THE LAST OF THE HUGGERMUGGERS
THE LAST OF THE HUGGERMUGGERS
CHRISTOPHER PIERCE CRANCH
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 Kobboltozo's Shop.
CHAP. VII.--How he made use of Huggermugger in Travelling.
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 together.
CHAP. XI.--They sail for Huggermugger's Island.
CHAP. XII.--The Huggermuggers in a new Light.
CHAP. XIII.--Huggermugger Hall.
CHAP. XIV.--Kobbletozo astonishes Mr. Scrawler.
CHAP. XV.--Mrs. Huggermugger grows thin and fades away.
CHAP. XVI.--The Sorrows of Huggermugger.
CHAP. XVII.--Huggermugger leaves his Island.
CHAP. XVIII.--The Last of the Huggermuggers.
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 the deck.
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 with her.
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
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
[Illustration: THE GIANT PICKS UP LITTLE JACKET'S BEDROOM.]
"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
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.
[Illustration: MRS. HUGGERMUGGER ADMIRES THE SHELL AND SUNFLOWER.]
"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
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
WHAT HAPPENED TO LITTLE JACKET IN THE GIANT'S BOOT.
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
"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