With the Knocker upper tap on their bedroom window ringing in his ear,Vernon,stirred from his slumber.His care worn countenance,coupled with his frustration of Morwena being cold towards him yet again,had caused a fractious night for him.As he tried to creep out ,got dressed,made up the range to keep the corsage warm for the day ahead,he made his way down the dark alley at the back of the Terrace cottages that all the miners,their families,and village folk,lived in.
Miners,worked in gangs,they relied on each other,with the sheer threat to their existence underneath a constant threat.So Vernon,as a Forman of the day shift at South Crofty mine,was painfully aware of his responsibility to maintain the family atmosphere amongst the men hat he worked with.Vernon was a miners son,and mining had been in his families blood for generations.As the Penpraise family provided so much of the working stock of the town too,there was a heritage there that Vernon was all too aware of.As he walked to the mine opening,he thought of why Morwena had seemingly began to isolate herself from him,and from the community that had been his .
Vernon wasn’t a harsh man,and he wasn’t cruel as such,but he had a black and white mentality to life.To him,Morwena should be grateful that he chose her,and she should support him more as a miners wife,and as a foreman’s wife.
However,Vernon wasn’t good at finding out the reasons for Morwena’s isolation,and frankly wasn’t interested in reasons.As Vernon saw it,he wanted her to support him and snap out of her “moods” as he called them.
Vernon remained intransigent ,and almost obsessively dogmatic causing a standoff that neither couple seemed willing,or able to compromise.Whenever Vernon mentioned this to Morwena,she froze,as if out of fear .Because Vernon ,deep down ,loved her very much,he didn’t press her,but his family pressurised him,and his fellow miners down the mime would ask why their wife’s never saw Morwena in the town.It all seemed to be a boiling pot on the stove.
As the gang prepared to go underground,Vernon struggled to meet his men in the eye,and this profoundly bothered him,and he knew it.At worse,Vernon wanted to give up the foreman’s mantle,as there were men who could gain more respect like Demzil Pengelly,and Roy Henwood.This turmoil crashed around in his head,as the cage descended down the mine shaft.