Rolling on the ground and uttering more cries of rage, it suddenly occurred to him to ask the nice, little elephant to help him. But alas! the nice, little elephant, Kinka, was nowhere to be seen.
Having done her duty and treacherously inveigled him in to the snare, with a little, triumphant wave of her trunk and a funny, little, trumpeting noise she had marched with a sort of “conquering hero” air back to her stable, there to tell the other koomkies of her prowess and successful capture.
In vain Rataplan butted the tree nearest to him with all his huge strength; it never moved, scarcely even shook, and he rolled again on the ground in despair. He wound his trunk round and round one of the ropes, doing his best to break and split it, but the rope was good and strong and only squeaked dismally.
He shrieked and roared, writhed and turned, until the forest re-echoed with his cries, and the cruel ropes cut into his ankles, making deep, red wounds which stained the ground all round his feet.
After a time his shrill cries of rage developed into hoarse moans of humiliation and despair.
All that night and the next Rataplan was left there. The ropes cut deeper and deeper into his poor, swollen ankles, his body getting fainter and fainter for want of food. But he was not a Rogue elephant for nothing, and would not give in.
In vain a whole lot of koomkies were brought out to try and induce him to follow them into the keddah; he was not to be tempted, and tore and strained at his ropes to such a degree that the mahout feared he would make wounds that could never be healed; so he took away the koomkies and waited yet another night.
The third night the koomkies were brought out again, this time with Kinka at their head. But the sight of Kinka nearly drove Rataplan mad; he strained and tore at the ropes, trumpeting and roaring, until even the koomkies were frightened. Could he only have got at Kinka, he would have torn her limb from limb. But although he stretched to his utmost, and his hind legs went out behind him in the struggle, he could not get near her.
The mahout was getting troubled, for Rataplan’s ankles were now in such a state as to make him almost valueless, and he knew, even did the elephant give in now, it would be months before they were healed, if indeed they ever healed at all.
Yet another long, weary day and night did poor Rataplan lay there, getting weaker and weaker and suffering untold agonies caused by those cruel ropes.
He had by this time torn his ankles so fearfully that they were all ulcerated, and stiff from lying on the ground. To add to his misery, he had caught violent inflammation in his eyes.
The mahout realized that unless he got him into the keddah soon he would be of no use at all, and once more did his best with koomkies and dainty bits of food to tempt him to follow into the keddah.