« AnkstesnisTęsti »
and I call on Charles to witness that I had some trouble in se-, has been committed under analogous circumstances. A person curing him." apparently well has gone to bed without manifesting the "Yes, my dear aunt, that is quite true; and the charge slightest tendency to self-destruction; he awoke suddenly and against him is of poaching on your preserves."
This sally was quite unpremeditated; but as soon as I had said it, the truth of it flashed across my mind. It was not lost on Helen or Fielding, for the one turned very pale, and the other very red. I felt now convinced that I was right in my conjectures, and that Fielding was the man.
destroyed himself. An old lady residing in London awoke in the middle of the night, went down stairs, and threw herself into a cistern of water, where she was found drowned. It is suppose that the suicide was the result of certain mental impressions conjured up in the mind during a d ́eam.
Dr. Pagan refers to the following interesting case, to prove
"You must not mind these scapegraces, Mr. Fielding," said that murder may be committed by a person when under the Mrs. Rowcroft, in her kindest tones.
effects of a frightful vision. Bernard Schedmaizig suddenly awoke at midnight. At the moment he saw a frightful phantom, or what his imagination represented as such-a fearful spectre. He twice called out "Who is that?" and receiving no answer, and imagining that the phantom was advancing
raised a hatchet which was beside him, and attacked the spectre, and it was found, alas! that he had murdered his wife.
plead guilty?" I asked, laughing, and then turning to Helen, I upon him, and having altogether lost his self-possession, he exclaimed, "Helen, you look grave; what's the matter?" "Nothing," she replied, faintly. "I was thinking." "And of whom were you thinking, fair cousin?" I asked. "Of you, Charles."
A pedlar who was in the habit of walking about the country armed with a swordstick, was awakened one evening while
"Yes. I was thinking you were a great torment," and she lying asleep on the high road, by a man suddenly seizing him cast at me a look of entreaty.
and shaking him by the shoulders. The man, who was walk"Ah!" I said, "I wish I could think I occupied the first ing by with some companions, had done this jocosely. The place in your thoughts."
Helen sighed, and I looked across at Fielding to see if he noticed us; but he either did not or affected not to see us, and, if he did, his countenance gave no indication of what was passing in his mind. I was half inclined to play the lover, and tease these two, only I thought it would be unfeeling to wound the heart of Julia, who I fancied did love me, by attentions to another.
Frank now insisted that Fielding and I should go and see a famous terrier pup, and therefore we started off to the stables. I soon got tired of this sort of inspection, so I went to my room to decorate for dinner. When I reached the hall, I saw standing at the door a most unique vehicle. It had low wheels, and was very strongly built. But to me a vehicle denoted visitors, and I was in great trepidation lest they should know me. I rushed up to my room and shut the door; but as I thought I heard some one coming up the stair, I listened. I heard a great puffing and wheezing; and then I heard Mrs. Rowcroft say, How's Mr. Ransome? Have you seen him lately?"
"Oh, poor old gentleman," said the stranger, "he's very poorly."
Good heavens! thought I, here's a pretty fix I'm in! Mr. Ransome was no other than my dear, kind old uncle. How I longed to see him. But what was to be done. Perhaps these people might know me. What could I do? Where could I hide my head? I believe, in my tribulation, I actually contemplated jumping out of the window and bolting, and fancied a variety of things which only a guilty conscience could suggest. I cannot tell what extraordinary thing I might not have done, had not Frank rushed into my room, in great glee, to say the Stuggleses were come.
"And who are the Stuggleses?" I asked.
Oh! Mrs. Stuggles is a jolly old creature, and the daughter is such a rum 'un! Make haste down. I'm off!" and away he shot.
I did not know the Stuggleses-had never heard my uncle speak of them-they must be new comers. The name was not a most euphonious one, so I was sure if I had heard it I should never have forgotten it, and therefore my mind was easy on that score. But, my uncle not well. How I wished I could fly off at once and see the dear old gentleman. However, I could not go now, so down I went; and by the time I reached the drawing-room, I had quite recovered my equanimity. (To be continued.)
pedlar, suddenly aroused from his sleep, drew his sword, and stabbed the man, who soon afterwards died from the effects of the wound. He was tried for manslaughter. His irresponsibility was strongly urged by his counsel, on the ground that he could not have been conscious of his act in the half-waking state. He was, however, found guilty, and subjected to imprisonment.
THE KING OF ITALY AND THE PEASANT.
A FEW days before quitting Florence, Victor Emmanuel, who was out shooting on foot, a few miles from the city, happened to wander away from his attendants, and found himself in a lane full of deep ruts, in one of which was stuck the wheel of a donkey cart, whose owner was belaboring with might and main, but vainly, to get it out. Seeing the king, the peasant, who did not know him, immediately called to him, desiring him to help him to pull the vehicle out of the hole.
"Very willingly," replied the king, coming up to the panting and perspiring peasant, "what shall I do?" "Why, just put your shoulder to the wheel, while I pull away at my donkey's head," said the peasant.
The king did as he was bidden, and applied his strong shoulder to the wheel with such hearty good will, that the cart was soon out of the rut, and the donkey ready for action.
"Well, you are a right good fellow (un galantuomo were the peasant's words) -I am very thankful to you, and should like to know your name. Pray, who may you be?”
"I am the king!" replied his majesty, simply, as he wiped his forehead.
The poor peasant, aghast at the revelation, began to stammer forth an attempt at an apology.
"Don't make yourself uneasy, my good fellow," said the king, "I am well content to have helped you out of your difficulty. Have you any children?''
"Yes, sire, I have seven," replied the peasant, "and my wife and me makes nine."
"And can you always manage to find bread enough for so many mouths?" inquired the king, kindly.
"Well, your majesty, we do as we can," answered the peasant, "when we've enough we eat our fill, and when we have not we do without."
"Take this, my good friend," returned his majesty, putting a gold piece of twenty francs into his hand, as he walked away, "and buy a good dinner with it for all your family!"
DANGERS OF SOMNAMBULISM.
PERSONS have been known to commit murder while in a state of somnambulism, or sleep-walking, and also during the halfunconscious condition, between sleeping and waking. A person has been suddenly roused by a frightful dream, and while under its influence has been known to take away human life. Suicide
A SIGN OF RAIN.-When the odor of flowers is unusually per ceptible, rain may be anticipated, as the air when damp conveys the odor more effectively than when dry. Damp air being also a better conductor of sound than dry, bells, and the sound of mills and railways, are better heard before rain.
UPON the African continent the lion reigns supreme, sole monarch over the feline race. But in Asia his claims to undivided royalty are disputed by the tiger, an animal which equals the lion in size, strength and activity, and certainly excels him in the elegance of its form, the grace of its movements, and the beauty of its fur. The range of the tiger is not so widely spread as that of the lion, for it is never found in any portions of the New World, nor in Africa, and, except in certain districts, is but rarely seen even in the countries where it takes up its residence. Some portions of country there are which are absolutely infested by this fierce animal, whose very appearance is sufficient to throw the natives into a state of abject terror.
In its color the tiger presents a most beautiful arrangement of markings and contrast of tints. On a bright tawny yellow ground, sundry dark stripes are placed, arranged, as may be seen by the engraving, nearly at right angles with the body or limbs. Some of these stripes are double, but the greater number are single dark streaks. The under parts of the body, the chest, throat, and the long hair which tufts each side of the face, are almost white, and upon these parts the stripes become very obscure, fading gradually into the light tint of the fur. The tail is of a whiter hue than the upper portions of the body, and is decorated in like manner with dark rings.
So brilliantly adorned an animal would appear to be very conspicuous among even the trees and bushes, and to thrust itself boldly upon the view. But there is no animal that can hide itself more thoroughly than the tiger, or which can walk through the underwood with less betrayal of its presence.
The vertical stripes of the body harmonize so well with the dry, dusky jungle grass among which this creature loves to dwell, that the grass and fur are hardly distinguishable from each other except by a quick and experienced eye. A tiger may thus lie concealed so cleverly, that even when crouching among low and scanty vegetation, it may be almost trodden on withVOL. X., No. 2-8
out being seen. The step too, is so quiet and stealthy, that it gives no audible indication of the creature's whereabouts, and the tiger has, besides, a curious habit of drawing in its breath and flattening its fur, so as to reduce its bulk as far as possible. When a tiger thus slinks away from the hunters or from any dreaded danger, it looks a most contemptible and cowardly creature, hardly to be recognised in the fiery beast, which, when driven to bay, rushes, regardless of danger, with fierce yells of rage and bristling hair, upon the foremost foe.
When seeking its prey, it never appears to employ openly that active strength which would seem so sure to attain its end, but creeps stealthily towards the object, availing itself of every cover, until it can spring upon the destined victim. Like the lion, it has often been known to stalk an unconscious animal, crawling after it as it moves along, and following its steps in hopes of gaining a nearer approach. It has even been known to stalk human beings in this fashion, the tiger in question being one of those terrible animals called "man-eaters," on account of their destructive propensities. It is said that there is an outward change caused in the tiger by the indulgence of this man-slaying habit, and that a "man-eater" can be distinguished from any other tiger by the darker tint of the skin, and a redness in the cornea of the eyes. Not even the man eating tiger dares an open assault, but crawls insidiously towards his prey, preferring, as does the lion, the defenceless women and children as the object of attack, and leaving alone the men, who are seldom without arms.
The tiger is very clever in selecting spots from whence it can watch the approach of its intended prey, itself being crouched under the shade of foliage or behind the screen of some friendly rock. It is fond of lying in wait by the side of moderately frequented roads, more particularly choosing those spots where the shade is the deepest, and where water may be found at hand wherewith to quench the thirst that it always feels when consuming its prey. From such a point of vantage it will leap with terrible effect, seldom making above a single spring, and, as a rule, always being felt before it is seen or heard.
It is a curious fact that the tiger generally takes up his post on the side of the road which is opposite his lair, so that he has no need to turn and drag his prey across the road, but proceeds forward with his acquisition to his den. Should the tiger miss his leap, he generally seems bewildered and ashamed of himself, and instead of returning to the spot, for a second attempt, sneaks off discomfited from the scene of his humiliation. The spots where there is most danger of meeting a tiger are the crossings of nullahs, or the deep ravines through which the In these localities the tiger is sure to find bis two essentials, cover and water. So apathetic are the natives, and so audacious are the tigers, that at some of these crossings a man or a bullock may be carried off daily, and yet no steps will be taken to avert the danger, with the exception of a few amulets suspended about the person. Sometimes the tigers seem to take a panic, and make a general emigration, leaving, without any apparent reason, the spots which they had long infested, and making a sudden appearance in some locality where they had but seldom before been seen.
aid to the heavy blow of the limb, the terrible effects may be imagined.
Besides the severity of the wound which may be inflicted by so fearful a weapon, there are other means of destruction that lie hid in the tiger's claws. From some cause or other-it may be presumed on account of some peculiar manner in which the claws affect the nervous system-even a trivial wound has often been known to produce lockjaw, and to destroy the victim by the effects of that fearful disease. It may be, that perturbation of mind caused by the attack of the tiger may have some hand in the matter. Captain Williamson, an officer of twenty years' experience in Bengal, states that he never knew a person to die from the wounds inflicted by a tiger's claws without suffering from lockjaw previous to death; and he adds, that those cases which appeared the least alarming were the most suddenly carried off.
Many modes are adopted of killing so fearful a pest as the tiger, and some of these plans are very ingenious.
There is the usual springbow, which is placed in the animal's path, the bow drawn to the arrow's head, and a string leading from the trigger across the path in such a manner that the creature presses against it with its breast, discharges the weapon and so receives the arrow in its heart.
In the districts where these terrible animals take up their abode an unexpected meeting with a tiger is by no means an uncommon event. While engaged in hog-spearing, the sportsmen have many times come suddenly upon a tiger that was lying quite composedly in the heavy "rhur" grass from which The bow is set by fastening it to two strong posts set by the the hog had started. In such cases the terror of the native side of the tiger's path, the string of the bow being parallel horses is excessive, for their dread of the tiger is so great, with the path: The string is then drawn back to its utmost that the very scent of a tiger's presence, or the sight of a dried limits, and a stick placed between the bow and the string, thus skin, is sufficient to set them plunging and kicking in their keeping the weapon bent. A long wedge is inserted between attempts to escape from the dreaded propinquity. One horse, the stick and the bow, and the liberating cord tied to its projectwhich had been terrified by a tiger, could not afterwards endure ing end. Lastly, the arrow is laid on the string, and the the sight of any brindled animal whatever, and was only re-engine is ready for action. Of necessity, as soon as the tiger stored to ordinary courage by the ingenious device of his mas- presses the cord, the wedge is drawn away, the guarding stick ter, who kept a brindled dog in the same stable with the horse drops, and the bow hurls its deadly missile. So rapidly does until the poor beast became reconciled to the abhorred striped this simple contrivance act, that the tiger is generally hit near the shoulder. The arrow is usually poisoned by means of a thread dipped in some deadly mixture and wrapped round the arrow point.
A very curious introduction to a tiger occurred to a gentleman who was engaged in deer-shooting.
There is another plan, in which human aid is requisite, namely, by building a strong bamboo enclosure, in which the hunter lies, armed with a spear. At nightfall the tiger comes prowling along, and smelling the man, rears up on its hind legs, trying to claw down the bamboo bars. The hunter in the meanwhile takes his spear and mortally wounds the brindled foe, by striking the spearpoint between the bars of the edifice. A still more ingenious mode of tiger-killing is that which is employed by the natives of Oude.
He had crept up to a convenient spot, from whence he could command a clear view of the deer, which were lying asleep in the deep grass; had taken aim at a fine buck which was only at twelve yards' distance, and was just going to draw the trigger, when his attention was aroused by a strange object which was waving above the grass a few feet on the other side of the deer. It was the tail of a tiger, which had approached the deer from the opposite direction, and had singled out the very animal which was threatened by the r fle. Not exactly knowing what They gather a number of the broad leaves of the prauss tree, kind of an object it was that stirred the grass, the sportsman which much resembles the sycamore, and having well besmeared re-adju. ted his piece, and was again going to fire, when a tiger them with a kind of bird-lime, they strew them in the anisprang from the cover of the "moonje" grass, and leaped mal's way, taking care to lay them with the prepared side upupon the very buck which had been marked out as his own. permost. Let a tiger but put his paw on one of these innocentUnder the circumstances, he did not choose to dispute the mat-looking leaves, and his fate is settled. Finding the leaf stick ter, but retreated as quietly as possible, leaving the tiger in to his paw, he shakes it, in order to rid himself of the nuisance,
possession of the field.
and finding that plan unsuccessful, he endeavors to attain his The deer was an axis, or spotted deer, animals which are very object by rubbing it against his face, thereby smearing the ropy common in some parts of India, and are much appreciated by birdlime over his nose and eyes and gluing the eyelids together. tigers as well as men. Peacocks also abound in the same dis- By this time he has probably trodden upon several more of the tricts; in short, wherever spotted deer and peacocks may be treacherous leaves, and is bewildered with the novel inconfound, tigers are sure to be at no great distance from them.venience; then he rolls on the ground and rubs his head and On one occasion, another sportman had wounded a peacock, wnich fluttered about for a time and then fell into a little open space in the bushes, As these birds, when winged, can run too fast to be overtaken by a man, the sportsman ran after the bird in order to catch it as it fell, and on entering the little area found himself in the presence of three tigers, which had evidently been asleep, but were just roused by the report of the gun, and were looking about them in a dreamy and bewildered manner. The peacock lay dead close to the tigers, who probably made a light repast on the game thus unexpectedly laid before them, for the sportsman took to his heels, and did not feel himself safe until he was fairly on board of his vessel.
The chief weapons of the tiger are his enormous feet, with their sharp sicklelike talons, which cut like so many knives when the animal delivers a blow with his powerful limbs. Even were the talons retracted, the simple stroke of that sledge-hammer paw is sufficient to strike to the ground as large an animal as an ox; while, if the claws lend their trenchant
face on the earth in his efforts to get free. By so doing, he only adds fresh birdlime to his head, body and limbs, agglutinates his sleek fur together in unsightly tufts, and finishes by hoodwinking himself so thoroughly with leaves and birdlime that he lies floundering on the ground, tearing up the earth with his claws, uttering howls of rage and dismay, and exhausted by the impotent struggles in which he has been so long engaged. These cries are a signal to the authors of his misery, who run to the spot, armed with guns, bows and spears, and find no difficulty in despatching their blind and wearied foe.
Another mode of destroying the tiger is by means of a strongly. constructed trap, made on the same principle as the ordinary mousetraps, which take their victim by dropping a door over the entrance. The tigertrap is little more than the mousetrap, only made on a much larger scale, and of strong wooden bars instead of iron wires. The bait is generally a pariah dog or a young goat, both of which animals give vent to their anxiety by loud wailings, and so attract the prowling foe. In order to