Deep Down, a Tale of the Cornish Mines by R M Ballantyne Page 1 of 309

Chapter One.

Begins the Story with a Peculiar Meeting.

Necessity is the mother of invention. This is undoubtedly true, but it is equally true that invention is not the only member of necessity's large family. Change of scene and circumstance are also among her children.

It was necessity that gave birth to the resolve to travel to the end of the earth-of English earth at all events-in search of fortune, which swelled the bosom of yonder tall, well-favoured youth, who, seated uncomfortably on the top of that clumsy public conveyance, drives up Market-Jew Street in the ancient town of Penzance.

Yes, necessity-stern necessity, as she is sometimes called-drove that youth into Cornwall, and thus was the originating cause of that wonderful series of events which ultimately led to his attaining-but hold! Let us begin at the beginning.


It was a beautiful morning in June, in that period of the world's history which is ambiguously styled "Once-upon-a-time," when the "Kittereen"-the clumsy vehicle above referred to-rumbled up to the Star Inn and stopped there.

The tall, well-favoured youth leapt at once to the ground, and entered the inn with the air of a man who owned at least the half of the county, although his much-worn grey shooting costume and single unpretentious portmanteau did not indicate either unusual wealth or exalted station.

In an off-hand hearty way, he announced to landlord, waiters, chambermaids, and hangers-on, to all, indeed, who might choose to listen, that the weather was glorious, that coaches of all kinds, especially Kittereens, were detestable machines of torture, and that he meant to perform the remainder of his journey on foot.



Go to Page: