"This book--we speak in deliberate superlative--is the best essay in what may be called natural history biography that we have ever read."--The Outlook
the--came from the whirlpool in the dense shadows of the pines: the otter's mate was hunting in the quiet water beyond the shelf of rock. Then a slight, rattling sound on the pebbly beach of a little bay near the sycamore indicated that the animal had landed and was probably devouring the captured fish. The leaping flames of the cottager's fire had been succeeded by a fitful glow, but the moon glided from behind the clouds and revealed a distinct picture of the parent otter standing on the shingle, in company with Lutra, her little cub.
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A deserted mansion--to whose history, like the aged ivy to its crumbling walls, clung many a fateful legend--nestled under the precipitous woods in the valley. Time, taking advantage of neglect, had made a wilderness of the gardens, the lawns, and the orchards, which, less than a century ago, surrounded with quiet beauty this home of a typical old country squire. A few garden flowers still lingered near the porch; but the once well tended borders were o