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ploughing the farm at the Keeve, “Tell us the tale, man !" cried milhave we Trehernes, faythers and sons, ler Hugh ; " I've heard 'un many a been going down to the sea in ships. time from thee and thy fayther, but Men and boys, for generations, have I'd like to hear 'un again. It's as we been occupying our business in good as a sarment any day-better the great waters, and lived from the than Parson Lanxon's, anyhow.” time we were born, a’most to our There was a general murmur of graves, amid the wonders of the deep. assent. Most on us, too, have meet our graves “Well,” commenced the pilot, thus there. Three grown men only of us all appealed to, “you know the townhave been carrd to the old Botreaux folk at Boscastle many years agone churchyard, or had the prayers read were mad almost because there were oker'em.”
no bells in Botreaux church, and it “That's the worst of thee calling," went to their hearts like, to hear chimed in Jack Philp. “It must be them at Tintagel a-ringing and stramoncommon cold lying down at the ming at all times, while they bad bottom of the sea, upon the sand and none to chime 'em to church or toll shells, with the waves washing over 'em to their graves, or send out a one, and the weeds twining around, hearty peal at their weddings or and the great fish a-swimming about feasting days ; so they sent to some and looking at one. I must own that place far away, and had a fine set I shud like to be tucked in comfor- cast, and they were blessed by the table in a coffin, and have made my pope or bishop, or some holy man. old dummun promise that I shud be Now it so happened one Sunday, laid in a four-wall grave, snug and when the folks was all sauntering cosy-like.”
about on the cliffs arter church, that “Sure thee doesn't think that it 'twas said how the ship with the matters where our poor bones be bells was in sight, and that Pilot put to, maister Phisp, says dame Treherne had gone aboard her. So Rosevear. “Thee doesn't believe that the people thronged out like a fair, the speret ever comes back to 'em. and sat about the rocks to watch I never troubles my head much with the vessel ; and the young ’uns whissich doctrines. I thinks very much pered to their sweethearts that there like old saxton Will. When Irish would be a merry peal now at their Kitty threatened to haunt 'im if he wedding, and the old 'uns thought didn't bury her under the ould yew- how there would be a decent toll tree, he tould the parson o'it. Well,' now at their buryings. Well, the said the parson, 'I ain't afraid; are ship came fairly along the coast; the you ?' 'No,' says Will, “I ben't aféard; wind was free, and the sea smooth as for if her goeth to a good place, her glass. They had made Willapark won't want to come back ; and if her Point, and the bells of Tintagel was goeth to the bad one, they won't let ringing out loud and strong, This her.'”
made the pilot so glad that he said, “Natheless," answered the pilot, "Thank God for our good voyage. “it would be a comfort to know that "Thank the ship and the canvass, I should ha'e to lie at last in the ould said the captain; thank God ashore. ground at Botreaux, with the winds 'We must thank Him at sea as well from the furzy down blowing over it, as on land, said the pilot. "No, and the sun lighting upon the turf, thank the good timbers and a fair and the waves rippling agin the wind,' roared the captain, and he rocks nigh at hand. God knows, cussed and swore and blasphemed though, whether my cheeld will ever quite awful. Scarce had he spoke be able to tell where his fayther the words when great black clouds lieth. It is curious, though, that one lowered in the sky, and the wind of the few on us who did die in his rose into a squall, and the waves bed, was my great-great-granfa'r, tossed and tumbled towards the who was drove ashore on a piece of shore. The ship was took aback, timber when the ship was wrecked, and would not answer the helm, and that was bringing the holy bells for kept drifting in and in on the rocks ; the ould church of Botreaux.” then a sea struck her, and drove her
right on the cliff of the Black Pit. Grace shuddered as the word She went to pieces instantly almost; “haunted” fell on her ear, with the and afore the people could look woman's inst'nct which ever assoaround, the spars was floating on ciates supernatural visitation with the waters; and they thought that, crime and conscience. No one askwith the beat of the surf and the ed for the story, and yet Curgenroar of the winds, they heard the ven went on with it impulsively and bells chiming out quite loud and determinedly, as if it were a relief, solemn-like. Some of 'em climbed though an effort, to tell it. “This is round the point to see if any one was how it happened : We were working saved, and there they see'd a man a queer crew of us—together in one houlding on by a plank-'twas my of the far-away mines. There were great-great-granfa'r the pilot. He Spaniards, and half-castes, and Yanwas nigh gone; and when he came kees, and among the rest was a Porto hisself, the first words he spoke tugee. He was a gaunt sallow fellow, was, “How sweet the bells be ring- who never laughed, and seldom spoke, ing !' and 'twas tould that on his but worked, and gambled, and drank deathbed he said that he heard the with the viciousness of a devil. Well, holy bells ringing him home.” before long we lit upon a lode—a real
There was a short pause after this rich lode—and that made us madder legend. Old Truscott breaks it. than ever. Great lumps of gold ore
They do say now that of rough fell down at every stroke of the pick, days, and in the heavy storms, the and we dug, and dug, till the sweat bells' be heard clanging and boom- dropped through our shirts, and we ing whisht and mournful, and that could hardly stagger, and struck out if a man goeth on one of the holy quite wildly with our tools. Then nights to Willapark Point, the we used to go altogether to the bells will tell ’un his fortune for the mouth of the mine and eat and drink, year."
dice and sleep for a few hours till we “I have heard,” chirped Jack were fit for work again. 'Twas a sort Philp, "that a miller who don't live of devil's life; but it had its joys too, a hundred miles from the Rocky wild as they were—and we rushed Valley, when he axed his lass if they and reeled through it like madmen. were to be married that year, was It was not long afore we had got tould to go and ax the bells. Dost enough to make us all rich men; but thee know anything about that, Hugh still we went on, until we looked Rosevear ?”
more like ghosts doing some doom Maybe it was so, maybe it was
We always worked, you 80; but he never went, for he see'd a must know, with knives and pistols summut in her eye which tould her in our belts, for we were mortal mind truer than the bells, so he went afraid of one another, and had hid to his bed instead.”
all our treasure together in an old pit, “ Tom Sloggett watched on the swearing across our daggers, after the cliff one Christmas night," said Trus- Spanish fashion, that we would be cott, " and they do say heard a true to our comradeship, and revenge bell tolling for a burying. He was to the death any breach of faith or never his own agin, and died afore trust. One evening as we came up Easter."
from our work, and looked about, as “There is certainly some cursed we always did, to see that all were spell
about bells," burst forth Brazi- together, the Portugee was missing. lian Dick, who had been moving un- Suspicion gleamed in every eye at easily and impatiently in his chair once. All hurried to the hole; the during the recital of the legend, and best and most disposable part of our ever and anon cast furtive glances
winnings was gone.
A yell of venfrom face to face, and from one part geance was raised ; the work was of the room to another.
dropped, and we were soon hot in haunted by a bell once myself. It pursuit. On horseback, and fully never left me for years, and ever armed, we started off; the Yankees came dinging and tolling some ill- ran on the track like bloodhounds, luck upon me.”
and we followed, tracing the fugitive
every night by his fires and the little prison, and went back to the mine, bare spots where his horse had been sullen and desperate with our loss. tethered. At last the tracks ceased Soon after, I went back to the town close by a deep thicket, with masses for supplies. There was a crowd of rock rising here and there amid gathered in the great square--a the brushwood and creepers. There murderer was to be garotted that day. were no paths through it, and the Curiosity kept me there.
It was place seemed almost impenetrable. a great space lined by soldiers, and Here, however, we felt that our game in the midst was a large pillar with was at bay, and we resolved to watch a seat in front, and the iron band, it closely A camp was formed which was to close round the neck of around, and each had his station, the culprit, hanging from it. PreMine was opposite a large rock, sently à low chanting was heard, 'neath which was a dark hollow, and a procession appeared, moving covered by masses of overhanging slowly and solemnly. The priests foliage and tall grass. Night after were singing the service for the dead, night I kept my watch, fixing my and behind came the prisoner clad in eye on the opening; and ever there a black serge gown, pale, and worn, seemed to be an eye meeting and and deathly. A confessor was beanswering mine. At last there came side him, praying and exhorting. on one of those storms-common in It was the Portugee. On the prothose countries — the rain fell in cession moved towards the fatal chair. sheets, the thunder rolled, the light. He was fixed in it; the priest had ning flashed fierce and lurid, and the uttered his last benediction; the wind swept in gusts over the thicket executioner behind was about to give as though it would uproot it alto- the fatal turn, when the eye of the gether. Yet my watch relaxed not. man turned, and fixed itself on me Still my eye was fixed on the same with a deadly glare. At the same spot, and still seemed to see the moment a bell tolled, and the glance same gleam. Towards morn, the of the eye seemed to carry the boom foliage shook and moved, and a man, right into my heart. In a moment haggard, worn, and spectre-like, came it was all over ; there was a contorforth and stood before me.
tion of the face, a quiver of the frame, the Portugee. I prepared for a fight; and then all was still, and the eye but there was no spirit of combat in glazed in death. For years after, him now. The eternal watch had that eye and the toll of that bell subdued him, and he confessed that haunted me. When I was throwing his soul had been cowed within him the dice, or lifting the wine-cup, or by the terror of the eye bent unceas- standing in the dance, they would ingly and vengefully upon him, and flash and boom upon me with a that he chose death rather than en- terrible spell ; but this soon wore off, dure it longer. Some were for hang- for we men of the world cannot afford ing him by Lynch law, but the major- to give in long to weak superstitions. ity were against it; and we resolved I had almost forgotten it till your foolto give him up to the authorities of ish story of the Botreaux bells brought the nearest city. As our decision back the memory." was made known, his cheek blanched, This narrative, delivered as it was his eye quailed, and his whole framé in fierce rapid tones, threw a chill shuddered. We were in hopes then over the party. Grace grew pale, and
. that he would try to buy life by re- trembled at intervals ; her mother vealing where the stolen treasure sighed and groaned deeply; the rest was; but the thought of some day were silent. The thing was too real, recovering the gold was dearer to him too dramatic for them. than the chances of life, and he There was little more conversation would not speak. So we bound and until supper came. That was the old pinioned him, and carried him to the story of huge joints, pies, puddings, town, where strangely enough, he cheeses, heaps of cake, jugs of cider
, was recognised as one who had done and beer, and large hearty appetites. a foul murder, and been sought After it' the elders again grouped everywhere. There we left him in around, and gradually fell into the
VOL LXXXIII.-NO. DVII.
old grooves. Champion Truscott of laying the ghost. Old Truscott told, wrestled his matches o’er again ; as a counter-story to this, that Jack Dame Rosevear told anecdotes of a was returning on the occasion from a favourite cow; the pilot spoke of tithe-meeting, was found next morngales marvellous in their fierceness ing under a haystack, and had been and intensity; old Hugh maundered observed during the evening to run over old traditions; and Jack Philp against the landlord's pig, and there gave his only experience of ghosts, and then take off his hat, with a telling how he was coming back one polite bow, and say, " I beg pardon, night by the churchyard; how he your reverence.” So that the ghosthad there seen three parsons attired laying was not received as authentic. in surplices, and with books in their Meanwhile Grace had slipped hands, walking round the grave away, so had Phil, and the absence man who had committed suicide; of the Brazilian was considered such how he had been warned back; and a relief that none inquired about it. how shortly afterwards he had seen Thus the night wore on, and the a ball of fire pass three times round hand was on the stroke of the hour the church-tower and then disappear which should usher in the Christmas This he supposed was the ceremony morn.
At the mill-dam head, leaning over with any man, most of all about thee; ą railing, were two figures looking but he is cruel aggravating, and I down into the little pool beneath. can't bear to see 'im always looking The valley was all alight with moon- at thee with that keen false eye of beams, the cascades flashed with sil- his.” very brightness, and the stars above The shade was drawing nearer had each a fellow in the pools below. now, hung close o'er them, and was The rocks cast a dark shadow on reflected in the pool beneath, though them, and ever and anon behind they saw it not. them flitted a stealthy shade ; before “Come then, Grace, dear," again them all was bright and clear. insinuated Phil, passing his arms
Come, Grace," says Phil, “it is lightly round the girl's waist ; " say time now that thee shouldst speak the word, when shall the wedding out to me plain and free. I've been be; thy fayther favours me, thy a true sweetheart to thee for two mother loves me well, and 'tis but a years—have loved and followed thee step from the farm to the mill." like a man; and sure thee wouldst “Go ask the bells, Phil ; 'tis Christnot turn me off after so long a' pren- mas night. They perhaps may tell ticeship."
thee.” “ Art tired then, Phil, of thy woo- “I would sooner hear it from thy ing, that thou art so pressing now, or lips, or see it in thy face; but if it hast thou grown jealous and mistrust- meet thy fancy, I wull go to the cliff ful? Sure I have not favoured any -'tis but a walk this fine nightlad so much as I have thee. Canst and I shall be thinking of thee as the not wait a while ? "
Christmas morn breaks.” “God forbid, Grace, that I should “Well, then, go along, Phil ; and hurry thee; but there's a pleasant that thou mayest not play the same home for thee, and my mother's place trick as fayther did, thou shalt bring empty, so why should I live the lone- me a bunch of sea-pink, gathered off some life any longer ? Besides, the brink.” there's that Brazilian chap sneaking “I won't deceive thee, lass, and around thee, and he means mischief, thou wilt meet me tomorrow at the and I should like to have a right to chapel by the Keeve?”, stand up for thee like a man.
Yes, yes ; good-night, Phil.” As “ That means, Phil, that thou hast she spoke, he saw in the young girl's a grudge agin 'im, and would like to face that which made his heart leap make a quarrel.”
with a joy that needed no token from No, no, I don't want to quarrel the bells. Gently he drew her to
wards him, gave one fervent honest Their eyes meet, and the men feel kiss, and then bounded across the that the
struggle is one of life and little stream on his way to the Willa- death. They are on the edge of the park Head.
cliff now; the
grass is dry and slipThe dark shade writhed and turn- pery ; each feels that a move is deed around them now, and then glided struction. Sternly and silently they away like a serpent from an Eden. hold their grip, their eyes fixed, and
Gaily did Phil then breast the their feet firm. Phil's skill avails steep, going forward on his mission him little; the Brazilian is more at with a heart as bold and true as home in such strife. The moments knight ever went forth with to a are hours. They scarce drew breath. deed of “ derring do.", Grace watch- Suddenly the Brazilian, desperate ed the figure of her lover from her and wild, puts forth his strength in casement, and ever as it moved saw one fierce effort to draw his foe toanother shadow following, and track- wards the cliff. The men tottering his, creeping stealthily behind, they overhang the dark chasm. Phil yet never nearing it. A strange is foremost, and he sees the dark dread crept over her, and long long waters glooming beneath. Suddenly she strained her eyes into the dark- a wild gust is borne over the waters, ness, her heart beating with a new and on it there comes the toll of a fear.
bell. The Tintagel clock is chiming Phil has passed by the grey old the midnight hour. The eye of the church now, with its loose stone Brazilian turns for a moment-the wall and its mossy gravestones, and powerful arm of his opponent seizes has looked to the bell-less tower, and the vantage, and the next he is hurlhalf wished there was a chime there ed with a resistless heave over the to ring forth a joy-peal on his wed- precipice. Fiercely he clings to his foe; ding-day. He is standing at the both men fall
, but Phil has grasped edge of the black pit; the deep chasm the grass and earth by the edge; the yawns beneath, the dark black walls Brazilian falls down, down into the descend in steep veined precipices to blackness of the pit. There is no the depth below, and their shadows crash, no splash, but the silence of cast a sullen heavy gloom on the death. Long and desperately Phil waters. It is the only dark spot struggles ; it is for life. Again and around. The waves beyond are again his knee is on the cliff ; again sparkling brightly, and dimpling in it slips ; his hold is failing--the darkthe light wind. He looks on them ness of the rock seems closing on for a while, half hoping to bear a him -- a death-knell clangs at his ghostly peal' borne over them; but heart. One more brave effort-one there is no sound save that of the more stout grasp at the sod, and he surf amid the rocks and caverns. has won the bank; he has struggled He turns again to the pit, and a back into life. A perspiration bursts slight chill passes over him as his from every pore, a dizziness floats eye falls on its grave-like darkness. around him, and a sickness as that He is stooping now to gather the of death. The Tintagel bells burst sea-pink in a little nook in the cliff. out with a merry chime, and strike The shadow has followed him steadi- on him as a mockery as he looks on ly, and is now winding and creeping the dark hell beneath. The Christbehind him. As he rises, it rises, morn has begun; he grasps leaps upon him, and a bright blade a handful of the flowers, and thus flashes in the air. A slight stoop sadly and heavily does he greet the has saved him ; it passes over. He tokens he had sought and won, whilst turns, clutches at the danger, and the Black Pit looms as a dark doom has the Brazilian by the throat. before him.
The little stream of the rocky val- a gentler existence and softer interley did not act its tiny turbulence course with meadows and orchards throughout its whole course. It had and copses. It was not always a