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Title: Motor Matt Makes Good - or, Another Victory For the Motor Boys
Author: Matthews, Stanley R.
Language: English
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  MOTOR STORIES

  THRILLING
  ADVENTURE

  MOTOR
  FICTION

  NO. 20
  JULY 10, 1909

  FIVE
  CENTS


  MOTOR MATT
  MAKES GOOD

  ANOTHER VICTORY
  FOR THE MOTOR BOYS

  _BY THE AUTHOR
  OF "MOTOR MATT"_

  [Illustration: _"FIRE away, kevik!" clamored Carl,
  and just then Matt pulled the trigger._]

  _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. 20.      NEW YORK, July 10, 1909.      Price Five Cents.



MOTOR MATT MAKES GOOD

OR,

ANOTHER VICTORY FOR THE MOTOR BOYS.

By the author of "MOTOR MATT."



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER I. OFF THE CHILIAN COAST.
  CHAPTER II. HURLED INTO THE SEA.
  CHAPTER III. SAVED BY A TORPEDO.
  CHAPTER IV. WEIGHING THE EVIDENCE.
  CHAPTER V. A SURPRISING SITUATION.
  CHAPTER VI. ANOTHER ATTACK.
  CHAPTER VII. A BAD HALF HOUR.
  CHAPTER VIII. CHASING A TORPEDO.
  CHAPTER IX. NORTHWARD BOUND.
  CHAPTER X. A HALT FOR REPAIRS.
  CHAPTER XI. DICK MAKES A DISCOVERY.
  CHAPTER XII. A WARY FOE.
  CHAPTER XIII. PLUCK THAT WINS.
  CHAPTER XIV. A LITTLE WORK ON THE INSIDE.
  CHAPTER XV. A STAR PERFORMANCE.
  CHAPTER XVI. CONCLUSION.
  THE SPIDER WATER.
  GOOD WORDS FOR THE 'GATOR.
  VENOMOUS FISH.



CHARACTERS THAT APPEAR IN THIS STORY.


  =Matt King=, otherwise Motor Matt, king of the motor boys.

  =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.

  =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.

  =Ensign John Henry Glennie, United States Navy.=

  =Sons of the Rising Sun.=

  =Captain Pons=, who has come from Havre, France, to deliver the
  submarine boat, _Pom_, to the Chilian Government, only to fall into a
  net spread by the Sons of the Rising Sun.

  =Captain Sandoval=, of the Chilian Navy, who has appeared before, in
  the MOTOR STORIES, and appears for the last time and bows himself out.

  =Captain of the Port of Lota, Chili=, who plays a small but important
  part.



CHAPTER I.

OFF THE CHILIAN COAST.


"Great spark plugs!"

"Strike me lucky!"

"Py shiminy Grismus!"

There were three surprised and excited boys on the rounded deck of
the submarine boat _Grampus_. It was a calm, cloudless night, and the
sea was as smooth as a mill pond; but, for all that, the night was
cloudless, a dank, clinging fog had rolled down from the Andes and
out upon the ocean, blotting out moon and star and rendering their
surroundings as black as Erebus.

The _Grampus_ was proceeding slowly northward along the Chilian coast.
Motor Matt, Dick Ferral, and Carl Pretzel were on the deck forward,
keeping a sharp lookout. The electric projector from the conning tower
bored a gleaming hole into the darkness ahead, giving the lads a
limited view in that direction. Speake was half in and half out of the
conning tower, steering from that position.

The waters gurgled and lapped at the rounded sides of the boat, then
floated rearward in long lines of phosphorescence, spreading out in the
wake like two sticks of an open fan. At the stern of the submarine the
propeller churned up a glittering froth.

What the boys saw, however, that had aroused their startled
exclamations was a cluster as of glowing lights a foot or two under the
surface of the water. This mysterious glow was moving, at a moderate
rate of speed, in a course that crossed that of the _Grampus_.

"Slow down, Speake!" called Matt to the helmsman.

The jingle of a bell, down in the motor room, was heard faintly, and
the submarine's speed fell off perceptibly. The cluster of starlike
points bubbled onward, missed the bow of the _Grampus_ by a few feet,
and vanished in the gloom on the port side.

"Vat it iss?" murmured Carl, rubbing a hand dazedly across his eyes.
"Dere iss lighdning pugs on der land, und I vonder iss dere lighdning
pug fishes in der sea? Dot looked schust like a shark mit some search
lights on his headt."

"I'm a Fiji if there was any fish about that," averred the bewildered
Dick. "Can you rise to it, matey?" he asked, turning to Matt. "What
sort of a sizing do you give it?"

The king of the motor boys was puzzled.

"It might be a piece of drift from the shore," he answered, "or the
fragment of a wreck."

"Aber it _moofed_!" exclaimed Carl. "It moofed droo der vater schust
like it vas alife!"

"The current may have caused that. There are all kinds of currents in
this part of the ocean."

"Und der lights, Matt. Pieces oof wreck don'd haf lights like dot!"

"That was a trick of the phosphorescence. There were probably nails or
spikes in the timber, and wherever they projected and caused a ripple
there was a glow in the water."

Matt turned to Speake.

"Make a turn to the left, Speake," said he. The submarine swerved
slowly to the port tack. "There," said Matt; "hold her so."

Dick gave a low laugh.

"You don't take much stock in that explanation of yours, matey," he
remarked, "or you wouldn't be following that bit of supposed flotsam
and jetsam."

"I've explained it in the only way I know how, Dick," returned Matt,
"but I'm still a good deal in doubt. We'll see if we can overhaul the
thing and make a further examination. I don't like to take the time,
but it may turn out to be time well spent."

Motor Matt knelt well forward, just where the V-shaped waves parted
over the sharp nose of the _Grampus_, and while he knelt he peered
fixedly into the water ahead.

"You're such a cautious chap," spoke up Dick, hanging to one of the
flagstaff guys and likewise staring ahead, "that I've been all ahoo
wondering why you were doing this night cruising. The night's as black
as a pocket, and this coast is about as dangerous as you can find
anywhere, and yet here we are, groping our way along, never knowing
what minute we may bounce upon a reef or say how do you do to a sharp
rock."

"Remember that Pacific Mail boat we spoke yesterday?" inquired Matt,
over his shoulder.

"The one that told us they had news, in Santiago, that a Japanese boat
had got away from the Chilian, Captain Sandoval, below the Strait of
Magellan?" responded Dick.

"Exactly. When we left English Reach, at the western end of the strait,
we know Captain Sandoval, of the Chilian warship _Salvadore_, was
pursuing the mysterious Japanese steamer; and we also know that that
steamer had on board our enemies, the Sons of the Rising Sun. The mail
boat said the news that the steamer had escaped the _Salvadore_ had
been flashed by wireless from Punta Arenas, and had been repeated by
telegraph to Santiago and Valparaiso."

"I don'd pelieve dot Chap poat efer got avay from der _Salvatore_!"
declared Carl.

"It may be that she did, Carl," went on Matt, "and we've got to make
sure of it just as soon as we possibly can. That's the reason we're
traveling through this thick fog, and taking our chances on hitting a
reef or sunken rock. We've got to reach Lota and find out for sure if
those Japs are again free to bother us. You know what it means if the
Sons of the Rising Sun got away from Sandoval. Those misguided Japs
have sworn that the _Grampus_ shall never be turned over to the United
States Government at Mare Island Navy Yard. They're a desperate and
fanatical lot, and we've got to know just what we're up against, so far
as they are concerned. Lota is on the railroad and telegraph line, and
we'll get news there, if anywhere."

"As usual," observed Dick, "that head of yours has been working, old
ship, while the rest of us have been wondering what you were trying to
do. I don't think you'll catch up with that piece of drift."

"Nor I," Matt answered, getting to his feet and coming aft. "Whatever
that was, I suspect we'll never be able to discover, so my guess will
have to stand. Put her on the starboard tack, Speake," he added to the
man in the conning tower.

The submarine once more resumed her course toward Arauco Bay and Lota.

"You fellows go below and turn in," Matt went on to Dick and Carl. "I
can con the ship, all right, and there's no need of the two of you
staying awake and helping me on the lookout."

"You'd better let Glennie relieve you, mate," suggested Dick. "You've
been on deck duty for six hours."

"I'm going to stay right here," said Matt, "until we get safely into
Arauco Bay."

There was no use arguing with Motor Matt when he made up his mind that
duty commanded him to do a certain thing, and Dick and Carl wished him
luck and went below.

Ensign Glennie was lying on the locker in the periscope room.

"You shifted the course," said he, rising on one elbow and peering at
Dick and Carl as they dropped off the iron ladder. "What was up?"

"Somet'ing mit a shiny headt vent past us," replied Carl, dropping down
on a stool and beginning to draw off his shoes.

"Something with a shiny head?" queried the nonplused ensign.

"Yah, so. It vas a funny pitzness."

"What was it, Dick?"

"I'm by," answered Dick, shaking his head. "I've seen a good many queer
things afloat, but that was the queerest. It was too dark to see much,
though. Mayhap if we'd had a little more light, we could have made a
closer examination and the mystery would have been explained."

Thereupon he went into details, telling Glennie all that he and Carl
knew.

"Can you make anything out of it, Glennie?" Dick finished.

"I'm over my head, like the rest of you," answered the ensign.
"Probably Matt hit it off pretty well when he said it was a bit of
water-logged drift, floating between two waves, with spikes cutting
the water and throwing off gleams of phosphorescence. This part of the
Pacific is full of cross-currents. And it's a mighty dangerous stretch
of water, too, I'm telling you. Matt is certainly anxious to reach
Lota, or he'd never persist in pushing through waters like these in
such a fog."

"He's worrying again over those Sons of the Rising Sun."

Dick pulled off one of his shoes and swung it reflectively in his hand.

"I don't think it is possible that that Jap steamer got away from
Sandoval," said Glennie. "The officers on that mail boat must have got
it wrong."

"Our old raggie is bound to find out just how much truth there is in
the yarn, anyhow," continued Dick. "We're what you might call on the
last leg of our cruise, and the little old _Grampus_ has covered the
east coast of two continents and is well up the west coast. We have
dodged trouble in pretty good shape, so far, and Matt don't intend to
let the Sons of the Rising Sun put us down and out at this late stage
of the game."

"The Japs can't put Motor Matt down and out," averred Glennie, with
suppressed admiration. "He has met them at every point, and has given
them the worst of it. They'll never be able to destroy the _Grampus_.
Mark what I say, my lads, Motor Matt is going to 'make good' with
ground to spare, and chalk up another victory for the motor boys."

Dick and Carl would have cheered this warm sentiment, but before they
had a chance to do so, a wild yell came from Speake.

"Tumble up here, you fellows! Quick, now!"

Speake, as he spoke, crushed himself against the side of the
conning-tower hatch, in order to make room for those in the periscope
room to pass him and reach the deck.

Startled by the words and wildly excited manner of the helmsman, Dick,
Carl, and Glennie lost not an instant in rushing up the ladder and
dropping over the side of the conning tower.

"Where's Matt?" cried Dick.

"That's just what I want to know," answered Speake, his consternation
growing and a tremulous awe finding its way into his voice. "He was on
the deck a few minutes ago, but he isn't here now. The last I saw of
him he went aft, around the conning tower. The next thing I knew, when
I turned and looked for him, he wasn't aboard."

All three of the lads were stricken dumb. For a brief space none of
them spoke, but looked toward each other in the gloom, frantically
alarmed and vaguely fearing--they knew not what.

"He couldn't have fallen overboard," spoke up Glennie, first to break
the silence that held them as by an uncanny spell, "and yet it's
certain he's not on the boat."

"Matt!" roared Dick, making a trumpet of his hands and calling into the
blank darkness. "Ahoy, Matt!"

No answer was returned. All that could be heard was the hum of the
submarine's motor, the swish of the propeller, and the lap and gurgle
of waves along the rounded side.

Carl began to whimper.

"Ach, du lieber! Oof anyt'ing has habbened py dot bard oof mine, I
don'd know vat I shall do, py shinks! He vas der pest friendt vat I
efer hat, und----"

"Put about, Speake!" cried Dick, now thoroughly alive to the situation.
"If Matt went overboard, then we're rushing away from him, and he's
swimming somewhere in our wake."

The shaken helmsman immediately turned the _Grampus_ in a wide circle
and rang for full speed.



CHAPTER II.

HURLED INTO THE SEA.


Matt was very much worried when Dick and Carl, agreeably to their
orders, went below. It was not the strange visitor that had passed the
bows of the _Grampus_ on its glowing way that rested heavily on his
mind, but the news gathered from the captain of the mail boat that had
been spoken early in the day.

On leaving the western end of the Strait of Magellan, the submarine
and her crew had, as they supposed, left behind them for the rest of
their cruise their wily enemies, the Sons of the Rising Sun. They had
had trouble enough on account of the Japanese while coming through the
strait, and Matt thought that he and his friends were entitled to a
respite, so far as the nefarious plots of the fanatical young Japs were
concerned.[A]

[A] The adventures of the motor boys, in and around Magellan Strait,
were set forth in No. 19 of the MOTOR STORIES, entitled, "Motor Matt's
Defiance; or, Around the Horn."

It was the responsibility for the safety of the _Grampus_ that rested
so heavily on the young motorist's mind. Weeks before, when the
submarine had left Belize, British Honduras, Captain Nemo, Jr., the
owner of the boat, had placed the craft entirely in Matt's hands.

"I wouldn't trust the _Grampus_ with any one else, Matt," declared the
captain. "But you've got nerve, your judgment is good, you know the
craft from one end to the other, and whenever anything goes wrong and
you get into a scrape, you've got a knack of always getting out of it
without much damage to yourself. A hundred thousand dollars is to be
paid for the _Grampus_ when she reaches Mare Island. If the submarine
doesn't reach there in good condition, the money will not be paid.
Sickness will detain me for a while in Belize, and so that puts this
work of taking the boat around the Horn up to you. Now go ahead!"

Motor Matt appreciated to the full Captain Nemo, Jr.'s trust and
confidence. He had vowed to himself over and over again that he would
prove to the captain he was worthy of the trust reposed in him. Matt
was thinking of all this on the deck of the _Grampus_, after Dick and
Carl had left him; and, in the midst of his reflection, he fancied he
heard a muffled sound from somewhere in the submarine's wake.

Instantly alarmed, he passed the conning tower, without exchanging any
words with Speake, and took up a position not far from the churning
propeller. But he heard nothing further, and could see nothing either
to increase or diminish his fears. He was just turning about to make
his way forward, when a coil struck about his throat, drawing taut on
the instant and preventing any outcry. At the same instant there came
an irresistible pull backward.

Matt, astounded by this unexpected attack, reaching him from some point
away from the boat and darting silently and suddenly out of the thick
gloom, flung up his hands in an attempt to clutch one of the wire guys
of the periscope mast.

He missed the guy by a fraction of an inch, slipped downward over the
rounded deck and rolled into the water. He made little noise, so little
that Speake could not hear it above the swirl of waves thrown up by the
rounded plates of the _Grampus_.

Another moment and Matt was in the water and swimming. The deadly
compression at his throat continued, and he was unable to voice a
sound. He could see the little search light of the submarine moving
rapidly onward into the darkness, and could see the half of Speake's
form, like a blot of shadow, rearing out of the tower hatch.

All this time Matt felt the pull of the rope about his neck, drawing
him steadily and remorselessly away into the foggy night. No one spoke
behind him, and there was not the slightest sound to tell him who his
captors were, or where they were, or how they had succeeded in making
him a victim in that mysterious fashion.

A minute, two minutes, passed. At the end of that time Matt felt his
strength leaving him because of the strangling grip about his throat.
Then, suddenly, the rearward "pull" relaxed and the constriction at
his throat ceased. With one hand he reached upward and pulled the
strangling coil loose and gulped down a deep draught of air.

A moment later he gave vent to a cry, hoping to attract the attention
of Speake. But the _Grampus_ was too far away. With difficulty Matt
freed himself of his shoes and coat. He had no idea how long he would
have to swim, but he prepared himself to keep afloat as long as
possible. What the end was to be he did not know, and he had no time to
give to that phase of the question.

Some mysterious force had hurled him from the deck of the _Grampus_
into the sea, and perhaps this same force would continue to take care
of him. Turning about in the water, he lifted himself high with a
downward stroke of his powerful arms, and peered in the direction from
which the attack had come. He could see nothing and could hear nothing.

For a moment Motor Matt was tempted to forget his dire plight in
marveling over the mysterious nature of that attack. The next instant,
however, he began asking himself if it would be possible to reach the
Chilian shore. It was a mile away, at least. To swim such a distance
was no very extraordinary feat, but there were currents sucking Matt
oceanward, and against these it was powerless for him to struggle.

Matt could keep afloat, but to what purpose? Would it be possible
for him to keep on the surface until his friends on the submarine
discovered his absence and put back to his rescue? Even if he could
swim for that length of time, could his friends find him in that
darkness, with the current dragging him farther and farther from the
course over which the _Grampus_ had recently passed?

In Motor Matt's place, a good many lads would have given up the
struggle, but Matt was of different calibre. As long as there was a
breath in his body he would fight, for he knew that while there is life
there is always hope.

Blindly and doggedly he continued his battle with the waves, peering
into the northeast from time to time, in the hope of seeing the search
light of the _Grampus_. He did not see the search light, but he saw
something else lying sluggishly in the water not a great distance from
where he was.

"A log!" he thought.

Under the impression that fate had thrown across his path a bit of
drift from the mainland, he swam to the object and laid hold of it as
it heaved and ducked on the placid waves.

It was not a log. As he put out one hand it came in contact with
smooth, wet metal. The object was a long cylinder, blunt at one end and
pointed at the other.

"A torpedo!" ran his thought, as he hung over the rounded object with
one arm and supported himself in the water. "Who fired the torpedo?"
was the question he asked himself.

He had leisure now for a little reflection. No strength was required to
keep himself afloat, for the steel cylinder supported him.

As he hung there, lifting and falling with the long, deadly tube, his
thoughts harked back to the queer object he, and Dick, and Carl had
seen in the water. The result of his reflections paralyzed him.

_Some mysterious enemy had launched the torpedo at the Grampus!_

Had the infernal machine struck the submarine, the craft and every one
aboard would have been torn to pieces.

A slow horror pulsed through Motor Matt's veins.

The same enemies who had launched the torpedo must surely have jerked
Matt from the deck of the submarine. But who were they? where were they?

With difficulty he lifted himself and got astride the rolling cylinder.
From that elevated position he looked around him into the darkness.
Silence reigned in every direction. There was no sign of the mysterious
foes who had attempted to destroy the _Grampus_ and to make a prisoner
of her commanding officer.

Presently the young motorist became conscious that the coil was still
about his throat, and that a long object was trailing downward and
hanging with some weight from his neck.

It was a rope. He began pulling it in, coiling the wet length of it in
his hand. The rope was all of seventy-five feet long, he judged, and
that distance must have marked the position of his foes when the noose
was cast. To see even half that distance into the thick darkness was
impossible, but why had Matt not been able to _hear_ the men who had
attempted such dastardly work?

Speculations were useless. Matt, however, had secured a makeshift raft
which would keep him afloat until such time as the _Grampus_, or some
other boat, could pick him up.

Hoping that the submarine would come to no harm, and determined to make
the best of his desperate situation, the king of the motor boys set
about making an examination of the steel tube that supported him.



CHAPTER III.

SAVED BY A TORPEDO.


Matt's first move was to take the noose from about his throat and pass
the rope around and around the torpedo, tying it fast. The loops of
the rope gave him a handhold which he could not possibly have secured
otherwise on the hard, smooth shell, rendered slippery by the water
with which it was drenched.

The torpedo, he quickly discovered, was a Whitehead--a powerful and
deadly engine in use by all the navies of the world.

It was about seventeen feet long and a foot and a half in diameter.
Torpedoes of this nature are constructed to run under the surface at
any required depth down to twenty feet. A propeller and compressed
air furnishes the motive power, and as the air becomes exhausted, the
torpedo rises higher and higher. With the air shut off and engine
stopped, the cylinder rises to the surface. As that was the case in
the present instance, it seemed certain that the motive power of this
particular torpedo had been nearly exhausted.

The _Grampus_, being constructed for work in time of war, had torpedo
tubes and one torpedo aboard. Matt had studied the mechanism of the
Whitehead, and he was able to proceed intelligently in his present
dilemma. If there was still any air in the big tube, he might use it
to carry him to the north and east, in the direction taken by the
_Grampus_.

The lever, he discovered, which locked the engine was standing erect,
while the "tripper," which worked automatically the instant the torpedo
was discharged and put it under its own power, was lying flat on the
curved side.

Before trying to get the compressed air in the shell to working, he
swam to the blunt end of the torpedo and removed the small propeller
that manipulated the firing pin. By this wise move he rendered harmless
the explosive within the shell.

Swimming back, he mounted his queer raft by means of the rope loops,
lifted the "tripper," and depressed the starting lever.

The twin screws, placed tandem fashion at the stern, began slowly to
revolve. Heading the point of the tube north by east, he began one of
the strangest rides that had ever fallen to his lot.

As the air within became more and more depleted, the steel cylinder
rose higher and higher in the water.

For a lad so deeply in love with motors as was Matt, the novelty of
that ride could not fail to appeal to him. He was safe, at least for
a time, and felt sure that ultimately he would gain the shore or be
picked up by a coastwise ship. As for the _Grampus_, there were cool
heads and steady nerves aboard of her, and the submarine's safety would
be looked after. Besides, the mysterious foes had failed in their
night's work, and there was probably no more danger to be apprehended
from them.

As Matt held himself astride his queer craft, guiding it by a pull this
way and that, he fell to thinking of the manner in which he had been
hurled into the sea.

Some boat had discharged the torpedo, and it seemed certain that
those who had tossed the rope over his head and pulled him from the
submarine's deck had been on the same boat.

Had it been the intention of Matt's enemies to haul him aboard their
boat, or only to strangle him and keep him in the water until the
_Grampus_ got well away, then cast him off and let him sink to the
bottom?

Matt's humane instincts rebelled against the latter supposition. His
enemies, he reasoned, had intended hauling him aboard their boat, but
in some manner had lost hold of the end of the line.

A Whitehead torpedo costs something like four thousand dollars, and
is altogether too valuable to leave adrift when it has been fired and
misses its target. Those who had discharged the torpedo would surely
look for it--and, if they found it, they would also find Matt.

This caused the young motorist a good deal of trepidation. He reasoned,
however, that on account of the darkness of the night and the fog, his
mysterious foes would probably remain in the part of the ocean where
the torpedo had been fired and look for it in the daylight. Between
that hour and daylight, Matt was hoping to be picked up.

The compressed air in a torpedo will carry it about nine hundred yards.
This torpedo had not gone its full distance, on account of an automatic
misplacement of the "tripper" and starting lever, but enough of the air
had been used so that Matt's ride was a short one.

After a few minutes the propellers ceased to revolve, and Matt and the
steel cylinder came to a stop, heaving up and down on the surface of
the water. Yielding to the pull of the current, the torpedo started
erratically seaward, and another fear was born in Matt's mind.

The farther seaward he was carried, the more difficult it would be to
fall in with a passing boat, and the farther off would be his rescue.
To carry his grewsome thoughts still farther, there was a good chance
that he would succumb to thirst and hunger before his woeful plight was
discovered, and----

But this gloomy train of reflections was interrupted. In the distance
Matt could see a glow of light, shining hazily through the fog. Was it
the search light of the _Grampus_, or a gleam from the other boat?

Divided between hopes and doubts, he waited and watched. The glow
presently resolved itself into a pencil of light, and he became fairly
positive that it was the searching eye of the submarine.

"Ahoy!" he shouted.

Instantly a distant commotion struck on his ears.

"Ahoy, ahoy!" came an excited answer. "Is that you, Matt?"

"Yes. Shift your wheel a couple of points to starboard and you'll be
heading straight for me. Come slow--and don't run me down."

The gleam of light suddenly shifted its position. Aiming directly at
Matt, it grew brighter and brighter. Matt was able to make out the dark
outlines of the submarine's low deck and conning tower, and to see
three figures well forward toward the bow, all clinging to guys and
leaning out over the water.

"Are you swimming, old ship?" came the tense voice of Dick Ferral.

"Hardly," Matt answered. "I've been in the water for upward of an
hour--and I couldn't have fought the current that long if I had been
compelled to swim."

"How you vas keeping off der pottom, Matt?" piped up the relieved voice
of Carl.

"There's a sort of a raft under me," Matt laughed.

"A raft? Where the dickens did you get hold of a raft, Matt?"

This was Glennie.

"Not exactly a raft," went on Matt, "but a Whitehead torpedo. We met
each other at just the right time for me. I'm riding the torpedo, and
it's a fine thing for keeping a fellow afloat."

Startled expressions came from those on the submarine. By then the
Grampus was so close that her search light had Matt and the Whitehead
in full glare. The amazement of the boys on the submarine increased.

"Dot's der plamedest t'ing vat I efer heardt oof!" gasped Carl. "Modor
Matt riding on a dorpeto schust like it vas a tree, oder somet'ing like
dot! Ach, himmelblitzen!"

Speake guided the _Grampus_ alongside the torpedo.

"Be careful, Speake!" warned Glennie. "If that infernal machine bunts
into us, we're gone."

"I'm looking out for that," answered Speake.

"You don't need to worry," called Matt reassuringly. "I wasn't going to
take chances with two hundred pounds of high explosive, and one of the
first things I did was to fix the priming pin so it wouldn't work."

The _Grampus_, responding to a signal flashed into the motor room, came
to a halt. Dick threw Matt a rope, and he began tying it to one of the
loops that encircled the shell of the torpedo.

"Why are you making fast, matey?" inquired Dick.

"Because I want to tow this torpedo into Lota," answered Matt.

"Oh, bother that! Here we've been all ahoo thinking you were at the
bottom and as good as done for. Now that we've found you again--and in
a most amazing way, at that--cut loose from that steel tube and come
aboard. What's the use of fussing with it?"

"I'll explain when I come aboard," Matt went on. "Make the other end
of the line fast, Dick, and give the cable a scope of fifty feet. I've
hooked to her so that she will follow us stern foremost."

Glennie helped Dick make the cable fast; then Matt, drawing in on the
line, came alongside the rounded deck plates, and Carl helped him off
the torpedo.

"Ach, vat a habbiness!" sputtered Carl. "I hat gifen you oop for deadt,
Matt, und vat shouldt I efer have done mitoudt my bard? How you come to
be like dot, hey?"

"There's something mighty mysterious about it," said Matt. "I thought
I heard a noise somewhere in the darkness behind the _Grampus_, and
stepped aft to watch and listen; then, before I knew what was up, the
noose of a rope fell over my head and tightened about my throat. I went
into the water with hardly a splash, unable to give a cry for help."

"I didn't hear a sound!" put in Speake excitedly.

"It was all done so quickly and silently, I don't see how you could
have known anything about it, Speake," said Matt. "I was in a bad
way when I sighted that torpedo. I got astride of it, started the
propellers, and rode in the direction the _Grampus_ had taken. When the
compressed air gave out, I was expecting to be picked up by some other
boat--by the boat that had fired the torpedo at us."

"At us!" exclaimed Glennie. "Do you mean to say that torpedo that saved
you was launched at the _Grampus_?"

"Exactly," returned Matt. "It was the torpedo Dick, Carl, and I saw,
and which I thought might be a floating log or a piece of wreckage."

This astounding intelligence almost carried Matt's chums off their feet.

"What enemies have we in these waters?" cried the startled Glennie.

"Why," answered Matt, "who but the Sons of the Rising Sun?"



CHAPTER IV.

WEIGHING THE EVIDENCE.


"Let's go below, mates," suggested Dick, "and overhaul all this.
There's meat in it for us, and it will stand us in hand to get at it."

"I'll not go below this night, Dick," said Matt, "and we'd better all
of us stay on deck and keep our eyes peeled for Japs. Carl can go and
bring me up some dry clothes, an extra pair of shoes and stockings, and
an extra coat."

"Dot's me, bard," chirruped Carl, making for the conning tower.

"Get the boat on her proper course, Speake," said Matt; "we must get
out of this neighborhood as soon as we can--and as quick as we can.
Watch the torpedo as we come about, Dick, you and Glennie. See that the
cable doesn't foul the guys or the periscope mast."

Speake signaled for a fresh start, and as the submarine described a
circle and pointed the other way, Dick and Glennie kept the hawser
clear. The torpedo took its scope of cable, and the drag of it was
plainly felt as soon as the submarine began to pull.

"It's main lucky, mates," remarked Dick, as Carl regained the deck with
Matt's dry clothing, and the young motorist began to get out of his wet
togs, "that we've such a smooth sea. If the wind was blowing hard and
the water was choppy, Matt would have a hard time with that torpedo of
his."

"A lucky thing, too," added Glennie, "that there's a thick fog. If
Matt's enemies had seen him, they'd have finished the work they set out
to do with that lariat."

"On the other hand, Glennie," put in Matt, "we don't want to forget
that it was the fog that enabled them to come so close. Their boat must
have got within seventy-five feet of the _Grampus_ in order for any one
to drop that noose over my head."

"I'll be keelhauled if I can understand how such a trick was done,"
said Dick. "From my experiences on the cattle ranges of Texas, I should
say that a seventy-five-foot cast with a riata is a mighty big one, and
liable to be successful about once in a hundred times. But here's this
swab that lassoed Matt, snaring him the first crack--and throwing from
a boat's deck and across water, at that!"

"Then, too," proceeded Glennie, "their boat has less noise to it than
any craft I ever heard of. It shoved along within seventy-five feet of
us--and none of us heard a sound!"

"I thought I heard a noise, Glennie," returned Matt, "and that was what
took me aft."

"I can't understand how it was done," muttered the ensign.

"Veil, anyvays," struck in Carl, "id vas done, no madder vedder anypody
oondershtands it or nod. Kevit making some guesses aboudt der vay it
vas pulled off und look der pitzness skevare in der face. It vas der
Chaps--who else vould dry to plow der _Grampus_ oudt oof water? So
vat's to be done aboudt it?"

"Carl's talking sense, fellows," said Matt. "Those Japs are against us.
We thought we had left them behind, and that we should be able to reach
San Francisco before they could make us any trouble, but here they are,
going for us harder than ever."

"They're not using that steamer of theirs, mates," averred Dick.

"The steamer might have torpedo tubes," answered Glennie.

"Ay, so she might; but she couldn't lie along within seventy-five feet
of us without making noise enough to wake the dead. The Sons of the
Rising Sun have changed boats--and how have they had time to do that,
and reach this part of the coast almost at the same time as ourselves?
We've plugged right along ever since leaving the strait."

"That gives me an idea," said the ensign, "and you fellows can take it
for what it's worth. Our knowledge of the Sons of the Rising Sun is a
trifle hazy, but we know them to be a secret organization whose aim
is to help Japan. The organization is not sanctioned by the Japanese
government, for its members commit deeds which would plunge the nation
into war if it sanctioned them. Now, this secret society is probably
quite extensive. Perhaps we are not dealing with the branch of it that
kept us busy most of the way to the Horn, but with another outfit of
the Sons of the Rising Sun that has been laying for us here."

"That's possible," agreed Matt. "The question is, shall we put into
Lota and try to find out something more regarding our enemies, or keep
on to Valparaiso, as we had originally intended?"

"I'm for putting in at Lota," said Dick. "We can't tow that infernal
Whitehead all the way to Valparaiso."

"It will be just as well to stop there, in my opinion," seconded
Glennie. "If we're dealing with another branch of the Sons of the
Rising Sun, perhaps we can get some information about them in Lota."

"Meppy," ventured Carl, "ve could lay in a sooply oof gasoline in Lota,
und vouldn't haf to shdop at Valparaiso, huh? Dot vould safe dime, und
I am gedding hungry for a look at der Unidet Shtates again. Der more I
see of odder gountries, der more vat I like my own."

"His own!" laughed Dick, who, now that Motor Matt had been safely
recovered, was feeling in fine fettle. "You could tell he was a Yank,
just by the way he talks, eh?"

"I peen an American mit a Dutch agsent," protested Carl, "und I t'ink
so mooch oof der Shdars und Shdripes as anypody. I vould schust as soon
shtep on der Pritish lion's tail as anyt'ing vat I know."

"If you step on the British lion's tail, and I find it out, matey,"
laughed Dick, "I'll have you hauled up and fined for cruelty to
animals. One of these days I'm going to write to the kaiser and tell
him about you."

"Vat I care for der kaiser?" snorted Carl. "He iss a pooty goot feller,
aber he ain'd so big like der Bresident oof der land oof der free und
der home oof Modor Matt."

"Fine-o!" chuckled Dick.

"A dandy sentiment, Carl!" exclaimed Glennie. "What do you think of
that, Matt?"

"Why," returned Matt, "I think that if the lot of us don't stop
joshing and attend more to watching our immediate neighborhood that
the land of the free and the home of the brave is liable to be minus
one submarine and a lot of motor boys. That Jap boat is a particularly
noiseless craft; she came close enough to us to launch a torpedo, and
close enough to tangle me up in a rope and pull me into the ocean. If
she did it once, she can do it again. We've got to keep sharp eyes
forward, aft, and on both sides. Dick, you'll be the bow lookout, and
Glennie can go aft; you watch the port side, Carl, and I'll watch the
starboard. Can you steer for the rest of the night, Speake?" he added
to the man in the conning tower.

"I guess I can stand this extra duty if you can, Matt," replied Speake,
"considering what you've been through."

"A dip in the ocean and a ride on a torpedo doesn't count," said Matt,
dropping his wet clothes down the hatch; "it's what may happen to us if
we don't keep on our guard that bothers me. This boat is going to be
delivered at Mare Island, Japs or no Japs."

"Und righdt site oop mit care, you bed you!" cried Carl, dropping down
on the port side of the conning tower. "I feel so easy in my mindt as
oof I vas alretty pack in der best gountry vat efer vas."

"Carl is full of patriotism to-night, mates," observed Dick, from the
bow.

"I vas dickled pecause Matt is alife und kicking. Dot inshpires me
mit batriotic sendiment, und odder feelings oof choy. Be jeerful,
eferypody."

Weighing the evidence offered by the torpedo attack, and the snaring
and dragging of Matt into the water, had not resulted in bringing out
very much that was of importance. It served, however, to emphasize the
need of vigilance by developing the resourcefulness and malevolence of
a wily foe.

At 4 a. m. the submarine was close to the land lying south of the Bay
of Lota, and, as the mist was still too thick to make out the distance
and bearing of the coast, Matt thought it advisable to stop the motor
and wait for the fog to clear with the sun.

Advantage was taken of this stop to prepare breakfast. While all hands
were eating, Gaines and Clackett, who had been at their posts during
the exciting occurrences of the night, were duly informed of all that
had taken place.

At 6 a. m. the morning was bright enough so that Matt felt they could
proceed with safety.

The passage into the Bay of Lota, between the island of Santa Maria and
Lavapié Point, is narrow and difficult, abounding with sunken rocks and
other hidden dangers that have not been surveyed and charted.

Luck, however, was with the motor boys, and the passage into the bay
was succesfully accomplished. Just as the sun broke through the mist
and brought out the beauties of the bay, the _Grampus_ nosed her way
into it.

On three sides the bay is surrounded by wooded hills, which shelter it
in every direction except on the north.

"Dowse me," muttered Dick; "this coast looks like that of Cornwall and
Devonshire, with that red earth, those granite cliffs, and the trees
running down to the water's edge. What are those chimneys and all that
smoke over there?"

"Smelting works and potteries," explained Glennie. "They are owned by a
woman, Madam Cousiño, one of the richest women in Chili."

The _Grampus_, being of light draught, was able to go close inshore.
Anchor was dropped within a couple of cables' length of the wharf. The
"mud hooks" had hardly taken hold before a man in a tawdry blue uniform
came off from the shore in a boat. He was rowed by two negroes, and
appeared to be very much excited.

When his boat was laid alongside, the official stood up, flourished his
arms, and spouted a stream of language. It was Spanish, and came in
such a torrent that Matt, who knew something of the lingo, could make
nothing of it. Glennie was better versed in the tongue, and listened
attentively and with growing concern.

"Here's a go, Matt!" exclaimed the ensign, as soon as the official
paused to catch his breath. "This man is the captain of the port, and
he has placed us all under arrest."

"Arrest?" cried Matt incredulously. "What for?"

"He says we're thieves, and that we have stolen this submarine boat."

"Dot's aboudt der lasht t'ing vat I oxpected!" muttered Carl. "Take der
uniform off dot feller, und ve vill find he iss a Son oof der Rising
Sun, I bed you. Led's go to der pottom oof der pay und infite him to
come down und ged us."



CHAPTER V.

A SURPRISING SITUATION.


"Sink me!" growled Dick. "Here's a rum go, if anybody asks you. It's
bobs to sovereigns that those Japs are mixed up in this."

"We can very soon convince the captain of the port that he's made a
mistake," said Matt quietly. "Get your written instructions, Glennie,
and we'll go ashore with him. There's something queer about this, and
it may be a good thing for us to get to the bottom of it."

"How aboudt Tick und me?" inquired Carl. "Ain'd ve going along mit you?"

"You and Dick and the rest of the crew," Matt answered, "will stay
here and take care of the _Grampus_. Somebody will have to do that,
you know, Carl. It's fully as important as going ashore and explaining
matters to the officials."

Glennie told the captain of the port that he and Matt would go ashore
with him and make it plain to everybody that there was a mistake. The
ensign's uniform, spick and span and mighty fetching, made a wholesome
impression upon the captain of the port.

While Glennie was getting his papers, the port official dropped back
alongside the torpedo and examined it with considerable interest. When
the ensign reappeared on the submarine's deck, the boat was brought
back and Matt and Glennie got aboard. In five minutes they had reached
the wharf and clambered ashore.

The negroes who had rowed the boat dropped in on each side of the two
young Americans, each drawing an old-fashioned pistol that fired with a
percussion cap.

"They're bound we're not going to run," laughed Matt.

"I don't know," returned Glennie, "but I'd rather be in front of those
old relics when they're shot off than behind them. I guess a fellow
would be safer."

The captain of the port led the way to the Casa de la Administracion
of the Señora Cousiño. It was built on the crest of a low rise, and
afforded a fine view of the bay. A tall, slim man, who looked like
a Frenchman, stood on the steps of the casa surveying the _Grampus_
through a glass. With an expression of disappointment, he lowered the
glass and turned toward the captain of the port as he drew near. Then
there was French talk and Spanish talk--the tall, slim man using his
native tongue, which the Chilian evidently understood, and the Chilian
using the Spanish, with which the Frenchman appeared familiar.

Glennie gave strict attention to all that was going on. The finger and
whole-arm movements, the hunching of the shoulders, and the shaking and
ducking of the heads, accompanied the talk as a sort of pantomime.
Matt was highly amused.

A look of astonishment appeared in Glennie's face as he listened.

"By George!" the ensign exclaimed, when the conversation between
the Chilian and the Frenchman had died down. "We've jumped into a
surprising situation here, Matt, if I've got this thing right."

"What is it, Glennie?" asked Matt.

"Well, the Frenchman says that the submarine isn't the boat he thought
it was, and that our arrest has been a mistake."

"I'm glad they found that out without putting us to any trouble. Is
there another submarine in these waters? And has it been stolen?"

"That's where the surprising part comes in. I'll have to talk with
these fellows, and ask them a few questions, before I can get the
layout clear in my mind."

French and Spanish had formed a part of Glennie's education at
Annapolis; he reeled off both languages now, first at one and then
at the other of the two men, asking questions and receiving voluble
replies.

In five minutes he had the situation straightened out to his
satisfaction, and sat down on one of the stone steps beside Matt.

"The tall man, Matt," said Glennie, "is Captain Pons, of Edouard
Lavalle et Cie, shipbuilders, of Havre, France. This firm of Lavalle &
Co. are builders of submarines, and they recently finished such a craft
for the Chilian navy. The boat was brought over on a tramp freighter,
and Captain Pons came along to instruct the Chilian officers and crew
in the manner of running the submarine, and also to secure a draft for
the purchase price.

"The submarine was unloaded safely, and was provisioned by Captain Pons
for a run to Santiago, where she was to be inspected by the secretary
of the navy. Captain Pons was not to get his money from the government
until the submarine reached Santiago. The Chilian crew was to come
over from Coronel yesterday afternoon, but arrived in the morning, a
good twelve hours ahead of time. Captain Pons rowed out with them to
the submarine, showed the captain of the crew all over the boat and
explained the machinery to him; then, quite unexpectedly, so far as
Captain Pons was concerned, the crew grabbed the Frenchman, threw him
into the rowboat, closed the hatch of the submarine, and dropped into
the bottom of the bay."

Matt was listening with intense interest.

"The crew that Captain Pons took out to the submarine wasn't the right
one?" he observed.

"No. The real crew arrived in the afternoon, agreeably to schedule, and
found Captain Pons without a submarine and very much up in the air. If
he can't recover the submarine from the thieves, his firm may hold him
responsible for the loss of the stolen boat."

"There were torpedoes in the French submarine?"

Matt began to grow excited as the situation cleared before him.

"Two," replied Glennie.

"And the bogus crew--who were they?"

"Instead of coming from Coronel, it was discovered that they came
from the south--by railroad from Valdivia, on the coast. It has also
been discovered that they were Japanese--Japs who had their eyes
straightened. It is supposed that they are from the mysterious steamer
that escaped from Captain Sandoval, below English Reach."

Matt's astonishment almost lifted him off the stone step on which he
was sitting.

"Our old enemies!" he exclaimed. "The Sons of the Rising Sun have
secured a submarine boat, and that means that they can follow us
wherever we go."

"Hard luck, Matt, that events should drift into this tangle! That
French submarine had to be here, it seems, at just the right time to
help out the Japs. The young Samurai must have known about this other
craft. After dodging Captain Sandoval, they managed to reach Valdivia
and came on from there by train. That is how they were able to get
ahead of us."

"Every mysterious twist is taken out of the situation now, Glennie,"
said Matt, almost stunned by the audacity of the Japs and the marvelous
way in which circumstances had aided them. "They took possesion of
the French submarine and started south to meet the _Grampus_. The
noiseless way in which they hung upon our flanks is easy to understand.
The torpedo was launched at us while the French boat was submerged;
and when that rope was hurled at me, the boat was just out of the
water--there were no lights about her, and the search light of the
_Grampus_ enabled those on the French craft to make that cast with the
riata."

Matt's face went pale.

"Glennie," he continued, "the hardest job of our lives is ahead of
us! The Japs have a submarine, and there's not one of them who would
not willingly give his life if, by doing so, he could destroy the
_Grampus_. As long as our enemies were in a steamboat, and compelled to
remain on the surface, it was easy to keep away from them; but now, no
matter where we go, they can follow us."

"I don't know anything about this French boat," returned Glennie
thoughtfully, "but I'll bet something handsome she's not half so good
a craft as the _Grampus_. There's a big advantage for us, right at the
start. Then, again, about the only thing we're to fear from the stolen
submarine is the torpedo work. Captain Pons says there were only two
torpedoes in the craft. One of them is accounted for. They have only
one more--and I guess we can get away from _that_. Besides all this,
don't forget that the Japs are green hands with the submarine, and have
had no practical experience in running her. Captain Pons explained to
them the theoretical part of the machinery, but, you take it from me,
those wily Orientals are going to get themselves into trouble."

"They manoeuvred the submarine pretty well last night," said Matt. "I
don't see how they could improve much on their work. A Jap, Glennie, is
a regular genius in 'catching on' to things. Show him how to do a piece
of work once, and he knows it for all time. They're clever--as clever
as they are wily, and sometimes treacherous."

At this point, Captain Pons put in a few words.

"I see ze torpedo is wiz youar boat, monsieur. You say zat you peek
heem out of ze sea, but he is my torpedo, and he is vorth many sousand
francs. I am to have him, eh?"

Matt looked at Glennie.

"We might need that torpedo, Matt," suggested the ensign, "for the
_Grampus_ has only one. If it comes to a fight with the French boat
that extra Whitehead would come in handy. I think we had better keep
it."

"So do I," agreed Matt. He turned to Captain Pons. "The torpedo was
fired at us, captain," he went on, "and it was by a happenchance, and
at a considerable risk to myself, that I was able to save it and tow it
in."

"He is mine, by gar!" cried the Frenchman.

"What good is the torpedo to you without the submarine?"

"Ma foi, I can sell heem. I save zat much."

"Any way you figure it," insisted Matt, "we're entitled to salvage on
the torpedo."

"Nozzing, not one centime!" screeched Captain Pons, jumping up and down
and flourishing his arms.

"Suppose I pay you the difference between the salvage and the cost of
the torpedo?" asked Matt, willing to adjust the matter in any way that
would secure peace.

"Non! I want ze torpedo, and zis talk of ze salvage is w'at you call
boosh; _oui_, zat is all, nozzing but boosh."

There seemed no amicable way of settling the dispute. Matt, feeling
that the Whitehead was of prime importance to the _Grampus_, was
determined to stick to his contention.

He and Glennie stood up, and all on the steps of the casa turned their
eyes downward to where the _Grampus_ lay on the placid waters of the
harbor, the long, black cylinder of the Whitehead some forty or fifty
feet back of the stern.

While they looked, a most astounding thing happened. The torpedo seemed
suddenly to become imbued with life. It shivered, jerked sidewise like
an animated log, whirled around frantically, and then, with one end
leaping into the air, it darted downward, out of sight!



CHAPTER VI.

ANOTHER ATTACK.


This weird vanishing on the part of the object in dispute between Motor
Matt and Captain Pons left those on steps of the Casa gasping. The
Frenchman dropped limply down and hugged his folded arms to his breast;
the Chilian looked wild, and a superstitious fear arose in the eyes of
the two negroes. Glennie grabbed up the glasses the captain had been
using a few minutes before, clapped them to his eyes, and proceeded to
examine the surface of the bay.

The strange movements of the torpedo had had something of an effect
upon the _Grampus_, for she had swung about on her cable and dipped
slightly sternward. She was lying quietly enough now, however, and
Carl, Dick, Speake, Gaines, and Clackett were swarming over her deck
and evidently wondering what had become of the Whitehead.

Matt, with his naked eyes, could see his friends moving about, although
it was impossible for him to discover exactly what they were doing.

"They're pulling in the rope that was made fast to the torpedo," said
Glennie. "They've got the end of it in their hands."

"Great spark plugs!" murmured Matt dazedly. "That was a queer
performance, I must say. Can you see anything of the Whitehead,
Glennie?"

"Not a thing. There must have been some compressed air still left in
the cylinder, and in some way it got to the screws."

Matt shook his head.

"That's not it, Glennie. Even if the Whitehead's screws had begun to
work they couldn't have caused the big tube to dance around in that
unheard-of fashion. I----"

Matt, with a sudden alarming thought running through his mind, started
down the steps at a run. The Frenchman shouted something. Taking his
cue from Captain Pons, the Chilian also shouted. Probably it was a
command for Matt to halt, but the young motorist did not construe
it in that way. Pons, himself, had said that there was no cause for
the arrest of Matt and Glennie, and Motor Matt believed that he was
perfectly free to go wherever he wished. Just then he was tremendously
eager to get aboard the _Grampus_.

One of the old-fashioned pistols went off with a _bang_ like a small
cannon. A lead slug screeched through the air well over Matt's head.

"Come back, Matt!" yelled Glennie. "If you don't, the next bullet may
come closer to you."

Matt faced about indignantly.

"What are they shooting at me for?" he demanded.

"They don't want you to get away, just yet."

"But I've got to get away! We must get aboard the _Grampus_ as quick as
the nation will let us. Can't you understand this business, Glennie?
That French submarine is in the bottom of the bay! The Japs are
recovering that torpedo! You know why they want it, as well as I do."

"Jupiter!" exclaimed Glennie, "I hadn't thought of that. But you'd
better come back here, Matt, while we explain the situation to Captain
Pons. It's better to have him and the captain of the port for friends
rather than enemies."

"Every minute's delay makes the position of the _Grampus_ just that
much more dangerous. Carl, Dick, and the rest don't know a thing about
this other submarine, and if the Japs made an attack on our boat, while
she's lying at anchor----"

"Don't fret about that, Matt," cut in Glennie. "The Japs will have
their hands full saving their torpedo. They're thinking more about that
Whitehead just at present than of anything else. But, anyhow, we can't
try to dodge the bullets these negroes will send after us if we make a
run of it."

Matt, fretting over the delay, slowly returned to the steps. The negro
was reloading his pistol, the other was making ready to use his weapon
in case Matt refused to obey orders, and both the captain of the port
and Captain Pons were looking extremely fierce and determined.

Both captains were talking to Glennie. The ensign answered them
sharply, and the captains gave responses equally sharp.

"What a pair of dunderheads!" growled Glennie to Matt.

"How's that?" queried Matt.

"Captain Pons has developed a very bright idea," was the ensign's
sarcastic response. "He says we caused the torpedo to act in that
unaccountable manner, and that we did it in order to steal it from him."

Matt caught his breath.

"Is Captain Pons in his sober senses?" he demanded.

"All the senses Heaven endowed him with are on duty."

"How does he think we could cause the torpedo to act in that manner?"

"He lays it to our friends on the _Grampus_, but is gloriously
indefinite concerning the way they worked the trick."

Matt walked up the steps and faced Captain Pons. "We had nothing to
do with the disappearance of the torpedo!" he cried. "Why, the very
idea is preposterous! How could any of our men cause the Whitehead to
disappear in that fashion?"

"You want ze torpedo," insisted Captain Pons doggedly. "You make ze
dispute wiz me. Zen, w'en I say _non_, ze torpedo belong wiz me,
_pouf!_ away he go lak a streak. You haf stole heem, and you will
answer to ze French government for zat, by gar!"

"That is foolish talk, Captain Pons, for a man of your age and
experience."

"Hein! I am not so foolish as w'at you zink."

"It was the other boat that stole the torpedo--the submarine the Japs
stole from you."

"Zat could not be ze _Pom_. Ze Jap zey would not dar-r-r-e bring ze
_Pom_ back in ze bay."

"You don't know those Japs as well as we do, captain. They are enemies
of ours, and have followed us clear from Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. They
want to destroy the _Grampus_, to keep her out of the hands of the
United States Navy. If I don't go down there, and warn my friends and
do something to protect our submarine, this _Pom_ of yours may make an
attack."

"Zis is a friendly port," replied Captain Pons, with a wave of the
hand. "Ze Japs will not dar-r-r-e make attack in ze friendly port."

Matt was disgusted. He felt that he had never met a man so dense as
this Captain Pons.

"The Japs stole your submarine in a friendly port," he remarked dryly.
"I guess that proves that they're not above committing lawless acts
in a Chilian harbor. You have no right to detain Ensign Glennie and
myself. We are under the protection of the Stars and Stripes. If
you are determined to keep us with you on this ridiculous charge of
stealing the torpedo, then will you not accompany us to the _Grampus_
while we take measures for the boat's protection? While there, perhaps
we may be able to convince you how foolish this charge of yours is."

"Zat is reasonable talk," admitted Captain Pons gravely. "I vill spik
wiz my good friend, Captain Arco."

Matt and Glennie drew apart while the two captains held a whispered
conversation, although a very animated one.

"A couple of jumping jacks!" muttered Glennie; "and blockheads, to
boot. I wonder what those French shipbuilders were thinking of to send
a man like Captain Pons with their submarine."

"Well, he may know all about the submarine, and be perfectly
trustworthy," answered Matt.

"I wouldn't trust him to drive a pair of mules on a canal."

The ensign was completely disgusted.

"Ah!" he said, a moment later. "The two great minds have at last come
to a decision in this momentous matter."

Captains Pons and Arco approached the two lads importantly.

"Ze good captain has agreed to go back wiz you and me to ze submarine,"
announced Captain Pons. "If, w'en we get zere, you will hand ovair ze
torpedo, zen we not make ze trouble for you any more. _Allons!_ let us
be gone."

The negroes, following an order from the captain of the port, dropped
in on either side of Matt and Glennie, their antiquated pistols
prominently displayed. Then, with the two captains leading the way, the
American lads left the Casa de la Administracion.

"How those Japs managed to get hold of that torpedo without showing
themselves," remarked Glennie, on the way to the landing, "is a
conundrum."

"They must have come up under the torpedo," answered Matt, "just close
enough to the surface to grapple a coil of the rope that was around the
steel shell."

"Even on that theory the move is hard to understand. While the _Pom_
was under water it would not be possible for any one aboard of her to
work at the ropes around the torpedo."

"Perhaps the grappling was done by manoeuvring the boat."

"That might be----"

Glennie was interrupted. By that time the party had nearly reached the
landing. Before any of them stepped foot on the wharf, however, there
came a loud detonation, and a geyser-like column of water arose high
in the air. So lofty was the column that some of the spray from it was
hurled across the intervening stretch of the bay and into the faces of
Matt, Glennie, and the rest.

When the column had sunk downward, those on the shore could see that
the _Grampus_ had disappeared!



CHAPTER VII.

A BAD HALF HOUR.


Matt, Glennie, the two captains, and the negroes were stupefied. They
stood as though rooted to the ground and stared across the water toward
the spot where the _Grampus_ had been anchored.

"_Sacre!_" muttered Captain Pons. "Zat was a torpedo, by gar!"

"It was fired at the _Grampus_!" cried Matt, almost beside himself. "I
was afraid an attack would be made--and the boys didn't know anything
about that other submarine, Glennie. If our boat has been destroyed,
if--if----"

Matt staggered against the post to which the painter securing the
rowboat was made fast.

The negroes began talking excitedly between themselves, and Pons and
Arco likewise began to air their opinions.

"Don't lose your nerve, Matt," said Glennie. "That was a torpedo, all
right, and it goes without saying that the Japs discharged it from
the _Pom_, under water. It hit something, and was discharged, _but it
didn't hit the Grampus_."

"No," answered Matt, his moody eyes resting on the spot where the
_Grampus_ had been anchored, "the torpedo didn't hit the _Grampus_, for
the column of water spouted up almost a fathom from the place where
she was moored; but the boat may have been destroyed by the explosion,
for all that. When the geyser dropped, it covered the place where our
submarine ought to have been. But you can see, Glennie, she isn't
there."

Motor Matt had gone through many perils and difficulties since he and
his chums had started for "around the Horn" with the _Grampus_, but he
had never been so greatly cast down as he was at that moment. He was
thinking of Carl, of Dick, and of the three brave men, Speake, Gaines,
and Clackett, who had stood shoulder to shoulder with him through all
the dangers that had met them since leaving British Honduras.

It was a good thing that Glennie, at that moment, was so hopeful.

"We haven't been able to see the _Grampus_ for several minutes, Matt,"
he observed. "In coming down the hill from the casa, the boat was
hidden from us."

"All the same, Glennie, she was in her berth, whether we saw her or
not. If she hadn't been where we left her, the Japs wouldn't have had
any target, and the torpedo would not have been exploded in that spot.
If it comes to that, the fact that we didn't see her goes to show that
she may have changed her position a little, and have been right where
the torpedo exploded."

"I don't think that for a minute," averred Glennie stoutly. "The last
we saw of the _Grampus_ all our friends were on deck. If she had been
torpedoed, we'd certainly see some of the boys in the water. They were
under hatches when that Whitehead went off; and, if they were under
hatches, they may have been safe. I'm inclined to think they were."

"If the bottom plates of the submarine were blown in," proceeded Matt,
"she would sink and go down like so much lead. Let's get into the boat
and row out, Glennie. We can see a good deal more if we're right over
the spot where the _Grampus_ was anchored than we can from here."

Matt, suiting his action to the word, dropped hastily over the edge of
the wharf and into the boat. The wharf was in a bad state of repair.
The planks had been torn from the piles, and a region of semi-darkness
stretched away under the floor.

As Matt dropped into the boat, his face was turned landward and his
eyes rested for a moment on the gloom that lay between the outer piles
and the shore; but, during that moment, he glimpsed something that gave
him a start. Unless he was greatly mistaken, he could make out the dim
shape of a human form crouching in the darkness.

"Cast off the painter, Glennie, quick!" he called.

The ensign lifted the loop over the top of the post and flung it into
the boat.

Grabbing the wharf planks, Matt gave a pull that sent the boat in
between the piles. He could hear shouts of wild suspicion coming from
Captain Pons and Captain Arco. Unable to figure out what impelled Matt
to vanish under the wharf, they jumped to the conclusion that he was
doing something he ought not to do.

Paying no attention to the frantic voices, or the frenzied tramping
on the planks overhead, the young motorist continued to drag the boat
onward toward the shore. Several yards back from the edge of the wharf,
the bow of the boat struck against a timber that had one end imbedded
in the sand, while the other end rose upward, clear of the water.

The human form Matt had seen was lying upon the timber. The man made
no move to escape, or to protect himself, and Matt was not long in
discovering that he was either dead or unconscious.

For a moment Matt's heart was in his throat. His fears, even against
his better judgment, made him apprehensive that this form, lying
helplessly on the timber under the wharf, might be that of one of his
friends.

Close examination, however, proved his fears groundless. The man
was under medium height and had a tawny skin. He was barefooted,
bareheaded, and stripped to his waist. Rolling him into the boat, Matt
drew the light craft back into the daylight at the edge of the wharf.

"What under the canopy are you about, Matt?" called Glennie, from the
edge of the wharf. Then, seeing the man in the bottom of the boat, he
gave vent to an astonished whistle. "_That's_ what you went under the
wharf for, eh? Where was that fellow?"

"He was lying on a timber, just out of the water," answered Matt. "The
question is, where did he come from, and what was he doing there?"

"He looks as though he was stripped for swimming."

"And he worked so hard in the water, and in getting ashore, that he
gave out and lost consciousness as soon as he pulled himself upon that
timber. The fact that he was under the wharf proves that he didn't want
anybody to find him. He's a Jap, Glennie."

A yell escaped Captain Pons, and he began talking excitedly and
pointing his finger at the Jap.

"What does Pons say, Glennie?" Matt asked.

"He says that that fellow was one of the men who stole the _Pom_. The
captain is very sure he is not mistaken. There were five in the party."

"Gif the r-r-rascal here!" cried Captain Pons, stretching his arms
downward, "gif heem to me! By gar, he is one of ze t'ieves--ve haf
captured one of ze t'ieves!"

Matt lifted the unconscious man, and three pairs of hands caught him
from above and pulled him up on the wharf. Hardly had the Jap touched
the planks than, with amazing suddenness, he jumped to his feet and
tried to run.

"He was shamming!" exclaimed Glennie.

"No," answered Matt, as the two negroes deftly caught the fleeing
Jap and flung him roughly down on his back, "I'm positive he was not
shamming, Glennie. He recovered while we were lifting him to the wharf
and thought he could make a bolt and get away."

As the two negroes held the prisoner down on the planks, Captain Pons
stepped to his side, bent over, and shook a fist in his face.

What the captain said was in Spanish, which he probably used for the
Jap's benefit, and Matt could not follow his words further than to be
sure that Pons was threatening and reviling the man for the treacherous
part he and his countrymen had played.

The prisoner looked up calmly into the Frenchman's face, seeming to
take his capture and his failure to escape as a matter of course.

"We get the torpedo," said he, in good English, the moment Captain Pons
ceased talking.

"How did you get the torpedo?" queried Glennie, pushing the captain
aside and drawing closer to the prisoner.

"I volunteered," went on the Jap, a note of ringing exultation in his
low voice; "they passed me through the torpedo tube, and I cut the
cable that secured the torpedo to the other submarine, and made a rope
fast from our boat. It was hard work, all under water. Then I swim
ashore, but I am weak and faint and try to hide. You have captured me.
Do what you will. _Banzai_, Nippon!"

The Chilian could not understand English, and he was consumed with
curiosity. Captain Pons understood, however, and the calmness of the
prisoner, during his brief recital, filled him with rage. He tried to
strike the Jap, but Glennie interfered.

"Let him alone, Pons!" cried Glennie. "He thinks he has done right.
Anyhow, he's a prisoner, and a prisoner should not be mistreated."

"_Diable!_" ground out the captain. "He make ze brag zat he steal ze
torpedo! S-scoundr-r-el! He should be hang', by gar!"

Glennie turned to Motor Matt.

"You heard, Matt?" he queried. "The Japs passed this fellow out through
the torpedo tube of the _Pom_ while the boat was under water. He made
a line fast, cut the cable securing the torpedo to our submarine, and
then swam ashore. A rare piece of work!"

"Ask him about that torpedo attack on the _Grampus_," said Matt. "See
if you can find out anything about the intentions of the other Japs."

"You are one of the Sons of the Rising Sun?" queried Glennie, again
addressing the prisoner.

A gleam darted through the Jap's eyes.

"I say nothing," he answered. "I have told about the torpedo. But I
tell you nothing more. It is all for Nippon, for my beloved country."

"That's the way with those fellows," said Matt disappointedly. "He
wouldn't speak another word even if he was tortured. I'm surprised that
he said what he did about the torpedo. Turn him over to Pons and the
captain of the port, Glennie, and let's row out into the bay and see if
we can learn anything about the fate of the _Grampus_."

Matt's face was haggard with fear and anxiety. He had had a bad half
hour, since the explosion of the torpedo and the disappearance of the
_Grampus_, and his face reflected the intensity of his feelings.

Glennie turned away from the prisoner and stepped to the edge of the
wharf. He paused there for a moment, rigid as a statue, his eyes
wandering over the surface of the bay.

Motor Matt, wondering at his manner, likewise directed his gaze off
over the water. As he did so, Glennie recovered his wits abruptly and
gave vent to an exultant yell.

"Hurrah!" he roared, jerking off his cap and waving it. "What's the
matter with the motor boys, Matt? We've had our worry all for nothing!"



CHAPTER VIII.

CHASING A TORPEDO.


Dick and Carl, together with the rest of the crew of the _Grampus_, did
a lot of guessing after Matt and Glennie left them with the captain of
the port.

The commotion kicked up by the torpedo put a sudden and effectual stop
to their speculations. Carl, Dick, and Speake were on deck when the
Whitehead began its peculiar performance, and the jerks administered to
the _Grampus_ by the tow line quickly brought Gaines and Clackett up
through the tower hatch.

"Ach, du lieber!" cried Carl. "See vonce vat has habbened mit der
dorpeto. A vale has got dangled oop mit der tow line; oder oof id don'd
vas a vale id vas a shark, und a pig feller, I bed you. Vat a funny
pitzness! From der actions, id looks like der dorpeto vas alife."

"Whale!" scoffed Dick. "Don't you believe that a whale, or shark,
either, has got anything to do with that."

"Vat it iss, den?"

"I give it up. What do you think, Speake?"

"Ask me something easy," answered Speake. "Mebby something has got
loose inside the torpedo--compressed air, or something--and that that
is what's putting the big tube through its jig."

"Led's pull in der line," suggested Carl, "und make der dorpeto pehave."

"Not on your life!" cried Dick. "It's full of dynamite, and I'll never
let the _Grampus_ get any closer to that infernal machine than she is
now."

"Matt vants dot dorpeto or he vouldn't haf taken der drouple to tow her
in."

"Matt can have it, matey, but I don't intend to board a Whitehead when
it's dancing a hornpipe. If the dynamite should happen to let go----"

Dick was interrupted by a chorus of surprised yells from the rest of
his companions.

The torpedo, kicking one end high in the air, had taken a "header"
toward the bottom of the bay.

"Dot means goot-by," murmured the amazed Carl. "Der vale's run off
mit it. Bedder dot vale look a leedle oudt und not knock his tail too
hardt against der dorpeto. Oof he do dot, den, py shinks, he make some
mincemeat out oof himseluf."

"Great guns!" exclaimed Gaines. "What do you suppose did that, Dick?"

"More mysterious things have happened to us since we left Magellan
Strait," ruminated Dick, "than ever came our way before. Suppose we
haul in on the tow line and have a look at the end of it."

The line was pulled aboard. There were some forty feet of it, and the
end was sliced off clean.

"A knife did that!" declared Clackett.

"Der vale dit id mit his teet'," asserted Carl, who always hung to one
of his own theories like a dog to a bone.

"Bosh, Clackett!" scoffed Gaines. "How could a knife have done that?
Who was down there to cut the rope?"

"It don't make any difference what separated the rope," put in Speake,
"the thing was done, and something or other is running away with Motor
Matt's torpedo. Matt must have wanted that Whitehead or he wouldn't
have gone to the trouble to tow it in. Are we going to let it get away
from us?"

"How can we help it?" inquired Clackett.

"We can follow it," asserted Speake.

"We haven't any business taking the _Grampus_ from her anchorage while
Matt's ashore," said Gaines.

"I guess Matt wouldn't mind if we took a dive along the bottom of the
bay to overhaul that runaway torpedo," remarked Dick.

"Sure, nod!" chimed in Carl. "Matt vill be as madt as some vet hens ven
ve tell him der dorpeto skyhooted avay mit itseluf und ve ditn't do
nodding to shdop id."

"We'll chance it, anyway, mates," said Dick. "I'm always in command
whenever our old raggie is off the boat. Get down to the motor, Gaines.
Clackett, get after the tanks. Come below, the rest of you, and let the
last man down secure the hatch."

Speake was the last one to drop down the hatch. The ballast tanks were
already filling as he stepped off the iron ladder upon the floor of the
periscope room.

Dick was at the wheel.

"Turn on the electric projector, Speake," said Dick. "I'm going up into
the tower and do the steering from there."

Dick got just two rounds up the ladder when a muffled roar enveloped
the _Grampus_, and she was heaved violently over until the tower was
almost on a level with her keel.

Carl, who had been inspecting the periscope, was thrown violently
against the rounded wall over the locker. Speake, just reaching up to
turn the electric switch that sent a current through the wires of the
projector, went head over heels against one of the bulkheads. As for
Dick, he pulled off a remarkable stunt at ground and lofty tumbling,
winding up with his head under the periscope table and his heels in the
air.

Yells came in muffled volume from below, proving that Gaines and
Clackett were likewise having their troubles.

The _Grampus_ righted herself almost as quickly as she had flopped
over. This, taking place before those aboard had had a chance to adjust
themselves, still further complicated matters.

When every one was finally right side up, Dick jumped to the speaking
tubes.

"How are you down there, Gaines?" he called.

"I turned a handspring over the motor," came back the voice of Gaines,
"but I guess I didn't damage anything."

"I stood on my head in one of the accumulators," added Clackett through
the tank-room tube. "We turned turtle there for about half a minute.
What caused it, Dick? I heard an explosion, too."

"That bally old torpedo must have gone off," answered Dick. "No use
hunting for it now."

"I don't believe it was that torpedo that exploded," said Speake. "What
could have set it off?"

"Der vale shlowed oop a leedle," explained Carl, "und id run indo him.
I bed you somet'ing for nodding dere iss vale all ofer der pay."

"We're in luck, anyhow," exulted Dick. "This old flugee is as trim
and steady as ever. Now that we're down near the bottom we'll cruise
a little and see what we can discover. We've got an hour or two, I
guess, before Matt and Glennie get back to the landing and want to come
aboard. Slow speed, Gaines," he called.

Hurrying up into the conning tower, Dick pressed his eyes against the
forward lunettes. The trail of light, reaching out through the lunette,
illuminated the murky waters for several yards beyond the point of the
submarine's bow.

There was a commotion in the depths, and fishes were darting in all
directions.

Steering from the ladder, Dick headed the _Grampus_ toward the north.
They had not gone far before Dick saw something which made him rub his
eyes.

"Am I doing a calk," he muttered, "or are these lamps of mine making
a monkey's fist of their work? Strike me lucky! Carl! Look into the
periscope!"

A vague shape was passing through the gleam of the search light. It
looked like a huge cigar, its pointed end tilted slightly upward. At
the rear of the object there was a flurry of water.

"Id's a vale!" boomed Carl, whose mind seemed to be running on whales
that day.

"It's another submarine," gasped Speake, "that's what it is. I wonder
if Matt didn't know there was another submarine in these waters?"

"Watch!" cried Dick excitedly. "What's that behind the thing?"

The other boat was moving in a course that angled slightly with the
direction the _Grampus_ was following. Because of this the second craft
was some time in passing through the glow of the search light.

As Dick called out, those at the periscope table saw the Whitehead
torpedo glide into the gleam from the electric projector. A rope held
the forward end of the torpedo to the stern of the other submarine, the
buoyancy of the steel cylinder causing its rear part to stand almost
straight up in the water.

It was an odd procession the boat and the torpedo made as they defiled
through the pencil of light.

"Dot's der feller vat shtole Matt's dorpeto!" cried Carl. "Run against
der rope, Tick, und preak der dorpeto loose."

"Not much, I won't, matey," breathed Dick. "We're not going to take any
chances with _that_ Whitehead."

"It certainly wasn't that torpedo that went off, a little while ago,
Dick," observed Speake.

"Right-o," Dick answered, startled by the thought this remark of
Speake's had aroused. "It was a torpedo, though, and that other craft
must have launched it at us."

"Ach, himmelblitzen!" gasped Carl. "For vy should dot odder poat shoot
some dorpetos ad us, hey?"

"Give it up, Carl, unless there are some of those Sons of the Rising
Sun aboard."

Dick slid down the ladder in a hurry.

"Empty the tanks, Clackett!" he sang out. "We've got to hustle out
of this," he added to Carl and Speake, "before they shoot another
Whitehead at us. Keelhaul me, but this will be news for Matt. We've got
to tell him about it as soon as ever we can get the _Grampus_ back to
her old berth."

Two minutes later the submarine lifted her turtle-like back out of the
waves. Dick headed her south, and Carl and Speake pushed open the hatch
and went out on the wet plates. Dick ascended the ladder to steer from
the hatch. Hardly had he got head and shoulders into the outside air
when a shout from Carl and Speake drew his eyes toward the wharf.

Matt and Glennie, and a few more the boys did not know, were on the
landing. Glennie was yelling and waving his cap.

"Vat's der madder mit him, I vonder?" queried Carl. "He vouldn't be
doing dot oof he knowed aboudt dot odder poat und der dorpeto."



CHAPTER IX.

NORTHWARD BOUND.


The _Grampus_ had no more than dropped anchor in her old berth than
Matt, Glennie, Captain Pons, the captain of the port, and the negroes
were alongside in the boat.

"Great spark plugs," cried Matt, "but you fellows gave me a scare."

"Vell, bard," answered Carl, "ve vas a leedle schared ourselufs."

"Here's another scare for you, matey," called Dick. "The Sons of the
Rising Sun have a submarine of their own, and are after us. They were
here, off Lota, and just went north with that torpedo in tow."

"Jupiter!" exclaimed Glennie. "How did you fellows know that?"

"You act as though it wasn't any news to you."

"It isn't, but we thought you fellows were not informed and would fall
a victim to the _Pom_."

"_Pom?_" echoed Dick.

"That's the name of the other submarine," went on Matt. "She's a French
craft and was brought here by this man, Captain Pons, to be turned over
to the Chilian government. Five Japs worked a trick and succeeded in
getting hold of her."

"Why, how----"

"We'll tell you all about it later, Dick. Where were you when that
torpedo went off?"

"Just diving to the bottom to go hunting for the other torpedo. That
Whitehead they fired never touched us."

"It must have touched something," put in Speake, "or the firing pin
wouldn't have got in its work."

"It hit a harbor buoy," said Matt. "At least, the captain of the port
says there was a buoy at this point. As it isn't here now, it must have
been demolished. It's a lucky thing for all of us that the buoy was
between the _Grampus_ and the Whitehead. Glennie and I will go back to
the shore, Dick, and get a barrel of gasoline. You get the hose rigged
and have everything ready to discharge the gasoline in short order.
We're northward bound, and are going to get away from these waters just
as quick as the nation will let us."

There was something of a disappointment in this for the men on the
submarine. They had hoped for a chance to stretch their legs ashore,
but they appreciated the necessity of getting the _Grampus_ out of
harm's way as quickly as possible.

"Won't the _Pom_ lay for us as we pull out of the bay, Matt?" asked
Dick.

"She can't lay for us. You see, she had only two torpedoes. One of
those was destroyed in the attack made on the _Grampus_ in the bay;
the other one the _Pom_ is dragging off to some place where she can
get it in shape for work. We need not fear any attack from the Sons
of the Rising Sun until the other Whitehead is ready for use. If we
act quickly, we can get well away from the _Pom_ before she becomes
dangerous."

"_Diable!_" rasped out Captain Pons. "Is it ze American vay to r-run
from ze enemy? Pur-r-r-soo and capture, zat is ze sing. I will go wiz
you, _oui_, I, myself, Captain Pons. You will help me get back ze
_Pom_. Eh?"

"We're not here to take any risks with the _Grampus_, captain," said
Matt. "Responsibility for the safety of the boat rests on my shoulders,
and you'll have to get some Chilian war ship to help you."

"Zat is not right!" cried the captain. "One mariner is in ze duty bound
to help anozzer mariner in ze distress. Me, I call on you. You refuse,
zen zat is mos' contemptible."

"I'm sorry you look at it in that way, captain," replied Matt; "but
it's just possible I know my own business better than you do."

Captain Pons had a little fit all by himself, and while he had it he
was saying unpleasant things.

"What's the matter with the frog eater?" cried Dick. "Throw him
overboard!"

Matt signed for the captain of the port to have the negro oarsmen get
the boat back to the landing. The captain at once gave the order and
the boat danced away in the direction of the wharf.

Captain Pons was still calling down anathemas on the heads of all
Americans who refused to help a Frenchman in "ze distress."

"By gar," he cried, "I vill vire my government how you haf treat' me! I
vill use ze cable, and let ze president of my country know it all. It
is mos' contemptible!"

"Captain," said Matt, "we are not allowed to take any strangers aboard
the _Grampus_. Our submarine has appliances which put her so far ahead
of every other boat in her class that we are all under seal of secrecy
and are bound by a pledge to keep strangers away. So, you see, it would
be impossible for you to take a cruise in the _Grampus_."

Captain Pons glared.

"It is mos' contemptible!" was all he could say.

Matt and Glennie, without delaying further, pushed into the town. Matt
had little difficulty in finding the gasoline he wanted. He had to go
to two or three places before he found fuel that answered the severe
tests he put it to, but finally he got what he desired and had it
hauled to the landing.

The captain of the port was not in evidence, but his two negroes were
waiting at the boat.

Matt had come down to the wharf in the wagon that brought the gasoline,
and Glennie had been left to follow on foot. The ensign put in an
appearance just as the barrel had been transferred to the boat. Matt
was surprised to see him carrying a rifle.

The only firearms aboard the _Grampus_ consisted of a six-shooter which
had accompanied the ensign when he first assumed his duties on the
submarine.

"What are you going to do with that, Glennie?" laughed Matt. "Shoot
Japs?"

"Well, no, not exactly," answered Glennie, "There are a good many ways
in which a weapon of this sort might come in handy, besides using it
for shooting Japs. It's an American gun, Matt--a Marlin. It looked sort
of homelike, so I just took it in, along with a box of cartridges."

If Matt hated one thing more than another, it was a gun. He had seen
firearms used so recklessly while he was in the Southwest that he had
acquired a strong prejudice against them. Notwithstanding this fact,
he was a crack shot, and had more than once carried off the prize in a
shooting contest.

"All right, Glennie," said he, although a trifle reluctantly, "bring it
along."

"You don't like guns, Matt," observed the ensign as he lowered himself
into the boat and dropped down on one of the thwarts.

"Or knives, either," added Matt, "when they are used to get the better
of another fellow. A pair of fists make pretty good weapons."

"Fists are all right," laughed Glennie, "so long as the other chap uses
them; but when you find an enemy standing off forty or fifty feet and
looking at you over the sights of a gun--well, that's the time another
gun would be mighty valuable."

By the time the small boat fell in alongside the _Grampus_, Dick, Carl,
and the rest had the hose ready and it took only a few moments to rig
the pump. Presently the gasoline was flowing down the tower hatch and
into the reservoir below.

Dick, keeping one eye on the negroes while they bent over the pump
handles, leaned against the conning tower and heaved a long breath.

"I'm hoping, old ship," said he to Matt, "that we'll be able to leave
the Japs behind, this time, for good and all. Those on the _Pom_ must
have seen us while we had their craft under our search light, and I
guessed good and hard why they didn't turn and send another torpedo at
us. I didn't know, you see, that they only had two Whiteheads to their
blessed name. We could have pulled their fangs if we had opened up that
torpedo and took out the dynamite."

"I intended," answered Matt, "to take the torpedo aboard through one
of our tubes as soon as we reached this harbor, but the captain of the
port came down on us before I had the chance."

"How did you find out about that submarine, and the Japs being in
charge of her?"

Matt straightened out this point to his chum's satisfaction. That part
of Matt's recital which had to do with the Jap who had been captured
under the wharf was particularly interesting to Dick.

"Those fellows don't care a rap for their own lives," muttered Dick,
"and that's what makes 'em such nasty fighters. When that fellow got
out through the _Pom's_ torpedo tube, he must have come up directly
under the Whitehead. By hugging the torpedo close, he could have got
his head out of water without any of us on the _Grampus_ seeing him.
But he took long chances, just the same, and there are only four Japs
left to navigate the other craft. The work probably calls for all
hands, and there's bound to be a time when the _Pom_ can't run for lack
of hands to navigate her. The Japs are only human, and they'll have to
have a spell of rest like every one else."

"We've got a good chance to show them our heels," said Matt, "and it's
our duty to make the most of it."

"I'm a Fiji, though," said Dick, "if I don't hate to run away from
those Sons of the Rising Sun. It looks as though the United States and
Great Britain had struck their colors to the yellow rascals."

"I feel the same way, Dick, but this submarine is worth a hundred
thousand dollars, and we're only her trustees. It's our duty not to
take any chances with her."

"Right-o, matey. I understand that just as well as you do. Captain
Nemo, Jr., ought to give you a good slice of that hundred thousand when
you tie up the _Grampus_ at the navy-yard wharf."

"I'm not looking for that, Dick," returned Motor Matt earnestly. "It's
the idea of _making good_ that appeals to me beyond anything and
everything else. It isn't so much the money that comes to us for what
we do, but the way we toe the scratch that counts."

An hour later all preliminaries were finished and the _Grampus_ was off
up the bay, tanks emptied and steel hull high in the water, her motors
humming and setting a record pace.



CHAPTER X.

A HALT FOR REPAIRS.


Late in the afternoon of the day they left Lota Bay the _Grampus_ spoke
the British ship _Sovereign_, bound from Santiago to Liverpool. By
means of a megaphone, Matt had a brief talk with the captain of the
sailing vessel.

"What craft is that?" inquired the British captain, after answering
Matt's hail with information concerning his own vessel.

"The submarine _Grampus_," answered Matt, "six weeks out from Belize,
British Honduras, and bound for San Francisco."

"My word!" came from the other megaphone. "Sure about that?"

Matt was "stumped." It was certainly an odd question to ask.

"Of course I'm sure of it. Why?"

"Well, we passed another submarine, two hours ago, and she was towing
a torpedo. Said she had discharged it at a target and was going to
beach it somewhere, and get it in shape for further use. But the bally
joke of it is that the captain of that other submarine said that _his_
boat was the United States submarine _Grampus_. It's a main queer go
if there are two submarines of that name both belonging to the United
States Government."

"Well, what do you think of that?" muttered Glennie, leaning out of the
hatch. "The nerve of it!"

"That other boat was the _Pom_," called back Matt, "sent over to Chili
by a firm of French shipbuilders. She was stolen from the harbor of
Lota by a handful of Japs."

"Fancy that! Those Japs are----"

The rest of it Matt could not hear. The two boats had merely spoken
each other in passing and were quickly out of reach of each other's
megaphones.

"Those Sons of the Rising Sun are stealing our thunder," remarked
Glennie.

"I suppose," returned Matt, "that it's a heap safer for the Japs to
call their boat the _Grampus_ than the _Pom_. If they happened to speak
a vessel that knew of the stealing of the _Pom_ results might prove
disastrous if they told the truth."

Matt descended to the periscope room to give the news to Carl and Dick.

"Dot's der vorst yet!" grunted Carl. "Der itee oof dem Chaps calling
deir old frog-eader poat der _Grampus_! I don'd like dot. Id vas some
insulds."

"I guess we can stand it, Carl," said Matt.

"Did Pons tell you anything about that French submarine, matey?"
inquired Dick.

"A little, but not as much as I would have liked to learn. The _Pom_, I
infer, is smaller than the _Grampus_, and is propelled by electricity
when submerged and by gasoline on the surface. She's only able to
stay under water an hour. Captain Nemo, Jr., could teach those French
builders a trick or two with his patent submerged exhausts."

"How's her diving? Can't she remain submerged longer than an hour with
her ballast tanks full and her electric motor quiet?"

"No. Her rudders keep her below the surface, and the diving rudders
won't work unless her motor's going."

"She don'd amoundt to mooch, oof dot's der case," commented Carl.
"Der _Grampus_ has got der _Pom_ shkinned bot' vays for Suntay. I bed
you somet'ing for nodding der _Pom_ couldn't have come aroundt der
bottom end oof Sout' America like vat ve dit. _Pom!_ She vas vat der
French fellers call a _pomme de terre_, by vich, ven I so expression
meinseluf, I mean a botato. Whoosh!" and the Dutch boy gave a grunt of
disgust.

The night fell clear and bright. It was Matt's intention to continue
running during the night, but submerged so that only the periscope ball
was awash.

When the time came to fill the ballast tanks, however, an unexpected
difficulty presented itself--a difficulty which had almost brought
overwhelming disaster once before, when the _Grampus_ had just emerged
from Magellan Strait: the Kingston valves by mean of which the tanks
were operated failed to work.

This was no particular fault of the valves, but of some damage that had
been done to them, and which caused them to go wrong occasionally--and
usually at the most inopportune times.

Matt had made up his mind that new valves would have to be put in, but
that was a job which would necessarily have to wait until the submarine
reached the end of her long journey.

Repairing the valves would take several hours, and Matt decided to stay
on the surface and put in a little bay on Quiriquina Island.

It was not necessary to reach the island before morning and when Dick
relieved Gaines at the motor, a call for half speed went through the
speaking tube to the motor room.

The young motorist studied his charts, then, with the surroundings of
the islands clearly in mind, took the steering wheel himself and laid
his course by compass.

It was about five o'clock in the morning when the _Grampus_ rounded a
bluff headland and took a due east course across Tona Bay. Quiriquina
Island loomed up clear and distinct against the gray dawn hovering in
the eastern skies.

The cove which Matt selected as a berth for the submarine while repairs
were being made had a sloping beach of white sand. It was virtually a
bay within a bay, and the waters were as calm as those of an inland
lake.

As soon as the anchors were down, all hands came on deck to get a whiff
of the morning air.

"We'd better have breakfast before we tackle the valves, hadn't we,
Matt?" inquired Speake. "I know I can work better on a full stomach,
and I suppose the rest of you can."

"Good idea, Speake," returned Matt. "I had thought about that, but
supposed you would like to loaf a little and not pen yourself up in the
torpedo room with an electric stove."

"Those confounded valves bother me," grumbled Speake, "and I couldn't
loaf and enjoy myself if I had to think about them."

"They bother me, too," added Glennie, "and I believe I'll go below and
look them over."

"I'll go with you," said Clackett. "We can make a preliminary survey
and then get busy right after breakfast. Plenty of chance to loaf
during my watch below."

"Glad to see you fellows so industrious," laughed Matt. "Perhaps, if
you are real smart, you can get those valves fixed by breakfast time,
and the rest of us won't have to tinker with them."

"You'll be needed, Matt, when it comes to the fixing," answered
Glennie, as he climbed into the conning tower.

Clackett followed him.

"I guess I'll go down, too," yawned Gaines, "and catch forty winks on
top of the periscope-room locker. This morning air is fine, but I'm
satisfied to take my share through the open hatch."

He followed Clackett into the tower. Dick, descending to the edge of
the rounded deck, peered into the clear depths of the water below.

"I can see our cable, mates," said he, "and our anchor with one fluke
in the sand. Come on, Carl. Let's take a swim before breakfast."

"Nod me, Tick," answered Carl. "I feel like loafing, und shvimming iss
too mooch like vork."

"How about you, Matt?"

"I feel as Carl does," said Matt. "Take your swim if you want to, Dick,
and Carl and I will be the anchor watch."

Dick was out of his clothes in a jiffy. "So long," he called, as he
took a "header" from the bow of the boat.

He was perfectly at home in the water, and when Matt saw him swimming
out toward a headland that walled in the cove on the south, he thought
little of it. When he saw that Dick was intending to swim around the
point, however, he stood up and called out a warning. But Dick only
laughed and kept on until he was out of sight.

"He von't go so far dot he can't ged pack again," remarked Carl. "He
iss like a fish, Tick iss, und he feels pedder in der vater as oudt oof
id."

Carl, for some days, had been wearing an outfit of sailor togs which he
had found in the slop chest of the submarine. He was trying to be as
nautical as possible, so that he could "shiver his timbers" and "dash
his deadeyes" with the best of them when the _Grampus_ reached San
Francisco.

"I can valk like a sailor," remarked Carl, getting up from his seat by
the tower, "und aboudt all I lack now iss to be aple to hitch oop my
drousers like vat a sailor does. How iss der vay oof it, Matt?"

"Never mind that part of it, Carl," laughed Matt. "You'll be enough of
a sailor at the end of this cruise, even if you don't know how to hitch
up your trousers. Besides," and Matt squinted at him critically, "I
doubt if you could ever do the trick."

"For vy nod?"

"Why, the trousers are too tight a fit around the waist."

"Yah, so, aber dey're so pig a fit oop und down dot I valk on der
pottoms, und id iss eider hitch dem oop oder cut dem off. Now, vatch.
Meppy id goes like dis."

Carl jumped into the air, grapped the band of the trousers with one
hand in front and the other behind, and kicked out his legs. When he
came down, his feet were so far apart that they slipped on the rounded
plates, and he went down and rolled over and over. Matt grabbed him
just in the nick of time to keep him out of the water.

"Look out," warned Matt, "or you'll take a swim whether you want to or
not."

"I guess dot I leaf der hitching pitzness oudt," said the chagrined
Carl, "aber id vas so bicturesque dot I vish I could manach id. Now,
ven I----"

Carl was interrupted by a shout, wafted toward them from across the
cove. He and Matt started up and saw Dick swimming in their direction
with all his might.

"What's the matter, Dick?" called Matt.

"Sharks!" came back the breathless answer.

Matt was no more than a second making up his mind what he should do.
To help Dick by bringing the _Grampus_ closer to him was out of the
question--disaster might overtake the young sailor before the anchor
could be lifted from the bottom.

"Ach, himmelblitzen!" murmured Carl fearfully. "Vat ve going to do,
Matt?"

"Below with you, quick!" flung back the king of the motor boys.
"Glennie's rifle is in the periscope room. Get that and a coil of rope
and hustle back here."

Carl, shaking with excitement, hurried to carry out the order. As he
vanished into the tower, Matt went forward toward the bow of the boat,
keeping his keen eyes on Dick.



CHAPTER XI.

DICK MAKES A DISCOVERY.


The ability of the king of the motor boys to "keep his head" in trying
situations had more than once turned the tide for himself and his
chums. Matt could become as excited as anybody, but excitement never
interfered with the steadiness of his nerves or with his ability to
think quickly and resourcefully in time of danger.

Far beyond Dick Matt could see a black, triangular fin slitting the
water, tacking this way and that, but coming closer and closer to the
young sailor.

Dick was swimming rapidly, but the shark, of course, was cutting
through the water at a much faster gait. Had the shark laid a straight
course for its intended victim, the latter would long since have been
overtaken.

With a keen eye Motor Matt made a quick estimate of the distance
separating Dick and the shark from the boat. He concluded that Dick
could not by any possibility reach the _Grampus_ before the shark would
be upon him, but the sea scavenger would be close enough for a good
shot.

Carl, in a veritable tremor of excitement, rolled over the top of the
conning tower with the rifle in one hand and a coil of rope in the
other.

"Don'd led dot shark ged avay mit Tick," he pleaded, handing the rifle
to Matt. "Pud a pullet righdt indo dot shark, Matt, mitoudt vaiting any
longer as bossiple."

"I've got to wait until I can get a good shot, Carl," answered Matt,
"and that time will come when the shark goes over on its back."

"Ven id does dot," quavered Carl, "id iss retty to bite. Oof you make a
miss, Matt, id iss all ofer mit Tick."

"I'll not make a miss. Get a clamp on your nerves and be ready to throw
the rope as soon as Dick comes near enough."

"My teet' chatter a leedle," whimpered Carl, "aber my nerfs iss all
righdt. Don'd you be afraidt pecause I am, Tick," he cried. "Schvim
like der Olt Poy vas afder you!"

Dick had need of all his breath and could not waste any in useless
words. He was coming through the water at a fierce clip, his arms
working like piston rods in a fine, steady, overhand stroke. He could
see Matt on the deck with the rifle ready, and he knew that whatever
the king of the motor boys could do would be done.

"Ach, shood, shood!" implored Carl, watching the black fin zigzagging
nearer and nearer. "Don'd vait, Matt!"

But Matt paid no attention to Carl. He knew what kind of a target he
wanted, and that the shark would give it to him if he waited.

When Dick was about a dozen feet from the boat, the right moment came.
With a flip of its tail the shark leaped partly out of the water and
turned on its back, its great jaws opening.

Matt had braced himself firmly and lifted the Marlin repeater to his
shoulder.

"Fire avay, kevick!" clamored Carl, and just then Matt pulled the
trigger.

It was a bull's-eye hit. Straight to its mark leaped the murderous bit
of lead, and the shark, stunned by the impact of the bullet, snapped
its jaws harmlessly together and sank downward in the reddening water.

"You're all right, Dick!" cried Matt. "Toss the rope, Carl."

Carl threw the line and Dick laid hold of it. The report of the rifle
brought Gaines from the periscope room, Glennie and Clackett from the
tank room, and Speake from the torpedo room in short order. All of them
were on the deck just as Matt and Carl assisted Dick out of the water.

"What's the rumpus?" inquired Gaines.

Matt pointed to the shark, which was floating, belly up, on the water.

"Your rifle did it, Glennie," said Matt. "If it hadn't been for that,
nothing could have saved Dick. I didn't think there was a shark within
miles of us when Dick went into the water."

Dick was nearly fagged. The tremendous exertion he had put forth had
tried him severely.

"It was foolish of me to go around that point," said Dick, leaning back
against the conning tower, "but I'm glad I did."

"Dot's funny," returned Carl. "Glad you vent aroundt der point und
shdirred oop dot shark! How you make dot oudt?"

"Well, I made a discovery," went on Dick. "If I hadn't made that
discovery, like enough I'd have kept on swimming and have got so far
away the shark would surely have nipped me before I could have got back
close enough for Matt to shoot."

"What was the discovery?" asked Glennie.

"There's another cove around the point, a good deal like this one. The
_Pom_ is there, close inshore, and----"

"Der Chaps!" breathed Carl, thunderstruck.

"The _Pom_!" exclaimed Glennie.

"Here's a piece of luck!" ground out Gaines. "Who'd have thought we'd
moor ship alongside the same island picked out by the Japs! There seems
to be a fatality about our dealings with these Sons of the Rising Sun.
Even after we dodge them we have the knack of dropping right into their
hands again."

"Mebby," suggested Speake, "they saw us and followed us to the island."

"Hardly that, mate," spoke up Dick. "They've beached that torpedo, and
all four of the Japs are ashore, tinkering with it."

Matt was puzzled to know what to do. If the Japs had not heard the
rifle shot, it would be possible for the _Grampus_ to haul in her
anchor and slip away, unnoticed, providing the tank valves were
repaired and she could leave the bay under water. But this manoeuvre
would leave a threatening danger behind, and Matt and his friend would
never feel safe from an unexpected attack.

In that critical moment, Motor Matt would have given a deal if he could
have known all about the _Pom_ and her capabilities. For a few moments
he stood on the deck, turning the situation over and over in his mind,
his eyes on the point around which lay the hostile submarine.

"How far is the _Pom_ anchored off the shore, Dick?" he asked.

"Not more than half a cable's length."

"Do you think the Japs saw you?"

"I'm sure they didn't--they were too busy with that torpedo. But they
may have heard me yell, or the report of that gun may have reached
them. They have good ears, those fellows."

"Get into your clothes, Dick," said Matt, having at last made up his
mind as to what he should do. "After that, take the rifle and sit here
on the deck. Watch that point of land. If the Japs fix that torpedo so
they are able to use it, they will have to come around the point in
order to launch it at us. Finish getting the breakfast, Speake. Gaines
will pass it around as soon as you have it ready. Clackett and I will
go below and see what we can do with those valves. Don't bother us with
any breakfast until we have them once more in working order."

"What are Carl and I to do, Matt?" inquired Glennie.

"Stay up here with Dick, and keep your eyes peeled."

Matt, Clackett, and Speake went below. Matt and Clackett were an hour
at the valves before they were finally made dependable. All the while
they were at work a deep silence reigned throughout the boat. Every one
realized the necessity of keeping quiet so as not to arouse the Japs.

Matt, after swallowing a cup of coffee, came out on deck and began
taking off his clothes.

"What's the game, matey?" asked Dick. "You're not going into the water
and give the sharks a chance at you, are you?"

"I'm going ashore," said Matt.

"I wouldn't do that, Matt," counseled Glennie. "Why is it necessary?
If the valves are in shape, we can pull out of here and make our way
north under water. The Japs will never be the wiser."

"I'm tired of bothering with these Sons of the Rising Sun," Matt
answered. "We never know what they're going to do, or when they're
going to do it. I thought we had dropped them for good, down below
English Reach, but they were clever enough to get away from Sandoval
and play that trick in Lota. If possible, let's put them out of the
running, now, for keeps."

"How will you do it?" questioned Gaines.

"I'm not just sure of that, and won't be until I do a little
reconnoitring ashore. I've a scheme in mind, but I want to be positive
it will work before we try it. Go down to the engine room, Gaines, and,
Clackett, you take your usual place in the tank room. Heave up the
anchor, Speake. Glennie, you get into the conning tower. If the current
sets inshore and causes the _Grampus_ to drift that way when the anchor
is up, have the motor run just enough to hold the boat where she is.
Dick, you hang on to the rifle. When you go down, Gaines, pass up the
strongest cable we have, so that Carl can bend it on to the mooring
ring at the stern. Understand?"

"I guess we all understand what we're to do," replied Glennie, "but
I'll be hanged if I know why we're to do it."

"You'll know--perhaps sooner than you imagine."

Matt, stripped to his trousers, stepped to the landward side of the
boat.

"Sharks always go in pairs, mate," cautioned Dick.

"If you see one take after me, Dick," returned Matt, "treat it the same
as I did the one that took after you."

With hardly a splash Matt dropped into the water and swam toward the
beach.



CHAPTER XII.

A WARY FOE.


Matt reached the beach without mishap. Beyond the white stretch of sand
grew a chaparral of bushes and low trees, covering the slope which
ended at a ridge forming the backbone of the point to the southward.

The young motorist took his way in this direction, halting at the edge
of the brush for a moment to turn and give a reassuring wave to his
comrades on the _Grampus_.

Carl was just securing the end of a rope to the iron ring at the stern
of the boat, Glennie was half inside the conning tower, and Dick had
the rifle across his knees. All three answered Matt's parting salute,
and he faced about and hurried into the chaparral.

Matt's course carried him up the side of the ridge. Once at the crest
he would be able to look down on the Japs and take note of their
operations. He would thus be able to determine whether the bold scheme
which he had at the back of his brain would be feasible or not.

The crest of the ridge was not more than fifty feet above sea level,
and the king of the motor boys was not long in reaching it. There,
screened by a thicket of bushes, he was able to look down on the other
cove, and make a leisurely examination of the _Pom_ and the Japs.

The _Pom_, as Dick had said, was lying within a short distance of the
shore. She was an odd-looking craft, being of a much smaller diameter
than the _Grampus_, and having a flat deck built over the rounded
plates of her hull. The conning tower was only about half the height
and diameter of that of the _Grampus_, and seemed to have a solid top
without any hatch opening. The hatch was forward, on the flat deck, and
the cover was pushed back.

From the submarine, Matt's eyes wandered to the shelving beach.

The torpedo was there, rolled up beyond the reach of the lapping waves,
and two of the Japs were busy about the conical end of the tube. Matt
chuckled as he thought of how he had tampered with the firing pin.
Before they could make the pin serviceable, the Japs would have to rig
another of the little propellers; and, while their ingenuity was no
doubt equal to the job, yet it would take time to finish it.

The two men who were at work were clad only in their trousers, and had
clearly reached the shore as Matt had done, by swimming. They went
about their work steadily and with an application which indicated that
they had little attention for anything else.

From their manner, it seemed a fair inference that the rifle shot, or
Dick's yell, from the other side of the point, had failed to reach them.

But where were the other two Japs? Had they returned to the _Pom_?

It might be that the two on the beach were in need of more tools and
had sent the others out to the boat after them.

Matt, thinking of his plans, measured the distance from the end of the
point to the _Pom_.

"The _Grampus_ can do it!" he muttered, with an undernote of exultation
throbbing in his voice. "A quick dash, and then a hustle seaward--and
the trick is done. But those other two Japs--I wish they would leave
the boat and come ashore. They form the danger point in the carrying
out of the scheme."

There was something else Matt noticed as he peered out from behind his
thicket, and that was that two rifles lay on the sand within easy reach
of the Jap mechanics.

"Those guns are another danger point," he said to himself. "The _Pom_,
however, will be between the _Grampus_ and the beach, and will act as a
sort of barricade. Anyhow, nothing venture, nothing win."

For five minutes longer Matt waited, watching for the other two Japs to
reappear through the _Pom's_ hatch. But they did not come, and he felt
that he could wait no longer.

Arising from his crouching position, he turned to retrace his course
down the hill. He had not taken a dozen steps, however, when, dodging
around a clump of bushes, he came face to face with the two missing
Japs!

From the actions of the two men, it was plain that they were as much
surprised as was Motor Matt.

The cause of this unexpected meeting flashed through Matt's brain like
lightning.

The rifle shot had been heard, and these two Japs had been told to
cross the ridge and investigate. Matt had gained the shore before the
Japs had cleared the bushes and were able to see him. As they descended
the slope, he was going up, and fortune had decreed that they give each
other a wide berth. But fortune had taken another tack, for she was
now bringing Matt and the Japs altogether too close to each other for
comfort.

These Japs, like the two at work on the torpedo, were stripped of all
unnecessary clothing; and, fortunately for the young motorist, they
carried no weapons.

For an instant Matt and the two yellow men stared at each other; then
the Japs gave vent to a yell, and prepared to keep Matt from continuing
on down the hill.

Matt, remembering the two rifles he had seen on the beach, had no
intention of waiting for the other two Japs to reach the scene. He
saw the men before him preparing to lay him by the heels in the most
approved ju-jutsu style, but that did not keep him back.

He leaped forward, apparently aiming to pass directly between the two
men. They jumped to get in his way, whereupon he dodged to the right.

But, if he was quick, so were the Japs. No sooner had he changed his
course than they also had faced the new direction.

As Matt went flying down the hill, one of them made a dive for him. The
king of the motor boys struck out with his right fist--and he had a
"right" about which Carl Pretzel was wont to sing praises.

The fist accomplished its work, so far as that one Jap was concerned.
A sharp breath was jolted from the yellow man and the hands he had put
out dropped limply, the while his whole body slumped backward.

But something happened to Matt, just what he had not the least idea.
All he knew was that he was lifted high and sent crashing headfirst
into a thicket of bushes.

The second Jap had put into practice one of the wrestling tricks he had
learned in Nippon.

Matt, however, was not sorry he had been thrown in that unceremonious
fashion, for, just as he dropped into the bushes, the sodden _whang_
of a rifle spoke from the crest of the ridge and a bullet flew whining
over the very spot where he had been running.

The other two Japs had lost little time in coming to the aid of their
comrades.

Matt was up almost as soon as he was down. His superb physical training
rendered him proof against any such fall as that he had just received.

Both Japs were reaching for him as he ducked clear of the bushes, but
he slipped out from under their gripping fingers and flashed down
the slope like a streak, screening his flight with every particle of
tangled undergrowth that got in his way.

The rifles behind him continued to cough and splutter. The unarmed
Japs, however, were between Matt and the marksmen, and the care the
latter had to use sent their bullets wide.

The Japs were no match for Matt when it came to sprinting. Matt had
learned the game from a half-breed friend, the best "miler" in Arizona,
and he now showed the Japs how an American boy can run when he has his
heart in it.

Before the yellow men had cleared the fringe of bushes at the edge of
the beach, Motor Matt was in the water; and when the Japs emerged, Dick
plowed up the ground at their feet with bullets from the Marlin, and
drove them back.

Matt could not have swum faster if there had been a whole school of
sharks after him, but before he got to the _Grampus_ lead from the
shore was pounding a merry tattoo against the submarine's steel plates.
Dick, exposing himself recklessly, was answering with the Marlin.
Neither side was damaging the other, but the firing spurred Matt to
superhuman exertions.

When the young motorist reached the boat, Carl ducked out from behind
the conning tower and gave him a hand up the slope of the deck.

"Now's the time," panted Matt, falling at full length across the curved
plates. "Start her--full speed."

"Where are we to go?" demanded Glennie.

"Around the point and take the _Pom_ in tow," Matt answered. "All
four of the Japs are ashore, in this cove. Before they can cross the
ridge and interfere with us, we ought to be able to pick up the other
submarine and make off with her. Look alive, now! We can't turn the
trick if you don't hustle."

The daring nature of Matt's scheme dawned on the lads with something
like a shock. And it appealed to them, too! It was just such a scheme
as they might have expected Motor Matt to set going.

"Hoop-a-la!" jubilated Carl, as Glennie punched the motor-room jingler.
"Vat do you t'ink oof dot? Modor Matt goes ashore mit himseluf und
coaxes der Chaps to shace him mit rifles, schust to ged dem oudt oof
der vay so ve can shteal pack der _Pom_. Vat a feller he iss!"

"You're giving me altogether too much credit, Carl," expostulated Matt.
"I ran onto those Japs by accident, and would have gone a good ways to
keep clear of them."

"Vell, vat's der odds aboudt der tifference? Der modor poys iss on dop
und----"

A bullet from the shore slapped against the side of the conning tower
and whistled off into space, passing so close to Carl's head in its
flight that he stopped his glorying and fell flat on the deck.

"They'll not stay long on the beach there when they see where we're
going," remarked Matt grimly.

"They've stopped their firing now, old ship," cried Dick, "and are
rushing back into the bushes as fast as they can scramble."

"It has probably dawned upon them that we're planning to run off with
the _Pom_," said Matt. "Quick work, now, and we'll win the day, and cut
these Sons of the Rising Sun out of our future calculations."

The propeller was churning the waters like mad, and Glennie was laying
a safe course to round the point and bring the _Grampus_ close to the
_Pom_.



CHAPTER XIII.

PLUCK THAT WINS.


By the time that the _Grampus_ got around the point and was plunging
onward, with "a bone in her teeth," straight for the _Pom_, Matt had
recovered his breath and was ready to play his part in the rest of the
work.

"Make a circle around the stern of the _Pom_, Glennie," said Matt,
peering shoreward to see if there were any signs of the Japs coming
down the south side of the ridge. "That will give Dick a chance to jump
to the deck of the other craft."

"I'll do it, Matt," replied Glennie.

"Give me the rifle, Dick," went on Matt, "and you lay hold of the end
of the rope Carl has secured to the ring. As soon as you get on the
other boat, make the rope fast."

"Ay, ay, matey!" cried Dick, elation ringing in his voice and his eyes
glimmering with excitement. "We'll make a go of this, now that you have
planned the scheme and done the heft of the work in getting it started."

"There may still be a whole lot of trouble and hard work between us
and success. Let's not be too confident. Ah," and Matt pointed toward
the side of the ridge, "there come the Japs. They're running even
faster than they did when they were after me. We're going to have a
tight squeak of it, Glennie, to double the stern of the _Pom_, get Dick
aboard and pull away with our tow before the Japs get into the water."

"It's their guns I'm thinking of," said Glennie. "If they happen to
pick me out of the conning tower, or to knock Dick off the deck of the
_Pom_, the fat would all be in the fire."

"They'll not do either of those things, matey," averred Dick
confidently. "It's our innings, now, and we're bound to score."

The _Grampus_ raced on, and down the slope rushed the Japs in a frantic
endeavor to reach the water and gain the _Pom_ before the venturesome
motor boys could carry out their plans.

No shots were fired by the Japs. This seemed strange, since a
well-placed bullet would have meant so much to them.

"What's the reason they're not tuning up, matey?" asked Dick.

"Dey hafen't got der time for dot," chuckled Carl. "Dey're in too mooch
oof of a hurry, py shinks."

"They could put a couple of bullets where they would play hob with us,"
went on Dick, "and they must know it."

"They do know it," said Matt. "There are four of the Japs, and only two
guns. I rather surmise that they have used up all the ammunition in the
magazines of the rifles, and that their reserve supply is on the _Pom_."

Just at that moment Glennie swerved the _Grampus_ to pass between the
stern of the _Pom_ and the shore.

"Ready, Dick!" warned Matt.

"Right-o," answered Dick, seizing one end of the cable and balancing
himself on the port side of the _Grampus_. "Swing her as close as you
can, Glennie," he added to the ensign.

Supporting himself by clinging to a wire guy with one hand, Dick
waited. Glennie signaled the engine room for slower speed, and the
_Grampus_ rounded neatly and pushed her nose past the tower of the
other boat.

"There you are, Dick!" cried Matt.

The next instant Dick had leaped across the intervening stretch of
water and had landed on the flat deck of the _Pom_.

Before his feet had struck the deck, however, Matt saw a Jap's head and
shoulders push upward through the _Pom's_ hatch. If there had been time
to feel anything so useless as surprise, Matt would certainly have been
taken all aback.

Captain Pons had said that only five Japs had comprised the crew which
had palmed themselves off as Chilians. One of these five had been left
in Lota, a prisoner. According to Matt's reckoning, that left only four
of the yellow men in charge of the _Pom_. Where, then, did this extra
Jap come in?

Matt did not pause to let this drift through his mind. Making a short
run across the _Grampus_, he flung himself after Dick, reaching the
flat deck of the other submarine and only saving himself a fall over
the opposite side of the craft by dropping to his knees.

Hardly had he landed when a pair of heavy feet clanged down behind him
and a form collided roughly with his back. Once more Matt came within
a hair's breadth of dropping off the port side of the _Pom_.

"Py shinks," puffed a choppy voice, "you don'd vas going to leaf me
pehindt! Dere iss more Chaps on dis poat as we knowed aboudt, und----"

Carl's sentence was never finished. The Jap Matt had seen in the open
hatch had gained the deck and had rushed at Carl like a whirlwind.
Another showed himself, following close upon the heels of the first.

"Make the rope fast, Dick!" roared Matt. "Carl and I will look after
these fellows."

Dick went down on his knees and began securing the rope. It was
necessary to make it fast before the slack was all taken up, otherwise
the tow line would have been jerked out of Dick's hands and the work
would have had to be done all over again.

Matt caught the second Jap about the waist as he crawled through the
hatch. There was a brief struggle, and it ended by Matt heaving the
Jap over the side and into the water. The other Jap had performed a
like service for Carl, and the Dutch boy, blowing like a porpoise, was
floating around in the bay, trying to get hold of something and pull
himself back on the deck.

The Jap started at once for Matt. Before he reached him, Dick, who had
made fast the line, rushed him from the rear and literally bore him off
the boat. He dropped into the water alongside his comrade.

"Help Carl aboard, Dick!" called Matt.

Dick bent over and gave Carl a hand. Just at that moment the boat
leaped forward under the sudden pull of the _Grampus_.

But here, just as victory was all but ranged on the side of the motor
boys, the unexpected happened.

Perhaps Glennie was to blame. It would have been better if he had
slowed the _Grampus_ down almost to a stop and then picked up the
strain on the tow line with a steady pull.

It was useless, however, to find fault with anybody. The thing
happened, and that was all there was to it.

The tow line snapped. One end of it jerked back and caught Matt a
tremendous blow on the temple, and he dropped as though from the impact
of a heavy fist.

A howl of consternation broke from Carl.

"Id's all oop mit us!" he shouted. "Der rope iss pusted in der mittle,
Matt is down, und der Chaps iss all aroundt us!"

Carl's quick eyes had sized up the situation correctly. The four Japs
who had crossed the ridge from the other cove had reached the water and
were swimming to the _Pom_. The two who had been forced overboard by
Matt and his chums were paddling about and making frantic efforts to
regain the deck.

Dick had not much time to think of what they should do. With Matt down,
could he and Carl successfully beat off the six yellow men?

Dick flung a despairing glance after the _Grampus_. Glennie, wild with
anxiety over the outcome of what seemed a certain _fiasco_, was ringing
all kinds of signals in the motor room, and, for once in his life,
seemed completely "rattled" and at a loss as to what move he should
make.

At that moment an idea darted into Dick's brain.

"Keep away, Glennie!" Dick yelled, waving his hands. "Sheer off to a
good distance, and wait! Carl," and he whirled on the Dutch boy with
fierce determination, "we'll take Matt below. We can close ourselves
inside the steel shell and the Japs won't be able to get at us."

"Meppy dere's more Chaps in der poat!" demurred Carl.

"No!" thundered Dick. "Do you suppose they'd stay below while this
scrimmage was going on over their heads? Down the hatch with you, and
take Matt as I lower him!"

Carl saw that there was nothing else for it, and made haste to carry
out his orders. The floor was less than five feet under the deck, and
Carl was able to stand erect and take Matt in his arms as Dick let him
down. The Japs were gaining the deck from all sides as Dick followed,
and the hatch cover was banged shut and made fast just in the nick of
time.

"Ach, du lieber!" muttered Carl, listening to the patter of bare feet
on the plates overhead. "Vat a fix iss dis. Der Chaps haf got us, und
dey ain'd got us; und ve haf got dem in der same vay. Ve can't ged
oudt, und dey can't ged in. Vat's der answer?"

"A little light, first," said Dick coolly. "Don't let the Japs worry
you--there's a stout steel armor between us and them. It's as black as
a pocket in here, now that the hatch is closed. Have you got a match?"

It took Carl several moments to dig a match out of his blouse. He had
one, just one, and it was a wonder he had even that. No one had any use
for matches aboard the _Grampus_.

Carl drew the match along the steel floor. As the flickering gleam grew
stronger, he and Dick took in the dimensions of that part of their
prison.

The floor apparently divided the interior of the steel hull in half,
the rounded plates of the hull meeting it on both sides. A bulkhead cut
off the view aft.

"You rub Matt's forehead and hands and see if you can't fetch him to,"
said Dick. "I'm going aft to see what's on the other side of that
bulkhead."

"Der match iss gone!" muttered Carl, dropping the charred stick.

"I've located the bulkhead door, so it doesn't much matter," answered
Dick.

The opening of the door brought in a little daylight. The door led out
under the conning tower, and the light came through the tower lunettes.

Dick, straightening up, shoved his head and shoulders into the tower.
On all sides Jap eyes were glaring in at him.

"Ugh!" he muttered, and dropped down again.



CHAPTER XIV.

A LITTLE WORK ON THE INSIDE.


When Matt drifted back to consciousness, his head lay on Carl's knee.
Carl and Dick had dragged him out under the conning tower, where the
light was better.

"Where are we?" were Matt's first words.

"In the _Pom_, matey," was Dick's grim response.

"Ve can't ged oudt, eider, Matt," croaked Carl gloomily, "und der Chaps
can't ged in. Vich vould you radder be, der Chaps or us?"

Matt sat up, rubbing his head.

"I remember now," he murmured. "The tow line broke, and the _Pom_ end
of it sprang back and hit me on the forehead. You brought me below?"

"I couldn't think of anything else to do, matey," said Dick. "We were
surrounded by six Japs, and I thought it better to take our chances
inside. We got below and closed the hatch just in time. Listen! You can
hear the Japs walking around on deck. If you get up in the tower you
can see them looking in at the lunettes! But it's not pleasant. The
straightened eyes of those swabs are pretty savage. I wouldn't give
tuppence for our chances if they could get at us. And they may find out
a way to come in here. If you can think of anything to do that will
help us out of this hole, Matt, please be in a hurry about it."

"Yah," put in Carl, "don'd vaste any time."

"Where's the _Grampus_?" asked Matt.

His head bothered him, but there was no time to think of physical
troubles of that sort.

"I told Glennie to keep her away. There wasn't anything he could do by
running close, anyhow. The Japs would have boarded the _Grampus_, if he
had come too close, and there would be only four on our boat to stand
off the six Japs."

"Oh, well," remarked Matt, looking around, "this might be worse."

"How?" moaned Carl. "I don'd see dot."

Matt's interest in the _Pom_, now that he was able to give the boat a
personal examination, bade fair to eclipse his concern for the dangers
by which he was surrounded. Here was a brand-new piece of mechanism, a
boat crammed with French machinery that would well repay a close study.

A rigid box under the conning tower, enabled a man to lift the upper
half of his body into the cupola and get his eyes opposite the
lunettes. As the man stood there, his right hand fell naturally on a
steering wheel and his left on push buttons which must communicate with
the engine room.

"This is a whole lot different from the interior of the _Grampus_,"
muttered Matt.

"Id is so shmall as a rat drap," shuddered Carl. "I feel like I vas
shut oop in a cage."

Matt, pushing backward from the turret, fell off a ledge into a sort
of well. As he sat up and groped about with his hands, he touched a
switch. Pulling the switch, an incandescent lamp flared out overhead.

"That's better," said he. "Now we can look around without so much
trouble."

Here, aft from the conning tower, machinery was packed away closely.

Up against the roof, on the port side, was a little engine, operated
by compressed air, by which the submarine was steered. Matt discovered
that by observing the wires that ran to the engine from the steering
wheel.

On the starboard side, likewise against the roof, was another engine,
with disks at each end as large as dinner plates.

"H'm," mused Matt, trying to rub the ache out of his head so his brain
would be clearer, "those disks are diaphragms, and must be connected,
in some way, with the water pressure. I have it!" and a triumphant
look crossed his face, "this is the diving engine, and that wheel"--he
touched the wheel as he spoke--"controls it."

At one side was a cubic steel box.

"Air compressor," said Matt, touching the box.

On the floor, just where Matt had dropped into the well, were two
levers. Matt lifted one of them. Instantly there came a gurgle and
splash of water, directly under Carl and Dick.

"Avast, matey!" cried Dick. "I wouldn't fool with those things until
you know more about them."

Muffled cries came from the Japs outside.

"They hear what's going on," laughed Matt, "and they don't like it.
We're filling the submerging tanks, Dick," he explained.

"Then why don't we sink?"

"It takes the engine to help us sink--the diving engine and the motor."

Farther back beyond the well was the engine room.

"Here's where I'm at home," said Matt, creeping into the engine room
and turning on another incandescent light.

In one side were switchboards for the dynamotors, and near them were
spiral resistance coils curving along the roof. Over on the other side
was a trolley controller, which Matt knew must be used for speeding the
vessel under water.

"Give the wheel of that diving engine a turn to the right, Dick,"
called Matt.

Dick obeyed the order. Matt turned the switch of the controller and
then instantly there was a low, electrical hum and the _Pom_ started
toward the bottom.

"Get on the box under the conning tower, Dick," said Matt, "and do the
steering."

"How'll I steer? There's no periscope."

"Steer by compass--there's one right in front of you as you stand in
the tower."

"But what'll I do for light? We're under water and no daylight comes in
at the lunettes."

Matt touched a switch, and electric light flooded the tower.

"I don't like this tinkering, I'm a Fiji if I do," muttered Dick, as he
crawled up into the tower.

"We've got rid of the Japs by the tinkering, Dick," said Matt. "They're
swimming ashore by now."

"What I'm afraid of is," went on Dick, "you'll get us on the bottom and
not be able to take us to the surface again."

"Don't let that worry you. If we want to go to the surface, all we have
to do is to twist the diving rudders and empty the tanks."

"What's the course, matey?" asked Dick.

"West by north until we clear the point, then north."

"How am I to know when we clear the point?"

"Why, we'll go to the surface and take a look. Glennie will probably be
glad to have a sight of us before long."

"I'll bet he's worrying his head off! The quicker we can go up, Matt,
the better."

"All right. Carl!"

"On der chump!" answered the Dutch boy.

"Give the wheel of the diving engine a turn to the left--to the _left_,
mind."

"Dere she goes."

Instantly there was a perceptible movement upward.

"Now," went on Matt, "lift that other lever on the floor near you--the
one I didn't lift, if you can remember."

Carl lifted the lever, and, by chance, the right one. A hiss of
compressed air was heard, followed by a splash of water being forced
from the ballast tanks. The _Pom_ jumped for the surface like a streak.

"Daylight at the lunettes!" shouted Dick, overjoyed to make sure that
Matt really knew what he was about. "All you've got to do to know all
about a piece of machinery, Matt," he added, "is just to look at it."

"And use my head," laughed Matt.

"Py shinks," boomed Carl, "you can do more mit a cracked head dan any
odder feller can do mit vone dot's all ridght. Yah, so helup me. You
know more aboudt machinery in a year as anypody else does in a minid."

"See anything of the Japs, Dick?" inquired Matt, stopping the electric
motor.

"Not a sign!" exulted Dick. "But there's the old _Grampus_, with Speake
on deck and Glennie half out of the tower. Their eyes are this way, and
you'd think, from their faces, they're looking at a ghost."

"Dey can't oondershtand how ve got oudt oof dot schrape," said Carl.
"Ve hat some pooty pad brospects, for a vile, you bed you."

"Holy smoke!" exclaimed Dick, almost falling off the box he was
standing on.

"What's the matter?"

"Why, there's our old friend, the cruiser _Salvadore_, with--with----
'Pon my soul, Matt, I'm a Fiji if that Captain Pons isn't on the bridge
with Captain Sandoval!"

This was amazing news.

"The war ship must have just got here, then," said Matt.

"But how did she know where we were?"

"Probably she spoke the _Sovereign_," Matt answered. "That would have
given Sandoval a pretty good clue."

"Oh, strike me lucky! The _Salvadore_ is turning broadside on, and some
of her crew are manning the small guns--the rapid-fire guns. They're
going to blow us out of water, Matt!"

"Hardly that, Dick," said Matt easily. "Sandoval isn't going to destroy
this submarine. Pons wouldn't let him, even if he had such a notion. If
anything happened to the boat, Pons wouldn't be able to deliver her to
the Chilian government."

"They're mighty warlike, anyway," went on Dick. "And there's Glennie,
on the _Grampus_, trying his best to attract the attention of Sandoval."

"Sandoval and Pons think the _Pom_ is full of Japs," laughed Matt.
"We'd better go up and clear the fog out of their brains. It will be a
pleasure to meet Captain Sandoval again. He's a good friend of ours,
you know."

"Meppy dot vas a lucky t'ing," vouchsafed Carl, "seeing as how Pons iss
madt pecause ve vouldn't go afder der _Pom_ mit der _Grampus_."

"That's just what we did, though, although we didn't intend making any
such move. We shall now have the pleasure of turning the _Pom_ over to
Captain Pons."

Making their way through the bulkhead door, Matt, Dick, and Carl gained
the hatch, threw it open, and crawled out on the submarine's deck.



CHAPTER XV.

A STAR PERFORMANCE.


The _Pom_ was lying between the _Grampus_ and the _Salvadore_. When
Matt, Dick, and Carl showed themselves there were loud cheers from
Glennie and Speake. Pons, on the bridge of the war ship, could be seen
jumping up and down like a pea on a hot griddle, waving his hands and
yelling. The war ship was too far away for the boys to hear what Pons
said.

"I'd about given you fellows up!" exclaimed Glennie. "When that
confounded tow line parted, my hopes parted with it. We saw you sink
and throw the Japs into the water, and we were sure you'd gone down to
stay."

"The Japs got ashore, did they?" asked Matt.

"Every last one of them."

"Well, Glennie, come along here and take us off. I want to go to the
war ship and make a report to Captain Sandoval."

Glennie brought the _Grampus_ close to the French boat, and the three
boys transferred themselves to their own craft.

"I vouldn't trade vone oof der _Grampuses_ for a tozen of der _Poms_,"
asserted Carl, as they were borne away in the direction of the
_Salvadore_.

"I don't know how seven Japs ever stowed themselves away inside the
_Pom_," muttered Dick. "They must have been packed in there like
sardines."

"They managed to do a pretty fair amount of work, too," said Matt. "Not
the least of it was lassoing me and pulling me into the water."

As the _Grampus_ approached the war ship, Captain Sandoval leaned from
the bridge with his megaphone.

"Motor Matt, king of the motor boys!" he shouted. "Ah, ha, _amigo_, you
are as full of surprises as the egg is of meat."

Captain Pons failed to join Captain Sandoval in his amiable sentiment.
Pons shook his fist.

"R-r-rascal!" he shouted. "He is mos' contemptible!"

"Throw over your sea ladder, captain," called Matt; "I want to come
aboard and talk with you."

"_Gracias!_" cried Sandoval. "I am delighted, _amigo_."

A few minutes later Matt was in the captain's cabin. He had been there
once before, but not under circumstances that were very pleasant. On
the previous occasion, Captain Sandoval had been hostile and full of
unjust suspicions. Now he was more than friendly, and it was Captain
Pons who was hostile.

"You heard how those rascally Japs gave me the slip, _amigo_?" asked
Sandoval. "Ah, ah, what a wretched piece of business! It was in a fog,
and one could not see his hand in front of his face. Thus they escaped.
_Ay de mi_, it was a blow! I came north looking for the rascals, and
I reached Lota last night and found Pons. He told me of the troubles
he has been having with the Japs, and since it was my duty to aid him
in recovering the _Pom_, why, I took him aboard and we started north.
The British vessel Sovereign gave us a tip, and we followed it to this
bay. First, we saw the _Grampus_; then, all so suddenly, up out of the
ocean came the _Pom_! I trained my guns on her to fire in case the Japs
proved unreasonable. Presently, behold, the hatch of the _Pom_ opens
and you appear. Wonderful! I can hardly believe my eyes because of the
so great surprise!"

"Ah, my captain," broke in Pons, "zis Matt is ze r-ruf-fian, ze
villain. He say he no haf ze time to bozzer wiz my little boat, zat he
not go hunt for her; now, by gar, we see heem on her deck. He play ze
trick wiz me. He do w'at he say he not do. He try steal ze boat, _oui_,
zat is w'at he do. I demand of heem ze satisfaction!"

The captain's eyes became very fierce and he threw back his shoulders
and slapped his chest.

"Ah, my captain," said Sandoval, "don't make a mistake. I know Motor
Matt, and he is a gentleman. I have given him my hand, my captain, and
Captain Sandoval never gives his hand to a scoundrel."

Captain Pons arose with much dignity and bowed to Captain Sandoval.

"_Merci, monsieur!_" he murmured. "Nevair vill I say ze derogatory word
to youar honor, but ze actions of zis Motor Matt, w'at you call, is
mos' contemptible. Let heem spik, let heem explain if he can."

"_Amigo_," said Captain Sandoval, "you will explain, for my sake, to my
honorable friend, Captain Pons?"

"That's what I came here to do," answered Matt. "I and my friends have
saved the _Pom_ for Captain Pons, and this is the reward he gives us."

Captain Pons got up and bowed again to Captain Sandoval. Not to be
outdone in courtesy, Captain Sandoval arose and bowed to Captain Pons.

"If I do heem ze wrong," said Captain Pons gravely, "zen I make
ze _amende_. Until he explains, I have ze right to call him mos'
contemptible."

"You have the right," agreed Captain Sandoval.

Then they bowed again and sat down.

All this was highly edifying to Matt, but it did not get him very far
along with his explanation.

When he got started, however, he held the floor in spite of disturbing
symptoms on the part of Pons to get up and bow. He carried the
explanation through to its conclusion, and not failing to put due
stress on the dangers he and his friends had undergone in their attempt
to get the better of the Sons of the Rising Sun.

The two captains were deeply impressed. For some moments after Matt had
finished they sat speechless in their chairs; then, as one man they
arose. Together they bowed to Matt.

"_Ay de mi_," breathed Captain Sandoval, "did you ever hear of anything
so wonderful?"

"Mos' r-r-remarkable!" exclaimed Captain Pons.

Then they bent to each other. After that Captain Sandoval sat down, but
Captain Pons stepped over to Matt and embraced him; then, before Matt
could defend himself, Captain Pons kissed him on the cheek.

"_Mon ami!_" said he; "my friend, I mak' ze apologee. I ask zat you
forgeeve ze talk about you as ze mos' contemptible. It is I, me, zat is
mos' contemptible----"

"No, no, my captain," protested Captain Sandoval, putting up his hand,
"you shall not so greatly injure yourself."

"I r-r-repeat," thundered Captain Pons, thumping his chest fiercely, "I
made ze mistake, and I, myself, am mos' contemptible."

Captain Sandoval sighed and looked depressed.

"Zis brav' young man," proceeded Captain Pons, "save ze _Pom_ for me. I
sank heem, as one gentleman sank anozzer. Zere, ze debt is cancel. All
zat remain is for me to hol' him in mos' tender memory."

"The six Japanese are on the island, Captain Sandoval," said Matt, who
was beginning to get a little bit tired of Pons and his mushy nonsense.
"Will you send a party ashore to capture them?"

"At once," was the answer.

"And, by the way, Captain Pons," went on Matt, "didn't you say there
were only five Japs in the crew that stole the _Pom_."

"Fife, _oui_. I count zem and I know."

"Well, that one we captured under the wharf, at Lota, comes out of the
five, and would leave four."

"_Oui_, wan from fife is four."

"Then, captain, how do you account for the fact that there were six on
the _Pom_ when she reached this bay?"

"Do you say I spik untruths?" flared the captain, displaying a tendency
to renew his quarrel with Matt.

"Not at all, not for the world," answered Matt, with an inward laugh,
"but I am puzzled. One from five, in this case, seems to have left six."

"I know nozzing, sare," said Captain Pons. "If zere was seex w'en zere
should only haf been fife, zat is zeir business."

"Then we'll let it stand that way," said Matt.

"I am mos' agreeable," returned Captain Pons. "Presently, my captain,"
he went on, to Sandoval, "I go aboard ze _Pom_ wiz ze crew you gif me,
an' we take ze boat to Valparaiso. Is it not so?"

"Yes, my captain," replied Sandoval. "I will lend you the crew and will
convoy you to Valparaiso."

"You are mos' kind."

This was enough for Matt. He excused himself, shook hands with
Sandoval, and hurried away.

As soon as he was safely in the periscope room of the _Grampus_, he
threw himself down on the locker and laughed until he was sore.

"Get me the rest of my clothes, somebody," said he, "and then start the
_Grampus_ northward again."

"Where's our next port of call, old ship?" queried Dick, while Matt was
getting into the garments he had taken off just before swimming ashore
in the cove.

"Callao," answered Matt. "Then Panama, Acapulco, San Diego--and
Frisco."

"Dot lisdens like home!" rumbled Carl.

"In two weeks," cried Glennie, "we'll be at Mare Island, and the cruise
will be finished. It's all plain sailing from this on. The Sons of the
Rising Sun will have all they can do to take care of themselves, let
alone try to make any more trouble for us."

"We're done with them, and there are no ifs or ands about it this
time," said Matt. "I'll admit, when I learned they had made off with
that French submarine, that I thought they were equipped to accomplish
something against us; but we cleared that difficulty in one-two order
when we got started."

"It might have been a lot worse, mates," observed Dick, "and there were
several times when I thought we were done, done as brown as a kippered
herring; but we pulled through--mainly because Matt had his shoulder to
the wheel and gave us the right sort of a boost over the hard places."

"As much credit should fall to the rest of you as to me," spoke up
Matt. "Take the wheel, Glennie. Full speed ahead, Gaines," he added,
through the motor-room tube.

The cylinders never hummed a cheerier tune than they did when they
started the _Grampus_ once more on her journey northward, and no boat,
surface or submarine, ever carried a happier crew.



CHAPTER XVI.

CONCLUSION.


As day followed day and week followed week, bringing no sign of any
further trouble with the Sons of the Rising Sun, Motor Matt and his
friends realized that, beyond all doubt, they had worsted their wily
foes, and perhaps had taught them a lesson which they could ponder
wisely.

At Panama, which was almost the same as United States soil, the boys
took shore leave, turn and turn about. From this place Matt sent a
cablegram to Captain Nemo, Jr., at Belize.

  "On the last leg of our journey. All well and _Grampus_ as fit as a
  fiddle. Telegraph me at Acapulco."

"Too bad that old canal wasn't finished," observed Dick, as the
_Grampus_ left Panama, "at the time we left Belize. We could have come
through it, if it had been, and saved a month's time and all that
mix-up with the Japs."

"That wasn't the point, Dick," spoke up Glennie. "This trip has been in
the nature of a try-out for the _Grampus_. The government wanted to see
what she could do--and I guess the government will know when my log is
read at headquarters."

"You're giving us a good report, Glennie?" laughed Dick.

"As good as I can make it."

"Then that means a sale of the boat, without a doubt."

"I understood that my report was to be final. I've had the cruise of
my life with you motor boys, and I almost hate to reach San Francisco,
because we'll have to separate there."

"You're an A One comrade, Glennie," said Matt heartily, "and you need
never look for a pal while this outfit of motor boys is around."

"My sentiments to a t, y, ty," averred Dick.

"Und mine, too, py shinks!" cried Carl.

Glennie was deeply touched. At the beginning of the cruise there had
been some hard feelings between him and Dick and Carl, but as they had
come to know each other better the unpleasantness had worn away.

All four of the lads were now loyal friends, having undergone perils
and dangers shoulder to shoulder, and so each had tried the other's and
had not found them wanting.

At Acapulco Matt was confidently expecting to receive a message from
Captain Nemo, Jr. In this, however, he was disappointed. There was no
message for him. Matt could not understand the reason and was prone to
think dire things.

"Captain Nemo, Jr., would surely have answered that message I sent him
from Panama," said Matt, "providing he had received it."

"Sure he would," agreed Glennie; "and the fact that you did not get an
answer is proof that the captain did not receive your message."

"Aber vy ditn't he receif id?" asked Carl.

"That's the point that alarms me, friends," went on Matt gloomily. "You
know we left the captain sick at Belize; too ill, in fact, to come with
us on the _Grampus_. We haven't heard a word from him since the cruise
began, and it may be that his sickness terminated fatally."

This thought cast a depression over the motor boys. Captain Nemo, Jr.,
was a good friend of theirs, and all of them liked him. The _Grampus_
was the triumph of the captain's career, and if he was to be stricken
down just as the boat, in charge of the motor boys, was to pass
successfully through the Golden Gate, the elation Matt and his friends
would otherwise feel must give way to dejection and sorrow.

The victory of this successful cruise was entirely theirs, but the loss
of Captain Nemo, Jr., would rob the victory of all pleasure for them.

But the gloom that accompanied the submarine from Acapulco northward
was lost in rejoicing at San Diego; for no sooner had the _Grampus_
anchored in the bay off the latter place than no less a person than
Captain Nemo, Jr., himself, rowed out and came aboard.

The captain was well and hearty, and his delight in welcoming the boys
was boundless.

He looked over the boat and complimented all hands on her efficiency
after such a long cruise--the longest and hardest any submarine had
ever made; and in the periscope room, until long into the night, the
captain sat wide-eyed and absorbed, listening to the adventures of
those whom he had commissioned to take the _Grampus_ from Belize to
Mare Island.

When all had had their say, and the recital was done, there followed a
period of silence. The captain was the first to speak.

"A hundred thousand dollars, my lads, is a great deal of money; but
if I had been able to look ahead and learn what dangers were to beset
you on your long journey, I would not have allowed you to start
for a million. I had some inkling of this Japanese business, for I
was offered two hundred thousand for the _Grampus_ by the Japanese
government. I chose to deal with the navy department of my own country,
even at a direct pecuniary loss to myself. My refusal to sell to the
Japs brought a threatening letter from the Sons of the Rising Sun, but
I treated it with contempt. I should have taken you into my confidence
regarding this Japanese matter before you left Belize, but I thought it
of no moment and hesitated to alarm you by even mentioning it."

"It's all but over now, captain," laughed Matt lightly, "and I think
we are all of us better for the experience. I know I wouldn't sell the
benefit that has accrued to me from this cruise for a lot of money."

"Nor I," said Dick.

"Me, neider," chirped Carl.

"Let me go on record, too," put in Glennie.

"I'm glad you all feel in that way about it," said the captain.

"By the way," asked Matt, "why didn't you answer the cablegram I sent
you from Panama, captain?"

"Principally because I never received it," was the smiling response.
"Where did you address the message, Matt?"

"To you, at Belize."

"Why, I left Belize a week after you did! It was my intention all along
to leave Central America, work up into the States, and then meet you
here and take the last lap of the cruise with you."

"It was a mighty big relief to see you come aboard at this port," said
Matt. "I hadn't the least idea what was the matter."

"You had a guess that I had taken the One-way Trail, hadn't you, Matt?"
jested the captain.

"I didn't know but that might have happened."

"In that event," said the captain, "I had already made a will whereby
you boys were to receive the whole amount to be paid by the government.
So, you see, my being alive has cost you a pretty pile."

"The money doesn't count, captain," declared Matt stoutly.

"No? Well, money usually counts in this world, Matt--in fact, it cuts a
pretty wide swath in every direction."

"It is secondary, captain, to the idea of 'making good.' When we left
Belize I vowed that we'd make good and prove that your confidence in
us wasn't misplaced. We've all had that in mind before anything and
everything else."

"It's a good trait in you," replied the captain, "and in any young man,
to love a piece of work for itself, and, money apart, centre every hope
on making a success of it. That's the spirit that brings its reward,
not only in money, but in self-approval, which is something money can't
buy. Every one who went around South America on the _Grampus_ will
find, I think, that I know how to be grateful; this, while of secondary
importance to the consciousness of duty well performed, will be a
substantial acknowledgment of the debt I hold myself under to all of
you.

"In San Francisco the _Grampus_ will be sold. The motor boys will
go one way, Captain Nemo, Jr., another way, and Speake, Gaines, and
Clackett still another. But I hope that this will not be the last of
our associations, but that we shall sometime come together again and
renew our friendships, which have been so firmly woven together by this
cruise of the _Grampus_, and the persistent and successful effort of
the king of the motor boys to _make good_."

With the hearty echoes this sentiment received still lingering in
our ears, the hour seems propitious for taking leave of Matt and the
motor boys, while they are at the threshold of another of their many
victories.


THE END.



THE NEXT NUMBER (21) WILL CONTAIN

Motor Matt's Launch;

OR,

A FRIEND IN NEED.

  New Friends and New Fortunes--The Raffle--Ping-pong Objects--Another
  Rescue--An Odd Tangle--The Rich Man's Son--A Plan that Failed--A
  Chase Across the Bay--The Lion's Mouth--The Mouth Closes--Surprising
  Events--McGlory's Run of Luck--Waiting and Worrying--Ping Stars
  Himself--A New Twist, by George--Another Twist, by Matt and McGlory.



MOTOR STORIES

THRILLING ADVENTURE MOTOR FICTION

NEW YORK, July 10, 1909.


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  79-89 Seventh Avenue, New York City.



THE SPIDER WATER.


II.

On the 30th there was trouble beyond Wild Hat, and all our extra men,
put out there under Healey, were fighting to Hold the Rat Valley levels
where they hug the river on the west slope. It wasn't really Healey's
track. Bucks sent him over there just as the emperor sent Ney, wherever
he needed his right arm. Sunday, while Healey was at Wild Hat, rain
began falling. Sunday it rained; Monday all through the mountains it
rained; Tuesday it was raining from Omaha to Eagle Pass, with the
thermometer climbing for breath and the barometer flat as an adder--and
the Spider woke. Woke with the April water and the June water and the
storm water all at once.

Trackwalkers Tuesday night flagged Number One, and reported the Spider
wild, with heavy sheet ice running. A wire from Bucks brought Healey
out of the west and into the east, and brought him to reckon for the
last time with his ancient enemy.

He was against it Wednesday with dynamite. All the day, all the night,
all the next day the sullen roar of the giant powder shook the forming
jam above the bridge, and after two days Healey wired, "Ice out," and
set back without a minute's sleep for home. Saturday night he slept and
Sunday all day and Sunday night. Monday about noon Bucks sent up to
ask, but Healey still slept. They asked back by the lad whether they
should wake him. Bucks sent word, "No."

It was late Tuesday morning when the tall roadmaster came down, and he
was fresh as sunshine. All day he sat with Bucks and the dispatchers
watching the line. The Spider raced mad, and the watchers sent in panic
messages, but Healey put them in his pipe. "That bridge will go when
the mountains go," was all he said.

Nine o'clock that night every star was blinking when Healey looked
in for the trackwalkers' reports and the railroad weather bulletins.
Bucks, Callahan, and Peeto sat about Martin Duffy, the dispatcher, who
in his shirt sleeves threw the stuff off the sounder as it trickled in
dot and dash, dot and dash over the wires.

The west wire was good; east everything below Peace River was down. We
had to get the eastern reports around by Omaha and the south--a good
thousand miles of a loop--but bad news travels even around a Robin Hood
loop.

And first came Wild Hat from the west with a stationary river and the
Loup Creek falling--clear--good night. And Ed Peeto struck the table
heavily and swore it was well in the west. Then from the east came
Prairie Portage, all the way round, with a northwest rain, a rising
river, and anchor ice running, pounding the piers bad--track in fair
shape, and--and----

The wire went wrong. As Duffy knit his eyes and tugged and cussed a
little, the wind outside took up the message and whirled a bucket of
rain against the windows. But the wires wouldn't right, and stuff
that no man could get tumbled in like a dictionary upside down. And
Bucks and Callahan and Healey and Peeto smoked, silent, and heard the
deepening drum of the rain on the roof.

Then Duffy wrestled mightily yet once more.

"Keep still," he exclaimed, leaning heavily on the key. "Here's
something--from the Spider."

He snatched a pen and ran it across a clip; Bucks leaning over read
aloud from his shoulder:

                                                                "Omaha.

  "J. F. BUCKS:

  "Trainmen from No. 75 stalled west of Rapid City--track afloat in
  Simpson's Cut--report Spider bridge out--send----"

And the current broke.

Callahan's hand closed rigidly over the hot bowl of his pipe; Peeto sat
speechless; Bucks read again at the broken message, but Healey sprang
like a man wounded and snatched the clip from his hand.

He stared at the running words till they burned his eyes, and then,
with an oath, frightful as the thunder that shook the mountains, he
dashed the clip to the floor. His eyes snapped greenish, and he cursed
Omaha, cursed its messages, and everything that came out of it. Slow
at first, then fast and faster, until all the sting that poisoned
his heart in his unjust discharge poured from his lips. It flooded
the room like a spilling stream, and none put a word against it, for
they knew he stood a wronged man. Out it came--all the rage, all the
heart-burning, all the bitterness--and he dropped into a chair and
covered his face with his hands. Only the sounder clicking iron jargon
and the thunder shaking the wickiup like a reed filled the ears of the
men about him. They watched him slowly knot his fingers and loosen
them, and saw his face rise dry and hard and old out of his hands.

"Get up an engine!"

"Not--you're not going down there to-night?" stammered Bucks.

"Yes. Now. Right off. Peeto, get out your men!"

The foreman jumped for the door. Little Duffy, snatching the train
sheet, began clearing track for a bridge special. In twenty minutes
twenty men were running as many ways through the storm, and a live
engine boomed under the wickiup window.

"I want you to be careful, Phil," Bucks spoke anxiously as he looked
with Healey out into the storm. "It's a bad night." Healey made no
answer.

The lightning shot the yards in a blaze and a crash split the gorge. "A
wicked night," muttered Bucks.

Evans, conductor of the special, ran in.

"Here's your orders," said Duffy. "You've got forty miles an hour."

"Don't stretch it," warned Bucks. "Good-by, Phil," he added to Healey,
"I'll see you in the morning."

"In the morning," echoed Healey. "Good-by."

The switch engine had puffed up with a caboose; ahead of it Peeto had
coupled in the pile driver. At the last minute Callahan concluded to
go, and with the bridge gang tumbling into the caboose, the assistant
superintendent, Ed Peeto, and Healey climbed into the engine, and they
pulled out, five in the cab, for the Spider Water.

Healey, moody at first, began joking and laughing the minute they got
away. He sat behind Denis Mullenix, the engineer, and poked his ribs
and taunted him with his heavy heels. At last he covered Denis' big
hands on the throttle with his own bigger fingers, good-naturedly
coaxed them loose, and pushing him away got the reins and the whip into
his own keeping. He drew the bar out a notch and settled himself for
the run across the flat country.

As they sped from the shelter of the hills, the storm shook them with
a freshening fury, and drove the flanges into the south rail with a
grinding screech. The rain fell in a sheet, and the right-of-way ran
a river. The wind, whipping the water off the ballast, dashed it like
hail against the cab glass; the segment of desert caught in the yellow
of the headlight rippled and danced and swam in the storm water, and
Healey pulled again at the straining throttle and latched it wider.

Notch after notch he drew; heedless of lurch and jump; heedless of
bed or curve; heedless of track or storm; and with every spur at her
cylinders the engine shook like a frantic horse. Men and monster alike
lost thought of caution and drunk a frenzy in the whirl that Healey
opened across the swimming plain.

The Peace River hills loomed suddenly in front like moving pictures;
before they could think it the desert was behind.

"Phil, man, you must steady up!" yelled Callahan, getting his mouth
to Healey's ear. The roadmaster nodded and checked a notch, but the
fire was in his blood, and he slewed into the hills with a speed
unslackened. The wind blew them, and the track pulled them, and a
frenzied man sat at the throttle.

Just where the line crosses the Peace River the track bends sharply
through the Needles to take the bridge. The curve is a ten degree. As
they struck it, the headlight shot far out upon the river--and they
in the cab knew they sat dead men. Instead of lighting the box of the
truss, the lamp lit a black and snaky flood with yellow foam sweeping
over the abutment, for the Peace had licked up Agnew's thirty-foot
piles--and his bridge was not.

There were two things to do; Healey knew them both, and both meant
death to the cab, but the caboose sheltered twenty of Healey's faithful
men. He instantly threw the air, and with a scream from the tires,
the special, shaking in the brake shoes, swung the curve. Again the
roadmaster checked heavily, and the pile driver, taking the elevation
like a hurdle, bolted into the Needles, dragging the caboose after it.
But engine and tender and five in the cab plunged head on into the
river.

Not a man in the caboose was killed. They scrambled out of the
splinters and on their feet, men and ready to do. One voice came
through the storm from the river, and they answered its calling. It was
Callahan, but Durden, Mullenix, Peeto, and Healey never called again.

At daybreak, wreckers of the West End, swarming from mountain and
plain, were heading for the Peace, and the McCloud gang--up--crossed
the Spider on Healey's bridge--on the bridge the coward trainmen had
reported out, quaking as they did in the storm at the Spider foaming
over its approaches. But Healey's bridge stood--stands to-day.

Yet three days the Spider raged, and knew then its master, while he,
three whole days, sat at the bottom of the Peace, clutching the engine
levers, in the ruins of Agnew's mistake.

And when the divers got them up, Callahan and Bucks tore big Peeto's
arms from his master's body and shut his staring eye and laid him at
his master's side. And only the Spider, ravening at Healey's caissons,
raged. But Healey slept.


THE END.



GOOD WORDS FOR THE 'GATOR.


Twenty years ago a visitor to that part of the South below North
Carolina could see alligators in almost every stream and bayou, but now
one may frequently spend months traveling through this region and not
see a single alligator except those in captivity. The killing of the
creatures for sport or for their hides has been the main cause of their
great decrease in numbers. In addition thousands of the young have been
killed or shipped away, while enormous numbers of the eggs have been
gathered and sold as curios.

It was not until about 1855 that the demand for alligator leather
became of importance. The market was not long continued. In 1869
fashion again called for the leather for manufacturing into fancy
slippers, traveling bags, belts, card cases, music rolls, etc. The
demand has continued to the present and many thousands of the animals
have been killed, while the preparation of the skins has given
employment to hundreds of people.

The output of the tanneries of this country approximates 275,000 skins
annually, worth about $425,000, part of which come from Mexico and
Central America. It is estimated that about 3,800,000 alligators were
killed in Florida alone between 1880 and 1909, nearly 20,000 being
killed in 1908.

The earliest settlers in the Southern States found alligators, or, as
they were then called, crocodiles, exceedingly abundant in almost all
streams, especially in Florida and Louisiana. Many marvelous tales are
found in the early chronicles of the ravages of these monsters. They
were said to eat dogs and pigs, and to consider the negro an especially
succulent tidbit, while it was considered dangerous to go into streams
where they were known to exist. When such a stream had to be crossed
hours were spent sometimes in beating it to frighten off the alligators.

The researches of scientists have shown that there is very slight
foundation for such stories, and it is probable that the greater number
of pigs lost by the planters could have been traced to other enemies,
particularly the two-footed kind, while runaway slaves would naturally
encourage the belief that alligators had dined off them.

The greater part of the supply of alligator leather now comes from
Florida, and owing to excessive hunting the industry is profitable
only in the central part of the peninsula, in what is called the Lake
Okeechobee region and in the Everglades. Here the principal hunters
are Seminole Indians, who have their homes on hummocks far back in the
Everglades and come to the settlements only when in need of articles
which they cannot produce themselves.

The alligator is most active at night, and his days are usually spent
lying on some low bank or log overhanging the water, where it can enjoy
the warmth of the sun and be able to retreat to its native element at
the first sign of danger. While on land alligators are very clumsy, in
the water they are exceedingly active, and, being strong swimmers, are
able to catch the larger fish with but slight trouble. For animals like
the muskrat and otter swimming across lagoons they are always on the
watch.

On seizing its prey the alligator sinks with it to the bottom and there
remains until all struggling has ceased; it is then able with less
effort to tear it into pieces. While thus submerged a peculiar collar
at the base of the tongue prevents the water from passing into its
lungs.

While the alligator is said to make very effective use of its tail
in warfare, the widely disseminated story that it uses its tail to
sweep animals off the banks into its jaws appears to have but slight
foundation in fact.

In April or May the mother alligator seeks a sheltered spot on a
bank and there builds a small mound with a hole in the middle. The
foundation of this mound is of mud and grass, and on these she lays
some eggs. She then covers the eggs with another stratum of grass and
mud, upon which she deposits some more eggs. Thus she proceeds until
she has laid from twenty-five to sixty eggs. The eggs are hatched out
by the sun.

As soon as they have chipped the shell the baby alligators are led
to the water by the mother, who provides them with food, which she
disgorges. Papa Alligator has to be carefully watched at this time, for
he highly esteems a dinner of young saurians, and is not particular
whether they are his own or his neighbor's children. When by strategy
or downright fighting the mother has got her family safely into their
natural element it is not long before the young scatter, each to begin
life on his own hook. At this period they form a favorite food for
turtles and the larger fishes.

When fully grown the alligator is about sixteen feet in length. In the
adult stage it is greenish-black above, having lost the yellowish color
bands that belong to its earlier years. Hunters say that alligators
grow very slowly, attaining the first year a length of about one foot.
When two feet in length they are said to be from ten to fifteen years
old, while those twelve feet long are supposed to be seventy-five or
more. Their normal life is estimated at from one hundred to one hundred
and fifty years.

Alligator hunting originally began as sport. Then some one tanned the
skin and found that it could be put to commercial use. Carried on as it
must be, at night, the hunt is picturesque.

In many places the hunters fasten bicycle lamps on their caps, and when
the animal is attracted by the light pick it off by hitting it in the
eye with a rifle ball. Torches are often used. Sometimes the hunter
lures the alligator to the surface of the water by "telephoning to the
'gator," as it is called.

An alligator is always attracted by the peculiar grunt which the young
alligators make, for there is no sort of food they love better than
newly hatched 'gator. The hunter takes a long, slender pole and lets
one end of it down very quietly into the water. The other end he places
between his teeth and imitates the grunt of the baby 'gators. The old
fellows easily hear the call and come up to feast on babies they think
are there.

In catching them alive hunters frequently lasso them while asleep on
the bank or on a log. When asleep in their holes in the mud they are
occasionally drawn out by means of an iron hook. These holes are easily
found. Sometimes the grass is set afire and the animals lassoed as they
seek the water.

After the alligator is caught the hunter in sport sometimes mounts it,
using the reptile's fore feet and legs as reins. It is needless to say
that it is only by the exercise of considerable skill that the hunter
keeps his seat through the struggles of the reptile, and if care is not
used the fun may develop into tragedy.

Alligators three feet and more in length are generally killed at
once and the hide removed. All of the hide except the ridge of the
back, which is very bony, is used. The hide is salted, and is then in
condition for sale to the buyers, who are usually storekeepers, who
furnish provisions and ammunition in exchange.

The hides range in value to the hunter from 20 cents for a three-foot
hide to $1.25 for a hide seven feet or more in length. The five and
six-foot hides are the most desirable, as the larger hides have a hard
piece of bone in the square checks on the hide, and it is impossible to
sew through this. Nearly all of the tanning is done at Newark, N. J.

Young alligators are often brought in, and are worth about 8 cents
apiece. The eggs are also gathered, and sell for 2-1/2 cents each.
They are mainly sold to curio dealers, who either hatch them out or
blow them and sell the shells. Most of the small alligators are stuffed
and sold as curios to tourists, who pay from 50 cents to $2 apiece for
them.

Many of them used to be shipped North alive by tourists as presents.
Owing to ignorance as to how the animal should be cared for many of
these soon died.

If properly cared for, the young alligator will thrive even in
unnatural circumstances. Its main requirement is sufficient heat.
Its diet should consist of bits of fresh meat, insects and worms.
They often show great fondness for the ordinary earthworms, and will
frequently refuse all food but these. The larger specimens in captivity
are fed about three times a week on fresh meat or small live animals,
and they require little attention other than this.

Alligators' teeth, which are secured by burying the head until they
have rotted out, are of fine ivory and valued for carving into
ornaments. They are worth to the hunter about $2 a pound--from fifty
to seventy-five teeth. The dealers will not buy very many of them, as
there is but a limited demand. At one time the paws were saved and
mounted as curios, but it is impossible to do anything with them now.

Both flesh and eggs are eaten by a few persons, but it requires a very
hardy stomach to stand the disagreeable, musky odor. There is nothing
better, hunters declare, than the tip of the tail of an alligator which
has reached, say, the pullet period. It is creamy in color, tasting
a little like frogs' legs, but with a more pronounced gamy flavor,
juicy--altogether tempting. The dish is a great favorite with the
crackers of Florida.

Alligator tails are best at the time of the ricebird season. The big
alligators float in the water with only their eyes showing. When an
alligator gets near a flock of these fat, juicy little birds it dives
to the bottom. Its long, wide snout scoops up some of the loam, and it
floats to the surface again with just the rich soil showing.

The birds think it is an island. They alight upon it. When the whole
family is there the big beast turns suddenly. Just as the birds
scramble off the alligator opens its mouth once. They are gone.

The birds are neat little feeders, and the alligator is an epicure at
this time of the year. The ricebird diet makes the tip of its tail
tender and sweet.

In St. Augustine is an alligator farm, one of two in the United States,
the other being at the Hot Springs in Arkansas. Here the alligators are
kept in confinement until large enough for market.

It will probably be news to many that Florida has a representative of
the crocodile family. This animal was first supposed to be confined
to the West Indies and South America, but it has been occasionally
captured on the peninsula of Florida. It is easily distinguishable
from the alligator by its narrow snout. For many years scientists were
skeptical of reports from Florida of the appearance of this animal in
that State, but the capture of several fine specimens in recent years
has settled all doubt.



VENOMOUS FISH.


It is curious that while so much has been written in our language
on snake bites there has been comparatively little placed on record
concerning the stings of fishes.

Snake bites are rare in this country, but fish stings are very common,
especially among fishermen and fishmongers. The fishes that most often
sting are the great and little weevers. A prick on the hand or foot
from a weever causes much swelling and inflammation.

If the arm is affected the inflammation may spread to the shoulder, the
swelling of the whole limb being enormous. The pain is agonizing, the
patient often falling into a state of collapse or becoming delirious.
Usually the inflammation subsides in about three days, followed by
desquamation.



LATEST ISSUES


MOTOR STORIES

The latest and best five-cent weekly. We won't say how interesting it
is. See for yourself. =High art colored covers. Thirty-two big pages.
Price, 5 cents.=

  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.


NICK CARTER WEEKLY

The best detective stories on earth. Nick Carter's exploits are read
the world over. =High art colored covers. Thirty-two big pages. Price,
5 cents.=

  642--The Detective's Disappearance; or, Nick Carter is Saved by
  Adelina.

  643--The Midnight Marauders; or, Nick Carter's Telephone Mystery.

  644--The Child of the Jungle; or, Nick Carter's Ingenious Ruse.

  645--Nick Carter's Satanic Enemy; or, The Case of an Easy Mark.

  646--Three Times Stolen; or, Nick Carter's Strange Clue.

  647--The Great Diamond Syndicate; or, Nick Carter's Cleverest Foes.

  648--The House of the Yellow Door; or, Nick Carter in the Old French
  Quarter.

  649--The Triangle Clue; or, Nick Carter's Greenwich Village Case.

  650--The Hollingsworth Puzzle; or, Nick Carter Three Times Baffled.

  651--The Affair of the Missing Bonds; or, Nick Carter in the Harness.

  652--The Green Box Clue; or, Nick Carter's Good Friend.

  653--The Taxicab Mystery; or, Nick Carter Closes a Deal.

  654--The Mystery of a Hotel Room; or, Nick Carter's Best Work.

  655--Tragedy of the Well; or, Nick Carter Under Suspicion.



_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_

STREET & SMITH, Publishers, 79-89 Seventh Avenue, New York

=IF YOU WANT ANY BACK NUMBERS= of our Weeklies and cannot procure them
from your newsdealer, they can be obtained from this office direct.
Fill out the following Order Blank and send it to us with the price
of the Weeklies you want and we will send them to you by return mail.
=POSTAGE STAMPS TAKEN THE SAME AS MONEY.=

                                    ________________________ _190_

  _STREET & SMITH, 79-89 Seventh Avenue, New York City._

      _Dear Sirs: Enclosed please find_ ___________________________
      _cents for which send me_:

  TIP TOP WEEKLY,         Nos. ________________________________

  NICK CARTER WEEKLY,      "   ________________________________

  DIAMOND DICK WEEKLY,     "   ________________________________

  BUFFALO BILL STORIES,    "   ________________________________

  BRAVE AND BOLD WEEKLY,   "   ________________________________

  MOTOR STORIES,           "   ________________________________

  _Name_ ________________ _Street_ ________________

  _City_ ________________ _State_ ________________



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.

For this text edition, oe ligatures have been expanded to oe; the HTML
edition retains the ligatures.

Italics are represented with _underscores_, bold with =equal signs=.

Page 5, corrected typo "odder" in "oder somet'ing like dot!"

Page 7, added tilde to "Madam Cousiño" for consistency.

Page 9, corrected typo _Gampus_ in "started south to meet the
_Grampus_." Retained unusual spelling of "possesion" on the assumption
that it is intentional.

Page 12, corrected typo "Wihtehead" ("Whitehead began its peculiar
performance").

Page 14, corrected typo "Glennine" ("'Jupiter!' exclaimed Glennie.").

Page 22, corrected typo "baot" ("bore him off the boat"). Removed
unnecessary quote after "six yellow men?" at end of page.





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