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THE WEIRDSTONE OF BRISINGAMEN

In The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Alan Garner's first book, there is a very vivid and detailed account of the journey of Colin and Susan through West Mine before emerging in Engine Vein.  I will try not to spoil the story but if you read the book and follow the pictures below, I hope it will add to the pleasure of reading The Weirdstone of Brisingamen.

FROM ST MARY'S CLIFFE TO THE EARLDELVING

Descending the shaft The mouth of the tunnel
... It's something that feels like smooth rock going past very fast, and I've skinned my hand on it ... ... by the light of their lamps they saw that they were at the mouth of a tunnel that stretched away into the darkness ...
The dangling ladder Scrambling on hands and knees
... the end of the ladder dangled a few inches
above an island of sand ...
... were compelled to run bent double, and, finally,
to scramble on hands and knees ...
Intricate caverns Innumerable tunnels and shafts
... it seemed that they were in an intricate
system of caverns ...
... connected by innumerable tunnels and shafts ...
The edge of a cliff A tunnel mouth
...they had wormed along the crest of a sandbank
that rested on the edge of a cliff ..
... at the end of the ridge was a tunnel mouth ...
Crossing the plank The floor plunged down
... stretched across its gaping mouth
was a narrow plank ...
... the floor plunged down and, so far as they could see,
there was no change in course ...
The lake The deep shaft
... seven or eight feet below was a lake of
chocolate-coloured water ...
... I wonder how deep the shaft is ...
Going back across the plank Taking a rest
... Colin moved backwards along the plank,
feeling behind him painfully for every step ...
... with their backs propped against the tunnel wall.
They were both in need of a rest ...
Squirming through the entrance The lion's head
... Colin squirmed through the entrance ... ... an outcrop of rock, and it was in
the shape of a lion's head ...
The cave of the Svartmoot The wall was smooth
... this is the cave of the Svartmoot ... ...from the shoulder, they climbed up a wall ...
to a narrow ledge ...
Chain Shaft He called up the shaft
... a broken ledge, no more than
a few inches wide ...
... the third, immediately to their right, was awesomely different.  Its face was smooth and grey ...
The flooded passage The water was so cold
... three sides of the shaft opened out
like the shoulder of a bottle ...
... he called up the shaft ...

... and it was flooded except for the
pyramid of sand in the middle ...
... the water was so cold
that it took their breath away ...
Roof and water met No more than a yard high
... the roof and water meet where he left us ... ... the roof ran square to the walls, and
nowhere was more than a yard high ...
A film of colour The coffin level
... the water ... had spread
a film of colour down the wall ...
... into which they fitted like
the segments of an orange ...
They lay full length A shaft with many holds
... they lay full length, walls, floor, and
roof fitting them like a second skin ...
... a shaft ... here the rock was vertical,
but the holds were many ...
A circular cave and daylight Gras sbeneath their feet
... a circular cave-and daylight ... ... then there was grass beneath them,
and a wind upon their cheeks.

OTHER SITES

The Devil's Grave The Holy Well
Devil's Grave The (upper) Holy Well
The Keeper's Cottage A Ring of Stones
The Keeper's Cottage A Ring of Stones

Hope you enjoyed that!

[Quotations are taken from the Armada Lion edition of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (4th impression, August 1972) pages 91 to 143.  As far as possible, the quotations are verbatim.]


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Last updated: 09/05/2010
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