Dick Merriwell's Pranks; Or, Lively Times in the Orient

       Burt L. Standish / Young Adult
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Dick Merriwells Pranks; Or, Lively Times in the Orient
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DICK MERRIWELL'S PRANKS

OR,

LIVELY TIMES IN THE ORIENT

BY

BURT L. STANDISH

Author of the celebrated ”Merriwell” stories, which are the favorite reading of over half a million up-to-date American boys. Catalogue sent free upon request.

STREET & SMITH, PUBLISHERS 79-89 Seventh Avenue, New York

Copyright, 1905 By STREET & SMITH

Dick Merriwell's Pranks

All rights reserved, including that of translation into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian.

Contents

CHAPTER I--IN THE BOSPORUS CHAPTER II--IN PERSIA CHAPTER III--THE PERSISTENCE OF ACHMET CHAPTER IV--THE CHALLENGE CHAPTER V--IN THE CEMETERY CHAPTER VI--THE SIGHTS OF STAMBOUL CHAPTER VII--LOST ON THE BURIED LAKE CHAPTER VIII--ON THE WAY TO DAMASCUS CHAPTER IX--THE STRUGGLE AT THE STATION CHAPTER X--THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER CHAPTER XI--A MAN OF COMMAND CHAPTER XII--BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH CHAPTER XIII--INWARD TORTURE CHAPTER XIV--DICK DISOBEYS CHAPTER XV--PURCHASING A HUMAN BEING CHAPTER XVI--THE SWORD IS STAINED CHAPTER XVII--A POSITION OF PERIL CHAPTER XVIII--IN A DEADLY TRAP CHAPTER XIX--BRAD AND NADIA CHAPTER XX--THE FLIGHT CHAPTER XXI--SAVED BY PRAYER CHAPTER XXII--IN THE DESERT CHAPTER XXIII--THE FOUNT OF FURY CHAPTER XXIV--THE FATE OF A FOE CHAPTER XXV--SUNSET FROM THE CITADEL CHAPTER XXVI--SOME INTERESTING CONVERSATION CHAPTER XXVII--THE PROFESSOR'S GAME CHAPTER XXVIII--IN BUNOL'S POWER CHAPTER XXIX--THE PURSUIT ON THE RIVER CHAPTER XXX--HIS JUST DESERTS

CHAPTER I--IN THE BOSPORUS

The steamer had crossed the Sea of Marmora and entered the Bosporus. Itwas approaching Constantinople. On the right lay Asia, on the leftEurope. Either shore was lined with beautiful mosques and palaces, thefairylike towers and minarets gleaming in the sunshine.

The deck was crowded with people eagerly gazing on the bewitching scene.From that point of view it was a land of enchantment, strange,mysterious, fascinating. Shipping from all quarters of the globe lay inthe splendid harbor.

Among the crowd on deck were two boys who were making a European tour incharge of Professor Zenas Gunn, of the Fardale Military Academy, fromwhich one of the students had been unjustly expelled. This was DickMerriwell, the younger brother of the former great Yale athlete andscholar, Frank Merriwell.

With Dick was his chum and former roommate at Fardale, Bradley Buckhart,of Texas.

”What do you think of it, Brad?” asked Dick, placing a hand on theshoulder of his comrade, who was leaning on the rail and staring at thebewildering panorama.

Buckhart drew a deep breath.

”Pard,” he answered, ”she beats my dreams a whole lot. I certain didn'tallow that the country of the 'unspeakable Turk' could be half asbeautiful.”

”Wait until we get on shore before you form an opinion,” laughed Dick.”It certainly is beautiful from here, but I have reasons to believe thatthings will not seem so beautiful on closer inspection.”

”Then I opine I don't care to land!” exclaimed Brad. ”I'd like toremember her just as she looks now.”

”Hum! ha!” broke in another voice. ”I don't blame you, my boy. Isn't shebeautiful! Isn't she wonderful! Isn't she ravishing!”

”All of that, professor,” agreed the Texan.

Professor Gunn, who had joined them, readjusted his spectacles andthrust his hand into the bosom of his coat.

”I have admired her for a long time,” he declared. ”In fact, ever sincemy eyes first beheld her intellectual and classic countenance. Her hairis a golden halo.”

”Eh?” grunted Buckhart, in surprise.

”Hair?” exclaimed Dick, puzzled.

”Her eyes are like limpid lakes,” continued Zenas.

”Eyes?” gasped both boys.

”Her mouth is a well of wisdom.”

”What are you talking about?” demanded Dick.

”Her teeth,” went on the professor--”her teeth are pearls beyond price.”

”Is he daffy?” muttered the Texan.

”And her form has all the grace of a gazelle. She is a dream ofenchantment. Every movement is a poem. I could worship her! I couldspend my life at the feet of such a woman listening to the musicalmurmur of her heavenly voice.”

”Look here, professor,” said Dick, ”what is the matter with you?”

”I'm enthralled, enchanted, enraptured by that woman.”

”What woman?”

”Why, the one we are talking about, Sarah Ann Ketchum, president of theForeign Humanitarian Society, of Boston, Massachusetts. Who else could Ibe talking about?”

”Oh, murder!” exploded Brad. ”Wouldn't that freeze you some!”

Both boys laughed heartily, much to the displeasure of the professor.

”Such uncalled-for mirth is unseemly,” he declared. ”I don't like it. Itoffends me very much. Besides, she may see you laughing, and that wouldharrow her sensitive soul.”

”Professor, I didn't think it of you!” said Dick, trying to check hismerriment. ”You are smashed on the lady from Boston--and you're married.Have you forgotten that?”

”Alas, no! I can never forget it! But do not use such vulgar andoffensive language. 'Smashed!' Shocking! You do not understand me. Sheis my ideal, my affinity, the soul of my soul! Yet I must worship herfrom afar; for, as you say, I am a married man. I have talked with her;I have heard the music of her voice; I have listened to the pearls ofwisdom which dropped from her sweet lips. But I haven't told her I ammarried. It wasn't necessary. Even if I were to know her better, even ifI were to become her friend, being a man of honor, that friendship wouldbe purely platonic.”

”Rats!” said Brad. ”You're sure in a bad way, professor. Why, that oldlady with the hatchet face would scare a dog into a fit.”

”Bradley!” exclaimed Zenas indignantly. ”How dare you speak of MissKetchum in such a manner! She is a lofty-minded, angelic girl.”

”Girl!” gasped Dick. ”Oh, professor! Girl! Oh, ha, ha, ha! She's sixtyif she's a minute!”

”Sixty-five!” asserted Brad, slapping his thigh and joining in themerriment.

”Stop it!” spluttered the old pedagogue. ”She's looking this way now!She'll see you laughing. She's had trouble enough with that little,dried-up, old duffer from Mississippi, who has followed her about like apuppy dog.”

”You mean Major Mowbry Fitts?” said Dick.

”Fitts--that's the man. They're all majors or colonels down inMississippi. He's no more a major than I am a general.”

”But he's a fire eater,” declared Dick. ”He is a very dangerous man,professor, and you want to be careful. He's fearfully jealous of MissKetchum, too. Followed her all the way from the United States, they say.I've seen him glaring at you in a manner that has caused my blood to runcold.”

”Let him glare! Who's afraid of that withered runt! Why, I could takehim over my knee and spank him. I'd enjoy doing it, too! What is hethinking of? How can he fancy such a superbly beautiful woman as MissKetchum could fancy him, even for a moment! Besides, he is a drinkingman, and Miss Ketchum is a prohibitionist. She told me so herself.”

”Be careful that she doesn't smell your breath after you take yourmedicine, professor,” advised Dick. ”But I suppose there is no danger ofthat now, for the voyage is practically ended.”

”Yes,” sighed Zenas. ”We soon must part, but I shall always carry herimage in my heart.”

”This certain is the worst case I've struck in a long while,” said Brad.

”She comes!” breathed Zenas, in sudden excitement. ”She comes this way!Behave yourselves, boys! Be young gentlemen. Don't cause me to blush foryour manners.”

Miss Sarah Ann Ketchum, tall, angular, and painfully plain, camestalking along the deck, peering through her gold-rimmed spectacles,which were perched on the extreme elevation of her camel-back nose.

”Steady, Brad!” warned Dick. ”Keep your face straight.”

Miss Ketchum had her eye on the professor; he had his eye on her. Shesmiled and bowed; he doffed his hat and scraped. Like a prancing colt headvanced to meet her.

”Does not this panoramic spectacle of the Orient arouse within yourinnermost depths unspeakable emotions, both ecstatic and execrable,Professor Gunn?” asked the lady from Boston. ”As you gaze on theseshores can you not feel your quivering inner self writhing with theshocking realization of the innumerable excruciating horrors which havestained the shuddering years during which the power of the Turk has beensupreme in this sanguine land? Do you not hear within the citadel ofyour soul a clarion call to duty?

”Are you not oppressed by an intense and all-controlling yearning to dosomething for the poor, downtrodden Armenians who have been mercilesslyground beneath the iron heel of these heartless hordes of the sultan? Iknow you do! I have seen it in your countenance, molded by noble andlofty thoughts and towering and exalted ambitions, which lift you tosublime heights far above the swarming multitudes of common earthy clay.Have I not stated your attitude on this stupendous subject to theinfinitesimal fraction of a mathematical certainty, professor?”

”Indeed you have, Miss Ketchum!” exclaimed Zenas.

”Oh, wow!” gasped Buckhart, leaning weakly on the rail. ”Did you hearthat flow of hot air, Dick?”

”I did,” said Dick, concealing a smile behind his hand. ”That sort ofBostonese has carried the old boy off his feet. Brad, the professor haslost his head over the lady from Boston, and it is up to you and me torescue him from the peril that threatens him. He is in danger, and wemust not falter.”

The steamer was swinging in to her mooring, but Professor Gunn was nowtoo absorbed in Miss Ketchum and her talk to tell the boys anythingabout the two cities, that of the ”Infidel” and that of the ”Faithful,”which lay before them.

A man with a decidedly Oriental cast of countenance, but who woreEnglish-made clothes, paused near the professor and Miss Ketchum,seemingly watching the boats which were swarming off to the steamer.

”Look, pard,” whispered Buckhart. ”There's the inquisitive gent who hasbothered us so much--the one we found in our stateroom one day. He'slistening now to the professor and the Boston woman. I'll bet my life onit.”

”I see him,” said Dick, yet without turning his head. ”Brad, the man isspying on us.”

”I certain reckon so, and I'm a whole lot sorry we let him off withoutthumping him up when we found him in our stateroom.”

”He protested that he got in there by accident.”

”And lied like the Turk that he is!” muttered the Texan. ”I'd give awhole bunch of steers to know what his name is.”

”He's up to something. I found his name on the list of passengers.”

”What is it?”

”Aziz Achmet.”

”I knew he was an onery full-blooded Turk. His cognomen proves it.”

”He's a subject of the sultan, beyond question. Something tells me weare going to have trouble with that man.”

”Well, he wants to lay his trail clear of mine,” growled Buckhart. ”I'mgetting a heap impatient with him, and I'll be liable to do him damageif he provokes me further by his sneaking style.”

A little man with a very fierce, gray mustache and imperial came dodginghither and thither amid the passengers, caught sight of Miss Ketchum,hastened forward, doffed his military hat, and made a sweeping bow.

”Madam,” he said, ”it will affo'd me great pleasure to see yo' safely onshore.”

”My dear Major Fitts,” said Sarah Ann, ”I am truly grateful for yourgallant thoughtfulness. Professor, permit me to introduce you to MajorMowbry Fitts, of Natchez, Mississippi. Major, this is Professor ZenasGunn, principal of Fardale Military Academy, a very famous school.”

”Haw!” said Professor Gunn, bowing stiffly.

”Ha!” said Major Fitts, in his most icy manner.

Then they glared at each other.

”Your solicitude for Miss Ketchum was quite needless, sir,” declaredZenas. ”I am quite capable of looking out for her.”

”Suh, yo' may relieve yo'self of any trouble, suh,” retorted the manfrom Natchez.

”I couldn't think of it, sir, not for a moment, sir,” shot back theprofessor. ”It might be trouble for you, sir, but it is a pleasure forme.”

”The old boy is there with the goods,” chuckled Brad.

But Major Fitts was not to be rebuffed in such a manner.

”Considering your age and your physical infirmities, suh,” he said, ”Ithink Miss Ketchum will excuse yo'.”

That was too much for Zenas.

”My age, sir!” he rasped, lifting his cane. ”Why, you antiquated oldfossil, I'm ten years younger than you! My infirmities, sir! Yourheumatic, malaria-sapped back number, I'm the picture of robust,bounding health beside you!”

”Gentlemen!” gasped Sarah Ann, in astonishment and dismay.

”Don't yo' dare threaten me with your cane, suh!” fumed the major. ”Ifyo' do, suh, I'll take it away from yo' and throw it overbo'd, and yo'need it to suppo't your tottering footsteps, suh.”

”I dare you to touch it, sir!” challenged the irascible old pedagogue,shaking the stick at the major's nose.

Fitts made a grab, caught the cane, snatched it away, and sent itspinning overboard.

A moment later Zenas grappled with the man from Natchez, doing it sosuddenly that the major was taken off his guard and sent flat upon hisback on the deck, his assailant coming down heavily upon him.

Miss Ketchum screamed and fled.

In a moment Dick had the professor by the collar on one side while Bradgrasped him by the collar on the other side. They dragged him off andstood him on his feet, although he vigorously objected and tried tomaintain his hold on the other man.

”Here, here, professor!” exclaimed Merriwell; ”you are disgracingyourself by your behavior.”

”He threw my cane overboard, the insolent, old, pug-faced sinner!” ragedZenas. ”I'll take its value out of his hide!”

The other passengers in the vicinity were looking on in mingled wonderand enjoyment, many of them being aware of the cause of the encounterbetween the two old chaps.

”See the kind of a scrape your foolish infatuation for the woman fromBoston has led you into,” said Dick, in the ear of the professor. ”Braceup! The passengers are laughing at you.”

Brad had assisted Major Fitts to rise. The little man was pale, and hiseyes glared. He stood on his toes before Zenas, at whom he shook hisfist, panting:

”Suh, this is not the end of this affair, suh! Give me your address inConstantinople, suh, that I may have a friend wait on yo'. This outrageshall be avenged in blood, suh!”

Dick was between them. He turned to the major.

”You have both made yourselves ridiculous,” he said. ”It shall go nofurther. If you are not ashamed, I am ashamed for you.”

”I demand satisfaction!” palpitated Fitts. ”I am from Mississippi, andno man can give me an insult and escape without meeting me in a duel.”

”The gentleman is quite right,” said the soft voice of Aziz Achmet, asthe Turk stepped forward. ”Under the circumstances the affair must besettled in a manner that will satisfy his wounded honor. If he needs afriend, I shall take pleasure in representing him.”

”Thank yo', suh,” said the major. ”I accept your generous offer, suh,and appreciate it.”

”Wants a duel, does he?” cried Zenas. ”Well, he can't frighten me thatway! I'll go him!”

”And I shall take great pleasure, suh, in shooting yo' through theheart,” declared Fitts. ”Yo' will make the eleventh to my credit, suh.”

The mooring being completed, a great gang of men swarmed on board andtook the steamer by storm. They were a struggling, snarling, shoutingpack of Greeks, Armenians, Turks, Jews, and Italians, who literally fellon the bewildered passengers, as if seeking to rend them limb from limb.They raged, and shouted, and pushed, and in this confusion Dick and Bradmanaged to hustle the professor away, Fitts and Aziz Achmet being lostin the throng.

”Come now,” said Dick, ”let's get on shore in a hurry and see if wecan't keep clear of Major Mowbry Fitts, unless you are anxious to getyourself carved up or shot full of lead. He means business, and hereally wants to fight you in a duel. You were in a nasty scrape,professor.”

”But my honor----” began Zenas.

”Was satisfied when you floored him handsomely before all thepassengers. Let it go at that.”

They found their baggage, and then Dick selected, amid the howling massof human sharks, a fellow with a dirty red fez and a huge hooked nose.

”Do you speak English?” he asked.

”I spik all languages, Italian, Grek, Tergish, Yarman----”

”That will do,” said the boy. ”Here is our luggage. Look after it andget us into a boat.”

In some marvelous manner it was accomplished. They descended a ladderinto a swaying boat, and their luggage followed them like magic. Thencame the dragoman Merriwell had selected, and soon they were on theirway to the shore.

”Thank fortune!” laughed Dick. ”I hope we have seen the last of AzizAchmet, Major Fitts, and Miss Sarah Ann Ketchum.”


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