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shores rise in bold, gray crags, but he has a strip of sand on which to beach his boat. He is a fisherman in other branches and a farmer as well, for lobstering need not take the whole of any one's time. His buildings, seen at the top of a rising ground, are weather-beaten gray and red. At the shore he has fish-houses, a great reel on which nets are wound up, and in a cleft of the rock smokes a large iron kettle, wherein is brewing a decoction of tar and rosin for water-proofing the rope-work of his lobstertraps. The traps themselves have the appearance of a pile of mammoth bird-cages. The structure is four feet long, two feet

wide, and two feet high, with a semicircular section. It is made of slats, with wide intervals between, to afford the proposed victim a clear view of the baits arranged on a perpendicular row of hooks within. A door opens in the circular top, through which access is had for preparing the baits and removing the contents. The trap is sunk to the bottom by a ballast of stones, and a billet of wood at the other end of the rope serves as a buoy. The ends are closed only with tarred rope-netting, and in one there is a circular opening of considerable size. The bait used is a cod's head, or sometimes a row of cunners.

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The lobsterman has, perhaps, one hundred | captors. Lobsters have been taken as heavy and fifty such traps, set in eligible locations. as twenty-five pounds, in a "line" (twentyHe visits them every morning, and some- eight fathoms) of water. At South Saint times the circuit of buoys marked with his George, below Rockland, hangs the claw of name is five or six miles in extent. He lays a lobster which in life weighed forty-three hold of the submerged rope, covered with pounds. At Friendship, not far distant, a green, beard-like weed, lifts the trap, re- there is authentic record of a certain white moves what it contains, and drops it again lobster of formidable development. The norto the bottom. The occupation presents its The occupation presents its mal color is black, or greenish-black, turning most picturesque aspect in winter, when the to vivid scarlet by boiling. The hard shell is fishing is in deep water. The lobsterman incapable of expansion, and, if it were not then, with his dory filled with a pile of the for a special provision, would prevent all

growth. Relief is found in the periodical shedding of the shell. It splits in two along the back, and is sloughed off and replaced in time by a new one formed underneath. This change takes place in many lobsters, though not in all, some time about the first of August, and, undoubt


curious cages which he has
taken up for repairs or is going
to set in new places, ventures
far out to sea, often at no little
personal risk. Sometimes a
particularly violent gale will
drive the traps with it, and
wreck them in the breakers.
One lobsterman on the island
of Monhegan lost over fifty in this way in
one night.


A mature lobster should measure, without the claws, from one to two feet long, and weigh complete from two to fifteen pounds, but smaller sizes are so common that a length of ten and a half inches, without reference to weight, has been made a standard for certain calculations. It is claimed that the. average size, as well as the profits of the business, is being steadily diminished by the industry with which the pursuit has been lately followed up. The shores teem with traps, and the competition is so fierce that whereas a lobsterman once made four or five dollars a day, he now regards himself lucky if he makes but one. Occasional prodigies in size turn up to astonish and delight their

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edly, one of the objects of the canninglaw was the protection of the "shedders"; for without a shell the lobster is defenseless from enemies, and is obliged to take refuge in crevices and under stones to avoid them; by October the new panoply is in good order, and by December his condition is at its best.

If we are to accept the theory of a veteran lobsterman whom we met at Mount Desert, the lobster may attain to the age of man. The first shedding of the shell, he tells us, occurs at the age of five years. After this, he confesses his inability to fix the periods of renewal. The mother is often seen surrounded by baby lobsters a few inches in length, who take refuge under her tail in case of danger, and sometimes the little ones are found stranded in conch-shells, into which they have crawled near the shore. At the end of the third year the young are


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perhaps four inches long, and at the end of the fourth hardly more than six. At such a rate of progress it appears that something in the neighborhood of five years must elapse before they attain the length of eight or ten inches, at which size they are first found in a soft condition. Our lobsterman's theory of longevity is based upon his observation of this slowness of growth.

Fineness of organization would not seem to be the strong point of the lobster any more than beauty of form, yet he moves about his chosen feeding-grounds with a

very respectable set of endowments for picking up his living. He has his sense of smell at the base of one pair of his numerous feeler-like antennæ and his sense of hearing at another; his eyes are located at the end of flexible peduncles and have an extended range of observation, and two long, fine antennæ meander cautiously over everything in his vicinity with a delicate sense of touch. His principal power resides in the great pair of anterior claws, which have force sufficient to crack a clam. His prey (clams and mussels, and such fish as the


sculpin, flounder, and cunner) is seized and


held fast by the sharp between the thumb-and-finger-like grasp of the larger claw, then held in the duller small one while he sucks away the substance at leisure. His locomotion is very rapid and by preference backward, the cunning peduncle eyes no doubt having first taken the requisite bearings. Curving his many-jointed, wide tail inward, he moves with a velocity for which those who have only seen him in the market-stalls would never give him credit.

Thus equipped, the lobster approaches the trap set for his inveiglement. The dull, big eyes of the cod's head in the trap stare sagely out at the bloodless victim. The bead-like optics of the lobster, in the flurry of this cold temptation, peer cunningly in. As to the attractiveness of the morsel there can be no question, and the way to reach and take possession of it through the passage in the net-work seems ample. With a few deft strokes he is within. Why does he not return in the same way? Whoever understands the defective logical processes of the lobster's mind can alone explain. It does not occur to him to turn around, and

as to going out forward, the great claws, now spread out, render it difficult, though the opening is in no way more contracted than before. Nor does the fate of one deter the entrance of others. When the trap is lifted it contains from one to a dozen of all sizes, and with them a

few "five-fingers" (star-fish), and perhaps a blundering, large-headed sculpin, who is much surprised at being brought so suddenly to light. Whether or not a loss of appetite be occasioned by the discovery of his situation, the lobster does not disturb the baits to any considerable extent. A large one will eat a piece hardly larger than one's finger, though he may have been in the trap with the bait for hours.


"It is a cheap-livin' fish," a lobsterman tells us, with an air of confidence, almost of giving away the secret of the business. "Nothin' is ever found inside of him. He kin eat barnacles, sea-weed, mud-anything. He kin live five and six months in the well of a smack on what he finds there, and come out all right,-unless they chaw each other up," he adds." They're most always a-doin' that. It don't seem as though it hurt 'em no gre't, nuther. You find lots of 'em with their claws broke off in fights, but they

grow out ag'in jest as good. Some think they lose 'em off in thunderstorms, too. I dunno how that is, but they do say that they're pretty considerable frighted."


The grip of a lobster's claw, which can crack a clam easily, is strong enough to take off a man's finger, and there has even been a story of the death of a Maine hotel-keeper from the clutch of a lobster. The experienced are usually cautious in handling them. At Deer Island, a man told us that he had been caught while opening a trap beside his boat, and held in a most painful position for nearly half an hour, supporting the weight of the trap as well as the weight of his tormentor, who, at last, not being interfered with, let go of his own accord. Another lobster-fisher went ashore with a particularly fine specimen slung over his shoulder, and stopped to scare with it a young girl he met on the way. Inadvertently putting back one of his hands, it was savagely gripped by the dangling claws; the other, hastening to its relief, was seized also, presenting the joker to the object of his attentions in a highly unfavorable light. She was obliged to bring assistants with hammers and knives to break the claws.

For lobster-catching on a smaller scale, two kinds of nets, and a hook with a tenfoot handle not unlike a mackerel-gaff, are occasionally used. One is an ordinary dipnet, lowered by ropes and with a bait in the bottom; when the lobster enters, the additional weight is felt and the net pulled up. The other is a circle of wire, playing in equal halves on an axis; a rope is attached to each side, and it is lowered like the other; by pulling the ropes the parts shut together, inclosing whatever within.

The first destination of the captives is the lobster-car. This is a great floating box, perhaps twelve feet long by eight wide, by two and a half deep, submerged to the water's edge. Here they are preserved till the arrival of the smack. The Portland or Boston or New York smack comes once a week, to carry off the larger ones fresh in its

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well; the factory smacks come for the smaller ones, to be canned, every day or two. The smack runs down to the lobster-car and luffs up alongside. The owner stands on its slippery surface, and dips out the contents into the iron-bound scoop of a fine large weighing-tackle, rigged to the throat-halliards. The skipper keeps the tally on a shingle. The large, bold implements, the free attitudes, the strongly characteristic dresses, offer the artist plenty of material.

The arrival of the smack is an important event in the cove. The skipper brings the news of the trade and the personal gossip of his circuit, and executes many small commissions for the household. An ordinarily prosperous factory, as that at Green's Landing, Deer Island, has three such small vessels in its employ, attending upon, perhaps, one hundred and fifty lobstermen in all. The skipper endeavors to attach

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