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their preserves.

What I do preventing them from straying not relish is the thought of or falling into the sea, but were walking inadvertently on top not performing their duty very of a sea-lion as he lies in a cleft conscientiously. For with these of the rocks, or, worse still, animals the mating season folon a tussac bog.

lows immediately on the birth Nature has done her best to of the pup, and the “wigs supply the deficiency of trees were fighting to secure a place with the tussac-grass. This on which to collect their harem grows in large clumps on a of twenty or thirty wives. The stool, locally called a bog, unfortunate pups got kicked which may be four feet high, out of the way in all directions. the grass rising perhaps an- They do not seem to mind other six or eight feet. One falling about on the rocks-all can penetrate tussac by dodg- seals appear to be as indestructing between the bogs, but one ible as india-rubber; but it cannot see a foot before one. must be a troublesome job for If the lion is lying on the top their mothers to find them of the bog, as is his habit, again, and a good many must one may come face to face get drowned. Young seals have with him at any moment. to be made to swallow stones These creatures are the curse before they take to the water, of the country; they ought to otherwise they go down by the be shot, boiled down, or other head ; indeed, many authorities wise disposed of. Not only do say that no seal can swim withthey spoil the tussac, which is out ballast.

But others say a most valuable feed and threat they use the stones to knock ened with extinction, but they off intestinal worms. I am not eat up all the fish and any. an authority, merely a tranthing else they can get, and scriber of stories I have heard they annoy the fur seals. Yet from those who are. one is not allowed to kill them, The fur seals have the most perhaps because unless a care- charming babies I know; their ful watch was kept a good mothers are matchless for grace many fur seals would get killed in the water, and by no means by mistake, and fur seals are lacking in that quality on the very strictly protected.

rocks. Of the bulls, the young In consequence of the protec- bachelors, I saw nothing. I tion the fur seals are increasing did not wonder at their disrapidly, at any rate in the cretion when I saw those hidrookery I visited. On this eous old “wigs” watching for one little rock there were some any possible competitors in the two thousand pups--postulat- marriage market. At the best ing the same number of cows, of times they are no beauties, who were all away fishing, but after their battles they were and over a hundred wigs,' a shocking sight, and all the old bulls who were supposed to island was running with their be looking after the children, blood. It was a hot day, and

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I was not sorry to get off it climb up the steepest place again.

they can manage so that seals The other distinctive fowl of shall not follow and eat them. these parts are the penguins. But I should put my money To visit them I crossed a on the seal. pleasantly prosperous farm. On the second question the Stanley might be on one of authorities are not helpful ; those deplorable lochs in North they merely assert that the Uist, but West Point Island birds do breed and feed there, might lie off the coast of Cork. supposing that fish descend A warm current in the sea, a like manna for their benefit. more kindly soil, and more I venture to advance a theory. careful farming give the west Adjoining the penguin rookery quite a different aspect.

you will find a rookery of mollyI went, it seemed, a pro- mawks, and many of the latter digious way up the hill on this standing like sentries among side, and a very short way down the penguins. They do not on the other; I do not know do this for pleasure ; penguins how many hundred feet above are a quarrelsome, noisy, and the sea I was when I came to rather dirty folk, while the the edge of the cliff and found molly is a dignified old gentlethe penguins there, of all places. man. He may be : he is six Not only grown birds, but eggs, feet across the wings, and can and chickens, who would grow point his arguments with a as big as their parents, and beak a foot long. But he canpresumably require just as much not catch fish as well as the food before they were fledged. penguin. I suggest that the Here was a twofold problem latter contracts to supply him laid before me. One part: why on condition that a certain do the Rockhopper penguins percentage is delivered at the make their rookery at the top rookery. Whether this be true of a cliffThe other : how do or not, he does the penguin one they get up there, themselves, good turn: he keeps that intheir dinners, and the dinners veterate robber, the skua gull, of their children? On the first away; and I suppose is paid question the authorities are something on that account. divided, some maintaining that All penguins display very the rookery was originally on bad manners in the family a flat rock near the sea, and circle, but most of them treat that later upheavals, landslips, larger animals like men and and other modifications of the mollymawks civilly enough. form of the earth have left it The ringed penguin of Anvers on a steep rock far away from Island, another rock-dweller, the sea, the penguins, the was particularly friendly. He most conservative of birds, de- used a formidable enough beak clining to shift for such trivial on his own species, but only geological processes. The other responded to my advances by school maintains that they beating my fingers with his


flippers, his equivalent, I sup- wanting to cross a snow-clad pose, for shaking hands. But ice-floe, makes no attempt to I saw him knocking an ob- walk. He falls prone, and streperous youngster sprawling sculls himself along on his with a blow of his—what shall stomach. And the ringed penI call them 1-arms, forelegs, guin had a delightful game. flippers ? They serve all pur- He had made a trough, a sort poses at need.

of toboggan run, down a snow You cannot make free with slope that finished on top of a all penguins, however. Therefifty-foot sea cliff; down this is a surly solitary bird that he slid and plunged head first lives in a burrow and brays like into the water. The pioneers an ass. He bites.

must have hit a good many These cliff-dwellers, though rocks before the run was fast

mean climbers, are poor enough to shoot them clear; pedestrians. There is but you can't hurt a penguin species to which a two-mile any more than you can a seal. walk is a trifle. They lay their It may be wondered how I eggs on the open hillside. I saw ice-floes and snow-slopes do not say they build ; their in the Falkland Islands, where nests are never finished, for frost is rare, and fuchsias luxurias soon as a few sticks are col- ate in the open. Included in the lected they all start stealing Government of Stanley are over from each other; meanwhile three million square miles of the bens do their business the Antarctic continent and where and how they can. A its adjacent islands. But the procession of these birds, march- people of the Falklands, jealing solemnly in single file along ous of the reputation of their their smooth-beaten road, is climate, do not regard these quite imposing ; not so if they southern lands as part of their get off into the rough, for their country, but relegate them to legs are so short that they trip the inferior status of dependenover roots and stones, and, if cies. I thought the objection you hurry them, scuttle away was frivolous, and went to see on all-fours. Another species, the southern lands for myself.



Again I found myself a pas

crossed the sixtieth senger, travelling two hundred parallel. I see now how I got miles a day towards the South foul of snow in the Pacific ; Pole. I take fine weather as I did not go far enough south. it comes, and am thankful ; We had raised the outlying but the dwellers in cold and of the South Shetlands before stormy Stanley were surprised we sighted anything of interest. at finding themselves sitting First, whales ; of these we took in deck-chairs on the bridge particular note, for we were to join a whale-ship and might whale - catchers and launches be fishing these grounds next scurrying about, an all-pervadday. Then an iceberg, small ing smell of whale, and incesand far away, but very won. sant cries of the millions of derful when seen for the first Cape pigeons that were gorging time. And in succession more on the refuse, for Port Foster whales and more ice, and occa- is an important whaling centre, sionally a lofty glacier - clad and at the time rivalled Stanley mountain-but seldom these, in population. for our weather had suffered a Considering that thirty or temporary lapse, unexplained forty whales may be dealt with at the time, and it closed in a here in a day, the place was dirty night.

surprisingly little offensive. Day was just breaking as we But every part of the animal hauled in for our first port, is used, except the whaleDeception Island. We seemed bone. (Fortunately every part to be heading for an unbroken does not go into the boilers ; wall of rock a thousand feet some comes to the dinner-table high when all of a sudden the in the form of the tastiest fillet entrance disclosed itself. Be- steak I have met since leaving tween the vertical cliff to star- Dublin.) The residual matterboard and the steep hillside but the technology is uninterto port lies a quarter of a mile esting. of water, but a mid-channel A slight improvement in the shoal constricts the fairway to weather tempted us to see the a cable's length. Our passage sights. Deception is a crater of this was disputed by a small with the bottom fallen out; iceberg going in and a whale- it is still sufficiently active to catcher going out; we kept so emit hot sulphurous gases and close to the side that one boiling water, quite enough to imagined a stone might fall on demoralise any weather in that our decks from the crumbling latitude, for the average shade rocks which hung over our temperature was little above heads.

freezing. At any rate, whenThe place is of an incredibly ever I saw it, Deception was ferocious aspect, doubly so in under a cloud. that cold and windy twilight, The harbour—the crater lake when the red pinnacles of lava -has a coast line of some looked as dark as the heaps of fifteen miles. This we circumblack volcanic sand which pro- navigated in a launch. It is truded from the base of the somewhat irregular in shape, Snows. But a short passage for here and there glaciers have through the breach in the crater pushed heaps of moraine into wall opened up a vast harbour the water. These glaciers are in which was quite a little town. most instructive. They are There were seven great steamers very small, but passing over moored along the beach, smoke (and under, and through) loose rising from a factory on shore, gravels they produce a tremen


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dous effect on the form of the we approached the limit of the

It is impossible to tell cloud-cap that grows like a where ice underlies the piles of mushroom out of Deception, an rubbish, and where is dry amazing vision leaped into the moraine, till the whole comes broadening belt of blue sky down to the water's edge, and that lay along the horizon, a is there exposed in section. pile of frozen clouds, borrowing Here the two materials are all his delicate tints from the strangely intermingled. The lately-risen sun. On the charts ice is banded with lines of it is given a position and the sand, in one place swelling in name of Smith Island, but I lenticular masses, in another do not believe it to be real ; dying out, and everywhere it is like nothing earthly. Every highly contorted, looking for all fine day—and all days were the world like a cliff of gneiss. fine-while we were in these When the glacial period closes, waters that wonderful appariwhat strange patterns will be tion hung in the sky over us ; formed by the residual sands; and it was the last, as well as what a puzzle to those who the first, sight we had of things have not seen them in the very much better than the making! An interesting island South Shetlands. to the geologist, but fearfully For we were going to pass depressing

spectacle. through Belgica Straits, beRound the gloomy lake stand tween Graham Land and the as it were vast pithead banks, Palmer Archipelago, and there varied by patches of dirty snow, is nothing in the world more all black - and - white except beautiful than the mountains where some reddish spikes stand that border that passage. Here out like ruined engine-houses at sea-level in the Antarctic built of cheap brick. You one gets atmospheric effects cannot see the clean snows of unknown at the greater heights the heights, you cannot see from which one sees the Alps blue sky; a canopy of cloud (I maintain that in Switzerland presses

down. You cannot one should be blindfolded till look out on sunlight and col- one is nine thousand feet up); our, the breach in the prison and I shall always think the walls is too narrow. It is the latter crude in colour and harsh abomination of ugliness.

in line after the soft shades of Such are all recently volcanic the Solvay Range and the districts ; but the whole of the golden light of Graham Land. Dependency is not so new, for And there was ice, floating it comprises Graham Land and in, reflected in the glassy all that part of Antarctica as water; ahead and to starfar as the South Pole. In this board dazzling white on a pool direction we continued, fol- of bright blue; to port and lowed out of harbour by the astern pale green against a sea customary snowstorm. But as of cream ; some bergs square,

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