All this, however, is mere braggadocio; for, on the enemy continuing the attack, it immediately cools down, and betakes itself to ignominious flight. Such are a few peculiarities of the gigantic stork, known as the adjutant or argala.
One of the distinctive characteristics of the adjutant, or "argala," as it is better known to the Indians, and one, too, of its ugliest "features," is a naked neck of a flesh-red colour the skin shrivelled, corrugated, and covered with brownish hairs.
The consequence was, that, from that time, Fritz had conceived a most rancorous antipathy towards all birds of the genus Ciconia and the species Argala in particular; and this it was that impelled him, on first perceiving the adjutant for being by the hut on their arrival he had not seen them before, to rush open-mouthed towards them, and seize the tail of one of them between his teeth.
The feathers of the African species, however, are far less beautiful and valuable than those from the tail of the adjutant; and it is these last that are really best known as marabout feathers, in consequence of the mistake made by Temminck, and propagated by the anatomist Cuvier. Another great stork differing both from the argala of Asia and the marabou of Africa inhabits the Island of Sumatra.