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Mr. Casely Mr. Casely

Mr. Casely
I. Young Mr. Ellington strolled down the narrow walk that led through the woods from the Hall to the sea. The morning had lain heavy on his hands, for he was without companionship, and he was not one of the happy folk who can make resources or who find a sufficient delight in mere living. A few sharp commonplaces delivered with dry imperiousness by the old Squire; a little well-meaning babble from a couple of timid maiden aunts--such was the range of his converse with his kind from day to day. And this quiet dreariness had lasted for months past, and... Short Stories - Post by : shun_916 - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 3062

The Failure The Failure

The Failure
To the southward of the Chibburn Stream a flat space, covered with rushes and grey grass, stretches away towards the Border. On the seaward side it is walled in by low hills, whilst on the landward side a sudden rise of the ground forms another boundary which makes the waste resemble the bed of an ancient river. It was a favourite place with me in the summer time, because the brackens grow here and there, and to one who wants perfect seclusion nothing can be more delightful than to creep under the green shade and listen, hour after hour, to the... Short Stories - Post by : chegar - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 3402

Hob's Tommy Hob's Tommy

Hob's Tommy
The moor was blazing in the sun. Bright gorse flamed above the pale green grass, and little pools flashed white rays up to the sky. Hob's Tommy stepped out of doors, and took a long look round. He was not impressed by the riot of colour that spread around him; he looked over the pulsing floor of the sea, and thought, "It will be a fine night for the trouting." Tommy was a large man, who seemed to shake the ground as he trod. His face was devoid of speculation, and his dull blue eyes looked from under heavy and unamiable... Short Stories - Post by : melissa - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 3369

A Long Chase A Long Chase

A Long Chase
The "Halicore" ran into harbour one October morning and took up her berth at the quay. The brig had come from a nine months' voyage and the men were regarded as heroes when they came ashore, for most of our vessels were merely coasters. When all was made snug on board, the sailors went to their homes and received the admiring homage of the neighbours. One young man whose parents lived in a cottage away to the north was very keen to get home. He had a weary stretch of moorland to pass, and the evening was wild, with only fitful... Short Stories - Post by : tonjgi - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 4204

North-country Fishermen North-country Fishermen

North-country Fishermen
The men who go away in the great smacks and remain at sea for many weeks at a time are used to call themselves fishermen; but the long-shore fisher does not consider these smacksmen as being members of his profession at all. A person who leaves his own village, and never comes home in the morning like a decent citizen, is regarded with much condescension by the owner of a coble. The bolder voyager calls himself a fisher, but he is really only a kind of sailor; and as such he is a being to be patronized by the true craftsman.... Short Stories - Post by : sheryruss - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 3129

Blown North Blown North

Blown North
The brig "Wansbeck" sailed on a February day at about four in the afternoon. She was a fine little vessel, but very badly found in sails and running-gear. The crew had signed for a voyage to Malmo; and the owner hurried the ship away because he feared she might be "neaped" in the little river, as the tides were taking off. The cargo was very badly stowed; and when the pilot came on board it was discovered that part of the pump-gear had not arrived. The captain told the owner of this; and that gentleman said the ship should go to... Short Stories - Post by : tfreeland - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 2723

Keelmen Keelmen

The keel is a strange kind of barge which is only seen on three of our northern rivers. She is sharp at both ends, and her lines are extremely fine. When loaded her deck is flush with the water; yet, under sail, her speed is very great, and she is as handy as a skiff. These boats are principally used for carrying coals to and from vessels that lie out in the river; but they are often employed in conveying various sorts of goods from town to town. In the old times, when the Tyne was very shallow, the colliers were... Short Stories - Post by : arscott44 - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 2809

A Volunteer Life-brigade A Volunteer Life-brigade

A Volunteer Life-brigade
There is generally very heavy weather in winter time on the north-east coast. From North Sunderland the Farne Islands can hardly be seen, for the tumultuous waves in the narrow channels throw up clouds of spray. At the mouth of the Tyne the sea runs strongly, and the great piers have to meet endless charges of green masses that break on the stone-work and pour along the footway in foaming streams. As the evening comes, knots of men stroll toward the pier. They are all clothed in thick guernseys and business-like helmets, and on their breasts they have the letters V.L.B.... Short Stories - Post by : lamcom - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 4375

The Sibyl The Sibyl

The Sibyl
An old woman lived in a one-roomed cottage among the sand hills bordering the sea. Her place was only a hut with thatched roof and stone floor, but coals were plentiful, so Mary was able to make herself very comfortable. The wind made a great noise with moaning and shrieking among the bents, but Mary was not learned enough in romantic literature to be moved by weird sounds. She did not like to hear a fox howl on the hill, because that woeful cry boded ill fortune; but the tumult of ordinary winter evenings never affected her. All day she crouched... Short Stories - Post by : chizik - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 4702

The Collier Skipper The Collier Skipper

The Collier Skipper
Many old-fashioned people who read of the massacres caused by steamboat collisions, think regretfully of the time when eight hundred sail of ships would make the trip between Tyne and Thames without so much as the loss of a bowsprit from one of the fleet. It was slow work, perhaps, and it might be a tedious sight (say those who praise past times), to see a ship being hauled up the river foot by foot with a warp and a kedge; yet we do not get cheap coals now, for all our science, and we have lost our seamen. The old... Short Stories - Post by : cmyhero - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 2388

The Giants The Giants

The Giants
In passing along the shores of the bay, on evenings when the water was smooth, you could hear a succession of dull thuds like the sound of distant guns. Looking to eastward you saw a dark semicircular streak on the water, and inside this streak a coble glided slowly hither and thither. One man rowed gently, letting his oars drop into the water with a slight splash, that could be heard nevertheless a long way off. The sweeps were so long that the rower could not scull in the ordinary way, but crossed his arms and held the handle of the... Short Stories - Post by : rwd2255 - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 4804

The Rabbit-catcher The Rabbit-catcher

The Rabbit-catcher
I had the fancy to walk out one winter's morning in a very lonely place. The wind was laden with sleet, and as I walked on the top of the cliffs it struck my right cheek viciously, and then screamed away past through the furze-bushes. The light was coming up slowly over the leaden sea, and the waves seemed cowed by the steady flogging of the sleet. I heard the woods complaining from afar off, and the whistling curlew as he called overhead made me think of messengers of evil. Presently I came to a great range of rounded hills, which... Short Stories - Post by : emullins2005 - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 3810

The Suspected Man The Suspected Man

The Suspected Man
A tall girl used to wander about from village to village down the coast. Strangers did not know what was the matter with her, but all the people who lived round the bay knew that she was out of her mind. Her clothes were not very good, but she kept herself clean, and when she was in the humour she would help the neighbours. She had no relations living, but she never went short of food, for the fishers and the farm people, and even the pitmen, took care to give her shelter and enough to eat. She was mostly bare-headed,... Short Stories - Post by : gnash - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 1733

The Coastguard The Coastguard

The Coastguard
Winter and summer, every night about six o'clock, a tall man, dressed in blue, strode over the moor. Sometimes he looked on the ground for a long time together, and seemed to be buried in deep thought. When he came to the stream he always found another man waiting for him on the far side, and this man was accompanied by a rough water-spaniel. The two friends, who were both coastguards, held a little chat, and then the dog was told to go over for the letters. The spaniel swam across, received the blue despatches, and carried them to his master;... Short Stories - Post by : kdimm - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 3978

The Fisher's Friend The Fisher's Friend

The Fisher's Friend
A square stone house decked with clambering honeysuckle stood in a lonely place about a mile to the northward of the Row. A narrow flower garden lay to the right and left of the front, and in spring-time and summer a delicate little lady used to come out and move gracefully about among the flower beds. She was old, but she carried herself erect, and her cheeks were prettily tinged. Her dress was in the style of the last century, and she made no change in her fashions from year's end to year's end. On Sundays she walked primly to church,... Short Stories - Post by : hassanat - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 4306

The Village Preacher The Village Preacher

The Village Preacher
The Methodists got a very strong hold in seaside places at the end of the last century, but during the long pressure of the great War the claims of religion were somewhat forgotten. Smuggling went on to an extraordinary extent and the consequent demoralisation was very apparent. The strict morality which the stern Methodists of the old school taught had been broken, and some of the villages were little better than nests of pirates. The decent people who lived inland were continually molested by marauding ruffians who came from seaside places, and to call a man a "fisher," was to label... Short Stories - Post by : bellfrenzy - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 5391

The Squire The Squire

The Squire
Every afternoon when the weather was bright, an erect old man used to ride round the Fisher Row on a stout cob. If the men happened to be sitting in the sun, on the benches, he would stop and speak to them, in sharp, ringing accents, and he always had a word for the women as they sat baiting their lines in the open air. He called the men by their Christian names, and they called him by the name of his estate. None of the fishermen ever ventured to be familiar with him; but he often held long talks with... Short Stories - Post by : vvvvDave - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 4304

The Cabin-boy The Cabin-boy

The Cabin-boy
The master of a smack was lately accused of having murdered an apprentice; so the mob made desperate attempts to lynch the prisoner every time he was brought before the magistrates. They heard that the dead boy used to be beaten with ropes'-ends, kicked, dragged along the deck, drenched with cold water, and subjected to other ingenious modes of discipline, and they were horrified. Yet only a few years ago no surprise or indignation greeted a skipper who habitually ill-used his cabin-boys. If screams were heard coming from a collier in the Pool, the men in neighbouring vessels scarcely took the... Short Stories - Post by : joeml - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 4745

The Silent Men The Silent Men

The Silent Men
Two very reckless fellows used always to go fishing together, and used also to spend their leisure together. One was known as Roughit; and the other was called Lance. Roughit was big, with heavy limbs and a rather brutal face. He wore his hair and beard very long, and his eyes looked morosely from under thick reddish eyebrows. He scarcely ever spoke to anybody; and some of the superstitious fishermen did not like to meet him in the morning, because they thought he always brought them bad luck. Lance was a handsome man, with small hands and feet. He was not... Short Stories - Post by : innkeeper - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 3273

The Heroine Of A Fishing Village The Heroine Of A Fishing Village

The Heroine Of A Fishing Village
Until she was nineteen years old, Dorothy lived a very uneventful life; for one week was much the same as another in the placid existence of the village. On Sunday mornings, when the church-bells began to ring, you would meet her walking over the moor with a springy step. Her shawl was gay, and her dress was of the most pronounced colour that could be bought in the market-town. Her brown hair was gathered in a net, and her calm eyes looked from under an old-fashioned bonnet of straw. Her feet were always bare, but she carried her shoes and stockings... Short Stories - Post by : iTreasures - Date : July 2011 - Author : James Runciman - Read : 4579