How Kobboltozo bore the Giant’s departure.

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



  YOU KNOW (said Stitchkin) that we small people are looked upon by you foreigners as a hard-natured, selfish race, of beings. I think it must be true, for none of my tribe ever did me any kindness that I know of, and I have always found it very difficult to live among them. I was somehow different from them all. I made clothes for them, but half the time they didn’t pay me; so that I was poor and oppressed, and lonely, while those around me were flourishing and happy.

  But none of them were as bad as Kobboltozo. He never was liked by any of us. I dare say you know that he was the cause of Huggermugger’s misfortunes and departure. When the giant went away in your ship, he could not repress his joy.

  He had watched with malicious delight the preparations making for Huggermugger’s departure. He sat on a rock, from which he saw the giant go aboard the ship. He saw the sailors receive him on deck—he saw them hoist their sails, and lingered till the ship was out of sight. He then snapped his fingers, grinned with satisfaction, stood up, danced, and sang a snatch of barbarous melody.

  “Aha!,” he said, “Old Hugg, you are safe now. You’ll never come back—you will never arrive at the country of these foolish sailors—you’ll die on board, and they’ll chuck you overboard, and give your great carcass to the sharks. Your fate is settled, I think. Hurrah! The dwarfs, as you called us, will be kings of the island; and who knows but some of us may yet grow to be as great as the Huggermuggers!”

  So saying, Kobboltozo almost turned a summerset in his delight. Returning homeward, he met some of his friends, and told them they had seen the last of Huggermugger. They knew that the giant had gone, and were in as great glee as the shoemaker.

  “Come,” said Kobboltozo, “what shall we do? Suppose we have a great feast, and a carouse?”

  “Agreed!” cried the dwarfs. “Let’s go and summon all our neighbors, and their wives and children, and tell the good news—that the giant has gone, and the island is ours. Then for the feast—where shall it be? where shall it be?”

  “Suppose we have it in Huggermugger Hall,” said Kobboltozo.

  “Agreed!” said they all. And there was a general scrambling and tumbling over the great rocks and stones, and a plunging through the bushes; and while some ran to summon their neighbors, others made their way to the giant’s house, and crowded up to the door. To their great disappointment, however, they found it shut and locked. Whereupon ensued a tremendous hubbub. Some swore, others banged with their sticks, others brought stones and tried to batter the door, others proposed to set fire to it. At last Keholo, the locksmith, thought he could pick the lock. So they brought a ladder and placed it against the huge portal, and Keholo mounted with the biggest instruments he could procure for the purpose. The crowd was very impatient, but in the course of an hour the huge fastening, which was of simple construction, (for Huggermugger being perfectly unsuspicious and fearless of the dwarfs, never thought a complicated lock necessary, and in fact seldom locked his door at all, but kept open house to all,) gave way—and the door, with the crowd all pressing at once against it, slowly opened. In rushed the crowd, and up the great stone steps they mounted—they were accustomed to climbing—and entered the great hall. The solemn silence of the place would have been oppressive to any but these hard-natured beings; and indeed there were some among them who felt it—some who had looked up to the giant with awe and respect, even with admiration—some who, if they did not love, at least did not hate him—some who had had good reason to remember him as a protector and benefactor. These felt ill at ease in this great house. What right had they to be there? How could Huggermugger’s departure benefit them?—and why should they assemble here—why hold here a feast to celebrate the absence of the rightful lord and proprietor of the domain—of him to whom this house, this whole island was fitted, far better than for them?

  However, as is usual in such cases, the majority overruled the minority, and the few who at first felt a reluctance to join the mob, soon found themselves carried along with the multitude in the excitement of the occasion.

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