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where pursuit was out of the question. There
she remained until the Frenchman was out of
sight, but the whaler hadn't well got out before
the cruiser heaved in sight again, but with the
same result, her intended victim running in
among the ice. In those days a convoy used to
accompany the whalers north, but the skipper
of the Nancy Dawson was of an independent
turn of mind, and not believing much in the
judgment of the whaler's admiral, he used to
go off where he chose, and run his risk, and
now he was running it with a vengeance. It
seemed as if the Frenchman would cage him.
At last she cleared off for good, as he thought,
and after remaining for more than a week
among the ice, a ship heaving in sight made all
sail towards the Nancy Dawson to hear the news.
The vessel certainly looked like a whaler. There
was her "crow's nest," there were her guys,
there was herbut stop! the old skipper was
at the mast-head, shouting in a voice of
thunder, "Port your helm there! It's the
Frenchman again! He's got his blocks hoisted
the wrong way. 'Bout ship!" so back to the
ice they steered. The cruiser's disguise was not
complete. In his attempt to imitate a whaler,
he had erred in a few technical points, and
finding his victim was not to be entrapped, he
steered off for a more promising chase. Then
he tells of the old sealer who was chased by
a French sloop of war, off Shetland, and how
they kept up a running chase. First the
whaler fired all his ball, then he fired broken
harpoons, then half cheeses, until at last, in
despair, he fired the poker and tongs, cutting
through the Frenchman's rigging. He could
hear the men on board the cruiser shouting,
"he has chain shot on board!" and the
cruiser dropped pursuit. In those days nearly
all the better class of whalers were fitted
out as privateers or letters of marque, and the
skipper tells, with many sage nods, how it is
generally supposed that a certain wealthy
family of whaling owners made their money
more by the capture of a French merchantman,
which was driven by storms into their course
to Davis Strait one summer's day, than by
their legitimate trade. The whalers in those
times had another enemy to dread nearer home,
and that was our war vessels. These men-o'-
war used to lie in the Pentland Firth and off
the Shetlands, watching for the return of the
whalers, when they would press every man on
board except the apprentices and the officers,
who were exempt. Knowing this, when they
arrived off the coast, the men liable to be pressed
would take the boats and work their way
secretly down the coast, sleeping in quiet coves
or secreted by the fishing folk during the day,
and rowing by night, until they arrived home,
when they would conceal themselves until their
vessel was ready to sail again. In the meantime
their ship would be brought into port by
the apprentices and officers.

All this time we steam south with our cargo,
past the dreary island of Jan Mayen, with
its now extinct volcano, and near Iceland, until
we can see the north isles of Shetland, like
clouds on the horizon. At Lerwick we present
the collector with a bottle of frozen
beer, and discharge our Shetland men, towards
whom Her Majesty's officials have a kindly
feeling, and whom they do not search over
strictly. These islemen have a knack, when
on board a sealer, of living on oatmeal almost
entirely (as they have the run of it), and
saving their provisions for winter use. Even
the medicines are not safe. The doctor will
tell you that when he gives them a dose he
makes them swallow it before him, otherwise
they will save it for winter use, supposing that
all medicine is equally the same for all diseases.
The ribbon-capped damsels at the landing give
a cheer, and we steam south for Dundee. Here
the cargo is discharged, more coal and more
provision are taken in, and by the beginning
of May the vessel is off to the Davis Strait

We have only spoken of the Spitsbergen sealing:
but there are many more seals got. The
Russians kill many in the White Sea; and the
Esquimaux, on the shores of Davis, kill numbers
during the whole year on the ice and in their
little "Kayaks." From Danish Greenland alone
there are exported every year from forty to fifty
thousand seal skins, besides blubber. The
Newfoundland and Labrador seal fishery will yield
as many as the Spitzbergen. Up to April,
last year, two hundred and fifty thousand seals
had been brought by the Newfoundland sealers
into St. John's and Harbour Grace alone. All
of these seals are " hair seals," and their skins
are only used for leather, of which an excellent
description is manufactured. The blubber yields
a good quality of oil, each ton being worth on
an average forty pounds: while the skins are
worth, take one with another, five shillings
apiece, in the European market, so that it may
be considered that the European (i.e.
Spitzbergen and White Sea) and American Arctic
(Greenland and Newfoundland) seal fishery
cannot be worth much less than three hundred
thousand pounds sterling annually. The fine
fur seals come, as has been already said, mostly
from the South Seas and the North Pacific; but
in both regions, the former especially, they are
getting rapidly exterminated.

                       NO WORK TO DO.


  WE'RE a set of knaves and lazy loons,
     Who'd rather beg than toil,
  And rather steal than either, my boys,
     If we saw the chance of spoil.
Hard work's a curse and a punishment
    We've heerd the parson say,
And we won't be cursed, if we can help,
    Neither by night nor day.
       'Tis money we seek, 'tis money we'll have,
          If we howl till all is blue;
       Money for baccy, and money for gin;
         WE DON'T want work to do.

  Six hours of shouting in the streets
      Is jolly good fun, and free,
  And brings more shillings than ten hours' work;
     Such fools the people be!