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- Boy Scouts in a Submarine - 1/31 -


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

BOY SCOUTS IN A SUBMARINE

OR

SEARCHING AN OCEAN FLOOR

By G. HARVEY RALPHSON

Author of BOY SCOUTS IN AN AIRSHIP BOY SCOUTS IN MEXICO BOY SCOUTS IN THE NORTHWEST BOY SCOUTS ON MOTOR CYCLES

CONTENTS

I. LOST ON AN OCEAN FLOOR II. A CONFLICT OF AUTHORITY III. "THE DANDY SUBMARINE" IV. A WOLF ON THE TRAIL V. TWO WOLVES IN A PEN VI. NIGHT ON AN OCEAN FLOOR VII. THE SECRET OF THE HOLD VIII. ON GUARD UNDER THE SEA IX. "JIMMIE'S FOOLISH--LIKE A FOX" X. A CHASE ON THE OCEAN FLOOR XI. JIMMIE GOES OUT HUNTING XII. JACK MAKES A DISCOVERY XIII. JIMMIE DEMANDS A MEDAL XIV. A BOY SCOUT WITH A "PUNCH" XV. A DESPERATE PRISONER XVI. A BLUFF THAT DIDN'T WORK XVII. BAD FOR THE SEA CREATURES XVIII. "MAKING A GOOD JOB OF IT" XIX. ON THE EDGE OF DISASTER XX. AN ENDING AND A BEGINNING

CHAPTER I

LOST ON AN OCEAN FLOOR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Who's Captain Moore?"

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

"Is he going to be the big noise?"

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

"Is Captain Moore going with us?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Is he a submarine expert?" asked Frank.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Fawncy!"

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

"Fawncy!" repeated the visitor.

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


Boy Scouts in a Submarine - 1/31

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