PART TWO (of 4)
Submarine Seaview, Port Charleston, 1874
Artie had recovered enough from his 'introduction' with Ski to accompany the Admiral on a tour of his 'boat'. It was apparent that Artemus Gordon was impressed as he stood at the view port looking out into the ocean. The Admiral handed him a cup of coffee.
"But you're not from my time?" Artie was asking him, looking about. "I've seen some very unusual devices but this one seems to beat them all. Have you heard of a little fellow by the name of Miguelito Loveless?"
Crane was leaning against the plotting table, watching the conversation between the two men. He still wasn't sure what to think about the newcomer in their midst. "And why should we know this Loveless person?" he asked, catching both their attentions.
Artie sat his cup down on the small table and turned to the man behind him. "This seems like something that he would come up with. This... machine," he said, using the best word that he could come up with, "...is like some of the insane plots that he would dream up."
Lee smiled a bit at the words. "Insane?"
Artie smiled, then turned to the Admiral. "That was a bad choice of words to use. This is a very interesting device..." He looked around him. "You call it a submarine?"
"Yes, we do," the Admiral answered, watching the other man. It was clear that the Admiral was amused by the turn of events, not certain if he wanted to believe the man in front of him.
Artie went on with what he was thinking. "Regardless of what you will admit to. The technology that you have here is unlike anything that I have seen before. Your friend said something back in the hospital about 'coming back in time'. My question is... am I to accept that?"
"And we are to accept your story about being Secret Service?" Lee asked him.
"Gentleman, we seem to be at a stalemate," Nelson stated as he sat down at the table. "So, Mr. Gordon, what seems to interest you about the Foster Dean?"
Artemus continued to stand as he regarded the Admiral. "Perhaps it would do better for you to tell me first."
"Okay," the Admiral agreed. "Rumors of confederate gold."
"Maybe a few thousand in gold and silver," Artie agreed. "You are telling me that you came this far back into time to get a bit of gold. You risked this device for something that you are unsure of?"
"It wasn't our choice," Lee threw in the comment.
Artie turned to him, smiling broadly. "Oh, yes, the funny little fellow with the terrible suits and the pocket watch! The same one that disappeared with a crew member? That won't make it, gentlemen."
"And we are suppose to believe in a little fellow that wants to take over the world? Mr. Gordon, that will not work either." Crane turned to Ski. "Kowalski, please escort Mr. Gordon to the brig..."
"Wait a minute, Lee," the Admiral interrupted. "Maybe we should give Mr. Gordon the benefit of a doubt as we do need to find Mr. Morton and Pem to get back to our time." He motioned for Artie to sit down. "But how can a few thousand in Confederate gold make this Loveless person rule the world?"
"It is obvious that he didn't... we have never heard of him," Lee added.
"But don't you see?" Artie added. "Your past has already been affected by the fact that you are here. Couldn't that change things... and what is this Mr. Pem and this Mr. Morton going to do?"
"Who, Chip? Chip will do nothing... it's not his idea to be here either... his going with Pem was an accident," Lee explained. "Pem is the one after the gold. Chip will try to prevent him from doing damage, if he's okay."
"If Pem locates the ship, he will find more than gold," Artie added.
"What will he find, Mr. Gordon?" Admiral Nelson asked.
Artemus Gordon leaned back in the chair, looking at the two men. His mind was racing as he looked from one to the other. Could what these men were saying be true? The younger man had produced a newspaper with dates on it and remarkable pictures but it could also be something that Loveless planned. Artie could not put anything past Loveless but he also needed help if he was to get off this machine, find Jim and get the serum.
"Something that needs to be destroyed... you can have the gold if you will give me that one item."
"Sure!" Lee agreed. "Let me get this straight... This Loveless person wants something that will help him rule the world. And our presence here has changed the balance to a point that he might just get his way... but you want us to get it and give it to you? You intend to save the world?"
"Yes, Mr. Crane... that is exactly what I plan on doing," Artemus replied in a low voice. And to think that he thought James West was an obstinate man!
Nelson laughed at the exchange. "Lee, I don't think we have any choice but to try to help Mr. Gordon with his quest. When we find what we find, then we will make a decision. Kowalski will accompany us on this mission."
He rose from the table. "It is late and I would suggest that we get a couple hours rest and start out just before dawn. Patterson, show Mr. Gordon to a guest cabin where he can rest... you might want to remain outside the door, should he require anything."
Gordon recognized the dismissal from the Admiral and rose from the table. "Do all your guest get their own guard, Sir?"
Admiral Nelson smiled at the man. "Only until I know their intentions, Sir."
Patterson escorted Artemus Gordon to his cabin. He thought that he could probably overpower this young man with no trouble. What good would that do? He was still trapped on the submarine and he was beginning to believe some of their story, maybe they were from the future.
"Say something to me to prove you are from the future," he challenged the man beside him.
Patterson looked at him and thought hard. "We have been to the moon." He replied.
"What do you mean... been to the moon?" Artemus asked him.
"We sent a space craft to the moon and we walked on the moon." Patterson answered.
"And you are going to tell me that it's made of cheese?" Artie teased him.
"No, just rock," Patterson answered. "The Admiral has a piece of the moon. It's just a gray rock, nothing special. I was disappointed," he admitted.
Artie studied the man's face as they continued walking down the corridor. Patterson was the picture of serious concentration as he thought about the Admirals' rock. Something about the man nearly convinced him that Patterson was telling the truth. The man really did look disappointed.
The Seaview, 1874
Later, when Captain Crane was alone with the Admiral, he continued with his arguments. "You really think we should trust this man?"
"Lee, I really think that we have no option available to us. We can't check his story, as we have no way to link up with the Institute to see if he actually even existed. He seems sincere so we have to operate on that assumption."
"Our first option is to find Chip," Lee stated, leaning against the wall. "I don't give a hang about the serum as it did not happen. We know nothing about it in our time."
"True, we don't, but we have just ruined the past by being here. We don't know what will happen in the future now."
"The future has already happened for us..."
Nelson turned to the Captain. "Lee! We are here now; we can change the future if we are not very careful. I am not comfortable with this at all. I am not comfortable with that madman running around with his timepiece doing whatever harm he is going to do. Do you think that I like knowing that? We can only hope that Chip can keep him under control."
"We better hope that he is still alive."
Nelson stopped at looked at his Captain. "We need to all stay alive with this one. We don't know the outcome so I don't want you doing something without being very careful of the consequences."
The next morning...
It was a restless night for the three of them and when the Admiral entered the Control Room he was surprised to find Patterson watching as Artemus wandered about looking at all the instruments.
"He wanted to come forward, Sir," Patterson explained.
Nelson nodded at the young man and then walked up to where Gordon was watching the radar station.
"It is amazing," Artie confessed. "I can only guess what I am looking at. They won't answer any questions. I would say that it is polite silence." He smiled at the Admiral. "I like what I see. It gives me a bit of faith in the future. I won't be around to see it but there are some that think that the mechanical age is best left to the side of the road. It seems that the human race is making progress."
"To a degree we are," Nelson answered him.
"There are demons with every gift, especially involving science, Mr. Gordon. We are trying to learn to take the blessing of science and keep the demons under control, it is a gray area where the blessings end and the demons begin."
Artie laughed. "I really think I do understand what you are saying. Any advancement can be exploited."
"Shall we have some coffee and breakfast while we are waiting for Lee... Captain Crane?"
"I don't think your Captain cares much for me."
"He's a good man..."
"He reminds me a lot of my partner... a bit suspicious of things."
Almost on cue, Lee entered the Control Room from the rear and walked by, checking on the instruments. A younger man was walking with him as he went by some of the posts. They stopped to check out a few of the readings. Lee was dressed in the clothing of a seaman of 1874 in Port Charleston and had not shaved this morning. Leaving Lt. Holman to look at some of the figures, he came forward to the Admiral.
"Going native?" Nelson asked, looking at his clothing.
"I thought we might as well look the part."
Nelson looked down at his khakis and smiled at Lee. "I suppose that I can't go as an Admiral."
"Didn't they wear those odd hats with all the feathers, bleached white?" He looked at the Admiral, smiling. "No, I don't think it would look right with the uniform. We don't have the proper cape..."
Nelson laughed. "I suppose I shall have them to dig something up for me.
What about you, Mr. Gordon?"
"I think I shall pass as I am," Artie answered.
After breakfast, they assembled in the missile room as Sharkey got the dingy ready for them to go ashore. Artie was wandering around the room looking at all the equipment stored there as Crane watched him.
"Do you think that it is safe that we let him see all this?" Sharkey whispered to the Captain.
"The Admiral said that there was no problem since most of it would be beyond his understanding or that he wouldn't even know what it was," Crane answered.
Nelson had been speaking to Lt. Holman in the Control Room. He hung up the mike and walked over to Lee. "When we have clear seas, we are going to surface and put the dingy out. It is still early morning but we don't want to be spotted by a ship." Turning, he addressed Artie, who was examining the diving equipment. "Are you willing to join us, Mr. Gordon? I can let you stay aboard... it would be under guard."
"As much as I would like to see more of your... submarine?... I do need to find Jim. Loveless is not a man to be trifled with."
"Didn't you say he was a small man?" Lee asked.
"Yes, he's a midget... a very smart and bitter one. He probably has a lot more brain power than the three of us." Artie put the oxygen tank back down on the shelf. "Is this some sort of artificial lung? For going out into the water?"
"Yes." The Admiral answered, smiling. "We do that from time to time. Our function is for scientific exploration."
Artie turned to the Admiral. "I see you have rockets." He nodded to the torpedoes that were stored above part of the room. "You explore with rockets?"
Artie face had grown serious as he turned to the Admiral.
"Those are for defense, Mr. Gordon," The Admiral answered.
"Defense from the demons?" Artie asked.
"Yes, we still have small men with dreams of taking over the world."
"Somehow I would think that we would have outgrown that," Artie told him sadly. "I suppose that it is asking too much."
"Captain, we are surfacing," Sharkey called to Crane.
"Gentlemen, are we ready?"
Somewhere in Port Charleston
As soon as Jim and Chip knew they were alone, they began discussing their situation and the events that had led up to their capture. Chip Morton was the first to speak. "We need a plan now, Jim. We need to free ourselves, then find Mr. Pem and Dr. Loveless before they reach the Foster Dean."
"What do we have so far, Chip?" Jim asked.
"Pem comes to us with some cock-n-bull story about a map and some buried treasure that's in Port Charleston, SC. He read about this in a book he found in a used bookstore. As he's preparing to return to that time, our time now, somehow I latched onto him when he transferred himself with his time device disguised as a gold pocket watch."
"And about the time Pem was talking to your friends about the map and gold, Artie and I were aboard our train receiving a telegraph informing us that Dr. Loveless had escaped and was believed to be heading to Port Charleston as well."
"You must have been arriving as I was talking to my partner down on the docks, who was disguised as a drunken sailor. Artie hadn't found out any information for me yet so we arranged to meet at the Feather Queen tavern in about an hour."
"And he never showed up," finished Chip. "I saw the two of you talking from the shadows and I waited and watched when you walked back over to the Feather Queen. I waited a few minutes, talked to Mr. Pem and then entered the tavern after Pem walked off on his own."
"And he never showed up," echoed Jim. "That's what's bothering me, something must have happened to Artie and I plan to find out."
"Pem must have overheard our conversation at the table before he walked over to join us. Then the fight breaks out and we wake up to find ourselves here while
Pem and Loveless discuss how they can help each other become rich and take over the world."
"Okay, Commander Morton, don't you think we've been here long enough? I say its time to get out of here."
"Mr. West, I'm with you!"
And with that Jim tapped the toe of his left boot against the toe of the right boot that hid a folded knife. He turned around and brought the knife up against Chip's wrists. Chip began working the ropes on his wrists until they came loose. He untangled his ropes and pulled his hands free.
After untying his ankles he kneeled over by West and freed his hands. Jim quickly untied the ropes around his ankles and refolded the knife back into its place in his boot.
They both jumped up and ran across the room and up the staircase. At that point they slowed down and cautiously and quietly made their way down the long hall to the door that led back into the tavern.
Upon entering the tavern they were met by some of the cowboys that they had tangled with the first time.
"Back for more Mr. West...Mr. Morton?" they said as they advanced towards them, and with that Jim and Chip went into action once again.
Jim sent a right fist to the pit of the guy's stomach, which caused him to double over, then while he was hunched over, Jim laid a right fist to his jaw which sent him doubling back towards the floor.
Chip took on the man coming towards him with a right fist to his face and a karate chop to his neck and then threw him over the bar.
Jim threw another man shoulder first over the bar causing whiskey bottles to shatter and spew glass everywhere. As Jim motioned Chip to run towards the double swinging doors to the outside of the tavern, Jim turned and threw a smoke bomb into the middle of the room and then turned and ran outside joining Chip.
"That should take care of them for awhile...huh, Jim?"
"Yeah, it sure will," said Jim slapping Chip on the shoulder as they turned and headed towards the docks.
Port Charleston, 1874
It took them the better part of an hour to row to shore from the sub. Artemus Gordon was pointing out places of interest to the Admiral as they neared the dock area.
"Hey, you can't dock here," someone yelled to them as the steered the small boat near the wooden docks.
"It's just a small boat," Artie yelled back at the man. "We are just going to get us a drink."
The man walked over to the edge of the dock and stared down at the small rubber dingy. "I hadn't see a boat like that one before."
"Have you been in China?" Artie asked as he climbed up the ladder.
"You can't say that I have."
"This here is a Chinese boat," Artie explained. "That's why you ain't seen one before. We'll be back after we wet our tongues a bit."
The others climbed up to the boardwalk and joined Artie as he started walking away from the docks. He went a little ways and then paused and turned to the other men. "I suppose that we need to start building up some trust here."
Crane crossed his arms over his chest and regarded Artemus Gordon very solemnly. "Why is that? Your story sounds a bit suspicious..."
"Either way is fine with me... you have one of your men missing and I have a partner missing so I suggest that we work together. I have seen things to make me believe that what you say could be true. I have nothing nearly as impressive except my word and to tell you that Loveless is quite a madman. For some reason Jim seemed to think that there is a reason to be interested in a tavern up here called the Feather Queen. I suggest that we start there."
Lee looked over at the Admiral then back at Gordon. "I suppose that we have to start somewhere. I'm going to tell you up front that I'm not certain about you. But Ski and I have weapons, whereas you have none, so the final word comes down to us."
Artemus looked over at the Admiral. "Let's see how it goes, shall we?" He turned and walked on. He was being to tire of the younger men who regarded him more as an enemy than a friend. He was certain that there was something significant going on with them as the underwater boat, the submarine, was unlike anything that he had seen before. But then Loveless had many strange devices before also. The best thing would be to find Jim first, then decide what to do with these men. He couldn't help but wonder if they were part of Loveless's gang.
He stopped, seeing the lights of the Feather Queen ahead in the early morning fog. Despite the early hours and the thick morning fog that moved between the buildings, the Feather Queen sounded like it was already open for action.
"Sounds like an old honky-tonk," Nelson commented as they got closer to the building. There were a couple men lounging around the front of the tavern as they entered the café doors. The main floor was larger that what it looked like from out outside. There were about 15 tables with an odd assortment of chairs on the sawdust floor. It seemed that the entertainment had been a bit boisterous that evening as bit of chairs and a few tables lay in shambles around the floor. Broken glass wear crunched under their feet as they walked around the room.
The bar ran the length of the back wall and behind it was all mirrored except for the center, which was dominated by a very large picture of a nude. She was undoubtedly the "Feather Queen" as peacock feathers adorned her as she reclined in a swing, surrounded by the peacocks. The only covering was a massive mane of glowing red hair, which seemed to fall short of just covering her ample female attributes.
"Wow!" Ski breathed as they entered the tavern. "Wait 'til I tell the guys about this! Now that is a real woman!"
"Why thank you, Sugar!" A voice drawled as he turned around to see the vision of loveliness standing before him in real life. She was dressed in a pink dressing gown trimmed in boa feathers as she glided up to them. She took the Captain's arm and purred up into his face, "What do you want, Sugar? I'm sure that I have what you might need. You missed the main entertainment tonight. We had quite a party."
Admiral Nelson spoke up to save his Captain further embarrassment. "Perhaps we can speak about the party you had that we seemed to have missed." He took the lovely creature's hand and guided her across the floor, away from the Captain, who was a bit flushed since she tried to give him a peek of her offering that he might procure for the morning hours.
Artie snorted as he looked over at the Captain. "Yep, you and Jim are going to get along well, if you decide how to split up the ladies." He looked around the room at the gaudy décor. "It's suppose to be a tavern but it looks more like a brothel. Jim mentioned something about a back room."
Crane looked about the room, watching the Admiral converse with the lady of the tavern. He noticed a curtained area over to the backside wall of the tavern. "What do you suppose that goes to?" he asked Artie.
Searching the docks
They half-walked, half-ran the distance to the docks. Jim was anxious to find Artie and Chip wanted to see if the Admiral and Captain had arrived yet looking for him. Each man was deep into his own thoughts as they approached the docks. They saw a small group of sailors and advanced towards them.
"Help you, mister?" asked one of the sailors.
Jim began, "Yeah, I'm looking for one of the sailors who was supposed to meet me earlier at the Feather Queen tavern. He never showed up though. I've never known him to miss the opportunity of a free drink."
"There was an old man walking up and down the dock but that was a long while ago, mister. He's long gone now."
"What do you mean gone? Did you see where he went?" Jim prodded.
"Yeah, sure did. We all did. He was being carried away over some guy's shoulder. They took him to a dingy at the end of the pier."
At that mention, Chip and Jim both exchanged glances. Chip spoke next,
"Was the person carrying the sailor alone?"
"Nope, there were two other men with him. Your friend was talking with the two other men and just as he was starting to walk away, a tall skinny fellow come up from behind and hit him over the head. Then they quickly left."
"Could you describe the men?" asked Chip, anxious to hear if it was the Admiral and Captain Crane.
"Sure can. The man who did most of the talking was a short fellow with reddish hair. He was larger built than the other two, they was skinny and tall. The one feller had dark black hair and the other looked like it was lighter brown, but they was wearing caps."
Jim and Chip thanked the sailors and turned and walked away after tossing them some coins for their help. "Did those descriptions sound familiar to you at all?" Jim asked Chip. "Did you recognize the description of them?"
"I sure did," replied Chip. "They sounded like my three friends from my time".
Now Chip knew for certain that the Admiral and the Captain were looking for him, since they had been here. The third man had probably been Kowalski... Kowalski or Patterson. They both fit the description the sailor gave.
Now Jim knew why Artie hadn't met him in the tavern, he was with the other three men, Chip's friends from his time. But why were they carrying Artie over their shoulders? Why would they have knocked him unconscious? Hopefully they would know soon enough.
The Feather Queen Tavern
Nelson stepped to one side of the tavern with the lovely Feather Queen. He was somewhat surprised to see that beneath the heavy layers of make up that she was probably in her early 20's, and dropped her 'brazen lady' act that she had presented to Crane.
"Aren't you a bit young to be in this business?" Nelson asked her.
"Mister, this 'business' has gotten me a great deal of money." She looked the Admiral over and smiled at him. "You couldn't afford me."
"No, I probably couldn't," he answered her as he sat down at a table. She sat in the chair opposite him. "So what happened in here?"
"I had a couple of drunks tear up the place," she answered. "It happens."
"Did they get shanghaied?"
"No..." She looked over at the Admiral. "Who are you?"
"I'm an interested friend. One of the men was tall with blond hair and the other man..." He looked over at Artemus Gordon, who was walking around the room.
It seemed that the young man was looking around the floor.
Artemus paused to pick up broken bits of a glass sphere that he recognized immediately. It was part of a glass sphere that he had given Jim that contained two chemicals that when mixed produced a 'smoke bomb' of purplish smoke. He had considered adding some eye irritatant into the mix but it would have been dangerous to the user in close quarters so was glad that he did not. When he heard Admiral Nelson call his name, he walked over to the table.
"Ma'am," he nodded to the young woman sitting at the table. He had seen many a young girl in this walk of life, although her beauty surprised him.
"What does Mr. West look like?"
"Tall, dark hair... dressed in a dark blue suit... I think that he was here and there was some trouble."
The young girl smiled. "Oh, him! Yes, he was here. I liked his friend more. He had such beautiful blue eyes... looked like a god, he did."
Crane couldn't help but smile at that comment. If they got out of this alive, he would never let Chip forget that comment. It seemed that the women always fell for his blue eyes. "Where did they go?" he heard himself asking the young woman.
She smiled at the Captain, then turned back to the Admiral. "If I tell you the information that you want, will you leave this gentleman with me? I promise you that he won't be shanghaied anywhere."
"No, I afraid that he still owes me some labor," the Admiral answered.
She looked disappointed. "These other fellows owe you work too?"
"Something like that..."
"You are messing with the wrong man!" she told him in a hushed whisper. "That Dr. Loveless may be a little man but he is very dangerous." She looked around the tavern. "He has ruined this place for the last time. But you have to promise to get him, because if I tell you about him and you don't, he'll come back and kill me."
"We will do our best," Artie promised her as he leaned over the table. "I have been looking for him for a long time."
"Are you Gordon?" she asked him.
"Yes, I am," he answered her.
"I am suppose to let someone know if you show up here... a man called Voltaire. Do you know him?"
Artie pursed his lips then nodded, "I thought he was dead."
"Oh, no," the young girl told him. "You and your friends are in danger. Dr. Loveless wants you dead. Voltaire is suppose to break every bone in your body."
Artie smiled to the Admiral. "I told you that Loveless wasn't a nice guy."
"He's looking for a ship... the ruins. He has this other guy with him that wears funny suits, he's dressed real odd. There is something that Dr. Loveless wants real bad on the ship." She lowered her voice and whispered, "He wants to take over the world."
"What if we try to stop him?" Artie whispered back.
"Where did our other men go?" Crane asked. He had walked up to the table and sat down.
She looked over at the door and nodded. "They got away from Loveless men and went outside. The other two men were looking for something but then they said that they had to go looking for a friend. I think it has something to do with a ship called the Foster Dean.
Nelson shook his head at the name the girl used. He was annoyed with Pem and now wished he had never heard of that name. He should have shot the man the minute that he entered his office back in Santa Barbara. That was nearly 48-hours ago and they had gone through all this. "If they are going down to the ship, Chip could be in trouble."
"How's that?" Artie asked.
"They might need a diver," Nelson answered.
Artie looked over at the Admiral, "So this man that you are looking for is a diver?"
"Yes," Lee answered. "One of the best."
Artie got up from the chair. "We have to stop him from diving... by whatever means we can. If Loveless gets his hands on what he wants there can be real trouble."
Captain Crane stood up to confront Artemus Gordon. "We will stop Loveless but you will not do it through Chip Morton. Do you understand me?"
"You don't understand..."
"You are right that I don't understand..."
"Gentlemen..." Admiral Nelson cautioned as he rose from the table. "I thank you for your time, Ms...Feather? We need to be moving on..."
Artemus Gordon stopped the Admiral. "I need you to listen to me. I realize that he isn't listening... but you don't understand what we are up against."
"Mr. Gordon, you have my full cooperation on this issue and we will stop this Loveless fellow but I do need Mr. Morton back... I want him alive. I also need the other fellow that is with him, a Mr. Pem. We will get both men back alive. You will cooperate with me on this or you will be in the brig. There is no further discussion at this point. I also suggest that you and Lee Crane come to some sort of agreement. I will also endeavor to find your friend alive and we can decide what to do with Dr. Loveless when we are done and I have what I have come for."
Artemus Gordon blocked the Admiral as they neared the door of the tavern. "What have you come to this time for? All the men refer to you as 'Admiral' so you obviously have some power... How do I know that I have not exchanged one demon for the other?"
"That, Mr. Gordon, will be your problem. I am not in the habit of explaining myself to anyone... not even to the President. I will not start by explaining myself to you. You cooperate or go to the brig, it is that simple." Nelson stepped to the side, going around Artemus and out the door.
Crane stepped up to the Artemus and smiled. "Well, I'm glad to see that you annoy the Admiral as much as I do at times. Take some advice, he usually wins these arguments and he does mean what he said."
Port Charleston docks, 1874
Jim West and Chip Morton walked away from the docks towards the pier at a slightly hurried pace. They were both anxious to find the dingy and also apprehensive of what they'd find.
Each man was deep in his own thoughts. Commander Morton had a slight smile on his face; he was almost certain that Admiral Nelson and Lee Crane had found him.
Jim West's expression was opposite of Chip's. He was more concerned with finding his partner, Artie. He was hoping to find Artie alive and uninjured.
They found the dingy, it was empty! No one was aboard! Chip took the liberty of jumping onto the dingy and looking around.
"If this is your friend's boat then they must be in town," said Jim, motioning with his thumb over his right shoulder. We'll have to go back and look for them."
Chip was busy looking for a sign telling him who the boat belonged to. It didn't take long, he spotted the life preserver. He grabbed it and showed it to Jim. "It's our boat alright, here's the insignia," Chip called up to Jim, who had remained on the pier and was now kneeling down to look at the name on the life preserver.
"SSRN SEAVIEW." And in another place he spotted the letters: NIMR. "What does that stand for?" he asked curiously.
"Nelson Institute of Marine Research," Chip replied. "The admiral founded it, and it's located in Santa Barbara, California."
Jim gave out his little laugh and replied, "Next time Artie and I are in San Francisco, we'll have to make a detour there and see what stands there now."
Chip amused as well, replied, "I'd like to see what's there now, one hundred years before."
Jim's mood became more serious, "Chip, where do you think your friends would have gone after they landed?"
"Somewhere to look for Pem and myself. And if Artie was with them, to look for you as well."
"Well, the Feather Queen Tavern was the only thing open so we had better get back there then." With that Chip jumped back onto the pier and the two men who had quickly become friends walked back towards town together.
Jim and Chip made their way back to the Feather Queen and slowly and cautiously entered, looking around for any signs of potential danger. The room seemed quiet enough, quieter then when they had left the tavern about 30 minutes ago!
The owner, a woman named Feather, took a short break from her cleaning up of the tavern and glanced over at the two men as they entered.
"Oh, that was fast..." she stopped mid sentence when she came face to face with Blue Eyes himself. "Oh...its you," she replied with a softer tone in her voice and a smile on her face. "I thought it was the other men who were just here... returning to ask me more questions."
"The other men?" Jim asked, raising his eyebrows questioningly. He couldn't help but notice her interest in his new partner. Jim was amused. He hadn't realized his new partner was such a ladies man.
Jim's thoughts were cut short with the sound of Chip's voice. The girl's comments caught him a little off guard but he quickly regained his composure.
"The other men? Can you tell us a little bit about them? What did they look like?"
"One did most of the talking, that was the red-head. Two of them were tall and thin with dark hair, one darker than the other. One talked, the other was quiet, kind of like he was keeping an eye on the 4th man."
"What about the 4th man?"
"He was busy looking around the place. Even picked something up off the floor and showed it to the red-headed guy. He had curly dark hair."
"Did you happen to hear his name?" Jim pushed her for more information.
"Yeah, I think 'Red-Head' called him a Mister Gordon. Yeah...that's right, Mister Gordon."
At that statement Chip and Jim turned and looked at each other. They were both thinking the same thing, THEY WERE HERE!
"How long ago did they leave?"
"You only missed them by about 15 minutes. Sorry, I didn't know you were looking for them." The Feather Queen shrugged her shoulders. "You better be careful though, Mr. West. Your lives are in great danger as Dr. Loveless sent Voltaire out to find both of you."
"If you see him, Miss Feather, you tell him Mr. Morton and I will be ready for him," and at that they both turned and walked away.
Aboard the Seaview, 1874
It was several hours later that they stood at the plotting table, as Nelson looked over the charts of the area. "We are having much trouble locating Pem and Chip on land so I would suggest that we try to find the Foster Dean as that seems to be the one location that we have in common." He pulled out the chart for the Eastern coastal region and spread it on the plotting table. "We can assume that the ocean floor has changed a bit in the resulting one hundred years but I think that we can get close enough to get an idea where the ship ruins are." Nelson looked over the charts. He pointed to an area on the chart. "If I remember correctly from the book when I was talking to Pem, it was resting in a depression on the sea floor in this general area."
Crane turned and called out the coordinates to navigation as he looked at the map. "That shouldn't be too difficult." He then turned to their guest, Artemus Gordon. "You are welcome to remain in the Control Room for observation purposes. I would suggest that you stay out of the way." He wasn't sure if he had forgiven the man for his remark about stopping Chip from assisting Loveless at any cost.
Kowalski returned to his position and begin to watch for any sonar 'pings' indicating that they were in the right location.
Artemus Gordon walked over to the viewport and grabbed Crane by the arm, "And what are you going to do if we do find the wreckage?" Artie asked the Captain.
Crane started to jerk away but noticed the concern in his eyes and remembered that he had a friend that was missing too. "My first concern is to try to get Chip and your friend, James West, out of the situation. I also have to find the man that we call Pem. We will recover the serum but I'm not sure what we will do with it."
He looked over at the Admiral then back at Artie. "I suppose that the Admiral will have the last say on the serum, if it is as you say it is. I'm not sure what we will do with the Loveless character. I suppose that you and your partner can have him."
Artie smiled at him, "So you finally believe my story?"
Lee looked the man over. "I suppose that I have no choice."
"Sounds like a lot of 'supposing' to me," Artie answered as he repeated the wording that the Captain was using.
Lee smiled, "Yes, I suppose that it is but you have to consider what we have been through. It is hard to accept all that has happened in the last few days."
"You have stepped back into your past, all this has happened in your time. I have moved forward with technology and none of this has even happened in my time. I am having a big enough problem dealing with what has happened which is my normal assignment with Loveless and now I have got to deal with this..." he indicated the submarine. Artie then smiled. "And you to boot. I have to send reports in to Col. Richmond and I have yet to figure how to explain all this."
Nelson walked up to the two men, "Who is Col. Richmond?"
"He is my boss. We all answer to someone," Artie replied
Nelson smiled, remembering what he had told Artemus earlier. "That is a problem for you, Mr. Gordon, as you won't be able to even mention the Seaview to anyone. Even your friend cannot know about us being here."
Artie smiled. "You don't know Jim West well. He probably knows about you also.
Very little gets past him, especially if he is mixed up with your missing man."
"Straight ahead, Admiral!" Ski called out from his position. "We have something down on the sea bed."
The men turned to the view port looking into the darkness. The Seaview's huge lights came on, dispelling the darkness and flooding the area in brilliant manmade light. Ahead nearly out of the reach of the light were the ruins of an old sailing vessel. It sat in the sand, listing just a bit to the starboard side. There was a massive hole in the port side, well below what would have been the water line.
Nelson peered into the blackness. "It looks like she was rammed. I am surprised that she appears in such good condition. She went down fast." He turned back to the men beside him. "Lee, I need proof positive that we have found the Foster Dean."
"How are you going to do that?" Artie asked. "Loveless has your diver."
Nelson smiled as he spoke to Lee, "Old sailing ships were limited to divers, mostly to repair any damage to the hull of the ship." He then spoke to Artie. "We all dive aboard the Seaview, even our doctor, who hates getting wet."
"Ski? Let's get a look at what is out there." Lee called as he left to Control Room, followed closely by Kowalski.
South Carolina Shore, 1874
"Where are we now Dr. Loveless?" asked Mr. Pem as they disembarked from the boat that had just landed near another part of the South Carolina shore.
"This is another one of my many hideouts that I use. This one in particular is in the very waters where the Foster Dean is located. From my estimations she is approximately 120 feet below us."
Pem was very pleased with that statement. It meant he was that much closer to his fortune.
They entered Miguelito's hideout and proceeded to the table where Miguelito had a large map laid out of the Foster Dean. As Pem was glancing over the map Miguelito asked him for the map he had from the old bookstore.
As Pem pulled out the map and unfolded it and laid it on the table he finally spoke, "Dr. Loveless, we need to come up with a plan to reach the ship."
"Yes, we will, but first, I invite you to taste some of Angelique's fine cuisine. Angelique darling, make our guest and myself something to eat and drink please. We are going to need much nourishment to accomplish our difficult task ahead of us."
"Yes, Miguelito," Angelique replied.
In Angelique's mind Miguelito was a brilliant scientist. He truly had the world's best interest at heart. He really wanted to make the world a better place to live. She never once questioned any of his motives.
She truly worshipped Miguelito and he took good care of her. He provided everything for her, beautiful clothing, a home, and the thing she loved best, her piano. Miguelito loved hearing Angelique sing. On occasions he even joined her in song.
Yes, she thought, he was a brilliant man. If it weren't for those two government agents, James West and Artemus Gordon, his plans would succeed. Miguelito did have fun 'playing' with Mr. West and Mr. Gordon but Miguelito's patience was wearing thin with them.
Angelique sighed and continued with her meal preparations. She would NEVER leave Miguelito. She loved that little man.
Meanwhile Pem and Loveless were busy combing over the two maps on the table. Miguelito was speaking. "I believe the serum is located here," and he pointed to a section of the map that appeared to be in the middle of the ship. "It is located in the room they use for the medical supplies off of the sickbay. It is in a locked cabinet."
"And my gold, " continued Pem, "is located in the aft part of the ship, approximately here," he said as his finger came down on the back part of the map. "It is stored in two chests in the aft compartments of the ship."
"How to get there is the problem," Miguelito was musing. "Entering the ship is not a problem because we have seen a hole in the side. Hopefully, it will have air pockets so we can move around. I have created a sort of diving bell that could be used but I don't have anyone to pilot it. Voltaire doesn't have the fine motor skills to do that."
Pem's full attention was on Loveless' last statement. "Did you say 'diving bell'?
Oh, my dear Dr. Loveless, I know just the man to command it," Pem said with a devious smile on his face. "Commander Morton. The irritable Lt. Commander who accompanied me here accidentally; perhaps he will be of use to me after all... to both of us. The problem is, I don't know where he is."
"If I know my Mr. West, he's still down by the docks searching for his Mr. Gordon.
I think I know just where to find him."
As they sat down at the table to eat, Loveless summoned Voltaire. "Voltaire, I want you to find Mr. West and Commander Morton and bring them back to me."
"Um, Mr. West," repeated Voltaire rubbing his hands together with satisfaction.
"No...no, Voltaire, I must have them alive. Bring them back to me alive, and don't injure Commander Morton, we are in need of his knowledge with the diving bell."
At that statement Loveless and Pem began to laugh, hysterically.