Adit

Ralph and the boys sat around the adit or leaned on their pickaxes listening to the ghostly shifts rumbling out that mouth. The foreman wheeled over a cart and whistled at Ralph.

Ralph lifted the cage. “Canary died, boss.”

“Aw, damn,” said the foreman. “I liked that one. What’d you name it?”

“Sissy Bermuda Bonnet Shoes, after my sister and her favorite things.”

“You sure it’s dead?”

Ralph rattled the birdcage until the dead little thing bounced off the bars and spilled feathers over the rocks. The other miners stared at him, then the foremen, with glum disappointment.

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