Chapter 65702918

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Chapter NumberXL
Chapter TitleTHE DEMON'S NEEDLE
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65702918
Full Date1888-11-16
Page Number0
Corrections0
Word Count3689
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleKyabram Union (Vic. : 1886 - 1894)
Trove TitleMy Plucky Boy Tom; or, Searching for Curiosities in India for My Show
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TIEh YEOUNG FOLKS. MY: LAYI7x ;'OY ,TOIL;. 01.. 114iC N(} TOR CU I OSITIES oR. smanrm ion OurmOsrmw IN INDIA BOB MY SHOW. Br P. T. Biasmu... , .. O(}Aran XL.: Tun Dmro50's NOMaOL The physical and mooeal- stain to which our friendl had boosn: aubjectd *aa.so groat that they were worn out, though Tom Brad ford himself had put forth comparatively little erertion. i' Iealising that thoy woo not cl aid from thi whirlpool into which they drifted; L. but that their strange eariour, in the form:of the gigantie fish, had released himself froma the haeo that the lad was .led' by niothing leonthan ianpiration to fling over hil head, they at down at the forward part of the Sraft, and for a quarter of an hour neither r spoke nor moved. Tom was the first to rally, not only on I account of his youth, buhot because of the I slighter tension he had undergone. 1ee first looked back at the shoro that they t left behind them. Although it was over four miles away, yet Sit was as distinctly marked in the clear pt-, mosphero as though the .distance waso no more than one-tenth an great. SThe bold, rocky outlines, .with thepro-. ,jeoting cape, were asscannedl, but not a sign.of t the Wauwarns was visible.. y They had departed, and no douib woro e hurrying around the lake to meet the a eoxplorers that had performed euch wonidera n before their eyes. S Still, it would seem that since they had a dozen miles at least to travel over" the Sroughest enrfece, the danger "of another confliot with them was alight indeed;. "' s Tom next turned his attention to'tlhe aboe Simmediately in front. That, if possieble, woa of a still wilder a nature, many places being .iicoeiilblb, e becausnee of the pfrupndiednr walls of stone if whichrose directly from the'lcar water. A" a quarter of a mile tothe left, however;the appearance was so striking that even Mr. SGodktin, desito his exhausted condition, surveyod it with Interest. Two columna of grey rock rose like im r. mense chimneys to a height of more than a two hundred feet;', standing out so clear and g sharp that it seemed impossible to 'believo they were only simple formations of niture. h One of the columns was slightly' slorter o than the other, and of differont shape and Y formation. . o The taller was quite osmooth: and sharply i defined from aunmmit to the :base, which Stouched thewater, while -the shorter had a rough, craggy sides, with itasurmmitalmost n, agamat the upper part of the taller, though c the bases were flly tifteen foeet apart. y From this, you will understand that the a lessoer column bore a resemblance to theo ae famous leaning tower of Pisa, the wonder of - the speetator being excited that it did not tumble to the ground. " But, respecting the' one of whichI am ° telling yno the astonishment -ought not to have oBen so great as that felt at Pisa, for r the natural strnoturoelwna of solid rock, w while the other is artifcial.: ` I : . By this time, Mr. Godldkin and Athoor had ,so far recovered, that they began to talk and r show an awakened interest in tho'objects a around them. I 0 '-That,' said the native,ointing aat the r taller'column, ' is the Demons needl.' :,: ,:" f Andwhat lse.the otherl t'-h " n 'It has no naime, so far as I know ; I have. t sometimes thought that agers. ago, when another race -peopled; India,. thoso -a'two Scolunins woro carved by them, but, after. all, a it may.; be one of thoeo freaks:; of .nature a which, I believe, are not confined to this part I oftho world.'- : '" ,t.:.-,, Ha'Hon anyone climbed to the top of it?' ''Probably it, has been done, though I would not care to try it.' r i' I think I could do it,' remarked Tom, as Sif communicating with himself, though it would.be a hard ,task. t How: would you manage, it 'jiasked Mr. ' ;Godkin. - ''-Theideo. of, tho.e aning roliun n i so r' irolken,'nd jagged that, wti a little caro, S anyone can makeo his way upits Bidese to the t top, whicih is sc ploseto the tllor, thant hlie U could easily jiump, aeroot" e i'lt -" ' It 'Is just like you lo atempt scocle a fool ;hardy feat'~r mnid Mr. indkin. I ih thr woe soonotung in tbe ,gained by cii ingigup thliero,' rplieh.d Tom, witlh ;Thoro is a li}ize awiing the climber who can reach the top of the toille column,' said "-Atlicor. What's that P' asked the ..intorested Toni; 'The sireanecolt bue- i inollndia lie s inido nest focryears ;on the crest oftlihe higher: F column, the toryy ;last place. ini ;theowrld where youywould, think - it' wvould "'buiild its --'What ort` ofAn lrd is it f',, : E". :' ' I never heard bf it.' 'But you can iiei oni o 1now ;it' P Athlioor pointed toward;tho'ooliuna, and following the direction of hlis finger, the three perceived a bird, whiCh'wrive plaimly making its wly toward the olevation named. ! , .;z I It'wns:% at sog^reat- a"-height i:andso distant, thatit could- not be-'pareived with SWhile theo lady }"kw cilitdfi iel e iaill, it possessed a most amazing spread of wing, -probobi -flfteenfoeet, enahing it to~fly,,nbov tho earth in, the cold"'thin' air which will not sustain the smaller bhrds. ;: I.:. , . i - -When flirt "noticedl'- not ' the"'elightest ixetidn of the wirngsni is-epopthilo. 'iThey were simply outspread to their fullst extent, while it glided forward like a ship,under sail before a favouring wind. - Now and thoo~the: faintest jnletiont-of -the wings could.bo soen;,thoughit appeared tobe uhnneessaey, sinoo'the hugo.bird- want along without apparent effort. !,,:, '- What"do' yon'tknioe"'abotet }the !aird wrole-eof' asked Tom, whose curioity was at the high~et piteh.,..,:., .r , ,," . ,.; , , " . 'Not 'much, exept ,that it, is', found, no ,wherecin therorld, so farras lonewn,'oexpt in this part of Nizam; it is rogarided by the Wild Men': of:the3,Mountains,'ana snored bird; anrid if you are ever peromitted:to gain a close view, you ivill not be surprised to learn of the veneration'in which it-is--held.' 'Give no some desriptioneof.itr.' 'It is iiiddubtedly th6ti ost fiuttotically coloured creature ever created. You know I that there is a certain consistency in Nature 1 when she given her rainbow tints to.somo of -thi feathered beauties of India, but their is nothing of the kind in the case of the ea weate-s, which looks as if it had been painted by a luiatio in the moet grotesque inannerho ,E cooldeconocive. For instanca, its vringis jet black, its loft in green and red; 'one side of its head his grey, the other is'spotted, with .f brown and green; the bresat .n aellaw streaks on a white background, wholeI, f the a donon feathere or more composing its tail, I do not think that two are of .the isame shade, and the under-side of both wings is mottled, 1 eon being of a 'vielt tint and the othersuowy white.' - - -~· - -' -" ' ''''·I·· ~: ` "What if its foodf' - 0 'Piish, which it gets from the Barred Lake -look I' -. -. - :A?- tI it'inatant the atrngo baird vanished ' over the upper side of the toler column, buit it didnot reappear beyond., Thls shoboed b thast it had stopped on ts- crest. - Sineo' its wings- were outspread to the E fullest extent at' the moment of its dia- ci appeirance it must have checked itself with u amazing suddennes. - P 'I should think at that altitude that the neat would be swept away by storms.' ' Strange that it is not, but' that the bird ' continues to live there through all seasens is proof hat nothingof the kind takes place. si It must be that~th~ top-of tho. roek is not t' smooth, but contains natural exoavations' whomin the bird builds its nest. ' b 'Whdt of its moteo' -' :''~ sl 9~1onvegoes neuur !the rock, 'exaeeit~i It ' oiayho~l~tl~~thehelp tho female build; the P neat, after which he niskes his hoio' further up the shore, resigning the care of the household to his wife.' -r 'If theroisanestupthere, then it mast ontn engseor young ones, andI em going to ino gt one, if It in possaible, to take home to 55 Mr.i Barawn.' to The danger of tho contemplatedl attempt

was somaP n that both ati a d m ail Mr. gmahss dma 3eLsi Lbaº4 k dia his head, ai. e Phisa dtbgeraa Idte bega ing it with a vigo., thab osedo4 atoo shpowd hs weam. by dhetfad Toi toland fully a fourth of a ole'fie the Demon's Nede. When they stepped from thee at it was given s vigormu shove into the opposite Sh letionno er entheir detnrmation. t In the still water, it was hkely to doat a considerable distance before touchingland, if, Sindeed, it touched it again. and, cIoseqoently, when the Wauwara should catch ight oin o they would he without any knowle of whore their enemies dionembarked, and their Shunt for them would probably be in vain. "It is inourfrinde' favour, too, that the shore was no rocky and covered with pebbles, that only by the. closeet acrutiny could the Ssharp-eyed Wild Men follow them. r Everything indicated that the day would pnass without detection by their enemies, n and, with a full night at their connand, ,o they could run into peril only by inoxcusable blundering on their part. A closer approach to the Demon's Needle ycaused Tom's self-appointed task to seem t eaoier than he had at tirat supposed. While the taller column was found ao per Le pondicular and smooth that it was inmpossible for, anyone to climb it, the shorter was so rough and jagged that nothing but an out ,j lay of strength and endurance was necesoary to take one to the top. t I'm off,' caliled out the lad, bhanding his 1 gun, pitol, and lasso to his friend, so as not ,,, be handicnou in anyy way.: SBo carefu admoniiod li. Godkid; ' I hdon't feel asoy:bout this enterprisoof yours, ,o which I wie you would forego.',,. r. II'Have no fear for me,' was the confdent reply of. the youth, who, full of natural Senthusiasm, began climbing the 'leaning tower' with an ardour that roused the ar sympathy of his friends, who, standing back . a considerable distance, watched his ascent ,t with the deepest interest, not forgetting to A. maintain also n sharp look-out for the Wild 1 Men of the Mountains, who might put in an S'ap psunce at any momneut. - .. a, o up wont he daring youth, climbing ' ~sround and over theo projections with the Siimblenessn of a monkey, and now and then n halting a fei minutes to recover, his breath. d Of course he kept on the upper aide of the ro column, as it may be called,.einoe no person . can make his way along, the under-side of a er sloping wall. ,d 3o handy weor tha projections for his hands and feet, that Tom was sure they.had been out with tools for that purpose, and that 'he was not the farst, person that had made the ui dizzy, ascent. . t At last, with a rapidly beating heart, he h paed onthe vary tp of the leaning tower. He newlfound himself within foot or fire a feet of the crest of. the taller, which, like the to one whereon heeitood, was fifteen .or twenty i feet in diameter., ,t ',I can jump to that,' be said to himsolf, stepping bock to the further side of the rocky m platform. , .A Ashort, sharp run over the briefo distance, r and he made the thrilling lip, his friends r, far.bolowholding their breath as they,saw the body suspended for an instant betweeon d the two columns, and hundreds of foet above d their heads, cre it struck the taller ono. At the instant Tom's feet left the lower platform, he felt' a strange giving away 0 bencath him, as though the column of rook wwas esing into the ,eeths of the earth.. ,As he clambered hastily into place,. he cast a saingle terrificd glance over his shoulderand saw that at last theIndian ('leaning tower of o Pisa',had fallen! ', Probably for mainy years, under. th action Sof. the elementns, ithe extrordinary., column :had been steadil igrowing weaker until it. Snow, on the, very, verge .of' toppling over., S Onlyy anlight jar was needed to cauiso its dlovwnfall, and 'that was given byethe foot of Tdm Bradford aso ho' made the' wild leap to t the tller colhimn. a. . Cirhrrcn XLI.-Sntiv ori oN Evenr 'Hei n. 'An things; 'sooner' or`lator','ii i't' yield Seforit rtho gnaringmteoth iofTio w"orl iTho lanning e ncs imo'f solid "stoco may have been fractuol by ' a thuniderbolt at seone b remote ieriod, but it was tillo ftti l ~ineiuho to bolnd itsa position', tbig -',r'u1i. of Bi ut all' th'u tne it wasn'growing wt i thnd o t, and weato hae , the momnt' camns whii it waus redady to fall. IAt this most i cuifortunato criai',oToon Bra ford ororived from thoother aide of the world, anad 'ai the necioary' impestus, b' thu'reroil' 'of his foot, neyhocieraiu¢ueroessthBeintorvcn ing space atthstp terrifying oltitudo:' o: The scone wooh awe-inspiring. r , ,. Had it been o ny the'icrestof theclir u d' that fell, it would 'not have been fat il,' since Tlomn would' have'fdniioin trouble in leaping back to it, but th diiineintgrnti'ii ''took place Sat a peint fully oixty feet fromvtheotp; all the enormeous mus of stone. nboeo;wging thousands of hins, gsoing.to th grondwit a croab that causnl the earth totitrble a'aif Tfrom an earthu etik hloi wt t ook: ' .'h n elhalf the m oms went into tiqlento ithbw °i, ththei lik' tliat when Hel ooti was bl ntbi. up iy,'ythe dynizunit, litterues fartbeon, th.', , BothAthoor antd Mr. Godkiri oa'oido.iin a °jepit;a';a;ndwslito gasp of terror, (laed'"ira8 fr.from the spotau othey could get d r ,Whi'acno th '6 mss; came do wn utit. aich'a thunderouis 'aback, they owere fifty fof4asdaay, butthoe sprniy wao tro thro terb thcin,",d thiro wa a ningle onvulson of the croniiod which anlost throw them off their foot i.: newianwo '"they wore Siafe, beod nevietha turned and gazed upward to learn thr'fto of Tin Bradford. They saw the daring youngstrr far up inm the air, with lies arms rcstine on the iedgi of thid tuillr'oluinii se reot while the vingorous movements of his "legs showed that 'ho wans tryiiig,to climb over the' eide and -upon. the circular.opace abo m, as ,o c, "Thiswwas not'a difficult task.' They were still looking with bated'hreath;' wh he disanppeared for the moment,. showe hrg thanthohad reached ito footing' ltast.' "' he hbas got thered "so Mr thGodkint inb a faint 'voice; 'but' 'how will 'ho 'ever'-get 'Thereo is no way for hin toido tn"esieh Athoor; sick at heart over t he torriblo peturb tioin'of their. young ompanion ''"^a "urf "Meanwhile, Teo Bradford entced'updon ' a now and wonderful experience, snchas never ontoredhi wildscat dreamsh The moment ho' '.ed 'x'.Fumm , oa ti"h, ' he hooked around at"ro~tdw erofried pbro¶-'be bad hleaed. q '"o ne 'th eraw hin s riends tar-f it was' belw i lg d orthe edge 'of the' la ganzingnup at' b-w.'s 'h d buvio' hi"h bit;' he' s.teng'ut 'Tbuvi his head as h eignal.iiot enlyfhoconl 'geatulatton to them, bat asproof thrinabsmo I 'was safe '''' ' """' ,. But~~oor may beesnppsed,,he wootoany. Il thinag wat ajubilant mood fo l''"'' o' :: The 'leanijng tewer'had' enddenly 'b~omeb shortened to the oitcii'm f sixty feet. "t that diatencom blot otwas tlmistdoulo i what the diameter bad been at the top~, bat it niot 'only 'woo twenty feet away~from the "teller' 'ae straight cohuinin, but ·the supper 'surface wasl a mRas of jagged projections, 'eauased by the violent dinruption of theupper a poto.To lea p dowii upon this' surfaeL fro aheisht of 'fiteeon feet' weiddinsuro 0 dangerous injury; to do an at four' timeer 11 that' height 'meant the' macgling at~one's Ii body beyond recogisitien.' ' " Ansal thin, what wootobeomeof Tom Bradfiord, since the ladder h* which he'had0 climbed to this vast height was awept from under him, and there was no means of ra- a' placing itt '" ··: · Before gving himselfup to despairing me- al ditation, t~he lad proceeded to explore his a, eurreundings. ·I The surface of the' column on which he cl stood coosieted of an irregular circle, same i, twenty or thIrty feet In diameter. ~Although at a remote~ ported it had pro. bebly been quite smooth and even, yet the 1 grniii was an varied that 'it was ganiduslly - 'worn into ruts and cavritic,'oneof hiich was~ 1eirtly"'hclvedl over by a crust' 1sf etone inca ~ striing fashion. ' Beneath this odd, half-roofed cavity the aw,-u,rk-coa hod built their nests. The female, which the hunterahad Bo l to the spot, had made a ehort eta , toasenoh oo she woe abaent wheitTonmBrnd~ordolimbod Oi to the top of the column. The nest woe composed of otickoe, keld in

plac;e b a alsemInlys de prw rouf sasl uata wmt Easter-t never o ated any pattern megss etrkingly be'autýO'~niful. r + Hmdrdsof filboesa were scattered around the top, but all wwe d, ioU0 odo was emitted poin thte imother had lhie a broke their s. Tom You wenid hardly believe It, bTo inBradford w no interested in th ght that, forg metting ingenious dble situoration for tt moment, timoe crawledver forwardonhIahands and around th top, but aea weiedry, and no odour wi'I wonderittd, proving thbefore the mother wilbatch " brought no food to the spot raaetly though ,r he saiwod tobe lily to dohi lf, as e u at them chicks broke their shells. - back in place. hIf I could o t Thoemrn Brin safely down, wtere mightb ht thate forgetting his own terribl e other towl; or, if Mr. moment, be cawled forward onhis hasnds n' i Barnum hapid them, e eggscould s one of the' patent inoubatore; but I haven't got down to' earther, and attentively done any way them I wonder how long falong they willre.' h P'.· he said to huneclY, as he easefuly set them. - H could not ut. I sould onsc gtousnesst thor' this vast height, he thmight of himself.th Standing erect, he took in the whole magul-' fthen sun, or weep of mountain, foretwl ; oa, i l' sprnum had them, feet. His e of vision wasofth many milee in extent. I h got don to A long distance tothe northwaed aa wreak In the wooded country led hilnito suspect ho was gazing on the village of the Wild Meni, canwhere King reiomt bya held reign. H c ould not shut from his two mriones, Tom his own fearful position, and, Rvingno more-*' hcalled to the uriosities though had louted at the this vast hvoieight, his wthords hs a far-sway soutand, as did t, heirs whetoo in the whoeplied. m fienThere's only one thing to be done,a j sprouted Tom, and that is for me to jumwas down.' many miles in extent. That will be torthe deaorth,' alled back Mr. Goelkin. - in the woroded jumpntr led him to ssofe the I res gaoklying on the illand e roral have leape whfrom Kingthe on bridge below Niagara, Lonever do.' t hi t ri Tom cExa mine the water houna the base, and top of his voice, his words had 'a" far-away-: soundee w ithe isep enoug they replied. to go under a good distance.' It ere's onlyd Mr. Godhin and Ato be door but shminute to make the e famination desirmed. down.' - Half the mass of stone that halled fallen from 'thee Brodi tionothe column flyj i0 thai' Breraln bridge, and se ake-that- portion o t, from the Suspensi~on bridge below'Niagara;, ". andwhich it hod fitelled to such an extent that ti Bugreatest depth was no more than a theyard.-itill It was imposib for TomBradford to leap. far enough tocarryhim be round the baseou andary of these jogged rocks, so ilat t was thesam. as if whethere waits no water at an tfor.eo his under agood distance.' .··i SIt required Mr. aodkin and Athoor but a"·-: fall. miYou need not be to mldthat the mintion desied.tuation would not have on improved that had fallthere been the upper portion of the' column lay: in -the ,, a hundred fot of water at the base of the tower;* for, when reached from a fearful he al r out in the a -t alighting portion solid which ithadfilled to ch an extent that tse - greatest diheartning truth was no more thaned up trd. Tom, was impoaibl for Tom Bradford to eiad far olI don't oe what carn be done,' ndheary ofsaid to hsjgged roc,itting down on the rwathesk and racking hi was norainter at a to brconjure some ohisem that offered not be t shadow of hoe. h tulloal would not have bomenimn m sed hry thee beeng Shundrt tinet ofwater p t'the bver we tce. , Ther; femlor, when r-oached descried h height, it ther home, and cam lighaiing bakon solid withor all ed to defend it Tom diBraferd saw plainly enough, as she., Wa~Yll. -I don't 'co what can be; done,' -be, arged straight at him, that on thore was blood aking hids brainsc to conjure some soheme ' that offer even ri shdow of ho 'ello I'm to hae compa in my myo s , thoughl 1. don't think it will prove vory welcome.' %t ,Th'~ female .aw-wolo-oo had descried' the intruder of her home, and came uailing~backt, with all speed, to defend it., ...:; · ..;, t~ · Tom'Bradford saw ~plainly enough,' as she, charged straight at him, that there was blood: ii h ereye. .:.:~· ' -: