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little gardens in any convenient spot in the Falkland Islands. I therefore determined to seek out a locality adapted to so well-intentioned a purpose.
At half-past ten in the forenoon, I manned the dingy with four boys, and pulled along the shore, frequently landing as a favorable place seemed to present itself, each of which, however, on examination, proved impracticable. At length we arrived at a little creek, about forty yards wide, running inland. Up this we went, following the windings of the stream about a mile, when they terminated in a small rivulet running from a lake situated at a short distance. Leaving the boat in charge of three of my young crew, I landed with the fourth boy, and walked to the wild and sequestered mere, which presented a sight to charm the eye of a sportsman. The extent of the water-barely two acres-was thickly dotted with birds. Two majestic swans, with ebony necks issuing from snowy bodies, floated, with an air of haughty patronage, among innumerable geese, ducks, teal, and divers; but, to my great amazement, the feathered crowd, instead of appearing the least alarmed and skurrying off, drew towards us; unlike their civilized brethren, they were ignorant of the treachery of man.
I sat down on the brink of the lake, wondering whether, on my return, I should be able to convince people of the truth of that which I then beheld. Except the swans, the whole assembly of fowl approached gradually until some hundreds were within twenty yards of me. A chorus then arose from them, as if with one accord they inquired my business there, and sought to know in a friendly way why I disturbed their privacy. I may here remark that the sounds they utter in a wild state are totally different from their notes when domesticated, and I should not have recognized the species by the ear alone.
The entire congregation appeared to be so tame and unsuspecting, that, reluctant to make my presence shunned by dealing death among them, I contented myself (although my double-barrel, loaded with No. 6, was lying across my knees) with taking the seal-club from my boy's hand, and shying it among the birds.
of a wild bull or cow-rather grim landmarks in a wild solitude. One of these strongly excited my attention. It lay in a pass over a small boggy rivulet at the bottom of a deep ravine. Here the poor brute must have stuck in trying to cross; the surrounding earth was torn up, and the vegetation destroyed as if by hoofs and horns. I was inclined to suspect that this might have been done by wild cattle, in horror at the terrible death of their fellow, who must have perished of starvation; his head was stretched out as in the act of bellowing. While "moralizing this spectacle," I quite forgot the purpose for which I landed; and was only roused from my brown study, and warned of my distance from the boat, by the sudden trumpeting of wild bulls. I felt convinced we were chased.
Hoping to get back in a direct line, we ascended the side of the ravine, and made for a hill, on the summit of which was a little rock which, luckily for us, was scalable only by bipeds. On gaining the base of this position, impregnable to quadrupeds. I climbed up, closely followed by my boy, who had hardly got a footing on the top, when we descried five huge brutes who closed in our little fortalice, and declared war by furiously tearing up the ground.
With all convenient speed I drew from my gun the charges of small shot, and loaded with ball; but alas! not expecting a fight, I had only four bullets; and considering those not quite sufficient to physic five full-grown bulls, I determined to lay them by for a last resource, and await the chapter of accidents; knowing full well that, should we not return by a certain time, a party would be sent to our assistance, who would soon deliver us by raising the siege. To beguile the time, I struck a light for my cigar, and, reclining at my ease, expected the brutes would take themselves off. But no such thing; they did not even graze, but watched the rock as a cat would watch a mousetrap. I could not help laughing to see my little companion every now and then lift up his head, reconnoitre the enemy, and extend his fingers from his nose according to the elegant method now in vogue of "taking a sight."
We remained thus blockaded about three hours, when suddenly came on a furious squall of snow and sleet, which completely enveloped us all in the clouds. This being too good an opportunity to be lost, we swiftly and silently evacuated our position, and ran at least a mile without stopping, after which a rough walk of an hour and a half
future land excursions, I would carry more bullets.
This had an effect contrary to what I expected; for, instead of being alarmed, they gathered, as if with curiosity, round the missile, and pecked at it. Never was so glorious an opportunity of making an immortal shot! But again my humanity struggled with my love of sport; I could not kill the poor, confiding creatures, who placed themselves almost within my grasp. At this moment a more legiti-brought us down to the boat. I resolved that, in mate opportunity offered; a flock of teal flew over my head from another place. Mechanically my gun jumped to my shoulder, and before I was aware of it, both barrels had done their work; five birds fell from the discharge of the first, and four from that of the second. For a few minutes, the flutter and confusion that followed on the lake was indescribable; but quiet was soon restored, except that every now and then were heard little bursts of rapid chattering, as if excited by wonder.
Bagging my teal, I resumed my quest of a site for a garden, passing more than once the skeleton
In the afternoon of the following day I again landed, having our purser for my companion. While rounding an angle in the island, I saw, spread out fast asleep, a hair seal of about seven feet in length. Being anxious to observe the movements of one of these creatures, I halted, and quietly watched him. My friend had also seen the animal from another point of view, and, being armed with a boarding-pike, had stealthily ap proached him. The assailant, brandishing his weapon, had so earnest an expression of counte
As, about this period, we had not much experience in combating wild cattle, we deemed two persons with guns quite sufficient to attack one beast. When, however, we had gained a little more knowledge, we became cautious, and generally took with us three or four men well armed. Our first irrational valor arose from ambition of the honor of vanquishing a bull single-handed—a exploit attempted by Captain Sulivan and myself; after which, being satisfied with our experiment, we were in no hurry to repeat it.
main land. This peculiar terror on the part of men of high courage, must, I imagine, have arisen from early impressions made in childhood, similar to the dread some persons have of being alone in a dark place.
nance, and seemed inspired by so knightly a deter- | powerfully on one or two occasions, as to prevent mination, (as though a new St. George was about the individuals in question from venturing on the to attack a new dragon,) that I could not refrain from bursting into a lond laugh. This roused the seal, who, slowly raising his head, gazed round about with sleepy eyes. The next moment, the purser's pike was stuck with right good will into the beast's hind-quarters, on which he scuttled into While considering how best we might attack the water, followed by his persecutor, who, in his the brute, a herd of about forty or fifty was sudexcitement, tumbled after him (repeating his digs) denly exposed to our view. Starting La Porte at into the water; whence, what with my excessive them, and enjoining my brave young companion laughter, and the thick kelp, I had some difficulty to keep close to me, we ran full speed towards the in extracting him. Thus ended our exploration animals, the whole of which seemed panic-stricken, for the day. In the thoroughly soaked condition and scoured off. One bull took a direction across of my friend, a speedy return to the ship was my path, at a distance of about fifty yards. I levelled my rifle at his fore shoulder, and heard (immediately after its sharp crack) the dull sound of the bullet striking him. This enraged the animal, when, turning his head at me, on he came at speed, with tail high above his back. In a moment I had changed guns, and, with my left knee on the ground, waited his approach. La Porte did all a dog could do to divert his course; but on me the bull had fixed his eye, and nothing could shake his purpose. I must confess I felt as if I should have been much safer anywhere else; but it was too late to think of that. The animal was within twenty yards when my first barrel opened on him. The ball entered his forehead, but not sufficiently deep to cause instantaneous death, or even to disable him for the moment. Regardless of pain, he still galloped forward, when, at ten yards, my remaining barrel pierced his left eye. Mad, and half blinded, he now swerved from me and rushed headlong on my boy, whom, without attempting to toss, he knocked down, trampled on, and passed over. Before he could turn, La Porte had him by the nose, and for a few seconds held him; but he soon threw the dog off, and came upon us streaming with blood. During the next two or three minutes we exerted every nerve and muscle to keep clear of his repeated, though weakened, charges, and only succeeded by La Porte's powerful assistance, who, when we were nearly caught, sprang upon him like a tiger.
One morning early the surveying party landed, and were soon lost in the windings of the creeks. About two hours after their departure I ascended, with my spy-glass, to our mast-head, for the purpose of getting a better view, and could see the party on a distant hill building a mark. In a short time I observed them pointing their glass very earnestly in the direction of a particular spot, much nearer the vessel; towards which, having finished the mark, and put a pole on its summit, they started at a rapid pace. I conjectured that the object of their anxiety must be a herd of cattle. Immediately arming myself with my usual weapons, I pressed into the service my dog La Porte, together with a brave boy of the name of Popham, who afterwards always carried my second gun, and who never once flinched from putting it into my hand at the proper moment. Knowing, from the nature of the ground, that I should stand a much better chance of getting near the animals than was possessed by the surveyors, who must cross one or two creeks, and approach their prey from an open plain, I landed, and marched in a direct line to the place denoted. After progressing about two miles, we observed, just over the crest of a hillock, a black ridge or eminence, like a bush or small rock, which suddenly started into life, developing a huge head and pair of horns. It was a bull, grazing, and a magnificent creature he appeared to be. These wild fellows are very different from their species in a tame state. I cannot more fitly describe them than by saying they have a terrible aspect; so much so, that some of our men, and one officer, although as brave and careless of their personal safety as any could be, were never able to get over their dread of the gorgon-like visages of these beasts, which operated so
At length the bull appeared to stagger slightly, and the dog pinned him. Drawing my huntingknife-which, by the bye, I could shave with-I ran up, and was in the act of hamstringing him, when once more he threw off the dog and bounded at me. While making the third bound, (and when I fancied I could feel his hot breath, he was so close,) the tendon having been severed, the remaining cartilages of the leg gave way, and, with a loud bellow, he was stretched on the earth. The next moment, my knife was sticking in his heart. After a little time we cut his throat and examined his wounds, each of which was mortal. He was of the low-quartered breed, but young. One of the surveying party, who afterwards came up, pronounced him to be only three years old.
We now collected our hats, guns, &c., which had been scattered around, and were beginning to compose ourselves, when, to our infinite discomfort,
two more bulls appeared over the rising ground, A few evenings after this, having surveyed the with tails up, (a sign of mischief,) and making direct upper part of the harbor, we dropped down tofor us. My first impulse was to load, and be pre- wards the entrance and moored abreast of a narrow pared to receive our pursuers; but in the heat of fussock islet. On examining this the next day, the last battle I had dropped my powder-flask. we discovered traces of pigs; and an officer having Nothing therefore remained wherewith to defend caught sight of one wandering along the beach ourselves but our knives, which we clutched des-" at his own sweet will," (an enjoyment seldom perately, taking up a position behind the carcass permitted to pigs,) punished the vagabond by knockof our former antagonist. The brutes advanced furiously; flight would have been impossible; we deemed our case hopeless. At the moment when the bulls were within two hundred yards of us, we were unexpectedly cheered by a loud shout, and, with delight inappreciable by any one who has not been in a similar predicament, we saw all the surveyors hastening to our assistance, some with guns, others with boats' stretchers, and one with a very suspicious instrument, which looked marvellously like a theodolite-stand. This timely diversion had the desired effect. The bulls stopped short, and, our allies giving a shout, turned tail and fled.
We now cut up the carcass of the bull I had slain, carried the joints down to the boat, and then proceeded to prepare lunch. Four men were employed to collect "diddledee;"* one was sent with my rifle to procure a couple of geese, and another was employed in lighting a fire. In a very short time a heap of fuel was fiercely blazing, and a couple of geese lying beside it. Our cookery was not very elaborate the man whom we deputed to officiate cut off the heads of the birds, pulled out the long wing-feathers, and rolling up the bodies in a heap of "diddledee," committed them to the flames. In about twenty minutes the geese were thoroughly roasted, and unceremoniously kicked out of the fire. Thus dressed, they looked exactly like two balls of cinder: this dirty appearance, however, vanished on skinning them, when they were as white as, and seemed much more delicate than, their tame brethren with all the sophisticated treatment of a scientific cook. The insides were not disturbed during the process of roasting, or rather burning, in order to prevent the juices of the flesh from being dried up. These birds, together with a few beefsteaks from the beast just killed, made (considering we were in the wilderness) a most sumptuous luncheon, salt and biscuit being always carried with us. After our repast we lighted our cigars, and being still further animated by a potent glass of grog,
Fought all our battles o'er again,
ing him over in fine style at a distance of sixty yards, with no better weapon than a short ship's musket. This exploit set us all agog for pork— a delicacy which we esteemed the more, as relieving us from the toujours bœuf. Being thus haunted with delectable visions of griskins, spare-ribs, chines, black-puddings, sausages, &c., we planned, in our enthusiasm, an attack on the swine. To secure such a culinary luxury was an affair of serious importance, and we set about it seriously in the following manner; viz., first, a man with a boat's flag stuck on a boat-hook marched down the centre of the tussock; and though he himself was invisible in consequence of the great height of the leaves, his banner flaunted gayly above, and was plainly visible to all. Every now and then he sounded a little hunting-horn, which was responded to by hearty cheers from six men on either side, inspired by love of pigmeat, and armed with boarding-pikes, who were so spread out as to take up nearly the whole breadth of the island, thrashing and hallooing with all their might. About two hundred yards in advance stood myself, rifle in hand, backed by my boy with another gun; and on each side of me, at about eighty yards, were two of our best shots. "The deuce is in it," thought I, exultingly, "if we shan't revel in the pork now, both fresh and to pickle." It was an invigorating anticipation. On came the beaters with shouts of expected triumph. They were formed, like the Spanish Armada, in a half-moon, the horns rather in advance; but, also like that redoubtable armament, our present enterprise ended in a ludicrous failure. The pigs were so stupid (poor, wild, benighted creatures!) that they would not come to be killed and cooked. Our exquisite generalship was thrown away: we bagged only one little boar, and even that exploit was owing not to human but to canine agency. La Porte had seized the straggler firmly by the back, and held him there, squeaking terribly, till we came up and captured him alive. But though we could not achieve a success adequate to our gallant prepara
And thrice we routed all our foes, and thrice we slew the tion and array of force, we consoled ourselves in slain.
I am sure we enjoyed our entertainment in these primeval solitudes with greater zest than could have been felt in nine tenths of the sumptuous picnics at Richmond or elsewhere-always excepting the irresistible charm of ladies' eyes, of which, alas! we were destitute. After spending a reasonable time in this wild pleasure, I returned to the vessel, and the surveyors resumed their work.
* A small shrub, of so inflammable a nature that it will burn fiercely even when soaked in water. The above name is given to it by the sailors.
the reflection that we had "done more-deserved it."
During our pig-hunt we were tantalized every moment by a clownish penguin, which would first pop out his head to survey us, and then stalk close by with grave and silent contempt. He evidently saw that the swine would outwit us, and participated in the triumph of the quadrupeds.
At length, a desperate rustling gave notice that something large was at hand; and immediately after, to our infinite disappointment, for we had calculated on the advent of a good fat hog, out
waddled sea-lion. The beast's huge logger-head | I used almost to laugh at one of the orders given
was haruy visible, when it formed a target for our guns, of all which the contents crashed into his skull nearly at the same moment. Down he dropped immediately, and only showed that life remained by writhing for a few minutes.
On one of our excursions ashore, the following singular circumstance occurred. I have read in medical and other works instances of a similar nature never witnessed one before. We had breakfasted early and hastily one morning, in order to have a long day before us, and at seven o'clock landed for beef. Having walked three hours, we wounded and, after a running skirmish of two miles, killed a fine cow. This was very fatiguing work. We then rested a short time, and began to retrace our steps towards the shore, in doing which we shot a calf, thus adding considerably to our load. As I had only five persons with me, I did not take the usual precautions for keeping my party together; and, on stopping to rest, I found that a portly marine was missing. Taking the least tired of my men, I went back some distance to look for the absentee; and having paced two weary miles, was nearly giving up the search, when we observed a flock of caranchos poised nearly motionless in the air. My companions shrewdly judged that the birds were balancing themselves over our lost one; and, on going up to the place, I found his suspicions correct. The marine was lying on his face as if fast asleep, while a couple of caranchos sat watching him within two feet of his head. Thinking this was only a lazy fit, and being tired and angry, I brought the whole weight of my rifle down on a well-covered part of his frame, causing, to my surprise, only a deep groan; and we ascertained that the fat lout had lost all power of movement, and could not even lift his arm. We were, therefore, under the necessity of carrying his heavy body back to our party, who were then at least six miles from the beach. On our arrival there, we tried to recover him; but, as he did not appear to mend, we were obliged by turns to carry him the whole way and weary work it was. We did not get in sight of the vessel till past seven o'clock in the evening. The people on board, feeling rather alarmed at our protracted absence, luckily kept a good look out, and a boat was on shore nearly as soon as we arrived on the beach.
by Captain Sulivan, that no one belonging to the vessel should be allowed to go on shore without a companion; an order which I understand was rigidly enforced by Captain Fitzroy whilst in command of the Beagle, which was only once broken, and then ended fatally. I am now convinced that it is a very necessary precaution, and, if strictly acted on in all uninhabited or unknown countries, would be the means of saving many valuable lives. Two or three instances have lately occurred of persons going out to shoot in health and spirits, and being found dead the following morning. Exhaustion, and exposure to the weather, have, in most cases, produced these melancholy results; but with common prudence and a companion there is little or nothing to fear, especially if one is well armed-a practice which I earnestly recommend to all persons who are desirous to return home with a whole skin.
As I was a passable shot, and an untiring pedestrian, I was invited by Captain Sulivan to accompany him to the top of Mount Pleasant, a hill about eight miles distant from our anchorage. The morning of November 30th being beautiful and calm, we determined to set out, and accordingly started after an early breakfast, having two men with us to carry our instruments, &c. For the first half mile we amused ourselves very well with shooting snipe, &c.; but we were speedily warned by the bellowings all round us that we should keep more on our guard, which we instantly obeyed, by loading our guns with ball and keeping close together. Thus prepared, we advanced about a mile further, when four bulls drew out of a herd, and manifested symptoms of resenting our invasion of their territory. Not liking the look of the enemy, we slunk back a short distance, and made a détour of nearly two miles to get clear. La Porte, however, suddenly dashed away, and for nearly twenty minutes was lost to us-much to our vexation, as he was a most puissant ally. Our pleasure, therefore, was proportionately great when we perceived him driving towards us a little calf, baa-ing most pitiably. The moment he was near enough, La Porte seized the animal's nose, and held it until we came up. Our first impulse was to let the poor thing go; but the dog, in his anxiety to secure his prey, had broken the upper jaw, and we therefore put an end to the creature's sufferings by killing it, marking the spot, that we might pick it up on our return.
Having seen the patient, our doctor said that nothing but food would restore him; an opinion borne out by the fact, inasmuch as the man was as After this, we marched on through the wilderwell as ever after a good meal. His total pros-ness, still in battle array, and dispersed a small tration up to this time forcibly impressed me, as he was a young and powerfully built man. I afterwards learned that this was not a very uncommon case, when violent and long-continued exercise was combined with an empty stomach. Had the man been left all night in the wilderness, he would, in all probability, have died. As it was, we lost, through the marine's illness, our calf and the prime parts of the cow which we intended to carry on board. When first we arrived at the Falklands
herd, out of which the dog captured another calf, but which, being uninjured, we let go again. At length we came to the bank of a large lake, whose wide unruffled gleam, quietly reflecting the sky, made the solitude look more solitary. Through this sheet of water we in vain attempted to wade, and were finally compelled to walk round its shore -a great addition to the fatigue of our journey, which, though in a straight line not more than eight miles, amounted, by these necessary devia
During the time we remained up here, not a single noise disturbed the death-like silence, nei
object than ourselves, excepting that a huge eagle alighted to plume himself on a pinnacle within twelve yards of the theodolite.
tions, to thirteen or fourteen, and principally among | to a great height, until dissipated by the upper curlong, soft, springy grass eighteen inches high. rents of air.) No sooner was this seen, than it About one o'clock at noon we reached the base was responded to by a dozen diminutive objects, of the mount, and sat down beside a streamlet descried through our glasses, climbing up the rigwinding along the bottom. After recovering a ging like ants. A moment after, a small speck of little from our fatigue, we commenced our ascent, white became visible, which announced to us the and crossed once or twice a long line of those fall of the topsail. As the second-hand of Captain stones mentioned with much surprise by every Sulivan's chronometer reached the five minutes, a traveller in this region. Some were so large that thin puff of smoke appeared to spurt out of the we could not have got on them without the help of vessel's side. All was now attention to catch the a ladder. But what struck me most was, that sound; but we were too far off. when half-way up, we could hear, on listening intently, a stream rapidly running, and by the deadened noise, evidently some feet below the sur-ther was the solitude invaded by any other living face. Half an hour's more toil brought us to the top of the mount; but here our progress was arrested by a perpendicular wall of rock running to the height of nearly three hundred feet. After After descending with some trouble, we picked a long search, we found a practicable breach, and up our guns, &c., and commenced our return. leaving our guns and other heavy articles behind, The homeward journey was a painful one; as we scrambled up as well as we could-no easy our two men, not being accustomed to such long matter, both from the nature of the rock and the walks, were knocked up, and the wild cattle, as incumbrance of the theodolite stand which we though they knew we were fatigued, were bolder intended to erect so as to take a round of angles and fiercer than in the morning. One beast chased from the very summit. At length we gained the us to the edge of a morass, in which we were glad apex, but so sharp was it that we could not fix the to take refuge. Finding from the nature of the stand, and were obliged, cross-legged, to drag our-ground that he could not get at us, he worked selves over a short ridge to a better place. This himself up into a state of madness, which was not at was rather nervous work, for my left leg hung over the perpendicular wall as completely at right angles with the surface of the earth as if it had been built with a plumb-line.
Here we had room to fix the stand, preparatory to making the "observations." We had now a bird's-eye view of nearly the whole of the southern part of the east island from the range of Wickham Heights. The prospect was grand on account of its extent, though I could not have imagined anything so apparently barren and comfortless; the grass seemed everywhere brown and parched, and innumerable lakes of all forms and sizes gave, with their wan gleam, a melancholy effect to the view. I tried several times, without success, to count the cattle in sight; but, after repeated attempts, gave up the endeavor. The temperature was bitterly cold, although a dead calm; and large icicles were hanging in various fantastic shapes from all the overhanging points of rock.
Before leaving the vessel, we had made arrangements with Mr. Bodie (the master) that we should announce our arrival on the summit of the rock by lighting a fire, the smoke of which would direct him to let fall the topsail, and to fire a gun, exactly five minutes after (to a second.) By this sound we expected to get the distance. Collecting what material we could for ignition, and having settled ourselves in comfortable positions to watch with our Dollonds, the word was given to light the fire. In a moment a small column of smoke slowly ascended. (We afterwards heard that the effect, as seen from the vessel, was beautiful; the vapor being visible to the naked eye, and ascending like tiny thread from the very peak of the mountain
all allayed by a couple of ounces of lead which we sent into his body. Not wishing to be benighted, we hastened on, and having found the calf we had killed in the morning, got safely on board at seven o'clock to a capital dinner, of which the only fault was a total absence of vegetables.
A succession of heavy south-west gales, with snow and sleet, put a stop, during five days, to all out-of-door work. In the evenings we were much at a loss how to find amusement, as all the books in the ship had been read and re-read dozens of times. I hardly know how we should have diverted the tædium vitæ, had I not, before leaving England, luckily provided myself with several single-sticks and hilts from my esteemed friend Mr. H. Angelo, of whom I am proud to acknowledge myself a pupil; and whose skill in the art of offence and defence in the use of the broadsword is above that of any other professor I ever met with. Our people took great delight in this exercise; and, by imparting the knowledge I had acquired under Mr. Angelo, I so trained my men, that I flatter myself few of H. M. ships could have turned out a crew equal to the Arrow's ship's company in expertness with that thoroughly English weapon, the broadsword.
We were now beset by a succession of heavy gales. I only landed once, and that was abreast the vessel for an hour or two. With the assistance of the crew I managed to haul our little dingy over a small bank, and launch her again in a fresh water lake, where in a very short time we bagged upwards of sixty teal, and double the number of various other birds not mentioned in the gamelist.
On Sunday, the 10th of December, the gale