Translated by Havelock Ellis.
n ill-greased pulley, and ended by degenerating into a terrible spasm of coughing. The fire basket now clearly lit up his large head, with its scanty white hair and flat, livid face, spotted with bluish patches. He was short, with an enormous neck, projecting calves and heels, and long arms, with massive hands falling to his knees. For the rest, like his horse, which stood immovable, without suffering from the wind, he seemed to be made of stone; he had no appearance of feeling either the cold or the gusts that whistled at his ears. When he coughed his throat was torn by a deep rasping; he spat at the foot of the basket and the earth was blackened.
Étienne looked at him and at the ground which he had thus stained.
"Have you been working long at the mine?"
Bonnemort flung open both arms.
"Long? I should think so. I was not eight when I went down into the Voreux and I am now fifty-eight. Reckon that up! I have been everything down there; at first trammer, then putter, when I h
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This piece is an excellent piece of fiction depicting reality. The tough lives of miners in France is described in first hand. The climax is disheartening, making it a beautiful book.
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