Tortoise sex, via the eyes of Lucky Jack Aubrey

On a walk of this kind in the Mediterranean islands he usually saw tortoises, which he did not dislike at all — far from it — but they seemed rare on Gozo, and it was not until he had been going for some time that he heard a curious tock-tock-tock and saw a small one running, positively running across the road, perched high on its legs; it was being pursued by a larger tortoise, who, catching it up, butted it three times in quick succession: it was the clap of the shells that produced the tock-tock-tock. ‘Tyranny,’ said Jack, meaning to intervene: but either the last blows had subdued the smaller tortoise — a female — or she felt that she had shown all the reluctance that was called for; in any case she stopped. The male covered her, and maintaining himself precariously on her domed back with his ancient folded leathery legs he raised his face to the sun, stretched up his neck opened his mouth wide and uttered the strangest dying cry.

‘Bless me, said Jack, ‘I had no notion…’.

This is the sort of thing you can do when you’re writing 3000 pages.  
from Patrick O’Brian, Treason’s Harbor, p 52. 
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