Gambar halaman

wonder if she's spotted a tiger. the vanishing party, but made Old Morrison warned us she no attempt to follow up his generally bolted when she initial success. did.”

Maria having deposited both “More likely she's spotted her English riders—one after pink rats after all that liquor the other-in clumps of olingshe swallowed last night," ing bamboo, then endeavoured grambled the Policeman. to pluok her native Mahout “But, by Jove, no !” he added from her neck with her & second later, pulling himself fumbling trunk. Foiled in upon the top of the pad. this laudable endeavour by “ Listen to that!”

repeated blows from the Ma. An angry bubble squelohed hout's ankus, she galumphed from the depths of the jungle into & reach of the river, straight ahead, and Maria and squealed wildly for gin, waved her trunk thought. with which to calm her now fully. “Rhino," whispered the lacerated nervous system. Her Policeman; "what a pity Mabout smote her violently they're preserved just now." over the skull with the vigour

"But," suggested the Sub- of a navvy picking open & altern guilefully, "you're al- drain. lowed to shoot in self-defence, “Peace! my heart's treaand we can't risk Maria's sure,” he said suitably. “Fear beauty bein' spoiled ... & nothing, little black pearl, for ball rhino oan knook an ele- is not old Jamu with thee?" phant over if he oatohes her and he smote her again to sideways."

show that he was. The little The rhinoceros settled this blaok pearl, thus reassured, knotty point in morality by waddled up out of the bed suddenly making an entirely of the Brahmaputra, and unprovoked assault upon the plucked a young toddy-palm now hysterical Maria, to whom by way of light refreshment. he appeared to have taken an Old Jamu inquired if she instinctive aversion at first found it to her liking. sight. The two Shikaris just “Y' 'r'rumph !" assented had time to fire wildly to- Maria curtly. gether, and then their gun. “And now, little princess, shy elephant bolted.

we return to seek the SahibWhen in a hurry elephants Log.” do not gallop, but on oocasion “N' 'r'rumph !declined they travel rather faster than Maria firmly, and thereupon if they did. When this hap- set off for camp at a sort of pens their riders know exaotly lollopping gambol, leaving her what & pea feels like when abandoned riders to find their rattled inside an empty way home-that is to say, to drum,

the police-officer's patrol-boat The rhinoceros, having on the river - as best they missed his charge, stood star- might. ing with his pig-like eyes at :

ins ainally and since in a poo

ratherits perils of the Dee

d of thoundationion of any tele

The source of the Brahma. ways, tubes, important thorpatra lies somewhere in Central oughfares, or, in this case, Asia. Certain inquisitive souls rivers, the lower stretohes of have a perfeot mania for look the maze-like waterways of ing for it. Somebody or other Eastern Bengal and Lower is finally supposed to have Assam are infested by & whole found it, and since nine peoplo host of more or less professional out of ten are not in a position oriminals, whose activities are to argue the point, we may as varied and multitudinous. well accept the supposition as Owing to the confusing mancorrect. The Brahmaputra is ner in whioh, amid this perrather unique among rivers, fect network of rivers, the and its perils are not dis- channels shift and alter almost similar to those of the Dogger yearly, and also by reason Bank with an oooasional of the recurrent and devastat. oyolone thrown in. Its dense ing inundations which preolude fogs, its shifting sandbanks, the construction of any adeits iron reefs, its furious our. quate road, railway, or telerents, its sudden floods, and graph system, the process of its frequent storms, all tax bringing such elusive criminals the skill of the most experi- to justice is no easy task. In enoed of navigators, many of consequence the looal police whom have been known to seldom make any important deolare openly that they feel “haul" without an infinity of far happier in a good honest stratagem that usually oulmiChinese typhoon than when on nates in a battle royal. the bosom of India's greatest In the actual case of the and most treacherous river. wild swampy belt of big-game

At places—and this some two haunted country in which the hundred miles from its mouth Young Policeman and his friend -it is not unfrequently six or were shooting, the almost inseven miles broad during the surmountable diffioulties of in. monsoon, while on the other ternal communication amid its hand it sometimes squeezes traokless depths and tortuous itself through rooky defiles but backwaters rendered it a pecua thousand yards in width, with liarly favourite locale for the all the swift rush of a rapid. evil-doer in search of a safe

On its way to the sea it is refuge or a disoreet rendezvous. fed by a thousand tributaries- Suoh local defiers of the Law the main stream of the many. are specialised in different forms ohannelled Ganges being one of villainy, as three unbroken not unuseful contribution--and years in their midst had already the confluence of such sub- taught the young Assistant sidiary streams are known Superintendent locally as mukhs, or mouths. Firstly, there were the river

Like all great arteries of pirates frank dacoits -- who traffio, whether they be rail. swam on board anchored native

Caused by snow-water encountering the heat of the plains.

oraft at night, out the throats This launch-called the Vamof the sleeping orew, and after pire-was & crazy old sunthrowing their bodies over- blistered stern-wheelor that board proceeded to oooupy was presumably propelled the ship themselves. Then through the agenoy of steam. there were opium and 00- This presumption may be said oaine smugglers, disguised as to rest firstly on the faot that simple fisher-folk, with illioit her decks were always deep oargoes stored between the in soot, and secondly, because seams of their boats; Bengali she possessed a vertical proanarchists seeking opportuni. jeotion amidships which boro ties of meeting gun-runners some remote resemblance to a from the Philippines; and a smoke - staok. In no other whole host of other queer-and respects, however, did she condesperate-malefaotors outside form to the popularly conceived the ken of the Constabulary in idea of a steamboat. England. Indeed, the Young The two boys, tired out after Policeman's lot, if not always their long, hot, and profitless an entirely happy one, was day on shore, sorambled gratenever devoid of incident, and fully on board again, and lowerprior to obtaining a few days' ing themselves cautiously into shooting-leave in his own dis- two riokety deok-chairs, called triot in the company of his loudly for liquid refreshment. friend, he had not ceased from, "Strikes me the snaggy old or paused in, his teasing labours ditoh is rising pretty fast tofor nearly eighteen overworked night,” remarked the weathermonths. Even now-in local wise minion of the Law, putting parlance-he was still at the down his empty tumbler with end of the wire, which, trans- & sigh of content, and gazing lated into praotical language, dubiously across the raging meant that his services still brown flood of waters. “I remained at the immediate dis- shouldn't be at all surprised," posal of his seniors in case of be added fatalistioally, “if balf looal emergenoy.

the countryside isn't under Dirty monsoon weather was water by the morning.” blowing up from the direotion “Well, then, we can do a of the distant Bay, when the Noah's Ark stunt in this bally two Shikaris arrived home late old flat-iron of yours," replied that evening after their spill the Han-Child resignedly, as off the elephant..

he too finished his peg; “only, As already explained, their personally speakin', I bar takin' shooting headquarters were that god-forsaken hathion board established on board a river for a oruise. Look at the old launch, whioh was at the dis- bitoh now,”—and he nodded posal of the police officer and across the taffrail towards his armed constables when their Maria's standings on the bank, doties took them afloat. -"she's as pleased as Panob

old Batan. Child his per a tot

Of Bengal, understood locally. VOL, CCIV.NO. MCCXXXIII.

at havin' made both of us out Tracing the complex courses voluntaries this mornin'. But of the maze - like waterways what's the odds, so long as before him with his forefinger, you're happy," he oonoluded he finally prioked two holes on philosophioally. “Who's for the map with the points of his å tub? Bag's I first !” and, compasses, and then produced darting swiftly into their oom. & protraotor. Having taken mon bathroom before protest certain measurements along the was possible, he ooolly annexed latter, and having compared the premises, turned on both them with the scale of the map, taps to their fullest extent, he then took out his watoh, and, whistling with offensive looked at the telegram again, triumph, proceeded to unlace and made some mental oaloulale dernier cri in brown oavalry tions in terms of time. These field-boots. A minute later, appeared to be more or less and a mighty splash testified satisfactory, for, yawning to to his gifts as a quick-ohange himself, he paused to kill a artist, as, lifting his voioe in mosquito before returning on untuneful song, he began to deck. Here he walked for'ard, make the evening hideous with and gently but firmly kicked sentimental noises.

the opium - sodden crew into

some semblance of life, and “ And when I tell them

further interrupted what apHow beautiful you are, They never ber-lieve me,

peared to be a game of skill They never ber-lieve me," or hazard among his police

· Constables. he ohanted dolofully. And, “Get those two anobors up," pioking his perilous way he said quietly in the vernacuthrough five different verses lar, “Where's the head serang? in three distinot keys, he oon- On shore? Well, let him stop tinued to lament the incrodu- there. Tell the engineer to be lity of the world at large in ready with all the steam he oan respeot to the charms of a muster in less than no time. lady-identity not disclosed — Yes, we're going up the river who, as he stated in agonised to-night on business. No, the falsetto, had one day promised current isn't too strong. All to be his wife.

the same" (he soliloquised to In the meantime, his less himself, sorutinising the flood), exuberant friend had received “I wonder if we have got a cipher telegram, which he enough steam to go up-stream was even now decoding with in this current. Luoky we his usual calm precision. Onoe kept any going at all: we decoded, it seemed to give him shouldn't have but for wantfuriously to think, for he pulled ing some to run the dynamos a puzzling-looking survey map for our fans and lights." from the cabin wall and studied “What's the joke?" inquired it carefully with wrinkled brow. the Hun-Child, who here reappeared, rabbing himself im- threatened to burst from its modestly with a ragged bath- appointed place. towel, and looking like & Her great olumsy stern. dishevelled obiokon.

1 Native sailor.

wheel was shrieking and A stunt of sorts," replied groaning like some damned the Policeman briefly, amid his soul as it churned the boilnautioal activities; “some ing mill - race which swept Bengali anarchists out on the roaring under the tortured rampage. No time to explain paddles. At first the Vamdetails just now. See you pire made no progress at all. later. ... Yes, Alla Din, you Indeed, as the Policeman peroan oast off as soon as you're ceived by reference to the ready."

moonlit bank, they still con. . . . . . tinued to be forced down.

The rusty anchor - chains stream, though now only rattled noisily into the echo- slowly. “Try and work her ing bull, the leademen in under the lee of that island," the bows started their mono- he advised the serang, and tonous sailor chantey as they the latter followed the sugbegan sounding the depth gestion, nearly grounding on of water, and then the Vam- new and uncharted sand. pire, swinging out from the bank as he did so. Under the shelter of the shore, met the lee of the island the full force full force of the now furious of the ourrent was broken, and current. It caught her in they were able to make some its embrace, and immediately headway until again exposed whirled her two miles down- to its full violence on the stream as though she had farther side. By dint of taok. been a child's model. Again ing between this or that island and again the helmsman tried or promontory, they finally to bring her round head-on to managed to make slow bat the stream, and again and steady progress up the angry again ber engines lacked the river, although, as the Mopower to second his efforts. hamedan engineer below reAt last, after desoribing & marked encouragingly from dozen mad, half-drifting and time to time, it was only half-steaming semioiroles, her Allah the Compassionate who engines, now working under knew how long the injine full prossure of steam, seemed would hold together. The to“ bite on," and a few minutes Subaltern, now clothed and later, after awaiting his oppor- in his right mind-and clasptunity, the helmsman finally ing an enormous ham - sand. managed to swing her bows wish to his bosom-scrambled up-stream into the current. upon the bridge with a view Under the orushing strain of to making more comprehensive tons of angry water, the launch professional inquiry into the was now shaking and rattling nature of the looal taotios em. from stem to stern, until overy ployed for ciroumventing anrivet in her anoient struoture arohists in cataracts. “What

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »