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the north ward as far as the eye could reach.
I have traversed Switzerland, and the view of the Alps is, in my opinion, scarcely more imposing than this.
After dwelling upon it for an hour or two, and refreshing ourselves with a copious draught from a pure spring, surrounded with icicles and snow, we returned to Garviemore, having walked about four-and-twenty miles, and attained so great an elevation on the day which should have been our day of rest.”
Monday, 26th July.—The party started soon after daybreak, crossed Corrie-arrack, 2000 feet high, descended on Fort Augustus, and proceeded in a north-westerly course to Cluny, where they got neither beds nor supper.
Tuesday, 27th July.-Breakfasted at Invershiel, at the head of Loch Duich; ascended, and built a conical pile on the summit of Scour-Ouran, a high mountain to the north-east, and returned to the inn at Invershiel to sleep.
Wednesday, 28th July.-Crossed the Maum-Rattachan to Kyle-Rhea, thence to Broadford in Skye, and on to Sconser-a distance of thirty-two miles.
Thursday, 29th July.—Attempted to reach the summit of the Coolin Hills, but were completely foiled in the attempt. “Not being provided with ladders or ropes, the perpendicular rock at the summit baffled our efforts for several hours to find a crevice by which to ascend it. We gained, however, a ridge which reaches out from the perpendicular cliff, with a superb column at the extremity of it, and so narrow is the ridge that we were obliged to sit astride upon it, in which position little more than the strength of an infant was required to hurl a stone to the bottom of the corrie on the south side without impinging on the face of the cliff, a depth of about 2000 feet.
“ Friday, 30th July.-Went to Portree, ascended a range of hills above it, and erected a pile of stones upon one of them, and returned to Sconser.
"Saturday, 31st July.—A bright morning at daybreak, and we were on foot again to make a fresh attempt on Scour-naMarich, another head of the Coolin range, which Captain Colby had singled out for the purpose on the former occasion ; and this time our efforts were crowned with success. Having built a large pile upon it, we returned to our inn to breakfast, which, by that time, we stood much in need of, and, hiring a boat, we proceeded direct to Jeantown, at the head of Loch Carron."
From Jeantown the party made for Letterew on the northern shore of Loch Maree ; and having explored the country to the eastward, building piles upon the mountains which were best placed, they made for Loch Fannich, and thence to Beauly and Inverness. From Inverness they made for Corrie Habbie, where they arrived on the 14th of August, having walked 586 miles in twenty-two days, including Sundays, and some days on which they were unable to proceed from bad weather.
A few days favourable for observation now enabled them to complete their observations on Corrie Habbie. So clear was the sky at this time, that one evening after sunset they saw the pile on Ben Nevis distinctly through the telescope, the distance being seventy-five miles in a right line. By the 3d of September they had established themselves on the top of Ben Wyvis, at a height of 3400 feet. From this station they looked back on Cairngorm, southwards on Ben Nevis again, and westwards on the piles recently erected on the Skye mountains. By the 18th September they occupied a new station on Ben Cheilt, two miles west of Latheron, in Caithness. From this they looked back on Ben Wyvis, now covered with snow. From Ben Cheilt they shifted to Ben Loch-cas-na-Cairoch, a mountain near Golspie. The station here was a perfect bog.
“ The season, too, had now changed; we had frequent and violent storms of hail, rain, and wind, which occasionally threw down some of the tents; but in the intervals the atmosphere was clear, and allowed of the instrument being constantly at work." Their last station was at Tarbatness, where they finished their observations on the 29th of September.
“ The weather was now daily becoming more stormy and wet. The mountains were all covered with snow, and the trigonometrical season was declared to be at an end."
Such had been Captain Colby's life for many years, and such was now to be Drummond's. One would not readily think of romance in connection with the subject of triangulation. And yet it may now appear not unnatural that the latter should raise expectations of the former. Indeed, to those who have read Mr Connolly's account of the share taken by the Sappers in the great triangulation, “The Romance of the Survey,” as the title of a book of adventure, would no more sound strange than “ The Romance of War.” « The Station Hunters” may yet find a place among works of light literature.
SURVEY OPERATIONS, 1821-1825; DRUMMOND'S INVEN
TIONS ; THE HELIOSTAT AND THE DRUMMOND LIGHT.
DRUMMOND was only in the twenty-third year of his age when he joined the Survey in the summer of 1820. Whether he went out in the trigonometrical operations of that year does not appear; in the following and several succeeding years he was actively employed on the great triangulation, in Scotland and England first, and afterwards in Ireland.
Probably, on arriving in London, he had again to pass through a period of “preliminary practical instructions." Fitness for the varied duties of the service was, to a large extent, to be acquired at the head-quarters at the Tower. For the discharge of many of these duties he must have been competent from the first.
In the season of 1821 he was in Scotland with Colby, Vetch (afterwards consulting engineer at the Admiralty), and Dawson, continuing the great triangulation northwards from Caithness, over part of which the triangles had been carried in the season of 1819. In the season of 1821 the triangles were thrown over Orkney and Shetland. The party made observations from eleven stations, including those upon “the two lone islands” of Faira and Foula, as they are called by Dawson in the letter already cited. The season was one of extraordinary labour. On the island of Foula, Colby,
the chief,” as his officers delighted to call him, experienced a sharp inflammatory attack, and had to send to Lerwick, on the east coast of Shetland, for leeches. His sufferings in the interval are described as having been almost beyond endurance. On recovering from this attack, he returned to the south (apparently accompanied by Dawson), to take part in observations arranged to be made in France by himself and Captain Kater, conjointly with MM. Arago and Mathieu. The work in the islands fell to be completed after his departure by Vetch and Drummond.*
How Mr Drummond was occupied in the season of 1822 is somewhat uncertain. Colby, Dawson, and Vetch were out on the west coast. They explored the whole range of the western islands from the Mull of Kintyre to the Butt of Lewis. Colby had again to return to engage in operations in the south ; he left Vetch and Dawson to finish the Scotch observations in camp at the Mull of Oe. The operations in the south were in continuation of those in which Colby was engaged in the previous year along with Captain Kater. They were repeating the triangulation and measurements, which had previously been executed by General Roy, for the purpose of connecting the Observatories of Greenwich and Paris. In the mean time a party of the Survey officers, to which Drummond was probably attached, were engaged in operations in England. Ten stations were visited by this party, and observations for azimuth made at two of them ; but in what district they were I cannot ascertain.
In 1823 Drummond was engaged along with Colby in carrying a chain of triangles northwards towards Cambridge, for the purpose of fixing upon the position
* Memoir of Colby, p. 63.