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[FROM THE “ SAN FRANCISCO POST.”] “ They are making lots of fuss over the fact that the Jeanette survivors were compelled to live on walrus hide for three weeks,” said Diffenderfer down at the club the other night; “just as though that was anything terrible. Now, if they had gone through the hardships that I have, they might talk.” “ Cook’s been burning your buckwheats, I suppose ? ” said Boggs, with a satirical wink. “Oh ! I’m in earnest,” said Diffenderfer.” “ For instance, I was lost on a Michigan prairie one, and for three days lived on a single field mouse I

caught.” “ That’s nothing,” said another member, contemptuously. “ Aint, eh ? Another time I was shipwrecked in the South Seas. Floated around on a raft sixteen days, with nothing to eat but a pair of old bootlegs amongst ten of us.” “Good soft calfskin isn’t so bad,” critically observed Skidmore, who claimed to have been a pirate, or something, in early life. “ Then, on another occasion,” said Diffenderfer, bracing up again, after a while, “ I was locked by mistake in a bank vault, and had to subsist over Sunday on Government bonds and coupons.” “ Lots of men doing that now,” said old Bolts, gruffly. “I escaped from the rebs during the war, at New Orleans,” said the narrator, growing paler and more determined as he went on, “ and for six weeks hid in a swamp, and lived exclusively on the cast-off skin of an alligator.” “ You should have boiled it,” said Gufiie, calmly. “ That’s the way I used to do in Africa.” There was a silence that could be cut with a knife after that for some time, when, just as the crowd was chuckling over the supposed extinguishment of the storyteller,! Diffenderfer took the bit in his teeth and made one more desperate brush for the lead. “ But, gentlemen,” he continued, solemnly, “ those were hardships indeed, but nothing—absolutely nothing—compared to an experience I once endured in this city about three years ago. Through an unfortunate combination of circumstances I was compelled to eat three hotel steaks in one week !” And with awe-struck faces the sympathising crowd arose and awarded the survivor the official cake.

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Bibliographic details

THE CHAMPION SUFFERER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 691, 18 July 1882

Word Count

THE CHAMPION SUFFERER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 691, 18 July 1882

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