Chapter 65802575

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Chapter NumberLVIII
Chapter TitleA GALLANT FIGHT FOR LIFE.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65802575
Full Date1889-02-08
Page Number0
Corrections0
Word Count3460
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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THE YOUNGY<OLKS. MY PLUCKY BOY TOM ; ol, hAnIIt?KG rOiL ?CRIuOSTIES .IN INDIA FOR MY SHOW. BY P. T. Blm?mnr. Cnrrec TLIII.-A .GALzsSr.t.Fsarr ross Lire., , Ned lHadley wooa one of the most genuine sportsmen that ever trainped the jungles of Ile had hunted for -ears through the Bengal Presidency, and was one of the party that eacoumpanie't the Prince of W?Tles on hi-s pleasure jaunt through that section not so very loon ago. fIidloey wIsi six feet two inches in height, as straight ais nu arrow and ns powerful and active as t panthier. Heo hal slaint moro than one tiger, shot three elephants and kniifed apython that was foolish enough to wind itself ironubd his body, under the belief that it Cutld easily squiieze the life out of him.. ' ' It ecmne to the kInowledge of Iinadley,' while pursuing his rough sport witli a-couileo'of comrnden in' the Upper' Decan;;, thsat- an occsnional lion was to be encountered further snuth in the Niztin district, and ho l1 roposCed to hid friens,that they should nmki aiin excur sion thither:: . SBut they Fiiofessed to lbe well satis6fed with the, entertainlment to' be fonmilwhvero' they were, andl declinedl'the prolosition.' ' . It was: characteristic,-: therefore, of Netd HIlsdloy; that. lie shouildl sot out ilouio' to explore the section tlhat pronilsed siuch bnal amiusement.! ». ;t ." SRather -' singlarly: his o;i'eoine l It ili almost in the footstoelm of Toin Bradford, Mir. :Godkin; inmd. their, friends, heo'beting but a 'short time behind them. ' I.r:lis .xprlienoe, hsowever, waon , widely 'different. :" ', "" ' S-For, thie first time in his hunting cnreer,'he imetwith -nsfortund, and that, too, of'thl most overwhohling eharacter. ..While 'hunting alone on the banks of the stream,. down which the flattboat lilnd its curiosities weroe-floating, wiithit'companloti or: dog, . heo nuguht: sight of anu imouuso 'leopard crouchling 'mong the limbs of as tree t short weSy aboo his liead.". lroro:'piioe rly, tlih leop?l aul auglt t sight of 'hiint, wsels wass nutanatre of h.ls danger unli a tshlarp growl istirtled him itito lookinl up, when h]o anu the fierce aniimlin thoe 'it of leaving, his porhi, and ttaking :a flying leass at hIn.. ' ' :: isadley hlad'lbarely time to recoil it step or two atnd bring his rifle to his shoulder,' when the beast arrived and opened hostilities.' •:A shlot fired under such oircumstnces wasm too hasty ,to Jxi well 'nimed,' and where, hld le lhatd but ist iinuto's warllnlg,'lie ?ouild have inflictedii mortal hiirt,';th only suc ceeded in wounding thel beast to the point of ,;1s the snurling luopard sprung at his chest, IIadley clubbed his gutuand fetched it suill a terrible blow' alongside'its head; that it wass knocked i dozen feet uwaiy. Such animals, however,'c seet to lossess the elasticity of Indlia rubber," and in An'i instance It w'si at him aguiin. i .. - .1Tlle performnuneo was repented, th!e hunter striking such' a prodigious stroke that the leek of lis rifle 'was.shattered and this beast visibly injurisl. s : Drolping;hie weapon, IuHadley whipipeil out Ins revolver, aid let the leIopird' have the contents of every elhuisber in quick suic q It was bleeding in half a dozen places, but seminigly w'ithlot .its' fury or power de creasil in te' least. ' " ' ;Tie next actof the imant was to draiw Iit' kliife and give the animal is navago :lunge iut the ribs.: ; . This alct did more tlhn ' sathing else 'to disable the brute, though he continued the attack 'sith great ferocity. ' Ned .fadley's istonislhisg aetisity saved lhim, where I 'less aetive emu woui'd have been lIcerated to'shreds. : " -. Fortunately, there was a cleare spiacer in which to mannuvre.,and hilaknowlelgeoof the beast's peculiarities esnbledl hinsi to meet its assaults with judgment. SHe inlariably, kept' Isi liositios ' until the insutant tdie leopisid made its short, quick leap. . '. Then he bounded'just far enough back. woail, or to 'one sidshe, to avoid is chws. Tlhis, as you will admit, requrlislred.iusiuil celerity, but'"Ndl 'Hiidley was eqluil to the tuask. At the momsent of bounidlng nside; hoe mid6 the lunge' with Ilis long,' kusn-poiinte? knife, ind it found is lodging-placeevery tinme . :Such ai constet was necessarily, brief. Seeing.. that' his, aussailait was growing weaker,lHidlyg:sidnedl more ';oultdeinco, aid, with., as skilful blown i th:te ees ' of" tihe anitnal, hle suclceedel :il "blinliug' it '"to that exteni that ait ·i as entirely' at his me roy.,- . . , . • The next plusgo of the knife was into the chest of thvule nirlr, and', the fiercely-driven weapon clove,the hbsirt in twlin,' th1e an'iial rollit a over on the leaves and tgiving ip his lifo with lhrdly i utrnggle ....:' Nel Ilandley w - ns.siuniutll3y foittunate, for' le ha1d nuotreceived the 'slightest hurt,' and his clothing was baroly scrntehel.' Picking up his ridlelho found it no injured .that Is hunting expclitioniwas checkkd until lhe could obtain Ia now weapon. ' 1 He..decidedl, therefore, to return to the railway station and mitko his ?nvl to Hyderal bad, whero he rould get isiother gn ?utd: ani outfit for' the dangerous work of huntiiig alonu.in the lis Nizat. r- : Itladley .wits ehiigedl in taking hiis'aCconnt of steck,'wisu, to his uluslindd elastoitis-'li moeat, i score of.:forlbidiHnglooking nitives made their apluramnce as siddenly ia if, Cust up by, the groeupd. i WVhero they came from it was imlpossible to' say;., but. there' they were, on' all sides, :grinuinga aud ltideons. ,,?h o Englisnlanu felt no inisgiving at flrt;, for; Iis ii rule, i 'suan, in Ihis sitistlton lhis :nothlig to fealr froin nuv of the nativeo ?ist otIndians, no matter ii$dtr what cirosiastances' encounterned. ;,,l .,: .. Dut ,it "wasi not long before le observed' grounds for serious uliar. SThse llu tives weroe hrge 'nidl' siew'-', most of thesm with -darker eomplexious thdu: i&' 'common in Hindosattn;' all 'wore fulli beaids, 'with' theinsul turlbrini lHnenshirts, undidiggy trousers and sandsltuss . :s , Eclah cuarried is gs long knsifethe latter tucked in under the shirt it the 'isisit, so that only thii handl waso.iskible?,??. Thait whichl giave bNid Iiliafy lis first clms •swas the recog?ition of thie leader of thlge hnsg as it niunlerer, whom hle had sc n r the previous year in the joil at D?lhi.s:' "is loug beard, sprikledl with geoy, ip b brolcen siose, 'wowliug, nslske-liko eye. ind generally ~fre pulsvo aippearance led I Hiadley to, sniko is qisriss ashout hisin; autd 'hie fs?o-und' ho's-US 'i famous leader of it, bind of Tlhuigs tlhat thid leun i coundcnmled to' death !for, nmintieiblerh luurloer. - '. ' SThis scondslrel wisthe lioder of,telio 'irty tlhat, closed -arouud: Ncd'Ifuloeyund miitdo himn prisoner beforo he I:lid the: leat:tthio' tfo take usy irccautions. ' '-.,. , '.,i ':, 'H.sad lis gun beenloadels andd in goodishaspe, ior hlainslothls ruvol'er.bi'ei emlptyhio 'isould Iuhave mde n gllant flght.i ;,h .,,i'-. .. ,Hafsd. hei.possessed uveln it. alight" stiit ihe w'ould ha've fled, for, vithli Isis niiifuiemit piyhsluo annd trmining, no native cold- Ishave equalned.huts hin tleetneos.' :nBut yotu will apprteiDte, the idisad''iusmtig at wichluhlel ie elua usisugilt, slid: ill Isnderstanisd wh-y hersubmitted .quietly. und :with such nlsporeslt itopoellsscs's tihat Isi calutoii .snsst . Ias Htdhey's purpoisoo to prosduce this isipbshsiol- , but- Iitais flr hfrn'.tle trutlh.- . e: wlswasl wine, however,.infeignilgdesplir. Itou olsl. t ecuauoe sisN csptors to r-Ihlsx their 'silalcu to thlt extEnt that he wouild guin n tightilnlg.clu ''ce '. . .hu S.t atny rutu, no was resolved that if he went down hsu would do no with uolours flyiur; asid, itf. drivet to,.fall buck iu tlhe OeulI weajlosi with whlich naturu hld funishld h]ln,lieu kieiw hoew to UmIO theirns well sliouglt tou.,relk osev-nl headss Ibefore Ilo ole uncetbedl. , [e allewel his.,uptour to eCodilict Iles L)i the lustlk uf thl bLtrCeUi, wiere thuy kindled tlhe fh unud. beg?n the btdmuriO V'eFioUsien

{ which attracted the notice of those on the flat boat that came floating by shortly after. The attitude of Ned Hadley naturally catlusedl his would-be rescuers on the craft to consider him in the depthts of despair, for lie sat with his knees darawn up, his arims clasp intg them, while his head wasbowed forward, so that his face was invisible. 'It was his dress aud general ppl)eaIrnce that told Tom Bradford he was a white, and belonged to the samne race with hlim and Mr. Godlin. 'IThe Thugs had taken the broken rifle, the pistol, and knife tfuni the cautive, who, much ns he hated to part with them, dared offer no resistance. But while seated thus, Ned Huadley was is uyything but a despairinig taiod. [n knew that his sitiiatiui could not be inore desperate, for lie was unarnlmed and surrounded by a score of merciless. wretches, to whomn the sweetest nnlic was the shrieks of their hapless, suffering victims. . HIdley knew the intentions of. these .inferniu llntgs. After dancing and singing till tired, they nmeant to fling him into the fire and roast hliii to dcathl? " R His purpeno was to wait for that critical momnent,, and then, slpringing to hisfeet, strike, the one or mnre Tluigs , who., cuae witldh reach, with all the quickness; and power he conld concentrate it his iron-like fists, of whose capacity- in that direction, the owner need not have been ashamed in the presence even of the 'clhampiou .of chain pines, tlhat soct all England frantic with de light lat a short time since. Having done this, Hadley intended to drive down ill opposition and make a- dash into tho.woods. Should lie finditimpossiblotoeseape;' owing to the multitudinuns obstructions in hisa path, he would, maiko, a. break for .thel river, and drowwi himself rather than.euffer ,extinction by the flames. " ,' . :: .' While those ' thoiightsca were ' seething' through his brain, thu ldlloa of-M.r. .Godkin c?iised dmn to look sip..: " . , ": , The sight of the flat boat,, N close that 'the glouw of.the camnp' fire was plainly seen agaiist it, the voice and words of his friend; iad-i the faces 'peering over ithe' gunwhnle,., told' the story without.the needI of wordsl....', : tlidlev forned his resolution at once, and, as you have learned while ,3Mr.' Godkin was speaking, made his daring break for liberty.; hAs ieo sprung to :his 'fet, ?ho, s-erved sihghtly out of a direct line -for :the 'stream, so ia to reach the leader of the Thugs. . The hltter,-likei all his compianions,' was looking, at the flat-boat; which had appeared so uneoxpectedly that the attention of each was concesntrated momentIrily upon it.'.' Sad, the Eonglishnman iwaited, a single iUinute, e.-nlpow ould have bieen ilmpossible, for before thu end of that brief period, every fighlitful face would. havobeenturn&l toward hin again ; but itiaby suchl sudden, reckless seizing,of. ehances 'that the. bravo spirit succedsl where tinid ones fail.. Sioen. an it was, with. all of I-adley's panther-like quieknes, lio did - not entirely clude the notice of the others. '..': I'The sava e leader of the' Thus, ' shtartled bth,tlimghtnoise, .turned his gulace front the flat- bot to the flguro by the fire.. He ?as just in time to. see the' crouching atldete boinuding towolrdihiI like i nmeteor. .The steal-like knickles Ianided' on 'thl side of thu wrotch's liead, spllitting .his skull as though it were an egg-shell; ind sending hlii to.grass so. emphatically thait lieo stayed there for ever. . The obewildeed Thnigs, who hearl' the gron of their chief and maw him tumble over like a log, observed tholshldowy flgure which shot .over ,hiil,. placed its foot 'thie' next iiistant on the veis- edge of the- stream, and amudo salch a terrific leap that he was carried more' than. twenty- fet.. into thne ' water, underneath 'which he disappeared before a' gun could be fired at hlim. ' ' It was iat this stirring moment that Mr. Godkin discharged his rifle, calling 'u ot his eonpanoins . to do tihe sanle, , ant then, Without pausing to reload, to use 'their rc ,These wise ordlers.were carried' out with .vonderful precision, and in such' a nanner that tho.Thiugs wore th owsn into the wildest: panil.' Several were, strnck by 'the whistling bullet,' whiloe the nrapid popping of the re volversimlpressed thieiithat there were many niore on the bout thatn'was the case.: ? Without giving any thought to the 'fleeing prisoner, and withoult firing ia single shot at him, the whologang neattered. to 'tiloe woods ts tlhaogh li smoking bomb-shell' had fallen ill thi niddle of them and- was on , the very point of exploding. , .: ' .Iailly had thu assassins vanished; when the water was parted at tile side of tie bout, and Ned Hutdley climbed in., HIe provnl his a unmazing 'nattorill poweers by coming up on tlhe side furthest frim the cmnip of these Thugs, thius proving thlit''ho had wvnun entirely tuder the flat-lxuat" I thought it. afer; to do that.' lie' Ox phtined afterward,' • 'for' It . was .likely that bullets. would be flyinig about and I wsoaldn't be so likely to nm aginst ainy of thum.' 'Ciet-rmti IA.--Tum Nr:we P.sEsxuEn. Just is Ned HIdloy was climbing ovdr the gunwanle of, the, flat-boat, " the tmoupliilon fllshed its light full in his face:. : I 'li'n obliged to you.' ho said in his hearty. wsaiy, .' but I don't 'need any hlitern to show me the wvay.to get aballioun. ' Perhaps.,3?,u camu inmgin ' the cordiality: with winch lie was welcoed.,i i Seeing that all inmledlito duinger front the Thugs was over,, the four Iaeonltets 'of thii lalt crowdedauroual atnd'graslleI in turmn thd hand of tfle big fellow, drippin is a he 'was wiithwli : soak .: As for. Iaidleyihluwas o: overjoyed' at Ihis fortunatoe rcapo. that' lhe wus ,overinimdug with spirits.. ' Htavo you room for another ptisentgeir- ' lie usked,.standiufg in the.nilddle of the' lx?it, smiling, shlking. ]hnals," and scrutinising'the fie-es of his new friends, as faintly revealed in the moonlight. . 'I thinek . e al smake mooms for you,' ro plied Mr. C(odkii,.' us you dol't secen to be' tmablcd with much hbaggage.' : -.- . 'That's good; I'm. willing to pay for. a cabi' p?ss .b?. WaIt it iil th e nale of the ''seeIin wilidets i llthat lighti' lie alskedI, sturing' 'attho'iiiouiphilan;, which hliid risen to its feet, iand itill'cent red?itrys uponu lue colnte-: ;laiiiee. .rel lnglghnlat Il.uu beswoildemient, aind. ''um Btidlfidl took 'it Iiupo ii iiself to.expliiu ,the. isliciiiu'iisisn; " 'lhmtt bisits ii.vtlhli,,- I everus.,s,,' riilu?sl tliu'hi rte. "'Wlu at ire y?n giihg to?t'sdstl W 'o i otto of the ciositii tli it son re to sond to P. T. IIlniiuiiiAmfiulc.'' u , : SItaismuna,:ely t Isiimol ill ; icta tlecshp thint hstole ,Jnbotln t ioa, is bypayie i fortruue 'for lrins-hud ha beenItu th asosi t' lminehss esoer shiie f lieionery of Acierica," istnbidcs fairto kheyp i'tp to th nud. of .th ;prelent dislueihisanitidn. ':'l.I i lalu o yucu sill iave the geni fortui o ts liad the cuinosity,. forit lthe elgllu cniiyesi oif herty oiio thliit sos it " tVil title b sird init ' hlliscr'aiioifutiutanic" o" It i Yot, docile, auid swill not objet:'t ' i :lho.en gitlieniisiovnl"sd catpl 'rof' uteps' ;neirer ianiodtee for Is minutf' ii-upotblib thte 't!o nr epismI~lmlln to nik?ke,. sild thi jirrepre-suble filow ; i 'ctjm cltih several' thouIiausn of thleini-owhiut dio you cIullnii) r $,? Iouphilnsu,' replled ritluor ,niucli tliin, Ilii-'thieni' to Londonl ,, aiidbito them out' to'liglut tlie'str?ts.. Tin.y will khock iidl thin ga- ointpanicns ,highe' r.thuati a kits hiimd •nnikl oatr etcnual fofninro-Aerlls; , o'bseised the hlin, that 1a3 ini the ofhiir ennru of the boat,' ad if dasleep'tfhire1ii all tilie tur .5'thuob..uant. nosw utterellmss-arnitlnglgrwl •' ?Vhir t thal~t?' aik ?,dthe startled itdley, ' su honl,"replhlui?'/1 S id'f/. h j? n fastened, and pcellapu it.will tmbiltest'togao' ten near him,' ,' If that's the kind-ofp auEsgersy on arry,, But the jolly -spsr nuimt' hind uoiiatitlia'of

' I guese I will stay ss long as tile rest-of you do, provided that lion doesn't try tohavc any fun with me.' He had not yet noticed the spitfire, which lay folded up on its framework in another corner, and its captors decided to say nothing about it, choosing that ho should make the discovery in his own way. The new-comer now seated hiamself beside his friends and gave an account of his stirring experience with the Thugs. The story was interesting indeed, but no more so thian the one he received in return from Mr. Godkin and Tom Brandford. Atioor ant Zip listented closely to the conversation, taking little part in it except td answer the questions occasionally put to tlem.n. 'Zip especially showed his gratification at the decisive nmanuer in which tile tables were turned on the execrated Thugs, all of whom ho-ewould bo glad to see put to tihe most frightful of deaths. . As I oat by the fire, listening to their hor rible 'singing,' said t Ned HIilley, speaking ,more seriously, ' I concluded that matters .looked about us blue as they could for a eer tain .young., gentleman 'front England. I peeped though-cty fingers now mnd tlien, so as to keep watch of their carryings on, 'and I w"as on the very point 'of mnking a' break, when I was itartled almost out of iy wits by htinrF .yaou .call to nme. Theu' rest you ).vow.; ,,, ";:::; . , ' You iacquitted yourself spleiedidly,' said Tom Bradford;. no one could have excelled y o u . ' , ' . : . ' " . I don't know' about that, though almost ,any ono might have done an wel, but' Pro. videnc ewan ounmy'side, and my only regret is, tlit we weren't able to'clean out the Thuigos ts cffectually ai you cleaned out theo four that attacked you further up stream. This seems tolo the regular* tramping ground for those mnurderere s.'m, ' They arc all qver Indin,' remarked Atloor, i but' sometimes are more frequently cnet in one part than aih another; but you must keep your.eyes open for. themlsnll the time.' SI don't think we slhall lhave 'any 3 ore trouble from that gang, said Hadley, looking up streanm ut tim camp lire which was fast fading from sltght. ' ' S'No, thel will troibloe us no hmore,' said Atloor, so decisively tlmt Mri. Godkil i askad hint the reason for his assurtnce. ' Wel lred so manny shots that tiei lbKlie'o we hamvo a good mnly more on biird thau we lhave; they knuow we shdll be oil the Iokotit, and brave us 'they saometiml?eu are, they doii't want to take any such risks.'. ' That is welcome informantion,' observed Ned fHadley ;' though ifI d ai it gial'upply of fircarms, I would love to ltase juist. one tiorer brust with theii.' ' After you refit,' laughed Mr. GCdlkin, volt can' conic e'lck 'iand hlite it ult wiitl thliem .' ... ... . . ' By George if I can get tlire 'or four fel lows to comei with nue I'll do it.' STake cmy advice and hunt in sonnit nore favouralle part of India.' 'l BuIt t sents to me you have spet a colt siderble portion of your time iin this ocution of the country.' ' Not precisely liere, but further tinland. 'VYi have no purpose of oimling buck.' ' Thenu' you're on your wy tionied ' 'No.' repleled To'n; ' we have spent a coni siderubl'e part bf our tiume to' the. south of Lucknow; we gathered ome. valuable curio sities there. andtl w muist get a tfew imore. "VWhien'we have eli nough. we vnill ship 'them down the Ganges to Calcutta, and thence himom by nay of Englandt . " '.Ani you will go with your irojcrty. ' . 'I'm not sitno 'uireof tat ;t it tlldiluends upon' Mr. Baniiim; I ' is deterMine u to collect a moro valhuble lot of curiosities than lie over hadi before, and possibly hlie nuty 'egrap' ie to go to go to some other country for ' And you will go' SI shall be glad to go Iwhitittrso tecr to wishes cme. HIo pays liberal, all nd,', add?d iy plucky youtng friend; writ it feeling whlicl did him arelit, Ithere is nilotiitg lie cani ask mite todolwhlich I will ot try to do for him.' 'Spoken, like at man !' exclaimed,, Ned H-adley, Iaying his hand on his shouitlder. 'Reatlly good friends are too ' iano it this world for us to' thirode- iny of theme over= boanl.' While our friends' iere h?ldiisg this conversation it- began' growing light lit the cast. , )Day was itt hand. I(r; icr coixr'extu. .) -