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Clannen was seen driving over the rollers eastward, at which time the tide was already at half flood, and the place where poor crippled Will was perched had become perfectly inaccessible from the sea. How they found out that place was all through Grace, who forgot entirely about her languor, and went out in the wind and rain with the rest of the villagers.
It seems that a smack, scudding across the bay, had somehow signaled that there was a man on the ledge of the cliff ; but the difficulty was to find out where.
The surf and the wind created too much uproar for human voices to be heard, and the cliff in many places overhung its base, so that it would never have been discovered where the unlucky Will had lodged but for Grace.
She hit upon the idea of throwing great stones wrapped in newspapers over each possible point, until one thus flung was answered by one thrown with a splash upon the face of an incoming “smooth,” and the anxious village knew just where its man was waiting for help.
At first what was to be done appeared obvious and easy. A light line was lowered over the cliff's brim with a small stone and the body of a child's kite at the extremity; and, sure enough, by walking along the edge slowly and letting the gale blow this inwards, it was presently seized. Then a strong rope was lowered at exactly the same spot, with a length of
floating thread at the end, and this was also caught by the invisible Clannen. — All these shore folk can climb like goats, and hang to a rope like spiders ; so the folk now expected Will to make a bowline in his rope, and signal to be hauled up. Instead of this he jerked hard at the thin cord, which they could now afford to pull up, and when it came in sight there was a bit of paper screwed into its loop, on which was penciled :
“Broke my arm, and can't stand. Sea over rock in half an hour."
Well, that meant sharp work if Clannen was to be saved, and the villagers were puzzled, for it would probably be useless now to lower him even a boatswain's stool. They were eagerly discussing the problem when John Petherick pushed the talkers aside, and flinging off his sea jacket, and tightening his belt, said, with a hard look at Grace's quiet but pale face:
“Here! cast me over, mate, in a bow-line, and lower a chair along of me. I'll put Bill safe and sound on the grass, or break my own neck."
They offered no objection, and the people thereabouts are not afraid to die, or to see others die, where they live lives so simple and faithful. So, over the red rim of the sandstone crag went Jack, with a coil of spun yarn in his hand and the second rope. After he was out of sight, it was impossible to hear his voice or to communicate; but as he slung himself across the crumbling brink into the gusty air, he said to the sturdy group holding on to the ropes :
“Haul up when I jerk three times. Hold hard when I jerk once; and if I do it twice, send me down another man."
There was a long, awful pause, awful because Will might be washed away, or a hundred bad things happen; but the rope presently lost its strain -Jack had reached the ledge. There he found Clannen faint and soaked with spray, which was now and again running green over his rock, and threatening to wash him off as he clung with one hand to it.
He managed, however, to help Clannen athwart the boatswain's stool, and to lash him with the light cord to the rope, after which he gave three jerks, keeping his own line quiet until the injured man was well aloft.
Then he put his leg farther into the bowline, and shook his own rope thrice; and first Will came to safety, sadly broken and soaked; and after him came Jack, pretty nearly drowned with the breakers, which would have washed anybody off the ledge in another ten minutes.
NATHANIEL PARKER Willis was born in Portland, Maine, January 20, 1806. His father was the founder of the well-known periodical, The Youth's Companion, and from him the son inherited literary tastes. He visited Europe, and while there contributed to London journals. In 1846 he associated with George P. Morris in establishing the New York Home Journal. He wrote various books of travel and a volume of poems.
He died at his country seat, “Idlewild,” near Newburg, New York, Jan. 20, 1867.
The soul of man
What is its earthly victory? Press on !
N. P. WILLIS.
A BLADE OF GRASS.
John Ruskin was born in London, England, Feb. 8, 1819. He gained a prize at Oxford University in 1839, and took his degree there in 1842. While yet a student he wrote “for a very young lady " the legend, “ The King of the Golden River.”' It is unlike any other of his books. At about this period the first volume of his - Modern Painters" was published. The work was not completed till twenty years later. He was a keen observer, an able writer, and a most exacting critic.
His books, on variety of topics, have done much to cultivate taste in Great Britain and America. He died Jan. 20, 1900.
Gather a single blade of grass, and examine for a minute quietly its narrow sword-shaped strip of fluted green. Nothing, as it seems, there of notable goodness or beauty. A very little strength and a very little tallness, and a few delicate long lines meeting in a point, — not a perfect point either, but blunt and unfinished, by no means a creditable or apparently much-cared-for example of Nature's workmanship, made, only to be trodden on to-day, and to-morrow to be cast into the oven, — and a little pale and hollow stalk, feeble and flaccid, leading down to the dull brown fibres of roots.
And yet, think of it well, and judge whether of all the gorgeous flowers that beam in summer air, and