TOM SWIFT AND HIS WAR TANK
TOM SWIFT AND HIS WAR TANK
I Past Memories
II Tom's Indifference
III Ned is Worried
IV Queer Doings
V "Is He a Slacker?"
VI Seeing Things
VII Up a Tree
VIII Detective Rad
IX A Night Test
X A Runaway Giant
XI Tom's Tank
XII Bridging a Gap
XIII Into a Trench
XIV The Ruined Factory
XV Across Country
XVI The Old Barn
XVII Veiled Threats
XVIII Ready for France
XIX Tom Is Missing
XX The Search
XXI A Prisoner
TOM SWIFT AND HIS WAR TANK
Ceasing his restless walk up and down the room Tom Swift
strode to the window and gazed across the field toward the
many buildings where machines were turning out the products
evolved from the brains of his father and himself. There was
a worried look on the face of the young inventor and he
seemed preoccupied as though thinking of something far
removed from whatever it was his eyes gazed upon.
"Well I'll do it!" suddenly exclaimed Tom. "I don't want
to but I will. It's in the line of 'doing my bit' I
suppose; but I'd rather it was something else. I wonder--"
"Ha! Up to your old tricks I see Tom!" exclaimed a
voice in which energy and friendliness mingled pleasingly.
"Up to your old tricks!"
"Oh hello Mr. Damon!" cried Tom turning to shake hands
with an elderly gentleman--that is elderly in appearance
but not in action for he crossed the room with the
springing step of a lad and there was the enthusiasm of
youth on his face. "What do you mean--my old tricks?"
"Talking to yourself Tom. And when you do that it means
there is something in the wind. I hope as a sort of side
remark it isn't rain that's in the wind for the soldiers
over at camp have had enough water to set up a rival
establishment with Mr. Noah. But there's something going on
isn't there? Bless my memorandum book but don't tell me
there isn't or I shall begin to believe I have lost all my
deductive powers of reasoning! I Come in here after
knocking two or three times to which you pay not the least
attention and find you mysteriously murmuring to yourself.
"The last time that happened Tom was just before you
started to dig the big tunnel-- No I'm wrong. It was just
before you started for the Land of Wonders as we decided it
ought to be called. You were talking to yourself then when
I walked in on you and-- Say Tom!" suddenly exclaimed Mr.
Damon eagerly "don't tell me you're going off on another
wild journey like that--don't!"
"Why?" asked Tom smiling at the energy of his caller.
"Because if you are I'll want to go with you of course
and if I go it means I'll have to start in as soon as I can
to bring my wife around to my way of thinking. The last
time I went it took me two weeks to get her to consent and
then she didn't like it. So if--"
"No Mr. Damon" interrupted Tom "I don't count on going
on any sort of a trip--that is any long one. I was just
getting ready to take a little spin in the Hawk and if
you'd like to come along--"
"You mean that saucy little airship of yours Tom that's
always trying to sit down on her tail or tickle herself
with one wing?"
"That's the Hawk!" laughed Tom; "though that tickling
business you speak of is when I spiral. Don't you like it?"
"Can't say I do" observed Mr. Damon dryly.
"Well I'll promise not to try any stunts if you come
along" Tom went on.
"Where are you going?" asked his friend.
"Oh no place in particular. As you surmised I've been
doing a bit of thinking and--"
"Serious thinking too Tom!" interrupted Mr. Damon.
"Excuse me but I couldn't help overhearing what you said.
It was something about going to do something though you
didn't want to and that it was part of your 'bit'. That
sounds like soldier talk. Are you going to enlist Tom?"
"Um! Well then--"
"It's something I can't talk about Mr. Damon even to
you as yet" Tom said and there was a new quality in his
voice at which his friend looked up in some surprise.
"Oh of course Tom if it's a secret--"
"Well it hasn't even got that far as yet. It's all up in
the air so to speak. I'll tell you in due season. But
speaking of the air let's go for a spin. It may drive some
of the cobwebs out of my brain. Did I hear you say you
thought it would rain?"
"No it's as clear as a bell. I said I hoped it wouldn't
rain for the sake of the soldiers in camp. They've had their
share of wet weather and goodness knows they'll get more
when they get to Flanders. It seems to do nothing but rain
"It is damp" agreed Tom. "And come to think of it they
are going to have some airship contests over at camp today--
for the men who are being trained to be aviators you know.
It just occurred to me that we might fly over there and
"Fine!" cried Mr. Damon. "That's the very thing I should
like. I'll take a chance in your Hawk Tom if you'll
promise not to try any spiral stunts."
"I promise Mr. Damon. Come on! I'll have Koku run the
machine out and get her ready for a flight to Camp. It's a
good day for a jaunt in the air."
"Get out the Hawk Koku" ordered the young inventor as
he motioned to a big man--a veritable giant--who nodded to
show he understood. Koku was really a giant one of a race
of strange beings and Tom Swift had brought the big man
with him when he escaped from captivity as those will
remember who have read that book.
"Going far Tom?" asked an aged man coming to the door of
one of the many buildings of which the shed where the
airship was kept formed one.
"Not very far Father" answered the young inventor.
"Mr. Damon and I are going for a little spin over to Camp
Grant to see some aircraft contests among the army
"Oh all right Tom. I just wanted to tell you that I
think I've gotten over that difficulty you found with the
big carburetor you were working on. You didn't say what you
wanted it for except that it was for a heavy duty gasolene
engine and you couldn't get the needle valve to work as
you'd like. I think I've found a way."
"Good Dad! I'll look at it when I come back. That
Carburetor did bother me and if I can get that to work--
well maybe we'll have something soon that will--"
But Tom did not finish his sentence for Koku was getting
the aircraft in operation and Mr. Damon was already taking
his place behind the pilot's seat which would be occupied
"All ready are you Koku?" asked the young inventor.
"All ready Master" answered the giant.
There was a roar like that of a machine gun as the Hawk's
engine spun the propeller and then after a little run
across the sod it mounted into the air carrying Tom and
Mr. Damon with it.
"Mind you Tom no stunts!" called the visitor to the
young inventor through the speaking tube apparatus which
enabled a conversation to be carried on even above the roar
of the powerful engine. "Bless my overshoes! if you try
looping the loop with me--"
"I won't do anything like that!" promised Tom.
Away they soared swift as a veritable hawk and soon
after there had unrolled below their eyes a succession of
fields and forest there came into view rows and rows of
small brown objects among which beings like ants seemed
"There's the Camp!" exclaimed Tom.
"I see" and Mr. Damon nodded.
As they approached they saw starting up from a green
space amid the brown tents what appeared to be big bugs of
a dirty white color splotched with green.
"The aircraft--and they have camouflage paint on" said
Tom. "We can watch 'em from up here!"
Mr. Damon nodded though Tom could not see him sitting in
front of his friend as he was.