Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
No one in Georgetown can remember his full name, and so he is known only as Mr. Abel. One evening, as he sits talking to a friend, he tells a strange story, a tale of his youth.
While he was living among the native people of the jungle, a nearby savannah caught his fancy. The natives claimed it was haunted and would not go near it. One day, he set out to explore the savannah for himself. For a long while he sat on a log trying to identify the calls of the birds. One particularly engaging sound seemed almost human, and it followed him as he returned to the village. Soon he bribed one of the natives to enter the haunted savannah. The guide became frightened, however, and ran away, leaving Abel alone with the weird sound. The man had said that the daughter of the spirit Didi inhabited the forest. Abel felt sure that the nearly intelligible language of the birdlike sounds was associated with the one to whom the man referred. Again and again, Abel returned to the forest in his search for the source of the warbling sound, but it always eluded him. Then, one day, he saw a girl playing with a bird. The girl disappeared among the trees, but not before Abel had decided that she must be connected in some way with the warbling sounds he had heard.
The native tribe had been encouraging him to continue his quests into the area of mystery. He decided at last that they were hoping he would try to kill the creature who seemed to be haunting their forest. He...
(The entire section is 1192 words.)
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