Виталий Е. Ермолин, студент холодных вод (seminarist) wrote,
Виталий Е. Ермолин, студент холодных вод

На металлических крючках

Описание медвежьей охоты на льду на роликовых лыжах достойно Мюнхгаузена.

One of the most remarkable adventures and escapes during a bear hunt was that of Mr. Morgan, a much respected English merchant at S. Petersburg, who in his youth, not very long ago, was one of the handsomest young men in Russia. He was very fond of bear hunting on the ice, but there was one bear so ferocious, that no one would venture to go and kill it. At last Mr. Morgan persuaded three peasants to go with him. The hunters wear long boots on the ice, fastened to pieces of wood several feet in length, and the wood is on rollers. Then they stride out, and away they go at fifty miles an hour. Mr Morgan was rushing thus along the ice and the peasants after him, when out came the bear. He fired and the animal fell. Then, thinking the bear was mortally wounded, he discharged his other pistol, and, immediately after, the bear jumped up and rushed at him. He had given his knife to one peasant and his stick to another to hold, and, when he looked round, both the peasants had fled, and he was quite defenseless.

In his boots he could not turn, he could only make a circuit, so he jumped out of them and tried to sink into the snow. He sank, but unfortunately not entirely, for the top of his head remained above the snow. The bear came and tore off the top of his head and both his eyelids, then it hobbled away; but the cold was so great, Mr. Morgan scarcely felt any pain. By-and-by the peasants returned, and he heard them say, 'There is the bear, sunk into the snow; now we can kill him.' Then Mr. Morgan called out, 'Oh no, indeed, I am not the bear,' and they came and dug him out. But when they saw what a state he was in, they said, 'Well now it is evident that you must die, so we must leave you, but we will make you a fire, that you may die comfortably, for, as for carrying you four days' journey back to S. Petersburg, that is quite impossible.'

But Mr Morgan offered the peasants so large a reward if they would only take him to some refuge, that at last they consented, and they picked up the eyelids too, and carried them to a neighbouring house. There, the old woman of the place, when she saw the eyelids, said, 'Oh, I will make that all right,' and she stuck them on; but she stuck them on the wrong sides, and they continued wrong as long as Mr. Morgan lived.
Tags: augustus hare
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