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The Lighthouse   By: (1825-1894)

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THE LIGHTHOUSE

By R.M.BALLANTYNE Author of "The Coral Island" &c.

BLACKIE AND SON LIMITED LONDON GLASGOW BOMBAY

E Test prepared by Roy Brown

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. THE ROCK. II. THE LOVERS AND THE PRESS GANG. III. OUR HERO OBLIGED TO GO TO SEA. IV. THE BURGLARY. V. THE BELL ROCK INVADED. VI. THE CAPTAIN CHANGES HIS QUARTERS. VII. RUBY IN DIFFICULTIES. VIII THE SCENE CHANGES RUBY IS VULCANIZED. IX. STORMS AND TROUBLES. X. THE RISING OF THE TIDE A NARROW ESCAPE. XI. A STORM, AND A DISMAL STATE OF THINGS ON BOARD THE PHAROS. XII. BELL ROCK BILLOWS AN UNEXPECTED VISIT A DISASTER AND A RESCUE. XIII. A SLEEPLESS BUT A PLEASANT NIGHT. XIV. SOMEWHAT STATISTICAL. XV. RUBY HAS A RISE IN LIFE, AND A FALL. XVI. NEW ARRANGEMENTS THE CAPTAIN'S PHILOSOPHY IN REGARD TO PIPEOLOGY. XVII. A MEETING WITH OLD FRIENDS, AND AN EXCURSION. XVIII. THE BATTLE OF ARBROATH, AND OTHER WARLIKE MATTERS. XIX. AN ADVENTURE SECRETS REVEALED, AND A PRIZE. XX. THE SMUGGLERS ARE "TREATED" TO GIN AND ASTONISHMENT. XXI. THE BELL ROCK AGAIN A DREARY NIGHT IN A STRANGE HABITATION. XXII. LIFE IN THE BEACON STORY OF THE EDDYSTONE LIGHTHOUSE. XXIII. THE STORM. XXIV. A CHAPTER OF ACCIDENTS. XXV. THE BELL ROOK IN A FOG NARROW ESCAPE OF THE SMEATON. XXVI. A SUDDEN AND TREMENDOUS CHANGE IN FORTUNES. XXVII. OTHER THINGS BESIDES MURDER "WILL OUT". XXVIII. THE LIGHTHOUSE COMPLETED RUBY'S ESCAPE FROM TROUBLE BY A DESPERATE VENTURE. XXIX. THE WRECK. XXX. OLD FRIENDS IN NEW CIRCUMSTANCES. XXXI. MIDNIGHT CHAT IN A LANTERN. XXXII. EVERYDAY LIFE ON THE BELL ROOK, AND OLD MEMORIES RECALLED. XXXIII. CONCLUSION.

THE LIGHTHOUSE

CHAPTER I

THE ROCK

Early on a summer morning, about the beginning of the nineteenth century, two fishermen of Forfarshire wended their way to the shore, launched their boat, and put off to sea.

One of the men was tall and ill favoured, the other, short and well favoured. Both were square built, powerful fellows, like most men of the class to which they belonged.

It was about that calm hour of the morning which precedes sunrise, when most living creatures are still asleep, and inanimate nature wears, more than at other times, the semblance of repose. The sea was like a sheet of undulating glass. A breeze had been expected, but, in defiance of expectation, it had not come, so the boatmen were obliged to use their oars. They used them well, however, insomuch that the land ere long appeared like a blue line on the horizon, then became tremulous and indistinct, and finally vanished in the mists of morning.

The men pulled "with a will," as seamen pithily express in silence. Only once during the first hour did the ill favoured man venture a remark. Referring to the absence of wind, he said, that "it would be a' the better for landin' on the rock."

This was said in the broadest vernacular dialect, as, indeed, was everything that dropped from the fishermen's lips. We take the liberty of modifying it a little, believing that strict fidelity here would entail inevitable loss of sense to many of our readers.

The remark, such as it was, called forth a rejoinder from the short comrade, who stated his belief that "they would be likely to find somethin' there that day."

They then relapsed into silence.

Under the regular stroke of the oars the boat advanced steadily, straight out to sea. At first the mirror over which they skimmed was grey, and the foam at the cutwater leaden coloured. By degrees they rowed, as it were, into a brighter region. The sea ahead lightened up, became pale yellow, then warmed into saffron, and, when the sun rose, blazed into liquid gold.

The words spoken by the boatmen, though few, were significant. The "rock" alluded to was the celebrated and much dreaded Inch Cape more familiarly known as the Bell Rock which being at that time unmarked by lighthouse or beacon of any kind, was the terror of mariners who were making for the firths of Forth and Tay... Continue reading book >>




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