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´╗┐Title: Tom Swift and His Wizard Camera, or, Thrilling Adventures While Taking Moving Pictures
Author: Appleton, Victor [pseud.]
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.


*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Tom Swift and His Wizard Camera, or, Thrilling Adventures While Taking Moving Pictures" ***


TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIZARD CAMERA

or

Thrilling Adventures While Taking Moving Pictures


by

VICTOR APPLETON



CONTENTS

CHAPTER


     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 young inventor.

"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."

"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 bodyguard.

"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 dad's.

"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 great. I--"

"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 that."

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 near Tom.

"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 point, but--"

"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 shop.



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. Period.

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 formally introduced.

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 pygmies.

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 his friends.

"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 him out.



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 you mean by that? Have you gone crazy?"

"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 directed.

"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 pardon.

"I shall not," said the giant calmly, for Tom had taught him to speak
fairly good English, though sometimes he got his words backwards.

"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 it?"

"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 be forgotten.

"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 home.

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 earthquake, 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 wonderful scenes."

"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, Ned?"

"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 night, though."

"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 matters.

"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 under snow.

"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 his son.

"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 fairly well.

"See anything?" asked Ned, as he joined his chum on the balcony.

"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 de
raskil?"

"Not yet, Rad. But Koku is after him. Who was he, and what did he do?"

"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 fellow."

"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 will--"

"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 more urging."

"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 guess."

"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 hand.

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!  Help! Help!"

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 weak.

"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 out."

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 inventor.

"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 deep
devotion.

"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 voice asked:

"Where--am--I?"

"In your own house," replied Mr. Damon, cheerfully. "How do you feel?"

"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, Tom Swift."

"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 wonder if--"

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."

"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 finished.

"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 inventions?"

"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 answer."

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 house.

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, cautiously.

"Have you done any yet?"

"No, but I expect to."

"What kind of a camera are you going to use?" asked Mr. Eckert eagerly.

"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. Turbot said:

"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 it."

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 want."

"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 giant.

"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 puffing away.

"Well, they came, just as Mr. Period said they would," spoke Tom,
slowly.

"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 inside.

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 completed.

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 needed inserting.

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 test."

"Have you the rolls of films?"

"Yes, half a dozen of 'em And I'm going to try the hardest test first."

"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 he 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 automatic.

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 him."

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 right!"

"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 wonderful."

"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," remarked
Tom.

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 yesterday.

"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 float, Tom?"

"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 it."

"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 Shopton
again.

"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 opinion.

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 tramp.

"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 evidence."

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 camera.

"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 the Flyer.

"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 end."

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 found him.

"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 dense smoke.

"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 photographs."

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 plain.

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 exciting."

"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 son.

"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 views."

"I'll try--" began our hero.

"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 running."

"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 feared.

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 the elephants.

"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:

"Main top!"

"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 on
board.

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


"Lower away!"

"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 rapidly.

"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 off?"

"Oh, I think so. There aren't many passengers. I guess it's a tramp
freighter."

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 focus.

"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 reproducing machine."

"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 baggage."

"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 films.

"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
Belchar.

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 of
explanation.

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 for him.

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 captured."

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 better one.

"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 off.

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 speed.

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 good pictures.

"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 the
morning."

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 anything
happened?"

"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 stockade.

"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 hero, cried:

"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 away!"

"I guess he must be an Englishman," remarked Mr. Nestor, with a laugh.

"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 elephants?"

"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 of elephants.

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 damaged.

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 it."

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 there."

"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 think."

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 film."

"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," he said.

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 would
leave.

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 kindergarten meeting."

"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 before 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 heavily.

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 lay.

"Good!" cried Ned. "He's dead. Shot through the heart! Who did it?"

"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 while."

"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 to-morrow."

"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 snap-shot it?"

"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 relief.

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 it.

"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 can!"

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 can get."

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 rapidly.

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 excitement.

"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, Italy.

"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 the
avalanches!"

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 tourists.

"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 frequent.

"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 out:

"There she is, Tom!"

"What?"

"The avalanche! The snow is beginning to slide down the mountain! Say,
it's going to be a big one, too. Got your camera ready?"

"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 pictures!"

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 mountain.

"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 obtained.

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 was demolished.

"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 well.

"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 things."

"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, were unfounded.

"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 go."

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 do it."

"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 telegram?"

"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 reflection."

"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 his face.

"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 camera."

"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 track."

"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 River.

"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 said:

"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 photographic standpoint.

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 swarmed.

"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.

"What has?"

"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 busy!"

"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 right."

"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 arrows."

"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 guns."

"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 grin.

Somewhat to Tom's surprise the two Englishmen showed no further
interest in him and his airship, after the introduction at the
missionaries' bungalow.

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, Ned."

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 take place.



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 spears."

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 this
before!"

"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 drums.

"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 possible."

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 be 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."

"Where?"

"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
pictures, too!"

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 fighters."

"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!" he finished.

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 tripod.

"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."

"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 camp."

"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 camera
away.

"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
headache."

"Hum! Chloroform, if I'm any judge!" called Mr. Nestor from his berth.

"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 Camera."



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 bless.

"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 camera
room.

"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 camera."

"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 with it."

"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."

"Why not?"

"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 significantly.

"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, Tom."

"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 we have!"

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 camera.



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 Mr. Damon.

"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."

"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 miles.

"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,"
suggested Ned.

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 bow, cried:

"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 Mr.
Nestor.

"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 roasted.

"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 pictures."

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 jungle trail.

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 was seen.

"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 behind them.

"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, and--"

"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, Ned?"

"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 manner.

"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 again!"

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 camera.

"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 now!"

"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 dear
chap--"

"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 moving pictures.

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 cablegram.

"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 going some!"



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 upheaval."

"Bless my Pumice stones!" cried Mr. Damon. "And are you expected to get
pictures of it shooting out flames and smoke, Tom?"

"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 acted.

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 exhibitions.

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
photograph.

"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 from
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 tremendous explosion.

"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 crackerjack pictures!"

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 aeroplane meet."

"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 grim
laugh.

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 below them.

"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 moving pictures.

"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 below him.

After that last explosion the volcano appeared to subside somewhat,
though great clouds of smoke and tongues of fire leaped upward.

"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 them rapidly.

"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 melted
stone."

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 after 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 be 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 headed north.

"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 was--"

"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 Tom.

"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 Mr. Period.

"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 good."

"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 you wanted."

"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 departed.

"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 END



-----------------------------------------------------------------

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 good.

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 sister Sue.

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 never tire.

  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."

12mo. 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 filmed.

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 lost.

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 Cloth.


THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH SERIES

By GERTRUDE W. MORRISON

12mo. 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 camp.

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

12mo. Illustrated. Handsomely bound In cloth, with cover design and
wrappers in color.


THE MOVING PICTURE BOYS SERIES

By VICTOR APPLETON

12mo. 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 befell them.

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 mountains.

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 discovery.

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 happen.

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 birthday.

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 this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Tom Swift and His Wizard Camera, or, Thrilling Adventures While Taking Moving Pictures" ***

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