From: Kobboltozo: A Sequel to the Last of the Huggermuggers (1869)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: Lee and Shepard 1869 Boston
ONE evening I was sitting alone in my study, thinking what sort of a story I should write for my young friends’ next Christmas present. I scratched my head, and bit my pen, and poked the fire, and looked into it—then I stood up and gave myself a good warming—then I sat down with my head on my hand, and a blank quire of paper before me—then I took my pen and began to scribble imps—then I became very sleepy—when there was a knock at my door, and to my great surprise in came Jacky Cable. I didn’t know him at first, with his bronzed face, his great beard, and his broad shoulders. He had just arrived from the East Indies, and from Huggermugger’s Island. So, after a hearty greeting and a warm welcome, he took a chair by my fire, where he sat steadily talking and telling stories till—will you believe it?—two o’clock in the morning.
So I decided to make a book out of what he told me—and here you have it.
But I have one thing more to tell. I thought I had got through with my story, and the other day was just writing the last page, when Mr. Zebedee Nabbum came stalking in in a state of great excitement.
“If you are reelly goin’ to make a book out of what Jacky’s told you,” said he, “don’t do it—till you’ve seen my museum—because I want you to bring it in somehow.”
“Dear me,” I said, “I have just got through. I’m afraid it’s too late. My story is all written, and must go to be printed.”
“No, it aint too late,” said Zebedee; “you can tech in a leetle here and there, like—you know—jest as a kind of seasonin’ or sharp sarce, to give it a flavor—can’t you? Why, you’d ought to see my museum, reely Jacky told you about it, didn’t he?”
I said, “Yes, Jacky mentioned that you intended to set up a museum, a great deal better than Barnum’s, and had brought home many curious things from the giant’s island.”
“Haint I though!” said Nabbum. “Why you can’t do the subject jestice, till you’ve seen the things I’ve got. You must come and see. It dooz beat all nater. Why the few privileged persons that’s seen it do say that it’s no mistake—the most remarkable collection of nateral curiosities that was ever got up in the States.”
I promised Mr. Nabbum that I would certainly give him a call—but repeated that I was now writing the last chapter of my book, and didn’t wish to clog the story with any superfluous details, and “besides,” I said, “your museum will be so well known before my book is out, that my notice of it will be useless.”
“Well,” said Zebedee, “won’t you jest run your eye over this list of articles, and bring in some of ‘em at the end of your story.”
So saying, he handed me a piece of paper, a good deal worn by being carried in the pocket, with some writing on it in pencil.
“They aint all from the giant’s island, the things I’ve put into the Huggermugger Museum,” said Zebedee, “but you’ll see that some of ‘em are.”
So I took the list and read it over, and here is an extract from it: –
Three mammoth Pumpkins, with hair growing on them; each measuring — feet diameter, and weighing — tons. (The figures are not legible.)
One Bullfrog Skin; brilliant green; 6 x 4 feet.
Six splendid gigantic Conch Shells. (Figures effaced, but probably of preposterous dimensions.)
One Saucepan—about the size of a large wash-tub—from the giant’s house.
One pair Giant’s Boots.
Mrs. Huggermugger’s Thimble, Scissors, &c.
One Bottle, with the Cork that killed forty dwarfs.
One rare Bird, stuffed, of stupendous size; commonly called the Black-Tooter, or Pulpit-Bird. It had a remarkably loud voice.
One specimen of the Musical Crab, found on the shores of Cape Horn.
One curious specimen of Crinoline Petticoat, supposed, from its extraordinary diameter, to have been worn by a giantess.
A winged White Bear, from Iceland. This singular creature was caught on Mount Hecla, where a flock of them were seen fluttering around the burning crater of the volcano, like moths around a candle.
A Salamander. This animal was also caught on Mount Hecla. The end of his tail was seen sticking out of the crater. It took fifty Norwegian sailors to capture him.
A Sea Serpent, larger than any yet seen. This animal had swallowed a meeting-house on Cape Cod, and died of indigestion.
A Daguerreotype of the Emperor of Japan, and a Model of the last Earthquake in that island.
One petrified Monkey.
Two Ducks, born without legs.
One very remarkable Centipede, with eyes in its tail.
One dried Mannikin, preserved in spirits; supposed by Z. N. to be Kobboltozo.
And so on, and so on.
“Well, Mr. Nabbum,” I said, after I had ran over the list, “since you have done me such a service in furnishing so much of the material of my story, I will publish the account of our conversation, and a list of some of these wonderful curiosities.”
And now I say to all my young readers, after you have read my story, go and see the Huggermugger Museum——if you can find it.
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