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IN

Remembrance of Sunny Days

IN A

FREE KIRK MANSE,

TO

THOSE WHO MADE THEM SUCH.

GREY CRAIGS.

CHAPTER I.

"The land where girt by friend or foe,
A man may speak the thing he will."
-TENNYSON.

HE inhabitants of the little seaport town of
Grey Craigs were a people rich in that

individuality of character which forms in its possessor strong lights and deep shadows. Honest they were, for the salt virtue of the sea seemed to have implanted in their nature a love of fair play and downright-heartedness in word and deed, which caused them to speak as they believed, and to act as they spoke.

Independent, for in general they were well to do in the world, either owning their own houses, or by steady industry having gained a competency, they possessed a freedom of manner and gait seldom acquired by those who struggle against poverty; and

A

so if a stranger passed them as they lounged in the summer evenings by their doors, or sat on the rocks discoursing gravely on the evils of the times, the chance is not one of the group would touch his hat, or even pull the short black pipe from his lips if addressed.

Bold and courageous, too, they were, as well as indomitable in spirit and mighty in perseverance, having an element of strength in their sinews with which more effeminate natures could not cope. While the eldest son of the family remained at home to till the ground, the younger ones usually followed the occupation of fishermen, a precarious calling on that rock-bound coast-hence the dangers to which they were exposed gave generally a grave earnestness to their strong and individual characters.

Then, their religious feelings were profound and powerful, making them forsake the parish church for the earnest and more spiritual preaching of the humble meeting-house; and in the stillness of the Sabbath evening, as group after group bent their steps across the Links from that rude edifice, they might invariably be heard discoursing with each other upon points of deep spiritual theology.

The superstitions of the olden time still lingered amongst them, filling their minds with simple wonder at, and a readiness to believe in, everything supernatural-from the hideous hob

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