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the whales were not far off, it was determined
to try and pull up to them. Accordingly,
while a couple of hands baled out the
boat, and another unshipped the mast, the
rest of us gave way with a will, and soon had
the satisfaction of joining our mates, who
had preceded us, and who were already
engaged. Between the whole of us we succeeded
in getting three of the whales, our boat
capturing one of them.

Another time, while in the Japan, we saw
a whale on our lee quarter; and immediately
Down boats to give chace! The mate's boat,
to which I belonged, happened to be nearest
the monster, when he peaked flukes (went
down), and for a time we were at a loss.
We all lay on our oars for about twenty
minutes; but, as there were four boats out,
they were ordered to spread, and take a
station about a mile from the other, all heading
different ways. In about three-quarters of
an hour, the whale, to our great surprise,
came up: for it is usual for all large whales
to stop down from an hour to an hour and a
half. However, as we were the nearest to
him, we pulled up and managed to put in an
iron. Directly he felt it, no time was given
for throwing a second harpoon; for, he
instantly sounded again, taking out about thirty
fathom of line. He then began to run,
under water, at the rate of at least twelve
miles an hour; towing us, somewhat
dangerously, after him. The other boats were
pulling up in our wake, and the ship being
at first about a mile to windward of us, away
we went, speedily passing the ship, and leaving
he boats far away behind. On, and
on, and on, did the monster carry us after
him, still keeping up his speed, until, in a very
short time, we had not only lost sight of the
boats, but had sunk the vessel to her top-
gallant sails.

The previous day had been a rough one,
it having blown rather strongly during the
whole of it. This caused an unpleasant swell
to disturb the otherwise nearly calm ocean.
Consequently, as we rushed through the water
it appeared as if the boat was actually
cutting the long seas in twain: every now and
then taking over her bows enough sea to
swamp her, had not baling been vigorously
brought into play. Vainly did we try to
haul up, even but a fourth of our line;
no: on the huge monster madly flew, making
us follow him with a velocity, that only
custom could have caused us to stand up
against. Presently, and without warning,
he turned sharp round, as if he were
coming to the boat and we rejoiced for
the moment in the idea that we should
now be enabled to put in another iron,
and lance him before he again made
off. But in this we were mistaken; for no
sooner had he fairly turned towards us,
than he at once made straight off to the
ship at his former speed. The people on
board, seeing us coming down to leeward,
made a signal to the other boats to lay-to for
our arrival. But, all that we could do was
to see and be seen, for like a shot from a
gun we passed them. When within a mile
of the ship, and while we were thinking
there would be a good chance of capturing
him now, he again suddenly turned, and
went off to windward as fast as ever. The
other boats, seeing no chance of keeping up
with us, went on board, and sail was
immediately made on the ship to thrash her up
to windward after us.

It was about nine A.M. when we had made
fast to him, and he kept us running thus, ten
or twelve miles to windward, and then to
leeward, until sunset. It is the custom in
the Southern Fishery, when once fast to a
whale, never to let go unless imperatively
obliged. In the afternoon, he eased a little,
for a few moments, and allowed us to
come up within a distance that enabled
us to throw two lances; but we were too
far off to cause either of them to do him
any injury, nor was he, apparently, in the
least degree weakened. The boatsteerer, a
great powerful man, then went forward in
the bow of the boat, and with a large Spade
tried to cut the whale as he went down;
but he could only manage to clip him in
three or four places, without at all lessening
the power of his flukes.

A little after sunset, however, the mate,
finding it useless to attempt any longer
battling with so eccentric an animal, and
perceiving some indications of a gale, gave
orders to cut the line, though we were all
desirous of remaining with him. Accordingly
we hauled up as close as the whale would
allow us, and cut. It was then found that
he had been fastened to, several times before,
and this we ascertained by seeing the wounds
in his back, which proved that more than
one harpoon had previously entered him.
Those who were our greatest whaling oracles
on board, immediately explained the reason
of his having given us such a chace; "for,"
said they, "he was a wide-awake chap, that.
He knew before what it was to have the
iron in his back, so he took care to keep as
clear as he could this time."

After we had cut ourselves from the whale,
we could perceive that he lay upon the top of
the water like a log of wood, and apparently
quite exhausted. But, as night had begun
to set in, we thought it advisable to return
to the ship instead of making fast again.
And it was well we did return; for, hardly
had we, by means of the signal lights hoisted
for the purpose, got on board, than it came
on a strong breeze which freshened to a gale,
and blew great guns three days.

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