This monster, flying faster and faster down the mountain side, was a menace to everything in its track. There might be almost anything in the way of rolling stock on the section between Half Way and Hammon at the foot of the grade. If this thunderbolt of wood and steel collided with any other train, with the force and weight gathered by its plunge down the mountain, it would drive through such obstruction like a projectile from Tom's own big cannon.
Tom realized this fact. He knew that whatever object the Hercules 0001 might strike, that object would be shattered and scattered all about the right of way. What might happen to the runaway was another matter. But the inventor believed that the electric locomotive would be less injured than anything with which it came into collision.
At any rate, thought of the peril to himself and his invention had secondary consideration in Tom Swift's mind. It was what the monster which he could not control might do to other rolling stock of the H. & P. A. that rasped the young fellow's mind.
The grade above Half Way had few curves. Tom soon caught the first glimpse of the station. Would the operator hear the roar of the descending runaway and understand what had happened?
He leaned far out from the open doorway and waved his cap madly. He began to shout a warning, although he saw not a soul about the station and knew very well that his voice was completely drowned by the voice of the siren and the drumming of the great wheels.
Suddenly the tousled head of the operator popped out of his window. He saw the coming locomotive, the drivers smoking!
To be a good railroad man one has to have his wits about him. To be a good operator at a backwoods station one has to have two sets of wits—one set to tell what to do in an emergency, the other to listen and apprehend the voice of the sounder.
This Half Way man was good. He knew better than to try the telegraph instrument. He grabbed the telephone receiver and jiggled the hook up and down on the standard while the Hercules 0001 roared past the station.
It did not need Tom's frantically waving cap to warn him what had happened. And he remembered clearly the fact of the expected westbound flyer.
"Hammon? Get me? This is Half Way. That derned electric hog has sprung something and is coming down, lickity-split!
"Yes! Clear your yard! Where's Number Twenty-eight? Good! Side her, or she'll be ditched. Get me?"
The voice at the other end of the wire exploded into indignant vituperation. Then silence. The Half Way operator had done his best—his all. He ran out upon the platform. The electric locomotive had disappeared behind the woods, but the roar of its wheels and the shrill voice of its siren echoed back along the line.
The sound faded into insignificance. The operator went back into his hut and stayed close by the telephone instrument for the next ten minutes to learn the worst.
If the operator's nerves were tense, what about those of Tom Swift and his chum? Ned staggered to the door and clung to Tom's arm. He shrilled into the latter's ear:
"Shall we jump?"
"I don't see any soft spots," returned Tom, grimly. "There aren't any life nets along this line."
Ned Newton was frightened, and with good reason. But if his chum was equally terrified he did not show it. He continued to lean from the open door to peer down the grade as the Hercules 0001 drove on.
Around curve after curve they flew. It entered Ned's tortured mind that if his chum had wanted speed, he was getting it now! He realized that two miles a minute was a mere bagatelle to the pace now accomplished by the runaway locomotive.
As Ned Newton, fumbling at the controls when he saw the fallen tree across the tracks, had jammed the brakes, the station master at Hammon, at the bottom of this long grade on the Hendrickton & Pas Alos, had stepped out to the blackboard in the barnlike waiting room and scrawled with a bit of chalk:
"No. 28—Westbound—due 3:38 is 15 m. late."
The fact, thus given to the general public or to such of it as might be interested, averted what would have been a terrible catastrophe.
The fast express was late. When the babbling voice of the Half Way operator over the telephone warned Hammon of the coming of the runaway electric locomotive, there was time to shift switches at the head of the yard so that, when Number Twenty-eight came roaring in, she was shunted on to a far track and flagged for a stop before she hit the bumper.
Thirty seconds later, from the west, the Hercules 0001 roared down the grade and shot into the cleared west track in a halo of smoke and dust. Speed! No runaway had ever traveled faster and kept the rails. The story of the incident was embalmed in railroad history, and no history is so full of vivid incident as that of the rail.
When the first relay of excited railroad men reached the electric locomotive after it had stopped on the long level, even Ned Newton had pulled himself together and could look out upon the world with some measure of calmness. Tom Swift was making certain notes and draughting a curious little diagram upon a page of his notebook.
"What happened to you, Mr. Swift?" was the demand of the first arrival.
"Oh, my foot slipped," said the young inventor, and they got nothing more out of him than that.
But to Ned, after the crowd had gone, the inventor said:
"Ned, my boy, they used to say that necessity was the mother of invention. Therefore a loaf of bread was considered the maternal parent of the locomotive. I've got one that will beat that."
"Whew!" gasped Ned. "How can you? I haven't got my breath back yet."
"It is peril that is the mother of invention," Tom went on, still jotting down his notes. "Believe me! that jolt gave me a new idea—an important idea. Suppose that operator at Half Way had been out back somewhere, and had not seen or heard us flash by?"
"Well, suppose he had? What's the answer?" sighed Ned.
"Like enough we would have rammed something down here."
"And I hardly understand even now why we didn't do just that," muttered his chum, with a shake of his head.
"Wake up, Ned! It's all over," laughed Tom. "While it was happening I admit I was guessing just as hard as you were about the finish. But—"
"Your recovery is better," grumbled his friend. "I'm scared yet."
"And it might happen again—"
"No—not—ever!" exclaimed Ned. "I shall never touch those controllers again. I'll drive your airscout, or your fastest automobile, or anything like that. But me and this electric locomotive have parted company for good. Yes, sir!"
"All right. It wasn't your fault. It might happen to any motor-engineer. And the very fact that it can happen has given me my idea. I tell you that danger is the mother of invention."
"As far as I am concerned, it can be father and grandparents into the bargain," Ned declared, with a smile.
"Wake up!" cried his friend again. "I have got a dandy idea. I wouldn't have missed that trip for anything."
"You are crazy," interrupted Ned. "Suppose we had bumped something?"
"But we didn't bump anything, except my brain tank. An idea bumped it, I tell you. I am going to eliminate any such peril as that here-after."
"You mean you are going to make it impossible for this locomotive ever to slide down such a hill again if the brakes won't work? Humph! Meanwhile I will go out and make the nearest water-fall begin to run upward."
"Don't scoff. I do not mean just what you mean."
"I bet you don't!"
"But although I cannot be sure that a locomotive will never again fall downhill," said Tom patiently, "I'm going to fix it so that warning need not be given by some operator along the line. The engineer must be able to send warning of his accident, both up and down the road."
"Huh? How are you going to do that?" demanded Ned.
"Wireless telephone. I may make some improvements on the present models; but it is practicable. It has been used on submarines and cruisers, and lately its practicability has been proved in the forestry service.
"Every one of these electric locomotives I turn out will be supplied with wireless sets. The expense of making certain telegraph offices along the line into receiving stations will be small. I am going to take that up with Mr. Bartholomew at once. And I am going to fix these brake controls so that nobody need ball them up again."
If, out of such a desperate adventure, Tom could bring to fruition really worthwhile improvements in relation to his invention, Ned acknowledged the value of the incident. Just the same, he had a personal objection to having any part in a similar experience.
He was brave, but he could not forget danger. Tom seemed to throw the effect of that terrible ride off his mind almost instantly. Ned dreamed of it at night!
However, from that time things seemed to go with a rush. Mr. Bartholomew approved of the young inventor's suggestion regarding the use of the wireless telephone as a method of averting a certain quality of danger in the use of the proposed monster locomotive. The railroad man was convinced that Tom's ideas were finally to culminate in success, and he was ready to spend money, much money, in pushing on the work.
It was not long before a private test of the Hercules 0001 up the grade from Hammon to Cliff City showed Mr. Bartholomew that the speed he had required in his contract was attainable. With a drag fully as heavy as any two locomotives had been able to get over the same sector, the new locomotive alone marked a forty-five mile an hour pace.
This attainment was kept quiet; not even the train crew knew what the monster had done when they reached the summit of the mountain. But Mr. Bartholomew, who rode with Tom and Ned in the cab, had held his own watch on the test and compared it every minute with the speedometer.
"I am satisfied that you are going to do more than I had really hoped, Mr. Swift," the railroad president said at the end of the run. "Already you could drive this locomotive at a two-mile-a-minute clip on level rails, I am sure. Keep at it! Nobody will be more delighted than I shall be if you pull down that hundred thousand dollars' bonus."
"That's a fine way to talk, sir," cried Ned, with enthusiasm.
"I mean every word of it, Mr. Newton. The money is his as soon as he makes good."
Both Tom and his financial manager left the president's office in a satisfied state of mind.
"Great news to send home, Tom," remarked Ned, when they were alone.
"Righto, Ned. My father will be glad to hear it."
"And what about Mary?" And Ned poked his chum in the ribs.
"I guess she'll be glad too," Tom replied, his face reddening.
That night Tom sent word to Mary and also a telegram, in code, to his father, saying the prospects were now bright for a quick finish of the task that had brought him West.
The Open Switch
Meanwhile the work of electrifying another division of the Hendrickton & Pas Alos Railroad had been pushed to completion. As Mr. Bartholomew had in the first place stated, the road controlled water rights in the hills which would supply any number of electric power stations, and his enemies could not shut his road off from these waterfalls.
Tom had not warned his faithful servant, the giant Koku, to watch out for Andy O'Malley in particular; the inventor knew that the giant would be as cautious about any stranger as could be wished. But personally Tom was amazed that either O'Malley or some other henchman of the president of the Hendrickton & Western did not make an attempt to injure the electric locomotive.
"Perhaps Mr. Bartholomew's police are really of some good," said Ned Newton, when his chum mentioned his surprise on this point. "Has Koku seen nobody lurking about at night?"
"He certainly has not seen the man he calls 'Big Feet,'" chuckled Tom. "If he had spotted O'Malley, there certainly would have been an explosion."
"Tell you what," Ned said reflectively, "the longer Lewis keeps off you, the more suspicious I should be."
"You think he is a bad citizen, do you?"
"And then some, as the boys say out here," replied Ned. "I wouldn't trust that man any farther than I would a nest of hornets or a shedding rattlesnake."
"I am inclined to believe, with you, Ned, that Lewis is hatching up something and is keeping mighty whist about it. I sounded Mr. Bartholomew on the idea and he, too, is puzzled."
"I guess he knows that hombre," grumbled Ned.
"Mr. Bartholomew admits that several roads have sent representatives to make inquiries about my locomotive. They have got wind of it, and, after all, most railroads work in unison. What means progress for one is progress for all."
"That same rule does not seem to apply in the case of the H. & P. A. and the H. & W.," remarked Ned.
"No. They are out and out rivals. And Lewis and his gang have done this road dirt—no two ways about that. But when I am convinced that my locomotive has got all the speed and power contracted for, Mr. Bartholomew wants to invite a bunch of his brother railroaders to see the tests—to ride in the Hercules Three-Oughts-One, in fact."
"How about it? You going to agree? Suppose they have some inventive sharp along who will be able to steal some of your mechanical contrivances—in his head, I mean," and Ned seemed quite suddenly anxious.
"I had thought of that. But before the test I shall send my blueprints to Washington. Our patent attorney there has already filed tentative plans and applied for certain patents that I consider completed. Don't fret. I'll make it impossible for anybody to steal our patents legally."
"Yes! But illegally?"
"That we cannot help in any case, and you know it," Tom said. "If some road tries to build anything like the Hercules Three-Oughts-One for the first two years without arranging with the Swift Construction Company, you know that that railroad can be made to suffer in the courts, and you are the boy, Ned, to put them over the jumps for it."
"Sure," grumbled his chum. "It's always up to me to save the day."
"Exactly," chuckled Tom. "And in your character of life saver, do look out for anybody who looks suspicious hanging about the Hercules Three-Oughts-One. I'll take care of rival inventors. You and Koku keep your eyes peeled for the H. & W. spies. Especially for that Andy O'Malley. I feel that he will again show up. Maybe by 'the pricking of my thumb' as Macbeth's witch used to remark."
Every day save Sunday the electric locomotive had some kind of try-out. On a level track Tom was sure of his monster invention's qualities; but in the hills, at a distance from the Hendrickton terminal, it was another matter.
The grades were steep; but the road was well ballasted. There was plenty of power. He saw the Jandel locomotives hurry back and forth with the local trains and realized that this rival invention was by no means to be despised.
It was at about this time, too, that Mr. Damon appeared in Hendrickton. Early one forenoon, when Tom and Ned were preparing to take the Hercules 0001 out of the yard, and Koku was going to his lodgings to get a little sleep, Tom's eccentric friend came across the tracks, waving his cane at Tom.
"Bless my frogs and switch-targets!" he ejaculated, "I've walked a mile from that station to get here. Where are you going with that big contraption? How does it work? Does it make all the speed you want, Tom Swift? Bless my rails and sleepers!'
"We're going about a hundred miles out on the road to a good, stiff grade," Tom told him, having shaken hands in welcome. "If you want to, get aboard."
"They haven't blown you up yet, or otherwise wrecked the locomotive," remarked Mr. Damon, grinning broadly. "I'll have to write right back to your father—and to a certain young lady who shows a remarkable interest in your welfare—that you are all right."
"They should already be sure of that," laughed Tom. "Ned and I have kept the post-office department and the telegraph company very busy."
"They are waiting for my report," announced Mr. Damon, with confidence. "And I am waiting for yours. Tell me, Tom: Is the locomotive a success?"
"It's going to be," declared the inventor, with decision.
"Bless my trolley wires!" cried Mr. Damon, "I am glad to hear that. Then you will surely pull down the extra hundred thousand dollars?"
"I believe I shall fulfill every clause of the contract Mr. Bartholomew and I signed," said Tom.
"Then it's more than a success!" cried his friend. "You have invented another marvel, Tom Swift!"
"Marvel or not," rejoined Tom, "I believe that the Hercules Three-Oughts-One will top anything so far built in the way of electric locomotives."
"Hurrah!" cried Mr. Damon. "Bless my controller! But your father and Mary Nestor will be glad to hear that!"
Mr. Damon was quite as much interested in this invention as he always was in anything the young inventor worked upon. When he had once seen the Hercules 0001 work on an up-grade he was doubly enthusiastic. To his sanguine mind the locomotive was already completed. He could see no possibility of failure.
Tom, however, had to prove to his own satisfaction the success of every detail of his invention before he was willing to tell Mr. Bartholomew that he was ready for a public test. Mr. Damon, nor even Ned, could scarcely see the reason for Tom's caution.
Tom's favorite try-out grade was between Hammon and Cliff City. He could obtain a right of way order from the train dispatcher on that grade, sometimes of an hour's duration. He often snaked a load of gondolas or cattle cars up the grade, relieving both the puller and pusher steam locomotive. By this time the H. & P. A. system had stopped using the Jandel machines on any grades. They had proved their lack of power for such work.
"But the Hercules Three-Oughts-One shows at every test that it has the kick," Mr. Damon cried.
In his enthusiasm he was out every day with Tom and Ned. And sometimes Koku remained in the cab during the trial runs as well.
On one such occasion Tom had drawn a heavy train over the mountain, taking it down the grade beyond Cliff City to Panboro in the farther valley. This was over a newly built stretch of the electrified road. The power station charged the trolley cables with an abundance of current, and the Hercules 0001 made a splendid trip.
"Bless my cuff-links!" ejaculated Mr. Damon, his rosy face one beaming smile. "You couldn't expect to do better than this. You save one locomotive on the haul, and you beat the schedule ten minutes, so that you had to lay by to get right of way into the yard here. Why linger longer, Tom?"
"I agree with Mr. Damon," Ned said. "It seems to work perfectly. And you have, I believe, established your required speed."
"Can't be too perfect," said the young inventor, smiling. "But I will tell Mr. Bartholomew when we get back that he can set his time for the big test whenever he pleases. I have already sent our patent attorney in Washington the final blueprints. Now, if nothing happens—"
"Bless my stickpin!" exclaimed Mr. Damon, "What can happen now that the locomotive is practically perfect?"
That question was answered in one way, and a most startling way, within the hour. Tom got right of way back over the mountain and pushed the electric locomotive up-grade at almost top speed. He drew no train on this occasion, and the speed made by the Hercules 0001 was really remarkable.
They topped the rise at Cliff City and got orders from the dispatcher to proceed on the time of Number Eighty-seven, which chanced to be late. With that release Tom might have made the entire distance of a hundred and ten miles to Hendrickton had it not been for the accident—the unexpected something that so often happens in the railroad business.
Tom was a careful driver; the chatter of Ned and Mr. Damon did not take the inventor's mind off his business for one instant. He was quite alert at his window, looking ahead, as Koku was at the open doorway of the cab.
Not a mile outside of Cliff City, and on this eastbound side of the right of way, was a long siding and a shipping point for timber. It was sometimes a busy point; but at this time of year there were no lumbermen about and no activities in the adjacent forest.
The Hercules 0001 came spinning along from the Cliff City yards, and Tom Swift gave scarcely a glance to the joint of the switch ahead. He had been over it so many times of late, and knew that it was always locked. The railroad did not even keep a man here at this season.
Suddenly Koku emitted a wild yell. He startled everybody else in the cab, as he flung his huge body more than half out of the doorway and prepared to jump—or so it seemed.
Ned shrieked a warning to the big fellow. Mr. Damon began to bless everything in sight. But it was Tom, quite as excited as his friends, who understood what Koku shouted:
"Big Feet! Big Feet! I see um Big Feet, Master!"
The next moment he threw himself from the rapidly moving locomotive. He might have been killed easily enough. But fortunately he landed feet first in the drift beside the rails, and remained upright as he slid down into the ditch.
Tom, glancing ahead again, saw the flash of a man in a checked Mackinaw running up through the open wood and away from the right of way. He could not be sure of Andy O'Malley's figure at that distance; but he could be pretty confident of Koku's identification.
And then, with a shock that gripped and almost paralyzed his mind, Tom saw again the switch ahead of the pilot of the Hercules 0001. The switch was open, and at the speed the electric locomotive had attained, if she did not jump the rails, it seemed scarcely possible that she could be stopped before hitting the bumper at the end of the siding!
A Desperate Chase
These moments were fraught with peril, and not alone peril to the huge machine that Tom Swift had built, but peril to those who remained in the cab of the electric locomotive, as her forward trucks struck the open switch.
There was a mighty jerk that brought a shout from Ned Newton's lips and a grunt from Mr. Damon. Tom clung to his swivel-seat, staring ahead.
The pilot of the electric locomotive shot over on the siding; the forward trucks followed, then the great drivers. The whole locomotive swerved into the siding, but for several breathless seconds Tom was not at all sure that the monster would not jump the rails and head into the ditch!
Meanwhile his gaze measured the speed of that flying figure in the Mackinaw as it scuttled up the slope through the open grove of hard wood and pine. He could not at first see Koku, but he knew the giant was headed for the fugitive, whether the latter proved to be Andy O'Malley or not.
Tom's gaze flashed to what lay ahead of the electric locomotive. As it seemed to joggle back into balance, gain its uprightness, as it were, the inventor saw the great, log-braced bumper between the two rails at the end of the siding. With what force would the locomotive hit that obstruction?
Until the trailers were over the switch Tom dared not give her the brakes. To lock the brake shoes upon the wheels might easily throw the locomotive off the rails. But the instant he felt the tail of the long locomotive swerve off the switch he jabbed the compressed air lever and the wild shriek of the brake shoes answered to his effort.
Then the bumper was but a few yards ahead. The electric locomotive was bound to collide with it. And under the speed at which it had been running, now scarcely reduced by half, the collision was apt to be a tragic happening!
Weeks of effort might be ruined in that moment! If the crash was serious, thousands of dollars might be lost! In truth, Tom Swift apprehended the possibility of a disaster, the complete results of which might put the test of his invention forward for weeks—perhaps for months.
Nor could he do a thing to avert the disaster. He had reversed and set the brakes immediately after the last wheel of the trailer was on the siding. Nothing more could he do as the great electric locomotive bore down upon the solid timber at the far end of this short track.
Those few seconds, as the locked wheels slid toward the end of the siding, were about as hard to bear as any experience the young inventor had ever gone through. It was not so much the peril of the accident, it was the possibility of what might happen to the locomotive.
Within those few moments, however, Tom considered more than the safety of his companions and himself, and more than the peril of wreck to his locomotive. He considered the schedule of the trains on this division of the Hendrickton & Pas Alos and remembered all those that might be within this sector at this time.
If the locomotive smashed into the bumper with force enough to wreck the structure, would some approaching train on the westbound track not be endangered?
The thought was parent to Tom's act before the collision occurred. With a single swift motion he reached for the signaling apparatus which he had established in connection with his wireless telephone.
Just the moment before the head of the locomotive rammed that seemingly immovable barrier at the end of the siding there flashed into the air from Tom's annunciator the code word agreed upon announcing a wreck, and the number of the sector on which the electric locomotive was then running.
The next moment the crash occurred.
Tom had leaped up with a shout of warning. "Hang on!" was his cry. But when the locomotive had struck and rebounded Ned, from far down the aisle of the locomotive, wanted to know in a very peevish tone what he should have hung on to?
"My elbows!" he groaned. "I've skinned 'em, and my back has got a twist in it like the Irishman thought he had when he put on his overalls hind-side to. What's happened?"
"Bless my radiolite!" growled Mr. Damon. "My watch crystal is broken all to finders, if you want to know. Bless my shock-absorbers! you won't do this locomotive a bit of good, Tom Swift, if you stop it so abruptly."
"And that's the surest word you ever said," responded Tom, hurrying to the door. "I don't know what's broken, but we're still on the rails. The most immediate thing to learn, is the where-abouts of the fellow who did this."
"Who opened the switch?" cried Ned.
"I believe it was Andy O'Malley. Come on, Ned! Koku is after him and I don't want him to tear O'Malley apart before I get there."
"O'Malley has got powerful interests behind him, and it might go hard with Koku if he injured the spy and some of these Westerners caught him," suggested Mr. Damon.
"They ought to thank Koku for manhandling the fellow—if he does," said Ned.
"As a matter of fact," replied Tom, "Koku will merely hold to the fellow until we get there. But my giant's strength is enormous, and he does not always know the strength of his grasp. He might hurt the fellow. Come on," and Tom leaped from the doorway of the electric locomotive.
Ned leaped down the ladder after his chum.
"Which way did they go?" he asked.
"Across the ditch and up the hill," said Tom. "Mr. Damon!" he called back to that eccentric man, "will you please remain there and watch the locomotive?"
"I certainly will. And I'm armed, too," shouted Mr. Damon. "Don't fear for this locomotive, Tom. I am right on the job."
Tom waved his hand in reply, leaped the ditch, and started up through the wood. Ned was close behind him, and the two young men ran as hard as they could in the direction Tom had seen Andy O'Malley, followed by the giant, running.
In places the earth was slippery with pine needles, and the ground was elsewhere rough. Therefore the chums did not make much speed in running after the giant and his quarry. But Tom was sure of the direction in which the two had disappeared, and he and Ned kept doggedly on.
They went over the crest of the hill and lost sight of the siding and the locomotive. Here was a sharp descent into a gulch, and some rods away, in the bottom of this gully, the young fellows obtained their first sight of Koku. He was still running with mighty strides and was evidently within sight of the man he had set out after in such haste.
"Hey! Koku!" shouted Tom Swift.
The giant's hearing was of the keenest. He glanced back and raised his arm in greeting. But he did not slacken his pace.
"He must see O'Malley, Tom," cried Ned Newton.
"I am sure he does. And I want to get there about as soon as Koku grabs the fellow," panted Tom.
"He'll maul O'Malley unmercifully," said Ned.
"I don't want Koku to injure him," admitted Tom, and he increased his own stride as he plunged down into the gully.
The young inventor distanced his chum within the next few moments. Tom ran like a deer. He reached the bottom of the gully and kept on after Koku's crashing footsteps. At every jump, too, he began to shout to the giant:
"Koku! Hold him!"
The giant's voice boomed back through the heavy timber: "I catch him! I hold him for Master! I break all um bones! Wait till Koku catch him!"
"Hold him, Koku!" yelled Tom again. "Be careful and don't hurt him till I get there!"
He could not see what the giant was doing. The timber was thicker down here. It might be that the giant would seize the man roughly. His zeal in Tom's cause was great, and, of course, his strength was enormous.
Yet Tom did not want to call the giant off the trail. Andy O'Malley must be captured at this time. He had done enough, too much, indeed, in attempting the ruin of Tom's plans. Before the matter went any further the young inventor was determined that Montagne Lewis' spy should be put where he would be able to do no more harm.
But he did not want the man permanently injured. He knew now that Koku was so wildly excited that he might set upon O'Malley as he would upon an enemy in his own country.
"Koku! Stop! Wait for me!" Tom finally shouted.
Now the young inventor got no reply from the giant. Had the latter got so far ahead that he no longer heard his master's command?
Tom pounded on, working his legs like pistons, putting every last ounce of energy he possessed into his effort. This was indeed a desperate chase.
Mr. Damon at Bay
Mr. Wakefield Damon was a very odd and erratic gentleman, but he did not lack courage. He was much more disturbed by the possible injury to Tom Swift's invention by this collision with the bumper at the end of the timber siding than he had been by his own danger at the time of the accident.
He did not understand enough about the devices Tom had built in the forward end of the locomotive cab to understand, by any casual examination, if they were at all injured. But when he climbed down beside the track he saw at once that the forward end of the locomotive had received more than a little injury.
The pilot, or cow-catcher, looked more like an iron cobweb than it did like anything else. The wheels of the forward trucks had not left the track, but the impact of the heavy locomotive with the bumper had been so great that the latter was torn from its foundations. A little more and the electric locomotive would have shot off the end of the rails into the ditch.
While Mr. Damon was examining the front of the locomotive, and Tom and Ned remained absent, he suddenly observed a group of men hurrying out of the forest on the other side of the H. & P. A. right of way. They were not railroad men—at least, they were not dressed in uniform—but they were drawn immediately to the locomotive.
The leader of the party was a squarely built man with a determined countenance and a heavy mustache much blacker than his iron gray hair. He was a bullying looking man, and he strode around the rear of the locomotive and came forward just as though he was confident of boarding the machine by right.
Mr. Damon, knowing himself in the wilderness and not liking the appearance of this group of strangers, had retired at once to the cab, and now stood in the doorway.
"Where's that young fool Swift?" growled the man with the dyed mustache, looking up at Mr. Damon and laying one hand upon the rail beside the ladder.
"Don't know any such person," declared Mr. Damon promptly.
"You don't know Tom Swift?" cried the man.
"Oh! That's another matter," said Mr. Damon coolly. "I don't know any fool named Swift, either young or old. Bless my blinkers! I should say not."
"Isn't he here?" demanded the man, gruffly.
"Tom Swift isn't here just now—no."
"I'm coming up," announced the stranger, and started to put his foot on the first rung of the iron ladder.
"You're not," said Mr. Damon, promptly.
"What's that?" ejaculated the man.
"You only think you are coming up here. But you are not. Bless my fortune telling cards!" ejaculated Mr. Damon, "I should say not."
At this point the black-mustached man began to splutter words and threats so fast that nobody could quite understand him. Mr. Damon, however, did not shrink in the least. He stood adamant in the doorway of the cab.
Finding little relief in bad language, the enemy made another attempt to climb up. For one thing, he was physically brave. He did not call on his companions to go where he feared to.
"I'll show you!" he bawled, and scrambled up the rungs of the ladder.
Mr. Damon did show him. He drew from some pocket a black object with a bulb and a long barrel. Somebody below on the cinder path shouted:
"Look out, boss lie's got a gun!"
At that moment the marauder reached out to seize Mr. Damon's coat. Then the object in Mr. Damon's hand spat a fine spray into the florid face of the enemy!
"Whoo! Achoo! By gosh!" bawled the big man, and he fell back screaming other ejaculations.
"Bless my face and eyes!" cried Mr. Damon. "What did I tell you? And you other fellows want to notice it. Tom Swift isn't here just at this precise moment; but he is guarding his locomotive just the same. He invented this ammonia pistol, and I should say it was effectual. Do you?"
The eccentric man was shrewd enough now to keep behind the jamb of the cab door. For some of these fellows, he realized, might be armed with more deadly weapons than his own.
"Hey, Mr. Lewis!" cried one big fellow, "d'you want we should get that fellow for you?"
"I want to know how badly that blamed thing is smashed," replied the big man with the dyed mustache savagely. "Where's O'Malley?"
"O'Malley's lit out, Boss, like I told you. That giant and them other fellows is after him."
"Break into that cab! Oh! My eyes! I'll kill that old fool! Break a way in there—What's that?"
In pain as he was, his other senses were alert. He was first to hear the screeching whistle of the on-coming freight.
"Think they got wind of this so quick?" demanded Montagne Lewis, for it was he. "Are they sending help from Cliff City?"
"It's a regular freight," returned one of his men.
"She's comm' a-whizzin'," added another. "Right down the eastbound track. If the crew see us—"
"Wait!" commanded Lewis. "Isn't that switch open?"
"You bet it is, Boss."
"Let it be, then," cried the chief plotter. "Let 'em run into it. That freight will smash up this electric locomotive more completely than we could possibly do it. Stand away, men, and let her go!"
A sharp curve in the right of way hid the siding, as well as the open switch into it, from the gaze of the engineer who held the throttle of the coming freight. His locomotive drew a string of empties, eastbound, and having had a heavy pull of it coming up the grade to Cliff City, as soon as he had got the highball from the yardmaster there, he had "let her out," and was now coming to the head of the down grade to Hammon at high speed.
As it chanced, the wireless receiving station of Tom's new telephone system was not yet completed at Cliff City. The news of the wreck of the Hercules 0001 and her position had not been relayed to the master of the Cliff City yards.
That employee of the H. & P. A. had taken a chance in letting the string of empties through his block. He knew the electric locomotive was somewhere ahead, but he thought it would be making its usual time and would have already passed Half Way.
But the situation was serious. The freight was coming along at top speed and the switch into the siding was still open. Montagne Lewis and his crew of ruffians might well stand back and let what seemed sure to happen, happen! The driving freight must do more harm to Tom Swift's invention than they could have hoped to do with the sledges and bars they had brought with them to the spot.
Mr. Wakefield Damon had shown his courage already. He would have been glad to do more to save Tom's locomotive from further injury, but he did not realize what was threatening. He did not hear the shriek of the freight engine's whistle.
Putting the Enemy to Flight
The pilot and headlight of the freight locomotive came around the turn and the freight thundered on toward the switch. Seeing the group of men standing by the stalled electric locomotive, and the locomotive itself in the clear of the siding, the driver of the freight did not suppose the switch was open. Nobody who was not a criminal would have stood by idly in such an emergency and let the freight run into an open switch.
Therefore, for the first minute, the coming engineer did not observe his danger. Lewis and his gang stared at the head of the freight and did nothing. They had moved hastily back from the siding so as to be clear of the wreckage. Mr. Damon was in the front of the cab of Hercules 0001 and had no idea of the approaching menace.
But of a sudden a loud shout echoed through the wood. Tom Swift came over the ridge and started toward his invention at top speed. From that height he saw the freight train coming, he observed the men standing at the siding, and he recognized Montagne Lewis, roughly as the railroad magnate was dressed.
Instantly Tom realized what was about to happen—what would surely occur—and he saw what must be done if the utter wreck of his locomotive was to be averted. Yelling at the top of his voice, he leaped down the slope.
"That's Swift!" shouted Lewis. "Stop him!" But the men he had hired to do his wicked work fell back instead of trying to halt the young inventor. It was not Tom's appearance that made them quail. Over the ridge there appeared a second figure—and a more fearful or threatening apparition none of them had ever before seen!
Koku came running with the limp body of Andy O'Malley slung over his shoulder like a bag of meal. The fellows knew it was Andy from his dress.
The giant came down the slope after Tom as though he wore the seven-league boots. The fellows Lewis had hired to wreck the electric locomotive shrank back from before both Tom and the giant.
"Get him!" yelled the half blinded Lewis again.
"Get your grandmother!" bawled one of the men suddenly. "Good-night!"
He turned tail and ran, disappearing almost instantly into the thicker woods. And his mates, after a moment of wavering, sped after him. Lewis was left alone, quite helpless because of the ammonia fumes.
As a matter of fact not all of O'Malley's predicament was due to Koku. The rascal, exhausted by his run and half blind through fright and rage, had stumbled, fallen, and struck his head on a root, which rendered him unconscious.
This, of course, Lewis and his ruffians did not know. All the men of the railroad president's gang saw was the gigantic Koku coming along in great strides, bearing the unconscious O'Malley, who was a burly fellow, as though he were a featherweight. No wonder they fled from such a monster.
Tom had reached the switch, and he was several seconds ahead of the freight locomotive. The engineer saw the open switch then; but he was too late to stop his train.
Going into reverse, however, helped some. Tom seized the switch lever and threw it over, locking it in place, just as the forward trucks thundered upon the joint. The train swept by in safety, and the engineer leaned from his cab window to wave a grateful hand at the young inventor.
Neither the engineer nor the crew of the freight understood the meaning of the scene at the timber siding. All they learned was that Tom Swift had saved the freight from a possible wreck.
The young inventor turned sharply from the switch and motioned with his hand to Koku.
"Throw that fellow into the cab, Koku," he commanded.
The giant did as he was told, just as Ned Newton came panting to the spot.
"Did they do any harm, Tom?" he cried. Then he saw Montagne Lewis standing by, and he seized his chum's arm. "Do you see what I see, Tom?" he demanded, earnestly.
"I guess we both see the same snake," rejoined his chum. "And I mean to scotch it."
"Montagne Lewis!" murmured Ned. "And we've got his chief tool."
Tom said nothing to his chum, but he approached Lewis with determined mien.
"I can see something has happened to you, Mr. Lewis, and I can guess what it is. The effect of that ammonia will blow away after a time. Ask your friend, Andy O'Malley. He knows all about it, for he sampled it back East, in Shopton."
"I'm going to get square for this, young man," growled the railroad magnate. "You know who I am. And that fellow in the cab knew me, too. How dared he shoot that stuff into my face and eyes?"
"I fancy it didn't take much daring on Mr. Damon's part," and Tom actually chuckled. "A big crook isn't any more important in our eyes than a little crook. We've got your henchman, O'Malley—"
"And you'd better let him go. I'm telling you," snarled Lewis. "I'll ruin you in this country, Tom Swift. I've got influence—"
"You won't have much after this thing comes out. And believe me, I mean to spread it abroad. I've got nothing to win or lose from you, Mr. Lewis. As for O'Malley, I'll put him behind the bars for a good long term."
"You'll do a lot—"
"More than you think," said Tom. "Koku!" The giant had pitched O'Malley, who was still senseless, into the cab, and now was coming up behind Lewis.
"Yes, Master," said the giant.
"Yes, Master," said Koku, and to Lewis' startled amazement, the next instant he was in the hands of the giant!
He screamed and threatened, and even kicked, to no avail. When he was pitched into the electric locomotive he was held under the threat of Mr. Damon's ammonia pistol until Tom and Ned and the giant entered and the door was shut. Then Koku proceeded to tie both the prisoners by wrist and ankle while the others examined the mechanism of the Hercules 0001.
The pantagraph had been torn off the trolley wires when the locomotive had gone on the siding. But now Tom climbed to the roof of the locomotive, and with Koku's aid managed to set the rear pantagraph at such an angle that its wheels caught the trolley cables again, and once more the current was pumped into the Hercules 0001.
Tom tried out the several parts of the mechanism and found that, despite the jar of the collision, nothing was really injured.
"I built this thing to withstand hard usage," he declared with pride. "The Swift Hercules Electric Locomotives will not be built for parlor ornaments. She is going to run into Hendrickton under her own power, in spite of a smashed cows catcher and target lights."
"Is nothing really injured, Tom?" asked Mr. Damon. "Bless my dinner set! I thought everything had gone to smash when she hit that bumper."
"She will be as good as new in a week," declared Tom, with conviction.
This prophecy of the young inventor proved to be true. A week from that day the public test of the electric locomotive on the Hendrickton & Pas Alos Railroad was held. A picked delegation of railroad men was present to observe and marvel, with Mr. Bartholomew; but Montagne Lewis, the president of the H. & W., was not one of those who attended.
Of course, Lewis soon got out of jail on bail. But the accusation against him was a serious one. His guilt would be proved by his own employee, Andy O'Malley, who was in a hospital for the time being.
O'Malley had got enough. He had turned State's evidence and implicated his employer. Influential and wealthy as Lewis was, he could not escape trial with O'Malley when the time came.
"One thing sure, Lewis has got all he wants. He isn't likely to try any more crooked work against the H. & P. A.," Mr. Bartholomew said. "I can thank you for that, Torn. Swift, as well as for your invention. You have saved the day for my railroad."
"You can thank Koku," chuckled Tom. "If he hadn't spied and identified 'Big Feet,' we might not have caught O'Malley, and, through O'Malley, implicated Montagne Lewis. You give Koku a new suit of clothes, Mr. Bartholomew, and we will call it square. But be sure and have the pattern of the goods loud enough."
This conversation took place while the party of guests was gathering to board Mr. Bartholomew's private car, attached to the Hercules 0001. Mr. Damon was one of the guests and so was Ned Newton. Tom took into the cab a crew of H. & P. A. men who would hereafter drive the huge locomotive and take care of her.
The semaphore signal dropped and the electric locomotive started as quietly as a baby going to sleep! There was not a jar as the train moved off the siding and over the switches to the main line.
The dispatcher had arranged a clear road for them. Tom knew that he had a free track ahead of him—a level of ninety-odd miles to the Hammon yards. As he passed the Hendrickton shops he touched the siren lever for a moment, and the shrill voice of the Hercules 0001 bade the town good-bye.
The next minute the visitors in the private car grabbed out their split-second watches and began to murmur. The electric locomotive had begun to travel!
Speed and Success
"What town is that?"
"Looks like a splotch of paint on a board fence, we went by so quick."
"I've lost count, Bartholomew. Where are we?"
Ned Newton listened to these comments from the visiting railroad men with delight. In reply to a question of his neighbor, the grinning financial manager of the Swift Construction Company paid:
"No, sir. That isn't a picket fence. It's the telegraph poles you see, and they are no nearer together than on another railroad. But we're going some."
"Bless my railroad stock!" shouted Mr. Damon, "I should say we were."
The electric locomotive and the private car were hurled toward the Pas Alos Range at a speed that almost frightened some of the guests.
"Three-quarters of an hour!" gasped one man as they began to see the outskirts of Hammon. "And ninety-six miles? Great Scott, Bartholomew! that's over two miles a minute!"
"That is the speed we set out to get," Mr. Richard Bartholomew said, with quite as much pride as though he had done it all himself.
But it had been his suggestion and his money that had accomplished this wonder. Tom Swift was willing to give the railroad president his share of the fame.
The train scarcely slackened speed at Hammon, for Tom got the signal announcing a clear track ahead, and he bucked the grade with all the power he could get from the feed wires. This hill, so well known to him now, was surmounted at a slightly decreased speed; but it was a wonderful display of power after all.
They went down the other side to Panboro and there linked up with an eastbound freight that the Hercules 0001 snatched over the mountain to Hammon at a pace slightly exceeding forty-five miles an hour—at least twice the speed that any two oil-burning locomotives could attain. As for the Jandels, they were not in the same class at all with Tom Swift's locomotive!
"Bless my speedometer!" exclaimed Mr. Damon, when the train pulled down and stopped again at the Hendrickton terminal. "This is the greatest test of speed and power I ever heard of. Why, a coal burner or an oil burner isn't in it with this Hercules locomotive! What do you say, Mr. Bartholomew?"
"I'll say I am satisfied—completely and thoroughly satisfied, Mr. Damon," said the president of the Hendrickton & Pas Alos Railroad frankly. "Mr. Swift has fulfilled his contract in every particular."
An hour later the young inventor and his two friends were in conference with Mr. Bartholomew over a new contract. The bonus of a hundred thousand dollars would be paid at once to the Swift Construction Company. But as the elder Swift's name would be needed on the new contract for the building of other Hercules locomotives, Tom had an idea.
"We won't send the papers East for father to sign," he said. "I want him to see the locomotive in real action. And I know where he can borrow a private car and come out here in comfort. Rad can come with him."
"Bless my valentines!" ejaculated Mr. Damon, "I bet somebody else will come too."
Mr. Damon must have been a prophet, for a fortnight later, when the borrowed car got in to the Hendrickton terminal at the tail of the transcontinental flyer, Tom Swift saw first of all Mary Nestor's rosy face on the platform of the car.
"Tom! are you all right?" she cried, beaming down upon the young inventor.
"No. Half of me is left," he said, grinning up at her. "You look great, Mary!"
"Do you think so?" she cried, dimpling. "Well, if anybody should ask you, Mr. Tom Swift, you look very good to me."
"Don't make me swell all up, Mary," he laughed. "How's father?"
"Splendid! And Rad—"
"Eradicate Sampson is sho' 'nough puffectly all right," broke in the voice of the old colored man, eager to make himself heard and seen. "Here I is, Massa Tom. What dat lizard doin' here? Ain't he a sight?"
The old man had caught sight of Koku in the wonderful new suit Mr. Bartholomew had ordered made for the giant. A Navajo blanket had nothing on that suit for a mixture of colors, and Koku strutted like a turkey-gobbler.
"My lawsy!" gasped Rad again, "he's as purty as a sunset. Is dat de way de tailors out here build a man up? Sure's yo live, Massa Tom, I needs a new suit of clo'es myself."
And before he got away from Hendrickton, Rad Sampson sported a suit off the same piece of goods as that of Koku's. Otherwise there might have been a lasting feud between the giant and the Swift's ancient serving man.
Mr. Barton Swift had stood the easy journey in the private car very well. Before he would sign the contract that Mr. Bartholomew offered, he wished to see for himself just how good his son's invention was.
They made another test from Hendrickton to Panboro, over the "official route," as Ned called it. The time made by Hercules 0001 was even a little better than before.
That the invention was well nigh perfect, and that it could do even more than Mr. Bartholomew had hoped or Tom had claimed, was Mr. Swift's conviction.
"Tom," he said to his son, "you have done a wonderful thing. Not only have you completed a marvelous invention and gained thereby a lot of money, and more in prospect, but you have aided in the world's progress to no small degree.
"Speed in transportation is the big problem before the world of commerce today. To move goods from point to point safely and cheaply, as well as rapidly, is the great task of this age. We are entering the Age of Speed. The railroads must solve the problem to compete with motor-truck traffic and fast boats on the lakes and rivers of our land.
"You have, by your invention, shoved the clock of progress forward. I am proud of you, my boy. I know now that, no matter what may happen to me, you will make an enviable mark in the world of invention.
"You have done much before for the Government in time of stress. But war engines of any kind are not worthy examples of inventive genius beside such a thing as this.
"It is the inventions of peace, rather than those of war, that stand for human progress."
Coming back over the mountain, Mary Nestor rode in the cab with Tom. She sat on the swivel stool, in fact, and handled the controls for part of the way. But she gave up the driver's place to Tom before they reached the timber siding east of Cliff City.
"I cannot go by that place without a shudder," Mary said to the inventor. "Ned and Mr. Damon told me all about that accident. Suppose you had been killed, Tom!"
"I see I'll have to build an invention that will make that impossible," chuckled the young fellow.
"Make what impossible?"
"Some invention that will make it positively certain that no matter what I do or where I go, nothing can harm me. Nothing else will suit you, Mary, I plainly see."
"Well," returned the girl, smiling fondly at him. "I admit that would satisfy me completely!"
This Isn't ALL!
Would you like to know what became of the good friends you have made in this book?
Would you like to read other stories continuing their adventures and experiences, or other books quite as entertaining by the same author?
On the reverse side of the wrapper which comes with this book, you will find a wonderful list of stories which you can buy at the same store where you got this book.
Don't throw away the Wrapper
Use it as a handy catalog of the books you want some day to have. But in case you do mislay it, write to the Publishers for a complete catalog.
THE TOM SWIFT SERIES
By VICTOR APPLETON
Uniform Style of Binding. Individual Colored Wrappers. Every Volume Complete in Itself. Every boy possesses some form of inventive genius. Tom Swift is a bright, ingenious boy and his inventions and adventures make the most interesting kind of reading.
TOM SWIFT AND HIS MOTOR CYCLE TOM SWIFT AND HIS MOTOR BOAT TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIRSHIP TOM SWIFT AND HIS SUBMARINE BOAT TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RUNABOUT TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIRELESS MESSAGE TOM SWIFT AMONG THE DIAMOND MAKERS TOM SWIFT IN THE CAVES OF ICE TOM SWIFT AND HIS SKY RACER TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RIFLE TOM SWIFT IN THE CITY OF GOLD TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIR GLIDER TOM SWIFT IN CAPTIVITY TOM SWIFT AND HIS WIZARD CAMERA TOM SWIFT AND HIS GREAT SEARCHLIGHT TOM SWIFT AND HIS GIANT CANNON TOM SWIFT AND HIS PHOTO TELEPHONE TOM SWIFT AND HIS AERIAL WARSHIP TOM SWIFT AND HIS BIG TUNNEL TOM SWIFT IN THE LAND OF WONDERS TOM SWIFT AND HIS WAR TANK TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIR SCOUT TOM SWIFT AND HIS UNDERSEA SEARCH TOM SWIFT AMONG THE FIRE FIGHTERS TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE TOM SWIFT AND HIS FLYING BOAT TOM SWIFT AND HIS GREAT OIL GUSHER TOM SWIFT AND HIS CHEST OF SECRETS TOM SWIFT AND HIS AIRLINE EXPRESS
THE DON STURDY SERIES
By VICTOR APPLETON
Individual Colored Wrappers and Text illustrations by WALTER S. ROGERS
Every Volume Complete in Itself
In company with his uncles, one a mighty hunter and the other a noted scientist, Don Sturdy travels far and wide, gaining much useful knowledge and meeting many thrilling adventures.
DON STURDY ON THE DESERT OF MYSTERY; Or, Autoing in the Land of the Caravans.
An engrossing tale of the Sahara Desert, of encounters with wild animals and crafty Arabs.
DON STURDY WITH THE BIG SNAKE HUNTERS; Or, Lost in the Jungles of the Amazon.
Don's uncle, the hunter, took an order for some of the biggest snakes to be found in South America—to be delivered alive! The filling of that order brought keen excitement to the boy.
DON STURDY IN THE TOMBS OF GOLD; Or, The Old Egyptian's Great Secret.
A fascinating tale of exploration and adventure in the Valley of Kings in Egypt. Once the whole party became lost in the maze of cavelike tombs far underground.
DON STURDY ACROSS THE NORTH POLE; Or, Cast Away in the Land of Ice.
Don and his uncles joined an expedition bound by air across the north pole. A great polar blizzard nearly wrecks the airship.
DON STURDY IN THE LAND OF VOLCANOES; Or, The Trail of the Ten Thousand Smokes.
An absorbing tale of adventures among the volcanoes of Alaska in a territory but recently explored. A story that will make Don dearer to his readers than ever.
THE RADIO BOYS SERIES (Trademark Registered)
By ALLEN CHAPMAN
Author of the "Railroad Series," Etc. Individual Colored Wrappers. Illustrated. Every Volume Complete in Itself.
A new series for boys giving full details of radio work, both in sending and receiving—telling how small and large amateur sets can be made and operated, and how some boys got a lot of fun and adventure out of what they did. Each volume from first to last is so thoroughly fascinating, so strictly up-to-date and accurate, we feel sure all lads will peruse them with great delight.
Each volume has a Foreword by Jack Binns, the well-known radio expert.
THE RADIO BOYS' FIRST WIRELESS; Or, Winning the Ferberton Prize.
THE RADIO BOYS AT OCEAN POINT; Or, The Messsage That Saved the Ship.
THE RADIO BOYS AT THE SENDING STATION; Or, Making Good in the Wireless Room.
THE RADIO BOYS AT MOUNTAIN PASS; Or, The Midnight Call for Assistance.
THE RADIO BOYS TRAILING A VOICE; Or, Solving a Wireless Mystery.
THE RADIO BOYS WITH THE FOREST RANGERS; Or, The Great Fire on Spruce Mountain.
THE RADIO BOYS WITH THE ICEBERG PATROL; Or, Making Safe the Ocean Lanes.
RADIO BOYS WITH THE FLOOD FIGHTERS; Or, Saving the City in the Valley.
THE RAILROAD SERIES
By ALLEN CHAPMAN
Author of the "Radio Boys," Etc.
Uniform Style of Binding. Illustrated.
Every Volume Complete in Itself.
In this line of books there is revealed the whole workings of a great American railroad system. There are adventures in abundance—railroad wrecks, dashes through forest fires, the pursuit of a "wildcat" locomotive, the disappearance of a pay car with a large sum of money on board—but there is much more than this—the intense rivalry among railroads and railroad men, the working out of running schedules, the getting through "on time" in spite of all obstacles, and the manipulation of railroad securities by evil men who wish to rule or ruin.
RALPH OF THE ROUND HOUSE; Or, Bound to Become a Railroad Man.
RALPH IN THE SWITCH TOWER; Or, Clearing the Track.
RALPH ON THE ENGINE; Or, The Young Fireman of the Limited Mail.
RALPH ON THE OVERLAND EXPRESS; Or, The Trials and Triumphs of a Young Engineer.
RALPH, THE TRAIN DISPATCHER; Or, the Mystery of the Pay Car.
RALPH ON THE ARMY TRAIN; Or, The Young Railroader's Most Daring Exploit.
RALPH ON THE MIDNIGHT FLYER; Or, The Wreck at Shadow Valley.
RALPH AND THE MISSING MAIL POUCH; Or, The Stolen Government Bonds.
THE RIDDLE CLUB BOOKS By ALICE DALE HARDY
Individual Colored Wrappers. Attractively Illustrated. Every Volume Complete in Itself.
Here is as ingenious a series of books for little folks as has ever appeared since "Alice in Wonderland." The idea of the Riddle books is a little group of children—three girls and three boys decide to form a riddle club. Each book is full of the adventures and doings of these six youngsters, but as an added attraction each book is filled with a lot of the best riddles you ever heard.
THE RIDDLE CLUB AT HOME
An absorbing tale that all boys and girls will enjoy reading. How the members of the club fixed up a clubroom in the Larue barn, and how they, later on, helped solve a most mysterious happening, and how one of the members won a valuable prize, is told in a manner to please every young reader.
THE RIDDLE CLUB IN CAMP
The club members went into camp on the edge of a beautiful lake. Here they had rousing good times swimming, boating and around the campfire. They fell in with a mysterious old man known as The Hermit of Triangle Island. Nobody knew his real name or where he came from until the propounding of a riddle solved these perplexing questions.
THE RIDDLE CLUB THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS
This volume takes in a great number of winter sports, including skating and sledding and the building of a huge snowman. It also gives the particulars of how the club treasurer lost the dues entrusted to his care and what the melting of the great snowman revealed.
THE RIDDLE CLUB AT SUNRISE BEACH
This volume tells how the club journeyed to the seashore and how they not only kept up their riddles but likewise had good times on the sand and on the water. Once they got lost in a fog and are marooned on an island. Here they made a discovery that greatly pleased the folks at home.
THE HONEY BUNCH BOOKS
By HELEN LOUISE THORNDYKE Individual Colored Wrappers and Text Illustrations Drawn by
WALTER S. ROGERS
A new line of fascinating tales for little girls. Honey Bunch is a dainty, thoughtful little girl, and to know her is to take her to your heart at once.
HONEY BUNCH: JUST A LITTLE GIRL
Happy days at home, helping mamma and the washerlady. And Honey Bunch helped the house painters too—or thought she did.
HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST VISIT TO THE CITY
What wonderful sights Honey Bunch saw when she went to visit her cousins in New York! And she got lost in a big hotel and wandered into a men's convention!
HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST DAYS ON THE FARM
Can you remember bow the farm looked the first time you visited it? How big the cows and horses were, and what a roomy place to play in the barn proved to be?
HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST VISIT TO THE SEASHORE
Honey Bunch soon got used to the big waves and thought playing in the sand great fun. And she visited a merry-go-round, and took part in a seaside pageant.
HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST LITTLE GARDEN
It was great sport to dig and to plant with one's own little garden tools. But best of all was when Honey Bunch won a prize at the flower show.
HONEY BUNCH: HER FIRST DAYS IN CAMP
It was a great adventure for Honey Bunch when she journeyed to Camp Snapdragon. It was wonderful to watch the men erect the tent, and wonderful to live in it and have good times on the shore and in the water.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS SERIES
By LAURA LEE HOPE
Author of the "Bobbsey Twins," "Bunny Brown" Series, Etc.
Uniform Style of Binding. Individual Colored Wrappers.
Every Volume Complete in Itself.
These tales take in the various adventures participated in by several bright, up-to-date girls who love outdoor life.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS OF DEEPDALE; Or, Camping and Tramping for Fun and Health.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT RAINBOW LAKE; Or, The Stirring Cruise of the Motor Boat Gem.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN A MOTOR CAR; Or, The Haunted Mansion of Shadow Valley.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN A WINTER CAMP; Or, Glorious Days on Skates and Ice Boats.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN FLORIDA; Or, Wintering in the Sunny South.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT OCEAN VIEW; Or, The Box That Was Found in the Sand.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS ON PINE ISLAND; Or, A Cave and What it Contained.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN ARMY SERVICE; Or, Doing Their Bit for Uncle Sam.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT THE HOSTESS HOUSE; Or, Doing Their Best For the Soldiers.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT BLUFF POINT; Or, A Wreck and A Rescue.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AT WILD ROSE LODGE; Or, The Hermit of Moonlight Falls.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS IN THE SADDLE; Or, The Girl Miner of Gold Run.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS AROUND THE CAMPFIRE; Or, The Old Maid of the Mountains.
THE OUTDOOR GIRLS ON CAPE COD; Or, Sally Ann of Lighthouse Rock.