The Three Mulla-mulgars
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The Three Mulla-mulgars


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Three Mulla-mulgars, by Walter De La MareThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: The Three Mulla-mulgarsAuthor: Walter De La MareIllustrator: Dorothy P. LathropRelease Date: May 31, 2010 [EBook #32620]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE THREE MULLA-MULGARS ***Produced by Suzanne Shell and the Online DistributedProofreading Team at (This file wasproduced from images generously made available by TheInternet Archive/American Libraries.)CONTENTSChapter I 11Chapter II 26Chapter III 40Chapter IV 51Chapter V 62Chapter VI 74Chapter VII 87Chapter VIII 97Chapter IX 106Chapter X 119Chapter XI 187Chapter XII 148Chapter XIII 155Chapter XIV 168Chapter XV 179Chapter XVI 191Chapter XVII 200Chapter XVIII 211Chapter XIX 222Chapter XX 232Chapter XXI 241Chapter XXII 251Chapter XIII 261THE THREEMULLA-MULGARS"OH, BUT IF I MIGHT BUT HOLD IT IN MY HAND ONE MOMENT, I THINKTHAT I SHOULD NEVER EVEN SIGH AGAIN!"THE THREEMULLA-MULGARSBYWALTER DE LA MAREILLUSTRATED BYDOROTHY · P · LATHROPTitle PageNew York ALFRED · A · KNOPF McmxxvCOPYRIGHT, 1919, BYALFRED A. KNOPF, Inc.Published, December, 1919Second Printing, February, 1925PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF ...



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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Three Mulla-
mulgars, by Walter De La Mare
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
Title: The Three Mulla-mulgars
Author: Walter De La Mare
Illustrator: Dorothy P. Lathrop
Release Date: May 31, 2010 [EBook #32620]
Language: English
Produced by Suzanne Shell and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file
produced from images generously made available by
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)
Chapter I 11
Chapter II 26
Chapter III 40
Chapter IV 51
Chapter V 62
Chapter VI 74
Chapter VII 87
Chapter VIII 97
Chapter IX 106
Chapter X 119
Chapter XI 187
Chapter XII 148
Chapter XIII 155
Chapter XIV 168
Chapter XV 179
Chapter XVI 191
Chapter XVII 200
Chapter XVIII 211Chapter XIX 222
Chapter XX 232
Chapter XXI 241
Chapter XXII 251
Chapter XIII 261
Title Page
New York ALFRED · A · KNOPF Mcmxxv
ALFRED A. KNOPF, Inc.Published, December, 1919
Second Printing, February, 1925
F. and D.
L. and C.
"Oh, but if I might but hold it in my hand one mo ntis
ment, I think I should never even sigh again!" piec
"The Queen of the Mountains is in the Forest—wi
th fingers of frost"
The Wonderstone 75
Nod was never left alone 80
He jumped, he reared, he kicked, he plunged, he
wriggled, he whinnied
Nod danced the Jaqquas' war-dance, ... stooping
and crooked, "wriggle and stamp"
He felt a sudden darkness above his head, and a
cold terror crept over his skinWith sticks and staves and flaring torches they tu
rned on the fierce birds that came sweeping and 189
swirling out of the dark
"What is it, brother? Why do you crouch and star
"For there stood as if frozen in the moonlight the
monstrous silver-haired Meermuts of Mulgarmeer 224
ez, guarding the enchanted orchards of Tishnar"
They feasted on fruits they never before had tast
ed nor knew to grow on earth
A Mulgar of a presence and a strangeness, who
was without doubt of the Kingdom of Assasimmo 274
On the borders of the Forest of Munza-mulgar lived
once an old grey fruit-monkey of the name of Mutt-
matutta. She had three sons, the eldest Thumma, the
next Thimbulla, and the youngest, who was a Nizza-
neela, Ummanodda. And they called each other for
short, Thumb, Thimble, and Nod. The rickety, tumble-
down old wooden hut in which they lived had been built
319 Munza years before by a traveller, a Portugall or
Portingal, lost in the forest 22,997 leagues from home.
After he was dead, there came scrambling along on
his fours one peaceful evening a Mulgar (or, as we
say in English, a monkey) named Zebbah. At first sight
of the hut he held his head on one side awhile, and
stood quite still, listening, his broad-nosed face lit up in
the blaze of the setting sun. He then hobbled a littlenearer, and peeped into the hut. Whereupon he
hobbled away a little, but soon came back and peeped
again. At last he ventured near, and, pushing back the
tangle of creepers and matted grasses, groped
through the door and went in. And there, in a dark
corner, lay the Portingal's little heap of bones.
The hut was dry as tinder. It had in it a broken fire-
stone, a kind of chest or cupboard, a table, and a
stool, both rough and insect-bitten, but still strong.
Zebbah sniffed and grunted, and pushed and peered
about. And he found all manner of strange and
precious stuff half buried in the hut—pots for Subbub;
pestles and basins for Manaka-cake, etc.; three bags
of great beads, clear, blue, and emerald; an old rusty
musket; nine ephelantoes' tusks; a bag of Margarita
stones; and many other things, besides cloth and
spider-silk and dried-up fruits and fishes. He made his
dwelling there, and died there. This Mulgar, Zebbah,
was Mutta-matutta's great-great-great-grandfather.
Dead and gone were all.
Now, one day when Mutta-matutta was young, and
her father had gone into the forest for Sudd-fruit, there
came limping along a most singular Mulgar towards
the house. He was bent and shrunken, shivering and
coughing, but he walked as men walk, his nut-shaped
head bending up out of a big red jacket. His shoulder
and the top of his head were worn bare by the rubbing
of the bundle he carried. And behind him came
stumbling along another Mulgar, his servant, with a
few rags tied round his body, who could not at first
speak, his tongue was so much swollen from his
having bitten in the dark a poison-spider in his nuts.The name of his master was Seelem; his own name
was Glint. This Seelem fell very sick. Mutta-matutta
nursed him night and day, with the sourest monkey-
physic. He was pulled crooked with pain and the
shivers, or rain-fever. The tips of the hairs on his head
had in his wanderings turned snow-white. But he bore
his pain and his sickness (and his physic) without one
groan of complaint.
And Glint, who fetched water and gathered sticks and
nuts, and helped Mutta-matutta, told her that his
master, Seelem, was a Mulla-mulgar—that is, a
Mulgar of the Blood Royal—and own brother to
Assasimmon, Prince of the Valleys of Tishnar.
He told her, also, that his master had wearied of
Assasimmon's valley-palace, his fine food and dishes,
his music of shells and strings, his countless Mulgar-
slaves, beasts, and groves and gardens; and that,
having chosen three servants, Jacca, Glutt, and
himself, he had left his brother's valleys, to discover
what lay beyond the Arakkaboa Mountains. But Jacca
had perished of frost-bite on the southern slopes of
the Peak of Tishnar, and Glutt had been eaten by the
He was very silent and gloomy, this Mulla-mulgar,
Seelem, but glad to rest his bruised and weary bones
in the hut. And when Mutta-matutta's father died from
sleeping in the moon-mist at Sudd-ripening, Seelem
untied his travelling bundle and made his home in the
hut. Mutta-matutta was a lonely and rather sad
Mulgar, so at this she rejoiced, for she had grown
from fearing to love the royal old wanderer. And shehelped him to put away all that was in his bundles into
the Portingal's chest—three shirts of cotton; two red
jackets, like his own, with metal hooks; a sheep's-coat,
with ivory buttons and pocket-flaps; three skin shoes
(for one had been lost out of his bundle in the forest);
a cap of Mamasul skin (very precious); besides
knives, fire-strikers, a hollow cup of ivory, magic
physic-powder, two combs of Impaleena-horn, a green
serpent-skin for sweetening water, etc., and, beyond
and above all, the milk-white Wonderstone of Tishnar.
Here they lived, Seelem and Mutta (as he called her),
in the Portingal's old hut, for thirteen years. And Mutta
was happy with Seelem and her three sons, Thumb,
Thimble, and Nod. They had a water-spring, honey-
boxes or baskets for the bees in the Ollaconda-trees,
a shed or huddle of green branches, for Glint, and a
big patch of Ummuz-cane. Nod slept in a kind of hole
or burrow in the roof, with a tiny peeping-hole, from
which he used to scare the birds from his father's
Mutta wished only that Seelem was not quite so grim
and broody; that the Munza-mulgars (forest-monkeys)
would not come stealing her Subbub and honey; and
that the Portingal's hut stood quite out of the silvery
moon-mist that rose from the swamp; for she suffered
(as do most fruit-monkeys) from the bones-ache.
Seelem was gentle and easy in his own moody way
with Mutta and his three sons, but, most of all, he
cheered his heart with tiny Nod, the Nizza-neela.
Sometimes all day long this old travel-worn Mulla-
mulgar never uttered a sound, save at evening, when
he sang or droned his evening hymn to Tishnar.[1] Hekept a thick stick, which he called his Guzza, to punish
his three sons when they were idle and sullen, or
gluttonous, or with Munza tricks pestered their mother.
And he never favoured Nod beyond the others more
than all good fathers favour the youngest, the littlest,
and the gaysomest of their children.
One of the first things that Nod remembered was
Glint's tumbling from the great Ukka-tree, which he
had climbed at ripening-time, bough up to bough from
the bottom, cracking shells and eating all the way,
until, forgetting how heavy he had become, he swung
his fat body on to a slender and withered branch, and
fell all a-topple from top to bottom on to the back of
his thick skull. Beneath this same dark-leaved tree
Seelem buried his servant, together with a pot of
subbub, seven loaves or cakes, and a long stick of
Ummuz-cane. But Mutta-matutta after his death would
never touch an Ukka-nut again.
Seelem taught his sons how to make fire, what nuts
and roots and fruits and grasses were wholesome for
eating; what herbs and bark and pith for physic; what
reeds and barks for cloth. He taught them how to take
honey without being stung; how to count; how to find
their way by the chief and brightest among the stars;
to cut cudgels, to build leaf-huts and huddles against
heat or rain. He taught them, too, the common tongue
of the Forest-monkeys—that is the language of nearly
all the Mulgars that live in the forests of Munza—
Jacquet-mulgars, Mullabruks, purple-faced and
saffron-headed Mulgars, Skeetoes, tuft-waving
Manquabees, Fly-catchers and Squirrel-tails, and
many more than I can mention. Seelem taught them