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The Cruise of the Betsey

Or, A Summer Ramble Among the Fossiliferous Deposits of the Hebrides

By Hugh Miller

(Published 1862)

  • Preface
  • Chapter I--Preparation--Departure--Recent and Ancient Monstrosities--A Free Church Yacht--Down the Clyde--Jura--Prof. Walker's Experiment--Whirlpool near Scarba--Geological Character of the Western Highlands--An Illustration--Different Ages of Outer and Inner Hebrides--Mt. Blanc and the Himalayas "mere upstarts"--Esdaile Quarries--Oban--A Section through Conglomerate and Slate examined--McDougal's Dog-stone--Power of the Ocean to move Rocks--Sound of Mull--The Betsey--The Minister's Cabin--Village of Tobermory--The "Florida," a Wreck of the Invincible Armada--Geologic Exploration and Discovery--At Anchor
  • Chapter II--The Minister's Larder--No Harbour--Eigg Shoes--Tormentilla erecta--For the Witness' Sake--Eilean Chaisteil--Appearance of Eigg--Chapel of St. Donan--Shell-sand--Origin of Secondary Calcareous Rock suggested--Exploration of Eigg--Pitchstone Veins--A Bone Cave--Massacre at Eigg--Grouping of Human Bones in the Cave--Relics--The Horse's Tooth--A Copper Sewing Needle--Teeth found--Man a worse Animal than his Teeth show him to have been designed for--Story of the Massacre--Another Version--Scuir of Eigg--The Scuir a Giant's Causeway--Character of the Columns--Remains of a Prostrate Forest
  • Chapter III--Structure of the Scuir--A stray Column--The Piazza--A buried Pine Forest the Foundation of the Scuir--Geological Poachers in a Fossil Preserve--Pinites Eiggensis--Its Description--Witham's Experiments on Fossil Pine of Eigg--Rings of the Pine--Ascent of the Scuir--Appearance of the Top--White Pitchstone--Mr. Greig's Discovery of Pumice--A Sunset Scene--The Manse and the Yacht--The Minister's Story--A Cottage Repast--American Timber drifted to the Hebrides--Agency of the Gulf Stream--The Minister's Sheep
  • Chapter IV--An Excursion--The Chain of Crosses--Bay of Laig--Island of Rum--Description of the Island--Superstitions banished by pure Religion--Fossil Shells--Remarkable Oyster Bed--New species of Belemnite--O÷litic Shells--White Sandstone Precipices--Gigantic Petrified Mushrooms--"Christabel" in Stone--Musical Sand--Jabel Nakous, or Mountain of the Bell--Experiments of Travellers at Jabel Nakous--Welsted's Account--Reg-Rawan, or the Moving Sand--The Musical Sounds inexplicable--Article on the subject in the North British Review
  • Chapter V--Trap-dykes--"Cotton Apples"--Alternation of Lacustrine with Marine Remains--Analogy from the Beds of Esk--Aspect of the Island on its narrow Front--The Puffin--Ru Stoir--Development of Old Red Sandstone--Striking Columnar character of Ru Stoir--Discovery of Reptilian Remains--John Stewart's wonder at the Bones in the Stones--Description of the Bones--"Dragons, Gorgons, and Chimeras"--Exploration and Discovery pursued--The Midway Shieling--A Celtic Welcome--Return to the Yacht--"Array of Fossils new to Scotch Geology"--A Geologist's Toast--Hoffman and his Fossil
  • Chapter VI--Something for Non-geologists--Man Destructive--A Better and Last Creation coming--A Rainy Sabbath--The Meeting House--The Congregation--The Sermon in Gaelic--The Old Wondrous Story--The Drunken Minister of Eigg--Presbyterianism without Life--Dr. Johnson's Account of the Conversion of the People of Rum--Romanism at Eigg--The Two Boys--The Freebooter of Eigg--Voyage resumed--The Homeless Minister--Harbour of Isle Ornsay--Interesting Gneiss Deposit--A Norwegian Keep--Gneiss at Knock--Curious Chemistry--Sea-cliffs beyond Portsea--The Goblin Luidag--Scenery of Skye
  • Chapter VII--Exploration resumed--Geology of Rasay--An Illustration--The Storr of Skye--From Portree to Holm--Discovery of Fossils--An Island Rain--Sir R. Murchison--Labour of Drawing a Geological Line--Three Edinburgh Gentlemen--Prosopolepsia--Wrong Surmises corrected--The Mail Gig--The Portree Postmaster--Isle Ornsay--An Old Acquaintance--Reminiscences--A Run for Rum--"Semi-fossil Madeira"--Idling on Deck--Prognostics of a Storm--Description of the Gale--Loch Scresort--The Minister's lost Sou-wester--The Free Church Gathering--The weary Minister
  • Chapter VIII--Geology of Rum--Its curious Character illustrated--Rum famous for Bloodstones--Red Sandstones--"Scratchings" in the Rocks--A Geological Inscription without a Key--The Lizard--Vitality broken into two--Illustrations--Speculation--Scuir More--Ascent of the Scuir--The Bloodstones--An Illustrative Set of the Gem--M'Culloch's Pebble--A Chemical Problem--The solitary Shepherd's House--Sheep versus Men--The Depopulation of Rum--A Haul of Trout--Rum Mode of catching Trout--At Anchor in the Bay of Glenelg
  • Chapter IX--Kyles of Skye--A Gneiss District--Kyle Rhea--A Boiling Tide--A "Take" of Sillocks--The Betsey's "Paces"--In the Bay at Broadford--Rain--Island of Pabba--Description of the Island--Its Geological Structure--Astrea--Polypifers--Gryphoea incurva--Three Groups of Fossils in the Lias of Skye--Abundance of the Petrifactions of Pabba--Scenery--Pabba a "piece of smooth, level England"--Fossil Shells of Pabba--- Voyage resumed--Kyle Akin--Ruins of Castle Maoil--A "Thornback" Dinner--The Bunch of Deep Sea Tangle--The Caileach Stone--Kelp Furnaces--Escape of the Betsey from sinking
  • Chapter X--Isle Orusay--The Sabbath--A Sailor-minister's Sermon for Sailors--The Scuir Sermon--Loch Carron--Groups of Moraines--A sheep District--The Editor of the Witness and the Establishment Clergyman--Dingwall--Conon-side revisited--The Pond and its Changes--New Faces.--The Stonemason's Mark--The Burying-ground of Urquhart--An old Acquaintance--Property Qualification for Voting in Scotland--Montgerald Sandstone Quarries--Geological Science in Cromarty--The Danes at Cromarty--The Danish Professor and the "Old Red Sandstone"--Harmonizing Tendencies of Science
  • Chapter XI--Ichthyolite Beds--An interesting Discovery--Two Storeys of Organic Remains in the Old Red Sandstone--Ancient Ocean of Lower Old Red--Two great Catastrophes--Ancient Fish Scales--Their skilful Mechanism displayed by examples--Bone Lips--Arts of the Slater and Tiler as old as Old Red Sandstone--Jet Trinkets--Flint Arrow-heads--Vitrified Forts of Scotland--Style of grouping Lower Old Red Fossils--Illustration from Cromarty Fishing Phenomena--Singular Remains of Holoptychius--Ramble with Mr. Robert Dick--Colour of the Planet Mars--Tombs never dreamed of by Hervey--Skeleton of the Bruce--Gigantic Holoptychius--"Coal money Currency"--Upper Boundary of Lower Old Red--Every one may add to the Store of Geological Facts--Discoveries of Messrs. Dick and Peach
  • Chapter XII--Ichthyolite Beds of Clune and Lethenbarn--Limestone Quarry--Destruction of Urns and Sarcophagi in the Lime-kiln--Nodules opened--Beautiful colouring of the Remains--Patrick Duff's Description--New Genus of Morayshire Ichthyolite described--Form and size of the Nodules or Stone Coffins--Illustration from Mrs. Marshall's Cements--Forest of Darnaway--The Hill of Berries--Sluie--Elgin--Outliers of the Weald and the O÷lite--Description of the Weald at Linksfield--Mr. Duff's Lepidotus minor--Eccentric Types of Fish Scales--Visit to the Sandstones of Scat-Craig--Fine suit of Fossils at Scat-Craig--True graveyard Bones, not mere Impressions--Varieties of pattern--The Diker's "Carved Flowers"--Stagonolepis, a new Genus--Termination of the Ramble
  • Chapter XIII--Supplementary--Isolated Reptile Remains in Eigg--Small Isles revisited--The Betsey again--Storm bound--Tacking--Becalmed--MedusŠ caught and described--Rain--A Shoal of Porpoises--Change of Weather--The bed-ridden Woman--The Poor Law Act for Scotland--Geological Excursion--Basaltic Columns--O÷litic Beds--Abundance of Organic Remains--Hybodus Teeth--Discovery of reptile Remains in situ--Musical Sand of Laig re-examined--Explanation suggested--Sail for Isle Ornsay--Anchored Clouds--A Leak sprung--Peril of the Betsey--At work with Pump and Pails--Safe in Harbour--Return to Edinburgh

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