Early on a summer morning, about the beginning of the nineteenth century, two fishermen of Forfarshire wended their way to the shore, launched their boat, and put off to sea. One of the men was tall and ill-favoured, the other, short and well-favoured. Both were square-built, powerful fellows, like most men of the class to which they belonged. It was about that calm hour of the morning which precedes sunrise, when most living creatures are still asleep, and inanimate nature wears, more than at other times, the semblance of repose. The sea was like a sheet of undulating glass. A breeze had been expected, but, in defiance of expectation, it had t come, so the boatmen were obliged to use their oars. They used them well, however, insomuch that the land ere long appeared like a blue line on the horizon, then became tremulous and indistinct, and finally vanished in the mists of morning.