Tom Swift and His Great Searchlight
On the Border for Uncle Sam
by Victor Appleton
I A Scrap of Paper
II A Spy In Town
III Queer Repairs
IV Searching For Smugglers
V The Raid
VI The Appeal To Tom
VII A Searchlight Is Needed
VIII Tom's Newest Invention
IX "Beware Of the Comet!"
X Off For the Border
XI Andy's New Airship
XII Warned Away
XIII Koku Saves the Light
XIV A False Clew
XV The Rescue On the Lake
XVI Koku's Prisoner
XVII What the Indian Saw
XVIII The Pursuit
XIX In Dire Peril
XX Suspicious Actions
XXI Mr. Period Arrives
XXII Hovering O'er the Border
XXIII Ned Is Missing
XXIV The Night Race
XXV The Capture--Conclusion
Chapter I A Scrap of Paper
"Tom, did you know Andy Foger was back in town?"
"Great Scott, no, I didn't Ned! Not to stay, I hope."
"I guess not. The old Foger homestead is closed up, though I did see a man working around it to-day as I came past. But he was a carpenter, making some repairs I think. No, I don't believe Andy is here to stay."
"But if some one is fixing up the house, it looks as if the family would come back," remarked Tom, as he thought of the lad who had so long been his enemy, and who had done him many mean turns before leaving Shopton, where our hero lived.
"I don't think so," was the opinion of Ned Newton, who was Tom Swift's particular chum. "You know when Mr. Foger lost all his money, the house was supposed to be sold. But I heard later that there was some flaw in the title, and the sale fell through. It is because he couldn't sell the place that Mr. Foger couldn't get money to pay some of his debts. He has some claim on the house, I believe, but I don't believe he'd come back to live in it."
"Because it's too expensive a place for a poor man to keep up, and Mr. Foger is now poor."
"Yes, he didn't get any of the gold, as we did when we went to the underground city," remarked Tom. "Well, I don't wish anybody bad luck but I certainly hope the Fogers keep poor enough to stay away from Shopton. They bothered me enough. But where did you see Andy?"
"Oh, he was with his crony, Sam Snedecker. You know Sam said, some time ago, that Andy was to pay him a visit, but Andy didn't come then, for some reason or other. I suppose this call makes up for it. I met them down near Parker's drug store."
"You didn't hear Andy say anything about coming back here?" and the young inventor's voice was a trifle anxious.
"No," replied Ned. "What makes you so nervous about it?"
"Well, Ned, you know what Andy is--always trying to make trouble for me, even sneaking in my shop sometimes, trying to get the secret of some of my airships and machinery. And I admit I think it looks suspicious when they have a carpenter working on the old homestead. Andy may come back, and--"
"Nonsence, Tom! If he does you and I can handle him. But I think perhaps the house may be rented, and they may be fixing it up for a tenant. It's been vacant a long time you know, and I heard the other day that it was haunted."
"Haunted, Ned! Get out! Say, you don't believe in that sort of bosh, do you?"
"Of course not. It was Eradicate who told me, and he said when he came past the place quite late the other night he heard groans, and the clanking of chains coming from it, and he saw flashing lights."
"Oh, wow! Eradicate is getting batty in his old age, poor fellow! He and his mule Boomerang are growing old together, and I guess my colored helper is 'seeing things,' as well as hearing them. But, as you say, it may be that the house is going to be rented. It's too valuable a property to let stand idle. Did you hear how long Andy was going to stay?"
"A week, I believe."
"A week! Say, one day would be enough I should think."
"You must have some special reason for being afraid Andy will do you some harm," exclaimed Ned. "Out with it, Tom."
"Well, I'll tell you what it is, Ned," and Tom led his chum inside the shop, in front of which the two lads had been talking. It was a shop where the young inventor constructed many of his marvelous machines, aircraft, and instruments of various sorts.
"Do you think some one may hear you?" asked Ned.
"They might. I'm not taking any chances. But the reason I want to be especially careful that Andy Foger doesn't spy on any of my