South America

The Shark

Onthe26thofJuly,1864,amagnificentyachtwassteamingalongtheNorthChannelatfullspeed,withastrongbreezeblowingfromtheN.E.TheUnionJackwasflyingatthemizzen-mast,andabluestandardbearingtheinitialsE.G.,embroideredingold,andsurmountedbyaducalcoronet,floatedfromthetopgallantheadofthemain-mast.ThenameoftheyachtwastheDuncan,andtheownerwasLordGlenarvan,oneofthesixteenScotchpeerswhositintheUpperHouse,andthemostdistinguishedmemberoftheRoyalThamesYachtClub,sofamousthroughouttheUnitedKingdom.

LordEdwardGlenarvanwasonboardwithhisyoungwife,LadyHelena,andoneofhiscousins,MajorMcNabbs.

TheDuncanwasnewlybuilt,andhadbeenmakingatrialtripafewmilesoutsidetheFirthofClyde.ShewasreturningtoGlasgow,andtheIsleofArranalreadyloomedinthedistance,whenthesailoronwatchcaughtsightofanenormousfishsportinginthewakeoftheship.LordEdward,whowasimmediatelyapprisedofthefact,cameuponthepoopafewminutesafterwithhiscousin,andaskedJohnMangles,thecaptain,whatsortofananimalhethoughtitwas.

“Well,sinceyourLordshipasksmyopinion,”saidMangles,“Ithinkitisashark,andafinelargeonetoo.”

“Asharkontheseshores!”

“Thereisnothingatallimprobableinthat,”returnedthecaptain.“Thisfishbelongstoaspeciesthatisfoundinalllatitudesandinallseas.

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