This appeared to be rather a delicate proposition, but it was left to the landing- master to arrange according to circumstances; such was the resignation, and at the same time the spirit, of the poor woman, that she readily accepted the proposal, and in a few days the younger Scott was actually afloat in the place of his brother. On representing this distressing case to the Board, the Commissioners were pleased to grant an annuity of 5 pounds to Scott's mother.

The Smeaton, not having been made fast to the buoy, had, with the ebb-tide, drifted to leeward a considerable way eastward of the rock, and could not, till the return of the flood-tide, be worked up to her moorings, so that the present tide was lost, notwithstanding all exertions which had been made both ashore and afloat with this cargo. The artificers landed at six a.m.; but, as no materials could be got upon the rock this morning, they were employed in boring trenail holes and in various other operations, and after four hours' work they returned on board the tender. When the Smeaton got up to her moorings, the landing-master's crew immediately began to unload her. There being too much wind for towing the praams in the usual way, they were warped to the rock in the most laborious manner by their windlasses, with successive grapplings and hawsers laid out for this purpose. At six p.m. the artificers landed, and continued at work till half-past ten, when the remaining seventeen stones were laid which completed the third entire course, or fourth of the lighthouse, with which the building operations were closed for the season.

III--OPERATIONS OF 1809

[Wednesday, 24th May]

The last night was the first that the writer, had passed in his old quarters on board of the floating light for about twelve months, when the weather was so fine and the sea so smooth that even here he felt but little or no motion, excepting at the turn of the tide, when the vessel gets into what the seamen term the TROUGH OF THE SEA. At six a.m. Mr. Watt, who conducted the operations of the railways and beacon-house, had landed with nine artificers. At half-past one p.m. Mr. Peter Logan had also landed with fifteen masons, and immediately proceeded to set up the crane. The sheer- crane or apparatus for lifting the stones out of the praam-boats at the eastern creek had been already erected, and the railways now formed about two-thirds of an entire circle round the building: some progress had likewise been made with the reach towards the western landing-place. The floors being laid, the beacon now assumed the appearance of a habitation. The Smeaton was at her moorings, with the Fernie praam-boat astern, for which she was laying down moorings, and the tender being also at her station, the Bell Rock had again put on its former busy aspect.

[Wednesday, 31st May]

The landing-master's bell, often no very favourite sound, rung at six this morning; but on this occasion, it is believed, it was gladly received by all on board, as the welcome signal of the return of better weather. The masons laid thirteen stones to-day, which the seamen had landed, together with other building materials. During these twenty-four hours the wind was from the south, blowing fresh breezes, accompanied with showers of snow. In the morning the snow showers were so thick that it was with difficulty the landing-master, who always steered the leading boat, could make his way to the rock through the drift. But at the Bell Rock neither snow nor rain, nor fog nor wind, retarded the progress of the work, if unaccompanied by a heavy swell or breach of the sea.

The weather during the months of April and May had been uncommonly boisterous, and so cold that the thermometer seldom exceeded 40 degrees, while the barometer was generally about 29.50. We had not only hail and sleet, but the snow on the last day of May lay on the decks and rigging of the ship to the depth of about three inches; and, although now entering upon the month of June, the le

Records of a Family of Engineers Page 62

Robert Louis Stevenson

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