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Title: The Pirate Shark

Author: Elliott Whitney

Illustrator: Fred J. Arting

Release date: April 13, 2007 [eBook #21052]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by David Edwards, Mary Meehan and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
book was produced from scanned images of public domain
material from the Google Print project.)


The Boys' Big Game Series



Illustrated by Fred J. Arting


Then, without warning, the lines shot up and curled about the landing—cut short and clean.


CHAPTER I. "What's Tringanu?"
CHAPTER II. Jerry Smith, Quartermaster
CHAPTER III. Off for Tringanu
CHAPTER IV. The Pirate Shark
CHAPTER V. What Happened at Honolulu
CHAPTER VI. The Far Seas
CHAPTER VII. "Where's Peters?"
CHAPTER IX. The Black Fin
CHAPTER X. Off for Tigers
CHAPTER XI. The Storm Breaks
CHAPTER XII. The Elephant Gun
CHAPTER XV. Mart Goes Down
CHAPTER XVII. The Mystery o' the Sea

The Pirate Shark



"I don't care what your orders are. Cap'n Hollinger sent for me, and I'm going aboard or I'll know the reason why!"

"Well, ain't you just heard the reason why, son? He ain't here, and orders is orders. There ain't no one comin' aboard the Seamew, that's all. Nothin' was said about any Mart Judson, kid."

"Then I guess your ears need tuning up. I'm comin' aboard, see?"

"Ye'll go overboard then. Well, if the kid ain't goin' to walk right up to me! Look out there, kid—get off that gangplank in a hurry!"

Trouble was in the air. At the rail of the trim yacht Seamew lounged Swanson, her burly first officer, pipe in mouth. He was evidently angry, for his heavy features were dark and lowering and his deep-set blue eyes glittered ominously. But the boy who faced him from the wharf was no less stirred up.

Mart Judson looked a good deal more than his seventeen years, for he had worked his own way in the world and his face had a serious air of responsibility. He wore a smudgy mechanic's cap and greasy overalls, and from his keen gray eyes, determined mouth and chin, and straight black hair, an observer might have deduced that he could be a hard worker and a stubborn fighter if need were.

Yet it was small wonder that Swanson had laughed at him. A boy mechanic asking for Stephen Hollinger personally, insisting that the millionaire had sent for him! Mart started obstinately up the gangplank and the mate laid his pipe on the rail, gave a hitch to his trousers, and moved forward to repel boarders.

Before he reached the open gangway, however, there came an interrupting shout from the deck:

"Hello, old Mart Judson! How're ye?"

A second later Mart found himself clasping hands with his friend, Bob Hollinger, better known as "Holly," the son of the mining expert and millionaire who owned the yacht. It was a hearty greeting, in spite of the greasy, cheap clothes of the one, and the carelessly costly dress of the other. The fact that Mart Judson worked for his living mattered nothing to Bob or to his father; the boys were the same age and had gone through high school together, and the two were firm friends.

Stephen Hollinger was an eccentric yet sensible "old-timer," whose habits were rough and ready and who made Bob work for his pocket-money most of the time. He had been working just at present, Mart noted; his fingers were ink-stained, his blue-eyed, freckled, careless face was smudged, and he seemed both dirty and happy.

Mart glanced about in frank admiration at the white decks and evident luxury aboard the yacht. It was his first visit to the Seamew, for she was seldom used by her owner. Swanson moved off, grumbling. Mart sent a good-humored laugh after the discomfited mate, and turned to his chum.

"What's on your mind, Holly? I had a mighty hard time gettin' away—we're rushed up at the shop. Blurt it out, 'cause I ain't got time for visitin' to-day. Some seamen had a scrap down at the Peniel Mission, and I've got to get down there with some new bulbs and fixtures before dark. What's goin' on?"

"You are," grinned Holly in delight. "Say, Mart—I've got the best news you ever heard! See those boxes over there on the wharf? They're cabin stores for a cruise. And you're goin' along with us."

Mart stared blankly at his friend. Bob was plainly in earnest, for all that his blue eyes were dancing.

"Cut out the funny business! I've got to get back. Did you send that message or did your dad?"

"Nothing doing on going back," laughed Bob, seizing his arm. "Hold on—this isn't any pipe dream, old scout. Mother's gone east for a month. Dad's got to quit work—got indigestion or gastritis or some o' those stomach things. So we're goin' across the Pacific. You're going along."

"Not me!" ejaculated Mart quickly, wondering if his chum were crazy. "I got to hold my job. I'll get a chance at a real wireless job in the spring, maybe."

"Well," and Bob shrugged his shoulders, "if you'd sooner work in the shop for eight a week than be wireless man on the Seamew at forty a month and all found, you can. And if you like San Francisco better'n the other side o' the world, suit yourself. I ain't your boss, of course!"

The two stared at each other, and slowly the reality of the thing grew in Mart Judson's brain. Yet it was impossible! He had his wireless license, but no one would employ him at his age. But Holly was plainly in dead earnest. Mart could only stare.

"Where you going?" he asked suddenly.


"What's Tringanu?"

Bob hesitated. "Well, I'm not quite sure myself," he answered. Then his face brightened quickly. "Here's dad coming now—we'll ask him. It struck me kind o' sudden too."

Mart turned as a step sounded behind him, and his hand met that of Stephen Hollinger. The millionaire was dressed roughly in serge and yachting cap, for he was his own captain aboard the yacht. His strong, whimsical face lighted up in a smile at Mart's expression.

"So you got down, eh! Glad to see you. Bob told you about it yet?"

"I just got here," replied Mart. "If he wasn't joking, Mr. Hollinger—"

"Where's Tringanu, dad?" broke in Bob excitedly.

Captain Hollinger—for he assumed this title aboard the Seamew—looked at the two boys amusedly, then took each by an arm and propelled them toward the companionway.

"Come along to the cabin; I'll give you half an hour. You see, Mart, we've been so rushed that even Bob hasn't had time to get an explanation. I got doctor's orders two days ago to drop business and do it quick. So we came up from Pasadena, the yacht will be in commission in another day or so, and off we go to Tringanu!"

Five minutes later Mart Judson found himself at a big mahogany table, his chum opposite him, while the captain got charts from another cabin. The luxury about him was astonishing; mahogany furnishings, walls, bookcases, a talking machine and a piano, electric lights and fans. Everything that could add to comfort or convenience was there, and he was soon to find that the rest of the yacht was fitted up in like manner.

"Now," began Captain Hollinger, returning with his maps and charts, "maybe you know, Mart, that I'm something of a big game hunter, eh?"

"I should guess!" grinned Mart. Like everyone else in San Francisco he knew that Stephen Hollinger was an enthusiastic sportsman; indeed, mining and hunting were said to be his chief pleasures in life.

"Well, I'm going hunting. And I'm going here—" he put his finger on the map as the two boys craned their necks over it. "Tringanu is one of the Malay states, on the mainland of Asia; it's not exactly civilized, but I'm thinking of getting a mining concession there at a place I heard of.

"Here it is, on this chart of the China Sea. About halfway up the coast of Tringanu, see? It's this bay and the lagoon, where the river drains that big basin, that ought to have gold. There are tigers in the hills, so I'm going over there on my vacation, maybe get a gold-mining concession from the government, shoot a tiger or so, and come home happier, healthier and wealthier. Isn't that a good program, Mart?"

"You bet your life it is!" cried the boy, his eyes shining eagerly. "Golly! Say, was Bob talking turkey about my going?"

"I guess he was," laughed the captain, looking at Bob. "I told him I could use a wireless man—had to have one, in fact—and he said you had your license."

"Got it two weeks ago," admitted Mart with some pride. It had cost him many hours of nightwork and study, had that license as wireless operator. Then his face fell suddenly. "I'm not old enough to take the job, though—"

"Shucks, that don't matter!" broke in Holly. "This isn't a reg'lar job."

"No," assented his father. "All you would have to do is to get market reports every few days and send some messages back. Look at these maps again, boys. Now, here's the place, I figure that we'll go to Honolulu, then hit straight for our goal. The river is named Kuala Besut, and we'll probably stay there a couple of weeks or more, using divers. All the gold along there has to be dredged up, you see. While the diving is going on, we can run up-country shooting."

"Who put you wise to the gold mine, dad?" inquired Bob curiously.

"Old Jerry Smith—a man who has spent all his life out there. He's going to sail with us. Now hush up for a minute, both of you. From Honolulu we go direct to the Malay coast, cutting in through the Philippines without stopping. On the way back we can do all the visiting we want to.

"There's the plan, boys. We'd like to have you go along, Mart, to take care of our wireless. Salary, forty a month and all found. Of course you'd mess with us, at the officers' mess, and you boys could have great old times. How about it? I believe you are free to go, Mart?"

"Plenty free, sir," nodded Mart. "I've had no one to worry over me since mother died, two years ago. Only—it's an awful big thing for a fellow to make up his mind to, right off the bat like this. These here Malay States—aren't they pretty wild and woolly! I've got a notion that's where the pirates come from—"

The financier broke into a laugh.

"Not to-day, Judson! Why, in Tringanu they make some of the best steel in the world—the natives, I mean. That's where those curly krisses and Malay daggers come from. But the piracy is all over. Tringanu isn't exactly civilized, I'll admit, but it's under British protection, like all the rest of the Malay States.

"This place where we're going, Kuala Besut, is inside these islands here, and Jerry Smith says that we can go right up the river in the yacht. Also, he says, it will be easy to take trips into the jungle with some of the native chiefs, and bag a tiger or so."

"Who's this Jerry Smith?" asked Mart.

"He's an old-timer—been beating around the Pacific most of his life. They say he used to be a pirate and blackbirder and that he can tell strange yarns if he will—but that's all talk. He's just a quiet, white-haired old man. I've found from other sources that there'll be no trouble getting a concession on the place—if there's any gold there. Now that's all I know about the thing. It's up to you, Mart!"

"Well," grinned the gray-eyed boy, glancing at his friend, "you needn't worry about me. If you really mean it, I'd—I'd pay you to take me along, sir!"

"Not much," laughed the captain. "It's the other way around, Mart. Well, we sail Monday morning. Old Jerry is getting a crew for us and he'll come aboard Sunday night with the men. You'd better quit work at the shop to-night, get our wireless in shape over to-morrow, to pass the port inspectors, and rest up Sunday. I'll detail Bob to help you—he's been acting as supercargo up to date."

"Much obliged," grunted Bob sarcastically, "How about an outfit? Will Mart have to get any clothes?"

"Not on my ship. They'll come out of the slop-chest. Oh, you needn't look that way, Mart," and the financier laughed at Mart's dismay. "Slop-chest is sailors' slang for ship's stores. Just fetch your ordinary clothes. Bob, you'd better get that stateroom next to yours fixed up; then you boys can be together. Now, is there anything more you fellows want to know?"

"Lots," shot out Mart with a sigh as he rose to his feet. "I want to know so much that it makes my head ache to think of it—but I've got to get back and get these fixtures down to the Peniel before dark. I'll turn up in the morning ready for work. And, say, I'm sure grateful to you, Mr.—er—Captain Hollinger! And I'll do my best to earn my salary, you can be sure of—"

"Well, get along with you," broke in the financier, smiling. "See you to-morrow!"

Bob walked up the wharf with his friend, and as they parted, Mart turned to him.

"By golly, Bob," he said slowly, "I can't believe it! Say, won't we have one peach of a time, though? S'pose your dad will take us along after the tigers?"

"Of course he will!" agreed Holly, who had stout confidence in his father. "We've got more rifles and guns coming down to-morrow than you can shake a stick at. And we'll go down in the diving suits, too—dad's promised that already. Well, so long! See you to-morrow."

As Mart Judson walked up the street, he trod on air. It was like a dream come true. He would be crossing the Pacific, going to foreign lands, getting the very job he had been vainly longing for—and getting paid for it all!

"I wonder if it's really true," he thought, staring with unseeing eyes at the scenes around him. "Blamed if it ain't too good to be true—tiger shooting and diving and gold mines—Oh, what's the use! I'm dreaming!"



"How's she coming? It's 'most noon, Mart."

"Huh? Oh, she's great. I can't find anything wrong, except a little rust. I'll take a look at that transmitting jigger and send out a flash, I guess."

"What's the transmitting jigger?"

"This—the oscillation transformer. It transfers the primary circuit energy, which has low potential, to the aerial circuit, where it reaches a mighty high potential at the free insulated end—"

"Hey! What d'you think I am—a walking 'cyclopaedia?" broke in Bob indignantly. "Cut out that high-flown talk with me, Mart, and get down to where I can collect on you. Going to send a message?"

"Golly, no!" returned Mart, busily, adjusting his current. "We'd have the port officers down on us in a jiffy. It's all right to pick up messages, but to do any private monkey-work by sendin' them is liable to get a fellow in bad. No, I'm just going to see that the sparker's workin' right—"

"Never mind a technical description," broke in Bob. "Just go ahead and I'll be satisfied to watch. But when you get through, there's some stuff down in the cabin that you might like to look over."

"All right," grunted the other, pressing down his key. The blue spark leaped out for a long moment, but Mart was careful not to break it, and with a satisfied nod he threw off the current. The Seamew's wireless, in spite of a year of disuse, was in splendid shape; like other merchant ship stations of modern type, it was almost perfect in its conveniences. The whole transmitting apparatus, from the generator to the aerial tuning inductance, was in a special silence cabinet; this not only kept the noise of the spark and generator down, but shut off all high-tension apparatus from the operator. Mart explained this at some length to his chum.

"It's strictly fool-proof, so I'll give you some lessons when we get out in the ocean," he grinned. "We can send messages all we please there, but not in port."

"Well, you come along down to the cabin," returned Bob ungraciously. He had no knowledge of things mechanical, and no liking for them. His tastes ran to athletics, and by careful cultivation of his body he had made himself the physical equal, or nearly so, of Mart Judson, whose strength and alertness were entirely natural.

Leaving the wireless house, which was on the upper bridge deck just abaft the chart house and signal locker, the two boys slid down the ladders to the lower deck. Cases of provisions and supplies were being slung down the fore hold by the steam winch, and except for the two mates and a couple of wharf hands, no one was in sight. The engine-room crew was aboard, together with the Chinese steward, but the crew of a dozen men would not come aboard until the next night.

Indeed, the principal use for a crew aboard the Seamew was to keep the brasswork polished and the decks holystoned, it seemed to Mart. Everything was done by steam-power; while the wheel-house had a helm, the steam steering-gear was used entirely, the anchor was worked by steam, and the boats and launch carried on the bridge deck could be swung out by the same power.

"What's waiting for us?" queried Mart as they turned to the after companionway leading to the cabins.

"You come along and see," returned Bob Hollinger mysteriously. "Dad's gone uptown, so we got the craft to ourselves right now."

Mart followed his friend down into the cabin, then stopped suddenly and caught his breath. A big mahogany chest stood open at one side, and on the table was laid out an astonishing array of hunting supplies. There were guns of every conceivable size and shape, it seemed to him. He picked up the first to hand and examined it, while Bob excitedly explained.

"That's a Mannlicher-Schoener. It's dad's favorite for big game, Mart."

"Huh!" exclaimed Mart critically. "She ain't much bigger'n the old twenty-two I used to have, Holly. I'll eat all the big game your dad ever shoots with that gun!"

"Don't you believe it! That's the Austrian army gun—she's a two-fifty-six caliber cordite, hasn't any kick to speak of, and they use it on elephants in Africa. Why, she'll kill at a mile, Mart!"

"Mebbe," and Mart doubtfully laid the weapon down. "You'll have to show me first, though. Whew! this looks like a regular hardware shop! That's a beaut of a shotgun."

While it hardly seemed possible that the Austrian gun could be all Bob said, Mart knew that his chum was well posted. However, there were guns of all sizes and kinds, from target rifles to heavy twenty-gauge Parker shotguns, as well as four ugly-looking automatic pistols. Besides these there were half a dozen long hunting-knives, bandoliers, belts, and other articles of equipment.

"Dad sent down his whole outfit," explained Bob gleefully. "We're likely to get a chance for some fine shooting on the voyage. But say! Come in here a minute! This'll make you sit up, sure!"

He hastily led his chum into the smoking-room beyond. A large packing-case stood on the floor, and on the table was a small but complete moving-picture machine, at sight of which Mart gave a yell of delight.

"By golly!" he cried, examining it. "It's one o' those English things, Holly—I was reading about it last week! You take 'em around with you and—why, she's a wonder! No bigger'n a camera, either!"

In fact, the whole machine was no larger than a good-sized camera, and Mart decided on the spot that he would be moving-picture operator. It was Captain Hollinger's intention to take pictures of Kuala Besut, of his prospective gold-concession, of the whole vicinity, and of his tiger hunts if possible, and the two boys were wild over the prospect. Suddenly Mart turned as a quiet voice broke in from behind.

"Hm—hm—beg pardon, gentlemen!"

A stoop-shouldered, gentle-faced old man stood in the doorway, cap in hand. He had very watery blue eyes, his expression was mild in the extreme, and long white hair fell on his shoulders; but for his tanned, leathery skin, Mart would have taken him for an old clerk in a bank.

"Yes?" inquired Bob. "You wanted someone here?"

"Why, I was looking for the cap'n," said the old man. His voice was soft, but carried far. "My name's Smith, Jerry Smith, quartermaster."

"Oh, you're the Jerry Smith that's to sail with us!" Bob spoke in no little astonishment, for the old man looked anything but a tarry sailor. "Why, dad's gone uptown for the afternoon, Mr. Smith. I'm Bob Hollinger, and this is Mart Judson, who goes with us."

"Pleased, gentlemen," and the other jerked his head slightly, gazing around with mild interest. "That's a sight o' hardware, here in the main cabin. My stars! Is the cap'n going to shoot all those weapons, young sir?"

"Well, he hopes to," grinned Mart easily, shoving back the mop of black hair from his brow. "Going to take moving pictures, too. I'm the wireless operator."

"Eh?" Jerry Smith looked astonished. "Why, young sir, that is surprising! I did not know we—we were going to have a wireless operator!" His watery eyes blinked a little, and his soft voice dropped to a deeper tone. "Well, well! And I was just about your age, I imagine, when I first put to sea!"

Mart hoped for a moment that the old man was going to spin a yarn, but instead he only heaved a sigh and mopped at his nose with a huge bandanna.

"Well," he said to Bob, "I'm sorry to miss your father, young sir. And would you please to tell him that the crew'll come aboard to-morrow night, and that I'll be aboard afore then with the papers? I'll have to sign on as quartermaster, you know, and the cap'n—"

"Eh?" Bob struck in with a frown. "Why, you're going as a guest, Mr. Smith! Dad doesn't want you to sign on at all."

"Just Jerry, if you please!" the old man smiled quietly. "Jerry is my handle, young sirs, just Jerry. About signing on, now. I've never put to sea yet, young sirs, but what I've been entered shipshape and Bristol fashion, and I'm not going to start wrong at this time o' life. I want to be on the ship's articles as quartermaster, that's all—that's all. I got my discharges all proper, and if we should lose an officer, I've got a first officer's ticket. I don't want any wages, young sirs, but I want to be signed on all shipshape. It'll make me feel a sight better. You'll tell the cap'n that?"

"Why, sure!" returned Bob heartily. "And I'm glad to meet you, Jerry. You'd better keep in mind that I'm Bob, or Holly—either one hits the right spot—and I don't like that 'young sir' business."

"Nor me," put in the gray-eyed boy, stepping forward with his hand out. "I'm plain Mart, without any Mister either, Jerry, and I'm glad to meet up with you."

The three shook hands. Mart noted that old Jerry had a very strong chin and a tight-lipped mouth, for all his gentle appearance, and his hands were very gnarled and knotted. His dress was old and weatherstained, but had nothing of the sailor in it. Mart had seen enough of sailors along the waterfront, however, to know that clothes do not count in such cases.

With a final duck of his head, Jerry Smith turned and shuffled away.

"Well, what d'you think o' that!" Bob stared at his chum as the stoop-shouldered figure vanished up the companion. "Pirate! Say, do you reckon he ever saw a pirate ship? I guess dad has things twisted about him, eh?"

"I'm not so sure," returned Mart slowly, thinking of that firm chin and knotted hand. "I'm not so sure, Holly. You can't go by what you read in books, always. Sure, I know he's a nice old fellow, but he's a queer fish just the same. And as for bein' a pirate, there's that man Morris, who's workin' on the Tribune now as city editor. He's as quiet and nice as you ever see 'em, but they say he's been all kinds of things. That shows you, Holly, that you can't go by looks."

"Anyhow, I guess he's reformed by now," stated Bob decisively. "And pirating is out of date these days. He's only an interesting character, as the books say."

"He sure is," agreed Mart promptly. "Say, Holly, we're going to have a whopper of a time in the next month or so, ain't we?"

Bob grinned happily. "You're dead right, old boy! Say, it's noon—"

"By golly, that's right! When do we eat? I'm some empty."

"Right now. Ah Sing has the grub ready, I guess. Hike along, you pirate!"

And Mart hiked with a wide grin.



It was Sunday afternoon. Joe Swanson and the second mate, "Liverpool" Peters, had departed that morning to enjoy their last few hours on shore. Captain Hollinger, Mart, and Bob were alone on board, save for the steward, and the three were sitting around a big pitcher of lemonade under the after-deck awnings. The financier-yachtsman was enthusiastically outlining his plans for sport during his trip.

"We're going to have a great time, boys," he exclaimed heartily, "I've got everything on board you can think of, from tackle for sharks to dynamite."

"Huh? Dynamite?" asked Mart quickly. "What's that for, Cap'n?"

"I don't know," returned the captain coolly. The two boys stared.

"What—you don't know?" asked Bob in surprise. His father laughed.

"No. I put it aboard at the suggestion of old Jerry Smith. He said we might have need for it during the diving operations, and I simply took his advice. He's pretty well posted on everything out in that section of the world, and promises me some exciting sport shooting tigers."

"I thought tigers were found only in India," put in Mart, puzzled. "That's where they usually shoot 'em, isn't it?"

"No," said the captain, leaning back and lighting his cigar. "No, Mart, you're off there. You'll find tigers all through the Malay States and up into China proper—I believe they've even been found in parts of Japan. We're going to have some great shooting, boys! And while I'm off with you in the jungle, or hills—for I'm not sure which we'll find—old Jerry can be managing the diving and dredging operations at the other end without bothering me till the work's ready for inspection."

"What's Jerry gettin' out o' this?" queried Mart thoughtfully.

"Oh, I'm to allow him one-third of the stock. Our consul at Singapore is already getting us the concession, and Jerry has letters from the Sultan of Tringanu to all the native chiefs."

"What're they like, dad?" Bob sat up. "The letters, I mean."

"They're written in Arabic," laughed his father. "There are a good many Arabs out in that part of the world, and I suppose Arabic is the usual written language; or rather, the Malays use the Arabic characters. They're all Mohammedans, anyway."

"Can't we take a squint at those diving outfits?" Mart looked out at the sparkling waters of the bay, and sighed. "Oh, I'd give 'most anything to go down and really get underneath the ocean! Where are the outfits, Cap'n?"

"Boxed up in the hold, Judson. There's no chance of our using them till after we get to Tringanu. Swanson knows a good deal about diving, and Jerry Smith promised to pick up a couple of men who were used to it, so we'll be all right there."

"Oh!" Mart suddenly sat up and squared around in his seat. "Am I under Swanson's orders, Cap'n?"

"Nominally, yes, as a member of the crew. But in actual fact, no. Why?"

The boy's face was troubled, and he hesitated an instant.

"Nothing much," he said at last, his gray eyes suddenly hard and cold. "Only, I had an argument with Swanson Friday, and by somethin' he said yesterday I wondered if I was under him."

"I guess not!" cried Bob indignantly. "You're an officer, and you're under no one but the captain—who is dad."

"That's right, Mart," nodded Captain Hollinger. "You take your orders from me, and that's all. Hello, there's Swanson now!"

The boys looked up to see the burly mate coming along the dock. Without heeding them, he crossed the gangplank and went forward, doubtless to remove his "shore clothes," in order to prepare for the night's work.

Captain Hollinger had heard the message left by Jerry Smith, saying that the old man could sign articles and draw wages if he liked. It looked to Mart as though the old seaman was cranky and wanted to have things just so, in which opinion Bob agreed, but as Jerry was to all intents a partner in the expedition, it mattered little.

The sun was just going down, and the boys were looking for the last time on the hills of San Francisco, when Swanson came along the deck and touched his hat to the captain in a hesitant fashion. Mr. Hollinger, who was no mere amateur sailor, nodded.

"Yes, Mr. Swanson? Mr. Peters come aboard yet?"

"Not yet, sir." Swanson hesitated again. "I—I wanted to ask you something, sir, meanin' no offense. Yesterday mornin', sir, there was a little round-shouldered man come aboard—gray hair, he had, and—"

"You mean old Jerry Smith?" asked Captain Hollinger. Somehow both he and the boys always thought of the man as "Old Jerry."

"Yes, sir, that's him. If I might ask, sir, is he a-going to ship aboard us?"

"Why, he was going as passenger, Mr. Swanson, but seems to have changed his mind. Yes, he'll sign articles as quartermaster. Why, do you know him?"

"No, sir, not rightly," and the mate shuffled awkwardly. "He—he ain't said to be a lucky shipmate, Cap'n. They tell queer yarns about him; I've heard say as he was off his head a bit. Is he the one what's bringing the crew abroad, sir!"

"Yes—why? This talk is all nonsense, Swanson. Smith is as sound in his head as you or I, and he certainly knows the sea."

"Yes, sir," agreed the mate quickly—a little too quickly, thought Mart, who was watching him keenly. "Yes, sir. He does that. And he'll bring a crew, Cap'n Hollinger, as'll take handlin'. I was thinkin', sir, that mebbe we'd have quite a ruction to-night—"

The financier laughed. He, as well as the boys, saw now what was on the mate's mind. Swanson believed that old Jerry would pick up a scoundrelly crew, most of them drunk when they came aboard, and that the millionaire might get drawn into a fight with them. Much as he disliked the big mate, Mart gave him credit for being true to his salt, as indeed he was.

"Look here," smiled the captain, getting to his feet and facing the mate, who was an inch shorter than he. "I wouldn't be captain of this yacht unless I could take care of myself, Mr. Swanson. If you doubt it, I'll put on the gloves with you now!"

Swanson grinned. "No, sir, not me! I'm satisfied if you are, Cap'n Hollinger. I just wanted to ease off steam a bit—"

"I understand," laughed the financier. "But I guess you and Peters can handle the crew right enough. Now, you come down and mess with us, and Mr. Peters can take the deck when he comes."

All four descended into the mess cabin as Ah Sing rang the bell, and during the meal Mart revised his opinion of the mate to some extent. He saw that Swanson did not like him because he considered the wireless job a sinecure, and wanted to keep all the crew hard at work all the time. It was the usage of the sea, and the big mate himself was blunt and well-meaning. But Mart Judson had no mind to be ordered about by anyone, and he determined that if Swanson tried it, the mate would find out something.

Peters, the second mate, came aboard before dark, and put the engine-room crew to work, so that after mess the boys went on deck to find steam up and the lines ready to be flung off at a moment's notice. By ten o'clock no crew had come aboard, however, and Captain Hollinger finally ordered the boys to their cabins, in order to get to sleep early.

"Holly!" said Mart softly, when they had left the main cabin. "You going to bed?"

"Huh! With a scrap due to arrive? Not much!"

"Me neither. Let's get up in the bow."

So, treading very softly, they made their way to the bow and crouched there as comfortably as possible. Hardly fifteen minutes had passed when there came a tramp of feet from the wharf, and a confused murmur of voices. Looking down the deck, by the gangway light the two boys could see Captain Hollinger and "Liverpool" Peters waiting. Swanson had disappeared, as it was his watch below.

The noise of feet swelled up into a steady stamping; then, as Mart and Bob got to the rail and looked over, they made out the figures of eight or ten men in the dim glow from the gangway. But, to their great disappointment, there was no fight whatever, and neither did any of the new arrivals seem to be intoxicated. Instead, all halted at sight of the two waiting officers, and the boys saw the stoop-shouldered Jerry Smith come forward and touch his hat.

"We've come aboard, sir, all shipshape and Bristol fashion."

"Very good, quartermaster," replied Captain Hollinger briskly. "Mr. Peters, if you'll see that these men sign articles, we'll be off at the turn of the tide. I'd better come with you, while you send someone after Mr. Swanson. We'll want all hands—"

"On deck, sir," came the voice of Swanson, and Mart looked aft to see the burly mate come to the gangway. Captain Hollinger nodded and led the way below, followed by the first mate and the crew, all of whom seemed to be decent-looking fellows, and far from what Swanson had so gloomily predicted. But, as they vanished, the boys saw the stoop-shouldered figure of Jerry Smith stop abruptly by the gangway; then came Swanson's voice once more, aggressive and heavy.

"Look a-here, Shark Smith! I don't know what your game is aboard this craft, but you lay a fair course or I'll trim you. Savvy that? This ain't the old Coralie, not by a long shot. I'm workin' honest now, an' you ain't goin' to get me from behind neither, like you got poor Bucko Tom!"

Mart, watching in wild astonishment, saw old Jerry crouch abjectly. Then with the mate's final words the old man straightened up as if in accusation. His white hair shone dimly in the light.

"You're right, Joe Swanson, you're right!" he said in his quiet voice, that carried clearly and distinctly to the boys at the forward rail. "But if it was me as got Bucko Tom, who was it got the officers o' the Melbourne, eh? No, no, Joe Swanson! I'm a new man now, and let's forget the past. Fish tell no tales, Joe; fish tell no tales. I'm an old man, but I'm quartermaster o' this packet. I'm an old man, but I'm a new man inside—"

And turning abruptly, muttering as if he was actually out of his head, old Jerry Smith shuffled to the companionway and vanished. For a moment Swanson stared after him as if in surprise, then Mart felt his chum's hand on his arm.

"Better get out o' here, Mart! They'll be sendin' the men forward pretty soon."

"You're right," Mart cautiously led the way aft, as Swanson began ascending the ladder to the bridge deck. When he had vanished, the two boys hurriedly gained their own staterooms, and Bob stopped with Mart for a short chat.

"What d'you reckon those old fellows meant?" asked Mart, rumpling his black hair in perplexity. "Think they knew each other before this?"

"Looks like it," agreed Bob thoughtfully, his blue eyes narrowed. "What did they mean by 'getting' Bucko Tom, an' the Melbourne officers? Do you s'pose—"

"Pirates!" cried Mart excitedly, and dropped his voice. "They were pirates together on a ship called the Coralie! Bet you a dollar on it!"

"Then we're off to sea with a couple o' pirates aboard," responded Bob, as they heard shouted orders above, and the engines began to throb. "Shucks—forget it, Mart—we'll wake up plumb out of sight o' land. We're off—hooray for Tringanu!"

And the Seamew had begun her long voyage.



During the days that followed, the boys saw little of Captain Hollinger. He was largely occupied with getting everything running smoothly aboard ship, during his watches on deck, and except at mealtime he kept to his stateroom at work over maps and papers.

Mart's work was extremely nominal, although necessary. He had few messages to send out and invariably directed that answers be sent at a given time of day, so that he had little more than four hours of work each morning. Bob usually stuck close to the wireless house at this time, and in fact the boys made it a sort of headquarters during the day. It stood back of the chart house on the lower bridge, and the second mate or old Jerry Smith would spend many a "watch below" with them. Swanson, however, kept surlily to himself.

"Liverpool" Peters, the second mate, was a pleasant young Britisher who had been at sea practically all his life, while old Jerry was full of odd ways and tales which delighted both boys, though it was seldom that he would open up to them. He seemed to take a great fancy to Mart, and often when the boys were alone he would wander up, fill his cutty pipe, and settle down for a chat.

The crew was a strange lot. Of the nine men, five were brown-skinned Kanakas, but the other four were white, and seemed to be all old men, though they moved about spryly enough. Dailey was wrinkled and leathery, Birch had only one very black and sparkling eye, Yorke's mouth was twisted into a perpetual smile, and Borden was a quiet little man like old Jerry, gray-haired and respectful.

"They're a queer lookin' bunch," observed Bob one morning, as they left the wireless house and went forward to the bridge, watching the men sluicing down the decks forward.

"You bet," nodded Mart, laughing with sheer enjoyment of the blue sky and bluer ocean. "Where'd you pick 'em up, Jerry?"

Both boys turned to the quartermaster, who was at the wheel in the little house behind them. He smiled, as watches were changed and Dailey came up to relieve him.

"Where'd I find them, Mart? Oh, I just ran across 'em. Dailey, here, used to be on a ship wi' me, once." He looked around, and the leathery seaman grinned slightly.

"Who'll do the diving?" asked Bob, as they walked back to the wireless house and flung themselves into deck chairs, while old Jerry filled his pipe.

"Two o' the Kanakas, lad. They're main good at that."

"Are you goin' hunting with us?" shot out Mart. "Tiger hunting?"

"That depends, lad, that depends," and Jerry wagged his head solemnly. "I never killed a tiger yet. I've killed whales, though, aye, and tiger sharks! Think of the mystery of the sea, lads—wave after wave, with the fish down below and us up here above! Fish tell no tales, lads, fish tell no tales. There's strange things out where we be bound for."

"What?" asked Bob eagerly. "Sharks?"

The quartermaster nodded. For a moment he seemed to hesitate, then turned to Mart and laid a hand on the boy's knee.

"Lads, did you ever hear tell o' the Pirate Shark?"

Mart thrilled at the name, and the tone of the old man's voice gave him a creepy feeling, as it often did.

"No!" he exclaimed delightedly, scenting a yarn. "What about him?"

"Well, I've heard as he's livin' in the very place we're going to—that Kuala Besut, off Tringanu."

"Huh?" grunted Bob, sitting up quickly. "And us going to dive? Not much!"

Jerry laughed softly, gazing out at the sparkling waters.

"The Kanakas ain't afraid, lad. Only they don't know—they don't know. You see, this here Pirate Shark is pretty famous down through the Chiny Sea. But old Jerry Smith, he's the only one that knows. He's the only white man, lads. The Chinks know, and the Malays know, but they wouldn't go near the place. The mystery o' the sea, lads—wave after wave! The gold down below, and us up above—and fish tell no tales, lads—"

He fell silent, still gazing at the horizon. Mart glanced at Bob, and caught a significant wink as Holly tapped his forehead. Mart frowned.

"What do you mean?" he asked sharply. "Is there a shark by that name? What kind o' stuff are you handing us, Jerry?"

The old man turned and looked square at him, and his gentle face seemed suddenly changed into a swift vehemence that was amazing. But it vanished instantly, and he was himself again—as if he had put on a mask, thought Mart quickly.

"The Pirate Shark," answered old Jerry slowly. "Yes, I'll tell you about it, lads. There ain't many as knows where the Pirate Shark is, but old Jerry Smith, he knows. He's a big shark, he is—mighty big, an' a man-killer. He come up first at Thursday Island, years ago, an' caught half a dozen Jap pearlers. Then he showed up in the Flores Sea, an' for a year the fishers didn't dare visit the pearlin' beds. After that he went over to the Sulu Islands, down to Java, back to the Chiny Sea—always killin' men, natives or white. Then he vanished for a while—mystery o' the sea, lads, wave after wave—"

Again the old man paused, dreaminess on his gentle face. The boys were leaning forward eagerly, and Bob brought him back abruptly to the subject.

"But what about this place we're goin' to? Is he there now?"

Once more that peculiar look flitted across the wrinkled face—a look of swift suspicion, that vanished as quickly as it came. Jerry smiled softly.

"Why, yes! See here, lads, you promise you'll say nothing? I likes you fine, but I don't want news leakin' out. I'm an old man—fish tell no tales, lads—"

"Of course," agreed Mart instantly. "We'll keep quiet, Jerry." Bob nodded.

"Well, this is a yarn as a Chink told me, lads. But it's true, gospel true! A long time ago there was only Portugees an' Dutch in the Chiny sea, an' they carried on somethin' awful, fightin' an' robbin'. Once there was a big battle—"

"Yes!" volunteered Bob eagerly. "I was readin' about it last night—that time back about 1600 when the Dutch fought a Spanish armada for a week an' licked 'em!"

"It was a big battle," went on old Jerry. "One o' the ships drifted up to the coast of Tringanu an' sunk. Some o' the men got away, but she's there still—right where we're goin', lads, in Kuala Besut Bay. She's got treasure aboard, gold an' pearls an' such, an' the Pirate Shark's guarding her."

"Oh, rats!" laughed Mart, to whose practical mind treasure stories were all absurd. "If there'd been any treasure there it'd be gone long ago."

"So?" Jerry looked at him, and Mart felt suddenly afraid, so strange was the look in the bleared old eyes. "So? This Chink had been there wi' some Chink divers, after pearls, lads. O' course, folks know the wreck is down there, eight fathom down, lads. The Dutch has been there, the Japs, the Chinks—but they didn't get the gold, lads! 'Cause why? The Pirate Shark is there, keepin' watch. The divers went down, but he cut their air lines—he cut their air lines, lads! And they didn't come up. He's got a black fin, a big black back fin, which is one reason why he's called the Pirate Shark.

"But there's another reason, lads. That's because he went from one pearl fishery to another, cuttin' air hose, killin' men, keepin' the pearlers off the grounds. They were scared of him all through the south seas. When the big black fin cut the water, not even a Jap would go down. Fish tell no tales, lads, fish tell no tales! Man after man he ate, Malay an' Chink an' Britisher an' Arab, and now he's got the old galleon an' her gold, and no one knows where it is but the old quartermaster. The fish down below, lads, and us up above—"

"I guess you're mixed up, Jerry," said Bob quickly. "A little while ago you said that lots o' people know the wreck is there, but just now you say no one knows where it is except you. How 'bout that?"

Jerry chuckled, rising slowly to his feet.

"She's inside the lagoon, lad, eight fathom down, an' no one knows but old Jerry Smith where she is now. She used to be under the sand, but the tide and the river dug her out and she drifted, drifted, down with the fish. Fish tell no tales, lads—fish tell no tales! Now she's wedged up among the rocks, eight fathom down, wi' the Pirate Shark's flag over her. Lads, ye won't tell the cap'n or Joe Swanson that old Jerry told ye about the Pirate Shark, will you?"

"Sure not, Jerry," chorused the two together. Jerry nodded and turned.

"Well, I got to get down an' see to gettin' that cable flaked." And he shuffled away, muttering still of "wave after wave—the fish down below and us up above!"

The two boys stared at each other, their eyes sparkling. Incredible, wild and fantastic as the yarn sounded, something about the old quartermaster's manner had impressed them both with the fact that he believed it firmly.

"Do you s'pose it's true, Holly?" asked Mart.

"Blamed if I know," returned Bob slowly, for he seldom gave any direct opinion on a subject. "O' course it isn't true, because if he knew about that place and the gold and the wreck, he'd get after that shark in short order. It's prob'ly a sea yarn."

"I ain't so sure," returned Mart. "It sounds fishy," and Bob grinned. "Well, it does, for a fact. But Jerry believes it himself, that's sure. I tell you what, Holly, if that Pirate Shark's really there, and them Kanakas get to diving, we're goin' to see something! Some idea, though! A big shark cruising around the pearling beds, killing men, and finally taking possession of an old wreck full o' treasure! Why, it reads like—like a Jules Verne story! Say—you remember that dynamite your dad said Jerry wanted put aboard?"

Bob looked up, startled, and gave a nod.

"Well, I bet a cookie Jerry's goin' after that Pirate Shark with it!"

"What!" Bob's blue eyes widened and his face lost its careless expression. "By juniper! Mart, do you s'pose he's after the gold? Let's ask dad—maybe that's what he meant all along by gold mining—"

"Hold on there," cried Mart, hauling back the eager Holly. "We promised we wouldn't say anything to your dad or the mate, remember? Hello, here comes Birch with a message I've got to send, prob'ly."

"I'll ask him," began Bob, then the one-eyed seaman entered and touched his brow.

"Cap'n's compliments, Mr. Judson," he said in his ever-respectful way, "and he wants you to send this here message."

"All right, Birch," and Mart took the note. "Just a moment! Did you ever hear of the Pirate Shark?"

For a moment both boys were frightened by the effect of those words. The old seaman whirled about, his one black eye blazing weirdly and his face contorted. Then he collected himself with a little laugh.

"Beg pardon, sir. That there word 'pirate' allus gets me, 'count of a brush I oncet had with pirates in the Sulu Sea. Why, sir, I've heard summat o' that there fish; they say he's a monster shark with a black fin, that he's a man-eater, an' haunts the pearl fisheries. Beggin' your pardon, sir, but where might you have heard of him?"

"Oh, we just heard some of the men talking," answered Bob carelessly, and Birch touched his forelock again and was gone. For a second time the boys' eyes met.

"Holly, this doesn't look right to me," said Mart finally, his gray eyes hard. "Birch knows more'n he said. That explanation of his don't go down with me, not a bit! I wouldn't wonder if there was such a fish—right where we're going, too!"

"By juniper!" Holly's face was troubled. "Of course, it's likely; such a fish would hang around the pearl beds, 'cause that's where he'd most likely meet up with divers. If he's a man-eater, he'd do that. The story sticks together pretty well, Mart! Of course we've got to remember that sailor yarns generally are stretched."

"Well, you lay low," cautioned Mart, reaching for his key and sending out a crashing spark in call, over and over. Then he leaned back and waited for an answer. "We can't go to your dad with this, and anyway, Bob, there ain't much behind it. Here—I'll tell you! Mebbe that shark is there, and old Jerry got the dynamite to have some fun with on his own hook. If there was any wreck or treasure, he'd have kept his mouth shut."

"That sounds more like it, Mart. Still, he's a talkative old guy, and he likes us a heap, you in particular. There's somethin' queer about it, though. Jerry said that Dailey—the leathery old scoundrel—had sailed with him before; then there was that talk between him and Swanson. And have you noticed anythin' queer about the way those men hang together?"

Mart sent him a quick look, as he adjusted his headpiece.

"Huh? Well, I've noticed that they obey Swanson a heap quicker than they do Peters. Peters got mad yesterday an' knocked that grinnin' Yorke galley-west! But they're old men, Bob."

"That's just it," returned Holly earnestly. "So's Jerry old, and Swanson ain't a spring chicken by any means. They hang together, that's all. And remember, Jerry was the one that signed 'em all on. I'll get dad to mention the Coralie one o' these days."

"Well, you go slow," cautioned Mart again. "Hello—there's a call—" he leaned forward. "TTY—that's the Tenyo Maru. She's just out o' San Francisco, so she can relay a message, I guess. Golly, your dad's keepin' close watch on the stock market!"

He grinned as he sent out the message and Bob watched the blue spark leaping in fascinated silence. After all, this story of the Pirate Shark was a wild fancy, and these were the prosaic days of wireless and steam power; the whole tale was doubtless one of those strange and utterly improbable yarns that some intoxicated sailor cooks up and other sailors improve upon and embellish. At least, that was the opinion of the two boys as they left the wireless house and joined Captain Hollinger, who had just come to take the bridge. Mart wished they had not made Jerry that promise, however.



Back in Honolulu Bay lay the Seamew, and here at Waikiki were Captain Hollinger, Bob, and Mart, spending two days at the great Moana Hotel. For Waikiki is the great seaside resort of Honolulu—throbbing with motor cars, gay with villas and stately with hotels; trolley cars running to the city brought out the tourists and surf-bathers, as well as everyone in Honolulu who could get a day off to go on a picnic.

To Mart it was wonderful in the extreme. Captain Hollinger was busy with his cables and letters, for after leaving Honolulu he would not be in touch with business or friends for three weeks or a month, except by wireless. So the two boys were seeing the sights by themselves, more or less, which did not detract from their enjoyment a bit.

It was the evening of their first day ashore, and the captain had gone over to the cable office. The boys, after dinner, had wandered around through the crowds, avidly watching everything, from the Portuguese women selling fruit, to the phosphorescent surf rolling in across the reef in the moonlight.

Finally they turned in at the big gateway of the Japanese Inn, tired and thirsty and with curiosity somewhat satisfied. A Japanese waiter, dressed in his white garments, received them smilingly and led them in through the building to the lanai, or veranda, opening on the beach.

They passed between the tables, where sat every kind of people—millionaire tourists, common sailors, magnificently gowned women, natives, townfolk—and finally dropped into chairs at a small table set among the palms and looking out on the sea. The place was set aside by itself, out of the glare of electric lights, and the two boys sighed contentedly as the music blared out inside and their little waiter bobbed respectfully.

"Mebbe you have some whiskey?" he queried with bland innocence. Bob grinned.

"No, thanks," chuckled Mart. "Nothing in that line for us. Plain ice cream and melon for me."

"Same here," nodded Bob. The little waiter bobbed again and was gone.

"Golly, ain't this quiet an' restful!" breathed Mart. "This place is just like fairyland to me, Holly. I'd like to stay here a week instead of two days!"

"Oh, we got enough ahead of us," laughed the other happily. "By juniper, this place is crowded! He must have stuck us off here in the corner because we didn't look like good spenders, eh?"

At this juncture the little Japanese returned with their melon and ice cream, which he set down rather superciliously. Mart, who had been paid off that day, in common with the rest of the crew, handed him a dollar.

"Here, keep the change, and don't come back for a while. We won't order any more, and we're going to stay right here, savvy?"

The little waiter bowed low, grinned cheerfully, and vanished behind the palms that hedged in their table. Both boys were rather glad to be out of the crowd, however; they could hear perfectly, could get occasional glimpses of the people around them, and out beyond them the white surf broke and maintained its low thunder as the tide came in.

Mart, who believed in "resting while the resting was good," as he termed it, leaned back comfortably after his melon had vanished, and listened to the orchestra. Bob was too excited to keep quiet, however; he was taking peeps through the encircling palm branches, commenting on the curious jumble of people all about, and wishing that his father had been able to come with them.

"There's a couple o' British officers from the warship in the harbor, Mart!" he cried hastily. "There go those Chinese who were chattering away at the table next to us—wonder who'll take their place?"

Mart grinned easily, taking no interest. Suddenly he saw Bob lean forward, as if unbelieving his own eyes; a flush came into the eager lad's face, then he breathed a single incredulous gasp.

"By juniper!"

"What's the matter now?" queried his chum unconcernedly.

"By juniper!" exclaimed Bob again, more slowly. Then he leaned forward, watching. "Look, Mart! Of all the nerve!"

His tone roused Mart, who leaned over the table, glancing through the same opening which Bob was utilizing. A waiter stood over the table just on the other side of the palms, pulling back the chairs; slouching into their places were three men. Mart's eyes opened at sight of them, for they were no other than old Jerry Smith, the one-eyed seaman Birch, and Yorke, the old seaman with the twisted, leering mouth that was always smiling horribly. Mart chuckled.

"Well, what about it, Holly? Haven't they as much right here as we have?"

"But the nerve o' them!" Bob straightened up, his blue eyes flashing angrily. "Seamen like them comin' out here to Waikiki as if they were millionaires!"

"Well, I'm no millionaire myself," rejoined Mart quickly. "Judging from the crowd, everybody's welcome here that's got the price to pay, Bob. You're no better than anyone else, are you?"

"I didn't mean that!" retorted his chum, flaring up. "And you know it. Only it seems funny. Huh! look at that!"

Mart looked again, and saw Jerry fling a gold piece to the waiter. The crew had been given their wages up to date, he knew, so there was nothing strange in this, but when the quartermaster carelessly waved the waiter to keep the change, it did look queer.

"Well, boys," and the thin clear voice of old Jerry pierced to them, "here's a health to the old crowd, and a quick passing to the Pirate Shark! Pity all the boys ain't here."

"Blast that Swanson!" growled the one-eyed Birch evilly. "He kep' Jimmy Dailey an' Borden in his watch—"

"Shut up!" snapped out Yorke, with a leer around. Jerry laughed softly.

"Perfectly safe, Yorke, perfectly safe! Best place to talk is in the middle of a crowd, as old Bucko Tom used to say. You mind old Bucko Tom, boys? Fish tell no tales—"

"Stow that jaw o' yours," exclaimed Yorke again. "I say it ain't safe."

The two boys looked at each other. Bob's eyes were burning, and Mart knew his own cheeks were flushed.

"Lay low," he said softly, his hand on Bob's wrist. "There's somethin' going on here, Holly. Remember when Swanson an' Jerry met, the night we sailed?"

Bob nodded excitedly, and Mart pressed him back out of sight. The young wireless operator was more deeply alarmed than he showed, and had no scruples about listening. They were not intentionally spying, and even if they had been, he would have thought little of it.

He remembered the strange things that had already chanced—the evident acquaintance between Swanson and the rest of their crew, the significant conversation between the first mate and the quartermaster, the tales about Jerry's former life. Then there was this toast to the Pirate Shark! What did it all mean? And Bucko Tom—that was the man Jerry had "got" according to Swanson's talk that first night. What was going on here beneath the surface? Could these old men really have all been part of a pirate crew in other days?

"That's what it looks like," concluded Mart under his breath, as he outlined his thoughts to Bob. Then he repressed his chum's answer, for old Jerry's voice was once more reaching them, soft and gentle as ever.

"The mystery o' the sea, lads, wave after wave, wi' the fish down below and us up above. Now, how'll we make out with it? Singapore?"

"Singapore nothin'!" growled Birch, his one eye blazing darkly. "No British investigations for me, Shark Smith! No, I say let's go up to Saigon or one o' them there French ports."

Yorke leered, his twisted mouth grimacing. "Birch is right, Shark. Keep away from the Britishers. You lads mind the time when the Coralie put into Sarawak—"

"None of that, Yorke, none o' that!" warned Jerry, his voice piercing like a knife. "We ain't back in 'Frisco now, remember that. Keep names out of it, lads."

Mart thrilled excitedly as he caught a glance from Bob. Inwardly he determined to find out more about this mysterious ship Coralie.

As if they had taken caution, the three old men leaned over the table and spoke in whispers, Yorke's twisted mouth leering, and Birch's one black eye flaming across the table at the gentle, white-haired quartermaster. Mart noticed that they seemed to pay him deference, and he did most of the conversing, but so softly that no word reached the startled boys. Then the three rose, and Birch spoke in a louder voice.

"Well, Shark Smith's got a head on him, lads! That's the thing to do—wait. Joe Swanson won't leave his old mates in a hole, neither. Wait—that's the word!"

All three lurched off, but Bob gazed over at his chum in wild surmise.

"Mart, there's somethin' wrong, by juniper! What's in the wind?"

"Search me, Holly. Of course it looks queer—but they're all old men. I wouldn't be s'prised if old Jerry was off his head, mumbling like he does. As far as being pirates goes, that's all foolishness; pirates ain't old men like them, and besides, piratin' is gone out of style these days."

"I guess that's true, Mart. They're all old men, for a fact, and I've noticed that Borden complains of rheumatism pretty bad. Pirates don't have rheumatism, in any book I ever read. Still, they're a queer gang—Birch with his one eye and Yorke with that silly-lookin' twisted mouth of his."

"Yes, they're queer," agreed Mart thoughtfully. "I tell you, Holly, let's go back and put it up to your dad. He said he'd have more time to give us, now, and he's a mighty square sort of man."

"Yes, but we promised Jerry to keep quiet!" objected Bob hastily.

"Well, we don't have to say anythin' about the Pirate Shark, do we? That ain't what's on my mind, anyhow. I'm thinking about what they said about getting to Singapore or Saigon, and about the Coralie and the Melbourne, and all that. If they're a gang of pirates, we want to know it. And your dad's level-headed, Holly."

To this Bob agreed, being himself in no little alarm over the things he had heard and the other things he imagined. So without more ado the two boys made their way back to the hotel, and with every step their imaginations rose higher. By the time they located Captain Hollinger in the writing room, both were flushed and bursting with their tidings. When the captain saw them, he gave a startled exclamation.

"Good gracious! What've you boys been up to? What's the matter?"

"Come along up to the rooms," said Bob mysteriously. "We've got some news."

Captain Hollinger followed them, with laughing questions as to their evening's amusement, but neither boy would say a word until they were safely within their rooms. Then Mart whirled about excitedly.

"Say, Cap'n, do you know we got a bunch o' pirates aboard the Seamew?"


"You bet!" added Bob hastily. "Old Jerry Smith's the head of the gang, and Joe Swanson was with 'em on a pirate ship!"

"Look here, what's happened to you two?" exclaimed the captain wonderingly. "Are you trying to put up a joke on me?"

"Not much," retorted Mart, and plunged into their story. With interruptions and additions from his chum, he managed to finish it with some degree of coherence, Captain Hollinger listening without comment. When they had done, he looked at Mart soberly.

"And you honestly believe those old men are pirates, eh?"

"Well, don't it look like it?" answered Mart stoutly.

Captain Hollinger looked from him to the excited Bob, then with a stifled shout of laughter he dropped into a chair. For a moment he gave way completely to a wild spasm of mirth, laughing as Mart had never seen him laugh before, while the two boys began to feel sheepish and uncomfortable.

"Pirates!" gasped the captain at length. "Pirates! Oh, this is rich! Old Jerry Smith—steady Joe Swanson—Wow! It's the best joke I ever heard!"

"Well, isn't there something in it?" queried Bob sharply. His father wiped his streaming eyes and sat up.

"Why, of course not! Can't you hear a gang of old sailors romancing and dreaming about the things they'd like to do, without going off at half cock this way! Oh, you'll never hear the last of this, you two!"

And he went off into another fit of laughter.

"Never mind," and Mart grimaced sourly; "you wait and see. You ask Swanson some day if he ever sailed on a ship called the Melbourne."

"Of course he did!" returned the captain, to the boys' chagrin. "She was a ship lost at sea ten years ago—he was on his third voyage then, and drifted about in an open boat for three weeks before being picked up. Don't I know his whole record? Look here, boys. There's not a sailor alive who hasn't had some mighty queer experiences, and you haven't taken that into consideration. I never heard of the Coralie, and while I admit that Jerry may have seen piratical days, and probably has, the whole thing's absurd on the face of it. Now get off to bed, and don't chase any more wild geese!"

None the less, Mart turned to Bob while they sought their own rooms.

"That's all right, Holly—but you just remember one thing. Your dad didn't know anything about that Pirate Shark yarn—"

"Oh, shut up and go to bed!" grinned Bob delightedly. "We got excited, that was all. Forget it!"

But Mart did not forget it.



Honolulu Bay, with its beautiful shores and white houses with red roofs, faded out behind the Seamew one sunny morning, and the two boys, up in the chart house with the captain, began to see wild visions of what lay before them. Taking a chart, Captain Hollinger traced out their future course across the Pacific.

"You see, boys, we can take a straight course east-south-east from the Islands. That brings us here, to the Philippines, but we'll not stop. Going right ahead under Mindanao, we'll round up into the Sulu Sea and cut through Balabac Straits, north of Bornea. That brings us in among the coral reefs—see how thick they're marked on the chart?—and so straight across the south China Sea to Tringanu."

"And this here's Kuala Besut, eh?" Mart placed his finger on the Malay coast, just inside the Redang Islands.

"Right you are, Mart! You see how the coast is low all along there, with lagoons? Wait a minute—here's a larger chart."

Bringing out another chart showing the Malay coasts, the captain pointed to the river mouth in question.

"You see, there's a lagoon inside the entrance, about nine miles long, and closed in from the sea by this island. Jerry says that the lagoon makes a fine harbor, and is deep enough for the yacht. There are no hills close to the coast, but there's plenty of jungle, and we'll find some tigers without trouble."

"Sure?" asked Bob skeptically. His father laughed.

"Why, until late years they used to shoot them down at the city of Singapore itself! I'll take a trip in first, to make sure it'll be all right for you to come along, and while I'm gone you can take care of the yacht. Then we'll make up a grand hunting party, and everybody will get a tiger, eh?"

"Bully!" exclaimed Mart eagerly, and departed to his wireless with a sheaf of messages to be sent off via Honolulu. Having sent them and arranged for answers to be sent at two o'clock that afternoon, he rejoined Bob and went down to mess.

That afternoon they gained their last sight of land for many days, as the Seamew entered the Kamukahi Channel, passing between the green-clad hills of Niihau and Kauai, and then struck out on her straight course for the southernmost of the Philippines, with nearly five thousand miles of sea before her and seventeen days of journeying, if all went well.

For two days all went well, indeed, and then came on what Liverpool Peters described as a moderate gale, but which seemed like a hurricane to Mart. They had had fine weather so far, and Mart had long ago dismissed all thoughts of seasickness, but now he gave up completely. Bob had long since been seasoned, of course, and poor Mart suffered alone for three terrible days.

On the third day he felt sure that he was dying, but when Bob came down to the stateroom and grinningly offered him a big chunk of raw fat pork, Mart forgot his symptoms suddenly. Flinging himself out, he caught his tormentor and bore him to the floor. Bob rose with a bleeding nose, wiped the pork from his face, and fled; and Mart found that he had recovered his health suddenly. After a good meal he was himself again, and the two boys were too firm in friendship to be shaken by a good-humored "scrap" of such a nature.

Then ensued such days as Mart Judson had never dreamed of, when they got into the doldrums, the powerful engines of the yacht forcing her ahead at a steady fifteen knots through calm and glassy waters. The sun was tremendously hot, of course, but the yacht's motion created a perpetual breeze, while her awnings kept the bridge and lower decks cool.

They were far out of the course of steamers, and saw no craft of any kind, save fleets of "Portuguese men-o'-war," as Joe Swanson and the others called the jellyfish squadrons. Indeed, there was no lack of sea life all about them. Mart ate fried flying-fish for the first time in his life, and one day the Kanakas on watch set up a yell of "Shark! Him shark!"

All hands rushed out on deck for the fun. Getting in the extreme stern, Mart and Bob thrilled at sight of the dorsal fin cutting the water twenty feet astern, while the shark could plainly be seen gobbling the refuse which the cook had just flung out from the galley. His long, dirty-white body was anything but pleasant, and when he turned over to catch a morsel and his V-shaped mouth became evident, Mart felt a repulsion that was little short of fear.

The whole crew came aft in high glee, while "Liverpool" Peters, the second officer, bore an immense hook made fast to a line. Having baited the hook with a lump of pork, he flung it over the rail; the boys craned forward eagerly, and an instant later they saw the floating pork vanish in the maw of the shark.

"Pull!" yelled Peters, and the men made fast to the line. Then ensued an hour of the wildest excitement, for the shark fought gamely, but he could not bite through the big steel shank of the hook, and was finally drawn alongside. Peters finished him with a revolver bullet, and the Kanakas dined on roast shark that night.

More than once after that they caught sharks, as well as several of the pilot fish which were continually leaping beneath the bows of the yacht, while the boys managed to get good sport with smaller fish. Best of all, however, was the shooting at porpoises.

Every morning Captain Hollinger would fetch his rifles up to the chart house, and the boys would join him. There, sitting in their deck chairs beneath the awnings, they would load up the rifles and sit watching.

Suddenly, leaping out of the sea abruptly, perhaps half a mile off and perhaps fifty feet away, something would break the water. Up would shoot the great dark body, the whole fish darting clear in the air to fall back with hardly a splash, in a graceful curve. When he first saw the sight, Mart could hardly contain himself; the thrill of seeing that great body swirl up into the air in plain sight was wonderful. Over and over again it would be repeated, as the huge fish circled the vessel; then it would vanish as suddenly and mysteriously as it had come.

"But s'pose we wounded 'em?" asked Bob hesitatingly the first morning.

"Nonsense!" laughed the captain, taking a quick shot at one of the flashing bodies a hundred yards away. "In the first place, you're not likely to score a hit, Bob. In the next place, these are little twenty-two caliber bullets; unless it happened to penetrate a vital part, one of these little pellets won't bother a ten or fifteen-foot porpoise. It might sting him a little, if it penetrated his hide, but that's all. It'll give you the best kind of shooting practice, too."

Reassured by this speech, the two boys pitched in. There was no lack of ammunition aboard the Seamew, and there seemed to be no lack of porpoises anxious to serve as moving targets. And, indeed, Mart soon found that he need spend no worry over leaving wounded fish to flounder out their lives.

So rapidly did he have to shoot, so quickly did he have to meet the unexpected risings of the porpoises, that it was several days before he could begin to come anywhere near the mark. Bob did better, having had more practice in shooting, and the captain proved himself a past master. But at no time did any thought of cruelty occur to either of the boys again, since it proved to be exactly as Captain Hollinger had said, and they saw no sign of dead or wounded fish in their wake.

"I wouldn't mind shooting a shark," declared Mart one morning to his chum. "Do you s'pose one of these rifles would kill one?"

"What—twenty-twos? Not much!" and Bob laughed scornfully. "They can stand an awful lot o' bullets, Mart. I tell you—next time you sight a shark after us, I'll get a couple o' dad's thirty-thirty rifles and we'll have some real shooting."

Two days after this, indeed, a shark was attracted under their counter, and each boy got a shot at him. What effect the bullets had, they never knew, for the shark turned and disappeared rapidly. Mart had missed, not allowing for refraction, while Bob's shot had gone true, but they had learned their lesson. The next time a shark showed up, they hooked him first, then began target-practice with the heavy rifles.

The shark, while having comparative freedom of action, was forced to follow the ship, and the two boys pumped bullet after bullet, while the crew cheered or mocked their efforts in impartial criticism. Mart was amazed to find that after scoring twenty or thirty hits, the shark still plunged and leaped as strongly as ever, although a red trail was seeping out into the water behind him. Finally Captain Hollinger took a hand in the game and with three well-placed bullets killed the shark.

"That's enough for me," declared Mart disgustedly putting down his rifle. "It doesn't give the brute a fair show and it's too much like butchery. I'm satisfied."

"Here too," nodded Bob, disdaining his father's laughter. "I guess I'll stick to the twenty-twos and porpoises. Too much blood in sharks."

So that, after this, there was no more shooting at sharks. And for that matter, something occurred the very next day that served to take the boys' minds off sharks for some time to come.

Up until now there had been no trouble whatever aboard the Seamew. The crew were paid good wages, and their food was far superior to that of the ordinary forecastle galley. The engine-room crew was composed of two Scotch engineers and a gang of Kanakas, and the brown-skinned sailors were all willing and cheerful workers.

The second mate, however, did not get on well with the men who had been shipped by old Jerry Smith. Peters was an excellent seaman, and was far easier on the men than was the first mate, Swanson. Yet Swanson was obeyed with great alacrity, probably because he did not hesitate to bully the men, while Peters had some difficulty in making the men adopt what he considered their proper attitude. With Captain Hollinger there was of course no trouble whatever.

The day after they had shot the shark, the boys were waiting for mess-call, and were looking over some magazines in the library saloon. Suddenly they heard voices in altercation on the deck, and the tramp of feet, while the angry tones of Peters rose deep and vehement.

"Something wrong!" exclaimed Mart, springing to the companionway.

"Hold on," cried Bob hastily, joining him. "Don't get mixed up in any row, Mart."

"No danger," chuckled the other. "Hello! By golly, Liverpool's mad for fair!"

And so he was. Looking out the door of the companionway on to the starboard deck-alley of the yacht, they saw that the awnings were up and the decks were being holystoned. Outside the door stood a bucket of water, a big holystone beside it, while the one-eyed seaman Birch was just rising to his feet from the deck. Peters was standing over him, his face dark.

"Don't go to sleep, there," commanded the mate sharply. "If I catch you again with a pipe alight aft of the fo'c'sle, you'll get worse than that. Move lively!"

Birch wiped his cheek, where the second officer's fist had evidently landed, his one eye flamed angrily and his hand dropped to his sheath knife.

"Blast you!" he muttered thickly. "I'll have the law on you—"

Without a word Peters' fist shot out, caught the evil-faced seaman full on the jaw, and Birch went back with a crash. Peters looked calmly at him as he rose.

"Say 'sir' when you talk to an officer, an' no back talk either," ordered the mate. "And you get gay with that knife again, Birch, and I'll give you what-for! Now move lively with that work, you lazy dog."

Birch stooped over his holystone, and Peters turned to go forward again. As he did so, Birch straightened up suddenly. Gazing malevolently at the broad back of the retreating mate, the one-eyed seaman whipped out his sheath knife, a wild spasm of fury contracting his wrinkled face.

Instinctively Mart took a step forward, but Bob caught his arm and held him back with a muttered word. Before Birch could move, a shadow fell across the deck and old Jerry Smith came padding along in his bare feet, his white hair flying in the wind. He caught Birch's arm, and for a second the two men stared into each other's faces. And when Mart saw the features of old Jerry, he did not wonder that Birch paused, for the quartermaster's face was absolutely livid with mingled fear and anger, while his blue eyes shone out clear and baleful.

"You fool!" muttered Jerry, as Peters disappeared forward. "You fool!"

"Mebbe I'm a fool an' mebbe I ain't," responded Birch sullenly. "But I'm goin' to git that bucko mate yet, Shark Smith!"

"Stow your jaw and get to work!" snapped Jerry, and passed on like a shadow.

Mart drew back and looked at his chum. Bob's face was white.

"That's no way to treat men," exclaimed Mart softly. "If I was Birch—"

"Oh, shucks—what's the matter with you?" Bob's eyes blazed excitedly. "That's nothin'—you've got to handle sailors like that. But did you hear what he said to Jerry? Called him 'Shark Smith'—and Jerry heard him make threats and said nothing!"

"It's funny discipline," admitted Mart slowly. "But a quartermaster ain't an officer, remember. And I don't blame Birch for being mad."

So the incident passed, for indeed it was a mere incident in the sea-routine. Officers are quick to exact instant obedience, and the least show of rebellion or "back talk" is answered with a blow. But even so, the evil face of the one-eyed seaman flitted through Mart's dreams for many a night thereafter, although Birch seemed doubly respectful toward the second mate, as indeed did all the crew.



The Seamew had passed through Balabac Strait and was standing out into the reef-strewn South China Sea, on the last leg of her course, when it happened.

That afternoon the diving suits and pumps had been broken out and put in order, after which the grinning Kanakas and Jerry Smith had given Mart and Bob some practical lessons in dressing up in the cumbersome water-tight outfit, and in working the pumps. In the evening they had sat up late with Captain Hollinger, talking rifles and ammunition, and they were weary enough to sleep soundly.

Mart's porthole was open that night, as usual. He woke up suddenly to find the setting moon streaming in across his face, and got up to hang a towel across the open port, in order not to exclude the fresh air. As he did so, he heard the ship's bell forward strike eight bells, and knew that it was midnight.

There came a faint pad of bare feet forward—the watches being changed. Then, as he stood for a moment gazing out at the moonlit sea, he heard the deep voice of the second mate, Liverpool Peters, who had apparently just taken charge of the deck.

"All right, Mr. Swanson. I'll keep a sharp eye on that chart. Sou'-sou'-east by a half east it is."

Mart went sleepily back to bed and thought no more of it. He knew that they were in dangerous waters, but the yacht had a splendid outfit of charts and there was no danger for her among the coral reefs. He was wakened at dawn, however, to find Bob pounding on his door.

"Hey, Mart!" came the voice of his chum excitedly. "Tumble out here."

Mart growled out an unintelligible reply, but Bob resumed his pounding, so the wireless operator reflected that there must be "something doing." Hastily flinging on his clothes, he opened the door and gained the deck.

"Well, what's up, Holly? Why, it's hardly dawn yet!"

"Shut up an' come along to the bridge!" exclaimed Bob. "Dad's up there—Joe Swanson came an' roused him up just now. That's what woke me up."

"Well, what's the matter?" demanded Mart vigorously. "We ain't struck a reef, have we?"

"I'm not quite sure myself, Mart. Swanson said something about Liverpool, so mebbe he's had another scrap. I heard dad tell him to call all hands, then he was out on deck like a house afire, and I came after you."

"Much obliged, old scout," chattered Mart, for the dawn was cold. While they talked, they had been hastening forward, and now they scrambled hastily up to the bridge deck, where they found everyone but the engine-room crew assembled. Jerry Smith was at the wheel, and he wagged his head solemnly at the boys, but they were too excited to notice him.

Pushing through the crowd, they entered the chart house. Captain Hollinger was seated at the table, but merely glanced at them with a nod. Swanson and the old rheumatic seaman Borden stood before him.

"Yes, sir," the mate was saying, and Mart noticed that his burly, rugged face looked queer. "He was all right at eight bells, sir. Borden was at the wheel when the port watch came up, an' Liverpool put Birch there in his place."

"All right, Borden," returned the captain quietly. "You may go. Tell Birch to step in here."

The boys glanced at each other, pale-faced. Each was exceedingly anxious to know what had happened, but at sight of Captain Hollinger's tight-lipped mouth and drawn face, they dared ask no questions.

The one-eyed Birch came in, ducking his head respectfully.

"When did you last see Mr. Peters, Birch?" asked the captain.

"At six bells, Cap'n. Mr. Peters said he was goin' below for a drink, but he didn't come to the bridge again, sir."

"You heard nothing suspicious?"

"Nothin', sir."

"Who else was on the bridge?"

"The quartermaster, sir."

"Send him in here. You may go."

Birch left. The two boys again met each other's eyes, hardly able to believe what they had heard. Then old Jerry shuffled in.

"Quartermaster, did Birch leave the wheel about six bells?"

"No, sir—he wasn't off the bridge at all, sir."

"Hm!" Captain Hollinger leaned forward, fixing his eyes on the old seaman. "Look here, Jerry. What do you think happened to Mr. Peters? Did he meet with foul play?"

Jerry hesitated, glancing at the open door. Swanson moved forward and closed it.

"No, sir, I don't think as he did," returned Jerry slowly. "The men didn't like him, Mr. Hollinger; I will say they fair hated him, but not so bad as that, sir. Take Birch there—he's threatened Mr. Peters' life before now, sir, but that's no more'n fo'c'sle talk, sir, as you know very well. No, sir, I think that Mr. Peters went below to get a drink, as Birch said, and in some way fell overboard. Me and Birch was on the bridge, and the rest in the port watch are Kanakas."

There ensued a brisk discussion, in the course of which the horrified boys learned that some time during the night the second mate had vanished. The ship had been searched, but he was not aboard her, nor had there been any sign of struggle. Remembering the scene which they had witnessed between Peters and Birch, Mart immediately suspected the one-eyed seaman, while Swanson openly announced his belief that the second officer had met with foul play; but in no long time all such thoughts were sent flying, when the engine-room crew came up for questioning.

Two of the Kanaka stokers, both of them simple, frank-faced fellows who were above all suspicion, stated that they had come up on deck for a breath of air shortly after six bells and had seen Peters standing by the stern rail, looking down at the swirling waters as they rose from the churn of the propeller. Having no business in that part of the ship, they had gone forward again.

"I think there's no doubt of it," exclaimed the captain at last, even Swanson nodding gloomily. "Poor Peters must have either committed suicide, or else he fell overboard. Stand by for another hour, Mr. Swanson, then put the ship on her course again."

Only then did the boys become aware that the yacht was retracing her course in the vain effort to pick up her lost second mate. Later on that morning, when all hope had been given up, Bob and Mart sat in the wireless house and talked over the matter in sober earnest. As gladly as they could have suspected Birch, however, they agreed that there was no foul play involved.

"Your dad's no fool," declared Mart positively. "He sized up everything pretty square, and Swanson didn't overlook anything either. Joe is sore at Jerry for something—prob'ly suspects him of being a pirate."

"Well, I wouldn't be surprised myself," asserted Bob. "Poor Liverpool! He was a fine chap, for all his rough ways. Still, there's no doubt that Birch was innocent. I shouldn't wonder if Liverpool got moonstruck and just pitched overboard. I've heard of that happening before, Mart. Look out—there's old Jerry coming aft now."

Sure enough, Mart looked out to see the slightly stooping figure of the old quartermaster coming aft to the wireless house. Jerry entered, ducked his head in silent greeting, and said nothing for some moments. After his pipe was filled, he looked out at the ocean, glittering in the morning sun, and then turned to glance solemnly at the two boys.

"Mystery o' the sea, lads—wave after wave! Fish down below, lads, and us up above. Fish tell no tales, fish tell no tales! Poor Liverpool Peters, he's—"

"Look here, Jerry," exclaimed Mart, breaking in abruptly on the old man's talk and forcing the bleary blue eyes to meet his. "I'd like to know just how much stock to take in your talk. How long is it since you and the rest of 'em were shipmates together aboard the Coralie, eh?"

Mart fully expected that Jerry would break out into vehement denial, and might even be surprised into making some admission. Bob, also, while no little astonished at his chum's unexpected attack, nodded his support and craned forward as he watched the quartermaster.

But to their mutual disconcertion, old Jerry's face did not change, save for a slight widening of his blue eyes as they met the hard gray ones of Mart. When he replied to the question, it was with a little chuckle as of inward amusement.

"Well, well! So you lads have heard about the old Coralie, hey? There ain't many in these seas as haven't, 'cause why, men are bound to talk. Only fish tell no tales, lads. Aye, the old Coralie was a sweet little schooner, she was! But that was all years ago—and now she's lyin' ninety fathom deep, lads, off the South Lyconia reef. Not very far from here, neither, where she went down."

Mart sent a blank gaze at his chum, as Jerry replaced his pipe in his mouth and gazed calmly out at the ocean. This cool reception of his bomb was dismaying to say the least; but Bob came promptly to the rescue, and more successfully.

"Why do they call you Shark Smith, Jerry?" he asked carelessly.

This time the boys scored visibly. The quartermaster's position did not change, but his bleared eyes suddenly flashed out quick and keen and bright, while his wrinkled old face lost its gently benignant expression as his firm mouth snapped shut on his pipe. This was not the first time the boys had seen that swift alteration of his features; and now it passed as quickly as it had passed before. Jerry turned slowly and looked at them, a slow smile crinkling up his eyes.

"Why, lads, ye main surprised me, ye did that! How come you to learn that old Jerry was called Shark Smith, now?"

"Oh, we heard about it," laughed Mart carelessly. "What's the reason, Jerry?"

The quartermaster chuckled again, tapped down his pipe, and replied frankly.

"Well, lads, I like both o' you, so I'll tell you. You mind me tellin' you about that there Pirate Shark, one day?"

They answered his questioning look with a nod.

"Well, when we was in the old Coralie, tradin' among the islands and doin' a bit o' pearl-fishin' on the side, we met up wi' that there Pirate Shark. He nipped two of our men, he did, and I been chasing him ever since, lads. I'm goin' to get him, an' I'm goin' to lay him out where he won't kill no more men, lads. My mates know this and that's why they call me Shark Smith, 'cause why I've been after that there Pirate Shark for a long time. Now I'm goin' to get him this cruise."

Mart's eyes flashed suddenly. He thought he understood everything now.

"So that's why you've got that dynamite aboard!" he cried accusingly. "You lied to Captain Hollinger about that river having gold, just to get—"

"Tut, tut, lad!" Under Jerry's reproachful glance his words died away. "No, I told no lies, lad. That river has gold in it all right. I'm goin' to get the Pirate Shark, and the cap'n gets the gold concession. Ain't that fair, lads? Ain't that fair, I asks you?"

Mart looked into the reproachful blue eyes an instant, then nodded. He suddenly felt ashamed of suspecting this gentle, half-crazy old man of any wrong. It lay plain before him now—the Pirate Shark had killed two of Jerry's shipmates, years before, and ever since that time the old quartermaster had been pursuing his enemy, until it had become a fixed mania with him. After all, he did not blame old Jerry so very much, he thought.

Bob also was quite satisfied now, as appeared after Jerry had slouched away below again and the two boys talked over the matter.

"By juniper, Mart," exclaimed Bob, "I guess dad was right. We were foolish to suspect old Jerry. He's got a bug about killing that Pirate Shark, see?"

"Sure he has," agreed Mart at once. "He's a little bit touched in the head, Holly, but that's about all. Did you notice that he never budged an eyelash when I shot out the Coralie at him?"

"Uh-huh," nodded Bob thoughtfully. "So the Coralie was just a trading schooner among the islands, eh? That straightens out things pretty well, Mart. I s'pose she was a pretty tough craft, like most of 'em were in the old days, and prob'ly she did a little pirating on the side. But just as dad says, there aren't any pirates any more. Especially on the Seamew. Believe me, we've been knocking at the wrong door."

"Looks like it to me," assented Mart. "Let's just forget the whole thing, Holly, and call it square. I guess there's no doubt that poor Liverpool fell overboard, either. But if Jerry got that dynamite put aboard to kill the Pirate Shark, I see where we're going to have some fun, Holly!"

"Say, that's right!" Bob sat up suddenly, looking at Mart. Then they both grinned.

"We'll let your dad get off after his tigers, an' when he gets back we'll have some surprising news for him, eh?"

"You bet!" agreed Bob, chortling.

But if Mart had been able to look into the future, he would hardly have greeted the prospect with such unalloyed delight. For old Jerry Smith was not quite so crazy as he was credited with being.



"Land ho!"

Early one morning the two magic words had thrilled the Seamew, and since breakfast the two boys had been perched on the upper bridge with their binoculars. They were different from the pair that had left San Francisco, weeks before; sun and salt wind had tanned them, self-confidence and energy had filled their hearts, and Mart in particular had gained an added air of resoluteness that became his strong features well.

And they had met with strange sights—unwieldy Chinese junks with matting sails, island trading schooners, slimmer craft containing natives, and even immense canoes which came from distant islands with fish and fruit to barter at sight of the yacht's smoke.

But now Asia itself lay before them—and the most uncivilized part of Asia, which nevertheless was held by the flag of England. They had passed the Redang Islands, and were now standing in for the wide river mouth which denoted their goal, Kuala Besut. On the right lay a low, palm-grown island some two miles long, which Jerry Smith declared uninhabited, as it was often awash at the rainy season. Directly ahead of them, the harbor deepened in to meet the river, and to right and left the long lagoons slowly opened out.

"By juniper!" exclaimed Bob delightedly, as the captain and Jerry joined them. "Let's you and me run over to that island some time, Mart! I'll bet we'd pick up some great old shells there!"

"That you would, lads," said the quartermaster, wagging his white hair in the breeze. "There be some fine shells hereabouts! Cap'n, we'd best not run up the river."

"Looks pretty good sized to me," returned Captain Hollinger, as he swept the harbor with his glasses. Although the river was still two miles away, they could see that it was large and apparently of good depth. "Had we better send out a boat to make soundings first, do you think?"

"No, sir—it ain't that. It's the natives, sir. They'll be off in boats as soon as they see us slip our anchor over into the mud, and I'll talk to 'em. They'll remember me, 'cause why I've been in here before, trading."

"Very well, then. You'd better go to the wheel."

Jerry shuffled to the wheel house and took the steam steering-gear in hand, his blue eyes sweeping over their course. The shores ahead and on either hand were low and thickly overgrown, but rose into hill-slopes behind. All was a tangle of dark green jungle, and as the brown river opened out before them, the boys saw that it was very sluggish and appeared to merge its waters with those of the lagoon.

The lagoon proved to be curious in this respect, for to the northeast of the river mouth, on the starboard side of the yacht, it ran far up inside the island, and its waters were here distinctly sea-green, owing to the channels beyond the island. Where the yacht was, however, and to the south, the water was of a muddy brown color, proving that the river-current tended to empty toward the southward instead of diverging generally into the entire lagoon.

Captain Hollinger had barely pointed out this fact when Jerry ordered their speed slowed down, and turned their course to the northeast. The Seamew slowly ran into the lagoon, turned inside the island, where the green water narrowed into a half-mile stretch, and there the engines were stopped. The anchor plunged over and the cable roared out, then a leadsman forward gave their soundings.

"Six fathom, sir!"

Captain Hollinger, who had the deck, went to the chart house for his sextant. It was just noon, and he wished to log their exact position. Mart gave Bob a meaning glance and the two boys went to the wheel house, where old Jerry was leaning on the idle wheel and gazing at the shore.

"Well, Jerry," said Bob, "where's the wreck of that old galleon, eh? The one where the Pirate Shark hangs out, I mean."

Jerry chuckled, and pointed with his pipe to the northern end of the lagoon.

"Up there, lads, up there inside the channel beyond the end o' the island. Eight fathom down, she is—down there among the rocks, and us up above. Fish tell no tales, lads, fish tell no tales! Old Jerry's the only man who knows—"

"How soon will any boats come out?" asked Mart, who had resolved to bother no more about the Pirate Shark, as he had a shrewd notion that Jerry was not quite right in the head. "Will they bring fruit?"

"Aye, lads, plenty o' that. But they'll not be out for an hour or two yet, not they! Time for mess, lads—eight bells, time for mess!"

The captain got his sights, to be worked out later, and joined them. As he did so, Jerry made the request that he be given shore leave, as he might want to go ashore with any boats that came out. He had been here before on a trading trip, he said, and knew the natives in the village at the river mouth; so if he spent a day ashore he could arrange for their hunting trip and make firm friends of the Malays.

"Why, of course!" smiled Captain Hollinger, as they went down to mess. "You're a guest as far as I'm concerned, Jerry, so do as you please."

The old quartermaster nodded and no more was said on the subject. To the boys, it seemed that Jerry's desire to go ashore was a good sign. Since he was willing to trust himself alone to the natives, it showed that on his previous visit he must have made friends with them. The boys had read and heard a good deal of how the more unscrupulous trading schooners treated the natives, and they perceived at once that Jerry's previous visits must have been made in peace and good will.

Mart Judson, indeed, inclined strongly to the opinion that the white-haired old quartermaster was slightly "bughouse," as he expressed it. As to the dynamite on board, he concluded that whether the Pirate Shark was an hallucination of the old man's brain or not, the explosive might come in useful in their diving operations. He gave no credence whatever to the story of the wrecked galleon out in the lagoon "eight fathom down."

What Bob thought in the matter did not appear, for although the freckled, blue-eyed chap seemed careless enough, in reality he was cautious in giving vent to any opinion whatever. He merely grunted in reply to Mart's arguments, that afternoon, and waved a hand beyond the island, to the place Jerry had indicated.

"Six fathom here, Mart, and Jerry says it's eight up there. There's a channel to the sea, there, and rocks pointing up. The channel would be apt to cut it out deeper, and twelve feet makes a lot o' difference."

Beyond that he would say nothing at all, though indeed he got small chance, for a few moments later they made out two Malay fishing boats reaching out from the mouth of the river.

Behind them came others, approaching cautiously, and an hour later the yacht was surrounded by a dozen craft. All hands were on deck, but there was no need for any fears. When the leading boat approached cautiously, Jerry Smith stepped up on the rail, shouting something in a strange tongue, and without further hesitation the boat darted up to the ladder and gangway, which had been put over the side, with a large floating platform.

Contrary to the ideas which the boys had formed, the Malays looked anything but savages. They wore fez-like round caps, bright shirts, and sarongs or wrapped skirts of gay cloth, while all wore krisses of various patterns, and a few carried old flint-lock muskets.

"Tell them we'll let only ten at a time on deck," said Captain Hollinger to Jerry. Swanson was up forward, looking on with the men. Jerry repeated the order in Malay, and a moment later he was surrounded by a group of grinning, chattering, excited natives who plainly recognized him as an old friend.

Captain Hollinger had already ordered a case of trading goods broken out, and a few moments later the yacht was well supplied with bananas, pineapples, cocoanuts, rice and fresh fish. One of the Malays, who wore a resplendent sarong of crimson silk, Jerry introduced as the headman of the village; he was a rather dried-up looking man, but his face was intelligent and bright, and he shook hands all around in a hearty manner.

As Jerry was interpreting the captain's address to him, Mart noticed that one of the men next to him wore a kris without any sheath. Glancing at the weapon, he drew Bob's attention to it; the blade was flame-shaped, about three feet in length, and was inlaid with silver lines. Bob jerked the quartermaster's arm and pointed at the kris.

"Ask him if he'll sell it, Jerry!"

"Aye, lad, he'll sell it right enough. I'll ask him, and you get something he'd like—say, some kind o' weapon."

Bob darted off, returning with an old-fashioned Colt cap-revolver, which he had hanging on his stateroom wall as a souvenir. Mart laughed at sight of it, but to his surprise the Malay eagerly made the trade, and the kris was Bob's. Captain Hollinger examined it with some interest, and promptly made an offer through Jerry for a dozen more of the weapons, to keep as souvenirs.

"Better let that wait, sir," said the quartermaster. "It ain't best to be in too much hurry, Cap'n. When you've gone ashore, after that there huntin' trip, sir, then's the time to trade for such stuff. Wait till they know as they're goin' to lose you, and you'll get bargains."

The wisdom of this was quite evident, so Captain Hollinger nodded. Then the quartermaster turned to the headman and spoke for some moments at length, after which he announced that he was going ashore and would return to report to the captain in the morning. He said it would be necessary to consult men from other villages as to where tigers might be found, as well as to arrange for beaters and a party of hunters, but that all would be arranged that night or in the morning.

With this, Jerry went below, got some of his things together in a duffle-bag, and went over the ladder into the fishing-prau, with a farewell wave of the hand at the boys and his other shipmates. The Malays put out their long oars, shouted a farewell to which the crew responded with cheers, and the dozen boats swept back toward the river.

"Well, we've got a pretty good crew now!" laughed the captain looking around at the decks. Their duties being over for the time being, the engine-room crew had come on deck, fraternizing with their brother Kanakas, and everyone, from old Borden to Mart and Bob, was busy stowing away fresh fruit, of which the supply was bountiful.

The boys examined Bob's silver-inlaid kris, with its carven handle of bone, and it was indeed a trophy worth carrying home. At mess that evening Bob's father announced his desire to take Joe Swanson with him on his initial hunting-trip, at which the burly mate was no little astonished.

"Well," he said, with a slow grin, "I'm not much on shootin', Cap'n, but I'll be mortal glad to stretch my legs ashore. Who'll take charge o' the ship?"

"Well," smiled the captain, "I'll leave the boys in charge, with Jerry. The quartermaster is capable, and he's going to start diving operations up the river. I want to see what things are like in the jungle before I'll take the boys hunting, as it's apt to be pretty dangerous."

"I dunno, sir," and Swanson frowned, staring at his plate. "I've heard a good bit about Jerry, and I wouldn't leave him—"

"Oh, nonsense!" Captain Hollinger laughed out, and the boys remembered the mate's protest before the voyage began that Jerry was "unlucky." "I've heard about his piratical tendencies, but don't you worry, Mr. Swanson. He's all right."

The mate shrugged his shoulders heavily and said no more. That evening the boys proffered a request that they be set ashore on the island in the morning. Both were anxious to set foot on the sands, and to prowl about the place at their leisure, and as the island was clearly uninhabited, Captain Hollinger assented willingly. Mart decided to take the motion-picture machine along in order to try it out, and Bob later confided to him his intention to take along a rifle in case they saw anything to shoot at.

"Shucks, there's nothin' around here to shoot," returned Mart scornfully. "And 'specially on the island. Besides, your dad wouldn't stand for it."

"That's all right," grinned Bob. "I'll get one of those thirty-thirties out of the rack and slip her into the boat. Maybe we won't use it, and maybe we will. We might meet that Pirate Shark, you know!"

"Oh, shucks!" ejaculated Mart.

They breakfasted early the next morning, and as the captain wanted a message relayed to San Francisco, the boys sought the wireless house while Dailey and Borden and Yorke were getting a boat over the side. After some persistent efforts, Mart finally raised an answer, and after looking it up in his blue-bound book, found that it came from a Dutch steamer of the Nederland line, and promptly got rid of his messages, which would be relayed by more powerful instruments to Manila and Honolulu. During this labor, Bob slipped away, and after Mart had reported to Captain Hollinger and secured his motion-picture camera, he found his chum waiting in the boat, where Dailey and Yorke, Borden and Birch were at the oars. Waving farewell to the ship, they moved away; Bob nudged Mart and pointed to a tarpaulin under the stern.

"There she is," he said mysteriously.


"That rifle," reported Bob, chuckling. "We're off, old scout! I wish we'd meet that Pirate Shark o' Jerry's. I guess a thirty-thirty bullet would make him sick!"

"Huh!" grunted Mart, his eyes sweeping across the sunlit waters. "No chance!"



The boys had fully intended removing their shoes and going ashore in their bare feet, but as they started to do so, the men grinned and stopped them. Yorke, with his twisted mouth leering and his gray head streaming with perspiration, lay on his oar and gave them some advice.

"Young gem'men, don't go for to do them foolish things, not in these here seas! First place, that 'ere sand on the island will be hotter'n blazes. Then if ye go wadin' around ye'll get poisoned wi' coral, or ye'll step on little crabs ye can't see, but they'll get under your skin, like; or else ye'll find animiles what'll bore little round holes in your flesh, an' them kind o' things. It ain't safe, young gem'men."

At first the boys thought he was joking, but a glance at old Borden showed that Yorke had been in earnest.

"Don't ye do it," added that soft-voiced seaman, who was so much like Jerry in his ways. "Yorke's tellin' ye true, lads. Things ain't so nice as they looks on these islands, you can take your davy to that!"

At this juncture Daily and Birch also paused to rest. The boys had desisted from their object, and Birch spoke up, his one eye flaming queerly.

"Beggin' your pardon, young sirs, but be you a-goin' to hunt tigers wi' the cap'n?" At the question all four men looked aft at the boys.

"Sure," rejoined Bob happily.

"Not right away, though," added Mart, wondering at the looks and the question. "We're goin' to see the diving first. Later on we'll go ashore after a tiger."

"Give way, there," ordered Borden quietly, but as the four oars dipped Mart caught an odd glance exchanged among the men. He wondered idly what they were thinking of, but they were close on the island now and he was too eager to be ashore to waste any time in vain speculation.

At length the boat ran up on the clean white sand, all leaped out, and she was at once pulled up. Dailey volunteered to stay with her, and the other three men started off to wander on their own account, while the two boys, arranging to be back in an hour or so, started across to the seaward side. The brief ride in the hot sun had quite cured Bob of his romantic notions regarding the rifle, which he now left in the boat, for it was a heavy weight and he had lost his desire to shoot when Mart suggested that it would only alarm those aboard the yacht.

It was ebb tide, and as they gained the opposite side of the narrow island and came out upon the long reaches of white sand, the wild delight of the boys was unrestrained. They were in a new world. Even the trees were crimson, there was no lack of wonderful but ill-smelling flowers, and among the bushes and trees fluttered butterflies of gorgeous hues. But out on the sands they forgot all this.

They found shells by the score, such shells as they had never seen, of all colors and hues. Then, in a little bay of the shore, Mart stumbled on a starfish, deep red, with rich black bosses, and Bob splashed into a pool to extricate two small but very gaudy sponges.

Then there were smaller fragments of coral, ruby red and white, and oyster shells—some brick-red, others of mixed and more gorgeous hues—while more complex shells whose names the boys could not guess lay strewn about indiscriminately with fragments of streaming seaweed. Then Bob wandered ahead, and Mart saw him turn with a cautious gesture, motioning to him.

Mart stuffed the starfish into his pocket and caught up his all but forgotten camera. When he joined Bob at one side of the little bay and looked through the bushes at the shore beyond, he understood. For there was a long stretch of mingled coral and sand exposed by the low tide, and perhaps fifty yards distant were two birds—curlews—running toward the boys with nervous, jerky motions. They were furtively picking up crabs, and Mart quickly set up his camera and focused it. But the instant he began to turn the crank, the two birds ceased their antics. With an inquiring pipe, they looked toward the slight click; then one of them desperately snatched up a crab and both flew off together.

"By golly!" exclaimed Mart. "I got 'em anyhow! Let's go see the crabs!"

They found them—big gray fellows that scuttled away or disappeared in the sand as the boys approached. Try as they would they could not catch one, and being unable to dig, they finally gave up, tired and winded.

"Say, do you like raw oysters?" exclaimed Mart, while they were resting in the hot sand.

"You bet!" returned Bob. "Why?"

"Well, look out there where that coral shows."

Perhaps twenty feet from the edge of the water protruded the low ragged edges of a coral reef, and Bob gained his feet instantly. The water inside the reef was only a few inches deep, and even from where they stood they could make out splotches against the coral that told of oysters.

Without a word Bob led the way, Mart following hastily. Getting their shoes wet mattered little, for they would dry again in five minutes of walking in the blistering sand, and when they finally stood on the coral reef they soon had torn half a dozen good-sized oysters from their perch and waded in to shore again.

"They look good," said Mart, gazing doubtfully at the tightly-closed gray-green shells. "How you goin' to open 'em?"

"With a knife," grinned Bob, pulling out his heavy pocket-knife.

He went to work, and remained at work for five minutes. At the end of that time he gazed disgustedly at his hacked knife blade and gave up in despair. Mart suggested warming the oysters over a fire.

"Good idea, Mart!" cried Bob, springing up. "We'll eat a couple, then take a mess back to dad, eh?"

They soon had a small fire of dry bush alight, and under the influence of its heat they got two or three of the oysters open. Each of the boys swallowed one—then they looked at each other blankly.

"Didn't taste right to me," declared Mart.

"Me neither. I never ate any like that in 'Frisco, by juniper!"

They unanimously decided that they would not eat any more, and before they had stamped out their fire Bob found that he wanted very much to inspect a scarlet-leaved tree a short distance back in the bush. Mart saw another tree that he wanted to look at, and after fifteen minutes had passed, two very pale and disgusted boys crawled out to the warm beach again and lay there recuperating.

"By golly, I don't want any more of those oysters," said Mart, gaining his feet after a little. Picking up the offending molluscs, he hurled them out again into the sea, and Bob grinned faintly.

"No," he agreed, "I guess Ah Sing's cooking'll do me for quite a spell. By juniper, that oyster must have gone down wrong!"

"So did mine," replied Mart, "but it come up again—right. I move we hit for the boat. I've had enough o' this, by golly! It's as Borden said; things ain't what they seem, not by a long shot!"

With that, they hit across the island for the lagoon side once more. They passed several trees which bore most attractive-looking fruits, and berry-laden bushes, but beyond pausing once or twice to consume a few feet of his reel at opportune points, Mart paid no attention. He and Bob had learned a lesson and learned it well.

By the time they emerged on the inner shore of the island, however, they were feeling perfectly recovered once more. Here the shore was flat and level, and as they looked about for the boat, it appeared a few hundred yards to their left. Dailey was lying asleep in its shadow, and out in the lagoon itself the Seamew was swinging lazily at her cable. There was no sign of any prau bringing back Jerry Smith, and the other three men who had landed were not in sight.

"Where are the men gone?" asked Bob, as Dailey sat up at their approach. The leathery-faced seaman waved a hand toward the upper end of the island.

"They went off that way, sir. Ain't showed up yet."

"Well, let's row up and meet 'em," suggested Mart. Bob agreed at once, and all three piled into the boat as they shoved it out.

Mart and Dailey took an oar apiece, Bob reclining in the stern, and they slowly rowed up toward the far end of the island, where was a wide channel connecting the lagoon with the open sea beyond.

As they rowed, the two boys were lost in wonder at sight of the glories below them, for here the water was clear as crystal, though Dailey declared it to be a couple of fathoms deep or more. Sponges, marine fans, fish, coral, and all the under-water life lay open to them, in colors more gorgeous and magnificent than either boy had ever dreamed of. Bob declared it far ahead of the Santa Catalina sea-gardens, and Mart could hardly row for his wondering admiration; but he was finally recalled to himself by a quick exclamation from Bob.

"Hold up there, both o' you! What's that ahead?"

Mart and Dailey glanced around, and an echoing cry broke from the seaman. Fifty yards ahead of them and slowly cutting the water in their direction, was a black triangle that seemed part of some machine, so evenly and steadily did it move along. But the size of it! Mart guessed instantly that it was the dorsal fin of a shark, but he had seen no fin of such size before.

"It's the Pirate Shark, Holly!" he cried suddenly, and plunged down for the rifle. Bob stooped for it at the same instant, but Mart was too quick for him. He rose again to find Dailey looking at them, aghast.

"Where might you lads 'a' heard o' the Pirate Shark?" queried the seaman hoarsely. Mart had no time to waste on him.

"None of your business," he returned sharply. "Keep steady there—"

"You'll waste the bullet, Mart," and Bob stopped him. "It'll simply glance off the water at this angle. Hold on till we get closer!"

"Don't you do it, sir," implored Dailey, his leathery face suddenly pale. "It's the Pirate Shark, all right—don't you fire on him, sir! My word on it, Mr. Judson, it'll be a bad day for us all—"

"Oh, cut out that superstitious talk, Dailey," broke in Mart impatiently. "He's a shark, and a big one; pirate or not, if I can't get to him I'll put a bullet through that big fin of his."

"That's the idea!" exclaimed Bob. "But quit talking or we'll scare him off. Hit the fin, Mart—don't waste time tryin' to make the bullet penetrate the water unless we get up close alongside."

Mart, quivering with excitement, got a bead on that tremendous black fin which was now turning as if to proceed across their bows. It would be futile to attempt shooting the shark at such a distance, for as Bob said the bullet would simply glance from the surface of the water.

Suddenly Mart perceived that the fin was turning away from them. Instantly he sighted for its center, made sure of his bead, and fired. He saw the fin flutter wildly, then there was a great swirl of waters, and as the heavy detonation rang over the lagoon the black fin vanished amid the foam.

"Hit!" yelled Bob. "There are the men, Mart!"

Indeed, the figures of the three seaman were visible, running down the sand, and Mart waved a hand at the yacht as he sat down, for he knew that Swanson and the captain would be watching. But the greatest thought in his mind was that black fin. The Pirate Shark was a reality! They had seen its "black flag" and he had sent a bullet through it!

None of the three spoke as they pulled the heavy boat in to the beach where the men waited. As they approached, the three seamen splashed out and piled aboard, Mart taking his place again in the stern. The first question, naturally, was for the cause of the firing.

"We saw the Pirate Shark," answered Dailey. "We put a bullet through its fin."

"Huh?" one incredulous cry broke from the other three. "Who fired it?"

"Mr. Judson done it."

Three pairs of eyes swept to Mart, who laughed at the amazement of the men. "Well, why not?" he wanted to know.

"Great Scott!" exclaimed Birch. "You fired on the Pirate Shark, lad? Then I'm main sorry for you, that I am!"

"Why so, Birch?" queried Bob, leaning forward and grinning.

"Because it's bad luck, young gem'man," replied Yorke soberly enough, for all his twisted mouth. "It's mortal bad luck! If you'd put a bullet in that there Pirate Shark, you'd 'a' broke old Jerry's heart, you would—"

"Oh, shut up, Yorke!" snapped Birch. "Give way, everybody! There's a boat!"

The boys turned and saw one of the native praus coming from the river toward the yacht. The superstition of the seamen affected them not at all, and Mart felt that all bans were now off, and they could tell Captain Hollinger about the Pirate Shark whenever they chose. Jerry was no doubt aboard the native boat now approaching—and Mart did not feel half so anxious to shoot tigers as he did to get after the Pirate Shark. For the Pirate Shark really existed, beyond any doubt!



"Yes, sir, Pirate Shark is what they call him, Cap'n. Thirty-footer."

"What!" Captain Hollinger stared in amazement, then laughed. "Thirty-footer? You're tangled up, Jerry. Well, he can wait until I get back."

Jerry had arrived at the yacht almost as soon as the boys reached her, and in the course of the explanations about their shooting, Mart and Bob surprised Jerry into ejaculating the title of the Pirate Shark, which called for further explanations. Thus, without having broken their promise, the boys apprised the captain of something of the story of the Pirate Shark, since Jerry reluctantly explained the name. Captain Hollinger gave the matter little attention, but not so the mate.

"Look here, Cap'n," cried Swanson, stepping out and facing Jerry aggressively. "I warned you against this here Shark Smith afore we started, didn't I? Now, I tell you he ain't here for any good, him and the rest o' his gang! Shark Smith, they call him—don't you growl at me, you white-haired old hypocrite!—'cause he's been after that 'ere shark for ten year an' more. That's what he brung you here for, Cap'n—just so's he could get at that Pirate Shark!"

Swanson flung out this accusation boldly enough, and Jerry's blue eyes blazed up at him suddenly; but the look was fleeting, and the next instant the quartermaster flung back his white hair and gazed with mild reproach on the mate.

"Deary me!" Jerry said softly, then smiled. "Why, Cap'n, Mr. Swanson's quite right, he is. I knowed that there Pirate Shark was here, an' I wanted to kill him myself, so to speak. But I've played square, Cap'n. When you gets back from your hunt, I'll have gold to show you. Can you ask more'n that, sir?"

"Not a bit, Jerry," smiled Captain Hollinger. "Come, Mr. Swanson, no more of this suspicion, if you please. Jerry will have to rank as second officer, and take the port watch for the rest of the cruise, so I want no ill feeling among my officers. Now, what about the tigers, Jerry?"

Jerry reported that all was ready, and that the beaters were already arranged for. There were tigers a day's march away, it seemed, and the chiefs were delighted that Captain Hollinger was so willing and ready to rid them of their persecutors. The sooner the hunters started, the better pleased would the natives be.

Accordingly, the captain decided that he would go ashore with Swanson that same afternoon and get acquainted, as Jerry reported that two or three of the natives could speak a little English, and that all were anxious to put themselves at his disposal. Then for the first time Jerry found that the boys were not going ashore also, and the knowledge seemed to stagger him.

"Why—why," he exclaimed blankly, "I thought as how you were going tiger hunting too, lads. I've been an' made all arrangements wi' them chiefs—"

"No, they'll have to stay here," returned the captain firmly. "I'll not take them into that jungle till I've had a look at it, Jerry. That's final. Hold that prau down there and we'll get our stuff together and go ashore in her."

Jerry, looking decidedly blank, obeyed. Mart wondered why he was so anxious to have them go ashore, and conferred with Bob on the subject, but it seemed that Jerry was only in haste to get at his Pirate Shark, and the two boys were rather amused at the situation, together with Swanson's dislike of Jerry.

To them it seemed that the old quartermaster had wanted to get rid of everyone who would interfere with his own hunting operations, and that their shot at the shark that morning had irritated him. Mart looked on it as a huge joke by this time, and Bob was evidently inclined to the same way of thinking. Jerry was evidently quite confident, however, that there was gold in the river, as his promise to the captain showed; indeed, the boys never doubted that he was acting in good faith, more especially as Jerry had now informed the captain that he intended killing the Pirate Shark.

The preparations for the trip ashore were made hurriedly, while the prau waited at the ladder and the natives traded more fruit and fish, with some fresh meat. Captain Hollinger and Swanson dressed in khaki, with sun helmets and leggings, and at the last moment one of the Scotch engineers volunteered to accompany them. So he was given an outfit also, and the three men furnished themselves with the small-bore Austrian army rifles, whose cordite bullets possessed terrific power.

Jerry said that all arrangements were made for their welfare in the village, and that tents were unnecessary as the natives could build thatch huts in half an hour while on the trip, so the impedimenta of the party was light. Canteens and cartridge belts were donned, medicine cases, mosquito nets, binoculars and blankets stowed away, and the three men shook hands with the two boys. Jerry said that the natives were even then making ready a huge barbecue in the village, which was half a mile up-river, so without pausing for noon mess the hunters departed.

They took both trading goods and money with them, in order to make payments to the natives, and when they stepped down into the prau and the Malays shoved off, the boys led the crew in three hearty cheers. Out flashed the long Malay sweeps, and with final shouts ringing over the water, the prau swiftly moved off toward the river mouth. Mart and Bob watched the three stalwart khaki-clad figures standing erect amid the brown men, and followed the prau with their glasses until it was lost around the first projection of the river bank Bob little dreamed what would transpire before he was to see his father's face again!

The officers' mess was sadly depleted that noon, only Jerry, the boys, and the Scotch engineer remaining. By this time the old quartermaster had openly announced his intention of getting after the Pirate Shark, so the boys had no hesitation in broaching the subject and asking his plans.

"Well," returned Jerry, gazing mildly at the engineer, "first off, we'll lay the yacht over that there wreck I was tellin' you lads about—you mind that wreck, lads, eight fathom down? Rock bottom it is, coral rock, down there among the fish. When we lay over her, all shipshape an' Bristol fashion, then we'll look about for that there Pirate Shark. He's down there, lads—down there among the fish, lads, eight fathom down!"

"I'll bet he ain't," interposed Mart. "Prob'ly Bob's bullet through his fin sent him out of here into the deep water. It would me!"

"Ah, but you ain't no Pirate Shark, lad!" smiled Jerry, shaking his head. "He's a cute un, he is." With that Jerry turned to the Scotch engineer, who was no little astonished at the program, of which he had known nothing. "Now, sir, I'll thank you to get the fires up a bit, as we'll need steam to move. Best keep 'em banked, as we may finish off that there shark to-morrow and run up river after gold."

"How long will dad be ashore?" asked Bob, while the dazed engineer departed to look after his fires.

Jerry chuckled. "Oh, several days, lads, several days! Now, we'll break out that dynamite an' then we'll lay her over the wreck—eight fathoms down, and old Jerry the only man as knows. Fish tell no tales, lads—fish tell no tales! You come to the bridge and watch old Jerry lay us over that there wreck!"

This invitation the boys promptly accepted. The afternoon was hot, but Jerry seemed like a new man as he assumed command of the yacht, taking charge of the steam steering gear himself. As they could not get under way for some time, he set Birch to work with a few Kanakas breaking out the dynamite in the forward hold. Jerry was needed to identify the case in question, however, and soon went down to the deck for that purpose.

Now happened an incident which in some measure served to open the eyes of both boys. Among the stores broken out from the hold was a barrel of beef which had gone bad. After Jerry had identified the case containing the dynamite, he ordered the Kanakas to fling the bad beef overboard, and started back to the bridge. The Kanakas had not fully understood the order, and thinking that the case of dynamite was indicated, they cheerfully picked it up and heaved it over the rail.

Mart let out one wild yell, which was echoed by Yorke and Dailey, but nothing happened; the dynamite simply went to the bottom, the force of the shock not being sufficient to explode it. When Jerry comprehended what had happened, however, he was changed instantly from a mild, gentle-appearing old man into a raging maniac. He ran forward, his face terrible to see, and leaping into the crowd of Kanakas began striking right and left in mad fury.

The white-faced boys saw Yorke catch hold of him, but Jerry sent the twisted-mouthed man reeling with a blow; not until Dailey and Birch flung themselves on him was he quieted. Then he once more became himself, but he had been struck a hard blow; he looked ten years older, as Mart commented below his breath.

"No wonder," said Bob commiseratingly. "Poor old Jerry—he'd been counting on that dynamite to blow up the Pirate Shark, Mart. Just the same, I guess my bullet sent Mr. Shark a-kiting out to the open sea."

Jerry climbed back to the bridge, vouchsafing no comment, but still trembling and muttering to himself. Calling down the tube, he found that the engineer had enough steam up to give the Seamew steerage way, and without further delay he ordered the anchor tripped and rang for half speed ahead.

Slowly the yacht gathered way and swung about, pointing up past the island toward the channel beyond. Beyond this, again, the lagoon continued for a quarter-mile farther, in a rounded bay where little rock-points showed their jagged teeth. As they advanced, the water became deeper, shoaled again, then grew deeper beyond the channel; at last Jerry rang for reversed engines, the cable roared out, and the engines ceased.

"Now, lads," he said, "we're over that there wreck. Let's have a look."

They followed him eagerly enough to the deck, where already the crew were looking over the bulwarks. The water was wonderfully clear, but as it was forty feet deep here, they could make out nothing of the bottom. Just under their ladder and gangway, however, the quartermaster pointed out a deeper shadow of green, which he declared showed the position of the wreck.

"We'll send down a Kanaka in the morning," he said. "And if that there ain't the old wreck, lads, then Jerry Smith is a Dutchman!"

"But what about the shark?" objected Bob stoutly. "You aren't going to send down any men there, Jerry, with that shark hanging around. Not if I know it!"

"Well, them Kanakas lost my dynamite, didn't they?" snarled Jerry suddenly, his face sweeping into quick anger.

"That's no matter," rejoined Mart. "You needn't think we'll stand for any men going down—"

"Look ye here, lads," and Jerry faced them solemnly. "Them Kanakas ain't like us white men, d'ye see? First, they ain't afraid o' sharks. They take knives down an' kill sharks for fun, like your father kills tigers. Then they swim like fish themselves, lads. If the sea hadn't spoiled that there dynamite, they'd 'a' brought it up as quick as it went down."

"Maybe you're right," answered Bob, "but there's something about this whole business that I don't like, Jerry. That's flat. You deceived dad by not telling him about this Pirate Shark till we'd got here, and you haven't told him about the wreck yet. All I can say is, you'd better play square, Jerry. When it comes to sending down any o' those Kanakas to investigate your private troubles, and risking their lives, I'm not going to stand for it."

Jerry smiled softly, and gazed out at the sparkling waters of the lagoon.

"Lads, I'm in command o' this here ship," he said quietly. "You've got nothin' to say aboard her, by rule o' the sea. But old Jerry ain't that kind, lads—no, he likes ye both too much for that. Look here, Master Bob, we'll not send down any men but them as volunteers to go, eh? If they want to go, all right; if they don't, why, all right too! Ain't that fair, now? Ain't it?"

Bob glanced at Mart, who made answer.

"Yes, that's fair enough, Jerry. I'll tell the Kanakas myself about that Pirate Shark, and if they choose to go down after that, it's their affair. I don't think he's around here, myself; but in case that bullet didn't send him out to sea with a hole in his fin, and if he really is the Pirate Shark, we'll have to wait till the captain gets back, unless the men are perfectly willing to take the risk. You can order Dailey or Yorke to go down if you like."

At this last suggestion Jerry merely darted them a sharp look, and chuckled.

"All right, lads, all right! We'll see in the mornin', lads. Eight fathom down she is, and fish tell no tales."

That night the boys discussed the situation with growing belief that Jerry was not quite so silly as he appeared. The sight of that immense black fin had established the fact that there was at least an enormous shark here; whether the wreck was also a fact or not was quite another thing.

There might be a wreck there, indeed, and there was no good reason to doubt it. Jerry's tale about its being an ancient galleon, however, was much too improbable to be accepted. However, the diving gear was overhauled that evening, and the boys looked forward eagerly to what was to happen next day.

"I s'pose dad's watching a native dance or something about now," remarked Bob as the boys made ready to turn in. "Well, we'll be after tigers ourselves in a few days, Mart."

"Mebbe," rejoined Mart. "Wish, we hadn't eaten those oysters this morning! I haven't felt right since. Well, so long, Holly! See you to-morrow."

And if Mart felt any premonitions, he ascribed them to the oyster.



"Hey, there! Wake up, Holly!"

Mart pounded on his chum's door again, as a sleepy answer came from within. The night mists had been gone for an hour, and the sun was flooding the lagoon with light and warmth, but Mart was more excited than the early hour warranted.

"Hurry up there, Holly!" he urged, pounding again. "Get a move on! Something's happened!"

"What?" sounded the question.

"Never mind till you see it. Get your duds on and get out here."

After thirty seconds more the half-dressed figure of Bob appeared at the door. Mart seized him by the arm and jerked him out. Bob stared in wonder, for Mart's strong, determined face was filled with grief and anger.

"What's struck you, Mart?"

"Come along and see."

With which enigmatic response Mart led the way forward and up to the bridge. Two of the Kanakas were on watch, but Mart passed direct to the wireless house, with the wondering Bob close behind.

"Now, look at that," exclaimed Mart, standing by the table and waving his hand toward the wireless outfit. "Look at it real close, Holly."

Bob advanced, puzzled. The silence cabinet in which was enclosed the transmitting apparatus, had been forced open, and even the unmechanical Bob could see at a glance that something had been disarranged, or worse.

"Look at her!" exclaimed Mart bitterly. "Wires out and gone, and everything busted that would bust—why, they must have gone through her with an axe! Holly, this wireless was busted a-purpose, and someone aboard the Seamew did it!"

"Is she badly smashed?" queried Bob, who was startled by the news without quite comprehending what it meant.

"I haven't had a chance to look yet. But say, Holly! Don't you see what it means? There's someone aboard here who wants to cut us off from connection with everything—and he didn't know much about wireless, either. The aerials ain't touched. Let's see—"

Mart began to investigate feverishly, but Bob stood transfixed as he finally realized what this destruction portended. Then, as he gazed down at the kneeling figure of his chum, his face flooded with anger and he turned and went out to the forward end of the bridge. The Kanakas were lolling below in the sun, and Bob woke them sharply.

"Call all hands and send Mr. Smith here."

At the unwonted note of authority in his voice, the Kanakas jumped. Five minutes later the whole crew poured up, thronging the foredeck, while old Jerry came up to the bridge in mild astonishment.

"Come back here," ordered Bob briefly, in reply to his queries, and led the old quartermaster hack to the wireless house.

"Now, Jerry," he said, "last night someone broke in there and went through the wireless outfit with an axe. How about it, Mart! Much damaged?"

"Clean smashed up, Holly," groaned Mart from his position beside the cabinet, where he was investigating the helix. "Everything's busted. She's ruined."

"Get to work, Jerry," commanded Bob curtly. "You're responsible. Now find out who did it—"

"How do you know it was done last night, lads?" inquired Jerry softly. "When was you up here last, if I may ask?"

Bob glanced at Mart, who was rising. They found that neither of them had been up since early the previous morning when Mart had sent a message through the Nederland boat. At this Jerry suggested that one of the Malays had possibly stolen up while their prau was waiting alongside for the captain, the day before, and had stolen what he could find. The Malays had a fondness for wire, he went on to say.

"Mebbe," said Mart suspiciously. "You get busy and investigate here first. I don't take much stock in your suggestions."

With an injured air, Jerry retraced his steps and put the crew through a stiff examination, but nothing was brought to light. It finally proved that the Malay explanation was the most plausible one, simply for lack of other evidence, and although Bob and Mart were both furious, they could do nothing. Once they were alone in the cabin, however, Mart winked mysteriously at his chum.

"Say, Holly, I was putting up a bluff on you for Jerry's benefit. That wireless ain't wrecked, not by a jugfull! Whoever did it was too plumb ignorant to do the job right. I can fix her up, but it'll take time. Now, you lay low and let on like she's busted for good. If one o' the men did it, and finds it ain't busted, he's liable to go after our aerials, which would sure dish things for us, see?"

Bob nodded thoughtfully.

"Good for you, Mart. Well, you wait an' see what happens when dad gets back, that's all I have to say."

He had no chance to say more, indeed, for a trampling of feet on the deck, and the sound of voices, apprised them that the diving was about to commence. They at once set aside all other thoughts, agreed to forget the wireless for the time being, and hurried on deck to watch operations. At Bob's suggestion Mart brought along a couple of the thirty-thirty rifles, in case they should see any further signs of the Pirate Shark.

They had already made sure that the Kanakas knew the danger of diving here in the lagoon, but one and all the brown-skinned men had laughed at the very name of shark, patting their sheath knives and assuring the boys that they were used to killing sharks as a form of exercise. Size made no difference, it appeared, so the boys made no more objections.

Four of the Kanakas had stripped and stood on the gangway landing, holding to lines and weights, while the rest of the crew clustered about the rail and Jerry gave them instructions as to depth and bottom and what to look for. Then the men grinned, put their knives between their teeth, and slipped off into the water.

After a minute they reappeared, merely took breath, and vanished again. This time they were down well over a minute, then shot up to the surface together and piled on to the landing, their brown bodies glistening in the sun. The boys went down the ladder and joined Jerry in getting the reports of the divers.

These all agreed that the yacht lay directly over an old wreck, which was so overgrown that it seemed little more than a huge rock. One of the men had brought up a sliver of wood in proof of the story, however, and at sight of it Jerry nodded, satisfied.

"There she is, lads—eight fathoms down! Mystery o' the sea, lads—mystery o' the sea, and us up above here in the sun!"

The boys kept a sharp lookout for the shark, but he was not to be seen, and the Kanakas declared there was nothing alarming to be seen underneath the surface. Now it was that Jerry had Dailey and Birch bring down the diving outfits to the landing, and he briefly ordered the Kanakas to don them and go down.

To the surprise of all, the Kanakas refused. They looked with some suspicion on the heavy boots and copper helmet, declaring that they felt safer without all these things and were perfectly willing to go down as often as was wished.

At this Jerry carefully explained that such work would not do, that he wanted the wreck explored, and that it was necessary for a man to be down for a long period to do this successfully. The Kanakas still balked, however, and when Jerry grew furious and ordered one of them flatly to get into the diving dress, Bob interposed.

"None o' that, Jerry. The men are right. If you want someone to go down, pick out one of your own men—Birch or Dailey there."

The Scotch engineer, standing up above, burst out laughing. Birch promptly denied all interest in the wreck.

"Not me, sir! I ain't no diver, nor shark fighter neither. If anyone's to go down, let the quartermaster go down, I says!"

"That's right," grinned Mart maliciously. "You climb into one of the suits, Jerry! Mebbe your old friend the Pirate Shark is waiting for you to show up."

Jerry chuckled and wagged his white head in solemn refusal, while those above made fun of him unrestrainedly. Finally Jerry scratched his head and gazed up at the men lining the rail.

"Dailey," he ordered, "see to gettin' out two o' the boats. Yorke, you an' Birch an' Borden come down to the after cabin. I'll learn ye who's master aboard here!"

He chuckled again, and beckoned to the boys to follow, which they did. Dailey ran to the bridge deck with a squad of Kanakas and as Mart went below he heard the davits creaking, and saw one of the boats descending to the water.

Jerry vouchsafed no explanation of his ordered consultation until the three men in question had come down to the cabin where he and the boys waited. Mart detected something strange in the old man's manner, and the instant the men came down he saw an insolent expression on Birch's face that he did not understand. He was soon to understand it, however, with a good many other things.

"Now, comrades, what had best be done?" asked Jerry. "These here lads don't want us to make the Kanakas go down, and you don't want to go down neither. Our dynamite's gone, so I asks you again, what's to be done?"

Yorke leered with his twisted mouth.

"Take a rope's end to the Kanakas, Shark. Ain't you master aboard here?"

"Aye, that I am, Yorke, but owners is owners."

Jerry chuckled again, which disarmed Bob's anger. Mart was watching the four men anxiously. Their attitude puzzled him, for the seamen were undoubtedly insolent, but Jerry seemed to pay no attention; and the old quartermaster was usually a stickler for sea etiquette.

"Are you sure the Pirate Shark's down there, Jerry?" asked Bob suddenly. "Don't you think he's gone out to sea—"

"No, no, lad, he lives down there—eight fathom down, in the wreck, with the fish all around and us up above."

"He didn't go after the Kanakas," persisted Bob skeptically.

"You're right, lad, he didn't—'cause why, he knowed better, he did! He's waitin' till a diver goes down, lads—a real diver wi' the shoes an' helmet, as can't swim about like the Kanakas. I'll go down myself."


The cry of surprise broke from men and boys alike, but Jerry nodded, his jaw set and his old face showing a sudden angry determination.

"Yes. I'll go down, wi' some kind o' weapon, and I'll—"

"Take that kris of mine!" shouted Bob eagerly.

"Stow your jaw!" The one-eyed Birch turned on them roughly and threateningly, to Mart's amazement. "Jerry, stop this fooling. What you goin' to do with these kids, eh?"

"Let them go down," broke in Borden, a malicious expression on his wrinkled face. "Let 'em go down, Jerry, to the wreck."

"Shut up!" Jerry straightened up. So swiftly had this dialogue passed that the two boys had hardly realized its import, when the old quartermaster shook his fist at Birch. "Shut up, I say! Them boys ain't a-goin' to be hurt, understand? Nor they ain't goin' to hurt us neither; I'll see to that. Borden, you and Yorke go up and lay that engineer in irons in the forehold. Birch, get hold o' Dailey and take a gun to them Kanakas till they agree to go down. This here is business, and I'm boss. So step lively."

The men obeyed quickly, for Jerry's gentle face was transformed into furious energy. The two boys, however, leaped forward with an angry cry as the meaning of his orders broke on them.

"See here," exclaimed Mart, taking the old man by the shoulder and whirling him around to face them. "What's this mean anyhow?"

"You're crazy with the heat, Jerry," added Bob angrily. "This isn't any pirate—"

Jerry, with unexpected strength, put a hand on each of their chests and flung them back with seeming ease. When they recovered, his blue eyes were blazing and a revolver showed in his hand.

"Now, lads," he said in his soft, penetrating voice, "I like you, I do, and I'm takin' care o' you. You heard what old Borden said, eh? 'Let 'em go down to the wreck,' he said, lads, but not me. No, old Jerry likes you, an' you ain't a-goin' to be hurt."

"Why—why, blame it all, what do you mean?" gasped Mart.

"He's puttin' up a joke on us, Mart," grinned Bob. Jerry chuckled.

"Joke, eh? Look ye here, lads. Up back at the village yonder, the cap'n and Joe Swanson is took care of in a hut. They're safe enough, but they're took care of. That's why I went ashore first, to see my friends. This here yacht belongs to me, lads, until we get up the treasure out o' the wreck. Then me and the rest, we'll be off all shipshape and Bristol fashion, we will, and no one won't be hurt. Understand that, lads?"

Mart stared. But there was no denying the earnestness of the old man. Then over both boys flashed the whole thing—the three old men plotting at Waikiki, the different snatches of talk they had heard, everything that pointed to the same end. Jerry and his comrades had seized the Seamew.

"You mean you're a gang of pirates?" asked Bob, paralyzed with astonishment.

"That's it, lads," chuckled Jerry calmly. "You ain't to be hurt so long's you keep quiet, lads. Pirates it is—the fish down below and us up here above, lads. But when we've got the treasure out o' the wreck, we'll set the cap'n free and leave you wi' the ship. Fish tell no tales, lads—fish tell no tales!"

And with that Jerry turned and ascended the companion, revolver in hand.



The boys sank into chairs, stunned. Their wildest dreams had fallen short of this terrible reality, and when it finally faced them they were staggered by it. Captain Hollinger and Swanson prisoners ashore; the yacht in the hands of pirates!

"Mart, it—it's awful!" blurted out Bob, white-faced. "Jerry must have meant to do this all along! What if dad—"

"Buck up, Holly," said Mart cheeringly, though he felt a terrible dismay within him. "Your dad ain't in any danger. Jerry went ashore to arrange with the natives to hold him, or to keep him out after tigers. He's all right, and Swanson's with him."

"Looks like Swanson wouldn't join 'em," replied Bob dully. "Maybe they'll kill 'em both, Mart."

"Nonsense!" Mart forced himself to brace up, in order to overcome his friend's hopeless despair. "Jerry's fixed this whole thing so's to kill nobody, Bob. That's easy to see. All he's after is the treasure that he thinks is down there in the wreck. When he gets that, he and the rest will light out with it, that's all. They're not the old kind of pirates. They're bad enough, but they've got too much sense to murder anyone."

Under this sensible view of the situation Bob began to take a more cheerful outlook, for he was more worried about his father than himself. The broken wireless was now explained, and although Mart thought that he could repair it, that would be out of the question at present. They agreed that their best plan would be to accept things quietly, but that Mart should get the wireless in shape at the first opportunity. He knew their position, and if he could send out one call for help it would undoubtedly be answered, as there were plenty of ships in these waters.

There was a tramping of feet on the deck, with loud shouts, and the boys awoke from their lethargy of despair. It suddenly occurred to Bob that they might arm the Kanakas and retake the ship, but upon searching for Captain Hollinger's rifles, they found all vanished. Beyond a doubt, Jerry and his men had confiscated the weapons and with them could easily hold the Kanakas in check.

The only weapon remaining was an old elephant gun which Mart found in a locker. It was a brute of a rifle, more like a cannon in appearance, and there was no ammunition for it; in fact, Bob explained that his father only kept it as a curiosity, and it was quite useless. Mart laid it down, giving up thoughts of resistance.

"Let's see if they'll let us up on deck, Holly."

"Sure. Jerry ain't afraid of us, Mart. He knows we're helpless."

The discouraged Bob led the way up the companion. They reached the deck with no opposition, and found Jerry and his mates in complete possession. Up forward, the Kanakas were huddled in an angry but helpless mass under the rifles of Dailey and Birch, while Borden and Yorke were just carrying the body of the Scotch engineer into the forecastle. There was blood on the man's brow and he was heavily ironed, which proved that he had not gone down without resistance.

The boys stood where they were, watching. Jerry had led one of the Kanakas to the gangway and was endeavoring to force him to don the diving outfit. But, although the old quartermaster's face was terrible in its rage, with his white hair flying free and his blue eyes flashing fire, the Kanaka stolidly refused, even when Jerry placed his pistol against the brown chest of the man.

For a moment the boys thought Jerry would murder him, but Birch intervened with the suggestion that they send down four of the Kanakas again to see how the wreck lay. To this Jerry assented, as did the Kanakas themselves, and Dailey sang out that two praus were coming out of the river toward them.

Jerry at once put Birch in charge of the gangway landing and the four men who were diving, and without paying any heed to the boys, assembled his mates for a brief conference, at the ladder.

"No use tryin' to force the Kanakas," declared Yorke. "I know 'em, Shark Smith, and so do you. They'll never put on that divin' dress, not if we flogged 'em."

"Yorke's right," spoke up Borden. "Send 'em ashore, Jerry. Send 'em ashore in the praus, and the engineer with 'em."

"Yes," added Dailey with an oath, and a black look toward the boys. "And put them two kids ashore, too, Jerry."

"What are you afraid of, mates?" Jerry chuckled and tipped Mart a wink. "Them lads stay here, mates—hostages, they are. They can't do us no hurt, and the cap'n won't neither while we hold his son. See? But we'll send them Kanakas ashore, mates. I'll arrange wi' the Malays to hold the crowd safe for a couple o' weeks, then we'll be off an' gone to Saigon in the boats, wi' the treasure."

Mart glanced at Bob, and the boys exchanged a sickly grin. The reason for old Jerry's clemency now became evident. With Bob in his hands, he well knew that he was safe from any effort on the part of Captain Hollinger to retake the vessel, even should the captain and Swanson escape.

Upon this the mutineers agreed, and save for the four Kanakas who were now engaged in diving, the others were summoned aft to the landing and bound securely, one by one. The boys advanced to the rail, and were watching for the reappearance of the four brown bodies in the water, when Jerry gave a yell and leaped down to the landing in a perfect frenzy, shaking his fist and cursing, apparently at nothing.

"Good heavens, Bob!" gasped Mart. "Look at the water!"

Gazing down, the boys felt suddenly sick. For up through the water was rising a red stain, and even as they looked, they saw the figures of three men come shooting up in wild fear. The brown bodies leaped for the landing and dragged themselves up—and as they did so the two boys distinctly saw a great gray shape, so huge that it appeared monstrous, sweep past underneath the ship.

"By juniper!" exclaimed Bob weakly. "Did you see that, Mart!"

Mart nodded and turned away, unable to speak. He knew only too well that one of the Kanakas had been caught by the shark, and the giant size of the terrible fish was too plainly attested by the panic of the other Kanakas, who were shivering and gray with fright. That red stain and the giant shadow in the water were destined to remain in the boys' dream for many a day.

The chattering natives were somewhat relieved from their panic when the two praus shot alongside the gangway and Jerry held animated converse with his friend the headman of the village. Their words were unintelligible, but from Jerry's satisfied air the boys made out that his plans must have gone well, and that the captain and mate were by this time prisoners, or safely hunting tiger somewhere in the jungle.

More fruit was brought aboard, and Jerry presented the headman with one of Captain Hollinger's cherished rifles, to Bob's wrath. After this, the bound Kanakas were taken aboard the two praus, the still unconscious but not badly hurt engineer was carried down, to join his chief on shore with the captain and mate, and the praus shoved off.

Thus there were left on board the yacht only the boys, Jerry and his four mates, and Ah Sing, the Chinese steward. Ah Sing had gained a glimpse of the proceedings and had promptly barricaded himself in his quarters, where he took to burning joss sticks in wild panic. As he would make no answer either to Jerry or the boys, Mart and Bob set to work getting something to eat, for it was getting well on toward noon, and the occupation would at least keep their minds busy.

Although some of the men flung them occasional black looks, the death of the Kanaka and that fleeting vision of the giant shark had sobered everyone tremendously. Not until the men had gathered in the mess-saloon—for they were making free with the officers' quarters, though they had touched nothing except the rifles and revolvers—and had stowed away some of the tinned provisions and hot coffee that the boys provided, did their spirits seem to rise. Jerry had been remarkably silent, but he thawed out over the coffee.

"Well, what next?" queried the one-eyed Birch, leaning back in his chair and lighting one of Captain Hollinger's cigars, as did the rest. "Now we're rid o' the Kanakas, mates, and the ship's ours, what next, I asks?"

"Jerry's the cap'n now," grinned Dailey. "How about it, Shark Smith?"

"I'm a-goin' down after that there Pirate Shark," announced Jerry, his mouth grim and set. He seemed to enjoy the consternation of the others hugely. "Now look ye here, mates. We've lost that dynamite. The only way to get at the treasure is to kill that there shark. He's mine, an' I'm a-goin' to kill him, mates. Bob, lad, you'll lend old Jerry that 'ere kris, won't you?"

The old man's lack of fear, or rather his stubborn determination to kill the Pirate Shark, was amazing. There was something about the gentle-faced old quartermaster, in spite of his plotting and his villainy, which attracted the boys—perhaps it was merely because he professed to like them. That he really cared nothing about them, except as hostages, they knew very well; he was caring for them in order to save his own skin.

However, Jerry soon proved that his brains were working as fast and as surely as ever. He listened to the protestations and arguments of the others unmoved, and at last brought down his fist with decision, until the dishes rattled in their skids.

"Mates, and you, lads, look ye here. That shark, I says, has had one good meal to-day, ain't that so? Well, he's a wise un, he is. He'll know that no more divers'll come down after he's gobbled one, so he won't hang around waitin'. He'll mebbe go off to take a stroll, like.

"All I want, mates, is to get inside that there wreck, with that kris in my hand. Then if he comes at me, why, he can't get at me, d'ye see! So long as a man's got his back to a wall, wi' solid bottom under him, a shark can't get him. It's when he's goin' down or comin' up that the shark can come along an' tip him over an' cut his lines and end him, mates."

This argument was plausible, and impressed all with its good sense. However, that did not remove the danger. It was highly probable that the shark was still hanging under the shadow of the Seamew waiting for more divers, and Jerry's courage did not alter matters in that respect.

The Kanakas had reported that the bottom was coral rock, and that the wreck seemed to be lying on its side, with gaping openings through the deck where the masts had been. During the discussion that followed Jerry's expressed plan, it was decided that if the ship was indeed an old galleon, she might have lodged on the rocks and split apart under the action of the currents, which would account for the openings in her decks. She was so overgrown with marine life, the Kanakas had said, that little could be made out during their short visits below the surface.

"No use talking, mates," declared Jerry obstinately, "I'm a-goin' down, and the sooner the better. Mates, you 'tend the pumps and keep watch for any sign o' that there black fin. If you see it, haul up. Bob, lad, lend me that 'ere kris, will you?"

As Jerry was plainly set upon the undertaking, there was nothing for it but to assent, which the other men did with bad grace. All tramped out on deck at once, and while Bob departed for the kris, Mart followed to the landing. As he did so, he noted that while the men still wore revolver belts, they had left their rifles at the head of the ladder. Jerry noticed it also, and paused.

"Yorke," he ordered abruptly, "you stand by wi' one o' them guns, in case I come up wi' the Pirate Shark after me. If you get a shot at him, take it and haul away."

Yorke nodded and remained on deck beside Mart, while the others went down the ladder to the landing with Jerry. Here the two diving suits had been laid out that morning, together with the wooden box containing the pumps. The hose and lifelines had already been connected, and all was prepared for a descent.

As Jerry began getting into the neck of the huge rubber dress, he cautioned the others against pulling him up too fast, for even in eight fathoms there is danger from the sudden lessening of air-pressure should the diver be hauled up rapidly. At this juncture Bob reappeared with his kris, which was handed down to the men below.

The two boys stood watching, a dozen feet from Yorke, who leaned carelessly on his rifle. Jerry struggled into the dress by slow degrees, for the sun was burning hot, then got the cuffs clipped tightly about his wrists while Dailey and Birch fastened on the heavy corselet. The sixteen-pound boots came next, and very comical indeed the old quartermaster looked, with his white hair blowing in the wind and his blue eyes as eager and lively as those of Bob himself.

Then Borden helped him into the huge copper helmet and screwed it on fast, while Dailey and Birch went to the pumps and began to turn the two handles. Jerry had not yet closed the front window of the helmet, and now his voice came for the last time.

"Well, good-bye, mates and lads! Here's for the treasure o' the Pirate Shark!"

With that he closed his helmet and seized the kris, waved a hand at the pumping men, and calmly stepped off the landing while Borden paid out the air hose and lifelines. For an instant the two boys stared down at the flashing shape in the water, then Bob felt a tug at his arm and met the excited eyes of his chum.

"Go get that old elephant gun," ordered Mart in a whisper. "Quick! Step soft!"



Bob departed without protest, after one wondering look, and Mart set himself to wait as patiently as might be. His own nerves, as well as those of the men, were on edge; they were all under a tremendous strain, for none of them expected ever to see Jerry alive again, so deeply was the fear of the Pirate Shark ingrained in them all by the happening of the morning.

Borden went on paying out the lines, and gradually the flicker of the copper helmet died away and merged with the green of the water. Even Yorke had forgotten to keep an eye out for the shark, and stood craned over the bulwarks, gazing down awesomely into the green depths below.

To Mart it seemed that an age passed. He knew that down beneath the water old Jerry could hear the strokes of the air-pump, and he wondered if the shark were anywhere around the wreck. Both boys had been given a very thorough knowledge of diving by the old quartermaster, from a theoretical standpoint, and had it not been for the Pirate Shark, Mart would have liked nothing better than a descent.

But just at present he had something else in mind. Down below on the gangway landing were Borden, Birch and Dailey, unarmed except for revolvers, and lined to the landing was one of the yacht's boats, lowered that morning. A dozen feet away, with his back to Mart, stood Yorke, absolutely absorbed in the scene below.

Mart knew exactly how big that huge elephant gun would look to four startled men, and he also knew that without Jerry's quick brains the rest were not to be feared. Suddenly he saw Dailey point to the gauge in the front of the pump, and at the same instant Borden ceased paying out line; Jerry had reached bottom!

"Here you are, Mart," came a soft voice behind him, and Mart whirled, nerved up to the action on which he had decided, and took the empty elephant gun from Bob's hands.

Slowly he raised the huge gun until it half-rested along the rail, pointing square at the head of Yorke. Then, speaking in a tone loud enough for Yorke to hear, he addressed Bob.

"Holly, go and take that rifle away from Yorke. He ain't safe to hold it."

The men below did not hear him, but Yorke did; and as he had expected, the seaman turned his head. As he looked full into the huge muzzle, Yorke's twisted, ever-leering face went pasty white and he submitted to Bob's relieving him of his rifle without a word.

"Hands up, Yorke!" commanded Mart, still softly. "Bob, get his revolver."

Bob obeyed, and still Yorke stared into the muzzle of the elephant gun with fear-stricken eyes and a ghastly pallor on his face, as he reached for the sky.

"Now get down on the landing," ordered Mart, and with that shifted his gun over the rail so that it pointed straight at the three men below. So far, they had heard nothing. Mart knew that he might be endangering Jerry's life, but he did not hesitate, and jerked his head for Bob to follow Yorke, who had started down the ladder.

"Get after him and take their guns, Bob."

The other boy obeyed, entering at once into Mart's plan. Yorke, paralyzed with fear, kept his hands in the air as he descended, and when his shadow fell across the landing, Dailey was the first to glance up in surprise.

"Hands up, you men!" commanded Mart sternly, though he felt a quiver in his throat. Would they call the bluff of that empty gun? "Quick about it, there!"

Into the one-eyed face of Birch flashed an evil anger mixed with fear; Dailey promptly stuck up his hands, as did Borden, who still clung to the lines, but Birch only continued pumping, though he looked up fearfully.

"I ain't a-goin' back on Jerry," he growled.

Mart read indecision in his tone, however. He knew that Jerry would be in no danger from a momentary cessation of pumping, just as he would be in no danger were his air hose to break, as the helmet valve would in that case close automatically and Jerry would have enough air left in his dress to last him for some minutes.

"Up with 'em, you pirate!" cried Mart, shifting his big gun a trifle so that Birch's glittering black eye looked full in the muzzle.

"Don't shoot, ye fool!" gasped Birch, flinging up his arms, and Mart knew he had won.

The men stood looking up, evil-eyed, panting with their exertions at the pumps, while Bob swiftly emptied their revolver-belts of weapons and knives and was up the ladder to the deck again, flinging down his load.

"You ain't a-goin' to murder poor old Jerry!" cried Dailey sharply. Mart winced.

"Bob," he returned, "you'll have to go down and keep those pumps going. Hurry up, now!"

His chum, rather pale-faced and flurried, hastened down again and began turning the double handle of the pumps, while the four men crowded beyond the ladder.

"Drop those lines, Borden," ordered Mart sternly, and the old seaman obeyed without demur. "Now unfasten that boat and get into her! Pile in, the whole crowd of you! Do it lively now! That's right. Get busy with those oars and row over to that island. When you get there, shove out that boat and let her float off, or I'll pepper you with a load o' buckshot."

"You ain't goin' for to maroon us there?"

"You're pirates and mutineers and I'm an officer o' this ship," replied Mart fiercely. "You step lively there or I'll send you where Jerry is, without any diving suit but with some buckshot in your back. Jump, now!"

Plainly, the men did not doubt either his intentions or his ability to fulfill his ferocious threat. While Bob continued his mechanical pumping, the four tumbled into the boat and pulled away without another word. Mart knew that once they were on the island, with the boat floated away, they were practically in prison. None of them would ever attempt swimming away to the mainland while the Pirate Shark was in the lagoon.

Mart stood at the gangway and kept the boat covered with his empty elephant gun, though now that the tension was relaxed and the victory his, everything blurred before his eyes and he felt weak with the reaction. The island was only a few hundred feet away, and the men pulled to the sandy beach without hesitation, tumbled out, and shoved the boat out again. Then they fled for the cover of the trees and bushes and were gone.

"By juniper!" breathed Bob from the landing below, as Mart flung the gun to the deck and leaned on the bulwark. "You look like a ghost, Mart! Trot down here and give me a hand at this job."

"Well, we licked 'em!" exclaimed Mart, a surge of exultation rising within him as he slowly descended the ladder. "We licked 'em with an empty gun, old scout! Say, can you beat it? Think of us standin' off a gang o' pirates with your dad's old elephant gun! Did you see how white Yorke was?"

As he spoke, he relieved Bob at the pump wheel, and the latter leaned back and mopped his dripping brow.

"Well, I'd hate to have you come after me in earnest!" declared Bob with a laugh. "Say, you can sure talk like a bad man, Mart! You had me dead sure you'd land those pirates with a bullet!"

"I was scared!" admitted Mart with a grin. "I was so blamed scared, Holly, that I had to make 'em think I meant it. Here, get to work and quit talking."

"No sign o' Jerry, eh?"

Bob fell to work at the opposite handle, but mindful of the old quartermaster's lessons, they kept up a steady pumping, not too fast, but enough to maintain a good air pressure below.

Watching the lines as they worked, there appeared to be little motion; the two diving suits were not equipped with telephones or speaking tubes, but the boys knew the signals.

"Watch out!" cried Bob suddenly, as he caught at the lines that were slipping off at a jerk from below. "Keep turnin'—I'll 'tend to the ropes!"

He barely caught the lines and coils of air hose in time to save them, and Mart, watching as he pumped, saw four distinct jerks—the signal to pull up. In reply, Bob jerked the lifelines once, meaning "Are you all right?"

One pull came back, assenting to the query, and without more delay Bob began to pull up Jerry. Mart cautioned him as to speed, and Bob nodded. Jerry had not gone down by the usual "shot-rope," often used by divers, because the gangway landing was nearly exactly over the wreck.

It was no task to pull up the quartermaster until the heavy copper helmet rose to the landing. Then Mart came and lent his assistance, and between them they got Jerry up and over the side. He did not have the kris with him, and he lay stretched out, unable to rise because of his heavy clothes and weights.

This bothered the boys not at all. Mart sent Bob to get all the rifles safely locked up in the cabins, while he set to work unscrewing Jerry's helmet. At first he felt some fear lest the old man had come to some harm, so motionless did he lie; but as he got the helmet unscrewed he heard Jerry's voice proceeding from within, and no sooner had he helped the quartermaster to sit up, gasping and blinking, than his fears were quite allayed.

"Ho!" cried Jerry, with wild triumph on his face as he flung back his white hair. "She's there, mates, she's there! Eight fathom down she is, and no Pirate Shark neither! Old Jerry found her, he did—eh? What—"

In his first transports the quartermaster had not observed that his mates were not around him, evidently. Then his eyes fell on Bob, coming down the ladder, and he gazed about blankly. Mart grinned.

"Is the wreck there, Jerry?"

For a moment Jerry made no reply, but stared around helplessly, and his jaw dropped. His head went up, and he searched the ladder and bulwarks above, until both Bob and Mart gave a shout of laughter.

"No use, Jerry," cried Bob cheerfully. "Your friends are gone, and there's a set of irons waiting for you up for'ard. Come, get out o' that suit and step lively, now."

Jerry gasped, then cried feebly:

"Gone? My mates gone? Hey, Dailey! Birch! Yorke! Where are you, mates?"

The terror and consternation on his face sobered the boys instantly. He tried to get up, the veins standing out on his forehead, his eyes straining frantically, but Mart swiftly pushed him back and faced him. Helpless though the old man was in his heavily-weighted diving suit, there was something terrible in his aspect that made both boys feel a sudden fear of his unleashed fury.

"Sit back there," ordered Mart peremptorily. "No use calling for your mates, Jerry. They can't help you now, and you're in for it."

"Eh?" Jerry stared up, his face working horribly, his fingers twining and untwining. "You—you've killed 'em? You've killed poor old Borden, lad, and Dailey—and Birch—"

Mart could stand it no longer.

"No, nobody's killed, Jerry," he said kindly, sympathizing with the old man's terrible agitation. "We've marooned your men on the island, and they're helpless and unarmed. The Seamew belongs to us now, and I think it'll be best for all concerned that you go in irons. We can't trust you, Jerry, and that's flat."

Slowly the old quartermaster comprehended his defeat. A look of anguish flitted across his face, his eyes lost their keen sharpness and became old and bleared once more, and with a groan he lowered his head on his breast and his white hair fell around his features in the sunlight.

Mart caught a pitying glance from Bob, but he knew too well that Jerry was not to be trusted, and drew his chum aside to the ladder.

"Look here, Holly," he whispered earnestly, "we can't get soft-hearted now. Jerry ain't half as simple as he looks, take it from me. We got our work cut out for us, too. Your dad's over there in the jungle, remember, and them Malays have got 'most all the crew pris'ners. That's goin' to be a mighty hard nut for us to crack. We've got to put Jerry in irons, that's all."

Bob nodded, his eyes roving over the water.

"Look there, Mart," he said, pointing to the island. "The boat's gone back to the shore."

Mart glanced across to the island, and saw that the boat had indeed drifted back to the beach and lay slowly stranding as the tide dropped. However, he forgot about the matter instantly, as Jerry's voice came to them.

"Look here, lads," and the old man's voice came softly, appealingly. "I got a proposition to make. You've got me fair and square, lads, fair and square—but I want to get down to that there wreck again."

Mart eyed him keenly, but the old man was evidently in earnest.

"Let's hear your proposition," he said curtly.



Jerry collected himself with an effort. It must indeed have been a bitter pill for him to swallow, reflected Mart as he watched the old quartermaster, while Bob stood at his elbow. Jerry had gone down leaving his gang in full possession of the yacht; he had evidently found the wreck untenanted by the Pirate Shark; and he had returned to the surface to find all his fine schemes shattered by the two boys.

Undoubtedly the old man was a villain, and he had showed that morning that he cared nothing for human life so that his plans were carried out; but now he looked so helpless, sitting there in the blazing sun with his white hair falling over his neck, that the boys could not help feeling a touch of sympathy for him.

"Lads," he said slowly, gazing up at them with his gentle blue eyes, "I found that there wreck, and she's split apart so's her cargo can be got at easy. There's gold a-lyin' there for the pickin' up, lads!" His voice grew hoarse with eagerness.

"Eight fathom down she lies, lads, eight fathom down! I got to go down again, lads—I been waitin' too long for this chance! I just want to get my hands on that there gold, I do. The Pirate Shark ain't around, lads—don't be hard on old Jerry! You've got me, lads, you've got me. Don't put me in irons yet, lads. Let me go down once more, just to get my hands on that there gold—"

"Calm down, Jerry," broke in Bob, as the quartermaster's voice grew hoarser still, his old face working almost hysterically. "We're not going to hurt you. I tell you what. Wait till dad gets back with Swanson and the crew, then we'll get up that treasure for you—"

"No!" Jerry's voice rang out clear and strong, a feverish anxiety in his face. "I want to do it myself, lads! If the Pirate Shark's there I want to get at him with that there kris!"

"Where is the kris, by the way?" interjected Mart.

"Stickin' in the side o' the wreck," replied Jerry in a calmer voice. "She's layin' over on her side, hard and fast in the coral. I felt around a bit, lads, and I seen a box there—it's rotten, it is, and it's full o' gold! The mystery o' the sea, lads, the mystery o' the sea! The gold's down below, and us up here above—and fish tell no tales, lads! Let me go down once more, lads, and I'll not say another word, or cause any more trouble, that I won't!"

The boys looked at each other irresolutely. After all, reflected Mart, there could be no risk to themselves in letting Jerry go down again. He was plainly in a high state of excitement at having found the wreck and possibly the treasure, and it would possibly be more injurious to restrain him than it would be to let him continue his work.

Of course, there was danger from the Pirate Shark, and a terrible danger it was. But as Jerry had said, once he stood with his back against the wreck and the kris in his hand, he would be able to hold his own. The great danger came from the chance that the shark might catch him going down or coming up, overturn him in the water, and snap him off.

"I don't know," said Bob slowly. "Of course, if that shark wasn't there—"

"I can take care o' him," broke in Jerry eagerly, clutching at his helmet. "He allus snaps off the lifelines first, they say, lads. If the lines or the hose breaks, why, haul up on whichever's left. But he ain't there, lads, he ain't there! You'll let old Jerry go down again! Come an' help me up, lads."

"Hold on," exclaimed Mart as Bob impulsively started forward. "We don't aim to let you start any rough-house with us, Jerry. I don't trust you a little bit. Bob, you stand by while I help Jerry get his helmet on, then get the pump goin' while I slide him over the edge of the platform."

The quartermaster broke into a flood of eager words, which Bob abruptly cut short.

"Look here, Jerry! What about dad? Are they holdin' him prisoner on shore, like you said, or—or—"

He paused, and Jerry chuckled as he glanced up, his head on one side like that of a bird, his blue eyes suddenly bright again.

"No, no, lad! He's just taken care of, that's all. Mebbe we'll make a compromise yet, lads—you holdin' me and the yacht, and me holdin' your father, eh! Well, we'll see. Birch can get him off, lads. Birch talks the lingo, he does, and if anythin' happens to me, you talk to him."

This speech relieved the minds of both boys immensely. Half their fears had been for the men who had gone so trustingly into the jungle, to be held prisoners by the Malays, and now that they were sure no harm was being done Captain Hollinger, they felt much more inclined to deal gently with old Jerry.

"So when you promised dad that you'd have gold on board when he came back," said Bob with a slow grin, "you meant the treasure, eh?"

Jerry chuckled and nodded.

"Aye, lads, just that. But you'll mind the pumps, eh? You'll not let old Jerry go without air?"

"Sure not," Mart reassured him. "We'll take care of you fine, Jerry."

The quartermaster reached out for his big helmet, and Bob sprang forward to assist him. At the same instant, however, they were startled by a hail from the shore, and looked up to see Birch standing beside the stranded boat.

"Seamew ahoy!" he called again.

"Well, what do you want?" returned Mart.

"Let me row out alone? I want to talk."

Mart glanced at Bob. "How about it, Holly? I s'pose he wants some grub and water."

"Let him come out, lads," spoke up Jerry before Bob could reply. "You've got us, you have; let him come out, lads, and talk it over."

"All right," shouted Mart to the seaman, then turned to Bob. "Holly, you get up on deck with one o' them rifles. If there's any trouble, you shoot Jerry, see?"

Bob grimaced behind the quartermaster's back, and ascended the ladder. Watching the shore, Mart saw Birch turn and say something; the forms of the other men came from among the bushes and they helped shove out the boat. The one-eyed seaman leaped into her and settled down at the oars.

As Jerry was firmly anchored down by his weights and heavy boots, Mart had no fear of any trouble arising. When Birch had come within twenty feet of the yacht, however, Mart stopped him curtly.

"Close enough, there! Now, what do you want?"

"Water, sir," pleaded the seaman respectfully. "You've got us, sir, and you've got Jerry, there; but you ain't goin' to torture us, be you?"

"No," returned Mart. After all, he reflected, the complaint was only just. There was no water on the island, and it would be rank torture to maroon the four men there without either food or drink, for the afternoon sun was at its height.

"You stay where you are, Birch," he went on. "When we've got out a breaker of water and some biscuit, you can come in for them."

Birch nodded, and Mart went up the ladder to where Bob was waiting. Taking the rifle from the hands of his chum, he asked Bob to get out a breaker of water and a bag of biscuit. Bob nodded and darted forward, while Mart remained leaning over the rail, his rifle in plain sight.

Down below, Jerry gazed at Birch solemnly, then shook his head.

"You made a fine mess o' things," he declared slowly. "A fine mess o' things, Birch! The treasure's there, eight fathom down."

"It's your own fault," retorted the other sullenly. "Didn't we say to send them kids ashore, hey? But you wouldn't do it, and now they've got us."

"Yes, they've got us!" screamed old Jerry suddenly, shaking his fist as he sat. "They've got us, you fool! Why didn't you keep your eye on 'em, eh? You're fine mates for a man to have, you are! The minute I gets out o' sight, you have to go and smash up everything! Nice set o' mates, you are. Bah!"

And the disgusted quartermaster spat into the water, while Mart grinned in enjoyment of the scene. Jerry's vehement anger was certainly unfeigned, while Birch grew more sullen with each moment. Verily evil-faced and villainous he looked, as he sat in the blazing sun and leaned on his oars, and Mart shuddered to think what might have happened to all of them had it not been for that elephant gun.

At this juncture Bob arrived with a small keg of water, which he carried down to the landing. Then he went forward again after a bag of biscuit. As the terrified Ah Sing was still burning joss sticks and chattering prayers to his ancestors, Bob had to rummage about for the biscuit himself, but he finally secured a half-emptied bag, which he carried down and deposited on the landing below.

"Come along, Birch, and don't try any funny work," demanded Mart. "Bob, you sling 'em into the boat and keep out of his reach."

But Birch had plainly come without any thoughts of treachery. He rowed up slowly until the prow of his boat scraped the landing, and Bob heaved the keg and biscuit aboard, shoving off the boat instantly. Without a word, Birch sullenly fell to work at his oars again and headed for the island. Mart set down the rifle and descended to the landing.

"Well, if you'll give me a hand wi' this here helmet, lads," suggested Jerry, "I'll be goin' down."

Bob stepped forward and helped him on with the big helmet, screwing it down into the collar. Mart stood over the pump wheel, and as he glanced at the island he saw that Birch had landed, and that he and the others were carrying up the water and biscuit. It occurred to him that before dark he must make sure that the boat was shoved out, even if he had to go ashore in another boat to get it; for it was imperative that the four mutineers should be unable to leave the island.

However, there was plenty of time left for that, he thought, and so turned to Jerry. Bob was just completing his task, and Jerry had opened the front window of his helmet for a parting injunction.

"You'll mind the pumps, lads?"

"You bet!" replied Bob cheerfully.

"Hold on," cried Mart quickly, as the quartermaster began to close his window. "You sure you've got that kris handy down there, Jerry? You don't want to take any chances, you know."

"It's there, lad, it's there, eight fathom down," responded Jerry with a faint chuckle. "It's a-sticking into the old wreck, it is, right where I can put my hand up to it. Well, lads, mind them pumps now! Good-bye, lads—here's to the mystery o' the sea, and hoping as the Pirate Shark ain't around!"

So Jerry collectedly shut himself in and waited until Mart, at the pumps, had got his diving suit well inflated. Then, disdaining Bob's proffered assistance, he worked himself to the edge of the landing and slowly lowered himself over into the water. Bob seized the lines and paid them out slowly, thus holding Jerry upright and keeping his descent slow and steady, while Mart pumped slowly and methodically, alternately watching the flickering helmet down in the green depths and the pump-gauges.

At length the gauges marked seven fathoms, and the dial finger slowly rose to eight, then stopped suddenly. Jerry had reached the bottom.

"All right, Holly," said Mart quickly. "Come along an' take the other wheel."

Bob dropped the lines in a heap and sprang to the pumps. For a moment the two boys worked in silence, then Mart chuckled.

"Say, I guess we've got those pirates scared stiff, eh?"

"Looks like it," returned Bob, his eyes on the water. "That fellow Birch—great Scott! Look there!"

The sudden fear in his voice struck Mart like a blow. Looking at the water, he saw a little line of bubbles rising, and the terrible significance of it sent horror into his heart.

"The hose is cut!" he cried, and leaped to the lines.

But though he tugged, there came no answering pull. White-faced and stricken by the swift terror of what had happened, he began yanking at the line and hose together, and as they came swiftly up he felt a thrill of cold dread that seized on his heart and held him dumb.

With feverish haste he hauled in both lines, shrinking at thought of what had befallen the old quartermaster. Then, without warning, the lines shot up and curled about the landing—cut short and clean.

"The shark—" began Bob, white-lipped and paralyzed with horror.

"No!" exclaimed Mart, his mind leaping ahead swiftly. "The kris, Holly! He said it was stickin' in the wreck. The lines came against it and cut off! Here, get the other lines connected up with that spare helmet—move lively!"

Bob stumbled forward in blind obedience, as Mart flung away the useless lines and darted to the spare diving suit, which lay ready with its hose and lines coiled at its side. He opened the wide neck and, snatching off his shoes, began to get into the huge garment in feverish haste.

"What you going to do?" queried the doubly horrified Bob.

"Goin' down, o' course," snapped Mart. "Hurry up, there!"



"But, Mart!" Poor Bob's voice rang out in terror-stricken accents. "Jerry'll be drowned before you can reach him!"

"Shut up!" crackled out Mart, snapping his wrist-bands close. "He won't either. When the air hose is cut, that helmet valve closes automatically. Jerry's down there, an' he can't get up, that's all. Hurry up with that hose!"

Bob fell to work again, his fingers trembling. Mart got into the big shoes and laced over the flaps, for he knew that every second counted, but at the same time he must overlook no slightest item in his dress.

Never had his mind worked so swiftly as now, when the danger call came. It had occurred to him to drop over a weighted line, but he knew that Jerry might be unable to see it, and they were not sure of the quartermaster's exact position. In the same brain-flash he realized that Jerry would have some minutes of life, due to the air contained in his inflated dress; there was time for him to get down with a spare line and get Jerry up, if he acted promptly. So he had acted.

He had pictured in his mind the scene below, with that three-foot kris sticking out from the side of the wreck. The instant those bubbles appeared, he knew there was danger; and the instant he hauled up the clean-severed ends, he guessed that the line and hose had brushed against the keen kris and had been parted. Bob's startled cry had appalled him for an instant, but they had seen no shadow in the green depths, and he leaped at the true solution without hesitation.

"Get that helmet screwed on, now," he snapped, seeing that Bob had connected the air hose. "You keep your nerve, old scout! Everything depends on you, up at this end, so don't get flustered. Chase up and get a coil o' rope. I'll send Jerry up to you first. Haul him up slow, remember."

Bob, who had recovered his nerve under Mart's apparent calm, dashed up the ladder and was down again with a coil of light line. The helmet was screwed down tightly, and Mart pressed his chum's hand warmly. Then, taking one end of the spare line and knotting it around his waist beside his own life line, he drew his sheath knife in case of emergency and stood waiting for his dress to inflate.

He had concealed his own fear behind his frantic haste, and now he did not hesitate to admit to himself that he was afraid—and very much afraid, too. Oddly enough, the thought of the Pirate Shark did not cause him any great concern. While all during the voyage he had looked forward to diving, now that he was about to step off into that forty feet of water he would have given anything in the world to be able to stay up above.

But the thought of Jerry drove him steadily to the task. Picturing the old man down in the depths, hoping agonizingly for some shred of help from the two boys to whose hands he had trusted himself, Mart resolutely set himself to conquering his fears. The life of a man depended on his keeping up courage and on his remaining cool-headed. When he felt that his dress was full of air, he looked at Bob through the thick glass of the side-plates in his helmet, then sat down and resolutely lowered himself over the edge.

He very nearly overbalanced in doing so, for, in order to counterpoise the forward weight of the big helmet, the weight on the diver's back is five pounds heavier than that in front. The instant his legs were in the water, however, the terrible weight of the leaded boots was gone.

A final glance at his chum showed him that Bob, now steadied down to desperate work, was turning the big wheel with one hand and holding the lifeline in the other, ready to pay it out. At that, Mart gathered up all his courage, sidled off the landing, and let himself drop.

For an instant the sensation was terrible, as he saw the green water closing over him, and the sunlight dimming overhead. Then an almost imperceptible jerk, and he knew that Bob had stayed his fall downward, and was lowering him more gradually. He had no fears as to Bob's capability, and after that first instant he slowly collected himself to the task in hand.

He forced himself to look downward, for now he found that the water was growing darker about him, and he could feel it rushing past his bare hands. The touch, strangely, gave him courage; the water was very warm here in the lagoon, and it was something tangible, something that offset the cold dread of the green dimness rising up at him.

Suddenly he felt a determined tug at the lifeline about his waist, and as this was the usual code query as to how he was, he gave Bob a responding tug. He was getting deeper now. Without the slightest warning, he found that he was beginning to see things around him.

A fish darted past, almost flicking its tail against his front glass. Then a long streamer of seaweed rose at his right, frightening him at first in the belief that it was a snake. And with that, marine life was all around him, there came a shock—and he knew that he had reached the bottom, eight fathoms down!

Beyond a slight ringing in his ears, he felt no unwonted sensations. All about him was marine life—shells and slime and solid coral underneath his feet, with queer things that seemed to slide away from his presence. There was a little seaweed, but not much; sponges, sea fans, and several tiny writhing octopi that shot away and vanished in the obscurity. He could distinctly hear the strokes of the pumps, regular and steady.

"Good old Holly!" he thought. "But—this ain't getting Jerry."

He realized that as there was no wreck in sight in front or to the sides, and as the landing-stage of the Seamew had been directly over it, he must be facing away from the wreck. So far, he had not moved. Now, as he tried to turn about, he found himself bounding up several feet, and laughed to himself as he remembered Jerry's lessons.

But he had turned about—and the scene before him made him start back in awe and amazement. Hardly ten feet away from him was the wreck—a great dim shape with streaming sea growth and barnacles that rose more like a huge rock than anything else. A trifle above the level of his head flamed out a little silver line of light—it was the kris, protruding handle outward from the barnacled wood. But where was Jerry?

Then he saw, and moved forward with a terrible fear lest he had been too slow. The kris was stuck in the wreck at a corner, where the huge mass had split apart and had made a V-shaped opening. Just inside this lay the motionless form of Jerry, who must have become insensible from lack of air. Beyond a doubt he had penetrated into the opening, and as he did so his hose and line had caught on the kris and parted. The very weapon he had counted on for safety had betrayed him!

As he moved forward, Mart took precautions against the same danger, by pulling out the kris and sticking it into the wood again farther ahead. Then, with that strange lightness that divers feel, he leaped forward, clutching at his spare line. Swiftly drawing his knife across it, for he had no time now to untie knots, he caught the end under Jerry's shoulders and knotted it. Looking down into the glass of Jerry's helmet, he could make out that the old man's eyes were closed, while his mouth was open and was feebly gasping for air.

"By golly, I just got here in time!" thought Mart with a quick breath of relief. "He'll have to go up first, I guess. Bob can't haul us both."

With that, he separated the spare line from his own, and tugged it four times. Bob must have been in desperate fear, for he never paused to reply, but the form of Jerry rose almost at once.

Mart could still hear the pump-strokes going, however, and the air he breathed was fresh and pure. He thought of Bob, pumping with one hand and hauling up with the other, and at the same instant he thought of the four mutineers ashore. What if they had seen the whole affair and were to come out in their boat and recapture the ship?

At the very thought he felt the perspiration stand out as he gazed dully at the swaying figure of Jerry which was slowly vanishing above him. However, there was no use speculating, he considered. Little by little the form of Jerry merged into the flickering lights and shadows overhead; staring up, he could perceive the darker shade of the yacht directly above him.

"Well, I might's well take a look at the treasure!" he thought suddenly, and with that turned to the wreck. Cautiously making his way into the V-shaped opening where the rotted ship had fallen apart, he perceived that her outlines were gradually taking shape to his eyes.

She was lying directly on her side, the decks rising straight up from the rock bottom. Ahead and behind him there were projections from her decks, no doubt the forecastle and high poop of other days. She seemed to be split well asunder, for the opening was a good five feet across, and without hesitation Mart advanced into it.

As he did so, he paused, in wild apprehension. The pump-strokes had ceased! Then he grinned, with a sigh of relief; of course Bob would have had to quit work in order to get the body of Jerry over the landing, and unscrew his helmet so that air might reach him. When the pump-strokes began again, he could go up.

Mart glanced around curiously. The hold of the ancient ship was dark, and he could see nothing, for the light down here was dim, rendering all things distorted and indistinct; this his thick glass-plates did not tend to help, but a moment later he became aware of something like a box that protruded on his right, and remembered what Jerry had said about a chest of treasure being in sight.

He had sheathed his knife while sending the quartermaster up, and now he drew it and shoved the blade against the box. It seemed of great weight, for even in the water it did not move under the shock. Then he kicked it with his heavy boot, and saw it shake and shatter. The wood must be pretty rotten, he reflected, and with that he kicked it again.

"Well, I'll be switched!" he gasped, starting back. Not only had the box gone to pieces, but pouring out from its shattered corner came a stream of gold coins! That they were gold he did not doubt for a moment; even in the semi-darkness they gleamed and shone ruddy yellow, pouring out and out until they covered even the high soles of his diving boots.

"Thunder! I've struck it!"

For a moment he stared down, unable to move. Then he felt a little wave of pure air sweep around his face and heard the pumps begin to click again up above; until then he had not realized that his air was becoming vitiated. But he paid no attention to anything but the stream of yellow coins that were settling down over his feet, and neglected the fact that now he could ascend.

Gold! With the word ringing through his brain Mart leaned over cautiously, so as not to lose his balance, and stirred the heap of coins with his fingers. He wanted to take some of them up, but had no pockets. Going to his knees, he began to stuff the coins wildly under his belt, under the broad straps of his shoes, even forcing some beneath the weights of his chest.

While he was doing this, he suddenly felt tug after tug on his line—frenzied pulls that woke him from his gold-fever instantly. What was wrong? He answered with one "all right" signal, but still the tugs continued, at both lifeline and air line. Concluding that he had best ascend, in any case, he cautiously emerged from the opening until he once more stood outside the wreck.

He put out his hand toward the kris, meaning to take it up with him; then his heart seemed to stop beating and he stood frozen with horror. What was that dim, vague shape sweeping past, up above?

Mart stood gazing upward, unable to move as the realization of his terrible position flashed on his mind. The long, tapering shadow told its message only too clearly. The Pirate Shark had returned—and he was trapped! Now he understood the meaning of those frantic tugs. Bob had seen the shadow and had tried to warn him. Too late!

With a groan of agony, Mart drew back into the opening. He remembered what old Jerry had said—that so long as a man had his back to something, kept on his feet, and had a weapon, he was all right. Therefore, he must not try to go up, for then the shark could grab him with ease.

Cold sweat stood out on his forehead. What was it Jerry and the others had said about the Pirate Shark always nipping the air hose first? Poor Mart trembled as he still stared up, in hope that the shark might have flitted past and would not return. Again came Bob's frantic tugs, and on a sudden Mart felt calmness flood into his brain, and he reached for his air hose.

"By golly, I've got a fighting chance and that's all!" he muttered, then his lips clenched.

He pulled the air hose twice, then twice again, with the signal for more air. He repeated it, for he knew now what he must do. To attempt going up was impossible; the shark would cut his line, and then come down to finish him. Therefore he must get all the air possible—


A little click behind his ear, and the noise of pumps stopped. A flicker of the dim gray shape above, then it became larger, more firm of outline. Down through the water curled the air hose and lifeline, bitten through, and Mart had a vision of the tremendous fish as it flitted past overhead, turning in a great curve. The sight was paralyzing. Then Mart gripped the kris, tore it from the barnacled wood, and whipped around to meet his enemy. He had no way of getting up to the surface, his air-supply was limited—but he would not give up without a struggle.



When he gained a full and nearer sight of the Pirate Shark, Mart's courage all but failed him. For a moment the gigantic fish seemed to hang poised in the water above and beyond him, some twenty feet away; what its actual size was Mart could not guess, in the dim and blurred light, but there could never be another such shark as this in all the oceans!

Huge, cruel-eyed, with its mouth showing as he looked up at it, Mart never forgot the horror that seized him at his first face-to-face meeting with the Pirate Shark. He thought of a thousand things in that one moment—the uncanny cunning of the terrible fish in first cutting him off from all help by biting through his lines, poor Bob waiting up above in agonies of suspense, and above all, the awful fact that unless he conquered quickly, he would suffocate.

Still the shark hung poised above him, the immense body motionless except for the gently-waving fins and tail. The big dorsal fin was hidden from him, so he could not see whether it had been pierced by the bullet or not. But he must act, and act quickly! What should he do?

In order to get at the monster shark with the kris, he would have to expose himself. If the brute was cunning enough to cut his lines, he would be too wise to attempt an attack while Mart stood in the wedge-shaped opening of the wreck. There, he could not reach the boy, and would realize it.

Mart wasted no time in hesitation. He was running a terrible risk, for once the shark butted into him or struck him with its tail, he would be flung off his balance and would be lost. But remembering his great lightness in the water, remembering how easily he could leap out of danger, he stepped forward confidently from his shelter, the kris held ready.

No sooner had he done so than the shark began to move. Gradually, with a terrible slowness, the huge shape came forward; the impulse to leap back to shelter was horribly strong, but Mart resisted it.

Around circled the shark, exposing its full length. Mart trembled at the sight, for it seemed to him that the brute must be far longer than the thirty feet which Jerry had assigned as its size. It stretched out quivering in the depths, ghostly, ominous; and most terrible of all was the silence that prevailed over all things. Mart wanted to shout, to yell for aid, and could not.

Almost without warning, the great bulk swept around and came at him, twisting about so that the gaping mouth could nip him as it swept past. But Mart was ready; every nerve and muscle in his body was tensed up to the highest pitch, and as the shark lunged forward, he swerved sharply back to his shelter.

None too soon, indeed. The gray bulk swept down on him in a great swirl that almost flung him off his feet; as he reeled, catching at the corner of the wreck for support, he saw the rough, mottled skin shoot past hardly a foot away. Mart swiftly jerked up his kris and lunged forward with all his strength.

He felt the keen weapon shear into the brute and jerk him out, but he grimly held to his grip. Something struck him and sent him staggering; then he had pulled the kris free. Barely had he done so when the shark's huge forked tail drove past his head in a lash of foam and blood, and Mart reeled back into his shelter. The sides of the wreck caught his shoulders and kept him upright, fortunately.

He noticed a slight roaring in his ears, and knew that the air was beginning to get bad in his helmet. He pressed his diving dress and forced up some of his remaining supply. Peering out, he could not repress a thrill of exultation—he had won the first round!

Yet it was a strange and awe-inspiring sight that met his gaze. Tingeing the water a dim red, the immense fish was tearing to and fro in wild fury, lashing across the entrance like lightning, drawing the water in swirls and whirlpools that came near to dragging out Mart despite his grip on the wreck. He felt even the old ship tremble beneath the fierce blast of water, while the huge gray shape flashed down and across and up, back and forth, in terrible spasms of rage. But after it trailed that thin stream of red, and Mart exulted.

"By golly, I've got to finish this thing quick!" he thought vaguely, for the roaring in his ears had increased, and it was hard to fill his lungs with the vitiated air. "If I can only settle him, I can cut off these weights and take a chance on shooting up to the top. It'll be a mighty slim chance, but it's all I've got."

Rendered desperate by his fear of suffocation, which was even greater than his fear of the Pirate Shark, he advanced to the edge of the opening with a resolute determination to take any chance that offered. Nor was it slow in coming.

Down swept the shark with a rush, flicking in its tail as it passed, and Mart leaped back only just in time to avoid it. But he saw the brute's purpose now—to try to suck him out with the swirls of water, or to strike him over with its tail, and as he eyed the dim gray shape that was circling around for another rush, he made ready. He must strike as the huge body flicked past—and he must leap back before the tail could get to the opening!

That meant only one thing. He would have no chance to pull out his kris this time. Everything would depend on the one sure stroke, which must be a death-wound. If not, the kris would be carried off in the shark's body, and with his little sheath knife alone left him, he would be helpless.

"Got to do it!" he thought dully, for now his ears were paining, and he began to feel as if his nose were about to bleed. He was gasping for air, and forcing up newer air from about his legs and body only relieved him slightly. "Got to do it this time, or lose out!"

All the water seemed faintly hued with crimson now, and he knew that his first blow must have worked considerable damage. The shark had dashed off until he could only see it dimly—a monster shadow that darted smoothly but erratically about in the distant depths, as if working itself up to a greater fury. Then it swung about in one wide sweep, and began to grow plainer as it came down upon him.

Its speed was appalling. During his instant of waiting, Mart's courage almost failed him; it seemed impossible that he could strike and leap back in time to avoid the flashing tail!

Nor could he, as it proved. The monster fish drove in upon him, turning as it came, its bulk seeming to fill all the space above and to crush him back upon the wreck; then Mart, never giving an inch, shoved his flame-bladed kris forward, saw it go home to the hilt in the gaping mouth of the Pirate Shark, and then was swept from his feet.

He went down with a rush in the tremendous swirl of waters, being drawn along the side of the wreck for a little space; but the fall proved to be his salvation. As he struggled feebly and vainly to gain his feet, he could see that everything was gone crimson around him. Through the bloodstained waters lashed the whiplike tail of the Pirate Shark, beating with terrific force against the wreck; the fish, blinded by its own lifeblood, was trying to find its enemy, and a single stroke from that tail would have finished Mart forever.

He lay quiet, huddled against the wreck, but now there was little fear of the Pirate Shark in his heart. Whatever the results of that final blow had been, nothing now mattered except the terrible pains that had come upon him. The air in his helmet seemed to poison him, his throat and lungs were on fire, and he knew that he was bleeding at the nose.

"By golly, this is awful!" he muttered thickly.

He determined not to give up without a last struggle, however. He still had his sheath knife, and he could cut away his weights and shoot up. Though it would be dangerous, both because of the pressure and because of the Pirate Shark, he spent no more thought on it but drew his knife and tried to rise.

This was no easy matter, so evenly was his weight adjusted, but he finally managed to get up, leaning weakly against the side of the wreck. His head was buzzing madly, and it was difficult for him to see anything because of the cloud of blood and stirred-up slime that filled the water.

He could see nothing of the Pirate Shark, but that did not matter now. Managing to get out his knife, he tried to stoop over and cut away his shoes. To his terror, he lost balance again and fell weakly forward, unable to stop himself. He was gasping and fighting for breath now, but there was no good air for him to breathe. He felt dimly that he was gone.

He had no strength; still he fought up to his feet once more, savagely determined not to give in to the suffocation, trying vainly to rid himself of the helmet. But he had dropped his knife, and dared not stoop for it for fear he could not regain his balance.

Suddenly something flickered across the glass window, and he gasped out a broken laugh, thinking it a snake. Snakes would trouble him little, after battling with the Pirate Shark! But was it a snake? It stayed unaccountably still; then it began to jerk forward and back most strangely, switching against the glass before his eyes. He put out his hand and touched it—rough hemp! Then he saw that a piece of metal was fastened at the end, and was bumping against his legs. It was a rope.

"Good old Bob!" he thought, as a momentary wave of coherence restored his brain to itself for an instant. "I've got to fasten it—don't believe I can hold on very long!"

However, the trailing end of his own life line was still attached to his belt. Hauling it in, he managed to get the two lines knotted, then gave the four pulls to "haul up!" He perceived the line tighten immediately, when a terrible gasping for air seized him and shook him; he tore at his diving suit with his hands, a spasm of agony making him reckless whether he let in the water or not. But fortunately the rubber-cloth was stout.

His frantic efforts had exhausted what little oxygen was left to him. He knew faintly that the wreck had seemed to drop away from him, that he was swinging up through the water—and just as the water seemed to be growing lighter, everything went black before his eyes, there was a rush of stars, and he knew no more.

Up above on the landing, Bob was pulling away desperately, with fear in his heart. At one side lay the figure of Jerry, still in diving dress but with helmet removed. The old quartermaster lay very still and white, but Bob had no chance to work over him. When Mart's line had parted and that terrible shadow had appeared down below, Bob had almost given up. Then he had leaped into energy, for he knew that now Mart's life depended on him alone.

He had swiftly cut away Jerry's back-weight and attached it to a line, which he lowered, swinging it back and forth in the hope that Mart would see it. The under-water battle had lasted only for two or three minutes, although it had seemed an age to poor Mart, and now Bob was hauling up with all his energy. He had seen the dim shadow shoot off, leaving a great trail of blood, and he knew that Mart must be hard pressed for air; as he pulled, he prayed that the shark would not return until his friend was safe.

With a sob of relief, he caught the flicker of the copper helmet in the water, and finally got the limp form to the surface. Pulling Mart in was a hard matter, but it was finally accomplished, and Bob fell on the helmet and unscrewed it with trembling hands. Mart's bloody face and ghastly pallor struck him with cold fear, but he went to work at once to drive air into the contracted lungs, hoping against hope.

How long he worked over the unconscious figure he never knew. He shouted again and again for Ah Sing, and when at length the affrighted Celestial appeared at the top of the ladder, Bob sent him for some stimulant. Ah Sing vanished, and a cry of joy broke from Bob's lips, as he saw a faint color come into Mart's face and ebb out again. Mart was alive!

Bob labored furiously, and when Ah Sing showed up with a bottle of alcohol, he said nothing but rubbed Mart's face and neck with the fiery liquid. Presently he was rewarded by a twitch of Mart's eyelids, a little more color came into the faded cheeks, and then the gray eyes opened and looked up into his.

"Look out—he's coming!" whispered Mart, his hand going up and clutching Bob's arm.

"It's all right, old boy," cried Bob, tears running down his cheeks with the relief that gripped him. "You're safe—take it easy!"

Up above them, Ah Sing burst into a frenzied chattering, then rushed away, but neither boy noticed him. Mart lay motionless, looking up into Bob's eyes and slowly feeling strength come back to him as the reviving air found its way into his lungs.

"I got him, Holly," he gasped weakly. "Did you see him?"

"Sure!" returned Bob. "Keep quiet, now. Don't try to talk. You're not hurt, are you? Nothing more than the air?"

Mart shook his head. After a moment he managed to sit up with Bob's assistance, and saw the motionless form of Jerry. Before he could speak, Bob restrained him.

"I haven't had time to look at him yet, Mart. I—I guess I feel kind o' weak myself—"

"Seamew ahoy!" came a hail. "Where are you, Bob?"

"By juniper!" gasped Bob, jumping up. "It's dad!"



As around the stern of the Seamew came a prau, Ah Sing shrieked aloud in delight and the boys gave a hearty cheer at sight of Captain Hollinger and Swanson standing in the prow of the craft. Beside them stood the two engineers, while the Kanaka crew of the yacht were at the sweeps.

"By golly, they got away!" gasped Mart, managing to scramble to his feet. The sight of the motionless figure of Jerry Smith sobered both boys, however, and while Bob stepped forward to meet his father, Mart kneeled down beside Jerry with feeble efforts to revive him. His own strength was not yet fully returned.

"What's all this?" demanded the captain, as he leaped from the prau to the landing. "Where are those mutineers, Bob?"

"Ashore, all but Jerry," returned Bob promptly, pointing to the quartermaster's figure. Captain Hollinger waved back his men and joined Mart. After a cursory examination he rose to his feet and pulled Mart up also.

"No use, boys," he said softly. "Jerry has found the mystery of the sea at last. Now come along. Tell me what's been going on here."

Mart was unable to speak for a moment, but startled as Bob was, he replied with another question, as Captain Hollinger drew them both up the ladder to the deck.

"Tell us how you got away, first. We thought the Malays had you!"

"So they did," grimaced the captain, "until that assistant engineer came ashore with the Kanakas. Before they got him into the river he had impelled the Kanakas to capture the prau. Then he got his irons cut off and led the Kanakas straight up to the village. I was just starting for the hunt, in blissful security, when he broke in on us and told us what was up. As the Kanakas were armed, the Malays had to give in gracefully—and here we are. Now come across, you boys!"

Naturally, his wonder was great at finding Mart and Jerry in diver's dress, the old quartermaster dead, and Bob looking pretty shaky. Bit by bit the boys told their tale, and only by an effort could they realize that so many things had happened in this one day, for it was not yet sunset.

While they were talking, Swanson joined them with word that Jerry must have died from heart failure, not from suffocation; no doubt the shock of finding himself cut off had stricken him. But Captain Hollinger and his first mate forgot all else in their amazement at Mart's story of the fight eight fathoms down. In fact, Mart saw plainly that they did not believe him and thought that the descent must have shaken his mind.

With that he pulled off the diving costume, which as yet he had had no chance to remove. When they had helped him out of it, and three or four gold pieces fell to the floor, all incredulity vanished. Bob, Mart and Swanson crowded around the captain, examining the coins with wild excitement.

"Well, I'm bound to say that your story and Jerry's yarns seem to be substantiated, boys!" exclaimed Captain Hollinger. "These seem to be old Spanish or Portuguese coins—they coined them out here then, you know. And here's the date—1632. Yes, they all have the same date. By Jove, Mart, you've made a haul here!"

The boys stood silent, and Swanson pawed over the gold pieces with a flame in his eyes until Captain Hollinger had switched up the electric lights, for the sudden night of the far east had fallen. Then the mate abruptly pushed the coins across the table, and faced the captain, breathing heavily.

"Cap'n Hollinger," he said, with a visible effort, "when you took me on you knew that I'd had a more or less shaky kind o' past, didn't you?"

"Eh?" The captain flung him a keen glance. "What do you mean, Mr. Swanson?"

"Just this, Cap'n. Once, when I was a fool young fellow, I got mixed up wi' old Jerry. He was a trader among the islands then, nothin' short of piracy it was in them days. When he come aboard this yacht, wi' them four men out o' his old crew, I knowed there was trouble brewin'. He finally told me about this here treasure, and how he was a-goin' to take the yacht, and wanted me to join him. I warned him off, Cap'n, and I was fool enough to think he'd take the warnin'. But he didn't. Now that it's come out right, I wanted to get it off'n my conscience, that's all."

Captain Hollinger reached across the table, and gripped Swanson's hand.

"Mr. Swanson," he said, smiling, "I'm proud of you. Your wages are doubled this trip—no, no protests, please! Evidently Jerry led me astray all along, and the only gold in this lagoon was the treasure. Now I think you'd better take the deck, Mr. Swanson."

"Yes, sir," replied Swanson humbly, his eyes gleaming oddly. "And what about them four men on the island, sir?"

"Let them go, Swanson. They'll get food from the Malays, and they can easily make their way to Singapore in the boat. I'll not prosecute them. As for Jerry, we'll bury him in the morning."

Swanson lumbered out of the cabin. Captain Hollinger turned to Mart, and asked him to go over his fight with the Pirate Shark in more detail. Mart did so, for by this time he had recovered entirely except for a shakiness in his legs. The captain listened to the story silently, then nodded.

"I'm pretty sure you finished off the brute, Mart. That finishing blow of yours seems to have driven in the kris either through his throat or else through his mouth to the brain."

"But you didn't see anything of the body as you came?" asked Bob anxiously.

"No. He'd probably not rise until to-morrow, in any case. I've no doubt, however, that we'll find his body to-morrow or next day, boys. What a trophy his skin would make, eh?"

"Could we have it mounted, dad?" queried Bob.

"Too big," retorted Mart practically. "The only place it could be used would be in a museum, Holly."

"Well, why not?" smiled the captain. "It would be a welcome addition to any museum, Mart, and our Kanakas can take off the skin in a few hours. And think—after it's mounted and set up, you'll see your name on the bottom—killed and presented by Mart Judson! How's that?"

"Pretty good," grinned Mart. "But say, let's get down to solid earth, Cap'n. Are we going to get after the rest of that treasure down there?"

"Are we?" retorted the captain. "Surest thing you know, Mart! We'll bury poor old Jerry to-morrow morning, and in the afternoon we'll send down a couple of the men, when we've made sure that the Pirate Shark is out of the way. And if there's as much of the stuff as you say you saw, Mart, you'll have a good stake to—"

"Hold on," interrupted Mart, surprised. "You seem to think that I'm trying to grab it all, Cap'n. I didn't mean to—"

"Of course you didn't," laughed Captain Hollinger, stretching out easily in his chair. "But I'd like to know who else the gold belongs to, Mart. You've won it by right of conquest, seems to me."

"That's right," added Bob hastily. "It's all yours, old boy. You fought for it, and you ought to—"

"Now look here," and Mart leaned forward earnestly, with his air of determination. "That's not right. I'd never have got up if it hadn't been for Bob, Cap'n. We're in on this thing as partners, and when we get that treasure we're goin' to split on it, or Mart Judson isn't goin' to touch any of it. Now, that goes."

There was no doubt that he meant his words. Bob, however, still attempted to protest, but Mart promptly shut him up.

"None of that, Holly. I guess there's enough treasure there to satisfy us all, and my end of it is going for an education. That's all I have to say."

"Then that settles it," laughed Captain Hollinger, rising at the sound of the gong from the mess saloon. "Ah Sing has mess ready, and I'm famished. Come along, boys, and we'll all feel better after a bite to eat."

He led the way out, but at the door Mart stopped his chum.

"I forgot to thank you, Holly," he said quietly. "I won't forget that it was you pulled me up, old man. And when we mount the Pirate Shark, our names go on that brass plate together!"

And Bob grinned happily as they struck hands.