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The Adventures of Dick Trevanion by Herbert…

The Adventures of Dick Trevanion

by Herbert Strang

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The village of Polkerran lies snugly in a hollow between cliffs facing the Atlantic, at the head of a little bay that forms a natural harbour. The grey stone cottages rise from the sea-level in tiers, as in an amphitheatre, huddled together, with the narrowest and most tortuous of lanes between them. Through the midst a stream flows from the high ground behind, in summer a mere brook, in winter a swollen torrent that colours the sea far out with the soil it carries down. The bay is shaped like a horseshoe; at low tide its mouth is closed by a reef except at the northern end, where there is always a narrow fairway between the reef and the sharp point of land known as the Beal. Northward of this is another little inlet called Trevanion Bay, whence the coast winds north-east, a line of rugged, precipitous, and overhanging cliffs, unbroken until you come to St. Cuby's Cove, where they reach a height of three hundred feet, and bulge out over the sea like a penthouse roof.
One August evening, in the year 1804, a wide tubby boat lay in twelve feet of water, just outside the line of breakers beneath the cliffs, about a mile and a half from the village. The sun had been down some two hours, but there was enough of twilight to show to any one out at sea—the boat being invisible from the land—that it contained two lads, one a tall, slight, but muscular youth of seventeen or thereabouts, the other a thicker, sturdier boy, who looked older, but was, in fact, a year or more younger than his companion. ( )
  amzmchaichun | Jul 19, 2013 |
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