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قراءة كتاب Buffalo Land Authentic Account of the Discoveries, Adventures, and Mishaps of a Scientific and Sporting Party in the Wild West

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‏اللغة: English
Buffalo Land
Authentic Account of the Discoveries, Adventures, and Mishaps of a Scientific and Sporting Party in the Wild West

Buffalo Land Authentic Account of the Discoveries, Adventures, and Mishaps of a Scientific and Sporting Party in the Wild West

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 7

of country in which our expedition sojourned for so many months—is wilder, and by far more interesting, than those solitudes over which the Egyptian Sphynx looks out. The latter are barren and desolate, while the former teem with their savage races and scarcely more savage beasts. The very soil which these tread is written all over with a history of the past, even its surface giving to science wonderful and countless fossils of those ages when the world was young and man not yet born.

At first, it was rather unsettled which way the steps of our party would turn; between unexplored territory and that newly acquired, there were several fields open which promised much of interest. Originally, our company numbered a dozen; but Alaska tempted a portion of our savans, and to the fishy and frigid maiden they yielded, drawn by a strange predilection for train-oil and seal meat toward the land of furs. For the remainder of our party, however, life under the Alaskan's tent-pole had no charms. Our decision may have been influenced somewhat by the seafaring man with whom our friends were to sail. The real name of this son of Neptune was Samuels, but our party called him, as it savored more of salt water, Captain Walrus, of the bark Harpoon. This worthy, according to his own statement, had been born on a whaler, weaned among the Esquimeaux, and, moreover, had frozen off eight toes "trying to winter it at our recent purchase." He evidently disliked to have scientific men aboard, intent on studying eclipses and seals. "A heathenish and strange people are the Alaskans," Walrus was wont to say. "What is not Indian is Russian, and a compound of the latter and aboriginal is a mixture most villainous. One portion of the partnership anatomy takes to brandy, while the other absorbs train-oil, and so a half-breed Alaskan heathen is always prepared for spontaneous combustion, and if rubbed the wrong way, flames up instantly. He is always hot for murder, and if you throw cold water on his designs, his oily nature sheds it."

And many a yarn did the captain spin concerning their strange customs. Sealing a marriage contract consisted in the warrior leaving a fat seal at the hole of the hut, where his intended crawled in to her home privileges of smoke and fish. Their favorite game was "old sledge," played with prisoners to shorten their captivity.

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