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prudent men among us), to within fifteen or twenty paces of the spot where the animal lay concealed. He was couched among the roots of a large evergreen bush, with a small space of open ground on one side of it; and they fancied, on approaching, that they saw him distinctly lying glaring at them from beneath the foliage. Charging the Bastuards to stand firm and level fair should they miss, the Scottish champions let fly together, and struck, not the lion, as it afterwards proved, but a great block of red stone, beyond which he was actually lying. Whether any of the shot grazed him is uncertain, but with no other warning than a furious growl, forth he bolted from the bush.
The Bastuards, in place of now pouring in their volley upon him, instantly turned and fled, helter-skelter, leaving him to do his pleasure upon the defenceless Scots; who, with empty guns, were tumbling over each other, in their hurry to escape the clutch of the rampant savage. In a twinkling he was upon them, and with one stroke of his paw dashed the nearest to the ground. The scene was terrific! There stood the lion, with his paw upon his prostrate foe, looking round in conscious power and pride upon the bands of his assailants, and with a port the most noble and imposing that can be conceived. It was the most magnificent thing I ever witnessed.
The danger of our friends, however, rendered it at the moment too terrible to enjoy either the grand or the ludicrous part of the picture. We expected every instant to see one or more of them torn in pieces; nor, though the rest of the party were standing within fifty paces with their guns cocked and levelled, durst we fire for their assistance. One was lying under the lion's paw, and the others scrambling towards us in such a way as to intercept our aim at him.
All this passed far more rapidly than I have described it. But luckily the lion, after steadily surveying us for a few seconds, seemed willing to be quits with us on fair terms; and with a fortunate forbearance (for which he met but an ungrateful recompense), turned calmly away, and driving the snarling dogs like rats from among his heels, bounded over the adjoining thicket like a cat over a footstool, clearing brakes and bushes twelve or fifteen feet high, as readily as if they had been tufts of grass, and abandoning the jungle, retreated towards the mountains.
After ascertaining the state of our rescued comrade (who fortunately had sustained no other injury than a slight scratch on the back, and a severe bruise in the ribs, from the force with which the animal had dashed him to the ground), we renewed the chase with Hottentots and hounds in full cry. In a short time we again came up with the enemy, and found him standing at bay under an old mimosa tree, by the side of a mountain stream which we had distinguished by the name of Douglas Water.
The dogs were barking round, but afraid to approach him, for he was now beginning to growl fiercely, and to brandish his tail in a manner that showed he was meditating mischief. The Hottentots, by taking a circuit between him and the mountain, crossed the stream, and took a position on the top of a precipice overlooking the spot where he stood. Another party of us occupied a position on the other side of the glen : and placing the poor fellow thus between two fires, which confused his attention and prevented his retreat, we kept battering away at him till he fell, unable again to grapple with us, pierced with many wounds.
He proved to be a full-grown lion of the yellow variety, about five or six years of age. He measured nearly twelve feet from the nose to the tip of the tail. His fore leg, below the knee, was so thick that I could not span it with both hands; and his neck, breast, and limbs appeared, when the skin was taken off, a complete mass of sinews.
Trident, three-pronged. Unreave, loose, unfurl.
Allegiance, attachment. Taffrail, the rail extending over Q uarter, the part towards the the stern.
CAPTURE OF A SHARK. WHEN, on approaching the northern tropic,
“ Down drops the breeze, the sails drop down,” 'tis not “sad as sad can be," for all is hilarity and alertness. Away goes one to the harness-cask for a junk of salt pork; another is on his knees before the cabin locker, rummaging out an enormous hook; a third is unreaving the studding-sail halyards to serve as a line, for so tough a customer needs stout
gear; a fourth is standing on the taffrail, keeping an eye on the monster, that now drops off, and now comes gliding up, a light green mass, through the blue water, till bis whiteness nearly touches the surface, and telling the villain all the while that his time is coming. The mate is on the jib-boom wielding the grains, whose trident prongs he has been for the last half-hour sharpening with a file, ready to take by force any one of the hated race who may be too suspicious for the bait astern. And now the skipper himself comes up, for even dignity itself cannot resist the temptation, and with his own brawny hands puts on the enticing pork, and lowers away.
It is twirling and eddying in the wash of the ship's counter; the crew are divided in their allegiance-half cluster at the quarter to watch the captain's success, half at the bows to see the mate's harpooning. There scuttle up the two little pilot fishes, in their banded livery of blue and brown, from their station one ou each side of the shark's nose; they hurry to the bait, sniff at it, nibble at it, and then back in all haste to their huge patron, giving his grimness due information of the treat that awaits him. See how eagerly he receives it! With a lateral wave of his powerful tail he shoots a-head, and is in an instant at the pork. “Look out there! stand by to take a turn of the line round a belaying pin, for he's going to bite, and he'll give us a sharp tug!” Every pair of eyes is wide open, and every mouth, too, for the monster turns on his side and prepares to take in the delicate morsel. But no; he smells the rusty iron, perhaps, or perhaps he sees the line; at any rate, he contents himself with a sniff, and drops astern ; coming forward again, however, the next minute to sniff and sniff again. 'Tis perilous; yet ’tis tempting.
A shout forward! The mate has struck one! And away rush the after band to see the sport; the skipper himself hauls in the line and joins the shouting throng. Yes, the grains have been well thrown, and are fast in the fleshy part of the back. What a monster! full fifteen feet long, if he's an inch; and how he plunges and dives, and rolls round and round, enraged at the pain and restraint, till you can't discern his body for the sheet of white foam in which it is enwrapped. The stout line strains and creaks, but holds on; a dozen eager hands are pulling in, and at last the unwilling victim is at the surface, just beneath the bows, but plunging with tremendous force.
Malignity, hatred (without provocation).
Vigil, watch. Now one of the smarter hands has jumped into the forechains with a rope made into a noose. Many efforts he inakes to get this over the tail, without success; at length it is slipped over, in an instant hauled taut, and the prey is secure.
“Reeve the line through a block, and take a run with it!” Up comes the vast length, tail foremost out of the sea; for a moment the ungainly beast hangs, twining and bending his body, and gnashing those horrid fangs, till half a dozen boat-hooks guide the mass to its death-bed on the broad deck. Stand clear! If that mouth gets old of your leg, it will cut through it, sinew, muscle, and bone; the stoutest man on board would be swept down if he came within the reach of that violent tail. What reverberating blows it inflicts on the smooth planks!
One cannot look at that face without an involuntary shudder. The long, flat head, and the mouth so greatly overhung by the snout, impart a most repulsive expression to the countenance; and then the teeth, those terrible serried fangs, as keen as lancets, and yet cut into fine notches like saws, lying row behind row, row behind row, six rows deep! See how the front rows start up into erect stiffness as the creature eyes you! You shrink back from the terrific implement, no longer wondering that the stoutest limb of man should be severed in a moment by it. But the eyes ! those horrid eyes! it is the eyes that make the shark's countenance what it is—the very embodiment of satanic malignity. Half concealed beneath the bony brow, the little green eye gleams with so peculiar an expression of hatred, such a concentration of fiendish malice-of quiet, calm, settled villainy, that no other countenance that I have ever seen at all resembles. Though I have seen many a shark, I could never look at that eye without feeling my flesh creep, as it were, ou my bones.
How eerie (to use an expressive northern term, for which we have no equivalent) must be the scene presented to a few forlorn mariners, committed to an open boat in the midst of the broad southern sea, a thousand miles from land, when by night these horrid monsters come gliding up alongside, keeping hated company! Cleaving the phosphorescent sea, their bodies are invested with an elfish light, and a bluish gleam trails behind. Nothing strikes more terror into the hearts of the poor shipbereft seamen than such uninvited companions. They make no noise; as silently as ghosts they steal along ; now disappearing for a few minutes, then there again ; throughout the dreary night they inaintain their vigil, filling the failing heart with auguries of death.
Romance of Natural History.
THE JAGUAR (S. AMERICA). The jaguar is very like the leopard, but is considerably larger, and may be easily distinguished from that animal by the appearance of the spots, which are larger than those of the leopard, and are composed of a black spot surrounded by several others. There is also a black streak across the chest.
It feeds principally on monkeys, and possesses such activity that it can often catch them in a fair chase among the branches. He springs upon the back of his prey, and placing one paw on the back of the unfortunate animal's head, and another on its mouth, gives the head a sudden twist, which instantly dislocates the neck.
Like most wild animals, the jaguar would rather avoid man than attack him, except when pressed with hunger, at which time it is exceedingly dangerous. There is a very interesting story respecting the perseverance of this animal in obtaining its food.
The inmates of a log-hut, in America, had gone out, having closed the door of their hut, in which a piece of freshly-killed