Saturday, December 3, 2011

Flashman - Chapter 8

At the beginning of Chapter 8, Flashman comes to, surprised that he is alive, but he's gone from the frying pan into the fire. He's survived the mob, but been delivered into the hands of Gul Shah. In some ways he was lucky that Shah hated him so much, had he not earned the Gilzai warlord's enmity he would have been hacked to death like Burnes. According to Gul Shah the mob cut Sekundar Burnes into 85 pieces, he counted them.

Because of what Flashman did to Narreeman, Gul Shah has a very special fate planned for him. As usual when presented with his offence the cowardly soldier lies through his teeth, then claims that he didn't actually do anything. It must be a reflex, because it never works, but he never fails to do it.

Gul Shah has one of the more bizarre methods of death arranged for Flashman. He calls a squat, but powerfully built dwarf into the room, and Flashman has to engage in a tug of war with this creature. The loser falls into a pit filled with highly venomous snakes. Flashman is lucky to survive and it is only the entrance of an unexpected guest that allows our hero to turn the tables on his tormentor and pull the dwarf into the deadly pit.

The newcomer shows Flashman every courtesy, removing him from the dungeon and out of Gul Shah's custody. Once this man has ascertained the depth of Flashman's knowledge, or lack thereof, he reveals his identity and Flashman finds out that he has been saved by none other than Akbar Khan.

The torture session with the dwarf in the dungeon was brilliant stuff, real boys own type adventure. If they ever happen to film Flashman this is a scene that needs to be included.

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