that route—fell into an adventure he had not bargained for. Round and about the Bottomless Shaft had collected a crowd of men, who were making very much of a commotion.
It appeared that the rumours, touching Josiah Bell, had this night reached what might be called a climax. Miners had gone off from various quarters to the alleged scene of Mr. Blase's dream, and were plunging into the mystery con amore. As many as could press around the pit's mouth were holding on one to another for safety and bending dangerously over it: as if by that means they could solve the problem of who and what might be lying within its depths. Others stood at a distance, momentarily taking their pipes out of their mouths to make their free comments. Mrs. Bell, hearing of the stir, had tied a yellow silk square (once Josiah's Sunday-going handkerchief over her cap, and come out to make one of the throng. It was a very light, hot night,