The Project Gutenberg eBook of Last of the Huggermuggers, by Christopher Cranch
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Title: Last of the Huggermuggers
Author: Christopher Cranch
Release Date: November, 2004 [EBook #6914]
[This file was first posted on February 18, 2003]
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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, LAST OF THE HUGGERMUGGERS ***
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THE LAST OF THE HUGGERMUGGERS,
A GIANT STORY.
CHRISTOPHER PEARSE CRANCH
CHAP. I.--How Little Jacket would go to Sea.
CHAP. II.--His Good and his Bad Luck at Sea.
CHAP. III.--How he fared on Shore.
CHAP. IV.--How Huggermugger came along.
CHAP. V.--What happened to Little Jacket in
the Giant's Boot.
CHAP. VI.--How Little Jacket escaped from
CHAP. VII.--How he made use of Huggermugger
CHAP. VIII.--How Little Jacket and his Friends left the Giant's Island.
CHAP. IX.--Mr. Nabbum.
CHAP. X.--Zebedee and Jacky put their heads
CHAP. XI.--They sail for Huggermugger's
CHAP. XII.--The Huggermuggers in a new
CHAP. XIII.--Huggermugger Hall.
CHAP. XIV.--Kobbletozo astonishes Mr.
CHAP. XV.--Mrs. Huggermugger grows thin and fades away.
CHAP. XVI.--The sorrows of Huggermugger.
CHAP. XVII.--Huggermugger leaves his
CHAP. XVIII.--The last of the
LAST OF THE HUGGERMUGGERS.
HOW LITTLE JACKET WOULD GO TO SEA.
I dare say there are not many of my young readers who have heard about
Jacky Cable, the sailor-boy, and of his wonderful adventures on
Huggermugger's Island. Jacky was a smart Yankee lad, and was always
remarkable for his dislike of staying at home, and a love of lounging
upon the wharves, where the sailors used to tell him stories about
sea-life. Jacky was always a little fellow. The country people, who did
not much like the sea, or encourage Jacky's fondness for it, used to
say, that he took so much salt air and tar smoke into his lungs that it
stopped his growth. The boys used to call him Little Jacket. Jacky,
however, though small in size, was big in wit, being an uncommonly smart
lad, though he did play truant sometimes, and seldom knew well his
school-lessons. But some boys learn faster out of school than in school,
and this was the case with Little Jacket. Before he was ten years old,
he knew every rope in a ship, and could manage a sail-boat or a
row-boat with equal ease. In fine, salt water seemed to be his element;
and he was never so happy or so wide awake as when he was lounging with
the sailors in the docks. The neighbors thought he was a sort of
good-for-nothing, idle boy, and his parents often grieved that he was
not fonder of home and of school. But Little Jacket was not a bad boy,
and was really learning a good deal in his way, though he did not learn
it all out of books.
Well, it went on so, and Little Jacket grew fonder and fonder of the
sea, and pined more and more to enlist as a sailor, and go off to the
strange countries in one of the splendid big ships. He did not say much
about it to his parents, but they saw what his longing was, and after
thinking and talking the matter over together, they concluded that it
was about as well to let the boy have his way.
So when Little Jacket was about fifteen years old, one bright summer's
day, he kissed his father and mother, and brothers and sisters, and went
off as a sailor in a ship bound to the East Indies.
HIS GOOD AND HIS BAD LUCK AT SEA
It was a long voyage, and there was plenty of hard work for
Little Jacket, but he found several good fellows among the sailors, and
was so quick, so bright, so ready to turn his hand to every thing, and
withal of so kind and social a disposition, that he soon became a
favorite with the Captain and mates, as with all the sailors. They had
fine weather, only too fine, the Captain said, for it was summer time,
and the sea was often as smooth as glass. There were lazy times then for
the sailors, when there was little work to do, and many a story was told
among them as they lay in the warm moonlight nights on the forecastle.
But now and then there came a blow of wind, and all hands had to be
stirring--running up the shrouds, taking in sails, pulling at ropes,
plying the pump; and there was many a hearty laugh among them at the
ducking some poor fellow would get, as now and then a wave broke over
Things went on, however, pretty smoothly with Little Jacket, on the
whole, for some time. They doubled the Cape of Good Hope, and were
making their way as fast as they could to the coast of Java, when the
sky suddenly darkened, and there came on a terrible storm. They took in
all the sails they could, after having several carried away by the wind.
The vessel scudded, at last, almost under bare poles. The storm was so
violent as to render her almost unmanageable, and they were carried a
long way out of their course. Everybody had tremendous work to perform,
and Little Jacket began to wish he were safe on dry land again. Day
after day the poor vessel drifted and rolled. The sky was so dark, that
the Captain could not take an observation to tell in what part of the
ocean they were. At last, they saw that they were driving towards some
enormous cliffs that loomed up in the darkness. Every one lost hope of
the ship being saved. Still they neared the cliffs, and now they saw the
white breakers ahead, close under them. The Captain got the boats out,
to be in readiness for the worst. But the sea was too rough to use
them. At last, with a mighty crash, the great ship struck upon the black
rocks. All was confusion and wild rushing of the salt waves over them,
and poor Jacky found himself in the foaming surge. Struggling to reach
the shore, a great wave did what he could not have done himself. He was
thrown dripping wet, and bruised, upon the rocks. When he came to
himself, he discovered that several of his companions had also reached
the shore, but nothing more was seen of the ship. She had gone down in
the fearful tempest, and carried I know not how many poor fellows down
HOW HE FARED ON SHORE.
All this was bad enough, as Little Jacket thought. But he was very
thankful that he was alive and on shore, and able to use his limbs, and
that he found some companions still left. He was not long either in
using his wits, and in making the best use of the chances still left
him. He found himself upon a rocky promontory. But on climbing a little
higher up, he could see that there was beyond it, and joining on to it,
a beautiful smooth beach. The rocks were enormous, and he and his
comrades had hard work to clamber over them. It took them a good while
to do so, exhausted as they were by fatigue, and dripping with wet. At
length they reached the beach, the sands of which were of very large
grain, and so loose that they had to wade nearly knee deep through them.
The country back of the shore seemed very rocky and rough, and here and
there were trees of an enormous magnitude. Every thing seemed on a
gigantic scale, even to the weeds and grasses that grew on the edge of
the beach, where it sloped up to join the main land. And they could see,
by mounting on a stone, the same great gloomy cliffs which they saw
before the ship struck, but some miles inland. But what most attracted
their attention, was the enormous and beautiful great sea-shells, which
lay far up on the shore. They were not only of the most lovely colors,
but quite various in form, and so large that a man might creep into
them. Little Jacket was not long in discovering the advantage of this
fact, for they might be obliged, when night came on, to retire into
these shells, as they saw no house anywhere within sight. Now, Little
Jacket had read Robinson Crusoe, and Gulliver's Travels, and had half
believed the wonderful stories of Brobdignag; but he never thought that
he should ever be actually wrecked on a giant's island. There now
seemed to be a probability that it might be so, after all. What meant
these enormous weeds, and trees, and rocks, and grains of sand, and
these huge shells? What meant these great cliffs in the distance? He
began to feel a little afraid. But he thought about Gulliver, and how
well he fared after all, and, on the whole, looked forward rather with
pleasure at the prospect of some strange adventure. Now and then he
thought he could make out something like huge footprints on the
shore--but this might be fancy. At any rate, they would hide themselves
if they saw the giant coming. And if they could only find some food to
live upon, they might get on tolerably well for a time. And perhaps
this was only a fancy about giants, and they might yet find civilized
beings like themselves living here.
Now Little Jacket began to be very hungry, and so did his
companions--there were six of them--and they all determined to look
about as far inland as they dared to go, for some kind of fruit or
vegetable which might satisfy their appetites. They were not long in
discovering a kind of beach-plum, about as big as watermelons, which
grew on a bush so tall, that they had to reach the fruit at arm's
length, and on tiptoe. The stalks were covered with very sharp thorns,
about a foot long. Some of these thorns they cut off, (they had their
knives in their pockets still,) for Little Jacket thought they might be
of service to them in defending themselves against any wild animal which
might prowl around at night. It chanced that Little Jacket found good
use for his in the end, as we shall see. When they had gathered enough
of these great plums, they sat down and dined upon them.
They found them a rather coarse, but not unpalatable fruit. As they
were still very wet, they took off their clothes, and dried them in the
sun: for the storm had ceased, and the sun now came out very warm. The
great waves, however, still dashed up on the beach. When their clothes
were dry, they put them on, and feeling a good deal refreshed, spent the
rest of the day in looking about to see what was to be done for the
future. As night came on, they felt a good deal dispirited; but Little
Jacket encouraged his companions, by telling stories of sailors who had
been saved, or had been taken under the protection of the kings of the
country, and had married the king's daughters, and all that. So they
found a group of the great shells near each other, seven of them, lying
high and dry out of the reach of the dashing waves, and, after bidding
each other good night, they crept in. Little Jacket found his dry and
clean, and having curled himself up, in spite of his anxiety about the
future, was soon fast asleep.
HOW HUGGERMUGGER CAME ALONG.
Now it happened that Little Jacket was not altogether wrong in his
fancies about giants, for there was a giant living in this island
where the poor sailors were wrecked. His name was Huggermugger, and he
and his giantess wife lived at the foot of the great cliffs they had
seen in the distance. Huggermugger was something of a farmer, something
of a hunter, and something of a fisherman. Now, it being a warm, clear,
moonlight night, and Huggermugger being disposed to roam about, thought
he would take a walk down to the beach to see if the late storm had
washed up any clams [Footnote: The
"clam" is an American bivalve shell-fish, so called from hiding itself
in the sand. A "clam chowder" is a very savory kind of thick soup, of
which the clam is a chief ingredient. I put in this note for the
benefit of little English boys and girls, if it should chance that this
story should find its way to their country.] or oysters, or other
shell-fish, of which he was very fond. Having gathered a good basket
full, he was about returning, when his eye fell upon the group of great
shells in which Little Jacket and his friends were reposing, all sound
"Now," thought Huggermugger, "my wife has often asked me to fetch home
one of these big shells. She thinks it would look pretty on her
mantel-piece, with sunflowers sticking in it. Now I may as well gratify
her, though I can't exactly see the use of a shell without a fish in it.
Mrs. Huggermugger must see something in these shells that I don't."
So he didn't stop to choose, but picked up the first one that came to
his hand, and put it in his basket. It was the very one in which Little
Jacket was asleep. The little sailor slept too soundly to know that he
was travelling, free of expense, across the country at a railroad speed,
in a carriage made of a giant's fish-basket. Huggermugger reached his
house, mounted his huge stairs, set down his basket, and placed the big
shell on the mantel-piece.
"Wife," says he, "here's one of those good-for-nothing big shells you
have often asked me to bring home."
"Oh, what a beauty," says she, as she stuck a sunflower in it, and
stood gazing at it in mute admiration. But, Huggermugger being hungry,
would not allow her to stand idle.
"Come," says he, "let's have some of these beautiful clams cooked for
supper--they are worth all your fine shells with nothing in them."
So they sat down, and cooked and ate their supper, and then went to bed.
Little Jacket, all this time, heard nothing of their great rumbling
voices, being in as sound a sleep as he ever enjoyed in his life. He
awoke early in the morning, and crept out of a shell--but he could
hardly believe his eyes, and thought himself still dreaming, when he
found himself and his shell on a very high, broad shelf, in a room
bigger than any church he ever saw. He fairly shook and trembled in his
shoes, when the truth came upon him that he had been trapped by a giant,
and was here a prisoner in his castle. He had time enough, however, to
become cool and collected, for there was not a sound to be heard, except
now and then something resembling a thunder-like snoring, as from some
distant room. "Aha," thought Little Jacket to himself, "it is yet very
early, and the giant is asleep, and there may be time yet to get myself
out of his clutches."
He was a brave little fellow, as well as a true Yankee in his smartness
and ingenuity. So he took a careful observation of the room, and its
contents. The first thing to be done was to let himself down from the
mantel-piece. This was not an easy matter as it was very high. If he
jumped, he would certainly break his legs. He was not long in
discovering one of Huggermugger's fishing-lines tied up and lying not
far from him. This he unrolled, and having fastened one end of it to a
nail which he managed just to reach, he let the other end drop (it was
as large as a small rope) and easily let himself down to the floor. He
then made for the door, but that was fastened. Jacky, however, was
determined to see what could be done, so he pulled out his jackknife,
and commenced cutting into the corner of the door at the bottom, where
it was a good deal worn, as if it had been gnawed by the rats. He
thought that by cutting a little now and then, and hiding himself when
the giant should make his appearance, in time he might make an opening
large enough for him to squeeze himself through. Now Huggermugger was by
this time awake, and heard the noise which Jacky made with his knife.
"Wife," says he, waking her up--she was dreaming about her beautiful
shell--"wife, there are those eternal rats again, gnawing, gnawing at
that door; we must set the trap for them to-night."
Little Jacket heard the giant's great voice, and was very much
astonished that he spoke English. He thought that giants spoke nothing
but "chow-chow-whangalorum-hallaballoo with a-ruffle-bull-bagger!" This
made him hope that Huggermugger would not eat him. So he grew very
hopeful, and determined to persevere. He kept at his work, but as softly
as he could. But Huggermugger heard the noise again, or fancied he heard
it, and this time came to see if he could not kill the rat that gnawed
so steadily and so fearlessly. Little Jacket heard him coming, and
rushed to hide himself. The nearest place of retreat was one of the
giant's great boots, which lay on the floor, opening like a cave before
him. Into this he rushed. He had hardly got into it before Huggermugger
WHAT HAPPENED TO LITTLE JACKET IN THE
Huggermugger made a great noise in entering, and ran up immediately to
the door at which Little Jacket had been cutting, and threshed about him
with a great stick, right and left. He then went about the room,
grumbling and swearing, and poking into all the corners and holes in
search of the rat; for he saw that the hole under the door had been
enlarged, and he was sure that the rats had done it. So he went peeping
and poking about, making Little Jacket not a little troubled, for he
expected every moment that he would pick up the boot in which he was
concealed, and shake him out of his hiding-place. Singularly enough,
however, the giant never thought of looking into his own boots, and very
soon he went back to his chamber to dress himself. Little Jacket now
ventured to peep out of the boot, and stood considering what was next to
be done. He hardly dared to go again to the door, for Huggermugger was
now dressed, and his wife too, for he heard their voices in the next
room, where they seemed to be preparing their breakfast. Little Jacket
now was puzzling his wits to think what he should do, if the giant
should take a fancy to put his boots on before he could discover
another hiding-place. He noticed, however, that there were other boots
and shoes near by, and so there was a chance that Huggermugger might
choose to put on some other pair. If this should be the case, he might
lie concealed where he was during the day, and at night work away again
at the hole in the door, which he hoped to enlarge enough soon, to
enable him to escape. He had not much time, however, for thought; for
the giant and his wife soon came in. By peeping out a little, he could
just see their great feet shuffling over the wide floor.
"And now, wife." says Huggermugger, "bring me my boots." He was a lazy
giant, and his wife spoiled him, by waiting on him too much.
"Which boots, my dear," says she.
"Why, the long ones," says he; "I am going a hunting to-day, and shall
have to cross the marshes."
Little Jacket hoped the long boots were not those in one of which he
was concealed, but unfortunately they were the very ones. So he felt a
great hand clutch up the boots, and him with them, and put them down in
another place. Huggermugger then took up one of the boots and drew it
on, with a great grunt. He now proceeded to take up the other. Little
Jacket's first impulse was to run out and throw himself on the giant's
mercy, but he feared lest he should be taken for a rat. Besides he now
thought of a way to defend himself, at least for a while. So he drew
from his belt one of the long thorns he had cut from the bush by the
seaside, and held it ready to thrust it into his adversary's foot, if he
could. But he forgot that though it was as a sword in his hand,
it was but a thorn to a giant. Huggermugger had drawn the boot nearly
on, and Little Jacket's daylight was all gone, and the giant's great
toes were pressing down on him, when he gave them as fierce a thrust as
he could with his thorn.
"Ugh!" roared out the giant, in a voice like fifty mad bulls; "wife,
wife, I say!"
"What's the matter, dear?" says wife.
"Here's one of your confounded needles in my boot. I wish to gracious
you'd be more careful how you leave them about!"
"A needle in your boot?" said the giantess, "how can that be? I haven't
been near your boots with my needles."
"Well, you feel there yourself, careless woman, and you'll see."
Whereupon the giantess took the boot, and put her great hand down into
the toe of it, when Little jacket gave another thrust with his weapon.
"O-o-o-o!!" screams the wife. "There's something here, for it ran into
my finger; we must try to get it out. She then put her hand in again,
but very cautiously, and Little Jacket gave it another stab, which made
her cry out more loudly than before. Then Huggermugger put his hand in,
and again he roared out as he felt the sharp prick of the thorn.
"It's no use," says he, flinging down the boot in a passion, almost
breaking Little Jacket's bones, as it fell. "Wife, take that boot to the
cobbler, and tell him to take that sharp thing out, whatever it is, and
send it back to me in an hour, for I must go a hunting today."
So off the obedient wife trotted to the shoemaker's, with the boot
under her arm. Little Jacket was curious to see whether the shoemaker
was a giant too. So when the boot was left in his workshop, he contrived
to peep out a little, and saw, instead of another Huggermugger, only a
crooked little dwarf, not more than two or three times bigger than
himself. He went by the name of Kobboltozo.
"Tell your husband," says he, "that I will look into his boot
presently--I am busy just at this moment--and will bring it myself to
Little Jacket was quite relieved to feel that he was safe out of the
giant's house, and that the giantess had gone. "Now," thought he, "I
think I know what to do."
After a while, Kobboltozo took up the bout and put his hand down into
it slowly and cautiously. But Little Jacket resolved to keep quiet this
time. The dwarf were felt around so carefully, for fear of having his
finger pricked, and his hand was so small in comparison with that of the
giant's, that Little Jacket had time to dodge around his fingers and
down into the toe of the boot, so that Kobboltozo could feel nothing
there. He concluded, therefore, that whatever it was that hurt the giant
and his wife, whether needle, or pin, or tack, or thorn, it must have
dropped out on the way to his shop. So he laid the boot down, and went
for his coat and hat. Little Jacket knew that now was his only chance
of escape--he dreaded being carried back to Huggermugger--so he
resolved to make a bold move. No sooner was the dwarf's back turned, as
he went to reach down his coat, than Little Jacket rushed out of the
boot, made a spring from the table on which it lay, reached the floor,
and made his way as fast as he could to a great pile of old boots and
shoes that lay in a corner of the room, where he was soon hidden safe
from any present chance of detection.
HOW LITTLE JACKET ESCAPED FROM
Great was Huggermugger's astonishment, and his wife's, when they found
that the shoemaker told them the truth, and that there was nothing in
the boot which could in any way interfere with the entrance of Mr.
Huggermugger's toes. For a whole month and a day, it puzzled him to know
what it could have been that pricked him so sharply.
Leaving the giant and his wife to their wonderment, let us return to
Little Jacket. As soon as he found the dwarf was gone, and that all was
quiet, he came out from under the pile of old shoes, and looked around
to see how he should get out. The door was shut, and locked on the
outside, for Kobboltozo had no wife to look after the shop while he was
out. The window was shut too, the only window in the shop. This window,
however, not being fastened on the outside, the little sailor thought he
might be able to open it by perseverance. It was very high, so he pushed
along a chair towards a table, on which he succeeded in mounting, and
from the table, with a stick which he found in the room, he could turn
the bolt which fastened the window inside. This, to his great joy, he
succeeded in doing, and in pulling open the casement. He could now,
with ease, step upon the window sill. The thing was now to let himself
down on the other side. By good luck, he discovered a large piece of
leather on the table. This he took the and cut into strips, and tying
them together, fastened one end to a nail inside, and boldly swung
himself down in sailor fashion, as he had done at the giant's, and
reached the ground. Then looking around, and seeing nobody near, he ran
off as fast as his legs could carry him. But alas! he knew not where he
was. If he could but find a road which would lead him back to the
seaside where his companions were, how happy would he had been! He saw
nothing around him but huge rocks and trees, with here and there an
enormous fence or stone wall. Under these fences, and through the
openings in the stone walls he crept, but could find no road. 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 blackberry
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. 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.
HOW HE MADE USE OF HUGGERMUGGER IN
While Little Jacket sat pondering over his situation, he heard voices
not far off, as of two persons talking. 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.
"Wife," said Huggermugger, "I think now I've got my long boots on
again, and my toe feels so much better, I shall go through the marsh
yonder and kill a few frogs for your dinner; after that, perhaps I may
go down again to the seashore, and get some more of those delicious
clams I found last night."
"Well husband," says the wife, "you may go if you choose for your
clams, but be sure you get me some frogs, for you know how fond I am of
So Huggermugger took his basket and his big stick, and strode off to
the marsh. "Now," thought the little sailor, "is my time. 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!"
So the giant went to the marsh, in the middle of which was a pond,
while Little Jacket followed him as near as he dared to go. Pretty soon,
he saw the huge fellow laying about him with his stick, and making a
great splashing in the water. It was evident 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 he ever made in his life. If he could only keep
the giant in sight! He was much encouraged by perceiving that
Huggermugger, who, as I said before, was a lazy giant, walked at a
leisurely pace, and occasionally stopped to pick the berries that grew
everywhere in the fields. 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 grasses 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! "I shall at least see my messmates again," he said, "and if we
are destined to remain long in this island, we will at least help each
other, and bear our hard lot together."
It was not long before he saw the beach, and the huge Huggermugger
groping in the wet sand for his shell-fish. "If I can but reach my
companions without being seen, tell them my strange adventures, and all
hide ourselves till the giant is out of reach, I shall be only too
happy." Very soon he saw the group of beautiful great shells, just as
they were when he left them, except that his shell, of course,
was not there, as it graced Mrs. Huggermugger's domestic fireside. When
he came near enough, he called some of his comrades by name, not too
loud, for fear of being heard by the shell-fish-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.
"For heaven's sake," cried the little sailor. "Tom, Charley, all of
you! don't stay here; the giant will come and carry you all off to his
house under the cliffs; his wife has a particular liking for those
beautiful houses of yours. I have just escaped, almost by miracle. Come,
come with me--here--under the rocks--in this cave--quick, before he sees
So Little Jacket hurried his friends into a hole in the rocks, where
the giant would never think of prying. 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.
After all, I don't think the giant would have hurt them, had he seen
them. 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.
HOW LITTLE JACKET AND HIS FRIENDS LEFT
THE GIANT'S ISLAND.
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
discovered 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. Soon, to their indescribable joy, they saw a boat approaching the
shore. 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 Johnson, from Portsmouth, N. H., bound to the East Indies, but
being out of water had made for land to obtain a supply.
The poor fellows were glad enough to get on board ship again. As they
sailed off. they fancied they saw in the twilight, the huge forms of the
great Mr. and Mrs. 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 wonderful 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.
Little Jacket and his friends were treated very kindly by the Captain
and crew of the Nancy Johnson, and as a few more sailors were wanted on
board, their services were gladly accepted. 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
Yankee, who went by the name of Zebedee Nabbum.
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 entrapping 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 attention to Little Jacket's
story, and pondered and pondered over it.
"And after all," he said to himself, "why shouldn't it be true? 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? Grimminy! If it should be true--if we should find Jacky's
island--if we should see the big critter alive, or his wife--if we could
slip a noose under his legs and throw him down--or carry along the
great net and trap him while he war down on the beach arter his clams,
and manage to tie him and carry him off in my ship! 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 tryin',
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'."
So Zebedee had a conversation one day with the Captain of the Nancy
Johnson, and found out from him that he had taken the latitude and
longitude of the coast where they took away the shipwrecked sailors. The
Captain also described to Zebedee the appearance of the coast; and, in
short, Zebedee contrived to get all the information about the place the
Captain could give him, without letting it appear that he had any other
motive in asking questions than mere curiosity.
ZEBEDEE AND JACKY PUT THEIR HEADS
Zebedee now communicated to Little Jacket his plans about sailing for
the giant's coast, and entrapping Huggermugger and carrying him to
America. 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 persuade Little Jacket to
go with him, and his six companions, 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.
Little Jacket agreed to land with Zebedee and share all danger with him,
on condition that Zebedee would give him half the profits Barnum should
allow them from the exhibition of the giant in America. 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.
1. The Huggermuggers were not Ogres or Cannibals. They lived on fish,
frogs, fruit, vegetables, grains, &c.
2. The Huggermuggers wore clothes, lived in houses, and were surrounded
with various indications of civilization. They were not savages.
3. 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 Americans, at some
period of their lives.
4. The Huggermuggers were not wicked and blood-thirsty. How different
from the monsters one reads about in children's books! On the contrary,
though they had little quarrels together now and then, they did not bite
nor scratch, but seemed to live together as peaceably and lovingly, on
the whole, as most married couples. 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
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.
"For," said Little Jacket, "even if you succeeded, Mr. 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
intelligent and, if incensed, how furious an adversary you have to deal
with. None but a man out of his wits would think of carrying him off to
your ship by main force. 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. Nabbum, that I know Huggermugger too
well to attempt any of your tricks with him. You cannot catch him as you
would an elephant or a hippopotamus. Be guided by me, and see if my
plan don't succeed better than yours."
"Well," answered Zebedee, "I guess, arter all, Jackie, you may be
right. You've seen the big varmint, and feel a kind of 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
"You leave that to me," said Little Jacket; "if talking and making
friends with him can do any thing, I think I can do it. We may coax him
away; tell him stories about our country, and what fun he'd have among
the people so much smaller than himself, 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.
"I think there'd be room for him in your big ship. It's warm weather,
and he could lie on deck, you know; and we could cover him up at night
with matting and old sails; and he'd be so tickled at the idea of going
to sea, and seeing strange countries, and we'd show him such whales and
porpoises, and tell him such good stories, that I think he'd keep pretty
quiet till we reached America. 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
"One difficulty will be, how to persuade him to leave his wife--for
there wouldn't be room for two of them. 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."
THEY SAIL FOR HUGGERMUGGER'S ISLAND.
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 Huggermuggers, 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.
It was growing dusk, however, and they determined to cast anchor, and
wait till morning before they sent ashore a boat.
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
THE HUGGERMUGGERS IN A NEW LIGHT.
I think the giant must have seen the ship, and ran home at full speed
to tell his wife about it. 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. They stooped down and patted their
heads with their huge hands, and called them, in broken English, "pretty
little dolls and dears, and where did they come from, and how long it
was since they had seen any little men like them--and wouldn't they go
home and see them in their big house under the cliffs?" Mrs.
Huggermugger, especially, was charmed with them, and would have taken
them home in her arms--"she had no children of her own, and they should
live with her and be her little babies." The sailors did not exactly
like the idea of being treated like babies, but they were so astonished
and delighted to find the giants in such good humor, that they were
ready to submit to all the good woman's caresses.
Little Jacket then told them where they came from, and related his
whole story of having been shipwrecked there, and all his other
adventures. As he told them how Huggermugger had carried home the big
shell with him in it, sound asleep; how he had let himself down from the
mantel-piece, and had tried to escape by cutting at the door; and how,
when he heard Huggermugger coming, he had rushed into the boot, and how
he had pricked the giant's toe when he attempted to draw his boot on,
and how the boot and he were taken to the cobbler's--then Huggermugger
and his wife could contain themselves no longer, but burst into such
peals of laughter, that the people in the ship, who were watching their
movements on shore through their spy-glasses, and expected every moment
to see their companions all eaten alive or carried off to be killed,
knew not what to make of it. 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 anything 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 harpooning 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, Huggermugger 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. Huggermugger send his card by the boat, to the rest of the
ship's company--it was a huge piece of pasteboard, as big as a
dining-table--saying, that he and Mrs. H. would be happy, some other
day, to see all who would do him the honor of a visit. 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 railroad
They were all entertained very hospitably at Huggermugger Hall. They
had a good dinner of fish, frogs, fruit, and vegetables, and drank a
kind of beer, made of berries, out of Mrs. Huggermugger's thimble, much
to the amusement of all. Mrs. Huggermugger 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
Huggermugger 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. 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
Goliath of Gath, they never would declare.
Mr. 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 serious whenever this subject was mentioned. There was
evidently a mystery about them, which they had particular reasons never
to unfold. On all other subjects they were free and communicative. On
this, they kept the strictest and most guarded silence.
KOBBLETOZO ASTONISHES MR. SCRAWLER.
Now it chanced that some of the dwarfs I have spoken of, were not on
the best of terms with the Huggermuggers. Kobboltozo was one of these.
And the only reason why he disliked them, as far as could be discovered,
was that they were giants, and he (though a good deal larger than an
ordinary sized man) was but a dwarf. He could never be as big as they
were. He was like the frog that envied the ox, and his envy and hatred
sometimes swelled him almost to bursting. All the favors that the
Huggermuggers heaped upon him, had no effect in softening him. He would
have been glad at almost any misfortune that could happen to them.
Now Kobboltozo was at the giant's house one day when Mr. Scrawler was
asking questions of Huggermugger about his origin, and observed his
disappointment at not being furnished with all the information he was so
eager to obtain; for Mr. Scrawler calculated to make a book about the
Huggermuggers and all their ancestors, which would sell. So while Mr.
Scrawler was taking a stroll in the garden, Kobboltozo came up to him
and told him he had something important to communicate to him. They then
retired behind some shrubbery, where Kobboltozo, taking a seat under
the shade of a cabbage, and requesting Mr. Scrawler to do the same,
looked around cautiously, and spoke as follows:--
"I perceive that you all are very eager to know something about the
Huggermugger's origin and history. I think that I am almost the only one
in this island besides them, who can gratify your curiosity in this
matter. But you must solemnly promise to tell no one, least of all the
giants, in what way you came to know what I am going to tell you, unless
it be after you have left the island, for I dread Huggermugger's
vengeance if he knows the story came from me."
"I promise," said Scrawler.
"Know then," said Kobboltozo, "that the ancestors of the
Huggermuggers--the Huggers on the male side, and the Muggers on the
female--were men smaller than me, the poor dwarf. Hundred of years ago
they came to this island, directed hither by an old woman, a sort of
witch, who told them that if they and their children, and their
children's children, ate constantly of a particular kind of shell-fish,
which was found in great abundance here, they would continue to increase
in size, with each successive generation, until they became proportioned
to all other growth on the island--till they became giants--such giants
as the Huggermuggers. But that the last survivors of the race would
meet with some great misfortune, if this secret should ever he told to
more than one person out of the Huggermugger family. I have reasons for
believing that Huggermugger and his wife are the last of their race;
for all their ancestors and relations are dead, and they have no
children, and are likely to have none. Now there are two persons
who have been told the secret. It was told to me, and I tell it to you!"
As Kobboltozo ended, his face wore an almost fiendish expression of
savage triumph, as if he had now settled the giants' fate forever.
"But," said Scrawler, "how came you into possession of this
tremendous secret; and, if true, why do you wish any harm to happen to
the good Huggermuggers?"
"I hate them!" said the dwarf. "They are rich--I am poor. They are big
and well-formed--I am little and crooked. Why should not my race grow to
be as shapely and as large as they; for my ancestors were as good
as theirs, and I have heard that they possessed the island before the
Huggermuggers came into it? No! I am weary of the Huggermuggers. I have
more right to the island than they. But they have grown by enchantment,
while my race only grew to a certain size, and then we stopped and grew
crooked. But the Huggermuggers, if there should be any more of them,
will grow till they are like the trees of the forest.
"Then as to the way I discovered their mystery. I was taking home a
pair of shoes for the giantess, and was just about to knock at the door,
when I heard the giant and his wife talking. I crept softly up and
listened. They have great voices--not difficult to hear them.
They were talking about a secret door in the wall, and of something
precious which was locked up within a little closet. As soon as their
voices ceased, I knocked, and was let in. I assumed an appearance as if
I had heard nothing, and they did not suspect me. I went and told
Hammawhaxo, the carpenter--a friend of mine, and a dwarf like me. I knew
he didn't like Huggermugger much. Hammawhaxo was employed at the time to
repair the bottom of a door in the giant's house, where the rats had
been gnawing. So he went one morning before the giants were up, and
tapped all around the wainscoting of the walls with his hammer, till he
found a hollow place, and a sliding panel, and inside the wall he
discovered an old manuscript in the ancient Hugger language, in which
was written the secret I have told you. And now we will see if the old
fortune-teller's prophecy is to come true or not."
MRS. HUGGERMUGGER GROWS THIN AND FADES
Scrawler, though delighted to get hold of such a story to put into his
book, could not help feeling a superstitious fear that the prediction
might be verified, and some misfortune before the good Huggermuggers. It
could not come from him or any of his friends, he was sure; for Zebedee
Nabbum's first idea of entrapping the giant was long since abandoned. If
he was ever to be taken away from the island, it could only be by the
force of persuasion, and he was sure that Huggermugger would not
voluntarily leave his wife.
Scrawler only hinted then to Huggermugger, that he feared Kobboltozo
was his enemy. But Huggermugger laughed, and said he knew the dwarf was
crabbed and spiteful, but that he did not fear him. Huggermugger was not
suspicious by nature, and it never came into his thoughts that
Kobboltozo, or any other dwarf could have the least idea of his great
Little Jacket came now frequently to the giant's house, where he became
a great favorite. He had observed, for some days, that Mrs.
Huggermugger's spirits were not so buoyant as usual. She seldom
laughed--she sometimes sat alone and sighed, and even wept. She ate very
little of shell-fish--even her favorite frog had lost its relish. She
was growing thin--the once large, plump woman. Her husband, who really
loved her, though his manner towards her was sometimes rough, was much
concerned. He could not enjoy his lonely supper--he scarcely cared for
his pipe. To divert his mind, he would sometimes linger on the shore,
talking to the little men, as he called them. He would strip off this
long boots and his clothes, and wade out into the sea to get a nearer
view of the ship. He could get near enough to talk to them on board.
"How should you like to go with us," said the little men, one day, "and
sail away to see new countries? We can show you a great deal that you
haven't seen. If you went to America with us, you would be the greatest
Huggermugger laughed, but not one of his hearty laughs--his mind was
ill at ease about his wife. But the idea was a new one, of going away
from giant-land to a country of pygmies. Could he ever go? Not certainly
without his wife--and she would never leave the island. Why should he
wish to go away? "To be sure." he said, "it is rather lonely here--all
our kindred dead--nobody to be seen but little ugly dwarfs. And I really
like these little sailors, and shall be sorry to part with them. No,
here I shall remain, wife and I, and here we shall end our days. We are
the last of the giants--let us not desert our native soil."
Mrs. Huggermugger grew worse and worse. It seemed to be a rapid
consumption. No cause could be discovered for her sickness. A dwarf
doctor was called in, but he shook his head--he feared he could do
nothing. Little Jacket came with the ship's doctor, and brought some
medicines. She took them, but they had no effect. She could not now rise
from her bed. Her husband sat by her side all the time. The good-hearted
sailors did all they could for her, which was not much. Even Zebedee
Nabbum's feelings were touched. He told her Yankee stories, and tales
of wild beasts--of elephants, not bigger than one of her pigs--of lions
and bears as small as lapdogs--of birds not larger than one of their
flies. All did what they could to lessen her sufferings. "To think,"
said Zebedee, "aint it curious--who'd a thought that great powerful
critter could ever get sick and waste away like this!"
THE SORROWS OF HUGGERMUGGER.
At last, one morning while the sailors were lounging about on the
beach, they saw the great Huggermugger coming along, his head bent low,
and the great tears streaming down his face. They all ran up to him. He
sat, or rather threw himself down on the ground. "My dear little
friends," said he, "it's all over. I never shall see my poor wife
again--never again--never again--I am the last of the Huggermuggers. She
is gone. And as for me--I care not now whither I go. I can never stay
here--not here--it will be too lonely. Let me go and bury my poor wife,
and then farewell to giant-land! I will go with you, if you will take
They were all much grieved. They took Huggermugger's great hands, as he
sat there, like a great wrecked and stranded ship, swayed to and fro by
the waves and surges of his grief, and their tears mingled with his. He
took them into his arms, the great Huggermugger, and kissed them. "You
are the only friends left me now," he said, "take me with you from this
lonely place. She who was so dear to me is gone to the great Unknown, as
on a boundless ocean; and this great sea which lies before us is to me
like it. Whether I live or die, it is all one--take me with you. I am
helpless now as a child!"
HUGGERMUGGER LEAVES HIS ISLAND
Zebedee Nabbum could not help thinking how easily he had obtained
permission of his giant. There was nothing to do but to make room for
him in the ship, and lay in a stock of those articles of foods which the
giant was accustomed to eat, sufficient for a long voyage.
Huggermugger laid his wife in a grave by the sea-shore, and covered it
over with the beautiful large shells which she so loved. He then went
home, opened the secret door in the wall, took out the ancient
manuscript, tied a heavy stone to it, and sunk it in a deep well under
the rocks, into which he also threw the key of his house, after having
taken everything he needed for his voyage, and locked the doors.
The ship was now all ready to sail. The sailors had made a large raft,
on which the giant sat and paddled himself to the ship, and climbed on
board. The ship was large enough to allow him to stand, when the sea was
still, and even walk about a little; but Huggermugger preferred the
reclining posture, for he was weary and needed repose.
During the first week or two of the voyage, his spirits seemed to
revive. The open sea, without any horizon, the sails spreading calmly
above him, the invigorating salt breeze, the little sailors clambering
up the shrouds and on the yards, all served to divert his mind from his
great grief. The sailors came to around him and told him stories, and
described the country to which they were bound; and sometimes Mr. Nabbum
brought out his elephants, which Huggermugger patted and fondled like
dogs. But poor Huggermugger was often sea-sick, and could not sit up.
The sailors made him as comfortable as they could. By night they covered
him up and kept him warm, and by day they stretched an awning above him
to protect him from the sun. He was so accustomed to the open air, that
he was never too cold nor too warm. But poor Huggermugger, after a few
weeks more, began to show the symptoms of a more serious illness then
sea-sickness. A nameless melancholy took possession of him. He refused
to eat--he spoke little, and only lay and gazed up at the white sails
and the blue sky. By degrees, he began to waste away, very much as his
wife did. Little Jacket felt a real sorrow and sympathy, and so did
they all. Zebedee Nabbum, however, it must be confessed "though he felt
a kind o' sorry for the poor critter," thought more of the loss it
would be to him, as a money speculation, to have him die before they
reached America. "It would be too bad," he said, "after all the trouble
and expense I've had, and when the critter was so willin', too, to come
aboard, to go and have him die. We must feed him well, and try hard to
save him; for we can't afford to lose him. Why, he'd be worth at least
50,000 dollars--yes, 100,000 dollars, in the United States." So Zebedee
would bring him dishes of his favorite clams, nicely cooked and
seasoned, but the giant only sighed and shook his head. "No," he said,
"my little friends, I feel that I shall never see your country. Your
coming to my island has been in some way fatal for me. My secret must
have been told. The prophecy, ages ago, has come true!"
THE LAST OF HUGGERMUGGER.
Mr. Scrawler now thought it was time for him to speak. He had only
refrained from communicating to Huggermugger what the dwarf had told
him, from the fear of making the poor giant more unhappy and ill than
ever. But he saw that he could be silent no longer, for there seemed to
be a suspicion in Huggermugger's mind, that it might be these very
people, in whose ship he had consented to go, who had found out and
revealed his secret.
Mr. Scrawler then related to the giant what the dwarf had told him in
the garden, and about the concealed MS., and the prophecy it contained.
Huggermugger sunk his head in his hands, and said: "Ah, the dwarf--the
dwarf! Fool that I was; I might have known it. His race always hated
mine. Ah, wretch! that I had punished thee as thou deservest!
"But, after all, what matters it?" he added, "I am the last of my race.
What matters it, if I die a little sooner than I thought? I have little
wish to live, for I should have been very lonely in my island. Better it
is it that I go to other lands--better, perhaps, that I die here ere
"Friends, I feel that I shall never see your country--and why should I
wish it? How could such a huge being as I live among you? For a little
while I should be amused with you, and you astonished at me. I might
find friends here and there, like you; but your people could never
understand my nature, nor I theirs. I should be carried about as a
spectacle; I should not belong to myself, but to those who exhibited me.
There could be little sympathy between your people and mine. I might,
too, be feared, be hated. Your climate, your food, your houses, your
laws, your customs--every thing would be unlike what mine has been. I am
too old, to weary of life, to begin it again in a new world."
So, my young readers, not to weary you with any more accounts of
Huggermugger's sickness, I must end the matter, and tell you plainly
that he died long before they reached America, much to Mr. Nabbum's
vexation. Little Jacket and his friends grieved very much, but they
could not help it, and thought that, on the whole, it was best it should
be so. Zebedee Nabbum wished they could, at least, preserve the giant's
body, and exhibit it in New York. But it was impossible. All they could
take home with them was his huge skeleton; and even this, by some
mischance, was said to be incomplete.
Some time after the giant's death, Mr. Scrawler, one day when the ship
was becalmed, and the sailors wished to be amused, fell into a poetic
frenzy, and produced the following song, which all hands sung, (rather
slowly) when Mr. Nabbum was not present, to the tune of Yankee Doodle:--
went to sea
A huntin' after
He came upon an island where
There was a pair
He brought his nets and big harpoon,
And thought he'd
try to catch 'em;
But Nabbum found out very soon
There was no need
to fetch 'em.
Yankee Nabbum went ashore,
With Jacky and
But Huggermugger treated them
Just like his
He took 'em up and put 'em in
big fish basket;--
He took 'em home and gave them all
they wanted, ere
they asked it.
The giants were as sweet to them
As two great
lumps of sugar,--
A very Queen of Candy was
But, Ah! The good fat woman died,
The giant too
And came himself on Nabbum's ship,
Quite sad and
He came aboard and sailed with us,
A sadder man and wiser--
But pretty soon, just like his wife,
He sickened and
did die, Sir.
But Nabbum kept his mighty bones--
How they will
stare to see 'em,
When Nabbum has them all set up
in Barnum's great
Nothing is dearly known, strange to say, as to what became of this
skeleton. In the Museum, at Philadelphia, there are some great bones,
which are usually supposed to be those of the Great Mastodon. It is the
opinion, however, of others, that they are none other than those of the
great Huggermugger--all that remains of the last of the giants.
NOTE:--I was told, several
years hence, that Mr. Scrawler's narrative of his adventures in
Huggermugger's Island, was nearly completed, and that he was only
waiting for a publisher. As, however, nothing has as yet been heard of
his long expected book, I have taken the liberty to print what I have
written, from the story, as I heard it from Little Jacket himself, who
is now grown to be a man. I have been told that Little Jacket, who is
now called Mr. John Cable, has left the sea, and is now somewhere out in
the Western States, settled down as a farmer, and has grown so large
and fat, that he fears he must have eaten some of those strange
shell-fish, by which the Huggermugger race grew to be so great. Other
accounts, however, say that he is as fond of the sea as ever, and has
got to be the captain of a great ship; and that he and Mr. Nabbum are
still voyaging round the world, in hopes of finding other Huggermuggers.
*** END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, LAST OF THE HUGGERMUGGERS ***
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