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Pyrenees is very distinct from the chamois of Central Europe
and Turkey.



Note. — Wild Sheep : — It is somewhat remarkable that the
moufflon, which is found as near as Corsica and Sardinia,
should be entirely unknown in the Spanish Cordilleras.



Bear (JJrsus arcios),
Spanish: Oao.

There are in Spain two kinds of bear — it would, perhaps, be
more correct to say two varieties — the large, dark-colouied
beast, and the small brown bear, or Hormigrttero = ant-eater.
The latter, which is not uncommon in the Asturias, feeds on
roots, ants'-nests, honey, and such-like humble fare ; while the
big black bear, distinguished as Camicero, preys on goats,
sheep, pigs, &c., and even pulls down homed cattle.

Bear-hunting is confined to the north — to the Pyrenees and
the Cantabrian Highlands. A primitive method of pursuit sur-
vives in certain high-lying villages of the Asturias, where the
mountaineers face Bruin, armed only with pike and knife.
These men are associated in a sort of fraternal band, and the
occupation passes from father to son. The osero, accompanied



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THE LARGE GAME OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL. 443

odIj bj his dogs, seeks the bear amidst the recesses of the
sierra, and engages him in single combat. His equipment con-
sists of a broad-bladed hunting-knife and a double dagger,
each of whose triangular blades fits into a central handle.

By less vigorous sportsmen, bear-hunting is carried on by
calling into requisition a large number of men and dogs —
usually with the assistance of the oeeros, and by the more dis-
creet use of fire-arms, vice cold steeL

The neighbourhood of Madrid was once described as " huen
monte de puerco y oso " (good country for pig and bear), and the
city itself as '* 2a coronada villa del oso y madrono ; " but bears no
longer exist in either of the Castiles. The small Hormigiiero is
confined to the Asturias : the larger beast is also fairly common
there, and not rare in Navarre, Arragon, and, possibly, Catalonia.



Wild Boar (Sue scrofa),
Spanish : Javato, Javali.

The wild boar has always abounded in Spain, and its chase
ever held a chief place among Spanish sports — in olden times
on horseback with pike and lance. During the middle ages the
pursuit of falconry took such hold upon the national taste, that
the pigs were almost forgotten, and towards the close of the
fifteenth century they became a positive scourge, devastating the
crops and invading the outlying portions even of great cities.
With the Eenaissance came the application of science to sport-
ing weapons ; and, with gunpowder substituted for cold steel,
the boar had a bad time of it ; he was shot down as he rushed
from his thicket-lair, or assassinated as he took his nocturnal
rambles.

In Estremadura the fovourite chasse au sanglier is still with
horse and hound. During the stillness of a moonlight night,
when the acorns ai'e falling from the oaks in the magnificent
Estremenian woods, a party of horsemen assemble to await the
boars, which at night descend from the mountains to feed.
Then a trained hound, termed the maestro, which throws tongue
only to pig, is slipped : should he succeed in bringing a tusker
to bay, a dozen strong dogs, half-bred mastiffs, are despatched
to his assistance. Off they rush like demons, to the challenge
of the maestro, followed by the horsemen, and there ensues a
break-neck ride and a struggle with a grizzly tusker in the



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444 WILD SPAIN.

half-light, which are sufficiently exciting to make this sport a
favourite with the valient es of Estremadura.

It is possible that, on the southern plains, pig-sticking might
be attempted. The country is, however, very rough, much
intercepted with cane-brakes and dense jungles of matted
brushwood and briar.

In the vast cane-brakes which fringe the Guadiana are
found enormous boars, whose tusks, as they charge, resemble a
white collar encircling the neck.

We have noticed the young following their mothers as early
as January. The piglings are at first pretty little beasts,
yellowish-brown, striped longitudinally with black bars. In
May we have observed the old sows and young associated into
herds of twenty or more.



Wolf {Canis lupus),
Spanish : Loho.

These Ishmaelites of the animal-world, though common
enough in all the wilder regions of Iberia, rarely present them-
selves as a mark for the rifle-ball. Many-fold more ciinning
than the fox, the wolf never — not for a single instant — forgets
the risk of danger nor his human enemies. When aroused in a
monieria, or mountain-drive, wolves come slowly forward, feeling
their way like field-marshals in an enemy's country, and on
reaching some strong crag or thicket, lie down, awaiting the
arrival of the beaters, who must pass on one side, when the
stealthy brute slinks back on the other.

Wolves change their residence according to the season. In
summer, when the peasants' goats and sheep are pastured on the
hiUs, they inhabit the highest sierras ; in winter, when the stock
is removed to lower ground, there are the wolves also.

In all parts of Spain, it is customary for herdsmen to remain
in constant attendance on their flocks by day and night, to
protect them from the ravages of wolves and other " beasts of
the field." In parts of Southern Estremadura and in the Sierra
Nevada, it is sometimes necessary to keep fires burning at night,
and shots are also fired at intervals, to secure the flocks from
attack. When encamped, in the neighbourhood of Almad^n,
some years ago, we used to hear the packs of wolves keep up a
concert of unearthly howls the livelong night.



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THE LARGE GAME OF SPAIN AKD PORTUGAL. 445

Too cunning to fall either into trap or ambuscade, yet of
late years the numbers of the Spanish wolf have been largely
reduced by means of poison : they will, however, doubtless hold
their own in Spain for centuries to come.

Like the bear, the wolf is also divisible into two distinct
breeds, or races. There is the large grey wolf (the common
kind), and the Lobo serrano, or mountain-wolf, which is smaller,
darker, and more rufous in colour.

The following table shows the respective weights in English
pounds (25 to the arrobd), of the two types of wolf, both of
which are found in all parts of Spain : —

Males. Females.

Lobogrande ... 125 to 150 ... 100 to 112 lbs.
Lobo Serrano ... 75 „ 90 ... 60 „ 75 „

The gait of the wolf, when driven into the open, is a slow,
slouching gallop ; but he goes much faster than he appears to
do. Well might the Lusitanian farmer tell Latouche, with an
imitative gesture : " Corre, corre, corre ; mas o diablo mesmo
nSo o apanhava " — " Slowly he bounds, bounds along ; but the
devil himself could not overtake him ! "



Fox (Cania milpes — var,, melanogaster) .
Spanish : Zorro.

The Spanish foxes are all of the black-bellied species, or
variety ; but the majority lack the jet black underparts that
distinguish Indian examples — being rather clouded, or marbled,
than pure black. We have, however, shot one (in November)
which was far more typically coloured — quite black below and
on legs — than the average, which are generally greyer and more
silvery than our British fox. A few show a white crescent on
the breast. They run about 15 lbs. in weight, and 48 inches in
length.

Foxes are not hunted in Spain except by the Calpe Hounds
at Gibraltar.



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446 WILD SPAIN.

Spanish Lynx (Felis pardina).
Spanisli : 0<Uo cierval, Lince,

This species is also peculiar to the Peninsula, and in the
southern provinces maj be called common, frequenting the
wilder, scrub-covered wastes and wooded sierras, where it preys
on hares, rabbits, and partridge. In the spring the lai^ and
powerful males are also destructive among the young red deer.

The spotted lynx is the only species found in Spain, its range
extending (though in decreasing abundance) to the Asturian
ranges, and even, we believe, to the Pyrenees, where we have
failed to find any evidence of the existence of the northern
form (Felia lynx).

The movements of lynx are most dignified, having rather the
demeanour of the tiger than of the wild-cat : it advances with
slow, stately stride and measured movements, standing at the
full height of the long, powerful legs, and the head carried level
with the back.

Though its approach, per se, is absolutely noiseless, yet on a
still day it is just possible for an ear attuned to distinguish
anything differing from the ordinary sounds of the wilds, to
detect a slight crackling — a rustle, as the dry cistus-twigs
re-unite after being divided by the passage of the lynx's body.

Its stealth preserves the lynx from falling readily into danger,
and few are shot comparatively with their numbers in the wilder
regions of Spain. When a lynx detects an ambuscade, there
is an instant's cogitation ere the big cat bounds ofiE. One
moment, from the jungle, the great yellow eye meets one's own
— that cruel, pretty face, full of hate and shy self-possession,
set off by the bushy whiskers and tufted ears — then, like a
yellow gleam, the beast disappears for ever in the thicket.

On one occasion, in winter, while redleg-shooting, we noticed
a commotion among some kites hovering at a certain spot. On
going there, the writer came suddenly on a lynx which had
killed a rabbit — a morsel doubtless coveted by the milanos.
This lynx, though a rather small female, on being wounded with
small shot, made a gallant effort to attack its aggressor.

The country folk declare that there is no better meat than
that of lynx ; but then, it is true, they hold that otter is very
good for the health, muy saludahle ; that bittern is came muy
finay while the flesh of owls and hawks of all kinds possess



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THE LARGE GAME OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL. 447

medicinal properties, and with such remedies, various herbs and
roots, bleeding, and other simple specifics, the rural Spaniard
relies — perhaps with reason — on giving the medico a wide berth.
We have tried lynx, however, approaching the feast with perfectly
open mind, and foimd it fairly good. The flesh was short in
grain, white, and devoid of any unpleasant flavour. Without
prejudice, a guieo of lynx is as good as one of partridge or veal.

Lynxes produce their young in April, often using the
hollowed trunk of some cavernous cork-tree, or forming a sort
of nest on the big branches for the purpose. We have reared
the young lynxes from babyhood, and found them at least more
docile than the fanatically furious wild-cats: but that is not
saying much: for both are impregnated to the marrow with hate
and treachery, and eventually these attempts to " civilize " the
wild felidce resulted in a tragic finale. For nearly a year we
had kept a young female lynx (chained) in the garden : though
often vicious and never reliable, she showed some slight " feline
amenities" — ^purring and rubbing herself against one's leg,
when petted, like a domestic tabby. But at length she perpe-
trated a terrible assault on a poor woman who chanced to pass
near her kennel. The brute probably mistook her victim for
the woman who daily brought it its food ; and, seeing her pass
by, with a sudden tremendous bound she broke her chain, and
sprang upon the poor lavandera's shoulders, tearing open her
face with one claw, her bVeast with the other. Assistance was
luckily at hand, and the savage brute, after a long chase, was
killed. The poor woman was desperately hurt : for days her
life was in danger, and for many weeks she was obliged to
remain in bed under the doctor's care.

The male lynxes are much larger and handsomer than the
females, weighing some 42 to 50 lbs. The groimd-colour of
both is warm tawny-brown, but on the males the spots are
fewer, larger, and more defined.



Wild-Cat (Felis catus),

Spanish : Oato month, Oato castellano, or romario.

As above remarked, the young wild-cats are quite the most
ferocious and utterly untameable beasts of which we have had
any experience ; the mixture of fear and fury they exhibit in
captivity is indescribable, even when only a few weeks old.



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[ 448 WILD SPAIN.

\ Wild-cats are common throughout Spain wherever rabbits

I abound. In the sierras, thej breed in crags and rabbit-burrows;
on the plains the young are often produced in nests built in

I trees, or among the tall bamboos in the cane-brakes.

I Weight of an old tom lOJ lbs., of a female 8 j lbs. In some

f examples the fur of the underparts is of a warm tawny hue.

1 The general colour of the wild-cat is a brindled grey, with

> black stripes.
I

I Genet (Viverra genetta),

I Spanish : Gineia,

\ A beautiful beast, with clear grey fur, blotched with big

[ black spots, a long tail, and a head more like a fox-terrier than

a cat : common in all the southern provinces, and as far north

I as Old Castile ; at La Granja, and in the provinces of Avila

I and Segovia. Not found (we believe) in Asturias or Santander.

I The genet lives in holes in rocks and crags, and in large

woods. In winter, we have shot them when beating the saJlows
and cane-brakes for woodcock. It feeds on small rodents and

i young birds, occasionally, like the polecat, plundering hen-

roosts, when it eats the brains of its numerous victims, and

j leaves the body untouched. In autumn, when the grapes are

> ripe, it is said to be very fond of a feast in the vineyards ; but
• its principal food consists of mice and moles. It is considered
} a better cazador than even the lynx, wily as a fox, and twisting
I as a snake.

^ Our friend Manuel de la Torre killed three genets in Estre-

y madura that were entirely black, and rather smaller than the

average. One of these specimens is in the Madrid Museum.



Marten (Mvstelafoina).
Spanish : Foina, Oarduno.

Common in Andalucia, Estremadura, and Valencia: also
observed in the Asturias and Santander. Only one kind of
marten is found generally throughout Spain, but we have some
reason to believe that the " marta " of the Pyrenees is the
rarer pine-marten (if. ahietum).



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THE LARGE GAME OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL. 449

Polecat (Mustela ptdoritis) — " Turdn.^'

Otter (Lutra vulgaris) — " Nutra,^* or " Nutria,'*

Badger (Meles taxus) — ** TejSn.**

All these are common' in Andalucia, and generally throughout
Spain. Though so strictly nocturnal in its habits, we have
occasionally found the badger above-ground by day, in our
baiidas in the Goto Donana, &c., and have dug out a brood of
young as early as January 29th,



Weasel (Mustela vulgaris),

Spanish : Comadreja, Rcjizo.

Not observed in Andalucia, but common in Provincia de
Madrid, Old Castile; in the Sierra de Guadarrama, and in
Estremadura and Arragon.



Mongoose {Herpestes widdringtoni.)

Spanish : Melon,

Common in the southern provinces, and as far north as the
Sierra de Oredos (Old Castile). Ichneumons feed largely on
snakes and other reptiles. They seldom offer a shot in the
open, clinging tenaciously to the thickest covert, and are more
often taken alive — either dug out of their burrows or caught
by the dogs — ^than shot.

Among minor quadrupeds may be mentioned the hedgehog
(Erizo), the mole (Topo), the shrew (Musarana)^ squirrel
(ArdiUa), water-rat (Bata de agua), with the usual family-
group of rats and mice. One particularly interesting species,
the trumpeter water-shrew (Mygale pyrenaica), is found in the
rivers of Guipuzcoa, Navarre, and, fide our friend Manuel de la
Torre, in the Rio de Piedra, Provincia de Zaragoza.

The dormouse (Liron), and fat dormouse (Liron campesire),
are both common in Andalucia.

The Spanish hare {Lepvs mediterraneus), and rabbit require
no further remark.

G G



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450



PART II.

SPRING-MIGRANTS TO SPAIN.
WITH DATES OF ARRIVAL, Etc., IN ANDALUCIA.

In the following list we endeavour to indicate the closest
possible point of time for the arrival, nesting, and departure
of spring-migrants to Spain, the dates especially referring to
Andalucia. But since the passage of almost each species,
though in many cases punctual to a day or two in commencing,
continues during three or four weeks — and in some instances
over much longer periods — it is only possible to approximate.
Thus there is a distinct arrival of Swallows in February (early
in March many already have eggs), yet the "through-transit"
of vast bodies — destined perhaps to populate Lapland and
Siberia — is conspicuous throughout April, and even into May.

Li compiling these lists the recorded observations of other
naturalists have been freely utilized, especially the papers of
Lord LiKord and Mr. Howard Saunders in the Ibis, and Col.
Irby's " Ornithology of the Straits of Gibraltar." In ornitho-
logical matters the writer has a weakness for doies* and the
last-mentioned work fairly bristles with these valuable facts.
For five springs its author maintained a careful watch on the
Straits, and during those years hardly a movement of feathered
fowl betwixt the Pillars of Hercules could escape hb vigilance.

* Where exact dates are mentioned in the foUowing table they refer
to the earliest or the latest occurrences, respectively, that have ocnne
under our notice.



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LIST OF SPBINO-MIOSANTS.



451



LIST OF SPRING-MIGRANTS.





Arrives.
End Feb.-


Nests.


Departs.


i Remarks.


Egyptian Vul-




1




ture


Mar.


April i-io


Sept.


...


Montagii's Har-










rier


End Mar.


May i-io
April 10


Sept.
Sept. \
Oct /




Booted Eagle..


Mar. 25
Mar. 8


' A few winter


Serpent E^le .


April 15


1 near Malaga.


Black Kite


Mar. 10


April 30


Sept. -Oct.






End April-










May


None breed


Sept. 17, '92


In transit onIy«


Hobby


April
End Feb.-




Sept.


do.


Lesser Kestrel .










Mar.


April 25


Sept.-Oct.


Some winter.


Scop's Owl ...


Mid-Mar.


May 10


Sept -Oct.


do.


R. N. Nightjar


May I


May 25


Sept -Oct.




Swift ....?......


Mar. -April


May


Sept. -Oct




Pallid Swift ...


End Mar.-
April


do.






Alpine Swift...


Mar. 25-Apl.


do.


Aug.-Sept.




Roller


End Mar.-










April
End Mar.-


April 1$


Sept.




Bee-Eater










April
End Feb.-


May IS


July-Aug.


...


Hoopoe










April


May I


Aug. -Oct


.•••


Cuckoo


Mar. 25-April
Feb. 28-Nlar.


April 23


JuIy-Aug.
July-Aug.


...


SpoltedCuckoo


April 15


,.


Wryneck


March


...


Breeds in Cas-
tile.


Ring-Ouzel* ...
Rock-Thrush...


Mar. -April


Few breed*


Autumn


Transit.*


End Mar.-


May(Arragon)


26 Sept., '68






ApL — early




(Irby)


•••.


Wheatear


Mar. i-April


None breed


Oct.-Nov.


in transit.


Eared Wheat-










ear


Mar. 30-April


May 10, *7I


Autumn


...


Russet Wheat-










ear


Mar. 30-April
April 10, *83


May 12, '71
None breed


do.
Sept.




Whinchat


Transit only.


Nightingale ...


April 8-15


May 7, ^83


Aug. -Sept


...


Redstart*


Mar. 25-April




Sept-Oct.


Transit.


GardenWarbler


Mid-April


May 10


Oct.


...


Orphean War-










bler


Mid-April


May 15


. ^^P^


...


Whitethroat ...


April 10-20


May 12


Sept.-Oct.


...


Spectacled










Warbler


Mar. 10 (Irby)


...




...



* Some Ring-Ouxds nest in Sierra Nevada— eggs received from Colmenar by H.
possibly also some Redstarts.

G G 2



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452



WILD SPAIN.



Arrives.



Nests.



Departs.



Remarks.



Sub -alpine |

Warbler

Bonelli's War-

bier

Wood- Wren ... ,
Willow- Wren..

Chiffchaflf |

YeUow Willow-

Wren '

W. Pallid do... I
Rufous War-
bler '

Savi's Warbler. I
Great ^edge ,

Warbler

Reed- Warbler..
PiedFlycatcher*
Spotted do. ...
Swallow

Martin

Sand-Martin ...
Crag-Martin ...

Woodchat

G. H. WagtaiU
Tree Pipit.

Short-toedLark

C. Baiua*

Cirl-Bunting ...

Ortolan

Serin

Golden Oriole.
Spotless Star-
ling

Turtle-Dove ...

Quail

Landrail

PurpleGallinulc
Stone-C«rlew..

Pratincole

Grey Plover ...
Kentish Plover.
Lesser Ring

Plover

Common Sand-

pipert



April-early

April 25

March



March (end) May (early) \ Oct



April (end) ^
May I

May I
March (?)

April
End March
April 8-30

May 10

Mid -Feb. to

May

February

Feb.-Mar.

Feb.-Mar.

Mar. -April

Feb.-Mar.

Mar. -April

April

Mid-March

?

Mar.

April

February

April 15-20

March
April-end

May
Mar. -April
Feb.-Mar.
Febniary
Mar. -April
April 8-20
May

March

Mid-March
April 15



May 2$
April 10
April 20

May 20
June 10

May 28
May 4

May 28
Mays 1
None breed* ;
May 25

Mar.-April

MayVn.S.)!

April-May I
May 10 I
April 25 ;

None breed I

April 20
May 9
April 12
Mays
May 10
May 20

April 23

May

May

None breed

April 2S

April 20

May 12

None breed

April 15

May JO



Sept
Oct



I



I Aug.-Scpt.
I Aug. -Sept.

I Sept.
1 Aug. (Irby)

i



Oct. 1-17

Aug.-Sept

I
Sept. -Oct. I
Sept. -Oct

Oct.
Oct. -Nov.
Sept -Oct
Aug.-Sept.
Oct. -Nov.

Aug.
Aug.-Sept.

Oct-Nov.

Sept
Oct. -Nov.
Aug.-Sept.

Sept
Sept. (end)

Oct.
Sept iS-30

Oct.

Oct.
Oct.-Nov.

Sept

Nov.



Scarce.
> Many resident.

I do.



Rare and local.

In transit.

A few in winter

A few all winter.
Many in winter.



In transit.
Somebreed^H S.

(Unknown).
Many resident



Many winter.
Many resident
Many resident.

On passage only.
Many winter.



None breedt t Aug.-Sept



* Pied Flycatcher believed to breed in Castile (H. S.). C. Btrtka is perhaps resident.

t The Sandpiper breeds in Castile and in Portugal, and a few pairs may possiUy do so
in Andalucia. The main transit occurs about AprU 15, coinciding with their arrival on the
North British moorlands.



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LIST OP 8PBINO-HIOBAMTS.



453





Arrives.


Nests.


Departs.


Curiew Sand-








piper*


May


None breed


...


Knot


May i-io


do.


...


Wood-Sand-








piper


April-May


do.


...


Greenshank ...


April-May


do.


Sept.-Oct.


Black-tailed








Godwit


Feb.-Mar.


do.


...


Bar-tailed do.


May
April-May


do.


Sept.


Ruff


do.


Aug.-Sept.


Great Snipe ...
Whimbrel


April-May


do.


Sept.- Oct.


May


do.


Sept. -Oct.


Slender - billed








Curlew


Spring


do.


Autumn


Purple Heron..
Little Egret ...


March 20


April 10


Sept


April-early


June 8


Oct«-Nov.


Buff-backed








Heron


Mar. -April


do.


...


Squacco do. ...


April 20


do.


...


Little Bittern..


April-end


do.


Sept.


Night Heron...


April-end
April 20


May 20


...


Glossy Ibis ..


May 28


...


SpoonbUl


April 10


May (early)

(Irby)

April 25


...


Crane


Feb.-Mar.


Oct.


Demoiselle


^ ^»«^« A«A**a«




Crane


Mar.-April


...


Aug.


Stork


Jan. -Feb.
Feb. to May


March (end)


Sept.


Black Stork ...


May


Nov.


Marbled Duck.


April


May (end)


Sept.


Garganey


Feb.-Mar.


do.


Sept.


NyrocaPochard
White-faced


Feb.-Mar.


May 20


Oct.-Nov.


Duck


Mar.-April.


May 20


Oct.-Nov.


Gull-billed






1


Tern


Aprils


May 25


...


Lesser Tern ...


April 13


May 25


Oct. 2$ (Irby)


Whiskered








Tern


April 10


May 20


Aug. (Favier)


Black Tern ...


May I


May 30


Sept.-Oct.
(Favier)



Remarks.



Transit,
do.

do.
A few winter.



Many winter.



A few winter.



Observed in

winter.
Many winter.

Many winter.

Very irregular.



* Many other crnieeneric species of the Plover and Sandpiper class, such as Sanderlins^,
Little and Temminck's Stints, Purple Sandpiper, &c, might also be included, passing north
through Andalucia in millions at the same period ; but many individuals xdso spend the
autumn and winter there.



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454



PART III.

SPRING-NOTES IN NAVAERE.
BY ALFRED CRAWHALL CHAPMAN.

The breeding-season in Navarre, owing probably to tlie high
mean altitude of that province, appears to be relatively later than
in other districts of similar latitude. In mid-April (1891) at
St. Jean de Luz and Iinin, we luxuriated in warm sunshine and
the shade of leafy trees ; but at Alsasua, on the afternoon of
the 15th, we found ourselves transported to a region as cold



Online LibraryFrancis WhartonWharton and Stillé's medical jurisprudence .. → online text (page 34 of 36)