118 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
my rod too weak. So I took one of the finest of the bulrushes you had just gathered, and put a larger hook on my line, and in a short time the large fish there seized upon the bait. However, if you had not come I should either have let go my line, or have been dragged into the water, for he was much stronger than I.'
We now examined the smaller fish, which were mostly trout and herrings. I cut them all open, and rubbed them inside with salt that they might not go bad in the heat. While I was thus employed Ernest went to the rocks and bathed, and I had time to fill some more bags with salt before his return. We then harnessed and loaded our animals, and went back to Falcon Stream.
When we were about half way, Flora, who was before us, suddenly sprang off, and began barking. We soon after saw her chasing an animal, which made the most extraordinary jumps. This creature passed close to where I stood. I fired, but its flight was so rapid that I did not hit it. Ernest, who was behind, hearing the report of my gun, fired the next minute, and his aim was so good that the animal fell dead. I ran to look at it. It was as large as a sheep, but the tail was like that of a tiger ; its snout and hair were like those of a mouse,