Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
The Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan William Makepeace Thackeray

Chapter IX: Surprise Of Futtyghur

Page 1 of 5

Table Of Contents: The Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan

Next Page

Previous Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

When I awoke from the trance into which I had fallen, I found myself in a bath, surrounded by innumerable black faces; and a Hindoo pothukoor (whence our word apothecary) feeling my pulse and looking at me with an air of sagacity.

"Where am I?" I exclaimed, looking round and examining the strange faces, and the strange apartment which met my view. "Bekhusm!" said the apothecary. "Silence! Gahagan Sahib is in the hands of those who know his valour, and will save his life."

"Know my valour, slave? Of course you do," said I; "but the fort-- the garrison--the elephant--Belinda, my love--my darling-- Macgillicuddy--the scoundrelly mutineers--the deal bo- "

I could say no more; the painful recollections pressed so heavily upon my poor shattered mind and frame, that both failed once more. I fainted again, and I know not how long I lay insensible.

Again, however, I came to my senses: the pothukoor applied restoratives, and after a slumber of some hours I awoke, much refreshed. I had no wound; my repeated swoons had been brought on (as indeed well they might) by my gigantic efforts in carrying the elephant up a steep hill a quarter of a mile in length. Walking, the task is bad enough: but running, it is the deuce; and I would recommend any of my readers who may be disposed to try and carry a dead elephant, never, on any account, to go a pace of more than five miles an hour.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

Scarcely was I awake, when I heard the clash of arms at my door (plainly indicating that sentinels were posted there), and a single old gentleman, richly habited, entered the room. Did my eyes deceive me? I had surely seen him before. No--yes--no--yes--it was he: the snowy white beard, the mild eyes, the nose flattened to a jelly, and level with the rest of the venerable face, proclaimed him at once to be--Saadut Alee Beg Bimbukchee, Holkar's Prime Vizier; whose nose, as the reader may recollect, his Highness had flattened with his kaleawn during my interview with him in the Pitan's disguise. I now knew my fate but too well--I was in the hands of Holkar.

Saadut Alee Beg Bimbukchee slowly advanced towards me, and with a mild air of benevolence which distinguished that excellent man (he was torn to pieces by wild horses the year after, on account of a difference with Holkar), he came to my bedside and, taking gently my hand, said, "Life and death, my son, are not ours. Strength is deceitful, valour is unavailing, fame is only wind--the nightingale sings of the rose all night--where is the rose in the morning? Booch, booch! it is withered by a frost. The rose makes remarks regarding the nightingale, and where is that delightful song-bird? Pena-bekhoda, he is netted, plucked, spitted, and roasted! Who knows how misfortune comes? It has come to Gahagan Gujputi!"

"It is well," said I, stoutly, and in the Malay language. "Gahagan Gujputi will bear it like a man."

"No doubt--like a wise man and a brave one; but there is no lane so long to which there is not a turning, no night so black to which there comes not a morning. Icy winter is followed by merry springtime--grief is often succeeded by joy."

Page 1 of 5 Previous Chapter   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan
William Makepeace Thackeray

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004