Well, that is the end of the story. It does not, I am aware, quite account for the figure I saw standing by the Siren’s wheel. As for the Wasp, she has long since rotted to pieces on the waters of the Mersey. But the question is, Have I a right to sell the Siren? I certainly have a right to keep her, for she is mine, sold to me in due form by her rightful owner, and honestly paid for. But then I don’t want to keep her!
PARSON JACK’S FORTUNE.
From Langona church tower you see nothing of the Atlantic but a wedge between two cliffs of a sandy creek. The cottages—thirty in all, perhaps—huddle in a semicircle of the hills about a spring of clear water, which overflows and leaps as from a platform into the hollow coombe, its conduit down to the sands. But Langona Church stands out more boldly, on a high grassy meadow thrust forward like a bastion over the stream’s right flank. It has no tree, no habitation between it and the ocean: it breaks the northerly gales for the cottages behind and under its lee, and these gales have given its tamarisk hedge and even its gravestones so noticeable a slant inland that, by a trick of eyesight, the church itself seems tilted perilously forward.
Forward, in fact—that is to say, seaward—the tower does lean; though but by a foot or so, and now not perilously; the salt winds, impotent against its masonry, having bitten with more effect into the earth around its base. But the church has been restored, the mischief arrested, and the danger no longer haunts its vicar as it haunted the Rev. John Flood on a bright September morning in 1885.