The letter was unanswered for over a year; but coming at a time when the man of twenty-five was beginning to find that there were better things to be done in life than cliff-climbing in the country, or giving pleasant parties at Oxford, it wrought its purpose, and formed the first step towards the new life. Having spent some time in study, Hannington went up for his ordination examination.
But I could not help admiring his tremendous energy and courage, especially in cliff-climbing when we visited the headlands those stupendous masses and lofty piles of granite which rise like castles built by giants of old.
Both at Oxford and at Martinhoe, in North Devon, where he spent some time during the vacations, Hannington preserved his reputation for fun and love of adventure. At Oxford he took part in practical jokes innumerable; at Martinhoe cliff-climbing and adventurous scrambles occupied some little of his time.
As to mountain climbing, you can get your fill of it in Grand Cañon, above Ouray, at Pike's Peak a dozen places, and only the mountain climber and his troglodyte cliff-climbing prototype know the drunken, frenzied joy of climbing on the roof of the earth and risking life and limb to stand with the kingdoms of the world at your feet.
It wouldn't do for cliff-climbing; but its A.I. for sitting on lawns.... I can't help it! I must!" "Jim," said Myra, laughing and pushing him away; "what has come to you, you dearest old boy? You will really have to behave! We are not in the honeysuckle arbour.
The sight was anything but encouraging, the task of climbing that vertical face perfectly smooth, to all intents and purposes, the projections and inequalities being so slight as to be barely distinguishable beyond a height of twenty or five-and-twenty feet seeming to him, even after his recent experience of cliff-climbing, a sheer impossibility.
In the afternoon I attempted the high bluff immediately overlooking the camp. I had a bit of cliff-climbing, and reached the summit of one hill of some elevation, 1300 feet, and then found that a vast chasm, or ravine, separated me from the main mountain chain. It would be dark before I could if I could reach the summit, and then I should get no view, so I returned to the camp.
In this way he passed the spot where he had lowered himself down, and reached a slight angle, by which he expected, from long experience in cliff-climbing, to be able to descend to the next.
No other place since that hollow where the favoured boys had been wont to meet Hilaria had meant so much to him, and this one had the supreme advantage that it belonged to him only. The rest of his family did not indulge in cliff-climbing.
Martin," he said, hurriedly; "I'll run over to old Mother Renouf; she'll have some herbs or something to send mam'zelle to sleep." "Bring her back with you," I shouted after him as he sped across the yard. Mother Renouf was no stranger to me. While I was a boy she had charmed my warts away, and healed the bruises which were the inevitable consequences of cliff-climbing.