A S C E N S I O N
BRADBURY, AGNEW, &co., PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS
SAMUEL SMILES LL.D.,
WITH THE ESTEEM AND GRATITUDE
WHY WE WENT.
The Professor's story. The noblest problem in Astronomy. Kepler's law of the Distances. Sun's Distance the standard of celestial measure. How celestial distances are measured. Mathematics and knitting-needles. The Transit of Venus. The Opposition of Mars. Lieut. Gilles's disappointment. The Astronomer Royal's plan. My husband's proposal. Ascension fixed upon. A grant from the Astronomical Society. Lord Lindsay's Heliometer. The Heliometer at Burlington House. Accident to the Heliometer. Ready to start.
Dartmouth. Dartmouth shopkeepers. Dr. Davidson's "Perfect Remedy for Sea-sickness." Madeira. Diving boys at Funchal. Lordly colonists. Teneriffe. What the stewardess thought of the Peak. Our fellow-passengers. South African Mission Work. Eaves-dropping. Arrival at St. Helena. The Ladder. Landing. "Derelicts." Johnson's Observatory. Its present uses. The St. Helena Astronomer. St. Helena skies. Tempted to stay.
Fresh scenes. "The Briars." St. Helena vegetation. Sandy Bay. Diana's Peak. A nervous ride. Lot and Lot's wife. Neglected Cinchona. Tom Timm. Halley's Observatory. Napoleon's tomb. "Yam stalks." Longwood. Relic hunting. Longwood Farm. St. Helena farming. The Friar Rock. The Mountain Maid and the Friar. West Lodge. Hard times in St. Helena. Plantation House. Oakbank. Fate of the "Derelicts." St. Helena friends. Good-bye.
WHAT ASCENSION LOOKED LIKE.
Clarence Bay. The "Abomination of Desolation." Is that Ascension? Rollers. Can we land? An uninviting dingey. A slippery footing on Ascension. A kindly welcome. "The Thing." The beauty of perfect ugliness. The Captain's Cottage. Between hammer and anvil. Commodore's Cottage. A bare larder. Shopping in Ascension. Threatened starvation. A novel Croquet lawn. Site for the Observatory. Glorious skies.
ASCENSION PAST AND PRESENT.
Ascension discovered. Its volcanic origin. Its shape and size. "True as the needle to the Pole." Embedded turtle. A French opinion of Turtle-soup. The Sailor's Post-office. Visit of Abbé La Caille. British occupation of Ascension. Why we keep it. Its peculiar government. The Governor's troubles. A decision worthy of Solomon. The population in 1877. Ascension, the Flora Tender. Sea life ashore. Ascension mutton. A gallon of water a day. Novel domestic economy.
ROUND ABOUT GARRISON.
Erecting the Observatory. A busy day. The Turtle-ponds. Doomed turtles. Captain Brandreth's Story. Turtle-nests. Turtle turning. Happy turtles. St. Mary's Church. The Chaplain's protest. Change of weather. Green Mountain clouds. Our troubles begin.
A NIGHT ON THE CLINKER.
Weary weeks. What is to be done? Can we get beyond the Clouds? I determine to explore. A typical night. Walking over "clinker." Jimmy Ducks. Light through the cloud. Midnight on the clinker. Chasing a Cloud by moon-light. My clinker cairn. Return to Garrison. The decision. Reconnoitring. A hopeful spot. Two "ifs." Preparations for tent-life. The first Parallax Determination. "The man that hesitates is lost."
CHANGE AND CHECK.
Rooted up. A strange procession. "Sister Anne! Sister Anne! do you see anybody coming?" Good news. Mars Bay. The Heliometer and the Kroomen. All's well that ends well. A solitary palm. My first sight of Mars Bay. Clinker flooring. Roller fever. At work again. Sam and Fetish. My second coming to Mars Bay.
A gloomy Home-coming. A wet Sunday. Our tents. "Sam again." Mail-day. Setting the House in order. "Hard-backs." Watchful Nights and Weary Days. Sam versus Graydon. Scarcity of Water. Good Samaritans. An Eclipse of the Moon. Our Cooking-tent by Night. Guests at Mars Bay.
A SUNDAY SCENE.
Disturbance in the Galley. Reading the Riot Act. A Fight. Contrition. Change in the Galley. Sam the Second. A revelation. The Government of King Rum. A practical joke. By the sea. The "Orontes." No Turtle Boat.
THE OPPOSITION OF MARS.
Suspense. Evening success. A little cloud. Splendid Definition. Sweet sounds. A favourable Opposition. The Mail lost.
THE SEA-SHORE AND THE ROLLERS.
Blood-stained Travellers. A terrible highway. South Point. An unexpected path. A Lava Forest. An adventure with an Octopus. A family party. "The Twa Dogs." Gannet Bay. The coming of the Wide-awakes. A good determination of the Sun's Distance. The Rollers, what are they? Captain Evans' theory. Disappearance of the Rollers. Centipedes in the cheese. Off for a holiday.
A dreary way. Water-tanks. A conscientious pony. Climbing the Ramps. A delightful contrast. Grass. Garden Cottage. A welcome fire. Break-neck Valley. A Dew Pond. The Peak. Looking down upon our Neighbours. A Krooman's idea of a holiday. Ascension Flora. "Sherry and bitters." "Sic itur ad astra."
SUNDAY AT THE MOUNTAIN.
View from Garden Cottage. "Und tinter den Füssen ein nebliges Meer." The Dairy. Church at the Mountain. Rest. The Weather Gardens. Stars versus Cabbages.
WHY WE HAD ONLY A GALLON OF WATER.
The Brandreth Wells. Failure of the Spring. Mr. Cross's happy discovery. A fickle spring. How the water is collected. Dampier's. Mulberry Drip. Duck Pond Drip. White Wall Drip. Middleton Drip.
TRIPS FROM GARDEN COTTAGE.
In search of Silver Ore Run. The Wrong Road. Empty water-courses. Jimmy Chivas. The Mountain Hospital. The Mountain Cemetery. The "Ingle Neuk." Excursion to Weather Post. Cricket Valley. A gorse bush. Caught in the fog. Boatswain Bird Island. Ascension game. A novel drinking cup. The end of the holiday. The wizard-wanded mist. Mars Bay and work again.
MARS BAY WITHOUT A COOK.
Triangulation of Mars stars. Our piteous case. A new Galley slave. Cooking under difficulties. Sam's method. A Marine to the rescue. Sam and his child-book. My pupil. Daily work. H.M.S. Boxer. Sea-sick guests. A boat upset. Surf navigation.
Garrison festivities. "Wide-awake, Wide-awake!" Sterna fuliginosa. Ascension theories about "Wide-awakes." "The Fair." Egg-gathering. A gallant defence. Large consumers. The lime-burner's failing appetite. Ipomaea maritima. A crusty cook.. His tender feelings. "Polly's" departure. Marines and Blue-jackets. A sensitive creature.
LAST DAYS AT MARS BAY.
Passing ships. H.M.S. Beacon. Graydon home-sick. "Rover" bequeathed. A new assistant. "Melpomene." Bad weather. Disappointment. Delightful orders. Scarcity of lucifer matches. Attempts in Taxidermy. Our feathered friends. Sterna leucocapilla. Packing. The Ways of The Service. My ignorance. The work is done. Pulling down our altars.
CHRISTMAS IN GARRISON.
Five precious Books. Christmas without Holly. Roast Beef and Plum Pudding. A Musical Entertainment. The Tom-tom. A motley crew. The Master of Ceremonies. No cook and no dinner. Eggs and bacon. The Captain's Office. Exit Tom.
ABOUT THE KROOMEN.
A visit from Sam the First. The Big Brother. A bad bargain. Favourite investments. "Chop-Dollar." A remarkable toilet. Kroomen's physique. Kroomen's moral nature. Fetish. Kingsley on Fetish. "Gre-gre." "Fetish no can touch white man." A demand for over-exposed photographs. A theft. "Fetish will have you." Retribution. Sam's aspirations. My regrets. "Is it too late?"
"In boxes." Waiting for the Mail. Dead Man's Beach. Garrison Cemetery. The music of the waves. A coral strand. The "Blow-hole." The Rollers again. The Heliometer in danger. Its fortunate escape. Volcanic scenery. Comfortless Cove. Lonely graves. A vision of the past.
A hot New Year's Day. A rifle match. Rueful knights. Bravo the Ascension! A domestic excitement. "Too many cooks spoil the broth." Fish waiting for Soup. The party behind the chairs. In quest of Turtle. A lovely night. No success. Another attempt. South-west Bay. Poor Pussy. Lost on the Clinker. Tired and Turtleless. Boatswain Bird Island. Among the birds. A noisy reception. A painful greeting. Collecting specimens. A cloud of birds. No guano.
THE DEVIL'S RIDING SCHOOL.
Our last Excursion. An early start. In doubt about the way. Horse Shoe Crater. Rover in trouble. The Devil's Riding School. Fairy Rings. What has once been here? The Riding School no crater. Saucepan lids. A stone umbrella. Broken bottles. Last Observations. Finis coronat opus. Mail in sight. Farewells.
Cheerful neighbours. Sunday at sea. Sitting on deck. Teneriffe again. Cooler latitudes. Rousing the inhabitants. Funchal by moonlight. An unexpected meeting. American Astronomers. Victims of curio vendors. The Bay of Biscay. A gale in Channel. Home.
Map of the Island of Ascension to face Title.
Notes about this version of Gill:
The title page, map, and text were scanned from an original copy of Gill. OCR software was used to generate a text file which was carefully proof-read against the original.
Contributed by Barry Weaver.
Details of the original:
Gill, I. Six Months in Ascension: An Unscientific Account of a Scientific Expedition. Murray, London, 1878.
Text: pp. liv, 285, 24 of advertisements.
Plates: One plate, Island of Ascension.