Dick Merriwell’s Pranks - Burt L. Standish - ebook

Dick Merriwell’s Pranks ebook

burt l standish

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Burt L. Standish wrote another exciting story about Dick Merriwell. The story of the story develops on deck. Among the crowd on the deck were two boys who made a European tour under the guidance of Professor Zenas Gann. Dick Merriwell, younger brother of former great Yale athlete and scholar Frank Merriwella. Dick was his buddy Bradley Backhart. The guys continue their journey, revealing to the reader the beauty of the whole world.

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Liczba stron: 369

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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. It was approaching Constantinople. On the right lay Asia, on the left Europe. Either shore was lined with beautiful mosques and palaces, the fairylike 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 in the splendid harbor.

Among the crowd on deck were two boys who were making a European tour in charge of Professor Zenas Gunn, of the Fardale Military Academy, from which one of the students had been unjustly expelled. This was Dick Merriwell, the younger brother of the former great Yale athlete and scholar, 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 the shoulder of his comrade, who was leaning on the rail and staring at the bewildering panorama.

Buckhart drew a deep breath.

“Pard,” he answered, “she beats my dreams a whole lot. I certain didn’t allow that the country of the ‘unspeakable Turk’ could be half as beautiful.”

“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 that things will not seem so beautiful on closer inspection.”

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

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

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

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

“I have admired her for a long time,” he declared. “In fact, ever since my eyes first beheld her intellectual and classic countenance. Her hair is 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 of enchantment. Every movement is a poem. I could worship her! I could spend my life at the feet of such a woman listening to the musical murmur 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 the Foreign Humanitarian Society, of Boston, Massachusetts. Who else could I be 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. It offends me very much. Besides, she may see you laughing, and that would harrow her sensitive soul.”

“Professor, I didn’t think it of you!” said Dick, trying to check his merriment. “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 and offensive language. ‘Smashed!’ Shocking! You do not understand me. She is my ideal, my affinity, the soul of my soul! Yet I must worship her from 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 of wisdom which dropped from her sweet lips. But I haven’t told her I am married. It wasn’t necessary. Even if I were to know her better, even if I were to become her friend, being a man of honor, that friendship would be purely platonic.”

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

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

“Girl!” gasped Dick. “Oh, professor! Girl! Oh, ha, ha, ha! She’s sixty if she’s a minute!”

“Sixty-five!” asserted Brad, slapping his thigh and joining in the merriment.

“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 a puppy dog.”

“You mean Major Mowbry Fitts?” said Dick.

“Fitts–that’s the man. They’re all majors or colonels down in Mississippi. 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 Miss Ketchum, 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 run cold.”

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

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

“Yes,” sighed Zenas. “We soon must part, but I shall always carry her image 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 for your manners.”

Miss Sarah Ann Ketchum, tall, angular, and painfully plain, came stalking 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. She smiled and bowed; he doffed his hat and scraped. Like a prancing colt he advanced to meet her.

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

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

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

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

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

The steamer was swinging in to her mooring, but Professor Gunn was now too absorbed in Miss Ketchum and her talk to tell the boys anything about 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 wore English-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 has bothered us so much–the one we found in our stateroom one day. He’s listening now to the professor and the Boston woman. I’ll bet my life on it.”

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

“I certain reckon so, and I’m a whole lot sorry we let him off without thumping 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 a whole 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 we are going to have trouble with that man.”

“Well, he wants to lay his trail clear of mine,” growled Buckhart. “I’m getting a heap impatient with him, and I’ll be liable to do him damage if he provokes me further by his sneaking style.”

A little man with a very fierce, gray mustache and imperial came dodging hither 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 on shore.”

“My dear Major Fitts,” said Sarah Ann, “I am truly grateful for your gallant thoughtfulness. Professor, permit me to introduce you to Major Mowbry Fitts, of Natchez, Mississippi. Major, this is Professor Zenas Gunn, 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,” declared Zenas. “I am quite capable of looking out for her.”

“Suh, yo’ may relieve yo’self of any trouble, suh,” retorted the man from Natchez.

“I couldn’t think of it, sir, not for a moment, sir,” shot back the professor. “It might be trouble for you, sir, but it is a pleasure for me.”

“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, “I think Miss Ketchum will excuse yo’.”

That was too much for Zenas.

“My age, sir!” he rasped, lifting his cane. “Why, you antiquated old fossil, I’m ten years younger than you! My infirmities, sir! You rheumatic, 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. “If yo’ 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 it spinning overboard.

A moment later Zenas grappled with the man from Natchez, doing it so suddenly that the major was taken off his guard and sent flat upon his back 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 Brad grasped him by the collar on the other side. They dragged him off and stood him on his feet, although he vigorously objected and tried to maintain his hold on the other man.

“Here, here, professor!” exclaimed Merriwell; “you are disgracing yourself by your behavior.”

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

The other passengers in the vicinity were looking on in mingled wonder and enjoyment, many of them being aware of the cause of the encounter between the two old chaps.

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

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

“Suh, this is not the end of this affair, suh! Give me your address in Constantinople, suh, that I may have a friend wait on yo’. This outrage shall 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 no further. If you are not ashamed, I am ashamed for you.”

“I demand satisfaction!” palpitated Fitts. “I am from Mississippi, and no 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, as the Turk stepped forward. “Under the circumstances the affair must be settled in a manner that will satisfy his wounded honor. If he needs a friend, 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 that way! I’ll go him!”

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

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

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

“But my honor––” began Zenas.

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