Washed Ashore

W.H.G. Kingston
Washed Ashore, by W.H.G.

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Title: Washed Ashore The Tower of Stormount Bay
Author: W.H.G. Kingston
Release Date: November 6, 2007 [EBook #23387]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England

Washed Ashore; or, The Tower of Stormont Bay, by W.H.G. Kingston.

There was an old grey weather-beaten stone tower standing on the top
of a high rocky promontory, which formed the western side of a deep
bay, on the south coast of England. The promontory was known as the
Stormy Mount, which had gradually been abbreviated into Stormount,
a very appropriate name, for projecting, as it did, boldly out into the
ocean, many a fierce storm had, age after age, raged round its summit
and hurled the roaring, curling waves into masses of foam against its
base, while the white spray flew in showers far above its topmost
height. To the west of Stormount, the coast was rocky and fringed by
numerous reefs, while on the further side of the bay, also formed by a
promontory, less in height than that of Stormount, it consisted of cliffs,
broken considerably however by chines and other indentations, and
pierced here and there by caverns, some close down to the water, and
others high up and almost inaccessible from below. Inland, the country
was sparsely cultivated--open downs and fern and gorse-covered heaths
prevailing. The more sheltered nooks in the bay contained a few
fishermen's cottages, pitched here and there wherever the ground
favoured their erection, with very little regard to symmetry or order.
Nearer to the water were boat-sheds, and stakes, and spars, on which
nets were spread to dry or to be repaired.
But the old stone tower of Stormount claims our attention. It was of
considerable circumference, three stories in height, the walls massive
and substantial, the strongest gales could not shake it, nor any blasts
find entrance. The tower had been the donjon-keep of the ancient castle,
part of the wall of which attached to the tower, had of late years been
roofed over, and formed a portion of a dwelling-house and offices, the
main portion being in the keep itself. The appearance of the tower from
the outside, though highly picturesque, was bleak and comfortless, and
gave a stranger the idea that it was more fitted for the habitation of
sea-gulls and other wild fowl, than for the abode of man. But those who
had once entered within its portal came out with a very different notion.
And on a stormy, long winter night, when the wind whistled and the
waves roared, and all was darkness around, and the entrance to the bay,
easily enough seen in daylight, was difficult to be found, a bright light

streamed forth from an upper window of the old tower, sending its rays
far off over the troubled ocean, cheering the passers by, a warning to
some of neighbouring dangers, a guide and welcome to those who
might be seeking shelter from the gale.
People are occasionally met with in this world very like that old
tower--rough and weather-beaten on the outside, yet with warm hearts
and genial dispositions, cheering and encouraging the wanderer,
blessings to all with whom they come into contact. The old tower was
inhabited, and about its inmates we have still more to say than about
the tower itself. Five miles to the eastward of the tower was a Revenue
Station, and fifteen years or so before the time of our history
commences, the command was held by an old Lieutenant Cumming,
who had obtained it, he used with a touch of satire to tell his friends, as
a recompense for forty years' services and numerous wounds in fighting
his country's battles.
He was one day standing on the beach, when a cutter brought up in the
bay, and her boat soon afterwards came on shore with a passenger. No
sooner did the old lieutenant see him than he hurried to the boat, and
grasping his hand as he stepped on shore, exclaimed, "Welcome,
welcome, old shipmate; I knew, Askew, that you would find me out
some day; and so you have; come along!"
Towards his cottage near the beach the old lieutenant and his friend
bent their steps, the former assisting the new comer, who having lost a
leg, walked with difficulty--a seaman following
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