Sergeant Harley is a minor antagonist in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.
The Jungle Book
Originally from Scotland, Harley was a soldier working under the command of Colonel Geoffrey Brydon for twenty-five years. He was evidently (as pointed out later on) never satisfied with not making profit from his duties and would later team up with William Boone during the British Army's expedition in India. In addition to his imposing physique, Harley was a very unstable and violent man.
Harley is first seen when Boone has Mowgli arrested for "attempting to kill" the Colonel's daughter, Katherine "Kitty" Brydon. Harley, when learning that Mowgli is in possession of a bejeweled dagger, lights up and he tries to interrogate Mowgli into telling him, Boone, and Lt. John Wilkins where he found it. But he gets kicked in the crotch and loses his temper; beating Mowgli savagely with a truncheon only to be reprimanded by Colonel Brydon as he enters. Brydon tells the three officers to show the prisoner some charity and after he leaves, Boone coldly instructs Harley to further torture the information out of Mowgli.
Harley does, but to no avail, not even when he attempts speaking Hindi. Then, Kitty enters the dungeon and informs the three of her plans to re-introduce the Jungle Boy back to civilization (an idea plotted by her and the surgeon, Dr. Plumford). Boone, Wilkins, and Harley insisted that the prisoner was vicious and uncivilized and when accused of the bruises inflicted on Mowgli, they lie and indignantly claim that Mowgli did it to himself despite their attempts to stop him. Nevertheless, Kitty ignores their excuses.
Sergeant Harley is next seen during the capture where he, Boone, Wilkins, Buldeo, Tabaqui, and several bandits try to capture Mowgli in the jungle to make him lead them to the treasure they're after but it fails when Mowgli fights back, kicks Harley in the crotch again, and escapes them. Sergeant Harley is later seen during the revolt in which Boone, Wilkins, and he turn against Kitty and her father and with the help of Buldeo, Tabaqui, and the bandits, kidnap them. When asked by Colonel Brydon if he was in cahoots with the scoundrels, Harley affirmed, stating his dismay at having never been paid for all his year's work in the British Army. When Mowgli showed up to stop the group of rogues, Boone told him to approach them otherwise "unpleasantries may occur." To further prove Boone's point, a knife is held to Kitty's throat by Tabaqui at Buldeo's command and Harley told their message to Mowgli: "Take us to the treasure and she'll live." Mowgli agrees but is not certain they will survive the dangerous journey.
After Mowgli is captured by the evil British soldiers and the remaining Indian bandits, Boone and everyone else are being watched by Bagheera and the wolf pack as they begin their treasure quest while Bagheera stares at Boone and Wilkins mostly. When Wilkins asks himself why Bagheera is staring at them, Mowgli replies, "Because to him, you are food." A reply is hinted afterwards when Bagheera sticks out his tongue and licks his chops to show his hunger for them.
That night, as they camp in the middle of the Black Jungle, Harley is irritated at Wilkins complaining about the eerie sounds of wolves and other creatures of jungle and repeatedly orders Mowgli to "shut them up." Mowgli eventually does with a single howl. But the following silence is interrupted by the fierce and well-known growl of Shere Khan, the mighty tiger. Harley and Wilkins, both hailing from Britain and having never heard such sounds before, are frightened.
The next morning, Harley is the first to awaken and catches Mowgli escaping after Bagheera bites through the rope holding Mowgli to a tree. The huge Scotsman jumps up and gives chase alerting the others of the situation. As Harley runs recklessly through the shrubbery, he falls into a pond of quicksand.
Realizing the danger he's in, Harley panics and screams for help. Wilkins rushes to his aid, bewildered, and panicking. The quicksand begins sucking Harley under and he begs Wilkins to help him. Wilkins manages to grab Harley's hand, but the pull of the quicksand is too strong, and Harley inadvertently starts pulling him in as well. Harley becomes hysterical and screams at Wilkins not to let go, but Wilkins, having no choice, does.
With his last breath, Harley ungratefully scorns Wilkins before sinking out of sight to his doom.