Sunday, 27 April 2008


24 June.--Last night the Count left me early, and locked himself into his own room.  As soon as I dared I ran up the winding stair, and looked out of the window, which opened South.  I thought I would watch for the Count, for there is something going on.  The Szgany are quartered somewhere in the castle and are doing work of some kind.  I know it, for now and then, I hear a far-away muffled sound as of mattock and spade, and, whatever it is, it must be the end of some ruthless villainy.

From Jonathan Harker's Journal, Dracula, by Bram Stoker

A mattock is a hand tool similar to a pickaxe. It is distinguished by the head, which makes it particularly suitable for digging or breaking up moderately hard ground. A mattock has a broad chisel-like blade perpendicular to the handle.This broad-bladed end is effectively an adze that could be used as a hoe as well. The reverse may have a pointed end, in which case the tool is called a pick mattock, or instead have an axe-like splitting end, then it is a cutter mattock. A combination axe and mattock used for fighting forest fires is a pulaski. In some regions of the southern USA, the mattock is called a "grub hoe" or "grub axe".


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