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Chicago Sunday Tribune, May 17, 1914
The photo-dramas corresponding to the installments The Adventures of Kathlyn may now be seen at a number of the leading motion picture theaters. By this unique arrangement with the Selig Polyscope Company it is, therefore, possible not only to read The Adventures of Kathlyn in The Sunday Tribune, but also to keep pace with each additional installment at the moving picture theater.1
SYNOPSIS OF PREVIOUS CHAPTERS
Kathlyn Hare, believing her father, Col. Hare, in peril has summoned her, leaves her home in California, to go to him in Allaha,India. Umballah2, pretender to the throne of that principality, has imprisoned the colonel, named by the late king as his heir, because he fears the American may insist on his his royal rights.
Upon her arrival in Allaha she is informed by Unballah that her father is dead, she is to be queen and must marry him forthwith. Because of her refusal, she is sentenced to undergo two ordeals with wild beasts.
John Bruce, an American and fellow passenger on the boat which brought Kathlyn to Allaha, saves her life. The elephant which carries her from the scene of her trials becomes frightened and runs away, separating her from Bruce and the rest of the party. After a ride filled with peril she takes refuge in a ruined temple. The holy men and villagers, believing her to be an ancient princess risen from the tomb, allow her to remain as the guardian of the sacred fire. But Kathlyn’s haven is also the abode of a lion, and she is forced to flee from it with the savage beast in pursuit. She escapes and finds a retreat in the jungle, only to fall into the hands of a band of slave traders, who bring her to Allaha to the public mart. She is sold to Unballah, who, finding her still unsubmissive, throws her into the dungeon with her father.
Bruce and his friends effect the release of Kathlyn and the colonel. Umballah’s attempt to recapture them is unsuccessful, and the fugitives are given shelter in the palace of Bala Khan. Supplied with camels and servants by that hospitable prince, the party endeavors to reach the coast, but are overpowered by brigand and the encounter results in the colonel being delivered to Umballah. Kathlyn and Bruce escape from their captors and return to Allaha, where Kathlyn learns that her father, while nominally king, is in reality a prisoner. Kathlyn’s resourcefulness and bravery are the means of rescuing him, and once more they steal away from Allaha, but return broken hearted when they learn that Winnie, Kathlyn’s young sister, has come to India. Umballah makes her a prisoner. She is forced to enter the palace and in turn is crowned queen of Allaha.
One attempt to get Winnie out of the closely guarded palace almost costs Kathlyn her life, but the second plan succeeds, and Kathlyn, Winnie, their father, and Bruce find a hiding place in the home of their Indian friend, Ramabai, and his wife, Pundita. The latter is the lawful queen of Allah and public sentiment in her favor is growing. The people at least, weary of Unballah’s misrule, rise against him, with Ramabai at their head and the colonel and Bruse fighting under him. Kathlyn has been left at home, but when tidings that the revolutionists have been defeated reach her she rushes out and assumes command of the scattered forces. Her presence inspires them with fresh courage and under her leadership the tide is turned an the rebels are victorious.
CHAPTER XX BATLE, BATTLE, BATTLE
They tell of it to this day in Allaha. To be sure, they will elaborate and prevaricate, twist and distort, as only the Asiatic knows how, having an innate horror of brevity and directness; but the basic truth of Kathlyn’s exploit is held intent. The hoary old beggar who sits with his beggar’s bowel near the steps of the mosque, loquacious, verbose, and flowery, for an 8 a.m. piece will tell you the tell, which happened all of thirty years ago.
“Ah, yes, Huzoor; it is about the white goddess that you wish to know. Huzoor, she came out of nowhere, in a chain armor that shone like rippling water in the sunshine. She was tall and lithe and vigorous and as beautiful as a dream of paradise.
“When we saw Sahiba and Ramabai trapped by motion in the rear of us. A pathway seemed to be hewn out among us. We were thrown about like sticks in a whirlpool.
“And then I saw her! Ah, Protector of the Poor, you white people rule the world because you always know what you want and when you want it. But it is not natural for we brown people to think and act quickly at the same time. I saw her; and I thought at first that the gates of paradise had opened, and Allah himself had set her down among us!”
“Straight to the palace steps she ran, waving her arms. Behold! She spoke to us in her own tongue, but Allah is witness that we understood what she was saying! First, we grew ashamed, then we stopped running, then we became men, Huzoor. The lead tubes began to speak again; and we too found our voices. With yells we followed. And there was battle, battle, battle, to the very foot of the throne.
“She threw herself between the leveled guns and her people. The soldier could not fire. And Umballah, seeing that in truth he had lost this time—Umballah fled toward the corridors, and none was quick enough to prevent him.
“But we went shouting after him, through this corridor and that. We could not find him. It seems he escaped through one of the chambers in the zenana.”
“What became of the captain of the guards?”
“He was ordered to the arena lions. But we saved hi, loosing the arena lions to do so. Huzoor, I am thirsty again.”
And you buy him another cup of sweetened water.
“But we cheered the white goddess that day! There are men who will swear that her feet never touched the earth as she walked. But I knew that she was the daughter of Colonel Smith, and that she had red blood in her veins, like the rest of us. Women are mysteries. Here was one who fought like an ancient warrior; and yet she swooned in her father’s arms! That is all today, Huzoor. I am an old man, and my throat dries quickly. Come tomorrow and I will tell you more.”
But tomorrow comes to find you interested in something else; and the old beggar juggles his bowl before the steps of the mosque, patiently waiting for another listener.
“Kit, Kit!” cried Kathlyn’s father when she came to her senses. “My girl, my girl!”
“How could you do it?”
“Do what?” vaguely.
“Lead a forlorn cause to victory; you, a girl!”
She brushed back the hair which tumbled about her eyes, glanced at the powder stained faces grouped about her, glanced at the toppled throne, at Bruce, at Ramabai. She made an effort to explain, but the words would not come.
“I would not question her,” said Bruce to the Colonel. “For my part, I never so thoroughly believed in God as I do now. She does not realize what she has done.”
The Colonel bent his head reverently.
“We owe our lives to her,” said Ramabai. “Somewhere in the dim ages there was a great mother, and today her soul entered Memsabib.”
“Mine!” murmured Bruce. “This beautiful strange woman is mine! God send the day quickly when I can take her in my arms and guard her! Ramabai,” he said aloud, “go to the balcony and proclaim Pundita queen. Let us have done this before there is an chance of Umballah recovering. What shall we do with the council?”
“Wait!” responded Ramabai. “It is for another to say.” And he pointed to the marble flags at his feet.
And all understood what honor meant to this man of dark skin.
“Now,” he continued, “I wish to go home at once. We will leave a sufficient guard here to watch over the palace. My wife waits; and the death of Lai Singh may have—”
The name thought finished through Kathlyn’s mind; the dagger. Dying, Lai Singh had declared that Ramabai was a prisoner; and well would Pundita comprehend what that meant.
“Yes, yes; let us go quickly!” Kathlyn cried. Pundita might be dead and Winnie crazed with grief.
They left the palace immediately.
The overthrow of Umballa seemed to be complete. Everywhere the soldiers surrendered, for it was better to have food in the stomach than lead.
When Kathlyn left the palace a thunder of cheers greeted her. Kathlyn was forced to mount the durbar throne, much as she longed to be off. But Bruce anticipated her thought and despatched one of the revolutionists to the house of Ramabai. Kathlyn held out her hands toward the excited populace, then turned to Ramabai expressively. Ramabai, calm and unruffled as ever, stepped forward and was about to address the people, when the disheveled captain of the guard, whom Umballa had sent to the arena lions, pushed his way to the foot of the platform.
“The arena lions have escaped!”
And there were a dozen lions in all, strong, cruel, and no doubt hungry!
Panic. Men who had been at one another’s throat, bravely and hardily, turned and fled. It was a foolish panic, senseless, but, like all panics, uncontrollable. Those on the platform ran down the steps and at once were swallowed up by the pressing trampling crowd.
Bruce and the colonel, believing that Kathlyn was behind them, fought their way to a clearing, determined to secure nets and take the lions alive. When they turned Kathlyn was gone. For a moment the two men stood as if paralyzed. Then Bruce relieved the tension by smiling. He laid his hand on the colonel’s shoulder.
“She has lost us; but that will not matter. Ordinarily I should be wild with anxiety; but to-day Kathlyn may go where she will, and nothing but awe and reverence will follow her. Besides, she has her revolver.”
At the same time Kathlyn was fighting vigorously to get free of the mob, Winnie was struggling with Pundita, striving to wrench the dagger from the grief-stricken wife’s hand.
“No, no, Pundita!”
“Let me go! My lord is dead, and I wish to follow!”
As the latter’s eyes opened wildly Winnie heard a pounding at the door. She flung open the door.
“Pundita?” cried the man.
Winnie caught him by the sleeve and dragged him into the chamber.
“Highness,” he cried, “he lives!” And he recounted the startling events of the morning.
“They live!” cried Pundita, and covered her face.
To return to Kathlyn: by and by she was able to slip into a doorway, and the bawling rabble passed on down the narrow street. The house was deserted, and the hallway and what had been a booth was filled with rubbish. Kathlyn, as she leaned breathlessly against the door, felt it give. And very glad she was of this knowledge a moment later, when two lions galloped into the street, their manes stiff, their tails arched. Doubtless, they were badly frightened.
Kathlyn reached for the revolver she carried and fired at the animals, not expecting to hit one of them, but hoping that the noise of the firearm would swerve them into the passage across the way. Instead, they came straight to where she stood.
She stepped inside and slammed the door, holding it and feeling about in vain for lock or bolt.
She then espied a ladder which gave to the roof top, and up this she climbed. They could not possibly follow her up the ladder, and as she reached the top and it turned back at her pressure, she knew that for the present she had nothing to fear from the lions.
Then, round the passage she saw a palanquin, carried by slaves. She leaned far over.
“Help!” she cried. “Help!”
The bearers paused abruptly, and the curtain of the palanquin was swept back. The dark sinister visage of Umballa was revealed.
Umballah left the palanquin, opened the door of the house, espied the rubbish in the hall; was in the act of mounting the first steps when one of the lions roared again. Drunk as he was, filled with a drunkard’s courage, Umballa started back. The lions! Out into the street he went. He turned to the bearers and ordered them to fire the inflammables in the hall. But they refused, for they recognized the chain armor. Mad with rage Umballah struck at them, entered the hall again, and threw a lighted match into the rubbish.
He left the horrified bearers and staggered in the house where he was to find shelter. He was admitted, the closed and barred. from a window he watched the progress of the fire. At last! He would pass from Allaha but not without his revenge. It was sweet! She could not escape; the lions would bar the way till it was too late. Let her God save her if he could!
The smoke rose quickly. It volleyed and poured out of the windows, thick and black. Flame tongues darted hither and yon. Higher and higher, till at length the form on the parapet was no longer visable.
Umballah took from his cummerbund his last bottle of wine, broke the neck against the window sill, and drank, cutting his lips as he did so.
1 The movie serial was 13 chapters, with each chapter released every two weeks. The novelization is much more detailed, and therefore in twenty-six chapters.
2 “Umballa” is spelled as “Umballah” in the Chicago Tribune story, when it is spelled without the “h” in Mr. MacGrath’s novel. This may be an indicator for copyright purposes as to where copy was picked up from.
In the novelization, which was published after the release of the final motion picture chapter, The Tribune ceased to provide titles to each chapter starting with the Seventh Chapter.