THE SMUGGLER'S TOKEN.
UNTIL about the time of the close of the last French war, a large portion of the inhabitants of the south-west coast of Cornwall were in some way or other connected with the practice of smuggling. The traffic with the opposite coast was carried on principally in boats or undecked vessels. The risks encountered by their crews produced a race of hardy, fearless men, a few of whom are still living, and it has been said that the Government of those days winked at the infraction of the law, from an unwillingness to destroy so excellent a school for seamen. Recently the demand for ardent spirits has so fallen off that there is no longer an inducement to smuggle; still it is sometimes exultingly rumoured that, the "Coast Guard having been cleverly put off the scent, a cargo has been successfully run." The little coves in the Lizard promontory formed the principal trading places, the goods being taken as soon as landed to various places of concealment, whence they were withdrawn as required for disposal. About eighty years since, a boat, laden with "ankers" of spirits, was about, with its crew, to leave Mullian Cove for Newlyn. One of the farmers concerned in the venture, members of whose family are still living, was persuaded to accompany them, and entered the boat for the purpose, but, recollecting he had business at Helston, got out again, and the boat left without him. On his return from Helston, late in the evening, he sat down exclaiming, "The boat and all on board are lost ! I met the men as I passed the top of Halzaphrort (a very high cliff on the road), with their hair and clothes dripping wet !" In spite of the arguments of his friends, he persisted in his statement. The boat and crew were never more heard of and the farmer was so affected by the circumstance, that he pined and died shortly after.