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Most Significant

“…no one has heard a word of Jonathan since that last letter. I must only pray to God for patience.”

Mina turning to prayer underlines just how distressed and powerless she feels in the face of Jonathan’s ongoing mysterious absence.

Most Significant

“‘There’s something in that wind and in the hoast beyont that sounds, and looks, and tastes, and smells like death. It’s in the air; I feel it comin’. Lord, make me answer cheerful when my call comes!’ He held up his arms devoutly, and raised his hat. His mouth moved as though he were praying. After a few minutes’ silence, he got up, shook hands with me, and blessed me, and said good-bye, and hobbled off.”

Mr. Swales, who was formerly railing against the hypocritical tombstones, now has a softer side to his philosophy, and actually blesses Mina before they part. I have to say that this is one heck of a scene, with the old geezer facing the oncoming storm and preparing for whatever may come. This is the first of three people (by my quick count) that she receives blessings from in person.

Most Significant

“I was glad when the coastguard came along, with his spy-glass under his arm.”

A slight digression on the role of the coastguard, prompted by the fact that my niece will be starting coast guard college in the fall :D

At this time, the coastguard (one word, in UK usage) was under the control of the admiralty, and was responsible for the defence of the coast, functioned as a naval reserve, watched for smuggling, and— to a lesser extent— was a lifesaving service, along with other lifesaving services, such as the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI). The coastguard had three branches: the Guard Ships (at major ports), the Permanent Cruiser Force, and the Shore Force. The coastguard patrolling the Whitby cliffs would be on the Shore Force, and was likely living at a nearby coastguard station, with a dozen other men and their families (if any) in coastguard-provided cottages. Coastguard stations also usually had housing for an officer, a watch room, an equipment store, and a boathouse. The coastguard Mina spoke with probably was not a local; the coastguard often moved men to different postings.

The old coastguard station at Robin Hoods Bay was in use during the time of Mina & Lucy’s visit: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/yorkshire-coast/features/the-story-of-the-old-coastguard-station

Historic England backgrounder on coastguard stations: https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/iha-coastguard-stations/heag130-coastguard-stations-iha/

Most Significant

Two-masted schooner Airlie under full sail: https://www.communitystories.ca/v2/forman-humboldt-entrepreneur-inventor_inventeur/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2015/10/Airlie.jpg

Bryan Alexander

M.S., you continue to astonish and inform.

Now I want to reread that Hardy story about smugglers to see which coastguard appears there.

Most Significant

*blush* Thank you!

Most Significant

Oh, and which Hardy story? Would it be _The Distracted Preacher_?

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