Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/291

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253
NEW YORK AQUARIUM

piles, wheels about and darts back in terror toward the shore. This fruitless and exhausting manœuvre is kept up until the tide has completely gone out and he is left helpless and stranded. In all my experience in this peculiar line of live fishing I have never known a whale to break through the barrier of piles and make his escape.

The boxing and transportation to New York of these big fish was a great labor, and it often took fifty strong men several hours to get one of the monsters into its traveling case. Once in its box, water had to be poured over the back and blowholes of the imprisoned whale. The water pouring, by the way, was a monotonous and tiresome job which had to be continued without intermission during the subsequent ninety hours while the whale was being carried by vessel to Quebec, thence by rail via Montreal and Albany to New York. The water in which they lie must not cover their blow-holes, for, having no room to move they would be unable to rise and breathe and consequently would drown. Their boxes, therefore, were tight from the bottom up only as far as their eyes. Above that line there were cracks for the surplus water to flow off, and it was necessary for a man to stand over