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from the north ; our impression inclined to the former theory, and for the simple reason that is obvious to our senses, for when closely packed, the wind causes an undulating motion to be imparted to the sea, and this motion has the effect of rocking the ice to and fro, so that it opens out naturally from the action given to the back water; each separate mass acting on its immediate neighbour is forced by widening the space by concussion to leave narrow channels between, and the lesser blocks being lighter, drift rapidly along, while the larger blocks having a greater draught move more slowly. Presently the whole mass is trending towards the south, streaming as it goes into wide estuaries, leaving bays of various extent and ever-changing form as they go ; our good ship is under the same influences, and our men are nearly worn out in their continual efforts to fend off the dangers that every moment crop up around us—at one time we are all intent upon this work, now the ice drifting down threatens to grind us up between the floes, some are more than an acre in area, these seem to close upon us for our destruction; the next moment, the danger being averted, we are making sail in a clear lake of considerable extent, and also trending southwards. One thing appears certainmany whaling captains confirming our observationthat the ice never streams towards the north, any
portions which become detached from the pack invariably taking a southerly direction. Our little vessel dances merrily along in its freedom down the long lanes like some village maiden hurrying to some trysting-place ; the lane sides here are not hawthorn clothed with May however, but solid walls of ice on either hand, dangerous, no doubt, yet their formidable aspect is somewhat tempered by the glorious effect of their prismatic colours as they reflect the sun's rays, playing upon them as they stand out of the cold blue water.
To the eastward we observe a thick, dense, dark blue cloud, which to the sailors is an omen of gladness. This indigo cloud is, after all, no cloud, but a reflection of the open water beneath it—water we cannot see owing to our position, but clear water ready waiting to receive us. Everywhere else in all directions the horizon is one dazzling glare of light, and out of this glare we strive to escape in the direction of our goal, steering our ship with obstinate determination to reach the blue cloud.
Our look-out man, seated in his crow's nest, now sings out in gleeful accents : “ Them unicorns is a blowing like mad the other side the stream of ice.” The sight is a strange one ; the beasts with dappled sides are curvetting about close to the surface, the pointed tilting spear thrust from beneath the waves as they rise
PURSUIT OF NARWHAL.
with graceful motion and charge along with wild and reckless lunges of their formidable weapons; suddenly they skim along the surface, curving their backs they plunge headlong down, and the moment after, others, as if playing at some intricate game, as suddenly appear in the spot vacated ; crowds follow in single file the vagaries of some chosen leader, the mazes of some game, and we watch with unwearying gaze the sport they seem to enjoy so much. Then the idea presents itself of lowering a boat and dashing in amongst them in the hope of capturing a prize. No sooner is the scheme proposed than the crew are ready for the fun, and with a strong pull we are soon alongside the icy barrier. All are eager for the sport; the boat is soon dragged over to the other side and launched in the water beyond ; now everything is ready, but their sports are at an end. For some cause, the shifting of the ice, perhaps, or the alarm communicated to the herd by their leader, soon spreads amongst the narwhal, and despite all our well-meant efforts, we are at length forced to give up the pursuit, fairly beaten by the fatigue. As we return to the schooner the older hands inform us that they never knew such pursuit result in any gain ; the narwhal at such times cannot be taken.
On the 28th we again came up with the seals, but the fog always hangs about and robs us of many a chance; certainly it often enables us to steal upon our prey. The doings of the seals to-day were a puzzle to us. That there are days when the birds on a moor will lie well to the dog has not escaped the observation of the mildest sportsman, and it is a question with experienced grouse shooters whether the birds on some occasions are not frightened by some soaring hawk in the blue vault above, into sullen disregard to the presence of the sportsman, or the condition of the atmosphere on these particular days renders the birds, usually so wary, dull and indifferent to their pursuers. Whatever may be the cause, we noticed that the seals crept farther in on the ice, and were evidently reluctant to take to the water when disturbed. Could it have been that some enemy, of whose presence we were unconscious, was lurking there to attack them if they ventured in? This we had no means of explaining, as the success with our guns, firing as we did from the ship's deck, or from the ice itself, when we ventured in pursuit of some great seal whose position justified our approaching in this wise, was far greater than on any previous occasion. The ice to-day was so open we found no difficulty in sailing towards the dull seals, and the boats were sent off to collect our spoils without difficulty, though the labour was incessant.
Boy Jack was a stripling of thirteen years, the son of a hardy seaman, who has determined to bring up the lad to his own calling from his earliest years ; having this object in view he was given over to the tender care of our cook. Nothing seems to escape the quick eye of the youngster, and in the late busy adventures he is everywhere, full of childish glee at the prospect of sport like this. “Look,” shouts the lad, pointing to a little hecatomb of seals prostrate on the ice, “there ! there is a pussy not dead yet, and he's biting his mother!” Sure enough, the young seal evidently is furtively biting at a dead one, and it is equally evident that the poor beast is endeavouring to rouse its parent to flee for her life, little heeding the weapons of the crew, in its almost human solicitude for its natural protector. It is of no avail ; a bullet fired by the hand of some considerate sailor, takes the life it could of itself hardly sustain, now that it is deprived of the watchful care of its dam.
Of all the curious and abnormal modes of progression on land, practised by animals, commend us to the seal. There are walkers, runners, leaping, bounding, hopping, skipping, creeping animals ; and these suggest to the anatomist the most dissimilar modes of progression. Some raise the body in erect or semi-erect postures ; others, by far the greater number, carry the body hori