The dark secret; or, Sam Short, the boy stowaway

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The dark secret; or, Sam Short, the boy stowaway

Material Information

The dark secret; or, Sam Short, the boy stowaway
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Poyntz, Launce
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Mystery fiction. ( gsafd )
Detectives -- Fiction -- United States ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )


Original Version:
Volume 1, Number 9

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
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:
028874745 ( ALEPH )
07234731 ( OCLC )
B15-00007 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.7 ( USFLDC Handle )

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LONGER STORIES THAN CONTAINED... Fl ve -ce .... ANY S:IVE CENT LIBRARY PUBLISHED .. ,-, Ill A DIFFEREr-tT COMr.>l.eTE EVt;RY WEEK He was confronted by a small, elfish-looking boy, who had sprung from heaven knew where, and who h eld out Captain Andrews' own razor over the fingers with which he clutched the gunnel.


B VEB LD .fl Different Complete Story Every W eek Issued Weekly B y Subscripllim 1z.5 0 per year. Entered acc01 din;r to Act of Cottp-ess t'n tlze year 1qo3, t'n tlze Office of tlze Lt'brarian of Congress. Wasltington, J). c.: STRET & SMITH, 238 St., N. Y. No 9. NEW Y O RK, Feb r u ar y 2 1 1 903. P rice Five C e n t s D K c ET; O R, Sam S h ort the Bo y Sto" v a w a y Ily LAUNCE POVNTZ. CHAPTER I. THE START. 'Wh en Captain William A. Andrews sail e d from Point of Pines, Boston Harbor, in his little twelve-foot dory, the Dark Secret. he did so, in his own words, "to show what can be done with a small, well-constructed boat," and to beat the American record for deeds of apparent foolb!rtdiness, but real courage and calculation. He knew that his voyage, if successful, would be the most wonder ful ever known, and that fame and fortune wou l d follow his safe arrival at Queenstown. What he did not know was that he would have a passenger on board, of whom no one ever dreamed. Captain Andrews took his departure from Boston Harbor on a very memorable day, the eighteenth of ] une, being the day on which the British fell back from Bunker Hill, after being mowed down by the Americans on the seventeenth. It is also the anni versary of the battle of Waterloo, in which the same British got whipped again, by the great Napoleon, till the great-grandfather of the present Kaiser of Germany came to his help, and saved Wellington from being put in a French prison The Dark Secret was accompanied to the beach by at least twenty thousand people from the suburbs of Boston, accordi n g to the reporter of the New York World, who wrote up the account; but he was very far under the mark, being a native of New York, and, therefore, jealous of Boston As a matter of fact, the who l e population of Boston turned out to see Andrews sail away. and the light of the su n shone on so many pairs of spectacles that the sho re seemed covered with shining stars of light, wherever the beholder looked. A short description of the captain and his wonderful vessel will not be amiss. Sh e was a lifeboat dory .. built in B os ton, o f half inch cedar, with air compartments and a hollow keel. sh o d with two hundred pounds of iron. ln the keel were stored forty gal lons of water, which could be pumped up wh e n required for drinking purposes, and would give an ample allowance for eighty days. The captain proposed to wash only in the sea, as being more economical. For medicinal and ballasting purposes, he car ried a hundred bottles of Apollinaris water, and for food relied on Boston baked beans, canned by a peculiar process, which gives them the real Boston flavor. Fifty pounds of biscuit, eight of corned beef, twenty of canned vegetables, a ham, a can of c o n

BRAVE AND BOLD. over a game of cribbage so often that the captain s\\ore he never would cross the ocean again, unless he did it alone. People thought he was crazy when they saw him actually start. Had he been in Canada, and the place of his yoyage Niagara Rapids, the police would have arres ted him; had h e tried to jump the New Yo1'k bridge, he would ha\ e been punished by the ever vigilant guardians of the great metropolis; but, being outside of Boston limits, there was no police to stop him; and promptly at six o'clock on the evening of Monday, June eighteenth, the people of Point of Pines helped the captain to launch his little vessel from the beach. and he hoisted his lateen sail and set his course for the mouth of the harbor. A hundred thousand voices shouted good cheer to him, and all the bands of Boston had come out to play "Yankee Doodle." "God Save the Queen." and other patriotic airs, as long as the Dark Secret in sight. The little vessel presented a jaunty and reckless appearance iri character with her mission as she sailed down the bay. Small as she was, sbe had been built for safety under any circumstances that might occur in the course of the voyage; decked onr se curely, with absolutely watertight hatchways, with torpedoes to be exploded for protection against the monsters of the deep, with nautical in struments and hooks. and with a perfect captain all alone in his glory. So, at least. Captain William A. Andrews thought on that lovely summer ewning. and there was no one to undecein him as yet. There he \\'as, in an absolutely unsinkable boat, as he reasoned, with two \Yatcrtight compartments that \\'ould float her under any circumstances, unless both were punctured; and h11 had plenty to eat and drink on board, according to his frugal Boston no tions, to last him across the Atlantic Ocean, if necessary. As the sun began to dip toward the horizon, and grew red and fiery, Captain Andre \\'s opened the locker in his beat, which was next to the place where he sat to steer. He had had everything arranged esp e cially for his own comfort in particular place. At ordinary. tiri1es he sat erect on a bench, and grasped the handle of the tiller; but, by simply pressing a few springs, the partition in front of his knees would give way and disclose a long. coffin sbaped space, in which the wearied mariner could stretch his legs wner1 he wished to go to sleep, with the tiller-lines fastened around his wri st, so that the gentle tugging of the rudder would enable him to steer while fast asleep, in fine weather; while, as soon as it grew rough, the pulling would awaken him to his duties. Next to his head was a small locker, which he unlocked as the last rays of the sun cast his shadow on the triangular sail of the Dark Secret. showi11g that njght was approaching. Within that locker rested his choicest treasures in all the bQat, and from it he now drew forth a short clay pipe, together with a bag of to bacco. from which he filled the bowl of his ancient friend, and proceeded to s moke, thoughtfully casting glances around him as he puffed away, t111 his thoughts burst forth in audible language. it was a peculiarity of Captain Andrews that, while extremely taciturn among other people, he had acquired a habit of talking to himself when alone on the sea. A man must have some one to 1alk to at times, and he was no exception to the rule. "Well," he said, addressing himself, as if he had been two 1)c6ple in one, "I tell you what it is, Bill, my boy, it's mighty little lc e p you'll get, if you don't take it while the weather stays fine. u ldn't have a better night than to-night, if we don't run into 11 ,one coming into the harbor. Let's see, where s the Marbfe:1 a d light)'' ,. ;"' -;:fl had not yet sunk q11itc deep enough for the lights on the lighthouses to be visible, but Captain Andrews bad sailed out of that bay too often not to recognize every landmark. There on his left, and some distance astern, lay the village of ).farblehead, the home of s0 many renowned people, while on his right, and still lying apparent almost across his path, the low. yellow lines of sand that marked the peninsula of Cape Cod stretched their warn ing to make no further southing. The Dark Secret had been sailing with a 'fresh western breeze from six o'clock till sun s et, which took place at twenty-five min utes to eight. making. with smooth water, about ten knots an hour. She was, therefore, about fifteen miles from the harbor; and the land. being low. ;ms almost out of sight, save where, as at Marblehead, it arose high and bluff!ike. The course he had taken had put him out of the way of vessels coming from along the cOa<;t, and the Dark Secret was all alone on the waters, when the captain distinctly he;rd the words: "Say. boss, air we safe lo sea yet?" The passenger on the Dark Secret had asserted himself for the first time during the voyage. CHAPTER IL THE VOICE. To say that Captain William A, Andrews was surprised is a mild term for the feelings with which he listened to this mys terious voice. He had been 100king around him, puffing and soliloquizing, when it struck on his ear, c o rning from the bow of the boat, and he gave a violent and burst forth into a nautical exclama tion, into which he had fallen as a matter of habit, crying aloud: "Douse my top lights! What in Davy Jones was that 'ere?" No answer was returned, and the captain, completely mystified, after listening intently for a repetition of the voice, put his pipe back into his mouth, and made the discovery that it had gone out. "What's that?" he cried, and his voice quavered. "If you're a man, where air you? If you're a ghost, what in the name of ] erushy Solomons do you want?" \,Vhen he had spoken, he waited for a full minute, but no answer was returned to any of his questions. Nothing was audible but the was h of the ripples past the sides of the dory, and the sighing of the breeze through the simple rigging of his little craft. The captain stood there in silence for another minute. "Bill Andrews a-talkin' in his sleep! Well, I swear, if that ain't funny!" The captain, with his usual courage, had already recovered the balance of his mind, and had reasoned himself into the belief that he must have been sleeping on his feet, by no meaus an unusual thing among sailors on watch. So he got down into the well, and opened the locker, after which he hauled out a box of cigars. inserted his jack-knife under the lid, forced it open, and be held, reposing therein the fair forms of some genuine Havana cigars, which, his experienced ey" and informed him, could not have cost him less than a hundred dollars a thousand. And there were two hundred and fifty in the box. with the mathematical habit of the sailor, the gallant captain began to cal culate aloud, saying: "Now, Bill Andrews, let's you and me start fair. Two hundred and fifty gives me and you a cigar each for a hundred and twenty five days. That's kinder mean allowances, Bill, ain't it? Yes, I agree with you. Let's double it. One after breakfast, dinner, and supper, and one to make the night watch go easier, and keep a man awake. How's that. Bill? That gives four cigars a da7 for me


I BRAVE AND BOLD. 3 I and you, two apiece, Bill, for sixty days and a half. We'll throw off the half. Then, as you ain't so much used to smoki n g as me, Bill, I guess I'll smoke your share, and that'll give one man some c omfort. You can take pipes. Bill, you know." With that he took out a cigar, smelled it lovingly for a mo ment, and then struck a match and lit it, drawing in his breath with great satisfaction, evinced by a long sigh. He began smoking lazily, when suddenly something arose out o f the water, not fifty feet from the boat, m a de a great curve in the air, and tht;n dived down into the water again The night was clear, and the half moon gave enough light to the solitary mariner to make sure that the strange vis i to r was not a whale It was not thick enough through, nor large enough. Moreover, it arose w1th absolute silence, and dived down again with the same mystery, so that Andrews/for a moment, thought he must have been dreaming again. For the apparition, which had called forth from him his ejaculation, bore the head, as near as he could see, of a,n enormous serpent, and certainly the body that followed it was that of an eel, magnified to the dimensions of a whale in length The appearance of this great creature instantly aroused all of the skill and courage of the intrepid navigator. He had seen something that looked to him very like the great sea serpent which fools deny and sailors see, every now and then. If it should attack his tiny boat, the Dark Secret might be destroyed with ease. It was necessary to scare the creature away; and, with that, into the locker went Andrews, and presently fished out a small dynamite ca r tridge, with a patent fuse, capable of being burned under water. This fuse he lighted, and threw the sputtering missile into the sea. on the exact spot in which the marine monster had dived. It splashed in, and almost instantly afterward came a sharp shock, while a million tongues of flame shot through the water in all directions. The explosion of the torpedo-for such was the cartridge, in fact and intent-pr

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