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36 How the ‘ ‘ Mastiffs ’ ’ wrw/ to Iceland. waters boil and bubble, so that the opposing- waterfalls nearly meet each other with their crests. And this rift must be traversed by the traveller. For this purpose there is a little wooden bridge fixed on each side on the rocks beneath the water, riding over which the equestrian seems to have but very little protection between himself and the defile into which the waters are pouring beneath him. The ponies, however, knew the spot, and where a pony would go, any “ Mastiff,” male or female, will ride him. About 300 yards below the ford there is a high rock jutting out into the river, from which is to be had perhaps as pretty a river scene as ever I saw in all my travels. Some miles beyond the Briiara it was benevolently suggested by the elder Zoega that he would gallop on to a certain farm about three miles off and, as our own provisions were in the rear, have provided for us such comforts as the farmer could supply. Then it was that a passion for fast riding first came upon our ladies. Zoega started in a gallop, and,—truth compels me to state the fact,—Miss Stuart would go with him. There fell upon Zoega a strong desire to reach that farm- house alone,—but an equally strong desire on Miss Stuart to be there with him. When Zoega got off his pony at the gate, Miss Stuart, at the same moment, slipped off from hers at the same spot. A gallant “ Mastiff” or two endeavoured to keep them company, and our Ancient Mariner did make the running very good; but the pace was too great, and the young lady only was there to see Zoega dis- mount. After that, till we were back at Reykjavik, there can be no saying which of the three young ladies rode the hardest. Miss Reddie at last got an ugly lanky pony which for a while enabled her to leave every one in the lurch. Miss Camp- bell would for awhile take up the running so that we were inclined to back a little red wall-eyed animal which she rode against the field. But the passion had come upon them ; and though J. B. strove masterfully and loudly, and though Zoega strove with anxious looks and bated voice, from that hour forth there was no stopping the pace till we had again reached Reykjavik. “ There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lea.” “ What are we to do for a doctor if they break their necks ? ” said J. B. almost sobbing in despair. It was of no use ! As a cautious
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How the Mastiffs went to Iceland

Ár
1878
Tungumál
Enska
Blaðsíður
98