Chapter 65802596

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Chapter NumberLIX. (CONTINUED).
Chapter Title
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Full Date1889-02-15
Page Number0
Word Count2910
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 YOUNG FOLKS. MY PLUCKY BOY TOM; OR, SEARCHING FOR CURIOSITIES IN INDIA FOR MY SHOW. BTP. T. elanurn. CulcrrsEn LIX (CorNx1UeD)... There was no inclination to sleep on the part of anyone, and Ned Hadley seemed to feel no inconvenience from his saturated garnnents, which were already beginning to dry in the mild atmosphere. Interested 'as all were in each other's words, they did not forget to keep watch of the shores between which they were floating. When the flnt-boat was secn to be drifting. closer to one than the other, Athoor or Zip pushed it back in the middle of the current by means of one of the long poles with .which it.was easy to reach bottom. NotlTing more was seen of the Thugs, and with the coming of day, all magreed that it wai. safe. to dismiss them from., their thoughts.. .. ,: : i 'Atloor gave the pleasing news .that the railway toward which. they were making their way was only a'few 'hours distant, and therewnas reason'to hope' that their voyage would end considerably sooner than was first coauted npon. , °',.:, f r .: SI lrave learned that it isn'ta,' wiso. thing for di man to make too .many experiments in, this country,' re:narked Ned Hadley, as !tho, day brightened and. the boat, continued to drift. ' ' f ' To what have you reference "now f l' in qlired Mr. Godkin. - 'When. in ;DelhtL.I, drank csome bhkro, morelasi ancexperiment ;- yoht know ibis an intoxicating drink, prepared fromt hemp;.' His listeners nodded their heads to sig.~ify that they uiiderstood l allabout the villainious compound.:, .. _.a.-- ": t '1 took ionly one rood big driunk,' con tinuned Hadley, ' and it gave ;me + nervous spasm' tllqt. was next door "to delirimu trenens-and, ,by., Georgo' · 1' rc got 'e"it sgsi a :.Jst theon the Englishman was looking at the spitfire asleep in one corner of the boat. Ioe inagined it to boanothing nmore thani a bundle of brilliantly-coloured grnss, when the odd creature took it into its head to Ti round, :'bright yes 'shone; freom the middle like two points ot fire, the numerous spines becameo rigid,. causing it quickly Ito rise almost it foot fromits bed, and its enor mous moith opened, with its hifuriited ind electric tonglue shooting. forth 'in a most alarming fashlion. Ned Hindley's eyes wore fixed upon it; when. le sprnug to his feet, calling out in great agitation: , . l -es, 1're got 'ens agaie Ie take care of me, or I'll jcunp overboard' ' All broke into merryl hughter,' and hie stared t themn' in a bowildered way, n!aking faintly:.. .. :"t I ' Do you see anything over there in the corner' ' Yes,' replied Tom' Bmradfond, ' that's another of our curiositiese a spitfire, that looks- exactly to' us us it does to you, with its bright eyes,' big mouth; and priekly spines. : WVell, then, I haven't got 'em, after all,' remalrked theO Englislinan,c "with'a sigh of relief; ' but thb first eight of such It creature as that would' be eaougli to startle ii man like John B. Goiglh iunto iit belief that lie had the jim-jpnas; but tell me about'the plaguoy thing.',-.,.": " Tomn took it uipon himself to make clear the failts, so far as le cohld'giveo them, con cerlin thlio extraordinary creature: Wit the coming of ,day,: it was decided that it -would be iadvisible to'procure food. They might lave coaxed some fish front the streanm, bht the inclination was for a Fieial of fruit. ' On the shore yonder dwells- a man who will give us all we can ask or desire,' said Athoor,' pointing to a mnllll, wretched hut standinlg near the edge of the water. 'It docin't look very inviting,' remarked lIr.' Godkin, as be h helped to push the boat towanrd the point indicated,' aind I see no signs of cultivated ground near his dwelling.' ScI doesn't need it,' was the signiticant remark of Athoor. S' Where, then, does lie obtain hlis upplieke'' I wish I could tell yoe, but no ono beside himself . 'uVlo is'le, anyway.?' He iso k liowni Iji, the Miegician of Nizam.' : . ' Never leard of him, but no doubt he is a very interesting character1 and it willpany im to make his eacquaintamno. SShortl~a.fter, the flat-boat touched the westorn bank. : There was aomapprehenslion concerning their curiosities, but the lion andi cemouphilon were 'secred its before, while the spittfir remnined 'ines?e in his framework. Tho'e smaller.ereatures were slure to stay where they 'were, while the lion."would do as lie chose at any time, and under any, circum stances. Athoor took thi lead, whileo Zip decided it best to stay with thee boat, to gpaardl ns' besat lie could against accident. " The hut which the little party approached was ea small, miserable atffair, .eompose mostly of gras?, dirt, and stones, c dd withl only aisingle opening, in the shape of a low,' broad, door ice frontC. This' consisted of planking; on whilch Athoor sharply rapped. ' Ho was obliged-to repeat the msunnmons three times before 'anything liko a response, came. .. . .,h a .slow eshuffling of feet :folloibld; and' finally the door was slowly opened. ' " Thoe. threeo whito : members of the party could not repress a.start of nmazoment when, their eyes rested on the flgeure before them.; -' -Thd igiurb was tlhat of .a 'idwarf o cmore than fomr feet high, .with the frame of ai ghant 'fin- -other ,respects; ·i Tlioe vast, voluminous beard which coveredl his' face to his smnall leridlike eyes, reaeched to! his feet,! ,his liands extending; almost to his' ankles. His head, whichl was without any covering, was as bald as a billiard ball, andhlais beard as ,vhito'as's now, the wrinkles on. theo' forehead' anid the white, frowzy.cyobro?s attesting his grent lego. His dress conssted of ii red; loose-flowihg tunic of linen; falling tol.his feet, and covered with 'representations in gold of ?thio" 'asun moon eand' hieavenly bodies. In his"' 'right' hand he held a long rod, crooked at the top 'like a shepherd's wtaff ,,nnd nmado?of .sonc kind of wood, polilhed so highdy tleat ithhono like bunlisheld silver: :His smnll'.feat were r'eted iit 'siidasln",lnd. his 'nformn wnas' muech, .. ..ii' -- - LX ..Ti ". no sit: Nn: ;S?ith is a brif descorpiioi; o.'oio ft, tlo most rumarkablo elhanitere in aed India, Iji, the atgcianl' of the Nizaine,.t ; : Thbi - itoi wonderfeil 's Iar-lsUe occult powe-m, in sstleonthottho'facnltyno f eprc'leh, or what nmanny snspectto be the Uca'elo lu reo foesedforycies' to'allow anyeon 'to hieryhis All his 'other tcialties are ,etonishoeingly keen1 and lo seems to bo eblo to undoretand verythiing said to himt, nio matter what tile ln'thiuiego in' whldh' the words are spokene.' '"The'ld~eind ins thlit le hes delt on tlie bonkis of the strcae flowilg bito the Krishnalu River-forming the boeundary butwevel the Deccan and the LMadras Presidency-f or more than a hunidred yeare, wlhere tile power whlich he occlsionally puts forthl urpassesu belief. The momelent le presentcd himaself cnd loiked ienquiringly at his callert, the latter mnad a low saluam anild Athour utteidi ani Ox presionl in liindustalni intended to express thle reverencce which all felt for him. , TI?hen, as'if to disphy the ilagiitlaln's knotwlilge of languiges, thi native said in his excellent Elnishl : Wye amr in needl of yoer kind oftfces ; does the dlghety Iji feel disposedl to view oitr vidit with favour.?' The i nswer to this qcery: was unmeistakablo. Iji otepped back iand drmew lhis door wide opcee. No pldlner icevitetion to enter coild' be elikedl, e rd '1oe, ee. Godlkin, 'uead Ned HaIltdely followedt Athloor into thle small hut. The room wherlrre they found thlemselvee, and which occepill the whlolo interior of the lhut, wia no moro thaln c dozen feet e'luare. 'At ano sido was a'bench,'on wldoli thofour rsated thecmselves. In the moiddlelf theapart.' ncutsta a cirulor table with four i tor e bjn

it, just the inumber, be it observed, needed by our friends should they be inclined to scat themselves by it. The table was bare, and there was not another article of furniture visible. Standing near the table, Iji looked inquir ingly at Athoor as if to invitehim to make his wishes known. 'WVo iare hungry and would cat,' remarked the native. The magician, with a graceful wave of his hand, invited them to be seated. They obeyed, Tom Bradford finding it hard to repress a smile at the absurdity of the whole thing, though he was s omewhat awed by the solemn mica of the giant dwarf. All being seated, Iji signifiedbyhismanner thathlie awaited their further wishes. S'.1 would like some chapattis'` (thin, inleavened cakes of coareoc.flour), paid Athoor. Behold. .. : Iji' reahed.: lis;lahandna.dor his ,;inio,, qutickly bridgiig it out agaun, and depositing, a?atliin edrthn.p pteiant front of tho native,, on which' rested .three of thearticles asked '.Thaalc' said.Atheolr, ,bowinghins bead 'they aro excelleot, but I wounld fain.have some water.?',..., ..,! i?.H , . . An earthen vessel, conta!i gi itho dool, deliciois liquid,,clesr .as crystal, was prow driced in the same manner and set beside the plaits. t " " ~ Iji looke4 at Athoor as,if to invito him:to ask for more favours, but the native, with the sanmo'rcspetful bovw, replid.! {- {"? S' I have, abundance';, iy frionds will now make kibown their wishe. I I suppose welhad better',take the samoe, remarked ifr. Godkint, inquiringly, .to 'Not unlgss you prefer it,'. was the reply; "ask'htii for anything youtinW-r'.,. ,,i ri As iiightliE supposed, Tom Jradford was the first to' meko knolwn' is audacious .j'bII aom longing for four, ticik;slices efabrcad 'r Dbubtter, two bi , peahes, and, a. glasi of ,iiilki: I guess I've gothi4 lm, nw,'. thie; lad iddedl it an undertone to Mr. Godkin 'and Ned Hndiley. Wonderful to relate, Iji;ran his 1aud under his tuni i and ioidiced one after the other the very articles' named I' r "Tom was astinuddd, as indeed 'were the others 'with the exception of Athoor.' " ' That beats Hermann or Holler, oer any of our mnagicians,' exclaimed the: lad,'signu fyini to the waiting magician that he wished nothing moroe : . ' ' " ShAsk for anythinugyou choose,' saidAthoor to-NedlIIadleyand Carl Godkin; "'esit ril it ' it: " , ' 'I will be thankful fdr some sweet,'juiey cantelope,' said • Per. Godkin, 'a plato of wheat cakes and a cup of coffee.' :: 'That' hits': me;', added' Hadley, in' the 'same breath ;' '. nothing would suit me better than the same lay. out. M'"arvellous as it mayseem, the very dishes asked for wero instantly ldrawn from the folds of the same mysterious tunic and placed before the gentlemneu ' ';i. For a moment :the apetites were weak ened because of the waoder with which' the whites were impressed; but the artioles were so tempting that all quickly fell to aind inmide one of the 'most enjoyable hazres '(break fasts) it had been .their privilego to cat sine? visiting India. While they wverothus engaged, expressing nlow and then in undertones their amazement, Iji stood respectfully a coupleu of paces away, with his gaze fixed upon hmiaguests, ready to supply any want they might make knoiwn. ' li wonder whether we can't engage board hero,' said ,Tom .Bradford, slyly, to W.t. Godkin: ' it beats the, Astor House, Delnio nice, or any of the London hotels.. ' Athoor "gaven Tom 'such a reproving look (and I must say his remark was not in good tasto) that he ceased his levity. .'.Shall. we offer him, pay ?' asked Mr. Godkin, as.they drew; near the' conclusion of their meal.: Athoor shook hls head. ' Of what use is gold' to him i? n Voe have only, to thank ,him when we, are ready to leave, not forgetting to,.take something for Zip.' , I ldst my hat and .gun-though that was broken-duringr':mv little flurry ..with :the Thugs,' sdld Ned Iladley.. 'how if Iji had the power to rec?laco them- ' At that.linoameut the mnagician touched the shoulder of the Enaglislumn, and, as he looked up, he pointed, to the corner of the room. ',By the great 'Julius Cesar I' gasped the hunter springing from' his stool and hurry leg to the. corner, whlro he saw his riflo leancing with his sportinan's hat perched over the muzzle. Removing the hat, lieho carefullyexamind the interior. .... ' It is tot ia nwo0ne.' said the awe-stricken man,. as if speakinig 'to himnsclf, but the idenetical oie tit l lost ! There aremy initials, . E. II.," whore I scratched them with the point of a, piln oi, the hat-,baud : and this,' hIe added, turning the rifleo, over in his hanid and holding it close to his fce, ' is ait. owre guw, fwith the lock repaired and ready for service. After this, gentlemen, I am pre paired to believo anything yoit choose to tell me 'about the magicilan of 'India, or rather th.I3fagiciau of the Nizam'. The brave IHadley was so overcome that his friends.noticed his, palcnes~ ; indeed, lie was near fainting before he could master his emotions... : :, .; , WVho: would .not lbe. startled in the pro-. sence of such t mysterious; iinoxplainabl., power . . . , . , , All tie tinme the solemn, dignified Iji stood with folded arms, seeminglyi unconscious of the sensation he had erneted. ::.' . !F' I have no wish to test hint further,', said 'Hadley, ina n subdued 'voice; ' ho has' done that whidch can iscvervbo understood'. in this; lifeo., If Madame Bl?ivatsky coudd'do'it tenth part is 'muchl with lher astial:forms, !that: comritission from Englind ndoverivould'havo voted hlertobetlthe fratid lio is.t , " ' '' There aroe moro.wonders in 'heaen and. earth thau are'dreamt 'of in our philosophy.' -This -remark; which'"wase irade by lTom Bnradford, with well enough' in its way; but,' 'iemfortunately; theolad thourght beist to quailify it by adding: :.,;. ... - S' I never believed in thespeernatural busi-, ,nes atihome,aeand I' don't believe there is anything that htkes placo ot this earth which aunnot be explained;bylnaturl hlaws.', 'Dou you thik there isa satisfatoryex planatieoi of whlet we hanvo wihessed heircm iasked Ned Haidly, lodoking fixedly Ut him. .'Idou'. 'a:frnctidnl'd part,of wieat I sco, ;but it is spveml pligting refermmesJ to the wsnderful p?'fonnancdj of Ij - " I 8aoro of them, it is trie, wmer utoed iun guarded tones. and weroe not meanetfor the ears of the Magilcian of the Neizaun; but all the uaun0, he heard everytheing sid.e . Natullmly hle inust have been offncuded at tl?h forward youngster, and probably intended 'to teachl him a le.Isson, Just as Tom rose feoni his stoolat tie thable and turned to tlhank their hlost, the hlatter stepped forwar eud hlolding hits face, with 'its enowy-eiC ~ close to the lad's eolnten ancec, brelthed one respimtioe uepon him. A mervellous result followed, one tlhat held Ned }IIadley and CUrl Godhli tnusfixel. and specohless with horror. Ten millioe poilnt, of flame seemed to issue at once from the boy, as tholugh aet irro strainable furilace wau burni ingsinde eand for cing its way thlrough every pore of his body aed every- tiny lmesh of his clotlhing. Inudect lie wie aii mass of fire from the crownl of his head to the soles of tlhisl feet. .Tom, like his friends, stood parelysed for 'a moment. Tlhen, looking down, he saw the blazing eedles ashluotinig from every part of For a scenod or tvo leore hle was over comeo, and all at ontce realised his .awful peril. "ith a yell, like tlhat of one of the Wild Men! whea struek by a fahtl bullet, he mede a dash throughl thle opne door, on a dead rue for the water. .. : Tle loerilled HIfdiy aind Mrn. Godltin re coveod' theoumselves .cnoueghto plmgo after linm, wheld Athoor,ppaeu ig only to thank the emgicig-a?around whose eyes he yan ureo he

detetcd a mintchievous twinlc--hurried in thecir footsteps. Athour was agitated, but heo was quite confident that there was no cause for serious alarm, since he penetratdl the purpose of the magician in punishing Tom. Meanwhile the latter was mnnakin railroad time to thie croek, all the while yelling at the top of his voice. The startled Zip sprang up, and, staring wonderingly at himl, asked: 'What mnatter:' ' Get out the way i I'm on fire ! Don't try to stop me or you'll be burned up, too !' Nevrrtheless, the wiry native ploced himself directly in the path of the lad, who, he be lioved, had been struck crazy.;, ¶ Seeing him in hli way, Tom darted .aide, supposinghhit friend did not catch the man ing of lis warning. But Zip also snmang aside, and, flinging his arms about, the youth, checked lihn in spite of himself,... .. Tum struggled madly to free limself,.but Zip waostronger thanu.ho, and would not let SDon't syoua so I am burning? howled Tomr; 'let go or you will catch fire and lose ou life.' €.,.:, 1 : . - ,,Poor chap,' murmeed the native, taking good. tare to retain his grip, nio,fire on you !' Ily y.this;tirae La Tom?fdfpd awoke; to the faot thit tnot onlywere thero no flamen near him, but thqroeannot ?o much as the sinoll offire aboutluhis.grments,!ol' as i euuuencad-,