Divan, walls, ceiling, floor, were all covered with magnificent skins as soft and downy as the richest carpets; there were heavy-maned lion-skins from Atlas, striped tiger-skins from Bengal; panther-skins from the Cape, spotted beautifully, like those that appeared to Dante; bear-skins from Siberia, fox-skins from Norway, and so on; and all these skins were strewn in profusion one on the other, so that it seemed like walking over the most mossy turf, or reclining on the most luxurious bed.
"Parabéry soon built me a hut in the neighbourhood of the grotto; Madame Hirtel compelled me to take one of her bear-skins. I have by degrees formed my establishment, dividing with my worthy neighbour the few useful articles I brought from Europe, and we live a tranquil and happy life. "And now comes the time that brought about our meeting.
Vavasour rounded the corner at a trot in a red-wheeled tandem, scarlet plumes on the horses, and the robes a combination of black bear-skins and scarlet trimming.
He was surrounded with the trophies of his rod and gun; the walls were plentifully garnished, he told us, with moose-horns and deer-horns, bear-skins, and fox-tails; for the captain's double-barreled rifle had seen service in Canada and Jamaica; he had killed salmon in Nova Scotia, and trout, by his own account, in all the streams of the three kingdoms.
"If it's the Yucatan, and Uncle Dick's coming, then we'll get my new rifle, sure." "One apiece, then," said Rob. "If each of us had a gun we could all go hunting together." "Pack-train just came across the divide yesterday," said Jesse, "and they had four bear-skins. They got 'em less than thirty miles inland.
Benches were provided for them to sleep on, and two of the orderlies presented them with bear-skins; but the native fashion is to lie on a thick, wadded quilt, folded together, and laid on the floor, which, even in the poorest dwellings, is covered with soft straw-mats.
He also casts them into the mire, to the reproach of religion, the shame of their brethren, the derision of the world, and dishonour of God. He holds our hands while the world buffets us; he puts bear-skins upon us, and then sets the dogs at us. He bedaubeth us with his own foam, and then tempts us to believe that that bedaubing comes from ourselves.
Why was he not at home among the icebergs, and how could he stand a warm summer's sun, and not be melted away? Besides, instead of icicles, there were ear-rings hanging from his ears; and he did not wear bear-skins, and keep his hands in a huge muff; things, which I could not help connecting with Greenland and all Greenlanders.
At the time spoken of, he had on a portion of one of these bear-skins; and it added no little to the natural ferocity of his countenance, which betook of the Upsaroka character.
Nevertheless the idea never left his thoughts, so that next morning he rose early, wishing to see whether his daughter's husband was a common ragged beggar. But when he peeped in, he saw a magnificent golden man in the bed, and the cast-off bear-skins lying on the ground. Then he went back and thought, "What a good thing it was that I restrained my anger! I should have committed a great crime."