« PreviousContinue »
glancing quite fascinated the buck, so that he could not stir from the spot, but stood eyeing it steadily. Fatal fascination! It was his last gaze. A bright flash shot up-something struck him through the heart, and he saw the shining object no more !
Quarry, captured game.
Wantonly, out of mere whim. The doe bounded forward to where her mate had fallen, and stood bleating over him. . She knew not the cause of his sudden death, but she saw that he was dead. The wound in his sidethe stream of red blood-were under her eyes.
She had never witnessed death in that form before, but she knew her lover was dead. His silence-his form stretched along the grass motionless and stiff-his glassy eyes—all told her he had ceased to live.
She would have fled, but she could not leave him; she could not bear to part even from his lifeless form. She would remain awhile, and mourn over him.
Her widowhood was a short one. Again flashed the priming, again cracked the shining tube, and the sorrowing doe fell over upon the body of her mate.
The young hunter rose to his feet, and ran forward. He did not, according to usual custom, stop to load before approaching his quarry. The plain was perfectly level, and he saw no other animal upon it. What was his surprise on reaching the anteJopes, to perceive that there was a third one of the party still alive!
Yes, a little fawn, not tailer than a rabbit, was bounding about through the grass, running around the prostrate body of its mother, and uttering its tiny bleat.
Hendrik was surprised, because he had not observed this creature before; but, indeed, he had not seen much of the antelopes until the moment of taking aim, and the grass had concealed the tiny young one.
Hunter as Hendrik was, he could not help feeling strongly as he regarded the scene before him. But he felt that he had not wantonly destroyed these creatures for mere amusement, and that satisfied his conscience.
The little fawn would make a famous pet for Jane, who had often wished for one, to be equal with her sister. It could be fed upon the cow's milk; and though it had lost both father and mother, Hendrik resolved that it should be carefully brought up.
Boy Hunters of South Africa.
Inflate, blow up, distend with wind.
SERPENT CHARMING. A CANADIAN who could play on the flute, advanced with his magic pipe towards the reptile. On his approach the haughty reptile curled itself into a spiral line, inflated its cheeks, contracted its lips, displayed its deadly fangs, and its bloody throat. Its double tongue glowed like two flames of fire ; its eyes were burning coals. Its body, swollen with rage, rose and fell like the bellows of a forge; its dilated skin assumed a dull and scaly appearance, and its rattle, which sounded the denunciation of death, vibrated with extreme rapidity.
The Canadian now began to play upon his Aute; the serpent started with surprise, and drew back its head. In proportion as it was struck with the magic effect, its eyes lost their fierceness, the vibrations of its tail became slower, and the sound which it emitted gradually became weaker, and ceased. The folds of the fascinated serpent became less perpendicular upon their spiral line, expanded by degrees, and sank one after another upon the ground, forming circle within circle. The colors recovered their brilliancy on its quivering skin; and slightly twining its head, it remained motionless, in the attitude of attention and pleasure.
At this moment the Canadian advanced a few steps, producing with his flute sweet and simple notes. The reptile inclined its pretty neck, opened a passage with its head through the high grass, and began to creep after the musician, stopping when he stopped, and following him again as soon as he moved forward. In this manner, to the astonishment of both Europeans and natives, he was led out of the camp; and it was unanimously decided that the life of a creature so sensitive to sweet sounds should be spared.
Spermaceti, in reference to the species found in the south seas.
SINGULAR STORY OF A WHALE SHIP. I WILL now relate to you a remarkable story of a ship, which sailed for the Pacific Ocean, where she was employed some time in catching spermaceti whales.
One day, the seamen harpooned a young whale. The love of the whale towards her young ones is, as you know, very strong, This was shown in a striking manner on that occasion.
When the mother of the young whale found her young one was killed, she went to some distance from the ship, and then, rushing through the water, struck her head against the stern of the vessel with the greatest violence. So great was the force of the shock that several of the timbers were loosened, and the vessel pitched and reeled in the water, as if struck by a whirl. wind.
Nor was the whale satisfied with this. Again she retired to the distance of more than a mile, and then, shooting through the waves with incredible swiftness, came like a thunderbolt upon the bow of the vessel. The timbers were instantly beaten in, and the ship began to fill with water. This was an accident which no prudence nor forethought could have avoided. Scarcely had the people on board sufficient time to get into their boat, before she went down.
Thus suddenly wrecked in this extraordinary manner, the poor seamen were now on the wide water in an open boat. If the whale had come against them in this condition, they would all have been drowned. But they fortunately saw no more of her.
For a long time they were out upon the sea, and they suffered very much from fatigue, want, and anxiety. There is no situation more dreadful than that of seamen thus exposed upon the waves. If a storm arises, they are liable every moment to be swallowed up. If they do not soon meet with some vessel that will take them on board, or get to some port, their food is exhausted, and they die of hunger or thirst.
In the present instance, the captain and his men were a long time upon the sea, and they suffered a great deal from the want of victuals and drink. But at length they met with another vessel, and were all taken on board.
Finally they reached their native country, and the mate of the vessel published an account of these remarkable adventures.
The ship was a Nantucket whale-ship, called the Essex, Pollard, master; and her voyage was made in the year 1820.