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The Emperor's Sword

Book Report thanks to Club Member Dan Kindel 2/1/08

This is the first book in a trilogy of books that carry a related storyline, continued immediately after this book in “Little Flower of the Sun”, then two books later in “The Lacquer Fan”.


Summary:   Before Mui Fong was arrested in the book The Chinese Coin, he had hidden “The Emperor’s Sword” in a secret compartment in the base of one of the four bronze torches in the Wonder of Wonders cave.  This sword was a valuable Ming Dynasty artifact, taken from China.  It is being sought by the honorable members of The Society of the Sword, who have come to the riverbank seeking it.  However, from prison, Mui Fong tells his brother Lui Fong where the sword is hidden, and the Lui Fong mob also searches for the sword.  A recent earthquake has altered the cliff complex and the caves, confounding the search.  A long section of the book that takes up 12 entire chapters (Chapters 18-29; pages 166-275) contains the exciting events of a single night in the maze of caves.  The sword is found and the Lui Fong mob is arrested.  Hawkins gives the sword to the members of The Society of the Sword, who intend to return it to China.  This story continues in the following book: “Little Flower of the Sun”.

It's almost Christmas and the Fair and Square club members are enjoying a fire that Jerry Moore has going down on the riverbank.  As they banter about the lack of snow and Santa, Lew Hunter has trouble recalling the names of one of Santa's reindeer.  Seck blurts out the name which amazes the others.  Seck stresses the importance of always making an effort to remember even small details of events that occur as the recollection of these details can serve one down the road.

While they are still warming themselves around the fire, they watch a small boy, accompanied by an old black caretaker, approach the clubhouse.  The boy, Little Paul, explains to his caretaker, Uncle Esdras, that he has seen someone named Peter around the clubhouse recently.  Apparently, Peter is someone near and dear to Little Paul and is missing from his life.  Uncle Esdras believes that little Paul has imagined seeing Peter.  Seck and the others leave the fire and go up towards the clubhouse to meet the two strangers.  Little Paul asks if they have a boy in the club named Peter.  Seck tells him "no" and little Paul and Uncle Esdras depart.

The boys are visited by a gang on horseback, known as Mopey's Mob, led by Mopey Quale, a former enemy of the F & S club, who dresses in a plush cap that covers his ears and a cape trimmed with fur, and fancies himself to be like Napoleon.  Mopey has a bone to pick with a boy from a new family that he is expecting to move into town and demands that Seck and the boys let him know as soon as they find out that he is in town. 

Shadow tells Seck that he has been doing some spy work at night and seen a group of pony riders almost every night on the riverbank.  It looks like Mopey's Mob but at least once, Mopey was not leading the line of ponies.  Shadow sprinkles sand on the clubhouse floor at night and the next day he and Seck find footprints with the word "Viking" on the heel which lead to Seck's writing room.  Shadow believes these footprints are from someone who has been breaking into the clubhouse and reading Seck's writings to discover all that has been going on around there.  Seck decides to take his book home every night.

Shadow reports to Seck that he has followed the pony riders, at night, as they rode toward the cliffs, through a cleft at the back of the cliff that was never there before but now sits between two tall pine trees.  It dawns on them that the cliffs and surrounding landscape have changed recently due to an earthquake/storm and that things are no longer as they have been all their lives.  At night, Seck and Shadow, on foot, follow Mopey and his Mob of pony riders as they enter the cleft between the pines.  When Seck and Shadow get to the cleft, they find a downward sloping passage but the pony riders have disappeared.

Seck and Shadow get ready to go out in the daylight to the cleft at the back of the cliffs to investigate where in the sloping passage between the two pines Mopey's Mob might have disappeared to.  As they are leaving the clubhouse, Mopey and another boy, Cap, ride up on ponies.  Mopey asks if any new families have moved into town yet.  Hawkins tells him "no" and Mopey leaves demanding that Seck let him know as soon as a new family moves in.  After Mopey and Cap leave, Shadow and Seck follow them, as they head for the cliffs.  Near the two tall pines, they witness Mopey chatting with a tall, handsome boy named Grundy.  Mopey has been unable to find out some information for Grundy.  Grundy says that if Mopey cannot find out what he is looking for by that night, he will tell Uncle Bill that he is ready to go.  Mopey does not want him to go because he is afraid his gang will break up – they are only staying together because Grundy is leading them.  They also discuss how they realize that Seck is suspicious that something is going on because Grundy has been reading from Seck's book to find out what is going on but the book is not being kept at the clubhouse any longer.

 Doc Waters shows up during singing practice and is suspicious that Seck and Shadow are up to something.  They explain to Doc what has been going on and Doc advises them that they shouldn't go back up to the pass behind the cliffs without him because he can help keep them out of trouble and help figure out what is going on.  The three of them make their way up to the pass behind the hills where they hear a signal and watch the line of ponies go through the pass.  They hurry up and follow the ponies, but, once again, the ponies seem to have disappeared.

Seck ponders the mystery of the disappearance of the ponies in the pass and comes to the conclusion that the pony riders must somehow be going into the caves in the cliffs.  Shadow and Seck go out to the pass in daylight and search every nook for an entrance to the caves but none can be found.  Seck asks Roy Dobel to try to get his dad's map of the caves.  It takes a few days but Roy brings the map down to the clubhouse.  He explains that it was hard to get but that his Dad doesn't treasure it as much as he used to because he no longer can take people on tours of the caves since the storm/earthquake closed in the opening to the caves and changed everything.  Seck looks over the map with Shadow and Roy and they figure out that the pass between the pines is situated next to where the Cave of Wonders is.  Seck believes that the pony riders are somehow getting into the Cave of Wonders and using it to meet in.  Using Roy's map, the three of them sneak into the caves and wind their way through many passage ways until they get to where the inside entrance to the Wonder of Wonders is.  However, now it is blocked off due to the earthquake but they can hear the ponies and the sound of boy's voices on the other side of the blockage.

Lew Hunter leaves a note for Seck letting him know that he had seen a Chinaman spying on Seck through the window, the night before, while he was writing the minutes in his little writing room.  Seck recalls how Mui Fong had threatened to come back and get him after he was captured for a second time.  Shadow reveals that he has seen a Chinaman up near the pass in the back of the cliffs.  Seck and Shadow head back to the pass to do some spying from up in an old dead tree where they have a good view of the pass.  Suddenly, a Chinaman appears, seemingly from nowhere and heads out of the pass beyond their sight.  Friday night before singing practice, Shadow bursts into Seck's writing room and the two of them observe the Chinaman outside in the evergreens that line the riverbank.  Shadow reports that the Chinaman has been following him.  On his way home that night, the Chinaman follows Seck home. 

Seck becomes concerned because Lew Hunter admits that the Chinaman reminded him of Mui Fong in the way that he walked.  The club decides that it is time to set up the High Order Spy System as the members divide up areas to keep track of.  Seck and Shadow's responsibility is to spy on the pass between the pines.  While there they run into Mopey and three of his pals and a fight ensues.  Seck and Mopey go at it and just as Mopey is about to get the better of Seck, Grundy appears and orders Mopey to stop.  Grundy tells Seck that he will one day find out that he is a friend.

Fearing that Mui Fong has come back Seck decides to get Jeckerson involved but Jeckerson shows up at the clubhouse while Seck is trying to contact him on the phone.  Seck expresses his fears concerning Mui Fong.  Jeckerson contacts the Watertown jail and verifies that Mui Fong is, indeed, still under lock and key.  Jeckerson then reveals that the purpose of his visit is to get the assistance of Seck on another matter.  He takes Seck to a home next door to Judge Granbery where Mr. Granger & family are renting the house.  It turns out that Mr. Granger is Little Paul's father.  Mr. Granger has another son, older than Little Paul, named Peter, who ran away from home after a scolding by his father and has not been home for 5 years.  Mr. Granger has spent those years traveling all over the world, chasing clues, in an attempt to bring Peter home to him.  He had a clue that Peter may have been on a ship that had docked at Watertown so the Judge had found him a place to stay close by while he investigated.  Now, Mr. Granger hopes that Seck can help him find his lost son.  Seck asks if he can visit Little Paul while he is there and then he asks Little Paul to join the F & S club.

Little Paul and Uncle Esdras come down to the clubhouse.  The boys vote to let Little Paul join the club and Little Paul explains to the members about his missing brother, Peter.  Seck goes home with Little Paul to try to impress upon his father that he would be safe with the F & S club.  While Seck and Little Paul are in the other room playing, they see the face of a Chinaman looking into the window.  Little Paul claims that it is the same face he had seen, once before, in Hong King, with his brother Peter.

Shadow discovers the secret to how the pony riders get into the cave through the pass between the pines.  After singing practice, Shadow takes Seck to the pass to show so Seck can see first-hand how it is done.  Once again, they hide up in the old dead tree and wait.  After a short wait, they see Mopey and his Mob arrive.  Seck is amazed to see Mopey call out "Open Sesame" and to see a slab of rock swing open to reveal the cave entrance in a similar fashion to the tales of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

Seck and Shadow follow a dirty fellow to the pass and watch him enter the cave.  Soon the door reopens and Grundy exits.  The two F & S members follow Grundy down to the river where he gets in a boat and heads up river.  Seck and Shadow follow him in Shadow's boat to Watertown, through town and into an old multi-story building.  They follow Grundy up seven flights of stairs and into a dark room.  Hawkins turns on his flashlight to reveal rows of cages and a big black bear that is heading towards them.  In a fright, they scramble back down the seven flights of stairs into the dark night where it is now raining.  As they head back to Shadow's launch, they realize that they are being followed by a Chinaman who starts to move more quickly as they do.  Just as they are leaping into Shadow's launch, the Chinaman reaches out and grabs Seck's coat pocket which tears away from his coat.  They get away safely and head back to the riverbank.

 After going home and drying off, Seck heads back to the clubhouse in the rain only to find the light on and an old man in strange-looking clothes wearing a high fuzzy hat sitting inside.  The strange man reveals that he has been reading Hawkins' minute book, knows that he was the one who found the treasure in the Wonder of Wonders back when Mui Fong had his headquarters there, and demands that he tell him where the Emperor's  Sword is.  When Seck tells the old man that he doesn't know anything about an Emperor's Sword, the strange man calls to what looks like a black bundle which turns out to be a great black bear called Brother Bruin which comes from the back of the clubhouse and makes for Seck who screams with fear.  The old man calls off the bear but leaves Seck with a threat as the sound of the rest of the boys coming for singing practice is heard.  The man in the tall fuzzy hat and the bear slip out just before the boys arrive.  Seck then finds his coat pocket stuck to his desk with a dagger, left, no doubt by the strange man and the bear.  Seck begins to realize that the strange man is in league with the Chinaman.

During singing practice, that night, Shadow and Seck retreat to Seck's little writing room to discuss the current mystery.  Shadow sees the dagger, still stuck to Seck's desk top and realizes the situation is getting dangerous.  They decide that it is time to call Jeckerson but just as they are ready to place the call, they hear a scream from the other room.  They rush in and find that Paul has seen a face at the window which he believes to be his long lost brother, Peter.  They look towards the window and see one face moving away from the window and then see the face of the Chinaman briefly before disappearing.  Uncle Esdras decides to take Little Paul home and Seck and Shadow go along for support.  On their way they see a lone pony, without a saddle, dashing for the rear of the cliffs.  On their way back to the clubhouse they see a boy with a lantern walking along the cliffs headed for the pass between the pines.  Seck and Shadow follow him and after a while realize that it is Mopey.  Shadow and Seck climb up into the old dead tree to watch as Mopey knocks on the rock door and calls "Open Sesame".  Grundy comes out to talk to Mopey and as the two F & S boys listen to the conversation, they realize that Grundy has quit as leader of the pony riders because he has figured out Mopey's true character and doesn't want to be involved with him.  Mopey's Mob has deserted him since Grundy has quit and now Mopey is all alone and asks Grundy to help get his horse, Dixie, back.  Grundy replies that Dixie does not belong to Mopey but to another who loves it.  Grundy goes back into the cave and the rock door slams shut.  Mopey leaves and just as Shadow and Seck are preparing to climb out of the tree they see Dixie come up to the rock door and watch as Grundy takes it into the cave.

 Back at the clubhouse, Seck calls Jeckerson to fill him in on the latest events.  The next day, Jeckerson comes down to the clubhouse to get more details.  Seck thinks the case of the missing Granger boy, Peter, might be somehow related to the strange happenings with the Chinaman and the old man with the bear but Jeckerson scoffs at the idea.  Jeckerson calls one of his men, Olaf, and asks him to come down to the clubhouse to take a picture of the dagger.  Meanwhile, Jeckerson takes Shadow and Seck up to Watertown where some of his men are waiting to investigate the 7th floor of the old building where Seck and Shadow had seen the black bear. The find the room empty but the smell of animals still lingers.  The office manager tells them that the tenant had come recently and then left quickly in the middle of the previous night.  Olaf returns from the clubhouse with the news that the dagger is gone but in its place is a note from Peter Granger saying that he is Seck's friend and that Seck should not be afraid.

Shadow and Seck discuss the mystery and decide that Grundy is probably really the missing boy, Peter Granger.  Hawkins does not want to confront him yet because he is afraid that he is mixed up with the Chinaman and the old man with the bear and that if confronted he may never be restored to his father or only under bad circumstances that would cause his father even more grief.  Seck decides that it would be better to see if they can sneak up on Grundy and company through Cliff Cave, rather than trying to go directly through the secret stone door in the pass between the pines.  As Shadow and Seck head for Cliff Cave, they witness a terrified Chinaman, running from the entrance to the cave.  They enter the cave and follow his footprints of yellow mud through unfamiliar passageways, created by the earthquake, until they come to a shallow pool.  They find a silk map on the ground and are examining it when they realize that they are standing in soft mud and their shoes are sticking in it.  They look up to see a pair of bulging green eyes coming towards them from the vicinity of the dark pool.  Shadow pulls his self out of the sticky mud and then helps Seck get free.  They flee from the green eyes in the dark and somehow make it out of the cave without getting hurt.

Back at the clubhouse, Seck and Shadow scrutinize the silk map they have found in the cave.  Seck realizes that it is a map of the caves prior to the earthquake.  It dawns on him that the Chinaman that was using the map was probably trying to find the Wonder of Wonders and ultimately the Emperor's Sword but hasn't yet discovered that the caves have changed due to the earthquake.  It also occurs to him that perhaps the area in the cave behind the rock door in the pass between the pines is not the Wonder of Wonders and those using it are also attempting to find a way into the Wonder of Wonders where the Sword is hidden.  Seck and Shadow decide to, once again, explore the caves but this time, to avoid the upper regions of the cave where they ran into the green eyes, they enter via Cave River.  Once inside they can see that the lower regions of the cave are unchanged.  They come to a series of ledges and climbing up they discover a huge cavern with a high ceiling and daylight shining down which reminds them of a cathedral.  Shadow discovers some slabs of stone with a natural arrangement that reminds him of a pulpit.  He wants to get to the top of the pulpit but there is no apparent way to get there because it is too high up.  The next day, Seck finds Lew Hunter and Jerry Moore helping Shadow construct two long poles attached to a rope ladder.  The four of them go back to the cathedral cave and Shadow uses his poles and ropes to get to the top of the pulpit rock.  Once atop, he discovers a passageway into the Wonder of Wonders.

The other boys climb up to see for themselves but once inside the Wonder of Wonders they hear a humming noise and a wailing sound.  They realize that the humming sound is being made by a drill and watch from the shadows as a Chinaman and the old man with the fuzzy hat crawl through a hole in the wall that they have just drilled through.  The Chinaman and strange old man begin to explore the Wonder of Wonders but are suddenly startled by the loud wailing sound and retreat back through the hole in the cave wall.  As the boys are climbing back up to the Pulpit to leave they turn around and see a lone hooded figure standing and watching them.

The next day, Seck and Shadow meet with Jeckerson at the clubhouse and fill him in on the latest discoveries.  At Jeckerson's direction the three sleuths enter the cave through Cave River with Jeckerson doing the paddling.  They climb up Shadow's rope ladder and make their way into the Wonder of Wonders.  They continue to explore by going through the drilled hole in the wall, into another small chamber, through another drilled hole and finally into a larger chamber which they realize is the cave where Grundy and the pony riders have been meeting in.  They discover how the rock door opens and closes but hear a wailing sound and decide that they have been discovered and decide to leave.  As they are preparing to climb up the Pulpit, Jeckerson spies the hooded figure, silently watching them.  They take off after the Silent Watcher but then suddenly, as if by magic, he is gone and they can find no sign of him.

The next day, Seck comes down to the clubhouse after school and finds several notes on his desk compliments of the F & S High Order Spy System.  He learns that Mopey has been over to Pelham and over to the clubhouse, asking about his former pal, Cap.  He also learns that Lige Hobbs, who had brought Mopey up-river on his boat, has some information for Hawkins.  Grundy shows up at the clubhouse and asks for a favor.  Cap is in need of a doctor but wants to keep the situation secret.  Seck balks at first but then gives in and tells Grundy he will get Doc Waters to meet him at the small riverbank landing in an hour.  Seck goes up to Doc's office and convinces him to help Cap out.  Then Seck and Shadow head down-river and meet Lige Hobbs who tells them of a newly built shack in a hollow.  Seck and Shadow sneak up to the shack and spy through a window as they see an ill Cap lying on a cot.  They see the door open and Doc Waters and Grundy come in.  As Doc begins to look over him, Cap rises up and tells Doc not to tell anyone, but he has found the Emperor's Sword and he fears for his life if he is found out.  Cap is especially afraid of the old man with the bear, who he calls the Colonel.  Doc reassures Cap that everything will be kept secret.

Seck and Shadow head back to the clubhouse while discussing the latest events.  Shadow reveals that he has seen the Chinaman following Hawkins, again, and they both feel that the situation is getting potentially dangerous and decide to contact Jeckerson so they call him and fill him in.  Seck walks down to the river and sees Shadow off for dinner and while heading back notices the clubhouse wide open and sees a car parked up on the main road.  He walks into the clubhouse and is captured and taken to a secret location where a group of Chinamen are meeting in a room brilliantly lighted with fantastic Chinese lanterns.  There, a Chinese man, seated in an ebony chair with billows of silk draped about him, identifies himself as Su Chow Ming.  Seck comes to realize that this is a friendly group of Chinese men who are in search of the Emperor's Sword for honorable and historic reasons and are opposed to another group of Chinese men who are after the sword only for the profit that they could obtain by selling the jewels in the hilt of the sword.  Su Chow Ming gently asks Seck if he knows the whereabouts of the sword.  Seck replies that he does not know and in passing mentions that he was instrumental in capturing Mui Fong.  At that revelation, Su Chow Ming acts amazed and immediately Seck is blindfolded and retuned to the clubhouse.

Later that night, Seck calls Jeckerson and tells him, over the phone, about his encounter with Su Chow Ming.  Jeckerson tells Seck that Cap has been taken to Doc Waters private hospital and that Seck must find Grundy as he is in danger.  Seck and Shadow head out and find Grundy in the little shack down by Hobbs Ferry where Cap had been staying.  A distraught Grundy gives Seck a small canvass case which Cap had wanted him to have.  Seck believes the Emperor's Sword is in the case and attempts to get Grundy to go with Shadow and him but the old man with the bear shows up.  In the conversation that ensues, Seck discovers that the old man is called "Colonel" and the bear "Brother Bruin".  The Colonel demands to know where the Emperor's Sword is.  Seck hands him the canvass case which the Colonel opens and finds Lui Fong's dagger of revenge inside.  The Colonel takes Grundy with him and when Seck attempts to interfere, the Colonel has Brother Bruin threaten Seck until he backs off.  Seck realizes now, that Mui Fong had originally hidden the Emperor's Sword but was now locked up in prison so somehow he got word to his brother Lui Fong where to find it.

Back at the clubhouse, Shadow and Seck discuss the significance of the curved dagger that Cap had wanted Seck to have.  Seck comes to the conclusion that since the last time he saw the dagger it was stuck to his desk with a note from Peter Granger that Cap, rather than Grundy is, in fact, Little Paul's missing brother, Peter Granger.  As they are discussing this, Cap comes to the door and demands to know where Grundy is.  Seck explains that the Colonel took him away and Cap races out into the night.  Seck and Shadow give chase but are unable to find him.  Jeckerson and Doc show up, looking for Cap and explain that he has escaped from Doc's private hospital.  Seck shows Jeckerson the curved dagger and Jeckerson suddenly realizes that the case of the emperor's sword and the case of missing Peter Granger are related.  Jeckerson then begins to plan an adventure into the caves with Doc Waters and Seck to search for Grundy and Cap.

Jeckerson, Doc Waters, Shadow and Seck head to the pass between the pines where they meet several of Jeckerson's men.  Jeckerson stations his men at several locations outside of the cave and near the entrance to Cave River.  Doc Waters and Shadow stay near the cliff entrance to Cliff Cave while Jeckerson and Seck head inside Cliff Cave.  Jeckerson leads the way as they make their way through newly drilled out passageways.  They come to one location where they look down in the dark into the dark pool and see two large green eyes staring at them.  They come across the big black bear, Brother Bruin, and hide in the shadows until the bear leaves the area.  Eventually they come to the rock doorway which leads to the pass between the pines.  Jeckerson opens the rock door to find two of his men waiting there.  They are surprised to see Jeckerson come out of the rock door as they have just spied two men coming out of the rock door leading a kangaroo and baby elephant out of the caves.

Seck and Jeckerson head back into the caves and close the rock door behind them.  They travel back through the cave until they come to the big black bear, Brother Bruin.  They follow Brother Bruin up an inclined passage way until they come to a long corridor lined with Chinese lanterns.  There they witness Cap who is overjoyed to be reunited with Brother Bruin.  Cap asks Brother Bruin to show him where they have put Grundy.  Suddenly, a door opens in the corridor and a group of Chinese men look out and recognize Cap.  One of them asks if Cap has come to tell them where the Emperor's Sword is.  Cap defiantly tells them that even though he knows where it is he will never tell them because they have no right to it and that he has come back only to save Grundy.  A tall, fat Chinese man who Cap recognizes to be Lui Fong, who is Mui Fong's brother, then comes from the doorway and informs him that the Colonel is no longer there to protect him and that now he will make Cap talk.  Lui Fong demands that Cap tell him where the emperor's sword is.  Cap refuses to tell him so Lui Fong and other Chinamen take Cap up the corridor and lock him in a room with Grundy.  Grundy tells Cap that he will help get him away from the Chinamen and back safely to his parents.

Seck and Jeckerson start to head back out of the caves to get help from Jeckerson's men but on the way they run into Brother Bruin.  Seck talks Jeckerson into letting him stay to attempt to befriend the black bear since Seck has seen Cap friendly with it.  While Jeckerson heads back out to his men, Seck stays and feeds chocolate bars to Brother Bruin while talking nicely to it.  A panicking Colonel comes across Seck and tells him that the Society of the Sword has found them out and are coming and warns Seck to get out quickly.  Seck ignores his warning but then hears Cap calling from a fissure in the backside of the cave room where he and Grundy are being held as prisoners.  Brother Bruin climbs up the rock wall to the fissure and begins to pull out the rock and silt to try to free Cap and Grundy.  A group of Chinamen come along headed up by Su Chow Ming.  Su Chow confronts Hawkins but once he realizes who it is, Su Chow tells Seck that he will not be harmed and the group of Chinamen, the Society of the Sword, head off to confront Lui Fong and the Society of the Lanterns.  Brother Bruin opens up the fissure large enough to get Cap out.  The black bear climbs down with Cap, hands him to Seck and climbs back up to get Grundy.  Seck hears the Chinamen fighting and guns going off and decides he has to get the poor, sick Cap to safety without waiting to see what happens with Grundy.

Seck heads back the way Jeckerson had brought him in, carrying the limp form of Cap over his shoulder but he loses his way and winds up in the Pulpit room.  Hearing gun shots and other sounds of the fighting Chinamen getting closer, Seck manages to climb up the rope ladder with Cap to the top of the Pulpit.  He pulls up the rope and collapses just in time as the fighting Chinamen spill into the Pulpit room.  As Lui Fong and his Society of the Lanterns start to get the upper hand, Su Chow Ming and his Society of the Sword begin to retreat.  Cap wakes up and tells Hawkins that he must get the sword before the Chinamen find it.  He tells Seck that Mui Fong had stolen the Ming treasure which included the sword and hidden it in the cave but Seck and company and found it and Mui Fong wound up in jail.  But the sword was not found and Mui Fong got word to his brother Lui Fong, from jail.   After the earthquake, however, no one could find it.  Somehow, Cap had found it had re-hidden in.  He tells Seck that it is in the Hung Wu torch, in the room with four torches.  Then he falls back unconscious.  Seck realizes that the "room with four torches" is the Wonder of Wonders.  Seck climbs down the rope ladder into the Wonder of Wonders and finds the Emperor's Sword hidden in one of the four torches.   As he is getting ready to leave the Silent Black Watcher appears behind Seck and snatches away the sword.

Seck hurries back up the rope ladder to check on Cap.  Grundy and the bear come by looking for Cap and Seck signals to them.  Seck and Grundy help Cap down from the pulpit.  Seck hears Lui Fong and his men coming and tells Grundy to quickly take Cap out to the Cliff Cave entrance where Doc Waters and Shadow are waiting while he stays and distracts Lui Fong so that Cap and Grundy will not be seen.  Seck yells and shines his flashlight for Lui Fong to see.  Lui Fong captures Hawkins and demands to know where the Emperor's Sword is.  When Seck refuses he is dropped into the dark pool where the creature with two green eyes attacks Seck. As the giant octopus creature wraps it's tentacle around Seck, the Silent Black Watcher appears and attacks the giant squid with the Emperor's Sword and frees Seck.  Seck hears Jeckerson calling for him.  He turns around and the Silent Black Watcher is gone.

Seck is very glad to see Jeckerson and, through tears, explains what he has been through since Jeckerson had left him in the caves.  Jeckerson explains that he has made a pact with Su Chow Ming and his followers and that the caves are surrounded by several of Jeckerson's men and Su Chow Ming's Society of the Sword with more reinforcements on the way.  Seck elects to go with Jeckerson back into the caves to apprehend Lui Fong and his followers.  They head back up to the corridor of lanterns and come across the Colonel.  Jeckerson gives the Colonel a chance to leave Lui Fong's Society of the Lanterns and to come over to the side of the law.  The Colonel refuses and pulls out a small pistol.  Just then, they hear a wailing sound and the Silent Black Watcher appears behind them.  A terrified Colonel fires the pistol at the Silent Black Watcher who is unaffected and then vanishes into the darkness.  Jeckerson and Seck take the opportunity to get away from the Colonel and sneak back out to Jeckerson's men waiting outside the cave.  Once outside, Jeckerson's men report that they now had reinforcements from Watertown but that they had seen the Silent Black Watcher leave the caves, heading for the riverbank with the sword and that Su Chow Ming and his men were following.  Jeckerson instructs his men to continue to raid the caves and then he and Seck race off looking for the Silent Black Watcher.

Seck and Jeckerson see a light on in the clubhouse and race down to find the Silent Black Watcher sitting inside holding the Emperor's Sword.  The hooded man explains that he has brought the sword back to Hawkins because he has realized that it was not right for him to take the sword from Seck who had found it.  He removes the hood to reveal that he is actually Ho Nan Sing, one of Su Chow Ming's trusted men who had kidnapped Seck and taken him to Su Chow Ming's Watertown palace, which it turns out was on the seventh floor of Traders Tavern, one floor below the floor where the Colonel was temporarily holding his animals.  Ho Nan Sing explains that at the request of Su Chow Ming, he has been following Seck to watch over him and protect him from Lui Fong and the Society of the Lanterns and to see if Seck knew where the Emperor's Sword was.  Ho Nan Sing has also witnessed another Chinaman following Seck; probably an enemy.  Su Chow Ming steps into the main room from Hawkins' writing room and confirms Ho Nan Sing's story and explains how important in Chinese culture it is to act honorably even at the expense of great material loss.  He also explains that the Colonel and Lui Fong came to the States to sell the animals that the Colonel, an animal trainer, had acquired but that times were hard and the animals were not selling.  So Lui Fong offered a large sun of money to the Colonel to allow him to use the animals to throw off anyone investigating his actions, to make them believe that their meeting place was just a storage area for animals on the 8th floor.  Once Lui Fong realized that Su Chow Ming was on to him, he moved his headquarters, and all the animals, including the deadly octopus to the caves where they knew the sword lay hidden.  Ho Nan Sing was sent into the caves as a hooded spy.  Su Chow Ming explains that Ho Nan Sing had replaced the Colonel's bullets with blanks and that is why the Silent Watcher was not wounded by the shot.  He lets Hawkins know that the sword is now his but that he will pay a large reward for it.  Seck replies that the sword belongs to Cap, not him and he must give it to the true owner.

Ho Nan Sing and Su Chow Ming leave and Seck and Jeckerson, late into the night/early morning discuss Seck's fears of taking the sword home with him.  Seck's Dad stops by to check on him.  Eventually, Jeckerson's men come down to the clubhouse with Lui Fong, the Colonel and Fan Wing in handcuffs, captured from the caves.  Jeckerson accuses Fan Wing of stealing boys away from their families but he denies it and claims the boys came along willingly.  The Colonel asks only that he be reunited with Brother Bruin.

The next day, after sleeping in late, Seck heads down to the clubhouse with the sword in a suitcase.  The boys are all proud of Seck for the part he has played and are expecting a reward.  However, Seck reminds them that the sword rightly belongs to Cap and that he had discovered the sword where Cap had told him it would be.  The boys realize that the fair and square thing to do is to give it to Cap even though they will lose the right to any reward.

Seck takes the sword in the suitcase up to Doc Waters' private hospital where Cap lays ill with Grundy at his side.  Seck gives the Emperor's Sword to Cap which makes Cap very happy.  Cap tells Hawkins to give the sword to Lui Fong as a ransom for Grundy.  Because Cap is ill, they do not tell him all that has happened and that Grundy is already free of Lui Fong because Doc has told them not to mention such things which may get Cap worked up, again.  Cap falls back asleep and Seck leaves the sword with him.   They leave him and go into Doc's office.  There, Grundy explains that he is not deserving of the love exhibited by Cap because he was partly responsible for talking Cap into leaving his parents and joining the Colonel – Fan Wing did the rest.  Grundy tells a tale of how his father had traveled to China and been killed during one of the revolutions there.  Grundy had been taken by Lui Fong who then turned him over to the Colonel.  Jeckerson shows up with Mr. Granger, Little Paul and Uncle Esdras.  Little Paul and Mr. Granger are reunited with Peter (Cap) and Mr. Granger decides to adopt Grundy.

Judge Granbery sends for Hawkins and tells him that Mr. Granger realizes that the Colonel was important to Peter and Grundy and wishes for a way to set the Colonel free and that he forgives him.  The Judge can't legally set the Colonel free but has set his bond at $500 and asks Seck to try to get him to sell Brother Bruin for $500 and use the money to buy his freedom.  Seck approaches the Colonel with the idea but the Colonel is so attached to the bear that he refuses saying that Brother Bruin is the only friend he has in the world.  Seck realizes that there must be some good in the Colonel if he cares for Brother Bruin so much to even give up his freedom.  A man from a museum comes to the clubhouse inquiring about the giant squid that had been living in the cave in the dark pool.  Seck tells the man that he can have the octopus for $500 if he goes and gets it himself.  Seck takes the $500 to the Sheriff and sets the Colonel free.  The Colonel and Brother Bruin leave to head back home to England.

Jeckerson comes down to the clubhouse, bringing the Emperor's sword with him.  The Grangers and Grundy have left town on a train that morning and Seck realizes that he will probably never see them again.  Peter (Cap) has asked Jeckerson to give the sword to Hawkins.  Jeckerson leaves but soon Su Chow Ming arrives and asks about the sword having seen Jeckerson leave without it.  Seck is happy to see Su Chow and gives him the sword and tells him that he doesn't want a reward.  Seck pulls out the old curved dagger that Peter had given to him and shows it to Su Chow.  Su Chow shows Hawkins that the handle of the curved dagger comes apart and the real rubies are in it – those in the emperor's sword are only imitations.  Apparently, Lui Fong had found the emperor's sword where his brother, Mui Fong had hidden it, and removed the real rubies, hidden them in the curved dagger, placed imitation rubies in the emperor's sword and then re-hid it to throw off everyone else.  Su Chow gives Seck the imitation rubies and the dagger, along with a check for $10,000 to divide up among the club members.  Su Chow leaves with the sword and plans to take it back to China.

Shadow reports to Seck that twice he has seen Sadler of Sadler's Seventeen, leading a pony out of the caves.  A group of boys on ponies, Grundy's old gang, once Mopey's Mob and before that Sadler's Seventeen, pay a visit to the clubhouse looking for Grundy.  Seck explains that he is gone for good.  Seck and Shadow decide to visit the caves to see if they can find Sadler.  They search throughout the caves but find nothing until they come across a pony, which comes through a secret entrance constructed by the Chinese who used the caves for their headquarters.  They recognize the pony as Dixie, the pony used at one time by Grundy.  Sadler appears and the boys are all happy to be reunited.  Sadler explains that Dixie has repeatedly run away from him and comes to the caves looking for Grundy.  Sadler keeps coming back to retrieve Dixie but now decides to send Dixie to Grundy as a gift since they are so attached to each other.  The pony riders enter the cave through the rock door in the pass and are delighted to be reunited with Sadler.  Mopey is allowed to join Sadler's Seventeen at the end of the line and explains that he realizes that he has messed up and wants to start over with humility.

Seck and Shadow are invited to go up to Sadler's stable and ranch to see him ship Dixie off to Grundy.  They are happy to see that Sadler's father, who had gone bankrupt and been forced to sell off his horses and the farm, has come into prosperous times and bought the stable and farm back along with the horses.  Sadler surprises everyone by deciding to send horses to Peter and Little Paul, also.  Sadler is very sad to part with Dixie but his daddy returns from looking at horses at another stable with a new beautiful pony for Sadler, named Dixiana, which makes him very happy.

Seck enters his little writing room and finds a small Chinese statue with burning joss stick incense on his desk.  He calls Jeckerson who comes down to the clubhouse and they discover that the curved dagger is missing.  Seck finds a piece or wrapping paper on the floor that he supposes that the Chinese statue and joss sticks were wrapped in.  On the paper is the name "Sam Kwong Laundry".  Jeckerson and Seck head up to Watertown and find the Chinese Laundry of Sam Kwong.  Jeckerson shows the small Chinese idol to Sam Kwong who recognizes it as his.  When Jeckerson demands that the curved dagger be returned, Sam Kwong explains that Shui Fong, a brother of Mui Fong and Lui Fong has commanded him to retrieve the curved dagger and he will be killed if he doesn't.  Just then, Jeckerson sees a car pull up in front of the shop.  Jeckerson calls his men on the phone and tells them to come to the shop at once for an arrest.  Seck and Jeckerson hide while Shui Fong enters and gets the dagger from Sam Kwong.  As he is preparing to leave, Jeckerson's men enter and arrest Shui Fong.  The curved dagger is returned to Seck who keeps is to remember Cap and Grundy.

Copyright © 1921.