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suddenly from his place, and shuffling himself
along to the side of the boat, was seen no more.
The talkative gentleman addressed himself to
his neighbour on the other side, who turned out
to be the carping gentleman, and by no means
so good an audience as the last.

"I little knew at that time," resumed the
talkative gentleman, "what a Canadian
snowstorm was, so I consented unfortunately but too
readily to my wife's suggestion, and we
commenced our journey on foot."

"Very foolish thing to do," muttered the
carping gentleman.

"We had walked for some time," continued
our loquacious friend, "perhaps for half an
hour, when it became evident to me that we had
lost our way. Around us in all directions, sir,
was an uninterrupted sheet of white——"

"Why didn't you retrace the track of your
footsteps to the governor's house?" interrupted
the carping gentleman.

"Because, sir," returned our talkative friend,
with undiminished urbanity—"because that track
was erased as soon as it was made by the snow,
which was falling thick and fast around us."

"Hum !" grunted the carping gentleman, in
an unconvinced tone. He uttered the
monosyllable, too, in a manner which suggested
powerfully that he would soon follow the
admiring gentleman to the lee side of the ship.

"Imagine our position," the talkative gentleman
went on to say. "My poor wife" (in an
under tone to the carping gentleman, "she was
in a certain way, too, at the time, my eldest
daughter not then born)—my poor wife perishing
with cold and exhaustion, and I unable to
assist or relieve her."

At this juncture the carping gentleman, who
had been fidgeting uneasily in his seat for some
moments, got up suddenly, and muttering,
"Can't stand the heat of that boiler," rushed
with delirious rapidity towards the vessel's side,
in the direction taken just before by the
admiring gentleman. Our narrator, nothing
discouraged, turned himself to the knowing gentleman,
the professed traveller, who happened to
be within reach, and related the remainder of
his story to him. Meanwhile I, holding on by
my rope, and rising and falling with the vessel
in the manner I have before described,
continued to listen to the narrative of the talkative
gentleman and to the dull thumping sound of
the machinerySpoke-shaveBullock Smithy
Spoke-shaveBullock SmithySpoke-shave
Bullock Smithy.

"Well, sir," resumed the hero of the
snowstorm, "to make a long story a short one, we
wandered about in this way, Mrs. B——leaning
upon me for support, and I myself ready to sink
with fatigue, for five hours——"

"You should have had a compass," the
professed traveller put in; "you ought never to stir
without a pocket-compassI never do."

"I had abandoned all hope," persisted the
talkative gentleman, who was regardless of
interruption—"I had abandoned all hope, and was
preparing for the worst, when a small object,
raised a foot or two above the level of the snow,
attracted my attention. I left my wife for an
instant unsupported, and rushed towards it."

"I never travel," remarked the knowing
gentleman, "in countries where there is danger
to be apprehended from snow, without a flask
of brandy, a pair of snow-proof leggings, and,
as I have said before, a pocket-compass."

"Well, but I was not travelling," argued the
talkative gentleman, "I was going out to dinner."

"It's all one," said the professed traveller,
"you should have taken the things I have
mentioned out to dinner with you."

"I have lost the thread——" began the
talkative gentleman.

"Here is my pocket-housewife," said the
knowing gentleman, pulling one out of his
pouch ; "it is full of thread."

"The thread of my narrative, sir," replied
the loquacious gentleman, with some dignity.

"Let me see, where was I ? Oh, I remember ;
I had just descried a small object raised above
the level of the snow, and had rushed hastily
towards it.

"I am unable to imagine what must have
been the accents of my voice when I called out to
my poor dear wife, 'Thank Heaven, Julia, here's
"ginger beer sold here," and we are saved.'

"The sign-board was close to our own house,
and in ten minutes more we were at home and
safe. But we had been wandering for five hours
round and round and up and down, for it was,
as I remarked before, half-past ten P.M. when
we left the Governor's house, and it was just
half-past three A.M. when we reached our own.

Mrs. B——was taken very unwell, and——"
Here his voice sank in a confidence to his neighbour,
and the rest of the sentencewith the exception
of the word "premature"—escaped me.

Of this word I can make neither head nor tail.


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