r many years past, thick clouds of smoke from coal-pit engines and iron furnaces had given to trees and shrubs a sickly hue. Nature had striven in vain against the hot black breath of reeking chimneys. Right down among the stunted trees of this ravine went the foot-track which Johnson followed. Darkness had now gathered all around, yet here and there were wild lights struggling with the gloom. Just on the right, where the path came out on to the dusty road, and a little way down a bank, a row of blazing coke-ovens threw a ghastly glare over the scene, casting fantastic shadows as their waves of fiery vapour flickered in the breeze. A little farther on he passed a busy forge, from whose blinding light and wild uproarious mirth, mingling with the banging of the hammers, he was glad to escape into the darkness beyond--what would he not have given could he have as easily escaped from the stingings of his own keen remorse. On he went, but nothing could he see of his son. A mile more of rapid walking, and he reache
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