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Title: Motor Matt In Brazil - or, Under The Amazon
Author: Matthews, Stanley R.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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courtesy of the Digital Library@Villanova University
(http://digital.library.villanova.edu/))



  MOTOR STORIES

  THRILLING
  ADVENTURE

  MOTOR
  FICTION

  NO. 18
  JUNE 26, 1909

  FIVE
  CENTS


  MOTOR MATT
  IN BRAZIL

  _OR_ UNDER THE
  AMAZON

  _BY THE AUTHOR
  of MOTOR MATT_

  [Illustration: _"Look out behind you Glennie!" shouted
  Motor Matt as he hurried forward._]

  _STREET & SMITH,
  PUBLISHERS,
  NEW YORK._



MOTOR STORIES

THRILLING ADVENTURE MOTOR FICTION

_Issued Weekly. By subscription $2.50 per year. Entered according to
Act of Congress in the year 1909, in the Office of the Librarian of
Congress, Washington, D. C., by_ STREET & SMITH, _79-89 Seventh Avenue,
New York, N. Y._

  No. 18.      NEW YORK, June 26, 1909.      Price Five Cents.



Motor Matt in Brazil;

OR,

UNDER THE AMAZON.

By the author of "MOTOR MATT."



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER I. THE CACHALOT.
  CHAPTER II. JOHN HENRY GLENNIE, U. S. N.
  CHAPTER III. THE MEETING IN THE HARBOR.
  CHAPTER IV. AH SIN'S CLUE.
  CHAPTER V. OFF FOR THE AMAZON.
  CHAPTER VI. VILLAINOUS WORK.
  CHAPTER VII. RUBBING ELBOWS WITH DEATH.
  CHAPTER VIII. A DIVE FOR SAFETY.
  CHAPTER IX. PUTTING TWO AND TWO TOGETHER.
  CHAPTER X. UNDER THE AMAZON.
  CHAPTER XI. HAND-TO-HAND.
  CHAPTER XII. BOARDED!
  CHAPTER XIII. A PRISONER--AND A SURPRISE.
  CHAPTER XIV. THE OLD SLOUCH HAT.
  CHAPTER XV. PARA.
  CHAPTER XVI. A DESPERATE RISK.
  IN THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY.



CHARACTERS THAT APPEAR IN THIS STORY.


  =Motor Matt=, a lad who is at home with every variety of motor, and
  whose never-failing nerve serves to carry him through difficulties
  that would daunt any ordinary young fellow. Because of his daring
  as a racer with bicycle, motor-cycle and automobile he is known as
  "Mile-a-minute Matt." Motor-boats, air ships and submarines come
  naturally in his line, and consequently he lives in an atmosphere of
  adventure in following up his "hobby."

  =Dick Ferral=, a young sea dog from Canada, with all a sailor's
  superstitions, but in spite of all that a royal chum, ready to stand
  by the friend of his choice through thick and thin.

  =Carl Pretzel=, a cheerful and rollicking German boy, stout of frame
  as well as of heart, who is led by a fortunate accident to link his
  fortunes with those of Motor Matt.

  =Ensign Glennie=, representing the U. S. Government on board the
  _Grampus_ during her long trip around South America.

  =Tolo=, a valiant though unscrupulous Japanese patriot anxious to die
  for his country.

  =Mr. Brigham=, our consul at Para, Brazil, who proves to be the right
  kind of man for the job.

  =Clackett=, }
  =Speake=,   } the crew of the submarine marvel.
  =Gaines=,   }



CHAPTER I.

THE CACHALOT.


"Look at the chart, Dick. Unless I'm off in my reckoning, those blue
things in the distance, that look like clouds, are the mountains of
Trinidad."

"Right-o, matey! The Gulf of Paria is to the south, and right ahead
of us is the Boca Drago, or Dragon's Mouth, the entrance to the Gulf.
What's our first port-of-call?"

"Georgetown. That's where we're to pick up the midshipman."

"But we're two days ahead of time, and he won't be expecting us. Why
not put in at Port-of-Spain for a little social call? I was there once,
on the old _Billy Ruffin_, and it's a fine place for getting on your
go-ashores and seeing the sights."

"This is a business trip, old chap, and not a sightseeing excursion.
Our schedule has been made out for us, and we've got to follow it
through. It's a big responsibility we're under, and if anything should
happen to the _Grampus_, there'd----"

At this moment a tremendous shock interrupted Motor Matt. The big
steel hulk of the submarine stopped dead, reeled for an instant like
a drunken man, and then rebounded sternward against the push of the
propeller. Accompanying the weird manoeuvre was a fierce thrashing of
the waves outside.

Sunk level with the surface of the sea, conning tower awash, the
_Grampus_ had been proceeding at a good clip on her southward journey.
Motor Matt and Dick Ferral were in the periscope room, Matt with his
attention divided between the periscope table, the steering wheel, and
the small compass, and Dick on his knees beside a locker on which were
a number of admiralty charts.

Dick was thrown sidewise by the shock, and Matt only saved himself a
fall by taking a convulsive grip on the spokes of the steering wheel.

"Fore-rudder will not work, sir!" cried Speake through the tube
communicating with the engine room.

One admirable thing about the king of the motor boys was that he never
got "rattled." Under any and all circumstances he kept his head.

"Stop your motor, Gaines!" he cried instantly through another of the
tubes, then, whirling to still another, he called: "Prepare to empty
the ballast, Clackett!"

The ready "Aye, aye, sir!" that came through both tubes proved that
those in motor room and tank room were on the alert.

The hum of the engine died slowly, and muffled sounds from the tank
room showed that Clackett was calmly attending to his work.

In time of accident no man could leave his post, for the safety of the
submarine, and the lives of those within her, might depend upon an
instant compliance with orders. Iron-nerved men formed the crew of the
_Grampus_, for each had been selected by Captain Nemo, Jr., with that
quality in mind.

Meanwhile Motor Matt had been studying the top of the periscope table
carefully.

"So far as I can make out," said he, in a puzzled tone, "there is
nothing above."

"The Orinoco brings down a lot of drift, matey," put in Dick, "and we
may have struck a log floating between two waves. If our rudder has
been damaged----"

He was interrupted by another blow, fully as severe as the first. But
this stroke came from the side and not from forward, and hurled the
submarine over so far that every loose article slammed to starboard,
and it seemed as though the boat must surely turn turtle.

"Start the turbines, Clackett!" roared Matt through the tank-room tube;
"empty the ballast tanks!"

"Sorry to report, Matt," came the instant response of Clackett, "that
the turbines are disabled an' won't work."

Matt was astounded.

"Then empty the tanks by compressed air!" he cried. "Sharp's the word,
Clackett!"

The hiss of air, fighting with the water in the tanks, was heard. At
once the boat began to ascend and presently the slap of waves against
the outer shell proved that they were on the surface.

"Take the wheel, Dick," called Matt, and leaped up the iron ladder into
the conning tower.

The lunettes, or little windows in the tower, were frosted with
spindrift, and Matt threw open the hatch and pushed head and shoulders
over the top.

"Great spark-plugs!" he cried; "a whale!"

"A bull cachalot!" exclaimed Dick from below, staring through the
periscope.

"Vat iss dot, Tick?"

The voice of Carl Pretzel, none too steady, floated up to Matt from the
periscope room. Carl was not on duty and had probably come up to find
out what was going on.

"Why," went on Dick, excitedly, "a cachalot is one of the hardest
fighters in the whole whale family. We probably ran into that old
blubber-head while he was taking his morning nap, and he's got his mad
up. By the figurehead of the Old Harry! See him spout! We're going to
have trouble with him, Matt! His head's like India-rubber, and he could
poke it through the plates of the _Grampus_ and never hurt himself."

Matt had got his head out of the hatch just in time to snatch a glance
at the flukes of a big whale disappearing in the sea.

He signaled half-speed ahead by the engine-room jingler. The elevation
of the periscope ball gave Dick a much more extensive view of the
surface than it did Matt from the top of the conning tower. The
whale had come to the top again, and, while Matt was able to see the
geyser-like column of water the creature threw up, Dick could take in
the cachalot's immense proportions.

"He's lumpy all over," announced Dick, "and every lump is an old
harpoon mark. He's a veteran, mates, and he's coming right at us. He'll
stave in the plates, Matt! Dodge him!"

"Tell Speake and Clackett to put a Whitehead in the port torpedo-tube!"
called Matt.

Dick immediately repeated the order, and Carl clattered below to help.

"They can't get the tube loaded, Matt," cried Dick, "before the
cachalot will be on us."

"We'll have to meet his first charge," answered Matt calmly; "there
can't be any dodging."

There came a low _thump_ from forward, followed by a gurgling splash.
From that Matt knew that the bow port had been closed and that the
water was being blown out of the tube by compressed air. Then a faint
rattle told him the breech door was being opened preparatory to loading
the torpedo.

By then Matt was able to see the charging whale. He was a tremendous
fellow, and he was making straight for the submarine with all the force
in his great body. The water flashed away from his shining sides, and a
long trail of foam unrolled behind his churning flukes.

"I'll do the steering from here, Dick!" shouted Matt, laying hold of
the patent device which enabled one to steer from the tower.

Matt headed the boat so as to meet its strange antagonist bow on. Whale
and submarine came together with a terrific impact. For an instant the
whale seemed stunned, sheered off a little, and the sharp prow raked
his side.

The next instant the _Grampus_ was beyond the whale. Matt, looking
behind, could see the huge cachalot leaping clear out of the water, and
falling into it again with a splash like some mountain dropping into
the sea.

The whale was terribly wounded, and bleeding, but the wound seemed only
to have increased his pugnacious disposition.

"Watch the periscope, Dick!" roared Matt. "Can you see him? He's out of
sight from here."

"He's sounded, mate," answered Dick, his tense voice proving the strain
his nerves were under. "I'm hoping he'll leave us now, and---- Sink me!
There he is again! He's coming for us like an express train."

A spouting of reddened water gave Matt the location, and he put the
_Grampus_ about, so as to face the danger and bring the cachalot in
front of the port torpedo tube.

"Tell them to make ready in the torpedo room!" shouted Matt. "They must
fire the Whitehead the moment I give the word."

Dick repeated the order. The torpedo was contrived so as to travel at
a certain distance under water. If discharged at too great a distance
from the whale it would sink to its normal depth, and so miss the
charging monster altogether. Matt, watching the cachalot with sharp
eyes, awaited the right moment for letting the Whitehead go.

The whale left a bloody track as it hurled itself nearer and nearer.

"Fire!" shouted Matt suddenly.

A gurgling swish, a spluttering cough, and a thud followed. The surface
of the sea directly ahead of the submarine was full of ripples that
marked the passing of the deadly infernal machine.

"Full speed astern!" cried Matt.

Dick repeated the order to Gaines. Barely was the motion of the
propeller reversed when whale and torpedo met. There was a dull roar,
and the sea lifted high in a veritable flurry. The _Grampus_ slid
backward rapidly, rocking on the troubled waters. Then, the lifted
waves having descended, the whale was seen torn cruelly and lying on
his back. Already the triangular fins of sharks were in evidence,
rushing from every direction upon the prey.

Matt descended to the engine room and found Dick steering with one hand
and wiping the perspiration from his face with the other.

"A tight squeak, matey!" Dick muttered. "We're out one torpedo, but you
saved the boat."

Speake, meanwhile, had been taking the turbine to pieces. He now
appeared in the periscope room with a wooden sieve half full of small
fish.

"Mullet for dinner, Matt!" he laughed. "A shoal of fish was bein'
chased by the cachalot. The draught-holes of our turbines was open an'
the fish run in. No wonder the turbines wouldn't work!"

"Good enough," answered Matt laughing, "if you can call anything good
that put our turbines out of commission at a time when we needed them.
Have some of them for dinner, Speake." He turned to Dick. "Lay our
course for the Port-of-Spain, old chap," he added. "We'll put into the
harbor and look the submarine over to see whether her bow has been
damaged any. I'll go below and have a look at the fore-rudder. Possibly
we can tinker that up temporarily. It would never do to pick up the
midshipman with the _Grampus_ at all out of commission."

"Aye, aye, old ship!" responded Dick heartily.

They were to call at the Port-of-Spain, after all, and Dick Ferral was
mightily pleased with the prospect.



CHAPTER II.

JOHN HENRY GLENNIE, U. S. N.


The anchor of the steamship _Borneo_ splashed into the yellow waters
of the Gulf of Paria, the boat continuing onward until the anchor had
taken a grip on the muddy bottom. The _Borneo_ was from Venezuelan
ports, and at La Guayra had picked up no less a personage than John
Henry Glennie, Ensign, U. S. N.

The steamer carried a queer assortment of passengers, and they were
all around Ensign Glennie as he sat well aft on the grating beside the
hand-steering gear.

Venezuelans were chattering like magpies; little brown youngsters
were rolling over and over around Glennie's feet; a British engineer
was talking with a Jew pearl buyer from Margarita Island--the Spanish
coming queerly from their alien lips; a German coffee-planter was
exchanging small talk with the wife of a Dutch officer who lived in
Curaçoa; and there was the usual ragtag and bobtail of English and
Brazilians, all of whom gave the youth in the naval uniform more or
less curious notice.

But the youth, his suit case on a table at his elbow, seemed absorbed
in his own thoughts. Judging merely by appearance, Ensign Glennie's
thoughts were far from pleasant. His fingers drummed sharply on the
table top, and there was a frown of discontent on his face as his eyes
fixed themselves gloomily on the Trinidad hills that lay back of the
town of Port-of-Spain. In all conscience, the ensign had enough to
trouble him.

Several days previous, he had been detached from the United States
cruiser _Seminole_ at La Guayra on special duty. Incidentally, the
commander of the _Seminole_ had entrusted him with a packet of
important papers to be delivered to Mr. Brigham, the United States
consular representative at Para, in the mouth of the Amazon River. In
the course of his duty, Ensign Glennie was to call at Para; also the
course of his duty demanded that he proceed to Georgetown, British
Guiana, and there await the arrival of a certain boat in which he was
to take passage around "the Horn."

Ensign Glennie, let it be known, was descended from a line of
Massachusetts notables who first came over in the _Mayflower_. His
father was a Boston nabob, and there was a good deal more pride and
haughtiness about Glennie than was good for him. No sooner had he been
cut loose from the _Seminole_ on detached duty, than he proceeded to
hire the services of a body servant--a sphinx-like little Jap by the
name of Tolo.

How Tolo came to be in La Guayra at the very time the ensign landed
there, and why he should insinuate himself into the particular notice
of Glennie and ask for a job, were mysteries not destined to be solved
for some time. The prime thing to be taken account of here is that Tolo
did present himself, and was hired.

For two days he brushed the ensign's clothes, polished his boots,
and performed other services such as fall to the lot of a valet who
knows his business. Then, after two days of faithful service, Tolo
disappeared; and, about the same time, the packet of important papers
likewise vanished.

Glennie led the authorities in a wild hunt through La Guayra, and after
that through Caracas, but Tolo was not to be found. What on earth the
little Jap wanted with the papers, Glennie could not even guess, but
that he had them seemed a certainty.

Returning to La Guayra, Glennie found that the authorities there
had discovered that Tolo had taken passage, on the very morning he
had turned up missing, on a tramp steamer bound for Trinidad and
Port-of-Spain; and the authorities further stated that Tolo had
formerly been employed as a waiter in the _fonda_ Ciudad Bolivar, which
fronted the esplanade of the capital city of the island.

Ensign Glennie changed his plans forthwith. Instead of proceeding
direct to Georgetown he would gain that port by way of Trinidad,
stopping long enough in Port-of-Spain to hunt up the enterprising Tolo
and secure the papers.

So this was why Glennie happened to be on the _Borneo_; and it was also
the reason he was not so comfortable in his mind as he might otherwise
have been.

As a commissioned officer in the United States Navy he had been
entrusted with important dispatches. If he did not recover the
dispatches, and then proceed with the rest of the duty marked out for
him, a black mark would be set against his name that would interfere
with his promotion.

Glennie was worried as he had never been before in his life. His one
desire was to serve Uncle Sam with a clean and gallant record. His
father, the Boston nabob, expected great things of him, and Glennie,
being puffed up--as already stated--with rather high ideas regarding
his family, expected them of himself. Therefore the loss of that packet
of official papers caught him like a slap in the face. It made him
squirm, and he was squirming as he sat by that table on the grating,
felt the _Borneo_ reach the end of her scope of cable and come to a
stop with her mud-hook hard and fast.

The water was too shoal for a large boat to get very far inshore, and
Glennie was among the first to tumble into the launch that soon hove
alongside. When he had scrambled off the launch at the landing, he
hailed a queer-looking cab and ordered the dusky driver to carry him,
as rapidly as possible, to the _fonda_ Ciudad Bolivar.

The ensign did not pay much attention to the scenery as he was jostled
along--his mind was too full of other things for that--and presently
he went into the wood and stone building that faced the _plaza_ and
proceeded to make frantic inquiries regarding a waiter by the name of
Tolo.

To all of these eager questions the Venezuelan proprietor of the hotel
gave a negative shake of the head.

"There must be some mistake--the Señor Americano has surely been
wrongly informed. There has never been such a person as the Japanese
employed in the _fonda_. The waiters were all Venezuelans, and no Japs
were ever employed. Perhaps this Tolo had worked in the old hotel that
had been burned during the great fire?"

Glennie's trail, faint enough at best, had run into thin air. He was at
the end of it, and it had led him nowhere. Going off into one corner of
the wineroom, the ensign dropped down at a table in an obscure corner,
rested his chin in his hands, and wondered dejectedly what he should do
next.

He was not very well acquainted with Orientals, or the brand of
guile they used. He had heard of Japs insinuating themselves into
fortifications flying the United States flag and making drawings and
jotting down memoranda of the guns, stores, and number of men. He had
laughed contemptuously at such yarns, although heartily agreeing with
the expediency that had suggested such a move on the part of the men
from Nippon. Like all others in the sea and land service of the Great
Republic, Ensign Glennie knew that it wasn't so much the forts, or the
guns, or the ammunition, as it is the unconquerable spirit of the men
behind the guns that count.

But where was the tactical advantage to be gained by a Jap in stealing
an envelope addressed to a consular agent tucked away in a Brazilian
town at the mouth of the Amazon? The only advantage which Glennie could
think of was that of _pecuniary gain_. Tolo had stolen the packet in
order to demand money for its return. Glennie had plenty of money, and
he began to think he had fallen into a grievous error by running away
from La Guayra without giving Tolo a chance to communicate with him.

And yet there was the information developed by the La Guayra police, to
the effect that Tolo had sailed for Port-of-Spain. However, this might
be as unreliable, as that other supposed discovery, namely, that Tolo
was working at the _fonda_ Ciudad Bolivar.

Nevertheless, no matter what theories Glennie might have, now that he
was in Port-of-Spain, and could not get out of the town again until the
next steamer sailed, it would be well to look around and thus make
assurance doubly sure that Tolo was not on the island.

Although Ensign Glennie was not at all sanguine, he immediately left
the _fonda_ and conferred with the city officials. A description of
Tolo was given, handbills offering a reward for his apprehension were
struck off and posted in conspicuous places, and the island telegraph
lines and the cables to the mainland were brought into requisition.

Glennie had to work fast and thoroughly. Before many days he must be in
Georgetown, ready to go aboard the ship that was to carry him south,
and if he did not recover the important packet before he was picked up,
then there would be a reprimand, and perhaps a trial for dereliction of
duty. He winced at the thought and redoubled his efforts.

But he was "going it blind." The wily Tolo might be a thousand miles
away and rapidly increasing the distance between him and his erstwhile
employer. Yet, be that as it might, Ensign Glennie could not give over
his hopeless labors.

He fought against fate with all the Glennie firmness and resolution.
Fate had no business trying to backcap one of the Glennies, anyhow.
Family pride swelled up in him as the skies of hope continued to
darken. All he did was to cable his governor for a few thousand dollars
and then begin scattering it wherever he thought it might do some good.

Three days Ensign Glennie was in Port-of-Spain, then one morning as
he came down into the office of the _fonda_ he heard an excited group
talking about a mysterious under-water boat that had just bobbed up in
the harbor.

Glennie pricked up his ears. "What's the name of the boat?" he asked.

"The _Grampus_," was the answer.

That was enough for the ensign. He settled his bill, grabbed up his
suit case, and rushed for the landing.

He had hardly got clear of the hotel before a Chinaman, with a copy
of one of the handbills, presented himself and asked for John Henry
Glennie. The Chinaman was told where the ensign had gone, and he
likewise made a bee-line for the waterfront.

Here, at last, was a possible clue--and it was sailing after Glennie
with kimono fluttering and pigtail flying.



CHAPTER III.

THE MEETING IN THE HARBOR.


Events in this world, no matter how seemingly incomprehensible, usually
happen for the best.

If the _Grampus_ had not had her fight with the cachalot she would not
have put in at Port-of-Spain, and if Ensign Glennie had not lost his
dispatches he would not have put in there, either.

The damage to the fore-rudder had been insignificant. Some of the iron
bars protecting the rudder had been twisted and bent by the whale's
flukes, and Motor Matt had repaired the damage while coming through the
Boca Drago into the gulf.

The submarine was riding high in the water a quarter of a mile off
shore, the Stars and Stripes fluttering gayly from the little flagstaff
forward. A small boat was in the water and a colored boatman was
rowing two lads around the bow of the _Grampus_. Three men and another
boy were forward on the submarine's deck, evidently assisting in an
examination of some sort.

Glennie had the skipper of the launch lay alongside the small boat.

"Hello, there!" called Glennie. "Is that boat the _Grampus_?"

"Yes," replied one of the lads in the other boat.

"I'm looking for Matt King, otherwise Motor Matt."

"You mean you're looking at him and not for him. I'm Motor Matt."

"Well, I'm Ensign Glennie. What the dickens are you doing at
Port-of-Spain?"

"What the dickens are _you_ doing here? We were to pick you up at
Georgetown."

"What I'm doing here is _my_ business," said Glennie, stiffening. "I
wasn't expecting you for two or three days yet, and expected to be in
Georgetown by the time you got there."

Matt stared at the haughty young man in the trim uniform. Dick Ferral,
who was in the boat with him, gave a long whistle.

"Then," said Matt coolly, "I guess our reason for being here is our own
business. We were expecting to find a midshipman, Glennie, and not----"

"_Mister_ Glennie," struck in the ensign. "I'm a passed midshipman and
a commissioned officer."

Dick got to his feet, pulled off his cap, and bowed.

"_Mister_ Glennie!" he exclaimed, with an accent on the "mister"
that was not entirely respectful. "Our brass band has been given
shore-leave, so we can't muster the outfit and play you aboard. It's a
little bit hard, too, considering our limited number, to dress ship."

A smothered laugh came from the deck of the _Grampus_. Glennie stared
at Ferral, and then at Speake, Gaines, Clackett, and Carl. The latter,
grabbing the flag halyards, dipped the ensign.

"Oof ve hat a gannon, Misder Glennie," yelled Carl, "ve vould gif der
atmiral's salute."

A flush ran through the ensign's cheeks.

"Who is that person, King?" demanded Glennie, pointing to Dick.

"Mister King," corrected Matt. "This, Mr. Glennie," proceeded the king
of the motor boys with mock gravity, "is my friend, Mr. Dick Ferral.
The Dutchman on the boat is another friend--Mr. Carl Pretzel. The hands
are Mr. Speake, Mr. Gaines, and Mr. Clackett. This colored gentleman is
Mr. Scipio Jones. Now that we are all acquainted, Mr. Glennie, may I
ask you if you are coming aboard to stay?"

"I am," was the sharp rejoinder. "Those were my orders from the captain
of the _Seminole_."

Matt caught a rope which Carl threw to him and stepped to the rounded
deck of the _Grampus_.

"The submarine's all right, Dick," said he, "and hasn't a dent in her
anywhere. Go ashore and get the gasolene. Have you the hydrometer in
your pocket?"

"Aye, aye, matey," answered Dick.

"Then be sure and test the gasolene thoroughly."

As Dick was rowed away he once more removed his hat ostentatiously in
passing the launch. Ensign Glennie disregarded the mocking courtesy and
motioned his boatman to place the launch close to the submarine.

"Take my grip, my man," called Glennie to Gaines, standing up and
tossing the suit case.

Gaines grabbed the piece of luggage. "Why didn't you whistle, Mr.
Glennie?" he asked, dropping the suit case down the open hatch of the
conning tower and listening to the smash as it landed at the foot of
the iron ladder. "We're well trained and can walk lame, play dead, an'
lay down an' roll over at a mere nod."

The ensign ignored Gaines' remarks. Climbing to the rounded deck he
faced Motor Matt with considerable dignity.

In spite of the ensign's arrogance there was about him a certain
bearing learned only at Annapolis and on the quarterdeck of American
warships--a bearing that predisposed the king of the motor boys in his
favor.

"We had a fight with a cachalot, Mr. Glennie," said Matt, unbending a
little, "and thought best to put in here and look the _Grampus_ over to
see if----"

"You were guilty of gross carelessness," interrupted Glennie, "by
risking the submarine in such a contest. But possibly you are ignorant
of the fact that a bull cachalot has been known to attack and sink a
full-rigged ship?"

"Ach, vat a high-toned feller id iss!" grunted Carl disgustedly. "He
vill make it aboudt as bleasant on der poat as a case oof measles."

Matt frowned at Carl.

"It was either sink the cachalot or run the risk of being stove in,"
said Matt. "We'll have to have a little talk, Mr. Glennie, so you had
better go below to the periscope room."

The ensign nodded, climbed over the top of the tower, and disappeared.

"That there uniform makes him top-heavy, Matt," scowled Clackett. "The
quicker you pull some o' the red tape off o' him the better it'll be
for all of us."

"He's all right, boys," said Matt, "and I'll bet he's a good fellow
down at the bottom. He forgets he's not on the _Seminole_, that's all."

When Matt got down into the periscope room he found Glennie examining
one corner of the suit case, which was badly smashed.

"I regret to note, Mr. King," said he, "that there is a serious lack of
discipline aboard this boat. Such a thing could never be tolerated in
the service. We are to take a long and hazardous journey, and I shall
insist on having the men keep their places."

"You are not here to insist on anything, Mr. Glennie," replied Matt,
coolly placing himself on one of the low stools that were used as
seats. "My own duties, and yours, are pretty clear in my mind. Let's
see if I have the situation exactly as you understand it.

"The owner of this boat, Captain Nemo, Jr., is recovering from a sick
spell in Belize, and he has sold the _Grampus_ to the United States
Government for one hundred thousand dollars, conditional upon the
submarine's being taken around the Horn and delivered safely to the
commandant at Mare Island Navy Yard, San Francisco. For this long
cruise I have been placed in charge of the boat. You are aboard as
representative of the government, merely to observe her performance.
Have I got it right?"

Glennie nodded.

"Upon my report," said he, "will largely depend the acceptance or
rejection of the craft when she reaches Mare Island. Don't overlook
that point. A lack of discipline will get us all into trouble, and may
result in the loss of the----"

"I will attend to the discipline," said Matt stiffly. "If the boat
behaves well, you can find no fault with the way I manage her. I must
ask you not to bother me with any remarks as to how the _Grampus_ is to
be run. I and my friends are not in the naval service, but we all know
the submarine perfectly and understand what is expected of us.

"The cruise we are to make is one that no submarine ever made before.
It is full of dangers, and unforeseen difficulties are going to bob up
and will have to be dealt with. The _Grampus_ is equal to the work, and
in due time she will be delivered to the commandant at Mare Island, but
I want, and will insist on having, a perfectly free hand. A friendly
footing is what I desire among all on board, more than anything else."

Matt smiled and stretched out his hand.

"Just a minute, Mr. King," said Glennie, pursing up his lips. "I
understood that I was to be here in an advisory capacity. From your
talk I take it that you consider yourself the whole works, and that I
am to play the rôle of an innocent bystander."

"I am to manage the boat," returned Matt firmly.

"Then," cried Glennie, "if you get us into serious difficulties, I am
to say nothing, but bear the brunt of your mistakes along with the rest
of the men?"

"Do you know anything about submarines?"

"A graduate of Annapolis is equipped with all the knowledge he can
possibly need in his work."

"Theoretical knowledge," qualified Matt. "Have you ever had any
practical experience on a submarine?"

"No."

"Then, if I get into difficulties, I don't think you could give any
advice that would help us out."

The ensign bowed coldly.

"Have you a cabin reserved for me?" he inquired.

Matt nodded toward a bulkhead door leading to a steel room abaft the
periscope chamber.

"We have fixed up a place in there for you," said he.

"Then, inasmuch as I am a passenger, I will proceed to eliminate myself
and keep out of your way."

Without taking Matt's hand he picked up his suit case and started. At
the door he paused while a hail came down from the hatch.

"Hello dere, vonce! Matt!"

"What is it, Carl?" answered Matt.

"Dere iss a Chink feller alongsite, und he say dot he vant to see
Misder Glennie."

"A Chinaman!" muttered Glennie, pausing. "Why does he want to see me?"

"Vell, he say dot he tell you somet'ing aboudt a feller mit der name
oof Dolo, und----"

A shout of joy escaped Glennie, and he dropped his suit case and jumped
for the ladder.

"Wait, Mr. Glennie," said Matt, "and I'll have the Chinaman come down."

"Very good," said Glennie, smothering his impatience and dropping down
on the locker.



CHAPTER IV.

AH SIN'S CLUE.


The Chinaman came scuffling down the ladder in his wooden sandals. He
wore an old slouch hat pulled low over his ears, and when he stepped
from the last rung to the floor of the periscope room, he shoved his
hands into the wide sleeves of his blue silk blouse and stood looking
around him in gaping amazement.

"I'm Mr. Glennie," said the ensign impatiently. "Do you want to see me?"

"Allee same," answered the Celestial. "You makee that, huh?" he added,
pulling the crumpled handbill from one of his sleeves and holding it
in front of the ensign's eyes. "You givee fitty dol if China boy tell
where you findee Japanese man?"

"Yes," replied Glennie, stirring excitedly.

"Givee fitty dol. China boy know."

"I don't pay in advance. Savvy the pidgin? Tell me where Tolo is, then,
if I find him, you get the money."

The Chinaman was silent.

"Who are you?" demanded Glennie.

"Me Ah Sin."

"Where's Tolo?"

"My wanchee fitty dol first. Me tellee, you no givee. My savvy pidgin
allee light?"

"You're an insolent scoundrel!" cried Glennie hotly. "I'm an officer
and a gentleman, and if I say I'll give you fifty dollars, I'll do it."

Ah Sin ducked humbly, but he remained firm.

"Melican men plenty slick," said he, with a gentle grin, "but China boy
plenty slick, too."

"If you won't trust me," returned the puzzled ensign, "how can I trust
you?"

It seemed like a deadlock, and Ah Sin wrinkled his parchment-like face.

"How you likee hire China boy?" he cried. "My cookee glub, blushee
clo's, makee plenty fine man. Workee fo' twenty dol. Tolo him no stay
in Tlinidad; him makee sail fo' Pala."

"Para?" burst from Glennie.

That was the port to which the important papers were consigned. If Tolo
had gone there with them, it may have been for the purpose of treating
with the consular agent direct.

"All same," pursued the Chinaman. "You makee hire China boy, takee him
by Pala, pay twenty dol fo' wages, then givee fitty dol when you findee
Tolo. Huh?"

"How do you happen to know where Tolo is?" demanded Glennie skeptically.

"My savvy Tolo. Makee work on landing when he takee boat fo' Pala. Him
makee come on one boat flom Ven'zuel', makee go chop-chop on other boat
fo' Pala. Ah Sin makee chin with Tolo. Him say where he go in Pala."

Glennie grabbed at this straw of hope like a drowning man. Ah Sin's
information might not be dependable, but it was the only clue that had
come Glennie's way, and he decided to make the most of it.

"There's your twenty dol," said he, throwing a gold piece to the
Chinaman. "You're hired. Make yourself scarce out there while I talk
with the skipper of this boat."

He nodded toward a door in the forward bulkhead, and Ah Sin, after
grabbing the coin out of the air and biting it to make sure it was
genuine, faded from the room.

"We've got enough hands aboard," said Matt, "without taking a Chinaman
on."

"You don't understand the situation, Mr. King," returned Glennie, "and
I shall have to explain to you."

It was hard for the ensign's pride to be compelled to confess the
loss of the packet. But, if he had Matt's help--which, in the
circumstances, was necessary--it followed that he would have to let
Matt know the details connected with the missing dispatches.

Matt listened attentively.

"The Chink may be fooling you, Mr. Glennie," he said, after the ensign
had finished.

"Possibly," was the answer; "but I can't afford to pass up his
information. The submarine was to call at Para, anyway, and we might
just as well carry the Chinaman that far. You must realize what it
means for me to recover those papers. Suppose I had to report that they
were lost, and could not be found? Good heavens!" and Glennie drew a
shaking hand across his forehead.

"I'm willing to help you, of course," said Matt.

"You're in duty bound to do that! If I had to report the loss of the
papers because you refused to give me your aid, it wouldn't sound very
well, eh?"

"Do you want me to put all this in the log?"

"No, certainly not! I want you to keep quiet about it--in the
event that the dispatches are recovered. If they're not found,
then--then--well, everything will have to come out."

"Were the dispatches important?"

"They must have been, or they would have been sent by mail and not
entrusted to me."

"What does the Jap want with them?"

"Probably it's a play for money. That's the way I size it up."

"But he pulled out of La Guayra. If he had wanted money he would have
hidden himself away in that place and opened negotiations with you."

"The Chink says Tolo has gone to Para. That may mean that he is
intending to open negotiations with Brigham. Great Scott! We've got to
get away from here in short order. Can't you start for Brazil at once?"

"I had planned to lay over here for the rest of the day, and
to-night----"

"But everything may depend on the quickness with which we get to
Brazil!"

"Well, I'm willing to start just as soon as Dick gets back with the
gasolene. We'll get along, after that, until we reach Rio, unless
there's some extra cruising in the Amazon."

"I'm obliged to you, Mr. King."

Glennie half extended his hand, but Matt did not seem to see it. Now
that the ensign wanted aid in his time of trouble, he appeared anxious
to get on the friendly footing which Matt had mentioned a little while
before. But Matt, once rebuffed, wasn't going halfway to meet him on
that ground.

"It seems to me, Mr. Glennie," said he, "that there is something
more behind this than just a desire, on the Jap's part, to sell his
dispatches to the highest bidder. The Japs are wily little fellows, and
as brave as they are wily."

"What else can you make out of it?" queried Glennie, with a troubled
look.

"Nothing; only the theft strikes me as queer, that's all. If the papers
were so important, I should think you ought to have kept them in your
possession every minute."

"I did," protested Glennie, a gleam of resentment rising in his eyes
over the implied rebuke. "They were under my pillow, and Tolo, who came
and went in my room just as he pleased, must have taken them while I
was asleep."

"Speake has been doing the cooking for us," remarked Matt; "but if
we've got to have the Chinaman along we'll make him earn his pay and
take the cooking off Speake's hands."

"I'm more than willing to have you consider Ah Sin one of the crew.
He'll probably be useful to me in Para, and not until we get there."

"There are not many Japs in La Guayra, are there?" queried Matt, with a
sudden thought.

"Tolo is the only one I saw," answered Glennie.

"Then it's a little queer he should be there at the same time you were.
There was a Japanese war vessel in Belize a day before we left the
harbor, and I understood she had called at Venezuelan ports. Do you
think Tolo could have deserted from her?"

"The Japs never desert."

"Was Tolo a sailor?"

"He said he was a servant, and that he had come to La Guayra from
Caracas."

"But the authorities told you he had been a waiter in a hotel in
Port-of-Spain?"

"That was wrong, for the proprietor of the _fonda_ didn't know anything
about Tolo."

"Could you find out anything about him in Caracas?"

"No."

"Then it's a cinch the Jap wasn't telling you a straight story. It's my
impression he hired out to you just to get the packet of papers."

"Bosh!" scoffed Glennie. "You're giving him credit for more cunning
than he deserves. Take it from me, he just saw how careful I was of
those papers and made up his mind, on the spur of the moment, that he
could make a few dollars by stealing them and selling them back to me,
or else to Brigham at Para."

"There's more to it than that," averred Matt.

The king of the motor boys was somewhat worried, for, if there was a
plot, it was possible it was not aimed at Ensign Glennie alone, but
perhaps at the _Grampus_ as well. This suspicion was only vaguely
formed in Matt's mind, but it was one of those strange, inexplicable
"hunches" which sometimes came to him and which events occasionally
proved to be warranted by results.

It must have been generally known in Belize that the _Grampus_ had
been sold to the United States Government for a large sum, conditional
upon her safe delivery at Mare Island; and perhaps it was equally well
known, on the _Seminole_, at least, and maybe in La Guayra, that Ensign
Glennie was to accompany the submarine on her passage around the Horn.
All this knowledge, of course, could have been picked up, and perhaps
used by unscrupulous persons. But what could such unscrupulous persons
be hoping to gain by any crooked work?

Matt's thoughts were carrying him far afield. Not only that, but
they were bumping him into a stone wall. Giving over his useless
speculations, he once more turned to the ensign.

"As I said before, Mr. Glennie," he remarked, "this cruise of ours is
not going to be a picnic. A whole lot depends on its success, and every
man on board must be----"

At that moment he was interrupted by a sudden roar from below--a
detonation that shook the steel fabric of the submarine in every part.
The peculiar smell of burned gasolene rolled into the periscope room
through the open bulkhead door.

"Great Moses!" gasped Glennie, leaping up. "What was that?"

A tramp of heavy feet on the deck proved that those outside the shell
had heard the noise and were rushing toward the conning-tower hatch.

Matt, without pausing an instant, darted through the door and dropped
down the hatch leading to the tank room and the motor room.



CHAPTER V.

OFF FOR THE AMAZON.


Motor Matt considered himself personally responsible for the safety of
the _Grampus_. The boat had been placed in his charge by Captain Nemo,
Jr., her owner, and the captain's faith in the king of the motor boys
was unlimited. Matt was to take the submarine to Mare Island Navy Yard
and collect one hundred thousand dollars for her from the government.
Those were his instructions, and the captain not only expected them to
be carried out to the letter, but he also expected to pay Motor Matt
well for doing it.

All this responsibility, it may be, had got on Matt's nerves a little,
so that he was apt to shy at imaginary dangers. But this fact in no
wise interfered with his coolness and courage.

The whole under part of the submarine's hull was filled with smoke--a
smoke that had the acrid smell of burned gas. On hands and knees, Matt
groped his way through the haze, pulled a switch, and set an electric
ventilator fan at work. The fan soon cleared the ship, and the first
figure Matt saw was that of the gasping Chinaman. He was on his knees
in the tank room. In front of him lay a twisted and broken gasolene
tank--a small reserve reservoir sometimes used to help out the larger
tank when the fuel in it was running low. This auxiliary tank had not
been used for a month, but had hung empty from a rack in the tank room.

At the Chinaman's side lay a cigarette and a half-burned match.

"What the deuce happened?" cried Glennie, creeping after Matt.

"Your Chinaman tried to light a cigarette," answered the young
motorist, quick to reason out the cause of what had happened. "He was
under an auxiliary gasolene reservoir, and the match set it off."

"Thunder, Matt!" exclaimed Gaines, who had dropped down below after
Glennie, "there hasn't been any gasolene in that tank for a month."

"The vapor was there, all the same."

"Nonsense!" exclaimed Glennie. "Vapor wouldn't stay in that tank for a
month. It would escape and find its way out."

"Gasolene vapor is heavier than air," said Matt; "and it would remain
indefinitely at the bottom of the reservoir. A little of it probably
leaked through the bottom of the feed pipe, so that the match set it
off. Luckily for the Chink there wasn't very much of it."

"Gee, klismus!" babbled Ah Sin. "Me tly smokee, something go _boom_! No
likee devil-boat!"

"Have you any more cigarettes?" demanded Matt sharply.

Ah Sin dug a handful out of the breast of his blouse.

"Is that all?" demanded Matt.

"No gottee allee mo'."

"Don't strike any more matches," went on Matt sternly. "You're going
with us to Para, and you're going to do the cooking. Take him in hand,
Speake," he added to Speake, who had dropped down behind Gaines, "and
show him how we do that part of our work on the _Grampus_. Keep an eye
on him, and see that he doesn't blow up the boat."

"Never did like a bloomin' chink, nohow," grumbled Speake. "If he gits
too blame' troublesome, I'll break his scrawny neck. Come on here,
yaller mug!"

Speake made off forward, toward the torpedo room, and Ah Sin meekly
followed. Just then a thump on the deck, and a loud hail, announced
that Dick had arrived with the gasolene.

"Rig the hose, Gaines," called Matt. "Clackett, get the pump on deck.
We've got to get the fuel into the tank in short order and then slant
away for the Amazon and Para."

While Gaines and Clackett busied themselves, Matt and Glennie went up
to the periscope room. Carl was just climbing the ladder to help Dick.
Glennie, without further talk, picked up his suit case and went on to
the room that had been set apart for his use.

"Dot ploomin' shink vill ged us all indo some hot vater," grunted Carl.

"I guess not," returned Matt. "Speake is looking after him."

"Vat iss a shink anyvay," went on Carl, "but some monkies mit der tails
in der wrong blace?"

Clackett came with the pump and passed it to Dick, who was in the boat
with the barrel of gasolene. The pump was rigged, the end of the hose
clamped on, and Clackett and Dick got busy pouring the fuel through the
hose and into the big tank below.

While they worked, Clackett explained to Dick that they were to make a
quick departure for the Amazon. Dick was disappointed, for he had hoped
for a night's shore-leave in Port-of-Spain, where he had some friends.
When he learned that business of Glennie's had all to do with their
short stay in port, Dick was inclined to be resentful.

The ensign had not made much of a hit with Ferral--nor with any of the
rest of the submarine's complement, for that matter. Dick, however, did
no more than grumble. If Motor Matt thought it necessary to pull out
for the Amazon in such short order, then there was nothing more to be
said. Matt knew what he was about.

Dick alone, of all the submarine's crew, had been the only one to set
foot on shore. As soon as the gasolene was transferred, and the boatman
paid for his services, the anchor was taken in and the _Grampus_ laid
her course for the Serpent's Mouth and began her long voyage toward the
Amazon. Dick took the wheel. Matt, studying the charts, gave him the
course. Glennie came out of his room and watched the two lads while
they were at work.

Everything was going well, and the rhythmical hum of the motor echoed
through the boat from the engine room. Glennie walked over and took
a look at the periscope. In the mirror were reflected the slowly
receding shore line and the distant mountains that arose behind the
town.

"You fellows seem to know your business," remarked Glennie.

"Aye," growled Dick, "and we mind it, Mr. Glennie."

The ensign turned from the periscope and went up on deck.

"Why are you keeping the boat so high in the water?" he called down.

"He knows so much, matey," said Dick to Matt, "why not let him figure
that out for himself?"

"Because," Matt answered, shaking his head at Dick, "we can make better
speed when we're riding light. Once out of the Gulf of Paria, though,
the sea will probably be so rough we'll have to submerge."

The ensign continued to ask questions and Matt continued to answer them
until Speake announced dinner. The meal was served to the crew at their
different stations, Ah Sin carrying the plates and the steaming cups of
coffee.

After the meal Matt went up on deck with Glennie, and Dick did the
steering from the top of the conning tower. The Gulf of Paria was
a great watery plain, over which the waters of the Orinoco spread
themselves before mingling with the sea.

The ensign, feeling that he was disliked, drew back into his shell and
bore himself with a chilly reserve. Along toward three o'clock Matt
relieved Dick and sent him below to sleep. Directly after supper Dick
would have to relieve Gaines and stand his trick at the motor, and it
was necessary for him to get a little rest. Carl would also have to
relieve Clackett, and, in order to be fit for his duties, the Dutch boy
had turned in immediately after dinner. He was sleeping on the floor of
the periscope room, and Dick curled up on the locker.

The afternoon saw the _Grampus_ well across the gulf, and by five
o'clock she changed her course to south by east, leaving the densely
wooded hills of Trinidad far behind with the coast of Venezuela in
plain view to starboard.

Ah Sin, having been duly instructed as to his duties, prepared the
supper on the electric stove, and served it. Speake relieved Matt at
the steering gear, and when Dick went below to take Gaines' place at
the motor, Matt sprawled out on the locker to catch his own forty
winks. A stiff sea was running, and the _Grampus_ was submerged to a
depth that merely left the periscope ball clear of the combers.

As the darkness deepened, Speake had Carl put the turbines at work,
throwing out sufficient water ballast to lift the conning-tower
lunettes clear of the waves. The electric projector was then turned
on, and a ray of light shot through the forward lunette and marked the
submarine's path through the tumbling sea.

For some hours everything went well. Then abruptly the motor began
to sputter and misfire, lessening the speed of the boat and throwing
her--now that she was riding higher and with the top of the conning
tower awash--more at the mercy of the waves.

Loose furniture began to slam around the periscope room. Matt was
thrown from the locker, and sat up, wondering what had gone wrong with
the motor.

"What's the matter down there, Dick?" he called through the motor-room
tube.

"I'm a Feejee if I know," Dick answered. "You'd better come down, old
ship, and take a look."

Matt was soon at his chum's side. His keenly trained ear was usually
able to locate any ordinary trouble, but this time he was puzzled.
The ignition was all right, and the supply pipe from the tank was
clear. Nevertheless the motor sputtered and jabbered with a wheezy but
unsuccessful attempt to do its full duty. The platinum, in the blade
or spring of the commutator, will, in rare cases, get loose and cause
misfiring, but that was not the cause of the present trouble. Another
rare cause, resulting in similar symptoms, lay in the loosening of the
carbon pole in the cell of a battery. But, just now, the batteries were
not at fault.

Finally, as a last resort, Matt examined the gasolene that was being
fed into the carburetor. A few drops in the palm of his hand aroused
his suspicions. The next moment the hydrometer test was made and water
was found in the gasolene.

"How did it get there?" demanded Dick. "The gasolene has worked well
enough all afternoon and so far during the night."

"None of the gasolene you bought in Port-of-Spain has been used as yet?"

"Not a drop."

"Well, connect up the carburetor with the storage reservoir. If there
is a little water in the carburetor, it will soon work out. After that,
empty this tank, strain the gasolene through chamoiskin, and then give
the tank a compressed-air treatment. I'll send Clackett to help you."

"But how, in the name of sin, did water get in that tank?" cried the
perplexed Dick.

As Matt turned to crawl away, he picked up a six-inch ebony cylinder,
about the size of a lead-pencil, from near the tank. It was a chopstick!

"Has the Chinaman been here?" he asked.

"Not that I know of," answered Dick. "Why?"

"Nothing," said Matt, but he was doing some tall thinking as he stepped
into the torpedo room, aroused Clackett, and sent him aft to lend Dick
a hand.



CHAPTER VI.

VILLAINOUS WORK.


Gaines and Ah Sin were also sleeping in the torpedo room. As soon as
Clackett had left, Matt bent down over the Chinaman and shook him
roughly. The Celestial started up and stared blankly into the stern
face of the young motorist.

"Wha'chee want?" he asked.

"Is this yours?" inquired Matt, producing the chopstick and studying
the Chinaman's face attentively as he did so.

The brim of the old slouch hat--which the yellow man had kept on while
sleeping--shaded his eyes, so that Matt's view was not as good as he
would have liked to have it. So far as Matt could discover, not a
shadow of guilt crossed Ah Sin's face. Thrusting one hand into the
breast of his blouse he drew out the mate to the chopstick Matt was
holding, a grateful grin split his countenance, and he caught the piece
of ebony out of Matt's hand.

"Me losee um, huh?" he chuckled. "My no savvy how me losee um."

"Go up the hatch to the periscope room," ordered Matt.

If Ah Sin was surprised at the command he cloaked his feelings
admirably.

Without a word he left the torpedo room, climbed to the deck above, and
gained the periscope chamber. Matt pounded on the door of Glennie's
quarters, and the ensign quickly opened the door.

"What's wanted?" he asked.

"Take this Chinaman in there with you, Mr. Glennie," said Matt, "and
watch him."

"What's he been doing?"

"I don't know that he's been doing anything. I just want him watched,
that's all, and you can do it better than any one else."

Glennie stared for a moment, then jerked the Chinaman inside and closed
the door.

As Matt turned away, he was conscious of the steady song of the
cylinders. Again the motor had taken up its cycle properly--proof that
the gasolene secured by Dick in Port-of-Spain was of the right sort.

"I'll take the wheel, Speake," said Matt. "Go to the torpedo room and
turn in."

"What was wrong with the motor?" queried Speake, as he gave up the
wheel.

"Water in the carburetor."

"Chink put it there?"

"Why should he do that?" returned Matt.

"That's too much for me, Matt, unless he did it by mistake, same as he
exploded the gas in that reserve tank."

"I don't know how the water got in the tank, Speake, and it may have
been accident quite as much as design."

Speake left Matt to his lonely vigil. The gleam of the little
searchlight, reaching out ahead of the submarine, flung an odd picture
on the periscope mirror. The edges of the mirror were shrouded in
darkness, out of which jumped the smooth, oily billows. The waves
flashed like gold in the pencil of light.

Matt, holding the _Grampus_ to her course, looked into the periscope
absently. He was thinking of the motor's recent trouble, and of the
chopstick lying by the gasolene tank, turning both over in his mind and
wondering aimlessly.

Suddenly he lifted his head. An odd note was mixing itself with the
croon of the motor and the whir of the ventilator fans. The noise was
not caused by anything aboard the submarine, of that Matt was positive.
It was like the thrashing of a large propeller, growing rapidly in
volume as Matt listened.

Under water sounds are carried far. The noise Matt heard was caught by
the submerged hulk of the _Grampus_ and reëchoed as by a sounding-board.

"Half-speed, Dick," he called through the engine-room tube.

As the pace slackened, Matt's eyes again sought the periscope mirror.
Abruptly, out of the gloom that walled in the glow of the searchlight,
rushed a steamer, its blotted outline crossing directly the submarine's
course. There were lights along the steamer's rail, but it was plain
her lookouts were asleep or they would have seen the _Grampus'_
searchlight.

Instantly the young motorist was galvanized into strenuous activity.

"Full speed astern--on your life!" he shouted to Dick.

At the same time Matt put the wheel over, hoping to make a turn and get
the _Grampus_ on a parallel course with the steamer.

But there was not room, nor time, enough for the turn. Unless the motor
stayed the _Grampus_ she was bound to crash into the other vessel.

Dick, however, got the propeller to turning the other way just at the
critical moment. The speed of the submarine slackened in answer to the
reverse pull, and the stern of the steamer swung by into the gloom with
a margin of scarce a dozen feet, leaving the _Grampus_ bobbing in her
troubled wake.

"All right now, Dick," called Matt in a voice that shook somewhat.
"Drive her ahead."

"What was wrong?" inquired Dick.

"We just missed a collision with a steamer. Your quick work saved us."

Dick gave a long whistle, and went on with his work. "A miss is as good
as a hundred fathoms, old ship," he answered lightly.

The ringing orders and quick work with the engine had aroused none of
the sleepers. Carl could be heard babbling excitedly in the tank room,
but otherwise the ship's complement was quiet.

It was with a distinct feeling of relief that Matt caught the first
gleam of day as it was reflected by the periscope. As the morning
advanced and brightened, he raised a black smudge, as of steamer smoke,
on the port quarter. The smoke was bearing along in the direction the
submarine was going, and Matt wondered if that was the steamer they had
barely missed running into during the night.

Gaines relieved Dick, Clackett took Carl's place, and Speake came after
Ah Sin and ordered him below to get breakfast. When the Chinaman was
fairly at work, Speake returned to the engine room and took the wheel.
Glennie showed himself when breakfast was ready, and he, Matt, Dick,
Carl, and Speake ate their breakfast in the periscope room.

"We must be off British Guiana," remarked Glennie, stirring the
condensed milk and sugar into his coffee. "Will you put in at
Georgetown, Mr. King?"

"We won't have to do that, now that we've picked you up at
Port-of-Spain," replied Matt. "We've got to make quick time to the
Amazon."

"Iss dot shdeamer der vone ve come pooty near running indo lasdt
night?" queried Carl, taking a look into the periscope.

"It's about an even guess whether it is or not."

Ah Sin, who happened to be in the room, took a look at the periscope
for himself.

"Did we come near having a collision last night?" queried Glennie,
looking up quickly.

Matt, who wished to be agreeable, narrated the incident.

"We made a lucky miss of it," remarked the ensign, when Matt had
finished. "I've no desire to go to the bottom in a steel sarcophagus
like the _Grampus_. Strange I slept through it all, but I was tired,
and I suppose I slept rather sounder than usual. That chink," he added,
putting down his cup, "is a poor coffee-maker. Or is it the coffee
itself that tastes so rank?"

"It's poor stuff," spoke up Speake, "an' I was jest goin' to say
something about the taste. The chink did better yesterday than he's
doin' this mornin'."

"Id purns ven id goes town, like id vas a dorch-light brocession,"
observed Carl luminously. "I don'd like dot, but I vas hungry, so I
trink him. Whoosh!"

"It's certainly hot and bitter," said Matt, and put down his cup after
two or three swallows.

"That steamer is gettin' closer to us, Matt," announced Speake,
fumbling with the wheel and looking at the periscope.

"Steady, there, Speake!" cautioned Matt.

"I don't know what's the matter with me," muttered Speake, "but my
nerves are all in a quiver. She's small, that steamer; one funnel,
black, with a red band. I don't jest recollect what line--that--is."

He drawled out the last words.

"Py shiminy grickets!" said Carl, "I feel sick py der shdomach, und
eferyt'ing iss virling und virling."

"Dowse me," put in Dick, "I'm dizzy, too!"

"And I," murmured Glennie, setting aside his plate and empty cup. "I--I
believe I'll lie down."

He got up from the stool on which he was sitting, and floundered to the
top of the locker. Pushing a hand around to his hip pocket, he drew out
a revolver that interfered with his comfort, dropped it on the floor,
and fell back limply.

Dick tried to get to his feet, but his limbs gave out, and he fell
sprawling upon Carl. At the same moment Carl straightened out with a
gasp, and Speake let go of the wheel and pitched forward to his knees.
There he swayed unsteadily for an instant, trying to speak, but the
effort was beyond him, and he slowly crumpled downward.

A horrible sensation of helplessness was growing upon Matt, and with
it there dawned on his mind a hazy suspicion of villainous work. He
struggled upright and staggered to the wheel.

"Gaines!" he called huskily through the motor-room tube.

No answer was returned. Glennie floundered up on one knee.

"What--in the fiend's--name--is the matter?" he gasped chokingly.

"Clackett!" cried Matt through the tank-room tube.

Still there was no answer. At just that moment, when Matt was
positively sure that all on the ship were caught in the awful spell, Ah
Sin shambled through the door.

With all his failing strength Matt flung himself on the Chinaman.
Before Ah Sin could dodge out of the way Matt's arms went round him and
his slouch hat was jerked off.

With the hat came the long queue, leaving Ah Sin's closely cropped head
in plain sight.

"T--Tolo!" gurgled Glennie, a wild, incredulous look crossing his face.

He made a superhuman effort to get off the locker, but the last
particle of strength left him in a flash, and he rolled backward.



CHAPTER VII.

RUBBING ELBOWS WITH DEATH.


Matt had neither the time nor the strength to manifest any surprise
over the startling revelation made by Glennie. Not only that, but his
brain was in such a condition it was well-nigh incapable of surprise.

In that critical moment when he felt a terrifying helplessness surely
but steadily creeping over him, he centred every effort on the attempt
to make Ah Sin a prisoner.

Swiftly as a lightning flash the idea struck through Matt's brain that
the Chinaman had all to do with the baffling situation aboard the
_Grampus_. If Matt could drag him down and secure him he felt that, at
a later moment, the treacherous Celestial might be dealt with as his
evil deeds justified.

But the work the king of the motor boys had mapped out for himself
exceeded his powers. There was none to come to his aid. Below, in the
tank room and motor room, was a silence undisturbed by human voice or
movement, and there, in the periscope chamber, the only noise to be
heard was the deep breathing of Matt's unconscious friends and the
rattling sounds of the scuffle going forward between the young motorist
and Ah Sin.

The slouch hat and the false queue were kicked into one corner. Ah
Sin's long, lean fingers were gripping Matt's throat. There was no look
of hate, or anger, or even of determination in the Chinaman's face; the
expression was blank and saturnine, as though he was merely a tool,
operated by wires like a puppet and carrying out the will of some one
in high authority.

Suddenly, putting forth all his strength, Ah Sin lifted Matt by the
throat and threw him bodily across Speake and against the edge of the
locker. Matt tried to rise, but found it impossible.

The awful weakness held him in thrall and was fastening gyves upon his
wrists. Soon he would be utterly helpless, like those lying around him,
and what would Ah Sin then do to the _Grampus_?

A spasm of alarm and apprehension rushed through the young motorist.
Was this to be the end of the submarine's voyage? Was the sale of the
boat to the government destined never to be consummated?

Vaguely Matt thought of Captain Nemo, Jr., lying sick in that house in
Belize, of his unswerving confidence in the king of the motor boys, and
of his tremendous disappointment if anything happened to the submarine
during her daring cruise.

All this brought every ounce of Matt's failing strength back to him.
He shoved his hand along the side of the locker and twined his fingers
about the grip of the revolver dropped by Glennie, then, with a
despairing effort, he lifted himself on one elbow and again directed
his gaze at the Chinaman.

Ah Sin had not been idle. He was holding something in his hand--a round
object from which hung a long, black string. The Chinaman was lighting
a match and touching the flame to the end of the string.

Matt could not see very distinctly, for everything in the periscope
chamber, even the chamber itself, was reeling about him in fantastic
lines.

The glow at the end of the black string sputtered and hissed. Stepping
over to one corner, Ah Sin placed the round object on the floor with
exceeding care, pulling out the string so that it lay in a straight
line, the burning end pointed toward the centre of the room.

For a moment Ah Sin knelt and stared. His face was still inscrutable,
his eyes showing nothing more than a mild interest in his fiendish work.

A bomb!

The realization broke over Matt's benumbed brain like a thunder-clap.

Ah Sin was seeking to blow up the submarine, annihilating not only the
boat, but those aboard as well.

On Matt alone depended the salvation of the _Grampus_ and her crew. And
he was almost helpless in the grip of the baneful spell that had fallen
over every one on board, with the exception of the Chinaman!

Matt lifted the revolver unsteadily. A report rang out, sending wild
echoes clattering through the steel hull.

The bullet missed the kneeling Chinaman, struck clanging against the
curved iron plates, glanced against the bulkhead above the locker, and
dropped flattened and harmless at the side of Glennie.

Owing to Matt's unsteady hand the Chinaman had escaped the bit of lead,
but he was startled and frightened. Leaping up he whirled and peered at
Matt. The latter still clutched the revolver, but his hand swayed back
and forth as he leveled it.

Ah Sin made a quick jump toward Matt, evidently with the intention of
disarming him; but there was something in the lad's wide, straining
eyes that caused him to change his mind. Swerving aside he rushed at
the ladder, mounted swiftly, and disappeared through the hatch.

With a fierce effort Matt concentrated his wandering wits upon the
bomb. Someway, somehow, he must reach the infernal machine and
extinguish the fuse.

Dropping the revolver, he rolled over and over, a lurch of the boat,
running erratically with no guiding hand at either wheel or motor,
helping him to reach the foot of the periscope table.

With the utmost difficulty he caught the legs of the rigidly secured
table and pulled himself to his knees. The cup, from which he had taken
only a few swallows of coffee, stood on the floor just below the end of
the table, and not more than a foot from the burning fuse. By a miracle
the cup had not been overturned.

For him to reach the fuse in his weakened condition was impossible;
but, if he could regain his feet and kick the cup over the coffee that
remained in it might quench the fire of the fuse.

Three times he endeavored to draw himself erect by means of the table,
but succeeded only in dropping backward as though pushed by a heavy,
resistless hand. But the fourth time he managed to remain upright,
trembling with the strain he had put upon himself.

It seemed a trifling thing to overset the coffee-cup, but Motor Matt
had never planned a harder task.

There are but few things in this life, however, that will not yield to
pluck and determination, and fortune favored Matt in his grave fight.

The _Grampus_ pitched forward, rising aft and making a steep incline
of the floor. Matt's feet slipped, and he lost his hold on the table.
As he came heavily down he shot against a stool, which was overturned
and upset the cup. The liquid in the cup had slopped over the sides,
and with the overturning a miniature wave of brown rolled along the
inclined floor.

There followed a hiss as it engulfed the tiny blaze at the end of the
fuse, and then a little spiral of smoke eddied upward.

This much Matt saw, and a fierce exultation ran through him. The bomb
was harmless--but where was Ah Sin? Would he not come back, discover
what Matt had accomplished, and again set a match to the fuse?

This might happen, but there was nothing Motor Matt could do to prevent
it.

He had taken only a few swallows of the coffee, and to this, and to
his superior powers of endurance, was due the fact that he had kept his
senses and a remnant of his strength long enough to accomplish what he
had.

But now a wave of darkness rolled over him. As unconscious of what
was taking place around him as he was helpless to prevent further
disaster, his head fell back and he lay as one dead among his silent
and motionless companions.



CHAPTER VIII.

A DIVE FOR SAFETY.


As Matt was the last one to lose his senses, so he was the first to
recover. And here again his superior endurance must have scored in his
favor.

Always in the pink of physical condition, and striving constantly to
keep himself so, his powers of recuperation were quick to react and
reassert themselves.

He sat up, dazed and bewildered, and was some moments in picking up the
chain of events where it had been dropped.

By degrees he lived over the events that immediately preceded his lapse
into unconsciousness, and thoughts of the treacherous Ah Sin brought
him staggering to his feet.

The _Grampus_ was yawing and tumbling about in the waves, completely
at the mercy of wind and currents. Seizing the wheel, Matt brought
the submarine to her course and lashed the wheel with his twisted
handkerchief.

Pausing by the foot of the ladder he looked up into the conning tower.
The hatch was open.

What had become of the Chinaman he asked himself. Had he, confident
that the boat would be blown up, gained the deck and thrown himself
into the sea? Matt had heard of fanatics of that sort--carrying out
orders given by a higher power and then immolating themselves on the
altar of what they supposed to be their duty.

The Japs were noted for self-sacrifices of that kind, and Ah Sin was
not a Chinaman, but a little yellow man from the land of the mikado.

How long Matt had remained unconscious he had no means of knowing.

Resolved to discover what had become of the supposed Chinaman at all
hazards, Matt climbed laboriously up the ladder. The cool, salt air,
pouring down the hatch, served still further to revive him and bring
back his strength.

At last, when he braced himself in the opening and was able to cast a
sweeping glance over the waves, the sight unrolled before him brought a
startled exclamation to his lips.

A cable's length from the submarine was a dory manned by smartly
uniformed yellow sailors. Hove to, half a dozen fathoms beyond the
dory, was the steamer with the black funnel and the red band, her port
rail lined with figures that were evidently watching the _Grampus_.
Between the dory and the submarine was a swimming figure, which Matt
had little difficulty in recognizing as being that of Tolo, otherwise
Ah Sin.

Tolo was swimming and looking behind, and the eyes of those in the dory
were on the _Grampus_, the men at the oars turning their heads to look
over their shoulders.

It seemed plain that they were expecting an explosion, and that they
were hurrying to get Tolo out of the way of it.

Matt's blood ran cold as he thought of the heinous plot that had so
nearly been carried out by the disguised Japanese. Policy was back of
the murderous plan, but was it a policy dictated by a powerful nation,
or merely by a set of misguided men, acting on their own accord?

The young motorist had no time to debate this point. A shout of
consternation greeted his appearance at the conning-tower hatch. The
officer in the dory spoke to his men, and all turned their faces the
other way and bent their backs to the oars.

It flashed over Matt, in a twinkling, that the crew from the steamer
were still of the opinion that they could destroy the submarine, and
that they were hastening to get aboard the craft in order to carry out
their nefarious designs.

Without losing a moment, Matt drew back into the tower and closed and
barred the hatch. Lurching down the ladder he called desperately to his
companions. Speake and Dick were sitting up, staring blankly at each
other. When Matt appeared they fixed their bewildered eyes on him.

"Wake up!" cried Matt, springing to Dick and shaking him vigorously.
"Get your wits together, Dick, and be quick about it."

"Keelhaul me!" mumbled Dick. "There was dope in that coffee."

"That's right," seconded Speake, rubbing a hand across his forehead.

"Never mind that now," went on Matt hurriedly. "Enemies are upon us!
That steamer you saw in the periscope, Speake, is hove to a little way
from us, and our motor is slowed until we have scarcely steerage-way.
A boat is coming toward the _Grampus_, and we shall be boarded before
you can say Jack Robinson. We've got to make a dive for safety. Rouse
yourselves, both of you! To the motor, Dick! Speake, attend to the
tanks--fill them for a twenty-foot submersion. You----"

Something struck against the side of the submarine, and a jar followed
as of some one springing to the deck.

"There they are!" shouted Matt. "Below with you--quick!"

Speake and Dick got unsteadily to their feet. Matt's ominous words
alarmed them, and did more than anything else to clear the fog from
their minds. Making their way stumblingly through the door they lowered
themselves down the hatch.

Several more ringing thumps on the deck proved to Matt that others had
come aboard. Presently there was a banging on the hatch cover.

"Open!" cried a muffled voice with a queer foreign intonation. "Open so
that we can talk!"

"Who are you?" roared Matt, his voice sounding like thunder in the
confined space.

"Young Samurai, patriots of Nippon, Sons of the Rising Sun, Independent
Protectors of the Kingdom. Open!"

Matt forced his way up the ladder again. Slant eyes were pressed
against the lunettes and met his.

Already, however, water was entering the ballast tanks and the
_Grampus_ was beginning to settle.

"Our flag is the Stars and Stripes," yelled Matt, shaking his fist at
the eyes on the other side of the thick glass, "and you dare not lay a
hand on us! If your mikado knew what you were about----"

"Our mikado knows nothing," interrupted a voice. "We----"

The fact that the submarine was diving came suddenly home to those on
the deck. Already the waves were creaming over the curved plates, drawn
into a flurry by the suction as the boat went down.

The eyes disappeared from the lunettes, and the Japanese scrambled for
their boat. Another moment and the conning tower was submerged and Matt
could hear the waters gurgling over the hatch cover.

Sliding down to the periscope room he looked into the periscope.
Some of the sailors were in the water, and others, in the boat, were
desperately busy getting them aboard. For a moment only Matt was able
to use the periscope, and then the waters closed about the ball, the
valves protecting the ball from an inrush of water closed, and the
_Grampus_ was more than fifteen feet down.

"Twenty feet, matey!" came the voice of Dick.

"That will do, Speake," called Matt.

The tanks were closed.

"Drive her ahead, Dick!" cried Matt.

The motor was speeded up and the _Grampus_ hustled onward below the
surface. While Matt unlashed the wheel and brought the boat more
directly into her course, a loud boom and a splash were heard.

"What's that?" demanded Speake.

"The steamer is firing at us," answered Matt.

"Let 'em shoot," laughed Dick. "A heap of good it will do them to drop
shot into the sea."

"How's Gaines, Dick?"

"Coming along full and by, forty knots. He's sitting up and beginning
to take notice."

"How about Clackett, Speake?"

"He jest asked me to tell him where he was," replied Speake, "so I
guess he'll soon be able to take hold."

"Good! We're coming out of this a whole lot better than I had dared to
hope."

"Dot's righdt," spoke up Carl, coming suddenly to a sitting posture.

"How do you feel, old chap?" asked Matt.

"I peen lying dere on my pack trying to guess id oudt," Carl answered.

"That's about the way I stack up, Mr. King," said Glennie, turning over
on his side so he could face Matt. "Where are we?"

"We're twenty feet down and headed for the delta of the Amazon, Mr.
Glennie."

"Didn't you lose consciousness, like the rest of us?"

"Yes; but I wasn't out of my head so long. I was the last to go and the
first to come to."

"How do you account for that?"

Glennie sat up on the locker, as he put the question, and began rubbing
his head.

"I didn't drink so much of that bitter coffee as the rest of you did,"
replied Matt.

"That's right," muttered Glennie; "I was forgetting about the coffee.
It was drugged--it must have been."

"Yah, so helup me!" growled Carl. "Der shink vas oop to some funny
pitzness, und he has peen efer since he come apoardt der poat. Shinks
iss pad meticine, anyvays. Ve ought to haf droon him oferpoard on
cheneral brinciples."

"Where's Ah Sin now?" queried Glennie, looking around the room
expectantly.

"The last I saw of him," said Matt, "he was in the water swimming
toward a small boat."

Glennie started to his feet, astounded.

"In the water?" he echoed. "Do you mean to say you allowed the
scoundrel to get away, Mr. King? And all the time you knew just how
much his presence meant to me!"

Matt gazed fixedly at the ensign.

"Your head must still be troubled with that dope the supposed Chinaman
put in the coffee," said he calmly. "It was lucky that I was able to do
what I did, and, as for the Chinaman getting away, I could no more help
that than any of the rest of you. But it was a lucky thing for us that
he _did_ get away, I can tell you that."

"Vat pitzness you got finding some fault mit Motor Matt?" snapped
Carl, making a truculent move in Glennie's direction. "You vas a
bassencher--don'd forged dot--und Matt vas der skipper. Ve ought to
call him Gaptain, only he von't allow id; but, all der same, he iss der
gaptain oof der poat, und you vill keep some shdillness mit yourseluf
oder I vill pat you on der pack mit mein fist. Yah, so, Misder Glennie!"

"That will do, Carl," said Matt. "Draw back into your shell now, and
keep some stillness yourself. I can handle my own end with Mr. Glennie."

Carl flung off to the other side of the room, tramping heavily to show
his impatience and disgust.

"I presume," said the ensign reflectively, "that you did the best
you could, Mr. King, so I have no fault to find with you. But you
understand that Ah Sin was my only hope for locating those important
papers in Para."

Matt stared, wondering if Glennie had forgotten the discovery he had
made just before he had lapsed into unconsciousness.

"I had a mighty queer dream about that Chinaman," pursued Glennie. "I
thought you had a fight with him, Matt, and that, during the scuffle,
his old slouch hat came off, and the queue along with it. And I was
under the impression that Ah Sin wasn't a Chinaman at all, but Tolo,
that rascally Jap."

"That wasn't a dream, Mr. Glennie," answered Matt, "but is literally
what took place."

"Is that a fact?" cried the ensign.

"Look ad here vonce!" called Carl.

He had picked up the slouch hat and the attached queue and placed them
on his head.

"Great Moses!" muttered Glennie, reeling back against the wall. "How
I've been fooled! And I never recognized the scoundrel in his chink
make-up! Well, I guess I deserve all the bad luck that's coming my
way. I've been a dunderhead ever since the _Seminole_ dropped me in La
Guayra."

"Whoosh!" exclaimed Carl, disgustedly, pulling off the hat and pigtail
and throwing them into the locker. "I don'd like der shmell oof der
t'ings," and he dropped the locker lid and turned away. "Vat's dis,
hey?" he inquired, picking up the bomb.



CHAPTER IX.

PUTTING TWO AND TWO TOGETHER.


"That," said Matt, "is a bomb. While I lay on the floor, all but
helpless, the disguised Jap set fire to the fuse and planted the bomb
in the corner."

Glennie stared aghast. Carl mumbled to himself, and very carefully
returned the bomb to the place where he had found it.

"He vas a plackguard!" growled Carl, backing away from the bomb and
shaking his fist at it. "Der sgoundrel vould haf plowed us py some
smidereens. I don'd like Chaps any more as I do shinks."

"You must be mistaken!" gasped Glennie. "Either that, or else Tolo
is a madman! Why, the explosion of that bomb would have wrecked the
submarine and killed us all."

The ensign shuddered.

"It would have been barbarous!" he went on, worked up by the enormity
of the crime that had been planned. "As an act of war, it would have
been savage enough, in all conscience, but here we are at peace with
all the world, and under the protection of Old Glory!"

"I can't help that, Glennie," said Matt grimly. "We've got to take
the facts as we find them. I managed to get hands on the revolver you
dropped, and had strength enough to fire one shot. The bullet missed
its mark, and Tolo jumped up and started for me. But I guess the
revolver scared him off, for he whirled around before he got very close
and darted up the conning-tower ladder."

"He left the fuse burning?"

"Yes; and evidently expected a blow-up."

"Why wasn't there a blow-up?"

"Well, the coffee that had got me into trouble got us all out of it.
I fell, knocked over a stool, the stool knocked over the cup, and the
coffee was spilled out and flowed over the burning fuse."

"That's the most remarkable thing I ever heard!" declared Glennie.

"Modor Matt's luck," chuckled Carl. "I vould radder be mit Matt, und
haf a biece oof his luck, dan any blace vat I know. Ven he has some
goot fordunes, he has to pass dem aroundt to der fellers vat iss mit
him--vich means me, for I vas alvays aroundt."

"Go on, Mr. King," said Glennie. "What happened after that?"

Matt, attending to his steering and keeping an eye on the periscope,
told how he had lost consciousness for a few moments, had revived,
lashed the wheel, and climbed to the hatch. The rest, including how he,
Dick, and Speake had made a dive for safety, came rapidly and in the
fewest possible words.

"From all of which it appears," remarked Glennie quietly, when the
recital was done, "that we owe our lives to Motor Matt. But I can't
understand this Tolo business. Why was he playing the part of a chink?"

"So you wouldn't know him," said Matt, "and so he could still be with
you."

"But what was the use?"

"That seems plain," went on Matt, wondering a little at the ensign's
failure to see the game that had been attempted. "As I figure it, Mr.
Glennie, there is a Japanese secret society consisting of a number of
misguided young men who call themselves Sons of the Rising Sun. Their
government does not sanction their acts, and presumably knows nothing
about them. These Independent Protectors of the Kingdom have heard of
this wonderful submarine ship invented by Captain Nemo, Jr., and they
are well fitted to understand its possibilities in time of war."

"Granting all that, just what has it to do with the actions of Tolo?"

"I'm coming to that. Tolo, I take it, is a member of the Young Samurai
Society. No doubt the society has had spies in Central and South
America. These spies reported that the _Grampus_ had been sold to the
United States Government, conditional upon her making a safe passage
around the Horn and up the western coast to Mare Island. I don't
suppose that the Sons of the Rising Sun were at all pleased with this
information. They are enthusiasts, and probably don't care a rap for
their own lives, or for the lives of any other people, so long as they
can do a good stroke of work for Nippon."

"But Tolo," put in the ensign impatiently, "what of him?"

"Probably, too," continued Matt, "it was known that the _Seminole_ had
dropped you at La Guayra, and that you were to accompany the submarine
on her long cruise. Tolo was commissioned to watch you, get aboard the
submarine if possible, make sketches, and then destroy her."

"But do you consider what a crime that amounts to? That it is virtually
an act of war and might embroil two countries?"

"It is an act of piracy, Mr. Glennie. The steamer from which the Japs
came was not flying the Japanese flag, nor any other flag, so far as I
could see. They're working on their own hook."

"Then they are liable to be caught and punished by their own
government!"

"Of course; but the Sons of the Rising Sun have the bit in their own
teeth and are going their own pace. I'll bet something handsome they'd
sacrifice their steamer and their own lives, into the bargain, if they
could be sure of destroying the _Grampus_. The Japs are fanatics on the
subject of patriotism--everybody knows that. But to go on with Tolo. He
hired out to you, found a chance to steal your dispatches, and thought
advisable to take them. Probably he thought they contained information
of value to the Young Samurai. After that he disguised himself as a
Chinaman--not a difficult task for a Jap--and called on us in the
harbor at Port-of-Spain. He was cunning enough to hand you that yarn
about knowing Tolo, and to hang out regarding the fifty dollars so that
he could get you to take him down the coast to the Amazon. On the way,
Tolo was snooping around and learning all he could about the boat. The
blowing up of the gasolene tank was probably an accident, but mixing
water with our fuel was done with a purpose."

"What purpose?"

"To delay us, and make it possible for the steamer to come near. This
morning Tolo must have heard how we had narrowly escaped running the
steamer down during the night, and I am sure he knew the steamer was
hanging around our course just before he went down to get breakfast.
He had come aboard the _Grampus_ equipped with his bomb and his drugs,
and it's a wonder his scoundrelly plans did not carry. Of course," Matt
added, after a long silence, "I am only putting two and two together,
and making a guess. The guess may be close to the truth, or wide of it,
but that's the way I size up the facts that have come to us."

"You haf hit der nail righdt on der headt, py chiminy!" declared Carl.
"Der Sons oof der Rising Sun vas afder us, aber dey vill findt dot ve
don'd vas ashleep. Ve're a leedle punch oof badriots ourseluf, you bed
you, und an American feller has got id ofer der Chap like anyding."

Carl puffed out his chest and slapped his wishbone.

"I am sure you have made a good guess, Mr. King," said Glennie, "and
the way you have argued the thing out is mighty convincing. It shows
us what we're up against during this cruise, and I'm wondering why the
captain of the _Seminole_ didn't tip me off."

"It's likely he didn't know anything about these Sons of the Rising
Sun," replied Matt. "We've only been able to get a line on them by
facing considerable danger, and taking a lot of hard knocks."

"Ven dose leedle fellers whipped Rooshia," put in Carl, "dey got puffed
oop like I can't tell. Dere iss some chips on deir shoulters all der
time now, und they ought to be knocked off."

"Don't make a common mistake, Mr. Pretzel," cautioned Glennie. "The
Japanese Government has always been a good friend of the United States,
and----"

"Der handt vat dey holdt oudt to us iss der gladt handt," interrupted
Carl, "und der odder vat dey haf pehind deir pack iss toupled oop und
ready to shtrike! Yah, so helup me!"

"There are hotheads in Japan just as there are in our own country,"
proceeded Glennie; "but both governments are on friendly terms and will
always be so. The mikado's government doesn't know what these Sons of
the Rising Sun are doing, so what happens is just a little private war
between them and us, with the _Grampus_ as the bone of contention."

"Vell," and Carl wagged his head decidedly, "ve got our teet' on der
pone und dey can't shake us loose."

"That's right," laughed Matt.

"Mr. Pretzel is a jingo," said Glennie. "But what am I to do about
those dispatches?"

"We'll go right on to the Amazon and Para. When we get there, Mr.
Glennie, I'd advise you to make a clean breast of everything to Mr.
Brigham. Perhaps he can help you get hold of the papers in some way."

The ensign shook his head gloomily.

"I see what will happen to me," he muttered, "but I guess I can face
the music, all right. I'm sorry for the governor, though, when the news
gets to Boston."

At this moment Speake came in and began clearing up the scattered tin
dishes that had been used in serving the morning meal. He reported
Gaines and Clackett as feeling all right, and actively engaged in their
duties.

Matt ordered the ballast tanks emptied so as to bring the submarine
within a dozen feet of the surface. At this depth the periscope ball
cleared the waves, the automatic valves opened, and those in the
periscope room were able to take a look at the surface of the sea. The
steamer was nowhere in sight--there was not even a smudge of smoke on
the horizon.

The _Grampus_ was lifted further until the conning tower was clear
of the waves. Speake took the wheel, Matt studied the chart and gave
him the course and then turned in for a little sleep. Dick and Carl
likewise sought a little rest; and while the king of the motor boys and
his chums slept, the submarine plowed onward toward Brazil at a swift
pace.



CHAPTER X.

UNDER THE AMAZON.


Three days and nights of uneventful traveling brought the _Grampus_ to
Santa Rosa Bay directly in the great mouth of the Amazon. Para River,
to the south, is not generally considered as an arm of the river,
although unquestionably it forms a part of the vast delta.

The mouth of the Amazon Matt knew to be two hundred miles wide, and
full twenty-seven fathoms deep. It is full of islands, and a bar,
running seaward from one of these islands, caused the _Grampus_ an
unforeseen delay.

Feeling positive that the mysterious steamer had reached the Amazon
ahead of them, or that she was perhaps watching along the coast; most
of the latter part of the submarine's journey toward the Para had been
made under water. The boat was submerged when she reached the Amazon,
and the run across Santa Rosa Bay was by periscope alone.

Matt saw the little rocky island, whitened with seabirds, and supposed
he was giving it a wide berth. He did not suspect the presence of the
bar, and the chart, most unaccountably, did not show it.

The first news of trouble was contained in an announcement by Gaines,
from the motor room.

"Propeller's out of commission, Matt."

This was alarming information. With the propeller useless, the
submarine would drift helplessly in the current unless stoutly anchored.

Quickly as possible the ballast tanks were emptied and the boat brought
to the surface. Matt, turning the wheel over to Speake, rushed into the
conning tower, threw open the hatch and made a survey of the situation.

There were no boats of any kind in the vicinity of the _Grampus_, and
consequently no hope of being towed into safe quarters while repairs
were being made. Matt, when he broke out of the hatch, was confidently
expecting to find the submarine being whirled out to sea by the swift
current, but, to his surprise, the boat was setting in toward a small
cove of the island. He got out on the deck for the purpose of making
further observations. Dick and Glennie followed him.

"What do you make out, matey?" queried Dick. "From the looks of things,
we're floating upstream."

"We're in a back-set of the current," Matt answered, studying the river
in the neighborhood of the island. "That uplift of rocks parts the
stream, sends the current around the upper part at sharp angles, and
below, where we are, the current sucks back inshore."

"A dangerous coast to run into," remarked Glennie.

"That cove looks like a quiet place for shipping a new propeller," said
Matt.

"You ought to have a dry-dock for that, hadn't you?"

"That would be fine--but we haven't got it. The next best thing is to
shift all the weight forward and throw the propeller out of water. We
can do that if our forward anchor can find holding ground on the bottom
of the cove."

Matt stepped back to the conning tower.

"Speake!" he called.

"Aye, aye!" came back from Speake.

"Send Clackett to the torpedo room, and tell him to let go the forward
anchor as soon as I give the word. Carl might go down and help. When I
give the word, I want the anchor dropped _at once_!"

Speake could be heard talking through the tank-room tube. Matt,
standing by the tower, watched sharply while the submarine drifted
closer and closer to the rocks. The cove did not measure more than
fifty feet across at its mouth, and was semi-circular in shape, and
not more than fifty feet wide, measuring from a line drawn between
the rocky headlands at the entrance. The shore was buttressed by high
bowlders.

The current was bearing the submarine into the cove midway between the
headlands--the line of drift being straight toward the farthest point
inland.

Dick had a hand lead, and forward at the bow he heaved it constantly.

"Mark three!" he cried.

"Eighteen feet," said Glennie. "How much do you draw, Mr. King?"

"We ought to have ten feet," answered Matt. "Sharp with it, Dick," he
added anxiously. "We must get as close inshore as we can."

"Quarter less three!" called Dick.

"Sixteen and a half," muttered Glennie; "shoaling rapidly. You'd better
get that mud-hook down, Mr. King."

"Two and a half!" announced Dick, then: "Two and a quarter!" and
finally: "Mark twain!"

Matt was not as close to the shore as he wanted to be, but twelve feet
was as little water as he dared keep under the _Grampus_.

"Let go the anchor!" he yelled to Speake.

Speake promptly repeated the order, and only a very short scope of
cable was run out.

The nose of the submarine was brought up short and the stern moved
around into the cove as though on a pivot.

"The anchor's not fast!" cried Glennie. "It's dragging!"

Matt had already discovered that. The anchor afforded sufficient
resistance to keep the bow of the boat toward the entrance of the cove,
but they were sliding stern-first farther into the shoaling waters.

Dick hurried aft and began heaving the lead close to the stern.

"Two and a half!" he cried.

"Great guns!" exclaimed Glennie. "Wouldn't that knock you? It's
deepening!"

"Mark three!" shouted Dick.

"Three fathoms," murmured Glennie, "and within two jumps of shore! The
rocks must lie steep-to. The current's responsible for that."

The pull of the anchor continued to draw the boat around so that she
was drifting broadside on.

"Deep four!" reported Dick, and began coiling up the line. The
submarine was rubbing against the rocks, and there was no room to cast.

"Good luck," said Matt gleefully, "even if it does come out of a
damaged propeller. We can pass a couple of cables ashore and tie up to
the rocks. On deck, Speake!" he called through the hatch. "There's some
old hose and canvas in the storeroom, and you, and Clackett, and Gaines
had better bring it up. Fetch a couple of cables at the same time."

Matt leaped to a shelf notched out of one of the rocks, climbed to
the top of the bowlder, and picked out the stones most convenient for
mooring. When the cables were brought up and bent to their stanchions,
the spare ends were passed ashore. While he was making them fast,
Clackett, Gaines, Speake, and Carl were festooning the old hose over
the submarine's side and padding the plates with canvas blankets as
fenders against the jagged rocks.

"Now," called Matt, talking from the top of a bowlder and looking down
on the deck of the _Grampus_, "the next thing is to weight the forward
part of the boat so that the propeller will be thrown up clear of the
water. Move everything possible from aft. If the anchor has taken hold,
a little pulling on the chain may help. If this don't fill the bill,
then we'll pile rocks on the bow and force it under that way. Now,
then, get busy, all hands."

Speake, Carl, Gaines, and Clackett went below. Matt began tossing loose
stones to Dick, and he built them up forward of the flagstaff, passing
ropes around the pile in order to hold it to the deck when the boat
began to cant forward.

By degrees the bow went deeper and deeper, and the stern rose. At last,
after some two hours of trying work, the propeller was brought into
view. The blades were fairly buried in a mass of ropy seaweed.

Matt gave vent to a relieved laugh.

"It won't be necessary to ship a new propeller, after all," said he.
"Traveling under the Amazon is hard on the screw. That bar was covered
with seaweed, and the propeller twisted itself up in it. Pass a rope
aft and secure it to the periscope guys. You can hang to the rope,
Dick, slip over the stern, and cut away the grass."

"Easy enough," answered Dick, dropping on the deck to pull off his
shoes and stockings, and roll up his trousers. "We'll clear away that
propeller in a brace of shakes."

"While you're at it," said Matt, "I'll mosey off around the island and
see what it looks like. I'll not be gone long."

He dropped from the top of the bowlder, and vanished. Glennie looked
after him as though he would have liked an invitation to accompany him,
and stretch his legs on hard earth, but he did not follow. Instead, he
picked up a coil of rope, and began securing an end to one of the wire
periscope guys.

"I'll attend to that, Mr. Glennie," said Dick, still with an undue
emphasis on the "mister." "You're an innocent bystander, you know, and
are here to look on."

Glennie dropped the rope, flushed, and drew back. Matt had not asked
him to go on the exploring expedition, and now Dick refused to have him
render even trifling aid.

"I'm sorry you fellows have taken such a dead set at me," said Glennie.

"You told us where we stood when you first came off to us from the
Port-of-Spain landing," returned Dick. "I don't see that you've got any
kick coming because we took you at your word."

Glennie started to say something, but closed his mouth suddenly, and
left the words unspoken. Perhaps he was beginning to see where he was
at fault.

While he stood by the conning tower, watching Dick move aft with the
rope in his hands, a sharp cry came suddenly from among the rocks.

"Dick! Clear the propeller, and sink the boat in----"

It was Matt's voice; although faint, it was unmistakable, and each word
was strangely clear-cut and distinct.

Dick halted and faced about.

"Something's happening to Matt!" he cried.

The next moment he dropped the rope and started to spring ashore. But
Glennie was already on the rocks.

"You heard what he said!" shouted Glennie. "Clear the propeller and
sink the boat! I'll help King if he needs help--but your duty is clear."

The ensign whirled about and jumped from the bowlder. As he
disappeared, Dick saw his revolver glistening in his hand.



CHAPTER XI.

HAND-TO-HAND.


From what Matt could see of the island as the _Grampus_ drifted into
the cove, and from the further observations which he made while
standing on the rocks and helping Dick, he knew that it could not be
very extensive. Probably it would have covered an acre of ground, if
measured in a square, but its surface was vastly greater than that,
inasmuch as it consisted of barren hills and valleys.

Matt's intention, when he left the submarine, was to climb to the
highest point and take a look around. He was still worrying about the
mysterious steamer, and the no less mysterious Japs. From what he had
heard and read of the Japanese, he understood that dogged persistency
was a national trait. If the Sons of the Rising Sun had made up their
minds to destroy the submarine, it would take more than one rebuff to
discourage them. That they were still on the trail of the _Grampus_
Matt had not the least doubt, and if they should happen to sight the
boat in the cove, and make an attack while the propeller was being
cleared, they would stand a fair show of success.

In looking for the steamer Matt did not intend to confine his gaze to
seaward, but to give fully as much attention upstream as below.

He had already selected the hill he was going to climb, and picked out
the narrow valley that would lead him to its base.

A little scrambling over rough ground brought him to the valley.
Projecting rocks, weather-stained and wind-worn, rose to right and
left. Flocks of gulls arose out of them, alarmed by his approach, and
winged away across the river.

The valley was not over twenty feet wide, and angled back and forth
sharply on its way to the hill. Matt stepped off at a brisk gait, for
he would have to be quick if he finished what he had in mind by the
time Dick and the rest had cleared the propeller and got the boat once
more in trim.

Matt was not expecting any trouble on the island, and, as usual, it was
the unexpected that happened.

The flapping of the birds' wings made a noise that drowned the crunch
of his footsteps in the gravel. This, it may be, accounted for the
surprise that met him as he rounded a sharp turn, for his approach was
not heard, and he came suddenly face to face with a creeping savage.
The native was nude, save for a short kirtle that hung from his waist,
and he was carrying an ugly-looking spear.

It seemed clear that the fellow was creeping up on the boat. His
surprise was as great as Matt's, and for a brief space both stood
staring at each other. Then, as Matt's gaze wandered farther on along
the valley, he saw four other natives, all of whom had been on their
hands and knees and had leaped erect the moment the young motorist
presented himself.

Then it was that Matt lifted his voice and shouted the warning heard
by Dick and Glennie. Matt did not finish what he was saying, for a
suggestive movement of the native's spear hand made it necessary for
him to take quick action to protect himself.

Like lightning the king of the motor boys leaped forward, and his fist
shot out straight from the shoulder. A grunt was jolted from the lips
of the stricken native, and he staggered backward. This caused the hand
holding the spear to rise quickly, and the spear point caught in Matt's
leather jacket, which was unbuttoned and flying open.

The native fell backward, keeping a convulsive grip on the spear, and
dragging Matt down with him. In a twinkling the other four savages had
surrounded Matt and were menacing him with their spears.

The spear points were of steel, ground to a sharp point. They had a
greenish, corroded look, which suggested that they had been poisoned.
Judging this to be the case, Matt put forth every effort to avoid being
pricked or scratched by the flourished weapons.

Seizing the handle of the spear held by the man who had fallen, Matt
wrenched it away and swept it around his head in a circle. The other
four savages leaped back to the edge of the circle and continued
their hostile demonstrations. The fellow on the ground, who evidently
possessed a large amount of courage, reached up abruptly and caught
hold of the spear.

With exultant shouts, the other four began to close in. Hampered
in using the spear, Matt found it necessary to change his tactics.
Releasing the weapon, he laid hold of the native to whom it belonged,
grabbed him about the waist, and flung him heavily against the foremost
of his companions.

The men were all of short stature, although heavily muscled and of
great strength. The human missile launched by Matt overset the first of
the four advancing Indians, and this man, in his turn, tumbled backward
and knocked down another. The remaining two were between Matt and the
end of the valley it would be necessary for him to traverse in order to
regain the boat.

Flourishing his fists and shouting an angry command for them to clear
his path, he leaped directly at them. One of them launched his spear.
Matt ducked downward, and the weapon whipped over his head, just
grazing his cap.

This unarmed native was the one Matt speedily made up his mind to pass.
But again the unexpected happened. As Matt dashed forward a stone
gave way under his foot. He sought vainly to recover his balance, and
plunged headlong and rolled over and over.

Before he could get up all the natives were upon him. It looked, just
at that moment, as though nothing could save him. Yet he did not give
up. Rising to his knees, he caught the ankles of one of his foes and
jerked his feet out from under him.

A fierce order in an unknown tongue was given, and four figures sprang
with murderous celerity to obey it. At that juncture--a critical
juncture for Motor Matt--the sharp, incisive note of a revolver rang
out. One of the savages, with a cry of pain, stepped backward, dropped
his spear, and clasped his right wrist with his left hand.

There followed another shot, accompanied by a sound of running feet in
the shingle and the loud voice of Glennie:

"Get away from there, you scoundrels! I'll give you a taste of more
metal if you don't clear out."

The second bullet had done no harm, but the natives, not knowing how
many men were following Glennie, whirled and made off, one of them
picking up the fallen spear as he went.

"Are you hurt, King?" panted Glennie, coming to a breathless halt
beside Matt.

"Not at all, Glennie," Matt answered; "but I had a tight squeak of it."

"Shall we chase those rascals?"

"No," was the answer as Matt regained his feet; "we'll make tracks back
to the _Grampus_, and thank our lucky stars that we got out of this as
well as we did. There may be a lot more of the Indians hiding among the
rocks, and I've a notion that their spear points are poisoned. We'll
not give them a chance to dig their spears into us, if we can help it."

Watching behind cautiously, Matt and Glennie immediately set out on
their return to the boat.

"I didn't think there was a human being anywhere near the island, apart
from ourselves," said Matt. "When those rascals came face to face with
me the surprise was mutual--and far from pleasant, so far as I was
concerned. Did you hear me yell?"

"That's what brought me ashore," said Glennie. "Ferral was bound to
come; but I told him he had better carry out orders regarding the ship
and let me go. This six-shooter carried the day."

"And saved my life," added Matt. "I'll not forget that, Mr. Glennie."

A flush of pleasure ran through Glennie's face.

"Bosh!" he exclaimed. "You'd have done the same for me, if our
positions had been reversed."

By that time they were at the place where it was necessary for them
to leave the valley and pick their way through the scattered bowlders
to the shore of the cove. While they were climbing the rocks, Carl
suddenly thrust his head out from behind one of them.

"Hoop-a-la!" he cried joyfully. "Id vas Matt, himseluf! My olt bard,
Modor Matt, alife und kicking like alvays! Matt, der sighdt oof you
makes me so habby as I can'd dell!"

"Same here, old ship!" chimed in the voice of Dick, as he showed
himself beside Carl.

Dick was armed with an old harpoon, and Carl carried a hatchet.

"You're a nice pair, I must say!" cried Matt. "The last order I gave
instructed you to clear the propeller and sink the _Grampus_."

"The propeller is cleared, matey," said Dick; "but you wouldn't catch
Carl and me going to the bottom of the cove in the _Grampus_ until
we had found out what became of you. We heard a couple of shots, and
nothing could keep us from coming ashore, after that. Who did you mix
up with?"

"Five savages. I don't know whether they live on the island, or whether
they came from the river bank. Anyhow, I came front to front with them,
and they were creeping in the direction of the boat."

"Den dey knowed der poat vas in der cove!" said Carl, casting a
cautious look behind, in the direction of the valley. "Vas dere more as
fife, Matt?"

"I don't know. Five are all I saw. We'd better get away from here as
soon as we can, though, and get up the river to Para."

A moment later the boys reached the shore of the cove and found Speake
unloosening the cables.

"All right, Matt?" called Speake.

"Yes; but in a tearing hurry," Matt answered. "Is the _Grampus_ ready
for sea?"

"She's as fit as a fiddle! Clackett is putting the stuff below back
where it belongs, and we just dumped that load o' rock off the bow."

Matt, Dick, Carl, and Glennie dropped on the submarine's deck. In short
order the cables were hauled aboard, coiled, and stowed, and Speake
leaped from the rocks and was caught and steadied by Matt as he came
down.

Matt got into the tower and signaled the engine room. The motor got
busy, and the cheerful splash of the propeller was heard. Slowly the
_Grampus_ picked her way out of the cove, those on her deck watching
the receding rocks for some sign of the savages. But they saw none.



CHAPTER XII.

BOARDED!


In order to reach the arm of the river that led to Para the _Grampus_
had to pass through a little strait known as South Channel, then on
by Tucuria and around Cape Magoari. Dick, Carl, and Glennie remained
on deck, Dick using a pair of binoculars, and Matt attending to the
steering from the top of the tower. They were traversing the tortuous
channels without the chart to guide them, and most unexpectedly they
found that what they supposed to be South Channel had emptied them
out into the river close to the island where Matt had had his recent
exciting experience.

"Well, wouldn't that put a kink in your hawser?" cried Dick. "Here we
are back at our old stamping-grounds once more, after racing around for
an hour and getting nowhere."

"Und dere iss der leedle cove!" cried Carl. "Vat a funny
pitzness--gedding losdt on der Amazon."

"We couldn't have been in South Channel," said the chagrined Matt.

"This is new country to me," observed Glennie; "but I looked at the
chart early this morning, marked the location of South Channel, and
could have sworn we started into it when we left this island."

"Come below, you fellows," called Matt disgustedly. "You can take the
wheel, Dick, and steer by the periscope while I overhaul the charts.
There's no sense wasting time and gasolene like this."

Matt dropped down the ladder and the rest followed him.

"We're mixed up, Gaines," Matt called through the motor-room tube, "and
a pilot who knows the coast would be mighty handy about now. Quarter
speed while we study the maps. Dick," Matt added, "run circles off the
island while we get our bearings."

Matt opened the locker and dug up the chart. Laying it on one of the
stools, he examined it, with Carl and Glennie looking over his shoulder.

"Here's where we are now," said Matt, sticking a pin in the chart, "and
there's the entrance to South Channel just below Mixiana Island."

"The passage we got into by mistake," remarked Glennie, "was that
crooked little passage that runs into Mixiana Island, bends around in
the shape of a big 'O,' and then lets us out again at the same place we
went in."

"Exactly," agreed Matt.

"It was easy to make the mistake."

"Easy, yes; but I ought to have been sure. We should have had the chart
on deck with us, but I thought I had the thing firmly fixed in my mind."

"A chart is a hard thing to carry in your mind."

"I'm beginning to think so myself. Head south by east, Dick," Matt went
on to his chum. "You'll know the passage we took when you see it. Skip
that, and head into the one west of it."

"Sou' by east it is, matey," answered Dick.

"If you wanted to," suggested Glennie, "you could pass to the north of
Mixiana Island and get to Cape Magoari by going around it. It looks to
me as though that would be our shortest course."

"Short, yes; but it would take more time."

"How so?"

"Well, if we went to the north of Mixiana Island we would be in the
open bay, and that pesky Jap steamer may be standing off and on, hoping
to get sight of us. In order to avoid that, we should have to run
submerged, which would mean no more than half-speed, the best we could
do. By going through South Channel we won't need to fear the steamer,
and can run on the surface, and put every ounce of our motor's power
into moving ahead."

"Correct," said Glennie. "I find that there are a good many things
about running a submarine that I have yet to learn."

Dick gave a grunt as he bent over the periscope table. His face was
hidden by the periscope hood, so the disgusted expression which he wore
could not be seen.

Dick Ferral did not easily forgive a slight. From the first, Glennie
had struck him "on the wrong side," and it would take time before Dick
got over his dislike.

Carl, in this respect, was like Dick. Neither of the boys could ever
forget the lordly air assumed by the ensign when he hove to alongside
the submarine in the launch. The "mister" which Glennie had imposed
upon them still rankled in their bosoms.

Up to that moment off Port-of-Spain there had been no "misters" on the
_Grampus_. The formality demanded by Glennie had been a strain on the
friendly relations of the crew--and perhaps on the crew's temper as
well.

Glennie heard Dick's grunt, even though he could not see the disgusted
expression on his face, and he whirled and stared sharply at Dick's
back.

"Tiscipline iss going to der togs on dis ship," mourned Carl in mock
dejection. "Oof ve don'd haf more tiscipline dere iss going to be some
drouples, ain'd it? Fairst t'ing you know I vill haf to be calling my
olt bard Misder Matt, und my odder olt bard Misder Tick, und den oof
somepody ton't call me misder I bet you I preak his head."

"That will do, Carl," said Matt, noting the flush that crossed
Glennie's face.

"That's all right, Mr. King," spoke up the ensign. "I started that,
and they're within their rights, I suppose, when they rub it in. All I
can say is that I didn't understand your method of running this boat.
Now, in the navy, we have to have discipline; we have to have our gun
crews, our watches, and all that; and we have to insist on a certain
amount of respect from subordinates. The admirals require it from the
captains, the captains from the commanders, the commanders from the
lieutenants, and so on down through the various ranks of commissioned
officers. Even a passed midshipman," and he smiled a bit grimly, "has
the pattern always before him, and he is taught to exact his due from
all the non-coms. But, as I say, I didn't understand how matters were
when I boarded the _Grampus_. I--I am sorry I took the stand I did."

Just how much it cost Glennie to make that apology probably none of the
boys, not even Matt, could realize. But he made it right manfully, and
Matt stepped toward him and put out his hand.

"Say no more, old fellow," he cried heartily. "We all of us get out
of our course a little, now and then. Before we get through with this
cruise the lot of us are going to understand each other a whole lot
better. Carl----"

Matt turned with the intention of making his Dutch chum take the hand
he released, but Carl had faded mysteriously out of the periscope room.
Whether he expected what was coming, or not, and dodged away to avoid
meeting the issue, Matt could only guess.

"Dick," and Matt turned to his sailor chum, "I want you----"

"Here we are," cried Dick, "just taking the entrance to South Channel.
And it's the right channel, too, old ship, because we slammed right
past that other one where we go in and come out the same place."

Glennie could not fail to note how both Carl and Dick had avoided
Matt's attempt to put him on more friendly footing with them. There
was a noticeable constraint in his manner, but he did not allow it to
interfere with his stating the desire he had in his head.

"When I came aboard," he went on, "I believed I was merely the
representative of the United States Government, that I was to look on,
keep hands off, and write up my own log. But I can see very plainly
where I can be of service to you, Matt; and I can also see where, by
helping you, I can get a much better insight into the capabilities of
the _Grampus_. I should like to have you let me do my part in running
the boat. If you want me for quartermaster, I can spell you, or Mr.
Ferral; with a little instruction, I could also run the motor, or
do the work in the tank room. If it would be any help, I might even
learn to cook the meals. All I want is to be useful--and to learn the
_Grampus_ from top to bottom, inside and out, as well as you know her."

Dick gave another grunt; but this time it was more subdued. The idea of
any one learning the _Grampus_ as well as the king of the motor boys
knew her! In order to do that, a fellow would have to be born with a
working knowledge of explosive engines in his head--just as Matt had
been.

"Thank you for that, Glennie!" said Matt. "You can get busy right now,
if you want to."

"Just tell me what I'm to do," Glennie answered.

"Go up on deck and keep a sharp lookout while we're passing through the
channel. We must be vigilant, even when we can see no reason for it.
Wily enemies are after us, and eternal watchfulness is the price of
success, fully as much as it is of liberty."

"Aye, aye, sir," said Glennie, and started forthwith up the ladder.

"He's too top-heavy, Matt," scowled Dick, pulling his head away from
the periscope.

"He's a good fellow at heart, Dick," averred Matt. "We're all going to
like him a whole lot when we know him better."

Dick sniffed and jerked his chin over his left shoulder.

"If he takes hold on this boat he'll make a monkey's fist of
everything. I don't like the cut of his jib, nor the soft-sawdering way
he overhauls his jaw-tackle now that he sees his first bluff didn't go.
If----"

There was a muffled shout and a bounding of feet on the deck. A wide
grin parted Dick's face.

"There he goes--in hot water already."

Dick ducked back into the periscope hood. But the periscope did not
show the deck of the _Grampus_, nor the waters immediately adjacent,
being constructed for reflecting objects at longer range.

Matt hurried up into the tower. The moment he was able to look over the
hatch he was thrilled by what he saw.

A dugout canoe was alongside the steel hull--and it had evidently
brought three natives from the neighboring shore. They were exactly the
same kind of savages Matt had encountered on the island--perhaps, even,
they had formed part of the same crowd.

One of the savages had gained the deck forward. Glennie had caught
his spear, and the two were struggling for possession of the weapon.
A second native was climbing up the rounded deck with the apparent
intention of attacking Glennie in the rear. The third of the trio kept
to the canoe, paddling, and keeping it alongside.

So intent were all three of the Indians on the struggle which Glennie
was carrying on that they did not notice Matt. Swiftly the young
motorist got out of the conning tower.

"Look out behind you, Glennie!" shouted Motor Matt as he hurried
forward.



CHAPTER XIII.

A PRISONER--AND A SURPRISE.


Matt's shout acquainted the savages with the fact that there were two
whites to be dealt with instead of one. The scoundrel in the canoe
dropped his paddle and picked up a spear. The dugout dropped a little
behind, but the savage brought the ungainly craft nearly to the conning
tower with two sweeps of the paddle. The next moment he let his spear
fly, and there came a blood-curdling whoop from the tower hatch.

Carl, as usual, happened to be in the way of trouble. He had flung
through the periscope room and chased after Matt up the ladder. Matt
avoided the spear by dropping to his knees. It passed over his head,
snapped Carl's cap off his shock of tow-colored hair, and carried it on
for a dozen feet, dropping out of sight with it beneath the water.

"Vat a vay iss dot!" bellowed Carl. "Tick, handt me oop a gun, or a
gannon, or somet'ing. Matt, look oudt a leedle! Ach, himmelblitzen!"

Carl forgot the loss of his cap, forgot even that he had asked Dick for
a weapon, and scrambled to get out of the tower and go to his chum's
aid.

The savage who had been climbing up the rounded deck had made a spring
for Glennie's back. Motor Matt leaped about the same time, grabbing the
native before he could do the ensign any harm.

Matt, and the man he was holding, fell to the deck, rolled over the
rounded plates, and splashed into the water.

"A rope!" howled Carl, jumping up and down on the deck to attract
Dick's attention; "a rope! Matt iss in der vater mit a Inchun, und he
vill be trowned!"

Dick came hurrying up the ladder with a coil of line.

"Here!" he cried, tossing the coil to Carl. "Get busy, mate. I'll lay
the _Grampus_ closer, and mind Matt gets hold of the rope."

Matt and the native were still struggling. The fact that they were in
fifteen or twenty fathoms of water did not seem to impress either of
them with the necessity of swimming to keep afloat.

When they first tumbled into the water, there was a great splash, and
they disappeared; when they came up, they were puffing like porpoises,
but Matt had his hands around his antagonist's throat, and the savage
was hanging to Matt's hair.

"Help Glennie!" sputtered Matt, who, by then, was some distance astern.
"Capture that man!"

"Glennie be hanged!" growled Dick. "We'll save our old raggie, no
matter what happens to the blooming ensign."

Carl, standing ready to heave the rope, was mixed up in the ensign's
battle by an unexpected trend of it which nearly knocked him overboard.
The two, still twisting and striving for possession of the spear,
struggled toward the conning tower and collided with the Dutch boy.
The matter of self-defense suddenly presented itself to Carl, and he
dropped the rope and went for the savage like a tiger.

It wasn't the spear Carl wanted, but the savage himself. The ensign was
eliminated, and Carl and the native went down on the deck, rolling and
pummeling.

"Ju-jutsu!" exclaimed the ensign, astounded at the science the
untutored savage was showing. "Great Moses, he's using ju-jutsu and
trying to break Pretzel's arm!"

"Save the arm, then!" snorted Dick. "Run that spear through the swab."

Glennie didn't impale the savage on the point of the spear, but he
used the handle, and gave the arm that was bending Carl's a stout
thump. A gasp escaped the savage's lips, and his arm dropped away as
though paralyzed. Carl rolled over on top and got his fingers about his
antagonist's throat.

"Gif me der rope!" he cried. "Misder Glennie, schust put a leedle
piece oof der rope aboudt der feller's handts!"

Dick Ferral was not paying much attention to the fight Carl and Glennie
were having. They were two to one, and there could not be much doubt as
to the result of the contest. Dick's worry was reserved for Matt, for
it seemed as though the savage in the water was bending every effort to
drag Matt under and drown the two of them.

The other savage in the dugout was paddling like mad in an effort to
get alongside the combatants. It had taken some time and space for the
submarine to turn about on her course, and Dick was now driving her
straight for the two in the water.

So far as Dick could see, both Matt and the savage were almost at the
last gasp. How they ever kept afloat at all was a mystery.

As the boat shot in between the dugout and the pair in the water, the
third savage could have thrown his spear to good effect--if he had had
it. But he did not have it, and all he could do was to paddle off and
furtively await the issue.

The submarine glided alongside Matt and the Indian, and Dick
immediately made a discovery that took his breath.

The savage was yellow in spots--half yellow and half mahogany color.

"Here, Matt!" cried the voice of Glennie as he knelt on the deck while
the submarine slowed in answer to Dick's signal. "Drop that fellow and
catch this rope!"

"I can't drop him!" gurgled Matt.

Glennie reached over with the spear and tapped the savage on the head.
Instantly the fellow, with a fierce snarl, let go of Matt and vanished
under the hull of the _Grampus_.

Matt, thus left with his hands free, caught the rope and was dragged
aboard. Glennie snaked him to the top of the deck, and, for a space,
the young motorist lay there.

"Did you capture the other fellow?" asked Dick, as soon as he had
rested a minute.

"He's tied to the other end of the rope that I used for pulling you
in," replied Glennie.

"Good enough! Did you notice how that rascal I was fighting with
changed color in the water?"

"Keelhaul me!" cried Dick. "I saw that! Was it war-paint he had on?"

"No war-paint about it, Dick," declared Matt. "There was a yellow skin
under that brown paint."

"Und dis feller iss der same vay!" called Carl. "Look ad here, vonce!"

All eyes turned in the direction of the Dutch boy. He was sitting on
his enemy's chest, holding him down, and there were dabs of brown
pigment all over Carl's face. His hands were fairly coated with it.

"These savages have a yellow skin, Matt," said Glennie, "and it must be
that they paint themselves a brown color when they go on the warpath."

"If what I have read is true," returned Matt, "there are no savage
tribes at the mouth of the Amazon. All the Indians in these parts are
at least half civilized."

"Then where did these rascals come from, and why have they attacked us
in this venomous manner?"

"They came from that island where we cleared the propeller," said Matt.

"These are members of that gang?"

"Don't you recognize them, Glennie?"

"They all look alike to me. Of course, I suspected they were from the
same tribe, but I didn't know they were the same men. There were five
of them on the island."

"You wounded one of the others. Probably one of the fellows stayed
behind to look after the wounded man's injury."

"But how could they get here in that dugout, and lay us aboard, like
they did? We're a good ways from that island."

"No doubt, Dick," said Matt, "they surmized that we would take the
South Channel on our way to Para. While we were meandering around in
that blind passage they were paddling for this place, and getting ready
to attack us."

"I like their nerve!" muttered Dick; "three of 'em tryin' to capture
the _Grampus_!"

"You don't think they live on that island, do you?" asked Glennie.

"They live on an island, all right," returned Matt, "but it's a good
many thousand miles from here."

Carl took a furtive look at Motor Matt.

"You vas joshing!" exclaimed Carl.

"If you fellows had your eyes," smiled Matt, "there wouldn't be any
joshing."

"Some of that chink's dope is still fogging your brain, old ship,"
observed Dick. "But what's the use of talking? You've got your
prisoner, Mr. Glennie. Better bring him downstairs. First thing you
know he'll be in the water, and take Carl along with him."

"Nod me!" piped Carl. "Dere iss a rope aroundt his handts, und I'm
holting him on der top oof der teck. Aber, I guess, ve might schust as
vell dake him by der beriscope room."

"Look at him first," suggested Matt. "Glennie, you give him a close
observation. I'm surprised at you fellows."

Glennie, Dick, and Carl were at a loss to know what Matt was driving
at. Walking over to the prisoner the ensign bent down and stared at him.

"What!" he gasped, straightening up and peering excitedly at Matt.
"Tolo!"

"Now you've struck it," laughed Matt. "Those supposed savages were
merely a detachment of our old friends, the Japs. I discovered that as
I dropped into the water. That's why I called out as I did. Here's our
resourceful acquaintance, Tolo. First he's a Jap, next he's a Chinaman,
and now he's a native of the Amazon. There's no telling what he'll be
next time if we allow him to get away from us. Take him below, and
let's have a talk with him."

Glennie and Carl, between them, succeeded in getting Tolo down the
tower hatch. Before Matt went below he took a look behind. The dugout
was far in the distance, with two men at the paddles.

From this evidence it was plain that Matt's antagonist had gained the
canoe and was now, with his companion, paddling swiftly away to rejoin
the rest of their friends.



CHAPTER XIV.

THE OLD SLOUCH HAT.


"I'm a dunderhead, all right," Glennie cheerfully admitted when they
were all in the periscope room with the prisoner, lashed hand and foot,
lying before them. "I saw this rascal try a ju-jutsu trick on Carl, in
an attempt to break his arm, and yet I never suspected that he was a
Japanese, let alone Tolo!"

"It's plain enough now, isn't it, Glennie?" queried Matt. "These yellow
men are always hard to identify, but this fellow is certainly Ah Sin,
otherwise Tolo. Notice how closely his hair is clipped. He had to have
a close haircut when he got into his Chinese disguise. All the rest of
those make-believe savages had long hair."

"I wonder where the rascals came from? Their steamer wasn't anywhere in
sight."

"It's tucked away among the islands. This, you know, is a peaceable
country, and the Japs would have to be wary in carrying out their
designs upon the _Grampus_. I'll bet those fellows know all about our
route, and what ports we expect to call at. It was easy for them to get
into the mouth of the Amazon ahead of us, and then wait for us to come
along."

A sudden idea occurred to Glennie, and he went down on his knees and
began searching the Jap. Inasmuch as the only garment the Jap wore was
a short kirtle, the search did not consume much time. Glennie got up
disappointedly.

"The packet isn't there, eh?" asked Matt.

"No."

"He was probably wise enough to leave it on the steamer."

"Where it has already been opened, no doubt, by the leader of these
Sons of the Rising Sun. I'm in as deep as ever, and the capture of Tolo
hasn't helped me."

The dejection in Glennie's voice was too pronounced to be passed over.

"Don't take it so hard," urged Matt. "Go to Mr. Brigham, in Para, and
tell him the whole story. Perhaps a way can be found to make Tolo talk."

"We'll try him now," said Glennie, a flash of forlorn hope crossing
his face. "Why do you want to treat me like this, Tolo?" he queried,
addressing the prisoner.

"What I do I do for Nippon," was the slow answer. "Banzai, Nippon!"

"Panzai!" exclaimed Carl. "Dot's a funny vay to yell hooray, ain'd it?
Panzai! Ach, du lieber!"

"You stole my dispatches, there in La Guayra," went on Glennie, still
addressing himself to the prisoner. "What sort of way was that to treat
me?"

"For Nippon," muttered Tolo; "all is for Nippon, for my beloved
country."

"Nippon!" grunted Carl. "Vy don'd he say Chapan, like a vite feller?
My, sooch a savageness as some nations haf!"

"What did you do with those dispatches?" demanded Glennie.

"I will say nothing," answered Tolo, with careful emphasis.

"Your country will be held to account for this, proceeded Glennie
severely.

"My country has nothing to do with it. I am a Son of the Rising Sun,
and I should like to die for my country. If my hands were free, and I
had a sword, then--hari-kiri! It is pleasant to kill oneself for one's
country."

"Guff!" growled Dick. "Hear him talk--and all for effect."

"You're wrong, Dick," said Matt. "The poor fellow means every word he
says."

"Und he say dot it vas bleasant to tie for vone's country!" murmured
Carl. "I don'd agree mit dot. I vould radder lif for my gountry. A
deadt hero don't amoundt to nodding, aber a live feller iss aple to do
t'ings vat count. Yah, so helup me! Id iss pedder to lif for vone's
gountry as to tie for id."

"There's a whole lot of sense in that, Mr. Pretzel," said Glennie.

"T'ank you for nodding," returned Carl, with mock politeness. "I know
dot pefore you shpeak id oudt, Misder Glennie."

The ensign looked at Carl in a disappointed way, for it must have been
plain to him that he wasn't breaking the ice any, so far as Carl and
Dick were concerned.

"You pretended to be Ah Sin just so you could get aboard this boat, and
destroy it, didn't you?" Glennie pursued, still focusing his attention
on the prisoner.

"I am saying nothing," was the reply in calm, even tones.

"Why did you and your companions make an attack on this boat?" put in
Matt curiously.

There was no response.

"You three didn't think you could take her away from the lot of us, did
you?"

Still no answer, merely a cool, passive glance.

"You can't rattle him, matey," put in Dick, "nor get him to say
anything that's incriminating. He's Tolo, hard and fast, and it's
not so queer why he and his two comrades hove alongside of us. They
were engaged in some quiet work, and when Mr. Glennie went on deck,
according to your orders, he interrupted them and sprung a fight where
no fight was intended."

"Now, Dick," said Matt whimsically, "_you're_ the deep one. Just what
do you mean by that?"

"Suppose there was a bomb in that dugout," continued Dick; "and suppose
those fellows fastened it to the side of the _Grampus_, fired the fuse,
and then paddled silently away. What would have happened. Will dynamite
cause damage sideways as well as up and down?"

Matt gave a startled jump--a jump that caused his wet clothes to
rustle, and the water to slosh around in his shoes.

"Great spark-plugs!" he exclaimed. "You've got your finger on the right
button, Dick! That was a point that bothered me tremendously--why
three men should try such a foolhardy thing as making an attack on a
submarine with a full complement below decks. Now I understand, and the
whole situation clears. Tolo and his companions stole up alongside of
us to put a bomb somewhere about the hull of the _Grampus_. By luck,
Glennie went on deck in time to frustrate the design. By Jupiter, but
it was another narrow escape!"

"Once in a while," grinned Dick, "I blunder onto something that's worth
telling."

"I should say so!"

"Excellent reasoning, Mr. Ferral!" approved Glennie.

The grin left Dick's face on the instant, and a frown took its place.
He turned to the periscope abruptly.

Matt was surprised at the depth of feeling which this action on the
part of his chum made manifest. Glennie settled back grimly on the
locker. Carl began to hum a Dutch song under his breath--and for that
Dick and Matt were thankful. If he had sung the song aloud they would
have had to throw something at him. A certain Captain Pierce-Plympton,
in Belize, had set the fashion, and now, whenever Carl burst into song
he had to dodge everything that was handy.

In the embarrassing silence that followed Dick's action, Matt began to
take off his shoes and socks.

"I've got to get into something dry," he remarked. "You fellows better
make sure Tolo is well lashed, and then take him into Mr. Glennie's
room. That, Glennie," Matt added, removing his water-logged coat, "used
to be our prison chamber."

"A good place for me, then," observed Glennie, with a side glance at
Dick and Carl.

"You might get off the locker a minute," went on Matt. "I've an outfit
of clothes somewhere in that long box you're sitting on."

"Pardon me!"

Glennie got up and helped Carl examine the prisoner's bonds. While
they were busy with that, Matt began rummaging for his dry clothes.
About the first thing he laid hands on was the old slouch hat with its
attached queue.

"Wow!" cried Matt. "What did you put this in here for, Carl? It looked
like a snake."

With that Matt jerked the hat and queue out of the locker and hurled
them across the room.

As he was about to return to the locker again and go on with his
rummaging, Matt caught a gleam in the prisoner's eyes that caused him
to straighten up and watch Tolo more carefully.

Tolo's gaze was on the hat. For once he was betrayed out of his grim
passiveness, and there flamed in his eyes something unusual--and
significant, to Matt.

The king of the motor boys studied Tolo's face keenly. The Jap's eyes
continued to rest on the hat until he saw that Matt was watching him,
then the eyes turned away absently and lost their telltale gleam.

"Vat's der madder mit der feller?" muttered Carl. "He seemed to vake
oop, for a minid, und now he iss like he alvays iss. Vat ails him?"

"Queer he took on that sort of look all of a sudden," mused Glennie.

"Probably he t'ought oof somet'ing mit a bomb in id," suggested Carl.
"I moof ve tie somet'ing heafy aboudt his neck und make him shvim
agross der Amazon. Hey?"

No one seconded Carl's suggestion. Matt arose, walked over to the hat
and queue, and picked them up. Tolo paid no attention, or did not seem
to.

With the old slouch hat in his hand Matt sat down on a stool and began
feeling of the crown with his fingers.

"Vat's dot for?" chirped Carl.

"I tell you," said Dick, "our old raggie has still got a twisted brain.
Tolo's coffee is continuing to have its effect."

Matt laughed, suddenly turned the old hat over, tore out the lining,
and pulled forth a crumpled envelope, closed with a red seal.

Glennie gave a yell.

"My dispatches!"

And, with that, he staggered across the small room, grabbed the
envelope, and waved it above his head.

"My dispatches!" he repeated, his voice husky.

"I thought so," said Matt. "They have been in that old slouch hat, in
the locker, ever since we made that dive to get away from the Japs."

"Und I pud dem dere," remarked Carl pompously. "How mooch iss id
vort'?"



CHAPTER XV.

PARA.


Ensign Glennie was a happy man. In that blissful moment, when he was
hugging his dispatches, he wanted to be friends with everybody, and
would have shaken hands as rapturously with Dick and Carl as he did
with Matt.

"Before you do too much rejoicing, Glennie," said Matt, "you'd better
first examine the envelope, and see if it has been tampered with."

An examination showed the seal to be intact.

"I don't believe Tolo had any right to tamper with it," said Glennie.
"What I mean is, that those other Sons of the Rising Sun who are
leading the expedition against the _Grampus_, would probably demand
that they be allowed to open the dispatches with their own hands. Tolo
didn't have time to see the others of the Young Samurai between the
time he left La Guayra and the time he presented himself to me, in the
rôle of Ah Sin, on board the _Grampus_."

"Ah Sin!" commented Carl. "I nefer t'ought vat a goot name dot vas for
der feller. Ven he dook dot he dook der vone vat fitted."

"We can begin to understand, too," spoke up Dick, "why he never took
off that old hat. He kept it on so the letter wouldn't get away from
him."

"And so that we wouldn't see him without the queue," added Matt. "If he
had removed the hat, Dick, he would have been recognized."

"By Jove, fellows!" said Glennie, "I'd like to do something to
celebrate."

"Ain't you fellows getting hungry?" called Speake through the
torpedo-room tube. "I'll jump in and scrape together a meal, if you say
so. I reckon we can all get a square feed in Para, in the mornin'."

"Get us something, Speake," answered Matt. "That's the way we'll
celebrate, Glennie," he added to the ensign.

"It's the biggest streak of luck I ever had in my life!" declared
Glennie. "And you brought it to me, Matt!"

"Dot's vat I say," cried Carl. "Anypody vat dravels mit Modor Matt iss
pound to haf some oof der luck vat comes py him. I know, pecause I have
hat id meinseluf. Ain'd dot so, Tick?"

"Luck hands around her favors to everybody that ships with Matt,
matey," agreed Dick. "It don't make any difference whether they're
entitled to the favors or not, they get 'em."

This last remark may have been a bit of a slap at Glennie, but the
ensign was too happy to notice it.

"What gave you the notion of looking into that hat, Matt?" inquired
Glennie. "I'd have thrown it overboard to get it out of the way."

"Why, Glennie," answered Matt, "you and Carl both saw what I did, and
spoke about it."

Carl and the ensign exchanged astonished glances.

"Now you haf got me some more, Matt," said Carl. "Vat's der answer?"

"Didn't the prisoner seem to wake up and brighten perceptibly a little
while ago?"

"Yah, I rememper dot."

"So do I."

"Well, he did it when I threw the hat out of the locker. His eyes
followed it as it flew across the room, and they rested on it as it
lay on the floor. I read a good deal of concern in that glance--more
concern, in fact, than the old headgear and the attached queue called
for. There could be but one thing to make Tolo act like that, and I
figured that he had put the envelope in there. It's not a new place for
hiding things, boys. Lots of people, out in the Western part of the
United States, stow valuable things away in their sombreros."

"Nod me any more," wailed Carl. "Subbose I hat peen foolish enough
to pud my money in dot cap oof mine? Den vat? Id vould now be in der
pottom oof der ocean. Dalk aboudt your glose shafes! Vy, dot Chap
feller vat looked like a safage, sent dot shpear so near my headt dot
he dook a lock oof hair along mit der cap. I don'd like dot. Shpears
iss pad pitzness. Vat for dit der Chaps use shpears ven refolfers is
handtier?"

"They were playing a part, Carl," said Matt, "and whenever a Jap plays
a part he does it well. If Tolo and those with him had had firearms
they would have been playing out of their character."

"Dey don'd got mooch character to be oudt oof, anyvay. Dey hat bombs,
und safages don't haf dose."

"The bombs weren't in sight."

A few minutes later Speake came up with the supper. After the meal was
out of the way, Speake took Dick's place at the wheel in order to give
him a chance to rest, and later assume Gaines' place at the motor. Carl
went down to give Clackett a rest, and Matt stretched out on the locker.

It was midnight when the _Grampus_ rounded Cape Magoari and turned into
the Para arm of the Amazon. The port of Para was seventy-five miles up
the river, and Matt decided to submerge the _Grampus_, pass the rest
of the night on the river bottom, and then ascend to the town with
daylight to help.

This arrangement enabled all hands to sleep, and morning found the
submarine's complement fresh and ready for whatever fate held in store.

The ascent of the river was made on the surface of the stream, with
all who could be spared on deck, searching the shipping with careful
eyes. Matt and his friends were looking for the mysterious steamer that
carried the fighting contingent of the Sons of the Rising Sun, and were
vastly relieved when they failed to sight the vessel.

It was nearly noon when the red roofs of Para came into view. The
river, opposite the town, was about twenty miles wide, but so cut up
with islands that the steamer with the black funnel and the red band
might have lain among them and so escaped observation. However, Matt
and his companions chose to think that the Young Samurai were too
discreet to make them any trouble in a peaceable port.

The _Grampus_ was moored alongside a wharf, and a gayly uniformed
harbor official came aboard to learn the submarine's business, and to
find whether there was any need of a customs inspector. The sight of
Glennie, and his declaration that the boat had merely put in at the
port to give some of her crew a chance to pay their respects to Mr.
Brigham, the United States consul, was enough.

Matt, although he fancied the boat secure, did not intend taking any
chances. Dick, Carl, and Speake were to be left aboard as an anchor
watch, while Matt and Glennie called on the consul, and Gaines and
Clackett whiled away a few hours in the river metropolis. The prisoner
was to be left in the steel room until the consul should advise what
had better be done with him.

Consul Brigham, Matt and Glennie quickly learned, lived on the finest
avenue in Para--the Estrada de Sao José. Through this thoroughfare
bordered with a colonnade of royal palms, Matt and Glennie were driven
on their way to the consulate.

In the office of the consulate was a gentleman in shirt sleeves and
white duck trousers. His feet were elevated on the top of a table, and
he was trying to keep himself cool with an immense palm-leaf fan.

The sight of a United States naval uniform brought the consul to his
feet immediately.

"Mr. Brigham?" asked Glennie.

"What's left of him, my dear sir," was the answer. "I've melted
considerably during this spell of hot weather. You'd naturally think
the trade winds, which blow continually in this section, would temper
the air. But trade winds, my dear sir, are not what they're cracked up
to be."

Glennie introduced himself, and then presented Matt. Mr. Brigham smiled
expansively, and drew a bandanna handkerchief over his perspiring brow.

"I've been expecting the pair of you," he announced, shaking each by
the hand.

"Expecting us?" queried Glennie, astonished.

"Sure. Read that."

The consul tucked a cablegram into Glennie's fingers. It had come from
Belize, and was signed by the captain of the _Seminole_. Glennie read
it aloud:

  "Motor Matt and Ensign John Henry Glennie, U. S. N., will reach Para
  in submarine _Grampus_. Glennie carries dispatches for you. Read
  them, and see that both Matt and Glennie understand them thoroughly."

"Nice, long message, eh?" queried Brigham, slapping Glennie on the
back. "Plenty of useless words, but what does the captain of the
_Seminole_ care? Uncle Sam stands the cable toll, and, besides, on
grave matters it is well to be explicit. Hang a few extra dollars,
anyway. Where's the dispatches?"

Glennie imagined how he would have felt if he had been obliged to
report, in view of that cablegram, that his dispatches had been lost
and not recovered.

"I want to tell you something about those dispatches before you read
them, Mr. Brigham," said the ensign.

"Well, sit down, my lads. What's the good word, ensign?"

Thereupon Glennie told the whole story connected with the loss of the
dispatches and their final recovery. Everything went in, and a half
hour was consumed in the telling. More than once Brigham whistled and
puckered his brows ominously. But he was absorbed in the narrative.
When it was done, he reached his hand toward Matt.

"Pardon me, youngster," said he, "but I never miss a chance to shake
hands with a live one. Possibly it's because I've lived so long in this
dead place, where you can't turn around without having some sluggard
tell you 'mañana.' You're the clear quill, and I'll gamble you'll get
along. If I was younger, blamed if I wouldn't like to trot a heat with
you myself. Put 'er there!"

Matt, flushing under the compliment given him by the consul, allowed
his hand to be wrung cordially.

"Now," said Brigham, "look out of the windows at the beautiful palms
while I go through these papers."

The consul was all of half an hour getting the gist of his dispatches.

"I'm ready for you two lads," he presently called.

Matt and Glennie returned to the chairs they had previously occupied.
They were surprised at the change that had come over Mr. Brigham's
face. On their arrival, it had been bright and smiling, while now it
was dark and foreboding.

"I guess you lads know how it feels to be in the jaws of death, and
just slip out before they close," said he, "but you don't know the
whole of it, not by a jugful. Of all the high-handed proceedings I ever
heard of, this certainly grabs the banner. Now, listen."



CHAPTER XVI.

A DESPERATE RISK.


"Did you know, Motor Matt," asked the consul, by way of preface, "that
Captain Nemo, Jr., right there in Belize, had been approached by an
agent of the Japanese Government and offered two hundred thousand for
something he's selling to our government for just half that?"

"No, sir," answered Matt. "But I know the captain well enough to feel
sure that he wouldn't sell the _Grampus_ to any other country but the
United States, not if he was offered a million. He has invented a
submarine that is better than any other craft of its kind that was
ever launched, and the captain is patriotic enough to want his own
country to reap the benefit."

"Exactly. Captain Nemo, Jr., is a man after my own heart, by gad!
Well, he refused the offer, and two days later he received a warning
signed simply, 'The Sons of the Rising Sun,' saying that if he did not
reconsider the _Grampus_ would be sunk in the bottom of the ocean. How
was that for audacity? But the captain thought it was all bluff--the
Japs have learned a lot from us, my lads, and bluff is not the least of
their acquirements.

"The captain said nothing to you, Motor Matt, about this warning
from the Sons of the Rising Sun. He treated it with silent contempt,
well knowing that you would do everything possible to safeguard the
submarine without any unnecessary talk from him.

"Now, from what you lads have told me, we must change our minds about
that warning being a bluff. If it was a bluff, then the Japs are trying
to make good. But the Japanese Government knows nothing about this. If
the high boys among the Japs in Tokio knew, they would be the first
ones to send a warship after these precious Sons of the Rising Sun. The
Young Samurai are going it on their own hook; they're going to help
their beloved country whether the country wants them to or not.

"The _Grampus_ is a good thing. The Japs are able to tell a good thing
when they see it, and that's what makes the Sons of the Rising Sun so
hungry either to buy the submarine or send her to the bottom in such a
way that she can't come up. They're a lot of hotheads, that's what they
are, and they don't care a picayune what happens to them just so they
can get in some wild stroke that, in their overheated estimation, may
benefit Nippon.

"I don't know as we can blame them. It hasn't been so mighty long since
they broke through their chrysalis of heathendom, and they are drunk
with their success in their late unpleasantness with Russia--Russia, a
country that has been our firm friend ever since the Pilgrims landed on
Plymouth Rock.

"Well, you have faced desperate risks, and you may be compelled to
face more. I wish I could assure you that there were no more troubles
in sight, but the Japs are a persistent race, and whenever young
firebrands like these Sons of the Rising Sun get started at anything
they never know when to let go. But," and here the consul brought his
fist emphatically down on the table, "I don't think you can possibly
meet any greater dangers than you have already met and successfully
passed through. Bearing that in mind, I'd be willing to bet every
dollar I've got that Motor Matt will make good, and deliver this old
catamaran at Mare Island, right-side-up with care, and everybody
smiling--except, of course, the Sons of the Rising Sun. I'll back Young
America against Young Japan any day. Catch my drift? That's about all.
Come in and eat with me--we have to eat, you know, no matter how hot
it is. After dinner we'll look after Mr. Tolo, and I'll give Matt a
letter to an agent who will supply him with gasolene, or any other
old thing that happens to be necessary in order to make a submarine
go. There won't be any water in the gasolene, either. Come on, now,
and let's try and be cheerful. Heaven knows you boys have got enough
ahead of you to make your hair stand on end like quills on the fretful
porcupine, but what we're not sure of hadn't ought to trouble us."

Matt and Glennie had a good dinner, and after it was over the consul
went with them to the _Grampus_ and gave the craft a sizing. He was
charmed with the boat, and all the useful odds and ends of machinery
with which she was packed.

Following that, he went to the prison chamber and surveyed Tolo as he
lay bound and helpless on the floor.

"You're a nice young patriot, I must say!" exclaimed the consul, as he
looked down on the quiet, uncomplaining Japanese, "but you met more
than your match when you went up against Motor Matt. Where are the rest
of your rascally outfit?"

"I speak nothing, honorable sir," replied Tolo, "not because of any
disrespect for you, but out of regard for my dear Nippon."

The consul stared, and then he groaned.

"High-handed outrage stalks the seas," he muttered, "and this poor
fool calls it love of country! Well, well! I wonder what Commodore
Perry would say if he could hear that? The Japs are our great and good
friends, all right, but we don't count for much when there's a little
thing like a patent boat on the programme. I'll take care of you, my
lad," he added to Tolo. "You'll stay in Para until the first United
States warship comes along, and then you'll travel to the States and
give an account of yourself."

A few minutes later the consul left the boat, and, an hour after he was
gone, police officers arrived and carried the misguided Tolo to the
municipal bastile.

That was the last Matt and his friends ever saw of him.

Matt and Glennie refused a pressing invitation to stay all night at
the consul's palatial home. They explained to him that, in view of the
vague dangers threatening them and the _Grampus_, they felt as though
they ought to stay with the boat.

Mr. Brigham commended their zeal, repeated his encouraging auguries for
their ultimate success, and warned them again of dangers ahead.

"Desperate risks are what you're to take," said he. "It may be that
you have clipped the claws of the dragon, and that nothing more will
be heard of the Sons of the Rising Sun. That's the bright side of the
picture, but please don't look at it. In a case of this kind it is
better to expect the worst; then, if better things come to you, they
will be in the nature of a happy surprise."

On the second day of their stay in Para Dick went ashore and got their
supplies. It had been on the schedule that the _Grampus_ was to put in
at Rio, but Mr. Brigham advised the boys to give that port a wide berth.

"Your itinerary," he explained, "is probably known to these hotheaded
Japs. The way to fool them is by dodging the itinerary and putting in
at the places where you are not expected."

"We'll have to stop somewhere before we round the Horn," said Matt;
"and I believe we'll call at----"

"Don't tell me!" protested the consul. "Don't tell any one in Para,
or even talk it over among yourselves until you are well away at sea.
Then, when you speak the name of your next port of call, go down to the
ocean bed and whisper it. Do you think I'm piling it on? Well, perhaps
so, but I am only trying to let you understand how necessary it is to
keep your own counsel. I'm mightily interested in you, and in your
ultimate success, and what advice I give I give earnestly, and trust
you will take it so. You'll get around the Horn, all right, and you'll
get to Mare Island, and the _Grampus_ will become part and parcel of
our country's navy, perhaps with Ensign Glennie in command. That's a
cinch, my lads; but what you're to go through before you reach 'Frisco
is a horse of another color. Don't be overconfident. Remember what I
say, and keep your eyes on the dark side of the picture. Good-by, and
luck go with you."

On the morning of the third day after their arrival at Para the
_Grampus_ slipped down the river toward the open sea. She carried
confident hearts and determined wills--and, in spite of the fact
that all had their eyes on the "dark side of the picture," there was
plenty of hope and also of good cheer in the stout steel hull of the
submarine. For the king of the motor boys was in command. He had
brought the _Grampus_ through many perils, and all had faith to believe
that he could bring her through many more.


THE END.



THE NEXT NUMBER (19) WILL CONTAIN

Motor Matt's Defiance;

OR,

AROUND THE HORN.

  Tell tale Sparks--Clipping the Dragon's-Claws--The Overturned
  Boat--Gallant Work--The Five Chilians--Treachery--Turning the
  Tables--The Man-of-war--Aboard the "Salvador"--The Tightening
  Coil--Dick On His Mettle--Desperate Measures--A Dive for
  Liberty--English Reach--Sandoval Explains--Northward Bound.



MOTOR STORIES

THRILLING ADVENTURE MOTOR FICTION

NEW YORK, June 26, 1909.

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IN THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY.


Jim Dean's face looked ugly when the Portuguese, who was called Da
Silva, deliberately thrust the muzzle of a revolver against his chest.

"You confounded disgrace! What are you going to do?" he inquired
spitefully. "You putty-colored dago, do you think you can intimidate
me with your theatrical performances? Man, I've looked inside more gun
muzzles that you've ever heard of."

"This, then, is the last the senhor shall have the pleasure of
examining," answered the Portuguese imperturbably. The insults he waved
aside with his lemon-colored left hand, and he blew out between his
lips a serene stream of cigarette smoke.

"The senhor is what you call a fire-eater, is it not? But even with a
good appetite it is possible to eat too much. Is the senhor going to
take his last meal?"

Da Silva talked leisurely as though he enjoyed the conversation. He
looked carelessly around the trading office, where in orderly confusion
lay books and papers containing records of many a cargo of cotton, palm
oil, rubber, mahogany logs and the like from the opulent interior. For
this, the highest trading station on the Bawa River, was the channel
through which the produce of a vast savage country went to the coast,
where cotton goods of pronounced colors went in exchange for lumps of
wild rubber, and where square-face gin or various jimcracks bought so
much oil or kernel.

Jim Dean managed this factory, from which he had to account to a board
of directors in Liverpool for his doings, and for his profits and
losses. Of late there had been losses, for from the wild interior had
come tales of caravans attacked, of laden canoes cut off, of villages,
where stores were accumulated, raided, with rumors and threats of worse
things.

So far as he was personally concerned, this present incident was the
apex of the unexpected. He was sitting in his office sweating at his
books when three natives, coming in as he supposed on trading business,
without ceremony, gripped him in their odorous arms, flung a grass rope
about him, and trussed him up like a fowl ready for the roast.

A fourth man, Da Silva, had superintended the operation.

"I'd give six months' wages to have a quarter of an hour at handling
you with bare fists," snapped Dean. "I should hate touching your hide
with my fingers, but I'd do it like I might have to lift a bit of dirt
out of my food."

"The senhor makes it no easier for himself," said the Portuguese with a
show of teeth.

"You just put your gun away and give me my hands free and I'll show you
something," returned Dean spitefully.

The patience of the dago man suddenly came to an end. He withdrew his
eyes from sight of the brown river beyond the veranda, whither they had
dreamily wandered, and suddenly set them viciously on the white man.

"I'm going to give you three minutes," he said. "If you are still
acting the fool, then I shall shoot. You know what I want. Down river
at the Bawa factory is a steamer just arrived from a British port.
Among her cargo are a thousand rifles, with ammunition. For purposes of
my own, not unconnected with my desire to be top dog in this portion of
Africa, I want to get possession of those arms, and to do so I want to
send such a message to the coast as will insure the steamer hurrying up
the river with this part of her cargo aboard. Therefore, you will write
on the company's note paper, in your own hand, something to the effect
that the station is in the extremest danger, that the whole hinterland
is risen, and that unless you have arms and ammunition in plenty sent
you at once, the whole factory and those in it will be wiped out of
existence. It's a million to one they'll send the steamer up, for it
would be the quickest, and there's deep water all the way. Now, I'll
dictate the exact words to you. You won't mind writing it, anyhow,
because it's true."

"And when the ship comes up, what then?" asked Dean.

"I make arrangements to acquire the cargo on--well, on easy terms,"
answered the half-breed with a smile.

"All right, you disgrace of two continents, you do all the arranging.
I'm not in it. You shoot, my friend."

It was quite true that Jim Dean had looked into death's face more times
than once, but he had hardly been nearer making his exit than during
the next five seconds; for Da Silva's revolver muzzle was pressed over
his heart and an angry finger was on the trigger. Then the half-blood
hesitated, not because he had either fear or scruples, but because
Dean at the moment was worth more to him alive than dead. He had
great ambitions, for the realization of which the cargo of arms was
necessary, and he could think of no better way of obtaining them than
by using Dean in the way he had indicated.

"On the whole, I think shooting would be too sudden," he said. "If you
refuse to do as I say I will invent a method of putting you out of this
world of misery that will give you the longest dose of pain that a
human body can stand. Savvy?"

Jim Dean did understand. Da Silva had in the hinterland an unsavory
reputation for a ferocity that, rumor said, stood at nothing, and he
was credited with one or two dark doings in the back no-man's land that
will not bear repeating.

He lighted another cigarette, and with malicious deliberation he
detailed the manner in which he would inflict death on the other which
had something with a slow fire in it and added refinements, and then
he retired to make arrangements for the exit, as he termed it, leaving
Dean under the guard of one negro.

These circumstances set Dean thinking furiously, and after a while he
decided that though a death by torture might be picturesque, there
would not be much common sense in submitting to it when there was a way
out, which, though humiliating enough, might yet afford him another
chance. With his life he might get the game into his own hands--with
death was the end of the game.

"All right," he said. "You've got the bulge on me this time. Just free
my hands, and I'll write what you say."

Da Silva dictated with his finger on the trigger of his weapon, and the
muzzle of it somewhere between Dean's shoulder blades.

       *       *       *       *       *

Macfarlane, manager of the coast factory on the Bawa River, ran across
the strip of sun-scorched beach and tumbled into a dugout boat of
cottonwood, and with a speed that indicated he was handling matters
of great urgency, he pushed the boat out into the yellow stream and
paddled for all he was worth toward the rusty tramp steamer which lay
in mid-river. Lettering under her stern indicated the double fact that
she was classically called the _Athena_, and that she hailed from
Liverpool. An inspection of her decks would have shown that in the
midday heat her crew were resting. The steam winch sizzled, the drip
from a steam pipe falling on the hot iron deck almost dried before it
touched the plates, the heat rose from the iron hull as from a stove;
there was probably not a bearable spot in the ship.

Macfarlane came up the ladder in a hurry, and he mounted to the chart
room on the little bridge deck with a speed that made some eyes open
in surprise. Captain Bingham, who was reclining on a locker dressed in
pajamas open at the chest, looked mild surprise at the agent's hurry,
when the latter thrust into his hand a somewhat crumpled piece of paper
and bade him read it.

"A nigger has just brought it," he said. "Dean, our man up the river,
is in danger. In fact, you might say more. The whole back of the
country is in danger. There's a rising in progress, and the first thing
they'll attack is the upper factory, that being the sign and token of
white aggression. Their cry is the black man's country for the black
man, which may be all right, only we're white men, and we're here, and
we want to keep on our trade. Now, I shouldn't be surprised if there
isn't some one at the back of all this. There's a brainy, unscrupulous
beggar called Da Silva, who's Portuguese. He's got some sort of a
crack-brained notion of a black republic with himself as president, and
incidentally owner of our factories and trading posts. He's been in the
hinterland for the last six months to my knowledge, and up to no good,
I'll stake my swizzle stick. If this trouble is Da Silva's palaver, you
can bet it's going to be a jugful, and the thing in such a case, or
any other like it, is to blow the froth off it early. Strike a blow at
once. Here's Dean writing in a hurry saying that while he has men he's
no arms worth reckoning, and that practically the fate of the whole
colony depends on his having enough rifles and ammunition in his hands
within twenty-four hours."

"You're making me hotter than I was," breathed the skipper of the
_Athena_. "What do you want? I'm not an advice merchant."

"If you'll read what Dean's written you'll see he says that if I have
any arms, the best way is to charter the best steam craft I can put
hands on, put the stuff on it, and send her upstream. Now, there are a
dozen cases of rifles in your hold, which were going into Portuguese
territory. They haven't been unloaded yet, see?"

"I can see you are going to put me in for something that my owners
don't reckon on," said Bingham with a laugh, opening the jacket of his
pajamas, and throwing out his broad chest.

"I reckon your owners value the trade on this bit of coast," said
Macfarlane dryly. "It means losing it all if Dean doesn't get his guns.
And there's a twenty-foot channel all the way upstream."

"If we can keep in it--I know. This old craft is no mud plugger. Still,
with more cargo out of her she'll swim a bit higher. I'll just rouse
up that crew of mine. And you get your boats around sharp, because I'm
going to make that cargo buck."

Thereafter came a continual roar for many hours of both fore and aft
steam winches, and the way the cargo was vomited out of the _Athena's_
hold was a pretty good record for that river mouth.

Half an hour before sunset the _Athena's_ anchors broke mud, and with
her plimsoll and the red streak of her watermark high up out of the
brown wash, she started nosing her way up against the current. The
night fell suddenly like the quick closing of shutters, and from the
river and the dank vegetation on its banks rose the mist that spelled
fever and sickness. There was a ladling out of quinine that night to
all hands. Macfarlane took a double dose. This river with its sickening
smell of crushed marigolds, where the mangroves threw hideous twisted
roots into the slime, and noisome creatures sprawled in the gloom, had
a breath of poison.

"I'm hanged if I don't think," said the agent, as he took his second
dose of quinine wrapped in a cigarette paper, "that we'd be better off
with Da Silva in possession and us at home. I'm homesick. And this is
West Africa. My stars! listen to the splashing of that crocodile!"

The skipper swore softly when a little shiver went through the hull.
"That's the bottom," he said. "That deep channel may be there, but it
takes keeping in. Now, if you take my tip, you'll get those shooters of
yours unpacked. Your man may want a few in a hurry. Gosh! there's the
bottom again. It'll be no soft thing if we get stuck, either for us or
your man." But they went up the waterway in safety till dawn came, when
Captain Bingham breathed more freely.

"All the same, I'm not enjoying myself," he said. "The salt sea is a
dashed sight more to my liking. How much further is it?"

"We shall strike it this evening," said Macfarlane. "If we had been
crows we could have got there in one-third the distance. This river
winds about some."

It was the long, roundabout journey that the vessel had to go which
enabled the plotter, Da Silva, to get news of her approach, and of the
success of his plans, for the native runner, who had in the first place
conveyed the letter, forced from Dean, by way of direct forest paths,
went back the same way, carrying promise of immediate assistance.

Therefore the half-blood went on with his arrangements. To begin with,
he sent runners out to various villages both near and distant, whence
fighting men could come. He sent word that for each man there would
be a rifle and cartridges, and that the war to regain the black man's
country for the black man was ripe to commence. And then he constructed
a simple, unsuspicious arrangement for trapping the ship that was
nosing her way up the river.

Four hundred yards down from the strip of sun-baked beach in front of
the trading factory the river was divided by a lush, swampy island into
two channels. The near one was the only practicable way, and this he
carefully filled up by dropping a couple of giant cottonwoods from the
bank into it. The parts of the trees above the water lopped off till
their presence was inconspicuous, and so came about as he intended the
catching of the _Athena_ like a jackal in a trap.

Going many miles at half speed, more miles at dead slow, the ocean
tramp, making her uncertain way up this muddy channel into the heart of
Africa, did not arrive within sight of her destination till close on
midnight.

"We're close now," Macfarlane was saying. "Why not give a tootle on our
siren just to buck up Dean, and give his enemies a shiver if they are
near?"

Bingham got hold of the string, but with the first stabbing of the
tropic night by the shrieking whistle there came a sudden shiver
through the ship, a violent scraping, and a bumping on the plates below
water. The siren stopped short, and the telegraph handle was suddenly
dragged over to full speed astern while Captain Bingham said things.
The propeller swirled up whirlpools of mud, and cast up enough crushed
marigold smell to choke them; but the ship did not move, and Captain
Bingham let his soul go out in bitterness.

"We've got to wait till daylight, anyhow," he said finally. "We're
fast, and we can't do anything till we can see what's holding us."

Meanwhile things were happening ashore. For three days Jim Dean had
sweated, a prisoner in his own office. He had seen little of Da Silva,
one big negro, who smoked black cigars all day long, and wore a
nautical cap, being his guard. The black seemed to possess the faculty
of infinite wakefulness. If he ever slept he did not seem to. His
eyes were always open, dreamily watching the smoke from his tobacco.
Dean thought and thought, and produced nothing. The negro was twice
his size, armed and wakeful. He, while not trussed up, had the area
of his activity circumscribed by a thong fastened round his waist and
made fast to the floor. The odds were too great for any effective
dealing with the situation, until by accident he alighted on a small
possibility of at least freeing himself. And with freedom of movement
much was possible. He wriggled on the floor.

A prick in the calf of his leg betrayed the point of a nail sticking
up in the floor. He altered his position so that he could get a bend
of the thong against the nail point, and then he tried gently rubbing
it, or rather letting the nail peck at the hide. There was not much
strength in the nail, so that the operation had to be done with care;
but it was done ultimately, and when there fell on Dean's surprised
ears the fragmentary shriek of the steamer's siren he was both ready
and able to go!

He fell on the negro as though a steel spring propelled him, and he
bowled him over, and hammered the black head on the floor before the
brain inside the woolly skull had awakened to what was happening. It
was a thick skull, but the blow was in proportion, and the big body
rolled over on the floor.

Possessing himself of the black's revolver, sheath knife, and belt, and
the nautical cap to save his head from thorns, Dean slipped out from
the veranda and down into the garden.

But this had not been done without some noise, and as Dean ran away
toward the gate of the inclosure, he heard voices in the darkness,
and cries of warning and alarm. The door of the inclosure was fast.
Precious moments were wasted unbolting it. By the time he was fleeing
across the strip of beach he knew he was pursued. He ran along the
water's edge as far as he could till the thick brake of mangroves,
which succeeded the beach, prevented him, for they grew right to the
edge of the water, and the giant twisted roots snaked far out into the
very slime of the river itself.

He struck into the thick mass of vegetation, away from the river, but
keeping as near parallel to the bank as he could. Ropes of prickly
creeper held him again and again. Boughs of sickly sweet blossoms
dashed against his face, and to force his way through the tangled mass
of greenery he had to slash out with his knife at almost every step.
Then he made for the river bank again.

He could hear the pounding of the ship's propeller, and he rightly
guessed she was struggling to get free from the trap that she had got
into. He came out upon the river bank and picked his way through the
sprawling roots of the mangroves. He sank knee-deep into the slime,
then he made a plunge and bore out into the river. He could see the
steamer scarce a hundred yards away, and he put his best work into his
swimming, not the less because he knew there were crocodiles in the
water.

He had not covered more than half the distance when he heard the sound
of paddles no great way off. He looked over half a shoulder, and he
saw a dug-out canoe shoot from the shore with half a dozen paddles at
work. He swam till every muscle and sinew ached with the strain. He
tore through the water, and grasped a rope that hung over the cathead
of the _Athena_, thirty yards ahead of the pursuing canoe. He was over
the edge of the forecastle just as the canoe came below. A moment
later, with the water dripping from him, he had turned, and was firing
at the black heads that sprang up above the cathead. A short spear
plunged at his head, and stuck quivering into the forecastle planks;
but two big splashes followed his shots, and there came a discordant
chorus of yells from below, that a moment later was broken into by a
deep-throated cry of inquiry from the bridge.

"You are trapped, that's all," answered Dean, taking aim at the
retreating canoe.

"Gad, is that Jim Dean?" Macfarlane came running forward. "Have you had
to swim for it at the finish? Are we too late with the arms?"

"No, you're just in time," said Dean, watching the effect of his shot,
"that is, if you have some men who can use them."

"You said you'd got plenty."

"I'd better own up," said the young man, "although it hasn't a pleasant
taste in my mouth. I wrote that letter at Da Silva's dictation with a
pistol at my head. There was likewise a pleasant alternative of being
spitted over a slow fire. He wants this cargo himself. Odds are on it
that we shall get an attack before dawn."

"Then, by the great James, we'll have some handshakes ready for them,"
declared Captain Bingham. "Now, you just loosen out some of our cargo,
Mr. Macfarlane."

       *       *       *       *       *

The expected attack came about half an hour before dawn, when the
white mists at the river edge were thickest. Half a dozen big canoes
filled with men shot out from the banks. There were one or two firearms
among them, but these were discharged at too great a range for savage
marksmen, and they did no more than emphasize the alarm, though that
was not needed, for watchful eyes had kept a careful lookout on the
_Athena_ all night.

"They'll be monkeys, and a bit over, if they climb up here," observed
Macfarlane; for the ship with no cargo in her stood high out of the
water, but the attack had been arranged by a brain. The first canoe to
reach the vessel's side wasted, for savages, little time in shouting
and brandishing spears, but straightway made casts with looped lengths
of grass rope, and before the defenders were quite up to the move half
a dozen black bodies were swarming up toward the mizzen chains.

Shots accounted for three, but the other three got up to the rail,
and it was an ugly fight before accounts were settled. Each canoe was
supplied with these ropes, which were cast with amazing skill, and
wherever there was the slightest hold or projection there was a rope
quickly looped over, and a black body swarming up the next instant.
Axes and cutting knives hacked at them, but many a savage got aboard,
and there were gashes and spear thrusts in plenty among the crew of the
_Athena_ when dawn broke.

The affair finished just as the sun slipped up over the trees, with the
canoes, such as had men to propel them, paddling away to the shore,
while two others drifted downstream, with only dead and wounded men in
them. The daylight showed half a dozen blacks, either dead or badly
wounded, on the ship's decks, and the second engineer lying on the
fidley with a gashed head and wounded thigh.

"And there's ane de'il ah hae made prisoner after a vera bonny fecht,"
said the Scotch bosun. "Ah'm thinking he's no' a'together a nigger. The
scoondrel's a bit tae yellow."

They found the dago, lying on the main deck, panting and furious,
clothed only in a loin cloth, with half a dozen of his own grass ropes
around him.

"Sae ye're the captain o' this dirty crood, air ye?" observed the bosun
critically, as the half-blood lay there swathed in the grass rope.

"Mon, ye started something outside yere weight. But perhaps ye'll be
useful. When we've had a bite o' something tae eat, we shall want a few
hondy niggers tae chop awa' the trees we've rinned upon, and mebbe ye
can whustle up a few."

But while they were snatching a hasty scrap of food, the prisoner,
unwatched for a few minutes, managed to partly wriggle out of the rope,
and to crawl toward an open sally port.

They heard him splash over the side, and a moment later, as they saw
him swimming, in spite of rope-encumbered legs, he was seen to suddenly
turn over in the water and to cast a look of fear back at them. The
next moment he gave a shriek, and sank from sight. A little eddy in the
brown water showed only for a moment where he had disappeared.

"A crocodile," said Dean with a shudder. "And I swam over there myself
last night. Poor beggar. When you're ready I should like to go ashore.
I expect my office will be a bit upset."



LATEST ISSUES


BRAVE AND BOLD WEEKLY

All kinds of stories that boys like. The biggest and best nickel's
worth ever offered. =High art colored covers. Thirty-two big pages.
Price, 5 cents.=

  331--Two Chums Afloat; or, The Cruise of the "Arrow." By Cornelius
  Shea.

  332--In the Path of Duty; or, The Fortunes of Officer Dan Deering. By
  Harrie Irving Hancock.

  333--A Bid for Fortune; or, True as Steel. By Fred Thorpe.

  334--A Battle with Fate; or, The Baseball Mascot. By Weldon J. Cobb.

  335--Three Brave Boys; or, Adventures in the Balloon World. By Frank
  Sheridan.

  336--Archie Atwood, Champion; or, An All-around Athlete's Career. By
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  337--Dick Stanhope Afloat; or, The Eventful Cruise of the _Elsinore_.
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  338--Working His Way Upward; or, From Footlights to Riches. By Fred
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  339--The Fourteenth Boy; or, How Vin Lovell Won Out. By Weldon J.
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  340--Among the Nomads; or, Life in the Open. By the author of
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  341--Bob, the Acrobat; or, Hustle and Win Out. By Harrie Irving
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  6--Motor Matt's Red Flier; or, On The High Gear.

  7--Motor Matt's Clue; or, The Phantom Auto.

  8--Motor Matt's Triumph; or, Three Speeds Forward.

  9--Motor Matt's Air-Ship; or, The Rival Inventors.

  10--Motor Matt's Hard Luck; or, The Balloon House Plot.

  11--Motor Matt's Daring Rescue; or, The Strange Case of Helen Brady.

  12--Motor Matt's Peril; or, Castaway in the Bahamas.

  13--Motor Matt's Queer Find; or, The Secret of the Iron Chest.

  14--Motor Matt's Promise; or, The Wreck of the _Hawk_.

  15--Motor Matt's Submarine; or, The Strange Cruise of the _Grampus_.

  16--Motor Matt's Quest; or, Three Chums in Strange Waters.

  17--Motor Matt's Close Call; or, The Snare of Don Carlos.

  18--Motor Matt in Brazil; or, Under the Amazon.

  19--Motor Matt's Defiance; or, Around the Horn.

  20--Motor Matt Makes Good; or, Another Victory for the Motor Boys.


TIP TOP WEEKLY

The most popular publication for boys. The adventures of Frank and Dick
Merriwell can be had only in this weekly. =High art colored covers.
Thirty-two pages. Price, 5 cents.=

  681--Frank Merriwell's Patience; or, The Making of a Pitcher.

  682--Frank Merriwell's Pupil; or, The Boy with the Wizard Wing.

  683--Frank Merriwell's Fighters; or, The Decisive Battle with
  Blackstone.

  684--Dick Merriwell at the "Meet"; or, Honors Worth Winning.

  685--Dick Merriwell's Protest; or, The Man Who Would Not Play Clean.

  686--Dick Merriwell In The Marathon; or, The Sensation of the Great
  Run.

  687--Dick Merriwell's Colors; or, All For the Blue.

  688--Dick Merriwell, Driver; or, The Race for the Daremore Cup.

  689--Dick Merriwell on the Deep; or, The Cruise of the _Yale_.

  690--Dick Merriwell in the North Woods; or, The Timber Thieves of the
  Floodwood.

  691--Dick Merriwell's Dandies; or, A Surprise for the Cowboy Nine.

  692--Dick Merriwell's "Skyscooter"; or, Professor Pagan and the
  "Princess."

  693--Dick Merriwell in the Elk Mountains; or, The Search for "Dead
  Injun" Mine.


_For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt
of price, 5 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps, by_

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Fill out the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price
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A GREAT SUCCESS!!

MOTOR STORIES


Every boy who reads one of the splendid adventures of Motor Matt, which
are making their appearance in this weekly, is at once surprised and
delighted. Surprised at the generous quantity of reading matter that we
are giving for five cents; delighted with the fascinating interest of
the stories, second only to those published in the Tip Top Weekly.

Matt has positive mechanical genius, and while his adventures are
unusual, they are, however, drawn so true to life that the reader can
clearly see how it is possible for the ordinary boy to experience them.


_HERE ARE THE TITLES NOW READY AND THOSE TO BE PUBLISHED_:

  1--Motor Matt; or, The King of the Wheel.

  2--Motor Matt's Daring; or, True to His Friends.

  3--Motor Matt's Century Run; or, The Governor's Courier.

  4--Motor Matt's Race; or, The Last Flight of the "Comet."

  5--Motor Matt's Mystery; or, Foiling a Secret Plot.

  6--Motor Matt's Red Flier; or, On the High Gear.

  7--Motor Matt's Clue; or, The Phantom Auto.

  8--Motor Matt's Triumph; or, Three Speeds Forward.

  9--Motor Matt's Air Ship; or, The Rival Inventors.

  10--Motor Matt's Hard Luck; or, The Balloon House Plot.

  11--Motor Matt's Daring Rescue; or, The Strange Case of Helen Brady.

  12--Motor Matt's Peril; or, Cast Away in the Bahamas.

  13--Motor Matt's Queer Find; or, The Secret of the Iron Chest.

  14--Motor Matt's Promise; or, The Wreck of the "Hawk."

  15--Motor Matt's Submarine; or, The Strange Cruise of the "Grampus."

  16--Motor Matt's Quest; or, Three Chums in Strange Waters.

To be Published on June 14th.

  17--Motor Matt's Close Call; or, The Snare of Don Carlos.

To be Published on June 21st.

  18--Motor Matt in Brazil; or, Under the Amazon.

To be Published on June 28th.

  19--Motor Matt's Defiance; or, Around the Horn.

To be Published on July 5th.

  20--Motor Matt Makes Good; or, Another Victory for the Motor Boys.


PRICE, FIVE CENTS

At all newsdealers, or sent, postpaid, by the publishers upon receipt
of the price.

  STREET & SMITH,      _Publishers_,      NEW YORK



Transcriber's Notes:


Added table of contents.

Italics are represented with _underscores_, bold with =equal signs=.

Retained some inconsistent hyphenation from the original ("dugout" vs.
"dug-out").

Page 1, expanded oe ligature in "manoeuvre" to oe; ligature retained in
HTML edition.

Page 2, removed unnecessary quote before "The ready."

Page 3, "Curaçoa" is probably a typo for "Curaçao" but has been
retained in case it is an archaic spelling.

Page 11, corrected typo "hapened" in "anything happened to the
submarine."

Page 21, corrected typo "Ferrall" in "I can spell you, or Mr. Ferral."

Page 22, corrected "let go of Dick" to "let go of Matt."





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