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pose to themselves, and wonder will they ever accomplish what they are about to attempt.
At last we are at the water's edge and we launch our boat. Everything is carefully adjusted and our seats are taken. We pull down the lakes of water, our thoughts full of the coming sport. Presently we come upon the herd, and we row gently towards two great fellows floating on the water ; to all appearance they are asleep—they are almost touching each other--but as these animals are highly endowed with intelligence, it is just possible they are holding sweet converse together. The herd, observing our motions, draw near to us as if to warn their companions of the danger; but we hold steadily on, and when quite within range, by some unaccountable failure we miss our aim. Do the whole pack vanish out of sight like seals in a similar adventure ? Not a bit of it. The walrus shows no fear, but, on the contrary, the herd comes charging down upon us with awful looks and threatening growls, the older ones bellowing out their defiance, and all rearing half out of the water, splashing the surface with their flippers as they come.
Their heads are truly horrid-looking; the muzzle, projecting somewhat, is furnished with thick masses of coarse, beard-like bristles, their eyes start wildly from their heads, and the two slightly-curved fangs, sharp pointed, are seen
protruding from their distended jaws, as if the beasts were determined to rend the boat's side asunder whenever they can get the dreaded opportunity. The harpooners dissuade us from firing at the crew of seadevils, not "sea-horses," as they are called. If struck in a vital part they sink like lead, tail foremost to the bottom. In such a place it is hopeless to recover the carcass, and wanton destruction of a walrus is not to be thought of. We wait, with feelings strained to the utmost tension, as we cannot divest ourselves of the seeming necessity to guard ourselves against the threatened attack of so formidable an enemy; and while we wait impatiently for the adjustment of the clumsiest gun in use at the present day, or ever used in the chase of any animal (we mean the harpoon gun) the whole herd, having found, perhaps, that our first attempt to injure them was a failure, on a sudden changed about and fled with the speed of phantoms. A chase is always an exciting affair ; but a chase like this is hopeless. In spite of all our efforts we find it impossible to come up with the fleeing walrus, although they tantalize us by showing themselves between the ice, just out of range, every now and again. We never come within range even for a long shot, and no harpooner that valued his reputation would risk a shot he is not sure of. For the sake
of the hardy men who risk so much in a pursuit so fraught with danger, men of skill and science should devote some attention to supply a want so great as this. At a time when so much thought and money have been expended upon projectiles and ammunition of every kind, it surely is hardly fair to the whaler to let him go on his dangerous venture with no better weapon than that now in use.
We had worked to the opposite side of Moffen Island since our last visit, and being curious about its proper bearings, we went on shore for an observation and took our compass with us. The result proved that we were correct in our conjectures. Here we picked up two rare birds (Tringa cinerea). .
Resting upon the beach at some considerable distance from the water's edge we saw a whale's skull of rare dimensions. It was in beautiful preservation, blanched in the sun's rays; the remainder of its bones are being gradually covered up in the shingle and accumulated débris drifting with the frequent icebergs that are driven against the coast; from this cause it is easy to see that the island is gradually rising above the waves. We saw the various inscriptions which cover the skull, recording the many visits to the spot by Norwegian and other whalers, and we stumbled over the vast accumulation of walrus remains collected there
after some successful raid of a former hunting party, whose gain must have been enormous, judging from the number of the slain whose bones lie bleaching in all directions.
The ice has drifted round Moffen Island from the westward, and we are still within its influence ; and seeing no prospect of any immediate release, we go away on a walrus expedition. We find the pursuit of
this game entirely different from that of the seal, and having no previous experience lose many an obvious chance. In this way we approach a large bull walrus resting on the ice, but he catches the sound of the boat as she grinds against some floating ice, and before we are prepared he slides gently back into the sea ; as our bullet strikes full on the back of his head, making his death a certainty, he sinks into the water
out of our reach. We were in hopes that the wound was less fatal, and that he would rise again to the surface. Armed with a hand harpoon, we are over the spot where he went down, almost in time to strike him, but he has sunk to rise no more. The schooner, still beset, is drifting to the westward; but as evening approaches, we begin to have hopes of escaping into the open water. Then, as if to mock us, every tack we make with that object seems but to increase the cold resolve of our jailor to keep us within his firm grip. The harpooners are so accustomed to this kind of treatment, they are almost indifferent to it all. They say the ice forcing its way is carried by a strong current to the southwards, as they with perfect coolness fend off each seeming danger as it presents itself and tack and tack again towards the clear spaces. Now and then we receive a thump on our ship’s stout timbers ; but she seems intent only on obeying the steersman's will, and, as if aware that in the position of danger we now are, everything depends upon her disregard to the blows, bravely bears her punishing, and she in turn delivers her blows full tilt against the enemy as he rushes against her with impetuous force. We watch her cool defiance in silent admiration. She seems to us to say—let it come! we are prepared. One hard knock, well delivered against a field of ice,