Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

T

TIIE ROCK-FOWLER'S

precipice can sustain the weight of another

bounding from point to point below. Some DAUGHTER.

even descend unaided, fastening the rope CHAPTER I.

for themselves to a stake driven into the MHE small Island of St.

ground above. Kilda, which is off the On the western side of the island lies a Western coast of Scot- bay with low shore and sandy beach, conland, is surrounded al

trasting strangely with the frowning cliffs at most entirely by cliffs, either side, and near this point a small cotforming bold and lofty tage once stood in which dwelt David Murprecipices to the sea. ray, the best cragsman of the place, and Around this rocky coast

his daughter Alice. The child had lost multitudes of gannets, her mother some years before, and aftergulls, and other sea-birds, throng, resem- wards a baby-brother who had been left in bling at a little distance bees hovering over her charge; now, she and her father were gigantic hives.

left alone, and her only care was to attend The inhabitants of the island chiefly to his wants and comforts as she had seen gain their living from rook-fowling, and her mother do long ago.

The cottage was the number of birds killed annually is in- always neat and tidy when be returned credible. The flesh is eaten, and the rent from work, for the evenings were Alice's of the land is paid, chiefly in feathers; happy time, when seated by the fire he told indeed the rocks of St. Kilda are di- stories of his boyhood, of wonderful escapes vided among the people as exactly as its and adventures on dizzy heights, and before soil.

one is an expert parting for the night it was his custom to cragsman, and the eggs of some species of read a passage from the Holy Scriptures, sea-fowl are sought after by the same and ask God's blessing and protection while perilous means as the birds themselves. they slept. Bird-poles, or fowling-staffs about five or During the season for gathering seasix yards in length, are used, sometimes birds' eggs, David came home one day with a net attached. A rope fastens two earlier than usual, bringing some fish which fowlers together, who assist one another in he had caught in the bay. climbing, the safety of one depending on Father,' said Alice, as she prepared them the strength and courage of the other. for dinner, I'm so glad you have taken to

More dangerous still is the mode of fowl- fishing, and I hope you've quite done with ing practised where the rocks cannot be the rocks for this year : we have plenty of scaled In that case the fowler is let down birds and eggs now, and as much feathers by a rope, and hangs in mid air often several as will make

up

the rent.' hundred feet above rough rocks or roaring · Yes, my child, we have done well so far, waves, and by means of a pole he throws but Borrera has to be tried yet, and I hear himself out from the face of the cliff so there are great flocks of birds about the as to have a view of all its crannies and stacks: I'm going to see what I can do there ledges, often netting birds that fily near to-morrow. Andy Jamieson has promise! enough.

to help, for it's no easy matter to climb One man standing on the very verge of a those crags without a comrade. I must

Almost every

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]

a

6

[ocr errors]

start early, so have the bird-pole and the GETTING READY FOR SUNDAY rope ready.'

SCHOOL. “Oh, father,' she said sadly, I'm sorry you're going: but you won't be late I hope,

N every Sunday-school there are for it's a dangerous place.' And as she spoke

some children who are always the little girl drew out of the corner of the

in time and some who are room a long rope, made of raw cow-bide

always late, and sometimes cut into thongs and twisted together.

the teachers reward those who No fear of the Stacks when I have such

are early and regular and a trusty rope, daughter: it belonged to my

punish the others; but I grandfather, and I hope my grandson may

have often thought that the use it yet.'

children do not deserve most of the praise Alice was up next morning to see her fa

or blame.

Many of those who are late ther start. He set off with Andrew Jamieson

would be as early as the others if they had in a small boat, which they usually hired

as good mothers; and before teachers are for such expeditions, and soon arrived at very severè on the late-comers, they ought the first of those lofty island-rocks near

to make sure that it is their own fault. If the shore called “The Stacks. It was often

their mothers get them ready for school in difficult and dangerous to effect a landing, good time, antl then they dawdle on the but on this occasion the sea was calm. The way, it is quite right that they should lose boat was moored to a corner of rock, and the

their marks' or tickets ;' but if the

' two men prepared for work. They were very

mother gets up late on Sunday morning, successful in their perilous undertaking, and

and takes no trouble to see that the childhaving stowed away a large number of birds ren get their breakfast in time, and does in the boat, they proceeded to visit the other not help them to get dressed in their Suncliffs in the neighbourhood. But while they

day best,' as the good mother is doing in had been fowling there was a change in the

the picture, then I think that it is rather weather, and the sky now looked dark and hard that the children should suffer for lowering

what is not their own fault. • We shall have boisterous weather after

This is one reason why good Sundaythis calm,' remarked Andy.

school teachers will call at the homes of * Aye,' replied his comrade, 'I shouldn't their scholars, that they may know whether be surprised if we had a brisk breeze soon:

it is the child's fault that it is late or not. shall we try another stack to day or not?'

A glance at the home and the mother will *Oh, yes ! come on while we're about it, generally tell, without your asking many and don't let the other craggers get the

questions whether a child has a good start of us, and have the best birds. As to chance of getting to school in time or not the gale, it won't come on till night.'

—whether it is likely that it gets lielp or But he was mistaken, for as they neared hindrance in trying to be good and regular. one of the cliffs a sudden gust warned them

If the home is neat, and the mother seems of their danger.

to take an interest in hearing how her little (To be continued.)

ones are going on, then you may guess that it is the child's own fault if it is late; but if the house is untidy, and the mother all

[graphic]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed]
« PreviousContinue »