HOW TOM THE BEAR WAS BORN A FRENCHMAN
Captain Pamphile had made many voyages in southern seas, and traded in gold dust, spices, and ivory ; so he thought that the north might be a pleasant change, and that he could do a little business in furs and train-oil.
Now this happened more than sixty years ago, and the voyage took longer than it would in our days. And when at last they reached land, the Captain thought he would take a holiday, and go on shore for sport, leaving the ship in charge of the chief mate.
He plunged inland at once, and after some days' march reached a great forest, where he hoped to find game; but as night came on, he realised that he did not know his way. It was not a cheerful prospect, for his clothing was light, and many growls were heard around, amongst which he recognized the voices of the hungry wolves abounding in these forests. He looked round for shelter, and chose a sturdy oak, which he climbed—only just in time, for the wolves, who had scented him from afar, came hurrying up in hopes of a good supper. But they were too late ; the Captain had found a perch!
But the wolves hoped on, and huddling round the tree, moaned and howled so fearfully that the Captain could hardly restrain a shudder. Through the darkness he could still trace the outline of their shaggy backs and catch the gleam of their fierce eyes. This constant watch made him almost giddy, and, fearing a fall, he tied himself firmly to