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A letter written by the Rev.llF. G. Baton, off Efate, gives the foeowing account of a strange fish:—“ Whn the anchor was almost lifted, and the vessel ready to start fi'om Eromanga, an incident happened which cast a dark shadow over us for a time. A very strange looking fish Ixad been seen around the vessel distance below the water. Every catch fone had failed, when a teacher speared one of them, and brought it to the captain in -water, when it appeared as if surrounded by feathers, owing to its very long fins. It had also from its forehead two processes like horns an inch and a half or so long, and soft after it was dead. Its tail and long fins, were beautifully coloured, like a turtle-shell. All round the top of the fins were a row of sharp spines like darning needle points. The captain had given his orders, and the men were just about to set the vessel in motion -when he thought he would take a look at the strange fish. As he attempted to lift it out of the water, it struck one of its sharp spines into the top oh his finger, which in a moment caused excruciating pain. I saw him spring from it in agony, but knew not the cause. Learning what had taken place I at once bandaged his wrist with my pocket-handkerchief as tightly as it could be tied, and a little higher up with tape, as firmly compressed as possible. As I got to him his fingers were being paralysed and cramped, and a moment or two after his head fell heavily on my arm, and conciousness appeared almost gone. We gave him a large dose of brandy and opium, and sucked the puncture, round which a dark ring was rapidly spreading ; and as he lay on the deck sinking, in the absence of a lancet, Mr. Robertson got a penknife, an I cut through the wound, but no blood came, I then cut deeper, right across the dark ring, yet no blood came, till by a strong and persevering sucking of the wound it came, and flowed so freely I was afraid I had cut an artexy, but as the bleeding continued conciousxxess returned, and he gradually recovered. I dressed the wound with aixxmonia and cold water, and kept the bandage on and wet till next day, when we relaxed it, and in a few days he was all right again. He takes the fish to Sydney, preserved in spirits. ” ~

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Bibliographic details

A STRANGE FISH., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 90, 22 April 1880

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A STRANGE FISH. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 90, 22 April 1880