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How we Rode to the Geysers. 3i It was an awful moment, that of the selection of the ponies. No “ Mastiff” wished to seem to take the best;—but no doubt every “ Mastiff” wished to have the best. Before we came to the journey’s end our ladies even knew very well how to mount themselves, and what each could do on each pony when they were mounted; but at our first starting there was hesitation. As I looked at the large stud, as they stood all grouped together on an open spot near the Custom House at which we had landed, I recognised the unpleasant fact that I was the heaviest of the party,—very much the heaviest. The pony subjected to me must carry something over sixteen stones. We had almost fairy “Mastiffs” among us, under whom any pony would be delighted to gallop all day; and among our “Mastiffs” who certainly were not fairies, there were some not much afflicted with a too solid weight of flesh. Our head guide was one Zoega, who is I believe well known to Englishmen who have required guiding in Iceland. He was not only guide, but contractor, finding all the ponies and making the necessary arrangements for us along the roads. Our provisions, as I have stated before, were our own,—or rather J. B.’s. One of our admirals, Admiral Ryder, with a skill that was truly admirable, made minute calculations as to the amount required of each article. I have no doubt that after this he will always be selected by the First Lord to provision her Majesty’s entire fleet,—so adroit was he and so sufficient. If it be so the sailors will be no doubt as well satisfied as were the “ Mastiffs.” As to myself I raised an humble word only in regard to the liquor, gently advising J. B. not to be too profuse! He was profuse;—but not one of the pack,—not even one of the attendant pack,—was in the least the worse for it. It became Zoega’s duty to apportion the ponies. At the first starting no one liked to make a personal request. And most among us probably felt that a bad selection made by the rider himself could not be made matter of complaint,— whereas a bad beast allotted to one might be made matter of severe comment. With true solicitude at my heart I allowed Zoega to mount me as he would,’—and I believe that he gave me not only the worst pony in Iceland, but the most
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How the Mastiffs went to Iceland

Ár
1878
Tungumál
Enska
Blaðsíður
98