Consequently formations rich in fossils and sufficiently thick and extensive to resist subsequent degradation, may have been formed over wide spaces during periods of subsidence, but only where the supply of sediment was sufficient to keep the sea shallow and to embed and preserve the remains before they had time to decay.
Yet it may be doubted whether in any quarter of the world, sedimentary deposits, including fossil remains, have gone on accumulating within the same area during the whole of this period.
In fact, this nearly exact balancing between the supply of sediment and the amount of subsidence is probably a rare contingency; for it has been observed by more than one palaeontologist, that very thick deposits are usually barren of organic remains, except near their upper or lower limits.
At all events, a little golden fragment of bachelorhood remained
. There was yet a fertile strip of time wherein to sow my last handful of the wild oats of youth.
When he recovered his senses, he threw himself on the bed and rolling about, he kissed frantically the place where the young girl had slept and which was still warm; he remained there for several moments as motionless as though he were about to expire; then he rose, dripping with perspiration, panting, mad, and began to beat his head against the wall with the frightful regularity of the clapper of his bells, and the resolution of a man determined to kill himself.
He remained thus for more than an hour without making a movement, with his eye fixed on the deserted cell, more gloomy, and more pensive than a mother seated between an empty cradle and a full coffin.
This was all that remained of the tempest of the night.
He remained motionless and silent, with his eyes steadily fixed on a certain point; and there was something so terrible about this silence and immobility that the savage bellringer shuddered before it and dared not come in contact with it.
The deaf man was leaning, with his elbows on the balustrade, at the spot where the archdeacon had been a moment before, and there, never detaching his gaze from the only object which existed for him in the world at that moment, he remained motionless and mute, like a man struck by lightning, and a long stream of tears flowed in silence from that eye which, up to that time, had never shed but one tear.
Nevertheless, he collected all the strength which remained to him for a final effort.
Some of the fifty Indians who had remained on the south side of the river, perceived what was going on, and, feeling themselves too weak for an attack, gave the alarm to those on the opposite side, upwards of a hundred of whom embarked in several large canoes.
Crooks remained here twenty days, detained by the extremely reduced state of John Day, who was utterly unable to travel, and whom he would not abandon, as Day had been in his employ on the Missouri, and had always proved himself most faithful.