from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The dust or grime of coal. Also coal-sleck.
- n. See slack.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
A mountain of coal-slack lies between the lines a little further along, which are in "dead" ground that cannot be covered by rifle fire, and are 1,200 yards apart.
Couldn't you contrive that the pits belonged to you, instead of you belonging to the pits, like so many old pit-ponies that stop down till they are blind, and take to eating coal-slack for meadow-grass, not knowing the difference?
In the nest, which was barely a hole scratched out of the coal-slack in the manner of a plover's nest, I observed three eggs, but did not touch them.