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DROWNED IN A DRAIN. In the sad accident which occurred recently at Hastings, when Henry Winter, one of three men working in a drain, was swept away by the sudden influx of water from the storm, the others had an awfully narrow escape; and one of them, John Wilson, tells a sad story of the night's ad- venture. He says :â⢠"We had opened the drain just in front of the bank, and about eleven o'clock at night I went down first and crept in; but I was soon glad enough to come out, for the air was that bad I couldn't breathe it. So we all three waited a bit, and then, taking our shovels and lanterns, down we went, and got into the drainâthree feet across so that we had almost to crawl along it. Poor Harry Winter went in first, then Lawrence, and I went last; and then we got to work. It was no wonder as the people complained, for the drain was in a terrible state, and there were loads upon loads of soil in it; and what we wanted to do was to shovel it all back into the big culvert, which was a foot wider than the one we were in, and joined on to the iron pipe which runs down the beach and empties into the sea. "It was a queer, awkward job; for we had to work bent down upon one knee by the light of our lanterns, and to shovel the dirt right under us-me pushing it back to Lawrence, and he shovelling it to Winter, who sent it into the culvert, where there was enough flow of water to carry it out into the sea. We got on very well though, for there was very little water where we were at work. which was some distance back from the hole where we came down; when, all at once, I heard the noise of water, and a terrible feeling of fear came over me, for I knelv there was some- thing not as it should be. I knew directly that it must be water pouring in from the surface drains, and I shouted back to Lawrence and Winterâ Come out; there's some- thing wrong;' but before the words were well out of my month, down came the water with a sudden rush. There was no time hardly to think, before it was upon me, and there I was down on my knee in that muddy place, fighting, struggling, and panting to get out. It was awful; for I couldn't get my breath, and there was the water roaring and rushing along, tearing down out of the small drains which emptied into the one we were cleaning, and even dashing from the street gutters down the opening by which we got into the place. Almost directly the drain was three- parts full, and the water tearing over me, so that I was struggling for my breath, and feeling so confused and stifled that I thought all was over, and that I should never get out. When I was under our drain the water came with such tre- mendous force that it bent me down, and I t -was almost gone while to make it worse, my great sea-boots werelKftcL with water, ana sccnfecr to keep me back. The water grew deeper and fiercer every moment, and I felt that faint and exhausted that I could hardly stand against the rush; but by God's mercy, blinded, half suffocated, and con- fused, I got to the opening, and then lent Lawrence a hand. Just then I turned round and looked down the black place where the water was running along, and just above it I could see the glimmer- ing of poor Winter's lantern, when, 'Harry! Harry!' I shouted, and the poor fellow either shouted, Halloo or All right!" I can't say which, for I was too confused; but I shouted again, 'Look sharp, or you'll never get out alive.' And he didn't, for-neither Lawrence nor me could hear or see any more of him, though I kept on shouting to him, I dare say, tyenty times. It was a dreadful time, and I was horribly frightened; but I ran lower down to where one of the man-holes opens into the brick culvert; for I knew he had been driven back by the water, and I thought that, perhaps, he would try to get up one of them, though the chances are that he could not have breathed for the foul air. There were some men close by, and I called to them to help me, but they would not come, and at last I man-, aged to get the trap up and let myself down, when I found the water was up to my middle; and then I knew that it was all over with poor Winter, for he could not get out at the bottom of the great iron pipe where it empties in the sea, on account of the wooden-hinged flap which covered the mouth to keep the sand and shingle from washing up and stopping it. This flal) was then about six inches open, and I ran down to it in the dark with my lantern, and began to low&f the chain, thinking I could get my poor mate as he came down. But no sooner did I let go than the flap new up, from the pressure of the water, and away it rushed into the sea, some of it dashing up many. feet into the air. 1 could not see much, it was that dark, for it was a terrible storm, and had come on so sud- denly; but I got all the help I could, and as soon as the water was a bit lowered, we went right up the iron drain and the brick culvert, which is the continuation up the town and then we searched the drain where we had been at work, and again right up past the junction with the culvert, in case he might have been carried the other way; and then the small drains opening into the larger ones, in case he might have tried to crawl up either of them but we could not find him, and I can't help thinking as he must have been carried out to sea by the water when I opened the flap which covered the mouth of the pipe. Poor fellow being last, he had so poor a chance of getting out; and then, too, he was a taller man, and the place was so small that we had almost to creep, and with such a tremendous and sudden rush of water against one, it was con- fusing and exhausting; and, besides, he had so much farther to come. And so we've gone. on searching in the drains and on the beach, for his friends' sake. We go down on the shore, and have used drags from out of the boats, but haven't found him yet, though I feel sure as hQ'11 bevashed up by the sea, though some people think yet as he's stuck in one of the small drains, and so several places have been opened. He's left a wife and one little one; and I can't help thinking of our narrow escape, and how it would have been if I had gone, for I have a wife and eight little ones. He was a fine young fellow, though, and, reckoning from the time he joined our benefit society, I should say he was about s?ven-and-twenty. It has been a sad upset, and 1 haven t got over it yet, for there's a fortnight's work to do to that drain, stopping it with concrete, and altering it, but for the life of me I don't feel as though I could go down the hole again. And I can't see as any one was to blame, for no one could tell as such a terrible storm would come on, all at once, and flush every channel and drain; but, perhaps, if I had been at the mouth of the hole when I saw the rain coming, I might have warned them both in time." Both of the survivors and their wives seem much overcome by the affair, which has left such an impression upon their minds that they could hardly speak of it unmoved; and in this case a too common feature seems wanting: there is no carelessness on the part of employers or em- ployed no display of a want of foresight, for, to use Wilson's words in narrating, in a quiet, thankful spirit, his awfully narrow escape, who could foresee such a storm f-The Working Man. n