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and Penzance in the south-west, as well as in
numerous small places at various points of
the coast. Not only may one season be less
favourable than another, but one fishing-
place may have a bad year when another has
a good year; and hence there is much of the
lottery uncertainty about it, which doubtless
increases the zest of the adventurers.

Let us make believe that we are out with
a party of pilchard fisherssay at St. Ives.
Let us suppose that our companions have the
wherewithal to conduct the fishing properly;
that the fish are tolerably numerous, and in
the right spots; that they do not show any
unreasonable shyness or prejudice against
being caught; and that the weather is
moderately favourable.

First, then, for the materialsor working
tools. The pilchard is caught with that
sort of net which fishers call a seine. This
seine is from two to three hundred fathoms
longsay fourteen hundred feet, or
somewhat over a quarter of a mile; and it is
from seventy to eighty feet wide. Both
edges are fastened to stout ropes; and four
strong ropes, or warps, about three
hundred leet long, are fastened to the four
corners. One of the edges is rendered buoyant
by corks; while the other, on the contrary, is
rendered heavy by leaden weights: the object
of this arrangement being that when the seine
is immersed in the water, it may assume a
vertical position, like a perforated wall: the
corked edge being of course uppermost, and
the leaded edge undermost. The fishing-boat
is generally about forty feet long, eight tons
burden, and manned by eight or nine men.
There is a tarpaulin to cover the seine while
in the boat.

There is a second or assistant boat, called
the volyer, which carries another net, called
the tuck-seine; and there is a third boat,
called the lurker, or cock-boat, somewhat
smaller than the others. Ropes, anchors,
grapnels, and all such stores, are supplied in
sufficient number.

The tuck-seine, in the volyer or following
boat, is shorter and broader than the stop-
seine, carried in the principal or seine-boat;
it is of a different shape too; it is wider in the
middle than at the ends, and the middle is
formed into a hollow or bunt. These two
boats are about equal in size; but the lurker
or cock-boat is smaller, and carries no seine
or net. The three boats together require
a crew of eighteen men, and one or two

The crews of the three boats have all their
respective duties to perform; but there is an
important auxiliary of theirs, called the huer
or crier, apparently so named from a French
word. His office is a very remarkable one.
unlike any that is commonly known in the
more general and extensive of the British
fisheries. He is a watcher, a look-out, a spy,
a discoverer, a sharp-sigh ted and long-sighted
fellow, who knows something of fish-life in
general, and of pilchard-life in particular.
He looks out for the pilchard, and telegraphs
the boatmen concerning the same. In the
earliest and greyest dawn, it may be long
before the sun makes his appearance, the
huer ascends some sea-cliffsufficiently high
for his purpose, and yet sufficiently near the
fishers for him to be seen. He looks out
far and wide on the sea, in search of some
spot, which presents a certain peculiarity of
view. He detects such a spot. It is a huge
black patch often to be measured in square
miles; he looks again and again, more and
more keenly, until he becomes convinced
that it marks a shoal of pilchards, whose
oil has a tendency to give a kind of smoothness
to the ripples of the sea, and whose
number even affects the reflected appearance
of the water. Then, when the sun shines, he
will see a flash now and then sparkle above the
surface, and will know it to be a gamesome
young pilchard leaping out of the water for
pure fun, and turning up the dazzling scales
of its white belly to glisten in the sun. He
looks and scans narrowly until quite
convinced that a shoal of pilchards is really
within view, and then he begins to work his
telegraph. He has two large boughs, one in
each hand, wherewith he can make signals,
which, though not quite so scientific as those
of Wheatstone, or Steinheil, or Brett, are yet
sufficient for his puqjose. There is a watcher
below, attentive to his movements. The
watcher sees the huer in a state of pleasurable
excitement; he signals a shoal; and the
watcher speedily makes the fact known to
all whom it may concern. All the three
boats belonging to each party, if not yet on
the bosom of the water, are speedily manned
and pushed off; while smaller boats are
brought into a state of readiness to land the
fish which are destined to be caught.

Thus far, then, the huer has found out the
pilchards; it rests with the fishers to capture
them. The gold of the piscine California
has been discovered, and the diggers must
now get the nuggets as skilfully as they can.
It is a part of the principle of fishing adopted,
that the stop-seine shall form a kind of
circular wall, within which the unlucky
pilchards may be imprisoned, and that the lower
edge of the net shall touch the ground, in
order that the fish may not escape
underneath. Hence the pilchard fishery is best
carried on at such a distance from the shore
as will give a depth of about seventy feet of
water, equal (or thereabouts) to the width or
depth of the seine. The seine is carried in
the largest boat, carefully folded, so that it
may be opened and thrown out without
entanglement. Two men hold themselves in
readiness to manage the net, five or six tug
manfully at the oars, while the bow-oarsman
keeps his eye upon the huer, who not only
signals the approach of the shoal, but telegraphs
his instructions as to the best mode in which
it may be approached. The huer keen,

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