I remember, when I was cruising in the China Seas in the year 1854, witnessing a combat between a dolphin and a Bombay duck, in which the latter came off second-best.
While they sat thus musing, a breeze dimmed the surface of the sea, and the Dolphin, which had hitherto lain motionless in one of the numerous canals, began slowly to advance between the islands of ice.
But for many hours there was no sign of the boats, and the crew of the Dolphin began to entertain the most gloomy forebodings regarding them.
It was now apparent to the crew of the Dolphin that they were engaged as much on a searching as a whaling expedition; and the fact that the commander of the lost vessel was the father of "young Mr. Fred," as they styled our hero, induced them to take a deep interest in the success of their undertaking.
Here the Dolphin laid in a supply of dried fish, and procured several dogs, besides an Esquimau interpreter and hunter, named Meetuck.
It was approaching the height of the summer season when the Dolphin entered the Arctic Regions, and, although the sun descended below the horizon for a short time each night, there was scarcely any diminution of the light at all, and, as far as one's sensations were concerned, there was but one long continuous day, which grew brighter and brighter at midnight as they advanced.
He steeled his heart, however, by reflecting that fresh provisions were much wanted on board the Dolphin; still, neither he nor his shipmates could bring themselves to shoot the gallant little animal, and it is possible that they might have made up their minds to allow it to escape after all, had not Meetuck quietly ended their difficulty by putting a ball through its heart.
Such an extraordinary mixture of articles, of course, led the party to conclude that either she had helped herself to the stores of the Dolphin placed on Store Island, or that she had fallen in with those of some other vessel.
Departure of the sunEffects of darkness on dogsWinter arrangements in the interior of the "Dolphin.
The crew of the Dolphin had, in the course of that winter, to part with one of their best friends; one whom they regarded with the most devoted attachment; one who was not expected to return again till the following spring, and one, therefore, whom some of them might, perhaps, never see again.
There was something terribly depressing at first in this uninterrupted gloom, and for some time after the sun ceased to show his disk above the horizon the men of the Dolphin used to come on deck at noon, and look out for the faint streak of light that indicated the presence of the life-giving luminary with all the earnestness and longing of Eastern fire-worshippers.
O'Riley followed at a more reasonable rate, and in a few minutes the crew of the Dolphin were seated at supper in the cabin, eating with as much zest, and laughing and chatting as blithely, as if they were floating calmly on their ocean home in temperate climes.
" As Saunders predicted, the effect of powder and saws was merely to loosen and rend the ice-tables in which the Dolphin was imbedded; but deliverance was coming sooner than any of those on board expected.
At one time a table of ice was forced out of the water and reared up, like a sloping wall of glass, close to the stern of the Dolphin, where all the crew were assembled with ice-poles ready to do their utmost; but their feeble efforts could have availed them nothing had the slowly-moving mass continued its onward progress.
When the storm ceased the ice out in the strait was all in motion, and that round the ship had loosened so much that it seemed as if the Dolphin might soon get out into open water, and once more float upon its natural element.
Inch by inch the tide rose, and the Dolphin floated.
It was a conspicuous object on the low island, and every eye in the Dolphin was fixed on it as they passed.
" A week of uninterrupted fair wind and weather had carried the Dolphin far to the south of their dreary wintering ground, and all was going well, when the worst of all disasters befell the shipshe caught fire!
BENET, WILLIAM ROSE. Adolphus; or, The adopted dolphin & the pirate's daughter, by William Rose Benet & Marjorie Flack.
TEILHET, DARWIN L. Retreat from the Dolphin.
Retreat from the Dolphin.
The Dolphin in the wood.
Its mantle o'er the mountains; parting day Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues With a new color as it gasps away, The last still loveliest, till'tis goneand all is grey.
The color came and went often; and there was an instant, during which the lugger varied her course, hauling to the wind, and then falling off again, like a dolphin at its sports, when the radiance of the pleasure that glowed about her soft blue eyes rendered the girl perfectly beautiful.
In the voyage to Barbadoes he several times ate dolphin; he notes that the bread was almost "eaten up by Weavel & Maggots," and became quite enthusiastic over some "very fine Bristol tripe" and "a fine Irish Ling & Potatoes.