Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/284

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THE PIRATES OF LUNDY


" I N the Bristol Channel," says Mr. Chanter, "twenty miles from Barnstaple Bar, and nearly equidistant from the two headlands of the bay, lies the island of Lundy, sometimes invisible from the shore, but generally looming dim and mysterious and more or less shrouded in mists, or capped with cloud-reefs; occasionally standing out lofty, clear, and distinct, bright with varied hues of rock, fern, and heather, its granite cliffs glittering as they reflect the rays of the morning sun, and the graceful lighthouse tower and buildings plainly defined; or at night traceable by its strange intermittent light—either suddenly shining out as a star and as suddenly vanishing, or gradually rising and fading according to the atmospheric conditions; but in all its aspects, varying much from day to day. And to those who know how to read them aright, the changing aspects of Lundy are the surest indications of approaching changes of weather of winds, storms, or settled sunshine.

"As seen nearer the island shows itself a lofty table-headed granite rock, rising to the height of 500 feet, surrounded by steep and occasionally perpendicular cliffs, storm-beaten, riven, and scarred over with grisly seams and clefts, and hollowed out here and there along the shore into fantastic coves and grottoes, with huge piles of granite thrown in wild disorder. The cliffs and

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