Australian Search Party - A Record Of Discovery, Geography, And Adventure By Charles Henry Eden

 -   Small chance for the poor
fugitive, with the ravenous shark following silent and inexorable.  We lay
on our oars and - Page 5
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Small Chance For The Poor Fugitive, With The Ravenous Shark Following Silent And Inexorable.

We lay on our oars and watched the result.

The hunted fish doubles, springs aloft, and dives down, but all in vain; the black fin is not to be thrown off, double as he may. Anon the springs become more feeble, the pursuer's tail partly appears as he pushes forward with redoubled vigour, a faint splash is heard, the waters curl into an eddy, and the monster sinks noiselessly to enjoy his breakfast in the cooler depths beneath. And now we come to a sand bank running out some miles or so into the bay, and on which the water is less than three fathoms. Here the surface is broken by huge black objects, coming clumsily to the top, shooting out a jet of spray, and again disappearing. We let the boat glide gently along until she rests motionless above the bank, and stooping over the side with our faces close to the water, and sheltered by our hands, we can peer down into the placid depths, and see the huge animals grazing on the submarine vegetation with which their favourite feeding-place is thickly overgrown. But what animal is he talking about? the reader will ask. It is the dugong ('Halicore Australis'), or sea-cow, from whence is extracted an oil equal to the cod-liver as regards its medicinal qualities, and far superior to it in one great essential, for instead of a nauseous disagreeable flavour, it tastes quite pleasantly.

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