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along her course against a north-east gale, and with all our efforts our progress is but slow. Moffen Island slowly passes out of view, and our shiphead points towards Vertigen Hook. We are every moment arrested on our way by some great block in the ice, and though we make some progress, our position is unfortunate. All this time we are contending with the ice that we see between the land and the much desired clear water we would fain approach.
In the clear water we sight a small Norwegian fishing smack making easy way, and from the sounds that come booming over the hollow sea from time to time we conclude that their sport is excellent. The masthead look-out now sights the walrus in the distant waves; while a boat is being prepared we satisfy ourselves with a hurried view of the gambols of these strange beasts. There they are, tumbling over and over in the water, enjoying the calm, or basking in the warm rays of the sun, lying listlessly on the ice. The water is dotted with their great black grizzly-bearded heads, with trenchant tusks 18 inches long, as they rise and sink on the little waves. To reach them it will be necessary to haul our boat and all the needful appliances for the chase a good mile and more over the intervening ice; and as we settle down to our work we think -of the journey the Swedish Arctic men propose 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