The black squadron; or, Frank Reade, Jr., in the Indian Ocean with his submarine boat, the "Rocket."

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The black squadron; or, Frank Reade, Jr., in the Indian Ocean with his submarine boat, the "Rocket."

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The black squadron; or, Frank Reade, Jr., in the Indian Ocean with his submarine boat, the "Rocket."
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
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1 online resource (15 p.) 29 cm. : ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Inventors -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Science fiction ( lcsh )
Dime novels ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
R17-00117 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.117 ( USFLDC Handle )
024951785 ( Aleph )
38532364 ( OCLC )

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"" and Best Stories ar.e Published in This Library. No. 150. Entend as Second ()lass Jllatte1 at the 1Yew l'o1k, X. l'., Po.

2 'l'HE BLACK SQUADRON. The s ub scr iption price of the FRANK READE LIBRARY by the year is $2.50; per six months, post paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER,34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. The Black Squadron; OR, FRANK READE, JR., II THE INDIAN OCEAN WITH HIS SUBMARINE BOAT, THE "ROCKET." A TALE OF THE DEEP SEA. By "NONAME," Author of "The Black M ogul," 'Be l o w the Sahara,'' "In White Latitudes," "The Lost Navigators," etc., etc. CHAPTER I. A. NAVAL PROBLEM. AMERICAN and foreign ship owners had ml\tle complaints to their gov ernments of outrages visited upon their vessels in certain parts of the Indian Ocean by wbat bad llecome famous among sen-faring men as a mysterious coterie of vessels, by th e ir color and character known as the Black Squadron. The American Secretary of the Navy was exceedingly surprised. "What does all this mean?" he demanded; "from the description given me I should think that Blackbeard, Captain Kidd or some of those old time buccaneers bad returned to the sea once more, to fill the merchant service with terror.'' "Indeed, Mr. Secretary," said Captain Cicero Bumstead, of the mer chant vassel Red Swan, "it is no chimera. Such a thing as tho Black Squadron does exist, and tllere are hundreds o f captains can testify to being overhauled by it in waters anywhere north of Mozambique Channel.'' "Tnt, tnt! that is piracy!'' exclaimed the secretary in surprise; "if it was farther north, in China seas, I would not be surprised. But the Indian Ocean has been free from pirates for twenty-live years at least." Nevertheless, the Black Squadron sails the Indian Ocean," per sisted Captain Bumstead. "Well, I must say that this is all very s11rpriaing," continued the secretary. "Who is the leader of the pirates! How many vessels have they, and what are their methods! Do they go nrmed!" To begin with your first question,'' answered the captain, no body knows who the leader is. As to the number of vessels, I should say there were half a dozen. They are large, being more of t!Je dhow type. They are well armed, and carry rifled cannon. Their method is to surround a merchant vessel, lire a shot across uer bows and then board her." "Wily, this is serious," exclaimed the secretary, "it must be looked into at once. Have any vessels been sunk by these latter-day pirates?" "Nobody can say. At least Lwo are missing, which it is possible "/;ere sunk by tbe wretches But generally the vessel is allo !Ved to go on her way after delivering up her money and aluable, but not bulky parts of her cargo. What are Lt.e pirates! Natives of Madagascar or the east coast?" "That is uot known. They come aboard moat effectually masked, even wearing gloves, so that not even the color of their skin can be seen!" The secretary made some copious notes nnd then said: "We will despatch the Cruiser TElnnessee thither at once. If she can once sight this famous Blnck Squadron-! think that its career will be exceedingly brief.'' "Thank you for the merchant service," said Capt ain Bumstead. Then he withdrew and took a late train for New York. I I True to his word, the Secretary sent a cruiser to Mozambique. She was in the Indian Ocean for a whole year. Twenty different times she sighted the Black Squadron, bot was never able to get within gunshot. There were so many shallow bays, straits and atols, into which the light draft vessels could vanish, that it was like trying to hunt down a will-o'-tbe-wisp, for the big cruiser could only make headway in deep seas. So that while one vessel was leading the Tennessee an elusive chase among the shallow straits, the others were holding up some passing vessel far out to sea. Nothing was gained, and the commander of the TennPRsee tinnily bad to go back to Cape Town to coal up. This left the Mozambique pirates victorious. The Secretary was very angry, and called the Tennessee home, giv ing the commander a 11;eneral hauling over; but it was of no use. He told a straig!Jt story corroborated by his crew, and the Secretary could see the real difficulties. I Lell yon that only a light draught boat can catch the rascals," declared the commander, "and e\en then, their familiarity with the channels might beat it.'' "But something must be done!" said the Secretary, desperately. "You may retire, Prescott. I will see you again in a few days!" Tilen the Secretary turned to his desk and wrote on a pad of white paper: "MR. FRANK READE, JR., Readestown, "DEAR SIR,-To what class does your submarine boat belong? Does it carry armament, and can you navigate shallow seas? If so, would you charter it to the United States Government for a brief ser vice in the Indian Ocean! Hoping that you are sufficiently true to the interests of your country to be willing to accept a contract of this sort, I await your answer "SECRETARY UNITED STATES NAVY, "Washington, D. C." 'l'wo hours later a reply to the telegram came. Thus it read: READESTOWN1 June, 189" SP.cretary, U. S. Navy "DEAR SIR:--Yours received. I stand ready at all times to yield my interests and my lila for the preservation of my country. What sort of service do you expect me to render? I will call at your office to morrow. FRA!iK READE, JR.'' The Secretary's fnce shone with delight as he read this message. 'l'he problem Is solved!" he n!uttered, this fellow with his sub marine boat con surely bunt those pirates down aueeessfully. Be may perhaps be induced now to sell the secret or that dynumite gun or his to the government." And the worthy official chuckled as he thought !Jow much cheuper it would be for the U. S. to charter this submarine boat with its dead-


'l'B,E BLACK SQUADRON. 3 ly armament, than to send another out into those fnr-ofl' Meanwhile, Frank Reade, Jr. was speedwg on his Wl\r to Wnshmg ton by a night train. He could only conjecture what service the Sec retary of the Navy might reQuire of him. But be felt sure that it must be urgent else he would not have sent for Lim. At noon he reached the capital. After a dinner at the Ebbitt House, be proceeded at once to the secretary's office. That worthy was await ing him, and extended a cordial greeting. "I am glad to rr.eet you, Mr. Reade," said the secretary. "I have long kcown you by reputation. 1 believe our experts have a of times tried to negotiate with yon for the secret of your electriC gun." "That is uue enough," replied the young inventor, frankly, "and 1 have felt compelled to "But why should you? Every true American should be willing to at least sell to his any advantage of that kind which con tributes to her power ol defense." I would gladly give it to my government, were it a time of need,'' replied Frank, "but the U. S. is not at war." Yet abe, like other nations, bas to stand always ready." When she is attacked, then you will find myself and all my inven tiona at her service. Until such time I claim the right olan American citizen to hold my secret.'' "Oh, certainly; that is all right. But this is not the subject I called you here to discuss. It is ol far greater Importance.'' "Indeed! In what manner can I serve!" With this the Secretary told the story of the Black Squadron, and the inetlectual attempt or the Tennessee to cope with it. Fronk listened with deepest interest. "Now," said the Secretary, "you understand our poliition. Uncle Sam has no craft that can pursue those pirates among the shoals of that part of the Indian Ocean.'' "And you wish to enlist my submarine boat for that purpose!'' "Exactly.'' Frank's face wa& inscrutable. He was silent for some moments. I am not sure that I am equal to the undertaking," he satd. "What if I should fail!" "You cannot do worse than the captain of the Tennessee. We will take all chances on that score.'' After some moments the secretarv continued: "In regard to remuneration, you may call upon Uncle Sam for what you choose.'' "No, sir!'' replled Frank, emphatically, "I will exact no fee! If there is any remuneration whicll I will stoop to take, it may come from the prize vessels captured. I am wealthy and if I should conclude to undertake this matter, 1 shall do it ror pure love of adventure and the rendering of a service to my country. No more.'' You are Indeed patriotic, Mr. Rende," said the secretary, admir ingly; "that Is generous. But you shall have your own way. When may I expect an answer!" Frank rose from his chair. ''Within forty-eight hours," he replied. "I will wire you.'' "Very good! I shall be on the anxious seat until then and hope that your answer may be favorable." A few moments later Frank was being driven rapidly to the railway statiOn to get a train to Readestown. We next find the young invent .or in his private office in that thriving little city, industriously engaged in studying some maps. Here he spent a whole hnlf day. Then hfl arose with a decisive manner and touched a bell. Instant ly a door opened and on the threshold stood a genuine specimen of Celt, red hair, broad mug and all. Is it me yez want, sorT" "Yes, Barney," replied the young inventor, "both you and Pomp. Where is the black rascal!'' "l'se heah, sahl" piped a shrill voice behind Barney and a comical of tile coon appeared to view. He bowed and scraped pro fueely. Well, you jolly rascals!" cried the young inventor, cheerily. "I've got some news for yon!" Barney turned a somersault then and there and Pomp stood on his head. All roight, sort'' "Ki-yi, snh!" Hold up thert>! None of those antics!" cried Frank, there is work ahead for you. I want you to get the Rocket ready at once for a long cruise. It will be many a day before we see the shores of Amer ica again and there will be tongh fighting before us!" CHAPTER II. EN ROUTE. "Waunnoo!" cried Barney. "Shure that's the koind of talk! I'm glad to hear it, Mlsther Frank, and yez kin be shure thnt all will be ready to wanst." Good!" said Frank. lor a two years' cruise. arms." "I want supplies put aboard the Rocket There must be plenty of ammunition and "A'ri"'ht sah !" Then the' two jokers paused n moment and looked expectant. "What's the matter with your' asked Frank in surprise. "Sure, sor-axin' yore pardon, s01-but mebbe yez wouldn't moind teliin' ns--" "What!'' "Ph were we be goin' &or.'' "Oi l!" exclaim ell Frank with a laugh. "Your curiosity must be satisfie:l. Well, we ehall cruise in the Indian Oce an.'' "That's a moighty long ways sor.'' "Yes, it'< a good ways, and you'll see plenty of excitement before you get th J :ough, for we sllall run up against a gang of pirates, no doubt.'' Pirates, !lOr!" Barney and Pomp roiled his eyes. '!'heir surprise was comical. "Yes, the real thing." Barney said no more, but still wllistling, made a motion to Pomp. Then !.loth vanished like automatons. Frank could not help a laugh. But his first move was to write a dispatch, which was worded as fol lows: SECRE1'ARY OF NAVY, Washington, D. C. "The submarine boat Rocket will leave for Mozambique wi,hia three days. Will try to settle accounts with the Black Squadron. "Yours ever, "FRANK READE, JR.'' So the die was cast. The young inventor had deci,led to go upon his perilous mission, and no time was lost in making the start. Tlle Rocket was a wonderful bit of marine construction. Frunk had departed from his usual lines, and had built a craft which to all ap pearances was a vessel or war. At the time he bad actually thought of paying a visit of exploratioa to the Chinn Sea, and along tlle Malay coast, where pirates were plen tiful. J3ut the predicament or the U. S., as regarded the Black Squad ron, bad given him just the opportunity he desired. The Rockel was a steel vessel, bum somewhat upon the llnes of a Her bull was light, and n<>t proof to a cannon shot, but this Frank had not deemed necessary, as she was able to travel under water. Her deck was and open, and protected by guard rails. Three turrets arose rrom it, one of which served as the pilot-house. All of these turrets were made to turn upon a pivot. In the main or large turret, were two electric dynamite guns. These were not heavy, being nothing more than cylinders of thin steel, provided with air chambers, for expelling the shell ol dynamite by pneumatic compression, and making no report in the discharge. Bt.t the shells were capable of terrible destruction. Tlle after turret contained but one smaller gun. This was the com plete armament of the vessel. Two strong steel masts rose from each turret and formed really the pivot on which they turned. ...__. To sink the Rocket it was simply necessary to open a valve in each side of the hull, near the Water at once rushed into a chamber there which caused the boat to go down to any depth desired, this being by the steel drum inside the tank or chamber. This drum was made to recede as the water entered, or to press down into the chamber and expel the water to make the boat rise. The Rocket could travel of course, on the surface, but yet was capable of a fair rate of under water. Each port bole, through whicu the cannon protruded, was enveloped in folds of tlexible rubber. The guns being breech loading, were with amomatic cups to fit over the muzzle, while the gun was being reloaded, to prevent water from entering the boat. T!Je doors and windows could be in an instant pneumatically sealed. All this wonderrul mecllnnism was easily operated from the pilot bouse where there was an electric keyboard. The Rocket was furnished with twin screws driven by powerful ell'C tric engines. The storuge system was Frank Reade, Jr.'s, own inven tion and a secret. B ut perhaps as wonderful a feature as any, the remarkably in genious device for furnishing the boat with fresh air while she was under water. This was accomplished by means of chemical generators and diffus ing pipee with valves which were carried to every part ol the boat. Thus the d&ep sea voyagers could remain an Indefinite length of time in tha depths. The cabins of the boat were richly furnished. The staterooms were comrorta!>le and the galley over which Pomp presided was well ar ranged. In fact no detail had been overlooked. Altorether thfl Rocket was a llonting symposium," to use the expression of one It was Barney and Pomp's duty to place the neccessary stores and supplies aboard the Rocket. Men were busily engaged in tllis ali that day. The Rocket rested just now in a tank or basin ol water in the big yard of the machine works. Thi9 was connected by a gate and lock with a canal leading down to the river and thence to the SRa. When the day came for the start, Frank with Barney and Pomp went aboard the Rocket. The young inventor might have taken a larger crew, but he did not deem it necessary. Workmen opened the big gate and the boat glided into the cl\nal. A great crowd of people were gathered on the river banks, and they cheered as the boat glided by. Frank displayed the American flag, and then Readestown gradually sank out or sight. Down the river to the sea went the submarine boat. Frank had no desire as yet to try a sail under water. The Rocket had been tested and had proved herself all right, so he was satis5ed. Down the river she glided o nd in due course came to the sea. Ouce


\ I 4 THE\ BL.ACK I out upon the blue waters the voyagers !Pit as il the journeif was really llamey and Pomp were in hilarious svirlts. Nothing suited tllem any better than to emb11rk tbna with Frank Reade, Jr., UiJOil some wonderful voyage of discovery and adventure. In all:bis travels they hatl his companions. "Be me sow!, naygur!" cried Barney as be lashed the wheel and went down into the cabiu where Pomp was at work, 11 do yez know yez for all the world make me think av a dllirty collar!" "Wha' dat, chile!" snilfld Pomp. yo' link dat, sab!" "Bekase yez madll to oe done up." "Huh!'' sniffed the coon, "yon' ain't de chap kin do dat, sab.'' "Hejal>ers, I think I kin." yo' know wha' I fink ob yo'?" Ph wat, sor!'' "Golly! I link you'se a faded flo wah, eab-a wilted blossom, ea11." Yez do?'' "Ya', I does.'' Mel>l>e yez !\;n tell me why!'' I kiu dat." Well, phwy thin!" Bekase yo use need to be plucked." Barney spaL on his haulls. "Amon who wud spring sicb a as that," he roared, "ain't no bizness on this eartu. Shure git oil' it!" And he made a swipe at ttle coou. H Pomp had got that crack he might have fell. Do;luded Irishman! 'l'he coon was on the lookout and dodged the blow neatly. At the ilame moment he took a little run aud geut!y vlanted llis cranium iu the abdominal region in the Celt's anatomy. So forcilJ!e was the collision that Barney S ILt down out of breatb. But be grapple(! wiLil his adversary. Then the same old' story. Over and over the two jokers rolled in a lively rough and tumble. seemed to get the advantage. Ar.d thay panted and tugged and scramiJled around until they were so complNe!y exhausted that they could scrap uo more. At tbesame time thertl came a loutl call from Barney, where are you?" Comin' sor.'' On deck livP!y!' All sol'!" with a parting jao at .he coon, Barney rushed up the stairs. Frank Reude, Jr., was at tbe forward railowith a "lass. 'l'he was gliding along through a dea(l c alm sea. Far out on the honzon two schooners, under bare poles, were seen. But IJeyond them, where sky and sea seemed to meet, was u spec tacle wlll<'h caused Barney to stare. Great yellow clouds were racing up toward the zenith. Do you see!" cried Frank. A big hurricane is making up over there." ne me sow!, I should say so!'' cried the Celt. Shure, we'd bet. ther kape an eye out, Mist her Frank." Oh, we're all right,'' declared the youn"' inventor, but those schooners will have a hard one." "' are roight.'' Frank koew that they easily avoid the storm by going under the surface, hut the two satlmg vessels must ride It out. They might be able to do so under bare poles. But they must be stanch vessels for that. For the hurricane was one of unusual bad appearance, and would str1ke bard. In fact, If a vessel was not in tbe best of condition it would he apt to go to the bottom at the 11rst shock. So the could not help but the appearance of the storm With mteuse mterest. For a time tbey remained out on deck. Tht>n Frank said: "Into the pilot bouse; quick!'' They sprung .into the forward turret. Frank pressed a button, and uJstantly the Windows and doors were closed. Then they saw the great. rushing wall of water strike the schooners. For a moment they were pnched onto their IJenm ends. Then. the submanne boat was lifted as if with giant hands, and hurled mto the trough CJf the sea. For a moment it secJmed as if she must be destroyed. CHAPTER liT. AT y her listing might be stopped. Tle sailors seemed to stop work at sight of tbe submarine boat and for a while were half inclined to desert their post. But finally they were ordered back to work by their captaiu. While a hail came across the water to the Rocket. "Ahoy!'' Frank went to the forward rail. "Ahoy!'' \V bat cruft are you?', "The suiJmarine boat Rocket." "Are yon u Yankee?" "Every time!" Well, so are we," was the reply; "this is the schooner Er! Kina of Nantucket. We were hit by the gale." "' I should say so. Wllat can 1 do to help yon!" "Stand by to help us sheer ott this hamper-we are sinking.'' "Ay, ay!'' replied Frank; "we'll help yon all we can!" Witll which Frunk ran the bow of the Rocket up close to the hull of the listed schooner. Then all three went out on the extreme bow and be,g:an to cut away at the rigging. So lustily did al! work now that suddenly the schooner righted. The hamper was towed astern. Then the crew 1lew to the pumps. In a short while the schooner was easy. Then they rigged jury masts and reclaimed much valuable materia! from the floating hamper. All of which being done, the Rocket now cut. away from the schooner. Her captain, a tall Yankee, stood in the bow and thanked the suh marine voyagers for their assi&tance. Aller which the Rocket sped away. Th1s was the only incidAnt worthy or note for a week. Then the New Hebrides was sighted and the course of the Rocket was chan..,Pd more to the eust. Down the Insh coast she crept on her way ;nd then southward toward Teneritfe. It would be hardly worth while to note any of the adventures of onr voyagers until Cupe Towu was reached. Here Frank put in ror water, and the Rocket was anchoreol ri..,ht among all tbe grand war-ships of the Powers, a fleet of which ;as present.


The submarine boat instantly attracted atteoti The officers of tlle vanous vessels hegun to watc er and to make comments. "Confounded Yankee!" gritted oue captain. "I would ask nothing better than lO try one of my rifled cannon upon her!" "If that is n sample of Uncle Sam's onvy,'' growled a Russino com mander, I can say tllat I don't think mucll of it. Ineigoificaot craft!" Thus the comments went around; but none of the egotiAtical com manders once dreamed tllat those slende guns peeping from th e thin turrets could blow any one of their cruisers out of the waters of the hay. But such was the truth. As 1t happened, this day there was to be a contest at target shooting In the opPn sea. All the gilt lluttoocd and belaced naval commanders had got to gether and arranged the program me. Big prizes were t o be offered. There were in the harbor two English meo-o'-war, one llalinn, two Spanish, a Russian and two French cruieers. All were ships of n high class and protected with armor. The terms or target practice were na follows: The target should consist of a dismantled hulk tendered by the citi zeus of Cape Town. The distance would be two miles in the open sea, and two shots were allowed to each ves3el from any rifled guo that they bad in I.Jattery. Of course prizes would go to the best mHksmeo. Barney and Pomp lmd beard of the programme while on shore. They came back and told Frnnk about it. The young inventor's eyes kindled. He was feeling something of a, as in eoterjng the bn-rbor be bad sulotHd tb e squadron of war vesRels but bad been coldly ignored. Tile United States Jlug was de. citledly in tbe minority So it occurred to him that here was an excellent opportunity to these autocrats of the Navy a blt of a lesson. Htl at once rowed ashore. The entry list was at the office of the collector of the port. Frank went there and entered the Rocket in the competition for the prize. The spruce officer who bad charge or the list said in Spanish: "You are late, senor! We anticipated no more entnes, so have al ready drawn lots for the order or shooting. I fear your buttery Will be the last to lire!" "That will suit me all the betttlr," said Frank, imperturbably. "I would much rather shoot lust.'' The Spanish officer stared at him, and then winkeJ knowingly to a subordinate. But Frank had already left the office. He went back on board the Rocket. Later in the dav a boat cnme from tbe crutser Hispaniola, and pompous commanding officer came alongside. He scanned the Rocket closely, and then said: Your battery is light, senor!" "Yes," replied Frank; "not as heavy as yours!" "Will your guns throw two mileaT' The Spaniard stared. "Well," he said, "you were just in time to get your entry in, If you bad been a little later--'' "WPll!" sai

6 'l'H the line. The Isabella fired two hopeless shots neither c iming within a hundred yan!s or the mark. The Infanta next toed the mark and succeeded m pia ing one of her shots under the hull;'s stern. She quiveretl am! he wood was shuttered But y .. t she floated. The Spauiarlls let out o wild yell. But so far the coot st had de veioped no good Put the N1colavitcb, Russinn wnr-ship, now had her t uro. Twice she tired One shot over the mark half c1 mile. The other clip ped thH schooner s bow. Sixteen shots !rom the most power!nl o! rifled cannon hod not suf !iced to sink the obdurate schooner. This was a most hllrniliating re llection. And now w<.Jnt up to the masthtJad of the judges' ship the U. S. llag. Tills was a signal for the Rocket. All eyes were turned upon the dimnnitive little craft as she sailed under the StArn of the Terrifier and approached the line. A shout of derisive Iaaghter went up. That the mighty nation of the United be represented in so insignificant a manner seemed to them lullicrous. Barney was at tlle wheel and us Ftank gave the orders brought the submarine boat to the line. Frank was at one of the guns in the main turret. The sea was rough and the httle boat pitched terribly. The young inventor, however, coolly placed a shell in the cylinder. Every eye in the fleet was upon the insignilicant yacht" as aile was called. They Raw the thin cylinder protrude from the turret. "There goes the pop-gun," said one of r ,be Terrifillr's crew; "they'll smother a mosquito somewhere on the way!'' A roar of laughter went np. It could be plainly heard aboard the Rocket. It made Barney mad. "Give it to thim in the eye, Mlsther Frank!" he cried. "Show ti.lim how an Irishman kin shoot!" "I'll show them how a Yankee, as well as an Irishman, can shoot,'' laughed Frank, who was as nonchalant as if about to light a cigar. "Two points north, Barney. Now steady!" Frank's keen eye was on the sights. Now the little boat rose on a ewell. The calculation was made to a nicety. The young inventor touched the A!ectric button. There was a sharp bias, a ctick, nod a slight recoil. But no report. The crews of tile various war ships were looking for the hurst of flame from the gun's muzzle, but it did not come Nor did know of the discharge, until there came to their ears a distant roar like booming tnunder. Then they beheld an appalling spectaclP 'l'be dynamite projectile had struck the schooner just at the water ...--._!l!:!!. In an instant thertl was a fearful upheaval. The dynamite tore its way through the bulk, nnd rent the vessel to bits, which were carried up in n mound of water and When thi8 settled, the horizon line was clear. The target was gone. One silent, deadly shot from the Yankee craft ball won the prize. For a few moments not one of the spectntors could find voice, There was no applause, yet there was no derision. The entire squad ron was stricken dumb with the inexplienble wond e rment of the thing. Then they recalled the fact that for a hundred years and more palit, the Americans bad been in the habit of contributing just such startling feats to the aunals of lame. They remembered that the Yankee was always undefeated on land or sea. Again his so cnlletl "ingenuity" had set at naught their best talents and genius With his insignificant little boat and his she!! of a gun, Frank Reade, Jr., bad giYen them the greatest surprise of their lives. Their powerful warships could hope to cope for a moment with this submarine boat which could sail under them and blow them into perdition with no reprisal. It was a stunning realization. And to add to the force of his victory, Frank saluted the judges' ship and then pluoged the Rocket under the water. A few seconds later it appeared right under the bow of the Terrifler and her once. Then it vanished only to shoot out from under the stern of the Nicolavltch Thus, like a diving cluck, the Rocket played about the fleet. The last time up, Frank sent a projectile far out to see, where it raised a mountain of green water. This enrled tl1e exhibition and the Rocket returned to her anchorage, tar outstripping every vessel in. Slowly and @i!ently the war-ships and the harbor craft came in. They were hardly ahle to realize that the prize bad bsen captured by the Yankee "vacbt!" That night a big reception was h eld aboard the Terrilier, and an in vitation was sent to the commander of the Rocket. Frank attended of course, and was publicly awarded the prize. He became at once the lion of the tour. "There'8 no geLling around it," said tha commander ol the big British vessel. "You b e ut th e world. Why, wil It that div ing boat of yours you could destroy a whole l\eet of vessels like ours!'' That 13 true!'' agre ed Frank. How long can yon r e m a in under water ? For weeks if I ch o ose!'' "We ll,'' said the British admiral wit h a shrug o! his shoulders, "I sincer ly h o pe our country will never get into a war w1tb America!" 1 hope so also!'' replied Frank. ;; Am e rica woulu like to see the world always at pence!'' "Bnt this boat of yours-of course you cannot llope to keep these cret of its con struction-ether countries will yet duplicate it!" SQUADRON. "Perhaps' sr t said Frank wit h a smile, they may even excel it. But they have not done so yet. Before they can duplicate it, bow ever, they must know tne secret or its electric storage the mechanism t>f the dyuanute gun and many other things. No nation on earth can ever buy that knowledge from me!" CHAPTER V. AT MOZAMBIQUE. FRANK learned that beside the two British \"1lssels, France and Italy had sent t!Jeir men-of-war to that part of the world to hunt down the Black Squadron. Frank told the commanders at once of the unsuccessful of the Tennessee. This put a new face on matters. "You have just tbe craft to bu:tt them down with, Monsieur Reaue," said the Frencll captain. "You cau go in shoal water or deep-under or over. Yours Is the big advantage." "Yes," agreed Frank, "that. is very true. For that reasq_n the Sec retary of the Stutes Navy chartered the Rocket." "What! Does not your government own the secret of this boat?" "No, sir; it is miue." Thib astonished the naval officers. "Why, in my country," said the Italian captain, "a man would be put on the rack if he refused to render such a secret to hts govern meot." And in France also." Frank smiled. In that respect America is the best country in the world!'' he de clared; it is a land of free speech and free action. 1t is the horne o! the The naval officers listened to this announcement with interest. They did not dispute it. "We always lister; with respect to any man's defense or his native land," said the French captain, gracefully. 'file next day the Rocket lett Cape Towo. She carried the two-m1Ie target prize with her. Around the Cape of Good Hope she maue her way, and kept on up the east coast. The next stopping place was at Pietermaritzburg, the capital of Natal, where a brief visit was made. Then Frank made his for Mozambique. This was a port. on the African coast, two-thirds of the way up tbe channel. Many vessels were met on the way, and the little Rocket was a gen eral objec: or curiosity. But none suspected b e r identity or her errand When Mozambique was reached Frank called upon the American Consul. He stated the object of his ques;, and lnstn.ntly found a long category of the evil doings of the Blucl; S ]mu.Jron. Why. it w1ll soon be unsafe for any vessel of our nation to venture into the Indian Ocean unarmed or without escort," declareu the con sui; "this gang of pirates are getting bolder every day!" "Well," said Frank, "we will try and make it mteresting for tbem, if sach a thing is possible." "I am glad that the secretary has sent a light draught vessel out here," tfaid the consul. "The Tennessee could do absolutely nothing." Just then there was a commotion outside the door. Then it burst open and a num her oi men of the seafaring type burst in. It was easy to see that they were Americans. Their leader was a broad-shouldered man with an open, honest countenance. Begging your pardon, gentlemen," be said, with a profound "but is the American Coaoul in!" "1 am the consul," replied that worthy. Then I pay you my respects, sir," said the I am skip per of the brig Mary Lee, and my name is Thomas Main, sir. We sailed from Boston eight mouths ago with a cargo for Houg Kong." Well, Captain Maiv, what can I do for you?'' due respect, sir, I lear uot much. But I thought best tore port to you, sir, that the black hearted pirates came aboard of us off Madagascar, and looted our ship." 'fbe consul shot a glance at Frank. "Another case,'' he said; the flfth one this week. What wns tile value or the property taken from you, Captain Main!" "Gold and silver to the amount of four thouRand dollars. Valuable silks and laces, sir, worth fifty thousand more." Whew!" exclaimed Frank, "they did make a haul!'' "That they did, sir," said Main, "aud lor piracy on the high seas they should be bange d !" If they cnn be caught," said the consul. "W bat is it that we fiy the Stars and S t ripes !lt our mizzen for, sir!" cried the captain, excitedly. Will not Uncle Sam protect his own shipping in foreign waters? If he does not, I make free to s a y that the Ame rican flag will be soon swept from the seal" It is certainly a di9grace to our natioo that she will tamely sub mit to insult and outrage even from puny nations," declared the con sul. It is a mistaken desire for peace." "But national rights, sir, saving your station, l!!hould be preserveu, cried the captain, v1gorously. "We need a little more of th e Monroe spirit in Washington," agre o d the consul; "but b etter days are Uncle Sum is slowl y buil d ing up a grand uavy, and I hope he will auopt a more aggressive p ol icy iu the future. However, Captain Main--" "That Is it," interrupted the captain, angrily-" that is just t h e


I i TJE BLACK SQUADRON. way with those nincompoops at Washington! It is always wait a lit tle while-put it off till session of Congress, or let matters cool down, while everyone ol them is figuring up bow many dolllure he could possibly bqueeze out ol a compromise for his own pocket. It is a question of personal advautage and-to the devil with tile country! True patriotism is dead!" "You speak strongly, captain," began the consul. "I speak from ,my heart, sir, erieed, and I have no redress. My government is too inane or cowardly to defend the flag under which I sail. Have I no grievance?" "You have, sir," cried Frank heartily; "and it shall be righted That you say, sir. But you are not tile President of the UIJit. ed States." No," replied the consul; but be represents the Secretary of the Navy, and has been dispatched llere with his submarine boat to deal harshly with the Black Squadron." TIJe captain bowed. "I urn IJonored to meet you," be said to Frank. "I wish you suc cess. Sink every blasted one o! 'em!" "I will try and do that," said Frank earnestly. "Pray tell me in wllat waters YQil encountered the Black Squadron, sir?" About the eighth degree sbuth, sir, ami not far from the San Pi erre Islauds. We were running free with all sails squared when the whole four quarters of thesea showed a black ship. They swooped down upou us like a flock or buzzards, sir. There was 110 chauce, tbcugh we tried to run for it!" Are they fast sailers?" As fast as ghosts, sir. It would bother a steamer to catch them in a gale or wind." Frank made a note or all this. He also asked a few more questions au d then said: Well, Consul, I leave letters here to be forwarded to by first ship. I will report here when I have swept this Black Squad ron from tile sea, Not before!" I wish you luck, sir!'' cried Main. And the CJDsul also waved an adieu. Frank returned at once aboard the Rocket. He was wmewhat excited, for he ielt th11t thrilling experieuces were near at hand. Be would soon be in the waters haunted by the Black Squadron and then there would be sharp work. ll was his intention to sink every one of the pirale ships at sight if they did not surrender. Be knew that they could not be dealt with with any half way measures. Be quickly communicated his plans to Barney and Pomp. They were highly enthusiastic and ready for the fray. So tlJe Rocket glided out of the harbor of Mozambique with colore tlying. Soon she wus far out in the channel. To the north lay the open waters of tile Indian Ocean. Suile be came more scarce as they proceeded. The next day land was sighted to the east. Frank made it out as one or the small archipelago or islands in thnt quarter. This proved ttnt they were out of the channel. They might now begin to look for the appearance of the Black Squadron. Northward the Rocl< took an Pastward course. As yet not a sign of the black ships had been seen. But they now begun to run down toward tbe lower islands, and Frank anticipated coming acrose them at any moment. And things came out about as btl expected. A day later a group of small islands showed up to the south. It wus in this vicinity that most of the boldupe had occurred. Frank did not anticipate that the pirates would be able to sight the diminutive Rocket witll ease, nor would they be likely to molest so small a craft. They were looking for big game. And at this juncture it ap peared. A merchant vessel was sighted fur to tile north. She was evidently making for the Mozambique Channel. Frank lay to and let her pass a dozen miles to leeward. Tben he commenced to slowly dog her. Ami when otr the small archipelago the crisis came. Out from the shallow straits there glided a long rakish craft. Another appeared a few points beyond. And yet another showed up. CHAPTER VI. THE BLACK SQUADRON. FoR the first time Frank Reade, Jr. rested his gaze upon t he Black Squadron. Not all of the pirate vessels put out after the schooner. Three of them still remained in the island inlets. But tbree of them gave chase to the vessel. An ominous looking trio they w e re, too. Their inky black sails and raki 8 h hulls made them look like ugly ravens aft e r a fair wllite dove, anu that th e y were sure to overhaul her was quhe certain. The schooner, noting the pursuit, crowded on all sail. But the BlacK Squadron ran her down like a pack of wolv e s. They were now within canuon allot, and a pull' or smoke was seen and a shot crossed tile vessel's bows. Then she was seen to come about. I Forward now pressed the three pirates. Frank concludell that it was time to act. o abea'd !" At the same lime Frank went to tile forward gun. Be placed a shell in tile breech and watched tile black vessels. The submarine boat was a trilla to wind ward and it looked as if she would run squarely between tbe pirate ships and the schooner. But she dill, not. Frank Baruey to change the course a bit. Then be fired electric gtlu. The shllll struck the water in front of the three pirates. In an in stant a terrific body of water was hurled into the air. Tile effect was thrilling yet cot without its comic features. The tllree black seemed to pause as if in surprise. Then they saw the little craft which looked to them like a torpedo boat. In an instaut they were bearing away fu!l before the wind. At that moment Frank could have overhauled them with a dynamite shell. BuL he hesitated. Be knew that be would be well justified in sending them all to the bottom. But be was alwa)S averse to the wholesale slaughter of human life. There were hundreds of human beings aboard the pirate ships. To accept the respousibilily of bnrliug them all witllout warning into eternity was something Frank did uot feel like doing. So he let the three vessels scurry buck among the islands. Then be bore over toward the merchant vessel. "Ahoy the schooner!" he shouted wlleu within hailing distance. "Alloy!" came bacl' the reply. What craft is that!" "The Bessie, Captain Layton of England!" "Homeward bound?" "Ayeayet by way of Cape Town!" "All right." Frnuk made n note of this and then turned his course toward the Archipelago where the Black Squadron hovered. As he did so, he saw a big black hulled vessel steam around the lower end of the group. It required but a glance for Frank to recognize the ship. It was a vessel of war, and no other than the TerriUer. The British commnnder was looking for the pirates, and evidently had found them, for there wall a sudden boom from ller slarboard but tery. St;ells went bursting through the waters of the island straits, and tile pirate ships were seen to scatter. But one shot directly out into the open sea, and started As the water in tile straits was too shallow, the war sllip gave her chase. It wus a clever decoy, as Frank could see. No sooner bad the war ship gone, than the other vessels of the htack Squadron begau to scatter to the further side of the Archipelago. It was easy to assume that the decoy ship would, at a suitable moment, elude the Territier by going into shallow water. But Frank allowed this chase to go on, witbout any further interest. He turned hie attention to the nearest o! the black vessels. The submarine bout darted into one of the inlets, and soon bud come within bailing distance of the pirate. So Frank went out on deck. "Ahoy, the 'Jlack flag!'' he shouted. "Ahoy!" came hack the reply. The deck of the pirate vessel was seen to be crowded with the roughest specimens of men on the face or the earth. Every national ity was represented, What it meant to get into the clutches of those fiends it was easy enough to see. What ship ttrA you?" asked Frank. "The Santa Cl:.ra, cpast trader," came back the reply in Span ish. Frank chuckled at this. "Where do you hail from!" "The port of Aden I'' Who is your cnptam!" Mnstupba El Kadir." "Tllat's a lie," declared the young inventor sotto voce. "Nobody ever knew an Arab to speak such good Spanish." Then be made reply: "If you are a coast trader, why do you wear black sails and fly a black flag? YIJu migbL be taken for a pimte." That is our utfalr," was the reply. What craft are you!" "The submarine bo&.t Rocket!" "Yon are English?" "No. American." What do }OU in these waters!" We have come llere to force the Blqck Squadron to surrender. If you are one o tllat squadron it would be well for you to pull down your colors!" An insolent laugh en me back. "You talk big, senor Americuno, for a littl maul" I am bigger and stronger than I look!" I'E>plieJ Frank; b P ur that in mind, my line ft>llow. If yuu do not surrender wtt h in teo min I will blow you out of the wa t er!'' A jeering laugh ":as tlJe ou(y reply. Then men wer e se e n to s pring


8 BLACK 111to rigging and Santa Clara began to fill away and glirle into another strait. I Frank instantly aimed the electric guu for for her bows. He waited required tan minutes, th" Rocket keeping along within nail. 1'heu he pressed the electric button. The sl.iell struck the water just in front of tbe Santa Clara. A terrific tidal wave lifted the pirate vessel as if in gian p hands and for a moment it seemed as if she must be swamped. 1 1'1Jen she stJot forward with tbe water rusl!ing into a hole in her hows until the Jlood of waters had carriect l.ier !Jigll up oyer the island reel. And there, as the wave receded, she was left with only a part of her etem in the water. She was actually beached, This astounding denouement filled the pirates witb awful terror. They swarmed over the ship's side like Illes and rushed up t!Je islacd chtl'. Frank could l.iave easily annihilated them, but he did not care to consummate s uch slau!?;hter. So he allowed them to escape. "BeJabera!" cried Barney, "that settled thim fast enough! I wou dher if tbey are satisfied r "1 llope so," l11ughed Frank. "Well, there is one of the pirate ves sels disposed of. There are live lef1. It IS uow in ord e r to attend to thPm.'' "Golly!" Pomp, wha' am cat, Marse Frank! Looks like a tlag olJ truce, sah t' What!" .. xcl:..imed the young Wbat do mean, Pomp?" "Look dar, sah!"' The darky pointed to one of the rear ports. of tbe pirate sbip. Frnnk gave a start. Somehotly inside was excitedly waving a white cloth, thmst be tween some iron bars. The young inventor brought the Rut J ket to a halt. He was not a little puzzled to understand the meaning o! the signal at first. '!'hen 'l sudden idea came to him. A prisoner!" he eJaculated. "Why, of course. What could be more natural?'' 1'ilen be sent the submarine boat forward until she was within fifty yards of the grated window. A white face was seen b"yond it. Help!" came voicA from beyond i t 111 unmistakable English. What was more thrilling was the fact thatit was a woman's 7oice. Give m6 belpt I am a pnsoner in this awful place. Oh, i! you are men, gtve me help!'' 'l'hat we will,'' cried Frank, clleeiily "Keep up good heart, I will come to you at once.' took the wbeel now and Frank and Barney hastily armed ti1emselves. A small boat was got out upon the Rocket's deck. In this they quickly rowed over to the stranded vessel. Not a pirate wtts in sight anywhere. Over the rail the two rescuers went. Down the dingy cabin stairs ami into a reeking atmosphere. Frank speedily found the stateroom in wbicb was con!lned the pirnte' He broke the lock and flung open tbe door. He was instantly face to face with a very beautiful girl. ohe was slender and petite and although very pale, was yAt very lovely. With a little glad screan: she came toward Frank, scanning his features and at once reassured. "Oh, I know you are one of my countrymen," she said, "and you are a friend.'' "You may be sure of that!" cried Frank. "You need have no fems! But how did yon get into this terrible place?" Sl1e shuddered and covered her face witb her hands. It is a terrible story,'' she moaned. Ollt my heart is crushed! 1 can never be happy again. lily dear father and his line ship are nt 1be bottom of tbe sea. He was murdered witb all his crew by t.lwse pirates. They wottld have kii!Pd me too hut that B!acl; Casper, one of their captains, interfered and brought me here, saying that I should lie his wife. Oh, tbe horror of it all!'' "Tllat is d1eadful,'' exclaimed Frank, "a!!d they sh o uld all hang for it, the murderous wretches! But may I ask-are you au American'" "I am," replied the young girl. "My name is Clare Ralston. My father was Captam R : tlston of tbe brig Barnacle. We sailed from Boston for Calcutta, where we hoped to arrive tbis month, and where I was to be married to a friend of my youth, Mr. Allan Clark. an em ployee or tbe Indian Companv. I:sut we were beset by these dreadful pirates, and I have no otller course but to throw mysetr upon your charity.'' CHAPTER VII. RUN ASHOitE, "AND which you may rest assured I am only too willing to yie!d,'' declared Frank. "Only call it not charity but hospitality, if you plense.'' "That would relieve the burden," she said, with a bewitching smile, "but what a sm:11l craft is yours, sir." "Yes.'' repliPd l<'muk, "she is small but very powerful.'' "I should say so, from tbe fearful shot you gave this sbip. .( sup posA they tried to capture you?" "Not exaclly,'' replied Frank. "We were pursuing her. But sbe was no match for ue witll our SQUADHON. \ I "Oh, then yours is a government vessel?'' sbe asked. "In the em piny of the government," replied F'ruuk. "I have been cluntered by the Sectt!iary of tlle Navy to these parts and exter m.nate the Black Squadron.'' But wby uillnot Ut,cle Sam send a mau-o'-war!" asked she, in sur prise. "He did, but without much success. 1'he Tennessee was unable to cuase pirates to close quarters on account of the sllallow waters.'' "Bnt you--" "My vessel is a suumarine boat and capable of easily sailing where the pirate dhows can replied Frank. Do you mean tllat your bOilt sails under water?" 1 Yes." Clare Ralston W8S plainly astonished. Slle gazed at Frank a! most incledu! .usly, whereat smtled and said: .. But enough of tbi s Let us go buc:.: to the Rocket anti I her. I can t -lw better explain all to you.'' Site said nothiug but t.!low e d heree!f to be placed in the Rocket's boat aud row.,d away to ;he submarine lloat. As abe stepped on the d ecK she was pla111ly surpriseu. Clare R a l ton, as a shipmuster's daughter, had a good of ves sels of all !duds, Tllerefore she was able to appreciate the subula riue boat. Frank P s corted her over it, explaining all its littin!(s to wllich she liateuetl with int ere a t. When all was over she drew a deep breath. R e ally,' she declared, "it is al! very wonderful. There is no o t b er vessel lil\e it on earth. Yon are a wonderful inventor, Mr. Reade.'' Shure, miss, that's ph wat iverybody declared Barney. "A11d it is right,'' ugree l tbe young girl. Frank flushed with pleasure and nut a little embarrassment. But I hope you will sink every oue of these black vessels!'' she cried with llasbing eye s "I shall try to do s o!" declared Frank; "you may depend upon that. And that makes me think tlil\t we are loRing valuahle t;me." Shure yez will have to dJ tli e rist by electhric loigbt,'' declared Barney. And indeed this was seen to be a fact, for night had suddenly shut down. This was an unwelcome incident. However, tbe earch-ligilt's rays went llushing through the straits Nune of the Black Squadron hacl yet been locatl!d when a catasl roplle occurred. From out tiHl distant gloom there came a Jlash and a dul! boom. Then the gave a sluver and there was a crash of steel and wood. Guided by tile brilliant lij!:ht ont> of the pirate vessels had sent a shot i1: to the hull of the Rocket. It was at the water line also. A thrilling cry pealed from Burney's lips. "Och, Mistber Frank, shore tbe boat is sinking, sor. Bad cess to the omadliouns.'' "Steady!" cried Frank; "tnrow the search-light that way, Bar ney!" And he sprung to the dynamite gun. Barney oheyed orders, and the search light showed the dark hull or the pirate ic tbe far lagoon. But Frank was unable to place a shell in tbe dynamite gun hefore another shot carne from the pirate. But luckily this passed vvcr tbe submarine boat and did no harm. The next moment the dynamite gun sent a shell tearing to the lagoon. There was a terrific explosion, but it did not strike tbe pirate veRse!. Before Frank could fire again it bad glided out or range. And all this while water had been pouring into tbe rent in the Rocket's bull. It was fast the cabin, and H was plain that something muPt be don" at once. Barney and Pomp were rat tled, Clare Ralston was in a state of nervous excitement. But Frank very fortunately 'Vas as cool as need be, and at once de cided upon what be saw was the most feasible plan. He into tbe r.ilot house and turned the search-light Ill every direction. No other pirate was in sight. Satisfied of this, be jammed the wheel bard down and started the engines at ful, speed. boat shot forward and straight for the island beach. Rm1ey and Pomp were at a loss to understand Frank's move and shouted: "Marse Frank, you'se gwine fo' de shore!" "Be jabers, we'll run aground.'' "That is what I want to do,'' replied the young inventor, "the only way to save the boat is to beacll her!" And this Frank saw was the truth. To allow her to sink even in those shallow waters would be fatal. She was a light craft, anll it would not be so very difficult to get her off tbe beacll. It would save flooding tbe cab;ns, and in fact was the only logical move that could he made. Straight for the beach rar: the Rocket. Fortunately tbe water was deep enough to Jloat her until she could run her uow bigh and dry on land, una there she rested. The rent ir. her side was now above the water line. Frank at once put pumps at work and got tbe water out or her hold. In that protected strait she had nothing to roar from the weather or tbe action of the sea. On the morrow tbe leak could be repair ed, and she could be got nlloat again.


"'-...-But the immediate danger Frank foresaw was from tl)e pimtes. As soon us they discoveret.l her positiou they woult.l he sure to attack her. So Frank loaded ull of the guns and lept one man, either him self or Barney or Pomp, at the search-light all uight. Once oLe of tl!e pirute vessels hut.! the audacity to show her nose around the end or tl!e island. Before she could get in poRition, Frank sent a shell after her ant.! she decamped. Thus the night wore away. There was lit tie sleep for Clare Ralston that The young girl was much excited and paced the cabin floor anx iously, in spite of Fra11k's protest. I fear that I amlargelj respousil.>le lor all tLiis trouble," she cried; !>at lor me ) 'Oil m1gbt not bave Lle layed here and becom e exposed to the pirate's guns.' "NOIISPilse!" cried Frank; "that IS not true. There was the risk at all times!" "Begorra, Wtl might have worse!" declared Barney. "That is true!" agieed Frank! But carne at last. '1'11en the position of the submarine bout could be easily examined. It was seeu that slle reste d easily upon a bed of sand. The rent nmde by the cauuon ball extended through her entire hull, passing through tbe calliu just above the deck. The wood worlc was badly splintered, and there was some dnmug11 do"e t!1e furnnure. But Frank saw that be could quickly repair tile out!' shell witb au ifllu plate and some rivets so sbe would soon be all rigllL again. To get ber utloat ue,uiu would be the problem. But this could IJ& solved later. So ue at once began wo&l' upon tLie r epa.r ing of the r ent iu th e steel shell. A stagiug was swung over the rail, anu Buruey and Frank proceeded to make the patch. Holes were tlrilled for tbe and the steel plate was fitted. In a few hours the bolts were iu place ready for the nuts, But before tbey couid be adjusted Pomp sent up a warning cry: Hi, hi, Maroe Frank!' he shouted, "here comes de pirates by laud! Fo' de lan'e sake giL nbo'd quicK l" Iu an instant Frank alld Burney swung tbe mselves up over the rail. 'I' bey were not a too soon. For therd suddenly appearect on tile clitf above a score or more of the pirates. They were the Sauta Clara's crew, unck. How long the pirates might hold the siege It was not easy to say. the outlook wad seriouR. But while the were wutching the pirates on the clitT, they came near f:.lling victims to nuother more deadly pAril. But lor the clever of Clnr" Ralston th!M would have bee:J an accomplished fact. The young girl enme rushing from the rear turret where she had been on guard in an extremely excited man ner. CHAPTER VI!I. LAUNClJJNG TilE BOAT. "On, Mr. RPade!" she cri ed excitedly, the pirate vessels are co : n lng into the inlet. They may get another shot at UM!" In au instant Frank was upon his f eet. Miss Glare!" he ejaculated. "You have saved us!" He into the main turret and saw that the young girl was right. The topmasts of the pirate vessels could be seen I.Jeyoud the island headland as they approached the inlet. Tbey wera coming to attack and annihilate the submarine boat be yond n doubt. For a moment Frank was thrillPoat.'' That is not ugreetl Fmnk. "We can at least try it.'' Whurroo! I'll foix tbe spalpeeus!'' crietl Barney, who was only too glad of a chance at the electric gun. So Lhe Celt Si!!htetl the gun, and sent a charge of dynamite up over tbe brow of the clitl". It explolled with prodigious force, Ill owing off many square yards of the rock ._U(l turf. It bad the etlect desired by the Celt. The piratPs were egun to SLUtiy up some feasible plan for !loating the Rocket. A sc;:ne of men might have pusbed her out into the deeper wa ter, so light was she, but that number were, of course, not at hand. However, Frank was not to be defeated. Be drew a sight ocross the inlet to a huge angle or the rot:ky clitl'. I believe, with tncklA and tLie capstan, we can pull her out by carrying a line to that cliff," he cried. "The leverage would be pow erful." "Yus, snh," agreed Pomp. "I rPckon dat wud be easy, snh.'' "Well, you black rascal, get out the light boat and the long ca ble. I'll go over there witb you, aud we'll see what can be done.'' "A'riglJt, sah!" In a few momenls the Rucket.'s hoat was out, and Frank and Pomp were carrying tLie double line of cable and the great pulley blocks across to the cape. It was quite a little task to pay out I he heavy ropes, and it rP quired nearly an hour 10 reach the cliff angle; but the task was tinnily accomplished. The jagged corner of the cliff furnished powerful anchorage. The pullA)'S w11re fastened to it, and the n Frank and Pomp return11d to the Rocket. But just as tl;ey reached the submarine boat a startliD!!; thing hap pened, Upon the island shore opposite, a long line of men wPra seen rushing over the cliff. They were making straight lor the spot where the cable was anchor ed. The truth was seen at once. 'I' he pirnt es hat! gone around to the other shore of the opposite island


10 BLACK and hall lanued a of men. Their purpose was to cut the cable. For a moment Frank was so surprised that he could not act. "Whurrool" shouteu Barney. "Wud yez see 1 the omadhouns! Shure phwere is me rille!" Burney and Pomp both seized their gans and opened fire on tbe pirates. This was returned. The bullets were whistling across the deck in uncomfortable manner aud Frank ordered all into the cabm. r Then he sprung to the electric gun. One shell placed directly in the path of the ptrates tbe matter. They scattered like chaff over the cliffs leaving a number of their dead and wounded behind. In a few moments none of them were in sight. Frank now sprung to the electric windlass. In a few moments he hall the cable about the strong steel shaft and shouted to Barney to start the engines slowly. The Celt oheyed. The hig cable straightened and grew taut. It creaked and groaned and the wi!ldla3e began to go slowly. For one moment tbe tension bung, then the hull of the Rocket began to creak. The powerful strain began to tell and the bonL moved a few inches. "Good!" shouted Frank; "at this rnte we'll soon have ber out! Now, once more, Barney, slow and steadJ!" Once again the cable grew taut. The boat's keel grated over the sands. She gained a foot. Agaw and again the pull was made and soon the Rocket had traveled the length or herself. Half of her bull was now in deep water. With fifty feet more of the sand overcome she would be all atloat. "' But just at this moment Pomp and Clare, who had been watching the shore, gave cries of alarm. Frank looked oat of the pilot bouse window nod beheld a sto.rtling sight. A greo.t body of the pirates soddenly appeared on the opposite cliff with a cannon. It was on trucks, and they had dragged it all the way the island. They we1e seen to be quickly loading it. Frank saw that there was no time to lose. Like a panther he sprang to the gun in the rear turret. He slipped a shell in the breech and fired. It struck tbe clifr just under the cannon. One shot was enough. When the cloud of smoke cleared not a trace of the cannon was anywhere to be seen. The ho.d dis!)ersed like frightened sileep. It was of no use. The pirates could oot cope with the deadly elec tric guns of the Rocket. In every instance tlley got the worst of the encounter. Tbe submarine voyagers indulged in a cheer. Then once more work was begun on the Steadlly and by degrees the Rocket was pulled out of the sand into deep wo.ter. Suddenly she tloo.ted safe and sound once more. It was a joyful moment for the voyagers. "Begorra, we've mended the boat an' it's ready we are to foight the whole f:leet av piro.tes now!'' cried Barney. Yes, under water!" agreed Frank; "but we must look out nod not let them get another shot at us. It is good fortune that we did not sink in deep water!" Clare Ro.lston was the ho.ppiest person on board. Once more her hopes I nm beginnmg to think that I shall see Culcutta alter all,'' she said, fortune is not all against mel'' You may rest quite well assured that. yon will join your trance safe and sound!'' declared Frank; and you will have an exciting story to tell him!'' The incidents of the past few weeks I shall never forget,'' !!aid the young girl sadly. CHAPTER IX. THE BURNING SHIP, THE cable was quickly tal\eu up, anrl thl' submarine boo.t wo.s once more ready for the fray. But the Black Squo.dron ho.d disap peared. Not one of the vessels could be seen n any direction. Frank sailed o.round o.mong the isles, looking ID every inlet and strait. "That is queer!" he muttered; "where can they have gone?'' I have an idea,'' said Clare. "lnlleell, 1\Iiss Ralston," said Frank, politely; "I would be very glad to hear it." "Well," said the young girl, succinctly, "they probably de. cided tho.t It is impossible for them to whip the Rocket, even in her crippled conditton." 4 Yes!'' Therefore they had concluded that she was just as ho.rmless as if she was whipped, heiog ashor!'. So they have gone off to sea again to l nok for prey. A m 1 right?" Frank could not help o.rlmiring the keen penAtrntion antl acute per ception of this girl. He raised his cap with a pohte bow. Miss R11lston, your conclusion dol'S you credit," he suid. "TherA is little doubt but tho.t you aTe right.'' "It is only a she said, with a naive smile. "But a very clever one. We shall proctJed upon your For wlich I trust we will not be sorry." I canlly fear that.'' Tbo.t the Black Sqoo.dron had once more put to seo., there was little doubt. Frank, however, wa8 ready to go after them. So after making sure that they were not in the Archipelago, be a course into tbe open sea. Naught was to be seen on all hands, but the wide expo.nse of bil lows, save the small collection of islets. The Black Squadrou ho.d made goou time in getting below the bonzon. There was uo way but to guess at the course they bad taken. Frank proceeded due northeast. Soon, so swiftly dtd tbe Rocket run, that the Isles were but specs on the horizon. Then Barney shouted: "Sui I hor' Frank illstantly sprung to tbe upper deck with bill glass. Wllereaway?'' he shouted. Due north, sor!" Frank turned bis glass in that direction, and he saw that Barney was right. There upon the horizon lny a huge black hull; over it hung what looked like a cloud ol black co.ovns. In that moment Frank fancied that it was one of the Black Sf}und ron. But o. moment later he saw that wbo.t he had token for the slttp's sails waR really black smoke. It came from tbe funnels of a steamer. As tbe vessel was approach ing Fro.nk decided to hail her. i<'or an hour tbe two vessels approo.cbed other until Frank snw with surprise tbo.t the steamer was no other than tl1e Brillslt warship, As she came near, Frank bailed her. Ahoy, Englishman!'' he shouted. How goes the chase?'' We haven't seen a pirate,'' was the reply. "They dodged Uil among those small islands. Have you seen them?" *'Yes.'' "Ah, get within shot of tbem!" We have sunk two of them," replied Frank. "Now we are look ing for the other four.'' The English commander was dumfounded. So interested was he that he ordered out his gig and went aboard the Yankee craft. Anti there be listened to Frank's story with wonderment. Well, you Yankees are smart," be acknowledged. "But you have got just the craft to bunt them with.'' "You didn't think so when we were at Cape Town,'' said with n grin. We live to learn," admitted the British captain. "However, 1 am glad of your sJccess." Tho.nk yon!" On the whole, I think the Terrifier might as well go home.'' A number of reasons. In the first place she could never chase those rascals among the shoal waters of the arcbipelo.go!'' Well, that is sol'' Again you are capo.ble and pretty to take care of every one of the black ships without any assistance from us. We therefore are of uo use here.'', Unless you could run them down in the open SPa!" 4b, there is little hope of tbo.t. The rascals are too shrewd.'' Frank did not express his true thoughts wllich were in exact accord with Lbis declaration of tbe British co.ptain's. Tne Terrifler lay along side !or an hour or two and then went her way. But Frank had arranged with the captain to make a long sweep across the horizon, and in case of the black ships it would be easy to drive them into the path of tho other, or between two fires. So Frank veered to the southeast and tbe Terrifier to tile For several hours they were In or each other. Then darkness shut down and distance separated them as well. The next morning the Terrilier could be seen nowhere. For three days tbe Rocket scoured these seo.s without once getting a sight of" black sail. This ho.d caused Frank to do some thinking. Had the four remaining ships of tile Black Squadron decamped for other seas and DbW fields to conquer? lind they found lhe mouth of the Mozambique Channel too wo.rm territory for them! In this case much vnluable time was being lost. But Ralston did not believe tlus. "Ttey think yo or boo.t is ashore and n wreck,'' she Enid; "they do not leur these cumbersome warships. They would not leave their familiar stamping ground.'' The ann was now two hours high. Tbe seo. was nearly calm and the Rocket pusbing along at a fifteen knot rate when sud::lenly Pomp shouted: "Hi-hi! look out dere! Amn't dnt a big fire?'' Frank glanced at the horisoo. Then he gave a mighty start. There was visible a great blaze of light, a pyro.mid of flame. One gre1't cry welled from his lips. My soul! it is a burning vesFel!'' There is something intensely horrifying o.t the sight of o. ship on lire at sea. Something which makes the tlesh creep and the soul pall. So it is hardly to be wondered at that ]!'rank's blood ran chill and his t

1HEl .BLACK ) Nearer they drew to the burning vessel until now her crumbling spars and glaring ports could be seen. And as she loomed up now not a mile distant suJdenly Clare Rals ton called out with thrilling force: There is tile explanation of thia awful affair. There goes the as sassin and the incendiaty !" She pointed to the distant horizon beyond the burning vessel. A black cloua of canvas on a vessel hull down was eeen. Here was some or the Black Squadron's work. Here was one or ber victims, and not a soullelt to tell the uw!ul tale. In the vessel's glowing cabins, no doubt, were the incinerated hones of her unhappy crew, the victims of the ravenous wolves of tbe sea. It was a horrible pieee of work. Tbe Rocket steamed about tbe blazing ship, goine: as near as they dared. But no living being could be abonrr, grimly, there is but one way to deal with them, and that is to consign the whole parcel of them to eternity. It is but justice." The young girl stole down into the cabin. She could not witness the destruction of the pirate vessel, even though she knew that tt was just. Frank very carefully sighted his gun. He experienced not the slightest twinge of pity or compassion. The next moment he pressed the button. CHAPTBRX. BACK TO THE ISLANDS. THE dynamite shell was well aimed. It struck the pirate vessel full under her quarter. In that <>ne brief instant her career and that of her crew was termi nated. There was a terrillc roar and a tbunoJerous crash. It seemed as if a great revulsion of the ocean's bosom had swept tbe ship down into awful Twenty seconds later the surface wna calm, and far and wide were scattered bits of wreckage, all that was left of tile pirate ship. "Three more,'' said Frank, grimly. "Halt of the Black Squadron has gone to its account; now for the others!" "Begorra, it's a good joh!" averred Barney. Yo' am right, l'tsh," said Pomp. Clare now came up from th11 cabin. She was quite courageous nod calm now. "These seas will be safe for honest vessels befortl I leave them," said Frank, resolutely. "Tbe sight of that burning ship stirred me all up. It is no quarter with me now!" "An' tbree more av the omudhouns to hunt down," cried Barney; "allure I wish we bad thim in soight now: S o do I," said Frank, "but we'll hunt them down!" The sullmarine boat now stood away to the eastward. If the Terri tier wns keeping a true course it wa3 possible that she might drive an other one of the pirate vessels in toward the Rocket. If she did-woe to that ship. The Rocket was now a merciless de stroyer. Ni11:ht came and no vessel was sighted. Yet the Rocket held her course until the next morning. Then a distant cloud of sm;>ke up penr P d on the horizon. "The Terrilier!" declared Frank. We have reached the end of our circle. I wonder if she saw anything of the pirates.'' r SQUADRON. 1 :u A distant signal gun was heard. Frank answered it and the two vessels d rew nearer. Soon the Territier was within hailing distance. "AIJoy!" crieil Frank. "Did you stgllt any of the Black Squadroof'' "Ay, ay!'' was tbe reply. "Yesterday near sunset we gave chase to one or the blacl> ships ami lost her on a southwest course in a fog!" "Southwest!" exclaimed Frank. "That should have driven her 1 into us!" "That is true!" "Then she passeu us in the night. That is hard luck." "Ahoy the Rocket!" came the bail again from the British man-o'war. "Ay, ay!'' replied Frank. "Did you sight any of the Black Squadron?" "Ay, ay!'' replied the young inventor. "And we gave chase and suuk one of bern just after she haLl captured and burned an unknown vessel." Well, I'll be keel-hauled!" cried the British captain. "You bea' the world, sir! That lea-res only three of the black rascals.'' That is all.'' We must give you a cheer and a salute lor your good grit. The Yankee Is a good one-we own up.'' And the British commander was as good as his word. He brought the Territler about, lined his crew at tile ruil, gave cheers, ran up the Stars nod Stripes und tired tllretJ volleys from his starboard battery. This was a compliment extraordinary and Frank answered it by dis playing the British colora. 'l'ben the two vessels parted agreeing to proceed at different points to the,south and meet again off the .A,rchi pel ago. The Terrifier was playing a useful part in the game and might yet prove of great assistance. Frank was willing to admit this. Frank uow believed that the three remaining vessels were or !Jim and possibly in the neighborhood of the rendesvous among the isles. So be was to stand in nearer the mouth of Mozambique channel and the course of coust going vessels. If the Black Squadron was out further to sea, it was likely that the Territler would drive theua in once they could be sighted. Frank felt sure of his game. For two days the Rocket on her southward course. At night the search-hght swept the sea. In tile day time Barney and Pomp were constantly on the watch. But not a sign of the Black Squadron was seen. At last land was sighted to windward. It was soon made out to ...____,.., be one of the islands of the Archipelago. "Stand in toward them, Barney," said Frank. "We ought to see something or them in tbtJre.'' All roigllt, sorl" Nearer drew the isles, and everybody was on the qui vive. But still nottlng could be seen or the squadron. Finally the submarine boat once more en tereLl the inlet where they had been stranded a week before. There was the wreck of the Santa Clara, just as the pirates bad left It. But no sign was visible or the villains tbtlmselves. Begorra, I'll bate they've skipped out for some other part av the world,'' declareLl Burney. "Shure, they must know that it's no use fer thim to thry an' folght the Rocket." "It is not impossible," agreed Frank, "but that only makes the task the harder for us. We hunt them down.'' "Begorra, sor, that's thrue! It's a big ocean this is!" "Indeed, yes, but they need not coniine themselves to the Indian Ocean. There is the entire South Pacific. Among the Archipelagoes of the Ten Thousand Isles they could give us a chase which might last indellnitely." "How are we to learn whether or not such is the troth?" asked Clare Ralston. It will not be easy," Frank. "We must first thoroughly search these parts and speak every passing ship for tidings of the ras cgls. I think we could judge in that way whether they bad departed or not." "Then you do not think that destroying half their ships will break up the gang!" "By no means! Total extinction is the only remedy. The Rocket now sailed through the various strai<>llts and a close watch was kept for some sign of the foe. Thus the day was spent. When night came no trace o! them bad been found. However, the search was continued until a late hour by searchlight. A little past midnight, however, Frank anchored tbe Rocket, and all turn e d in for a good night's rest. Barney was on guard. The voyagers had just got settled into a profound slumber when a n exciting incident occurred. Barney suddenly saw a faint Mtar of light gliding al?ng the high rid g e of one ol the isles. It seemed to be dancing in a1r like a will-o'-tlle wisp. The Celt rubbed his eyes and stared at it. "Be me sow!!'' be muttered, that's quare enough. Phwa t the divil is it anyway?'' The light sway e d nuLl moved and seemed creeping alvng to the end of the island. For a moment the Celt's superstitiousJfe a rs were aroused. Then he put aside fear, and performeU a s eusii.Jie ace H e sprang to the 8earch-!ight and turned it full upon the distant b all of light. Th a tr11tb was revealed in a brief instant.


1 12 'l'liE BLACK. SQUADR?N. He saw outlined in tbe pathway of electric the upper spars and ri);(ging of a ship. In an instant be gave a wild whoop. "Misther Frank!" he yelled; "sbure, here's wan av the pirate ships. Come quick, fer the loife av yez!" Frank was aroused rrom l:.ts slumoers by thE\, loud shout. In an in stant he was upon his fee t. He rushed out of the cabin half clad. .A glance wns enough. Back he went to the cabin and dressed himself. In a jiffy all of the R : ;cke t's crew were out on deck and ready for business. Of courae, tbe glare of th e search-light had b e en seen by tbe crew ,f the pirate vessel. They had b e en groping their way into the strait s in the uark. It had brought them t o a stop, and the distant sound o! men rush ing to arms could he B n t as y e t the arm or the island pro tect ed them. Frank could not get a line upon them with tbe electric gun. Bnt this fact also furnished protection to the Rock e t, for the pirates coald not use their cannon. Bnt Frank was res olved to proceed at once to the a ttack. He dtd not purpose that the roe sltoultl:escape tf he could prevent it. So the Rocket glided quickl y forward. Meanwhile the pirate vessel ltnd made a desperate attempt to get out of th e inlet. She swung about and as luck had it the wind filled ber sails and she stood ut to sea_ Frank reaciJed ttJe p oint just in time to see ber Sj}eeding away at full speed. The young inventor was about to give ch a se whP.n a muflled boom smote upon the air. A cwnou ball w ent whistling ov e r the '}Uarter of the Rocket. The pirate meant bnsines9. Oue shot after another followed. Why none of them hit the submarine boat was a mystery. But they dill not. Fr!lnk saw that thia vessel had longer range guns than any of the other pirate ship@, so he did not attempt, at that distance and in t!Je darkness, to nsk a shot with the dynamite gun. "l'll fix her another way," he S t dd, ''Into the cabin all!" The order was obeyed, and Frank aent the Rocket down under the surface. This was seen by the pirates, who sent up a cheer, tlunking thev had sunk thetr roe. But the submarine boat's search-light showed through the water, and to the amazement of the p l rntes ct>me gliding after them They crowued on all satl. But that weird, unearthly glow on the waters, followed them like a N mesis. It was impossihl<> for them to evade tt. Nearer it drew, until it was not a hundred yards at their stern postCHAPTER XI. THE WHITE CRUISER. 'fnE pirates were unable to und erstand the phenomenon. That strange inexplicable light which seemed to glide under the water towards them was a very qne3r thin g indeed_ In vain they tried to shake it off. As fast as their ship sailed, it saile t t faster. Fran!,, in the pilot house, had got his eye UJ>OD the keel of the pirate and was gauging his c ours" accordingly, lie sveetlily gained on the pirate until the Rocket was directly under h e r hult_ Then he went below and took fi"Om a locker a curious shaped obj ect which looked like a whaler's bomb lance. To litis he attached a long coil of wire. Then he called to Barney: Barney, can you place this torpedo, or shall I!" "To be shure, Mr. Frank, it'll save yez the tbrubble if I do it." "Get on vour diving suit, then." "All roirht, sor." ClarP. Ralston was at one of the observation windows. was n 11ew and wonderful thing for her to l>e sailing under water in this way. In her estimation Frank Re11de, Jr., was one ol the most wonderful of men. She could hardly underst. anrt how be could so easily overcome tre menclous obstacles and perform such prodigies of ingenuity. She was curious ns to how the torpedo was to be placed in the pimte ship's bull. In the ordinary case it was done with a gun. But in a few moments Barney appeared with a direr's helmet on hts head anti a lwapsack or steel on his hack. This latter held a chemical generator, by means of which air was aupplied to the diver anL1 a circulation kept up by means or a valve in the helmet. This divingdevice was Frank Rende, Jr.'s own in vention. It was superior to the ordinary diving suit, in that it was s11fer and thP diver's movementa wem unhampered by any life lioe. Barney, thus equipped, was ready to go out on the vessel's deck while she was under water. He was enabled to accomplish this by means or another ingenious device This was in the shape of the vestibule leading from tbe cabin to the d Barney. "that was a foine go. Shure, it shlapped that boat all to pieces. Divil a wan av thim piratAs will iver see dhry land agio!" "You're right, Barney! agreed Frank; "but it's a fate they de served!" Shure enough, sor, an' it's not me is bogrudging thim. They 'll niver rob an' burn any more roine ships!" That's true!" "But, sor, there's two more av thim to deal with yet." "Yes," replied Frank; "and then we can leave these waterg and go where we please." Och, sor, that will be a happy toimel" ''So it will," agreed Frank; "for, to tell the truth, I don't like this sort of work. It Is too much like war." "Well, sor, it's fer the_good av yure counthry.'' That is true. If I llid"not do tbe job some war ship would have to do it." "An' shure it's bettter luck they musht have thin any that's thried it yet," declared Barney. Rut lhe words had bar.ely left the Celt's lips when all were given a sudden start. From a point not two miles to the northward there came the roar or a rifled cannonThe flash of the discharge was plainly seen. Also the broad path way of a search-ligL t. "A war ehip!'' cried Frank. "I wonder if that is the Territ!Ar?" "Shure, sor, it I:lay be," agreed Barney, "but phwativer is she foiring at?" Th(>re could be but one thing.'' The pi rates, sor?" Just so!" "Glory!" shouted Pomp, "dere goes another shot!" Agam the battery of the war ship Ppoke. It was certain she was tiring at some foe, whether a pirate or not. -Frank carefully noted by tits disciJarges the direction of the balls sent out by the war ship's guns. Then he began to draw nearer to tl;e big vessel. He soon had her within range or tile search-light, and at cnce saw that she was not the Terrifier. Nor indeed we.s she any one of the war ships he had seen at Cape Town, "That is queer," be muttered, and then gave a great shout.


'fHE BLACK SQUADRON. 13 Tlle film of the atmosphere was dispelled more clearly by tlle searcll light now, and he saw the gleaming wllite bull of the war ship. "A white cruieer," hi' cried. "Hurrall! It is one of our own ves sels, one or Uncle Sam's allips!'' At once all were excited beyond measure. Barpey and Pomp cheer ed willlly. By this time the Rocket's :search ligbt had been seen abor.rd tlle warship nod a signal was made according to tlle naval code. Frank was llappily familiar witb this and tlashed it back. Tllen the w!lite cmiser slowly approached. It was not long before the diminutive Rocket was witllin hailing dis tance. "Ahoy!" came from the cruisor's deck, "what cmft is thnt?" "'l'he submarine boat Rocket from Readestown, U.S. A.," replied Franlr. what ship are you!'' 'l'he United States Ship Raleigh!" "Good!" cried Frank, "What were you tiring at?" We are trying to run down the Black Squadron, a gang of pirates." "Alwy!" shouted Frank, "lower your gangway. I am coming aboard! "Aye, aye, sir!" Tile claniC of chains was beard as tbe warship's gangway JVent down. Frank turned to Pomp. Pomp," he said, "bold thll Rockt!t right here until I return. B a r ney, you are to go with me. Get out the portable boat." All sor: Clare Ral s ton now came out on deck and gazed with a thrill at the beautiful white ship as revealed hy the gl:tre of the search light. Barna) quickly bad the boat ready and Frank leaped into it. They pullet! away lor the Raleigh. In 11 few moments they Wllre at the gangway. The boat was tethered and tllen Frank and Barney uscenllell to the deck. As they went over the aide they greeted by a talllinely formed man, the foremost of a group of uniformed officers. "I am Commander Sloane," lle said. "Whom have I the honor of meeting!" "Frauk Rende, Jr., of Reallestown," repliecl Frank, mod11stly. "I thought so," said Commander Sloane, with a warm grip of the hand. "Yourfame is well known to us all, Mr. Reade. You are wel come on board thll Raleigll." "Thank you,'' replied Frank. Do you know what my mission iu these waters is!" Perfectly well.'' "Ah!'' Frank was surprised. But Commander Sloane laughed. You see, this is tloe way of it, he said; "I was at Bombay whe n a cablegram via Suez came to me from the Secretary of the Navy, ordering me to come down here and give you all the assistance in trucking down the Black Squadron." Frank's lace brighteued. "Ah!' he said; "I understand it all now. But have you seen anj' thing of the pirates!" Indeed we have," said Sloane. "Come into my cabin and I'll tell you all abou\ it.'' CHAPTER XII. A HAPPY REUNION-THE END. FRANK motiOned Barney to stay by the gangway, and then followed Commander Sloane into biB cabin. The Raleigh was a finely appointed ship. Sloane indicated a chair and Frank sat down at the cabin table. The commander sat opposite, and then began: Of course, when I received that dispatch from the Secretary I at once started. I cut across to Aden, and there got letters which gave full details, also described your wonderful submarine boat!" "Just so!" agreed Frank. You got here quickly?" I spared no steam. Bot I want to ask you. Have fOU sighted the wretches yet?" Yes!" replted Frank. Ah, could you get within gunshot!" "Very easily!" Sloane stared at him. "You-!luven't bad a ruction with any of them yet?" he asked. Yes," replied Frank, lour of them." "Eh-er-bow did you come out!" "Top of tbe heap." "You don't tell me--" "Yes, I do. Four of the Black Squadron with their rascally crews are at the bottom of the sea.'' Sloane gasped. He sprang up from his chair and crossed the cabin !loor twice. "Four!" be exclaimed. "Why, man, that nearly wipes them out! There are but two left!" "That is true.'' For some moments the Raleigh's commander was too astonished to speak Finally he said: "By Jove, Rende you have done n big thing!" "Well, I don't know.'' "WlY, I tell you the Tennessee couldn't catch them. Neither could any of the ships or other nations. ThAy could dodge into the straits and !:nlets of thesa Drchipelngoes and simply laugh at us all." "You must remember," said Frank, "that my boat is a light draught boat, and also a submarine craft. That is a great advantage." "Very true. But the invention of the thing! Tell me all aoout it, Reade. I consider it wonderful!" With this Frank: detailed all the incidents which bad befallen him since coming toto the Mozambique Channel. Sloane listened with open eyed wonder. "You are a born tighter," be enid, when Frank bad fioisllell. "Uncle Sam ought to make an Admiral of you!" "By tile way," said Fmnk, "you lmve had eome experience with the pirates. Would you mind telling me what it was!" "Cert ainly!" replied Sloane. "You see this is how 1t was. Yester day morning we sighted a burning ship-two points otr our bow--" ''Ah!" "Just as you did. Well we bore down for her. Only one man was saved, and he is now sure on board. ile was drilli n g on a spur. His story that he hull left Calcutta tPn days b e fore on his way to Mv zambique aboard the English brig Chester, Captain Aldene. Allan Clark, which was the name of tile rescued man, was on his way to Mozamltique to intercept an American ship, aboard wllich was the young laay whom he hoped to make his wife, and--'' Frank np excite d ly. What did you say his names was!" be cried. Sloane looJ;ell surprised. Allan Clark," he replied. What a coincidence!" cried 'the young inventor; "do you remem b e r that I to hi" you of a young la, : y on board tho Sanla Clam whom we rescued when tLat ship went ashore?" "Yes!" Well, her name is Clare Ralston, aud she is the lady whom he was l o rn e e t und marry!" "Great Jupite r!" exclaimed Sloane. What a romance. Why Clark wtll be crazy when be h ears it!'' "One momeut!" "Weill" You have not me what was the result of your chase of t!le pirate vessel!" "Ab, that is easy. We tried to overhaul her in vain. She go t away, and we have never got truck of her since until this very night, wbeu we Cllllnced to cross her bows buck h'lre e. few miles. We lireme of the islands. I will find her and drive her out. You can wuit on the outside here and scuttlej ber, see." "JuSt so. But shall we try it m the tlarkness!" "No; it wants but an hour or two or daybreak. It will be easy enough to do iL then.'' Very good! Your plan is a capital one, and I am glad to cooper ate. At this rate the Black Squadron will soon become a thing or the past." I think and hope so. Now--" "Whatf' I am deeply in teres ted in these :oung lovers, I should like to see them reunited.'' "By Jove, so would I!'' "I have n plan!" What is il!'' Frank took a pencil and wrote a little comical diagram on a piece of paper. The commander laughed. Good!'' he dt!clured; "that is capital. I am with you, Mr. Reade. Let the good work go on." All right.'' Frank went back to the gangway where Barney awaited him. Barney," he 11aid. Yis, sor. '' I want you to row back to the Rocket and tell Miss Ralston that Commander Sloane wishes to see her immediately on board the Raleigh.'' All roight, sorl" "Bring her buck wilh you. Tell her it is very important." "I will, sor." In a few moments Barney bad carried this message to Clare. Won deringly she prepared to obey. Meun while, Sloane bud sent a middy down to Clark's stateroom with a peremptory summons to report instantly to the commander in thE> chart room. This led oil the main cabin. Wonderingly, young Clark at once obeyed. When be reached the chart room he saw Sloane seated at a table. The commander suia sternly: ''Clark, I have some very serious things to say to yon. You will oblige me by remaining here under arrest until I return." The youth's face flushed. How is this Captain Sloane?'' be began. Bot the commander said: "If you are wise rou will make no talk. Simply oblige me thia much. I don't wish to iron you to compel you to obey me.'' There is no need of that, sir," said the youth with llaBhlDg eyes. ".My word is my bond." Tben make it good. I will trust you to stay here till I return.''


= 14 BLACK SQUADRON. Clark sank into a chair utterly uriable to understand it all. that moment he thought the commander of the Raleigh u very cranky and uncivil man. Meanwhile Sloane reached t!Je deck just us Clare Ralston came up the gangway. Frank met her and introduced her to !;be commander. Sloane bowed politely, and said: Pray come mto the cabin with us, Miss Ralsto n. I have some very important tidings lor you!" A light !Ike Heaven flashed across her beautiful face. "011," she cried, "is it-iB it from Calcutta!" "Yes," rqplied Sloane, who could not have told a falsehood in reply to that appeal. One moment her eyes were fixed searchingly upon Sloane's face. In 'hat instant the shrewd commander afterwards declared that he felt as if !Jis whole life was a printed book revealed to that keen scrutmy. She evidently detected something reassuring lor she said no more but followed him into the cabin. "Pray b!. For sale by all newsdealers In tbe United States and Canada, or sent to your address, post on receipt of price. Address Frank Tousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730.


\ \ rapk Tousey's Books. Containing Useful Information on Almost Every Subject Under1 the Sun. Price 10 Cents Per Copy No. I. No. 15. I No. 28. Napoleon's Oraculnm and Dream Book. HOW TO BECOME RICH. HOW '1'0 l'ELL OontainiD$' the &Teat orac1e of human destiny; also the Tb18 wonderful book presents you with the example and J)lete book. Price 10 cents. The book is edited by on A of the most successful m e n of tbe present age, wbose own example is in itself guide enough for those who aspire t(l fame and money, The book will give you the secret. Price 10 cents. No.2. HOW TO DO TRICKS. '!'be great book of maeio and card tricks, containing full Instruction. of all the le,.ding card tricks ot the day, also the most popular ma&ical tllusionb as performed by our leading magtcians; every boy should obtain a cop7, as it will both amuse and iaetruot. Price 10 cents. No.3. HOW '1'0 }'LffiT. is interesttng to everybody, both old and young. You can-D.ot be happy without one. Price 10 cents. No.4. HOW TO DANCE II the title of a new and handsome little book just issued .. off in all popuJ&r No. e. HOW TO BECOME AN ATHLETE. No. 17. HOW 'fO DRESS. Oontaiuing full instruction in tbe art of dressing aud appearing well at. home abroad, giving the selections of colors, m&teriaJ, and how to Dave them made up. Price 10 cents. No. 18. HOW '1'0 BECOME BEAUTIFUL. One or the brightest and moat valuable little booko evet ativen to the world. Everybody wishes to know bow to become beautiful. both male a.nd female. The secret is aimple, and almost costleSB Rea.d this book and be contiuced how to become beautiful. Price 10 cents. No. 19. FRANK TOUSEY'S United States Distance 'l'ables, Pocket Com panion and Guide Glviol{ lthe official distances on all the railroads ot the United and Canada. Also, taBle of distances b7 water to foreign porte, hack fares in the princifal citie,., most No.20. How to Entertain an Evening Pat1, y. A very valuable little book just published. A complete oompendium of games, sports, card-diversions, comic recreat.ioos, etc., for parlor or drawing-room entertainment. It contains more for the money than &llJ book published. Prioe 10 coots. No. 21. HOW TO HUNT AND FISH. Every one is desirous of knowing what his future lite wiU bring forth, whetbe r happiness or mi s ery, we alth or bT!it u11es of your friends. Price 10 cents. No. 29. HOW '1'0 BECOME AN INVENTOR. Every boy should khow how inventions orilii.ate. 'I'ld1 book explains them n.ll, givmg examples in electricity, hy draulics, magnetism, optics pneumatic s, mechanics. etc.. eto. '11tHt mo2t instructive book published. Price 10 oenta No. 31. HOW TO BECOME .A. SPEAKER. illustrations, giv;ng the different po !ntions r equisite to a good speaker, reRder and elocutinniet Also containing gems from all the popular authors of prose aod poetrY, 1Crranged in the moe&. anc! conoJee mann"r possible Price 10 cents. No. 34. HOW '1'0 FENOE. Containing fun Jnatruction for fencing and tbe use of ths broadsword; also instruction in arobery with twenty-one pract ical illustrations, triving the bestposition.e in feacin&. A complete book Price lO cent.e. No. 35. HOW TO PLAY GAMES. The mot complete huotiol{ and fishing guide over pub lished. It contains full instructions about guw, hun tine A complete and useful little book, containing the rn181 with and regulations of billiards, bagatelle, bacQammon, 01'0-.. quet, dominoes. etc. Price 10 cents. h&od-book for makinr; all kiodo of cand7, loeSJrupa, e.uenoea. etc., etG, Price 10 cenM. No.22. HOW '1'0 DO SECOND SlGHT. Hellet 'e eooond ek;ht explained by his former asaistant. also giving all t.he codes and signals. 'J'he onl7 authentic explanation of second sight. PricelO cents. No.23. HOW TO DREAMS. Everybody dre ams, from the little child to the aged man and woman. 'l'bis httle book gives the explanation to all cents No.24. HOW TO WRITE J.E1"l'ERS TO GENTLE MEN. Oodtaining full directions for writing to gentlemen on all subjects; alao giving sample letters for matruction.. Price lOcents. No.26. HOW'l'O ROW, SilL.A.NDBUILD.A.BOAT. Fully illustrated. Ever7 boy should know how to TO\Y and sail a boat. Full instruct1ena are eiveR in this Jittle book, togetber with iastructions on sw1mmiog and riding, companion sporta to boating. 10 cents. No. 27. HOW TO RECITE AND BOOK OF RECI Oontaiaing the most popular selections in nee, comprisin& Dutch fl1alect, French dialect, Yankee and lriah dialect pieces, toget.her wit& man1 standard reading& Price 10 centa. No. 36. HOW '1'0 SOLVE CONUNnRUMS. Containing all the leading conundrums of the day, amueiq riddles, curioua catches &lld witty aayinp. PrictllO centa. No. 37. HOW TO KEEP .flOUSE. It contains infoTm&tion for everybody, boye. airls, mea and women; it will tea(:h you how to make almnst around. the house, as parlor ornaments, bnteket' eements, II!Oli&n ha

LATEST ISSUES OF THE. FIVE CENT COMIC LIBRARY. 67 'rlTO Ha.rrl Nut,s; or. A 'J'erm of Fun A.t. Dr. OrackAm's Academy, by :Smiley 58 The tihortys' Country Store, by Petet' Pad 59 Muldoon's vllcntion, by l 'o m reaser 60 JllCk Ha.wser's 'l'avero, by Peter Pad 6l Tkey ; or. He G-ot Left, by Tom Teaser 62 Jo&eph Jump and His Old Blind Nag, by Peter Pad 63 'l'wo in n. Box; or, Tbe Long and Sbort ot Jt. by Tom Teasdr &I The Shortx (\ids; -or, Chips of 1'hree Ulci Blocks, by Peter Pad 65 1\like .Mcnuinness; or, l'ra.veling for Plensure, 66 The Shortys' Chri stmas Snaps, 67 'J'he Bounce 'l'wins or, 'l'be 'l'wo Worst. Boyij m the World, by 81llll :Smiley 68 Niml>le Nip, the I111p of the School, by Tom Teaser 69 Sam Spry, the:8ewYork Drummer; or, Busmess Before Pleasure, by l'eter Pnd iO Muldoon Out \\..,.est, by Tom 'l'easer 71 'those Quiet I' wins, by Pad 72 the FHema.n, by Tom l'easer 73 A Rolling Dtoue; o r, J< Ready's Lite of Jiluu, by Peter Pad 74 An Old Boy; or, .!\ltdonoy After Education, by Tom 'l'enser 75 Tumbling Tim; or, Trnvelin g With a. Uircus, by Perer Pad 76 Judge O l en.ry's Conn try Court, by l'om Teaser 77 Jnck Ready':s School pes, by Peter Pnd 7 8 M nldoon. 1 he Solid i\1 au, by l 'o n Tett.ser 79 Joe Juuk, the Whaler; or, Anywhere tor J(un, by Peter Pad tO The Detlcon's or, The Imp of the by Tom l'tm.ser 8 1 Behind the Scenes; m, Out With a New York Uombina.tion. by .t'atl S'l rhe Four, br Peter PMl 83 l\tnldoous Bn\1 Olnb, by Tom 'l't-aser 84 Muldoon's Bu.ll Uluh iu Boston, by 'l 'ou1 'rflle Tommy l:Sottnce on His Travels: or, A111ericu. for Fun, Uy Peter Pnd 92 Bou.rdin g -Bchool; or, S1uu Bowser ut Work and Play. by Peter Pad 93 Ned Door; or, The Irish f.'wins, by T o m Teaser 94 The Aldermen Sweeneys of New Yurk, by l'om Teaser 95 A Bud Boy's Note Book, by" Ed" 96 A Bad Hoy at School, by Ed" 91 Jin:may Grimes, Jr.; or, the 1'ol'ment of t .he Village, hy 'fom Teaser 98 Jack and Jim; or, H.acl,ets and at. School, by 'l'om l'easer 99 'l'he Book Agent.'s Luck, by" Jl:d" 100 .\luldoon's Bo1Lrdmg House, by Tom Teaser 10L l\lttldooo's Brotht:n Da.n, by Tom l 'aalSer 102 'J'he 'l'raveling Dude: or. 'l'he Comical Adventures of Ularence Fitz H.oy Jones, by 'l'um 'l'eMer 10 3 Senator .\1 uldoon, by 'I' om 104 or, \rorlad 117 Younu Dick Plunket; or. The Triuls nod 1'ribuJn.tions of l>enezer Orow, by tinm 118 Muldoon in Ireland; or. 'l'he Solid l\1nn on the Old Sod, by 'l'om l ' r 119 i\lul.trt 11. by :Smiley 143 Stump; or," Little, But, Ob, My!' Pnrt I. by Peter Pad 144 Stump: 01, 01 I.ittle, llut, OI.J, :\1y!" Purt II by .Peter Pud 145 :Shoo-Fly;, or, No body's :\lnke. Pnrt I. by Tom 'Tease r 146 Shoo-Fly; or, Jlloke. Part II. b)' Tom '!'e1tser 147 Chips and Ohin Ohiu, the l'wo Orphnn"i Pnrt I hy Peter Pad 148 Chit'S and ()bi n (;bin, tlle Two Orpbuns. Part II. b) Peter Pall 149 The Shorlys on the Road; or, In the Old Busi-ness ,J 1ist for Fun. Pa.l't I, by Peter Pad 150 'rbe Shortys ou the Ro11d; or, In the Old Business fo1lJ'un. Part. H. ty Pad 151 Our Willie; or, The Last of the Fitz-Herberts. by rom 'l'easer 152 Plaster and Stickem; or, Out For the Stuff, by miley 153 Muldoon's Flats. Part I. by rom' 154 }i'Ja.ts. Part II. by 'l'om All the aho1e libraries are for sale by all newsdealers. in the United States and Canada, or sent t9 your address, post-paid, on of price. Adrlres s P. 0. Box 2730. FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 34 & 36 North Moore Street, lATEST ISSUES OF THE FRANK READE LIBRAR By 77 Frank Reade, Jr, Kxplorinl! a Submarnine Mou!ltltin; 102 Lost in the Mountains of the Moon; or, Frank Reade, 125 Latitude 90: or, Frank Rende, J or, Lost at tbe Bottom o t the Sen. Jr.'s Great Trip With His New Air-Ship, the i\lid-A ir Flhrht. 78 Frnnk Jr.'s Unclart 11. rour His Bicycle Car. the Yucatan Uha.nnel Witll H1e New 87 or, Fighting Ill or, Frank 1 136 Frank Reade, Jr., 88 Under tile Amazon for a l bousu.nd Miles; or, Frank 112 The Underground Sea; or. Frank Reade, Jr.'s Subter-Stnked Plains With His'' Electric Racer." H.eade, Jr!e \VonderfnlTriv. ra.m'lan Cruise in His :O,ubma.rine Boat. 137 The Transient Lake: or, l t'rank Reade, Jr. 89 Frank Reade, Jr.'s Search for the Silver Wb;de; or, 113 The Mysterious Mirage; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Dt>sert tures in a Country With His Under Ocean in the Electric'' Dolphin." for a. Secret Uity with His New Over1and 138 Frank Reade. Jr.'s 90 and 114 The Klectric Island; or. l!'rnnk Reade, Search for Submarine .Sear c h for a. Deep Sen. Wonder. 91 Search l!'or a. Lost !\Ian in His Lat-1 on Earth \Vitb His Air-Shrp. 139 .. or, lt'rank Reade. Jr., 92 Rende, Jr., In Central India; or, Tbe Search 115 .lfor Six Weeks Buried in a Deep Sea Cave; or, 140 Over the Steppes; or, Adrift in Asia With 1 For the Lost Savants. Frank Reade, Jr.'s G1'e&t Submarine Search. Reade. Jr. 93 The 1\Jissing [sla.nd; Ol", Frank Reade Jr.'s Wonderful 116 'l'he Gnlleon's Gold; or, F'rank Reade, Jr.'s Deep Sea 141 The Unknown Sea; or, ll'rank Reade, Jr.'s Trip Under the_ Deep Sea.. 'Vater g 4 Over t .he Andes Witll Frank Reade, Jr., in His New 117 Australia. With Frank Rende, Jr, fn His N"ew 142 ivoorr.yF.rnnk Reade, Jr.'s Quest or, Wild A1tventures in Pern. Electric Uu.r; or, 'Vonderful Adventures in the u 95 Fra.nk Reade, Jr.'s Prairia Whirlwind; or, The Mystbry Anripodes. 143 'l'he Lost or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Mid-A of tbe Hidden Canyon. 118 Frn.n I< H.eufie, ,T r 's G rent est Flying Machine; or, 144 Tn:S8enMrch" W1 0 lnBn'd'"' ,:;oe'rv, i_pe. 4tldee,"JSrk.l_8 FDI!eerp." 96 Under the Yellow Sea; or. Frank Reade, the Terror of the Coast. .. ., ... R ., tor the ()nve of Penrls \Vitb. His Nelv Submn.rine 119 On the Great Mer1dinu with Reade. Jr., In His 'l'rip of Mystery. Cruiser. A 'l'wents-Five Thousand Mile 145 Reade, Jr.'s 97 A"ronnd tbe Horizon for 'l'en Thousand Miles; or, 1'20 Under the Indian Ocean Wirh Frank Reac\e, Jr.; or, 146 In Wlnte LHtitndes: or Frank Reade, Jr.'s Wonderful 'J'rin With H1s Airi\ Cruiss in a Suhmarine Boat. 'rbousand 1\Tile Fiigh Ship. 121 Astray in t.he Salvas: or, 'fbe Wild Experiences of 147 Below the Snhnra.: or, 98 Frank Jr 'e: "SI


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