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Interior Of An English Coal Pit

Interior Of An English Coal Pit image
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Has tho reader any idea of what a coal iit, viewed from th earth's surface is ike V It has uot a vory impo.sing appear.uco. It ia simply a round black hole ibout twice the size of uu rdinary " loo" able, and straddling over it is a sort of jallows, a wire rope aa thick as one'a yrist hanging down over a wheel and ost iu the depths below. By and by tha lotion is reversed, a click and a wheezng ia heard in the adjoining engine hed, and up comes tho " tub" (a square box holding twenty-two hundred weight) filled with coal. It came upso wlnle our litle larty of six (I being tho only novice present) was waiting to go down. I viewed the coarse, strongtub with approbation, making sure tUit as soon as it was emptied we should all get into it, but in this I was disappointed. It was not in the tub, but standing on the grating on which tho tub had stood, that wo had to descend - or the naked grating, with nothing to " hold on " but a cross chain overhead. But the pit was ouly 600 feet deep, and the coal smoke that arose froin tho enornious mine furnaces was not unbearable by tho time it had benumbed one'e sense a bit. Six hundred feet down, and a half mila this way or that under low arched roofs, from which depend frequent fleeces of fungues, snowy white, and looking like lamb's wool, and inaking tbo black ftoors and black walls - lit by ieeble tallow dips, stuck thero in dauba of olay - blacker than evi-r. We all carriod tallow dips stuck in bilis of olay, and in Iridian file folio wod tlie "Kuttey" and Lis forenian through the tuniings and windings that led to the "chambcrs" frotn whieh coal was being hewn. Chambers as wide as an ordinary street and as high as the top of the three-storied houses, and on every side, whenever the tiny light of the rednosed dip was shifted, was revealed a human creaturo naked to the waist and blacker than any sweep, with savage, gleaming eyes and ga vage glittering teeth, and with a weapon in his hand that in the uncertain light looked like a tomahawk, grinning at you, or inaking a dash with his weapon apparentljr in the direotion of your visage, but whioh alights harmlessly on the t'aoe of the coal wall. Heavers. nackers, tubbers, fillerg, these ire all men, and hard as the work ia they sarn good wages, and if they dislike tha ,abor they are at liberty to leaTe it. But ;hey don 't dislike the labor and they aro olly enough - all exoept the boys. It ivas these boys that eo perpetually hauntiá my coal scuttle when I returned from Staffordshire. It is villainously -cruel to serve the poor littlo chapa so. The matter itands thisway: The hewer ia. the man whose bubiness it ia to " break in " at the foot of a coal wall. He lies on his sideg ur on his stomach and he breaks in with, his piok right along for a length, say of twenty feet. Naturally in the procesa of peeking he niakes a deal of " slack," and the boy in question ia called the "slack boy." Regarded as a boy, as a human creature, he ia slaok indeed. not much like a boy. He is more like a large sized monkey. All fours is his perpetual inotion, and he wears a leather girdle about his waist from which an iron chain depends, the other end of it being attached to an iron cart. The slack boy has an iron shovel as well, and the business of his wretched life is to crawl in at the hole the hewer makes, to till his cart with chips and dust, and Uien to crawl out again with his load, always on his hands and knees, and with his poor liuabs hung about with a few rags of which nakedness might be ashamed. - fondón Society.


Old News
Michigan Argus