King of the Mountains
118 pages

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118 pages

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Researcher Hermann Schultz sets off on a voyage to Greece with the aim of collecting botanical and natural specimens. Once he arrives, however, he finds that his field work will be rather more complicated than he bargained for. The mountain range where he intended to carry out his study is controlled by a shadowy league of thieves and bandits. Will Schultz be able to escape their clutches?



Publié par
Date de parution 01 mars 2013
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781775562344
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0134€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


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The King of the Mountains First published in 1897 ISBN 978-1-77556-234-4 © 2013 The Floating Press and its licensors. All rights reserved. While every effort has been used to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information contained in The Floating Press edition of this book, The Floating Press does not assume liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in this book. The Floating Press does not accept responsibility for loss suffered as a result of reliance upon the accuracy or currency of information contained in this book. Do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment. Many suitcases look alike. Visit
I - Hermann Schultz II - Photini III - Mary-Ann IV - Hadgi-Stavros V - The Gendarmes VI - The Escape VII - John Harris VIII - The Court Ball IX - Letter from Athens
I - Hermann Schultz
On the 3d of July, about six o'clock in the morning, I was watering myflowers. A young man entered the garden. He was blonde, beardless; hewore a German cap and sported gold spectacles. A long, loose woolencoat, or paletot, drooped in a melancholy way around his form, like asail around a mast in a calm. He wore no gloves; his tan leather shoeshad such large soles, that the foot was surrounded by a narrow flange.In the breast-pocket of his paletot, a huge porcelain pipe bulgedhalf-way out. I did not stop to ask myself whether this young man was astudent in the German Universities; I put down my watering-pot, andsaluted him with: "Guten Morgen!"
"Monsieur," he said to me in French, but with a deplorable accent, "myname is Hermann Schultz; I have come to pass some months in Greece, andI have carried your book with me everywhere."
This praise penetrated my heart with sweet joy; the stranger's voiceseemed more melodious than Mozart's music, and I directed toward hisgold glasses a swift look of gratitude. You would scarcely believe, dearreader, how much we love those who have taken the trouble to decipherour jargon. As for me, if I have ever sighed to be rich, it is in orderto assure an income to all those who have read my works.
I took him by the hand, this excellent young man. I seated him beside meon the garden-bench. He told me that he was a botanist, that he had acommission from the "Jardin des Plantes" in Hamburg. In order tocomplete his herbarium he was studying the country, the animals, and thepeople. His naive descriptions, his terse but just decisions, recalledto me, a little, the simple old Herodotus. He expressed himselfawkwardly, but with a candor which inspired confidence; he emphasizedhis words with the tone of a man entirely convinced. He questioned me,if not of every one in Athens, at least of all the principal personagesin my book. In the course of the conversation, he made some statementson general subjects, which seemed to me far more reasonable than anywhich I had advanced. At the end of an hour we had become good friends.
I do not know which of us first spoke of brigandage. People who travelin Italy talk of paintings; those who visit England talk ofmanufactures; each country has its specialty.
"My dear sir," I asked of my guest, "have you met any brigands? Is ittrue, as is reported, that there are still bandits in Greece?"
"It is only too true," he gravely replied. "I was for fifteen days inthe hands of the terrible Hadgi-Stavros, nicknamed The King of theMountains. I speak then from experience. If you have leisure, and a longstory will not weary you, I am ready to give you the details of myadventure. You may make of it what you please; a romance, a novel, orperhaps an additional chapter in the little book in which you havewritten so many curious facts."
"You are very good," I replied, "and I am at your disposal. Let us go tomy study. It is cooler there than in the garden and yet we can enjoy theodor of the sweet-peas and mignonette."
He followed me, humming to himself in Greek, a popular song:
"A robber with black eyes descends to the plains; His gun is heard at each step; He says to the vultures: 'Do not leave me, I will serve to you the Pasha of Athens.'"
He seated himself on a divan, with his legs crossed under him like theArabian story-tellers, took off his loose paletot, lighted his pipe andbegan his tale. I seated myself at my desk and took stenographic notesas he dictated.
I have always been without much distrust, especially with those who havecomplimented me. Sometimes the amiable stranger told me such surprisingthings that I asked myself many times if he was not mocking me. But hismanner was so simple, his blue eyes so limpid, that my suspicions fadedaway on the instant.
He talked steadily, until half after noon. He stopped two or three timesonly long enough to relight his pipe.
He smoked with regular puffs like the smoke stack of a steam-engine.Each time I raised my eyes, I beheld him, calm, smiling, in the midst ofa thick cloud of smoke, like Jupiter in the 5th act of Amphitryon.
We were interrupted by a servant with the announcement that breakfastwas served. Hermann seated himself opposite me, and my triflingsuspicions vanished before his appetite. I said to myself that a gooddigestion rarely accompanies a bad conscience. The young German was toogood an eater to be an untruthful narrator, and his veracity restored myfaith in his veracity. Struck with this idea, I confessed, whileoffering him some strawberries, that I had, for an instant, doubted him.He replied with an angelic smile.
I passed the entire day with my new friend, and I found that the timedid not drag. At five o'clock, he knocked the ashes from his pipe, puton his outer coat, and shaking my hand, said: "Adieu." I replied: "Aurevoir."
"No," he said, shaking his head; "I leave to-night at seven o'clock, andI dare not hope ever to see you again."
"Leave your address. I have not yet renounced the pleasure of traveling,and I may, sometime, pass through Hamburg."
"Unfortunately, I do not know where I shall pitch my tent. Germany islarge; I may not remain a citizen of Hamburg."
"But if I publish your story, at least I ought to send you a copy."
"Do not take that trouble. As soon as the book is published, it willappear in Leipzig and I will read it. Adieu!"
After his departure, I re-read attentively what I had written. I foundsome remarkable details, but nothing which contradicts what I had seenand heard during my stay in Greece.
At the moment of finishing the manuscript, a scruple restrained me: Whatif some errors had crept into Hermann's statements? In my quality ofeditor was I not responsible? To publish the story of "The King of theMountains," was it not to expose myself to editorial comments andcriticisms?
In my perplexity, I thought of making a copy of the original. I sent thefirst to M. Pseftis. I begged him to point out, candidly, all theerrors, and I promised to print his reply at the end of the volume.
I re-read the copy which I had retained. I changed no word in it. If Imade myself the corrector of the young German's statements, I wouldbecome his collaborator. So I discreetly withdrew. It is Hermann whospeaks to you.
II - Photini
You divine, from the appearance of my clothes, that I have not tenthousand francs with me. My father is an inn-keeper whom the railroadshave ruined. In prosperous times he eats bread, in bad years potatoes.Add to this, that there are six children, all with good appetites. Theday on which I received my commission from the Jardin des Plantes, therewas a festival given in the family. My departure would not only increasethe portion of each of my brothers, but I was to have two hundred andfifty francs per month and the expenses for my journey. It was afortune. From that moment they ceased to call me Doctor. They dubbed mebeef-merchant, so that I should appear rich! My brothers prophesied thatI would be elected Professor by the University, on my return fromAthens. My father hoped that I would return married. In his position ofinn-keeper, he had assisted in some very romantic adventures. He cited,at least three times a week, the marriage of the Princess Ypsoff andLieutenant Reynauld. The Princess occupied the finest apartments, withher two maids and her Courier, and she gave twenty florins a day. TheFrench Lieutenant was in No. 17, way up under the eaves, and he paid aflorin and a half, food included; however, after a month's sojourn atthe hotel, he departed in a carriage with the Russian lady.
My poor father, with the partiality of a father, thought that I washandsomer and more elegant than Lieutenant Reynauld; he did not doubtbut that, sooner or later, I would meet a princess who would enrich usall. If I did not find her at a table d'hote, I would see her in arailway carriage. If the powers which control the railroads were notpropitious, there was still left the steamships. The evening of mydeparture, we drank a bottle of old Rhine wine, and by chance the lastwas poured into my glass. The good man wept with joy: it was a suresign, and nothing could prevent me from marrying within a year. Irespected his superstitions, and I refrained from saying that princessesrarely travel third class. As for lodgings, my humble luggage would notpermit me to choose any but modest inns, and royal families do not,usually, lodge in them. The fact is, that I landed in Greece without anadventure of any kind.
The army occupying the city made everything very dear in Athens. TheHotel d'Angleterre, the Hotel Orient, the Hotel des Etrangers wereinaccessible. The Chancellor of the Prussian Legation, to whom I hadbrought a letter of introduction, was kind enough to assist me infinding a lodging. He took me to a pastry-cook's, at the corner of theRue d'Hèrmes and the Place du Palais. I found there, board and lodgingfor a hundred francs a month. Christodule was an old Palikar, decoratedwith the Iron Cross, in memory of the War of Independence. He w

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