Page:Journal of a Voyage to Greenland, in the Year 1821.djvu/120

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one hundred and fifty yards from us, we saw the vapour of its breathing issue from a small opening in the ice; like smoke from a chimney, it rose until it mingled with, and was lost in the atmosphere, and, immediately afterwards, we beheld the object of our pursuit. Never even in my youth, when numbered among the keenest of sportsmen, did I feel so much delight at the sight of game as on this occasion. The boat was instantly brought to the edge of the ice, and the harpooner, being armed with his weapon while the boat's crew and myself conveyed line, we all ran to the spot where the fish was lying; it appeared much above the surface of the water, and had a harpoon already attached to it; our harpooner soon drove his weapon into its mountain back, when the fish instantly went under the ice, and ran out two lines, with a velocity truly astonishing, for its friction in passing round the bollard enveloped us in smoke. The fish rose to breath in a small opening, about half a mile distant; and the contrast of its black arched back, rising above the surface of ice, which was covered with the purest white, had a most extraordinary appearance. The crew of a boat stationed in a bight where we had left the ship, pursuing a similar plan, carried with them a harpoon and lines, and soon struck it again, but it swam off with equal rapidity, until it rose about a quarter of a mile from us. Though I now hastened with two lances towards the spot, it went down tail foremost before I arrived, and therefore I returned to the boat, and found that it had not