The Last of the Huggermuggers
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He saw nothing around him but huge rocks and trees, with here and there an enormous fence or stone wall. He wandered on for some time, clambering over great rocks and wading through long grasses, and began to be very tired and very hungry ; for he had not eaten any thing since the evening before, when he feasted on the huge beach plums. He soon found himself in a sort of black- berry pasture, where the berries were as big as apples; and having eaten some of these, he sat down to consider what was to be done. He felt that he was all alone in a great wilderness, and out of which he feared he never could free himself.
The last of the huggermuggers : a giant story : with illustrations
Poor Jacky felt lonely and sad enough, and almost wished he had discovered himself to the dwarf, for whatever could have happened to him, it could not have been worse than to be left to perish in a wilderness alone. But they were great voices, as of trumpets and drums. He looked over the top of the rock against which he was seated, and saw for the first time the entire forms of Huggermugger and his wife, looming up like two great light-houses.
He knew it must be they, for he recognized their voices. They were standing on the other side of a huge stone wall. It was the giant's garden. I must watch which way he goes, and if I can manage not to be seen, and can only keep up with him for he goes at a tremendous pace we shall see! Pretty soon, he saw the huge fellow laying about him with his big stick, and making a great splashing in the water. It was evi- dent he was killing Mrs. Huggermugger 's frogs, a few of which he put in his basket, and then strode away in another direction.
Little Jacket now made the best use of his little legs that ever he made in his life. If he could only keep the giant in sight! Little Jacket could see his large figure towering up some miles ahead. Another fortunate circumstance, too, was, that the giant was smoking his pipe as he went, and even when Little Jacket almost lost sight of him, he could guess where he was from the clouds of smoke floating in the air, like the vapor from a high-pressure Mississippi steamboat. So the little sailor toiled along, scrambling over rocks, and through high weeds and grass and bushes, till they came to a road.
Then Jacky's spirits began to rise, and he kept along as cautiously, yet as fast as he could, stopping only when the giant stopped. At last, after miles and miles of walking, he caught a glimpse of the sea through the huge trees that skirted the road. How his heart bounded!
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Huggermugger's domestic fire- side. When he came near enough, he called some of his comrades by name, not too loud, for fear of being heard by the shellfish-loving giant. They knew his voice, and one after another looked out of his shell. They had already seen the giant, as they were out looking for their lost companion, and had fled to hide themselves in their shells. I have just escaped, almost by miracle. Come, come with me here under the rocks in this cave quick, before he sees us! Huggermugger did not see them. They were safe. As soon as he had filled his basket, he went off, and left nothing but his footprints and the smoke of his pipe behind him.
For he would have known the difference between a sailor and a shell-fish at once, and was no doubt too good-natured to injure them, if they made it clear to his mind that they were not by any means fish; but, on the contrary, might disagree dreadfully with his digestion, should he attempt to swallow them.
VERY soon the sailors found a nice, large, dry cave in the rocks. There they brought dry sea-weed and made it into beds, and lived on the fish and fruits, which they had not much difficulty in obtaining. They even dragged their beautiful shells into the cave, and made little closets and cupboards of them. Their cups and plates were made of smaller bivalve shells. Their drink was clear spring-water, which they dis- covered near by, mixed with the juice of fruits.
They lived in this way for several weeks, always hoping some good luck would happen. At last, one day, they saw a ship a few miles from the shore. They all ran to the top of a rock, and shouted and waved their hats.
They did not wait for it to reach the land, but being all good swimmers, with one accord plunged into the sea and swam to the boat. The sailors in the boat proved to be all Americans, and the ship was the Nancy John- son, from Portsmouth, N. The poor fellows were glad enough to get on board ship again. As they sailed off", they fancied they saw in the twi- light, the huge forms of the great Mr. Huggermugger on the rocks, gazing after them with open eyes and mouths. They pointed them out to the people of the ship, as Little Jacket related his won- derful adventures ; but the sailors only laughed at them, and saw nothing but huge rocks and trees ; and they whispered among themselves, that the poor fellows had lived too long on tough clams and sour berries, and cold water, and that a little jolly life on board ship would soon cure their disordered imaginations.
They all arrived safely at Java, where the ship took in a cargo of coffee. Little Jacket often related his adventures in the giant's island, but the sailors, though many of them were inclined to believe in marvellous stories, evidently did not give much credit to Jacky's strange tale, but thought he must have dreamed it all. There was, however, one man who came frequently on board the ship while at Java, who seemed not altogether incredulous. He was a tall, powerful Yan- kee, who went by the name of Zebedee Nabbum.
S5 He had been employed as an agent of Barnum, to sail to the Indies and other countries in search of elephants, rhinoceroses, lions, tigers, baboons, and any wild animals he might chance to ensnare. He had been fitted out with a large ship and crew, and all the men and implements necessary for this exciting and dangerous task, and had been successful in entrap- ping two young elephants, a giraffe, a lion, sixteen monkeys, and a great number of parrots.
He was now at Java superintending the manufacture of a very powerful net of grass-ropes, an invention of his own, with which he hoped to catch a good many more wild animals, and return to America, and make his fortune by exhibiting them for Mr. Now Zebedee Nabbum listened with profound atten- tion to Little Jacket's story, and pondered and pon- dered over it. Don't we read in Scripter that there war giants once?
Then why hadn't there ought to be some on 'em left in some of them remote islands whar nobody never was? He 'd kick, I know. He'd a kind o' roar and struggle, and maybe swamp the biggest raft we could make to fetch him. But couldn't we starve him into submission? Or, if we gave him plenty of clams, couldn't we keep him quiet? Or couldn't we give the critter Rum? I guess he don't know nothin' of ardent sperets and obfusticate his wits and get him reglar boozy couldn't we do any thing we chose to, then?
An't it worth try in', any how?
If we could catch him, and get him to Ameriky alive, or only his skeleton, my fortune's made, I cal'late. I kind o' can't think that young fellow 's been a gullin' me. He talks as though he'd seen the awful big critters with his own eyes. So do the other six fellows they couldn't all of 'em have been dreamin'. Little Jacket was rather astonished at the bold scheme of the Yankee, and tried to dissuade him from attempting it.
But Zebedee had got his head so full of the notion now, that he was determined to carry out his project, if he could. He even tried to per- suade Little Jacket to go with him, and his six com- panions, and finally succeeded. The six other sailors, however, swore that nothing would tempt them to expose themselves again on shore to the danger of being taken by the giant. But Little Jacket made Zebedee promise that he would be guided by his advice, in their endeavors to ensnare the giant.
Indeed, a new idea had entered Jacky's head as to the best way of getting Huggermugger into their power, and that was to try persuasion rather than stratagem or force. I will tell you the reasons he had for so thinking. The Huggermuggers were not Ogres or Canni- bals. The Huggermuggers wore clothes, lived in houses, and were surrounded with various indications of civilization. They were not savages. The Huggermuggers spoke English, with a strange accent, to be sure.
They seemed sometimes to prefer it to their own language. They must, then, have been on friendly terms with English or Ameri- cans, at some period of their lives. The Huggermuggers were not wicked and blood-thirsty. How different from the monsters one reads about in children's books! And the only time he had a full view of their faces, Little Jacket saw in them an expression which was really good and benevolent.
All these facts came much more forcibly to Jacky's mind, now that the first terror was over, and calm, sober reason had taken the place of vague fear. He, therefore, told Mr. Nabbum, at length, his reasons for proposing, and even urging, that unless Huggermugger should exhibit a very different side to his character from that which he had seen, nothing like force or stratagem should be resorted to. Nabbum, in throwing your net over his head, or your noose round his leg, as you would round an elephant's, you should consider how powerful and in- telligent, and, if incensed, how furious an adversary you have to deal with.
And as to your idea of making him drunk, and taking him aboard in that condition, there is no knowing whether drink would not render him quite furious, and ten times more unmanageable than ever. No, take my word for it, Mr. You cannot catch him as you would an elephant or a hippopotamus. You've seen the big var- mint, and feel a kind o' acquainted with him, so you see I won't insist on my plan, if you 've any better.
Now, what I want to know is, what's your idee of comin' it over the critter? We may coax him away ; tell him stories about our country, and what fun he 'd have among the people so much smaller than him- self, and how they'd all look up to him as the greatest man they ever had, which will be true, you know ; and that perhaps the Americans will make him General Huggermugger, or His Excellency President Huggermugger ; and you add a word about our nice oysters, and clam-chowders.
To be sure, it 's a long voyage, and we 'd have to lay in an awful sight of provisions, for he's a great feeder ; but we can touch at different ports as we go along, and replenish our stock. We must think the matter over, and it will be time enough to decide what to do when we get there. Even if we find it impossible to get him to go with us, we'll get somebody to write his history, and an account of our adventures, and make a book that will sell.
So Little Jacket sailed with Mr. Zebedee Nabbum, in search of the giant's island. They took along a good crew, several bold elephant-hunters, an author to write their adventures, an artist to sketch the Hug- germuggers, Little Jacket's six comrades, grappling- irons, nets, ropes, harpoons, cutlasses, pistols, guns, the two young elephants, the lion, the giraffe, the monkeys, and the parrots. They had some difficulty in finding the island, but by taking repeated observations, they at last discovered land that they thought must be it.
They came near, and were satisfied that they were not deceived. There were the huge black cliffs there were the rocky promontory the beach. Was it fancy or not, that Little Jacket thought he could see in the gathering darkness, a dim, towering shape, moving along like a pillar of cloud, now and then stooping to pick up something on the shore till it stopped, and seemed looking in the direction of the ship, and then suddenly darted off towards the cliffs, and disappeared in the dark woods.
For in the morning early, as Little Jacket and Nabbum and several others of the boldest of the crew had just landed their boat, and were walking on the beach, whom should they see but Huggermugger and his wife hastening towards them with rapid strides. Their first impulse was to rush and hide themselves, but the Huggermuggers came too fast towards them to allow them to do so. There was nothing else to do but face the danger, if danger there was. What was their surprise to find that the giant and giantess wore the most beaming smiles on their broad faces.
Little Jacket then told them where they came from, and related his whole story of having been ship- wrecked there, and all his other adventures.
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Huggermugger and his wife laughed till the tears ran down their faces, and made such a noise in their merriment, that the sailors wished they were further off. They, however, were in as great glee as the giant and giantess, and began to entertain such a good opinion of them, that they were ready to assent to any thing the Huggermuggers proposed. In fact, except in matter of size, they could see very little difference between the giants and themselves.
All Zebedee Nabbum's warlike and elephant-trapping schemes melted away entirely, and he even began to have a sort of conscientious scruple against enticing away the big fellow who proved to be such a jolly good-humored giant. He was prepared for resistance. He would have even liked the fun of throwing a noose over his head, and pulling him down and har- pooning him, but this good-humored, merry laughter, this motherly caressing, was too much for Zebedee. He was overcome. Even Little Jacket was astonished. The once dreaded giant was in all respects like them only O, so much bigger!
So, after a good deal of friendly talk, Huggermug- ger invited the whole boat's crew to go home with him to dinner, and even to spend some days with him, if they would. Little Jacket liked the proposal, but Zebedee said they must first send back a message to the ship, to say where they were going. Hugger- mugger sent his card by the boat, to the rest of the ship's company it was a huge W pi ece f pasteboard, as big as a dining-table saying, that he and Mrs.
He would come himself and fetch them in his fish- basket, as the road was rough, and difficult for such little folks to travel. THE next morning Huggermugger appeared on the beach with his big basket, and took away about half a dozen of the sailors. Zebedee and Little Jacket went with them. It was a curious journey, jogging along in his basket, and hanging at such a height from the ground. Zebedee could not help thinking what a capital thing it would be in America to have a few big men like him to lift heavy stones for building, or to carry the mail bags from city to city, at a railroad speed.
But, as to travelling in his fish- basket, he certainly preferred our old-fashioned rail- road cars. They were all entertained very hospitably at Hug- germugger Hall. Huggermugger's thimble, much to the amusement of all. Hug- germugger showed them her beautiful shell, and made Little Jacket tell how he had crept out of it, and let himself down by the fishing-line.
And Huggermugger made him act over again the scene of hiding in the boot.
At which all laughed again. The little people declined their hosts' pressing invitation to stay all night, so Huggermugger took them all back to their boat. They had enough to tell on board ship about their visit. The next day, and the day after, others of the crew were entertained in the same way at Hugger- mugger Hall, till all had satisfied their curiosity. The giant and his wife being alone in the island, they felt that it was pleasant to have their solitude broken by the arrival of the little men.
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There were several dwarfs living here and there in the island, who worked for the giants, of whom Kobboltozo was one ; but there were no other giants. The Huggermuggers were the last of their race. Their history, however, was a secret they kept to themselves. Whether they or their ancestors came from Brobdignag, or whether they were descended from Gog and Magog, or Goli- ath of Gath, they never would declare.
Scrawler, the author, who accompanied the ship, was very curious to know something of their history and origin. He ascertained that they learned English of a party of adventurers who once landed on their shore, many years before, and that the Huggermugger race had long inhabited the island. But he could learn nothing of their origin. They looked very seri- ous whenever this subject was mentioned. There was evidently a mystery about them, which they had par- ticular reasons never to unfold. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.
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dirixysu.tk: the last of the huggermuggers a giant story by christopher pearch cranch paperba
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