Newspaper Page Text
V'"-" YOU'VE heard the West Indian ne ; groes say," began Colonel U , ••■ ~. ' "that monkeys are really men, and jaaijj on ly pretend to be dumb for fear . of being obliged to work. • Well, •- •. upon my word, I've seen them do such things as would almost make me believe it, ' ,- ■,.•■■."; ■"When I first joined the regiment, our sepior captain had a gray monkey chained up on the veranda of his bungalow (house), clone to one of the "front windows. H^'Now, -just inside this window,, on a low stand,' stood a fine French clock, of which the captain was very proud. But apparently it didn t please the monkey quite as well as his mairter; for, whether it was that the ticking anuoyed him, or that he. was exerted by the glitter of the glass and the gilt ornaments .round it, Mr. Monkey seemed to have a special K|)ite against that clock, and to have quite made up hisinind to knock it down and break it.' - •■■-.■. . - . • - '.'Luckily,', his chain was just a little too short to let him reach it with his forepaws, : I'lntch and strain as he might. But' if he uidu t reason } upon these failures, he did something very like it; for one day, after stretching and straining to get ■ hold of this flock until he almost chtked himself, he stop •ned short all at once, and appeared to medi tate. ' "' . : . ■ - ,'' Ihen he turned suddenly round, work fed the ring of his chain (which was round the middle of his body) as far, .up as he could, and then, jerking out his left hind leg to its full length, he just managed to hit the corner of the stand, and over went the •poor old dock on to the floor, smashing its glass all to bits! This was pretty well for an unreasoning' animal; but, a few years later, when I was down in Ceylon for a holi day, I witnessed another feat of monkey in telligence which was more surprising still "You remember 'the at Trincomalee, I dare say; and' of course you know what a *pace they are for big snakes. It used to be a saying with us there that, after a man had been a fortnight at Tlineomalee, the mere sight of a coil of rope would make him jump ten feet. '- ,: ',"••■>*--• • "I remember well how a young lady, who had strayed away from the rest at a picnic among the cliffs, suddenly slipped down a smooth face of rock, and found herself in the coils of a huge python. "Luckily, the creature was so fully gorged already that it was too sluggish and sleepy to do her any harm, and her cries soon brought lup half a dozen of the native servants, who fell upon his snakeship with their clubs; and : made very short work of him. "Now, I had always had a great hatred of rerpenta myself, and the four or five narrow escapes that I had from them in Central India didn't, make me like them any the better. So, directly I found out that these rocks were such a favorite place of theirs, I took to go Sirp o o soper Celebrates the Fburtb Continued from Preeedlunr I'iikc had remaining by the cloud of smoke and scorching fire . which immediately enveloped him. • He leaped into the air with, a yell, ami then broke into a panicky flight. The cries of Til da, recalled him to his senses. ■ "Oh, o>w'ovA>w! Ob, I is killed! I is dead! Ob, Simon! oh, mammy! Oh, ow- f ow-ow!" ■ " ■ • . "What's de mattah?" asked Simon, brave ly coming back in spite of his shaking limbs. ' 1 Tilda ceased her kicking, wiped I the sand out of her eyes and sat up. ; "Whar is de poison's goat?" . "Dunno," Simon replied, soberly, "Dead, I 'spec." : ■..■••. Tilda rose to her feet, patted her eyes to ascertain, if they were all right, and felt of the injured arm. I . * "Did : dat er goat 1>utt me down • 'while ergo?" ' ■ . "It us din yer cannon ! " said Simon, look ing at the place where it had been. Ilia eyes rounded out like saucers as be BOtfS' AND GIRLS' MAGAZINE SECTION ing there with my double-barreled rifle every day and blazed away at every creeping thing that I caught sight of, making such a slaugh ter that the Cingalese gave me some crack-jaw native name, beginning with 'Nag,' which meant 'Killer of Serpents." . ."Well, one day I was out snaie-hunting as usual among the cliffs, when all at once I heard a terrible ouUny, as if twenty or thirty children were all screaming at once; and coming round a sharp corner, I saw what was wrong. ."A gang of rock-monkeys, frolicking in a deep hollow, had been startled from their play by the sudden coming out of a monstrous boa constrictor right among them, from a narrow cleft in the rock. ' . . ■ ■■-■ . "In a moment the whole band flew screech ing up the sides of the hollow, out of his reach, except one poor little fellow, who wawn't quite quick enough in - getting away. He had only just time for one piteous cry before the great coils closed round him, and the next instant he lay crushed and dead, while the serpent prepared to swallow him at leisure. - "The whole thing seemed so like the kill ing of a child-that it made me feel quite savage, and I was just going to let fly both barrels of my rifle into the great, ugly brute. But just as I brought the piece to my shoul der, my servant Ayapah — an old shikar (na tive hunter) . from the mountains of Mysore, and by far the best man at that sort of work saw only the cast-iron carriage and a hole in the ground. Then he took Tilda's hand, and they jour neyed slowly and sorrowfully toward the meeting-houae, where the "posson," undis turbed by the tremendous racket out of doors, was still holding forth, having just reached his "aixteenthly." A high, board fence surrounded the house, and Simon failed to notice that the goat had backed its tinged anatomy into the shadow of this fence. ' By the gate stood an empty barrel, bottom end up. As the distance increased between | them and the scene of the disaster, Simon's cour age came slowly back, and with it his love of frolic. The upturned barrel and the sound of the "posson's" high-keyed voice.- suggest ed the idea of a speech— a lourth of July speech, if you please. /- "I do' wanter go into de chu'eh, nohow," he said, as he unfolded the plan to Tilda. "We'll jest have er meetin' by ours'ves. You set over dar on dat stone an' be de eong' ation." - •.-•-■.;:• :"W A Monkey's Vengeance that I ever met in India— caught hold of my arm. . . . .. r-Vr -V " 'No shoot, sahib' (master), said he, in a whisper, 'no shoot! Suppose Capitaun sahib wait little time; plenty fine show sec." "The old fellow sjmke so earnestly that I began to feel interested without knowing why, and, sitting down in the shadow of the rock ; watched to see what would happen next. .-"Just at first nothing seemed to happen at ill, except that the boa began to swallow the dead monkey, and seemed to be having rather a tough job to do it. But presently I noticed a great stir among the monkeys who were still gathered on the brow^of the cliff, just above the hollow in which the serpent was lying. "Several more seemed to have joined the band, and the others were screecliing and chattering and grimacing and pointing with their long, black-tipped fingers, as if explain ing to the newcomers what had been going on. ■. . . " "I saw a curious twinlde in Ayapah'g small black eyes,- and guessed at once that something queer was coming, although for the life of me I could. not tell what. >. "All at once the noise ceased as suddenly as it had begun, and everything was so quiet that if I hadn't seen the monkeys still clus tering along the top of the rock, I should never have known that they were there at all. "But the cause of this was plain enough. The serpent had' finished his dinner at last, He mounted the barrel, cleared his throat, and swung bis arms as he had seen the "pos- Bon" do. "Now, you is a-lissvnin', Tildy, is you? Ef you go er-peekin' off toads the hill dat er way, I can t make er speech." "I jest remembranced dat we lef* tte tow'l an' de brooru at de fote," Tilda ventured, in extenuation of • her offense. "We'll git der tow'l an' broom bofe. atter while. Now you let lissen ter me; you heah!" He swung his arms again, and began: "Dis am de.day wlien cle gree-ate 'Aleri can eagle fußt flopped his claws! Dis em—" "Flopped his wings!" Tilda mildly cor rected. ■ . '"■-.'.'. -- "Now, lookee year, Tildy; ef you go to 'ruptin' ine — " The goat, peering around the corner, rec ognized its old enemy. . and accepting the swinging arms <v a challenge, ut this instant made a charge. ■, It struck the barrel fairly. Hie orator shot into the air. As he fell, he landed astride the goat's .shoulders, bo terrifying the animal that it .■■ .■ 1 ■ ■";'.": T -' ii * v ' and was getting ready to have a nap after it, just as. if he had been a city merchant; and the monkeys had a very good reason for being polite enough to avoid disturbing him. - — - "Presently the huge coils relaxed from their strain, and lay limp along the ground. The great, flat head sank down lazily, and in a trice the snake was fast asleep. "Just -then a monkey peeped over the edge of the rock, and appeared to report to the others behind that all was well. "The next moment. l saw an immense stone on the brow of the cliff, just above where the boa lay* begin to shake and totter, and I could see that the whole gang of monkeys were pushing ut it wjtb. all their might and main. "It shook again, .then turned right over, and, crash! down it came full upon the gorged snake ! ' '- * "': • ■; ■'.■■•' "There was a hiss, like fifty kettles all boiling over at once, and the boa, crippled though he was, jerked up half his length into the air, wriggling and flopping like a speared eel. "But instantly a big etone hit him on the head, and then another and another. In fact, the monkeys never stopped till they liad fairly pelted him to death; and then they -. set up such a joyful hullabalo, that I was almost deafened by it. ': r'-V-. ': ' ;■ "Now, if those monkeys had no power of reasoning, they had a pretty good imitation of it, anyhow— and that s all I have to say!" bolted through the gate and rushed blindly into the meeting-house, Simon clinging tight ly to it with convulsive fear. The sudden appearance of this singular steed and rider threw the congregation into an uproar. There were cries of alfright and exclamations of anger. The goat made straight for its master in the pulpit, but a dozen hands grasped it and hurled it through the ' door, almost before Simon could slide from its back. As the little darkey arose from the aisle and looked about in dazed bewilderment, his mother grasped him by the ear, almost lift- . ing him from the floor, as eke dragged him out of- the house. "Simon, I is ershamed ob you!" she cried, in anger .and humiliation. "Is dis de way I tole you to 'joy de Fo'tk? Dar'a Tildy er cryin*. Go long home, ,bofe<er you, an' never lemme . heah you say ergin dat you wants' ter Bellerbmte de Fo th." Simon crept home, crushed, humiliated, and with an aching ear. Hut the next return of the great national holiday found him an lively and mischievous as ever?