The Mine part 4. 
Christinaīs story continues

Click on the pics for fuld size.
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"Open the inner gate!  
Two convicts are comming in with the food!" 
The guard at the outer gate shouts, after he has locked and secured the outer gate.


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Mrs. Brown is the ex-wife of an overseer, and has since her divorce (Her husband wanted to marry a younger woman.) been a trusted convict in the mine.  It is her job, with the help of a young assistant, to feed the workers.  

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Finally, after having carried the heavy food can 
for over a mile, they put it down.  

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"Come on girls! - Dinner time."
 Their voices echoes through the tunnels.

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At once hopefull faces are seen all over the shaft. 
This is what, they all have been thinking of through the long hours of hard labour.

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"Come - There must be something for us two.
We have been working so hard."


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"Here you are Susan." 

"Oh - Thank you Mrs. ! Thank you!"


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"Hey - What do you expect Lajla? 
Get back to your work at once! 
You know, lazy slaves, 
who donīt meet their quotas, 
donīt eat." 

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Piggishly the lucky onces swollows the sticky mess, and licks their hands clean. 

 Work is waiting, and if they waste to much time eating, it will be more difficult to meet the next work quota. 

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Debbie is a clever girl. 
She always empties her bowels, 
at the same time, as she eats.  
Doing these things simultaneously, saves precious time, so she can get back to work as quickly as possible.

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"Get finished girl!  
Get back to work NOW, or I will tell Maria, and she will punish you with her cane!" 

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Mrs. Brown and her assistant goes from work place to work place.  The slaves are only feed just as much, as needed to keep them alive, so there is porridge enough to a lot of women in the food can. 

Finally they reaches the end of the tunnel in which Christina is working. 

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"It sounds like mrs. Brownīs assistant! 
Come - thereĻs food!" 

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Christina sees first the black girl and then Lisa scramble into the tunnel.   Desperate to get something to eat, she attends to follow them.  


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"Where are you going? 
Get back to your work at once!" 

"But Mistress --- ?" 

"KEEP QUIET!  -  You must never talk without been asked.  You have fare from reached your quota, and fat and lazy girls donīt eat." 

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Feeling very weak and very hungry, poor Christina sits down and weeps, as soon as Maria has left her again. 

How shall she ever manage to survive down here in this
horrible place?  She has been working harder, than she has ever dreamed of she could, but still it has not been enough to meet her quota. 
How do the other women manage to do it? 

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Christina gets up and starts working again. 
She has realized, that if she wants to live, she has to ignore all pain and hunger, and only think of one thing:  WORK and nothing els!

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At last it is evening, and it is time to sleep. 
The overseer goes around and chains the women for the night. 

Christina donīt know, what time it is, as her watch was taken away from her at her arrival.   But that is also unimportant.  Slaves donīt need to know what time it is.  They only have to work as hard as possible at all times, and obey orders at once, as soon as they get them. 

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"Sit down girl and pull up your legs! 
We must make sure, you will not be a naughty girl, and you donīt go anywhere, when you ought to sleep." 

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"We have been very nice to you, because it was your first day down here in the mine, but from tomorrow morning there will be no more mercy.  If you from now on slack off for only a second or are the slightest disobedient, you will be punished very hard, and so will your workmates.  Understand!" 

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"Sniff - Why has this happened to me? 
I should now have been in bed together with my fiancé on board the luxury ship, on our way to Europe!" 

"Please keep quiet."  Lisa whispers hoarsely: 
"We will be punished, if they hear os talking. 
When I was new down here, Maria took away my sack clothes accusing me for talking. 
Then she forced me to crawl around her for hours, while she constantly beated me with her cane.
It was so horrible.  Now please try to sleep!" 

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Completely exhaust, Christina, despite suffering from cramps in her legs, from hunger and from pain from the cainings, falls into some kind of sleep. 

  But the sleep is not long. 
Only 5 hours after the overseer chained the women, 
the usual brutal morning calling awaits. 

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"Wake up sluts! - Sit up, so I can unchain you!"

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"I said wake up lazy bitches!"

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"Today you two shall work with the pickaxes. 
Now - Get moving!" 

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 "Wake up worthless whores!" 

It takes the overseer about half an hour, to unchain the present 52 women in his shaft.

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"Aarhhh...! " 
"Get up lazy fat cow!  I said get up!" 

Some girls takes much more of the overseerīs time  than others, and are more an inconvenience than a advantage to overseers and the mine owners. 

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"You get 20 lashes now, and Maria will give you 20 more every time you slack off from your work." 

This young woman has only been a slave for 2 weeks, since her stepmother the very same afternoon, as her fatherīs funeral, sold her to the mine.  

It has been necessary to beat her allmost constantly, and her ample body and broad hips are covered with welts, bruises and sores. 

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Other girls are much easyer to handle.  This black girl, with a body which looks like it is created for hard labour, carefully ties up her hair every morning, so it will not get in the way durring work. 

She is one of the good workers.

Christina manages to get up, as soon as she is unchained, and stands ready together with some other slaves, waiting for the days orders. 
Her moisten clothes feels cold, and she can smell herself.  But her greatest worry is, that she has to get something to eat today.  If she is forced to go without food again today, she will be in deep trouble. 

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Work begins, and Christina waits impatiently, while she looks at another woman working, for the first empty basked shall be dragged in by the young sledge girl.  She must not waste any time today! 

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A few minutes later it arrives, and she can begine working. 

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Hour after hour passes, and Christina donīt think of anything els than her work. 

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The day seems endless, but she continues filling one basket after another, as soon as the girl with the sledge has emptiet them. 

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At last she is so exhausted, she is near fainting. 

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Then she hears Mrs. Brown and her assistant.  
So do all the other slaves at the work place, and all work stops. 

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Together with the other women, she scrambles into the tunnel, all trying to get first, while she  prays for Maria will not stop her today.

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She watches, while the lucky ones are fed, and humbley thanks Mrs. Brown for the food. 

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Christina is very lucky.  A spoonfull of porridge is dropped into her hands, and after thanking, she desperate of hunger, takes a mouthfull. 

"Arhh -  What is this?"  She thinks.
It is lumpy and slimy, and smells like rotten eggs. 

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 She looks at the other women, as they greedily swollows the unappetizing mess.  
She eats it trying very hard not to vomit.  
She knows, she will not get anything els. 

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The slaves licks their hands clean, as fast as they can.  They canīt afford wasting any more time, than absolutely necessary, if they shall have any chance to fulfil the next days work quota. 

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With a very funny feeling in her stomach, Christina crawls back through the tunnel to her work place. 
 She knows, if she donīt hurry, she will not get any porridge tomorrow.   How
unappetizing it is, she must eat, if she wants to live. 

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A black girl help her moving a full basket, so she can get on with her work. 

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Shortly after they can hear, someone is comming. 

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It is a slave carrying a heavy log too support of the ceiling.  That kind of work donīt count in the daily quota, so she hadnīt got anything to eat today. 
  Still she works fast, and quickly puts it down, and hurries away to fetch another one. 

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Shortly after another girl arrives also carrying a log. She is panting and seems not as strong as the first one. 

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She stops and looks at a nasty sore,
 caused by her leg irons.  

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"Hi - Move your fat white arse!  
If you slow us down, you will regret it!"
 A black girl hisses at her. 

The use of collective punishments are
effective.  If any slave slows down, she is immediately urged on by her fellow sufferers. 

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Suddently a women sits down and groans:

"Please - help me - I canīt breath!" 

 She tries to get up again, but stumbles forwards 
and lie still. 

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Christina tries to help the poor woman, but she can see, she dosnīt breath, and she canīt feel any puls. 

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"Hi- You canīt help her anyway." 
Lisa whispers in the backbround:
"Leave her for the trash collector, and continue your work.  We will all end up in the bone pit one day." 

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Christina resumes her work, and durring the next long hours, she concentrates on her work, trying not to think about, what she has seen. 

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When the overseer at long last comes to chain the slaves for the night, he brings along a young girl, who could be spared in another tunnel, as a replacement for the dead woman. 

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This night is even worse than Christinaīs first one in the mine.  Any hope she might had had, about getting free again, and resume her former life, is gone. 

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"Noo - I donīt want to end up in the bone pit as a pice of trash like that poor woman." 

 But she knows she will. 
Some of the women, she has met in the mine, also come from wealthy famillies, and if they hadnīt managed to get out, why should she?  

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Early the next morning work continues as usualy.  
All without exception must meet the quotas. 
No one is spared. 
Not even the pregnant ones. 

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Some are lucky. 
Being selected to carry loads of coals through the long flooded lower tunnels, is a good job. 
It is an opportunity to get some of the filth washed off, and to get some water to drink, even it is dirty. 

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Others are unlucky. 
A woman starts crying, when she is selected to saw out logs, and carry them the long distances to support the ceilings in the new tunnels.  She knows, this means, she will not get anything to eat today. 

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Shoveling is looked apone as an easy task, even it, specially for newbies, feels very hard. 

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The hardest job is to hack out the coals. 
It is not only extremely exhausting, but it also requires skills, to use the pickaxe in the right way. 

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Christina is at the beginning of her 3īrd day, selected once more to use the shovel. 

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After only 5 hours of continuous work, she feels completely run down. 

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Weak of hunger, thirst, lack of sleep and the hard labour, she has to take a small break. 

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But Maria has a sense for slaves, who 
tries to shirk from their work. 
Before Christina manage to get up and resume her work, she is exposed, and durring the next terrible hour, Maria punishes her

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As an additional punishment she now has to work with the heavy pickaxe, and is bleeding and suffering from Mariaīs beatings, send into one of the narrowest tunnels to hack out coal there.