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Full text of "Selected Essays Of Robert Louis Stevenson"

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UJb    AIM

iiere the stones might be quarried and dressed, the men
Ye, and the tender, with some degree of safety, lie at

I saw Earraid next from the stern thwart of an lona
igger, Sam Bough and I sitting there cheek by jowl, with
or feet upon our baggage, in a beautiful, clear, northern
immer eve. And behold ! there was now a pier of stone,
lere were rows of sheds, railways, travelling-cranes, a
,reet of cottages, an iron house for the resident engineer,
ooden bothies for the men, a stage where the courses
 the tower were put together experimentally, and behind
le settlement a great gash in the hillside where granite
as quarried. In the bay, the steamer lay at her moorings.
11 day long there hung about the place the music of
linking tools ; and even in the dead of night, the watch-
ian carried his lantern to and fro in the dark settlement,
id could light the pipe of any midnight muser. It was,
Dove all, strange to see Earraid on the Sunday, when the
>und of the tools ceased and there fell a crystal quiet.
II about the green compound men would be sauntering
L their Sunday's best, walking with those lax joints of
te reposing toiler, thoughtfully smoking, talking small,
i if in honour of the stillness, or hearkening to the wailing
' the gulls. And it was strange to see our Sabbath services,
?ld, as they were, in one of the bothies, with Mr. Brebner
lading at a table, and the congregation perched about

the double tier of sleeping bunks ; and to hear the
aging of the psalms, ' the chapters/ the inevitable
Burgeon's sermon, and the old, eloquent lighthouse

In fine weather, when by the spy-glass on the hill the
a was observed to run low upon the reef, there would
3 a sound of preparation in the very early morning ; and
ifore the sun had risen from behind Ben More, the tender
ould steam out of the bay. Over fifteen sea-miles of
ie great blue Atlantic rollers she ploughed her way,
ailing at her tail a brace of wallowing stonelighters.
tie open ocean widened upon either board, and the hills

the mainland began to go down on the horizon, before

e came to her unhomely destination, and lay-to at last