Chapter 8995837

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8995837
Full Date1881-04-15
Page Number1
Corrections0
Word Count5287
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Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954)
Trove TitleThe Mine by the Sea
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THE MINE BY THE SEA.

Chapter I.

Tho little seaport town of Saintby is built upon the shoreB of a natural harbour, formed by a break in the lino of cliffs which, with but fow interruptions, stretch nlong tho. north-western coast of the county of Fellshire. The white- washed houses perched in irregular lines upon the steep hillsides, and long'disused fort com- manding tho bay, and the ship» and fishing smacks moored to the quays withmthe harbour, giwan air of picturcsquoness and cheerfulness to tho'" town which is hardly sustained by a nearer view of the narrow, dingy streets, and an -»experience of the many mingled odours of the ."/'quays and beach. Yet the little town is pros-

perous in its way. A considerable trade is dono '.* irTtfie export of coal and iron oro from the mines

of the' neighbourhood. Many boats aro em- ployed in tho fishing trado Besides, Saintby is the market town whither tho farmers of the sur- rounding district every week bring the produce of the farms for sale.

Immediotely to the south of Saintby the cliffs make a bold Bweep in a westerly direction, and the headlands thus formed, on which a lighthouse has been built, is always spoken of by the country people under the general name of "The Heads. " Further on the cliffs recede again, and soon como to an end, being succeeded by a long stretch of very fertile lovel country, Bkirting the sea. The commencement of this plain is only about five miles in a direct line from Saintby, and this con- figuration of the land has given rise to a logend among tho pooplo that the headland had once 'been an island, the sea then flowing over the site of the present Saintby, and through tho deep valley which stretches behind the cliff, and ends in the level tract of country spoken of.

Saintby is a quiet, dull little town, yet it lias BightB and-wonders of its own. Hb cool mines,-i.sunk close to the shoro, their under- ground workings stretching for miles beneath -thé^bottom of the Bea,_jiro, though tho natives do not thiuk so, tho moist remarkable feature.

And of these the 'Westray mino, which was situated on a strip of land at the baso of tho sandstone cliff, and immediately overlooked tho .?sea, was, at the time of my story, ono of tho ' largest and most productive.

. Mrs. Benson kept the toll-bar at Raby, a little ' hamlet lying on the main road from Saintby

to, Rayington, the nearest market town to tho ' south.

r-1, say Mrs. Benson kept it, although her , husband's name was painted abovo the door, ¡,but'he was now, after an adventurous life as n "'sailor in the old fighting days of tho navy, a

crippled, bed-ridden old mau, and nil the work of collecting tho tolls,'keeping the house bright and cleanf and cultivating the little patch of garden belonging to it, was performed by Mrs. Benson and her daughter, Agnos, a handsome, fresh-featured girl of eighteen.

( Baby was about two milos from Saintby, and

lay on'the inland slope of tho lime cliffs. To . any one who chose to climb from the seashore

up the desolate face of those precipitous cliffs, on mounting to tho summit, a strangely different scene presented itself to his oyes.

The hillsides, both that on which he stood and that facing him, and separated by the narrow . valley at his feet were covered with clustering

trees and .rich meadow land, and completely ," sheltered by the rocky barrier from nil rough

winds and the blighting.touch.( of the soa foam that in the wild winter storms^was often flung high'up the slopes of the seaward side.

" Mothor,»here's George again," said Agnes, one autumn' evening,'as she was'ironing her mothor's-Tcaps on'a broad table beneath tho cottage wjndo^ijilt^at^tlio moment when tho shadow»of-a]vjpitoj'ôn hisf way to the door fell over jiêr.work\, ¡ "

" Como thy ways in, George-come thy ways in," cried in a cheery, but not vory musical voice tho old woman, who was occupied in bending over tho firo in preparation of oatcakes for thofaniily supper. Sho did not turn.to him immediately^ ovidontly being on too familiar termB willi him for ceromony.

The door oponed, and with Blow, slightly halting stop tho visitor carno forward. Ho was a tall man, but stooped a good deal, leaning on a stick that ho always carried with him ; this, with the perceptible drag of his left foot in walkin?, being the result of a torriblo accident . in tho Westray mino, in which ho, together

with many others, hod jmffered.

But it waB also to tlua accident that his friend- ship with tho Bensons was owing. About five years beforo, young Tom BoiiBon, Agnes' brother, when working in tho mino, was crushed to death by the fall of a huge mass of coal, and , in the nttempt to rescue his friend, Georgo

Heimers (for that waB his name) had also been fltruck, and suffered injuries from which ho had never quito recovered. Ever since her son's death, Mrs. Bonson had welcomed Heimers to tho cottage, and of late ho bad got into the habit of coming thero very frequently, undor the pretext of giving Agnes writing lessons.

His face was palo and thin, with no special regularity or beauty in his foaturo, but still with something characteristic in it-a look of clovorness and power, with a curious enrnest ness of manner, that niado ono soon forgot the rough hewn lines on his faco.

Uo carno forward into tho kitchen.

" Well, mother !"-for ever since hor son's death ho called hor by this name-"you look finely to-day, and .so does Agnes. How's tho

. oldman?", ' :

" i, "..Badly, George, badly onough ; thom rliou -j maticB plagues him terrible. Bui, hist, ho hoars

every word in tho next room | Hast had thi' ,r »upper?"

iii W'-flay; I want no supper thank you all tho

samo,',' he answorod, and turned towards i Agnes. "I carno to ubIc if AgneB would have her lesson to-night, or would come a walk on t' cliff. It's so;, bonny fine with tho sun setting over t'soa, -Agnes !'

ntl Ifloispoko thus, leaning over the dresser, as ¿-the.'long table was called, at which Agnes was ; ilitill continuing her ironing operations.

"Ay, Georgo tak her out-tak her out a bit," said the old woman. " She's been that queor o' late, I canna mako out what's como to her. Why, what dost think 1 She gave sixpenny chango for a fourpenny bit at tow-bar 1 this.morning ; and what wi' breaking things and forgetting what a body says, she makes mo i ¿lean > daft sometimes. Theo tak her in the

fresh'air, and Bee if you can brighten her up a

bit."

Nay, mother, theio's this ironing to finish." The girl looked round with a deep blush . upon hor faco and a supplicating look toward

her mother, but tho old woman would net hoed ' this, and AgneB had to got her bonnet and

skawlj for the autumn evenings were now rather ,' chilly,' and accompany George in a stroll over i th'o-cliffs. ¡' Ii ~

"You mustn't quito believe all mother says aboht mo," aho bogan, in n low voico, as they Bâûntôrod togolhor up tho lawn, sholterod by ' tall hodgoB rich with autumn flowers on the

hillside. "But, Georgo, I don't know how it is," sho added, turning with quick, impulsivo geBturo lo him ; "'you'io patient and kind, and mother--well bIio's impatient and kind, and other people-thoy'ro about tho same as they always wero j but things don't soeni to fit in now ns thoy used to-thoy don't always in this world, do thoy, George ?"

" Why, what do you know about all that ?" cried Georgo, in honoat aniaaomont, and then he como nearer to her with an instinctive impulse of help, though ns ho did this she slightly drew away from him. ''Men's troubles and women's aro not always alike," ho went on with a softened voico ; " but when things go wrong with me, Agnos, I've got ' a bit of philosophy for thom ¡ keep on and

worry them till thoy como right again-mnke thom como right again. Ono enn only do one s best, you know. Thoro's a deal of things wrong with mo just now at the pit and other places besidos ; but I know this, I'll havo a fight before I give in. There's tho master wants money badly for his son, who's in the army, mid I'll toll him ho's working the cool far too near tho sea-thnt is one thing. And sometimes, when I am down-spirited, I think I'll give it up and go to placos whoro men don't work in holes in the dark, and whoro thoro's Buch things as a collier like mo can only dream of aomotimes. Still I'll stick to it and fight it out. But, Agnos, what troubles thoo ? Con I help ? I'm strong enough for two, lass, and

thou know'st I'll do it if I cou.'

' " Nay, Georgo, it's only silly fancies of mino, that's all," she said, bonding over some flowers by the wayside, and so contriving to hide her tears. .' Things aro gone a bit awry, and per- haps they'll come straight somo time." ",

They hod now reached the edge of the cliff, and wero leaning upon the grassy hedge that hod been placed there to prevent tho cattlo foiling over. Tho sun wob.setting behind the western soo, with nil the broad crimson glories of illumined clouds and glittering- oxpanso of wntors. Agnes hod token off hor bonnet and laid it bosido hor. Splendidly beautiful she looked as aho stood thero, with long wavy hair and softest goldeu, exquisitely moulded features, and comploxion bright and rosy with tho hues of country life. Her girlish'figure, and innocent, child-like ways almost j entiroly concealed a strength of will and latent passion, of which nono but Hoimors had tho least suspicion

Ho stood by her sido, while lier eyes wandered over that scene-the tranquil flashing waters stretched out before him, tho glories of cloud land around and above, and the long range of scarped cliffs 'rising above the sea line to right and loft. And then they wore fixod upon her face, lit up also with that ethereal brightness from tho west, and softly and slowly he spoke again,:

" Agnes, I've made up my mind to speok it out come what may I I'm going to tell n bit o' my trou bios that p'raps theo never guossed at. It's only ten years since I caine here, and before that-well, never mind, it's all over and done for now. Things had boon different with me before. I spoke difforont, lived difforont from what I do now. 'All at* once I found myself ruine"d, with my name blackened for ever, and I chose men should think me dead. 1 went to the pit, and worked there. Tom, thy brother, was the first that showed mo any kindness, then thy mother, and then-Agnes, thero was a bit of kindtiess in thy voico and ways, and I began to hope a little. And I carno o' nights to tho toll-bar, and tho moro I carno tho moro I

hoped and longed for theo. And now it's out.. Agnes, const thou caro a bit for a poor rough) fellow like I am ?"

"Oh George, I nevor thought-of that," bIio faltered out. ' »:

" Never thought I" said ho, laying hold of her, hand with passionate ¡grasp. " Never thought 1, when I used to guide these littlo fingers o' winter nights in our schooling, how I longed to seize j thom and tell theo all, or that when wo wandored about on theso cliffs and talked o' all strange things in the big world, I was anything more than the stern old schoolmaster ? Well, I wob a fool. Curse it all !" mid ho stamped with sullen rago and impatience.

Her head was bent low, and the tears were fast falling again

" Agues, dear, look up," ho went on, with a sudden chango in his voico. "I soo it's no uso ; I was a fool to think any ' woman would caro for me again. Well, never mind, I won't trouble you in this way any more. But, oh ! if you could only love mo, child ?" ho spoko out with another burst of passion, " I would mako you bo happy-happier far than any of the poor fools about hero would do."

" Oh, George, didn't I say it was ulla mistake the way things go !" she said, looking appoalingly into his face. "You wore so good, George, I never thought of that-and then there was an- other, and ho used to court me, though neithor you nor mother knew, and I love him, oh, Georgo, so much I But I don't know how it íb, things havo gone wrong, and I don't know whether ho cares for mo now, and I'm so

wretched."

Heimers was too generous to ask tho name. Still, he thought he might watch ovor nnd help hor, and there wob no knowing but she might learn to love him at last. So, with somo hope yet loft, ho talked of other mattors-tho fair at Saxby, the now stoamor anchored in Saintby harbour, and so on, till it was time to return to the cottage.

Ho would not go in that night, but wandered instead for many hours by the sea shore, with tho gently murmuring wavos and tho countless glooming Btors for company. Then he roturnod to the mine which he was overlooking, and did not leavo it till again tho sun was setting on the following day.

A wook wont past, when >ono night George, woory and disheartened (for things were going on very badly in tho mine), strolled along the beach till ho came to somo soawoed covered rocks. Lying down and rosting his hood upon his hand, he remained thero motionless for a long time, with his eyes fixod upon tho waves that in restless mood wero booting upon tho rocks bofore him. It was about 9 o'clock, and tho night waa now very dark.

All at once ho heard footsteps approaching by tho narrow path which wound along tim aido of tho cliff at a littlo distanco abovo his hoad. He looked up though tho darknoss was too great to bob any one, but at tho Bamo time he heard voices, and evidently the speakers had stopped just abovo where he was lying. At the same instant ho recognised their voices. They wore Agnes Benson and her cousin, Jim Massey, a good-looking, hard-working fellow, ignorant and thoughtless, and too fond of spending his money in publichouses, with no ambition to be anything higher in lifo than a working collier, but with

no worse faults that Heimers knew of.

It was bitter torture for bim to liston, but he oould not move from where ho was without

being discovered, and he did not wish that. Tho lovers' quarrel had evidently boon modo up;

their talk was half banter aud half in earnost of

a happy futuro, in which none but themselves should have a part, and Georgo detected iii the soft tones of Agnes' voico a joyous ring that ho had not heard in it. Then came the sound of kisses interchanged, and still Georgo had to listen. Then they passed away up tho hill-side, in the direction of Agnes' home.

Goorgo Hoimors stood oroct, his bock against the cliff. All was still savo for the long melan- choly cry of a soa gull that chanced lo fly past him, and the hoarse sound of the wavos beating at his feet with the grating rattlo of the pobblos as each spont wavo drow book from tho shoro. The thick darkness was about him and within his soul. Terrible to him was tho clamour of those wavos as thoy rushed up the beach, and then retiring dragged with them their prpy from the shoro. The sound was in his ears like the dirge of his hopes overthrown, his lifo drawn downward, downward by tho wavos of pitiless fate, to the depths of that ocean of despair that nevor moro gives upits dead.

Chapter II.

A strange sight is a coal mine. Wonderfully picturesque with itB streets and lanes nnd alleys, its unending corridors and countless chambers of the dead. The men there, with blackened faces and scanty attire, seora of another raco from thoae abovo ground, and tho feeble lights gleam- ing in the midst of the darknoss give a woird,

uuroal aspect to the scene.

The only sounds hoard aro thoso of tho coal waggons slowly pushed along by boys towards tho mouth of the pit, and in the narrow passages, whore tho men aro at work, tho clang of their pickaxes hb, they, cleave their way through the groat rockB of coal. Mon aro not tho only boings hore. There aro lloraos that havo not Boon tile daylight for many a year, to draw tho waggons in tho broader passages, and somotimos, if tho light of tho lamp is turnod towards the ground, tho bright little eyes of rats (how thoy carno to that under world I don't know) may be Been peering out of nooks among tho walls. There is an almost foarful sombráticas about tho placo. Thoughts that tho daylight would at once dispel seem to haunt tho air, mid tho voices of tho mon as they wander about, oaoh ono, Gidoon hko, with his le,'np and piokaxe, havo a deoper, hollower tono than abovo ground.

Two days had passod, and during that time a storm, long remembered on the coast, had bean raging ; but tho mon in the mino, accustomed as thoy were to hearing tho roar of tho wavos abovo their hoads, paid little heed to the incroased noise, Goorgo Hoimors alono had noticod it, and each day had spout moro timo than usual in examining the supports of tho roof.

It was now night timo, and ho had boon superintending some rather dangerous work in the lower levels, of blasting with gunpowder, which, much against his advico, the owner had Ordered. This being done, leaving further order for work with tho mon, George turned away and walkod alono in tho direction of the pit's mouth, carrying in ono hand a large canister containing the gunpowder ;> in the other his lamp and the heavy stick that, on account of his lamoness, was his constant companion. Even in that imperfect light it might have been seen that a great chango had passed over his face ; it was haggard and pinohed-looking ; there was a strange restless glittor in his eyos, and now and then his lips parted with an involuntary quiver- ing movement, quickly pressed together again with that stern, set expression that waa now rhabitualto thom, ., j n.

Instead of loaving the mino, a sudden thought seomcd to striko him half way, and he turned aside and entered a part of tho mino long deserted on account of tho danger oft working too near tho bottom of tho sea, but which recently had been opened again ; and though George had many times warnod tho owner of tho danger of weakening Úie supports of tho roof, largo quantities of coal'had been taken from it.

All was still as ho advanced through tho narrow passages, but soon these widened into a more opon space, and as he entered tho noise of the tumultuous waters overhoad was' fearfully loud. A cold draught of air smoto on liim, and made lum shiver. The placo was known to the colliers as tho ' ' Boggart's Hole," or the' "Ghost's Hole." It was an immense low-roofed, hall, one of thoso natural caverns that exist, boiieath the sea and land ; and in the centro was an abyss, into whose depths no human being had ever penetrated. _ The workings had been carried on along tho sidos;« and a rude pathway led half- way round, abruptly stopping abovo tho great

chasm. ' "

. The poor light which Georgo hold illumined only a narrow circle round him, but he knew tho place well, and, cautiously stepping along, reached the part where tho last workings had been made, and which was so low that he could touch with his hand the black slimy roof, to which gigantic loathsome fungi clung.

As ho stood thoro wild fancies stolo-over him. Loud -above sounded -tho rthunderou*>booni of

the surf, and beneathr him "lay, wrapped in eternal darkness, the great mino, stretching for miles into tho depths of the earth. He seated himself on a projecting rock, the canister of powder on the ground at his side, and the lamp

held between his knees.

What were his thoughts just then ? I know not all-but there was ono, fiorcer than the

clamour of the wave3 abovo, moro terrible than | 'the abyss'beneath him-ho had lost all, all ! j

Ho looked bock upon his lifo-all had gone wrong from tho beginning, and now, whou at last tho cup of sweetness had seomod to bo so near his lips, ho had seen it dashed away. Mo

ground his tooth with rogo, and then his passion J

took another form-his breast heaved, and a great sobbing cry roso to his lips. |

If she only know how I loved her ! Ho

love ! A moniont of tho lovo I could give hor' would bo moro than a lifotimo of his. But I1 know that novor, never-lot mo mako an end of it. , 1

"Ah, and Jim Massy, too ; a light to his powder, and thero'd be no victory to any one-j

tho sea would cover us too closo for that ! But tho others ? Pooh ! it's only dying a littlo Boonor ; and what is life to stupid, toiling drudges like them ? " Í

A torriblo smile passed over his faco ; ho placed tho lamp by his sido aud bent over the' canistor. Only a light to tho powder, and the rocks would be riven, and with a mighty burst the sea would rush in aud whelm thom all ! Ho' took out his knife and proceeded to open the canister, which by somo means had been fastened down too tightly.

But, hark ! Close behind bim, just beyond the onding of tho path he heard a rustling, crackling sound, then a crash, and a hugo frag-, mont of rock rolled down, and ho waa only just in timo to leap asido before the placo where ho had stood was covered with Bhivered portions of it as it descended, and leaping from ledge to ledgo, at last, with sullen roar, was lost in tho do pt h below. Still ho listened, for another and moro dreadful sound caught his hear-tho low,1 swishing sound of falling water. Ho crept as near as ho could along the narrow pathway, aud as ho did so his face was Bprinkled with the cold spray of the torrent. Ho held out his hand,' and then, touching his lips, tasted tho water, j It was salt ! > , , j 0 L J ? '

Still and breathless as a statue lío stood for a moment ; tho next, holding '/tho, lamp before him, he was rushing with wild speed down'tho brokon pathway away from the place. As ho approached tho entrance"ho stopped, and for a moment looked around itrbéwildormont-ho liad

mistakou tho road, and instead, of taking that % which ho hod corrio^hadfßllowod another, which abruptly stopped-li'mass of cWal had fallon and"

broken it off. Ho hod no time to turn back. Ho threw his lamp down,;antl,;us'ifortuno would have it, it was not broken) but 'only fallon on one sido about 10ft. below ; thou, drawing his broath, ho prepared for tho loop. Ho did not know tho ground-tho lamp had gono out. If ho loaped ho might fall into somo deep fissure ; but there was no timo to hesitate. Ho took the leap and fell ; tho firm ground was beneath

him.

His arm was bruised and his anklo sprained, but ho hardly felt it. Re-lighting his lamp, ho dashed along through tho narrow passagos towards tho main where tho men woro at work. ¡

At last ho mut a boy Blowly dragging along a small waggon. Ho caught tho lad by the shoulder, and shouted to him : , ' j

"Canyou run, Will?" . _, "

" Ay, oi can," answered the boy. ' ! " Thon run your hardest, Will. Tell thom in tho lower main tho water's coming in, and in an hour it'll oil bo flooded." ,

" Faythor's there ! " the boy criod, and with- out another word, rusliod off. > !

'Other boys woro sent to tho other parts'of tho mino, forced by Georgo's stern voico to oboy, as ho told thom ho would not lot ono man leave tho pit till thoy wore all thore. > j

Then he waited. And if any one had soon his faco as he stood alono, a strango ohange would havo been noticed in it. There was now a look of such triumphant gladness as for many a year had not restod thore. Ho stretched out his arms Uko one who had just onded somo weary labour. Then his hoad sank on his bosom/ and

ho muttered :

" O God 1 Saved ! saved ! Thou hast kept mo from it, and I may yet savo thom."

Quickly ho recovered himself, and went into a small oflico whoro he kopthis books and instru- ments. Ho took from a box a small revolver and somo matches, and went out again.

Ho thon set light to a heap of shavings and dry wood lying near the door, and this soon blazed up, illuminating tho whole place.

And again he waited.

Soon troop after troop of the men, flying at thoir utmost speed, reached the pit's mouth, and a fearful sight it was to seo tho struggling mass of men, each one, with maddened Bhouts and blows, striving to come nearer to tho basket. '

But Goorgo Heimors' voico was hoard loud abovo it all- j

"Tho first that touches that basket before I toll him, I'll shoot that man I" ' I (

They saw tho levelled barrel of the revolver,

and drew baok. ni |

ana arew dock. , ,

" Those that aro married stand hero." , , - ¡ And in silence tho mon oboyed him. ,

Ho then signalled to a certain number of thom to enter the basket. Not an instant was' lost, and they wero hoisted out of sight.

Tho others Btrainod their oyes to watch tho ascending mass, calculating how soon it would

return to rescue thom.

Somo of tho men who hod their sons with thom clasped thom tight in thoir orniB, whisper- ing messages to be given if thoy wore lost, for in nearly ovory coso tho fathers choso that the boys

should go in their places. Somo sauk to the , ground, muttering prayers that thoy hod nover spoken since childhood, and othors listunod to

Goorgo Hoimors as ho told them thero was still i help if thoj would obey him. .

Jim Massoy had been in ono of tho most dis- tant workings, and was one of the lost to reach the pit's mouth, and now ho stood by the wall apart, with oyos bent down on something ho held in his hand-a lock of Agnes' hair that sho had given him the night bofore.

Moro than half tho number of mon wero now safo j and tho basket, whirled up by those who knew just how much doponded upon thoir work, liad just left when George, in tho calm voico with which ho had spokon boforo, said

' ' Mon, who's to go noxt ?" i

Thero wero only about twenty loft, mon aud boyB, whom George had many a timo helped by words and deeds ; they remembered this, ana all cried at once- '

" Next turn's thine, master-we'll como

after I"

" Thank you, my lads," ho answered quietly, " I'm not going this time, but I want to sond some one in my place. Will you lot me ?"

Not so eagerly this time-but still the answer " Ay, master I was given.

"Jim, como hore," Georgo shouted. "You take my place when it come again. Nay, lad, you must. Remember, Agnes wants you, Jim. You'll bo good to hor, won't you 1 And tell hor sometimes the last words 1 tried to say iware, ' God bletB both of you I'" \

i Onco moro the basket descendod, tho few that I wero chosen leapt into it, the ropo was shaken > 03 the signal to hoist up, and!with, one tight t grip Georgo sont Jim on his « oy And as thoy , parted Jim looked.at the othor'srface, and nover i to his dying day did'he forgot'what ho sow i thero-the bitterness of death hod passed nwaj,

and a strange peace was shining forth froni[ his

eyes.

This was the lost freight. - George alroàily . had heard tlïo.'distant thunder of the'waters

bursting in fulLflood into the minc.,|[ He r knew

tho end was come and when the bnsket was as-

cending he turh'ed awoy down o sido passage that ho might not seothb agony of tho poor men when they found it was too late. <1 . . \

Just as the basket reached the lovel of ^ the upper ground, whoro hundreds ' wore waiting anxiously to watch the arrival of each company that was saved, a tromendous black cloud rollod up the pit's mouth, bursting up with a fearful roar high into mid air, and when it'had cleared away and tho_ men peered down the shaft, far away in the darkness ' benoath'th'oy'could hoar tho dash of tho waves, and BomotimeB thought they could discern their white gleom ns thoy loaped to the Bides of the shaft. vJrni Massoy , and several others volnnteerod to-^go'down and ! seok for any who might bo still struggling in j the water. It was too lato when Altey tfoached

' the placo, and only a few of thejdead bodies s wero ever recovered. L »

Tlie mine is now deserted, and^ts buildings , aro in ruins. f¡ .r i ,j I ,/ . snirj

Some time after the disaster o part of tho. cliff abovo it, probably undermined by the action of the waves, fell down one stormy night,

i and now theréï is.JK^great cavornlÜannderiiig

, away in dark passages under the cliff where part

of the coal mirto had'beon. "." *"

|\ It is 'easy to penétrate beneath these gloomy I nrchos in a boat during finojweather,''and many

times'in aftor days, Agnos-thon a happy wifo

aud mother-would come there with her chil

t dren on Bummer days, and toll thom tho story of

how thoir father's life had been saved. And ' ! when sho hod ended and leaned bock iu tho boat

astthey floated on through that silent gloom as j of twilight, tho largo tears would" gather in her

eyes for him who lay in that unknown tomb of his, far below, in somo dark cavern of-tho sea.