JACK HARKAWAY'S BOY TINKER AMONG THE TURKS
BEING THE CONCLUSION OF THE "ADVENTURES OF YOUNG JACK HARKAWAY AND HIS BOY TINKER"
BY BRACEBRIDGE HEMYNG
BOOK NUMBER FIFTEEN
CHICAGO M. A. DONOHUE & COMPANY
Jack Harkaway's Boy Tinker AMONG THE TURKS.
JACK GETS INTO HOT WATER—A MORAL LESSON, AND HOW HE PROFITED BY IT—ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
The matter was not ended here, however.
When they got on board, there was a very serious reception awaiting them.
Their project had been discovered and betrayed to the skipper by some officious noodle, and Captain Willis was not a little alarmed.
The consequences might be very serious.
So the captain had Jack and Harry Girdwood up, and gave them a word or two of a sort.
"We wish to preserve the most friendly relations with the people here, Mr. Harkaway," said he, severely; "and this sort of adventure is not calculated to achieve our object."
Jack did not attempt to deny what had occurred.
"We have done no harm," he said; "we were simply cruising about when we saw murder done. We arrived too late to prevent it, but Tinker was pleased to take it upon himself to avenge the murdered woman, for a woman it was, as we could tell from her shrieks as the sack went under and stifled them for ever."
The captain was somewhat startled at this.
"Is this true?"
"I would have you know, captain, that I am not in the habit of saying what is not true."
The captain bowed stiffly at young Jack's rebuke.
"I don't wish to imply anything else," he said; "but before you get too high up in the stirrups, young gentleman, remember that I command here. Remember that in your own thirst for excitement, you act in a way likely to compromise me as well as everybody on board. You are not wanting in a proper appreciation of right and wrong. Before you add anything worse to the present discussion, reflect. The injured air which you are pleased to assume is out of place. I leave you to your own reflections, young gentleman."
And so saying, the captain turned away and left him.
Jack's first impulse was to walk after the captain, and fire a parting shot.
But Harry Girdwood's hand arrested him.
"Don't be foolish, Jack," said he.
"Let go, I——"
"Don't be foolish, I say, Jack," persisted Harry Girdwood. "Do you know what you are saying?"
"Are you siding against me?" exclaimed Jack.
"In a general sense I am not against you, but I can't approve of your replies. You had no right to retort, and I shouldn't be a true pal, Jack, if I spoke to your face against my convictions."
Jack sulked for a little time.
And then he did as the captain had advised.
He was very soon led back to the correct train of thought, and being a lad of high moral courage, as well as physically brave, he was not afraid to acknowledge when he was in the wrong.
Harry Girdwood walked a little way off.
Young Jack—dare-devil Jack—coloured up as he walked to Harry and held out his hand.
"Tip us your fin, messmate," he said, with forced gaiety. "You are right, I was wrong, of course."
He turned off.
"Where are you going?" demanded Harry.
"To the captain."
"To apologise for being insolent."
Off he went.
"Do you want me, Mr. Harkaway?" asked the captain.
"The chief mate was standing by, and Jack did not feel that he had so far offended as to have to expiate his fault in public.
"When you are disengaged, Captain Willis, I would beg the favour of half a word with you."
"Is it urgent, Mr. Harkaway?" he asked.
"I have been refractory, Captain Willis."
A faint smile stole over the captain's face in spite of his endeavour to repress it.
"I will see you below presently," he said to the mate. "Come down to me in a quarter of an hour or so."
"Yes, sir," said the mate.
"Now, Mr. Harkaway, I'm at your service," said Captain Willis, walking forward.
Jack grew rather red in the face at this.
Then he made a plunge, and blurted it all out.
"I have been an idiot, Captain Willis, and I want you to know that I thoroughly appreciate your fairness and high sense of justice."
"Now you are flattering me, Mr. Harkaway," said the captain.
"Captain Willis," said impetuous Jack, "if you call me Mr. Harkaway, I shall think that you are stiff-backed and bear malice."
"What a wild fellow you are," said the captain. "Why, what on earth shall I call you?"
"Jack, sir," returned our hero. "John on Sunday and holidays, if you prefer it, just as a proof that you don't bear any ill feeling to a madman, who has the good luck to have a lucid interval, and to apologise heartily as I do now."
The captain held out his hand.
Jack dropped his into it with a spank, and grasped it warmly.
"Don't say any more on this subject, Mr.—I mean, Jack," said the captain, smiling, "or you will make me quite uncomfortable."
And so the matter ended.
Jack could not be dull for long together.
He plucked up his old vivacity, and went off to Mr. Figgins' cabin.
"I must go and give the orphan a turn," said he.
TURKISH CUSTOMS—JACK GIVES THE ORPHAN A NOTION OF WHAT HE MAY EXPECT—MATRIMONIAL WEAKNESSES—PASHA BLUEBEARD—THE SORT OF A MAN HE IS—HIS EXCELLENCY'S VISIT—MR. FIGGINS IS SPECIALLY INVITED—HOPES AND FEARS.
Jack found Mr. Figgins in his cabin, squatting on a cushion cross-legged.
Tinker and Bogey were attending upon him.
Since their desperate dive into the sea, and the adventure with the shark, the two darkeys and the orphan had become fast friends.
"Hullo, Mr. Figgins," said Jack, in surprise, "what's going forward now?"
"Only practising Turkish manners and customs," returned Mr. Figgins, quite seriously. "I mean to go ashore to-morrow, and make some acquaintances; I shouldn't like to appear quite strange when I got ashore. When in Rome——"
"You must do as the Romans do," added young Jack.
"Yes; and when in Turkey," said the orphan, "you must——"
"Do as the Turkeys do," concluded Jack.
"Precisely," added the orphan. "That's it."
"You are practising to smoke the long hookah to begin with."
"Yes—no—it's a chibouk," said Mr. Figgins. "That is all you have to know, I believe, to make yourself thoroughly well received in Turkish polite society."
"Every thing," responded Jack, "with a hook—ah."
"I didn't feel very comfortable over it at first," said the orphan, "but I'm getting on now."
"There's one danger you are exposed to on going ashore."
"Any gentleman having the slightest pretensions to good looks is nearly always obliged to get married a few times."
Mr. Figgins stared aghast at this.
"A few times?"
"But I'm an orphan."
"No matter; it's a fact, sir, I assure you," said Jack, gravely.
Mr. Figgins looked exceedingly alarmed.
"If I could believe that there was any thing more in that than your joking, Mr. Jack, I should be precious uncomfortable."
"Because my experience of matrimony has been any thing but pleasant already," responded the orphan.
"You have been married, then?" said Jack, in surprise.
"Very moderate that, sir," said Jack. "You are a widower, I suppose, then?"
"I suppose so."
"You are not sure?"
"Ah, well, then, it won't be so bad for you as it might."
"I beg your pardon, Mr. Jack," exclaimed the orphan; "my experience of the happy state was any thing but agreeable with one wife. Goodness knows how long I should survive if I had, as you say, several wives."
"Don't worry yourself, Mr. Figgins," said Jack, "but it is just as well to be prepared."
"An emergency. You don't know what might happen to you in this country."
Mr. Figgins looked really very anxious at this.
"I don't well see how they can marry a man."
"That's not the question, Mr. Figgins. You could refuse. It would cost you your life for a certainty."
The orphan nearly rolled off his cushion.
"Fact, I assure you," said Jack, gravely.
"You will be expected to pay a visit of state to the pasha."
"That is the greatest honour on landing for a stranger."
"What is a pasha?"
"The governor of the province, a regular Bung."
"Bluebeard was a pasha, you remember."
"No, no," interrupted the orphan, delighted to show his historical accuracy. "Bluebeard was a bashaw."
"It is the same thing, another way of writing or pronouncing the identical same dignity or rank. Well, you know that polygamy is the pet vice of the followers of Islam."
"Oh, it's dreadful, Jack."
"The greater the man, the greater the polygamist. A pasha has as many wives as he can keep, and more too. The pasha of this province is not rich for his rank, and for his matrimonial proclivities."
"How many wives should you suppose he has?" asked Jack, with an air of deep gravity.
"Don't know," replied the orphan, quietly.
Mr. Figgins jumped up and dropped his chibouk.
"A fact," asserted Jack, with gravity.
"Why, the man must be a regular Bluebeard."
"You've hit it, sir," responded Jack; "that's the sort of man he is."
"Well, that is all very well for the Turks and for these old sinners the pashas, but I am an Englishman."
"This is the way it will most likely be done," continued Jack. "On your presentation to his excellency the pasha, you are expected to make some present. The pasha makes a return visit of ceremony, and leaves behind him some solid evidence of his liberality."
"Well, but the very highest compliment that a pasha can pay you is to leave you one of his wives. He generally makes it an old stock-keeper, something that has been a good thirty years or so in the seraglio."
Mr. Figgins took the liveliest interest in this narrative.
He was growing rapidly convinced of the truth of Jack's descriptions of these singular manners and customs of the country in which they were.
Yet he eyed Jack as one who has a lingering doubt.
"Ahem!" said Mr. Figgins, "I don't think that I shall join you on your visit ashore in the morning."
"We'll see in the morning," said Jack; "it's a pity to put off your trip for the sake of such a trifling danger as that of having a wife or so given to you."
"It's no use," said Mr. Figgins, "my mind is fully made up; I shall not visit the pasha."
"It will be taken as a grave insult to go ashore without paying your respects to his excellency."
"I can't help that," returned the orphan, resolutely; "I won't visit him."
"Mr. Figgins," said Jack, in a voice of deep solemnity, "these Turks are cruel, vindictive, and revengeful. The last Englishman who refused was, by order of the pasha, skinned alive, placed on the sunny side of a wall, and blown to death by flies."
"Surely the Turks are not such barbarians," said Mr. Figgins.
"You'll find they are. They'd think no more of polishing you off than of killing a fly."
If that rascal Jack intended to make poor Mr. Figgins uneasy, he certainly succeeded very well.
Mr. Figgins looked supremely miserable.
"Good night, Mr. Figgins. Think it over."
"I tell you I——"
"Never mind, don't decide too rashly. Pleasant dreams."
"Pleasant dreams," said the orphan. "I shall have the nightmare."
The orphan's pillow was haunted that night by visions of a terrible nature.
He fancied himself in the presence of a turbaned Turk, a powerful pasha, who was sitting cross-legged on an ottoman, smoking a pipe, of endless length, and holding in his hand a drawn sword—a scimitar that looked ready to chop his head off.
Beside this terrible Turk stood five ladies, in baggy trousers, and long veils.
No words were spoken, but instinctively the orphan knew that he had to decide between the scimitar and the quintet of wives—wall-flowers of the pasha's harem.
Silently, in mute horror, the orphan was about to submit to the least of the two evils, and choose a wife.
Then he awoke suddenly.
What an immense relief it was to find it only a dream after all.
"I don't quite believe that young Harkaway," said the orphan, dubiously; "he is such a dreadful practical joker. But I won't go on shore, nevertheless. It's not very interesting to see these savages, after all; they really are nothing more than savages."
And after a long and tedious time spent in endeavouring to get to sleep again, he dropped off.
But only to dream again about getting very much married.
* * * *
He slept far into the morning, for his dreams had disturbed him much, and he was tired out.
When he awoke, there was someone knocking at his cabin door.
"It's only me, Mr. Figgins," said a familiar voice.
"Come in, captain."
Captain Deering entered.
"Not up yet, Mr. Figgins?" he said, in surprise. "We've got visitors aboard already."
"Distinguished visitors. The pasha and his suite."
"You don't say so?" exclaimed the orphan, sitting up.
"Fact, sir," returned the captain. "It must be ten years since I last had the honour of an interview with his excellency."
"You know him, then, Captain Deering?"
"Rather. Been here often. Know every inch of the country," said the captain.
"What sort of a man is the pasha?" said the orphan, thinking of Jack's statement.
"Oh, a decent fellow enough, unless he's riled," was the reply.
"Do you speak the language?" said the orphan.
"Like a native."
"Is he as much married as they say?" demanded Mr. Figgins.
The captain smiled.
"His excellency has a weakness that way; but," he added, in a warning voice, "you must not make any allusion to that."
"I won't see him," said Mr. Figgins. "I don't intend to visit him."
"But I have come to fetch you to pay your respects."
"Here, on board, in the state saloon."
"Make haste, Mr. Figgins," interrupted Captain Deering. "It is no joke to make a pasha wait. Look alive. I'll come and fetch you in five minutes. Up you get."
And then Captain Deering departed.
Mr. Figgins was sorely perplexed now.
But he arose and began to dress himself as quickly as possible.
"After all," he said to himself, "it is just as well. I should certainly like to see the pasha, and this is a bit of luck, for there's no danger here at any rate, if what that young Harkaway said was true."
He went to the cabin door and shouted out for Tinker.
"He's engaged," answered Captain Deering, who was close by.
"I want him."
"He's away, attending his excellency in the saloon," returned Captain Deering.
"Bogey's there too."
"Are you nearly ready?"
"Look sharp. I wouldn't have his excellency put out of temper for the world; it would be sure to result in the bowstringing of a few of his poor devils of slaves when he got ashore again, and you wouldn't care to have that on your conscience."
Mr. Figgins very hurriedly completed his toilet.
"What a fiend this wretched old bigamist must be," he said to himself. "I'm precious glad that young Harkaway warned me, after all. I might have got into some trouble if I had gone ashore without knowing this."
"Stop," said the captain. "Have you any thing to take his excellency as a present?"
This made the orphan feel somewhat nervous.
It tended to confirm what young Jack had said.
"It is, then, the custom to make presents?" he said.
"What shall I give?"
"Any thing. That's a very nice watch you wear."
"Must I give that?"
"Yes. His excellency is sure to present you with a much richer one—that's Turkish etiquette."
This again corroborated Jack's words.
Yet it was a far more pleasant way of putting it than Jack had thought fit to do.
Mr. Figgins only objected to a present of wives.
Any thing rich in the way of jewellery was quite another matter.
"On entering the presence, you have only to prostrate yourself three times; the third time you work it so that you just touch his excellency's toe with your lips."
"I hope his excellency's boots will be clean."
"His excellency would not insult you by letting you kiss his boot. No boot or stocking does he wear."
Mr. Figgins made an awfully wry face at this.
"Ugh! I don't like the idea of kissing a naked toe."
"You'll soon get used to it," said the captain, cheerfully, "when you've kissed as many pashas' toes as I have. Hold your tongue—here we are."
He pushed open the saloon door and ushered Mr. Figgins into the presence of his excellency.
MORE ABOUT CHIVEY AND HIS MASTER—THE FATAL PIT—IS IT THE END?—ARTFUL CHIVEY AND THE ARTFULLER NOTARY—DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND—HOW THE TIGER PREPARED TO SPRING—HERBERT MURRAY IN DANGER.
Before we proceed to describe the orphan's presentation to that arch polygamist, the Turkish pasha, and the remarkable result of that interview, we must look around and see if we are not neglecting any of the characters whose eventful careers we have undertaken to chronicle.
We are losing sight of one at least, who has a very decided claim upon our attention.
This person is none other than Herbert Murray.
The reader will not have forgotten under what circumstances we parted company with this unscrupulous son of an unscrupulous father.
Goaded to desperation by his villainous servant, Herbert Murray turned upon the traitor and hurled him down the gravel pit.
Then the assassin walked away from the scene.
But ere he had got far, his steps were arrested by the sound of a groan.
A groan that came from the gravel pit.
"Was it my fancy?"
There it was again.
A low moan—a wail of anguish.
Back he went, muttering to himself—
He went round nearly to the bottom of the pit, and peered over.
There was Chivey leaning upon his elbow groaning with the severity of his bruises, and the dreadful shock he had received.
"You've done for me, now," he moaned, as he caught sight of his master.
"No; but I shall," retorted the assassin.
And he took a deliberate aim with the pistol.
"I expected this," said Chivey, faintly; "but remember murder is a hanging matter."
"I shall escape," retorted Murray, coldly.
"But you can't," said Chivey, with a grin of triumph, even as he groaned.
There was something in his manner which made Murray uneasy.
"Twenty-four hours after I'm missing," gasped Chivey, "your forgery will be in the hands of the police; they can get you back for forgery, and while you're in the dock of the Old Bailey, if not before, to stand your trial for forgery, they will have a clue to my murder."
His words caused Murray a singular thrill.
"What do you mean by that, traitor?" he demanded.
"Mean? Why, I know you too well to trust you. I tell you I have taken every possible precaution," retorted Chivey, "so that you are safe only while I live. I know my man too well not to take every precaution. Now," he added, sinking back exhausted, "now, my young sweet and pleasant, fire away."
Murray paused, and concealed his pistol.
Was it true about these precautions?
Chivey was vindictive as he was cunning.
He had shown this in every action.
"Supposing I spare you?" said Murray.
"You can't," retorted the tiger; "I'm done for."
"So much the better."
"So you say now," returned Chivey, his voice growing fainter and fainter. "Wait and remember my words—I'll be revenged."
He gasped for breath.
Then all was still.
Was he dead?
Murray trembled with fear at the thought.
The words of the revengeful tiger rang in his ear.
And he strode away.
Silent and moody as befits one bearing the brand of Cain.
* * * *
Chivey was far from being as badly hurt as he at first appeared.
He had no bones broken, his worst injuries being a few bruises and a very unpleasant shaking.
But Chivey was artful.
He thought it best to keep quiet until Herbert Murray should be gone.
Chivey struggled up on to his knees.
Then he began to crawl along the sand pit.
Progress was difficult at first.
But he persevered and got along in time.
"If these bruises would only let me think how further to act," he muttered to himself, as groaning, he crawled back to the town.
"Senor Velasquez," he said to himself, as a happy thought crossed him. "Senor Velasquez is my man for a million."
He paused to think over the ways and means, and a cunning smile deepened on his face, as he gradually made up his mind.
"The worst of this is that I must have a confederate," muttered the young schemer.
"No matter, there is only one way out of it, and I must make the best of it."
Senor Velasquez was an obscure notary.
Chivey had made a chatting acquaintance with the notary in the town, the Spaniard speaking English with tolerable proficiency.
"What is the nature of the secret you hold in terrorem over your master?" demanded the notary, when Chivey at length reached his office.
"I said it was a secret, Mr. Velasquez," he answered.
"But if you seek my advice about that," the notary made reply, "I must know all the particulars of the case."
"How can I advise if you keep me in the dark?"
Chivey leered at the Spanish notary and grinned.
"Don't you try and come the old soldier over me, please," he said.
"Old soldier?" said Senor Velasquez, in surprise.
"What is 'old soldier?' What do you mean by that?"
"I mean, sir, the artful."
"Is this English?" exclaimed the notary.
"Well, I confess I do not understand it."
"Then," said Chivey, getting quite cheerful as he warmed into the matter, "I think your English education has been very seriously neglected, that's what I think."
"Possibly," said the Spaniard. "I only learnt your tongue as a student, and am not well grounded in slang."
"More's the pity."
There was a spice of contempt in Chivey's tone which appeared rather to aggravate Senor Velasquez.
"You are too clever, Mr. Chivey," said he, "far too clever. Now you want to keep your secret, and I shall guess that your secret concerns——"
"Who?" asked Chivey.
"The young man whose letters you employed me to intercept."
The tiger looked alarmed.
"I mean the young Senor Jack Harkaway."
Chivey looked about him rather anxiously.
"Don't be so imprudent, Senor Velasquez," he said. "You are a precious dangerous party to have any thing to do with."
"Not I," returned Senor Velasquez; "I am easily dealt with. But those who would deal with me must not be too cunning."
"You don't find nothing of that sort about me," said Chivey.
"What is it you require of me?" demanded the notary, getting vexed.
"He's a proud old cove," thought the tiger.
So he drew in his horns and met the notary half way.
"You are just right, Mr. Velasquez," he remarked. "It does concern Jack Harkaway."
"I knew that."
"Now I want you to give me your promise not to tell what I am going to say to you, nor to make any use of it without my express permission."
"I promise. Now proceed, for I am pressed for time."
"I will," said the tiger, resolutely.
The notary produced paper and writing materials.
"My master, Mr. Murray, has attempted my life," began Chivey, "and this is because I am possessed of certain secrets."
"He is at the present moment under the idea that he has killed me. Now what I want is, to make him thoroughly understand that he does not get out of his difficulty by getting me out of the way, not by any manner of means at all."
"How will you do it?"
"I will go and see him."
Chivey jumped at the idea immediately.
"Yes, sir, that's the sort; there's no letters then to tell tales against us."
"Get one from him, though, if you can," said Chivey, eagerly; "something compromising him yet deeper, like."
"I will do it," said Senor Velasquez. "And what will you pay for it? Give it a price."
"Thirty pounds," returned Chivey, in a feverish state of anxiety.
"I'll do it," returned the notary, with great coolness.
HOW SENOR VELASQUEZ PLAYED A DEEP GAME WITH CHIVEY—DOUBLE DEALING—HERBERT MURRAY'S CHANCE—"HARKAWAY MUST BE PUT AWAY"—A GUILTY COMPACT—CHIVEY IN DURANCE VILE—THE SICK ROOM AND THE OPIATE—AN OVERDOSE—THE NOTARY'S GUARDIAN—THE SPANISH GAROTTE—"TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP IS A VERY BAD GAME."
Senor Velasquez was any thing but a fool.
Chivey was not soft, but he was not competent to cope with such a keen spirit as this Spanish notary.
Senor Velasquez walked up to the hotel in which Herbert Murray was staying, and the first person he chanced to meet was Murray himself.
"I wish to have a word with you in private, Senor Murray," said the notary.
Murray looked anxiously around him, starting "like a guilty thing upon a fearful summons."
The bland smile of the Spanish notary reassured him, however.
"What can I do for Senor Velasquez?" he asked.
"I begged for a few words in private," answered Velasquez.
"Take a seat, Senor Velasquez," said Herbert Murray, "and now tell me how I can serve you," after entering his room.
The notary made himself comfortable in his chair.
"I can speak in safety now?" he said.
"No fear of interruption here?"
The notary looked Murray steadily in the eyes as he said—
"I was thinking of your officious servant."
Herbert Murray changed colour as he faltered—
"Chivey, I think you call him—your groom, I mean."
"There is no fear from him now," said Murray, with averted eyes; "not the least in the world."
Senor Velasquez smiled significantly.
"Your man Chivey," resumed the Spanish notary, "has confided to me a secret."
"Now listen to me, Senor Murray. You have behaved very imprudently indeed. Your whole secret is with me."
Herbert Murray glanced anxiously at the door.
The notary followed his eyes with some inward anxiety, yet he did not betray his uneasiness at all.
"He was speaking the truth for once, then," said Murray. "He had confided his secrets to someone else."
Herbert Murray walked round the room, and took up his position with his back to the door.
"Senor Velasquez," he said, in a low but determined voice, "you have made an unfortunate admission. If there is a witness, it is only one; you are that witness, and your life is in danger."
The notary certainly felt uncomfortable, but he was too old a stager to display it.
Herbert Murray produced a pistol, which he proceeded to examine and to cock deliberately.
"That would not advance your purpose much, Senor Murray," he said, coolly; "the noise would bring all the house trooping into the room."
Murray was quite calm and collected now, and therefore he was open to reason.
"There is something in that," he said, "so I have a quieter helpmate here."
He uncocked the pistol and put it in his breast pocket.
Then he whipped out a long Spanish stiletto.
"There are other reasons against using that."
"And they are?"
"Here is one," returned the notary, drawing a long, slender blade from his sleeve.
Murray was palpably disconcerted at this.
The Spanish notary and the young Englishman stood facing each other in silence for a considerable time.
The former was the first to break the silence.
"Now, look you here, Senor Murray," said he, "I am not a child, nor did I, knowing all I know, come here unprepared for every emergency—aye, even for violence."
"Go on," said Murray, between his set teeth.
"You have imprudently placed yourself in the hands of an unscrupulous young man."
"And he has proved himself utterly unworthy?"
"All of that is known to me," said the notary, craftily. "Now you must pay no heed to this Chivey."
"I will not," returned Herbert Murray, significantly, "though there is little fear of further molestation from him, senor."
Young Murray little dreamt of the cause of the notary's peculiar smile.
"Your sole danger, as I take it, Senor Murray, is from your fellow countryman, Jack Harkaway."
"Then to him you must direct your attention. Where is he?"
"I do then," returned the notary, quietly: "and it is to tell you that that I am here. I have all the necessary information; you must follow him."
"To make sure of him," coldly replied the Spaniard.
Velasquez spoke not.
But his meaning was just as clear as if he had put it into words.
A vicious dig with his stiletto at the air.
And so they began to understand each other.
* * * *
Senor Velasquez, the notary, was playing a double game.
From Herbert Murray he carefully kept the knowledge that Chivey still lived.
That knowledge would have lessened his hold.
The cunning way in which he let Herbert Murray understand that he knew all, even to the attempt upon Chivey's life at the gravel pits, completed the mastery in which he meant to hold the young rascal.
He arranged everything for young Murray.
He discovered from him the destination of the ship in which Jack Harkaway and his friends had escaped, and he procured him a berth on a vessel sailing in the same direction.
"Once you get within arm's length of this young Harkaway," he said; "you must be firm and let your blow be sure."
"I will," returned his pupil.
"Once Harkaway is removed from your path, you may sleep in peace, for he alone can now punish you for forgery."
"I hope so."
"I know it," said Velasquez.
So well were the notary's plans laid, and so luckily did fortune play into his hands, that forty-eight hours after his interview with Murray, he had that young gentleman safely on board a ship outward bound.
Now Herbert Murray had passed but one night after that fearful scene by the gravel pit, but the remembrance of it haunted his pillow from the moment he went to bed to the moment he arose unrefreshed and full of fever.
And yet he was setting out with the intention of securing his future peace and immunity from peril by the commission of a fresh crime.
The ship was setting sail at a little after daybreak, and it had been arranged that Senor Velasquez was to come and see him off.
But much to his surprise, the notary did not put in an appearance.
Eagerly he waited for the ship to start, lest any thing should occur at the eleventh hour, and he should find himself laid by the heels to answer for his crimes.
* * * *
Chivey was supposed to be hiding.
In reality he was a prisoner in the house of Senor Velasquez, and he knew it.
The notary was an old man, and he suffered from sundry ailments which belong to age—notably to rheumatism.
An acute attack prostrated the old man, and held him down when he was most anxious to be up and doing.
And the night before Herbert Murray was to set sail, he lay groaning and moaning with racking pains.
His cries reached Chivey, who lay in the next room, and he came to the sick man's door to ask if he could be of any assistance.
He peered warily in.
In spite of his groans and anguish, the old notary was insensible under the influence of an opiate.
Chivey crept in.
On a low table beside the bed was a lamp flickering fearfully, and a glass containing some medicine.
Beside the glass a phial labelled laudanum.
Something possessed the intruder to empty the contents of the phial into the glass, and just as he had done so, the sufferer opened his eyes.
"It's me, Senor Velasquez," said the tiger. "You have been ill——"
"What do you do here?" demanded the notary, sharply.
"You called out. I thought I might be of assistance."
"Then I will go, senor," said Chivey, "for I am tired."
"Stay, give me my physic before you go."
Chivey handed him the glass.
The sick man gulped it down, and made a wry face.
"How bitter it tastes," he said, with a shudder.
* * * *
Chivey did not remain very long absent.
The heavy breathing of the notary soon told him that it was safe to return to the room.
The business of the morrow so filled the mind of the old Spaniard, that he was talking of it in his sleep.
"At an hour after daybreak, I tell you, Murray," he muttered. "The berth is paid for, paid for by my gold. You follow on the track of your enemy Harkaway, and once you are within reach, give a sharp, sure stroke, and you will be free from your only enemy, seeing that you have already taken good care of your traitor servant."
Chivey was amazed, electrified.
Did he hear aright?
"At daybreak!" he exclaimed, aloud.
"Yes; at daybreak," returned the notary in his sleep.
After a pause, the sleeper muttered—
"What say you? If Chivey were not quite dead? What of that? How could he follow you? He has no funds. The only money he possessed I have now in my strong box under my bed."
Chivey was staggered.
"Is Murray going to bolt, and leave me in the power of this old villain, I wonder," he muttered.
He broke off in his speculations, for the notary was babbling something again.
"'The Mogador,'" muttered the old man, speaking more thickly than before as the opiate began to make itself felt; "the captain is called Gonzales. You have only to mention the name of Senor Velasquez, and he will treat you well. He knows me."
He muttered a few more words which grew more and more incoherent each instant.
Then he lay back motionless as a log.
The opium held him fast in its power.
"Now for the box," exclaimed the tiger, excitedly.
Chivey tore open the box, and lifting up some musty old deeds and parchments, he feasted his eyes upon a mine of wealth.
A pile of gold.
Bright glittering pieces of every size and country.
And beside it thick bundles of paper money.
"Gold is uncommonly pretty," said the tiger, "but the notes packs the closest."
Bundle after bundle he stowed away about his person, regularly padding his chest under his shirt.
"Now for a trifle of loose cash," he said, coolly.
So saying, he dropped about sixty or seventy gold pieces into his breeches pocket.
His waistcoat pockets he stuffed full also.
Then he pushed back the box into its place under the bed.
"The old man still sleeps," he said to himself, looking round at the bed.
He was in a rare good humour with himself.
"Ha, ha! I am rich now," said Chivey. "Thank you, old senor, you have done me a good turn. May you sleep long."
He gave a final glance about him and made off.
* * * *
A distant church clock tolled the hour of midnight as he gained the seashore.
He was in luck.
Not a soul did he encounter until he reached the beach, when he came upon two sailors, launching a rowing boat.
"'Mogador?'" he said, in a tone of inquiry.
"That's your sort," said Chivey. "I want to see Captain Gonzales."
"Come with us, then," said one of the sailors.
"Rather," responded the tiger; "off we dive; whip 'em up, tickle him under the flank, and we're there in a common canter."
The sailors both understood a little of English.
In very little time they were standing on the deck of the "Mogador."
And facing Chivey as he scrambled up the side, was the master of the ship, Captain Gonzales, to whom Chivey was presented at once by one of the sailors.
"Senor Velasquez has sent me to you, captain," said the ever ready tiger.
"Then you are welcome."
"He told me to give you that," said Chivey, handing the captain a pair of banknotes; "and to beg you to give me the best of accommodation in a cabin all to myself."
"It shall be done."
"And above all not to let Mr. Murray know of my presence on board when he comes."
"I am going on very important business for Senor Velasquez, captain," pursued Chivey, with infinite assurance; "as you may judge, for he values your care of me at one hundred crowns to be paid on your next visit here."
"Rely upon my uttermost assistance."
"Thank you," said Chivey, with a patronising smile; "and now I'll be obliged to you to show me to my berth."
"Here," cried the Spanish captain. "Pedro—Juan—Lopez. Take this gentleman to my private cabin."
The "Mogador" stood out to sea bravely enough.
Chivey was there.
Herbert Murray was there.
But the latter little suspected the presence of the former.
Herbert Murray, in fancied security, was reclining on deck upon some cushions he had got up from below, smoking lazily, and looking up at the blue sky overhead, when Chivey, who had been looking vainly out for an appropriate cue to make his reappearance, slipped suddenly forward, and touching his hat, remarked in the coolest manner in the world—
"Did you ring for me, sir?"
Herbert looked up just as if he had seen a ghost.
Herbert Murray stared at his villainous servant.
But villainous as Chivey was, Herbert Murray never thought a bit about that.
His heart leaped to his mouth, and he was overjoyed to find him there.
"Oh, Chivey, you vagabond!" he ejaculated. "I'm so awfully glad to see you."
"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."
There's a lot of truth in that trite and homely old saying.
For one little phrase from the guilty Herbert had come so straight from the heart that even the villainous tiger was touched immediately.
"Look here, guv'nor," said Mr. Chivey, "I don't think you are half so bad as I thought. My opinion is that you are not half as bad as some of 'em, and that the ugly job up at the gravel pits was all of my provoking. I bear no malice."
"You don't!" exclaimed his master, quite overjoyed.
"Not a bit."
And they were faster friends than ever after that.
But what about Senor Velasquez?
What about all their compacts with the villain?
For the time they were of no use to that plotter, whose plans had, up to the present time, failed.
THE ORPHAN IS PRESENTED AT COURT—IS A BIT NERVOUS—LESSONS IN THE TURKISH LANGUAGE—MANNERS AND CUSTOMS—THE PASHA OF MANY WIVES—AN OFFICIAL PRESENT—BOWSTRINGING—AN EXECUTION—HORROR! THE ORPHAN'S PERIL, AND WHAT CAME OF IT.
Having got Chivey and his master together again, we now travel to the Turkish coast to be in the company of young Jack and his friends.
The orphan had been roused from his slumbers to be presented to the pasha of that province.
His excellency the pasha had done them the honour to pay them a visit of ceremony on board ship, and was seated in great state surrounded by his suite in the best saloon.
After the chief personages on board had been presented, his excellency had, according to Captain Deering, desired to see that distinguished personage, Mr. Figgins, alias the orphan.
And now the orphan stood trembling outside the door of the saloon.
"In you go, Mr. Figgins," whispered Captain Deering.
"Just a word."
"Bah!" said the captain, with a grin; "you aren't going to have a tooth out. In with you."
He opened the door, gave the timorous orphan a vigorous drive behind, and Mr. Figgins stood in the august presence.
The pasha was seated—it would be irreverent to say squatted, which would better express it—upon a cushion that was, as Paddy says, hanging up on the floor.
His excellency was in that peculiar, not to say painful attitude, which less agile mortals find unattainable, but which appears to mean true rest to Turk or tailor.
The pasha rejoiced in a beard of enormous dimensions, a grizzled dirt-coloured beard that almost touched the cushion upon which he sat.
A turban of red and gold silk was upon his venerable head.
And beside his excellency upon a cushion were laid his arms, weapons of barbarous make, thought the orphan.
A scimitar, curved a la Saladin, two long-barrelled pistols, with jewelled butts, "as though they were earrings or bracelets," the orphan said to himself, a long dagger with an ivory hilt and sheath, and a piece of cord.
"That's to tie them together with," mentally decided the orphan. "One might as well travel with the Woolwich Arsenal or the armoury from the Tower. Barbarous old beast."
"Now," said Captain Deering, "tuck in your tuppenny, Mr. Figgins; bow as low as you can."
The orphan put his back into an angle of forty-five with his legs.
"A little bit more."
"Lower," said Captain Deering, in an agonised whisper. "We shall all be bowstrung if his excellency thinks us wanting in respect."
The orphan thus admonished made a further effort, and over he went
There was such a chattering, such horrible sounds going on, as Captain Deering scrambled after the unfortunate orphan, that the latter thought his time was come.
The captain dragged him to his feet, however.
Then the presentation was proceeded with.
"His Excellency Ali Kungham Ben Nardbake," cried a dignitary standing beside the pasha, with a voice like a toastmaster.
"Good gracious me!" exclaimed the orphan, "all that?"
"That's not half of it," said Captain Deering. "To the faithful, he is known as well as Sid Ney Ali Ben Lesters puar Nasr ed Bowstrung and Strattford Bustum."
Mr. Figgins was greatly alarmed at this.
"Powerful memories his godfathers and godmothers must have had," he murmured.
Beside the pasha stood an official, with a beard of extraordinary length.
"Hush?" whispered Deering; "don't speak so loud."
"Who is he?" again asked the orphan, sinking his voice.
"The one with the beard?"
"His name is Whiska Said Mahmoud Ben Ross Latreille," returned Deering.
"Dear, dear!" murmured the orphan, in despairing accents, "I shall never——"
"Ease her, stop her!" cried a familiar voice in Mr. Figgins's ear, "you've got it in a knot."
It was Nat Cringle.
All was hushed.
The bearded official looked at the pasha, who nodded.
Then drawing his sword, he signed to two of his men, and Nat Cringle, looking dreadfully frightened, was bustled off behind a curtain which had been rigged up across the saloon, just at the pasha's back.
"What are they going to do?" asked the orphan, his teeth chattering in alarm.
Captain Deering was so much affected at this stage of the proceedings that he covered his face with his pocket-handkerchief.
"What is it?" faltered Mr. Figgins, faintly.
"Did you not see the cord taken away with Nat?" demanded the captain, in a funereal bass.
Mr. Figgins did hark, and an awful sound reached him from behind the curtain.
It was more like the expiring groans of a hapless porker in the hands of a ruthless butcher, than any thing else you could compare it to.
A fatal struggle was going on behind the curtain.
Groans and dying wails were heard for awhile.
Then all was still.
"Oh, what is it?" murmured the orphan, in distress.
"Squiziz Wizen, the pasha's executioner, has dealt upon poor Nat Cringle."
"What!" gasped Figgins.
"Bowstrung," returned Captain Deering.
The orphan turned faint.
Then he turned to the door, and would have fled.
"Oh, let me go home," he cried. "I don't feel happy here."
But Deering stayed him.
"You must not go, Mr. Figgins," whispered Captain Deering.
"His excellency is about to address us."
The pasha coughed.
"Quel est votre jeu?" demanded his excellency.
"What does he say?" asked Figgins.
"Batta pudn," continued his excellency, with a gracious air; "also bono Jonni."
"He says you may present whatever you have brought," whispered the captain.
"I've brought nothing," returned Mr. Figgins.
"No; I forgot."
"Thoughtless man," said Captain Deering. "Take this."
He thrust a parcel of brown paper into his hands.
"What shall I do with it?"
"Place it on the cushion before his excellency."
Mr. Figgins complied.
"Luciousosity," said the pasha, looking upon the offering greedily.
Then he clapped his hands vigorously three times.
The minister appeared, leading two veiled ladies.
The pasha made some remarks in his own language, which Captain Deering was commissioned to render into English.
"His excellency, recognising your generous offering," said he, "presents you with the choicest gifts of his seraglio, two wives. You must cherish them through life."
The orphan's countenance fell at this.
The capital punishment of poor Nat Cringle was as nothing to this.
"Tell him I'd rather not take two," he whispered to Deering.
"Why not?" ejaculated the latter.
"I wish to live single."
The bearded minister approached, leading the two veiled beauties.
"Oh! oh, dear," groaned the poor orphan.
He placed a gloved hand of each upon Mr. Figgins's shoulders.
Then, upon a given signal, they threw their arms around the orphan and hugged him, while a violent cachinnation was heard.
"What a lovely smile," said Captain Deering. "Did you hear it?"
"Oh! Please don't," cried the orphan.
He struggled to get free.
But the beauties of the seraglio held him tight.
The orphan grew desperate, and jerked himself out of their clutches.
But in the tussle down he flopped on the ground again.
"Infidel dog!" roared the pasha, venting his wrath in English, "barbarian and idolater, thou shalt die!"
Thereupon, Captain Deering dropped down beside the orphan, and sued for mercy.
"Be merciful, O great prince!" he cried. "Have pity on your humblest slave. His heart is filled with gratitude."
The pasha growled some reply that was indistinct, but which to the startled Figgins, sounded like the rumbling of distant thunder.
"Oh, what shall I do?" moaned the orphan. "Oh, somebody take me home."
"Silence," whispered Captain Deering. "Prostrate yourself as they do. Bury your face and be silent, until his excellency bids you rise. He may then overlook it."
Mr. Figgins scarce dared to breathe.
There he lay, with his face upon the ground, humbly awaiting the stern despot's permission to move.
* * * *
He waited long—very long.
While he waited thus, a strange commotion was observed amongst the pasha's suite.
The chief officer removed his turban and beard, and—wonderful to relate!—beneath it was the laughing face of Harry Girdwood.
He winked at his august master, who hurriedly removed his turban and beard as well.
And then the pasha bore a marvellous resemblance to Jack Harkaway the younger.
They helped to drag off each other's robes—for beneath their Turkish garments were their everyday clothes.
The veiled beauties of the harem were disrobed.
Beneath their veils and feminine attire they were familiarly garbed, and a glance revealed them to be Tinker and his body-guard Bogey.
"Now then, Mr. Figgins," said Nat Cringle, "wake up."
The orphan looked up in amazement at the sound.
Mr. Figgins looked about in wonderment.
Facing him was Jack Harkaway, sitting upon a camp stool, and beside him stood his constant companion, Harry Girdwood.
Engaged in conversation with them was Captain Deering, and the subject of their conversation appeared to be the orphan himself.
The Turkish soldiers and people generally forming the pasha's suite had disappeared, and in their places were several sailors, some of whom appeared to be considerably amused at something.
When Mr. Figgins sat up and looked about him, he muttered—
"What's all this?"
"A very serious case, Harry," said Jack, gravely.
"A case for the doctor."
"What do you mean?"
"These habits of drinking grow upon one," said Harry Girdwood, sadly.
"I don't understand," faltered the orphan.
"Shall we help you to bed, sir?" asked one of the sailors compassionately.
"Never!" cried Mr. Figgins, with majesty.
"Oh, yes, do," said Harry.
But nerved to desperation, the orphan tore himself away from them, and darted to the door.
"I shall go and report upon these outrageous doings to the captain of the ship," he said, drawing himself up.
"Here's the captain himself," said a good-natured voice behind him. "And now, what can he do for you, Mr. Figgins?"
The orphan turned.
There was the captain.
"Mr. Figgins," said the captain, with a serious air, and shaking his forefinger at him, "you have been indulging very early in the day."
He could endure no more.
With a cry of disgust, he dashed past the captain, and scrambled up the stairs on deck.
Once there, he shot like a race horse along the deck, and gaining his own berth, he locked himself in.
But even here he could not shut out the ringing laughter of the incorrigible practical jokers.
Mr. Figgins, as you may guess, was seen no more that day.
* * * *
Upon the day following the events just related, Jack received letters from home.
And among them was one which created no little excitement amongst the nearest friends of Jack Harkaway.
"Do you think it probable that he'll come?"
"I shouldn't wonder," said Harry Girdwood.
"I should like to see his dear old face again," said Jack.
"I'll bet a penny that we shall see him here yet; if not here, at least at our next stage," said Harry.
"It would be a rare treat to talk with someone who had seen our dear folks at home."
"It would indeed. I hope he will come."
And who did they hope would come?
Can you not guess reader? No.
Then read on, and you will learn who it was and what were the reasons which were to bring a friend from home roaming to this distant shore to meet Jack and his friends.
THE SAPIENT DOCTOR MUGGINS CAME IN HASTE—IMPEDIMENTS IN THE WAY OF THE PRESCRIPTION—DWELLS ON ARTIFICIAL LIMBS—OLD-REMINISCENCES—THE TORMENTOR.
Reader, we will return for a little time to our old friend, Mole, in England.
Mr. Mole was sad.
For so many years of his life had old Isaac Mole led a wandering career, that he found it exceedingly difficult, not to say irksome, to settle down to the prosy existence which they had all dropped into.
He never complained, it is true.
But he fell into a sort of settled melancholy, which nothing could shake off, and even grew neglectful of the bottle.
His friends grew anxious.
They wished him to take medical advice.
He resisted all persuasion stoutly.
So they had recourse to artifice, and invited an eminent medical man to their house as a visitor.
And then under the guise of a friendly chat, the doctor took his observations.
But the peculiar ailment, if ailment it could be called, of Isaac Mole, completely baffled the man of science at first.
It was only in a casual conversation that, being an observing man, he discovered the real truth.
"Our patient wants a roving commission," said the physician to himself.
And then he communicated his own convictions to old Jack.
"I scarcely believe it possible, doctor," said Jack.
But the doctor was positive.
"Nothing will do him any good but to get on the move; I'm as sure of that as I am that he has no physical ailment."
"What's to be done then?" demanded Harkaway. "He can't travel alone."
"I don't know that," said the doctor; "he's hale and wiry enough. The only difficulty that I can see, is Mrs. Mole."
"I'll undertake to get over that," said Jack.
"It is settled then," said the physician, with a smile.
"What would do him more good than all the physic in the world, would be to send him after your son."
"Impossible. Why, Jack is en route for Turkey."
"What of that?" coolly inquired the doctor.
"Consider the distance, my dear doctor."
"Pshaw, sir. Distance is nothing nowadays. It was a very different thing when I was a boy. Take my word for it, Mr. Harkaway, our patient will jump at the chance."
"He's very much attached to my roving boy."
"I know it," returned the doctor. "Never a day passes but he speaks of him; I declare that I never had a single interview with Mr. Mole, but that he has managed somehow to turn the conversation upon your son and his pranks."
"Oh, Jack, he has played him some dreadful tricks."
"Yes," returned the physician dryly, "and so has Jack's father, by all accounts."
"And yet I really believe that he enjoys the recollection of the boy's infamous practical jokes."
"I believe you are right," responded Harkaway.
A day or two later on the doctor was seated with Mr. Mole.
"Your health must be looked to. You'll have to travel."
"How, doctor?" said Mole.
"Young Harkaway is in foreign parts, and his prolonged absence causes his parents considerable uneasiness, and you must go and look after him."
Mole's eyes twinkled.
"Do you mean it?"
"I do. When would you like to start?"
"Very good. The sooner the better," said the doctor.
Mr. Mole's countenance fell suddenly.
An ugly thought crossed him.
What would Mrs. Mole say?
"There is one matter I would like to consult you on, doctor."
"What might that be?" demanded the doctor.
"My wife might have a word to say upon the subject."
"I will undertake to remove her scruples," said the doctor.
"Yes. She will never object when she knows how important your mission is."
"Doctor," exclaimed Mr. Mole, joyously; "you are a trump."
A delay naturally occurred, however.
Mr. Mole could not travel with his wooden stumps, his friends one and all agreed.
He must have a pair of cork legs made.
The doctor who had been attending our old friend knew of a maker of artificial limbs who was a wonderful man, according to all accounts.
"Yes," said Mole, "cork legs well hosed will——"
At this moment a voice tuning up under the window cut him short,
"He gave his own leg to the undertaker, And sent for a skilful cork-leg maker. Ritooral looral."
"That's Dick Harvey. Infamous!" ejaculated Mr. Mole.
"On a brace of broomsticks never I'll walk, But I'll have symmetrical limbs of cork. Ritooral looral."
"Monstrous!" exclaimed Mr. Mole; "close the window, sir, if you please."
It was all very well to say "Close it," but this was easier said than done.
Dick Harvey had fixed it beyond the skill of that skilful mechanician to unfasten.
* * * *
The aggravating minstrel continued without—
"Than timber this cork is better by half, Examine likewise my elegant calf. Ritooral looral——"
"I will have that window closed," cried Mole.
He arose, forgetting in his haste that he was minus one leg, and down he rolled.
The artificial limb-maker lunged after him, and succeeded with infinite difficulty in getting him on to his feet again.
"Dear, dear!" said Mr. Mole. "No matter, I can manage it."
He picked up the nearest object to hand, and hurled it out of window.
HOW THE ORPHAN BECAME POSSESSED OF A FLUTE.
But we must leave Mole for a time, and return to our friends on their travels.
When next they landed at a Turkish town, Mr. Figgins went to a different hotel to that patronised by young Jack, whose practical joking was rather too much for the orphan.
But they found him out, and paid him a visit one morning.
After the first greeting, Mr. Figgins was observed to be unusually thoughtful.
At length, after a long silence he exclaimed—
"I can't account for it, I really can't."
"What can't you account for, Mr. Figgins?" asked young Jack.
"The strange manners of the people of this country," answered the orphan.
"Of what is it you have to complain particularly?" inquired Jack.
"Well, it's this; wherever I go, I seem to be quite an object of curiosity."
"Of interest you mean, Mr. Figgins," returned Jack, winking at Harry Girdwood; "you are an Englishman, you know, and Englishmen are always very interesting to foreigners."
"I can't say as to that," the orphan replied; "I only know I can't show my nose out of doors without being pointed at."
"Ah, yes. You excite interest the moment you make your appearance."
"Then, if I walk in the streets, dark swarthy men stare at me and follow me till I have quite a crowd at my heels."
"Another proof of the interest they take in you."
"Well, I don't like it at all," said the orphan, fretfully; "and then the dogs bark at me in a very distressing manner."
"It's the only way they have of bidding you welcome," remarked Harry Girdwood.
"I wish they wouldn't take any notice of me at all; it's a nuisance."
"Perhaps you'd like them to leave off barking, and take to biting?"
"No, it's just what I shouldn't like, but it's what I'm constantly afraid they will do," wailed the poor orphan.
There was a slight pause, during which young Jack and his comrade grinned quietly at each other, and presently the former said—
"I think I can account for all this."
"Can you?" asked Mr. Figgins. "How?"
"It all lies in the dress you wear."
"In the dress?"
"Yes; you are in a Turkish country, and although I admit you look well in your splendid new tourist suit, cross-barred all over in four colours, I fancy it would be better if you dressed as a Turk during your stay here."
"A Turk, Jack?"
"Yes; now, if you were to have your head shaved, and dress yourself like a Turk," said Jack, "all this wonderment would cease, and you would go out, and come in, without exciting any remark."
Mr. Figgins fell back in his chair.
"Ha-ha-have my head sha-a-ved, dress myself up li-like a Turk?" he gasped. "You surely don't mean that?"
"I do, indeed," replied Jack, seriously.
"What? Wear baggy breeches, and an enormous turban, and slippers turned up at the toes! What would the natives say?"
"Why, they'd say you were a very sensible individual," remarked Harry. "Don't you remember the old saying?—'When you're in Turkey, you must do as Turkey does.'"
Mr. Figgins reflected for a moment.
"And you really think if I were to go in, for a regular Turkish fit-out, I should be allowed to enjoy my walks in peace?" he asked, at length.
"Decidedly," answered his counsellors, with the utmost gravity.
"Then I'll take your advice, and be a Turk until further notice," said the orphan; "but there's one thing still."
"My complexion isn't near dark enough for one of these infidels."
"Oh, that won't matter," said Jack; "only slip into the Turkish togs. Go in for any quantity of turban, and they won't care a button about your complexion."
"Very well, then, that's settled; I'll turn Turk at once. But must I have my head shaved?"
"That's important," said Jack.
Having made up his mind on that point, the orphan at once put on his hat, and taking a sip of brandy to compose his nerves, he sallied forth, directing his steps to the nearest barber's.
On his way thither he attracted the usual amount of attention, and when he reached the barber's shop, he found himself accompanied by a select crowd of deriding Turks, and a dozen or so of yelping curs, shouting and barking in concert.
The barber received him with the extreme of Eastern courtesy.
"What does the English signor require at the hands of the humblest of his slaves?" was the deferential inquiry.
"I have a fancy to turn Turk, and I want my head shaved," explained Mr. Figgins, nervously; "pray be careful, since I'm only a poor orphan, who——"
Before he had time to finish his sentence, he found himself wedged into a chair with a towel under his chin.
The next moment his head, under the energetic manipulation of the operator, was a creamy mass of lather.
"Be sure and don't cut my head off," murmured the orphan, as he watched the razor flashing to and fro along the strop.
"Your servant will not disturb the minutest pimple," said the barber.
With wonderful celerity, the artist went to work.
In less than two minutes the cranium of Mark Antony Figgins was as smooth and destitute of hair as a bladder of lard.
Then followed the process of shampooing, which was very soothing to the orphan's feelings.
At length, the operation being completed, the barber bade the orphan put on his hat—which from the loss of his hair went over his eyes and rested on his nose—and left the shop.
His friends—the mob and the dogs—had waited for him outside very patiently.
If his appearance had been interesting before, their interest was now greatly increased.
A loud shout welcomed him, and he proceeded along the street under difficulties, holding his hat in one hand, with the crowd at his heels.
Straight to the bazaar he went.
Here he found a venerable old Turkish Jew, who seemed to divine by instinct what he wanted.
"Closhe, shignor, closhe," he cried in broken English. "Shtep in and take your choice."
Before the bewildered orphan knew where he was, he found himself in the interior of Ibrahim's emporium.
Here a profusion of garments were displayed before his eyes.
Having no preference for any particular colour, he took what the Jew pressed upon him.
In a short time his costume was complete, consisting of a pair of ample white trousers, and a blue shirt, surmounted by a crimson vest, secured at the waist by a purple sash, and on his feet a pair of yellow slippers of Morocco leather.
The turban alone was wanting.
"Be sure and let me have a good big turban," urged Mr. Figgins.
Ibrahim assured him that he should have one as big as he could carry, and he kept his word.
Unrolling a great many yards of stuff, he formed a turban of enormous dimensions of green and yellow stripe, which he placed upon the head of his customer.
"Shall I do? Do I look like a native Turk?" asked the latter, after he had put on his things.
"Do?" echoed the Jew, exultingly. "If it ish true dat de closhe makes de man, you vill do excellent vell, and de people vill not now run after you."
Mr. Figgins having settled his account with the Hebrew clothier, and paid just three times as much as he ought to have done, went out again with considerable confidence, looking as gaudy in his mixture of bright colours as a macaw.
"No one will dare to jeer at me now," he persuaded himself.
But he was mistaken.
Hardly had he taken a half dozen steps when his brilliant costume attracted great notice.
"What a splendid Turk!" cried some.
"Who is that magnificent bashaw?" asked others, as he strutted past.
No one knew, and upon a nearer examination it was seen that the "splendid Turk" and "magnificent bashaw" was no Turk at all.
Indignation seized upon those who had a moment before been filled with admiration.
"Impostor, unbelieving dog!" shouted the enraged populace. "He is an accursed Giaour, in the dress of a follower of the Prophet."
At this, a fierce yell rose upon the air.
"Down with the wretch!"
"Tear him to pieces!"
"Let him be impaled!" cried the multitude.
With these dire threats, the angry crowd rushed towards Mr. Figgins, headed by a short, fat Turk, who was particularly indignant.
The luckless orphan, anxious to avoid the terrible doom that was threatening him, rushed away in an opposite direction.
The Turks are not, as a rule, remarkable for swift running.
Mr. Figgins, whose pace was quickened by the dreadful prospect of a stake through his body, would have easily distanced them.
But unfortunately, his green and yellow striped turban, dislodged from its position, fell—as his hat had previously done—over his eyes, and almost smothered him.
He tugged away at it as he ran, in order to get rid of it.
But all he succeeded in doing was to loosen one of the ends.
Gradually the turban began to unwind itself, the end trailing on the ground.
The Turk in pursuit caught up this end, and grasping it firmly, brought all his weight to bear upon the fugitive.
Suddenly the hapless Figgins began to feel strong symptoms of strangulation.
The next moment, a sharp jerk from the burly Turk pulled him to the ground.
But this saved him.
No sooner was he prostrate on his back than the turban slipped from his head, and he was free.
Springing to his feet, he darted off at a speed which no human grocer could ever have dreamt of.
He was soon far beyond pursuit.
All he had lost was his green and yellow striped turban.
But the loss of that, though it somewhat fretted him, had saved his life.
He found himself in a retired spot, and no one being near, he sat down to reflect and recover his breath.
"What a country this is," he thought; "pleasant enough, though, as far as the climate goes; but the people in it are awful! What a lot of bloodthirsty, bilious-looking wretches, to be sure; ready to consign to torture and death a poor innocent, unprotected orphan because he happens to be of a different colour from themselves!"
So perturbed were the thoughts of Mr. Figgins that he was obliged to smoke a cigar to soothe himself.
But even this failed to quiet his agitated nerves.
His mind was full of gloomy apprehensions.
"Where am I?" he asked himself. "How am I to get home? I shall be sure to meet some of the rabble, and with them and the dogs I shall be torn to pieces. What will become of me—wretched orphan that I am! What shall I do?"
Hardly had he uttered these distressful exclamations when a prolonged note of melody caught his ear.
"Hark!" he said to himself, "there is music. 'Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast,' says the poet, and it seems to have a soothing effect upon my nerves."
The strain had died away, and was heard no longer.
Mark Antony Figgins was in despair.
"Play again, sweet instrument," he cried, anxiously, "play again."
Again the sweet note sounded and again the solitary orphan felt comforted.
"It's a flute; it must be a flute," he murmured to himself, as he listened. "I always liked the flute. It's so soft and melancholy."
The grocer had a faint recollection of his boyhood's days, when he had been a tolerably efficient performer on a penny whistle.
Just at this moment the mournful note he heard recalled the past vividly.
So vividly, that Mr. Figgins, in the depths of his loneliness, fixed his eyes sadly on the turned-up toes of his leather slippers, and wept.
As the melody proceeded, so did the drops pour more copiously from the orphan's eyes.
And no wonder, for of all the doleful too-tooings ever uttered by wind instrument, this was the dolefullest.
But it suited Mr. Figgin's mood at that moment.
"It's a Turkish flute, I suppose," he sobbed; "but it's very beau-u-u-tiful. I wish I had a flute."
He got up and looked round, and found himself outside an enclosure of thick trees.
It was evidently within this enclosure the flute player was located.
As the reader knows, there was nothing bold or daring about Mark Antony Figgins.
But now the flute seemed to have inspired him with a kind of supernatural recklessness.
"I'd give almost any thing for that flute," he murmured to himself. "I feel that I should like to play the flute. I wonder who it is playing it, and whether he'd sell it?"
The unseen performer, at this juncture, burst forth into such a powerfully shrill cadence that the orphan was quite thrilled with delight.
"A railway whistle's a fool to it!" he cried, as he clapped his hands in ecstasy. "Bravo, bravo! Encore!"
Having shouted his applause till he was hoarse, he walked along by the side of the wall, seeking anxiously for some place of entrance.
At length he came to an open gate.
A stout gentleman—unmistakably a Turk—with a crimson cap on his head, ornamented with a tassel, and a long, reed-like instrument in his hand, was looking cautiously forth.
It was evidently the musician, who, having been interrupted in his solo, had come to see who the delinquent was that had disturbed him.
The enthusiastic Figgins had caught sight of the flute, and that was sufficient.
Forgetting his usual nervous timidity, he rushed forward.
"My dear sir," he exclaimed, "it was exquisite—delicious! Pray oblige me with another tune—or, if you have no objection, let me attempt one."
As he spoke, the excited Figgins stretched forth both his hands.
The owner of the flute, who evidently suspected an attempt at robbery, quietly placed his instrument behind him, and looking hard at Figgins, said sternly—
"What son of a dog art thou?"
To which Figgins replied mildly—
"You're mistaken, my dear sir; I'm the son of my father and mother, but they—alas!—are no more, and I am now only a poor desolate orphan."
The tears trickled from his eyes as he spoke.
The Turk did not appear in the least affected.
"What bosh is all this?" he asked, after a moment, in a hard, unsympathetic tone.
"It's no bosh at all, I assure you, my dear signor," replied Figgins, earnestly; "the fact is, I heard you play on your flute, and its sweet tones so soothed my spirits—which are at this moment extremely low—that I am come to make several requests."
"Umph!" growled the Turk; "what are they?"
"First, that you will play me another of your charming airs, next, that you will allow me to attempt one myself, and thirdly, that you will sell me the instrument you hold in your hand.'"
The Turk glared for a moment fiercely at the proposer of these modest requests, and then politely wishing the graves of his departed relatives might be perpetually defiled, he replied curtly—
"First, I am not going to play any more to-night; next, I will see you in Jehanum before I allow you to play; and thirdly, I won't sell my flute."
 The abode of lost spirits.
With these words, he stepped back into the garden and slammed the gate in Mr. Figgins' face.
"I shall never get over this," Figgins murmured to himself, gloomily; "that flute would have cheered my solitary hours, and that ruthless Turk refuses to part with it. Now, indeed, I feel my peace of mind is gone forever."
His grief at this juncture became so overpowering, that he leant against the door, and in his despair hammered it with his head.
Suddenly the door burst open, and the distressed orphan, in all his brilliant array, shot backwards into some shrubs of a prickly nature, whose sharp thorns added to his agonizing sensations.
"Will anybody be kind enough to put an end to my misery?" he wailed, as he lay on his back, feeling as though he had been transformed into a human pincushion.
He was not a little surprised to hear a familiar voice exclaim—
"Lor' bless me! dat you, Massa Figgins?"
Glancing up, he espied the black face of Bogey looking down upon him.
"Yes, it's me," he answered, in a wailing tone; "help me up."
"Gib me you fist," cried Bogey.
Mr. Figgins extended his hand, and the negro grasping it, by a vigorous jerk hoisted the prostrate grocer out of his thorny bed, tingling all over as though he had been stung by nettles.
Bogey was quite astounded at the transformation of his dress.
"Why, Massa Figgins, what out-and-out guy you look!" he exclaimed; "whar all you hair gone to?"
The orphan only groaned.
He was thinking of another h-air (without the h), the air he had heard on the Turkish flute.
Just at that moment the too-too-too of the instrument sounded again.
Figgins stood like one absorbed.
All his agonizing pains were at once forgotten.
"How sweet, how plaintive!" he murmured to himself; "too-too-too, tooty-tooty-too!" he hummed, in imitation of the sound.
Bogey heard it also, and involuntarily put his hands on big stomach and made a comically wry face.
"Whar dat orful squeakin' row?" he asked.
"Hush, hush!" exclaimed the orphan, holding up his hands reprovingly, and turning up his eyes at the same time; "it's heavenly music; it's a flute, my boyhood's favourite instrument."
"Gorra!" muttered Bogey; "it 'nuff to gib a fellar de mullingrubs all down him back and up him belly."
He looked towards Mr. Figgins, and seeing him standing with his hands clasped looking like a white-washed Turk in a trance, he said—
"What de matter wid yer, Massa Figgins? Am you ill?"
"That flute, that melodious flute, that breathes forth dulcet notes of peace," murmured the orphan, in a deep, absorbed whisper. "I must have that flute."
Bogey felt a little anxious.
"Me t'ink Massa Figgins getting lilly soft in him nut; him losing him hair turn him mad," he said to himself.
"I must have that flute," repeated the grocer, in the same abstracted tone and manner. "I should think it cheap at ten pounds."
Bogey, on hearing this, opened his eyes very wide.
He thought he saw a chance of doing a profitable bit of business on his own account.
So, after an instant, he said quietly—
"Good flute worth more dan ten pounds; rale good blower like dat worth twenty at de bery least."
"Yes, yes; I'd give twenty willingly," murmured the wrapt Figgins.
"Bery good," said Bogey, as he instantly disappeared through the gate.
The orphan remained waiting without.
The "too-too-tooing" was going on in the usual doleful and melancholy manner, and guided by the sound, Bogey crept forward till he came in sight of the performer, who was seated in a snug nook in his garden playing away to his heart's content; or, as the negro supposed, endeavouring to frighten away the birds.
Bogey took stock of the stout player and his flute.
Creeping along the shrubbery till he had got exactly opposite to the flautist, he, in the midst of the too-too-tooing, uttered an unearthly groan.
"Inshallah!" exclaimed the Turk, stopping suddenly; "what was that?"
"It war me," groaned the hidden Bogey more deeply than before.
"Who are you?" faltered the musician, hearing the mysterious voice, but seeing no one.
"Me am special messenger from de Prophet," Bogey replied.
"Allah Kerim! my dream is coming true. Is it the Prophet speaks?" gasped the Turk, his olive cheeks turning the hue of saffron.
"Iss, it de profit brings me here," returned Bogey, truthfully.
"What message does he send to his slave?" asked the old Turk.
"He say you make sich orful row wid dat flute he can git no sleep, an', derefore, he send me to stop it. You got to gib up de flute direckly."
The teeth of the half-silly musician were chattering in his head.
His optics rolled wildly from side to side.
Just at this crisis Bogey, with his eyes glaring and his white teeth fully exposed, thrust his black face from the foliage.
"Drop it," he cried, with a hideous grin.
He had no occasion to repeat the command.
With a yell of terror the horrified Turkish gentleman, who was really half an idiot, and was just then away from his keepers, let fall his instrument from his trembling fingers, and starting up, waddled away from the spot as though the furies were after him, while the special messenger of the Prophet quietly picked up the flute with a chuckle, and retraced his steps to the gate.
Here he found Mr. Figgins.
He could scarcely believe his eyes when he saw the negro with the precious instrument in his hand.
"The flute, the flute!" he cried, "the soother of sorrow, the orphan's comforter. Let me clutch you in my grasp. Oh, it brings back my boyhood's days."
As he spoke, he rushed forward eagerly to seize the treasure.
But Bogey stuck to it.
"Money fust, Massa Figgins," he said, with a grin, "twenty poun' am de price, yah know, an' dis a fuss-rate blower. Too-too-too, tooty-tum-too," he sounded on the instrument.
The orphan was frantic.
"I haven't twenty pounds with me," he exclaimed, excitedly, "but I'll pay you the moment we get home, and five pounds over for interest. You know I'm well off, and am also a man of my word."
Bogey did know this, and was not afraid to trust him.
"Well, den, dere de flute," he said; "but don't begin too-too-tooin' till we git good way off, else p'r'aps de gem'l'm wid de red cap hear and send a dog arter de speshal messenger of de Prophet."
Mr. Figgins pledged himself not to blow a note till they were a mile from the spot at least, and on the strength of this promise, Bogey gave him up the instrument.
But no sooner did the excited orphan find it in his possession than he forgot all his promises, and putting the flute to his lips, he at once commenced "The Girl I Left Behind Me," in the most brilliant manner—so brilliant indeed that it reached the ears of the owner inside, and, as Bogey had shrewdly suspected would be the case, the latter began to have some slight suspicions that he had been done out of his flute by an impostor.
Very soon his voice was heard calling his dogs, and almost immediately loud barkings were heard.
"Run, run, Massa Figgins, or de dogs tear yah to pieces," shouted Bogey.
"They may tear me limb from limb," returned the orphan "but they shan't rob me of my flute."
And without taking the instrument from his lips, off he ran playing "Cheer, Boys, Cheer," as he hurried along.
The next moment out rushed several gaunt-looking animals, and gave chase to the musical Figgins, urged on by their mad master, who was following them.
Bogey waited for him at the gate.
As he came forth puffing, grunting, and blowing, the negro put out his foot, and over he went on his nose.
"Go back, massa bag breeches," cried Bogey, fiercely.
He added to the effect of his words by applying a switch he carried to the fat hind-quarters of the Turk, who was glad to scramble in at his gate on all fours, and shut it to keep out the "special messenger" and his cane.
When Bogey came up with Mr. Figgins, he found that usually timid personage with his back against a tree, doing battle with his canine foes, who were making sad havoc with his Moslem garments.
"Bravo, Massa Figgins," cried Bogey, as he rushed in among the yelping pack, "we soon get rid of dese heah."
With this he laid about him with such energy that the Turkish dogs, utterly bewildered, dropped their ears, and tucking their tails between their legs, slunk howling away, whilst the triumphant orphan accompanied their flight with a lively tune on his flute.
Accompanied by Bogey, Mark Antony reached his quarters in safety.
He then promptly paid the price of his instrument, and at once set himself steadily to practise, to the great horror of all in the house.
* * * *
A week passed. Then the following conversation took place between young Jack Harkaway and his comrade Harry Girdwood.
"I say, old fellow, are you fond of music?"
"Well, it all depends what sort of music it is," Jack replied.
"What do you think of Figgins' instrumental performance?"
"Well, I think it's an awful row."
"So do I; but he doesn't seem to think so."
"No; he's always at it; all day long and half through the night; he'll blow himself inside his flute if he goes on at this rate. I consider it comes under the head of a nuisance."
"Most decidedly," said Jack, "and like other nuisances, must be put a stop to."
"All right: let's send for him at once."
Bogey was summoned and dispatched with a polite message from young Jack, that he would be glad to speak to him.
On receiving the message, he repaired at once to the room where Jack and Harry Girdwood were located, preparing another practical joke for the benefit of the orphan.
Mr. Figgins took his flute with him, and too-tooed all the way till he reached the door of Jack's room.
For Jack and Harry, it should be mentioned, had followed the orphan to his new abode, and secured rooms in the same house.
"Sit down, Mr. Figgins," said Jack.
Mr. Figgins sat down, nursing his flute.
"I have sent for you," Jack commenced.
"Ah, I see, you wish for a tune," cried the orphan, with much hilarity, as he put the flute to his lips and began to play.
"On the contrary," cried Jack, quickly; "it's just what we don't wish for; we should be glad if you'd come to a stop."
Mr. Figgins opened his eyes with astonishment.
"Come to a stop," he echoed; "is it possible that you wish to stop my flute? Why, I thought you liked music."
"So I do," Jack replied, drily, "when it is music."
"And isn't my flute music? Are not its tones soft and sweet and soothing to the spirits?"
"We have found them quite the reverse," Jack assured him; "in fact, if you don't put away your flute, you'll drive us both mad, and then I wouldn't like to answer for the consequences—which might be awful."
Mr. Figgins looked aghast.
"The idea of such exquisite music as my instrument discourses driving anyone mad," he exclaimed at length, "is past belief."
"You may call it exquisite music, but we call it an awful row," Jack replied, candidly, "therefore have the goodness to shut up."
The orphan drew himself up and clutched his flute in a kind of convulsive indignation.
"I object to shutting up, Mr. Harkaway," he exclaimed, determinately; "in fact, I will not shut up. In this dulcet instrument I have found a balm for all my woes, and I intend to play it incessantly for the rest of my existence."
"You'll blow yourself into a consumption," said Harry Girdwood.
"Well, if I do, I'm only a poor orphan whom no one will regret," returned Mr. Figgins, a tear trickling down his nose at the thought of his lonely condition; "I shall die breathing forth some mournful melody, and my flute will——"
"You can leave that to us as a legacy, and we'll put it under a glass case," said Harry.
"No; my flute shall be buried with me in the silent grave."
"We don't care what you do with it after you're dead," returned Jack, "but we object to being annoyed with it while you're alive."
"Oh, you shan't be exposed to any further annoyances on my account," said the orphan, rising grandly; "I and my flute will take our departure together."
With these words he left the room, and very shortly afterwards quitted the house.
* * * *
Mr. Figgins being determined to keep apart from the Harkaway party, gave up the rooms he had taken, and after some search found another lodging in the upper chamber of a house in a retired part of the town.
Here he determined to settle down, and devote himself with more ardour than ever to the practice of his favourite instrument.
* * * *
It was night.
Mr. Figgins was in bed, but he could get no sleep.
Curious insects, common to Eastern climes, crawled forth from chinks in the walls and cracks in the floor, and nibbled the orphan in various parts of his anatomy till he felt as if the surface of his skin was one large blister.
"What a dreadful climate is this," he murmured, as he sat up in bed; "nothing but creeping things everywhere. Phew! what's to be done?"
He reflected a moment.
"I have it!" he exclaimed, "my flute, my precious flute, that will soothe me."
Hopping nimbly out of bed, he dressed himself in his European costume, seized his instrument, and began a tune.
He had been playing all day long, and the other lodgers in the house were congratulating themselves on the cessation of the infliction, when suddenly the instrumental torture commenced again.
"Too-too, too-tum-too, tooty-tum, tooty-tum, too-tum-too," went the flute, in a more shrill and vigorous manner than ever, whilst a select party of dogs, attracted by the melody, assembled under the window and howled in concert.
In the chamber next to that occupied by the infatuated Figgins lodged a Turk, Bosja by name.
Bosja, in the first place, had no taste for music, and particularly detested the sound of a flute.
Secondly, he was suffering from an excruciating toothache, and the incessant too-tum, too-tum, tooty-tum-too—with the additional music of the dogs—drove him mad.
He was sitting up with his pipe in his mouth, and a green, yellow-striped turban pulled down over his ears, trying to shut out the sound, but in vain.
"Oh, oh! Allah be merciful to me!" he groaned, as the irritated nerve gave him an extra twinge.
"Too-too, too-tum-too, too-tum, too-tum, tooty-tum-too," from the orphan's flute answered him.
"Allah confound the wretch with his tooty-tum-too!" growled the distracted sufferer; "if he only knew what I am enduring."
But this Mr. Figgins did not know.
Probably he would not have cared if he had known, and he continued to pour forth melodious squeakings to his own entire satisfaction.
At length the patience of Bosja was utterly exhausted, and he summoned the landlady.
"What son of Shitan have you got in the next room?" he demanded of her, fiercely.
"I know very little of him," returned the mistress of the house; "only that he is a Frankish gentleman, who dresses sometimes as a Turk, and has lately come to lodge here."
"He is a dog, and the son of a dog! May his flute choke him, and his father's grave be defiled!" growled the irascible Turk, "tell him to leave off, or I will kill him and burn his flute."
The landlady went at once and tapped at the door of the musical lodger.
There was no response save the too-too-too of the flute.
"Signor!" she called after a moment.
"What's the matter?" inquired Mr. Figgins from within; "do you wish me to come and play you a tune?" and he then continued "too-too, tooty-too."
"The gentleman in the next room objects to the sound of your flute."
"Does he?—tooty-too, tooty-too."
"Yes; and he begs you'll leave off."
"I shan't!—tooty-tum, tooty-tum, tooty-too. I intend to play all night."
The landlady, having delivered her message, went downstairs.
Mr. Figgins still continued to blow away and the agonized Bosja to mutter curses not loud, but deep, upon his head and his instrument.
But patience has its limits, and Bosja, never remarkable for that virtue, having sworn all the oaths he knew twice over, at last sprang from his bed, and dashing down his pipe, rapped fiercely at the wall.
"What do you want? Shall I come and play a few tunes to you?" inquired the orphan, placidly pausing for an instant.
"You vile son of perdition, stop that accursed noise!" shouted the Turk.
"Do you hear, unbelieving dog?"
"Tooty-too—yes, I hear—tooty-tooty-tooty-too."
"Then why don't you stop?"
"Because I intend to go on—too-tum-too—all night"
"But you're driving me to distraction."
"Nonsense; go to bed and sleep—tooty-tum, tooty-tum, tooty-too. You will like the beautiful flute in time."
"But I can't sleep with that infernal tooty-too in any ears, and I've got the toothache."
"Have it out. You'll feel better."
This cool irony on the part of Mr. Figgins was like oil poured upon the fierce temper of the irascible Bosja, and he shouted loudly—
"If I hear any more of that diabolical 'tootum-too,' I swear by Allah I'll take your life, and give your body to the crows and vultures."