|Newspaper Title||Kyabram Union (Vic. : 1886 - 1894)|
|Trove Title||My Plucky Boy Tom; or, Searching for Curiosities in India for My Show|
Thu"5 YO}UNGI FOLKUS. S" MY PLUCKY BOY TOM; OR, SBEA.CHING FOR CUTRIOSITIES I~N .INDIA FOR MY SHOW. B. P.T.BAmtr, . SCnorcn LVI.-(Corrraltn.) Mr. Godkin' and Tom' shudderid as they listened to this thrilling recital,-h ia Idoked pityingly and admiringly'at the bmrdZip,. who was still 'sented on the gunwalo gazing after the small boat which was now fully a fou?rth'of ai'mile dowaisntream.! J' ' - Thoere was ibend in the 'cdirrenti, Whlch"a few minutes later shut' the 'Thg out of 'sight, though:all.believed; as Athor had de lared,.thAt they had not seen:the ldstof their enemies.,' '> ,i?, ! .Vho sun was jlst setting wheoirthela boat: slowly drifted around thoe.sac 'ni n which hid tho lesser bothfromlright"',' O 'A Inasmuch.as a.longsetrdi?ht streteli?',f ?water followed, they expeeted'to'etegaiS ?iglit of their enemies, ht did riot. "r , I ": . The most searchiug acrutiny bf rthdgl?nni: ing. surface failed to sliow thbm ailytling re sezablinga-boat .:a-heat. ' 't "",: n "' ·.,! i ; ' : -' ':.What :hna .becomoof themni iskld'Tdini looking, inquiringli~'at Atlioor, 'wlio had risen to hisa feet and Wo'as silmnling the'?tre.m as faras his eye could roach. "'.*': ':: . The qizestion wliceh iallooaked th'eniiselv's and each. other; Svas'wiether theThugs.hod put,-intdo shore ind we·r conrcealed l or whether they had: sailed' fast enouglh"dowun stream to piuabeyond sight." ~ ' .. Athoor wao icluited..to' beliceve the were in liding'sotiowhero' in the syood tliat 1lii??d both banks of the current;'; " "": 'It mattered little,'ihowefr, sinche te lrro bunt could not escape them, if they shbuld decide to' inkao it i'iioit; as huiddubtedUy was theirh tention.s," ', ; ' - Athoor: said further, that if no"checkl:iid their voyage occuired,' they Would reachl the railway befolo the following noonthe cirroit' flowing foat enou i" to float'them that di-a taonco within the tine ntaied, : i ilcotead of ,running into the. shore, there fore, and lying to during the night, or hold ing the fiat boat motionless in the umidd~l bf the stream(na could have been readily doie by aid of the long' poles) it' was decided to continua drifting.' .,? ' .i Tie moon wan not very bright,' but it wvas strong enough to give all the light neededi, andt'certainlyrno situationl could" i' more favourable to -our fricends , whenever tlhe 'Thugs chose to movo against thesm.' ' A more subtle foe than any serpent or'wild beast was niow to beoguardrd againtist;, and it was decided that none of the party slhould go to sleep. " ' SThis was a wisec'resilva,"sine if the snfety of the restwas entriistedl' to'a'single pcrin,' hle was liablet to drop off toi slutimber, because there was no tuneian of kcpiiig awake: by exercise, as was the b?ao on shore. Tiien, too, it was important'that'dvery avenuoof approoach lshould be guirdca, dund that could not be done effoectively excepthby having all on duty. ,, ': " ' SAs thle lshadows of night, therefore, clobed around the little company, they made the best dispositions -they' could 'against the peril that all believed Implended.:. Fortlmately the captives gavr ii'i' troublo. The mouphlilon, like thie spitfire, seenied apabloof sleeping indefinitely, and the two only opened their eyes in' a lazy way at short lutervoLb. . , . 'The lion .wa in a 'similar drowsvy tiite; and, stretching out in his eornerof the flat boat, lay like ans enormous mastiff taking his snooze on the hearth of his master. - Tom, however, could not look at himn with out misgiving, for it' struck him as imos-. sible that his extraordinary docility should eontinue much longer. 'IThere was nothing at command in tile way of food, but no person felt any inconvcnien;o !beoausO of the dleprivation. ' :. Hour after hour the big flat-boat floatedl quietly with the tide, a faint breeze now aid then rustling the awning'and sendig a sceries of. tiny ripples lkurrying after'the puff of wind., as it' glided over tie 'vter atnd wab lost in tie wood on either shore. ,• The hours passed slowly until the night was half gone. All this time the four hunters wero as wide-awakk o as whCen tnmlping through tlhe jungle at mid-day. Thev 'assumned the easiest postures they could, taling care not to exIsos tletn.hslves imnrdently, and frequently shifting naout, with a view of keeping wide-awake and of avoiding any discomfort from their cramled lquarter.. ' . . ., Nothinghad heen secn or heard of, the Thugs, and,despitewhatAthooreaid,bothlMr. Godkin and Tom .half believed ithlat tihe rattling reply to their, volley'liad couvinded them that it would hardly pay to repeant: the attempt. . ', Depend upon it,' said the saglcious nativeo, 'we are not .through with 'then yet.' : :, Ande he was right , Our friends ltd so disposed of thiemseive that the river was visaible on eyory side, while the deep wood?s., along shore were itn phint sight. :Thuns it would seemn thlat no man or aninal could approach the l::at-boat without. de tection. Up to this tnime nothing had been seen of the small sail-boat, and niothing, took I place to cause misgiving :lntil a plash was lheard first on one side shore and then on the other. This miglht lavo beIe, eaised by?.saoe wild anhial, or aii flsl leaping out of the,water, but the hunters were in that, state that, tlhey were us picius of everything. Instont!yhthey were on the alert,.? ' But anotlier half hour pascd, duringwhuli the craft drifted' downward,.aidca not the slightest aight r, sodund' ilih-~l. its.'ocu po'nte. .,Three sepirto timnes,Mr. G, din, 'ho was watehing the streim in front,' fancied he dletected', asligit' object that looked like d knot of wood floating on the watore, .lBut on eneahl occsoil i'jiat as ho ".0.'is'tbout. to direibt the attention, of .Athoor.,to the sight, it dirappeared,' aiidl he decided 'ih wasa mis token. Tlio same eI'pedrip o bLefell Tom .lradford whlaoWis s.rutiixzing the b'current in thll 'directoii'of the right btshk." i S:;"overal tilitesivwhen' the wordo 'ere oui his t'ogie,' be cheked theni througli fear of 'ihol'nset down is aii alarnmiut. , ":o'Atlsc, ;'wlio 'ias 'gholosing up' inh streani, .and Zip, who wi?s grdiiiing tl h left bank, o tiSorved niothing of the kind i " Thit which Thi'd nd Mrt. God'ki~snw were thb helad' of Thlugs vlb' iwere swinuiilidi to "ivaid tlid 'tlit'ha-boat tlcy:binig"idll aware thidt that wao .the 'onl pvossible illlein of, 'iat lin it. ' I Floatng' as rnbau is 'hthcy' daril, ,~tiohs desperadoeswho pomscsi~d a wondmieuulskill in'sweumi~ ng, dro4l ,d undor'tlhloUrface aind .~T-apidl? apro aehcc?I the hoiit?j ,'.... i' " "itch forced to cora's up fki:" relath'of air, they were expert enit'.gui to rbvent.cnky. thing but thel points of tleir noseaulioarinsn ird their size was too slight 'to'attract the 'iiotihe'oftl:h'watchful men on"tlie flat-boat. ''It wVas i' strikiig"1iroof of., tke jierfet snderstanding between the Thug? t,tat 'll Sfi"o 'eodeat prtnsisyly tile 'tanme moeii~nt, ceh '"i a dlffdiejit side of' the boat, ahd so eloi 'thatnot onti of the dbfenidii siaw themo.; A slitlgt his ifrond the lender agve the 'sinial, and t? simultano.ussly a ift tioy,wero nutomata,,eoiitnolld by th.e im c hinliinery, 'a hideduhi heid rose orerthe , prow a, second 'ove- tlh?dtuat hr oethir br theo right guunwill,' u6ndo af~iuotleov'r the left.? '' - II'• Ens iuTlingnlaid a loung, iharp kuifo;ho-, tween his teeth, and vaulted intoutheolboat is lightlynas a smonkey. . ,"'if [ua It so happened. that the leader, usttnu. pieiou.of the presenee of the rouchinug lion', ianndu dircetlyon his two foroe paws. n1h sight.of the terrible beast startledleven "sc'h a dare: devil a- the llThugiinto 'an' ext clnmation of terrorae he attemptled to leap Iaway, u : • " ,. Hi., i'But'lh was hot ?ptiek enughgl for'thoe Ilri,o which was infuriated with the libertifo"tihe wretch ventured to take with him.i ". r'."Witieono smtago 'growl hi asehied hins ni.i' rcant by the throat,iinto Wivichhd' ltiried his toath ~idith auoh fofd'tlnt: the?y moet all 'the Wa'e'thrmesh, aumd the' aisyfol 'riinilulhing that followed this't sptebedio* 'driqi o f i' the :Thugl showed that ho 'voselIad}le as deiadoias d id could" b. , , . " " I
OAPnren LVII.-Tis MiscurE TO IPAT. The stealthy attaick of 'the 'Thugs would haveo been fatal to our friends had they not been on the watch and alert. The warning hiss of the leader was' heard by every one of them, who, without compre bending what it meant, knew that something was amiss, and crouched in readiness for ?hatever might come. Instinctively, Tom Bradford and Mr. Godkin'drew their revolvers and held them at full cock at the moment the frightful head rose in front of each face. ,' I don't think we have room for any more pansengers,' muttered Tom, sending a couple of bullets through the bronzed skull, beforde thoownier of the same could tell where to' strike. SThed'Thug fell over nlinost"npon thei head and'shoulderi of theb boy, but withoiit the power to do the least harm, ieeingwhilih, the laduglnasced 'tbout to ansertain whether he 'could give anyhelp to his'friends" t ,So' ar as ho 'seajwroei" in'on a m need of The lion was making'ghis sapper upon the lender of the Thugs, while'Mr.' Godlni per= forihted 'hig' ris-n.ri aliiiost at the ?same moment that Tom made a" 'iisvb oflhin 'ets 'uIn''nthe "'case' of:Mr. Godkin, his ildtlm; instead'of pitching 'for?iail on "hisa face; lurched sodviolently btckwiird that' hied went 'over the ?gnwalq into 'tho *aterwhere he, .ank'outofsilglht.' floi ' Tom, what are you keeping. that- fellow forl'~s'lited:Mfr. " Godk i;' hnuriiyn- to the, 'aide of tli 'lad, and . sesizn?I ' he niiautou body, which he'lost no tiim in: tmnbling into the watetir. `" 'Athoor was the onl7 member 6f thd'party ,who did not have a direct meeting with one of theTliugs+ "' "" "" ' , .'That was bieause the-lion atteidod to his In'The'temory of his foiiner elperience with Thulgs' must have fired the aim of' Zip. lio allowed the assassid·"who einlted'into the boat to land at his feet, 'whenZip went; for hint. Before thointrunder could use his knife, the native, by: a quick flirt of'his own weapon, nlashed across his face mnid'thitat just as the other desperado had attdinpted to do with Zip verirs before in one of ' the dark streets of htderabad:. -. ' The woud\wap almhnost the'same, except' that in the present ease it wis fatil; andtthe blow the Thug "aimed at his'master miissed hiinnltogcther.';Before his'ould repcat'it he was slain and finng overboard.' At this juncture the mnoiphilon awoke to the fact that something Unusual hwas going on, and he threwshid flaring headlight on the' I 'It 'was not heeded, howaevr;, the moon affording all the illuiminatioln ncdessary while therwork was lnilshls :' The repulse of the four Thuigs could not' have been' more' complete."': Every orie hrid met a fearful death, and" that, tildo, without any of the defenders, receiving a' snitch. WVhat more could have been asked? . t :It was not like the repulse of 'n ordinhry foe, for,-as I have ehowtnyon, the Thugs; of India are amongst tioe very? worst miscreauts that eover cursed a portion of this fair auith. The lion having. hlsn his adversary, or rather victim, with: the slightest possible 'effort, "proceeded to conmlete his liorible meal, no one venturing t' interfere with hintm. It was a terrible episode, indeed. L?ong after it ws' ended and tillness: was brooding- again' over! forest ` and' river, our friends oat near each other diiscuss in in awed undertones the 'most fearful fight of' their lives. "'Ii w?aider whether there are any miore of them,' said Tom,'nddressing Athoor. ',There is a multitude in India.' 'BuhtI mean in thin section: 'are we likely to be molested further by them' ' ly` o ' Hnlly: but', unfortimately many ofi them make this part of India their traniping ground.' It may be that we shall ran againnt some of them beforoewe irehcli Mandis. ' Suppose,' oaid Mr. Goakin :.that the association of Thugs should"by soname means learn that we Iad slain fuoir of their number, what thon P ', They' would do their utmost to avenge them, though the Thug kills from what heo believes to be his dty.' ; ' ' Like to kill all of themn !' exclaimed Zip, hissing the words between his teeth with an expression ofeshocking feroity.., I don't wonder at your feuling as you do,' remarked Mr. Godlin, with a sympn thetio .glanceat'the native. At this moment theflat-boat began sweep. ing aroumd a larger bend- ins the river thanu any that had yet .been, passed. There was no disposition to sleep onthe part;of any of thoe. company who had seated themselves as before, Mr. Godkin having again lighted his pipe, and the putffs which he sent over his sshoulder suggested .the thought that the craft was propelled by stesm. - !,If I.am not mistaken,' remarked Athoor, rising to. his feet. and looking ahlead,' thero's a?fine burning. on the eastern -bank. of. the stream.' ' Yon are not mistaken,' added Tomn, who haid takeni his place beside hiu;,m there is a fire tihere.' fYr l'dti are both right,' assentedlMr. Godkin, who, like Zip, was engaged ,in scrutinisisig the same point. S'lWhalt doei it meani: asked Tom. SI san aanswer the question no better than osirsel?cs muntil woe .giu a closer view of it, stil tlhci youi will probably learnm as nimuh ao IL It did not seem likely thisut anythii'g would 'ecuirto alarmi the party, but little did they iunag6sibe what wia sbefire them. r lSlowly ?as before the fiatbeoat floated with the "curreint,aind iere long; in plain im 'f its they' could wish was gained, of stlo. fire in awleh they w ere eo much interested." . It lad beeKi kindledl' close to the water int an' open space, anid the efist foot, that struc!k the' ob?Is'ir?er ?so d that c therbe wro fully a icore of natives io bore' a startlingriesma blathin to the Thugs that hiid bLein so ana "tnrer'disa se-e'do , ' 'But Ath pr could not believe they belonged to tlhst'orgainialitioii, 'sice they wsere aicus 'tonied to such perfosriances as that awhich reeted thei e-es of the hunter?.' ' 11 6'paty haind g'rii+pe?d hnills?os'as t' fonr a ring, and wero sil?img iud dancing aroind sodm object, whtelh was not thofireibutsome thing close to it; '"' " The sonnds thiatticamnoe dross the water ewero a .strnangeo hiarsalei roonin nidnoitone, whose effect wassinade more aweird sind imi-: pressive by th0 peculinr tisme, place, said ciuronaltance.. 'Thyv would dance two or "tlirce" ?ii le.? t the right, and then; rovering, skw? in tho, other direction,a-ith the sanio' fauatihsl vigouo, tleir . disonant, chanting 'soiithsiuhg .without iuterruption. ? :- , ' ,,! ' M i ,3xy gnr cio? ? xulallied'2r" aodkln,- in grenat exlteinient, 'do ayu seewhat that, in thl'ai'o'dumcineig, siuund ;'q " ,...; ' It 1huksi llke a son sitting on tiheground,' roplied Tom.; 'yec, it ina wlitn.san." 'WVllsit does it macan, Atiso?'' - i! Tihy asr Thugs, id.nd o maistako; they Ulin? apt~irild secoo. wisnderingl hunter;,,and tle ynlsen o?.oteruhimn up as a? suoricfic. tu , Vho's Kuleo P wis the uaturalqunestion . lo To.?oi t ou f hivs,.ts thl eirdinomber of thi Iiiolie' lTriniurti,,s the female utoloch to whome the beiiighted rnotiern f, Iridia havis 'lo'ngairrificd tli.erchildron's lives, and lii sislel iutlchk;.Bh" Slipi'tlisi most .opulh'r deity ist fdi;'al;suind it is ;her that, the, Thug hntalitatelthccir}vietssu;." " r 'ut Lar the?u?;re tool to such,. core monies ', ,, , . " u' l t?n, e the opportiusthy racely otfere; but aparty of. them, havIng ,eaught,lthat ,liuntiiP? i 'a unlgi~houirliebdd',hYicre theo feel prlfd orth tintitrhpte )h tlind ia .sdi to have "ra 'jollllis ''i' Is oitsi sr h Ird ,nstcap I h ave ho r~h.AimriAean Iu . t ntdiarh.an In yipour couth y .... h ir ".What'd they niocean soe.t ' ?,. , +,,', i t!lhey willkeels rup, the ,dinidng.'nod s;tigig.'ufntil"r'ird, anud: thcin,?flngh tho" 'iiiisonci into thire ,tt ind-wratelt hisi ro?st, to 'esini'arkele"Tiii,' 'who,' like hio ,, frlnmd, sr. Goeskimn wss psintfdly Isitorneted in tile sight. :' 1No?; why shiotilu tlicy- bind Isis,'swhiq e.ellere ?so s.pgoshsibtJ; of biscuusepolnl.-'" '' SI'ehiinflmuovr'sounennt to fluuna byand leavs nIsli to' hsisfato,' usaid'l.stu Go'disre oiinpressing his lips, whsilo his eyes fisillihTd'ttlr.
Zip andI will do what.we cna,to help you, quietlyraimarked' Athoor,; if yq can show is any way.' 7 . 'Let'a 'ork* tho boat rlocr in.shoe ; I have a plai.' . t It wasa dangerous proceeding, but every one of the four was enger to do what heo could to help the hapless captive, who plainly had resigned himself to his awful fate. The fiat-boat was still a short distance above the group.of Thugs, who the' moment they became aware of its approach, ceased their fantastic dancing and singing and stared iuquiringly atit. SHclloa I' called Mr. Godkin, fehling it safe toi use his own tongue, since it was not likely the Thugs could understand what he said. ' The White man, who was barelheaded and without a coat, was on the ground with his hbnds clasping his knees, and he looked out on the'darkcned riverat the craft which i was now no more than two hundred feet distant. lie made no reply, probably through fear, but his attentive manner showed that he understood what was sadd, and was sure to comprehend all that was uttered.. Such iwije Mr. Godkih's'vicw, and without; w·aiting for a'rply; he addede: ' ou are not boimid; mank a dash. for the river; e ive deeply and swim ut toward, us nas fir as you can;.we'll gi: them a ,volley when you start, and there is no reason w hy yoi shonldn't. succeed ; lesiitways, thereo is no use of diiig i ithdint' - ' Th'e setrangr.showedhis appreciation of .Mr Gd Odlciu advice by acting on ,it without .i.ait.ug for him to complete his sontnce. - :' ..Suddenly he spade. a terrifio bound fron the ground., knoking, over two Thugs in his path, and, ue i a shout.of, deflnice, leaped far' out into the water, beneath whih he dived: ": :t 'Atthesamo moment our firiends opened on' the wretches .with rifle and- revol?er, aind in a twinkling the mischile'wastop'pay. (ros nocorsrzamn .)