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Shes all the world to me


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Title:She'sAlltheWorldtoMe
Author:HallCaine
ReleaseDate:April7,2011[EBook#35786]
Language:English

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SHE'SALLTHEWORLDTOME
BY

HallCaine
CHAPTER
PAGE
PROEM
361
I MYLREABALLADHOO
362
II INPEELCASTLE
367
III "MACK'REL—MACKER-EL—MACK-ER-EL!" 373
IV THEFIRSTOF"THEHERRINGS"
376
V CHRISTIANMYLREA
379
VI THENETFACTORY
381
VII THELASTOF"THEHERRINGS"
390
VIII "SEEMSTOMEIT'SALLNATHUR"
396
IX THEHERRINGMEAILLEY
399
X "THEREISSORROWONTHESEA"
406
XI THESHOCKIN'POWERFULSKAME
414
XII STRONGKNOTSOFLOVE
417
XIII THEFLIGHTANDPURSUIT
421
XIV "BILLISGONETOBED"
426
XV ARESURRECTIONINDEED
431
XVI GOD'SWRITINGONTHESEA
438
XVII "OH,ABSALOM,MYSON,MYSON"


444
XVIII SHE'SALLTHEWORLDTOME
451
XIX THEWORLD'SWANTISMEN
457
XX THEFAIRYTHATCAMEFORRUBY
461
XXI OIELVERREE
467
XXII ONTHEMOARREEF
472


XXIII THREEYEARSAFTER

479


PROEM
Thisisthestoryofhowawoman'slovetriumphedoverneglectandwrong,and
ofhowtheunrequitedpassioninthegreatheartofaboytroditsdeviouspathsin
thewaytodeath,untilitstoodalonewithitsburdenofsinbeforeGodandthe
pitilessdeep.
InthemiddleoftheIrishSeathereis,aseveryoneknows,anislandwhichfor
manyageshashaditsownpeople,withtheirownlanguageandlaws,theirown
judges and governor, their own lords and kings, their own customs and
superstitions,theirownproverbsandsaws,theirownballadsandsongs.Onthe
westcoastoftheIsleofManstandsthetownofPeel.Thoughcleanandsweet,it
isnotevenyetmuchofaplacetolookatwithitsnooksandcorners,itsblind
lanesanddarkalleys,itsnarrow,crooked,crabbedstreets.Thirty-fiveyearsago
it was a poor little hungry fishing port, chill and cheerless enough, staring
straight outovermilesand milesofbleaksea.TothenorthofPeelstretches a
broad shore; to the south lies the harbor with a rocky headland and bare
mountainbeyond.Infront—dividedfromthemainlandbyanarrowstrait—isa
rugged island rock, on which stand the ruins of a castle. At the back rises a
gentleslopedottedoverwithgrayhouses.
Thisisthesceneofthefollowinghistoryofthelovethatwaswonandthelove
thatwaslost,ofdeaththathadnostingandthegravethathadnovictory.Wild
andeeryasthecoastonwhichIlearneditisthisstoryofloveanddeath;butitis
true as Truth and what it owes to him who writes it now with feelings deeper
than he can say is less than it asks of all by whom it is read in sympathy and
simplefaith.


CHAPTERI
MYLREABALLADHOO
Theseasonwasearlysummer;theyear1850.Themorninghadbeenbrightand
calm, but a mist had crept up from the sea as the day wore on, and the night,
when it came, was close, dark, and dumb. Laden with its salt scent, the dank
vapor had enveloped an old house on the "brew" behind the town. It was a
curious place—ugly, long, loose, and straggling. One might say it was a
featureless and irresolute old fabric. Over the porch was printed, "Prepare to
meetthyGod."ItwascalledBalladhoo,and,withitslands,ithadbeenforages
theholdingoftheMylreas,anancientManxfamily,oncerichandconsequently
revered,nownotoriouslylesswealthyandproportionatelymorefallible.
Inthishousetherewasaparlorthatfacedthebayandlookedouttowardstheold
castleandthepieratthemouthoftheharbor.Overthemantel-piecewascarved
"God'sProvidenceisMineInheritance."Onemightaddthatitwasamelancholy
oldmansion.
Agentlemanwasbusyatatableinthebaywindowsortingandarrangingpapers
bythelastglimmeringdaylight.Hewasamanofsixty-five,stout,yetflaccid,
andslack,andwearingasuitofcoarsebluehomespunthatlaylooselyuponhim.
Hiswhitehairhungaboutafacethatbespokeanunusualcombinationoftraits.
Theeyesandforeheadwerefullofbenevolence,butthemouthwasalternately
strongandweak,harshandtender,uncertainwhethertheproperfunctionofits
mobilecornerswastoturnupinlaughterordownindisdain.
This was Evan Mylrea, member of the House of Keys, Harbor Commissioner,
andboat-owner,philanthropistandmagistrate,coroner,constableand"local"for
the Wesleyan body, and commonly known by his surname coupled with the
nameofhisestate—MylreaBalladhoo.MylreaBalladhoodidnotbeliehisface.
Hewasthesortofmanwhogiveshisdogoneblowforsnappingathishand,and
then two more for not coming back to be caressed. Rightly understood, the
theoryofmoralsthatanactlikethisimpliestellsthewholestoryofMylrea'slife
and character, so far as either of these concerns the present history. It was the
rule on which this man, now grown old, had lived with the young, reckless,


light-hearted,thoughtless,beautiful,anddarlingwifewhomhehadbroughtfrom
England thirty years ago, and buried at home five years afterwards. It was the
principleonwhichhehadbroughtupheronlyson.
Justnowtherecamefromsomeremotepartofthehousethemostdolefulwails
that ever arrested mortal ears. At times they resembled the scream of the
cormorant as he wheels over a rock at sea. At other times they recalled more
preciselytheplaintiveappealofthetaillesstabbywhensheispressedhardfor
timeandspace.MylreaBalladhoowasconsciousofthesenoises.Glancingonce
at his face, you might have thought it had dropped to a stern frown. Glancing
twice,youmusthaveseenthatithadrisentoabroadgrin.Onemightcertainly
saythatthiswasagruesomedwelling.
There was a loud banging of doors, the distant screeches were suddenly
abridged; there was the tread of an uncertain foot in the passage without, the
dooropened,andanelderlymanentered,carryingalamp,whichheplacedon
thetable.ItwasJamesQuark,thegardener,commonlycalledJemmyBalladhoo.
Thatmentionofthecormorantwaslucky;thisman'seyeshadjustthesea-bird's
wildstare.Thetwolittlegray-greenglobesoffirewere,however,setinafaceof
themostflabbyamiability.Hishair,whichwasthinandweak,traveledstraight
down his forehead due for his eyes. In one hand he carried something by the
neck,which,asheentered,hemadelateandfutileeffortstoconcealbehindhis
back.
"It's Mr. Kerruish Kinvig, sir, that's coming up to see you," said the man in a
meekvoice.
"Showhimin,"saidMylreaBalladhoo;"and,Jemmy,"headded,shoutinginthe
man'sear,"formercy'ssaketakethatfiddletothebarn."
"Takehimtothebarn?"saidJemmy,withanaffrightedstare."Why,it'scoming
hereheis,thisveryminute."
"Thefiddle,thefiddle!"shoutedMr.Mylrea."Ialwayshadmydoubtsaboutthe
musicthat'sinit,andnowIseethere'snone."
Jemmytookhimselfoff,carryinghisfiddleverytenderlyinbothhands.Hewas
allbutstonedeaf,poorfellow,andhadneveryetknownthefullenjoymentof
his own music. That's why he was so liberal of it with people more happily
endowed.


Abigblusteringfellowthendashedintotheparlorwithoutceremony.
"Balladhoo,"heshouted,inavoicethatrangthroughthehouse,"whydon'tyou
havethelifeofthathowlingdemon?Here,takemyclasp-knifeatitandsilence
itforever."
"It's gone to the barn," said Mylrea Balladhoo, quietly, in reply to these
bloodthirstyproposals.
The newcomer, Kerruish Kinvig, was a prosperous net-maker in Peel, and a
thorninthesideofeverypublicofficialwithinaradiusofmiles.Thejoyofhis
lifewastohaveadelightfulrowwithamagistrate,acoroner,acommissioner,or
perhaps a parson by preference. When there was never a public meeting to be
interrupted,nevera"vestry"tobebrokenup,KerruishKinvigbecameasflatand
stale as an old dog, and was forced to come up and visit his friend Mylrea
Balladhoo,justbywayofkeepinghishandin.
On the present occasion he had scarcely seated himself, when he leaped up,
rushed to the window, peered into the night, and shouted that the light on the
harborpierwasoutoncemore.Hedeclaredthatthiswasthethirdtimewithina
month; prophesied endless catastrophes; didn't know for his part what in the
name of common-sense the commissioners were about; could swear that
smugglingwasgoingonundertheirverynoses.
"I'll have the law on the lot of you," bellowed Kinvig at the full pitch of his
voice,andmeantimehehelpedhimselftothewhiskyonthetable,andfilledhis
pipe from the domestic bowl. "It's the truth, I'll fling you all out," he shouted
throughacloudofsmoke.
"Eh,you'llhaveyourfling,"repliedtheunperturbedMylrea.
Then,goingtothedoor,themasterofBalladhoorecalledthegardener.
Fromthesubsequentconversationitappearedthat,topreventillicittrading,the
ImperialGovernmenthadbeencompelledtostationacutterineveryharborof
theisland;thatthecutterstationedatPeel,havingcomebysomeinjuryamonth
ago, had been removed to England for repairs, and had not yet been brought
back. Kerruish Kinvig declared that some gang of scoundrels, perceiving the
incompetenceofthehomeofficials,wereavailingthemselvesoftheabsenceof
theGovernmentshiptorunvesselsladenwithcontrabandgoodsunderthecover
ofthedarkness.


Jemmycameback,andMr.MylreasenthimtofetchhissonChristian.
Jemmywentoffforthatpurpose.
Some talk of the young man then ensued between his father and Kinvig. It
transpired that Christian had had a somewhat questionable career—was his
father's only son, and had well-nigh ruined the old man with debts contracted
duringamysteriousabsenceofsixyears.Christianhadjustreturnedhome,and
MylreaBalladhoo,sternontheoutside,tenderatthecore,lovinghissonasthe
onethinglefttohimtolove,hadforgiveneverything—disgrace,ingratitude,and
impoverishment—andtakenbacktheprodigalwithoutaword.
And, in truth, there was something so winsome in the young fellow's reckless,
devil-may-careindifferencethathegotattherightsideofpeople'saffectionsin
spite of themselves. Only those who come close to this type of character can
recognisetheriftofweaknessorwilfulness,oritmaybeofselfishness,thatruns
through the fair vein of so much good-nature. And if Mylrea Balladhoo saw
nothing,whothenshouldcomplain?
Now,KerruishKinvigwasjustasfondofChristianasanybodyelse,butthatwas
no just cause and impediment why he should hold his peace as to the young
man'smanifoldweaknesses.Soitwas—
"Lookhere,Balladhoo.I'vesomethingtosayaboutthatfinesonofyours,and
it'smiddlingstrangetoo."
"Dropit,Kerruish,"mutteredMylrea.
"SoIwill,butit'sintoyourearI'lldropit.Doyouknowhe'shangingroundone
ofmynet-makers—eh?"
"You'refondofaspellatthejoking,Kerruish,butinageneralway,youknow,a
mandoesn'tliketolooklikeafool.You'vegottoomuchfuninyou,Kerruish;
that'syourfault,andI'vealwayssaidso."
Therewasatwinkleintheoldman'seye,butitwentofflikesummerlightning.
"Whoisshe?"heasked,inanothertone.
"MonaCregeenthey'recallingher,"saidKinvig.
"Whatisshe?"
"Don'tItellyou—oneofmynet-makers!"thunderedKinvig.


"Who are her people? Where does she come from? What do you know about
her?WhathasChristianhadtosaytoher—"
"Holdon;that'samiddlingtidylottobeginwith,"shoutedKinvig.
ThenitwasexplainedthatMonaCregeenwasayoungwomanofperhapsthreeand-twenty,whohadrecentlycometoPeelfromsomewhereinthesouthofthe
island,accompaniedbyheragedmotherandlittlesister,achildoffive,closely
resemblingher.
Jemmy,thegardener,returnedtosaythatChristianwasnotathome;leftanhour
ago;saidhewouldbebackbeforebedtime.
"Ah!it'sthe'JollyHerrings'he'soffto,"saidKinvig.The"JollyHerrings"wasa
lowhovelofaninndowninthetown.
"AsIsay,you'veafinefeelingforthefun,Kerruish,"saidMylrea;"Jemmy,put
on your coat quick. You have to carry a message to the harbor-master. It can't
waitforMasterChristian."
Now, Jemmy Balladhoo had, as we have seen, one weakness, but it was not
work.Herememberedquiteopportunelythattherewasaboyinthekitchenwho
hadjustcomeuponanerrandfromthetown,andmustofcoursegobackagain.
Itwasquiteaninspiration,butnonethelessplainlyevidentthattheboywasthe
verypersontocarrythemessagetotheharbor-master.
"Whoishe?"shoutedKerruishKinvig.
"DannyFayle,"answeredJemmy.
"Pshaw!he'llnevergetthere,"bawledKinvig.
"Bringhimup,"saidMylreaBalladhoo.
Aminutelater,afisher-ladofeighteenshambledintotheroom.Youmighthave
said he was long rather than tall. He wore a guernsey and fumbled with a soft
blueseaman'scapinonehand.Hisfairhairclusteredintangledcurlsoverhis
face,whichwassweetandcomely,buthadasimplevacantlookfromalagging
lowerlip.
Dannywasanorphan,andhadbeenbroughtupnonetootenderlybyanuncle
andaunt.Theuncle,BillKisseck,wasadmiralofthefishing-fleet,andmasterof
afishing-luggerbelongingtoMr.Mylrea.To-morrowwastobethefirstdayof


theherringseason,anditwasrelativetothateventthatDannyhadbeensentup
to Balladhoo. The lad received from Mr. Mylrea, in his capacity as harbor
commissioner,amessageofsternreproofandwarning,whichhewastoconvey
to the official whose lack of watchfulness had allowed the light on the harbor
piertogoout.
"Runstraighttohishouse,Danny,mylad,"saidMylreaBalladhoo.
"And don't go cooling your heels round that cottage of the Cregeens," put in
KerruishKinvig.
Afaintsmilethathadrestedlikearayofpalesunshineonthelad'ssimpleface
suddenly vanished. He hung his head, touched his forehead with the hand
holdingthecap,anddisappeared.


CHAPTERII
INPEELCASTLE
WhenDannyreachedtheoutsideofthehouse,thenightwasevenmoredarkand
dumb than before. He turned to the right under the hill known as the Giant's
Fingers,andtookthecliffroadtothetown.Thedeepboomofthewatersrolling
slowlyonthesandbelowcameuptohimthroughthedenseair.Hecouldhear
the little sandpiper screaming at Orry's Head across the bay. The sea-swallow
shot past him, too, with its low mournful cry. Save for these, everything was
still.
Dannyhadwalkedaboutaquarterofamile,whenhepausedforamomentat
thegateofacottagethatstoodhalfwaydownthehilltothetown.Therewasa
lightinthekitchen,andfromwherehestoodintheroadDannycouldseethose
whowerewithin.Asifbyaninvoluntarymovement,hiscapwasliftedfromhis
head and fumbled in his fingers, while his eyes gazed yearningly in at the
curtainless window. Then he remembered the harsh word of Kerruish Kinvig,
and started off again more rapidly. It was as though he had been kneeling at a
fairshrinewhenacruelhandbefouledandblurredit.
Danny was superstitious. He was full to the throat of fairy lore and stories of
witchcraft.Thenightwasdark;theroadwaslonely;hardlyasoundsavethatof
hisownfootstepsbrokethestillness,andtheghostlymemorieswouldarise.To
banish them Danny began to whistle, and, failing with that form of musical
society, to sing. His selection of a song was not the happiest under the
circumstances.Oddlyenough,itwasthedolefulballadofMyleCharaine.Danny
sang it in Manx, but here is a stave of it in the lusty tones of the fine old
"Lavengro"—
"O,MyleCharaine,wheregotyouyourgold?
Lone,lone,youhaveleftmehere.
O,notinthecurragh,deepunderthemold,
Lone,lone,andvoidofcheer."
There was not much cheer that Danny could get out of Myle Charaine's


company, but he could not at the moment think of any ballad hero who was
muchmoreheartsome.Hehadagoodstepoftheroadtogoyet.Somehowthe
wildlegendoftheModdeyDhoowouldcreepupintoDanny'smind.Inthedays
whentheoldcastlewasgarrisoned,thesoldiersintheguardroomwerecurious
about a strange black dog that came every night and lay in their midst. "It's a
devil,"saidone."I'llfollowitandsee,"saidanother.Whenthedogarosetogo,
the intrepid soldier went out after it. His comrades tried to prevent him. "I'll
followit,"hesaid,"ifitleadstohell."Aminuteafterwardtherewasanunearthly
scream;thesoldierrushedbackpaleasacorpse,andwithgreatstaringeyes.He
said not a word, and died within the hour. The Moddey Dhoo kept tormenting
poorDannyto-night.Sohesetupthesongafresh,andtoheightenthesportive
soulofit,hebegantorun.Oncehavingtakentohisheels,Dannyranasifthe
blackdogitselfhadbeenbehindhim.Bythetimehereachedthetownhewas
fairlyspent.MyleCharaineandtheModdeyDhootogetherhadbeentoomuch
for Danny. What with the combined exertion of legs and lungs, the lad was
perspiringfromheadtofoot.
Thehouseoftheharbor-masterwasalittleivy-coveredcottagethatstoodonthe
east end of the quay, near the bridge that crossed the river. The harbor-master
himself was an unmarried elderly man, who enjoyed the curious distinction of
havingalwayswornshortpetticoats.Hisfullandcorrectnameseemsalmostto
havebeenlost.HewasknownasTommy-Bill-beg,aby-namewhichhadatleast
acertaingenealogicalvalueinshowingthattheharbor-masterwasTommythe
son of Little Bill. When Danny reached the cottage he knocked, and had no
answer.Thenheliftedthelatchandwalkedin.Thehousewasempty,thougha
light was burning. It had two rooms and no more. One was a dark closet of a
sleeping-crib. The other, the living room, was choked with nearly every
conceivable article of furniture and species of domestic ornament. Shells, fishbones, bits of iron and lead ore, sticks and pipes lay on tables, chairs, chests,
settles, and corner cupboards. A three-legged stool stood before the fire-place;
and with all his wealth of rickety furniture, this was probably the sole article
whichtheharbor-masterused.
There was a facetious-faced timepiece on the mantel-piece; and when folks
pitiedtheisolationofTommy-Bill-beg,andaskedhimifheneverfeltlonely,he
alwaysreplied,"NotwhileIheartheclocktick."ButTommy-Bill-beghadnot
heard the clock tick for twenty years. He resembled Jemmy Quark in being
almost stone-deaf, and had a further bond of union with the gardener of
Balladhooinbeingmusical.Heplayednoinstrument,however,excepthisvoice,


which he believed to be of the finest quality and compass. The harbor-master
waswofullywrongastotheformer,butrightastothelatter;hehadavoicelike
arasp,andasloud as afog-horn. Printedcopies ofballadswerepinned upon
variouspartsofthewallofhiskitchen.Tommy-Bill-begcouldnotreadaline;
but he would rather have died than allow that this was so, and he never sang
exceptfromprint.
Danny Fayle knew well how often the musical weakness of the harbor-master
was played upon by the Peel men; and when he found the cottage empty he
suspectedthatsomewagsoffisher-fellowshaddecoyedTommy-Bill-begaway
to the "Jolly Herrings" for the sport of having him sing on this their last night
ashore.Dannysetofffortheinn,whichwasinCastleStreet.Hewalkedalong
thequay,intendingtoturnupapassage.
Thenightseemeddarkerthanevernow,andnotabreathofwindwasstirring.
The harbor on Danny's left was some twenty yards across, and another twenty
yardsdividedthemainlandfromtheislandrock,onwhichstoodtheruinsofthe
oldfortress.Thetidewasout,andthefishing-luggerslayatsecureanchorageon
theshingle,andinsixinchesofmud.Thepierwasstraightahead,andtherethe
lightshouldnowbeburning.
As Danny approached the passage that led up to Castle Street he heard the
distantrumbleofnoisysinging.Yes,itcamefromthe"JollyHerrings"beyond
question,andTommy-Bill-begwasthereairinghissinglevanity.
Dannywasabouttoturnupthepassagewhen,inalullinthesinging,hethought
hecaughtthesoundofvoicesandofthetreadoffeet.Bothcamefromtherock
outside,andDannycouldnotresistthetemptationtowalkonandlisten.
Therecouldbenodoubtofit.Somepeopleweregoinguptothecastle.What
couldtheywantinthatdesolateplaceatnight,andthuslate?InDanny'smind
the ancient castle had always been encircled by ghostly imaginings. Perhaps it
wasfearthatdrewhimtoitnow.Probablyordinarycommon-sensewouldhave
suggestedthatDannyshouldrunofffirsttotheharbor-masterwiththemessage
that he had been charged to deliver, but Danny had neither part nor lot in that
ordinaryinheritance.
Near the bottom of the ebb tide the neck that divided the pier from the castle
could be forded. Danny stole down the pier steps and crossed the ford as
noiselessly as he could. A flight of other steps hewn out of the rock went up
fromthewater'sedgetothedeepportcullis.Dannycreptup.Hefoundthatthe


oldnotchedandbarreddoorleadingintothecastlestoodopen.Dannystoodand
listened.Thefootstepsthatheheardbeforewerenowfaraheadofhim.Itwas
darkest of all under these thick walls. Danny had to pass the doorway of the
ruinedguardroom,terriblewiththetraditionoftheblackdog.Ashewentbythe
doorheturnedhisheadtowarditinthedarkness.Atthatinstanthethoughthe
heard something stir. He gasped, but could not scream. He stretched his arms
fearfullytowardthesound.Therewasnothing.Allwasstilloncemore;onlythe
recedingfootstepsdyingaway.Dannythoughthehaddeceivedhimself.Itwas
asthoughhehadheardtherustleofadress,butitmusthavebeenthesoftrustle
ofleaves.
Yettherewerenotreesinthecastle.
Dannysteppedforwardintothecourtyard.Hisfeetfellsoftlyonthegrassthat
now grew there. But he stopped again, and his heart seemed to stand still. He
couldhaveswornthatbehindhimheheardalightstealthytread.Dannydropped
tohisknees,breathlessandtrembling.
It was gone. The deep, thick boom of the sea came from the shore far behind,
andthethin,lowplashofbrokenwatersfromtherocksbeneath.Thefootsteps
had ceased now, but Danny could hear voices. He rose to his feet and walked
towardwhencetheycame.
He found himself outside the crumbling walls of the roofless chapel of St.
Patrick.Heheardnoisesfromwithin,andcrouchedbehindastone.Presentlya
lightwasstruck.Itlightedalltheairaboveit.Dannycreptuptothechapelwall
andpeeredinatoneofthelancetwindows.
A company of men were there, but he could not distinguish their faces. The
single lantern they carried was now turned with its face to the ground. One of
themhadacrowbarwithwhichhewasprizingupastone.Itwasagravestone.
Themenweretearingopenanoldvault.
There was some muttering, and one of the men seemed to protest. "Stop!" he
cried; "I'm not going to have a hand in a job like this. I'm bad enough, God
knows,butnomanshallsaythatIhelpedtoviolateagrave."
Dannyshookfromheadtofoot.Heknewthatvoice.Justthenthesea-swallow
shotagainoverhead,utteringits low,mournfulcry.AtthesameinstantDanny
thoughtheheardahalf-stiffedmoannotfarfromhisside,andoncemorehisear
caught that soft rustling sound. Quivering in every limb, he could not stir. He


muststandandbesilent.Heclungtothestonewallwithconvulsivefingers.
The man with the crowbar laughed. "Dowse that now," he said, and laughed
again.
"Och,thetimidheistobesure,andthereligious,too,allatonce."
Dannyknewthatvoicealso,andknewaswellthattoutterawordorsoundat
thatmomentmightbeasmuchashislifewasworth.Themenwereraisingthe
stone.
"Here,bearahand,"saidone.
"Never,"saidthefirstspeaker.
Therewasalow,gratinglaugh.Oneofthemenleapedintothevault.
"Now,then,tailonheremorehands.Let'shaveit,quick."
Then Danny saw that, lying on the ground, was something that he had not
observed before. It was like a thick black roll some four feet long. Two of the
mengotholdofittohandittothemanbelow.
"Come!laydown,d'yehear?"
Danny'sterrormastered him. Heturnedto run.Thenthe manwhohadspoken
firstcried,"What'sthat?"
Therewasamoment'spause.
"What'swhat?"saidthemaninthevault.
"I'llswearonmysoulIsawawomanpasstheporch."
Abitterlittlelaughfollowed.
"Och,it'salwaysawomanhe'sseeing."
Dannyhadfoundhislegsatlast.Flyingalongthegrassassoftlyasalapwing,he
reachedtheoldgate.Thenheturnedandlistened.No;therewasnothingtoshow
thathehadbeenheard.Hecreptdownthestepstothewater'sedge.Thereina
creekhesawaboatwhichhehadnotobservedongoingup.Helookedatthe
name.
Itwas"Ben-my-Chree."


Danny turned to the ford. The tide had risen a foot since he crossed, but he
paddledthroughthewaterandgainedthepier.Thenheranhomeasfastashis
longlegswouldcarryhim,wetwithsweatandspeechlesswithdismay.
Next morning Danny remembered that he had forgotten all about the harbormasterandthelight.
"Och,thecursedyoungimpthatheis,"criedhisuncle,BillKisseck,hitchinghis
handintoDanny'sguernseyattheneck,andsteadyinghimasifhehadbeena
sackwithanopenmouth."Aw,thebooby;justtakingarovin'commissionand
snappin'hisfingerattheouldmasther.Whatd'yethinkwouldahappenttoyou,
ye beach-comber, if some ship had run ashore and been wrecked and scuttled
andallhandslost,andnotapoundofcargoleftather,andneveralightonthe
pier,andallalongofyou,yeidiotwaistrel!"


CHAPTERIII
"MACK'REL—MACKER-EL—MACK-ER-EL!"
Itwasabrilliantmorning.Thesealaylikeaglassfloor,andthesunshine,likea
million fairies, danced on it. The town looked as bright as it was possible for
Peel to look. The smoke was only beginning to coil upward from the chimney
stacksandthestreetswereyetquietwhenthesilveryvoiceofachildwasheard
tocry—
"Sweetvioletsandprimrosesthesweetest."
Itwasalittleauburn-hairedlassieoffive,withruddycheeks,andlaughinglips,
andsparklingbrowneyes.Sheworeacleanwhiteapronthatcoveredherskirt,
which was tucked up and pinned in fish-wife fashion in front. Her head was
bare;shecarriedabasketoveronearm,andastrawhatthatswungontheother
hand.
Thebasketcontainedflowerswhichthechildwasselling:"Aha'pennyabunch,
ma'am, only a ha'penny!" The little thing was as bright as the sunlight that
glistenedoverherhead.Shehadmadeasongofhersweetcall,andchantedthe
simplewordswitharhythmicswing—
"Sweetvioletsandprimrosesthesweetest."
"Ruby,"criedagentlemanatthedoorofahousefacingthesea."Here,littleone,
givemeabunchofyourfalderolls.What?No!notfalderolls?Isthatit,littleone,
eh?"
ItwasMr.KerruishKinvig.
Thechildpoutedprettilyanddrewbackherbasket.
"What!notselltomethismorning!Oh,Iseeyouchooseyourcustomers,you
do,mylady.ButI'llhavethelawonyou,Iwill."
Rubylookedupfearlesslyintothefaceofthedreadiconoclast.


"Idon'tloveyou,"shesaid.
"No—eh?Andwhynot,now?"
"Becauseyoucalltheflowersbadnames."
"Oh,Ido,doI?Wellnevermind,littleone.Saywestrikeapeace—eh?"
"Idon'tlikepeoplethatstrike,"saidRuby,withavertedeyes.
"Well,then,cryatruce—anythingyoulike."
Rubyknewwhatcryingaflowerorafishmeant.
"Here,now,littleone,here'sapenny;that'sdoublewages,youknow.Don'tyou
thinkthelawwouldupholdmeifIaskedfora—"
"Awhat?"askedthechild,withinnocenteyes.
"Well,sayakiss."
Thebargainwasconcludedandthepurchaseratified.Inanotherminutethelittle
feetweretrippingaway,andfromasidestreetcamethesilveryvoicethatsang

"Sweetvioletsandprimrosesthesweetest."
Atthenextcornerthelassie'schildliketonesweresuddenlydrownedbyalustier
voice which cried, "Mack'rel! Macker—el! Fine, ladies—fresh, ladies—and
belliesasbigasbishops'—Mack—er—el!"
ItwasDannyFaylewithaboardonhisheadcontaininghislastinstalmentofthe
season'smackerel.Whenthetwostreet-venderscametogethertheystopped.
"Aw now, the fresh you're looking this morning, Ruby veg—as fresh as a
dewdrop,mychree!"
The little one lifted her eyes and laughed. Then she plunged her hand into her
basketandbroughtoutabunchofwildroses.
"That'sforyou,Danny,"shesaid.
"Och,formeisitnow?Aw,andisitformeitis?"saidDanny,withwondering
eyes."Thecleanruineditwouldbeinhalfaminute,though,atthelikesofme,


Ruby veg. Keep it for yourself, woman." Louder: "Mack'rel—fine, ladies—
fresh,ladies—Macker-el!" Thenlower: "Aw now, the sweet and tidy they'd be
lookin'inyourownbreast,mychree—thesweetextraordinary!"
The child looked up and smiled, looked down and pondered: then half
reluctantly,halfcoquettishly,fixedtheflowersinherbosom.
"Danny,Iloveyou,"shesaid,simply.
TheobjectofRuby'saffectionblushedviolentlyandwassilent.
"AndsodoesSissy,"addedthelittleone.
"Mona?"askedDanny,andhistongueseemedtocleavetohismouth.
"Yes,andmamatoo."
Danny'sface,whichhadbeguntobrighten,suddenlylostitssunshine.Hislower
lipwaslaggingwofully.
"Yes, Mona and mama, and—and everybody," said the child, with ungrudging
spontaneity.
"No,Rubyven."
Danny's voice was breaking. He tried to conquer this weakness by shouting
aloud,"Mack-er—Mack—"Then,inasoftertone,"Noteverybody,mychree."
"Well,"saidthechildinearnestdefense,"everybodyexceptyouruncleKisseck."
"Bill?Bill?WhataboutBill?"saidDanny,hoarsely.
"Whydon'tyoufightintohim,Danny?You'reabigboynow,Danny.Whydon't
youfightintohim?"
Danny'ssimplefacegrewverygrave.Thesoftblueeyeshadanuncertainlook.
"DidSissysaythat,Rubyveg?"
"No,butshesaidBillKisseckwasa—wasa—"
"Awhat,Rue?"
"Abrute—toyou,Danny."


The lad's face trembled. The hanging lower lip quivered, and the whole
countenance became charged with sudden energy. Lifting his board from his
head,andtakingupthefinestofthefish,hesaid:
"Ruby,takethishometoMona.Herenow;it'satthebottomofyourbasketI'm
puttingit."
"Myflowers,Danny!"criedRuby,anxiously.
"Aw, what's the harm they'll take at all. There—there" (fixing some seaweed
overthemackerel)—"nice,extraordinary—nice,nice!"
"ButwhatwillyouruncleBillsay,Danny?"askedthelittleonewiththeshadow
offearinhereyes.
"Bill? Bill? Oh, Bill," said Danny, turning away his eyes for a moment. Then,
withanaccessofstrengthasheliftedhisboardontohisheadandturnedtogo,
"ifBillsaysanything,I'll—I'll—"
"No,don't,Danny;no,don't,"criedRuby,thetearsrisingtohereyes.
"Just a minute since," said Danny, "there came a sort of a flash, like that" (he
swungonearmacrosshiseyes),"andallofasuddenIknewmiddlin'wellwhat
todowithBill."
"Don'tfight,Danny,"criedRuby;butDannywasgone,andfromanotherstreet
came "Mack'rel—fine, ladies—fresh, ladies—and bellies as big as bishops'—
Mack-er-el!"


CHAPTERIV
THEFIRSTOF"THEHERRINGS"
Laterinthedaythefinalpreparationswerebeingmadeforthedepartureofthe
herring fleet. Tommy-Bill-beg, the harbor-master, in his short petticoat, was
bawling all over the quay, first at this man in the harbor and then at that. Bill
Kisseckwasalsothereinhiscapacityasadmiralofthefleet—aninsularoffice
forwhichhehadbeendulyswornin,andforwhichhereceivedhisfivepounds
ayear.Billwasabigblack-beardedcreatureintop-boots—arelicofthereignof
theNorsemaninMan.Tommy-Bill-begwaschaffedaboutthelightgoingouton
the pier. He looked grave, declared there was "something in it." Something
supernatural, Tommy meant. Tommy-Bill-beg believed in his heart it was "all
along of the spite of Gentleman Johnny"—now a bogy, erst a thief who in the
flesh had been put into a spiked barrel and rolled over the pier into the sea,
swearingfuriously,aslongashecouldbeheard,thattoprovehisinnocenceit
washisfixedintentiontohauntforeverthesceneofhismartyrdom.
Kerruish Kinvig was standing by, and heard the harbor-master's explanation of
thegoingoutofthelight.
"It'smiddlingstrange,"shoutedKinvig,"thattheghostshouldpotteraboutonly
whentheGovernmentcutterhappenstobeoutoftheway,andTommy-Bill-beg
isyelpingandscreechingatthe'JollyHerrings.'I'dhavealawonsuchbogies,
andclaptheminCastleRushen,"bawledKinvig,"andallthefiddlersandcarolsingersalongwiththem,"headded.
Theharbor-mastershookhishead,apparentlymoreinsorrowthaninanger,and
whisperedBillKisseckthat,as"thegoodouldbook"says,"Badisthemanthat
hasnevernomusicinhissowl."
ItwasoneofTommy-Bill-beg'speculiaritiesofmentaltwistthathewasfullof
quotations, and never by any chance failed to misascribe, misquote, and
misapplythem.
The fishing-boats were rolling gently with the motion of the rising tide. When
everythinghadbeenmadeready,andthefloodwasathand,thefishermen,tothe


number of several hundred men and boys, trooped off to the shore of the bay.
There they were joined by a great multitude of women and children. Presently
the vicar appeared, and, standing in an open boat, he offered the customary
prayerfortheblessingofGodonthefishingexpeditionwhichwasnowsetting
out.
"Restoreandcontinuetoustheharvestofthesea!"
Andthemen,ontheirkneesinthesand,withuncoveredheads,andfacesintheir
hats,murmured"YnMeailley."
Thentheyseparated,thefishermenreturningtotheirboats.
BillKisseckleapedaboardtheluggerthatlayatthemouthoftheharbor.Hissix
menfollowedhim."Seeallclear,"heshoutedtoDanny,whosailedwithhimas
boy.Dannystoodonthequaywiththedutyofclearingropesfromblocks,and
thenfollowinginthedingeythatwasmooredtothesteps.
Amongthewomenwhohadcomedowntotheharbortoseethedepartureofthe
fleet were two who bore no very close resemblance to the great body of the
townswomen.Onewasanelderlywoman,withathinsadface.Theotherwasa
youngwomen,ofperhapstwoorthreeandtwenty,tallandmuscular,withapale
cast of countenance, large brown eyes, and rich auburn hair. The face, though
strong and beautiful, was not radiant with happiness, and yet it recalled very
vividlyaglintofhumansunshinethatwehaveknownbefore.
InanothermomentlittleRuby,redwithrunning,pranceduptotheirside,crying,
"Mona, come and see Danny Fayle's boat. Here, look, there; that one with the
coloronthedeck."
Theadmiral'sboatwastocarryaflag.
The two women were pulled along by the little sprite and stopped just where
Dannyhimselfwasuntyingaknotinarope.Dannyrecognizedthem,liftedhis
hat,blushed,lookedconfused,andseemedforthemomenttoforgetthecable.
"Tailonthere!"shoutedBillKisseckfromthelugger."Showalegthere,ifyou
don'twanttherat'stail.D'yehear?"
Danny was fumbling with his cap. That poor lagging lower lip was giving a
yearninglooktothelad'ssimpleface.HemutteredsomecommonplacetoMona,
andthendroppedhishead.Atthatinstanthiseyesfellonthelowerpartofher


dress.Thebluesergeofhergownwasbleachednearherfeet.Danny,whocould
think of nothing else to say, mumbled something about the salt water having
takenthecoloroutofMona'sdress.Thegirllookeddown,andthensaidquietly:
"Yes,Iwascaughtbythetidelastnight—Imeantosay,Iwas—"
She was clearly trying to recall her words, but poor Danny had hardly heard
them.
"Youcursedbooby!"criedBillKisseck,leapingashore,"pratingwithapackof
women when I'm a-waiting for you. I'll make you walk handsome over the
bricks,myman."
WiththathestruckDannyaterribleblowandfelledhim.
Theladgotupabashed,andwithoutawordturnedtohiswork.Kisseck,stillina
tempest of wrath, was leaping back to the lugger, when the young woman
steppeduptohim,lookedfearlesslyinhisface,seemedabouttospeak,checked
herself,andturnedaway.
Kisseckstoodmeasuringherfromheadtofootwithhiseyes,brokeintoalittle
bitterlaugh,andsaid:
"I'mrightupanddownlikeayardofpumpwater;that'swhatIam."
Hejumpedaboardagain.Dannyrantheropefromtheblocks,theadmiral'sboat
cleared away, and the flag shot up to the mast-head. The other boats followed
oneafteronetothenumberofnearlyonehundred.Thebaywasfullofthem.
When Kisseck's boat had cleared the harbor, Danny ran down the steps of the
pier with eyes still averted from the two women and the child, got into the
dingey,tookanoarandbegantoscullafterit.
"Sissy,Sissy,"criedRuby,tuggingatMona'sdress,"lookatDanny'slittleboat.
What'sthenamethatisonitinredletters?"
"'Ben-my-Chree,'"theyoungwomananswered.
Thentheherringfleetsailedawayundertheglowofthesettingsun.


CHAPTERV
CHRISTIANMYLREA
It was late when young Christian Mylrea got back to Balladhoo that night of
Kerruish Kinvig's visit. "I've been up for a walk to the Monument on Horse
Hill,"heremarked,carelessly,ashesatdownatthepianoandtoucheditlightly
to the tune of "Drink to me only with thine eyes." "Poor old Corrin," he said,
pausing with two fingers on the keyboard, "what a crazy old heretic he must
have been to elect to bury himself up yonder." Then, in a rich full tenor,
Christiansangabarortwoof"SallyinourAlley."
The two older men were still seated at opposite sides of the table smoking
leisurely.MylreaBalladhootoldChristianoftheerrandonwhichhehadwished
tosendhim.
"The light? Ah, yes," said Christian, turning his head between the rests in his
song, "curious, that, wasn't it? Do you know that coming round by the pier I
noticed that the light had gone out; so"—(a run up the piano)—"so, after
ineffectual attempts to rouse that sad dog of a harbor-master of yours, dad, I
wentupintotheboxandlititmyself.Youseeit'sburningnow."
"Humph! so it is," grunted Kerruish Kinvig, who had got up in the hope of
discreditingthestatement.
"Only the wick run down, that was all," said Christian, who had turned to the
pianoagain,andwasrattlingoffalivelyFrenchcatch.
ChristianMylreawasahandsomeyoungfellowoffiveorsixandtwenty,witha
refined expression and easy manner, educated, genial, somewhat irresolute one
mightsay,withaweakcornertohismouth;naturallyofasportivedisposition,
but having an occasional cast of thoughtfulness; loving a laugh, but finding it
ratheraptoflatetodieawayabruptlyonhislips.
Gettinguptogo,Kinvigsaid,"Christian,myman,you'venotseenmynewnetloomssinceyoucamehome.Wonderfulinventions!Wonderful!Extraordinary!
Talkofyourlocomotive—pshaw!Comedown,man,andseethematworkinthe


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