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The Argus Pheasant   By:

The Argus Pheasant by John Charles Beecham

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[Illustration: Cover]

THE ARGUS PHEASANT

[Illustration: The Chinaman's laborious progress through the cane had amused her. She knew why he stepped so carefully]

THE

ARGUS PHEASANT

BY

JOHN CHARLES BEECHAM

Frontispiece by GEORGE W. GAGE

[Illustration]

NEW YORK W. J. WATT & COMPANY PUBLISHERS

COPYRIGHT, 1918, BY W. J. WATT & COMPANY

PRESS OF BRAUNWORTH & CO. BOOK MANUFACTURERS BROOKLYN, N. Y.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE I. The Omniscient Sachsen 1 II. Ah Sing Counts His Nails 10 III. Peter Gross is Named Resident 25 IV. Koyola's Prayer 35 V. Sachsen's Warning 54 VI. The Pirate League 73 VII. Mynheer Muller Worries 82 VIII. Koyala's Warning 97 IX. The Long Arm of Ah Sing 107 X. Captain Carver Signs 119 XI. Mynheer Muller's Dream 125 XII. Peter Gross's Reception 134 XIII. A Fever Antidote 144 XIV. Koyala's Defiance 154 XV. The Council 165 XVI. Peter Gross's Pledge 173 XVII. The Poisoned Arrow 192 XVIII. A Summons to Sadong 198 XIX. Koyala's Ultimatum 207 XX. Lkath's Conversion 216 XXI. Captured by Pirates 226 XXII. In the Temple 238 XXIII. Ah Sing's Vengeance 245 XXIV. A Rescue 252 XXV. The Fight on the Beach 259 XXVI. "To Half of My Kingdom " 268 XXVII. A Woman Scorned 274 XXVIII. The Attack on the Fort 285 XXIX. A Woman's Heart 296 XXX. The Governor's Promise 310

THE ARGUS PHEASANT

Ah, God, for a man with a heart, head, hand, Like some of the simple great ones gone Forever and ever by; One still, strong man in a blatant land, Whatever they call him what care I? Aristocrat, democrat, autocrat one Who can rule and dare not lie! Tennyson.

CHAPTER I

THE OMNISCIENT SACHSEN

It was very apparent that his Excellency Jonkheer Adriaan Adriaanszoon Van Schouten, governor general of the Netherlands East Indies, was in a temper. His eyes sparked like an emery wheel biting cold steel. His thin, sharp ridged nose rose high and the nostrils quivered. His pale, almost bloodless lips were set in rigid lines over his finely chiseled, birdlike beak with its aggressive Vandyke beard. His hair bristled straight and stiff, like the neck feathers of a ruffled cock, over the edge of his linen collar. It was this latter evidence of the governor's unpleasant humor that his military associate, General Gysbert Karel Vanden Bosch, observed with growing anxiety.

The governor took a pinch of snuff with great deliberation and glared across the big table of his cabinet room at the general. Vanden Bosch shrank visibly.

"Then, my dear generaal ," he demanded, "you say we must let these sons of Jazebel burn down my residences, behead my residents, and feed my controlleurs to the crocodiles without interference from the military?"

" Ach , no, your excellency!" General Vanden Bosch expostulated hastily. "Not that!"

"I fear I have not understood you, my dear general. What do you advise?"

The icy sweetness of the choleric Van Schouten sent a cold shiver along the commander's spine. He wriggled nervously in the capacious armchair that he filled so snugly. Quite unconsciously he mumbled to himself the clause which the pious Javanese had added to their prayers since Van Schouten's coming to Batavia: "And from the madness of the orang blanda devil at the paleis , Allah deliver us."

"Ha! generaal , what do you say?" the governor exclaimed.

Vanden Bosch coughed noisily and rallied his wits... Continue reading book >>




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