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Newspaper Page Text
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THE SEA'S GIFT
By Francis Knowles
Jim Thorpe had been in charge of
Lowestoft light for seven and twen
When the young fisherman had
taken his bride there he had been
very proud and both very happy.
Their honeymoon had lasten' seven
years, until the girl died. She died
very suddenly and there was no time
to summon medical aid. It was not
until she had been laid to rest in the
churchyard of the little village that
Thorpe realized that his life, too, was
For five years he brooded over his
loss. They had never had a child.
That had been their great sorrow.
Thorpe was absolutely alone in the
world, with nothing but his light.
He tended it through the great
storm of his fifth lonely year, but it
did not save the great liner that was
dashed to pieces on the Lowestoft
rocks. In the morning Thorpe put
out in the lifeboat The ship had
broken on the rocks and there
seemed to be no survivors. But on
a narrow lege of rock he found a
baby girl asleep!
How she had escaped was a mir
acle. Thorpettjok her back to' the
lighthouse and fed and tended her.
Gradually, as the days passed, fierce
love and jealousy for her replaced
the void in his heart. She grew up
in the lighthouse.
Twenty years, passed. Emily
Thorpe regarded herself as the keep
er's daughter. He sent her to school
in the village, but she always- came
back at nightfall, pulling the heavy
lighthouse boat. Thorpe would watch
during those years every evening for
the sight of the slender figure, run
ning along the sands toward him.
Then a hand would be waved, a cry
of joy would conre to him, and pres
ently the big boat would lumber
along with Emily at the oar.
The thought that she would some
day marry and leave him was the one
black, unbearable one which he put
back into the deepest recesses of his
But Emily did not seem to care for
any of the fisherboys of the little
place. Her manners were instinc
tively those of a lady. She was above
them all; she had the inherent grace
and knowledge of one born in a high
rank of life. Thorpe had tried to
She Always Came Back at Nightfall.
learn who her parents had been, but
he never discovered.
Every seven years, they say, a wild
storm devastates the ,Lowestoft
coast. There had been two -since
Emily came to Thorpe. The third
happened when she was 21, and
again .a big liner went ashore in the
same place on Lowestoft rocks.
Again the lifeboat was put out,
this time manned by half a dozen
villagers, and this time the bulk of
the passengers were saved. One of