Search America's historic newspapers pages from - or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities external link and the Library of Congress. Learn more
title: 'Kansas City daily journal. (Kansas City, Mo.) 1892-1897, May 16, 1895, Page 9, Image 10',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO
All ways to connect
Inspector General |
External Link Disclaimer |
REAL WHALE HUNTING.
OLD OEOOKArillKS RKqi'ONSItlLK FOR
Tho llot Steerer Throws the Harpoon, to
Mlilcli a Dynamtto (Inn 1
I Fttted-The Way It la
From the Now York Time.
- Generally speaking. It la fife to assert
that there Is much misapprehension about
the way In which whales nre sought for
nnil captured, 1'lctorlal geographies nro
largely responsible for misinformation on
Down nt the ship news ofllce at the Bat
tery Is one of these misleading books, a
dog-eared, time-worn, much-soiled, entire
ly dusty nhd generally worthless publica
tion, which strnjed Into the olllco so- long
rigo that no one can tell when or whence
It came. , . .
Many seafaring folks frequent the ship
news ofllce, and Into It there strolled last
week one whose career as a plain mer
chant seaman, now abandoned for the
more stormy one of literature, had been
diversified with some whnllng voyages In
the racltlc. .,
Tho lltor turned the leaves of the
geography until he found on one begrimed
page the picture of a harpooncr, with
weapon poised, ready for a lilns at a
whnle, which was represented as standing
on Its head and bidding defiance to every
thing In the heavens above and tho waters
The ex-hunter of big (lshc said gcogra
phles of that sort ought to be suppressed.
Then he told about whale hunting aa was
"There she blows," he says, Is the way
that landsmen who know all about u hal
ing from reading geographies and story
books would make the hall. Hut those
who seek the whnlo In his deep-sea lair
Instead of In books tell nbout the sighting
of the prey In these words, but with an
Inflection Impossible to reproduce In print:
"O, , b-I-o-west"
"It was In the old whaling bark Ohio,
Captnln mils," said the narrator, "that I
made my first whaling vol ago. That was
back In 1SS. It Is lticlflc and Arctic whal
ing that 1 nm speaking of.
"When cruising In those waters In search
of whales a whaler alwajs keeps three
men aloft during the daytime. An ofllcer
sf the ship and that functionary of a whal
ing expedition known as the "steerer" take
their places in the cro' nest, on the main,
and another lookout Is pent to foretopgnl
lint crosstrees., All three of the lookouts
(nro furnished with marine glasses, and
throughout their tour of dutv aloft they
carefully scan the horizon In all direction';.
"There may be days and days, with never
n cry from nloft, and then, on a sudden,
will be heard tho welcome hall to the deck
of 'O, , b-.o-wos. The cry electrifies
n crew as does 'Sail, hoi' from a cruiser's
masthead when nn enemy is tho quest.
"The captain Immediately goes aloft and
makes nn examination of the spouter
through his glass. In the Pacific nnd Arc
tic waters there nre two kind of whales
that he wants, and three kinds that he will
hae nothing to do with. The species ho
wants Is the bow head nnd sperm. The
ones he does not want are tho finback,
humpback and sulphur bottom. These may
liae other name?, but they are not
known by any other to whalers.
"The captain is onablcd to tell what man
ner of whale it Is by the nature of its
spout. Tho sperm whale Is distinguished
by the full, bushv sort of fountain which
it projects into the air. If the spoutu are
nt f reriuent Intel vnls and ir the water Is
thrown high in a slender Jot, tho captain
says nothing that Is nice, descends from
his perch and tho vessel plods along her
"Hut If the stream is low and much dis
persed, thcro is a bracing around of yards
and a clearing away of whaleboats. All
hands are called on deck and four of the
live boats are manned and sent In pursuit
of the whale. One boat is always kept in
reserve In case of emergency, but only
enough men nro kept on board to trim sail
and work ship.
"The boats set sail as soon ns they have
shoved clear of tho ship's side, nnd then
the real excitement of It nil begins... I will
tell you by and by where It ends. And 1
will tell you now where the main nonsense
of this picture lies." He pointed to tho
misused nnd despised geography.
"Whales have a most acute hearing, and.
the swish of the boat through tho water,
even when propelled by silent canvas, is
often enough to frighten the whale and
then he Is off like a locomotive. Now, aa
for oars nnd rowlocks, sucn as are repre
sented in this and most other pictures of
whale capturing exploits, that is all rank
absuidlty. The bplash of an oir would
send a whale to the right about before
jou could get within a quarter of a mile of
him. They are harder to creep up upon
than are the wild deer of the forest.
"Therefore, the noiseless sail is used If
there is any breeze, and if there is not,
paddles, such as the North American In
dian uses in propelling his canoe, are got
out and the boat pushed toward tho levia
than by cautious dips. Care is taken never
to splash water, nnd the men move about
in the boat In stocking feet.
"A boat Is never steered near a whale's
head or near his tall. A blow from his
tall would mash a boat Into kindling
wood, and his Jaws are generally big
enough to crush a boat as easily as a nut
cracker can break a Albert. Care, there
fore. Is taken to steer clear of the danger
ous extremities and to snealc alongside the
monster's vast body,
"Tho steerer, meanwhile, has taken his
station in the bow of the boat, the otilcer
In charge being at the steeling oar. Tho
boat nears the big hulk of flesh, and
when near enourh to strike, the steerer
hurls the missile which he nas held poised
In air, and alms to blrlke the whale Just
ibnft the tin."
"The harpoon ynu are speaking of 1"
jurled the reporVr.
"Well, it Is a gun and harpoon combined.
On the end of a short wooden shaft a de
tachable Iron harpoon is fitted. On tho
head of the same shaft is fitted a djnamlte
pin, pointed at the end, but not detach
able from tho shaft. Harpoon and gun cut
"nto tho flesh at the same time. A sharp
Jerk backward detaches the harpoon,
which remains fast In the whale, and nt
the same time explodes tho djnamlte
"If the steerer's aim has been true, the
crew have nothing moro to do except to
back water quickly and watch the mon
ster's dying agonlis. That sometimes hap
pens, but most often the whale is only
maddened by tho wound, and, plunging
under the surface with a maelstorm hwlrl
which half swamps his puny enemy, starts
away with the speed of an expiess.
"Then comes tho excitement and the
clanger. Tbe line which Is fastened to the
harpoon spins out to fast that the wood
work smokes where it rushes over the
side, and heaven save any one who be
comes entangled in the zlrplng colls! The
whipping rings would cut a man In two
or amputate a leg or an arm quicker than
i cleaver could divide an apple"
"Tho line does not pay out without re
sistance, nnd enough of the whale's rush
Inggait Is Imparted to the boat to make
the water foam and (.putter as the craft
dashes ulong. The steerer, hatchet In
hand, stands lendy to eut the line should
the whale not stop before it all runs, out.
The last fathom Is called the 'bitter end,'
nnd when that Is reached tho hatchet falls
otherwise his vvhaltshlp would drag tho
boat under wuter,
"Hut the lines are so long that that floes
not happen often. The whale generally
mops bufoie It has run out. When ho does
the Hue slackens, and then comes the su
pieme moment. No one knows where he Is
going to come up. and he Is Just as likely
to come up directly underneath tho boat
os anywhere elje. That has frequently
happened, and very few boats or their
:revvs have survived the happening.
"When the whnle does reach the surface
.lis rulo Is always to run. The boat's crow
take a turn of the line around a bltt and
give tho whale his head. Then they hold
on to the thwarts or gunwales and try to
catch their breath as the boat whizzes
along. Tor the whale It is a pace that
Kills. He keeps It up as long as ho can,
but race as he may, the Imbedded Iron will
not draw and release him from his enemy,
"Finally, he slackens his paeo and then
comes to a stop, The boat's crew tall on
to the line, and hand over hand haul the
boat close to the whale.
"The rest Is comparatively easy, suppos
ing that the whale does not attack the
boat. The nun who, for tome strange rea
son, Is called the boat steerer, changes
places with the ofllcer who has been act
ually steering the boat, and takes charge
of the steering oar.
"The ofllcer who has relinquished It goes
to the bow of the boat, and, loading the
bomb gun fires dynamite bombs into the
whale, whales are amenable to that ex
plosive when tho missiles are rightly
placed. All excitement dies with him, and
then the plodding work of towing the car
cass to the ship, of 'frying out,' and the
tiresome rest of It commences."
A new dining car service between Chi
cago and Buffalo Ma the Nickel Plate road
has recently been placed at the disposal.of
the traveling public, which will enable pat
rons of this favorite low rate line to obtain
all meals on trains when traveling on
through trains between Chicago, New Vork
nad Boston. For reservations of sleeping
car space and further Information, see
your local Uckt ugent. or address
J 1. UAJ,AllAN, I
fktuvti AaW W?o. In, I
HU1UN9TI:IN ASI WAONF.lt.
Tlio Former ThonRht the letter SenlMnilo
"To the Petit and to Clito."
His (Ilubln3lcln') veneration for the elas
tics was nlmot fanatical, and for him tho
last word hid been paid In muslo when
Chopin laid down his pen, He Alexander
McArthur In tho Century. " thf ,," "
of his contemporaries he had absolutely no
belief. The compositions of Berlioz ho con
sidered wIM and unsatisfactory! VVapner
ho disliked; l.lszt a. a composer had no
place In his respect; and he looked nskanca
at Tschalkowsky. ..... ... ..
Itememberlng Rubinstein's position as a
composer, nt first rlanec a certain se
quence of Ideas would lead one to suspect
thlit the Inevitable Jealousy commonly
supposed to exist between "two of a
trade," was nt the bottom of this. But
nny stieh suspicions wrong Rubinstein. H
wn not a man of that sort , 1 or fur
years I studied his modes of thought and
chiricter minutely. I saw him In m;iny
trjlng position, and was often surprised
io linn now- nine oui'iae uiingi, . i".-i ;'
lv personal crosses, disturbed the serenity
of his convictions, and how free he was
from those petty Jealousies and wciknesscs
too often found In tho character of artists,
great or small.
In his incapability to appreciate lh
compositions of his contemporaries, Rubln
steln was absolutely sincere. The mere
fact of his acknowledging this Incapability
actually shows tho honesty of his char
acter nnd conviction", since It was n,
bravo thing for n. man of his position to
fly In Hie face of the acknowledged ami
cherished Ideas of his contemporaries. If
for no other reason than for fear of ridi
cule: nnd rtublnstctn was not a. tnnn to
brave ridicule it he could by any means
honestly escape it.
Ittiblnstein was sometimes himself puz
7leil even more than were others, by his
antipathy to the muslo of his contempo
raries, and once, when discussing this
question, he said tq me! "I cannot under
stand It or m.vself, I can seemingly ex
plain it only by supposing I was born loo
soon or too late."
The real explanation lies, however, In the
fact that llublnsteln's genius was cssen
tlillv lyrical nnd subjective. Ho never
tried to paint the human emotions In tone
colors, ns Wagner did. He invariably sang
about them, nnd of them, without ever
thinking of creating their musical proto
types. With him It was, song first, and,
rong last nnd song always. Therefore ha
differed from Wagner, and failed to un
It w-a a subject Rubinstein's Intimate
friends frequently discussed with him, nnd
many were the battles fought in the cause.
On one occasion ho grew positively nngry,
a.nd cried out, with his usual Impatient
toss of the head:
"You find It good: I do not. Wagner has
sent music lo the devil and to chaos. Ho
has been original at the expense of truo
art, and all w ho follow him slnco not ono
ln,a,ilh,.l!s'ana ,wl11 h'lve hl cleverness
will find themselves In the end only doomed
to wander In a wilderness of barrenness
S!I!lid'ubJ?c?s' T1,',,lr Iab" wl produce
P2Lh,ln th,lt cnn llve- As for 'n'9 motive
here is its buauty7 Can one call it art?
51Sf '!;.ln'feru coine on tho boards with
his photograph pinned on his breast in
the shape of a motive? No. and ngnln, no.
It Is raise, and so I cnn only regard it."
A SUltl'ltlhlin IUX.
Ho Didn't Know That Cranes Were Both
lighters and Jiunuers.
A long, lean crano stood motionless In the
big cover down on tho fiats late the other
afternoon, watching for a fish or frog to
come with n reach of his pointed, heavy
bill, snvs the New York Sun. A cold wind,
was blowing and ruffled up the bird's
w.!..r?.'n . way to make him shiver. A
brown bird started to fly past tho still flg-
!i'.J;ll.'i Vle,r, nas n 'lu'el: ieTil a"d the
brown bird disappeared. lho thin crano
looked as though he, felt better. After a
bit ho waded to the shore and stood on thn
bank looking into the water as if for a flsh
Aa the sun w;as shining red for a moment
through a crack in the clouds, a fox, sleek
in winter fur, camo-lnto view from up tho
cieek, looking here nnd thero for a tnouso
or better game. Ho had started early that
day, probably In the hope that ho might
capture a bird. Ho stalked a crow, unstic
sessfully flushed two or three brown blids,
sneaked up wind at a woodchuck unci got
n. little mole. Then ho saw the crnne's
back nnd neck over the bank and btialght
way dropped back onto his haunches to cal
culate a bit. He worked his way toward
the crane so slowly ns not to bo noticed
till within ten feet of the bird, when tho
bird's head came around with startled sud
denness. The fox Hopped and the crane
looked indignant. Tho fox took two steps
nearer and tho crane bristled up his neck
feathers and drew his head back ns If to
strike. Then tho fox saw that the crane
would fight. If anything can tickle a fox
it Is to havo n bird htand light.
Tho fox took two Jumps lightly forward,
then yelped out In pain. Tim crane had
stiuck at his eyo and ripped his cheek bale.
Ho giabbed the erane by the leg and then
llko a pugdog pulling a string tied ball, ran
nrounu In a circle, tripping tho crano up.
Tho crano screamed and gave tho fox a
glancing blow behind tho shoulder, driving
the fox away a yard and gainlnj tlmo to
get on his legs again.
Then the fox camo nt the crane nnd
once moro the crano struck ut the fov's
eye, this time successfully, for tho point of
tho bill picked the eyeball open. The foc
slunk back nnd started to run. while tho
crano, with six foot strides and halt spread
wings, set after him. Then came a race fit
to make a woodkman howl. Tho crane's
head stuck out straight before his body,
while his long plpestem legs Htrutclied out
foro and aft alternately, twisting around
each other ns thu fox tinned sharp corncis
with his tall hugged close, ears Hid back
and mouth open, roxos are credited with
being very gieased-lightnlng runners, but
the crane mnde this fox hump himself to
keep out of the way.
At last the fox went under a wire fence,
turning sharp to do it. The crane struck at
him. not noticing tho wire, w-hllo the bill
snlit on a barb, hooking tho bird fast. Lent
llawson killed the fox at long rango with
a rifle and the crane was captured alive,
only to die later. Tho two will be mounted
in antagonistic form.
NEW PASSENGER SERVICE,
From Kansas City Via tho Burlington
"DENVER, SPECIAL" leaves Kansas
City dally 10.50 a. m., solid train; arrives
Denver, 7:30 a. m.
"BURLINGTON NEW USn VIA BIL
LINGS," for Puget Sound and Pacific Coast
from Kansas City, leat3 at 10.50 a, m.
This line gives patrons nn opportunity to
visit Hot Springs, South Dakota, Black
Hills and Yellowstone Park, and It Is the
short line between Knnsas City and Helena
by SS3 miles. Butte 31S miles. Spokane 471
miles, Seattle HO miles and Tacoma Hi
This Is the most marvelous scenlo route
and perhaps tho most Interesting across
Round trip tickets to all Paclflo coast
points via this line.
For full Information address II. C. Orr.
Burlington Route, Kansas City, Mo.
It KM OVAL OF 'J.MC Kin.' OFFICE
Of the New Vork, L'hle.igo & bt, I.oull
Itallronil (Mckel Flute ICotd),
On May 1 the Chicago ticket ofllce of the
New York, Chicago A: St. Louis railroad
(Nickel Plato road) will bo moved to No. lit
Adams stteet, opposite the poatofllce.
J. Y. CALAHAN,
Cheap F.xcurlon Ma the .Simt.i yu Houte.
For the meeting of the conclave Knights
Templar nnd grand chapter Order Eastern
Star, the SANTA FE ROIJTE will sell tick,
els to WICHITA at one fare for the round
trip, on May 1J, li and H, good to return
until May IS.
For the grand lodge Knights of Pythian
and brigade of Uniform Rank, tickets will
be sold to HUTCHINSON at one fare for
the round trip, on May 19 to 22, inclusive
good to return until May a. '
For the annual meeting of the Youns
People's Society of Christian Endeavor
tickets will be sold to WICHITA ot ono
fare for the round trip, on May 22. 3 and
SI. good to return until May 27. u
On May 21. HOMRSEEICERS' EXCUR.
RION tickets will be sold to all points in
Kansas, Oklahoma, Indian Territory. Tex
as, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico at one
fare for the round trip, tickets limited
twenty dajs for return, and stop-overs al
lowed at pleasure, except south of La
Junta. No ticket will be Bold for less than
SANTA FE ROUTE ticket offices, north,
east corner Tenth and Main streets, iom
Union avenue and Union depot. y
OEOIUiE Y. HAGENnUCH
Passenger and Ticket Agent.
New Meepyr. ou tlio Alton.
Beginning with April 1st, the Cnlcao-n ,
Alton railroad Bill run two sleepers dally
In their "St. Louis Limited" between Si'
ps City and St. Louis. The two nlw ie?2:
'?' c.?.s aM.'.sRd t0 l.h.? lce are named
the "Majestic" and "Teutonic." atlit th
two new White Star line Atlantic oce'ul
steamers. Each year brings something ne5
In the carbullder's art and with ea Ti 1d
provement we exclaim that surely iiothlnjt
more can be added Viewing the new Alton
ticcpera, nun meir large, roomy comDarr.
meiits. drawing rocms, and perfectlv an
pointed toilet rooms, one would Imarin.
Jiuj builder yosstiicd. tun lajnfi at AUidLi,