The Adventures of Akbar

Flora Annie Steel


The Adventures of Akbar

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Adventures of Akbar, by Flora Annie Steel This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: The Adventures of Akbar
Author: Flora Annie Steel
Illustrator: Byam Shaw
Release Date: May 4, 2006 [EBook #18307]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
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Produced by Suzanne Lybarger, Brian Janes and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net

[Transcriber's Note: The following variant spellings used by the author were retained as printed: Babar/Baber, Sultanum/Sultanam, gray/grey, Allah/Alah, meaowed/miaowed.]

THE ADVENTURES OF AKBAR

Uniform with this Volume
Price 6/-net each
THE SECRET GARDEN, by FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT, author of "The Shuttle," etc., illustrated by CHARLES ROBINSON.
THE FOUR GARDENS, by "HANDASYDE," illustrated by CHARLES ROBINSON.
ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, by LEWIS CARROLL, illustrated by ARTHUR RACKHAM.
?SOP'S FABLES, translated by V. S. VERNON JONES, with an introduction by G. K. CHESTERTON, illustrated by ARTHUR RACKHAM.
LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN 21, BEDFORD STREET, W.C.

[Illustration: _On a shelving bank of dry sand Baby Akbar sitting up and rubbing his eyes._]

THE ADVENTURES OF AKBAR
by
FLORA ANNIE STEEL
ILLUSTRATED BY BYAM SHAW
LONDON กค WILLIAM HEINEMANN กค 1913
All rights reserved

A DEDICATION
Oft when the house lay silent in the heat My thoughts would be so full of you, my sweet, That dreaming half--I seemed to hear once more Your little fingers fluttering at the door, The pitter patter of your childish feet In joyous rhythm cross the echoing floor.
Then small, soft hands would nestle into mine, And warm soft arms around my neck would twine, As soft and warm the dream child on my knees, Cuddling so close in clear young voice would tease And tease and tease in mimicked glad young whine For "Just one little story if you please."
So half in jest and half in earnest, too, Mostly I think to dream my dreaming true, I'd conjure up long tales of lands afar And days gone by that yet remembered are; Shaping my stories with this end in view To gain the verdict "Tell some more, Mamma."
For I was happy when I had beguiled Into my life the spirit of a child. Thus one by one the weary hours flew And page by page a little volume grew, So--that my dreams with truth be reconciled, Take it, my darling, it was writ for you.
April, 1875
Long years have sped since that poor book was penned. None read the pages. Therefore at the end Of this world's life I dedicate to two Small boys--her sons--whose question'ng eyes of blue Tell me that dreams of childhood never end This book. So take it boys--'twas writ for you.
1911

PREFACE
This book is written for all little lads and lasses, but especially for the former, since it is the true--quite true--story of a little lad who lived to be, perhaps, the greatest king this world has ever seen.
It is a strange, wild tale this of the adventures of Prince Akbar among the snowy mountains between Kandahar and Kabul, and though the names may be a bit of a puzzle at first, as they will have to be learned by and bye in geography and history lessons, it might be as well to get familiar with them in a story-book; though, indeed, as everybody in it except Roy the Rajput, Meroo the cook boy; Tumbu, the dog; and Down, the cat (and these four may have been true, you know, though they have not been remembered) really lived, I don't know whether this book oughtn't to be considered real history, and therefore
A LESSON BOOK
Anyhow, I hope you won't find it dull.

CONTENTS
PAGE PREFACE

CHAPTER I
FAREWELL 1

CHAPTER II
THE FIRST VICTORY 11

CHAPTER III
THE ROYAL UMBRELLA 20

CHAPTER IV
TUMBU-DOWN 27

CHAPTER V
ON THE ROAD 39

CHAPTER VI
AT COURT 50

CHAPTER VII
WINTER 58

CHAPTER VIII
DOWN'S STRATAGEM 68

CHAPTER IX
SPRING 77

CHAPTER X
THE NIGHT OF RECORD 88

CHAPTER XI
A WINTER MARCH 100

CHAPTER XII
SNOW AND ICE 109

CHAPTER XIII
OVER THE PASS 119

CHAPTER XIV
IN THE VALLEY 128

CHAPTER XV
DEAREST-LADY 138

CHAPTER XVI
CRUEL BROTHER KUMRAN 147

CHAPTER XVII
IMPRISONMENT 159

CHAPTER XVIII
THE GARDEN OF GAMES 169

CHAPTER XIX
BETWIXT CUP AND LIP 178

CHAPTER XX
ESCAPED 187

CHAPTER XXI
DAWN 196

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
ON A SHELVING BANK OF DRY SAND BABY AKBAR SITTING UP AND RUBBING HIS EYES Frontispiece
To face page
PRINCE ASKURRY ... STRODE ... INTO THE TENT 16
THE CHILD HAD SLIPPED IT ONTO HIS LITTLE FOREFINGER 62
SO THEY BOTH TOUCHED THE COLD MARBLE FLOOR WITH THEIR WARM LITTLE FOREHEADS 98
AHEAD OF THEM, A SHADOW SHOWED, A SHAMBLING SHADOW! TUMBU ... WITH A BOUND WAS OFF FULL TILT AFTER IT 126
AND ONE DAY THE DOOR DID OPEN.... "MY SON--MY LITTLE SON!" 166
"LADIES! UNVEIL!" 176
"I STAY MY HAND WHILE I COUNT TEN--NO MORE" 198

CHAPTER I
FAREWELL
Bismillah Al-la-hu Akbar!
These queer-looking, queer-sounding words, which in Arabic mean "thanks be to God," were shrilled out at the
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