Buchnummer des Verkäufers
Inhaltsangabe: In the catacombs of Kathmandu, a young boy learns the ancient ways of Nepal and the Red Hand legend. In the cities of Morocco, an underground resistance of street boys and outcasts gives support to three young friends who must rely on their wits and courage as they are hunted across the Sahara. Their British friend, Margaret,risks everything to save her wrongly imprisoned father. With the help of her French schoolmates, Margaret defies authority in search of justice. Meanwhile, Tariq learns of the Red Hand from Melbourne Jack as he explains the importance of his journey to North Africa. And, a new enemy is discovered in the dark jungles of Ceylon as the courageous Foster Crowe is determined to balance the scales. As the winds of war sweep across Morocco, the infamous Caid prepares to declare himself as supreme dictator. Morocco's only hope is our treasured ragtag group of resistance fighters from Rebels of the Kasbah, who are scattered all across the country. A battle of good against evil will echo through eternity.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
AN EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 3:
THE LEGEND OF THE RED HAND
AS TOLD TO TARIQ BY MELBOURNE JACK
Many, many centuries ago in Kerala, India, a girl awakened with a start, feeling
raindrops on her face as she let out a huge yawn. Pulling a blanket over her
shoulders, she stepped outside her family’s hut into the early morning. Dew covered
the many plants and trees and the jungle was alive with sound. Monkeys screeched
in the distance and the nearby sound of crickets and frogs was quite deafening. It
was not yet light, and the sun wouldn’t rise for another half an hour.
Her name was Lakshi.
She headed over to her fire pit, where she prepared the kindling and then chipped
two rocks together until a spark was produced. Soon she had a small fire started.
Gently, she placed larger and larger sticks on the fire until it was of suitable strength.
Kneeling next to the fire, she rubbed her hands together to keep warm and watched
the flames intently, placing wood in strategic locations to keep the fire strong.
Lakshi was the only one in her village who was awake at this hour. She rose early
every day because she preferred the quiet. Although she was only twelve, she was
wise, and mature beyond her years.
As she sat staring at the fire, she felt as if she were being watched.
Looking over her shoulder, she could see nothing but the jungle darkness and the
faint outlines of the trees against the sky.
A chill came over her.
Continuing to stare into the early morning mists of the Indian jungle, she could
barely make out a pair of eyes reflected by the fire.
The eyes were green and they blinked twice.
Lakshi saw the unmistakable outline of a cat a very large cat whose green eyes
were staring right at her.
She felt her heart race in her chest and her breaths shorten. The cat moved closer to
It was a tiger.
An enormous tiger.
It moved towards her in small steps until she saw its full body and color. Only ten
feet away, it could easily pounce and kill her in a matter of seconds.
Yet, it didn’t move. It stared at her and then, to her surprise, it retreated to the
jungle. The tiger’s expression wasn’t one of fierceness, but one of compassion.
Suddenly, Lakshi was no longer afraid. In fact, she felt herself walking towards the
cat, intrigued by its sudden retreat.
As the tiger moved back into the jungle, she felt herself being called towards it. The
tiger vanished into the jungle mist, and Lakshi ran after it, completely overwhelmed
by this calling from deep inside of her.
Running into the jungle, she scarcely felt the mud beneath her feet or the branches
that scraped her skin. She was now sprinting at full speed to find the tiger.
The mist was thick, and before long she had to stop, her lungs heaving. As she caught
her breath, Lakshi realized she was lost.
That’s when she saw her.
Her dead mother.
It had been six months since her mother died giving birth to Lakshi’s younger
brother. Lakshi had not been the same since her mother’s death. She had shut
herself off from her remaining family and her tribe.
Her mother’s image was surrounded by a white glow, and her mother looked
younger than Lakshi remembered. Gesturing with her right index finger, Lakshi’s
mother urged her daughter to come closer. Slowly, Lakshi approached the vision
and saw the smile on her mother’s face. Instantly the girl burst into tears. Her
mother, seeing her daughter’s grief, looked at her with nothing but compassion in
her eyes. All Lakshi wanted to do was melt into the arms of her deceased mother
to feel that safety and comfort once again.
Her mother, seeing her desperation, put a finger to her lips as if to say, You must be
quiet,” and pointed to the base of an elm tree. Lakshi, confused by this, looked over
at her mother for guidance, who continued to point to the tree.
Walking closer, Lakshi noticed something at the base of the tree. It looked like an old,
wooden, rectangular box. Picking up the box, Lakshi could feel that it wasn’t very
heavy, but it was awkward to hold. She had to hold it upside down to open it, and as
she did, a scroll fell out. It looked to be very old, yet it was in pristine condition.
Lakshi looked inside the box and realized there were others still rolled up inside.
She left them alone and set the box down. The loose scroll was quite long, and
Lakshi unrolled it very carefully. She scanned over it quickly, and it seemed to
contain many symbols and scientific diagrams, and many, many sentences. Only a
portion of it did she understand. However, at the end of the scroll, as if to replace a
signature, was a red handprint.
She was quite confused.
Looking back at her mother for guidance, she noticed that her mother was fading
away into thin air as she slowly waved to Lakshi.
She was saying goodbye.
In an instant, Lakshi cried out for her mother, forgetting about the scroll entirely.
Within seconds, her mother’s image had completely disappeared from sight. Lakshi
shrieked with despair. Sobbing, she placed the scroll back in its container with the
others. Staring at the spot where her mother had been standing, she waited for
several minutes in the hopes her mother would return.
She did not.
Lakshi was confused by these events, and wasn’t even sure she had actually seen her
mother. Except that she had this wooden box as evidence. Then, something strange
started to happen. She began to feel a sense of calm inside of her. A feeling as if
everything would be fine. All the anxiety and worry she had felt so acutely in the
past six months seemed to melt away.
She felt at peace.
The mist lifted and she easily found her way home, now encouraged by the sighting
of her mother. She was sure the whole experience was a sign of some kind.
While walking back to her hut, she saw that her father was busy preparing the
morning’s breakfast. He was a slight man, balding, and always moved deliberately
and slowly. He was considered the wisest man in the village. In fact, he was
considered the wisest man in the entire region.
He scolded Lakshi for allowing the fire to go out and asked her what she was holding,
intrigued by the box.
Lakshi tried to explain how her mother had given it to her, or rather, had pointed to
where it could be found.
Lakshi’s father stopped piling on wood, turned and stared at his daughter. He then
asked her to repeat what she had just said.
Lakshi told her father exactly what had happened to her, starting with the tiger and
ending with finding the scrolls. He questioned her completely and exhaustively for
almost ten minutes. The fact that a tiger hadn’t attacked her and the fact that she
seemed to see her dead mother didn’t surprise him. He didn’t laugh at her story or
question it. In fact, the more she spoke, the more he seemed to believe her.
After asking about every detail, her father took the box from Lakshi and together
they went to their hut, where he unfurled the scrolls on a table and began reading
them one at a time.
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