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EVENINGS AT HOME; OR, WINTER IN SPITZBERGEN.* (Continued from page 162.)

EIGHTH EVENING.

How great was the sympathy which the

children felt in the fates of the unfortunate men in Spitzbergen, must be evident to you, my young friends, from all that you have hitherto read about them. This sympathy increased the further the story proceeded, and particularly the conclusion of yesterday evening must have made them the more eager to learn the result of this dangerous and adventurous expedition. They could the more vividly imagine to themselves the condition of the old pilot, so worthy of pity, and the yet more sad fate of the two who were wandering about, when exactly at this very time the cold of winter had risen to an unusual height. Scarcely did they dare to go out of their own sheltered dwelling, or leave their warm room; and there were many examples of luckless travellers who were half frozen, or even frozen to death on their way. "How nice it is, that we can sit in a warm room!" said Julia, when some labourers with frosty hair ard blue frozen visages, passed under the windows over the creaking snow.

MOTHER. Thank God for this blessing! many poor children must be without it, and many a poor traveller is compelled by his business to be now on his way. Gus. How would it be now, if we could look at Spitzbergen?

MARIA. What could the two unfortunate wanderers do, who could never find a warm room?

JULIA. I am very much in fear for them. If they were to perish in the dreadful cold!

MARIA. And the poor pilot were to find only their dead bodies!

JULIA. I have indeed imagined to myself the very worst. You know well, how father said we should have to pity the poor men still more?

Gus. Well, I do not yet fear the worst. A man can bear much, and I hope we may see our friends again.

MAX. The question will soon be decided. Our father is coming.

*From the German of C. Hildebrandt, by

E. G. Smith.

FATHER. (entering). What will soon be decided?

ALL. What had become of Ivan and Gregory; whether they were so happy as again to find their way back.

FATHER. And for that I am come.In spite of the ever-increasing cold, we will take our way towards Spitzbergen. We yesterday evening left the brave pilot, sometimes keeping up the shining fire on the rock, sometimes walking back and forth uneasily, in and before the hut, and anxiously waiting for his friends. Now, at this moment, he had at the risk of his life, mounted the rock; the air was pure and clear, the stars twinkled, the moon shone clear and bright, and the snowcovered vale, lay all white before him. Then he heard in the desolate silence on the crackling snow, the footsteps of some one going forward slowly. He soon perceived how these bent round the wall of rock, and recognized them as the two missing ones. He cried out; but he received no answer. Already this frightened him; yet he was more disquieted by their slow, creeping progress. He hastened to meet them; but, in what a state he found the unfortunates! Both of them had contended, for eight-and-forty hours long, with the most dreadful cold, without having had the comfort of a warm fire. They had really lost themselves, had taken an entirely different direction, and they would never have returned, had they not observed the flame kindled on the rock.

Now they came forward; but scarcely could they raise an arm, and it was with extreme effort they kept themselves on their feet: their faces and hands were swollen with cold; already they could not speak any more, and they sank down before the hut.

JULIA. How pleasant and good to them must have been the warm fire in the cave!

cisely their misfortune; they would have FATHER. This would have been prebeen obliged to repent of this imprudence,

with the loss of most of their limbs.

The pilot managed more wisely. Close to the hut lay snow, many feet deep. With incredible labour he raised the hard frozen top crust, undressed his friends, who were

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unconscious and wholly involuntary, and buried them in the snow. Here he let them lie almost half an hour. Then the poor men felt as if new life ran through their limbs, consciousness returned, and they again recovered their speech. "Lie there only a few minutes more," said the pilot, who went into the cave, laid their dry clothing ready, set the tea on the fire, and then returned back with a woollen blanket. He first took Ivan out of his snow-bath, led him into the cavern, dried him, clothed him with clean linen, and laid him in the newly-prepared bed. In a few minutes, Gregory was treated in the same way: both felt themselves more strengthened and enlivened the longer they had both been deprived of it. Soon all three of them sank into a sound sleep, which lasted several hours; and this beneficial rest soon restored again their strength to the invalids. But now the pilot reproached them for their rashness.

Gus. This they had not properly deserved. They had acted with the best design.

FATHER. This could not excuse them. Ivan and Gregory were to blame for exposing themselves to dangers, for which they were not suited, and that they had ventured into regions which were wholly unknown to them. But I ought first to assure you, that these rebukes were spoken in the mild tone of a father, and were received with modesty and docility. "But where, then, have you been?" asked the good pilot. "According to your description you have come from the opposite side." Both of them told him, that they had noticed at a distance a herd of animals of the deer kind, such as they had never before seen; on closer consideration they were convinced that they were reindeer, but they had not been able to get up near enough to shoot one of them. In the heat of their pursuit, they had lost their course, and had only been guided again to the right direction by the fire burning on the top of the rock.

"Reindeer?" said the pilot. "These animals are not wont to go but rarely far from their place of rest. Their food, the small moss, which they scratch out from under the snow, they find all around. They, therefore, must have their bed in near inaccessible cavern of this

some

region." Ivan assured him, that where they had seen the animals, there was a ridge of frightful rocks. "There, then, is their bed; we will soon go there to search for them. But we will all three of us go: I will not let you go alone again!"

The pilot related to his two friends that in their absence he had made many new discoveries.

MARIA. Ha, ha! the new dish of spoon-wort!

FATHER. An important discovery for our friends. He told them how he had found, on the upper floor of the hut, the store of dry moss, and the skins, from which he had prepared the beautiful soft beds on which they lay. "But," he added, "I have made a very sad discovery."

Gus. And what was this?

This

FATHER. He had examined the supply of powder, and found that only six round of cartridges with balls, and hardly two charges of powder remained. He knew that his friends had yet less, and this discovery must naturally have made him very sorrowful. For, if their supply of powder failed, their beautiful fire-arms were worth no more than a stout, strong cudgel. What should they defend themselves with? With what kill the animals necessary for their subsistence? necessity must put them in the greatest trouble. Ivan and Gregory also examined their supply of powder, and found that it was still smaller. Thus they saw themselves necessitated to think of some other means, and provide some new weapons. "Give me your supply of powder and ball," said the pilot, "we must carefully preserve it against the greatest need. The guns we will polish up nicely and lay them aside; they are now of no use to us." Necessity is the mother of invention. The truth of this proverb proved itself most clearly in the case of our friends. You remember that, on their arrival in the cavern they found many articles of tools, the value of which they now knew for the first time. Every piece of iron was carefully examined, each by itself, and properly considered, and set apart for some possible use. A hard stone served for an anvil; with hammer and tongs, which they had found, the bayonets were wrought over and fastened to stout poles. Thus they had a lance, with which

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Still

a person in case of necessity could pierce
the body of a bear. The pilot who, in

behind its saline (or salt) particles.
more are these found in the clefts or hol-

ern nations, recollected their bows and
arrows. The best wood for the purpose
was sought for, the bow cut out, and the
arrows made; but, alas! there was want-
ing the rest of it, the string, which was
to despatch the arrow on its swift way.

JULIA. You know how Robinson Crusoe managed to help himself in such a case of necessity? He took the fibres of some plants like flax, and twisted them into a cord.

his former voyages had seen many north-lows of the rocks. But how should our poor friends find this salt on the ground covered with snow a yard thick, especially in the night? The old pilot well knew this; but the insuperable difficulties were too clearly before his mind for him even to make the attempt. It was, therefore, a fortunate circumstance that the spoonwort was found, the sour taste of which, in some degree, made up for the want of salt. It was extremely necessary for health, and prevented many diseases which otherwise must have existed. Their daily exercise and industry in their toil, and the fine, pure spring-water contributed also to keep the three friends in sound health, although they had to contend with more than common difficulties.

MAX. The only difficulty here was, that these did not grow in Spitzbergen.

FATHER. No, they did not. These plants grow only in warm regions. But it almost always happens that a man finds out something to help himself, when he uses his reason aright. The entrails of the last bear they had killed lay like lumps of ice frozen together in the trench before the hut. The pilot seized hold of them, thawed them with hot water, cleansed them, and by means of some wooden pins, they twisted them into a firm strong cord. The experiment succeeded beyond all their expectation, in using this cord as a bowstring. For arrows they chose out the hardest wood; and our friends soon managed so well in the working of iron, that they provided themselves with many of them headed with little sharp iron points. Instead of feathers, they took finally split wood; and this kind of weapon at last became so perfect, that the three archers could shoot through a board at a moderate distance.

Thus they were now provided for this want; but soon another pressed on them, which was as important. And this was the entire want of salt, which they needed indispensably for the fat hard bear's flesh. Until now they had used gunpowder for this purpose; but henceforth they must use it most sparingly.

MAX. Had no one, then, been able to find anything like salt?

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FATHER. Not only something sembling salt, but salt itself, if the season of the year had only been favourable. On the shore of the sea there is often water thrown on the land in a storm, and which remains. In the air, and by the heat of the sun, the water evaporates, leaving

Severe as thus far had been the cold in the months of January and February, it reached the height of which we can scarcely have any idea, and thus the wretchedness of these three brave men rose to the highest pitch. Hardly could the unfor tunates, who certainly were not effeminate, remain in the open air long enough to bring the wood they needed, although this now lay only about a thousand feet from them. Of further excursions to search for the means of living they could hardly think, even in the warm bear-skins in which they were clothed.

MARIA. But what were they to do when their supplies in the meat-chamber gave out?

FATHER. They would, in the true sense of the word, have been starved, if Providence, which never leaves men wholly helpless, had not taken care for them in an extraordinary way. In the valley in which lay the hut, there were often visitors.

Gus. Certainly, bears.

FATHER. Yes. These guests-whether they were driven here by the weather from unknown parts, or were attracted by the greater warmth of the valley-caused our friends many a fright when the growling and roaring of these animals before the hut waked them out of their sleep, or broke in on their labour.

MARIA. But if now they should press into the hut?

FATHER. This could not be done so easily, as the trench was too broad and

deep, its slope was too smooth, and the bridge was drawn off on the inside. Commonly the bears fell into the trench, and then our friends immediately hastened thither armed with long, sharp spears, and in this way killed many, without using a single charge of powder.

Until now all three, wretchedly as they were obliged to live, had enjoyed firm health, and apparently such as would continue unimpaired; but now they underwent one of the hardest of their trialstheir beautiful bond of friendship must be broken. The good old pilot, who was much the eldest of them, was suddenly taken sick. His great age, and his excessive exertions, his really miserable means of food, his fruitless longing to see again his wife and children, with his anxiety for he future-all these together had operated very injuriously on his health. Sick and near to death he lay there, unable to undertake even the least business. You may imagine the feelings of his two friends, as they looked at the deathly pale face of the sick man, listened to his painful breathing, and yet could not help him! With wounded hands, with hearts ready to burst, with tears in their eyes, they stood at the bedside of anguish of the man so dear to them, who was more than a friend, and indeed was a father to them. The best of children could not more feelingly minister all the relief they could to their sick father, or take more anxious care of him, than Ivan and Gregory now did to him. They sat beside the bed-side of the good man, ho was continually growing weaker, read o him from the Bible and the hymn-book the choicest passages, attended to every wish which the sufferer expressed with unwearied readiness, felt no fatigue, no hunger, no thirst, and would gladly have borne for him his pains, if they could thus have restored him to breath and life; but it seemed as though Providence was bringing, for some good purpose, the worst suffering on the two young men their prayer must be in vain.

Ivan, who had watched many hours beside the bed of his friend, overcome with exhaustion, had fallen into a little slumber, while Gregory had gone to the spring to get some water. Ivan had not observed that he had gone away, when a loud and distressing groaning and rattling of the

throat awaked him. He looked towards the sick man, who at this moment sank back lifeless,-and now with glazed eyes, but with a peaceful countenance of one softly fallen asleep, lay there like a slumberer. At Ivan's cry of anguish, Gregory hastened thither; and there he stood, shocked at the sight. They both had been prepared for a long time for this moment; but yet they were so overcome that they could not command their words or thoughts. When they had first given vent to their oppressed hearts in a flood of tears, they sank down upon the body of the noble man, holding it together in their arms, vowing to each other eternal fidelity and friendship. The spirit of their friend that had fled must have been witness to this covenant. "And now let us leave the noble man to his rest," said Ivan, in deep emotion. "He is better off than we are. He has passed away from all-all that yet awaits us!" With these words he kissed the cold lips of the lifeless one. "Let us now go out into the open air," said Gregory. "We have spent a long time in this close cavern. The sight of that body affects me too much."

They covered the corpse with many skins, took each a spear and bow, bolted the hut, climbed out of the window, and when they had passed over the trench, drew up the bridge after them. For a long time they went forward silently; they spoke of the dead, lamented their loss, and with anxious care waited for the coming day. Thus they wandered on without any certain object, and indeed, without feeling at all the severe cold. Their way led them to a ledge of rocks, into which they had not yet been; they lay on the other side of that frozen bay or basin, on the shore of which there was a large quantity of driftwood. A ravine, almost like a beaten hollow way, lay open before them. The snow was trodden down like the track, or as the hunters say, the trail, of ani mals of the deer kind. Wondering at this appearance, they both of them ascended the hollow way, and found in the slope a little hole, where they rested for some hours, in order to warm themselves by a fire which they had concluded to kindle. There was dry wood and brush enough there. They brought a heap together, and were thinking of setting them

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on fire, when a noise re-echoing from a distance, and continually approaching, was heard

JULIA. A visit of bears, certainly? FATHER. No, not this time!-It was a visit indeed, but not of so unwelcome a kind. A large flock of reindeer came there over the plain, and turned exactly towards the hollow way. Scarcely had they gone on, than they noticed the heaps of wood, and made a sudden halt. It was only with the greatest caution, that they set themselves once more in motion, and gradually approached nearer, till finally one of them ventured on a daring leap, close to the heap of wood, upon which immediately the others followed, and, swift as an arrow, run up the hollow way. They soon disappeared from sight of the two friends, who lay hidden in the cave.

"Only go back to the hollow way, and bring as much dry wood as you can carry." Ivan went; and when he had returned back with what was wished, they both of them kindled a large fire before the entrance of the hole, and soon they could hear plainly, how the distressed animals continually crowded closer into the back portion of the cave.

MARIA. What good did the fire do? FATHER. Very much. It troubled still more the shy animals, and so they could be the easier caught. Besides, the fire shone into the cavern, and our two friends dared, therefore, the more to go in. The nearer they came to the animals, the further these crowded back and pressed on close up to the wall. The young men followed cautiously, when Gregory suddenly seized hold of the foot of one of these animals. It did not stir, and Gregory, to whom it at once occurred not to kill the creature, but to take it alive, tied the hind feet together with his sword-belt. Ivan on his part was equally fortunate; and he too had fettered an animal.

"Now let us go!" said Gregory. "The others must have free passage out: we will not hinder them." Both of them left the cave-they went into a place aside, and watched the outlet. A long time passed, but they saw no animal. Finally, one of them came to the entrance, looked round carefully, and, as if in trouble; advanced forward some steps, looked around him again, and quick as lightning sprung down the hill, and the whole herd followed with a rush.

"Strange!" said Ivan. "The bed of the animals must be about here, and the hollow way probably leads thither."

"We shall know better if we follow their track," answered Gregory. "Let us go after them. Perhaps we may succeed in taking one of them."

way.

Forgetting the cold and their fire, they followed the trail. All at once they came to a rocky basin, the lofty wall of which rose high up on all sides in crags; on the narrow and enclosed spot, the obscurity became greater, and nowhere was there to be seen any other outlet than the hollow The reindeer had vanished. Our two hunters indeed followed their track as long as they could discern it in the snow, but soon they came to the bold foot of a rock, where, of course, every vestige dis- Gus. But those they had bound? appeared. It seemed inconceivable to both FATHER. For these Ivan and Gregory of them whither the animals had gone. waited in vain; they did not come out. MARIA. And so they went back on a Our friends then went back to the cave, sleeveless errand? - their object unacand there, at the entrance, lay the two complished? bound ones; near them stood a third, FATHER. No! they were more fortunate. which was much smaller, and was just The impetuous Gregory examined and beginning to have its short horns. The climbed, at the risk of his life, some cliffs fettered ones remained quiet, and looked and dark clefts. Suddenly he called out so wistfully and troubled at Ivan and to his friend, that the animals were hid in Gregory, that they fully determined to take a cave. He had found their trail, and them home with them alive. They raised clearly heard the rustling and crowding the animals up-with some effort, however, together of the timid creatures. "Take-tied the horn to one of the fore-feet, care," cried Ivan to him, "the startled untied the fetters of the hind-legs, and animals may rush out of their hole, dash willing and tame the two old ones followed, you from the rocks, and you are lost." accompanied by the young one leaping on. "Don't be afraid," was Gregory's answer (To be continued.)

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