|A vulture on board; bald, red, queer-shaped
head, featherless red places here and there on his body, intense great black
eyes set in featherless rims of inflamed flesh; dissipated look; a business-like
style, a selfish, conscienceless, murderous aspect--the very look of a professional
assassin, and yet a bird which does no murder. What was the use of getting
him up in that tragic style for so innocent a trade as his? For this one
isn't the sort that wars upon the living, his diet is offal--and the more
out of date it is the better he likes it. Nature should give him a suit
of rusty black; then he would be all right, for he would look like an undertaker
and would harmonize with his business; whereas the way he is now he is horribly
out of true.
- Following the Equator
From an illustration by Audubon.
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