Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/28

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ly longed to explore some portion of that continent where all my predilections could be fully indulged, and where much still remained in obscurity which might advantageously be brought to light. The expense, however, of such a journey was to me an insurmountable obstacle. I had, therefore, long since given up all idea of making it, and had turned my thoughts northward to Iceland, a country within my reach, and where I purposed studying the habits and characteristics of the rarer species of the northern fauna. While at Hull, accordingly, I consulted some whaling captains on the subject of my enterprise, and had almost completed my arrangements, when a visit to London, on some private affairs, entirely changed my destination.

Before leaving Hull I witnessed a striking example of that attachment toward each other so frequently found to exist in the most savage animals. By the kindness of the secretary, I had been permitted to place my collection in the gardens of the Hull Zoological Society. Among others were two brown bears—twins—somewhat more than a year old, and playful as kittens when together. Indeed, no greater punishment could be inflicted upon these beasts than to dis-unite them for however short a time. Still, there was a marked contrast in their dispositions. One of them was good-tempered and gentle as a lamb, while the other frequently exhibited signs of a sulky and treacherous character. Tempted by an offer for the purchase of the former of these animals, I consented, after much hesitation, to his being separated from his brother.

It was long before I forgave myself this act. On the following day, on my proceeding, as usual, to inspect the collection, one of the keepers ran up to me in the greatest haste, exclaiming, "Sir, I am glad you are come, for your bear has gone mad!" He then told me that, during the night, the beast had destroyed his den, and was found in the morning roaming wild about the garden. Luckily, the keeper