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THE MISGIVINGSby@julesverne

THE MISGIVINGS

by Jules Verne 13mAugust 21st, 2023
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Most travellers who have passed a night in a South American forest have been roused from their slumbers by a matinée musicale more fantastic than melodious, performed by monkeys, as their ordinary greeting of the dawn. The yelling, chattering, screeching, howling, all unite to form a chorus almost unearthly in its hideousness. Amongst the various specimens of the numerous family of the quadrumana ought to be recognized the little marikina; the sagouin, with its parti-coloured face; the grey mora, the skin of which is used by the Indians for covering their gun-locks; the sapajou, with its singular tuft over the forehead, and, most remarkable of all, the guariba (Simia Beelzebul) with its prehensile tail and diabolical countenance. At the first streak of daylight the senior member, as choragus, will start the key-note in a sonorous barytone, the younger monkeys join in tenor and alto, and the concert begins. But this morning there was no concert at all. There was nothing of the wonted serenade to break the silence of the forest. The shrill notes resulting from the rapid vibration of the hyoid bones of the throat were not to be heard. Indians would have been disappointed and perplexed; they are very fond of the flesh of the guariba when smoked and dried, and they would certainly have missed the chant of the monkey "paternosters;" but Dick Sands and his companions were unfamiliar with any of these things, and accordingly the singular quietude was to them a matter of no surprise. They all awoke much refreshed by their night's rest, which there had been nothing to disturb. Jack was by no means the latest in opening his eyes, and his first words were addressed to Hercules, asking him whether he had caught a wolf with his teeth. Hercules had to acknowledge that he had tasted nothing all night, and declared himself quite ready for breakfast. The whole party were unanimous in this respect, and after a brief morning prayer, breakfast was expeditiously served by old Nan. The meal was but a repetition of the last evening's supper, but with their appetites sharpened by the fresh forest air, and anxious to fortify themselves for a good day's march, they did not fail to do ample justice to their simple fare. Even Cousin Benedict, for once in his life at least, partook of his food as if it were not utterly a matter of indifference to him; but he grumbled very much at the restraint to which he considered himself subjected; he could not see the good of coming to such a country as this, if he were to be obliged to walk about with his hands in his pockets; and he protested that if Hercules did not leave him alone and permit him to catch fire-flies, there would be a bone to pick between them. Hercules did not look very much alarmed at the threat. Mrs. Weldon, however, took him aside, and telling him that she did not wish to deprive the enthusiast entirely of his favourite occupation, instructed him to allow her cousin as much liberty as possible, provided he did not lose sight of him.
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Jules Verne

Jules Verne

@julesverne

French novelist, poet and playwright.

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Jules Verne @julesverne
French novelist, poet and playwright.

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