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the public-house is crowded, and now and
then the dull roar ceases for a moment
as some obstreperous member is shut out
summarily into the dark. Besides the
regular fishermen and people employed at
the curing stations, there are the herring
gutterswomen of all ages, many of whom
follow singly the fortunes of the fishers
from place to place. Their business is to
gut and salt the fish, which they do with
wonderful swiftness and skill. Hideous,
indeed, looks a group of these women,
defiled from head to foot with herring
garbage, and laughing and talking volubly,
while gulls innumerable float above them,
and fill the air with their discordant
screams. But look at them when their
work is over, and they are changed indeed.
Always cleanly, and generally smartly
dressed, they parade the roads and wharf.
Many of them are old and ill-favoured, but
you will see among them many a blooming
cheek and beautiful eye. Their occupation
is a profitable one, especially if they be
skilful; for they are paid according to the
amount of work they do.

It is the custom of most of the east-
country fishers to bring over their own
womenone to every boat, sleeping among
the men, and generally related to one or
more of the crew. We have met many of
these girls, some of them very pretty, and
could vouch for their perfect purity.
Besides their value as cooks, they can gut
herrings and mend nets; but their chief
recommendation in the eyes of the canny
fishermen is that they are kith and kin,
while the natives are strangers "no' to be
trusted." The east-country fisherman, on
his arrival, invariably encamps on shore,
and the girl or woman "keeps the house"
for the whole crew.

For, the east-country fisherman likes to
be comfortable. He is at once the most
daring and the most careful. He will face
such dangers on the sea as would make
most men die of fright, while at the same
time he is as cautious as a woman in
providing against cold and ague. How he
manages to move in his clothes, is matter
for marvel, for he is packed like a patient
after the cold water process. Only try to
clothe yourself in all the following articles
of attire; pair of socks, pair of stockings over
them half up the leg, to be covered by the
long fishing boots; on the trunk, a thick
flannel, covered with an oilskin vest;
after that, a common jacket and vest; on
the top of those, an oilskin coat; next, a
mighty muffler to wind round the neck and
bury the chin and mouth; and last of all,
the sou'-wester! This is the usual costume
of an east-country fisherman, and he not
only breathes and lives in it, but manages
his boat better than any of his rivals on
the sea. He drags himself along on land
awkwardly enough; and on board, instead
of rising to walk, he rolls, as it were, from
one part of the boat to the other. He is
altogether a more calculating dog than the
west-country man, more eager for gain,
colder and more reticent in all his dealings
with human kind.





"I SEE, Dr. Hesselius, that you don't
lose one word of my statement. I need
not ask you to listen specially to what I am
now going to tell you. They talk of the optic
nerves, and of spectral illusions, as if the
organ of sight was the only point assailable
by the influences that have fastened upon
meI know better. For two years in my
direful case that limitation prevailed. But
as food is taken in softly at the lips, and
then brought under the teeth, as the tip of
the little finger caught in a mill-crank will
draw in the hand, and the arm, and the
whole body, so the miserable mortal who
has been once caught firmly by the end of
the finest fibre of his nerve, is drawn in
and in, by the enormous machinery of hell,
until he is as I am. Yes, doctor, as I am,
for while I talk to you, and implore relief,
I feel that my prayer is for the impossible,
and my pleading with the inexorable."

I endeavoured to calm his visibly
increasing agitation, and told him that he
must not despair.

While we talked the night had overtaken
us. The filmy moonlight was wide
over the scene which the window
commanded, and I said:

"Perhaps you would prefer having
candles. This light, you know, is odd. I
should wish you, as much as possible, under
your usual conditions while I make my
diagnosis, shall I call itotherwise I don't

"All lights are the same to me," he said:
"except when I read or write, I care not if
night were perpetual. I am going to tell
you what happened about a year ago. The
thing began to speak to me."