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Guy in the Jungle; Or, A Boy's Adventure in the Wilds of Africa

William Murray Graydon

  Produced by Suzanne Shell and the Online DistributedProofreading Team at


  _Guy in the Jungle_


  _A Boy's Adventure in the Wilds of Africa_


  _William Murray Graydon._

  _Author of "Jungles and Traitors", "In Barracks and Wigwam", "The Camp in the Snow", Etc._


  Copyrighted 1890, by FRANK A. MUNSEY

  Copyrighted, 1902, by THOMPSON & THOMAS

  The River of Darkness.


  It was November in London. The great city was buried under a dank,yellow fog. Traffic was temporarily checked; foot passengers gropedtheir way by the light of the street lamps, and the hoarse shouts of thelink boys running before cabs and carriages with blazing torches rang atintervals above the muffled rumble of countless wheels.

  In the coffee-room of a quiet hotel on the Strand a young man stands bythe window, looking pensively out on the misty street. He is quiteyoung, with light hair that falls half over his forehead, and adrooping, golden mustache, and in rather startling contrast to these adeep-bronzed complexion that tells of foreign lands and tropical suns.

  "Captain Chutney, sir?"

  It is a hotel servant, with a big blue envelope in his hand, and, as theyoung man wheels round, he reveals the uniform and bright facings of acaptain of hussars.

  "Yes, I am Captain Chutney," he replies to the servant. "Thank you,"and, taking the blue document, he stands for a moment in deepthoughtfulness.

  Well may he hesitate to break that official seal which glares up at himso broadly. Were the gift of futurity his, and could he see mirroredbefore him the dread panorama of events that are inevitably linked withthat innocent-looking missive, he would fling it with horror-strickenhands into the coal-fire that burns on the grate beside him.

  But no disturbing thought enters his mind. The future looks bright andcheerful enough just at present, and ripping open the end of theenvelope without breaking the seal, he pulls out a folded paper andreads:

  COLONIAL OFFICE, DOWNING STREET, S. W. TO CAPTAIN GUY CHUTNEY: Your immediate presence is requested on urgent affairs.


  Chutney looks with some surprise at the famous signature attached with abold hand. He places the letter in his pocket, pushes open a swingingdoor at the left, and vanishes up a broad stairway.

  In five minutes he reappears, clad in a big mackintosh, and, calling acab, he rattles off westward through the fog.

  He is not in the best of humors. He had made other plans for the day,for his furlough is up, and tomorrow he leaves for India to rejoin hisregiment. He had come up yesterday from the country, where he had put ina week at grouse hunting with his brother, Sir Lucas Chutney, and todayhe intended bidding good-by to old friends, and to attend to the makingof a few purchases.

  Downing Street is not far away, and presently the cab rolls intoWhitehall and draws up before the big granite building.

  Guy makes his way through the spacious corridors thronged with clerks,civilians, foreigners from every part of the globe, and at last reachesthe private apartments of the chief.

  The Right Honorable Lord is deeply engaged, but his private secretaryreceives Chutney cordially, and, leading him back into a still moresecluded and stately apartment, motions him to a soft chair and sitsdown opposite him.

  "Captain Chutney," he begins abruptly, "you leave for India tomorrow?"

  "India Mail, eight o'clock in the morning," Guy replies briefly.

  "Very well. We are going to intrust you with a very importantcommission. You will stop off at Aden, cross the Gulf of Aden in thesemi-weekly steamer, and present these documents to Sir Arthur Ashby,the Political Resident of Zaila, the fortified town of the Somali CoastProtectorate."

  The secretary hands Guy two bulky envelopes, stamped and sealed with thegovernment seal.

  "They relate to affairs of importance," he continues. "Your gallantrecord justifies us in intrusting the papers to your care. You canreturn in time to take the next steamer. Perhaps I had better tell youthis much in confidence," the secretary adds:

  "We have received from certain sources information to the effect thatthe Emir of Harar, on the southern harbor of Abyssinia, contemplates atno distant date an attack on Zaila. Our garrison there is weak, and, asyou probably know, the Somali country is treacherous and unreliable.These papers contain necessary instructions for the Political Resident."

  The secretary rises, and Guy gladly follows his example.

  "I will see that the papers are delivered," he says earnestly.

  "Thank you," the secretary responded. "I am sure that you will. I wishyou a safe voyage, Captain Chutney, and fresh Burmese laurels, for youwill no doubt take part in the Chittagong expedition."

  They shake hands warmly, and in five minutes Guy is rattling citywardagain through the increasing fog. Long afterward he looks back on thatmorning as the most memorable day of his life. At present his commissionsits lightly on his mind. He attends to all his duties in London,catches the India Mail, and two days later is steaming across theMediterranean on board the P. and O. steamship Cleopatra.