specialty. Ned
had not come over, and Mr. Swift, having gone to see some
friends, and Mrs. Baggert being at the store, Tom, at this
particular time, was rather isolated.
He was conducting some delicate electrical experiments, and to
keep the measuring instruments steady he had closed all the
windows and doors of his shop. The young inventor was working at
a bench in one corner, and near him, standing upright, was a
heavy shaft of iron, part of his submarine, wrapped in burlap,
and padded, to keep it from rusting.
"Now," said Tom to himself, as he mixed two kinds of acid in a
jar, to produce a new sort of electrical current, "I will see if
this is any better than the first way in which I did it."
He was careful about pouring out the powerful stuff, but, in
spite of this, he spilled a drop on his finger. It burned like
fire, and, instinctively, he jerked his hand back.
The next instant there was a series of happenings. Tom's elbow
came in contact with another jar of acid, knocking it over, and
spilling it into the retort where he had been mixing the first
two liquids. There was a hissing sound, as the acids combined,
and a thick, white vapor arose, puffing into Tom's face, and
making him gasp.
He staggered back, brushed against the heavy iron shaft in the
corner, and it fell sideways against him, knocking him to the
floor, and dropping across his thighs. The padding on it saved
him from broken bones, but the shaft was so heavy, that after it
was on him, Tom could not move. He was held fast on the floor of
his shop, unable to use his legs, and prevented from getting up.
For a moment Tom was stunned, and then he called:
"Help! Help! Eradicate! Koku! Help!"
He waited a moment, but there was only a silence.
And then Tom smelled a strange odor--an odor of a choking gas
that seemed to smother him.
"It's the acids!" he cried. "They're generating gas! And I'm
held fast here! The place is closed up tight, and I can't move!
But there was no one at hand to aid Tom, and every moment the
fumes of the gas became stronger. Desperately the youth struggled
to rid himself of the weight of the shaft, but he could not. And
then he felt his senses leaving him, for the powerful gas was
making him unconscious.
CHAPTER V - TOM GETS A WARNING
"Bless my shoe buttons!" exclaimed a voice, as a man came
toward Tom's shop, a little later. "Bless my very necktie! This
is odd. I go to the house, and find no one there. I come out
here, and not a soul is about. Tom Swift can't have gone off on
another one of his wonderful trips, without sending me word. I
know he wouldn't do that. And yet, bless my watch and chain, I
can't find any one!"
It was Mr. Damon who spoke, as my old readers have already
guessed. He peered into one of the shop windows, and saw
something like a fog filling the place.
"That's strange," he went on. "I don't see Tom there, and yet
it looks as if an experiment was going on. I wonder--"
Mr. Damon heard some one coming up behind him, and turned to
see Koku the giant, who was returning . from the errand on which
Tom had sent him.
"Oh, Koku, it's you; is it?" the odd man asked. "Bless my cuff
buttons! Where is Tom?"
"In shop I guess."
"I don't see him. Still I had better look. There doesn't seem
to be any one about."
Mr. Damon opened the shop door, and was met by such an outward
rush of choking gas that he staggered back.
"Bless my--" he began but he had to stop, to cough and gasp.
"There must have been some sort of an accident," he cried, as he
got his lungs full of fresh air. "A bad accident! Tom could never
work in that atmosphere. Whew!"
"Accident! What is matter?" cried Koku stepping to the doorway.
He, too choked and gasped, but his was such a strong and rugged
nature, and his lungs held such a supply of air, that it took
more than mere gas to knock him out. He peered in through the
wreaths of the acid vapor, and saw the body of his master, lying
on the floor--held down by the heavy iron.
In another instant Koku had rushed in, holding his breath, for,
now that he was inside the place, the gas made even him feel
"Come back! Come back!" cried Mr. Damon. 'You'll be smothered!
Wait until the gas escapes!"
"Then Mr. Tom die!" cried the giant. "I get him--or I no come
With one heave of his powerful right arm, Koku lifted the heavy
shaft from Tom's legs. Then, gathering the lad up in his left
arm, as if he were a baby, Koku staggered out into the fresh air,
almost falling with his burden, as he neared Mr. Damon, for the
giant was, well-nigh overcome.
"Bless my soul!" cried the odd man. "Is he--is he--"
He did not finish the sentence, but, as Koku laid Tom down on
the overcoat of Mr. Damon, which the latter quickly spread on the
snow, the eccentric man put his hand over the heart of the young
"It beats!" he murmured. "He's alive, but very weak. We must
get a doctor at once. I'll do what I can. There's no time to
spare. Bless my--"
But Mr. Damon concluded that there was no time for blessing
anything, and so he stopped short.
"Carry him up to the house, Koku," he said. "I know where there
are some medicines, and I'll try to revive him while we're
waiting for the doctor Hurry!"
Tom was laid on a lounge, and, just then, Mrs. Baggert came in.
"Telephone for the doctor!" cried Mr. Damon to the housekeeper,
who kept her nerve, and did not get excited. "I'll give Tom some
ammonia, and other stimulants, and see if I can bring him around.
Koku, get me some cold water."
The telephone was soon carrying the message to the doctor, who
promised to come at once. Koku, in spite of his size, was quick,
and soon brought the water, into which Mr. Damon put some strong
medicine, that he found in a closet. Tom's eyelids fluttered as
the others forced some liquid between his lips.
"He's coming around!" cried the eccentric man. "I guess he'll
be all right, Koku."
"Koku glad," said the giant simply, for he loved Tom with a
"Yes, Koku, if it hadn't been for you, though, I don't believe
that he would be alive. That was powerful gas, and a few seconds
more in there might have meant the end of Tom. I didn't see him
lying on the floor, until after you rushed in. Bless my
thermometer! It is very strange."
They gave Tom more medicine, rubbed his arms and legs, and held
ammonia under his nose. Slowly he opened his eyes, and in a faint
"In your own house," replied Mr. Damon, cheerfully. "How do you
"I'm--all--right--now," said Tom slowly. He, felt his strength
coming gradually back, and he remembered what had happened,
though he did not yet know how he had been saved. The doctor came
in at this moment, with a small medical battery, which completed
the restorative work begun by the others. Soon Tom could sit up,
though he was still weak and rather sick.
"Who brought me out?" he asked, when he had briefly told how
the accident occurred.
"Koku did," replied Mr. Damon. "I guess none of the rest of us
could have lifted the iron shaft from your legs."
"It's queer how that fell," said Tom, with a puzzled look on
his face. "I didn't hit it hard enough to bring it down. Beside,
I had it tied to nails, driven into the wall, to prevent just
such an accident as this. I must see about it when I get well."
"Not for a couple of days," exclaimed the doctor grimly.
"You've got to stay in bed a while yet. You had a narrow escape,
"Well, I'm glad I went to Giant Land," said the young inventor,
with a wan smile. "Otherwise I'd never have Koku," and he looked
affectionately at the big man, who laughed happily. In nature
Koku was much like a child.
Mr. Swift came home a little later, and Ned Newton called, both
being very much surprised to hear of the accident. As for
Eradicate, the poor old colored man was much affected, and would
have sat beside Tom's bed all night, had they allowed him.
Our hero recovered rapidly, once the fumes of the gas left his
system, and, two days later, he was able to go out to the shop
again. At his request everything had been left just as it was
after he had been brought out. Of course the fumes of the gas
were soon dissipated, when the door was opened, and the acids,
after mingling and giving off the vapor, had become neutralized,
so that they were now harmless.
"Now I'm going to see what made that shaft fall," said Tom to
Ned, as the two chums walked over to the bench where the young
inventor had been working. "The tap I gave it never ought to have
brought it down."
Together they examined the thin, but strong, cords that had
been passed around the shaft, having been fastened to two nails,
driven into the wall.
"Look!" cried Tom, pointing to one of the cords.
"What is it?" asked Ned.
"The strands were partly cut through, so that only a little jar
was enough to break the remaining ones," went on Tom. "They've
been cut with a knife, too, and not frayed by vibration against
the nail, as might be the case. Ned, someone has been in my shop,
meddling, and he wanted this shaft to fall. This is a trick!"
"Great Scott, Tom! You don't suppose any one wanted that shaft
to fall on you; do you?"
"No, I don't believe that. Probably some one wanted to damage
the shaft, or he might have thought it would topple over against
the bench, and break some of my tools, instruments or machinery.
I do delicate experiments here, and it wouldn't take much of a
blow to spoil them. That's why those cords were cut."
"Who did it? Do you think Andy Foger--"
"No, I think it was the man Koku thought was a chicken thief,
and whom we chased the other night. I've got to be on my guard. I
Tom was interrupted by the appearance of Koku, who came out of
the shop with a letter the postman had just left.
"I don't know that writing very well, and yet it looks
familiar," said Tom, as he tore open the missive. "Hello, here's
more trouble!" he exclaimed as he hastily read it.
"What's up now?" asked Ned.
"This is from Mr. Period, the picture man," went on the young
inventor. It's a warning."
"Yes. He says:
"'Dear Tom. Be on your guard. I understand that a rival moving
picture concern is after you. They want to make you an offer, and
get you away from me. But I trust you. Don't have anything to do
with these other fellows. And, at the same time, don't give them
a hint as to our plans. Don't tell them anything about your new
camera. There is a lot of jealousy and rivalry in this business
and they are all after me. They'll probably come to see you, but
be on your guard. They know that I have been negotiating with
you. Remember the alarm the other night.'"
CHAPTER VI - TRYING THE CAMERA
"Well, what do you think of that?" cried Ned, as his chum
"It certainly isn't very pleasant," replied Tom. "I wonder why
those chaps can't let me alone? Why don't they invent cameras of
their own? Why are they always trying to get my secret
"I suppose they can't do things for themselves," answered Ned.
"And then, again, your machinery always works, Tom, and some that
your rivals make, doesn't."
"Well, maybe that's it," admitted our hero, as he put away the
letter. "I will be on the watch, just as I have been before. I've
got the burglar alarm wires adjusted on the shop now, and when
these rival moving picture men come after me they'll get a short
For several days nothing happened, and Tom and Ned worked hard
on the Wizard Camera. It was nearing completion, and they were
planning, soon, to give it a test, when, one afternoon, two
strangers, in a powerful automobile, came to the Swift homestead.
They inquired for Tom, and, as he was out in the shop, with Ned
and Koku, and as he often received visitors out there, Mrs.
Baggert sent out the two men, who left their car in front of the
As usual, Tom had the inner door to his shop locked, and when
Koku brought in a message that two strangers would like to see
the young inventor, Tom remarked:
"I guess it's the rival picture men, Ned. We'll see what they
have to say."
"Which of you is Tom Swift?" asked the elder of the two men, as
Tom and Ned entered the front office, for our hero knew better
than to admit the strangers to the shop.
"I am," replied Tom.
"Well, we're men of business," went on the speaker, "and there
is no use beating about the bush. I am Mr. Wilson Turbot, and
this is my partner, Mr. William Eckert. We are in the business of
making moving picture films, and I understand that you are
associated with Mr. Period in this line. 'Spotty' we call him."
"Yes, I am doing some work for Mr. Period," admitted Tom,
"Have you done any yet?"
"No, but I expect to."
"What kind of a camera are you going to use?" asked Mr. Eckert
"I must decline to answer that," replied Tom, a bit stiffly.
"Oh, that's all right," spoke Mr. Turbot, good naturedly. "Only
'Spotty' was bragging that you were making a new kind of film for
him, and we wondered if it was on the market."
"We are always looking for improvements," added Mr. Eckert.
"This camera isn't on the market," replied Tom, on his guard as
to how he answered.
The two men whispered together for a moment, and then Mr.
"Well, as I remarked, we're men of business, and there's no use
beating about the bush. We've heard of you, Tom Swift, and we
know you can do things. Usually, in this world, every man has his
price, and we're willing to pay big to get what we want. I don't
know what offer Mr. Period made to you, but I'll say this: We'll
give you double what he offered, for the exclusive rights to your
camera, whenever it's on the market, and we'll pay you a handsome
salary to work for us."
"I'm sorry, but I can't consider the offer," replied Tom
firmly. "I have given my word to Mr. Period. I have a contract
with him, and I cannot break it."
"Offer him three times what Period did," said Mr. Eckert, in a
hoarse whisper that Tom heard.
"It would be useless!" exclaimed our hero. "I wouldn't go back
on my word for a hundred times the price I am to get. I am not in
this business so much for the money, as I am for the pleasure of
The men were silent a moment. There were ugly looks on their
faces. They looked sharply at Tom and Ned. Then Mr. Eckert said:
"You'll regret this, Tom Swift. We are the biggest firm of
moving picture promoters in the world. We always get what we
"You won't get my camera," replied Tom calmly.
"I don't know about that!" exclaimed Mr. Turbot, as he made a
hasty stride toward Tom, who stood in front of the door leading
to the shop--the shop where his camera, almost ready for use, was
on a bench. "I guess if we--"
"Koku!" suddenly called Tom.
The giant stepped into the front office. He had been standing
near the door, inside the main shop. Mr. Turbot who had stretched
forth his hand, as though to seize Tom, and his companion, who
had advanced toward Ned, fairly jumped back in fright at the
sight of the big man.
"Koku," went on Tom, in even tones, "just show these gentlemen
to the front door--and lock it after them," he added
significantly, as he turned back into the shop, followed by Ned.
"Yes, Mr. Tom," answered the giant, and then, with his big
hand, and brawny fist, he gently turned the two men toward the
outer door. They were gasping in surprise as they looked at the
"You'll be sorry for this, Tom Swift!" exclaimed Mr. Turbot.
"You'll regret not having taken our offer. This Period chat is
only a small dealer. We can do better by you. You'll regret--"
"You'll regret coming here again," snapped Tom, as he closed
the door of his shop, leaving Koku to escort the baffled plotters
to their auto. Shortly afterward Tom and Ned heard the car
"Well, they came, just as Mr. Period said they would," spoke
"Yes, and they went away again!" exclaimed Ned with a laugh.
"They had their trip for nothing. Say, did you see how they
stared at Koku?"
"Yes, he's a helper worth having, in cases like these."
Tom wrote a full account of what had happened and sent it to
Mr. Period. He received in reply a few words, thanking him for
his loyalty, and again warning him to be on his guard.
In the meanwhile, work went on rapidly on the Wizard Camera.
Briefly described it was a small square box, with a lens
projecting from it. Inside, however, was complicated machinery,
much too complicated for me to describe. Tom Swift had put in his
best work on this wonderful machine. As I have said, it could be
worked by a storage battery, by ordinary electric current from a
dynamo, or by hand. On top was a new kind of electric light. This
was small and compact, but it threw out powerful beams. With the
automatic arrangement set, and the light turned on, the camera
could be left at a certain place after dark, and whatever went on
in front of it would be reproduced on the moving roll of film
In the morning the film could be taken out, developed, and the
pictures thrown on a screen in the usual way, familiar to all who
have been in a moving picture theatre. With the reproducing
machines Tom had nothing to do, as they were already perfected.
His task had been to make the new-style camera, and it was nearly
A number of rolls of films could be packed into the camera, and
they could be taken out, or inserted, in daylight. Of course
after one film had been made, showing any particular scene any
number of films could be made from this "master" one. Just as is
done with the ordinary moving picture camera. Tom had an
attachment to show when one roll was used, and when another
For some time after the visit of the rival moving picture men,
Tom was on his guard. Both house and shop were fitted with
burglar alarms, but they did not ring. Eradicate and Koku were
told to be on watch, but there was nothing for them to do.
"Well," remarked Tom to Ned, one afternoon, when they had both
worked hard, "I think it's about finished. Of course it needs
polishing, and there may be some adjusting to do, but my camera
is now ready to take pictures--at least I'm going to give it a
"Have you the rolls of films?"
"Yes, half a dozen of 'em And I'm going to try the hardest test
"Which one is that?"
"The night test. I'm going to place the camera out in the yard,
facing my shop. Then you and I, and some of the others, will go
out, pass in front of it, do various stunts, and, in the morning
we'll develop the films and see what we have."
"Why, are you going to leave the camera out, all night?"
"Sure. I'm going to give it the hardest kind of a test."
"But are you and I going to stay up all night to do stunts in
front of it?"
"No, indeed. I'm going to let it take what ever pictures happen
to come along to be taken after we get through making some
special early ones. You see my camera will be a sort of watch
dog, only of course it won't catch any one--that is, only their
images will be caught on the film.
"Oh, I see," exclaimed Ned, and then he helped Tom fix the
machine for the test.
CHAPTER VII - WHAT THE CAMERA CAUGHT
"Well, is she working, Tom?" asked our hero's chum, a little
later, when they had set the camera up on a box in the garden. It
pointed toward the main shop door, and from the machine came a
clicking sound. The electric light was glowing.
"Yes, it's all ready," replied Tom. "Now just act as if it
wasn't there. You walk toward the shop. Do anything you please.
Pretend you are coming in to see me on business. Act as if it was
daytime. I'll stand here and receive you. Later, I'll get dad out
here, Koku and Eradicate. I wish Mr. Period was here to see the
test, but perhaps it's just as well for me to make sure it works
before be sees it."
"All right, Tom, here I come."
Ned advanced toward the shop. He tried to act as though the
camera was not taking pictures of him, at the rate of several a
second, but he forgot himself, and turned to look at the staring
lens. Then Tom, with a laugh, advanced to meet him, shaking hands
with him. Then the lads indulged in a little skylarking. They
threw snowballs at each other, taking care, however to keep
within range of the lens. Of course when Tom worked the camera
himself, he could point it wherever he wanted to, but it was now
Then the lads went to the shop, and came out again. They did
several other things. Later Koku, and Eradicate did some
"stunts," as Tom called them. Mr. Swift, too, was snapped, but
Mrs. Baggert refused to come out.
"Well, I guess that will do for now," said Tom, as he stopped
the mechanism. "I've just thought of something," he added. "If I
leave the light burning, it will scare away, before they got in
front of the lens, any one who might come along. I'll have to
change that part of it."
"How can you fix it?" asked Ned.
"Easily. I'll rig up some flash lights, just ordinary
photographing flashlights, you know. I'll time them to go off one
after the other, and connect them with an electric wire to the
door of my shop."
"Then your idea is--" began Ned.
"That some rascals may try to enter my shop at night. Not this
particular night, but any night. If they come to-night we'll be
ready for them."
"An' can't yo'-all take a picture ob de chicken coop?" asked
Eradicate. "Dat feller may come back t' rob mah hens."
"With the lens pointing toward the shop," spoke Tom, "it will
also take snap shots of any one who tries to enter the coop. So,
if the chicken thief does come, Rad, we'll have a picture of
Tom and Ned soon had the flashlights in place, and then they
went to bed, listening, at times, for the puff that would
indicate that the camera was working. But the night passed
without incident, rather to Tom's disappointment. However, in the
morning, he developed the film of the first pictures taken in the
evening. Soon they were dry enough to be used in the moving
picture machine, which Tom had bought, and set up in a dark room.
"There we are!" he cried, as the first images were thrown on
the white screen. "As natural as life, Ned! My camera works all
"That's so. Look! There's where I hit you with a snowball!"
cried his chum, as the skylarking scene was reached.
"Mah goodness!" cried Eradicate, when he saw himself walking
about on the screen, as large as life. "Dat shorely am
"It is spirits!" cried Koku, as he saw himself depicted.
"I wish we had some of the other pictures to show," spoke Tom.
"I mean some unexpected midnight visitors."
For several nights in succession the camera was set to "snap"
any one who might try to enter the shop. The flashlights were
also in place. Tom and Ned, the latter staying at his chum's
house that week, were beginning to think they would have their
trouble for their pains. But one night something happened.
It was very dark, but the snow on the ground made a sort of
glow that relieved the blackness. The camera had been set as
usual, and Tom and Ned went to bed.
It must have been about midnight when they were both awakened
by hearing the burglar alarm go off. At the same time there were
several flashes of fire from the garden.
"There she goes!" cried Ned.
"Yes, they're trying to get into the shed," added Tom, as a
glance at the burglar-alarm indicator on the wall of the room,
showed that the shop door was being tried. "Come on!"
"I'm with you!" yelled Ned.
They lost little time getting into their clothes, for they had
laid them out in readiness for putting on quickly. Down the
stairs they raced, but ere they reached the garden they heard
footsteps running along the wall toward the road.
"Who's there?" cried Tom, but there was no answer.
"Koku! Eradicate!" yelled Ned.
"Yais, sah, I'se comm'!" answered the colored man, and the
voice of the giant was also heard. The flashlights had ceased
popping before this, and when the two lads and their helpers had
reached the shop, there was no one in sight.
"The camera's there all right!" cried Tom in relief as he
picked it up from the box. "Now to see what it caught. Did you
see anything of the fellows, Koku, or Eradicate?" Both said they
had not, but Eradicate, after examining the chicken house door by
the aid of a lighted match, cried out:
"Somebody's been tryin' t' git in heah, Massa Tom. I kin see
where de do's been scratched."
"Well, maybe we'll have the picture for you to look at in the
morning," said Tom.
The films were developed in the usual way in the morning, but
the pictures were so small that Tom could not make out the
features or forms of the men. And it was plain that at least
three men had been around the coop and shop.
By the use of alcohol and an electric fan Tom soon had the
films dry enough to use. Then the moving picture machine was set
up in a dark room, and all gathered to see what would be thrown
on the screen, greatly enlarged.
First came several brilliant flashes of light, and then, as the
entrance to the shop loomed into view, a dark figure seemed to
walk across the canvas. But it did not stop at the shop door.
Instead it went to the chicken coop, and, as the man reached that
door, he began working to get it open. Of course it had all taken
place in a few seconds, for, as soon as the flashlights went off,
the intruders had run away. But they had been there long enough
to have their pictures taken.
The man at the chicken coop turned around as the lights
flashed, and he was looking squarely at the camera. Of course
this made his face very plain to the audience, as Tom turned the
crank of the reproducing machine.
"Why, it's a colored man!" cried Ned in surprise.
"Yes, I guess it's only an ordinary chicken thief, after all,"
There was a gasp from Eradicate.
"Fo' de land sakes!" he cried. "De raskil! Ef dat ain't mah own
second cousin, what libs down by de ribber! An' to t'ink dat
Samuel 'Rastus Washington Jackson Johnson, mah own second cousin,
should try t' rob mah chicken coop! Oh, won't I gib it t' him!"
"Are you sure, Rad?" asked Tom.
"Suah? Sartin I'se suah, Massa Tom," was the answer as the
startled colored man on the screen stared at the small audience.
"I'd know. dat face ob his'n anywhere."
"Well, I guess he's the only one we caught last night," said
Tom, as the disappointed chicken thief ran away, and so out of
focus But the next instant there came another series of
flashlight explosions on the screen, and there, almost as plainly
as if our friends were looking at them, they saw two men
stealthily approaching the shop. They, too, as the chicken thief
had done, tried the door, and then, they also, startled by the
flashes, turned around.
"Look!" cried Ned.
"Great Scott !" exclaimed Tom. "Those are the two rivals of Mr.
Period! They are Mr. Turbot and Mr. Eckert!"
"Same men I pushed out!" cried Koku, much excited.
There was no doubt of it, and, as the images faded from the
screen, caused by the men running away, Tom and Ned realized that
their rivals had tried to put their threat into execution--the
threat of making Tom wish he had taken their offer.
"I guess they came to take my camera,--but, instead the camera
took them," said the young inventor grimly.
CHAPTER VIII - PHOTOS FROM THE AIRSHIP
"Well, Tom, how is it going?" asked a voice at the door of the
shop where the young inventor was working. He looked up quickly
to behold Mr. Nestor, father of Mary, in which young lady, as I
have said, Tom was much interested. "How is the moving picture
camera coming on?"
"Pretty good, Mr. Nestor. Come in. I guess Koku knew you all
right. I told him to let in any of my friends, but I have to keep
him there on guard."
"So I understand. They nearly got in the other night, but I
hear that your camera caught them."
"Yes, that proved that the machine is a success, even if we
didn't succeed in arresting the men."
"Did you try?"
"Yes, I sent copies of the film, showing Turbot and Eckert
trying to break into my shop, to Mr. Period, and he had enlarged
photographs made, and went to the police. They said it was rather
flimsy evidence on which to arrest anybody, and so they didn't
act. However, we sent copies of the pictures to Turbot and Eckert
themselves, so they know that we know they were here, and I guess
they'll steer clear of me after this."
"I guess so, Tom," agreed Mr. Nestor with a laugh. "But what
about the chicken thief?"
"Oh, Eradicate attended to his second cousin. He went to see
him, showed him a print from the film, and gave him to understand
that he'd be blown up with dynamite, or kicked by Boomerang, if
he ever came around here again, and so Samuel 'Rastus Washington
Jackson Johnson will be careful about visiting strange chicken
coops, after this."
"I believe you, Tom. But how is the camera coming on?"
"Very well. I am making a few changes in it, and I expect to
get my biggest airship in readiness for the trip in about a week,
and then I'll try taking pictures from her. But I understand that
you are interested in Mr. Period's business, Mr. Nestor?"
"Yes, I own some stock in the company, and, Tom, that's what I
came over to see you about. I need a vacation. Mary and her
mother are going away this Spring for a long visit, and I was
wondering if you couldn't take me with you on the trips you will
make to get moving pictures for our concern."
"Of. course I can, Mr. Nestor. "I'll be glad to do it."
"And there is another thing, Tom," went on Mr. Nestor, soberly.
"I've got a good deal of my fortune tied up in this moving
picture affair. I want to see you win out--I don't want our
rivals to get ahead of us."
"They shan't get ahead of us."
"You see, Tom, it's this way. There is a bitter fight on
between our concern and that controlled by our rivals. Each is
trying to get the business of a large chain of moving picture
theatres throughout the United States. These theatre men are
watching us both, and the contracts for next season will go to
the concern showing the best line of films. If our rivals get
ahead of us--well, it will just about ruin our company,--and
about ruin me too, I guess."
"I shall do my very best," answered our hero.
"Is Mr. Damon going along?"
"Well, I have just written to ask him. I sent the letter
"Doesn't he know what you contemplate?"
"Not exactly. You see when he came, that time I was overcome by
the fumes from the acids, everything was so upset that I didn't
get a chance to tell him. He's been away on business ever since,
but returned yesterday. I certainly hope that he goes with us.
Ned Newton is coming, and with you, and Koku and myself, it will
be a nicer party."
"Then you are going to take Koku?"
"I think I will. I'm a little worried about what these rival
moving picture men might do, and if I get into trouble with them,
my giant helper would come in very useful, to pick one up and
throw him over a tree top, for instance."
"Indeed, yes," agreed Mr. Nestor, with a laugh. "But I hope
nothing like that happens."
"Nothing like that happens?" suddenly asked a voice. "Bless my
bookcase! but there always seems to be something going on here.
What's up now, Tom Swift?"
"Nothing much, Mr. Damon," replied our hero, as he recognized
his odd friend. "We were just talking about moving pictures, Mr.
Damon, and about you. Did you get my letter?"
"I did, Tom."
"And are you going with us?"
"Tom, did you ever know me to refuse an invitation from you? I
guess not! Of course I'm going. But, for mercy sakes, don't tell
my wife! She mustn't know about it until the last minute, and
then she'll be so surprised, when I tell her, that she won't
think of objecting. Don't let her know."
Tom laughed, and promised, and then the three began talking of
the prospective trip. After a bit Ned Newton joined the party.
Tom showed the two men how his new camera worked. He had made
several improvements on it since the first pictures were taken,
and now it was almost perfect. Mr. Period had been out to see it
work, and said it was just the apparatus needed.
"You can get films with that machine," he said, "that will be
better than any pictures ever thrown on a screen. My fortune will
be made, Tom, and yours too, if you can only get pictures that
are out of the ordinary. There will be some hair-raising work, I
expect, but you can do it."
"I'll try," spoke Tom. "I have--"
"Hold on! I know what you are going to say," interrupted Mr.
Period. "You are going to say that you've gone through some
strenuous times already. I know you have, but you're going to
have more soon. I think I'll send you to India first."
"To India!" exclaimed Tom, for Mr. Period had spoken of that as
if it was but a journey downtown.
"Yes, India. I want a picture of an elephant drive, and if you
can get pictures of the big beasts in a stampede, so much the
better. Then, too, the Durbar is on now, and that will make a
good film. How soon can you start for Calcutta?"
"Well, I've got to overhaul the airship," said Tom. "That will
take about three weeks. The camera is practically finished. I can
leave in a month, I guess."
"Good. We'll have fine weather by that time. Are you going all
the way by your airship?"
"No, I think it will be best to take that apart, ship it by
steamer, and go that way ourselves. I can put the airship
together in India, and then use it to get to any other part of
Europe, Asia or Africa you happen to want pictures from."
"Good! Well, get to work now, and I'll see you again."
In the days that followed, Tom and Ned were kept busy. There
was considerable to do on the airship, in the way of overhauling
it. This craft was Tom's largest, and was almost like the one in
which he had gone to the caves of ice, where it was wrecked. It
had been, however, much improved.
The craft was a sort of combined dirigible balloon, and
aeroplane, and could be used as either. There was a machine on
board for generating gas, to use in the balloon part of it, and
the ship, which was named the Flyer, could carry several persons.
"Bless my shoe laces!" cried Mr. Damon one day as he looked at
Koku. "If we take him along in the airship, will we be able to
"Oh, yes. The airship is plenty big enough. Besides, we are not
going to take along a very large party, and the camera is not
heavy. Oh, we'll be all right. I suppose you'll be on hand to-
morrow, Mr. Damon?"
"To-morrow? What for?"
"We're going to take the picture machine up in the airship, and
get some photos from the sky. I expect to make some films from
high in the air, as well as some in the regular way, on the
ground, and I want a little practice. Come around about two
o'clock, and we'll have a trial flight."
"All right. I will. But don't let my wife know I'm going up in
an airship again. She's read of so many accidents lately, that
she's nervous about having me take a trip."
"Oh, I won't tell," promised Tom with a laugh, and he worked
away harder than ever, for there were many little details to
perfect. The weather was now getting warm, as there was an early
spring, and it was pleasant out of doors.
The moving picture camera was gotten in readiness. Extra rolls
of films were on hand, and the big airship, in which they were to
go up, for their first test of taking pictures from high in the
air, had been wheeled out of the shed.
"Are you going up very far?" asked Mr. Nestor of Tom, and the
young inventor thought that Mary's father was a trifle nervous.
He had not made many flights, and then only a little way above
the ground, with Tom.
"Not very high," replied our hero. "You see I want to get
pictures that will be large, and if I'm too far away I can't do
"Glad to hear it, replied Mr. Nestor, with a note of relief in
his voice. "Though I suppose to fall a thousand feet isn't much
different from falling a hundred when you consider the results."
"Not much," admitted Tom frankly.
"Bless my feather bed!" cried Mr. Damon. "Please don't talk of
falling, when we're going up in an airship. It makes me nervous."
"We'll not fall!" declared Tom confidently.
Mr. Period sent his regrets, that he could not be present at
the trial, stating in his letter that he was the busiest man in
the world, and that his time was worth about a dollar a minute
just at present. He, however, wished Tom all success. Tom's first
effort was to sail along, with the lens of the camera pointed
straight toward the earth. He would thus get, if successful, a
picture that, when thrown on the screen, would give the
spectators the idea that they were looking down from a moving
balloon. For that reason Tom was not going to fly very high, as
he wanted to get all the details possible.
"All aboard!" cried the young inventor, when he had seen to it
that his airship was in readiness for a flight. The camera had
been put aboard, and the lens pointed toward earth through a hole
in the main cabin floor. All who were expected to make the trip
with Tom were on hand, Koku taking the place of Eradicate this
time, as the colored man was too aged and feeble to go along.
"All ready?" asked Ned, who stood in the steering tower, with
his hand on the starting lever, while Tom was at the camera to
see that it worked properly.
"All ready," answered the young inventor, and, an instant
later, they shot upward, as the big propellers whizzed around.
Tom at once started the camera to taking pictures rapidly, as
he wanted the future audience to get a perfect idea of how it
looked to go up in a balloon, leaving the earth behind. Then as
the Flyer moved swiftly over woods and fields, Tom moved the lens
from side to side, to get different views.
"Say! This is great!" cried Mr. Nestor, to whom air-riding was
much of a novelty. "Are you getting good pictures, Tom?"
"I can't tell until we develop them. But the machine seems to
be working all right. I'm going to sail back now, and get some
views of our own house from up above."
They had sailed around the town of Shopton, to the neighboring
villages, over woods and fields. Now they were approaching
"Bless my heart!" suddenly exclaimed Mr. Damon, who was looking
toward the earth, as they neared Tom's house.
"What is it?" asked our hero, glancing up from the picture
machine, the registering dial of which he was examining.
"Look there! At your shop, Tom! There seems to be a lot of
smoke coming from it!"
They were almost over Tom's shop now, and, as Mr. Damon had
said, there was considerable smoke rolling above it.
"I guess Eradicate is burning up papers and trash," was Ned's
Tom looked to where the camera pointed, he was right over his
shop now, and could see a dense vapor issuing from the door.
That isn't Eradicate!" cried the young inventor. "My shop is on
fire! I've got to make a quick drop, and save it! There are a lot
of valuable models, and machines in there! Send us down, Ned, as
fast as she'll go!"
CHAPTER IX - OFF FOR INDIA
"Bless my hose reel!" cried Mr. Damon, as the airship took a
quick lurch toward the earth. "Things are always happening to you, Tom Swift! Your shop on fire! How
did it happen?"
"Look!" suddenly cried Ned, before Tom had a chance to answer.
"There's a man running away from the shop, Tom!"
All saw him, and, as the airship rushed downward it could be
seen that he was a fellow dressed in ragged garments, a veritable
"I guess that fire didn't happen," said Tom significantly. "It
was deliberately set. Oh, if we can only get there before it
gains too much headway!"
"I like to catch that fellow!" exclaimed Koku, shaking his big
fist at the retreating tramp. "I fix him!"
On rushed the airship, and the man who had probably started the
fire, glanced up at it. Tom suddenly turned the lens of his
Wizard Camera toward him. The mechanism inside, which had been
stopped, started clicking again, as the young inventor switched
on the electric current.
"What are you doing?" cried Ned, as he guided the airship
toward the shop, whence clouds of smoke were rolling.
"Taking his picture," replied Tom. "It may come in useful for
But he was not able to get many views of the fellow, for the
latter must have suspected what was going on. He quickly made a
dive for the bushes, and was soon lost to sight. Tom shut off his
"Bless my life preserver!" cried Mr. Damon. "There comes your
father, Tom, and Mrs. Baggert! They've got buckets! They're going
to put out the fire!"
"Why don't they think to use the hose?" cried the young
inventor, for he had his shop equipped With many hose lines, and
an electrically driven pump. The hose! The hose, dad!" shouted
Tom, but it is doubtful if his father or Mrs. Baggert heard him,
for the engine of the airship was making much noise. However, the
two with the buckets looked up, and waved their hands to those on
"There's Eradicate!" yelled Ned. "He's got the hose all right!"
The colored man was beginning to unreel a line.
"That's what it needs!" exclaimed Tom. "Now there's some chance
to save the shop."
"We'll be there ourselves to take a hand in a few seconds!"
cried Mr. Damon, forgetting to bless anything.
"The scoundrel who started this fire, and those back of him,
ought to be imprisoned for life!" declared Mr. Nestor.
A moment later Ned had landed the airship within a short
distance of the shop. In an instant the occupants of the craft
had leaped out, and Tom, after a hasty glance to see that his
valuable camera was safe, dashed toward the building crying:
"Never mind the pails, dad! Use the hose! there's a nozzle at
the back door. Go around there, and play the water on from that
Eradicate, with his line of hose, had disappeared into the shop
through the front door, and the others pressed in after him,
heedless of the dense smoke.
"Is it blazing much, Rad?" cried Tom.
"Can't see no blaze at all, Mass a Tom," replied the colored
man. "Dere's a heap of suffin in de middle ob de flo', an' dat's
what's raisin' all de rumpus."
They all saw it a moment later, a smoldering heap of rags and
paper on the concrete floor of the shop. Eradicate turned his
hose on it, there was a hissing sound, a cloud of steam arose,
and the fire was practically out, though much smoke remained.
"Jove! that was a lucky escape!" exclaimed Tom, as he looked
around when the vapor had partly cleared away. "No damage done at
all, as far as I can see. I wonder what the game was? Did you see
anything of a tramp around here?" he asked of his father.
"No, Tom. I have been busy in the house. So has Mrs. Baggert.
Suddenly she called my attention to the smoke coming from the
door, and we ran out."
"I seen it, too," added Eradicate. "I was doin' some
whitewashin', an' I run up as soon as I could."
"We saw the tramp all right, but he got away," said Tom, and he
told how he had taken pictures of him. "I don't believe it would
be much use to look for him now, though."
"Me look," spoke Koku significantly, as he hurried off in the
direction taken by the tramp. He came back later, not having
"What do you think of it, Tom?" asked Ned, when the excitement
had calmed down, and the pile of burned rags had been removed. It
was found that oil and chemicals had been put on them to cause a
"I think it was the work of those fellows who are after my
camera," replied the young inventor. "They are evidently watching
me, and when they saw us all go off in the airship they thought
probably that the coast was clear."
"But why should they start a fire?"
"I don't know, but probably to create a lot of smoke, and
excitement, so that they could search, and not be detected. Maybe
the fellow after he found that the camera was gone, wanted to
draw those in the house out to the shop, so he could have a clear
field to search in my room for any drawings that would give him a
dew as to how my machine works. They certainly did not want to
burn the shop, for that pile of rags could have smoldered all
day on the concrete floor, without doing any harm. Robbery was
the motive, I think."
"The police ought to be notified," declared Mr. Nestor.
"Develop those pictures, Tom, and I'll take the matter up with
the police. Maybe they can identify the tramp from the
But this proved impossible. Tom had secured several good films,
not only in the first views he took, giving the spectators the
impression that they were going up in an airship, but also those
showing the shop on fire, and the tramp running away, were very
The police made a search for the incendiary, but of course did
not find him. Mr. Period came to Shopton, and declared it was his
belief that his rivals, Turbot and Eckert, had had a hand in the
matter. But it was only a suspicion, though Tom himself believed
the same thing. Still nothing could be accomplished.
"The thing to do, now that the camera works all right, is for
you to hit the trail for India at once," suggested the picture
man. "They won't follow you there. Get me some pictures of the
Durbar, of elephants being captured, of tiger fights, anything
"I'll do my--" began Tom.
"Wait, I'm not through," interrupted the excitable man. "Then
go get some volcanoes, earthquakes--anything that you think would
be interesting. I'll keep in touch with you, and cable
occasionally. Get all the films you can. When will you start?"
"I can leave inside of two weeks," replied Tom.
"Then do it, and, meanwhile, be on your guard."
It was found that a few changes were needed on the camera. And
some adjustments to the airship. Another trial flight was made,
and some excellent pictures taken. Then Tom and his friends
prepared to take the airship apart. and pack it for shipment to
Calcutta. It was to go on the same steamer as themselves, and of
course the Wizard Camera would accompany Tom. He took along many
rolls of films, enough, he thought, for many views. He was also
to send back to Mr. Period from time to time, the exposed rolls
of film, so they could be developed, and printed in the United
States, as Tom would not have very good facilities for this on
the airship, and to reproduce them there was almost out of the
question. Still he did fit up a small dark room aboard the Flyer,
where he could develop pictures if he wished.
There was much to be done, but hard work accomplished it, and
finally the party was ready to start for India. Tom said good-bye
to Mary Nestor, of course, and her father accompanied our hero
from the Nestor house to the Swift homestead, where the start was
to take place.
Eradicate bade his master a tearful good-bye, and there was
moisture in the eyes of Mr. Swift, as he shook hands with his
"Take care of yourself, Tom," he said. "Don't run too many
risks. This moving picture taking isn't as easy as it sounds.
It's more than just pointing your camera at things. Write if you
get a chance, or send me a message."
Tom promised, and then bade farewell to Mrs. Baggert. All were
assembled, Koku, Mr. Damon, who blessed everything he saw, and
some things he did not, Ned, Mr. Nestor and Tom. The five were to
go by train to New York, there to go aboard the steamer.
Their journey to the metropolis was uneventful. Mr. Period met
them at the steamship dock, after Tom had seen to it that the
baggage, and the parts of the airship were safely aboard.
"I wish I were going along!" exclaimed the picture man. "It's
going to be a great trip. But I can't spare the time. I'm the
busiest man in the world. I lose about a thousand dollars just
coming down to see you off, but it's a good investment. I don't
mind it. Now, Tom, good luck, and don't forget, I want exciting
"I'll try--" began our here,.
"Wait, I know what you're going to say!" interrupted Mr.
Period. "You'll do it, of course. Well, I must be going. I will--
Great Scott!" and Mr. Period interrupted himself. "He has the
nerve to come here!"
"Who?" asked Tom.
"Wilson Turbot, the rascal! He's trying to balk me at the last
minute, I believe. I'm going to see what he means!" and with
this, the excited Mr. Period rushed down the gangplank, toward
the man at whom he had pointed--one of the men who had tried to
buy Tom's picture taking camera.
A moment later the steamer's whistle blew, the last belated
passenger rushed up the gangplank, it was drawn in, and the
vessel began to move away from the dock. Tom and his friends were
on their way to India, and the last glimpse they had of Mr.
Period was as he was chasing along the pier, after Mr. Turbot.
CHAPTER X - UNEXPECTED EXCITEMENT
"Well, what do you know about that, Tom?" asked Ned, as they
stood on deck watching the chase. "Isn't he the greatest ever--
Mr. Period, I mean?"
"He certainly is. I'd like to see what happens when he catches
that Turbot chap."
"Bless my pocket handkerchief!" cried Mr. Damon. "I don't
believe he will. Mr. Period's legs aren't long enough for fast
"Those scoundrels were after us, up to the last minute," spoke
Mr. Nestor, as the ship moved farther out from the dock. Tom and
his friends could no longer see the excitable picture man after
his rival, but there was a commotion in the crowd, and it seemed
as if he had caught the fellow.
"Well, we're free of him now," spoke the young inventor, with a
breath of relief. "That is, unless they have set some one else on
our trail," and he looked carefully at the passengers near him,
to detect, if possible, any who might look like spies in the pay
of the rival moving picture concern, or any suspicious characters
who might try to steal the valuable camera, that was now safely
locked in Tom's cabin. Our hero, however, saw no one to worry
about. He resolved to remain on his guard.
Friends and relatives were waving farewells to one another, and
the band was playing, as the big vessel drew out into the North,
or Hudson, river, and steamed for the open sea.
Little of interest marked the first week of the voyage. All
save Koku had done much traveling before, and it was no novelty
to them. The giant, however, was amused and delighted with
everything, even the most commonplace things he saw. He was a
source of wonder to all the other passengers, and, in a way, he
furnished much excitement.
One day several of the sailors were on deck, shifting one of
the heavy anchors. They went about it in their usual way, all
taking hold, and "heaving" together with a "chanty," or song, to
enliven their work. But they did not make much progress, and one
of the mates got rather excited about it.
"Here, shiver my timbers!" he cried. "Lively now! Lay about
you, and get that over to the side!"
"Yo! Heave! Ho!" called the leader of the sailor gang.
The anchor did not move, for it had either caught on some
projection, or the men were not using their strength.
"Lively! Lively!" cried the mate.
Suddenly Koku, who was in the crowd of passengers watching the
work, pushed his way to where the anchor lay. With a powerful,
but not rough action, he shoved the sailors aside. Then, stooping
over, he took a firm grip of the big piece of iron, planted his
feet well apart on the deck, and lifted the immense mass in his
arms. There was a round of applause from the group of passengers.
"Where you want him?" Koku calmly asked of the mate, as he
stood holding the anchor.
"Blast my marlin spikes!" cried the mate. "I never see the like
of this afore! Put her over there, shipmate. If I had you on a
voyage or two you'd be running the ship, instead of letting the
screw push her along. Put her over there," and he indicated where
he wanted the anchor.
Koku calmly walked along the deck, laid the anchor down as if
it was an ordinary weight, and passed over to where Tom stood
looking on in amused silence. There were murmurs of surprise from
the passengers at the giant's strength, and the sailors went
forward much abashed.
"Say, I'd give a good bit to have a bodyguard like that,"
exclaimed a well-known millionaire passenger, who, it was
reported, was in constant fear of attacks, though they had never
taken place. "I wonder if I could get him."
He spoke to Tom about it, but our hero would not listen to a
proposition to part with Koku. Besides, it is doubtful if the
simple giant would leave the lad who had brought him away from
his South American home. But, if Koku was wonderfully strong,
and, seemingly afraid of nothing, there were certain things he
One afternoon, for the amusement of the passengers, a net was
put overboard, sunk to a considerable depth, and hauled up with a
number of fishes in it. Some of the finny specimens were good for
eating, and others were freaks, strange and curious.
Koku was in the throng that gathered on deck to look at the
haul. Suddenly a small fish, but very hideous to look at, leaped
from the net and flopped toward the giant. With a scream of fear
Koku jumped to one side, and ran down to his stateroom. He could
not be induced to come on deck until Tom assured him that the
fishes had been disposed of. Thus Koku was a mixture of giant and
baby. But he was a general favorite on the ship, and often gave
exhibitions of his strength.
Meanwhile Tom and his friends had been on the lookout for any
one who might be trailing them. But they saw no suspicious
characters among the passengers, and, gradually, they began to
feel that they had left their enemies behind.
The weather was pleasant, and the voyage very enjoyable. Tom
and the others had little to do, and they were getting rather
impatient for the time to come when they could put the airship
together, and sail off over the jungle, to get moving pictures of
"Have you any films in the camera now?" asked Ned of his chum
on day, as they sat on deck together.
"Yes, it's all ready for instant use. Even the storage battery
is charged. Why?"
"Oh, I was just wondering. I was thinking we might somehow see
something we could take pictures of."
"Not much out here," said Tom, as he looked across the watery
expanse. As he did so, he saw a haze of smoke dead ahead. "We'll
pass a steamer soon," he went on, "but that wouldn't make a good
picture. It's too common."
As the two lads watched, the smoke became blacker, and the
cloud it formed grew much larger.
"They're burning a lot of coal on that ship," remarked Ned.
"Must be trying for a speed record."
A little later a sailor stationed himself in the crow's nest,
and focused a telescope on the smoke. An officer, on deck, seemed
to be waiting for a report from the man aloft.
"That's rather odd," remarked Ned. "I never knew them to take
so much interest in a passing steamer before; and we've gone by
several of late."
"That's right," agreed Tom. "I wonder--"
At that moment the officer, looking up, called out:
"Aye, aye, sir," answered the sailor with the glass. "She's a
small steamer, sir, and she's on fire!"
"That's what I feared. Come down. I'll tell the captain. We
must crowd on all steam, and go to the rescue."
"Did you hear that?" cried Ned to Tom, as the officer hurried
to the bridge, where the captain awaited him. "A steamer on fire
at sea, Tom! why don't you--"
"I'm going to!" interrupted the young inventor, as he started
for his cabin on the run. "I'm going to get some moving pictures
of the rescue! That will be a film worth having."
A moment later the Belchar, the vessel on which our friends had
embarked, increased her speed, while sudden excitement developed
As the Belchar approached the burning steamer, which had
evidently seen her, and was making all speed toward her, the
cloud of smoke became more dense, and a dull flame could be seen
reflected in the water.
"She's going fast!" cried Mr. Nestor, as he joined Ned on deck.
"Bless my insurance policy!" cried Mr. Damon. "What a strange
happening! Where's Tom Swift?"
"Gone for his camera," answered his chum. "He's going to get
some pictures of the rescue."
"All hands man the life boats!" cried an officer, and several
sailors sprang to the davits, ready to lower the boats, when the
steamers should be near enough together.
Up on deck came Tom, with his wonderful camera.
"Here you go, Ned!" he called. "Give me a hand. I'm going to
start the film now."
CHAPTER XI - AN ELEPHANT STAMPEDE
"Stand by the life boats!"
"Let go! Pull hearty!"
These and other commands marked the beginning of the rescue,
as the sailors manned the davit-falls, and put the boats into the
water. The burning steamer had now come to a stop, not far away
from the Belchar, which was also lay-to. There was scarcely any
sea running, and no wind, so that the work of rescuing was not
difficult from an ordinary standpoint. But there was grave
danger, because the fire on the doomed vessel was gaining
"That's oil burning," remarked an officer, and it seemed so,
from the dense clouds of smoke that rolled upward.
"Is she working, Tom?" asked Ned, as he helped his chum to hold
the wonderful camera steady on the rail, so that a good view of
the burning steamer could be had.
"Yes, the film is running. Say, I wonder if they'll get 'em all
"Oh, I think so. There aren't many passengers. I guess it's a
They could look across the gap of water, and see the terrified
passengers and crew crowding to the rail, holding out their hands
appealingly to the brave sailors who were lustily and rapidly,
pulling toward them in life boats.
At times a swirl of smoke would hide those on the doomed vessel
from the sight of the passengers on the Belchar, and on such
occasions the frightened screams of women could be heard. Once,
as the smoke cleared away, a woman, with a child in her arms,
giving a backward glance toward the flames that were now
enveloping the stern of the vessel, attempted to leap overboard.
Many hands caught her, however, and all this was registered on
the film of Tom's camera, which was working automatically. As the
two vessels drifted along, Tom and Ned shifted the lens so as to
keep the burning steamer, and the approaching lifeboats, in
"There's the first rescue!" cried Ned, as the woman who had
attempted to leap overboard, was, with her child, carefully
lowered into a boat. "Did you get that, Tom?"
"I certainly did. This will make a good picture. I think I'll
send it back to Mr. Period as soon as we reach port."
"Maybe you could develop it on board here, and show it. I
understand there's a dark room, and the captain said one of his
officers, who used to be in the moving picture business, had a
"Then that's what I'll do!" cried Tom. "I'll have our captain
charge all the Belchar passengers admission, and we'll get up a
fund for the fire sufferers. They'll probably lose all their
"That will be great!" exclaimed Ned.
The rescue was now in full swing, and, in a short time all the
passengers and crew had been transferred to the life boats. Tom
got a good picture of the captain of the burning steamer being
the last to leave his vessel. Then the approaching life boats,
with their loads of sailors, and rescued ones, were caught on the
"Are you all off?" cried the captain of the Belchar to the
unfortunate skipper of the doomed ship.
"All off, yes, thank you. It is a mercy you were at hand. I
have a cargo of oil. You had better stand off, for she'll explode
in a few minutes."
"I must get a picture of that!" declared Tom as the Belchar got
under way again. "That will cap the climax, and make a film that
will be hard to beat."
A few moments later there was a tremendous explosion on the
tramp oiler. A column of wreckage and black smoke shot skyward,
and Tom secured a fine view of it. Then the wreck disappeared
beneath the waves, while the rescuing steamer sailed on, with
those who had been saved. They had brought off only the things
they wore, for the fire had occurred suddenly, and spread
rapidly. Kind persons aboard the Belchar looked after the
unfortunates. Luckily there was not a large passenger list on the
tramp. And the crew was comparatively small, so it was not hard
work to make room for them, or take care of them, aboard the
Tom developed his pictures, and produced then in one of the
large saloons, on a machine he borrowed from the man of whom Ned
had spoken. A dollar admission was charged, and the crowd was so
large that Tom had to give two performances. The films, showing
the burning steamer and the rescue, were excellent, and enough
money was realized to aid, most substantially, the unfortunate
passengers and crew.
A few days later a New York bound steamer was spoken, and on it
Tom sent the roll of developed films to Mr. Period, with a letter
I will not give all the details of the rest of the voyage.
Sufficient to say that no accidents marred it, nor did Tom
discover any suspicious characters aboard. In due time our
friends arrived at Calcutta, and were met by an agent of Mr.
Period, for he had men in all quarters of the world, making films
This agent took Tom and his party to a hotel, and arranged to
have the airship parts sent to a large open shed, not far away,
where it could be put together. The wonderful scenes in the
Indian city interested Tom and his companions for a time, but
they had observed so many strange sights from time to time that
they did not marvel greatly. Koku, however, was much delighted.
He was like a child.
"What are you going to do first?" asked Ned, when they had
recovered from the fatigue of the ocean voyage and had settled
themselves in the hotel.
"Put the airship together," replied our hero, "and then, after
getting some Durbar pictures, we'll head for the jungle. I want
to get some elephant pictures, showing the big beasts being
Mr. Period's agent was a great help to them in this. He secured
native helpers, who aided Tom in assembling the airship, and in a
week or two it was ready for a flight. The wonderful camera, too,
was looked over, and the picture agent said he had never seen a
"It can take the kind of pictures I never could," he said. "I
get Calcutta street scenes for Mr. Period, and occasionally I
strike a good one. But I wish I had your chance."
Tom invited him to come along in the airship, but the agent,
who only looked after Mr. Period's interests as a side issue,
could not leave his work.
The airship was ready for a flight, stores and provisions had
been put on board, there was enough gasoline for the motor, and
gas for the balloon bag, to carry the Flyer thousands of miles.
The moving picture camera had been tested after the sea voyage,
and had been found to work perfectly. Many rolls of films were
taken along. Tom got some fine views of the Durbar of India, and
his airship created a great sensation.
"Now I guess we're all ready for the elephants," said Tom one
day as he came back from an inspection of the airship as it
rested in the big shed. "We'll start to-morrow morning, and head
for the jungle."
Amid the cries from a throng of wondering and awed natives, and
with the farewells of Mr. Period's agent ringing in their ears,
Tom and his party made an early start. The Flyer rose like a
bird, and shot across the city, while on the house tops many
people watches the strange sight. Tom did not start his camera
working, as Mr. Period's agent said he had made many pictures of
the Indian city, and even one taken from an airship, would not be
much of a novelty.
Tom had made inquiries, and learned that by a day's travel in
his airship (though it would have been much longer ordinarily) he
could reach a jungle where elephants might be found. Of course
there was nothing certain about it, as the big animals roamed all
over, being in one district one day, and on the next, many miles
Gradually the city was left behind, and some time later the
airship was sailing along over the jungle. After the start, when
Ned and Tom, with Mr. Damon helping occasionally, had gotten the
machinery into proper adjustment, the Flyer almost ran herself.
Then Tom took his station forward, with his camera in readiness,
and a powerful spyglass at hand, so that he might see the
elephants from a distance.
He had been told that, somewhere in the district for which he
was headed, an elephant drive was contemplated. He hoped to be on
hand to get pictures of it, and so sent his airship ahead at top
On and on they rode, being as much at ease in the air as they
would have been if traveling in a parlor car. They did not fly
high, as it was necessary to be fairly close to the earth to get
"Well, I guess we won't have any luck to-day," remarked Ned, as
night approached, and they had had no sight of the elephants.
They had gone over mile after mile of jungle, but had seen few
wild beasts in sufficient numbers to make it worth while to focus
the camera on them.
"We'll float along to-night," decided Tom, "and try again in
It was about ten o'clock the next day, when Ned, who had
relieved Tom on watch, uttered a cry:
"What is it?" asked his chum, as he rushed forward. "Has
"Lots!" cried Ned. "Look!" He pointed down below. Tom saw,
crashing through the jungle, a big herd of elephants. Behind
them, almost surrounding them, in fact, was a crowd of natives in
charge of white hunters, who were driving the herd toward a
"There's a chance for a grand picture!" exclaimed Tom, as he
got the camera ready. "Take charge of the ship, Ned. Keep her
right over the big animals, and I'll work the camera."
Quickly he focused the lens on the strange scene below him.
There was a riot of trumpeting from the elephants. The beaters
and hunters shouted and yelled. Then they saw the airship and
waved their hands to Tom and his friends, but whether to welcome
them, or warn them away, could not be told.
The elephants were slowly advancing toward the stockade. Tom
was taking picture after picture of them, when suddenly as the
airship came lower, in response to a signal to Ned from the young
inventor, one of the huge pachyderms looked up, and saw the
strange sight. He might have taken it for an immense bird. At any
rate he gave a trumpet of alarm, and the next minute, with
screams of rage and fear, the elephants turned, and charged in a
wild stampede on those who were driving them toward the stockade.
"Look!" cried Ned. "Those hunters and natives will be killed!"
"I'm afraid so!" shouted Tom, as he continued to focus his
camera on the wonderful sight.
CHAPTER XII - THE LION FIGHT
Crashing through the jungle the huge beasts turned against
those who had, been driving them on toward the stockade. With
wild shouts and yells, the hunters and their native helpers tried
to turn back the elephant tide, but it was useless. The animals
had been frightened by the airship, and were following their
leader, a big bull, that went crashing against great trees,
snapping them off as if they were pipe stems.
"Say, this is something like!" cried Ned, as he guided the
airship over the closely packed body of elephants, so Tom could
get good pictures, for the herd had divided, and a small number
had gone off with one of the other bulls.
"Yes, I'll get some great pictures," agreed Tom, as he looked
in through a red covered opening in the camera, to see how much
film was left.
The airship was now so low down that Tom, and the others, could
easily make out the faces of the hunters, and the native helpers.
One of the hunters, evidently the chief, shaking his fist at our
"Can't you take your blooming ship out of the way, my man? It's
scaring the beasts, and we've been a couple of weeks on this
drive. We don't want to lose all our work. Take your bloody ship
"I guess he must be an Englishman," remarked Mr. Nestor, with a
"Bless my dictionary, I should say so," agreed Mr. Damon.
"Bloody, blooming ship! The idea!"
"Well, I suppose we have scared the beasts," said Tom. "We
ought to get out of the way. Put her up, Ned, and we'll come down
some distance in advance."
"Why, aren't you going to take any more views of the
"Yes, but I've got enough of a view from above. Besides, I've
got to put in a fresh reel of film, and I might as well get out
of their sight to do it. Maybe that will quiet them, and the
hunters can turn them back toward the stockade. If they do, I
have another plan."
"What is it?" his chum wanted to know.
"I'm going to make a landing, set up my camera at the entrance
to the stockade, and get a series of pictures as the animals come
in. I think that will be a novelty.
"That certainly will," agreed Mr. Nestor. "I am sure Mr. Period
will appreciate that. But won't it be dangerous, Tom?"
"I suppose so, but I'm getting used to danger," replied our
hero, with a laugh.
Ned put the ship high into the air, as Tom shut off the power
from the camera. Then the Flyer was sent well on in advance of
the stampede of elephants, so they could no longer see it, or
hear the throb of the powerful engines. Tom hoped that this would
serve to quiet the immense creatures.
As the travelers flew on, over the jungle, they could still
hear the racket made by the hunters and beaters, and the shrill
trumpeting of the elephants, as they crashed through the forest.
Tom at once began changing the film in the camera, and Ned
altered the course of the airship, to send it back toward the
stockade, which they had passed just before coming upon the herd
I presume most of my readers know what an elephant drive is
like. A stockade, consisting of heavy trees, is made in the
jungle. It is like the old fashioned forts our forefathers used
to make, for a defense against the Indians. There is a broad
entrance to it, and, when all is in readiness, the beaters go out
into the jungle, with the white hunters, to round up the
elephants. A number of tame pachyderms are taken along to
persuade the wild ones to follow.
Gradually the elephants are gathered together in a large body,
and gently driven toward the stockade. The tame elephants go in
first, and the others follow. Then the entrance is closed, and
all that remains to be done is to tame the wild beasts, a not
very easy task.
"Are you all ready?" asked Ned, after a bit, as he saw Tom come
forward with the camera.
"Yes, I'm loaded for some more excitement. You can put me right
over the stockade now, Ned, and when we see the herd coming back
I'll go down, and take some views from the ground."
"I think they've got 'em turned," said Mr. Damon. "It sounds as
if they were coming back this way."
A moment later they had a glimpse of the herd down below. It
was true that the hunters had succeeded in stopping the stampede,
and once more the huge beasts were going in the right direction.
"There's a good place to make a landing," suggested Tom, as he
saw a comparatively clear place in the jungle. "It's near the
stockade, and, in case of danger, I can make a quick get-away."
"What kind of danger are you looking for?" asked Ned, as he
shifted the deflecting rudder.
"Oh, one of the beasts might take a notion to chase me."
The landing was made, and Tom, taking Ned and Mr. Nestor with
him, and leaving the others to manage the airship in case a quick
flight would be necessary, made his way along a jungle trail to
the entrance to the stockade. He carried his camera with him, for
it was not heavy.
On came the elephants, frightened by the shouts and cries of
the beaters, and the firing of guns. The young inventor took his
place near the stockade entrance, and, as the elephants advanced
through the forest, tearing up trees and bushes, Tom got some
good pictures of them.
Suddenly the advance of the brutes was checked, and the
foremost of them raised their trunks, trumpeted in anger, and
were about to turn back again.
"Get away from that bloomin' gate!" shouted a hunter to Tom.
"You're scaring them as bad as your airship did."
"Yes, they won't go in with you there!" added another man.
Tom slipped around the corner of the stockade, out of sight,
and from that vantage point he took scores of pictures, as the
tame animals led the wild ones into the fenced enclosure. Then
began another wild scene as the gate was closed.
The terrified animals rushed about, trying in vain to find a
way of escape. Tom managed to climb up on top of the logs, and
got some splendid pictures. But this was nearly his undoing. For,
just as the last elephant rushed in, a big bull charged against
the stockade, and jarred Tom so that he was on the point of
falling. His one thought was about his camera, and he looked to
see if he could drop it on the soft grass, so it would not be
He saw Koku standing below him, the giant having slipped out of
the airship, to see the beasts at closer range.
"Catch this, Koku!" cried Tom, tossing the big man his precious
camera, and the giant caught it safely. But Tom's troubles were
not over. A moment later, as the huge elephant again rammed the
fence, Tom fell off, but fortunately outside. Then the large
beast, seeing a small opening in the gate that was not yet
entirely closed, made for it. A moment later he was rushing
straight at Tom, who was somewhat stunned by his fall, though it
was not a severe one.
"Look out!" yelled Ned.
"Take a tree, Tom!" cried Mr. Nestor.
The elephant paid no attention to any one but Tom, whom he
seemed to think had caused all his trouble. The young inventor
dashed to one side, and then started to run toward the airship,
for which Ned and Mr. Nestor were already making. The elephant
hunters at last succeeded in closing the gate, blocking the
chance of any more animals to escape.
"Run, Tom! Run!" yelled Ned, and Tom ran as he had never run
before. The elephant was close after him though, crashing through
the jungle. Tom could see the airship just ahead of him.
Suddenly he felt something grasp him from behind. He thought
surely it was the elephant's trunk, but a quick glance over his
shoulder showed him the friendly face of Koku, the giant.
"Me run for you," said Koku, as he caught Tom up under one arm,
and, carrying the camera under the other, he set off at top
speed. Now Koku could run well at times, and this time he did. He
easily outdistanced the elephant, and, a little later, he set Tom
down on the deck of the airship, with the camera beside him. Then
Ned and Mr. Nestor came up panting, having run to one side.
"Quick!" cried Tom. "We must get away before the elephant
charges the Flyer."
"He has stopped," shouted Mr. Nestor, and it was indeed so. The
big beast, seeing again the strange craft that had frightened him
before, stood still for a moment, and then plunged off into the
jungle, trumpeting with rage.
"Safe!" gasped Tom, as he looked at his camera to see if it had
been damaged. It seemed all right.
"Bless my latch key!" cried Mr. Damon. "This moving picture
business isn't the most peaceful one in the world."
"No, it has plenty of perils," agreed Mr. Nestor.
"Come on, let's get out of here while we have the chance,"
suggested Tom. "There may be another herd upon us before we know
The airship was soon ascending, and Tom and his companions
could look down and see the tame elephants in the stockade trying
to calm the wild ones. Then the scene faded from sight.
"Well, if these pictures come out all right I'll have some fine
ones," exclaimed Tom as he carried his camera to the room where
he kept the films. "I fancy an elephant drive and stampede are
novelties in this line."
"Indeed they are," agreed Mr. Nestor. "Mr. Period made no
mistake when he picked you out, Tom, for this work. What are you
going to try for next?"
"I'd like to get some lion and tiger pictures," said the young
inventor. "I understand this is a good district for that. As soon
as those elephants get quieted down, I'm going back to the
stockade and have a talk with the hunters."
This he did, circling about in the airship until nearly
evening. When they again approached the stockade all was quiet,
and they came to earth. A native showed them where the white
hunters had their headquarters, in some bungalows, and Tom and
his party were made welcome. They apologized for frightening the
big beasts, and the hunters accepted their excuses.
"As long as we got 'em, it's all right," said the head man,
"though for awhile, I didn't like your bloomin' machine." Tom
entertained the hunters aboard his craft, at which they marvelled
much, and they gave him all the information they had about the
lions and tigers in the vicinity.
"You won't find lions and tigers in herds, like. elephants
though," said the head hunter. "And you may have to photograph
'em at night, as then is when they come out to hunt, and drink."
"Well, I can take pictures at night," said Tom, as he showed
his camera apparatus.
The next day, in the airship, they left for another district,
where, so the natives reported, several lions had been seen of
late. They had done much damage, too, carrying off the native
cattle, and killing several Indians.
For nearly a week Tom circled about in his airship, keeping a
sharp lookout down below for a sign of lions that he might
photograph them. But he saw none, though he did get some pictures
of a herd of Indian deer that were well worth his trouble.
"I think I'll have to try for a night photograph," decided Tom
at last. "I'll locate a spring where wild beasts are in the habit
of coming, set the camera with the light going, and leave it
"But will the lions come up if they see the light?" asked Ned.
"I think so," replied his chum. "I'll take a chance, anyhow. If
that doesn't work then I'll hide near by, and see what happens."
"Bless my cartridge belt!" cried Mr. Damon.
"You don't mean that; do you Tom?"
"Of course. Come to think of it, I'm not going to leave my
camera out there for a lion to jump on, and break. As soon as I
get a series of pictures I'll bring it back to the ship, I
By inquiry among the natives they learned the location of a
spring where, it was said, lions were in the habit of coming
nightly to drink.
"That's the place I want!" cried Tom.
Accordingly the airship was headed for it, and one evening it
came gently to earth in a little clearing on the edge of the
jungle, while Koku, as was his habit, got supper.
After the meal Tom and Ned set the camera, and then, picking
out a good spot nearby, they hid themselves to wait for what
might happen. The lens was focused on the spring, and the
powerful electric light set going. It glowed brightly, and our
hero thought it might have the effect of keeping the beasts away,
but Tom figured that, after they had looked at it for a while,
and seen that it did not harm them, they would lose their
suspicions, and come within range of his machine.
"The camera will do the rest," he said. In order not to waste
films uselessly Tom arranged a long electric wire, running it
from the camera to where he and Ned were hid. By pressing a
button he could start or stop the camera any time he wished, and,
as he had a view of the spring from his vantage point, he could
have the apparatus begin taking pictures as soon as there was
some animal within focus.
"Well, I'm getting stiff," said Ned, after an hour or so had
passed in silent darkness, the only light being the distant one
on the camera.
"So am I," said Tom.
"I don't believe anything will come to-night," went on his
chum. "Let's go back and--"
He stopped suddenly, for there was a crackling in the
underbrush, and the next moment the jungle vibrated to the mighty
roar of a lion.
"He's coming!" hoarsely whispered Tom.
Both lads glanced through the trees toward the camera, and, in
the light, they saw a magnificent, tawny beast standing on the
edge of the spring. Once more he roared, as if in defiance, and
then, as if deciding that the light was not harmful, he stooped
to lap up the water
Hardly had he done so than there was another roar, and a moment
later a second lion leaped from the dense jungle into the
clearing about the spring. The two monarchs of the forest stood
there in the glare of the light, and Tom excitedly pressed the
button that started the shutter to working, and the film to
moving back of the lens.
There was a slight clicking sound in the camera, and the lions
turned startedly. Then both growled again, and the next instant
they sprang at each other, roaring mightily.
"A fight!" cried Tom. "A lion fight, and right in front of my
camera! It couldn't be better. This is great! This will be a
"Quiet!" begged Ned. "They'll hear you, and come for us. I
don't want to be chewed up!"
"No danger of them hearing me!" cried Tom. and he had to shout
to be heard above the roaring of the two tawny beasts, as they
bit and clawed each other, while the camera took picture after
picture of them.
CHAPTER XIII - A SHOT IN TIME
"Tom, did you ever see anything like it in your life?"
"I never did, Ned! It's wonderful! fearful! And to think that
we are here watching it, and that thousands of people will see
the same thing thrown on a screen. Oh, look at the big one. The
small lion has him down!"
The two lads, much thrilled, crouched down behind a screen of
bushes, watching the midnight fight between the lions. On the
airship, not far distant, there was no little alarm, for those
left behind heard the terrific roars, and feared Tom and Ned
might be in some danger. But the lions were too much occupied
with their battle, to pay any attention to anything else, and no
other wild beasts were likely to come to the spring while the two
"kings" were at each other.
It was a magnificent, but terrible battle. The big cats bit and
tore at each other, using their terrific claws and their powerful
paws, one stroke of which is said to be sufficient to break a
bullock's back. Sometimes they would roll out of the focus of the
camera, and, at such times, Tom wished he was at the machine to
swing the lens around, but he knew it would be dangerous to move.
Then the beasts would roll back into the rays of light again, and
more pictures of them would be taken.
"I guess the small one is going to win!" said Tom, after the
two lions had fought for ten minutes, and the bigger one had been
down several times.
"He's younger," agreed Ned, "and I guess the other one has had
his share of fights. Maybe this is a battle to see which one is
to rule this part of the jungle."
"I guess so," spoke the young inventor, as he pressed the
button to stop the camera, as the lions rolled out of focus. "Oh,
look!" he cried a moment later, as the animals again rolled into
view. Tom started the camera once more. "This is near the end,"
The small lion had, by a sudden spring, landed on the back of
his rival. There was a terrific struggle, and the older beast
went down, the younger one clawing him terribly. Then, so quickly
did it happen that the boys could not take in all the details,
the older lion rolled over and over, and rid himself of his
antagonist. Quickly he got to his feet, while the smaller lion
did the same. They stood for a moment eyeing each other, their
tails twitching, the hair on their backs bristling, and all the
while they uttered frightful, roars.
An instant later the larger beast sprang toward his rival. One
terrible paw was upraised. The small lion tried to dodge, but was
not quick enough. Down came the paw with terrific force, and the
boys could hear the back bone snap. Then, clawing his antagonist
terribly, as he lay disabled, the older lion, with a roar of
triumph, lapped up water, and sprang off through the jungle,
leaving his dying rival beside the spring.
"That's the end," cried Tom, as the small lion died, and the
young inventor pressed the button stopping his camera. There was
a rustle in the leaves back of Tom and Ned, and they sprang up in
alarm, but they need not have feared, for it was only Koku, the
giant, who, with a portable electrical torch, had come to see how
they had fared.
"Mr. Tom all right?" asked the big man, anxiously.
"Yes, and I got some fine pictures. You can carry the camera
back now, Koku. I think that roll of film is pretty well filled."
The three of them looked at the body of the dead lion, before
they went back to the airship. I have called him "small," but, in
reality, the ;beast was small only in comparison with his rival,
who was a tremendous lion in size. I might add that of all the
pictures Tom took, few were more highly prized than that reel of
the lion fight.
"Bless my bear cage!" cried Mr. Damon, as Tom came back, "you
certainly have nerve, my boy."
"You have to, in this business," agreed Tom with a laugh. "I
never did this before, and I don't know that I would want it for
a steady position, but it's exciting for a change."
They remained near the "lion spring" as they called it all
night, and in the morning, after Koku had served a tasty
breakfast, Tom headed the airship for a district where it was
said there were many antelope, and buffaloes, also zebus.
"I don't want to get all exciting pictures," our hero said to
Mr. Nestor. "I think that films showing wild animals at play, or
quietly feeding, will be good."
"I'm sure they will," said Mary's father. "Get some peaceful
scenes, by all means."
They sailed on for several days, taking a number of pictures
from the airship, when they passed over a part of the country
where the view was magnificent, and finally, stopping at a good
sized village they learned that, about ten miles out, was a
district where antelope abounded.
"We'll go there," decided Tom, "and I'll take the camera around
with me on a sort of walking trip. In that way I'll get a variety
of views, and I can make a good film."
This plan was followed out. The airship came to rest in a
beautiful green valley, and Ned and Tom, with Mr. Damon, who
begged to be taken along, started off.
"You can follow me in about half an hour, Koku," said Tom, "and
carry the camera back. I guess you can easily pick up our trail."
"Oh, sure," replied the giant. Indeed, to one who had lived in
the forest, as he had all his life, before Tom found him, it was
no difficult matter to follow a trail, such as the three friends
Tom found signs that showed him where the antelopes were in the
habit of passing, and, with Ned and Mr. Damon, stationed himself
in a secluded spot.
He had not long to wait before a herd of deer came past. Tom
took many pictures of the graceful creatures, for it was daylight
now, and he needed no light. Consequently there was nothing to
alarm the herd.
After having made several films of the antelope, Tom and his
two companions went farther on. They were fortunate enough to
find a place that seemed to be a regular playground of the deer.
There was a large herd there, and, getting as near as he dared,
Tom focused his camera, and began taking pictures.
"It's as good as a play," whispered Mr. Damon, as he and Ned
watched the creatures, for they had to speak quietly. The camera
made scarcely any noise. "I'm glad I came on this trip."
"So am I," said Ned. "Look, Tom, see the mother deer all
together, and the fawns near them. It's just as if it was a
"I see," whispered Tom. "I'm getting a picture of that."
For some little time longer Tom photographed the deer, and
then, suddenly, the timid creatures all at once lifted up their
heads, and darted off. Tom and Ned, wondering what had startled
them, looked across the glade just in time to see a big tiger
leap out of the tall grass. The striped animal had been stalking
the antelope, but they had scented him just in time.
"Get him, Tom," urged Ned, and the young inventor did so,
securing several fine views be. fore the tiger bounded into the
grass again, and took after his prey.
"Bless my china teacup! What's that!" suddenly cried Mr. Damon.
As he spoke there was a crashing in the bushes and, an instant
later as two-horned rhinoceros sprang into view, charging
straight for the group.
"Look out!" yelled Ned.
"Bless my--" began Mr. Damon, but he did not finish, for, in
starting to run his foot caught in the grass, and he went down
Tom leaped to one side, holding his camera so as not to damage
it. But he stumbled over Mr. Damon, and went down.
With a "wuff" of rage the clumsy beast, came on, moving more
rapidly than Tom had any idea he was capable of. Hampered by his
camera our hero could not arise. The rhinoceros was almost upon
him, and Ned, catching up a club, was just going to make a rush
to the rescue, when the brute seemed suddenly to crumple up. It
fell down in a heap, not five feet from where Tom and Mr. Damon
"Good!" cried Ned. "He's dead. Shot through the heart! Who did
"I did," answered Koku quietly, stepping out of the bushes,
with one of Tom's Swift's electric rifles in his hand.
CHAPTER XIV - IN A GREAT GALE
Tom Swift rose slowly to his feet, carefully setting his camera
down, after making sure that it was not injured. Then he looked
at the huge beast which lay dead in front of him, and, going over
to the giant he held out his hand to him.
"Koku, you saved my life," spoke Tom. "Probably the life of Mr.
Damon also. I can't begin to thank you. It isn't the first time
you've done it, either. But I want to say that you can have
anything you want, that I've got."
"Me like this gun pretty much," said the giant simply.
"Then it's yours!" exclaimed Tom. "And you're the only one,
except myself, who has ever owned one." Tom's wonderful electric
rifle, of which I have told you in the book bearing that name,
was one of his most cherished inventions.
He guarded jealously the secret of how it worked, and never
sold or gave one away, for fear that unscrupulous men might learn
how to make them, and to cause fearful havoc. For the rifle was a
terrible weapon. Koku seemed to appreciate the honor done him, as
he handled the gun, and looked from it to the dead rhinoceros.
"Bless my blank cartridge!" exclaimed Mr. Damon, as he also got
up and came to examine the dead beast. It was the first thing he
had said since the animal had rushed at him, and he had not moved
after he fell down. He had seemingly been in a daze, but when the
others heard him use one of his favorite expressions they knew
that he was all right again. "Bless my hat!" went on the odd man.
"What happened, Tom? Is that beast really dead? How did Koku come
to arrive in time?"
"I guess he's dead all right," said Tom, giving the rhinoceros
a kick. "But I don't know how Koku happened to arrive in the nick
of time, and with the gun, too."
"I think maybe I see something to shoot when I come after you,
like you tell me to do," spoke the giant. "I follow your trail,
but I see nothing to shoot until I come here. Then I see that
animal run for you, and I shoot."
"And a good thing you did, too," put in Ned. "Well let's go
back. My nerves are on edge, and I want to sit quiet for a
"Take the camera, Koku," ordered Tom, "and I'll carry the
electric rifle--your rifle, now," he added, and the giant grinned
in delight. They reached the airship without further incident,
and, after a cup of tea, Tom took out the exposed films and put a
fresh roll in his camera, ready for whatever new might happen.
"Where is your next stopping place, Tom?" asked Ned, as they
sat in the main room of the airship that evening, talking over
the events of the day. They had decided to stay all night
anchored on the ground, and start off in the morning.
"I hardly know, answered the young inventor. "I am going to set
the camera to-night, near a small spring I saw, to get some
pictures of deer coming to drink. I may get a picture of a lion
or a tiger attacking them. If I could it would be another fine
film. To-morrow I think we will start for Switzerland. But now
I'm going to get the camera ready for a night exposure.
"Bless my check book!" cried Mr. Damon. "You don't mean to say
that you are going to stay out at a spring again, Tom, and run
the chance of a tiger getting you."
"No, I'm merely going to set the camera, attach the light and
let it work automatically this time. I've put in an extra long
roll of film, for I'm going to keep it going for a long while,
and part of the time there may be no animals there to take
pictures of. No, I'm not going to sit out to-night. I'm too
tired. I'll conceal the camera in the bushes so it won't be
damaged if there's a fight. Then, as I said, we'll start for
"Switzerland!" cried Ned. "What in the world do you want to go
make a big jump like that for? And what do you expect to get in
that mountain land?"
"I'm going to try for a picture of an avalanche," said Tom.
"Mr. Period wants one, if I can get it. It is quite a jump, but
then we'll be flying over civilized countries most of the time,
and if any accident happens we can go down and easily make
repairs. We can also get gasolene for the motor, though I have
quite a supply in the tanks, and perhaps enough for the entire
trip. At the same time we won't take any chances. So we'll be off
for Switzerland in the morning.
"I think some avalanche pictures will be great, if you can get
them," remarked Mr. Nestor. "But, Tom, you know those big slides
of ice, snow and earth aren't made to order."
"Oh, I know," agreed the young inventor with a smile. "I'll
just have to take my chances, and wait until one happens."
"Bless my insurance policy!" exclaimed Mr. Damon. "And when it
does happen, Tom, are you going to stand in front of it, and
"Indeed I'm not. This business is risky and dangerous enough,
without looking for trouble. I'm going to the mountain region,
and hover around in the air, until we see an avalanche 'happen'
if that is the right word. Then I'll focus the camera on it, and
the films and machinery will do the rest."
"Oh, that's different," remarked the odd man, with an air of
Tom and Ned soon had the camera set near the spring and then,
everyone being tired with the day's work and excitement, they
retired. In the morning there were signs around the spring that
many animals had been there in the night. There were also marks
as if there had been a fight, but of course what sort, or how
desperate, no one could say.
"If anything happened the camera got it, I'm sure of that
much," remarked Tom, as he brought in the apparatus. "I'm not
going to develop the roll, for I don't want to take the time
now. I guess we must have something, anyhow."
"If there isn't it won't so much matter for you have plenty of
other good views," said Mr. Nestor.
I will not go into details of the long trip to Switzerland,
where, amid the mountains of that country, Tom hoped to get the
view he wanted.
Sufficient to say that the airship made good time after leaving
India. Sometimes Tom sent the craft low down, in order to get
views, and again, it would be above the clouds.
"Well, another day will bring us there," said
Tom one evening, as he was loading the camera
with a fresh roll of films. "Then we'll have to
be on the lookout for an avalanche."
"Yes, we're making pretty good time," remarked Ned, as he
looked at the speed gage. "I didn't know you had the motor
working so fast, Tom."
"I haven't," was the young inventor's answer, as he looked up
in surprise. "Why, we are going quite fast! It's the wind, Ned.
It's right with us, and it's carrying us along."
Tom arose and went to the anemometer, or wind-registering
instrument. He gave a low whistle, half of alarm.
"Fifty miles an hour she's blowing now," he said. "It came on
suddenly, too, for a little while ago it was only ten."
"Is there any danger?" asked Mr. Nestor, for he was not very
familiar with airship perils.
"Well, we've been in big blows before, and we generally came
out all right," returned Tom. "Still, I don't like this. Why she
went up five points since I've been looking at it!" and he
pointed to the needle of the gage, which now registered
fifty-five miles an hour.
"Bless my appendix!" gasped Mr. Damon. "It's a hurricane Tom!"
"Something like that," put in Ned, in a low voice.
With a suddenness that was startling, the wind increased in
violence still more. Tom ran to the pilot house.
"What are you going to do?" Ned called.
"See if we can't go down a bit," was Tom's answer. "I don't
like this. It may be calmer below. We're up too high as it is."
He tried to throw over the lever controlling the deflecting
rudder, which would send the Flyer down, but he could not move
"Give me a hand!" he called to Ned, but even the strength of
the two lads was not sufficient to shift it.
"Call Koku!" gasped Tom. "If anybody can budge it the giant
Meanwhile the airship was being carried onward in the grip of a
mighty wind, so strong that its pressure on the surface of the
deflecting rudder prevented it from being shifted.
CHAPTER XV - SNAPPING AN AVALANCHE
"Bless my thermometer!" gasped Mr. Damon. "This is terrible!"
The airship was plunging and swaying about in the awful gale.
"Can't something be done, Tom?"
"What has happened?" cried Mr. Nestor. "We were on a level keel
before. What is it?"
"It's the automatic balancing rudder!" answered Tom. "Something
has happened to it. The wind may have broken it! Come on, Ned!"
and he led the way to the engine room.
"What are you going to do? Don't you want Koku to shift the
deflecting rudder? Here he is," Ned added, as the giant came
forward, in response to a signal bell that Tom's chum had rung.
"It's too late to try the deflecting rudder!" tried Tom. "I
must see what is the matter with our balancer." As he spoke the
ship gave a terrific plunge, and the occupants were thrown
sideways. The next moment it was on a level keel again, scudding
along with the gale, but there was no telling when the craft
would again nearly capsize.
Tom looked at the mechanism controlling the equalizing and
equilibrium rudder. It was out of order, and he guessed that the
terrific wind was responsible for it.
"What can we do?" cried Ned, as the airship nearly rolled over.
"Can't we do anything, Tom?"
"Yes. I'm going to try. Keep calm now. We may come out all
right. This is the worst blow we've been in since we were in
Russia. Start the gas machine full blast. I want all the vapor I
As I have explained the Flyer was a combined dirigible balloon
and aeroplane. It could be used as either, or both, in
combination. At present the gas bag was not fully inflated, and
Tom had been sending his craft along as an aeroplane.
"What are you going to do?" cried Ned, as he pulled over the
lever that set the gas generating machine in operation.
"I'm going up as high as I can go!" cried Tom. "If we can't go
down we must go up. I'll get above the hurricane instead of below
it. Give me all the gas you can, Ned!"
The vapor hissed as it rushed into the big bag overhead. Tom
carried aboard his craft the chemicals needed to generate the
powerful lifting gas, of which he alone had the secret. It was
more powerful than hydrogen, and simple to make. The balloon of
the Flyer was now being distended.
Meanwhile Tom, with Koku, Mr. Damon and Mr. Nestor to help him,
worked over the deflecting rudder, and also on the equilibrium
mechanism. But they could not get either to operate.
Ned stood by the gas machine, and worked it to the limit. But
even with all that energy, so powerful was the wind, that the
Flyer rose slowly, the gale actually holding her down as a
water-logged craft is held below the waves. Ordinarily, with the
gas machine set at its limit the craft would have shot up
At times the airship would skim along on the level, and again
it would be pitched and tossed about, until it was all the
occupants could do to keep their feet. Mr. Damon was continually
blessing everything he could remember.
"Now she's going!" suddenly cried Ned, as he looked at the
dials registering the pressure of the gas, and showing the height
of the airship above the earth.
"Going how?" gasped Tom, as he looked over from where he was
working at the equilibrium apparatus. "Going down?"
"Going up!" shouted Ned. "I guess we'll be all right soon!"
It was true. Now that the bag was filled with the powerful
lifting gas, under pressure, the Flyer was beginning to get out
of the dangerous predicament into which the gale had blown her,
Up and up she went, and every foot she climbed the power of the
wind became less.
"Maybe it all happened for the best," said Tom, as he noted the
height gage. "If we had gone down, the wind might have been worse
nearer the earth."
Later they learned that this was so. The most destructive wind
storm ever known swept across the southern part of Europe, over
which they were flying that night, and, had the airship gone
down, she would probably have been destroyed. But, going up, she
got above the wind-strata. Up and up she climbed, until, when
three miles above the earth, she was in a calm zone. It was
rather hard to breathe at this height, and Tom set the oxygen
apparatus at work.
This created in the interior of the craft an atmosphere almost
like that on the earth, and the travelers were made more at their
ease. Getting out of the terrible wind pressure made it possible
to work the deflecting rudder, though Tom had no idea of going
down, as long as the blow lasted.
"We'll just sail along at this height until morning," he said,
"and by then the gale may be over, or we may be beyond the zone
of it. Start the propellers, Ned. I think I can manage to repair
the equilibrium rudder now."
The propellers, which gave the forward motion to the airship,
had been stopped when it was found that the wind was carrying her
along, but they were now put in motion again, sending the Flyer
forward. In a short time Tom had the equilibrium machine in
order, and matters were now normal again.
"But that was a strenuous time while it lasted," remarked the
young inventor, as he sat down.
"It sure was," agreed Ned.
"Bless my pen wiper!" cried Mr. Damon. "That was one of the few
times when I wish I'd never come with you, Tom Swift," and
everyone laughed at that.
The Flyer was now out of danger, going along high in the air
through the night, while the gale raged below her. At Tom's
suggestion, Koku got a lunch ready, for they were all tired with
their labors, and somewhat nervous from the danger and
"And now for sleep!" exclaimed Tom, as he pushed back his
plate. "Ned, set the automatic steering gear, and we'll see where
we bring up by morning."
An examination, through a powerful telescope in the bright
light of morning, showed the travelers that they were over the
outskirts of a large city, which, later, they learned was Rome,
"We've made a good trip," said Tom. "The gale had us worried,
but it sent us along at a lively clip. Now for Switzerland, and
They made a landing at a village just outside the "Holy City,"
as Rome is often called, and renewed their supply of gasolene.
Naturally they attracted a crowd of curious persons, many of whom
had never seen an airship before. Certainly few of them had ever
seen one like Tom Swift's.
The next day found them hovering over the Alps, where Tom hoped
to be able to get the pictures of snow slides. They went down to
earth at a town near one of the big mountain ranges, and there
made inquiries as to where would be the best location to look for
big avalanches. If they went but a few miles to the north, they
were told, they would be in the desired region, and they departed
for that vicinity.
"And now we've just got to take our time, and wait for an
avalanche to happen," remarked Tom, as they were flying along
over the mountain ranges. "As Mr. Damon said, these things aren't
made to order. They just happen."
For three days they sailed in and out over the great
snow-covered peaks of the Alps. They did not go high up, for they
wanted to be near earth when an avalanche would occur, so that
near-view pictures could be secured. Occasionally they saw
parties of mountain climbers ascending some celebrated peak, and
for want of something better to photograph, Tom "snapped" the
"Well, I guess they're all out of avalanches this season,"
remarked Ned one afternoon, when they had circled back and forth
over a mountain where, so it was said, the big snow slides were
"It does seem so," agreed Tom. "Still, we're in no hurry. It is
easier to be up here, than it is walking around in a jungle, not
knowing what minute a tiger may jump out at you."
"Bless my rubbers, yes!" agreed Mr. Damon.
The sky was covered with lowering clouds, and there were
occasionally flurries of snow. Tom's airship was well above the
snow line on the mountains. The young inventor and Ned sat in the
pilot house, taking observations through a spyglass of the
mountain chain below them.
Suddenly Ned, who had the glass focused on a mighty peak, cried
"There she is, Tom!"
"The avalanche! The snow is beginning to slide down the
mountain! Say, it's going to be a big one, too. Got your camera
"Sure! I've had it ready for the last three days. Put me over
there, Ned. You look after the airship, and I'll take the
Tom sprang to get his apparatus, while his chum hurried to the
levers, wheels and handles that controlled the Flyer. As they
approached the avalanche they could see the great mass of ice,
snow, big stones, and earth sliding down the mountain side,
carrying tall trees with it.
"This is just what I wanted!" cried Tom, as he set his camera
working. "Put me closer, Ned."
Ned obeyed, and the airship was now hovering directly over the
avalanche, and right in its path. The big landslide, as it would
have been called in this country, met no village in its path,
fortunately, or it would have wiped it out completely. It was in
a wild and desolate region that it occurred.
"I want to get a real close view!" cried Tom, as he got some
pictures showing a whole grove of giant trees uprooted and
carried off. "Get closer Ned, and--"
Tom was interrupted by a cry of alarm from his chum.
"We're falling!" yelled Ned. "Something has gone wrong. We're
going down into the avalanche!".
CHAPTER XVI - TELEGRAPH ORDERS
There was confusion aboard the airship. Tom, hearing Ned's cry,
left his camera, to rush to the engine room, but not before he
had set the picture apparatus to working automatically. Mr.
Damon, Mr. Nestor and Koku, alarmed by Ned's cries, ran back from
the forward part of the craft, where they had been watching the
mighty mass of ice and earth as it rushed down the side of the
"What's wrong, Ned?" cried Tom excitedly.
"I don't know! The propellers have stopped! We were running as
an aeroplane you know. Now we're going down!"
"Bless my suspenders!" shouted Mr. Damon. "If we land in the
midst of that conglomeration of ice it will be the end of us."
"But we're not going to land there!" cried Tom.
How are you going to stop it?" demanded Mr. Nestor.
"By the gas machine!" answered Tom. "That will stop us from
falling. Start it up, Ned!"
"That's right! I always forget about that! I'll have it going
in a second!"
"Less than a second," called Tom, as he saw how near to the
mighty, rushing avalanche they were coming.
Ned worked rapidly, and in a very short time the downward
course of the airship was checked. It floated easily above the
rushing flood of ice and earth, and Tom, seeing that his craft,
and those on it, were safe, hurried back to his camera. Meanwhile
the machine had automatically been taking pictures, but now with
the young inventor to manage it, better results would be
Tom aimed it here and there, at the most spectacular parts of
the avalanche. The others gathered around him, after Ned had made
an inspection, and found that a broken electrical wire had caused
the propellers to stop. This was soon repaired and then, as they
were hanging in the air like a balloon, Tom took picture after
picture of the wonderful sight below them. Forest after forest
"This will be a great film!" Tom shouted to Ned, as the latter
informed him that the machinery was all right again. "Send me up
a little. I want to get a view from the top, looking down."
His chum made the necessary adjustments to the mechanism and
then, there being nothing more to slide down the mountainside the
avalanche was ended. But what a mass of wreck and ruin there was!
It was as if a mighty earthquake had torn the mountain asunder.
"It's a good thing it wasn't on a side of the mountain where
people lived," commented Ned, as the airship rose high toward the
clouds. "If it had been, there'd be nothing left of 'em. What
hair-raising stunt are you going to try next, Tom?"
"I don't know. I expect to hear from Mr. Period soon.
"Hear from Mr. Period?" exclaimed Mr. Nestor. "How are you
going to do that, Tom?"
"He said he would telegraph me at Berne, Switzerland, at a
certain date, as he knew I was coming to the Alps to try for some
avalanche pictures. It's two or three days yet, before I can
expect the telegram, which of course will have to come part way
by cable. In the meanwhile, I think we'll take a little rest, and
a vacation. I want to give the airship an overhauling, and look
to my camera. There's no telling what Mr. Period may want next."
"Then he didn't make out your programme completely before you
started?" asked Mr. Nestor.
"No, he said he'd communicate with me from time to time. He is
in touch with what is going on in the world, you know, and if he
hears of anything exciting at any place, I'm to go there at once.
You see he wants the most sensational films he can get."
"Yes, our company is out to give the best pictures we can
secure," spoke Mary's father, "and I think we are lucky to have
Tom Swift working for us. We already have films that no other
concern can get. And we need them."
"I wonder what became of those men who started to make so much
trouble for you, Tom?" asked Mr. Damon.
"Well, they seem to have disappeared," replied our hero. "Of
course they may be after me any day now, but for the time being,
I've thrown them off my track."
"So then you don't know where you're going next?" asked Ned.
"No, it may be to Japan, or to the North Pole. Well, I'm ready
for anything. We've got plenty of gasolene, and the Flyer can
certainly go," said Tom.
They went down to earth in a quiet spot, just outside of a
little village, and there they remained three days, to the no
small wonder of the inhabitants. Tom wanted to see if his camera
was working properly. So he developed some of the avalanche
pictures, and found them excellent. The rest of the time was
spent in making some needed repairs to the airship, while the
young inventor overhauled his Wizard machine, that he found
needed a few adjustments.
Their arrival in Berne created quite a sensation, but they were
used to that. Tom anchored his airship just outside the city,
and, accompanied by Ned, made his way to the telegraph office.
Some of the officials there could speak English, though not very
"I am expecting a message," said Tom.
"Yes? Who for?" asked the clerk.
"Tom Swift. It will be from America."
As Tom said this he observed a man sitting in the corner of the
office get up hurriedly and go out. All at once his suspicions
were aroused. He thought of the attempts that had been made to
get his Wizard Camera away from him.
"Who was that man?" he quickly asked the agent.
"Him? Oh, he, too, is expecting a message from America. He has
been here some time."
"Why did he go out so quickly?" Ned wanted to know.
"Why, I can not tell. He is an Englishman. They do strange
"My telegram? Is it here?" asked Tom impatiently. He wanted to
get whatever word there was from Mr. Period, and be on his way to
whatever destination the picture man might select. Perhaps, after
all, his suspicions, against the man who had so suddenly left,
"Yes, there is a cablegram here for you, Monsieur Swift," said
the man, who was French. "There are charges on it, however."
"Pay 'em, Ned, while I see what this is," directed the young
inventor, as he tore open the envelope.
"Whew!" he whistled a moment later. "This is going some."
"Where to now?" asked Ned. "The North Pole?"
"No, just the opposite. Mr. Period wants me to go to Africa--
the Congo Free State. There's an uprising among the natives
there, and he wants some war pictures. Well, I guess I'll have to
As Tom spoke he looked toward the door of the telegraph office,
and he saw the man, who had so hurriedly gone out a few moments
before, looking in at him.
CHAPTER XVII - SUSPICIOUS STRANGERS
"Off to Africa; eh?" remarked Ned, as Tom put the envelope in
his pocket. "That's another long jump. But I guess the Flyer can
"Yes, I think so. I say Ned, not so loud," said Tom, who had
hurried to the side of his chum, whispered the last words.
"What's up?" inquired Ned quickly. "Anything wrong?"
"I don't know. But I think we are being watched. Did you notice
that fellow who was in here a minute ago, when I asked for a
"Yes, what about him?"
"Well, he's looking in the door now I think. Don't turn round.
Just look up into that mirror on the wall, and you can see his
"I understand," whispered Ned, as he turned his gaze toward the
mirror in question, a large one, with advertisements around the
frame. "I see him," he went on. "There's some one with him."
"That's what I thought," replied Tom. "Take a good look. Whom
do you think the other chap is?"
Ned looked long and earnestly. By means of the mirror, he could
see, perfectly plain, two men standing just outside the door of
the telegraph office. The portal was only partly open. Ned drew
an old letter from his pocket, and pretended to be showing it to
Tom. But, all the while he was gazing earnestly at the two men.
Suddenly one of them moved, giving Tom's chum a better view of
"By Jove, Tom!" the lad exclaimed in a tense whisper. "If it
isn't that Eckert fellow I'm a cow."
"That's what I thought," spoke Tom coolly. "Not that you're a
cow, Ned, but I believe that this man is one of the moving
picture partners, who are rivals of Mr. Period. I wasn't quite
sure myself after the first glance I had of him, so I wanted you
to take a look. Do you know the other chap--the one who ran out
when I asked for my telegram?"
"No, I've never seen him before as far as I know."
"Same here. Come on."
"What are you going to do?"
"Go back to the airship, and tell Mr. Nestor. As one of the
directors in the concern I'm working for. I want his advice."
"Good idea," replied Ned, and they turned to leave the office.
The spying stranger, and William Eckert, were not in sight when
the two lads came out.
"They got away mighty quick," remarked Tom, as he looked up and
down the street.
"Yes, they probably saw us turn to come out, and made a quick
get-away. They might be in any one of these places along here,"
for the street, on either side of the telegraph office, contained
a number of hotels, with doors opening on the sidewalk.
"They must be on your trail yet," decided Mr. Nestor when Tom,
reaching the anchored airship, told what had happened. "Well, my
advice is to go to Africa as soon as we can. In that way we'll
leave them behind, and they won't have any chance to get your
"But what I can't understand," said Tom, "is how they knew I
was coming here. It was just as if that one man had been waiting
in the telegraph office for me to appear. I'm sorry, now, that I
mentioned to Ned where we were ordered to. But I didn't think."
"They probably knew, anyway," was Mr. Nestor's opinion. "I
think this may explain it. The rival concern in New York has been
keeping track of Mr. Period's movements. Probably they have a
paid spy who may be in his employ. They knew when he sent you a
telegram, what it contained, and where it was directed to. Then,
of course, they knew you would call here for it. What they did
not know was when you would come, and so they had to wait. That
one spy was on guard, and, as soon as you came, he went and
summoned Eckert, who was waiting somewhere in the neighborhood."
"Bless my detective story!" cried Mr. Damon. "What a state of
affairs! They ought to be arrested, Tom."
"It would be useless," said Mr. Nestor. "They are probably far
enough away by this time. Or else they have put others on Tom's
"I'll fight my own battles!" exclaimed the young inventor. "I
don't go much on the police in a case like this, especially foreign
police. Well, my camera is all right, so far," he went on, as he
took a look at it, in the compartment where he kept it. "Some one
must always remain near it, after this. But we'll soon start for
Africa, to get some pictures of a native battle. I hope it isn't
the red pygmies we have to photograph."
"Bless my shoe laces! Don't suggest such a thing," begged Mr.
Damon, as he recalled the strenuous times when the dwarfs held
the missionaries captive.
It was necessary to lay in some stores and provisions, and for
this reason Tom could not at once head the airship for the
African jungles. As she remained at anchor, just outside the
city, crowds of Swiss people came out to look at the wonderful
craft. But Tom and his companions took care that no one got
aboard, and they kept a strict lookout for Americans, or
Englishmen, thinking perhaps that Mr. Eckert, or the spy, might
try to get the camera. However, they did not see them, and a few
days after the receipt of the message from Mr. Period, having
stocked up, they rose high into the air, and set out to cross the
Mediterranean Sea for Africa. Tom laid a route over Tripoli, the
Sahara Desert, the French Congo, and so into the Congo Free
State. In his telegram, Mr. Period had said that the expected
uprising was to take place near Stanley Falls, on the Congo
"And supposing it does not happen?" asked Mr. Damon. "What if
the natives don't fight, Tom? You'll have your trip for nothing,
and Will run a lot of risk besides."
"It's one of the chances I'm taking," replied the young
inventor, and truly, as he thought of it, he realized that the
perils of the moving picture business were greater than he had
imagined. Tom hoped to get a quick trip to the Congo, but, as
they were sailing over the big desert, there was an accident to
the main motor, and the airship suddenly began shooting toward
the sands. She was easily brought up, by means of the gas bags,
and allowed to settle gently to the ground, in the vicinity of a
large oasis. But, when Tom looked at the broken machinery, he
"This means a week's delay. It will take that, and longer, to
fix it so we can go on."
"Too bad!" exclaimed Mr. Nestor. "The war may be over when we
get there. But it can't be helped."
It took Tom and his friends even longer than he had thought to
make the repairs. In the meanwhile they camped in the desert
place, which was far from being unpleasant. Occasionally a
caravan halted there, but, for the most part, they were alone.
"No danger of Eckert, or any of his spies coming here, I
guess," said Tom grimly as he blew on a portable forge, to weld
two pieces of iron together.
In due time they were again on the wing, and without further
incident they were soon in the vicinity of Stanley Falls. They
managed to locate a village where there were some American
missionaries established. They were friends of Mr. and Mrs.
Illington, the missionaries whom Tom had saved from the red
pygmies, as told in the "Electric Rifle" volume of this series,
and they made our hero and his friends welcome.
"Is it true?" asked Tom, of the missionaries who lived not far
from Stanley Falls, "that there is to be a native battle? Or are
we too late for it?"
"I am sorry to say, I fear there will be fighting among the
tribesmen," replied Mr. Janeway, one of the Christian workers.
"It has not yet taken place, though."
"Then I'm not too late!" cried Tom, and there was exultation in
his voice. "I don't mean to be barbarous," he went on, as he saw
that the missionaries looked shocked, "but as long as they are
going to fight I want to get the pictures."
"Oh, they'll fight all right," spoke Mrs. Janeway. "The poor,
ignorant natives here are always ready to fight. This time I
think it is about some cattle that one tribe took from another."
"And where will the battle take place?" asked Tom.
"Well, the rumors we have, seem to indicate that the fight will
take place about ten miles north of here. We will have notice of
it before it starts, as some of the natives, whom we have
succeeded in converting, belong to the tribe that is to be
attacked. They will be summoned to the defense of their town and
then it will be time enough for you to go. Oh, war is a terrible
thing! I do not like to talk about it. Tell me how you rescued
our friends from the red pygmies," and Tom was obliged to relate
that story, which I have told in detail elsewhere.
Several days passed, and Tom and his friends spent a pleasant
time in the African village with the missionaries. The airship
and camera were in readiness for instant use, and during this
period of idleness our hero got several fine films of animal
scenes, including a number of night-fights among the beasts at
the drinking pools. One tiger battle was especially good, from a
One afternoon, a number of native bearers came into the town.
They preceded two white men, who were evidently sportsmen, or
explorers, and the latter had a well equipped caravan. The
strangers sought the advice of the missionaries about where big
game might be found, and Tom happened to be at the cottage of Mr.
Janeway when the strangers arrived.
The young inventor looked at them critically, as he was
introduced to them. Both men spoke with an English accent, one
introducing himself as Bruce Montgomery, and the other as Wade
Kenneth. Tom decided that they were of the ordinary type of
globe-trotting Britishers, until, on his way to his airship, he
passed the place where the native bearers had set down the
luggage of the Englishmen.
"Whew!" whistled Tom, as he caught sight of a peculiarly shaped
box. "See that, Ned?"
"Yes, what is it? A new kind of magazine gun?"
"It's a moving picture camera, or I lose my guess!" whispered
Tom. "One of the old fashioned kind. Those men are no more
tourists, or after big game, than I am! They're moving picture
men, and they're here to get views of that native battle! Ned,
we've got to be on our guard. They may be in the pay of that
Turbot and Eckert firm, and they may try to do us some harm!"
"That's so!" exclaimed Ned. "We'll keep watch of them, Tom."
As they neared their airship, there came, running down what
served as the main village street, an African who showed evidence
of having come from afar. As he ran on, he called out something
in a strange tongue. Instantly from their huts the other natives
"What's up now?" cried Ned.
"Something important, I'll wager," replied Tom. "Ned, you go
back to the missionaries house, and find out what it is. I'm
going to stand guard over my camera."
"It's come!" cried Ned a little later, as he hurried into the
interior of the airship, where Tom was busy working over a new
attachment he intended putting on his picture machine.
"War! That native, whom we saw running in, brought news that
the battle would take place day after to-morrow. The enemies of
his tribe are on the march, so the African spies say, and he came
to summon all the warriors from this town. We've got to get
"That's so. What about those Englishmen?"
"They were talking to the missionaries when the runner came in.
They pretended to have no interest in it, but I saw one wink to
the other, and then, very soon, they went out, and I saw them
talking to their native bearers, while they were busy over that
box you said was a picture machine."
"I knew it, Ned! I was sure of it! Those fellows came here to
trick us, though how they ever followed our trail I don't know.
Probably they came by a fast steamer to the West Coast, and
struck inland, while we were delayed on the desert. I don't care
if they are only straight out-and-out rivals--and not chaps that
are trying to take an unfair advantage. I suppose all the big
picture concerns have a tip about this war, and they may have
representatives here. I hope we get the best views. Now come on,
and give me a hand. We've got our work cut out for us, all
"Bless my red cross bandage!" cried Mr. Damon, when he heard
the news. "A native fight, eh? That will be something I haven't
seen in some time. Will there be any danger, Tom, do you think?"
"Not unless our airship tumbles down between the two African
forces," replied our hero, "and I'll take care that it doesn't do
that. "We'll be well out of reach of any of their blow guns, or
"But I understand that many of the tribes have powder weapons,"
said Mr. Nestor.
"They have," admitted Tom, "but they are 'trader's' rifles, and
don't carry far. We won't run any risk from such old-fashioned
"A big fight; eh?" asked Koku when they told him what was
before them. "Me like to help."
"Yes, and I guess both sides would give a premium for your
services," remarked Tom, as he gazed at his big servant. "But
we'll need you with us, Koku."
"Oh, me stay with you, Mr. Tom," exclaimed the big man, with a
Somewhat to Tom's surprise the two Englishmen showed no further
interest in him and his airship, after the introduction at the
With the stolidity of their race the Britishers did not show
any surprise, as, some time afterward, they strolled down toward
Tom's big craft, after supper, and looked it over. Soon they went
back to their own camp, and a little later, Koku, who walked
toward it, brought word that the Englishmen were packing up.
"They're going to start for the seat of war the first thing in
the morning," decided Tom. "Well, we'll get ahead of them. Though
we can travel faster than they can, we'll start now, and be on
the ground in good season. Besides, I don't like staying all
night in the same neighborhood with them. Get ready for a start,
Tom did not stop to say good-bye to the Englishmen, though he
bade farewell to the missionaries, who had been so kind to him.
There was much excitement in the native town, for many of the
tribesmen were getting ready to depart to help their friends or
relatives in the impending battle.
As dusk was falling, the big airship arose, and soon her
powerful propellers were sending her across the jungle, toward
Stanley Falls in the vicinity of which the battle was expected to
CHAPTER XVIII - THE NATIVE BATTLE
"By Jove, Tom, here they come!"
"From over by that drinking pool?"
"Yes, just as the spies said they would. Wow, what a crowd of
the black beggars there are! And some of 'em have regular guns,
too. But most of 'em have clubs, bows and arrows, blow guns, or
Tom and Ned were standing on the forward part of the airship,
which was moving slowly along, over an open plateau, in the
jungle where the native battle was about to take place. Our
friends had left the town where the missionaries lived, and had
hovered over the jungle, until they saw signs of the coming
struggle. They had seen nothing of their English rivals since
coming away, but had no doubt but that the Britishers were
somewhere in the neighborhood.
The two forces of black men, who had gone to war over a dispute
about some cattle, approached each other. There was the beating
of tom-toms, and skin drums, and many weird shouts. From their
vantage point in the air, Tom and his companions had an excellent
view. The Wizard Camera was loaded with a long reel of film, and
ready for action.
"Bless my handkerchief!" cried Mr. Damon, as he looked down on
the forces that were about to clash. "I never saw anything like
"I either," admitted Tom. "But, if things go right, I'm going
to get some dandy films!"
Nearer and nearer the rival forces advanced. At first they had
stared, and shouted in wonder at the sight of the airship,
hovering above them, but their anger soon drew their attention to
the fighting at hand, and, after useless gestures toward the
craft of the air, and after some of them had vainly fired their
guns or arrows at it, they paid no more attention, but rushed on
with their shouts and cries and amid the beating of their rude
"I think I'll begin to take pictures now," said Tom, as Ned, in
charge of the ship, sent it about in a circle, giving a general
view of the rival forces. "I'll show a scene of the two crowds
getting ready for business, and, later on, when they're actually
giving each other cats and dogs, I'll get all the pictures
The camera was started while, safe in the a those on the Flyer
watched what went on below them.
Suddenly the forward squads of the two small armies of blacks
met. With wild, weird yells they rushed at each other. The air
was filled with flying arrows and spears. The sound of the old-
fashioned muzzle-loading guns could he heard, and clouds of smoke
arose. Tilting his camera, and arranging the newly attached
reflecting mirrors so as to give the effect as if a spectator was
looking at the battle from in front, instead of from above, Tom
Swift took picture after picture.
The fight was now on. With yells of rage and defiance the
Africans came together, giving blow for blow. It was a wild
melee, and those on the airship looked on fascinated, though
greatly wishing that such horrors could be stopped.
"How about it, Tom?" cried Ned.
"Everything going good! I don't like this business, but now I'm
in it I'm going to stick. Put me down a little lower," answered
the young inventor.
"All right. I say Tom, look over there."
"By that lightning-struck gum tree. See those two men, and some
sort of a machine they've got stuck up on stilts? See it?"
"Sure. Those are the two Englishmen--my rivals! They're taking
And then, with a crash and roar, with wild shouts and yells,
with volley after volley of firearms, clouds of smoke and flights
of arrows and spears, the native battle was in full swing, while
the young inventor, sailing above it in his airship, reeled off
view after view of the strange sight.
CHAPTER XIX - A HEAVY LOSS
"Bless my battle axe, but this is awful!" cried Mr. Damon.
"War is always a fearful thing," spoke Mr. Nestor. "But this is
not as bad as if the natives fought with modern weapons. See!
most of them are fighting with clubs, and their fists. They don't
seem to hurt each other very much."
"That's so," agreed Mr. Damon. The two gentlemen were in the
main cabin, looking down on the fight below them, while Tom, with
Ned to help him change the reels of films, as they became filled
with pictures, attended to the camera. Koku was steering the
craft, as he had readily learned how to manage it.
"Are those Englishmen taking pictures yet?" asked Tom, too busy
to turn his head, and look for himself.
"Yes, they're still at," replied Ned. "But they seem to be
having trouble with their machine," he added as he saw one of the
men leave the apparatus, and run hurriedly back to where they had
made a temporary camp.
"I guess it's an old-fashioned kind," commented Tom. "Say, this
is getting fierce!" he cried, as the natives got in closer
contact with each other. It was now a hand-to-hand battle.
"I should say so!" yelled Ned. "It's a wonder those Englishmen
aren't afraid to be down on the same level with the black
"Oh, a white person is considered almost sacred by the natives
here, so the missionaries told me," said Tom. "A black man would
never think of raising his hand to one, and the Englishmen
probably know this. They're safe enough. In fact I'm thinking of
soon going down myself, and getting some views from the ground."
"Bless my gizzard, Tom!" cried Mr. Damon. "Don't do it!"
"Yes, I think I will. Why, it's safe enough. Besides, if they
attack us we have the electric rifles. Ned, you tell Koku to get
the guns out, to have in readiness, and then you put the ship
down. I'll take a chance."
"Jove! You've been doing nothing but take chances since we came
on this trip!" exclaimed Ned, admiringly. "All right! Here we
go," and he went to relieve Koku at the wheel, while the giant,
grinning cheerfully at the prospect of taking part in the fight
himself, got out the rifles, including his own.
Meanwhile the native battle went on fiercely. Many on both
sides fell, and not a few ran away, when they got the chance,
their companions yelling at them, evidently trying to shame them
into coming back.
As the airship landed, Mr. Damon, Mr. Nestor, Ned and Koku
stood ready with the deadly electric rifles, in case an attack
should be made on them. But the fighting natives paid no more
attention to our friends than they did to the two Englishmen.
The latter moved their clumsy camera from place to place, in
order to get various views of the fighting.
"This is the best yet!" cried Tom, as, after a lull in the
fight, when the two opposing armies had drawn a little apart,
they came together again more desperately than before. "I hope
the pictures are being recorded all right. I have to go at this
thing pretty much in the dark. Say, look at the beggars fight!"
But a battle, even between uncivilized blacks, cannot go on for
very long at a time. Many had fallen, some being quite severely
injured it seemed, being carried off by their friends. Then, with
a sudden rush, the side which, as our friends learned later, had
been robbed of their cattle, made a fierce attack, overwhelming
their enemies, and compelling them to retreat. Across the open
plain the vanquished army fled, with the others after them. Tom,
meanwhile, taking pictures as fast as he could.
"This ends it!" he remarked to Ned, when the warriors were too
far away to make any more good views. "Now we can take a rest."
"The Englishmen gave up some time ago," said his chum,
motioning to the two men who were taking their machine off the
"Guess their films gave out," spoke Tom. "Well, you see it
didn't do any harm to come down, and I got some better views
"Here they come back!" exclaimed Ned, as a horde of the black
fellows emerged f row the jungle, and came on over the plain.
"Hear 'em sing!" commented Tom, as the sound of a rude chant
came to their ears. "They must be the winners all right."
"I guess so," agreed Ned. "But what about staying here now?
Maybe they won't be so friendly to us when they haven't any
fighting to occupy their minds."
"Don't worry," advised Tom. "They won't bother us."
And the blacks did not. They were caring for their wounded, who
had not already been taken from the field, and they paid no
attention to our friends, save to look curiously at the airship.
"Bless my newspaper!" cried Mr. Damon, with an air of relief.
"I'm glad that's over, and we didn't have to use the electric
rifles, after all."
"Here come the Englishmen to pay us a visit," spoke Ned a
little later, as they sat about the cabin of the Flyer. The two
rival picture men soon climbed on deck.
"Beg pardon," said the taller of the two, addressing our hero,
"but could you lend us a roll of film? Ours are all used up, and
we want to get some more pictures before going back to our main
"I'm sorry," replied Tom, "but I use a special size, and it
fits no camera but my own."
"Ah! might we see your camera?" asked the other Englishman.
"That is, see how it works?"
"I don't like to be disobliging," was Tom's answer, "but it is
not yet patented and--well--" he hesitated.
"Oh, I see!" sneered the taller visitor. "You're afraid we
might steal some of your ideas. Hum!" Come on Montgomery," and,
swinging on his heels, with a military air, he hurried away,
followed by his companion.
"They don't like that, but I can't help it," remarked Tom to
his friends a little later. "I can't afford to take any chances."
"No, you did just right," said Mr. Nestor. "Those men may be
all right, but from the fact that they are in the picture taking
business I'd be suspicious of them."
"Well, what's next on the programme?" asked Ned as Tom put his
"Oh, I think we'll stay here over night," was our hero's reply.
"It's a nice location, and the gas machine needs cleaning. We can
do it here, and maybe I can get some more pictures."
They were busy the rest of the day on the gas generator, but
the main body of natives did not come back, and the Englishmen
seemed to have disappeared.
Everyone slept soundly that night. So soundly, in fact, that
the sun was very high when Koku was the first to awaken, His head
felt strangely dizzy, and he wondered at a queer smell in the
room he had to himself.
"Nobody up yet," he exclaimed in surprise, as he staggered into
the main cabin. There, too, was the strange, sweetish, sickly
smell. "Mr. Tom, where you be? Time to get up!" the giant called
to his master, as he went in, and gently shook the young inventor
by the shoulder.
"Eh? What's that? What's the matter?" began Tom, and then he
suddenly sat up. "Oh, my head!" he exclaimed, putting his hands
to his aching temples.
"And that queer smell!" added Ned, who was also awake now.
"Bless my talcum powder!" cried Mr. Damon. "I have a splitting
"Hum! Chloroform, if I'm any judge!" called Mr. Nestor from his
"Chloroform!" cried Tom, staggering to his feet. "I wonder" He
did not finish his sentence, but made his way to the room where
his camera was kept. "It's gone!" he cried. "We have been
chloroformed in the night, and some one has taken my Wizard
CHAPTER XX - AFTER THE ENGLISHMEN
"The camera gone!" gasped Ned.
"Did they chloroform us?" exclaimed Mr. Damon. "Bless my--" but
for one of the few times in his life, he did not know what to
"Get all the fresh air you can," hastily advised Mr. Nestor.
"Koku, open all the doors and windows," for, though it was hot
during the day in the jungle, the nights were cool, and the
airship was generally closed up. With the inrush of the fresh air
every one soon felt better.
"Is anything else gone?" asked Ned, as he followed Tom into the
"Yes, several rolls of unexposed films. Oh, if only they
haven't got too much of a start! I'll get it away from them!"
declared Tom with energy.
"From who? Who took it?" asked Ned.
"Those Englishmen, of course! Who else? I believe they are in
the pay of Turbot and Eckert. Their taking pictures was only a
bluff! They got on my trail and stuck to it. The delays we had,
gave them a chance to catch up to us. They came over to the
airship, to pretend to borrow films, just to get a look at the
place, and size it up, so they could chloroform us, and get the
"I believe you're right," declared Mr. Nestor. "We must get
after those scoundrels as quickly as possible!"
"Bless my shoulder braces!" cried Mr. Damon. "How do you
imagine they worked that trick on us?"
"Easily enough," was Mr. Nestor's opinion. "We were all dead
tired last night, and slept like tops. They watched their chance,
sneaked up, and got in. After that it was no hard matter to
chloroform each one of us in turn, and they had the ship to
themselves. They looked around, found the camera, and made off
"Well, I'm going to get right after them!" cried Tom. "Ned,
start the motor. I'll steer for a while."
"Hold on! Wait a minute," suggested Mr. Nestor. "I wouldn't go
off in the ship just yet,~ Tom."
"Because you don't know which way to go. We must find out which
trail the Englishmen took. They have African porters with them,
and those porters doubtless know some of the blacks around here.
We must inquire of the natives which way the porters went, in
carrying the goods of our rivals, for those Englishmen would not
abandon camp without taking their baggage with them."
"That's so," admitted the young inventor. "That will be the
best plan. Once I find which way they have gone I can easily
overtake them in the airship. And when I find 'em--" Tom paused
"Me help you fix 'em!" cried Koku, clenching his big fist.
"They will probably figure it out that you will take after
them," said Mr. Nestor, "but they may not count on you doing it
in the Flyer, and so they may not try to hide. It isn't going to
be an easy matter to pick a small party out of the jungle though,
"Well, I've done more difficult things in my airships," spoke
our hero. "I'll fly low, and use the glass. I guess we can pick
out their crowd of porters, though they won't have many. Oh, my
camera! I hope they won't damage it."
"They won't," was Ned's opinion. "It's too valuable. They want
it to take pictures with, themselves."
"Maybe. I hope they don't open it, and see how it's made. And
I'm glad I thought to hide the picture films I've taken so far.
They didn't get those away from us, only some of the blank.
ones," and Tom looked again in a secret closet. where he kept the
battle-films, and the others, in the dark, to prevent them from
being light-struck, by any possible chance.
"Well, if we're going to make some inquiries, let's do it,"
suggested Mr. Nestor. "I think I see some of the Africans over
there. They have made a temporary camp, it seems, to attend to
some of their wounded."
"Do you think we can make them understand what we want?" asked
Ned. "I don't believe they speak English."
"Oh these blacks have been trading with white men," said Tom,
"for they have 'trader's' guns, built to look at, and not to
shoot very well. I fancy we can make ourselves understood. If
not, we can use signs."
Leaving Koku and Mr. Damon to guard the airship, Tom, Ned and
Mr. Nestor went to the African camp. There was a large party of
men there, and they seemed friendly enough. Probably winning the
battle the day before had put them in good humor, even though
many of them were hurt.
To Tom's delight he found one native who could speak a little
English, and of him they made inquiries as to what direction the
Englishmen had taken. The black talked for a while among his
fellows, and then reported to our friends that, late in the
night, one of the porters, hired by Montgomery and Kenneth, had
come to camp to bid a brother good-bye. This porter had said that
his masters were in a hurry to get away, and had started west.
"That's it!" cried Mr. Nestor. "They're going to get somewhere
so they can make their way to the coast. They want to get out of
Africa as fast as they can."
"And I'm going to get after 'em as fast as I can!" cried Tom
grimly. "Come on!"
They hurried back to the airship, finding Koku and Mr. Damon
peacefully engaged in talk, no one having disturbed them.
"Start the motor, Ned!" called his chum. "We'll see what luck
Up into the air went the Flyer, her great propellers revolving
rapidly. Over the jungle she shot, and then, when he found that
everything was working well, and that the cleaned gas generator
was operating as good as when it was new, the young inventor
slowed up, and brought the craft down to a lower level.
"For we don't want to run past these fellows, or shoot over
their heads in our hurry," Tom explained. "Ned, get out the
binoculars. They're easier to handle than the telescope. Then go
up forward, and keep a sharp lookout. There is something like a
jungle trail below us, and it looks to be the only one around
here. They probably took that." Soon after leaving the place
where they had camped after the battle, Tom had seen a rude path
through the forest, and had followed that lead.
On sped the Flyer, after the two Englishmen,
while Tom thought regretfully of his stolen
CHAPTER XXI - THE JUNGLE FIRE
"Well, Tom, I don't seem to see anything of them," remarked Ned
that afternoon, as he sat in the bow of the air craft, gazing
from time to time through the powerful glasses.
"No, and I can't understand it, either," responded the young
inventor, who had come for-ward to relieve his chum. "They didn't
have much the start of us, and they'll have to travel very
slowly. It isn't as if they could hop on a train; and, even if
they did, I could overtake them in a short time. But they have to
travel on foot through the jungle, and can't have gone far."
"'Maybe they have bullock carts," suggested
'~The trail isn't wide enough for that," declared Tom. "We've
come quite a distance now, even if we have been running at low
speed, and we haven't seen even a black man on the trail," and he
motioned to the rude path below them.
"They may have taken a boat and slipped down that river we
crossed a little while ago," suggested Ned.
"That's so!" cried Tom. "Why didn't I think of it? Say! I'm
going to turn back."
"Yes, and go up and down the stream a way. We have time, for we
can easily run at top speed on the return trip. Then, if we don't
see anything of them on the water, we'll pick up the trail again.
Put her around, Ned, and I'll take the glasses for a while."
The Flyer was soon shooting back over the same trail our
friends had covered, and, as Ned set the propellers going at top
speed, they were quickly hovering over a broad but shallow river,
which cut through the jungle.
"Try it down stream first," suggested Tom, who was peering
through the binoculars. "They'd be most likely to go down, as it
would be easier."
Along over the stream swept the airship, covering several
"There's a boat!" suddenly exclaimed Mr. Nestor, pointing to a
native canoe below them.
"Bless my paddle wheel! So it is!" cried Mr. Damon. "I believe
it's them, Tom!"
"No, there are only natives in that craft," answered the young
inventor a moment later, as he brought the binoculars into focus.
"I wish it was them, though."
A few more miles were covered down stream, and then Tom tried
the opposite direction. But all to no purpose. A number of boats
were seen, and several rafts, but they had no white men on them.
"Maybe the Englishmen disguised themselves like natives, Tom,"
Our hero shook his head.
"I could see everything in the boats, through these powerful
glasses," he replied, "and there was nothing like my camera. "I'd
know that a mile off. No, they didn't take to this stream, though
they probably crossed it. We'll have to keep on the way we were
going. It will soon be night, and we'll have to camp. Then we'll
take up the search to-morrow."
It was just getting dusk, and Tom was looking about for a good
place to land in the jungle, when Ned, who was standing in the
"I say, Tom, here's a native village just ahead. There's a good
place to stop, and we can stay there over night."
"Good!" exclaimed Tom. "And, what's more, we can make some
inquiries as to whether or not the Englishmen have passed here.
This is great! Maybe we'll come out all right, after all! They
can't travel at night--or at least I don't believe they will--and
if they have passed this village we can catch them to-morrow.
We'll go down."
They were now over the native town, which was in a natural
clearing in the jungle. The natives had by this time caught
sight of the big airship over them, and were running about in
terror. There was not a man, woman or child in sight when the
Flyer came down, for the inhabitants had all fled in fright.
"Not much of a chance to make inquiries of these folks," said
"Oh, they'll come back," predicted Tom. "They are naturally
curious, and when they see that the thing isn't going to blow up,
they'll gather around. I've seen the same thing happen before."
Tom proved a true prophet. In a little while some of the men
began straggling back, when they saw our friends walking about
the airship, as it rested on the ground. Then came the children,
and then the women, until the whole population was gathered about
the airship, staring at it wonderingly. Tom made signs of
friendship, and was lucky enough to find a native who knew a few
French words. Tom was not much of a French scholar, but he could
frame a question as to the Englishmen.
"Oui!" exclaimed the native, when he understood. Then he
rattled off something, which Tom, after having it repeated, and
making signs to the man to make sure he understood, said meant
that the Englishmen had passed through the village that morning.
"We're on the right trail!" cried the young inventor. "They're
only a day's travel ahead of us. We'll catch them to-morrow, and
get my camera back."
The natives soon lost all fear of the airship, and some of the
chief men even consented to come aboard. Tom gave them a few
trifles for presents, and won their friendship to such an extent
that a great feast was hastily gotten up in honor of the
travelers. Big fires were lighted, and fowls by the score were
"Say, I'm glad we struck this place!" exclaimed Ned, as he sat
on the ground with the others, eating roast fowl. "This is all to
the chicken salad!"
"Things are coming our way at last," remarked Tom. "We'll start
the first thing in the morning. I wish I had my camera now. I'd
take a picture of this scene. Dad would enjoy it, and so would
Mrs. Baggert. Oh, I almost wish I was home again. But if I get my
camera I've got a lot more work ahead of me."
"What kind?" asked Ned.
"I don't know. I'm to stop in Paris for the next instructions
from Mr. Period. He is keeping in touch with the big happenings
of the world, and he may send us to Japan, to get some earthquake
The night was quiet after the feast, and in the morning Tom and
his friends sailed off in their airship, leaving behind the
wondering and pleased natives, for our hero handed out more
presents, of small value to him, but yet such things as the
blacks prized highly.
Once more they were flying over the trail, and they put on more
speed now, for they were fairly sure that the men they sought
were ahead of them about a day's travel. This meant perhaps
twenty miles, and Tom figured that he could cover fifteen in a
hurry, and then go over the remaining five slowly, so as not to
miss his quarry.
"Say, don't you smell something?" asked Ned a little later,
when the airship had been slowed down. "Something like smoke?"
"Humph! I believe I do get an odor of something burning,"
admitted Tom, sniffing the atmosphere.
"Bless my pocket book!" exclaimed Mr. Damon, "look down there,
boys!" He pointed below, and, to the surprise of the lads, and no
less of himself, he saw many animals hurrying back along the
There were scores of deer, leaping along, here and there a
tawny lion, and one or two tigers. Off to one side a rhinoceros
crashed his way through the tangle, and occasionally an elephant
"That's queer," cried Ned. "And they're not paying any
attention to each other, either."
"Something is happening," was Mr. Nestor's opinion. "Those
animals are running away from something."
"Maybe it's an elephant drive," spoke Tom. "I think--"
But he did not finish. The smell of smoke suddenly became
stronger, and, a moment later, as the airship rose higher, in
response to a change in the angle of the deflecting rudder, which
Ned shifted, all on board saw a great volume of black smoke
rolling toward the sky.
"A jungle fire!" cried Tom. "The jungle is burning! That's why
the animals are running back this way."
"We'd better not go on!" shouted Ned, choking a bit, as the
smoke rolled nearer.
"No, we've got to turn back!" decided Tom. "Say, this will stop
the Englishmen! They can't go on. We'll go back to the village we
left, and wait for them. They're trapped!" And then he added
soberly: "I hope my camera doesn't get burnt up!"
CHAPTER XXII - A DANGEROUS COMMISSION
"Look at that smoke!" yelled Ned, as he sent the airship about
in a great circle on the backward trail.
"And there's plenty of blaze, too," added Tom. "See the flames
eating away! This stuff is as dry as tinder for there hasn't been
any rain for months."
"Much hot!" was the comment of the giant, when he felt the warm
wind of the fire.
"Bless my fountain pen!" gasped Mr. Damon, as he looked down
into the jungle. "See all those animals!"
The trail was now thick with deer, and many small beasts, the
names of which Tom did not know. On either side could be heard
larger brutes, crashing their way forward to escape the fire
"Oh, if you only had your camera now!" cried Ned. "You could
get a wonderful picture, Tom."
"What's the use of wishing for it. Those Englishmen have it,
"Maybe they're using it!" interrupted Ned. "No, I don't think
they would know how to work it. Do you see anything of them,
"Not a sight. But they'll surely have to come back, just as you
said, unless they got ahead of the fire. They can't go on, and it
would be madness to get off the trail in a jungle like this."
"I don't believe they could have gotten ahead of the fire,"
spoke Tom. "They couldn't travel fast enough for that, and see
how broad the blaze is."
They were now higher up, well out of the heat and smoke of the
conflagration, and they could see that it extended for many miles
along the trail, and for a mile or so on either side of it.
"We're far enough in advance, now, to go down a bit, I guess,"
said Tom, a little later. "I want to get a good view of the path,
and I can't do that from up here. I have an idea that--"
Tom did not finish, for as the airship approached nearer the
ground, he caught up a pair of binoculars, and focussed them on
something on the trail below.
"What is it?" cried Ned, startled by something in his chum's
"It's them! The Englishmen!" cried Tom. "See, they are racing
back along the trail. Their porters have deserted them. But they
have my camera! I can see it! I'm going down, and get it! Ned,
stand by the wheel, and make a quick landing. Then we'll go up
Tom handed the glasses to his chum, and Ned quickly verified
the young inventor's statement. There were the two rascally
Englishmen. The fire was still some distance in the rear, but was
coming on rapidly. There were no animals to be seen, for they had
probably gone off on a side trail, or had slunk deeper into the
jungle. Above the distant roar of the blaze sounded the throb of
the airship's motor. The Englishmen heard it, and looked up.
Then, suddenly, they motioned to Tom to descend.
"That's what I'm going to do," he said aloud, but of course
they could not hear him.
"They're waiting for us!" cried Ned. "I wonder why?" for the
rascals had come to a halt, setting down the packs they carried
on the trail. One of the things they had was undoubtedly Tom's
"They probably want us to save their lives," said Tom. "They
know they can't out-run this fire. They've given up! We have them
"Are you going to save them?" asked Mr. Damon.
"Of course. I wouldn't let my worst enemy run the chances of
danger in that terrible blaze. I'd save them even if they had
smashed my camera. I'll go down, and get them, and take them back
to the native village, but that's as far as I will carry them.
They'll have to get away as best they can, after that."
It was the work of but a few minutes to lower the airship to
the trail. Fortunately it widened a bit at this point, or Tom
could never have gotten his craft down through the trees.
"Hand up that camera!" ordered our hero curtly, when he had
stopped near the Englishmen.
"Yes, my dear chap," spoke the tall Britisher, "but will you
oblige us, by taking us--"
"Hand up the camera first!" sharply ordered Tom again.
They passed it to him.
"I know we treated you beastly mean," went on Kenneth, "but, my
"Get aboard," was all Tom said, and when the rascals, with
fearful glances back into the burning jungle, did so, our hero
sent his craft high into the air again.
"Where are you taking us, my dear chap?" asked the tall rascal.
"Don't 'dear chap' me!" retorted Tom. "I don't want to talk to
you. I'm going to drop you at the native village."
"But that will burn!" cried the Englishman.
"The wind is changing," was our hero's answer. "The fire won't
get to the village. You'll be safe. Have you damaged my camera?"
he asked as he began to examine it, while Ned managed the ship.
"No, my dear chap. You mustn't think too hard of us. We were
both down on our luck, and a chap offered us a big sum to get on
your trail, and secure the camera. He said you had filched it
from him, and that he had a right to it. Understand, we wouldn't
have taken it had we known--"
"Don't talk to me!" interrupted Tom, as he saw that his
apparatus had not been damaged. "The man who hired you was a
rascal--that's all I'll say. Put on a little more speed, Ned. I
want to get rid of these 'dear chaps' and take some pictures of
the jungle fire."
As Tom had said, the wind had changed, and was blowing the
flames away off to one side, so that the native village would be
in no danger. It was soon reached, and the Africans were
surprised to see Tom's airship back again. But he did not stay
long, descending only to let the Englishmen alight. They pleaded
to be taken to the coast, making all sorts of promises, and
stating that, had they known that Turbot and Eckert (for whom
they admitted they had acted) were not telling the truth, they
never would have taken Tom's camera.
"Don't leave us here!" they pleaded.
"I wouldn't have you on board my airship another minute for a
fortune!" declared Tom, as he signalled to Ned to start the
motor. Then the Flyer ascended on high, leaving the plotters and
started back for the fire, of which Tom got a series of fine
A week later our friends were in Paris, having made a quick
trip, on which little of incident occurred, though Tom managed to
get quite a number of good views on the way.
He found a message awaiting him, from Mr. Period.
"Well, where to now?" asked Ned, as his chum read the
"Great Scott!" cried our hero. "Talk about hair-raising jobs,
this certainly is the limit!"
"Why, what's the matter?"
"I've got to get some moving pictures of a volcano in action,"
was the answer. "Say, if I'd known what sort of things 'Spotty'
wanted, I'd never have consented to take this trip. A volcano in
action, and maybe an earthquake on the side! This is certainly
CHAPTER XXIII - AT THE VOLCANO
"And you've got to snap-shot a volcano?" remarked Ned to his
chum, after a moment of surprised silence. "Any particular one?
Is it Vesuvius? If it is we haven't far to go. But how does Mr.
Period know that it's going to get into action when we want it to?"
"No, it isn't Vesuvius," replied Tom. "We've got to take
another long trip, and we'll have to go by steamer again. The
message says that the Arequipa volcano, near the city of the same
name, in Peru, has started to 'erupt,' and, according to rumor,
it's acting as it did many years ago, just before a big
"Bless my Pumice stones!" cried Mr. Damon. "And are you
expected to get pictures of it shooting out flames and smoke,
"Of course. An inactive volcano wouldn't make much of a moving
picture. Well, if we go to Peru, we won't be far from the United
States, and we can fly back home in the airship. But we've got to
take the Flyer apart, and pack up again."
"Will you have time?" asked Mr. Nestor. "Maybe the volcano will
get into action before you arrive, and the performance will be
all over with."
"I think not," spoke Tom, as he again read the cablegram. "Mr.
Period says he has advices from Peru to the effect that, on other
occasions, it took about a month from the time smoke was first
seen coming from the crater, before the fireworks started up. I
guess we've got time enough, but we won't waste any."
"And I guess Montgomery and Kenneth won't be there to make
trouble for us," put in Ned. "It will be some time before they
get away from that African town, I think."
They began work that day on taking the airship apart for
transportation to the steamer that was to carry them across the
ocean. Tom decided on going to Panama, to get a series of
pictures on the work of digging that vast canal. On inquiry he
learned that a steamer was soon to sail for Colon, so he took
passage for his friends and himself on that, also arranging for
the carrying of the parts of his airship.
It was rather hard work to take the Flyer apart, but it was
finally done, and, in about a week from the time of arriving in
Paris, they left that beautiful city. The pictures already taken
were forwarded to Mr. Period, with a letter of explanation of
Tom's adventures thus far, and an account of how his rivals had
Just before sailing, Tom received another message from his
strange employer. The cablegram read:
"Understand our rivals are also going to try for volcano
pictures. Can't find out who will represent Turbot and Eckert,
but watch out. Be suspicious of strangers."
"That's what I will!" cried Tom. "If they get my camera away
from me again, it will be my own fault."
The voyage to Colon was not specially interesting. They ran
into a terrific storm, about half way over, and Tom took some
pictures from the steamer's bridge, the captain allowing him to
do so, but warning him to be careful.
"I'll take Koku up there with me," said the young inventor,
"and if a wave tries to wash me overboard he'll grab me."
And it was a good thing that he took this precaution, for,
while a wave did not get as high as the bridge, one big, green
roller smashed over the bow of the vessel, staggering her so that
Tom was tossed against the rail. He would have been seriously
hurt, and his camera might have been broken, but for the
quickness of the giant.
Koku caught his master, camera and all, in a mighty arm, and
with the other clung to a stanchion, holding Tom in safety until
the ship was on a level keel once more.
"Thanks, Koku!" gasped Tom. "You always seem to be around when
I need you." The giant grinned happily.
The storm blew out in a few days, and, from then on, there was
pleasant sailing. When Tom's airship had been reassembled at
Colon, it created quite a sensation among the small army of canal
workers, and, for their benefit, our hero gave several flying
He then took some of the engineers on a little trip, and in
turn, they did him the favor of letting him get moving pictures
of parts of the work not usually seen.
"And now for the volcano!" cried Tom one morning, when having
shipped to Mr. Period the canal pictures, the Flyer was sent
aloft, and her nose pointed toward Arequipa. "We've got quite a
run before us."
"How long?" asked Ned.
"About two thousand miles. But I'm going to speed her up to the
limit." Tom was as good as his word, and soon the Flyer was
shooting along at her best rate, reeling off mile after mile,
just below the clouds.
It was a wild and desolate region over which the travelers
found themselves most of the time, though the scenery was
magnificent. They sailed over Quito, that city on the equator,
and, a little later, they passed above the Cotopaxi and
Chimbarazo volcanoes. But neither of them was in action. The
Andes Mountains, as you all know, has many volcanoes scattered
along the range. Lima was the next large city, and there Tom made
a descent to inquire about the burning mountain he was shortly to
"It will soon be in action," the United States counsel said. "I
had a letter from a correspondent near there only yesterday, and
he said the people in the town were getting anxious. They are
fearing a shower of burning ashes, or that the eruption may be
accompanied by an earthquake."
"Good!" cried Tom. "Oh, I don't mean it exactly that way," he
hastened to add, as he saw the counsel looking queerly at him. "I
meant that I could get pictures of both earthquake and volcano
then. I don't wish the poor people any harm."
"Well, you're the first one I ever saw who was anxious to get
next door to a volcano," remarked the counsel. "Hold on, though,
that's not quite right. I heard yesterday that a couple of young
fellows passed through here on their way to the same place. Come
to think of it, they were moving picture men, also."
"Great Scott!" cried Tom. "Those must be my rivals, I'll wager.
I must get right on the job. Thanks for the information," and
hurrying front the office he joined his friends on the airship.
and was soon aloft again.
"Look, Tom, what's that?" cried Ned, about noon the next day
when the Flyer, according to their calculations must be nearing
the city of Arequipa. "See that black cloud over there. I hope
it isn't a tornado, or a cyclone, or whatever they call the big
wind storms down here."
Tom, and the others, looked to where Ned pointed. There was a
column of dense smoke hovering in the air, lazily swirling this
way and that. The airship was rapidly approaching it.
"Why that--" began Tom, but before he could complete the
sentence the smoke was blown violently upward. It became streaked
with fire, and, a moment later, there was the echo of a
"The volcano!" cried Tom. "The Arequipa volcano! We're here
just in time, for she's in eruption now! Come on, Ned, help me
get out the camera! Mr. Damon, you and Mr. Nestor manage the
airship! Put us as close as you dare! I'm going to get some
Once more came a great report.
"Bless my toothpick!" gasped Mr. Damon. "This is awful!" And
the airship rushed on toward the volcano which could be plainly
seen now, belching forth fire, smoke and ashes.
CHAPTER XXIV - THE MOLTEN RIVER
"Whew!" gasped Ned, as he stood beside Tom in the bow of the
airship. "What's that choking us, Tom?"
"Sulphur, I guess, and gases from the volcano. The wind blew
'em over this way. They're not dangerous, as long as there is no
carbonic acid gas given off, and I don't smell any of that, yet.
Say, Ned, it's erupting all right, isn't it?"
"I should say so!" cried his chum.
"Put us a little to one side, Mr. Damon," called Tom to his
friend, who was in the pilot house. "I can't get good pictures
through so much smoke. "It's clearer off to the left."
"Bless my bath robe!" cried the odd man. "You're as cool about
it, Tom, as though you were just in an ordinary race, at an
"And why shouldn't I be?" asked our hero with a laugh, as he
stopped the mechanism of the camera until he should have a
clearer view of the volcano. "There's not much danger up here,
but I want to get some views from the level, later, and then--"
"You don't get me down there!" interrupted Mr. Nestor, with a
They were now hovering over the volcano, but high enough up so
that none of the great stones that were being thrown out could
reach them. The column of black smoke, amid which could be seen
the gleams of the molten fires in the crater, rolled toward them,
and the smell of sulphur became stronger.
But when, in accordance with Tom's suggestion, the airship had
been sent over to one side, they were clear of the vapor and the
noxious gas. Then, too, a better view could be had of the volcano
"Hold her down!" cried Tom, as he got in a good position, and
the propellers were slowed down so that they just overcame the
influence of a slight wind. Thus the Flyer hovered in the air,
while below her the volcano belched forth red-hot rocks, some of
them immense in size, and quantities of hot ashes and cinders.
Tom had the camera going again now, and there was every prospect
of getting a startling and wonderful, as well as rare series of
"Wow! That was a big one!" cried Ned, as an unusually large
mass of rocks was thrown out, and the column of fire and smoke
ascended nearly to the hovering craft. A moment later came an
explosion, louder than any that had preceded. "We'd better be
going up; hadn't we Tom?" his chum asked.
"A little, yes, but not too far. I want to get as many near
views as I can."
"Bless my overshoes!" gasped Mr. Damon, as he heard Tom say
that. Then he sent some of the vapor from the generating machine
into the gas bag, and the Flyer arose slightly.
Ned looked in the direction of the town, but could not see it,
on account of the haze. Then he directed his attention to the
terrifying sight below him.
"It's a good thing it isn't very near the city," he said to
Tom, who was engaged in watching the automatic apparatus of the
camera, to see when he would have to put in a fresh film. "It
wouldn't take much of this sort of thing to destroy a big city.
But I don't see any streams of burning lava, such as they always
say come out of a volcano."
"It isn't time for that yet," replied Tom. "The lava comes out
last, after the top layer of stones and ashes have been blown
out. They are a sort of stopper to the volcano, I guess, like the
cork of a bottle, and, when they're out of the way, the red-hot
melted rock comes out. Then there's trouble. I want to get
pictures of that."
"Well, keep far enough away," advised Mr. Nestor, who had come
forward. "Don't take any chances. I guess your rivals won't get
here in time to take any pictures, for they can't travel as fast
as we did."
"No," agreed the young inventor, "unless some other party of
them were here ahead of us. They'll have their own troubles,
though, making pictures anything like as good as we're getting."
"There goes another blast!" cried Ned, as a terrific explosion
sounded, and a shower of hot stuff was thrown high into the air.
"If I lived in Arequipa I'd be moving out about now."
"There isn't much danger I guess, except from showers of
burning ashes, and volcanic dust," spoke Mr. Nestor, "and the
wind is blowing it away from the town. If it continues this way
the people will be saved."
"Unless there is so much of the red-hot lava that it will bury
the city," suggested Tom. "I hope that doesn't happen," and he
could not repress a shudder as he looked down on the awful scene
After that last explosion the volcano appeared to subside
somewhat, though great clouds of smoke and tongues of fire leaped
"I've got to put in a new reel of film!" suddenly exclaimed
Tom. "While I stop the camera, Mr. Damon, I think you and Mr.
Nestor might put the airship down to the ground. I want some
views on the level."
"What! Go down to earth with this awful volcano spouting fire?"
cried Mr. Damon. "Bless my comb and brush!"
"We can get well down the side of the mountain," said Tom. "I
won't go into any danger, much less ask any one else to do so,
and I certainly don't want my ship damaged. We can land down
there," he said, pointing to a spot on the side of the volcanic
mountain, that was some distance removed from the mouth of the
crater. It won't take me long to get one reel of views, and then
I'll come up again."
The two men finally gave in to Tom's argument, that there was
comparatively little danger, for they admitted that they could
quickly rise up at the first sign of danger, and accordingly the
Flyer descended. Tom quickly had a fresh reel of film inserted,
and started his camera to working, standing it on a tripod some
distance from the airship.
Once more the volcano was "doing its prettiest," as Tom
expressed it. He glanced around, as another big explosion took
place, to see if any other picture men were on hand, but the
terrible mountain seemed deserted, though of course someone might
be on the other side.
"What's that?" suddenly cried Ned, looking apprehensively at
his chum. At the same time Tom jumped to his feet, for he had
been kneeling near the camera.
"Bless my--" began Mr. Damon, but he got no farther, for
suddenly the solid ground began to tremble and shake.
"An earthquake!" shouted Mr. Nestor. "Come, Tom! Get back to
the ship!" The young inventor and Ned had been the only ones to
leave it, as it rested on a spur of the mountain.
As Tom and Ned leaped forward to save the camera which was
toppling to one side, there came a great fissure in the side of
the volcano, and a stream of molten rock, glowing white with
heat, gushed out. It was a veritable river of melted stone, and
it was coming straight for the two lads.
"Run! Run!" cried Mr. Nestor. "We have everything ready for a
quick flight. "Run, Tom! Ned!"
The lads leaped for the Flyer, the molten rock coming nearer
and nearer, and then with a cry Koku sprang overboard and made a
dash toward his master.
CHAPTER XXV - THE EARTHQUAKE--CONCLUSION
"Here, Mr. Tom. Me carry you an' Ned. You hold picture machine!"
cried the giant. "Me run faster."
As he spoke he lifted Ned up under one arm, and caught Tom in
the other. For they were but as children to his immense strength.
Tom held on to his camera, and, thus laden down, Koku ran as he
had never run before, toward the waiting airship.
"Come on! Come on!" shouted Mr. Damon, for he could see what
Tom, Ned and Koku could not, that the stream of lava was nearing
"It's hot!" cried Ned, as a wave of warm air fanned his cheek.
"I should say so!" cried Tom. "The volcano is full of red-hot
There came a sickening shake of the earth. Koku staggered as he
ran on, but he kept his feet, and did not fall. Again came a
tremendous explosion, and a shower of fine ashes sifted over the
airship, and on Koku and his living burdens.
"This is the worst ever!" gasped Tom. "But I've got some dandy
pictures, if we ever get away from here alive to develop them."
"Hurry, Koku! Hurry!" begged Mr. Nestor. "Bless my shoe laces!"
yelled Mr. Damon, who was fairly jumping up and down on the deck
of the Flyer. "I'll never go near a volcano again!"
Once more the ground shook and trembled, as the earthquake rent
it. Several cracks appeared in Koku's path, but he leaped over
them with tremendous energy. A moment later he had thrust Tom and
Ned over the rail, to the deck, and leaped aboard himself.
"Let her go!" cried Tom. "I'll do the rest of my moving picture
work, around volcanoes and earthquakes, from up in the air!"
The Flyer shot upward, and scarcely a moment too soon, for, an
instant after she left the ground, the stream of hot, burning and
bubbling lava rolled beneath her, and those on board could feel
the heat of it ascending.
"Say, I'm glad we got out of that when we did," gasped Ned, as
he looked down. "You're all right, Koku."
"That no trouble," replied the giant with a cheerful grin. "Me
carry four fellows like you," and he stretched out his big arms.
Tom had at once set his camera to working again, taking view
It was a terrifying but magnificent sight that our friends
beheld, for the earth was trembling and heaving. Great fissures
opened in many places. Into some of them streams of lava poured,
for now the volcano had opened in several places, and from each
crack the melted rocks belched out. The crater, however, was not
sending into the air such volumes of smoke and ashes as before,
as most of the tremendous energy had passed, or was being used to
spout out the lava.
The earthquake was confined to the region right about the
volcano, or there might have been a great loss of life in the
city. As it was, the damage done was comparatively slight.
Tom continued to take views, some showing the earth as it was
twisted and torn, and other different aspects of the crater.
Then, as suddenly as the earthquake had begun, it subsided, and
the volcano was less active.
"My! I'm glad to see that!" exclaimed Mr. Damon. "I've had
about enough of horrors!"
"And I have too," added Tom. "I'm on my last roll of film, and
I can't take many more pictures. But I guess I have all Mr.
Period needs, and we'll start for home, as soon as I finish the
next roll. But I'm going to save that for a night view. That will
he a novelty."
The volcano became active again after dark, and presented a
magnificent though terrifying aspect. As the airship hovered
above it, Tom got some of his best pictures, and then, as the
last bit of film slipped along back of the lens, the airship was
"Now for Shopton!" cried Tom. "Our trip is ended."
"It's too had you didn't have more film," said Ned. "I thought
you had plenty."
"Well, I used more than I counted on, but there are enough
pictures as it is."
"Plenty," agreed Mr. Nestor. "I'm sure our company will be very
well satisfied with them, Tom. We can't get home any too soon to
suit me. I've had enough excitement."
"And we didn't see anything of those other fellows whom we
heard about," spoke Mr. Damon, as the big airship flew on.
"No," said Tom. "But I'm not worrying about them."
They made another stop in Lima, on their homeward trip, to
renew their supply of gasolene, and there learned that the rival
picture men had arrived at the volcano too late to see it in
operation. This news came to a relative of one of the two men who
lived in Lima.
"Then our views of the earthquake and the smoking mountain will
be the only ones, and your company can control the rights," said
Tom to Mr. Nestor, who agreed with him.
In due time, and without anything out of the ordinary happening
the Flyer reached Shopton, where Tom found a warm welcome
awaiting him, not only from his father, but from a certain young
lady, whose name I do not need to mention.
"And so you got everything you went after, didn't you, Tom,"
exclaimed Mr. Period, a few days later, when he had come from New
York to get the remainder of the films.
"Yes, and some things I didn't expect," replied Tom. "There
"Yes! Yes! I know!" interrupted the odd picture man. "It was
that jungle fire. That's a magnificent series. None better. And
those scoundrels took your camera; eh?"
"Yes. Could you connect them with Turbot and Eckert?" asked
"No, but I'm sure they were acting for them just the same. I
had no legal evidence to act on, however, so I had to let it go.
Turbot and Eckert won't be in it when I start selling duplicates
of the films you have. And these last ought to be the best of
all. I didn't catch that fellow when I raced after him on the
dock. He got away, and has steered clear of me since," finished
"And our rivals didn't secure any views like ours," said Tom.
"I'm glad of it," spoke Mr. Period. "Turbot and Eckert bribed
one of my men, and so found out where I was sending messages to
you. They even got a copy of my cablegram. But it did them no
"Were all the films clear that I sent you?" asked our hero.
"Every one. Couldn't be better. The animal views were
particularly fine. You must have had your nerve with you to get
some of 'em."
"Oh, Tom always has his nerve," laughed Ned.
"Well, how soon will you be ready to start out again?" asked
the picture man, as he packed up the last of the films which Tom
gave him. "I'd like to get some views of a Japanese earthquake,
and we haven't any polar views. I want some of them, taken as
near the North Pole as you can get."
Tom gently shook his head.
"What! You don't mean to say you won't get them for me?" cried
Mr. Period. "With that wonderful camera of yours you can get
views no one else ever could."
"Then some one else will have to take them," remarked the young
inventor. "I'll lend you the camera, and an airship, and you can
go yourself, Mr. Period. I'm going to stay home for a while. I
did what I set out to do, and that's enough."
"I'm glad you'll stay home, Tom," said his father. "Now perhaps
I'll get my gyroscope finished."
"And I, my noiseless airship," went on our hero. "No, Mr.
Period, you'll have to excuse me this time. Why don't you go
yourself?" he asked. "You would know just what kind of pictures
"No, I'm a promoter of the moving picture business, and I sell
films, but I don't know hew to take them," was the answer.
"Besides I--er--well, I don't exactly care for airships, Tom
Swift," he finished with a laugh. "Well, I can't thank you enough
for what you did for me, and I've brought you a check to cover
your expenses, and pay you as I agreed. All the same I'm sorry
you won't start for Japan, or the North Pole."
"Nothing doing," said Tom with a laugh; and Mr. Period
"Have you any idea what you will do next?" asked Ned, a day or
so later, when he and Tom were in the workshop.
"I can't tell until I finish my noiseless airship," was the
answer. "Then something may happen."
Something did, as I shall have the pleasure of telling you
about in the next volume of this series, to be called, "Tom Swift
and His Great Searchlight; or, On the Border for Uncle Sam," and
in it will be given an account of a great lantern our hero made,
and how he baffled the smugglers with it.
"Oh, Tom, weren't you dreadfully frightened when you saw that
burning river of lava coming toward you?" asked Mary Nestor, when
the young inventor called on her later and told her some of his
adventures. "I should have been scared to death."
"Well, I didn't have time to get scared," answered Tom. "It all
happened so quickly, and then, too I was thinking of my camera.
Next I knew Koku grabbed me, and it was all over."
"But those wild beasts! Didn't they frighten you, especially
when the rhinoceros charged you?"
"If you won't let it get out, I'll make a confession to you,"
said Tom, lowering his voice. "I was scared stiff that time, but
don't let Ned know it."
"I won't," promised Mary with a laugh. And now, when Tom is in
such pleasant company, we will take leave of him for a while,
knowing that. sooner or later, he will be seeking new adventures
as exciting as those of the past.
THE TOM SWIFT SERIES
By VICTOR APPLETON
12mo. CLOTH. UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING. COLORED WRAPPERS.
These spirited tales convey In a realistic way the wonderful
advances in land and sea locomotion. Stories like these are
impressed upon the memory and their reading is productive only of
TOM SWIFT AND HIS MOTOR CYCLE
Or Fun and Adventure on the Road
TOM SWIFT AND HIS MOTOR BOAT
Or The Rivals of Lake Carlopa
TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIRSHIP
Or The Stirring cruise of the Red Cloud
TOM SWIFT AND HIS SUBMARINE BOAT
Or Under the Ocean for Sunken Treasure
TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RUNABOUT
Or The Speediest car on the Road
TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIRELESS MESSAGE
Or The castaways of Earthquake Island
TOM SWIFT AMONG THE DIAMOND MAKERS
Or The Secret of Phantom Mountain
TOM SWIFT IN THE CAVES OF ICE
Or The Wreck of the Airship
TOM SWIFT AND HIS SKY RACER
Or The Quickest Flight on Record
TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RIFLE
Or Daring Adventures In Elephant Land
TOM SWIFT IN THE CITY OF GOLD
Or Marvelous Adventures Underground
TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIR GLIDER
Or Seeking the Platinum Treasure
TOM SWIFT IN CAPTIVITY
Or A Daring Escape by Airship
TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIZARD CAMERA
Or The Perils of Moving Picture Taking
TOM SWIFT AND HIS GREAT SEARCHLIGHT
Or On the Border for Uncle Sam
TOM SWIFT AND HIS GIANT CANNON
Or The Longest Shots on Record
TOM SWIFT AND HIS PHOTO TELEPHONE
Or The Picture that Saved a Fortune
TOM SWIFT AND HIS AERIAL WARSHIP
Or The Naval Terror of the Seas
TOM SWIFT AND HIS BIG TUNNEL
Or The Hidden city of the Andes
THE BUNNY BROWN SERIES
By LAURA LEE HOPE
Author of the Popular "Bobbsey Twins" Books
wrapper and text illustrations drawn by
FLORENCE ENGLAND NOSWORTHY
12mo. DURABLY BOUND. ILLUSTRATED. UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING
These stories by the author of the "Bobbsey Twins" Books are
eagerly welcomed by the little folks from about five to ten years
of age. Their eyes fairly dance with delight at the lively doings
of inquisitive little Bunny Brown and his cunning, trustful
Bunny was a lively little boy. very inquisitive. When he did
anything, Sue followed his leadership. They had many adventures,
some comical in the extreme.
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON GRANDPA'S FARM
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE PLAYING CIRCUS
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CAMP REST-A-WHILE
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT AUNT LU'S CITY HOME
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE IN THE BIG WOODS
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE ON AN AUTO TOUR
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AND THEIR SHETLAND PONY
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE GIVING A SHOW
BUNNY BROWN AND HIS SISTER SUE AT CHRISTMAS TREE COVE
THE BOBBSEY TWINS BOOKS
For Little Men and Women
By LAURA LEE HOPE
Author of 'The Bunny Brown" Series. Etc.
12mo. DURABLY BOUND. ILLUSTRATED. UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING
Copyright publications which cannot be obtained elsewhere.
Books that charm the hearts of the little ones, and of which they
THE BOBBSEY TWINS
THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE COUNTRY
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT THE SEASHORE
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SCHOOL
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT SNOW LODGE
THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON A HOUSEBOAT
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT MEADOW BROOK
THE BOBBSEY TWINS AT HOME
THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN A GREAT CITY
THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON BLUEBERRY ISLAND
THE BOBBSEY TWINS ON THE DEEP BLUE SEA
THE BOBBSEY TWINS IN THE GREAT WEST
THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS SERIES
By LAURA LEE HOPE
Author of "The Bobbsey Twins Series."
l2mo. BOUND IN CLOTH. ILLUSTRATED. UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING
The adventures of Ruth and Alice DeVere. Their father, a widower,
is an actor who has taken up work for the "movies." Both girls
wish to aid him in his work and visit various localities to act
in all sorts of pictures.
THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS
Or First Appearance in Photo Dramas.
Having lost his voice, the father of the girls goes into the
movies and the girls follow. Tells how many "parlor dramas" are
THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS AT OAK FARM
Or Queer Happenings While Taking Rural Plays.
Full of fun in the country, the haps and mishaps of taking film
plays, and giving an account of two unusual discoveries.
THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS SNOWBOUND
Or The Proof on the Film.
A tale of winter adventures in the wilderness, showing how the
photo-play actors sometimes suffer.
THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS UNDER THE PALMS
Or Lost in the Wilds of Florida.
How they went to the land of palms, played many parts in dramas
before the camera; were lost, and aided others who were also
THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS AT ROCKY RANCH
Or Great Days Among the Cowboys.
All who have ever seen moving pictures of the rest west will
want to know just how they are made. This volume gives every
detail and is full of clean fun and excitement.
THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS AT SEA
Or a Pictured Shipwreck that Became Real.
A thrilling account of the girls' experiences on the water.
THE MOVING PICTURE GIRLS IN WAR PLAYS
Or The Sham Battles at Oak Farm.
The girls play important parts in big battle scenes and have
plenty of hard work along with considerable fun.
THE OUTDOOR CHUMS SERIES
By CAPTAIN QUINCY ALLEN
The outdoor chums are four wide-awake lads, sons of wealthy men
of a small city located on a lake. The boys love outdoor life,
and are greatly interested in hunting, fishing, and picture
taking. They have motor cycles, motor boats, canoes, etc., and
during their vacations go everywhere and have all sorts of
thrilling adventures. The stories give full directions for
camping out, how to fish, how to hunt wild animals and prepare
the skins for stuffing, how to manage a canoe, how to swim, etc.
Full of the spirit of outdoor life.
THE OUTDOOR CHUMS
Or The First Tour of the Rod, Gun and Camera Club.
THE OUTDOOR CHUMS ON THE LAKE
Or Lively Adventures on Wildcat Island.
THE OUTDOOR CHUMS IN THE FOREST
Or Laying the Ghost of Oak Ridge.
THE OUTDOOR CHUMS ON THE GULF
Or Rescuing the Lost Balloonists.
THE OUTDOOR CHUMS AFTER BIG GAME.
Or Perilous Adventures in the Wilderness.
THE OUTDOOR CHUMS ON A HOUSEBOAT
Or The Rivals of the Mississippi.
THE OUTDOOR CHUMS IN THE BIG WOODS
Or The Rival Hunters at Lumber Run.
THE OUTDOOR CHUMS AT CABIN POINT
Or The Golden Cup Mystery.
12mo. Averaging 240 pages. Illustrated. Handsomely bound in
THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH SERIES
By GERTRUDE W. MORRISON
l2mo. BOUND IN CLOTH. ILLUSTRATED. UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING.
Here is a series full of the spirit of high school life of today.
The girls are real flesh-and-blood characters, and we follow them
with interest in school and out. There are many contested matches
on track and field, and on the water, as well as doings in the
classroom and on the school stage. There it plenty of fun and
excitement, all clean, pure and wholesome.
THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH
Or Rivals for all Honors.
A stirring tale of high school life, full of fun, with a tomb
of mystery and a strange initiation.
THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH ON LAKE LUNA
Or The Crew That Won.
Telling of water sports and fun galore, and of fine times in
THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH AT BASKETBALL
Or The Great Gymnasium Mystery.
Here we have a number of thrilling contests at basketball and
in addition, the solving of a mystery which had bothered the high
school authorities for a long while,
THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH ON THE STAGE
Or The Play That Took the Prize.
How the girls went In for theatricals and how one of them wrote
a play which afterward was made over for the professional stage
and brought in some much-needed money.
THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH ON TRACK AND FIELD
Or The Girl Champions of the School League
This story takes in high school athletics In their most
approved and up-to-date fashion. Full of fun and excitement.
THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH IN CAMP
Or The Old Professor's Secret
The girls went camping on Acorn Island and had a delightful
time at boating, swimming and picnic parties.
THE BOYS OF COLUMBIA HIGH SERIES
By GRAHAM B. FORBES
Never was there a cleaner, brighter, more manly boy than Frank
Allen, the hero of this series of boys' tales, and never was
there a better crowd of lads to associate with than the students
of the School. All boys will read these stories with deep
interest. The rivalry between the towns along the river was of
the keenest, and plots and counterplot to win the champions, at
baseball, at football, at boat racing, at track athletics, and at
ice hockey, were without number. Any lad reading one volume of
this series will surely want the others.
THE BOYS OF COLUMBIA HIGH
Or The All Around Rivals of the School
THE BOYS OF COLUMBIA HIGH ON THE DIAMOND
Or Winning Out by Pluck
THE BOYS OF COLUMBIA HIGH ON THE RIVER
Or The Boat Race Plot that Failed
THE BOYS OF COLUMBIA HIGH ON THE GRIDIRON
Or The Struggle for the Silver Cup
THE BOYS OF COLUMBIA HIGH ON THE ICE
Or Out for the Hockey Championship
THE BOYS OF COLUMBIA HIGH IN TRACK ATHLETICS
Or A Long Run that Won
THE BOYS OF COLUMBIA HIGH IN WINTER SPORTS
Or Stirring Doings on Skates and Iceboats
I2mo. Illustrated. Handsomely bound In cloth, with cover design
and wrappers in color.
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS SERIES
By VICTOR APPLETON
l2mo. BOUND IN CLOTH. ILLUSTRATED. UNIFORM STYLE OF BINDING.
Moving pictures and photo plays are famous the world over, and
in this line of books the reader is given a full description of
how the films are made--the scenes of little dramas, indoors and
out, trick pictures to satisfy the curious, soul-stirring
pictures of city affairs, life in the Wild West, among the
cowboys and Indians, thrilling rescues along the seacoast, the
daring of picture hunters in the jungle among savage beasts, and
the great risks run in picturing conditions in a land of
earthquakes. The volumes teem with adventures and will be found
interesting from first chapter to last.
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS
Or Perils of a Great City Depicted.
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS IN THE WEST
Or Taking Scenes Among the Cowboys and Indians.
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS ON THE COAST
Or Showing the Perils of the Deep.
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS IN THE JUNGLE
Or Stirring Times Among the Wild Animals.
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS IN EARTHQUAKE LAND
Or Working Amid Many Perils.
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS AND THE FLOOD
Or Perilous Days on the Mississippi.
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS AT PANAMA
Or Stirring Adventures Along the Great Canal.
THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS UNDER THE SEA
Or The Treasure of the Lost Ship.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS SERIES
By LAURA LEE HOPE
Author of the "Bobbsey Twin Books" and "Bunny Brown" Series.
These tales take in the various adventures participated in by
several bright, up-to-date girls who love outdoor life. They are
clean and wholesome, free from sensationalism, absorbing from the
first chapter to the last.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS OF DEEPDALE
Or Camping and Tramping for Fun and Health.
Telling bow the girls organized their Camping and Tramping
Club, how they went on a tour, and of various adventures which
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT RAINBOW LAKE
Or Stirring Cruise of the Motor Boat Gem.
One of the girls becomes the proud possessor of a motor boat
and invites her club members to take a trip down the river to
Rainbow Lake, a beautiful sheet of water lying between the
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN A MOTOR CAR
Or The Haunted Mansion of Shadow Valley.
One of the girls has learned to run a big motor ear, and she
invited the club to go on a tour to visit some distant relatives.
On the way they stop at a deserted mansion and make a surprising
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN A WINTER CAMP
Or Glorious Days on Skates and Ice Boats.
In this story, the scene is shifted to a winter season. The
girls have some jolly times skating and ice boating, and visit a
hunters ramp in the big woods.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN FLORIDA
Or Wintering in the Sunny South.
The parents of one of the girls have bought an orange grove in
Florida, and her companions are invited to visit the place. They
take a trip into the interior, where several unusual things
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT OCEAN VIEW
Or The Box that Was Found in the Sand.
The girls have great fun and solve a mystery while on an outing
along the New England coast.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS ON PINE ISLAND
Or A Cave and What it Contained.
A bright, healthful story, full of good times at a bungalow
camp on Pine Island.
CHARMING BOOKS FOR GIRLS
WHEN PATTY WENT TO COLLEGE, By Jean Webster.
Illustrated by C. D. Williams.
One of the best stories of life in a girl's college that has
ever been written. It is bright, whimsical and entertaining,
lifelike, laughable and thoroughly human.
JUST PATTY, By Jean Webster.
Illustrated by C. M. Relyea.
Patty is full of the joy of living, fun-loving, given to
ingenious mischief for its own sake, with a disregard for pretty
convention which is an unfailing source of joy to her fellows.
THE POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL, By Eleanor Gates.
With four full page illustrations.
This story relates the experience of one of those unfortunate
children whose early days are passed in the companionship of a
governess, seldom seeing either parent, and famishing for natural
love and tenderness. A charming play as dramatized by the author.
REBECCA OF SUNNYBROOK FARM, By Kate Douglas Wiggin.
One of the most beautiful studies of childhood--Rebecca's
artistic, unusual and quaintly charming qualities stand out midst
a circle of austere New Englanders. The stage version is making a
phenomenal dramatic record.
NEW CHRONICLES OF REBECCA, By Kate Douglas Wiggin.
Illustrated by F. C. Yohn.
Additional episodes in the girlhood of this delightful heroine
that carry Rebecca through various stages to her eighteenth
REBECCA MARY, By Annie Hamilton Donnell.
Illustrated by Elizabeth Shippen Green.
This author possesses the rare gift of portraying all the
grotesque little joys and sorrows and scruples of this very small
girl with a pathos that is peculiarly genuine and appealing.
EMMY LOU: Her Book and Heart, By George Madden Martin,
illustrated by Charles Louis Hinton.
Emmy Lou is irresistibly lovable, because she is so absolutely
real. She is just a bewitchingly innocent, hugable little maid.
The book is wonderfully human.
BOOKS BY VICTOR APPLETON
THE TOM SWIFT SERIES
TOM SWIFT AND HIS MOTOR-CYCLE
Or Fun and Adventures on the Road
TOM SWIFT AND HIS MOTOR-BOAT
Or The Rivals of Lake Carlopa
TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIRSHIP
Or the Stirring Cruise of the Red cloud
TOM SWIFT AND HIS SUBMARINE BOAT
Or Under the Ocean for Sunken Treasure
TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RUNABOUT
Or the Speediest Car on the Road
TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIRELESS MESSAGE
Or the castaways of Earthquake Island
TOM SWIFT AMONG THE DIAMOND MAKERS
Or the Secret of Phantom Mountain
TOM SWIFT IN THE CAVES OF ICE
Or the Wreck of the Airship
TOM SWIFT AND HIS SKY RACER
Or The Quickest Flight on Record
TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RIFLE
Or Daring Adventures in Elephant Land
TOM SWIFT IN THE CITY OF GOLD
Or Marvelous Adventures Underground
TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIR GLIDER
Or Seeking the Platinum Treasure
TOM SWIFT IN CAPTIVITY
Or A Daring Escape by Airship
TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIZARD CAMERA
Or Thrilling Adventures While Taking Moving Pictures
TOM SWIFT AND HIS GREAT SEARCHLIGHT
Or On the Border for Uncle Sam
End of Project Gutenberg's Etext of Tom Swift And His Wizard Camera