Two Old Comrades go off together.

From: Kobboltozo: A Sequel to the Last of the Huggermuggers (1869)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: Lee and Shepard 1869 Boston



  PRESUMING that our young readers are acquainted with the giants story alluded to in the foregoing chapter, I will now proceed to give a narrative of what occurred in the island, after the departure thence of Huggermugger and the American sailors—and I will state before I am through, how I came to obtain my information.

  The reader will recollect that it was thought by some that Little Jacket (or John Cable, as he has for some time been called) went out West, and settled down as a farmer; while it was reported by others that he was still cruising with Mr. Nabbum in search of the wonderful. There is a basis of truth in both accounts. John Cable went out West, and thinking himself tired of a sea life, turned farmer for a while, during which he grew to be a good deal stouter and taller. But the old love of sea life returned, and he gave up farming, and came to New York to see what advantageous employment might be found on board some good ship. Here it chanced that he fell in once more with his old comrade, Nabbum, who was just about making another voyage of discovery. The long and the short of it is, that Jacky Cable and Zebby Nabbum sailed together, secretly intending to visit once more the giant’s island.

  There were no particular incidents worth noting on board ship. The voyage was a pretty long one. I believe they touched at the Cape of Good Hope and the Island of Madagascar. At last the island of the giants loomed in the distance.

  As they drew near the coast, Zebedee sighed to think what a great speculation failed when Huggermugger died. Jacky, too, sighed, but it was to think how lonely it would be there now, and how changed, since the good giant and giantess were no more. Now, they should see no one but the dwarfs, with the spiteful Kobboltozo perhaps made king of the island.

  They determined, however, to travel into the interior of the island, and to ascertain how things had gone on since their departure. Having cast anchor in a secure bay, Nab bum and Jacky went ashore in a boat, and landed near the well-known beach where the great shells were. They took with them provisions for several days’ journey, and proceeded by the nearest road towards Huggermugger Hall and the neighboring village of the dwarfs. They encountered the usual difficulties in clambering over the great rocks and pushing their way through the tall shrubs and weeds. They found, too, many things to wonder at, which they did not recollect having noticed before. High over their heads waved great palms and magnolia trees—enormous grasshoppers sprang by them gigantic butterflies flashed overhead, their wings blazing with purple and gold. Birds as big as eagles darted from tree to tree, singing as loud as hand-organs, and filling the trackless woods with their strange jargon. Nabbum compared it to an immense giant menagerie, and Jacky said it reminded him of some monster concert about to commence, when from the double basses up to the octave flutes, all the musicians in the orchestra were running up and down the scales on their instruments, and all the people in the pit talking at the top of their voices at the same time. Then there were huge flowers that flaunted over their heads, loading the air with thick perfume—some like banners, scarlet, orange, and blue—some that hung their bells, like great church-bells, which even seemed to be vibrating sometimes with a low ringing, weighed down and swinging with the weight of the enormous bees that hummed inside with their bagpipe drone. Now they would pass near a marsh, where the frogs were plunging in their noontide bath, or croaking with voices like young bull-calves. Now their way lay near enormous ravines which one might fancy the favorite haunts of the boa-constrictor and rattlesnake—but there were no poisonous reptiles in the island, for the Huggermugger race (like St. Patrick) had long since exterminated them—and now they would climb a hill, from which they could see afar the top of Huggermugger Hall, looming like an enchanted castle. Ah! there was no Huggermugger to take them there in his basket—no Mrs. Huggermugger to welcome them to her hospitable dwelling.

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