Page:Omniana.djvu/188

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170
OMNIANA.

an even surface, sometimes ran with violence after the dogs, and shortly after seemed with difficulty to ascend the rising hill, for the elasticity of so vast a body of ice, of many leagues square, supported by a troubled sea, though in some places three or four yards in thickness, would, in some degree, occasion an undulatory motion not unlike that of a sheet of paper accommodating itself to the surface of a rippling stream. Noises were now likewise distinctly heard in many directions, like the report of cannon, owing to the bursting of the ice at some distance.

The Esquimaux therefore drove with all haste towards the shore, intending to take up their night-quarters on the south side of the Nivak. But as it plainly appeared that the ice would break and disperse in the open sea, Mark advised to push forward to the north of the Nivak, from whence he hoped the track to Okkak might still remain entire. To this pro-