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roleplaying:munchausen:chapter_iv [2005/11/22 17:58] (current)
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 +====== TRAVELS OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN ======
 +===== CHAPTER IV =====
 +//​Reflections on Saint Hubert'​s stag--Shoots a stag with cherry-
 +  stones; the wonderful effects of it--Kills a bear by extraordinary
 +  dexterity; his danger pathetically described--Attacked by a wolf,
 +  which he turns inside out--Is assailed by a mad dog, from which he
 +  escapes--The Baron'​s cloak seized with madness, by which his whole
 +  wardrobe is thrown into confusion.//​
  
 +You have heard, I dare say, of the hunter and sportsman'​s saint and
 +protector, St. Hubert, and of the noble stag, which appeared to him in
 +the forest, with the holy cross between his antlers. I have paid my
 +homage to that saint every year in good fellowship, and seen this stag
 +a thousand times, either painted in churches, or embroidered in the
 +stars of his knights; so that, upon the honour and conscience of a
 +good sportsman, I hardly know whether there may not have been
 +formerly, or whether there are not such crossed stags even at this
 +present day. But let me rather tell what I have seen myself. Having
 +one day spent all my shot, I found myself unexpectedly in presence of
 +a stately stag, looking at me as unconcernedly as if he had known of
 +my empty pouches. I charged immediately with powder, and upon it a
 +good handful of cherry-stones,​ for I had sucked the fruit as far as
 +the hurry would permit. Thus I let fly at him, and hit him just on the
 +middle of the forehead, between his antlers; it stunned him--he
 +staggered--yet he made off. A year or two after, being with a party in
 +the same forest, I beheld a noble stag with a fine full grown cherry-
 +tree above ten feet high between his antlers. I immediately
 +recollected my former adventure, looked upon him as my property, and
 +brought him to the ground by one shot, which at once gave me the
 +haunch and cherry-sauce;​ for the tree was covered with the richest
 +fruit, the like I had never tasted before. Who knows but some
 +passionate holy sportsman, or sporting abbot or bishop, may have shot,
 +planted, and fixed the cross between the antlers of St. Hubert'​s stag,
 +in a manner similar to this? They always have been, and still are,
 +famous for plantations of crosses and antlers; and in a case of
 +distress or dilemma, which too often happens to keen sportsmen, one is
 +apt to grasp at anything for safety, and to try any expedient rather
 +than miss the favourable opportunity. I have many times found myself
 +in that trying situation.
 +
 +What do you say of this, for example? Daylight and powder were spent
 +one day in a Polish forest. When I was going home a terrible bear made
 +up to me in great speed, with open mouth, ready to fall upon me; all
 +my pockets were searched in an instant for powder and ball, but in
 +vain; I found nothing but two spare flints: one I flung with all my
 +might into the monster'​s open jaws, down his throat. It gave him pain
 +and made him turn about, so that I could level the second at his back-
 +door, which, indeed, I did with wonderful success; for it flew in, met
 +the first flint in the stomach, struck fire, and blew up the bear with
 +a terrible explosion. Though I came safe off that time, yet I should
 +not wish to try it again, or venture against bears with no other
 +ammunition.
 +
 +There is a kind of fatality in it. The fiercest and most dangerous
 +animals generally came upon me when defenceless,​ as if they had a
 +notion or an instinctive intimation of it. Thus a frightful wolf
 +rushed upon me so suddenly, and so close, that I could do nothing but
 +follow mechanical instinct, and thrust my fist into his open mouth.
 +For safety'​s sake I pushed on and on, till my arm was fairly in up to
 +the shoulder. How should I disengage myself? I was not much pleased
 +with my awkward situation--with a wolf face to face; our ogling was
 +not of the most pleasant kind. If I withdrew my arm, then the animal
 +would fly the more furiously upon me; that I saw in his flaming eyes.
 +In short, I laid hold of his tail, turned him inside out like a glove,
 +and flung him to the ground, where I left him.
 +
 +The same expedient would not have answered against a mad dog, which
 +soon after came running against me in a narrow street at St.
 +Petersburg. Run who can, I thought; and to do this the better, I threw
 +off my fur cloak, and was safe within doors in an instant. I sent my
 +servant for the cloak, and he put it in the wardrobe with my other
 +clothes. The day after I was amazed and frightened by Jack's bawling,
 +"For God's sake, sir, your fur cloak is mad!" I hastened up to him,
 +and found almost all my clothes tossed about and torn to pieces. The
 +fellow was perfectly right in his apprehensions about the fur cloak'​s
 +madness. I saw him myself just then falling upon a fine full-dress
 +suit, which he shook and tossed in an unmerciful manner.
 +
 +----
 +Go to [[CHAPTER V]]
roleplaying/munchausen/chapter_iv.txt · Last modified: 2005/11/22 17:58 (external edit)