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Near the Stack Rock

by Ber Weyde

One winter’s night a large ship came into the bay, near the Stack rock. The look-out cried “Breakers ahead!” but it was too late. The vessel was pitched on the Stack, and the receding wave carried off all hands save one man. Both the vessel and her cargo, were washed off, and the one man left was thrown on the Stack rock, and he held on, not knowing where he was, or what had become of his mates – a stranger in a strange land.

After a while he thought he could see land on the other side of the rock. He attempted to go towards it, when a voice said “Time enough yet,” so he gave up the attempt for a time. A second time he tried, but heard the voice again and stopped. At the third try, no warning was heard, and he went on, guided by a light in the distance, and reached the land safely, climbing the rocks and then crossing some grass till he came to a cart road. Then the light disappeared, but following the road, he found it lead him to a cow-house.

He went in and lay down among the cows, grateful for the heat they afforded him. In the morning he awoke refreshed and none the worse for his adventure. He found subsequently that when the voice warned him not to leave the stack, the tide was in, and that while he waited it ebbed, and no voice warned him from his third attempt, because the passage between the Stack and the cliff was then fordable. The cow-house where he took refuge was on Scarlett Farm.

(source: artwork Edward Moran – Life Saving Patrol c.1893; Castletown 100 Years Ago by Flaxney Stowell (d.1916) A Manx Notebook)

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