I had to pass coal for the day and night shifts, and, despite working through the noon-hour, I never finished my task before eight at night.
I worked at top speed, filling the iron wheelbarrow with coal, running it on the scales and weighing the load, then trundling it into the fire-room and dumping it on the plates before the fires.
They had merely wheeled in the coal and dumped it on the plates.
These furnaces, constructed of fireproof brick, were especially adapted for burning pit coal, with a flat bottom upon which the iron bars were laid.
As many pounds of metal as there were to cast, so many pounds of coal were there to burn.
In the darkness I could just see the thing--like an ele- phant's trunk more than anything else--waving towards me and touching and examining the wall, coals, wood and ceil- ing.
It came into the scullery no more; but I lay all the tenth day in the close darkness, buried among coals and firewood, not daring even to crawl out for the drink for which I craved.
On the other side a brewery waggon was locking with the coal waggon, and an east-bound Kearny Street car, wildly clanging its gong, the motorman shouting defiance at the crossing policeman, was dashing forward to complete the blockade.
The driver of the coal waggon, a big man in shirt sleeves, lighted a pipe and sat smoking.
Hardly had she spoken, than, just as before, there was a red-glowing coal on the top of the tobacco.
There must have been a spell either in the tobacco or in the fiercely-glowing coal that so mysteriously burned on top of it, or in the pungently-aromatic smoke which exhaled from the kindled weed.
Instead of raising the price of coal
without adding an ounce of coal
to the market supply, I'd be making thousands and thousands of cords of firewood--making something where nothing was before.
The Coal Tar Maggie came sloshing into their midst with a light breeze astern, and they crowded on deck to see us.
We took no notice of the joking, but acted, after the manner of greenhorns, as though the Coal Tar Maggie required our undivided attention.
The coldness of the human heart," he said, with a grin, "will keep the creature in his present condition until I can reach home and revive him on the coals