Tom Swift has discovered that an element found in the Planet Stone meteorite can be used to produce green glass with remarkable optical properties -- and the sole source of "Element X" lies on the bottom of the Caribbean Ocean, jettisoned from a cargo ship during a storm!To recover the lost cargo and make an observation of the planet Mars, the suspected source of Element X, Tom must not only battle the hazards of the ocean but also confound industrial spies, battle robbers, and uncover wily saboteurs...
n which he had been placed in the jungles of South America. Surrounded by savages, he had absent-mindedly taken off his wig, thereby frightening the simple natives half out of their wits. They had thought he could scalp himself at will. Nevertheless, this action had saved the lives of Tom Swift and his party, ultimately enabling them to escape when the giants turned against them.
[Illustration: They Thought He Could Scalp Himself]
"Ah, those were the days, Tom," sighed the eccentric man, "those were the days! Even if you're not going off to the wilds, maybe you might give me some kind of a job here so that my wife can't drag me off to that house party. I feel it in my very bones that old Hiram Leatherby will be there and he ALWAYS singles me out to talk about his fossil collection!"
"I can sympathize with you," muttered Ned. "Mr. Leatherby used to be a director in the bank where I worked before Tom made me his business manager, and I've often thought he was a bit fossilized himself!"
An entertaining adventure of the 1910s written for boys. Like most of the original Tom Swift stories, this one has a familiar cast of characters (including patronising stereotypes of loyal black and South American servants), a plot centred on crooks set on stealing his secret inventions, and nary a policeman nor government official to be seen. The telescope of the title barely figures until the final page - but finding the lost meteorite occupies the team.