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This island is a very singular onc. It consists of little else than the sea sand, and is about three miles long. Its breadth at no point exceeds a quarter of a mile. It is separated from the main land by a scarcely perceptible creek, oozing its way through a wilderness of reeds and slime, a favourite resort of the marsh-hen. The vegetation, as might be supposed, is scant, or at least dwarfish. No trees of any magnitude are to be seen. Near the western extremity, where Fort Moultrie stands, and where are some miserable frame buildings, tenanted, during summer, by the fugitives from Charleston dust and fever, may be found, indeed, the bristly palmetto; but the whole island, with the exception of this western point, and a line of hard, white beach on the sea-coast, is covered with a dense undergrowth of the sweet myrtle, so much prized by the horticulturists of England. The shrub Here often attains the height of fifteen or twenty feet, and forms an almost impene. trable coppice, burthening the air with its fragrance.
In the inmost recesses of this coppice, not far from the enstern or more remote end of the island, Legrand had built himself a small hut, which he oooupied when I first, by mero accident, made his acquaintance. This soon ripened into friendship-for there was much in the recluse 'to 'excite interest and esteem, , I found him well educated, with unusual powers of mind, but in fected with misanthropy, and subject to perverse moods of alternate enthusiasm and melancholy. He had with him many books, but rarely employed them. His chief amusements were gunning and fishing, or sauntering along the beach and through the myrtles, in quest of shells or entomological specimens; his collection of the latter might have been envied by a "Swammerdamm. In these excursions he was usually aocompanied by an
called Jupiter, who had been manumitted before the reverses of the family, but who could be induced, neither by threats nor by promises, to abandon what he considered his right of attendance upon the
it is a
footsteps of his young
“ Massa Will.” It is not improbable that the relatives of Legrand, conceiving him to be somewhat unsettled in intellect, had contrived to instil this obstinacy into Jupiter, with a view to the supervision and guardianship of the wanderer.
The winters in the latitude of Sullivan's Island are seldom very severe, and in the fall of the
year rare event indeed, when a fire is considered necessary. About the middle of October, 18—, there occurred, however, n day of remarkable chilliness. Just before sunset I scrambled my way through the evergreens
to the hut of my friend, whom I had not visited for several weeks—my residence being, at that time, in Charleston, a distance of nine miles from the island, while the facilities of passage and re-paesage were very far behind those of the present day. Upon reaching the hut I rapped, as was my custom, and getting no reply, sought for the key where I knew it was secreted, unlocked the door and went in. A fine fire was blazing. upon the hearth. It was a novelty, and by no means an ungrateful one. I threw off an overcoat, took an arm-chair by the crackling logs, and awaited patiently the arrival of my hosts.
Soon after dark they arrived, and gave me a most cordial welcome. Jupiter, grinning from ear to ear, bustled about to prepare some marsh-hens for supper. Legrand was in one of his fits—how else shall I term them ?-of enthusiasm. He had found an unknown bivalve, forming a new genus, and, more than this, he had hunted down and secured, with Jupiter's assistance, a scarabaus which he believed to be totally new, but in respect to which he wished to have my opinion on the
"And why not to night?" I asked, rubbing my hands over the blaze, and wishing the whole tribe of 'scarabai at the devil.
“Ah, if I had only known you were here !” said Legrand; “ but its so long since I saw you ; and how
could I foresee that
would pay me a visit this very night of all others? As I was coming home I met Lieutenant G-, from the fort, and, very foolishly, I lent him the beetle; so it will be impossible for you to see it until the morning. Stay here to-night, and I will send Jup down for it at sunrise. It is the loveliest thing in creation!”
“What? -sunrise ?"
“Nonsense! no!-the beetle. It is of a brilliant gold colour-about the size of a large hickory-nut-with two jet-black spots near one extremity of the back, and another, somewhat longer, at the other. The antennce are
Dey aint no tin in him, Massa Will, I keep a tellin on you," here interrupted Jupiter; "de beetle is a goole beetle, solid, ebery bit of him, inside and all, sep him wing-neber feel half so hebby a beetle in my life.” "
"Well, suppose it is, Jup," replied Legrand, somewhat more earnestly, it seemed to me, than the case deinanded, “is that any reason for your letting the birds burn? The colour"-here he turned to me" is really almost enough to warrant Jupiter's idea. You never saw a more brilliant metallic lustro than the scales emit--but of this you cannot judge till to-morrow. In the meantime I can give you some idea of the shape.” Saying this, he seated himself at a small table, on which were a pen and ink, but no paper. He looked for some in a drawer, but found none.
“ Never mind,” said he at length, “this will answer;" and he drow from his waistcont pocket a scrap of what I took to be very dirty foolocap, and made upon it a rough drawing with the pen. While he did this, I retained my seat by the fire, for I was still chilly. When the design was complete, he handed it to me without rising. As I received it, a loud growl was heard, succeeded by a scratching at the door. Jupiter opened it, and a large Newfoundland, belonging to Legrand, rushed in, leaped upon my
shoulders, and loaded
vious visits. When his gambols were over, I looked at the paper, and, to speak the truth, found myself not a little puzzled at what my friend had depicted.
“Well!” I said, after contemplating it for some minutes,
“this is a strange scarabæus, I must confess: new to me: never saw anything like it beforeunless it was a scull, or a death's-head—which it more nearly resembles than anything else that has come under my observation."
" A death's-head !” echoed Legrand—"Oh-yes well, it has something of that appearance upon paper, no doubt. The two upper black spots look like eyes, eh ? and the longer one at the bottom like a mouthand then the shape of the whole is oval,"
"Perhaps so," said I: "but, Legrand, I fear you are no artist. I must wait until I see the beetle itself, if I am to form any idea of its personal appearance.
“Well, I don't know," said he, a little nettled, “I draw tolerably-should do it, at least-have had good masters, and flatter myself that I am not quite a blockhead.”
.“ But, my dear fellow, you are joking then," said I; this is a very passablo skull—indeed, I may say that it is a very excellent skull, according to the vulgar notions about such specimens of physiology—and your scarabæus must be the queerest scarabeus in the world, if it resembles it. Why, we may get up a very thrilling bit of superstition upon this hint. I presume you will call the beetle scarabeus caput hominis, or something of that kind-there are many similar titles in the Natural Histories. But where are the antennæ you spoke of?"
“ The antenna !” said Legrand, who seemed to be getting unaccountably warm upon the subject; "I am sure you must seo tho antenncc. I mado them as distinct as they are in the original inscct, and I presume that is sufficient.”
Well, well,” I said, " perhaps you have—still I don't see them ;" and I handed him the
without additional remark, not wishing to ruffle his temper ; but I was much surprised at the turn affairs had taken; his ill-humour puzzlcd mc—and, as for the drawing of the beetle, there were positively no antennæ visible, and the whole did bear a very close resemblance to the ordinary cuts of a death’s-head.
He received the paper very peevishly, and was about to crumple it, apparently to throw it in the fire, when a casual glance at the design seemed suddenly to rivet his attention. In an instant his face grew violently red—in another as excessively pale. For some minutes