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

Chapter VIII: The Captive

Page 1 of 5

Table Of Contents: The Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

It was high time, indeed, that I should make my appearance. Waving my sword with one hand and seizing my telescope with the other, I at once frightened and examined the enemy. Well they knew when they saw that flamingo-plume floating in the breeze--that awful figure standing in the breach--that waving war-sword sparkling in the sky--well, I say, they knew the name of the humble individual who owned the sword, the plume, and the figure. The ruffians were mustered in front, the cavalry behind. The flags were flying, the drums, gongs, tambourines, violoncellos, and other instruments of Eastern music, raised in the air a strange barbaric melody; the officers (yatabals), mounted on white dromedaries, were seen galloping to and fro, carrying to the advancing hosts the orders of Holkar.

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

You see that two sides of the fort of Futtyghur (rising as it does on a rock that is almost perpendicular) are defended by the Burrumpooter river, two hundred feet deep at this point, and a thousand yards wide, so that I had no fear about them attacking me in that quarter. My guns, therefore (with their six-and-thirty miserable charges of shot), were dragged round to the point at which I conceived Holkar would be most likely to attack me. I was in a situation that I did not dare to fire, except at such times as I could kill a hundred men by a single discharge of a cannon; so the attacking party marched and marched, very strongly, about a mile and a half off, the elephants marching without receiving the slightest damage from us, until they had come to within four hundred yards of our walls (the rogues knew all the secrets of our weakness, through the betrayal of the dastardly Ghorumsaug, or they never would have ventured so near). At that distance--it was about the spot where the Futtyghur hill began gradually to rise--the invading force stopped; the elephants drew up in a line, at right angles with our wall (the fools! they thought they should expose themselves too much by taking a position parallel to it); the cavalry halted too, and--after the deuce's own flourish of trumpets and banging of gongs, to be sure,--somebody, in a flame-coloured satin dress, with an immense jewel blazing in his pugree (that looked through my telescope like a small but very bright planet), got up from the back of one of the very biggest elephants, and began a speech.

The elephants were, as I said, in a line formed with admirable precision, about three hundred of them. The following little diagram will explain matters:-

.......   G |
E           |
            | F

E is the line of elephants. F is the wall of the fort. G a gun in the fort. Now the reader will see what I did.

The elephants were standing, their trunks waggling to and fro gracefully before them; and I, with superhuman skill and activity, brought the gun G (a devilish long brass gun) to bear upon them. I pointed it myself; bang! it went, and what was the consequence? Why, this:-

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