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Calendar ...--11





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A FEARFUL STORY.—One of the most striking spots on the coast of Clare is the cliffs of Moher, rising dark and frowning nine hundred and thirty feet above the ocean. In these the sea-eagle builds her nest; the cliffs are also frequented by sc. fowl, which are caught by the hardy peasantry in the usual way on bold shores,-the fowlers suspended over the face of the rock and carrying on their vocation in mid-air, when they reach a slender foot-hold in the vicinity of their prey. On these occa sions they are sometimes attacked by the sea-eagles, and run fearful risks; the story of one of which we extract from a new work called—" Scenes on the shores of the Atlantic." It is as follows :—" They [the eagles] are very ferocious and bold, and sometimes make desperate attacks upon the bird-catchers, flying at them as they descend the cliffs, with beak and claws, and directing their fury against the eyes of the intruders. To defend themselves against these formidable enemies, the men carry long knives; and a story is told of a desperate encounter that took place some six or eight years since between a bird-catcher and one of these sea-eagles, which was well nigh terminating fatally to the former. The man had been lowered from the top, and hung suspended from the overhanging precipice, when an eagle darted at him from out of a fissure in the rock, and com- menced a furious attack. The bird-catcher drew his knife and de fended himself; but his feathered assailant eluded for a long time every blow. At length, however, finding himself closely pressed, and maddened by repeated slight stabs of the knife, the enragel bird gathered up his powers for a last desperate dart at the man. The latter saw the impending danger and, blind to everything but the necessity of a vigorous effort to parry the attack, raised his knife, and aimed a furious blow at the eagle. It took effect but too well the stroke that freed the bird-catcher from his fierce antagonist severed at the same moment almost in twain the rope to which he was attached, leaving the unfortunate man suspended but by a single thread or twist of the cable over the yawning abyss. In this dreadful extremity there was nothing left him but to give the signal by which his companions over- head would understand that he wished to be drawn up. Most providentially, they perceived his awful predicament, and slowly and with the greatest caution commenced putting in the rope. It was so slender that there seemed scarcely a possibility that the almost severed thread could last until the wretched man reached the top and with sickening suspense and dread, h' felt the frail link that still bound him to life, and saved h t from the horrible gulf below, stretch and crack beneath h:3 weight. It required, too, the utmost skill and caution on the part of those overhead to keep the fractured portion of the rope from chafing ag-ainst the sharp knife-like edge of the projecting rocks; and between the agony of seeing tbe fragile thread g. dually attenuate and become every moment weaker and weaker from the continued pressure, and the necessity of drawing it very slowly lest some unforeseen shock should cause it to snap suddenly, and hurl the victim into the abyss, the men on the cliff ■were in a state of scarcely less suspense than the object of their anxiety. At length the unfortunate bfcd-catcher neared the brow of the precipice: his companions redoubled their efforts, for the rope was every instant showing increased symptom' Df giving way. It snapped just as he was within an inch of the top but not before one of the men had seized a firm grasp of his clothes, by which he was enabled to drag him triumphantly over the brink. At the sight of their comrade in safety, the men, among whom a breathless silence had hitherto prevailed, raised a loud shout: but he heard it not. The awful situation in which he had been so long suspended was too much fcr Lhe poor bird-catcher: he lay stretched on the grass without se tsc or motion. For a long time, so profound was his insensibility, his companions thought he was dead: but he recovered at length; though he has never, it is said, completely gotten over the effects of that fearful hour."