Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/68

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The Passenger Pigeon

can only compare the sensation produced on myself by the extraordinary tumult to that a man experiences at finding himself suddenly placed in the midst of an excited throng of human beings. The unnatural disregard of our persons manifested by the birds greatly heightened the effect, and caused me to feel as if some unearthly influence reigned in the place. It was strange, indeed, to be in a mob of the feathered race, that scarce exhibited a consciousness of one's presence. The pigeons seemed a world of themselves, and too much occupied with their own concerns to take heed of matters that lay beyond them.

"Not one of our party spoke for several minutes. Astonishment seemed to hold us all tongue-tied, and we moved slowly forward into the fluttering throng, silent, absorbed, and full of admiration of the works of the Creator. It was not easy to hear each others' voices when we did speak, the incessant fluttering of wings filling the air. Nor were the birds silent in other respects.

"The pigeon is not a noisy creature, but a million crowded together on the summit of one hill, occupying a space of less than a mile square, did not leave the forest in its ordinary impressive stillness. As we advanced, I offered my arm, almost unconsciously again to Dus, and she took it with the same abstracted manner as that in which it had been held forth for her acceptance. In this relation to each other, we continued to follow the