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"look out for the guarda-costa: if they see anything in the water moving between the vessels, they'll fire at it, certainly." "That won't trouble me," replied the imperturbable tar. "I have run the blockade in the American war thirteen times, and had bigger balls than that fellow can throw whizzing about my head, and fired bybetter gunners than they have got aboard there. Why, sir, we ran almost into one of their monitors one night, and had eight fifteen-inch shot fired at us without being hit, and in all the thirteen trips in and out we never were hit but once — and then the ball only took off the head of the look-out forward."
And so we arranged it that Bill should swim off to the ship as soon as it was dark, and trusting to fortune to get the provisions aboard without discovery, we were to hang overboard a light for him to swim back to.
"That ship reminds me," said Bill, after a long pause, " of a trip I made once in an English ship to Senegal. We went up the river to load, and while we lay there waiting for cargo to come down, we had one of the worst yellow-fevers break out on the ship I ever saw. The first man who was taken with it died in three hours, and that day two more were taken and died before dark, and in three days we lost all but seven of the crew one after the other, — not one was sick more than six hours, — and then the mate was taken sick. The first thing I knew of it was that he said to me,' Bill, give me a good glass of grog, and fill my pipe; I want one good smoke and a drink before I die.' 'O, nonsense,' says I, 'you are no more likely to die than I am.' 'I know very well I have got it,' said he; 'and when I am dead, bury me deep enough so that the land-crabs can't dig me up. Sure enough he died that afternoon, and we took him ashore before night and buried him in a good deep grave. In two days more there were only the captain and I alive on the 11iI '. And there we lay ten days till we heard that an English man-of-war was off the mouth of the river, and the captain sent a native boat down to ask him to send up men to work the ship out of the river.' The man-of-war sent word that they would n't send men up the river, but if we could work her down with natives, they would give us men to get the ship home to England, and so we got out, but a sense of a time we had of it getting down. I suppose they feel on that ship pretty much as I did those ten days."
All day long we heard at intervals that pitiful cry, " Bread! bread !" faintly coming over the water. It was more tolerable than the day before, because we knew that relief would go with nightfall. And so, as the dark came, we made up a packet of hard bread with a little cold meat and a bottle of wine, and binding it securely between Bill's shoulders, and with a pointed stick on top of it, in case, as he said, " a shark should want to take the prog from him," he slipped down into the water, stripped to his drawers, and struck out for the cholera-ship so quietly that you might have thought it a little school of guard-fish.
We sat on the forecastle watching and waiting. I said nothing, and where two are together and one will not talk, the other sometimes will. Aleck finally broke silence with, —" Women are mighty curious things. I'll bet that old one don't touch a mouthful till t'other has eaten, and I don't believe she would have made half the fuss she did if she had been alone. In the beginning of the American war I belonged to a regiment of mounted riflemen, and
we were sent into Eastern Tennessee, where there was a good deal of bushwhacking about that time. We were picketed one day in a line about two miles long across country, and I was on the extreme left. I took my saddle off, holsters and all, and hung it on a branch of a peach-tree, and my oarbine on another. We knew there were no Yankees near, and so I was kind o' off guard, eating peaches. By and by I saw a young woman coming down to where I was, on horseback. She wanted to know if there were many of the boys near, and if they would buy some milk of her if she took it down to them. I said I thought they would, and took about a quart myself; and as she had n't much more, I emptied the water out of my canteen and took the rest. Says she, 'If you 'll come up to the honse yonder I've got something better than that: you may have some good peach-tirandy, — some of your fellows might like a little.' I said I 'd go, and she says,' You need n't take your saddle or carbine; it "s just a step, and they are safe enough here. — there's nobody about." So I mounted bareback, and she led the way. When we passed the bars where she came in, she says,' You ride on a step, and I 'll get down and put up the bars. I went on, and as she came up behind, she says pretty sharp, 'Ride a little faster, if you please.' I looked round and she had a revolver pointed straight at my head, and I saw that she knew how to use it. I had left everything behind me like a fool, and had to give in and obey orders. 'That's the house, if you please," she says, and showed me a house in the edge of the woods a quarter of a mile away. We got there, and she told me to get down and eat something, for she was going to give me a long ride,— into the Yankee lines, about twenty miles away. Her father came out and abused me like a thief, and told me that he was going to have me sent into the Federal lines to be hung. It seems he had had a son hung the week before by some of the Conlwlerates, and was going to have his revenge out of me. I ate pretty well, for I thought I might need it before I got any more, and then the old fellow began to curse me and abuse me like anything. He said he would shoot me on the spot if it was n't that he 'd rather have me hung; and instead of giving me my own horse, he took the worst one he had in his 'tables, and they put me on that with my feet tied together under his belly. Luckily they did n't tie my hands, for they thought I had no arms, and could n't help myself; but I always carried a small revolver in my shirt bosom. The girl kept too sharp watch on me for me to use it. She never turned her revolver from me, and I knew that the first suspicions move I made I was a dead man. We went about ten miles in this way, when my old crow-bait gave out and would n't go any farther. She would nt trust me afoot, and so had to give up her own horse, but she kept the bridle in her own hands, and walked ahead with one eye turned back on me, and the revolver cocked with her finger on the trigger, w that I never had a chance to put my hand in my bosom. We finally came to a spring, and she asked me if I wanted to drink: I did n't feel much like drinking, but I said yes, and so she let me down. I put my head down to the water, and at the gam* time put my hand down where the revolver was, and pulled it forward where I could put my hand on it easily; but she was on the watch and I could nt pull it out. I mounted again, and the first time she was off her guard a little, I fired and broke the arm she held the pistol in. 'Now,' says I,' it %
my turn: you 'll please get on that horse and we 'll go back. She did n't flinch or say a word, but got, on the horse, and I tied her legs as they had mine, and we went back to the house. The old man he heard us come up to the door and looked out of the window. He turned as pale as a sheet and ran for his rifle. I knew what he was after, and pushed the door in before he was loaded. Says I, 'You may put that 6hooting-iron down and come with me.' He was n't as brave as the girl, but it was no use to resist, and he knew it; so he came along. About half-way back we met some of our fellows who had missed me, and come out to look me up. They took them both, and —" he paused a moment, and lowering his tone, added, "I don't know what they did
with them, but I know d well what they would
have done with me." I replied, after a pause, "I suppose they hanged them both?" Aleck nodded his head without looking up, and seemed anxious to drop the subject.
"But," said I, rather disposed to work the vein of communicativeness, but not anxious to hear any more such adventures, " I thought you had been in the Confederate navy?" "I was," said Aleck. ul was with Semmes everywhere he went; I was in the naval brigade and blockade-running, and on the Alabama all the while he commanded her." "But not when she sank, I suppose?" I rejoined. "Tell, I was, and was picked up with him by the Deorhound." "It was a pretty sharp fight, was n't it'!" I suggestingly asked. "It was that," replied Aleck; but he did n't care about enlarging. "I suppose it was the eleven-inch shells that did her business?" "O no," said he, coming to a kind of confessional, "we never had any chance; we had no gunners to compare with the Kearsarge's. Our gunners fired by routine, and when they had the gun loaded, fired it off blind. They never changed the elevation of their guns all the fight, and the Kearsarge was working up to us all the while, taking advantage of every time she was hid by smoke to work a little nearer, and then her gunners took aim for every shot." "Then it is n't true that the Alabama tried to board the Kearsarge?" "No, sir; she did her best to get away from her from the time the fight commenced: we knew well that if we got in range of her Dahlgren howitzers, she would sink us in ten minutes." "But," I asked, "don't you believe that Semmes supposed he would whip the Kearsarge when he went out to fight her?" "No; he was bullied into it, and took good care to leave all his valuables on shore, and had a life-preserver on through the fight. I saw him put it on, and I thought if it was wise in him, it would n't be foolish in me, and I put one on too. When Semmes saw that the ship was going down, he told us all to swim who could, and was one of the first to jump into the water, and we all made for the Deerhound. I was a long way ahead of Semmes, and, when I came up to the Deerhound's boat, they asked me if I was Semmes before they would take me in. I said I was n't, and then they asked me what I was on the Alabama. Said I,' No matter what I was on the Alabama, I shall be a dead man soon if you don't take me in.' They asked me again if I was an officer or a seaman, and would n't take me in until I told them that I was an officer." "But," said I, " did they actually refuse to pick up common seamen, and leave them to drown?" "They did that," replied he, wrathfully, and probably not very correctly; "and as soon as they had Semmes on board, they made tracks as fast as they knew how,
and left everybody else to drown or to be picked up by the Kearsarge."
"Time to show the light, I reckon," said Aleck, after his ebullition had subsided, and proceeded to put over the bows the light agreed on. An hour after Bill had started on his voyage, we heard his whistle from below the forechains, and, heaving him a line, brought him in cautiously. He slipped down to change his clothing and add to it, and then came up to render an account of his doings. He had, as he anticipated, found more difficulty in getting on board the ship than in getting to it. He had found the poor women on the quarter-deck, — all order and ship-keeping abandoned, and no look-out anywhere. The passengers were sleeping on deck or sitting around it, moaning and weeping. He dared not call to the women for fear of disturbing the guardiani, and of attracting the attention of the other passengers to whom his small supply would have been but a mouthful. He swam round and round looking for a loose rope's-end in vain, and finally did what we should have supposed certain to lead to his discovery, — climbed up the cable and over the bows, throwing over his shoulders the first garment he found on the disorderly deck, and slowly walked the whole length of the ship: when, having deposited the provisions at the side of the unfortunate ones, signifying that they were to inform no one, and keep them to themselves, as well as his few words of Greek would let him, he dropped overboard by a line from the quarter, and, leaving them in mute and motionless wonder, came back as quietly as he had gone. Bill could n't resist the temptation next morning of waving a big white cloth at the ship,— a signal which attracted the immediate attention and suspicion of our watchful guardiano, who, with an effervescence of useless Greek, delivered his mind on the subject of contumacia and communication, at which we all laughed; we felt merrier that morning than for many days past
In fact, though we saw for several days more the boat going back and forwards from the ship to the shore, and knew that they went to bury the dead, — could see them buried even with our glasses, — we never felt so oppressed by the horror of it since Bill's chivalric swim. We finished without other incident our appointed two weeks, and had soon the satisfaction of knowing that public clamor had obliged Syra to recognize the claims of humanity, and send food to the starving.
We had to undergo a five days' "observation" behind the lighthouse island off the port, in company with the English steamer, which was, moreover, threatened with a third fortnight, — which she escaped only by the energetic remonstrances of the British consul, backed up by the Legation at Athens, who persuaded the central government to send orders to Syra that the steamer should be admitted to pratique. A Greek man-of-war was accordingly sent from the Piraeus to Syra with a commission to ascertain the truth of the complaints of Mr. Lloyd, and, finding them well founded, ordered the admittance of the steamer to pratique; but so great was the terror of the population and the timidity of the commission, that the latter ceded to the threats of a revolution, and compromised on admitting the passengers to the lazaretto of Syra, and sending the ship away. If all these things are not recorded in the chronicles of that city, they are in the minds of many who were martyrs to the inhuman cowardice of Syra, and who will bear me testimony that every occurrence of which public recognition could be taken in the above narrative is strictly true. As for the yarns, I tell them, as nearly as I can remember, as they were told me, and — believe them.
About a year after my scaffold accident,* I goes home one night, and Mrs. Burge — that's our nex'room neighbor — shows me something wrapped up in flannel, all pink and creasy, and very snuffly, as though it wanted its nose blowing; which could n't be expected, for it had n't got any to signify.
"Ain't it a little beauty/_" she says.
Well, I could n't sec as it was; but I did n't like to say so, for I knew my wife Polly had been rather reckoning on what she said we ought to have had more 'n a year ago; so I did n't like to disappoint her, for I knew she lay listenin" in the nex' room.
Polly always said there never was such a baby as that one; and somehow it was taking to sec how her face used to light up all over smiles when she thought I warn't looking; and I knew it was all on account of the little 'un. She never said she felt dull now; and when at home of a night I used to think how my mates would laugh to see me a-handling the little thing that was allus being pushed into my face to kiss; when I'm blest if ever I see such a voracious fun in my life: it would hang on to you — nose, lip, anywheres — in a minute.
One day, when it was about nine months old, it was taken all of a sudden like with a fit. Polly screamed to me to run for the doctor; for it happened that I was on the club that week, and at home with a bad hand. I run for him, and he soon come; and then there was a warm bath and medicine; but afterwards, when I saw the little thing Iving on Polly's lap so still and quiet, and with a dull film forming over its eyes, I felt that something was coming, though I dared not tell her ; and about twelve o'clock the little thing suddenly started, stared wildly an instant, and then it was all over.
My hand warn't bad any, more that week ; for it took all my time to try and cheer up my poor heart-broken lass. She did take on dreadful, night and day, night and day, till we buried it; and then she seemed to take quite a change, and begged of me to forgive what she called her selfishness, and wiped her eyes once for all, as she said, and talked about all being for the best. But she did n't know that I lay awake of a night, feeling her cry silently till the pillow was soaked with tears.
We buried the little one on the Sunday, and on the Monday morning I was clapped on to a job that I didn't much relish, for it was the rebricking of a sewer that ran down one of the main streets, quite fifty feet underground.
Artcr two years in London I'd seen some change, but this was my first visit to the bowels of the earth. I 'd worked on drains down in the country, but not in such a concern as this; why, a life-guard might have walked down it easy; so that there was plenty of room to work. But then, mind you, it ain't pleasant work; there you go, down ladder after ladder, past gas-pipes and water-pipes, and down and down, till you get to the stage stretched across the part that you are at work on, with the daylight so high up, as seen through boards and scaffolds and ladders, that it's no use to you who are work
* See a remarkable sketch entitled "la Jeopardy," In the «eventh number of Kvtuv Batikday.
ing by the light of flaring gas. There in front of you is the dark, black arch; and there behind you is another; while under your feet the foul rusting water hurries along, sending up a nnell as turn* your silver watch, and every sixpence and shilling yctii have in your pocket, black as the water that swirls bubbling along. Every word you speak rounds hollow and echoing, while it goes whispering and rumbling along the dark arch till you think it h*j gone, when all at once you hear it again quite plain in a way as would make you jump as much as when half a brick or a bit o' hard mortar dropped into the water.
But talk about jumping, nothing made me jump more than when a bit of soil, or a stone, was loosened up above, and came rattling down. I 've seen more than one chap change color; and I know it's been from the thought that, suppose the earth caved in, where should we be? No doubt the first crush in would do it, and there 'd be an end of workmen and foreman; but there seemed something werry awful in the idea p' being buried alive.
Big as the opening was, when I went to work, it made me shudder: there was the earth thrown out; there was the rope at the side; there was the boarding round; there it was for all the world like a big grave, same as I 'd stood bv on a little scale the day before; and, feeling a bit low-spirited, it almost seemed as though I was going down into my own, never to come up any more.
Worry stupid and foolish ideas, says yon, — farfetched ideas. Werry likely, but that's what I thought; and there are times when men has werrv strange ideas; and I '11 tell you for a fact that something struck me when I went down that hole as I should n't come up it again; and I did n't, neither. Why, the werry feel o' the cold, damp place made you think o' being buried, and when a few bits of earth came and rattled down upon the stage above my head, as soon as the first start was over, it seemed to me so like the rattling o' the earth but » few hours before upon a little coffin, that something fell with a pat upon my bright trowel, which, if it had been left, would ha' been a spot o' rust.
Nothing like work to put a fellow to rights; and I soon found that I was feeling better, and the strokes o' my trowel went ringing away down the sewer as I cut the bricks in half; and arter a bit I almost felt inclined to whistle; but I did n't, for I kept on thinking of that solitary face at home, — the face that always brightened" up when I went back, and had made such a man ov me as I felt I was, for it was enough to make any man vain to be thought so much of. And then I thought how dull she 'd be, and how fond she 'd be o' looking at the drawer where all the little things were kept; and then I — well, I ain't ashamed of it, if I am a great hulking fellow — I took care that nobody saw what I was doing, while I had a look at a little bit of a shoe as I had in my pocket
I did n't go home to dinner, for it was too far off; so I had my snack, and then went to it again directly along with two more, for we was on the piece. We had some beer sent down to us, and at it we went till it was time to leave off; and I must say as I Wm glad of it, and didn't much envy the fresh gang coining on to work all night, though it might just as well have been night with us. I was last down, and had jest put my foot on the first round of the ladder, when I heard something falling as it hit and jarred the boards up'ards; and then directly after what seemed to be a brick caught me on the' bead,
and, before I knew where I was, I was off the little platform, splash down in the cold rushing water that took me on and away yards upon yards before I got my head above it; and then I was so confused and half stunned that I let it go under again, and had been carried ever so far before, half drowned, I gained my legs and leaned, panting and blinded, up against the slimy wall.
There I stood for at least ten minutes, I should suppose, shuddering and horrified, with the thick darkness all around, the slimy, muddy bricks against my hands, the cold, rushing water beneath me, and my mind in that confused state that for a few minutes longer I did n't know what I was going to do next, and wanted to persuade myself that it was all a dream, and I should wake up directly.
All at once, though, I gave a jump, and, instead o' being cold with the water dripping from me, I turned all hot and burning, and then again cold and shuddery; for I had felt something crawling on my shoulder, and then close against my bare neck, when I gave the jump, and heard close by me a light splash in the water, — a splash which echoed through the hollow place, while, half to frighten the beasts that I fancied must be in swarms around me, half wrung from me as a cry of fear and agony, I yelled out, —
Rats they were; for above the hollow "washwash, hurry-hurry, wash-wash, hurry-hurry" of the water, I could hear little splashes and a scuffling by me along the sides o' the brick-work.
You may laugh at people's hair standing on end, but I know then that there was a creeping, tingling sensation in the roots o' mine, as though sand was trickling amongst it; a cloud seemed to come over my mind, and for a few moments I believe I was mad, — mad with fear; and it was only by setting my teeth hard and clenching my fists that I kept from shrieking. However, I was soon better, and ready to laugh at myself as I recollected that I could only be a little way from the spot where the men worked; so I began to wade along with the water here about up to my middle. AH at once I stopped, and thought about where I was at work.
"Which way did the water run f"
My head turned hot and my temples throbbed with the thought. If I went the wrong way I should be lost — lost in this horrible darkness — to sink, at last, into the foul, black stream, to be drowned and devoured by the rats, or else to be choked by the foul gases that must be lurking down here in these dark recesses.
Again the horror of thick darkness come upon me: I shrieked out wildly, and the cry went echoing through the sewer, sounding hollow and wild till it faded away. But once more I got the better of it, and persuaded myself that I had only cried aloud to scare the rats. What would I not have given for a stout stick as a defence against attack as I groped my way on, feeling convinced that I should be right if I crawled down stream, when a little reflection would have told me that up stream must be the right way, for I must have been borne down by the water. But I could not reflect, for my brain seemed in a state of fever, and now and then my teeth chattered as though I had the ague.
I groped on for quite a quarter of an hour, when the horrid thought came upon me that I was going wrong, and again I tried to lean up against the wall, which seemed to cause my feet to slip from under
from me, as I frantically turned back and tried to retrace my steps, guiding myself by running a hand against the wall where every now and then it entered the mouth of a small drain, when, so sure as it did, there was a scuffle and rush, and more than once I touched the cold slippery body of a rat, — a touch that made me start back as though shot.
On I went, and on, and still no scaffold, and no gleam of gaslight. Thought after thought gave fresh horror to my situation, as now I felt certain that in my frantic haste I had taken some wrong turn, or entered a branch of the main place; and at last, completely bewildered, I rushed headlong on, stumbling and falling twice over, so that I was half choked in the black water. But it had its good effect; for it put a stop to my wild struggles, which must soon have ended in my falling insensible into what was certain death. The water cooled my head, and now, feeling completely lost, knowing that I must have been nearly two hours in the sewer, I made up my mind to follow the stream to its mouth in the Thames, where, if the tide was down, I could get from the mud on to the wharf or bank.
So once more I struggled on, following the stream slowly for what seemed to be hours, till at last, raising my hand, I found I could not touch the roof; and by that knew that I was in a larger sewer, and therefore not very far from the mouth. But here there was a new terror creeping up me, so to speak, for from my waist the water now touched my chest, and soon after my armpits; when I stopped, not daring to trust myself to swim, perhaps a mile, when I felt that weak I could not have gone a hundred yards.
I know in my disappointment I gave a howl like a wild beast, and turned again to have a hard fight to breast the rushing water, which nearly took me off my legs. But the fear of death lent me help, and I got on and on again till I felt myself in a turning which I soon knew was a smaller sewer, and from thence I reached another, where I had to stoop; but the water was shallower, not above my knees, and at last much less deep than that.
Here I knelt down to rest, and the position brought something else from my heart; and, after a while, still stooping, I went on, till, having passed dozens upon dozens of drains, I determined to creep up one, and I did.
P'raps you won't think it strange, as I dream and groan in bed sometimes, when I tell you what followed.
I crawled on, and on, and on, in the hopes that the place I was in, would lead under one of the street-gratings, and I kept staring ahead in the hopes of catching a gleam of light, till at last the place seemed so tight that I dared go no farther, for fear of being fixed in. So I began to back very slowly, and then, feeling it rather hard work, stopped for a rest
It was quite dry here; but, scuffling on in front, I kept hearing the rats I had driven before me; and now that I stopped and was quite still, half a dozen of them made a rush to get past me, and the little fight which followed even now gives me the horrors. I 'd hardly room to move; but I killed one by squeezing him, when the others backed off, but not till my face was bitten and running with blood.
At last, half dead, I tried to back out, for the place seemed to stifle me; and I pushed myself back a little way, and then I was stopped, for the skirts of my jacket filled up what little space had been left, and I felt that I was wedged in, stuck fast. The hot blood seemed to gush into my eyes; I felt half suffocated; and, to add to my sufferings, a rat, that felt itself, as it were, penned up, fastened upon my lip. It was its last bite, however, for, half mad as I felt then, my teeth had closed in a moment upon the vicious beast, and it was dead.
I made one more struggle, but could not move, I was so knocked up; and then I fainted.
It must have been some time before I come to myself; but when I did, the first sound I heard was a regular tramp, tramp, of some ene walking over my head, and I gave a long yell for help, when, to my great joy, the step halted, and I shrieked again, and the sweetest sound I have ever heard in my life came back. It was a voice shouting, —
"Stuck fast in the drain!" I shouted with all the strength I had left; and then I swooned off once more, to wake up a week afterwards out of a brainfever sleep in a hospital.
It seems I had got within a few yards of a grating which was an end o' the drain, and the close quarters made the rats so fierce. The policeman had heard my shriek, and had listened at the grating, and then got help; but he was only laughed at, for they could get no further answer out o' me. It was then about half p:u«t three on a summer's morning; and though the grate was got open, they were about to give it up, saying the policeman had been humbugged; when a couple o' sweeps came up, and the little 'un offered to go down back'ards, and he did, and came out directly after, saying that he could feel a man's head with his toes.
That policeman has had many a glass at my expense since, and I hope he 'll have a many more; and when he tells me the story, which I like to hear
— but always take care shall be when Polly's away
— he says he knows I should have liked to see how they tore that drain up in no time. To which there's always such an echo in my heart, that it comes quite natural to say," You 're right, my boy!"
AN ALPINE STORM.
In every Alpine valley, the tales of disaster wrought from time to time by the tempest or the avalanche are amongst the most firmly rooted matters of local tradition. The landslip, the snowfall, the whirlwind, the storm, have written their story in indelible records almost everywhere beneath the shadows of the higher mountains, — sometimes in isolated fragments which tell of a purely local catastrophe, sometimes in the more ample chapters of a history which covers a national misfortune. Of elemental outbreaks of the more general character, the inundations of 1853 afforded a striking example. For three days in succession, wherever an Alp reared its head, or a snow-basin lay couched in a mountain-hollow, the rain fell with a steady and persevering energy which, to those who knew the country, had something in it more ominous than the bursting of the wildest tempest. Without pause or variation of intensity, without break or gap for hundreds of square miles, and rendered infinitely more potent by a temperature high without precedent under such circumstances, the waters streamed down from the skies over a thousand mountains and their intermediate depressions, and, with their volume swollen to an incredible extent by the debris of rock, glacier, and snowficld which they bore with them to the devoted valleys and lowlands, committed an amount of general ravage and destruction such as
no living memory could parallel, and such as all the luxuriance of Alpine vegetation could not hide for years. Such disasters are overwhelming from their magnitude and universality. But the cause is at least obviously adequate to the effect, and the remit foreseen as the inevitable consequence of s continuance of the downfall long before the waters rise to their full height. Local and partial inundation, have often a peculiar intensity, not to say ferocity, of their own; and mischief such as in 1853 it took three days of bad weather to bring about, is sometimes the work of an hour. A remarkable outbreak of this kind occurred during the past summer, in the little valley of Sixt, which, it is believed, afforded an example of rapid destruction and of mttvly local activity rare even amongst similar phenomena, and may therefore deserve a passing notice.
The village of Sixt is situated at the confluence of two mountain torrents, — the Bas Giffre and the 11:int Giffre. The Bas Giffre drains a valley sis or seven miles long, the upper part of which is well known to tourists as the Fond de la Combe, and receives the outpourings of several small glaciers clustered about the base of the Pic de Tinneverges, the Srincipal one being the glacier of Mont Kuan, when; Jacques Balmat, the pioneer of Mont Blanc, met a tragical death. The valley of the Hatit Giffre » of about the same extent, but leads to mountains more generally known, — the Buet, whence the traveller gazes on one of the noblest prospects to be found in the Western Alps, with the Col ae Lcehaud crossing its western shoulder, and westward still the rockr chain of Les Fys, terminating in the magnificent Pointe de Salles, and flanking the Col d'Anterne by a range of precipices which can scarcely be matched for abrupt and awful grandeur in Switzerland or Savoy. The valley penetrates into the very heart of the Buet, and is blocked at last by an amphitheatre of crag and precipice not unlike one of the well-known 'Cirques' of the Pyrenees, on a much larger scale. The rocks rise tier above tier and will above wall, with only here and there a narrow band of shelving verdure between one set of preoipiws and the next, from the bed of the watercourse to the glaciers by which the Bnet is crowned, some be thousand feet above. Near one extremity of the horseshoe, a beautiful slope of mingled grass and firwood is banked up against the terraced structure of the mountain, in the form of an irregular cone, and presents a delightful contrast of color with the erer-changing shades of gray and brown and black that flu athwart the sombre mass as the clouds chase one another across the blue sky, or as the varying rays of morning, midday, or sunset play into the amphitheatre, — sometimes concealing in a blaze of sunlight, sometimes exposing by the heavy shadows that attend them, the infinite intricacies of mountain architecture. At the base of this green buttress at the Buet, the valley forks again, the watercourse oa the right descending straight from the Col de L4chaud, and that on the left receiving the far more considerable drainage of the great mass of the Buet itself. Two or three hundred feet above the confluence of these two waters, a little plateau breaks the uniformity of the grass slope, and here is nestled a little collection of chalets called Les Fonds, in front of which, on the very edge of the plateau, an English gentleman has built his " Eagle's Nest," » beautiful mountain home, forming a conspicuous object from many parts of the path from isixt to the Col d'Anterne. It was here that the tempest burg in its full violence.