from two of my favourite Russ stories
all bes and well done on an amazing site
Red Kettle Theatre Company
from THE GHOST HORSE OF GENGHIS KHAN
In the hospital his father opened his eyes. “O thou of two worlds,” he said.
“How are you feeling?” said the night sister.
“I almost didn’t get here.”
“Tell me about it.”
“I felt my horse sink underneath me, then…”
John’s father laughed. “It was a dream,” he said.
It was almost four o’clock in the morning when John’s mother woke up and went into the study. She saw her son asleep at the desk with his head cradled on his arms. She read the page in the typewriter that had ended: “…on and on until a long, long shudder…” Now there was more. She read:
…on and on until a long, long shudder passes through the horse but it doesn’t stumble, it keeps on galloping. The pursuers have no more arrows and they stop chasing Temujin.
It was getting dark when the red roan brought Temujin to his camp. His brother Khasar pulled out the arrow and bandaged the wound and got him a fresh horse. It was time to move camp, and they rode away. Temujin’s wound hurt, he’d lost a lot of blood. He fell asleep in the saddle.
When he woke up the moon was shining and they were in the hills. The horses were put out to graze and he went to look for the red roan but he couldn’t find it.
“Where’s the red roan?” he asked Khasar.
“How should I know?” said Khasar.
“But I rode into camp on it, said Temujin.
“I found you lying on the ground at the edge of camp and there was no horse,” said Khasar.
“Were there any tracks?”
Then Temujin knew that the red roan had galloped beyond death to save him.
In two weeks John’s father came home. He sat down at his desk and looked at the page in his typewriter. “Someone’s been typing on my page,” he said.
“It was me,” said John. “I woke up in the middle of the night and came in here and I sort of had a dream at your desk.”
“Sleeptyping?” said his father.
“Something like that,” said John.
“It’s not bad,” said his father. “Not bad at all.”
from A NEAR THING FOR CAPTAIN NAJORK
One morning after breakfast Tom was fooling around with his chemistry set and he invented anti-sticky. Then he fooled around with anti-sticky and jam and springs and wheels and connecting-rods and he made a two-seater jam-powered frog.
Tom got into the frog with Aunt Bundlejoy Cosysweet and started it up. The frog hopped over the fence and the next three gardens in one giant hop.
“What makes it go?” said Aunt Bundlejoy.
“Jam,” said Tom. “When the anti-sticky hits the sticky it bounces back. The spring keeps it going, the connecting rods move up and down, the wheels go round and the frog hops.”
Tom and Aunt Bundlejoy took the frog out for a spin. They hopped along the river and they hopped past Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong Najork’s house.
Captain Najork was in the observatory looking through his telescope at the girls’ boarding-school across the river when the frog hopped past.
“Follow that frog!” he shouted to his hired sportsmen as he leapt into his pedal-powered snake, and away they undulated.