A CORNER OF THE DUTCH EAST INDIES.
The seals having been concentrated, the work of slaughter commences: each man is armed with a pole having a hook attached to one end, with which the seals are one by one drawn from the pile and killed by a single blow on the head. The skin is then quickly removed with the fat blubber, which is wrapped up in it; it is valueless as fur, and eventually tanned, split, and made up as imitation kid into gloves, linings of porte-monnaies, valises, shoes, etc.
In less than two months after the sealers first start out, the seals have completely disappeared; where they go is a mystery. In the fall they reappear in small groups making their way north again.
The whaling season then follows immediately after the sealing, the same steamers sometimes being employed.
Early in September, whether the season has been successful or not, the Dundee whalers start on their return voyage, following the east coast of British America and Labrador until they lose the benefit of the polar current near Newfoundland.
It is a rough trip; gales and tremendous seas are peculiar to both time of year and locality, yet it may be considered almost uneventful to the crews of those racked and bruised vessels which will require the whole winter to refit for next season's work.
|A CORNER OF THE DUTCH EAST INDIES.|
By Captain G. LANGEN.
THE Key or Ké Islands of the Dutch East Indies derive their name from a native word signifying "What do you say?" The native tradition runs that when Macassar traders first landed there and inquired in the Malay tongue after the name of the land they had set foot on, the natives answered, "Kay," and this expression was mistaken by the questioners for the name of the islands. The group consists of two larger islands, of which the westerly one bears the name of Nuhu-roa, or Little Key, and the easterly one Ju-ud, or Great Key, with a number of smaller islands around them. Great Key is undoubtedly geologically much older than Little Key and the other surrounding islands, and possesses elevations of from two thousand to three thousand feet, while Little Key and the other islands are very low. Great Key is principally of a rocky and volcanic formation; Little Key and the surrounding islands are formed of coral and interveined by flint and quartz. Little Key, according to the most reliable chiefs, was raised out of the sea about thirty-five years ago, during the