Soon after my return to England I was appointed to the Ruby, senior officer on the south-east coast of South America,- an independent command, and about the best billet for a captain in her Majesty's service. The south-east coast of the South American station extends, roughly, from the equator to Cape Horn, including the Falkland Islands, thus embracing some 55° of latitude. It used to be a rear-admiral's command, and the senior officer [He is now made a commodore.] really does the duty of an admiral, and the French and American squadrons in those waters are both admiral's commands. It is a delightful station, and with such a range of latitude one can always secure a good climate, and avoid the hot season on the coast of Brazil.
The climate of Monte Video and Buenos Ayres is superb, and from that latitude to Cape Horn is healthy and bracing, though somewhat boisterous and cold to the southward of 40° south. The headquarters of the station are at Monte Video ; but as the senior officer is free to go where he pleases, the ships of the squadron are generally dispersed either
THE RECIFE AT PERNAMBUCO
up the river or at Rio Janeiro or the Falklands, taking turn at each place. The River Plate has always been a favourite station with naval officers, principally on account of sport, which is first rate, especially in the neighbourhood of Buenos Ayres and up the Parana river, and from thence down the coast of Patagonia to the Falkland Isles. The northern portion, including Brazil, is rather too hot for that amusement; but on all parts of the station there are British interests to protect, and work to do in view of the revolutions which are so common in South America, though happily not so frequent as they used to be. The drawback to the station is the lack of good harbours. True that Rio Janeiro is the finest in the world, and Bahia is a good one; but from that southwards they are few and far between till the Falkland Islands are reached, where there are excellent harbours, sufficient for the navies of the world. On the whole coast of Patagonia there is but one really good harbour. Monte Video is an open roadstead, exposed to pamperos, and Buenos Ayres is so shallow that ships have to lie a long way out.
One of the most interesting places on the coast of Brazil is Pernambuco, on account of the Recifé, or inner harbour, which is formed by a remarkable reef running parallel to the coast, with a depth of 10 to 30 feet inside. The Ruby, drawing 20 feet, moored head-and-stern with hawsers to the reef. The general belief is that this natural breakwater has been formed by the coral zoophyte; but this is erroneous, as it is composed of sandstone consolidated by minute marine animals, without whose assistance the sandstone would have long ago been worn away
by the action of the sea. These animalculae, having served their purpose, have perished, and their shells form a concrete against which the waves have beaten for centuries in vain. To this cause Pernambuco is indebted for its prosperity, for without this reef it would have no port at all.
Fernando Do Noronha.
A short distance to the northward of Pernambuco is the island of Fernando do Noronha, which we visited, and where we spent a few days. It is used as a penal settlement by Brazil, and a better place could not be selected. There is not a tree upon it, so the convicts cannot build boats to escape. Some two thousand of them, mostly murderers, were living there, and perfect order was maintained. A remarkable peak, 1000 feet high, is a good landmark for making the island.
A more interesting place is Trinidad Island in the
TRINIDAD IN THE SOUTH ATLANTIC.
South Atlantic - not to be confounded with the fine island of the same name in the West Indies. Trinidad is about equidistant from Rio Janeiro and Bahia. It was first brought into notice by Mr Knight in his interesting ‘Cruise of the Falcon,' and it has subsequently been the cause of some correspondence with the Brazilian Government,
Ruby leaving Fernando Do Noronha
who up to that time had attached no importance to it. Being desirous of visiting the place after reading Knight's graphic account, I hove-to off the island on the passage home, there being no good anchorage, and landed there; but not till we had been nearly capsized in the surf, and had to jump overboard to get ashore. The island is of volcanic formation, with lofty and
inaccessible crags and frowning precipices : it is surrounded by reefs on which a heavy surf constantly beats. We found the shore covered with rank grass and pieces of timber, washed down from the mountain-tops by torrents in the rainy season; also a small stream of excellent water, thereby disproving the official statement that there is no water on the island. Thousands of disgusting-looking land-crabs
Trinidad - General View
disputed our approach, staring at us with their protruding eyes. They were of all colours-red, yellow, blue, and black; their average size was about that of a coffee-cup, with legs the diameter of a saucer. We saw no other living creature, except sea-birds, which flew round us in thousands with loud screams. Having erected a cairn, we planted a flag on a staff and returned on board. Steaming round the north side, we had a look at the "monument" rock, a remark
THE SOUTH-EAST STATION OF SOUTH AMERICA.
able column, which I made a sketch of. Several expeditions have been made to this island to discover the hidden treasure supposed to have been buried there, but hitherto without success. I believe there are still some people sanguine enough to believe in its existence.
The Monument Rock, Trinidad
The south-east station of South America, covering as it does some 3300 miles of latitude, is so vast that I cannot do more than touch upon such points along the coast as may interest the reader, omitting sport, or at most only alluding to it here and there without going into details, which I have already done in a little work published some years ago. Moreover, such places as Rio Janeiro and Monte Video are well known to the average globe-trotter. I shall therefore pass on to parts of the station with which the general public are not so familiar - such as Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, and the Parana river as far as Paraguay - and take them as they come in the map without regard to date, which is of no consequence.
It is customary for one or more of H.M. ships stationed on the south-cast coast to visit the rivers Parana and Uruguay, at least once every year during the cool season, from May till September. With this view the gunboats on that station are usually of light draught to enable them to ascend these rivers. The Ruby drawing too much water, I transferred my broad pendant to the Watchful, and proceeded in her up the Parana, leaving the Ruby at Colonia. We started in beautiful weather, but the same evening the sky gave warning of a pampero, and the next forty-eight hours it blew a heavy gale. During this time one of the Ruby's boats got adrift with a party of officers returning to the ship. Another boat was sent after her, but neither was able to reach the ship in fact, both were missing for three or four days, but eventually turned up all right.
An absurd business happened in connection with this affair. On my return to the ship, some weeks later, I inquired into the circumstances, and finding that one of the boats had fetched aboard an Argentine schooner, and been handsomely treated by her skipper, I notified the fact to the Admiralty, and submitted that the master of the schooner, one Juan Thomas (John Thomas), should receive some recognition from the Government. Their Lordships concurred in my suggestion, and sent out a pair of binoculars to be suitably presented. But by this time John Thomas could not be found, so I passed on the binoculars to our consul, and requested him to find the man and present him with them. On my return to the Plate, some time afterwards, I learned that the consul, having discovered the man, ordered him to attend at the
THEIR LORDSHIPS' BINOCULARS.
consulate on a given day. To make the ceremony more impressive, he invited several friends, including ladies, to a champagne breakfast, after which the skipper was brought in, and the consul having dwelt upon his conduct in an eloquent speech, presented the glasses. But John Thomas, being a simple sailor, and an illiterate one, did not appreciate the honour, expecting, no doubt, something more substantial, such as a bag of dollars. He spoke but little English, but what he knew seems to have been forcible. "What for these ----- glasses ? My eye good enough," &c. In vain the consul explained that they were given him by the " Lords of the Admiralty." " To h--- with the Lords of the Admiralty!" said he, and flinging the glasses out of the window with more bad language, he had to be kicked out, fighting till the last.
We had a delightful trip in the little Watchful; but owing to her draught, 12 feet, she could go no farther than Hernandaria, where I embarked on board one of the fine vessels of the Placentia Company, and proceeded to Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay. Situated in latitude 25° south, Asuncion enjoys a fine climate in the winter months, but in summer the heat is great. The city is a straggling, picturesque-looking place, boasting 25,000 inhabitants. Although some one thousand miles by water from Buenos Ayres, the river is nearly a mile broad abreast the town.
I spent a few days very pleasantly at Asuncion, and returned the same way, joining the Watchful where I had left her. There is a great charm in traversing these fine rivers, and watching the skilful manner in which the local pilots handle their
vessels, avoiding the numerous sandbanks in a marvellous way. But they travel so fast that one has no time to see anything, and the best mode of making the trip is in a gunboat, anchoring every evening and shooting along the banks, or in the lagoons, where every kind of wildfowl abounds.
I made this trip subsequently in the Rifleman, a twin-screw gunboat drawing only ten feet, and reached Asuncion in her, taking three weeks to do so. We had splendid sport both going and returning, and only "piled up" once, in a fog on our way back; but we had a narrow shave of being stuck upon a dangerous bar just below the city. The river was falling fast, and the pilot kept sending me messages to start; so having buoyed the channel, we left early one morning. There was only 9 feet on the bar, and we were drawing nearly 10 ; but we had a slashing current with us, so I hoped to negotiate the obstacle. I warned the engineer to stand by and " let her out " when I gave him the signal. The leadsmen called the soundings - 12 feet, 11 feet, 10 feet - as we approached the bar; the pilot's face was white as a sheet. I watched the jib-boom, and when I saw by the quivering of the spar she was touching, I gave the order to " let her have it." Round went the two screws ; the little craft trembled from stem to stern, but she never stopped, and cutting her way through the sand, she wriggled herself into deep water. I gave the pilot a stiff glass of grog, and we proceeded on our way rejoicing. There is no danger to the vessel should she stick fast; but it is necessary to lay out an anchor astern at once, otherwise she will swing broadside on, the current banking the
sand up under her lee, and there she may remain for weeks. A few days afterwards we ran on a bar near Rosario, and stuck fast with our nose in the air till towed off by an American man-of-war.
Leaving the River Plate for the south, the first port of call is Bahia Blanca, which has no especial attraction except to a sportsman, who will there find many varieties of the tinamou, locally called "perdiz" ; but there are no partridges on the continent of South America. Of the tinamou there are eight varieties, the most common of which are the "martinetta," the "copeton " or crested tinamou (Tinamus elegans), and the small or common tinamou. They all give good sport shooting over dogs, and heavy bags may be made all along the coast.
To the southward of Bahia Blanca is the port of San Blas, a most dangerous place to visit on account of the bar at the mouth of the river, on which heavy rollers break with a south-west gale. I came very nearly to grief at this place in the Ruby, and have reason to remember it. We were told in Buenos Ayres that the entrance was perfectly safe and well buoyed; and as I was desirous of visiting the port to ascertain its value in time of war, I went there in company with the Swallow, one of my little squadron. Having anchored off the bar, the Swallow entered the river to see if the buoys were in place, and reported that they were, which proved not to be the case. Directing the Swallow to proceed ahead, as she drew less water than the Ruby, we followed in her wake, but had not gone far before a pampero sprang up, raising a tremendous sea. We now discovered that most of the buoys had been washed away, and there was nothing to guide
us. We were surrounded by heavy rollers, which threatened to break on board at any moment; so I decided to turn back, and making the signal of "recall" to the Swallow, we turned the Ruby in the narrow channel and shaped our course for the open sea. Passing what we believed to be the outer buoy,
Ruby in a Pampero
we were congratulating ourselves on having got out of the difficulty, and I was anxiously watching the Swallow, when the Ruby struck the bar with an awful crash. The engines were stopped and the signal given to reverse; but before the order could be carried out I noticed that the ship was still forging ahead, so I put the telegraph to " full speed ahead." The gallant little ship responded to the call, and next moment was in deep water, none the worse for the mishap ; but had she hung on the
SPORT AT SAN BLAS
bar, the next sea would have broken over her, and she would have gone to pieces in a very short time, like the ill-fated Orpheus on Manakau bar, in New Zealand, where almost every soul perished.
The year following this adventure I again visited San Blas ; but, warned by experience, we first buoyed the channel and entered the harbour without difficulty. I found that the advantages claimed for it had not been overrated : it is the only harbour on the coast of Patagonia, except Egg Harbour, where a ship can anchor within pistol-shot of the shore in safety. Mr Mulhall, the only landed proprietor in the neighbourhood, was my host on this occasion, and nothing could exceed his hospitality. His house and everything in it were at our disposal. He supplied us with the best provisions without charge, and had he been permitted, would have fed the whole ship's company at his own expense. Sport was to be had in abundance, and during the ten days we were there we bagged nine cavies (the Patagonian hare), thirty-eight crested tinamou, fifty-one small tinamou, twenty-four deer, one ostrich, two armadillos, one fox, one swan, a flamingo, and some wildfowl.
A very ridiculous adventure happened to me at this place. I had landed with the intention of riding to Mr Mulhall's estancia, and a horse awaited me on the beach. The daughter of my host was not very well, so I brought ashore a basket of excellent Newfoundland port wine for her especial benefit. Having mounted my steed, I started for the estancia, with my gun over my shoulder, a heavy bag of cartridges on my back, and the basket of wine on my arm. Whether the horse objected to this cargo
I know not, but he promptly bolted at full gallop across the pampas. The reins broke and trailed on the ground, urging him on. I was powerless, but sat tight and hung on to my basket and gun. Away we went in a cloud of dust, heading straight for the estancia. On heaving in sight I observed a crowd turned out to see who was the lunatic approaching at such headlong speed, like John Gilpin: great was their amusement when they made out the " skipper," covered with dust and perspiration, swearing at his horse in the choicest Spanish. It looked as if the brute intended to brain himself and his rider against the brick walls of the building, but he pulled up short at the hall door, when I dismounted, none the worse, and with every bottle intact!
John Gilpin’s Ride
Proceeding southward, the next place of any interest is Port Madryn, in Nuevo Gulf. This is the seaport of the Welsh settlement of Chupat, and deserves more than a passing notice. The colony is situated on the banks of the Chupat river, and was founded in the year 1865 by Mr Luis Jones, who with a few Welshmen emigrated to that remote
THE WELSH SETTLEMENT OF CHUPAT
spot with the intention of establishing themselves in a part of the world where they would be unmolested, and where their beloved language would be preserved. The first settlers landed at Port Madryn; but after enduring great hardships, and finding the place unsuited for a permanent settlement, they removed to the Chupat river, forty-five miles to the southward, where they have prospered to an extent hardly conceivable, considering the nature of the country. Since our first visit in 1886 a railway has been completed to transport grain to the ships at Port Madryn, and the colony is now, I am happy to say, in a flourishing condition; but the early settlers had to undergo many vicissitudes of fortune. Being mostly miners, one can well understand the trials and difficulties they must have encountered when they first came to the country - a barren soil, no spring water, and but little firewood, cow-dung being largely used for fuel.
The Argentine Government, who have absorbed the whole of Patagonia, at first gave the emigrants every encouragement, being no doubt surprised that any one could be found to appreciate such a country. Each emigrant was granted a free passage from Buenos Ayres, and presented with 250 acres of land along the bank of the Chupat river: of these 250 acres, 50 were on an average under wheat when we visited the colony in 1886, and some three hundred farms were scattered along the valley for a distance of forty miles from the coast. At first the settlers were dependent upon the overflow of the river to irrigate their land, and the wheat crop was in consequence uncertain and precarious; but they have
since cut canals on both sides parallel with the stream, and by tapping the river higher up and making the canal of a flatter gradient, they can irrigate the land as desired. In 1885 the wheat crop was estimated at 5000 tons, and it was expected that 8000 per annum would be reached. The settlers possessed some 6000 sheep, 9000 cattle, and 1500 horses at that time.
The hope that they would be left to the peaceable enjoyment of their possessions has not been realised. The Argentine Government, jealous of their independence, promptly established an official port at Chupat, and levied a tax on all vessels discharging their cargoes in the river or at Port Madryn ; and not only that, but they have ordained that all children born in the colony are subjects of the Argentine Republic and are liable to be called out for any service in which the Government may think fit to employ them. Nor can the Argentine Government be blamed, for if emigrants think fit to settle down in a foreign land; they cannot expect the same protection from the British flag as they would have had if they had chosen one of the British colonies.
On my last visit to Chupat I vas accompanied by Bishop Stirling of the Falkland Islands, according to his title, but in reality Bishop of South America, seeing that his diocese extends to both sides of that vast continent. During our stay in the colony we were the guests of Mr Luis Jones, who entertained us most hospitably, and made our stay very agreeable. On our return to Port Madryn by special train, the engine-driver, desirous of showing off before his distinguished guests, put on speed and ran off the track, and it was some time before we
SPORT IN PATAGONIA.
could stop him. We took advantage of the delay to shoot a couple of guanacoes.
Both guanacoes and ostriches are abundant in all parts of Patagonia, though they have been thinned out in the neighbourhood of Chupat, where the settlers hunt them with deer-hounds. I shipped a young sportsman at San Blas who owned a brace of greyhounds, and we had some fine sport with them, hunting ostriches, guanacoes, deer, and cavies. I can fancy nothing more exhilarating than flying over the vast pampas in pursuit of any of these animals on a good horse, not a tree or fence or barbed wire to interfere, as the horse swishes through the pampas grass, disturbing deer, ostriches, and other game. Not but what there are some obstacles, and one day, whilst in pursuit of a deer which I had wounded, my horse put his foot into an armadillo-hole and pitched on his head, sending me flying several yards, my rifle going in one direction, my pipe in another. But I picked myself up, remounted, and ran the deer down. These South American horses are wonderful animals fed on alfafa, a kind of clover, they will go all day, and carry one for leagues at an easy canter. They don't know what corn is. Skunks are an abominable nuisance, and let one know of their proximity by their vile odour. I was shooting near Port Madryn on one occasion, and the bishop accompanied me for the sake of the walk. The day was hot, and I was working my dog in a valley when I observed his lordship waving for me: on joining him, he said there was a partridge under a bush. My dog went to the spot and received a dose from a skunk full in the face, nearly blinding him. The poor beast rolled on the ground in agony. I shot the skunk, but the dog was
useless for the rest of the day. I told the bishop that nothing would make me believe that Noah ever took such a stinking beast into the ark, and he admitted that it was unlikely.
On our last visit to the colony, in 1889, I was pleased to notice a marked improvement in their prospects : the people seemed in better condition, and were contented with their lot; yet I cannot but feel regret that they should have selected such a spot to found a colony, instead of one under the British rule, where their children would be brought up British subjects, their property respected, and their language not interfered with. Since penning these notes on Chupat, I observe the Welshmen have petitioned the Home Government to protect them against the Argentine authorities, but of course without avail. The colonists elected to settle on a foreign soil, and must take the consequences.
A few leagues to the southward of Nuevo Gulf is a place called Tova Island, where I put into for shelter one evening. That same night, as I was about to turn in, the officer of the watch reported the ship to be on fire. Running along the lower deck in my pyjamas with bare feet, I felt the deck quite hot. The fire was in the engine-room, and had already got a good hold, which was the more inexplicable as everything had been reported to me correct below when the first lieutenant went his round at 9 P.M., and the engine-room fires had been drawn. The place was so full of smoke we could not see to localise the fire, so I ordered the engine-room skylights to be opened to allow the smoke to escape, when we were able to tackle it; but it took us several hours to suppress it, and some oil-tanks got dangerously
THE PATAGONIAN INDIAN.
hot. The fire had originated by spontaneous combustion: fortunately the ship was not injured.
Tova Island had been at one time used by a party of sealers : the place was deserted, but we found their hut and boiling-house. All old horse was the sole occupant of the island: we saw him from the ship on several occasions, and parties went in pursuit of him, but he always mysteriously disappeared. Some would not believe in his existence, but when we steamed out of the harbour, there was the old horse quietly feeding on the hill-top!
South of Nuevo Gulf, which is in 43° S. latitude (approximately), to the Straits of Magellan in 53°, the country is uninhabited. There may be a few Indians remaining on that desolate shore, but we never saw any, or signs of human life, on our visits to the coast. There is a great fascination in visiting an uninhabited country, and how few places remain on the earth where this is possible. That it was once inhabited is of course known, and we found skulls and human remains on the tops of the mountains at St Elena Bay; but the Patagonian Indian, as a tribe, does not exist. Possibly there may be some scattered population farther inland towards the slopes of the Andes, but on the coast they appear to have been wiped out.
To the geologist Patagonia must have many points of interest: at numerous places the petrified remains of antediluvian animals are to be found, especially in the neighbourhood of Bahia Blanca, where the beach is also strewed with lengths of fused sand, forming a solid bar of about an inch in diameter. These " lightningrods," noticed by Darwin in his `Cruise of the Beagle,' are caused by lightning passing through loose sand
and fusing it. Evidence is plain that the whole continent of South America has at one time been submerged. Along the coast, many miles inland, old beaches scattered with oyster-shells may be seen; and at an elevation of 200 and 300 feet above sealevel, oyster-shells, petrified fish, and skeletons of whales are found. This would point to a sudden upheaval of the land, or possibly a gradual subsidence of the waters. In cutting the Chupat railway an oyster-bed was discovered 300 feet above sealevel, and fossil remains of fish at a height of 500 feet: the petrified remains of a whale were discovered in a lagoon ten miles from the salt water. Walking along the shore, I picked up many agates of considerable beauty, and similar stones are found in the Falkland Isles. We also picked up stone and flint arrow-heads along the coast, which must have belonged to a prehistoric race, existing before the conquest of the country by the Spaniards; for since the introduction of horses by them, the bolas and laso have been substituted for the bow and arrow.
One day, whilst strolling with my rifle on the barren plain between Port Madryn and Chupat, I came across a very conspicuous mound shaped like a sugar-loaf. It glistened in the sun like alabaster so I went to examine it. It proved to be a natural formation, composed of a substance resembling mica, having the appearance of vitrified sand, which caused it to glisten. I climbed to the top to have a look round, and had a fine view of the surrounding country. The height I should estimate at about 100 feet. It seemed to me to have been thrown up by volcanic agency, but I could gain no information on the subject.
To any one interested in sport I can recommend Cracker Bay, in Nuevo Gulf. It is a fairly good anchorage, and there are plenty of ostriches, guanacoes, and some wild cattle in the vicinity. Whilst at anchor off this place we spotted a solitary old bull feeding. It was blowing hard at the time, so I made a signal to one of the small ships lying in shore of us, " Bull, south-east, five cables." As no notice was taken, though the signal was affirmed, I manned my galley, and, accompanied by two officers and my coxswain, we landed and proceeded to stalk the beast. The ground was favourable, and we got up to within 40 or 50 yards, when we gave him a broadside as he lay. This caused him to jump up and come charging down the hill; but not seeing us, he passed close by, giving us a fine chance, and we grassed him. This bull had probably run wild from some herd. His carcass provided us with 800 lb. of excellent meat.
The Valdez Peninsula, connected with the mainland by a narrow neck, is also a fine sporting locality; but the best places on the coast of Patagonia are undoubtedly St Elena Bay and Egg Harbour. The former is an open anchorage, but safe with the wind off shore; the latter is perfectly secure in any weather. At both places we had excellent sport, bagging fourteen guanacoes at St Elena in two days, and thus keeping the ship's company supplied with fresh meat where no other could be got.
The flesh of the guanaco is not unlike venison, but requires keeping; the Patagonian hare, or " cavy," is also excellent; and parts of the ostrich are considered good, but do not look tempting. I made a " gallery" shot at one just as it was disappearing over the sky
line at 200 yards. Stalking guanacoes is fine sport : the animals have a keen sense of smell and vision, like a deer, and the ground is not so favourable as it is in the Highlands of Scotland, being undulating, and destitute of trees or cover of any kind. Moreover, the guanacoes always post a sentry, an old buck, on the highest elevation, to give notice of danger; so it is necessary to be cautious. The great drawback to shooting in that country is the absence of fresh water, nearly all the lagoons or springs being brackish, which seems to suit the guanaco.
I shall now take leave of Patagonia, and say a few words about the Falkland Isles, a place we visited four seasons running-viz., 1886, '87, '88, and '89 The best time to visit these islands is in the summer, from December to March, and even at that season it blows a gale almost every day, but the anchorages are so good that there is no risk for a steam-vessel. It is a curious fact that the Falklands, like our northern colony of Newfoundland, have been successively inhabited and claimed by French, Spaniards, and English; and at the present time the Argentines maintain that they belong rightly to them, a claim which is ignored by us. Hence, as in Newfoundland, many of the capes, bays, and harbours still retain the names given them by their former possessors, such as Port Louis, Salvador, Bougainville, Rincon-grande, Arroyo-malo, San Carlos, &c. Wildfowl of every description, including swans, geese, duck, widgeon, and teal, abound in countless thousands, and are so tame as to give but little sport ; but as they are good for the table, we always shot what we required for the pot, and on one occasion I, with two mids, bagged one hundred geese in a day. Rabbits have also been
introduced on the outlying islands, and multiplied to such an extent that we killed over two thousand on one small island. There are still wild cattle existing in some places, and we had some good sport with them, as they invariably charge when wounded. The principal industry is sheep-farming. Sheep thrive well, are fat, and carry heavy fleeces. Shiploads of frozen carcasses have been sent to England, but I am not aware if the venture has proved financially a success.
The Falklands comprise two large islands and several small ones, the area of the whole being half that of Ireland. The population is under 2000, of whom 800 are at Stanley, the principal settlement and seat of government. In some parts of the West Falkland may be seen a remarkable formation noticed by Darwin and others. From a distance one sees apparently a mountain torrent descending to the sea, but a closer inspection shows it to be a stream of stones. I landed to inspect this curious freak of nature, and found it to be composed of a mass of boulders filling up the bottom of a valley, the banks on either side being peat. How those stones came there it is difficult to say, unless carried by ice in bygone ages. Underneath the boulders running water could be seen and heard. It is a singular phenomenon, and is not, to my knowledge, to be met with elsewhere.
<-Chapter 16 - Chapter 18->
^ back to top ^