This incident is noticed, more particularly, to show the effects of such a happy turn of mind, even under the most distressing and ill-fated circumstances.

[Saturday, 17th June]

At eight a.m. the artificers and sailors, forty-five in number, landed on the rock, and after four hours' work seven stones were laid. The remainder of this tide, from the threatening appearance of the weather, was occupied in trenailing and making all things as secure as possible. At twelve noon the rock and building were again overflowed, when the masons and seamen went on board of the tender, but Mr. Watt, with his squad of ten men, remained on the beacon throughout the day. As it blew fresh from the N.W. in the evening, it was found impracticable either to land the building artificers or to take the artificers off the beacon, and they were accordingly left there all night, but in circumstances very different from those of the 1st of this month. The house, being now in a more complete state, was provided with bedding, and they spent the night pretty well, though they complained of having been much disturbed at the time of high-water by the shaking and tremulous motion of their house and by the plashing noise of the sea upon mortar gallery. Here James Glen's versatile powers were again at work in cheering up those who seemed to be alarmed, and in securing everything as far as possible. On this occasion he had only to recall to the recollections of some of them the former night which they had spent on the beacon, the wind and sea being then much higher, and their habitation in a far less comfortable state.

The wind still continuing to blow fresh from the N.W., at five p.m. the writer caused a signal to be made from the tender for the Smeaton and Patriot to slip their moorings, when they ran for Lunan Bay, an anchorage on the east side of the Redhead. Those on board of the tender spent but a very rough night, and perhaps slept less soundly than their companions on the beacon, especially as the wind was at N.W., which caused the vessel to ride with her stern towards the Bell Rock; so that, in the event of anything giving way, she could hardly have escaped being stranded upon it.

[Sunday, 18th June]

The weather having moderated to-day, the wind shifted to the westward. At a quarter-past nine a.m. the artificers landed from the tender and had the pleasure to find their friends who had been left on the rock quite hearty, alleging that the beacon was the preferable quarters of the two.

[Saturday, 24th June]

Mr. Peter Logan, the foreman builder, and his squad, twenty-one in number, landed this morning at three o'clock, and continued at work four hours and a quarter, and after laying seventeen stones returned to the tender. At six a.m. Mr. Francis Watt and his squad of twelve men landed, and proceeded with their respective operations at the beacon and railways, and were left on the rock during the whole day without the necessity of having any communication with the tender, the kitchen of the beacon-house being now fitted up. It was to-day, also, that Peter Fortune--a most obliging and well-known character in the Lighthouse service-- was removed from the tender to the beacon as cook and steward, with a stock of provisions as ample as his limited store-room would admit.

When as many stones were built as comprised this day's work, the demand for mortar was proportionally increased, and the task of the mortar-makers on these occasions was both laborious and severe. This operation was chiefly performed by John Watt--a strong, active quarrier by profession,--who was a perfect character in his way, and extremely zealous in his department. While the operations of the mortar-makers continued, the forge upon the gallery was not generally in use; but, as the working hours of the builders extended with the height of the building, the forge could not be so long wanted, and then a sad confusion often ensued upon the circumscribed floor of the mortar gallery, as the operations of Watt and his assistants trenched greatly upon those of the smiths. Under these circumstances the boundary of the smiths was much circumscribed, and they were personally annoyed, especially in blowy weather, with the dust of the lime in its powdered state. The mortar-makers, on the other hand, were often not a little distressed with the heat of the fire and the sparks elicited on the anvil, and not unaptly complained that they were placed between the 'devil and the deep sea.'

[Sunday, 25th June]

The work being now about ten feet in height, admitted of a rope- ladder being distended {174a} between the beacon and the building. By this 'Jacob's Ladder,' as the seamen termed it, a communication was kept up with the beacon while the rock was considerably under water.

Records of a Family of Engineers Page 65

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Robert Louis Stevenson
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