Page:A Book of Dartmoor.djvu/47

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21
THE WHORTLEBERRY

looked at me with eyes full of feeling, and said, "I am thankful that I have lived to this day."

The whortleberry is a good deal used in the south of France for the adulteration and colouring of claret, whole truck-loads being imported from Germany.

There is an interesting usage in my parish, and I presume the same exists in others. On one day in summer, when the "whorts" are ripe, the mothers unite to hire waggons of the farmers, or borrow them, and go forth with their little ones to the moor. They spend the day gathering the berries, and light their fires, form their camp, and have their meals together, returning late in the evening, very sunburnt, with very purple mouths, very tired maybe, but vastly happy, and with sufficient fruit to sell to pay all expenses and leave something over.

If the reader would know what minerals are found on Dartmoor he must go elsewhere.

I have a list before me that begins thus: "Allophane, actinolite, achroite, andalusite, apatite"—but I can copy out no more. I have often found appetite on Dartmoor, but have not the slightest suspicion as to what is apatite. The list winds up with wolfram, about which I can say something. Wolfram is a mineral very generally found along with tin, and that is just the "cussedness" of it, for it spoils tin.

When tin ore is melted at a good peat fire, out runs a silver streak of metal. This is brittle as glass, because of the wolfram in it. To get rid of the wolfram the whole has to be roasted, and the operation is delicate, and must have bothered our