Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/116

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fish gave the alarm to others, it is impossible to say, but they were seen swimming in all directions, and I witnessed several Other harpoons thrown ineffectually at distances, at which, I would have warranted certain destruction to every one of the fish from my gun, for not any of them exceeded ten yards; but, strange to tell, not a whale came near the boat in which I was, though we changed our situation with every favourable prospect: this being the first time since his recovery that the harpooner appointed to the gun-boat attended, I watched him to ascertain whether he was also prejudiced against my plan; and I regret to say, that his conduct was most unsatisfactory. Finding, also, that I must conform to the instructions said to be given to him, of having a hand-harpoon fastened to my line, in readiness to apply in case of a failure, I considered this want of confidence not only so unnecessary, but likewise so unjust, until a failure had actually taken place, that I became quite indifferent about using the gun, and particularly, as a most disgraceful trick had been employed to defeat its going off. I therefore determined not to take further interest in proving its decided advantage, but to use it in amusing myself; and wished them better success than had hitherto attended their taking fish by the hand-harpoon. During our absence from the ship, we had one of the prettiest chases possible, for keeping up continued expectation; this was in pursuing a whale, by the wake, or eddy of water, caused by its swimming not far