Bomba, the Jungle Boy on Jaguar Island - Roy Rockwood - ebook

Bomba, the Jungle Boy on Jaguar Island ebook

Roy Rockwood

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After escaping from the headhunters’ village, Bomba brings Casson and Sobrinini to stay at his friend Pipina’s after which Sobrinini reveals vital information to Bomba about his family and tells of a man, Japazy, who hated Bomba’s father as well as Cody Casson. She tells Bomba to seek out Japazy on Jaguar Island to learn more. He begins his journey to find Japazy... Lacking the visual element, the book focuses on vivid descriptions of Bomba’s rippling muscles and superior strength. „Bomba, the Jungle Boy on Jaguar Island”? 4 in the Bomba series, by Roy Rockwood, was published in 1927. Roy Rockwood, the author, was a house pseudonym used by the Stratemeyer Syndicate for boy’s adventure books, many of the Bomba books being ghostwritten by John William Duffield (1859 – 1946).

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Liczba stron: 219

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Contents

I. WHAT THE LIGHTNING REVEALED

II. AT GRIPS WITH THE ENEMY

III. THE BLAZING CABIN

IV. TERRIBLE JAWS

V. HOW THE INDIANS CAME

VI. THROUGH THE JUNGLE

VII. A PERILOUS CROSSING

VIII. THE WARNING

IX. THE SKELETON

X. WRITHING COILS

XI. THE TRAILING PUMAS

XII. A TERRIFIC BATTLE

XIII. IN THE BOA CONSTRICTOR'S FOLDS

XIV. EYES THAT GLARED

XV. THE RUSHING RIVER

XVI. JAGUAR ISLAND

XVII. THE HIDDEN LISTENER

XVIII. DISCOVERED

XIX. IN THE HANDS OF THE TRIBE

XX. DAZZLING TREASURE

XXI. THE DEEPENING MYSTERY

XXII. THE CREEPING DEATH

XXIII. THE FIRE-STICK SPEAKS

XXIV. THE VOLCANO'S ROAR

XXV. THE ISLAND SINKS

I. WHAT THE LIGHTNING REVEALED

BOMBA crouched beneath the shelter of an overhanging rock, straining his ears for a faint sound not born of the storm.

The rain was coming down in a pitiless torrent. The thunder battered against the surrounding hills and went off grumbling into the distance, to be swallowed up in louder detonations. Trees bent before the fury of the wind like a bow in the hands of an archer. Some of the smaller trunks, wrenched from their roots, fell with a thud to the ground. Castanha nuts, like pebbles from the sling shot of a giant, pelted the jungle in a deadly hail. It was a devastating storm that for the time subdued all other forces of the jungle.

None but the ears of the boy of the jungle could have detected that faint sound through the clamor of the tempest. None but the eyes of Bomba could have seen that something that stood out like a black blot against the vivid background of the lightning.

Bomba crouched lower beneath the jutting rock and one hand slipped to the belt at his waist, firmly gripping the handle of his razor-edged knife. Whether man, beast or reptile threatened, Bomba was not to be caught off his guard.

A crash of thunder that seemed to rip the very heavens asunder, a flash of lightning like a jagged finger of fire searing the sky, and again Bomba saw that blot, but this time more distinctly.

With a smothered exclamation, Bomba slipped into the narrow gully that ran behind the rock, a gully, now half filled with water but thickly fringed with bushes, concealing him from the eyes of his enemies.

For the flash of lightning had revealed no lurking jaguar, hungry for its prey. The foes of Bomba were of a far deadlier kind, deadlier even than the wicked anaconda with its folds of steel. For these were head-hunters–bloodthirsty, cruel, cunning–bucks of the tribe of the dreaded chief, Nascanora.

The eyes of Bomba, keen as those of the big cats that stalked the jungle, had counted three of these in the brief space of the lightning flash. They stood like naked statues, each gripping a spear, the eyes of each prodding the deeper shadows beneath the overhanging rock.

Rage was in the heart of the jungle boy, and fear; fear not for himself but for Cody Casson, his one white friend who had reared him from infancy; Cody Casson, now frail and wasted, who lay helpless, perhaps close to death, in the hut of Pipina, the squaw.

Bomba knew with a sure instinct the reason for the presence of the head-hunters of Nascanora, now far from their tribal abode in the shadow of the Giant Cataract. They were once more on the trail of Casson; Casson whom Bomba loved. They would try to capture him, take him to their village and torture him, and then, when death had brought an end to his sufferings, place his head on Nascanora’s wigwam.

The hand of Bomba clutched convulsively at the handle of his knife. He vowed to the gods of the thunder and the rain that he would protect his friend to the last gasp; that if Casson were to die, he, Bomba, would die with him, stretched across his body.

But it was too early yet to think of death. Too long had Bomba braved the perils of the jungle not to know the fleetness of his foot, the sureness of his eye, the strength of his muscles. Bomba had fought the braves of Nascanora’s tribe before; had beaten and outwitted them. He would fight them again, matching his strength against their strength, his brain against their brains. And he told himself that Bomba would win.

Stealthily as a shadow, still crouching low behind the bushes, Bomba crept along the gully, his ears strained for any sound that might indicate pursuit.

Had they seen him? Had his form beneath the shadow of the rock been as plain to them as theirs to him?

Bomba doubted this, for the rock was sheltered by the overhanging limbs of trees, while the Indians had stood up straight, clearly outlined against the tangled undergrowth of the jungle.

The advantage so far was Bomba’s. But how long could he hope to retain it?

Bomba pushed against the wind almost as against a solid obstacle. It required all his strength to keep his feet. The lightning, that was now almost incessant, filled the forest with weird light, illuminating the tree branches and swaying vines in a fantastic tracery. Heavy ropes of creepers swung from the branches above the boy’s head and wrapped themselves about him, impeding his progress.

With teeth gritted, Bomba fought the fury of the storm. It was terrible, but not so ruthless and relentless as the enemy he was trying to leave behind.

An unusually vivid flash of lightning illumined a faint trail at Bomba’s right. He would leave the gully here and strike homeward toward the cabin of Pipina, where Casson lay, all unknowing of the danger that threatened him. He had been on his way there when the storm had risen and forced him to seek shelter beneath the lee of the rock.

A tree fell with the sound of rending branches directly in front of him. The outflung boughs caught him, swept him backward; castanha nuts pelted about him, now just grazing him and again leaving painful bruises on his body.

He freed himself and struggled doggedly onward. It was not far to the hut of Pipina now, but, pursued by the demons of the storm and having to hack his way at times through the underbrush, each yard had to be fought for.

Then, suddenly, Bomba stopped.

His hand grasped tightly the hilt of his knife, his eyes narrowed as they searched an especially heavy clump of bushes.

Another flash illumined the thicket and Bomba saw the ugly head of a jararaca, the rattlesnake of the South American jungle, upraised to strike.

As the world was again bathed in blackness the serpent sprang. At the same instant Bomba dodged, his hand darted forward and caught the reptile by the neck. His fingers closed upon that slimy neck like a ring of steel. The snake writhed fearfully and threw its coils about Bomba’s arm.

Had the lad’s fingers relaxed the merest trifle, the fangs would have found their mark. But those fingers kept up their relentless pressure until the thrashing coils gradually grew limp.

To make assurance doubly sure, Bomba beat the reptile’s head against a rock, then flung the hideous thing far from him into the bushes.

“The snake is quick,” said the boy to himself, in justified pride, “but Bomba is quicker.”

He plunged forward again, but in a moment stopped, listening intently. What was that?

Only the threshing of the rain, the roar of the wind?

No, it was different from either of these. It was the sound of one or several bodies pressing through the heavy undergrowth that in places grew higher than a man’s head.

And it was not the body of a jaguar or a puma that was pushing through the thickets. Bomba was familiar enough with the habits of these creatures to know that on a night like this they would remain closely sheltered in their caves. None of them would brave the fury of the elements.

Nor was it the odor of animals that was borne to him. Bomba’s long residence in the jungle had developed his sense of smell so that it was almost as keen as that of the jaguar itself. His nostrils dilated now as he sniffed the air and caught the unmistakable scent of human kind.

He had thought that he had left his enemies behind. Now he knew that they were also in front. It was from that direction that the scent had come.

It was no small party with which he had to deal. Nascanora’s braves were out in force. All Bomba’s subtlety and skill would be needed that night, if he were to keep his head on his shoulders. And Bomba valued that head highly.

He went forward now more slowly, more cautiously, pausing to look about him warily when the lightning illumined the jungle.

At one brilliant flash he dropped behind some bushes as though shot.

Not more than a dozen yards away three Indians were creeping toward him, spear points lowered, glinting evilly!

II. AT GRIPS WITH THE ENEMY

LIKE a flash Bomba leaped to his feet and plunged into the underbrush.

He was not a moment too soon! With a yell, the head-hunters sprang toward the spot where he had been but a moment before.

Had Bomba been on a level plain, he could have laughed at his pursuers, for none of them matched him in fleetness of foot. But when it came to forcing his way through the heavy brush, they could move almost as quickly as himself, and the noise he made would be a sure guide to his pursuers.

Realizing this, Bomba adopted new tactics. With the litheness of a deer he rose in the air, and with a series of successive bounds rapidly increased the distance between him and the enemy. He hurdled the bushes in great leaps while his heavier foes were forcing their way through them.

At times he came to places where long creepers depended from the trees, and in order to rest his legs he swung himself along by his arms from one to the other with incredible celerity.

Bomba’s heart sang within him as the sounds of pursuit became fainter. But just as he was beginning to feel that he had escaped the most pressing danger a chorus of yells came from somewhere in front of him. These were answered by savage shouts in the rear.

To go on would be to throw himself into the hands of his foes. To retreat would be equally dangerous.

Turning to the nearest tree, Bomba shinned up it with the agility of a monkey and sought refuge in the thick foliage that hid him from sight, while yet permitting him to see what might be going on below.

What was in that tree he did not know. Perhaps a boa constrictor wound about one of the branches. But he must take his chance between possible death there and the almost certain death that threatened him on the ground beneath.

He had scarcely ensconced himself, panting, in the fork of two great branches before a dozen or more Indians were under his refuge, jabbering with rage and disappointment. They had thought they had their prey encircled and that all they had to do was to close in upon it. Now it had vanished as though into thin air.

With their spears and machetes they viciously beat the brushwood to right and left, thrusting their weapons into every thicket, their anger growing as their efforts remained fruitless.

At last they paused and grouped themselves together for consultation. Bomba’s eyes strained through the darkness, trying to ascertain their number. His ears sought also to get what they were saying. Had it not been for the noise of the tempest, he might have succeeded in this, for he was familiar with most of the dialects of the jungle dwellers. But all he could hear was a low growl that conveyed to him no meaning.

Then the sound of voices died away and the only noise was that of the storm. The black mass of figures had dissolved. Bomba seemed to be alone.

Had the head-hunters passed on? Had they been warned perhaps of some danger that menaced them as well as the fugitive?

For a moment the heart of the jungle lad leaped with hope. Then his sensitive ear caught a rustling that he knew was not occasioned by the wind.

No, they had not gone. Some, perhaps, but not all.

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